ʿEṢMAT BOḴĀRĪ, Ḵᵛāja ʿEṢMAT-ALLĀH b. Masʿūd Boḵārī (d. 840/1436), poet and scholar of the early Timurid period, known also for his expertise in mathematics, history, prosody, riddles, and mastery of enšāʾ. His lineage is traced back to Jaʿfar b. Abī Ṭāleb. In his poetry he occasionally refers to his Shiʿite affiliation. He was born into a family of notables of Bukhara, where he was raised and received the customary education of his time. Toward the end of his life his house in Bukhara was frequented by poets and savants, including Basāṭī Samarqandī (d. 814/1411), Ḵayālī Boḵārī (d. 850/1446), and Ḥosām-al-Dīn Rostam Ḵūrīānī (d. 834/1430).
ʿEṣmat was attached to the court of Naṣīr-al-Dīn Ḵalīl-Solṭān b. Mīrānšāh b. Tīmūr, who ruled Samarqand in the years 807-12/1404-9 (hence the pen name Naṣīrī in some of his qaṣīdas). When Naṣīr-al-Dīn was deposed by his rebellious amirs, ʿEṣmat, fearing for his life, went into hiding. In the meantime, Šāhroḵ occupied Samarqand in 811/1409, installed Ulūḡ Beg as the ruler, and sent Ḵalīl-Solṭān to Ray as governor. Shortly afterwards Ḵalīl-Solṭān died in Rajab 814/November 1411 and ʿEṣmat, who had been with his patron in Ray, returned with his corpse to Samarqand. From Samaraqand, he went on to Bukhara, but, at the invitation of Uluḡ Beg, he returned to Samarqand. Eventually he went back to Bukhara, where he died in 840/1436 (Ḥabīb al-sīar III, p. 550, where a chronogram recording the date of his death is recorded; Dawlatšāh’s date of 829/1425 is incorrect).
ʿEṣmat has left a dīvān of ḡazals, qaṣīdas, robāʿīs, etc., totaling about 7,500 verses. His odes or qaṣīdas are mostly panegyrics composed in honor of Šāhroḵ, Ḵalīl-Solṭān, Uluḡ Beg, and other early Timurid amirs and notables. In his odes, like other poets of his time, he emulates the poetry of his predecessors. He is, however, best known for his refined ḡazals.
Loṭf-ʿAlī Beg Āḏar, Ataškada-ye Āḏar, Bombay, 1277, pp. 321-22.
Dawlatšāh, ed. Brown, pp. 357-61.
Ż. Ebn Yūsof Ḥadāʾeq, Fehrest-e kotob ḵaṭṭī-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles-e šūrā-ye mellī III, Tehran, 1318 Š./1939, pp. 354-58.
Haft eqlīm III, pp. 432-34.
Majāles al-nafāʾes, p. 12.
Monzawī, Nosḵahā, pp. 2444-45, 2908, 3574.
S. Nafīsī, Naẓm o naṯr, p. 269.
Ḏ. Ṣafā, Adabīyāt IV, pp. 286-93.
Originally Published: December 15, 1998
Last Updated: December 15, 1998