HAMGAR, MAJD-AL-DIN B. AḤMAD, known also as Majd-e Hamgar and Ebn-e Hamgar (hamgar means “weaver”), an important poet of the 7th/13th century (b. Yazd, 607/1210, d. Isfahan, 686/1287). According to the Tāriḵ-e gozida, the Jāmeʿ-e mofidi, the Ḥabib al-siar and other sources, his birthplace was Yazd, but he refers to himself in several places as “Majd-e Pārsi”: this may be due to the fact that he lived for a long time in Shiraz. His father, Aḥmad-e Hamgar of Yazd, was one of the prominent scholars of his time, and, according to Majd’s repeated claims, their illustrious lineage could be traced back to the Sasanians. In fact, Dawlatšāh in his Taḏkerat-al-šoʿarāʾ traces his ancestry back to “Kesrā Anušervān” (Dawlatšāh, pp. 132-33).
Majd-e Hamgar spent the first part of his life studying literature, calligraphy, prose composition and poetry, and then he went to Shiraz and became a close associate of the Salḡurid Atābeks. He gained the title of Malek-al-šoʿarāʾ (poet-laureate) of the Atābek Moẓaffar-al-Din Abu Bakr b. Saʿd b. Zangi (r. 1226-1259), and composed qaṣidas praising this ruler and his son, Saʿd b. Abu Bakr, who was an enthusiastic patron of poets. In 658/1259, just ten days after succeeding his father, Saʿd himself died of dropsy. His young son Moḥammad took his place, but he also died within a couple of years (660/1261). In 663/1264, the rule of the Salḡurid Atābeks in Fārs came to an end, an event which Majd often bemoans in his poetry. After the collapse of Salḡurid rule, for a while Majd-e Hamgar eulogized the Qarāḵetāʾi rulers of Kermān, before turning his attention to praising Šams-al-Din Moḥammad Jovayni and his brother ʿAṭāʾ Malek. For a while he lived in Isfahan attached to the court of Šams-al-Din’s son, Bahāʾ-al-Din Moḥammad Jovayni (d. 678/1279). After the death of Bahāʾ-al-Din and the decline of the Jovayni dynasty, he lived in poverty and hardship, and became so depressed that he stopped writing and lived in seclusion until his death in 1287.
Majd-e Hamgar was recognized both by his contemporaries and later biographers as being one of the greatest poets of his generation. His poetry reveals the influence of the poets of sixth-century Khorasan. In every verse form, whether qaṣida, ḡazal or robāʿi, his poetry is characterized by the use of simple language to express delicate and subtle thoughts. His divān contains some 3000 verses of poetry in total.
Dawlatšāh Samarqandi, Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959.
Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, Tāriḵ-e gozida, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, pp. 749-52.
Ḵᵛāndamir, Ḥabib al-siar, III, Tehran, 1954, pp. 117-18.
Moḥammad Mofid, Jāmeʿ-e mofidi, Tehran, 1340 Š./1961, pp. 422-23.
Saʿid Nafisi, “Majd-al-Din Hamgar,” Mehr 10, 1313 Š./1934.
Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 119-24.
ʿAbbās Eqbāl, Tāriḵ-e mofaṣṣal-e Irān: ʿahd-e Moḡol, 2nd impr., Tehran, 1347 Š./1968, p. 537.
Ṣafā, Adabiyāt III, part 1, 9th ed., Tehran, 1367 Š./1988, pp. 523-45.
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 6, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 6, p. 638
Ḏabiḥ-Allāh Ṣafā, “HAMGAR, MAJD-AL-DIN,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XI/6, p. 638, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hamgar-majd (accessed on 30 December 2012).