HĀTEFI, ʿABD-ALLĀH, Persian poet (d. Ḵargerd, 927/1521) and nephew of ʿAbd-al-Rahmān Jāmi. Hātefi was born in around 858/1454 at Ḵargerd, a village on the outskirts of the Khorasanian town Jām, in present-day Afghanistan (Kāboli, fol. 167a; other dates are less believable and contradictory, cf. Haft Manẓar, ed. and tr. Bernardini, p. 11; Širin o Ḵosrow, ed. Asadulloev, pp. v-vi; Meyḵāna, pp. 115, 118). Hātefi spent his whole life in his native city, where he served as the custodian of the Qāsem-e Anwār mausoleum built by Mir ʿAli-Šir Navāʾi. He entered Timurid literary circles upon passing a test, set by his uncle Jāmi, which required him to compose a poetic reply to some verses by Ferdowsi which in turn had been based on a poem by Abu Šakur Balḵi (Maḥjub, pp. 124-25). Unlike his uncle, Hātefi was a Shiʿite and was thus honored by a visit from Shah Esmāʿil I, who met him in the čahār bāg (q.v.) of his house in Ḵargerd. He is, however, said to have interceded for the Sunni inhabitants of Jām towards whom this Safavid ruler was hostile (Meyḵāna, pp. 16-17; Majmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ II, p. 55; Asadulloev, 1972, p. 700). During the second half of the 15th century Hātefi traveled to Azerbaijan and ʿErāq with the poet Amir Homāyun Esfarāini. Hātefi died in Ḵargerd in 927/1521 and was buried in the land which his čahār bāg once occupied(Širin o Ḵosrow, ed. Asadulloev, pp. xiv-xv; Asadulloev, 1972, passim).

The major taḏkeras (biographical compendiums) refer to Hātefi’s activities as a poet. He was known above all for his ḵamsa, which became famous even outside Persia. The Ottoman translation of his work by Lâmiî Çelebi (Lāmeʿi Čalabi) and the several editions of his ḵamsa in the Ottoman Empire and in India are proof of his widespread fame (Levend, passim). The Ottoman poet Fożuli’s Layli o Majnun was also clearly inspired by Hātefi’s work of the same title (Bombaci, 1970, pp. 84-114; idem, 1969, pp. 246-52). Hātefi’s literary fame rests on his realistic and straightforward style, which contrasts with the greater structural complexity and literary erudition found in the works of poets such as Neẓāmi and Amir Ḵosrow (although the latter was Hātefi’s primary model for style and form). Hātefi displayed remarkable originality in the handling of his stories. His style was often emulated by later poets such as Qāsemi Gonābādi (q.v.; one of Hātefi’s pupils), who explicitly referred to Hātefi in the Šāh-nāma he dedicated to the Safavid ruler Esmāʿil I.

