In Shīʿī literature, there exist several texts containing the last will ( waṣiyya) of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, son-in-law of the Prophet and, in Shīʿism, his rightful successor. These last wishes were addressed to his sons Ḥasan and Ḥusayn and to the Muslim community at large. Transmitted through various sources, they are important insofar as each of them, in its own way, justifies the Shīʿī view on ʿAlī’s succession after he was murdered in Kufa in the year 40/661. This volume contains two Persian versions—one in verse, the other in prose—of ʿAlī’s last will and injunctions addressed to Ḥusayn, the third imam. The original Arabic prose text has come down to us through various ancient sources, the oldest one dating from the fourth/tenth century. The Persian translation in verse was made by the poet Sayyid Ḥasan Ghaznawī (d. 556/1161), the prose version possibly around 910/1504 by a scribe named Muʿīn al-Dīn Munshī Shīrāzi.
Kuhantarīn tarjuma-yi manẓūm-i Fārsī az kalām-i ʿAlawī
Sayyid Ḥasan Ghaznawī and Muʿīn al-Dīn Munshī Shīrāzi
Edited by Javād Basharī
Ganjīnaʾī az surūdhā-yi Zāhidāna-yi Fārsī az sada-yi panjum-i hijrī
Faḍl b. Muḥibb Nīshāpūrī
Edited by Javād Basharī and Muḥammad Afshīn Vafāʿī
In Persian literature, so-called ‘ majālis’ (sg. majlis, ‘session’) works typically evoke the atmosphere of a religious gathering. In some of these gatherings, a lecturer recounted parts of the history of Islam and the lives and times of its prominent representatives. In others, his focus was on the interpretation of the Qurʾān or some other subject. Sometimes, a speaker answered questions and at others, he sermonized. An early work in this genre is a majālis text on Qurʾān interpretation by Faḍl b. Muḥibb Nīshāpūrī (d. 472/1079). Issuing from a well-educated family of Nishapur, Faḍl was known for his learning and his virtue, earning him the nicknames of ustādh (‘master’) and wāʿiẓ (‘preacher’). The lines of poetry published here were culled from a majālis text by him, the title of which remains unknown. Testimony to his use of rhetorical means to enhance the impact of his talk, these lines of poetry are also among the earliest in their genre in Khurāsān.