May 28, 2022

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Ferdowsi savior of Persian Language

Every single Iranian owes his or her language to the great poet, who is well-known not only in Iran but also throughout the world because his Shahnameh is the world’s longest epic poems created by a single poet and the greatest epic of Persian speaking states, which includes ancient Iranian history.

Abolghassem Hassan ibn Ali Tusi known as Ferdowsi was born into a family of landowners in 940 in village of Paj in the vicinity of the city of Tus, in the Samanid Empire’s Khorasan region.

Following the Arab conquest of Persia (Iran), Iranians were forced to use Arabic Pahlavi language and script instead of, but villagers played a key role in reviving Persian Language.

Although there is no clear date of the beginning of the Shahnameh, there are some speculations that Ferdowsi wrote it between 977 and 1010. Shahnameh is a monument of poetry and historiography.

Ferdowsi was of the opinion that there were no kings qualified to present the Shahnameh to, so he concealed his book for a while and completed it during that period. After nearly 10 years, when Ferdowsi lost his son and he was suffering from poverty, he decided to present his book to Mahmud of Ghaznavi, the Sultan of Ghaznavid Empire; therefore, the great poet started a new edit of Shahnameh.

Ferdowsi submitted the second edit, including 50,000 to 60,000 verses, to Mahmud Ghaznavi, but as the poet himself mentioned, the king never looked at the book and did not reward him as expected.

From that occasion to his last breath, Ferdowsi added more verses to Shahnameh, expressing disappointment at the king and hope to some of his companions.

Shahnameh is the most precious historical and poetic text in terms of maintaining ancient national narratives and Persian Language.

With Shahnameh, Ferdowsi succeeded in reviving the Persian Language, Iranian professor Farzad Ghaemi said, noting that writing the Shahnameh was both a literary movement and social, political, and cultural one to create a link between Muslim Iranians and their ancient Iranian history.

Mohammad-Jafar Yahaqqi, a member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, argued that the position of Ferdowsi is not comparable with any other Iranian poets.

Ferdowsi’s tomb is situated in Tus 24 kilometers away from Mashhad, the capital city of Khorasan Razavi Province, where the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) is located.


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