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Ходжа Н.
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Rahgozari Minutalab, "Persian Legacy of the Sufi Mystics Shams Tabrizi and Jalal al-Din Rumi"

CONTENT

Introduction and reason for this article ................................................... 4
On the Persianized Seljuqs ................................................................ 11
Some distortions due to nationalistic reasons ............................................. 15
Shams Tabrizi and his background .......................................................... 25
Tabriz in the pre-Mongol and Ilkhanid era ................................................. 25
The Tabrizi Iranian language as a special case ............................................ 30
Example of Shams Tabrizi speaking the North West Iranic dialect of Tabriz ................. 38
On the importance of Safinaye Tabriz ...................................................... 39
On the name of Tabriz and its districts ................................................... 42
Shams Tabrizi‘s work Maqalaat ............................................................. 44
Shams Tabrizi of Ismaili origin? Conclusion ............................................... 45
Husam al-Din Chelebi and other Rumi companions............................................. 46
Baha al-Din Walad and Rumi‘s parents ...................................................... 50
Genealogy of Rumi‘s parents................................................................ 50
On Vakhsh and Balkh and the languages of these areas ...................................... 54
Contribution to Persian culture and Baha al-Din Walad’s native language ................... 59
Conclusion on Baha al-Din Walad ........................................................... 62

Rumi ...................................................................................... 63
The Persian lectures, letters and sermons of Rumi and his everyday language ............... 64
Response to nationalistic statements, regarding to Rumi's prose and daily language ........ 66
Rumi‘s Persian poetry ..................................................................... 69
Response to an invalid arguments with regards to the Diwan ................................ 73
Invalid Argument: “Rumi was a Turk because he has some verses in Turkish” ................. 73
Invalid Argument: Rumi uses some Turkish words in his poetry .............................. 76
Invalid argument: Rumi has traces of Central Asia Turkish in his poetry ................... 77
Invalid argument: Rumi’s usage of the word Turk shows he was a Turk ....................... 79
Persian poetry images and symbols: Turk, Hindu, Rum, Zang/Habash .......................... 83
Which Turks are described in Persian Poetry? ............................................. 144
Views on ethnicity in the Mathnawi ....................................................... 150
Ethnicity in Aflaki ...................................................................... 152
Sultan Walad, Rumi‘s son ................................................................. 165
Sultan Walad‘s work ...................................................................... 165
Sultan Walad‘s admits he does not know Turkish and Greek well ............................ 166
Sultan Valad‘s view on the Turks ......................................................... 169
Conclusion about Sultan Walad ............................................................ 177
The Origin of Sama and a response to a false claim ....................................... 178
On Rumi‘s cultural predecessor and The Mawlawiya‘s Spiritual lineage ..................... 185
Conclusion of this article ............................................................... 192
Bibliography ............................................................................. 203
Appendix A: Nick Nicholas: Greek Verses of Rumi & Sultan Walad ........................... 208
__________________________________________________________
Introduction and reason for this article

"If the Turk, the Roman, and the Arab are in love,
They all know the same language, the beautiful tune of Rabab"

Recently, UNESCO in the year 2007 declared the Persian poet Rumi as one of the world’s universal cultural icon. The Afghanistani, Iranian, Turkish governments all laid claim to Rumi’s heritage and tried to maximize their association with the Persian poet Rumi. Obviously such an association brings about a national prestige, despite the fact that Rumi is a universal figure. Also recently, especially with the demise of the USSR, there has been an increase in pan-Turkist nationalist activism in various Altaic-phone regions, and a many Persian cultural figures like Avicenna, Biruni, Nasir al-Din Tusi, Eyn al-Qodat Hamadani, Bayazid Bistami, Suhrawardi, Nizami Ganjavi and etc. have been falsely claimed to be Turkish, without any serious argument.
Many of these like Biruni and Nezami lived in an era, when the area they were born in was Iranian. Due to penetration and incursions of Turkic nomads, eventually some of these Iranian speaking regions, like Khwarizmia, Arran and Sherwan, Sogdiana, Marv and etc. became Turkified in speech the same as the Greek and Armenian languages gave away to Turkic speakers in Anatolia, and Egypt gave away to Arabic.

