The National Day of Sheikh Sa'di Shirazi

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iran commemorates the national day of Sheikh Sa'di Shirazi, the prominent classical medieval Persian poet, mystic and metaphysicist.

Born in Shiraz in 1194 CE, Sa'di is recognized as one of the most eminent poets in the history of Persian literature.

He started studying literature and Islamic sciences from early childhood. He continued his education in Baghdad's Al-Nizamiyya School, the most prestigious institution of education at the time.

The unstable conditions in Persia following the Mongol invasion encouraged him to travel far and wide. He traveled to Ethiopia, Egypt, Maghrib (North Africa), Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Turkey, becoming deeply acquainted with the culture and conventional wisdom of various peoples.

Sa'di's numerous travels and his adventures, which took him almost 30 years (between 1226 and 1256), are very much like Marco Polo who traveled in the region from 1271 to 1294.

The valuable experiences gathered during these extensive journeys are brilliantly reflected in his two famous works, Boustan and Golestan.

Sa'di Shirazi composed Boustan (Orchard), an exquisite piece of didactic poetry, in 1257.

Within a year of the composition of Boustan, Sa'di authored another volume which he entitled Golestan (Rose Garden). The volume consists of a collection of eight rhymed-prose partitions each interspersed with poetry.

One of the famous verses by Sa'di adorns the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York:

”Of one Essence is the human race,
Thus has Creation put the base,
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all others to feel the Mace”.

Experts will review Sadi’s masterpiece Gulistan at a gathering in Shiraz on April 21, which is National Sadi Day.

Each year specific aspects of the poet are covered during the event and this year his masterpiece Gulistan (The Rose Garden) will be at the core of the discussion.

A ceremony will be held at Sadi’s tomb in which flowers will be put on his grave.

An exhibit of paintings and calligraphy works by Alireza Karimpur and cards bearing anecdotes from the Gulistan will be on display at the poet’s tomb. Iranian cultural centers in other countries will also hold commemorative programs on Sadi Day.

Scholars Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq Haeri Shirazi, Gholamhossein Ebrahimi Dinani, Ali Mohammad Haqshenas, Kamyar Abedi, Mohammad Qaragozlu, and Mahmud Ebadian will give lectures during the gathering in Shiraz.

Saeid Hamidian’s “Casting Aspersion on Sadi”, Hassan Mirabedini’s “The Influence of the Gulistan on Iran’s Contemporary Story Writing”, Mohammad Yusef Nayyeri’s “Spiritual Love in the Gulistan”, and Jalaleddin Mirkazazi’s “Jean de La Fontaine and Sadi” are some of the papers that will be presented during the gathering.

The eleventh volume of the book “A Study of Sadi” and “Golestanvareh”, a book featuring analyses of over 70 works influenced by the Gulistan, will be published on Sadi Day.

Although the grand style and magnificent language of the Gulistan is indebted to previous Iranian masterpieces, it is itself a literary renaissance of the Persian language. About 700 books were written in imitation of the Gulistan but not one of them was able to match the original.

The Center for the Study of Sadi has given a special name to each Sadi Day for the years 2006 to 2016.

Sadi Day 2006 was named the day of “Study of the Sadi Era” and was followed by the days of “Sadi Era” (2007), “Gulistan” (The Rose Garden) (2008), “Bustan” (The Orchard) (2009), “Ghazaliyat” (Lyrics) (2010), “Qassayed (Odes) and Assemblies” (2011), “Study of Transcripts and Publication of Complete Works” (2012), “Sadi, Iranian Culture, and Islamic Culture” (2013), “Sadi, Social Issues and Contemporary Literature” (2014), “Sadi’s Art, Aesthetics, and Popular Culture” (2015), “Sadi in Others’ Works and Others in Sadi’s Works” (2016).

A poem by Sadi translated by Andrew Harvey:

How could I ever thank my Friend? No thanks could ever begin to be worthy.
Every hair of my body is a gift from Him; How could I thank Him for each hair?

Praise that lavish Lord forever. Who from nothing conjures all living beings!

Who could ever describe His goodness? His infinite glory lays all praise waste.

Look, He has graced you a robe of splendor. From childhood’s first cries to old age!

He made you pure in His own image; stay pure. It is horrible to die blackened by sin.

Never let dust settle on your mirror’s shining; Let it once grow dull and it will never polish.

When you work in the world to earn your living. Do not, for one moment, rely on your own strength.

Self-worshiper, don’t you understand anything yet? It is God alone that gives your arms their power.

If, by your striving, you achieve something good, Don’t claim the credit all for yourself;

It is fate that decides who wins and who loses. And all success streams only from the grace of God..

In this world you never stand by your own strength; It is the Invisible that sustains you every moment.


طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم