GOWHARIN, SAYYED SĀDEQ (b. Tehran, 1914; d. Tehran, December 1995; Figure 1), scholar of Sufism and professor at the University of Tehran. He attended primary schools in Tehran and completed his secondary education at Alborz College (q.v.). In 1924 he enrolled at the Dāneš-sarā-ye ʿĀli (see EDUCATION xix) and took his first degree in Persian literature and philosophy. He later studied for a doctorate at the Faculty of Literature and Humanities (q.v.) under the supervision of the eminent scholar Foruzānfar (q.v.). His dissertation on the vocabulary of the Maṯnawi was subsequently published as Farhang-e loḡāt wa taʿbirāt-e Maṯnawi, (Dictionary of words and expressions in the Maṯ-nawi; 7 vols., Tehran 1958-1975, repr., 9 vols, 1983). He taught at the University of Tehran and later at the National University (Dānešgāh-e Melli, also in Tehran).

Most of his academic research was focused on the many facets of Sufism. He continued his work on Sufi terminology by publishing his Šarḥ-e eṣṭellāḥāt-e taṣaw-wof, (Description of technical terms in Sufism; Tehran, 1987). His other publications include a study on Avicenna, Ḥojájáat-al-Ḥaqq Abu ʿAli Sinā (Tehran, 1952); and he edited two of Farid-al-Din Aṭṭār’s (q.v.) major works: Asrār-nāma (Tehran, 1959) and Manṭeq al-ṭayr (Tehran, 1963; repr. with minor additions, Tehran, 1983). He also selected and annotated several short extracts from Ferdowsi, ʿAṭṭār, and Rumi as introductory guides to classical poetry for students, and contributed articles and book reviews to Persian literary journals on Sufism and related topics such as fotowwa.

Gowharin came from an old and distinguished family which traced its lineage back to the eponymous founder of the Nurbaḵšiyya, Sayyed Moḥammad Nurbaḵš (1392-1464). Himself a Sufi of the Ḵāksār order, his interest in mysticism went far beyond that of an academic. He was a reserved and yet hospitable scholar, generous in sharing his knowledge with his students and visiting scholars from abroad.


Bibliography (mostly in the article):

Obituary notices. Rahāvard 11/40, Autumn-Winter 1995-96, p. 367.

Ḥosayn Ḵaṭibi, Kelk 6/68-70, 1996, pp. 386-91.

(Peter Avery)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: February 17, 2012

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