At the time of the mentioned figures, which are claimed today for nationalistic reasons by some of the new countries, all of these men were of Iranian ancestry, but more importantly, they all contributed to Iranian culture and have important Persian works. Some of these extravagant claims are impossible (like Eyn ol-Qodat Hamadani, Suhrawardi, Bistami, who was of Zoroastrian descent and Nasir al-Din Tusi) that there is no need to respond to them. On the other hand, figures, like Nizami Ganjavi and Biruni, were born in areas that are today Turkified or Turcophone. This was not the case during the time of these authors, but many people, who study these figures, do not have correct information and background on the chronology of the linguistic Turkification in Central Asia, Caucasus and Azerbaijan region of Iran.

For example, during the time of Biruni
, the area of Khwarizm spoke the Iranian Chorasmian language. I refer to the short, but very significant contribution of the late French Orientalist to the al-Biruni Commemoration Volume, published in India (L. Massignon, "Al-Biruni et la valuer internationale de la science arabe" in Al-Biruni Commemoration Volume, (Calcutta, 1951). pp 217-219.) In a celebrated preface to the book of Drugs, Biruni states:
"And if it is true that in all nations one likes to adorn oneself by using the language to which one has remained loyal, having become accustomed to using it with friends and companions according to need, I must judge for myself that in my native Chorasmian, science has as much as chance of becoming perpetuated, as a camel has of facing Ka’aba“.

Indeed al-Biruni has recorded months and other names in the Iranian Chorasmian, Soghdian and Dari-Persian languages and he states equivalently:
"And the people of Khwarizm, they are a branch of the Persian tree"

(Abu Rahyan Biruni, "Athar al-Baqqiya 'an al-Qurun al-Xaliyyah"(Vestiges of the past: the chronology of ancient nations), Tehran, Miras-e-Maktub, 2001)

The late eminent philologist Professor David Mackenzie on the old Iranian Chorasmian Language(Encyclopedia Iranica, "The Chorasmian Language", D.N. Mackenzie) states:
“The earliest examples have been left by the great Chorasmian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni. In his works on chronology and astronomy (ca. 390-418/1000-28) he recorded such calendrical and astronomical terms as: some of the traditional names of days, months, feasts, and signs of the zodiac.”

While showing perfect knowledge of the native Chorasmian calendar, as well as other Iranian calendars (Persian, Sogdian) and also Hebrew, Arabic, Greek calendars, Biruni is clear for example that he does not other calendars (like those of the Turks) as well:
"As to the months of other nations, Hindus, Chinese, Tibetians, Turks, Khazars, Ethiopians and Zangids, we do not intend, although we have managed to learn the names of some of them, to mention them here, postponing it till a time, when we shall know them all, as it does not agree with the method, which we have followed hitherto, to connect that, which is doubtful and unknown, with that which is certain and known"
(Athar)
Biruni collected the months and calendars of many nations, which are recorded in his book. On the order of the old-Turkic (old Uighur, which he calls toquz-oghuz) month names, which are just ordinals (readily recognizable in any variety) jumbled, he adds a note:
“I have not been able to learn how long these months are, nor what they mean, nor of what kind they are”
(Athar, pg 83).

However, a modern Western scholar, whom we rather not name, did not know about the East Chorasmian Iranian language and just based on modern geography, has mistaken Biruni’s Iranian Chorasmian language for Turkic. She did not, for example, read about this Iranian language in the Encyclopedia of Islam, Encyclopedia Iranica, Iranian language sources or other linguistic sources. That is sometimes negligence of the history of the region produces mistakes and this is due to the fact that many scholars of literature do not have a grasp of the history of the region (Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia) during the medieval era. So that mentioned Western author, for example, mistakenly thought that the Chorasmian Iranian language at the time of Biruni must be the same as the language spoken in Chorasmia (in modern Uzbekistan/ Turkmenistan) today.

Another example is Avicenna
. For example, Avicenna, whose father was a native of Balkh (the same place, where Rumi’s father was possibly born) and his mother was from Bukhara (her name was Sitareh, which is Persian for star, and even today the majority of inhabitants of Bukhara are Iranian Persians / Tajiks).
Avicenna in the book of “The Healing: (Ash-Shifa) in Chapter 5 ("Concerning the caliph and Imam: the necessity of obeying them. Remarks on politics, transactions and morals") states:
“… as for the enemies of those, who oppose his laws, the legislator must decree waging war against them and destroying them, after calling on them to accept the truth. Their property and women must be declared free for the spoil. For when such property and women are not administered according to the constitution of the virtuous city, they will not bring about the good, for which the property and women are sought. Rather, these would contribute to corruption and evil. Since some men have to serve others, such people must be forced to serve the people of the just city. The same applies to people not very capable of acquiring virtue. For these are slaves by nature as, for example, the Turks, and Zinjis, and in general those, who do not grow up in noble climes, where the condition for the most part are such, that nations of good temperament, innate intelligence and sound minds thrive”
(Chris Brown, Terry Nardin, Nicholas J. Rengger, “International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War”, Published by Cambridge University Press, 2002, pg 156-157).