Of the five works making up Hātefi’s ḵamsa,only four have been published. Layli o Majnun, dating to a period before 889/1484 and the oldest manuscript of which is preserved at the British Library in London (MS Or. 3316; Rieu, Supplement, p. 191), has been published twice: in Calcutta (1788) and, as a revised critical edition, in Dushanbe (1962). The first distich of this poem is said to have been written by Jāmi (Toḥfa-ye Sāmi, p. 95). There is no evidence that the poem was written with the approval of Qāsem-e Anwār, as maintained by Moḥammad-Taqi Dānešpažuh (p. 3599). The oldest manuscript of Širin o Ḵosrow, the second work of the ḵamsa, dates to 895/1490 and is preserved in the Dār al-Kotob in Cairo (MS 524). Saadullo Asadulloev has published an edition of this work with an extensive introduction on the life of the poet (1977). The third work in the ḵamsa is the Haft manẓar, probably written in 1492, as suggested by its oldest manuscript (Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, ms. Persan 357), and by the fact that it was mentioned in Mir ʿAli-Šir Navāʾi’s Majāles al-nafāʾes. The Haft manẓar, which was dedicated to the Timurid prince, Šāh Ḡarib, has been published in a popular Tajik edition (1976) and, more extensively, in Persian with an Italian translation (1995). It would appear from Cristoforo Armeno’s Peregrinaggio, which was published in Venice in the 16th century (Piemontese, p. 196), that this poem became widely known relatively quickly. In the 19th century, some of the stories from the Haft manẓar were translated into French by A. Lacoin de Villemorin and Khalil-Khan (Le Jardin des Délices, Paris, 1897). The fourth work in the ḵamsa,the Timur-nāma (sometimes called the Ẓafar-nāma) is certainly the most famous of Hātefi’s poems. It extols Timur’s deeds in accordance with the main works of Timurid historiography such as Šaraf-al-Din Yazdi’s Ẓafar-nāma, thus substituting for the poem on Alexander the Great in the traditional sequence of the ḵamsa. Although such substitutions were not new in the Persian literary tradition (see Massé, 1971, p. 116; Ṣafā, 1954, pp. 360-65; idem, 1982, pp. 6-8; Bernardini, 1996, pp. 97-118), Hātefi’s Timur-nāma became a model for subsequent poems. It certainly introduced a new genre which was developed further by Hātefi himself with his composition of the Fotuḥāt-e šāhi. Written in 1498, the Timur-nāma has been published twice in India (1869, 1958). The last work in the ḵamsa, the Fotuḥāt-e šāhi, was commissioned by Shah Esmāʿil himself. Hātefi died before completing this work, and only a thousand verses remain of it in a few manuscripts, the oldest of which is in St. Petersburg; having been copied in 959/1551, this dates to a period much later than the author’s death (Saltykov-Šedrin 448). Other works have been attributed to the poet, although these attributions are doubtful. Hātefi was probably the author of a divān preserved in the Dār al-Kotob in Cairo (Ṭarāzi, p. 192).



Editions and translations. Haft manzar, ed. J. Dodalishoev, Dushanbe, 1976; ed. and tr. M. Ber-nardini as I sette scenari, Naples, 1995.

Layli o Majnun, ed. W. Jones as Lailì Majnun: A Persian Poem, Calcutta, 1788; ed. S. Asadulloev, Dushanbe, 1962.

Ši-rin o Ḵosrow, ed. S. Asadulloev, Moscow, 1977.

Ẓafar-nāma-ye Hātefi, lithograph ed., Lucknow, 1869; ed. A. S. Yušaʿ, Madras University Islamic Series 19, Mad-ras, 1957.

Biographical sources. ʿAbd-al-Ḡani Mofarreḵ Ābādi, Taḏkerat al-šoʿarā-ye ḡani, Aligarh, 1916, p. 144.

Loṭf-ʿAli Beg Āḏar, Āteškada, ed. Ḥ. S. Nāṣeri, I, Tehran, 1957, pp. 375-84.

Bābor-nāma, tr. Beveridge, p. 288. Ḥabib al-siar (Tehran), pp. 354-55.

Ḥasan Rumlu, ed. Seddon. ʿAbd-Allāh Kāboli, Taḏkerat al-tawārikò, MS Tashkent, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, no. 2093, fol. 167a.

Majāles al-nafāʾes, pp. 62-63. Majmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ IV, pp. 116-17.

Meyḵāna, ed.Golčin-e Maʿāni. Mawlawi Moḥammad-Moẓaffar Ḥosayn Ṣabā, Taḏkera-ye ruz-e rowšan, ed. M-Ḥ. R. Ādamiyāt, Tehran, 1964, pp. 918-19.

Toḥfa-ye sāmi, pp. 94-98.

Studies. Saadullo Asadulloev, “Mazār-e ʿAbd-al-Raḥ-mān Jāmi wa qabr-e ʿAbd-Allāh Hātefi,” Majalla-ye dāneškada-ye adabiyāt wa ʿolum-e ensāni (Mašhad) 8, 1972, pp. 776-93.

Idem, Laĭli i Madžnun v farsiyazychnoĭ literature (Laila and Majnun in Persian-language literature), Dushanbe, 1981, pp. 26-30.

