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Ali-Shir Nava'i

24 Feb 2009 - 9:56

Nizām al-Din ʿAlī Shīr Herawī (Chagatai/Persian: نظام الدین على شير هروی; Uzbek: Alisher Navoiy) (9 February 1441 – 3 January 1501), also known as Alī-Shēr[1] Navā'ī, was a Central Asian politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet of Uyghur origin who was born and lived in Herat. He is generally known by his pen name Navā'ī (Persian: نوایی, meaning "the weeper"). Because of his distinguished Chagatai (Middle Turkic) poetry, he is considered by many throughout the Turkic-speaking world to be the founder of early Turkic literature. In particular he is claimed by the Uzbeks as their national poet, as the modern Uzbek language is descended from Chagatai.
Mīr Alī Shīr was born in 1441 in Herat, which is now in northwestern Afghanistan. He belonged to the Chagatai amir (or Mīr in Persian) class of the Timurid elite. His father, Ghiyāth ud-Din Kichkina ("the Little"), served as a high-ranking officer in the palace of Shāhrukh Mirzā, the ruler of Khorasan. According to contemporary historian Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat (1499-1551), he was a descendant of Uyghur "Bakhshis" (scribes of orders, edicts and census performing officials, collectors of poll-tax in Mongol Empire), many of whom served at the courts of almost all Chagatai and Timurid rulers and later became powerful military officials (thus the military title Mīr). His mother served as a princes' governess in the palace. His father died while Mīr Alī Shīr was young, and the ruler of Khorasan, Babur Ibn-Baysunkur, adopted guardianship of the young man.[2] He was subsequently educated in Mashhad, Herat, and Samarkand. Mīr Alī Shīr was a schoolmate of Husayn Bayqarah, who would later become the sultan of Khorasan. During Mīr Ali Shīr's lifetime, Herat was the capital of the Timurid Empire and became one of the leading cultural and intellectual centers in the Muslim world. It was there that Navā'i met his good friend Jāmī.
Mīr Alī Shīr served as a public administrator and adviser to his sultan, Husayn Bayqarah. He was also a builder who is reported to have founded, restored, or endowed some 370 mosques, madrasas, libraries, hospitals, caravanserais, and other educational, pious, and charitable institutions in Khorasan. In Herat, he was responsible for 40 caravanserais, 17 mosques, 10 mansions, 9 bathhouses, 9 bridges, and 20 pools.[3] Among his most famous constructions were the mausoleum of the 13th-century mystical poet, Farid al-Din Attar, in Nishapur (northeastern Iran) and the Khalasiya madrasa in Herat. He was one of the instrumental contributors to the architecture of Herat, which became, in René Grousset's words, "the Florence of what has justly been called the Timurid Renaissance" [4]. Moreover, he was a promoter and patron of scholarship and arts and letters, a musician, a composer, a calligrapher, a painter and sculptor, and such a celebrated writer that Bernard Lewis, the distinguished English historian of Islam, called him "the Chaucer of the Turks".[5]  Literary achievements
Under the pen name Navā'i, Mīr Alī Shīr was among the key writers who revolutionized the literary use of the Turkic languages. Navā'ī himself wrote primarily in the Chagatai language and produced 30 works over a period of 30 years, during which Chagatai became accepted as a prestigious and well-respected literary language. Navā'i also wrote in Persian (under the pen name Fāni), and to a much lesser degree in Arabic and Hindi.
A page from the divan of Navā'i, from the library of Süleymân the MagnificentNavā'ī's best-known poems are found in his four divans, or poetry collections, which total roughly 50,000 verses. Each part of the work corresponds to a different period of a person's life: Ghara’ib al-Sighar ("Wonders of Childhood")
Navadir al-Shabab ("Rarities or Witticisms of Youth")
Bada'i' al-Wasat ("Marvels of Middle Age")
Fawa'id al-Kibar ("Advantages of Old Age")
To help other Turkic poets he wrote technical works such as Mizan al-Awzan ("The Measure of Meters"), and a detailed treatise on poetical meters. He also crafted the monumental Majalis al-Nafais ("Assemblies of Distinguished Men"), a collection of over 450 biographical sketches of mostly contemporary poets that is a gold mine of information for modern historians of Timurid culture. Navā'i's other important works include the Khamsa (quintuple), which is composed of five epic poems and an imitation of Nezami Ganjavi's Khamsa: Hayrat-ol-abrar (Wonders of Good People) (حیرت الابرار)
Farhad va Shirin (فرهاد و شیرین)
Layli va Majnun (لیلی و مجنون)
Sab'ai Sayyar ("Seven travellers (planets)", سبعه سیار)
Sadd-i-Iskandari ("Alexander's Dam", سد سکندری , an epic poem about Alexander the Great).
He also wrote Lisan-ol-tayr (لسان الطیر or "Language of Birds", following Attar's Manteq-ol-tayr منطق الطیر or Speeches of Birds), in which he expressed his philosophical views and Sufi ideas. He translated Jami's Nafahat-ol-ons (نفحات الانس) to Chagatai Turkic and called it Nasayim-ul-muhabbat (نسایم المحبت). Hi Besh Hayrat (Five Wonders) also gives an in-depth look at his views on religion and Sufism. His book of Persian poetry contains 6000 lines (beit).