In another phrase, Ibn Sina states: “In the languages we know…” and then he brings an example of Persian and Arabic. Had he known any other languages, then he would have given examples as well. Thus he did not even speak Turkish and all his works are in Persian and Arabic. The statement of Avicenna with this regard is given here from his book Ishaarat (Dehkhoda dictionary).

As per Nizami Ganjavi
, there exists a detailed article on how USSR nation building and modern ethno-nationalism have forged the most baseless arguments (even false verses) in order to deprive of his Iranian heritage (Doostzadeh, Ali. "Politicization of the background of Nizami Ganjavi: Attempted de-Iranization of a historical Iranian figure by the USSR", June 2008, Updated 2009).
http://sites.google.com/site/rakhshesh/articles-related-to-iranian-history (see PDF file)
http://www.archive.org/details/PoliticizationOfTheBackgroundOfNizamiGanjaviAttemptedDe-iranizationOf

Sufficient to say, his mother was Iranic Kurdish (Iranic speaking), he was raised by a Kurdish uncle, and his father-line goes back before the coming of the Seljuqs and is of Iranian Anyhow, there is no doubt that culturally, mythological relics, poetry (he considered himself a successor of Ferdowsi), he was Iranian and his stories are rooted in Iranic/Persian folklore.

An important manuscript that shows the Iranian culture of the Caucasus before its Turkification in language has come down to us by the Persian poet Jamal Khalil Shirvani (Mohammad Amin Riyahi. “Nozhat al-Majales” in Encyclopedia Iranica http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/ot_grp14/ot_nozhatalmajales_20081215.html)
This article attempts to address the background of Rumi
, as well as the fact, that people have tried to deprive him of his Iranian heritage.
Note when we say Iranian, we mean it in the ethno-cultural-linguistic sense, rather than citizenship of modern Iran. Thus this term covers the totality of Iranian speaking civilizations and those, that have been greatly affected by it enough to be absorbed and melted in to it. We start by quoting a Turkish scholar with this regard. Even according to the Turkish scholar Talat S. Halman:
“Baha ad-din (Rumi’s Father) and his family eventually settled in Konya, ancient Iconium, in central Anatolia. They brought with them their traditional Persian cultural and linguistic background and found in Konya a firmly entrenched penchant for Persian culture. In terms of Rumi’s cultural orientation – including language, literary heritage, mythology, philosophy, and Sufi legacy – the Iranians have indeed a strongly justifiable claim. All of these are more than sufficient to characterize Rumi, as a prominent figure of Persian cultural history”

("Rapture and Revolution", page 266).
Although Professor Talat S. Halman does not delve into ethnic genealogy of Rumi, he remarks:
“The available documentary evidence is so flimsy that no nation (Iranian/Persian, Arabic, Turkish) can invoke jus sanguinis regarding the Rumi genealogy”
and he also mentions:
“Rumi is patently Persian on the basis of jus et norma loquendi”
.

Thus, there is no dispute about Rumi’s culture, literary heritage. And even his native language, as mentioned, was Persian. However, some people try to point to genealogy and we shall look at this issue in this article. The problem with that approach is that the genealogies of many people are not known in the 13th century. And, if it is known, up to what ancestor is this genealogy known? We will explore the genealogy issue in this article as well, but if genealogy was a concern, than majority of Anatolian Turks are not of Turkic genealogy, but resemble Greeks, Armenians, Kurds and other natives of Anatolia.
DNA evidence thus far has established:
“Another important replacement occurred in Turkey at the end of the 11 century, when Turks began attacking the Byzantine Empire. They finally conquered Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 1453. The replacement of Greek with Turkish was especially significant because this language belongs to a different family — Altaic. Again, the genetic effects of invasion were modest in Turkey. Their armies had few soldiers and even if they sometimes traveled with their families, the invading populations would be small relative to the subject populations that had along civilization and history of economic development. After many generations of protection by the Roman Empire, however, the old settles had become complacent and lost their ability to resist the dangerous invaders”

(Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, in “Genes, People and Languages”, 2000, pg 152).

