FOQQĀʿ, aneffervescent drink preserved in heavy and usually rounded clay vessels (FIGURE 1). The beverage was kept cool by placing ice around the container. A reference to fūgān in Loḡat-e fors (ed. Eqbāl, p. 390) has led some lexicographers, including Dehḵodā and Moʿīn, to regard the word foqqāʿ, which is used both in Arabic and Persian, as of Persian origin. However, it is more likely that foqqāʿ is not a Persian loan-word and is related to foqqāʿa in the sense of bubbles that rise upon water, as suggested by Fīrūzābādī and other Arabic lexicographers (Ṣādeqī, p. 40; de Sacy, 1826, p. 150 ).
Early dictionaries (Ḵalīl, p. 176) describe foqqāʿ as a kind of barley wine or beer but the semantic range later expanded to include juices from dried raisins, fruits, honey, and other ingredients. Because the liquid was not allowed to ferment and become intoxicating, a distinction was often drawn between foqqāʿ as non-alcoholic and nabīd,ò which was fermented and could therefore be intoxicating. However, the borderline between the two was not clearly drawn and the available sources sometimes contradict each other. On the whole the sources suggest that Shiʿites, unlike Sunnis regarded its drinking as unlawful (Baḥr al-fawāʾed, p. 205; Ḥosaynī, p. 40; Ṭūsī, pp. 253-66).
Both Persian and Arabic literature abound with references to foqqāʿ, its container, kūza-ye foqqāʿ, and its vendor, foqqāʿī, and a range of metaphors and expressions derived from them (a list of some of the most important citations is given in the bibliography). For example, a fat or protruding ‘beer belly’ is compared to the spherical shape of the kūza-ye foqqāʿ (Qomī, p. 49). One particular compound, “foqqāʿ gošūdan,”has been the subject of a long and detailed study in which the author describes how the expression had been used as a metaphor to convey an outpouring of poetic creativity (Pūrjawādī).
It is however, in relation to archaeology that the most significant contributions have been made to this topic in recent years. In a pioneering study, ʿAbd-Allāh Qūčānī (1987-8; later expanded and published in English, s.v. Ghouchani and Adle) has demonstrated, with a wealth of references from Persian and Arabic sources, that the sphero-conical vessels which had been found by archaeologists in large numbers in a wide area, stretching from Egypt into Persia and Central Asia, were in fact mostly and primarily containers of foqqāʿ although some may have been used for other purposes.
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
Primary sources in Arabic: Abū Helāl ʿAskarī, Dīwān al-maʿānī I, Beirut, 1989, pp. 389-90.
Ebn Qotayba, ʿOyūn al-aḵbār III, Cairo, 1928, p. 280.
Esḥāq b. Solaymān Esrāʾīlī, Ketāb al-aḡḏīya, ed. F. Sezgin, Frankfurt, 1406/1986. pt. 3-4, pp. 174-75.
Jāḥeẓ, Ketāb al-ḥayawān III, ed. ʿA.-S. M. Hārūn, repr. Cairo, 1385/1965, p. 236.
Ḵalīl b. Aḥmad, Ketāb al-ʿayn I, ed. ʿA. Darwīš, Baghdad, 1386/1967, p. 176.
Abu’l-Qāsem Rāḡeb Eṣfahānī, Moḥāżarāt al-odabāʾ wa moḥāwarāt al-šoʿarāʾ wa’l-bolaḡāʾ II/4, Beirut, l961, p. 379.
Ṯaʿālebī, Yatīma, ed. ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd, I/2, pp. 181-82, 417, II/4, p. 176.
Abū Jaʿfar Moḥammad b. Ḥasan Ṭūsī, “Resāla fī taḥrīm al-foqqāʿ,” ed R. Ostādī in idem, ed., al-Rasāʾel al-ʿašr, Qom, n.d., pp. 253-66.
Primary sources in Persian: Najm-al-Dīn Abu’l-Rajāʾ Qomī, Tārīḵ al-wozarāʾ, ed. M.-T. Dānešpažūh, Tehran, 1363 Š./l984, pp. 49, 87, 141.
Abū Bakr Rabīʿ b. Aḥmad Aḵawaynī Boḵārī, Hedāyat al-mota ʿallemīn, ed. J. Matīnī, Mašhad, 1344 Š./1965, pp. 168-69.
Mīr Moḥammad Ḥosayn ʿAqīlī, Maḵzan al-adwīya, Delhi, 1373/1953-54, pp. 424-25.
Farīd-al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār, Manṭeq al-ṭayr, ed. S. Ṣ. Gowharīn, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963, pp. 187-88.
