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  • 10/4/2011

Shiraz, The Land of Love anf Poetry

part 1



The city of Shiraz has been the capital of the province of Fars since the Islamic conquest, succeeding Estakhri (q.v.) of the Sasanian period and Persepolis (q.v.) of the Achaemenid days. Renown for its gardens, wine, and poets, it has also received at times the titles of the Seat of Government (dar-al-molk), the Abode of Knowledge (dar-al-elm), and the Tower of Saints (borj-e awlia). The claim that Shiraz was a Muslim encampment until a cousin or brother of Hajjaj b. Yusof developed it into a town in 693 (Estakhri, pp. 124-25; Ebn Hawqal, p. 279; Hodudal-alam, ed. Sotuda, p. 130, tr. Minorsky, p. 126; Schwartz, Iran II, pp. 43-44; Le Strange, Lands, pp. 249-50) is unsubstantiated. In June 1970 several late second millennium BCE Elamite artifacts (including a bronze tripod) were recovered when digging for a brick-making kiln in southwestern Shiraz (Eslami), and a number of Persepolis Elamite tablets mention major workshops in T/SHi-ra-iz-iz-ish (T/SHirazzish), undoubtedly ”the name of a site of which the modern form is Shiraz”‌ (Cameron, p. 151; see also Hallock, Glossary, p. 762b). Early Sasanian rock-reliefs carved in the vicinity of Shiraz (at Barm-e Delak, q.v., and Guyom), late Sasanian artifacts from Qasr-e Abu Nasr (Whitcomb) and the reports (Hodud al-alam, ed. Sotuda, p. 131, tr. Minorsky, p. 126; Esaل¸µri, p. 119; Ebn Hawqal, p. 274) that Shiraz had two revered fire temples (called Hormozd and Karnian) and a very ancient citadel called SHah Mإچbad (or Pahndar, corrupted to Bandar, which existed till 1620s), all suggest that by the end of the Sasanian period, Shiraz was a town, ”a major population, and presumably administrative, center”‌ (Whitcome, p. 221).

Late in the caliphate of Omar b. Khatab, an Arab army conquered Shiraz and forced its inhabitants to leave or pay tribute (Bala, ori, p. 388). Located at the crossing point of the roads leading to Yazd, Isfahan, ل¸´uzestan, the Persian Gulf, and Kerman, Shiraz became the military depot of the army of Fars, the government offices and the seat of the highest civil and military officials (pp. 124-25; cf. Moqaddasi, pp. 429-30). For two centuries it was the residence of the Arab governors of Fars. A monument of this period is the tomb of the pioneer Arabic grammarian, the Persian Amr b. man Sib (Sibawayhi; d. ca 800) in Baheliya quarter (also known as Sang-e Siah, southwest quarter of Shiraz, Afsar, p. 39). The Saffarid Yaqub b. Lay captured Shiraz in 869, and his brother, Amr, built the congregational Old Mosque (see MASJED-E JAME-E ATIQ; Qa Bayawi, apud Afsar, pp. 41-42) there, which still stands, after many repairs and alterations, in the middle of the old town (just off Loل¹‌f-Ali Khan Zand Street). At the end of the 9th century Ebn Wa¸Yaqubi described Shiraz as ”the main town of Fars, splendid and large, the seat of governors … There is no house unless the owner has an orchard of various fruits, flowers, vegetables, and so on. People get their drinking water from springs that originate from snow-covered mountains and flow as streams”‌ (Boldan, p. 362).

In 933 the Buyid amir Emad-al-Dawla (q.v Ali took Shiraz from the Abbasid governor and made it his capital. His tomb still exists in the Ali b. Hamza shrine, in the northeast section of the city. His brother Rokn-al-Dawla Hasan constructed in the few months that he stayed in Shiraz the Roknabad (or Ab-e Rokni, immortalized in the poems of Hafez, a subterranean canal carrying the spring water of a mountain 10 km northeast of Shiraz to the town (Massé, with literature).

His son F/Panah khosrow od-al-Dawla (q.v.) made Shiraz a cultural and economic center and built there mosques, caravanserais, gardens, palaces (one had 360 rooms and a large library containing ”all books that existed in every branch of learning,”‌ Moqaddasi, p. 449), bazars, and a hospital (dar-al-shefa; Mostawfi, Nozhat al-qolub, p. 115). To house his army Aod-al-Dawla built a small town, called Kard Fanah ل¸´osrow (also Fana-Khosrow-Kard and Suq-al-Amir), to the east of the city and established two festivals called Jashn Kard Fana ل¸´osrow (Biruni, p. 286; Moqaddasi, pp. 430-31; Mostawfi, Nozhat al-qolub, p. 114; Mafarruل¸µi, p. 93). The two towns yielded an annual tribute of 316,000 dinars (Ebn Balل¸µi, p. 172). The king also sponsored religious leaders (e.g., the mystic Shaikh Abu Abd-Allah Mohammad b. Afif, d. 982, see ‌ar, I, pp. 130-31, tr. by Arberry, pp. 76-77], whose hostel (reba‌) and convent (kanaqah) were near the Estakhri Gate, and Abu Abd-Allah Hosayn b. Abu’l-Hasan Alawi). By then the Hanafite branch of the Sunni Islam had become well entrenched in Shiraz (Ebn Balل¸µi, pp. 117-18), but Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrian’s freely practiced their faiths, and the Shirazis still reckoned according to the Zoroastrian calendar, entrusted the running of their affairs to members of the old nobility, and celebrated Iranian festivals with great pomp and circumstance together with Zoroastrians (Estakhri, pp. 118-19: Moqaddasi, pp. 429, 441; Ebn Hawqal, pp. 274-75). According to Moqaddasi (p. 430), the city had eight gates, six of which Karamat-Allah Afsar (pp. 50-51) has identified with later names: Es¸µr (Esfahan), Tostar (Kazerun), Salm (still used as Dar(b)-e Salb/m [named after the Sufi shaikh Salm bn Abd-Allah], also called Darb-e SHah Dai), Kavar (Qassab-لana), Monلar (Dawlat or Kal-e Shay Abu Jara), and Mahandar (P/Fahandar, Sadi), Band-e Astana (perhaps the later Murdestant or Bag-e SHah), and ل¸ assan (perhaps the later Bayإ¼µµa, or the present-day Kal-e Moshir).

