ḤAYRAT, MOḤAMMAD ṢEDDIQ, Tajik poet from Bukhara (1878-1902). Ḥayrat was born into poverty, as the son of a muezzin from the ʿArusān quarter of Bukhara, where he attended a local maktab (q.v. EDUCATION iii. and xxviii.). By the age of twelve he had lost both of his parents. His inheritance from them amounted to two chambers (ḥojras) in the madrasas (q.v.; see also EDUCATION xxviii.) of Moḥammad-ʿAli Ḥāji and Sōzangarān. Ḥayrat started to attend madrasa at the age of sixteen, which was the normal age of admission, and he lived there until the end of his short life. From 1898, during the months when the schools were not in session (i.e., from Nowruz to the beginning of Mizān/October) he worked as a mirzā (accountant and scribe) for a sheepskin merchant. Due to the poverty and unsanitary conditions of madrasa life, his health began to deteriorate. In 1900, following the advice of a physician, he made a summer journey to the Farḡāna valley, about which he composed a long maṯnawi (Hodizoda, ed., 1964, pp. 226-33). In spite of financial support from his friends, Ḥayrat died of tuberculosis in July 1902 (ʿAyni, Yāddāšthā, pp. 496-99).

Next to nothing was known about Ḥayrat’s life prior to the publication of Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni’s Yāddāštahā, three sections in the third volume of which are dedicated to Ḥayrat’s life and poetry and include samples of his work (ʿAyni, Yāddāšthā, pp. 488-503; there is also valuable information about him scattered throughout the fourth volume). Ḥayrat’s acquaintance with ʿAyni in around 1896 brought him to the literary circle of Šarifjān Maḵdum Ṣadr-e Żiāʾ, one of the most prominent circles in Bukhara. Ḥayrat is described as having an extraordinary memory and a humility that led him to shun fame and to refuse to join the Amir’s court. Nonetheless, his posthumous reputation was so great that Amir ʿAbd-al-Aḥad, himself a poet, sought out his poems. When they could not be found, many were composed to be sold to the court as his work, making it difficult to establish the authenticity of some of the poems attributed to Ḥayrat (ʿAyni, Yāddāšthā, pp. 488-95).

After Ḥayrat’s death, ʿAyni and ʿAbd-al-Wāḥed Mon-ẓem, his closest friends, collected his poems together. The latter inscribed them in two bound copies (Bečka identifies these as two separate divāns instead of two copies of the same work, Bečka, p. 534; quoted by Šakurzāda and Ātašin), both of which were lost in 1918 when his house was plundered during the Kolosov incident (ʿAyni, Yāddāšthā, pp. 488-503). A copy of the Divān, discovered in 1956 (Hodizoda, 1957), contains 2,447 verses of poetry, mostly in the form of ḡazals. The anthology of poems published by Rasul Hodizoda includes slightly more than half of Ḥayrat’s Divān (Hodizoda, ed., 1964, pp. 16-23, 34-35).

At a time when colloquial usage had become widespread, during the era of “enlightenment” (maʿāref-parvari) in late 19th century Bukhara, Ḥayrat was a leading proponent. His later poems are much more vivid by virtue of his use of the vernacular, particularly in describing the ceremonies, festivals, and journeys he himself had experienced. He even uses Russian words occasionally. At the same time, the influence of his madrasa training is evident in his use of traditional paradigms, including quotations from the Koran. What makes his poetry distinct from that of his contemporaries is his originality; he avoids for the most part the Indian style (cf. ibid., pp. 32-33), particularly that of Bidel, which was extremely popular at the time.

Tajik literary scholars praise Ḥayrat as one of the best Persian poets of the late 19th century, succeeding such prominent figures as Sawdā, Wāżeḥ, Šāhin, and Aḥmad Dāneš (q.v.). Ḥayrat’s poetry is almost entirely void of concern for social issues, but nonetheless, Soviet critics have tried to read between the lines negative views about the political realities of the emirate (cf. ibid., pp. 29-32). In the context of Persian literary history, he can be classified as one of the leading representatives of the era of literary revival (bāzgašt), which came to Transoxiana much later than Persia. Ḥayrat thus precedes the modernist phase of Tajik literature in the early twentieth century, the most prominent figures of which were ʿAbd-al-Raʾuf Feṭrat and Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni (qq.v.).



Ṣadr-al-Din ʿAyni, Nemuna-ye adabiyāt-e tājik, Moscow, 1926, pp. 261-71.

Idem, Yāddāšthā, ed. ʿAli-Akbar Saʿidi Sirjāni, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983.

J. Bečka, “Tadjik Literature from the 16th Century to the Present,” in Jan Rypka et al., History of Iranian Literature, ed. Karl Jahn, Dordrecht, 1968, pp. 529-32.

E. E. Bertel’s, “Rukopisi proizvedeniya Akhmada Kalle” (Manuscripts of the works of Aḥmad Kalla), Trudy Akademii Nauk Tadzikskoĭ SSR (Publications of the Academy of Sciences of the Tajik S.S.R.) 3, 1936, pp. 9-28.

Aḥmad Golčin-Maʿāni, Tāriḵ-e taḏkerahā-ye fārsi, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, I, pp. 374 ff.

“Hayrat,” Èntsiklopediyai sovetii tojik, Dushanbe, 1978-88, VIII, p. 354.

Moḥammad-Ṣeddiq Ḥayrat, Divān-e Ḥayrat-e Boḵārāʾi, fasc. 1247, Manuscript Collection of the Tajik Academy of Sciences.

Rasul Hodizoda, “Namunai še’rhoi Hayrat (Nemuna-ye šeʿrhā-ye Ḥayrat),” Šarqi surḵ, 1957, no.5.

Idem, ed., Hayrat: Aš’ori muntaḵab (Ḥayrat: Ašʿār-e montaḵab), Dushanbe, 1964.

Idem, “Ayni va Hayrat,” in Jašnnomai Ayni (Jašn-nāma-ye ʿAyni), Aḵboroti šū’bai fanhoi jam’iyatī, A.F. RSS Tojikiston, no. 3 (26), Dushanbe, 1960, pp. 141-51.

Idem (R. Khadi-zade), Istochniki k izucheniyu istorii tadzhikskoy literaturĭ vtoroy polovinĭ XIX i nachala XX vv (Sources for the study of the history of Tajik literature in the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century), Dushanbe, 1956.

Mirzā Šakurzāda and T. Atašin, “Ḥayrat,” Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e fārsi I. Āsiā-ye markazi, ed. Ḥasan Anuša, Tehran, 1375 Š./1996, p. 363.

(Habib Borjian)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 20, 2012

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