ʿAwfī, Lobāb I, p. 279 (a riddle poem on foqqāʿ by Amīr Abu’l-Moẓaffar Ṭāher b. Fażl b. Moḥammad b. Moḥtāj Čaḡānī [see ĀL-E MOḤTĀJ]; note that as in ʿAskarī, the vessel is described as being green).
Baḥr al-fawāʾed, ed. M.-T. Dānešpažūh, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966, p. 205.
Ebn Boṭlān, Taqwīm al-ṣeḥḥa, anonymous Pers. tr., ed. Ḡ.-Ḥ Yūsofī, Mašhad, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 134, 137.
Čahār maqāla, ed. Qazvīnī, p. 80.
Abū Manṣūr Mowaffaq b. ʿAlī Heravī, al-Abnīa ʿan ḥaqāyeq al-adwīa, ed. A. Bahmanyār and Ḥ. Maḥbūbī Ardakānī, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967, pp. 125, 248.
Ḥobayš b. Ebrāhīm b. Moḥammad b. Teflīsī, Bayān al-ṣenāʿāt, ed. Ī. Afšār, FIZ 5, l336 Š./1957, pp. 279-457, reference to the shape of kūza-ye foqqāʿ, p. 304.
Abu’l-Maʿālī Ḥosaynī, Bayān al-adyān, ed. ʿA. Eqbāl Āštīānī, Tehran, 1312 Š./1933, p. 40.
Moḥammad b. Najīb Bakrān, Jahān-nāma, ed. M. A. Rīāḥī, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963, p. 60.
Sayyed Esmāʿīl Jorjānī, Ḏaḵīra-ye ḵᵛārazmšāhī, Tehran, 1355 Š./1976, pp. 151, 153.
ʿOmar Ḵayyām (attributed), Now-rūz-nāma, ed. M. Mīnovī, Tehran, 1312 Š/1933, p. 30.
Loḡat-e fors, ed. Eqbāl, s.v. fūqān. Manāqeb-e Kermānī, ed. B. Forūzānfar, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968, p. 170.
Moḥammad Moʾmen Ḥosaynī Tonokābonī, Toḥfa-ye Ḥakīm Moʾmen Tonokābonī, ed. M. Najmābādī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, p. 197.
Nāṣer-e Ḵosrow, Safar-nāma, ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, Tehran, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 78-79.
ʿAbd-al-Jalīl Qazvīnī, Ketāb al-naqzµ, ed. J. Moḥaddeṯ Ormavī, Tehran 1331 Š./1952, p. 719.
Sūzanī Samarqandī, Dīvān, ed. N. Šāh-Ḥáosaynī, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965, p. 355.
Šāh-nāma (Moscow) VII, p. 355, line 876. Moḥammad b. Maḥmūd b. Moḥammad Zangī Boḵārī, Zangī-nāma: šeš resāla wa maqāma wa monāẓara, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1371 Š./1993.
Secondary Literature: Ī. Afšār, “Foqqāʿ-e ʿajamīān wa kūza-ye ān,” Āyanda 16/9-12, 1369 Š./1990, pp. 704-6.
R. Farroḵ-fāl, “Fūgān, ṣūrat-e fārsī-e foqqāʿ,” in Našr-e dāneš 8/4, 1367 Š./1988, pp. 87-88.
A. Ghouchani (ʿA. Qūčānī) and C. Adle, “A Sphero-conical Vessel as Fuqqāʿa, or a Gourd for ‘Beer’,” in Muqarnas 9, l992, pp. 72-92 (fundamental study with extensive bibliographical references).
N. Pūrjawādī, “‘Foqqaʿ gošūdan-e’ Ferdowsī wa sepas ʿAṭṭār,” in Našr-e dāneš 8, 1367 Š./1988, no. 3, pp. 2-17, no. 4, pp. 14-21; repr. with additional notes in Būy-e jān, Tehran 1372 Š./1993, pp. 72-122.
ʿA. Qūčānī, “Kūza-ye foqqāʿ” in Bāstān-šenāsī wa tārīḵ 2/1, 1366 Š./l987, pp. 40-46.
Silvestre de Sacy, Chrestomathie Arabe I, Paris, l826, pp. 149-55.
Idem, Exposé de la religion des Druzes I, Paris 1838, repr. Paris and Amsterdam, l964, pp. cccxxxii-iii.
J. Sadan, “Mashrūbāt,” EI2 VI, pp. 720-23 (fundamental for Arabic sources, see especially p. 721 for an extensive bibliography of references to foqqāʿ in Arabic manuscripts and printed editions). ʿ
A. A. Ṣādeqī, “Dar bāra-ye foqqāʿ,” in Našr-e dāneš 8/6, 1367Š./1988, pp. 38-40.
(Sayyed Mohammad Dabirsiaghi)
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 31, 2012
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