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New Perspectives on Jāmī’s Salāmān va Absāl
In Politics, Poetry, and Sufism in Medieval Iran Chad Lingwood offers new insights into the political significance of poetry and Sufism at the court of Sulṭān Ya‘qūb (d. 896/1490), leader of the Āq Qoyūnlū. The basis of the study is Salāmān va Absāl, a Persian allegorical romance ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492), the great Timurid belletrist and Naqshbandi Sufi, dedicated to Ya‘qūb. Lingwood demonstrates that Salāmān va Absāl, which modern critics have dismissed as ‘crude’ and ‘grotesque,’ is a sophisticated work of political and mystical advice for a Muslim ruler. In the process, he challenges received wisdom concerning Jāmī, the Āq Qoyūnlū, and Perso-Islamic advice literature. Significantly, the study illustrates the extent to which Jāmī’s compositions integrated the Timurid and Āq Qoyūnlū realms.

Abstract

This article addresses the possibility that members of the Naqshbandi Sufi order exerted a greater influence at the royal court of Yaʿqub b. Uzun Hasan, leader of the Aq Qoyunlu dynasty, than previously acknowledged. In order to substantiate this claim, the article cites contemporary and near-contemporary Persian sources, notably the Tārikh-eʿālam-ārā-ye amini, the Rowzāt al-jenān va jannāt al-janān, and the Rashahāt-e ʿayn al-hayāt, each of which attests to the presence of Naqshbandis in the Aq Qoyunlu capital of Tabriz, and notes that the Naqshbandis most closely associated with Yaʿqub shared the distinction of being protégés of the classical Persian poet ʿAbd al-Rahmān Jāmi. In a related vein, the article suggests that it was Jāmi himself, in Salāmān o Absāl, and in a personal letter sent to Yaʿqub from his residence in Timurid Herat, who may have exerted the most significant Naqshbandi influence over the Aq Qoyunlu. The article therefore concludes that the existing historiography, which emphasizes the involvement of the Khalvati order in Aq Qoyunlu affairs, should be revised in order to recognize the probable influence of members of the Naqshbandi order, particularly Jāmi, at the Aq Qoyunlu court.

In: Journal of Persianate Studies
In: Jāmī in Regional Contexts
In: Politics, Poetry, and Sufism in Medieval Iran
In: Politics, Poetry, and Sufism in Medieval Iran
In: Politics, Poetry, and Sufism in Medieval Iran
In: Politics, Poetry, and Sufism in Medieval Iran