So when speaks about the 13th century, one is clearly speaking about culture and native language. If a person’s native language is Persian and their father’s native language is Persian, then that is sufficient to say they were genealogically Iranian. The genealogy of Rumi is not really known well beyond his great grandfather (Ahmad Khatibi), although some later sources had claimed it went back to the Caliph Abu Bakr. This point is discussed later on this article, and we show that this is not accepted by modern scholars.
This study is concerned with the cultural identity and ethnic background of Jalal al-Din Rumi.
Although there is no disagreement among serious Rumi scholars about his Persian cultural identity, there have been some groups within nationalist pan-Turkist circles, trying to downplay his Persian cultural identity, language and ethnicity. Their politicized theory rests on 3 or 4 invalid and false arguments, which we shall respond to in detail in this article:
A) Rumi wrote Persian because it was more poetic or common
B) Rumi was genealogically Turkish
C) Rumi has a few scattered Mualammas in Turkish and uses archaic Central Asian Turkish words,
so he was Turkish
D) Samaa was Turkish phenomenon

Thus there have been some people from Turkey or Turkic language background, who advocate a Turkic genealogy for Rumi. We will show there is no proof of this, and all indicators is that Rumi had an Iranic (Persian or other Iranian language group) background.

Note, as it is well known, cultural identity, ethnicity (defined by native language and culture) and genealogy are different issues. For example, many people in the non-Arabic Muslim world claim descent from the Prophet of Islam (SAW), but culturally they are no different from those, who do not have such a background. On the other hand, most Egyptians are descendant of ancient Egyptians rather than Arabs of Arabian peninsula, however, culturally they identify themselves as Arabs.
Most Turkish speakers of Anatolia are closer genetically to their Greek neighbors, than to the Turkic people of Central Asia. In other words, their cultural identity defines their ethnicity and not their 20th ancestor. Given there is hardly, if any, pure backgrounds in the Middle East, then cultural identity will supersede genealogy, when assigning a poet to a particular civilization.
Thus repeating for emphasis what the Turkish professor Talat Halman has stated:
“Baha ad-din (Rumi’s Father) and his family eventually settled in Konya, ancient Iconium, in central Anatolia. They brought with them their traditional Persian cultural and linguistic background and found in Konya a firmly entrenched penchant for Persian culture. In terms of Rumi’s cultural orientation – including language, literary heritage, mythology, philosophy, and Sufi legacy – the Iranians have indeed a strongly justifiable claim. All of these are more than sufficient to characterize Rumi as a prominent figure of Persian cultural history”

(Rapture and Revolution, page 266) and he also mentions:
“Rumi is patently Persian on the basis of jus et norma loquendi”
.

As per modern scholars, virtually all the Western sources we have looked at, identify Rumi as a Persian poet and a native Persian speaker. Few scholars however have taken the legendary claim that his father’s lineage goes back to the first Caliph Abu Bakr and we shall discuss this issue later. However, if this legendary claim was correct, Rumi would still be considered a native Persian since he was a native Persian speaker and of Iranian cultural orientation. Among the Western scholars, one can quote Franklin Lewis, who clearly states (Franklin Lewis, "Rumi Past and Present, East and West", Oneworld Publications, 2000):
“How is it that a Persian boy, born almost 800 years ago, in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in Central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere, in which is now Turkey, some 1500 miles to the west?”
(p. 9)

Annemarie Schimmel also remarks on Rumi’s native tongue in the “The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi”, SUNY Press, 1993, p. 193:
"Rumi's mother tongue was Persian, but he had learned during his stay in Konya, enough Turkish and Greek, to use it, now and then, in his verse"


And even Halman agrees although he tries to provide justifications for Western scholars, although Western scholars have looked at other reasons, besides culture and background (for example, sedentary population of Vakhsh or the Balkhi language and Aflaki’s "Manaqib" and its clear references to various ethnic groups and etc.). Halman states(pg 266):
“In the West, scholars have always accepted Rumi as a Persian, on the basis of his exclusive use of the Persian language and because he remained in the mainstream of Persian cultural heritage. No account seems to have been taken of the Turkish and Afghan claims, except some occasional references, such as the one by William Hastie in his introduction to "The Festival of Spring", featuring his translations from Rumi’s Divan: 'The Turks claim Jelaleddin as their own, although a Persian of royal race, born of Balkh, old Bactra, on the ground of his having sung and died in Qoniya, in Asia Minor…' Whence he was called Rumi “the Romans,” usually rendered “the Greek,” as wonning wihin the confies of old Oriental Rome".

