A Survey on the Contents of Khosro Nama

   Khosro Nama is one of the outstanding lyrical works in Persian literature. This poem portrays the romance of Gol o Hormuz and the related events. This literary work is composed in the form of “Masnavi” (couplet poem) and it is created in prosodic rhythm “mafā`ilunmafā`ilunfā`ilun”(coded: U---U---U--)with nearly “8000” lines versed in eloquent, pellucid and explicit language.
Considering the published copiesof the work, two copies are reviewed: 1- The copy revised by Ahmad SoheiliKhansari which contains an introduction on Attar and his works. In the introduction, Khansariascribed the work to Attar by several reasons. Besides, he wroteabout Ibn Al-rabib (Mamdooh, the poet) and a summary of the story. 2- The copy by FarshidEghbal with a brief preface. In the preface of the book, he wrote about Attar Neyshaburiand a summary of the story.


The research methodology is descriptive-analytical and it wasdone in three steps. In the first step, the researcher precisely studiedKhosro Nama poem and identified the required data of the research among the verses of the couplet-poem.  In the second step, with respect to the data collected in the first step, the researcher reviewed and analyzed the content of the verses. In this step, the researcher classified and analyzed the verses based on the content. In the third step, the researcher studied the sources attributingthe work to or not to Attar and proved or denied attributing the book to Attar based on the quoted reasons and evidence.In this step, the researcher merely gathered their views and ultimatelycited his view according to their statements.


Before we discuss the content of the book, it is necessary to introduce the poet due to the different opinions about him. Since time ago, a work has been attributed to a poet and after a while, the researchers confirmed or denied its attribution with reasons and evidence. Khosro Nama is one of the works which there is uncertainty in attributing to Attar. Some masters such as Foroozanfar, SoheiliKhansari, Ritter, Nafisi, RezagholikhanHedayat and Saffa confirm the attribution of the book to Attar Neyshabooriwith certain and other masters such as Shafieekadkani, Zarrinkoob, Nahvi, Ezzatiparvar and Pournamdarian denied the attribution of the book by presenting reasons and evidence. Shafieekadkani’s reasonsabout the book includes the two internal reasons (contradiction, stylistics, history of Sufism) and external reasons (typology) each of which particularly points that Khosro Nama is not attributed to Attar and the book belongs to the ninth century. (N.K: Attar, 35: 2000). Meanwhile, Nahvi discussed in a paper about AbolfazlSa’ddinIbnAl-Rabib, the eulogicpoet and provided evidence that Khosro Nama was written by Abu Abdollah Muhammad Mianji in the sixth century. (Nahvi, 80-89: 2000)With respect to the providedreasons and evidence, it is concluded that this work is not attributed to AttarNeyshaboori.Notably, with respecttoNahvi’spaperbased on eulogy by Ibn Al-Rabib and some of the verses of Khosro Nama in Shiraz Nama by Zarkoob, Nahvi’s statement about the attribution of Khosro Nama to Abu AbdollahMianji (Miane’i) is true.Additionally, based on the stylistic, theosophical and typological reasons by Shafieekadkaniattempting to prove that Khosro Nama was written in the ninth century, in author’s point of view, it can be said thatKhosro Nama was composed by Mianji and later, an unknown person completed and expanded the book in the ninth century. Of course, it may be asked that if the couplet poemwas not attributed to Attar, why had all attar’s works been listed in the preface of the book? This might be the answer thatAttar was at the height of his fame at that time and peoplepaid special attention to him and this way, the poet wanted people to remember and read his work over time.In reviewing and analyzing the content of Khosro Nama, the poet first commended and praised the Lord and then glorified the Prophet, and complimented the Rashid Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Imam Ali), admired the Imams (Imam Hasan (pbuh) Imam Hussein (pbuh), Imam Bohanifa, Imam Shafi'i) as well as KhajehSaadoddinAbolfazl. After discussing the situation surrounding thebook, he writes the romantic poems full of new incidents and events. Of course, it is noteworthy that in the introduction of the book, the poet refers to the issues such as unity, and occasionallythroughout the story,he comments onthe absence, presence, ascetic, and seclusion of worldly attachments, etc.  In other words, the poet willingly attempted to incorporate mystical terms and concepts in the book.However, it should be said that Khosro Nama is a romantic couplet poem with some mystical arrays. In general, the content of Khosro Nama is divided into three categories: Tenets of faith: This section includes topics such as God, poet’s religion, fatalism and death. In the divine sect,in addition to the topic of the Creation (the creation of the worldin six days) and the human inability to knowGod and the truth of the Existence, the poet deals with mystical topics such as the unity of existence, monotheism, annihilation in God, and the existence in God, presence and absence. Regarding the religion of the poet, it can be said that he is Shāfī'i because he praises Shāfīī and Abu Hanifa and in regard to verbal point of view, and belief in determinism and fatalism, he followed the religion of the Ash'arites. Also, the poet's belief in fatalism and death has a special placein the context of the work; inasmuch as the poet explicitly or vaguely induces the divine fate overwhelming human free willin the text and accordingly, he calls for human’s surrendering and satisfyingwithhis fate and divine predestination, and with attention to the fact that he emphasizes on the death and the life of the soul after death, he encourages the man to do good for final Judgement.
B. Ethical percepts: Ethical perceptsinvolve topics such as the denunciation of the world, the law of action and reaction, trickery, greed, lies and envy. In condemning the world, the poet encourages humans to abandon the world and its belongings whileproviding reasons and evidence such as the treacheries and fickleness of the world, and its futility. It is noteworthy thatin the discussion ofthe ethical percepts, the denunciation of the world has the highest frequency. In addition to condemning the world, the poet prevents human from lying, deceiving, envying and coveting for the reason of its bad consequences, and throughout the story, based on the fact that every action has a reaction and human gets caught in the consequences of his evil deeds, he calls mankind to avoid evil and encourage them to do good deeds.
C. Love:In terms of content, love and its related events in Khosro Nama poem are in center and axis,and other themes such as ethical percepts and tenets of faith serve love and its related events. In this section, the poet addresses topics such as love, lover and his state of mind, the contradiction between love and wisdom. The poet, in the discussion of love, puts a special emphasis on its burning and unbreakable status, the combination of love,impatience and insanity. The lover and his temperament are also repeated in the poem;inasmuch as love transforms the lover’s feelings; the lover is crushing in grief, anguish and distress when being apart, and he is in the joy of happiness when joining. In addition, the poet praises the wisdom with different featuressuch as being a leader and guide;nevertheless, the leadership and guidance of wisdom lasts until love has not overcome the man. To put another way, after love overwhelms the man, the wisdom growsunable and impotent, and wisdom and lovedo not unitebut contradictone another.