During the turbulent years that followed the death of Aإ¼od-al-Dawla, Shiraz suffered heavily, and Kard Fanah ل¸´osrow was ruined. Samsam-al-Dawla Abu Kalijar built the first wall around Shiraz (Ebn Balل¸µi, p. 133), but it was repeatedly attacked and looted by the Saljuqid Turks and the SHabankara of eastern Fars and Kerman. Only a few quarters escaped destruction, together with the Old Mosque and the (Aodi) library (Ebn Balل¸µi, pp. 132-34). Saljuqid atabegs, (Jalal-al-Din CH/Jawli, Qarach/ja, Mengübars, Bozaba and his wife Zaheda ل¸´atun) restored the town and built splendid madrasas, and constituted endowments sufficient for paying the daily allowance of many jurists and convent residents. Qaracha also built the Taل-e Qacha, a terraced palace in his large garden, both of which survived for centuries (Zarkub, pp. 63-67; Afsar, pp. 62-64). Shiraz became home to pious people, notable judges, jurists, and religious notables (Afsar, pp. 3-4, 117-18, 134; Ebn Baa, tr., II, p. 300; Mostawfi, Nozhat al-qolub, p. 115; Jonayd SHirazi). Under the Salghorid dynasty (see ATABAKAN-E FARS), Shiraz once more became a state capital. The pious Mozaffar-al-Din Sonqor b. Mawdud (d. 1163) constructed a saqaya (or ab-anbar, q.v.) and the Madrasa-ye Sonqoriya, and provided them with rich endowments (four bazars and several qanats). His tomb in the Madrasa-ye Sonqoriya became a shrine, and two centuries later the oath sworn on it was accepted by religious jurists (Zarkub, pp. 72-73; Jonayd SHirazi, pp. 256-58). Zangi b. Mawdud rebuilt the shrine of Ebn Kafif, provided it with a rebatá, and endowed a number of flourishing villages for it (Zarkub, pp. 73-74; Tarikh-e gozida, ed. Navai, p. 504). Amin-al-Dawla Kazeruni, the vizier of Tekla b. Zangi built a reba and the Amini Mosque near the Masjed-e Atiq (Zarkub, p. 74). The famous mystic Abu Mohammad Baqli (of Daylamite origin), known as Shaikh Ruzbehan (1128-1209) preached in the Old Mosque and established his own circle of Sufis in a convent he built nearby. His tomb in the Balakaft quarter became a shrine, which Ebn Baل¹‌ل¹‌uل¹‌a visited (Ebn Batutta, tr. Mowaed p. 232; Arberry, pp. 87-111). After a period of ruinous dynastic feuds and famine in the late 12th century, Sa'ad b. Zangi (r. 1195-1226) restored some prosperity with fair rule, low taxes, and patronage of art and agriculture. He fortified Shiraz with a new wall, built a new congregational mosque (Masjed-e Now), a bazar (Bazar-e Atabaki), and the Qanat-e Zangi (W assaf-Ayati, p. 90; Jonayd SHirazi, p. 126; Afsar, p. 21). His patronage led the poet Shaikh Moshref-al-Din Mosleh to adopt the pen name ”Sadi,”‌ thereby bringing the king immortal fame (لafa, Adabiyat III, p. 589; Arberry, pp. 112-38). Again a period of internal discord and outside invasions damaged the city (Wassaf-Ayati, p. 89), but Abu Bakr b. Sa'ad (q.v.) restored it and built a new madrasa, public parks, a hospital well provided with endowments, mosques, and bazars, not only in Shiraz but also in other towns. He saved Shiraz from destruction by offering tribute to the invading Mongols and for a time prevented their representatives to enter the town by transferring his seat of government to a garden (Baqe Firuzi) located outside the wall (Arberry, pp. 46-47; Eqbal, pp. 385-86). His two viziers followed his examples in building and instituting charitable endowments. One of them, Amir Moqarrab-al-Din, discovered the grave of Ahmad b. Emam Musa al-Kazem, and built on it a shrine, which henceforth became the holiest sanctuary of Shiraz (see SHAH-E CHERAل¸ ; Zarkub, p. 197-98).

to be continued...

Source: iranca.com

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