Happy Sadi Day

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Iranian people annually commemorate Sheikh Muslih od-Din Sadi Shirazi (C. 1213-1291), one of the greatest figures of classical Persian literature, on April 21, which has been named Sadi Day.

April 21 is the national day of Sheikh Moslehuddin Mushrif ibn Abdullah Sa’di Shirazi, a prominent classical Persian poet and mystic.

Several programs have been scheduled nationwide to commemorate the great poet, Fars News Agency said.

A special ceremony will be held at Sa’di mausoleum in Shiraz, Fars province with Iranian scholars Gholamhossein Ebrahimi-Dinani, Asghar Dadbeh, and Saeed Hamidian in attendance.

They will speak about Sa’di’s anthology “Boustan” (The Orchard).

Vocalist Salar Aqili, accompanied by Raz-o-Niaz ensemble, will perform a concert at the event.

The Association of Hafez Enthusiasts in Tehran will also commemorate the poet on the same day.

Mahmoud Eslami will review Sa’di’s poetry at the event.

The Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Semnan province will hold a session to recite Sa’di’s poetry.

Muslih-Ud-Din Mushrif ibn Abdullah (1184-1291 AD) is one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is recognized not only for the quality of his writing, but also for the depth of his social thought.

His works have been translated by a number of major Western poets.

Sa’di’s best known works are “Bustan” completed in 1257 AD and “Golestan” (The Rose Garden) in 1258 AD.

“Bustan” is entirely in verse (epic meter) and consists of stories aptly illustrating the standard virtues recommended to Muslims (justice, liberality, modesty, contentment) as well as of reflections on the behavior of dervishes and their ecstatic practices.

“Golestan” is mainly in prose and contains stories and personal anecdotes. The text is interspersed with a variety of short poems, containing aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections.

Following is Maxim 34 from Sadi’s Gulistan translated by Richard Francis Burton:

When a sage comes in contact with fools, he must not expect to be honored, and if an ignorant man overcomes a sage in an oratorical contest, it is no wonder, because even a stone breaks a jewel.

What wonder is there that the song

Of a nightingale ceases when imprisoned with a crow

Or that a virtuous man under the tyranny of vagabonds

Feels affliction in his heart and is irate.

Although a base stone may break a golden vase,

The price of the stone is not enhanced nor of the gold lost.

Source: Iran Daily