Biography of Ferdowsi
Hakim-Abu-Al Qasim Ferdowsi is a renowned Persian poet and author of historical poetry book “Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi”. He was born probably in 935 C.E (date of birth is not conformed) in village REGBAN nearby area of Tus, Tahiran and died in 1040. Taimuri King Bayansfar Mirza writes that Ferdowsi was born in village Shahdab nearby area of Tus, Tahiran, Iran. However, it is a reality that he was born in Tahiran. His pin-name was Ferdowsi and sur-name Abu Al Qasim. Father of Ferdowsi was a farmer by profession. Wife of Ferdowsi was probably literate and came from the some farmers (DEHQAN) family. He was a son and a daughter. His son died at the age of 37. Ferdowsi mourned his son in a poem, which inserted into Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi. He was the most popular poet of Ghaznavd era, who played a vital in survival of Iranian history and literature.
Motives behind Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi
Some of the verses of Shahnameh reveals that Ferdowsi was a farmer by profession in young age. He was living with his family happily in a garden of Tus (place). Ferdowsi completed the renowned book “Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi” in twenty five years. It was a complete book of Persian history and literature. Ferdowsi’s physical and financial condition become worsen until completion of book. He thought that reward of “Shahnameh” will use in making dowry of his daughter.
Completion of Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi
Persian poet Nizami Orozi says that Ferdowsi wrote Shahnameh himself. Nizami further narrates that Ferdowsi completed the book in twenty five years. Ferdowsi had reached to old age when he completed his book. Some of his friends suggested to present Shahnameh to Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi for reward. Ferdowsi presented his book in court of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi. Sultan appreciated the book and announced sixty thousand golden coins reward for Ferdowsi. The other poets of court (DARBAR) become jealous and started complains against Ferdowsi. Sultan become angry and changed the amount of reward into silver coins.
Re-action of Ferdowsi on Reward
Nizami Orozi writes that men of Sultan Mahmood delivered the amount to Ferdowsi. When Ferdowsi came to know that Sultan Mahmood has changed the amount of reward from sixty thousand golden coins to silver coins. He became angry and refused to accept the amount. At that time, he was in a bathroom of refreshment shop. Ferdowsi became dishearten and give the complete amount of reward to bathe keeper and come out from refreshment shop.
Probable Reasons behind less Reward
The historians narrated following reasons behind less reward of Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi:-
- Ferdowsi criticized jealous colleague poets in court of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi in his poetry. Resultantly, the jealous poets made observations on his poetry and complained against Ferdowsi.
- Some historians writes the sectarian differences between Sultan Mahmood and Ferdowsi because Sultan follows Sunni sect whereas Ferdowsi follows Shia sect. However, it is not a valid reason because Hindu, Christians and Jewish poets were also present in the court.
- Ferdowsi praised royal families and castes in Shahnameh, whereas Sultan belong to a Turk family therefore, he did not take interest in poetry.
- Abul Qasim Ferdowsi narrated classical Persian history and classical Iranian kings in a befitting way in Shahnameh.
- Ferdowsi has no supporter in the court of Sultan Mahmood.
Anyway, all above mentioned reasons are not enough to justify less reward from Sultan Mahmood for Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi. It is a big question mark on the justice of Sultan Mahmood forever.
Compensation of Reward
Once, Sultan Mahmood was returning from an adventure. He saw a big palace of a Hindu Raja on the way. Sultan ordered to call the Raja to court to explain his big palace. Hassan Mohmand, minister of Sultan replied naturally with a stanza from a poem of Ferdowsi. Sultan Mahmood become happy to hear the answer and asked for the author of poem. Hassan Mohmand replied that the author of this poem was luckless Ferdowsi who wrote Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi in twenty-five years. Sultan Mahmood feel guilty and ordered Hassan to remind me on reaching to Ghazni.
Hassan reminded the matter of reward to Sultan Mahmood on reaching to Ghazni. Sultan announced sixty thousand golden coins for Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi and order to give it to Ferdowsi at his home. The representative took sixty thousand golden coins and go to Ferdowsi’s home. Unfortunately, when the representative reached to the home of Ferdowsi, he met with funeral procession of Ferdowsi. At last, the representative decided to give the amount to his daughter but his daughter also refused to get it.
Patriotism of Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was a patriot poet, who loves his country very much. He explained Iran in good words in Shahnameh-e-Ferdowsi. He was willing to sacrifice everything for Iran. Whereas, other colleague poets of Ferdowsi praised Sultan Mahmood in their poetry. Ferdowsi always presented tribute to Iran in his poetry. Ferdowsi was willing to sacrifice even Gaznavi court, Hindustan and his job with Sultan Mahmood on Iran. He explained Iranian’s defeats in his poetry with great grief and sorrow, which shows his utmost love and patriotism with Iran and Iranians.