Obviously the native language, exclusive use of Persian language and also mainstream Persian cultural heritage are sufficient to describe Rumi, as a Persian poet. This author (writer of this article) claims Iranian ethnicity and speaks Persian, as a native language, and knows his ancestors up to 3 generations back, who spoke Fahlavi-type Iranian dialect. However, we do not know our 20th ancestor. Thus, if genealogy is of concern, then it can have bearing on ethnicity only to the point, where such a genealogy is known consciously to that person and that genealogy is different from the culture and language of the person, who knows that genealogy. In the case of Rumi, his father was a native Persian speaker (as shown later in the article) and one concludes that genealogically he is Persian up to the ancestors we know. However, as mentioned, ethnicity is defined by culture, mythological orientation and native language.

We should make a point on the Afghan claim here. Rumi according to most up to date scholarly sources was born in Vakhsh, Tajikistan, although Vakhsh itself was part of the greater province of Balkh at that time. However, when we talk about Persian/Iranian in this article, we are not talking about modern nation-states or citizenships. Rather we are taking the viewpoint of Persian culture, Persian native language and Persian background (which is mainly defined by native Persian language, since today most Anatolian Turks are not genetically related to the Turkic groups of Central Asia and are closer genetically to Greeks; and many native Persian speakers might not be descendants of the Achaemenids, but rather various groups who adopted the Persian language and culture). In this sense, the term Iranian/Iranic/Persian covers the main groups of Afghanistan (Pashtuns, Tajiks, Nuristanis, and Baluchs) and the term “Turk” covers Oghuz Turks, Kipchak Turks and etc.

That is generally, despite the shared Islamic civilization, we can state, that several majors groups existed (although by no means an exhaustive list):
1) Iranians (Ajam, Tajiks, Tats, Persians, Kurds), which covers all Iranic speakers.
2) Turkic groups (to which we should add Islamicized Mongols, who became Turcophones). We should note some sources have mistaken the Soghdians and other Iranic speakers for Turks, due to geographical proximity.
3) Arab speaking Muslims, most of these, whom lived in territories that was not Arabic speaking before Islam and hence many scholars consider them Arabicized.
4) Indian Muslims, covering all Indic languages.
5) Berbers of Africa.
6) Caucasian groups, such as Daghestanis, Lezgins and etc.
7) (and other groups of course in East Asia, Africa, China and etc.)

So, to say Rumi was an Afghan or Turkish based on where he lived, is actually retroactively misplacing history and an anachronistic usage of modern boundaries for a time, when such boundaries did not exist and there was no concept of nation-state or citizenship based on set borders. At that time even, there was no Ottoman empire and so Rumi cannot be an Ottoman. So, from a geographic point of view, Rumi as shown by his culture was part of the Iranian zone of Islamicate culture.
In this article, we examine more than cultural, linguistic, heritage and genealogical background of Rumi. We also examine the background of close friends of Rumi, mainly Shams Tabrizi and Hesam al-Din Chelebi. We provide an overview of the usage of the term “Turk” in three majors:
- Diwan Shams Tabrizi (where misinterpretations have taken place),
- the Mathnawi and finally
- the "Manaqib al-Arifin".
We also overview Rumi's father (Baha al-Din Walad) and Sultan Walad’s (Rumi’s son) literally output. The study shows that Rumi’s everyday language (not just poetic language) was Persian and thus, his native language was Persian. His cultural heritage was Persian. His genealogy is also discussed and based on the work of his father, we also show that his father’s native language was Persian and hence Rumi’s genealogy is also Persian. On his particular genealogy, there have been some, that have claimed he was a descendant of the Caliph Abu Bakr, and we examine this claim as well. However, from our point of view, since Rumi’s native language was Persian and his literary output was in Persian, then he is an Iranian cultural icon and eventually the genealogy of most figures in the 13th century Islamic world cannot be traced back to more than their great grandfather (Ahmad Khatibi in the case of Rumi). And going back further, the genealogy of all humans go back to caveman and possibly a single man and women in Africa and the only firm statement is that the genealogy of Rumi, which is through his father was Persian as they were native speakers of Persian and Persian was their mothertongue.
__________________________________________________________
"A Study about the Persian Cultural Legacy and Background of the Sufi Mystics Shams Tabrizi and Jalal al-Din Rumi"
http://english.paniranist.org/PersianPoetRumi.pdf
http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/persianpoetrumi1.pdf
Tags: rumi, био, иран, культура, льюис, суфизм, турция
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