A page of Nava'i from the library of Suleyman the MagnificentPerhaps his most passionate work[citation needed] was his last, Muhakamat al-Lughatayn ("Judgment between the Two Languages"), completed in December 1499. He believed that the Turkic language was superior to Persian for literary purposes, and defended this belief in his work. It was the writer’s last definitive statement on the subject dearest to his heart; the Muhakamat acted as the author's last will and testament. Repeatedly, Nava'i emphasizes his belief in the richness, precision and malleability of Turkic vocabulary as opposed to Persian.
Influence of Nava'i
Navā'ī had a great influence in areas as distant as India to the east and the Ottoman Empire to the west. Babur (1483-1530), founder of the Mughal dynasty of India, wrote one of the first autobiographies among Islamic rulers, the epic "Baburnama". He was influenced heavily by Nava’i and even includes his respect for the writer in this famous book.
The Ottomans were highly conscious of their Central Asian heritage; Süleymân the Magnificent was impressed by Nava’i and had the Divan-i Neva’i, Khamsa and Muhakamat added to his personal library.[6]
The renowned Azari poet Fuzuli, who wrote under the auspices of both the Safavid and Ottoman empires, was heavily influenced by the style of Nava’i.
Further influence can be found in Kazan of Russia, Turkistan/Central Asia, modern day Turkey and all other areas which Turkic speakers inhabit.
Navā'ī became one of the most beloved poets in the Turkic-speaking world. With the rise of the great Ottoman poets, the place of Turkish as a classical language of Islam and a major world literature was solidified. Literary selections
Know, all humankind: The greatest curse is enmity; the greatest blessing - amity.
Mind, ye peoples of the Earth, Enmity is an evil state.
Live in friendship, one and all - Man can have no kinder fate.[citation needed] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He, who knows knowledge but applies not,
is like those who plow the land and, seeds plant not."[citation needed] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What an ignorant rich man says,
is as clear as what the golden fly eats.[citation needed] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Since the best of men must pass
through Death’s portal,
Happy is he who makes his name immortal.[7] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is a rubaee which is a poem consisting of four lines: I said, holding by your chin your cheeks I kiss,
Licking your eyes with eyelids your brows I kiss,
Smelling your eyes your rosy cheeks your lips I kiss,
If you say: No, No, No, your foot I kiss.[citation needed]
Dedim: chineni tutib, saqog'ingni o'pay,
Ko'z qoshingga surtubon qabog'ingni o'pay,
Guldek yuzing islabon dudak'ingni o'pay
Yoq, Yoq, Yoq, desang agar ayoqingni o'pay[citation needed] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is a ghazal: My Dark Eyed One...
Come my dark eyed one come and show your kindnes,
Weave a nest for yourself, in the depth of my pupils.
Turn the garden of my heart into a flowerbed, for the blossom that is your face,
And the rest your slender form so like the sapling in the garden that is my heart.
Splash the hooves your brave steed in me heart's blood.
And weave a leash for your dog from the tendons of my sad soul.
O Heaven, if at the foot of the mountain of separtation my dust is discovered,
Knead it into the dough and sculpt from it a powerful stone mason.
If you wish to encapture hearts in love by a meeting with you,
Curl your long hair into ringlets.
There is little the gardener can do to stop the advance of the fall,
Should he even spike the roof of his garden with pine needles.
O my friend, should I suddenly die at the sight of perspiration on your face,
Bathe me in rose water and lay me to rest in a shroud made of rose petals.
Navoi, if you can put your heart all into a bouquet of joy,
Pick a sheaf of wheat and touching a flame to it let this candle be the revelation of the nosegay[citation needed]
Original: Qaro ko'zim
Qaro ko'zum, kelu mardumlug' emdi fan qilg'il,
Ko'zum qarosida mardum kibi vatan qilg'il.
Yuzung guliga ko'ngul ravzasin yasa gulshan,
Qading niholig'a jon gulshanin chaman qilg'il.
Takovaringg'a bag'ir qonidin hino bog'la,
Itingg'a g'amzada jon rishtasin rasan qilg'il.
Firoq tog'ida topilsa tufrog'im, ey charx,
Xamir etib yana ul tog'da ko'hkan qilg'il.
Yuzung visolig'a yetsun desang ko'ngullarni,
Sochingni boshdin-ayog' chin ila shikan qilg'il.
Xazon sipohiga, ey bog'bon, emas mone'
Bu bog' tomida gar ignadin tikan qilg'il.
Yuzida terni ko'rub o'lsam, ey rafiq, meni
Gulob ila yuvu gul bargidin kafan qilg'il.
Navoiy, anjumani shavq jon aro tuzsang,
Aning boshog'lig' o'qin sham'i anjuman qilg'il.[citation needed] Notes
1- In the early new Persian and the eastern contemporary variants of the Persian language, there are two different vowels ī and ē which are shown by the same Perso-Arabic letter ی, and in the standard transliteration, both of them are usually transliterated as ī.
2- The National Library of Russia
3-  Alisher Navoi. Complete works in 20 volumes, Vol.1-18, Tashkent, 1987-2002.
4- Maria Eva Subtelny. Socioeconomic Bases of Cultural Patronage under the Later Timurids. International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Nov., 1988), pp. 479-505
5- Chaucer of the Turks-Written by Barry Hoberman-pages 24-27 of the January/February 1985 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.
6-  Suleyman the Magnificent, J.M.Rogers & R.M.Ward page 93-99 ISBN 0-7141-1440-5
7- Unesco-Afghanistan -------------------------------- Source: Vikipedia

Story Code: 37432

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