About the author of Khosro Nama, it is noteworthy that in his paper "Who is the book of Khosro Nama (Gol and Hurmoz) by?",Akbar Nahvi attributes the work to Abu Abdullah Mianji (Miane’i) in the sixth century.Butbased on the stylistic featuresand the mentioned stylistic reasons and evidence,MohammadrezaShafieekadkaniconcludes that the bookbelongs to the ninth century. In the author’s view, with respect to the reasons and evidence brought forth in the research, the Khosro Nama poem does not attribute to Attar, and it originally belongs to Abu Abdullah Mianji, and it seems thatwith respect to the stylistic features in the ninth century and the stylistic features of the work), an anonymous person expanded it in the 9th century.This work is a romantic poem in contentwhere the mystical terms and concepts have also been used. In the introduction, the mystical issues are mostlyderivedfrom the premise of the unity of existence of Ibn al-Arabi; Of course, the mystical issues are rarely found throughout the story.And the beliefs of the poet (about God, the religion of the poet, fatalism, etc.) and the ethical percepts and the element of love are read in the mentioned work. Fatalism is one of the most important beliefs that the poet tries to refer to throughout the story in various approaches (directly or indirectly) and encourage the reader to condemn and surrender to divine predestination.In the discussion of the ethical percepts, the poet attempts to prevent the readers directly or indirectly from doing bad deeds and to encourage themto do good deeds. "Condemning the world and getting rid of worldly attachments" is of the most important ethical precepts that the poet explains in various ways. It isnoteworthy that in the ethical percepts, the poet employs the "deceitfulness and trickery of individuals" in the concept of "seeking remedy and devise", and sometimes, he admires it indirectly.In Khosro Nama poem, love and the related issues are the most outstanding topic that includes the issues such as being apart and joining; in other words, it can be said that love is the intellectual axis and centerpiece of the poet that has included other topics and contents inside. In this couplet poem, the grief and sighcaused by getting apart is more than thrill of joining; Notably, sometimes, there is happiness in separation resulted from hope for the revelation. The most used topic in love is "the burning of love and love as pain," which repeats the grief of separation.Another key point in the discussion of love is "the conflict of love and wisdom", where love dominates and overwhelms the wisdom; in other words, wisdom is incapacitated before love; Also, "wisdom" in Khosro Nama poem is incapacitated by "love" and " knowing the essence of the Almighty” and it is condemned. However, in some cases such as being a guide and the power of recognizing good from evil, the contradiction between wisdom and lust... has been praised.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of The Iranian Studies, Volume:18 Issue: 35, 2019
247 - 272
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