Introduction of the Manuscript of the Poem"Golafshan" Composed by Kahi Kabuli
IntroductionMaulana Ghasem Kahi (1464-1580), is one of the first pilgrims of "Kaaba of India" who is considered a member of the literary chain along with some other noted poets like Ghazali Mashhadi, Faizi Dakni, Orfi Shirazi which was formed and developed over 16th to 18th centuries, and he tried to perfect the intellectual and taste chain of Iranian culture and language in India. "Abdolghader Badavani" and "Annemarie Schimmel" have introduced "Kahi" as the first poet providing a poetry book and having a pen name serving in Jalal ad-Din Akbar Shah's court (Schimmel, 2007: p.286). Ali Asghar Hekmat has also stated in the book "Land of India" with regard to the book "Akbari Ritual" that: "Abolfazl the minister in the well-known book entitled "Akbari Principle" has provided a long list of the poets along with their names and titles serving in the court of this king including sixty names who were all immigrants from Iran. In this regard, Ghasem Kahi, Naziri Neyshabouri and Orfi Shirazi are the most well-known poets (Hekmat, 19588: P. 90). Although "Kahi" has been considered by a large number of Tadhkirah books and history books compiled from 16th to 18th centuries as one of the first poets immigrating to India and a poet esteemed by Mughal emperors, unfortunately only some dispersed poems from his poem book and only the name of his poetry book "Goafshan" have been provided so far. This Masnavi is one of the valuable instances of "response technique" in Persian literature that has been composed rhyme by rhyme in response to Bustan of Saadi including a prologue and 10 parts including 3683 couplets in total that was composed in 16th century and dedicated to "Akbar Shah" (1542-1605). With regard to the fact that most of the works and poems composed by Kahi have been destroyed, and the acknowledgment of Hadi Hassan, who corrected Kahi's poetry book, and confirmation of Zabihollah safa, to the effect that "Golafshan" Masnavi has been destroyed, it has been attempted in the present paper to answer the following questions thorough providing a brief biography of Kahi and introducing the unique manuscript of this work with IRN 1174-016 belonging to Ibn Miskawayh Library in Isfahan, and revealing the identity of one of the manuscripts composed in India while trying to protect this cultural legacy, so as to reject the beliefs of Hadi Hassan and Zabihollah Safa in the destruction of the poetry book "Goafshan".
1- How is it possible to prove that this manuscript was composed by Kahi?
2- What are the attributes and features of the present manuscript?
3- What are the similarities between the number of couplets, titles of each part of the book, stories and characters of Golafshan poetry book and those of Bustan of Saadi?
4- What are the advantage of Golafshan poetry book over other Masnavi books imitating Bustan of Saadi?
methodThe present research is a descriptive-analytical study which has been conducted based on the manuscript of "Golafshan" Masnavi that has been found recently in Ibn Miskawayh Library in Isfahan and library resources. The digital version of the mentioned manuscript has been determined as the basis of the research due to unavailability of different versions of his Masnavi, and the secondary resources, published poetry book of Kahi and the manuscript of Kahi's poems No. 1523318 belonging to Central Library of Tabriz have been used to complete the required information.
DiscussionSeyed Abolghassem Najm al-Din Muhammad Samarghandi under the pen name "Kahi" was one of the great poets serving in the courts of Humayun Shah (d. 1556) and Akbar Shah (1576) (Mughal Emperor) , who was born in 1464/1474 in Miankaleh. He learnt the preliminaries of sciences in Samarghand and Bokhara and enjoyed the blessings of Abd al-Rahman Jami when he was 15 years old and joined Naghshbandieh sect and lived for a long time in Kabul, then he made his first trip to India in this period (1524-1549) having a yearning to see Hashemi Kermani, and in this period he composed some poems praising Bahador Shah (1527-1536), Askari Mirza (1527-1537), and Mahmoud Shah (1537-1554) (Anousheh, 2001:736/1). Kahi made his second trip to India in 1554, at the invitation of Humayun Shah, which lasted until his death in 1580. Kahi was quite proficient in the science of interpretation, astronomy, Kalam1 and Sufism and his knowledge of the science of Sufism, complex sciences, history and practical competence was unparalleled in his age (Badvani, 2000:12/3). The date of death of this poet has been registered 1580 (Razi, 1999:1555/3).