J. Bečka, “The Tajiks and the Classical literature of Central Asia,” Archiv Orientální 47, 1979, pp. 217-320.

M. Bernardini, “Un manoscritto persiano proveniente dalla prima biblioteca Lincea,” Bollettino d’Arte del Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali 53, 1989, pp. 1-10.

Idem,"Un testimone dell’opera del poeta persiano Hātifī conservato nella Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli,” in A. Cilardo, ed., Presenza araba e islamica in Campania, Naples, 1992, pp. 119-25.

Idem, “Il Timurnāme di Hātefi e lo Šāhnāme-ye Esmāʿil di Qāsemi (Il MS. Frazer 87 della Bodleian Library di Oxford),” in M. Bernardini, ed., La civiltà timuride come fenomeno internazionale, special issue of Oriente Moderno, N.S. 76/2, 1996, pp. 97-118.

A. Bombaci, Introduction and notes to Fożuli, Leylā and Mejnūn, trs. Sofi Huri (Turkish) and Elizabeth Davies (Italian), London, 1970.

Idem, La letteratura turca, 2nd ed., Florence, 1969, pp. 246-52.

Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 227-29.

M.-T. Dānešpažuh, Fehrest-e ketāb-Ḵāna-ye markazi-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān VIII-IX, 1960-61.

B. Dorn, Catalogue des Manuscrits et xylographies orienteaux de la Bibliothèque Impériale Publique de St. Petersbourg, St. Petersburg, 1852, pp. 381-84.

H. W. Duda, Ferhād und Shīrīn: Die literarischen Geschichte eines persischen Sagenstoffes, Prague, 1933.

S. G. Eʿtemādi, “Hātefi, Jāmi wa šoʿarā-ye motaʾaḵḵerin,” Kābol 2, 1932, pp. 32-37. E. Kawṯar, “ʿAbd-Allāh Hātefi,” Helāl (Karachi) 11/2, 1963, pp. 62-67.

A. S. Levend, Türk edebiyatı tarihi, 3rd ed., Ankara, 1988, I, passim.

M. J. Maḥjub, Sabk-e Ḵorāsāni dar šeʿr-e fārsi, Tehran, 1966, p. 125.

H. Massé, “Hamāsa ii. Persian Literature,” EI2 III, pp. 112-14.

A. Monzavi, Fehrest-e nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi-e fārsi IV, Tehran, 1972.

M. Mortażawi, Masāʾel-e ʿaṣr-e ilḵā-nān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1991, pp. 562-74.

S. Nafisi, Tāriḵ-e naẓm wa naṯr dar Irān wa dar zabān-e fārsi tā pāyān-e qarn-e dahom-e hejri, 2 vols., Tehran, 1965.

Ḥ. Ḥ. Naḵjuvāni, “Ẓafar-nāmahā: Šarḥ wa moʿarrefi-e hašt ketāb ke benām-e ‘Ẓafar-nāma’ taʾlif šoda,” Našriya-ye Dāneškada-ye adabiyāt (Tabriz), 1955, pp. 357-74.

A. M. Piemontese, “Le fonti orientali del peregrinaggio di Cristoforo Armeno e gli Otto Paradisi di Amīr Khusrau di Delhi,” Filologia e Critica 2/12, 1987, pp. 185-211.

Ḏ. Ṣafā, Ḥamāsa-sarāʾi dar Irān, Tehran, 1954, pp. 360-62.

Idem, “Ḥamāsahā-ye tāriḵi wa dini dar ʿahd-e Ṣafawiya,” Irān-nāma 1/1, 1982, pp. 5-21.

Idem, Tāriḵ-e adabiyāt dar Irān, 7th ed., Tehran, 1991, IV, pp. 438-47.

Storey, pp. 288-90.

N. Mobaššer Ṭarāzi, Fehrest al-maḵṭuṭāt al-fārsiya I, Cairo, 1963.

(Michele Bernardini)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 20, 2012

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