ḠANĪZĀDA,MAḤMŪD b. Mīrzā Ḡanī Dīlmaqānī, liberal journalist, historian, and poet (b. Salmās, Jomādā II 1296/May-June 1879, d. Tabrīz. 30 Bahman 1313 Š./19 February 1936). As a young man, he pursued a career in commerce while occasionally writing articles for the liberal paper Ḥabl al-matīn. During a trip to Daghistan he met ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Ṭālebof and upon his return home he founded, on 21 Moḥarram 1325/6 March 1907, the bi-weekly liberal paper Faryād (q.v.) in Urmia, of which only twenty-three issues were published. Some of its articles were in Persian and some in Azeri Turkish. Ḡanīzāda was actively involved in the Constitutional Revolution (q.v.) and for a while served as the personal secretary of Sattār Khan and a member of the Anjoman-e ayālatī-e Tabrīz. He also served for a time (nos. 38 to 111) as the editor of Rūz-nāma-yeAnjoman (q.v.), the paper founded by the same Anjoman-e ayālatī to publish its proceedings. In 1327/1909 he published the satirical paper Būqalamūn and the following year he collaborated with Ḥājī Āqā Reżāzāda, the later Ṣādeq Reżāzāda Šafaq, in the publication of Šafaq. This newspaper, like other papers carrying Ḡanīzāda’s name, was very liberal and severely criticized the royalists after the coup d’etat of Moḥammad-ʿAlī Shah. In the same period Ḡanīzāda, encouraged by Mahdīqolī Moḵber-al-Salṭana Hedāyat, the then governor of Azerbaijan, started another short-lived weekly, Moḥākamāt, in Tabrīz.
After the Russian occupation of Tabrīz in 1330/1911 and the hanging of a number of constitutionalists there (for events leading to this, see Kasrawī, Āzarbāyjān, pp. 249 ff.), Ḡanīzāda, fearing for his life, left for Istanbul, where he resided until 1915 when he left for Berlin. In Berlin, he joined other Persian exiles (e.g., Kāẓemzāda Īrānšahr, Moḥammad Qazvīnī, Moḥammad-ʿAlī Jamālzāda) who had formed a pro-German circle (Komīta-ye hamkārī-e Īrān o Ālmān) around Sayyed Ḥasan Taqīzāda to promote the cause of the national sovereignty of Persia against Anglo-Russian imperialism (Taqīzāda, pp. 181-86). They published the politico-literary journal Kāva, to which Ḡanīzāda contributed. During this time he also edited Nāṣer-e Ḵosrow’s Safar-nāma and Zād al-mosāferīn as well as the Robāʿīyāt of ʿOmar Ḵayyām at the Kāvīānī Press, which had been established in Berlin by ʿAbd-al-Šakūr Tabrīzī. Edward G. Browne praised Ḡanīzāda for his learning and meticulous scholarship (Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia IV, p. 490). During his stay in Berlin, Ḡanīzāda researched the history of Azerbaijan at the libraries there, but unfortunately the result was never published. He eventually returned to Tabrīz in 1926 and, within a few months, founded the newspaper Sahand, in which he also published as feuilletons a number of European literary works that he had translated from German (Ārīanpūr, p. 326). After the revolt and the eventual death of Shaikh Moḥammad Ḵīābānī in Tabrīz (1338/1919), this newspaper became almost a forum for the followers of Ḵīābānī. Ḡanīzāda died at the age of fifty-seven in Tabrīz, but his son Fażl-Allāh continued Sahand until 1338 Š./1959. As a poet, Ḡanīzāda is best known for his poem “Haḏayān” (delirium), a maṯnawī of sixty-four couplets describing the deplorable situation of the world towards the end of the World War I. Some of his poems were collected and published by his son in Tehran in 1943. He is also the author of Moḵtaṣar-e tārīḵ-e Majles-e Īrān (Tehran, 1337/1918) and a treatise in Turkish titled Rowšanī Bega jawāb (Berlin, 1924).
Ārīanpūr, Az Ṣabā tā Nīmā II, pp. 325-32.
Azerbaijan Soviet Encyclopædiasi, Baku, 1976, III, p. 137.
M. Mojtahedī, Rejāl-e Aḏarbāyjān dar ʿaṣr-e mašrūṭīyat, Tehran, 1327 Š./1948, p. 121.
A. Nīkū-hemat, “Ḡanīzāda,” Waḥīd, no. 228-29, 1356 Š./1977, pp. 78-82.
N. Nūḥ, “Yād-e Maḥmūd Ḡanīzāda,” Aāyanda 17/5-8, 1370 Š./1991, pp. 499-504.
Ṣadr Hāšemī, Jarāʾed o majallāt, nos. 220, 300, 666, 695, 861, 987.
Ṣ. Sardārī-nīā, Mašāhīr-e Aḏarbāyjān, Tabrīz, 1377 Š./1998, pp. 213-22.
S. Ḥ Taqīzāda, Zendagī-e ṭūfānī: Ḵāṭerāt-e Sayyed Ḥasan Taqīzāda, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1358 Š./1979.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 279-280