Baba Taher

Baba Taher Tomb of hamedan- hamedan city tour

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Baba Taher Oryan Hamadani was one of the most well-known poets of Persia who lived in 11th-century as he was born in Kurdish-Lurish family that is called Lak. He produced all his poems in local dialects and this is the reason people are highly engaged with his poems.

According to L.P Sutton he has probably mentioned all his words, including Most traditional sources in Luri dialect, while the name commonly applied from an early date to verses of this kind Fahlaviyat. Unfortunately little is known of his life and all we know is about he was born in a Kurdish-Luri family and lived in Hamedan.

He was known by the name of Baba Taher-e Oryan (The Naked), which suggests that he may have been a wandering dervish. The dates of his birth and death are unknown because it was not quite common in past to provide such a info even on tomb stone and this is transferred by heart to next generations.

Stories about his life may vary from 5th century AD till 11th. People are of the opinion that he used to live in 11th century AD then, it would make Baba Taher a contemporary of Ferdowsi, Avicenna as well as Omar Khayyam. Or the other study says;  he lived between 1000 and 1055, which is unlikely.

It is said that Baba Tahir lived for seventy-five years. Rahat al-sodur of Ravandi, whose work was completed 603/1206, describes a meeting between Baba Tahir and the Seljuk conqueror Tughril (pp. 98–99). At the time when Baba Tahir lived in the 10th century, there were great changes occurring in the development and growth of literature and art. Medieval artists and poets in Persia were greatly respected and valued and had the right to express their thoughts freely.

Baba Tahir’s poems are recited to the present day all over Iran accompanied by the Setar, the three stringed viol or lute. This style of poetry is known as Fahliyat and it is very ancient. The quatrains of Baba Taher have a more amorous and mystical connotation rather than philosophical. Many of Baba Taher’s poems are of the do-Bayti style, a form of Persian quatrains, which some scholars regard as having affinities with Middle Persian verses.

Attributed to him is a work by the name Kalemat-e qesaar, a collection of nearly 400 aphorisms in Arabic, which has been the subject of commentaries, one allegedly by Ayn-al-Qozat Hamadani. An example of such a saying is one where Baba Tahir ties knowledge with gnosis: “Knowledge is the guide to gnosis, and when gnosis has come the vision of knowledge lapses and there remain only the movements of knowledge to gnosis”; “knowledge is the crown of the gnostic, and gnosis is the crown of knowledge”; “whoever witnesses what is decreed by God remains motionless and powerless.”

His current tomb, has been designed by Mohsen Foroughi who was one of the most well-known architect Iran back in 20th century and it is located near the northern entrance of the city in the middle of square, surrounded by flowers and winding paths. The structure consists of twelve external pillars surrounding a central tower. It was constructed in 1970.

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