The manuscript of Golafsahn poetry book with IRN 1174-016 is the only existing version of this moral Masnavi that is kept in Ibn Miskawayh Library in Isfahan. The present manuscript has a cardboard cover with a thin cover of Alvan paper including 284 pages and 142 sheets of paper which is 12×12 in size, and there are on the average 15 couplets on each page written in Nastaʿlīq2 and black ink. The complete version of the manuscript includes Rekabeh3; however, unfortunately many pages lack footnotes because of the fact that the pages have become battered and worn out. The pages 61, 80, 135, 204, 252, to 273 and 279 to 283 have been damaged severely due to rebinding, adhesiveness of the papers, worn out annotations and the damage done by water where the beginning and end of the couplets are illegible. There remains about 3683 couplets of the original manuscript now. The titles of the parts and stories have been written in Nastaʿlīq with cinabre. The seal of "Jafar Ali Abdoh" can be seen in the margins of the pages 3 and 24, and a piece of writing by the owner of the book in cursive script using another pencil reading, "This book belongs to "Molla Hossein" the son of "Jahanbakhsh" can be seen in the margin above page 54, and the same words appear in the margin of the page 101. In addition to this piece of writing, on page 150 where Nas Surah has been written, the imprint of two different seals can be seen. One of the seals belongs to "Mashhadi Ali Akbar" the son of "Mulla Ali Muhaamad Naghnei" and the other seal indicates the date June 1810 stating that the book had been granted by "Rafi-ud-din Mohsen" to the apple of his eyes "Muhammad". The type of pencil is not the same throughout this version. After the sixth part, the type and size of the pencil change along which many incorrect records, cross-outs and corrections, repetitions of couplets, writing mistakes, omissions and chronological mistakes can be seen which have been often marked by some signs such as Persian letters for "Kh", "M" , "H", "La" and . Considering the fact that the pages of manuscript are torn and worn out and the rebinding of the manuscript, the manuscript is very untidy and its pages are misplaced and the stories of the parts are dispersed which are only related to each other through a deliberate attempt. Probably, about 10 first pages of the manuscript including the foreword, Master of Messengers, section on the reason to write the book and parts of the praising poems composed by the presenter have been lost and the manuscript lacks the first page containing the name of the composer and the presenter. The first page starts with a couplet of the second part of Golafshan indicating the disorder and confusion of the pages. The last page of this manuscript including the particulars of the scriber and the date of inscription has been destroyed. Considering the short introductions of the parts, the name of the poet, the presenter and the date of the composition of the poetry book can be perceived and the authenticity of the version can be confirmed. Since there is no name of Humayun Shah in the poetry book, it has been probably composed around 1558, that is, after Akbar Shah acceded to the throne in 1556.
ResultThe Manuscript of Golafsahn poetry book with IRN 1174-016 is the only existing version of this moral Masnavi that is kept in Ibn Miskawayh Library in Isfahan. This manuscript is one of the valuable instances of "response" and imitating "Bustan of Saadi" that has been composed in India in 17th century. The names of the work, poet, presenter, scriber and the inscription date of the work is unknown because the first and last pages of the manuscript are lost. However, there is much evidence like the starting couplets of the introduction of the different parts and pen name of the poet at the end of the couplets show clearly the book's name, poet's name and presenter's name. This Masnavi has been composed following Bustan of Saadi style including 3683 couplets containing one foreword and ten parts namely "Justice, Fairness, Prudence and Monarchy", "Benefaction", "Saints' Love and Path", "Modesty", "Satisfaction", "Contentment", "Education", "Thankfulness", "Repentance", "Prayer and End of the Book". Regarding the fact that most of the works of Kahi and that this Masnavi is one of the valuable instances of response and imitation of Bustan of Saadi, it is important to investigate and introduce this work in terms of history of literature, stylistics and eloquence as well as being important for revealing the identity of one of the works composed in India, and the investigation into and introduction of this work can solve the problems facing the researchers.
Journal of Subcontinent Researches, Volume:11 Issue: 36, 2019
175 - 194
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