Adib-i Nishapuri

Adib-i Nayshaburi, Shaykh 'Abd al-Jawad (1864-1925), son of Mulla 'Abbas. He was a teacher, belletrist, and poet in the constitutional era who was distinguished as an authority in numerous sciences. His nom de plume was Adib. He was born in the village of Bijan-gird, in the district of Darb-i Qazi, Nayshabur. His birth date is reported as 1867 and 1863, though he mentions that he was born in 1864. His father was a poor farmer. He lost the sight of his right eye and partly his left eye when he contracted small-pox at the age of four; as a consequence, his father did not send him to school. Nonetheless, he was so eager to learn that he became literate in a short while and studied grammar and rhetoric to the age of 16. He departed for Mashhad in 1879 to further his studies at the Khayrat Khan, Fazil Khan, and Nawwab Schools and learned the sciences taught there. Notwithstanding his poor eyesight, he devoted most of his time to studying works of Arabic literature, e.g. the Seven Odes (Mu'allaqat Sab'a) and Maqamat Hariri (Hariri's Seances). He had such strong memory that memorized thousands of Arabic and Persian poems. He was well versed in philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, music theory, jurisprudence, Hadith, and history. At his lectures students were not entitled to raise questions or enter into debates. He maintained he taught the lessons in a manner that even students with the slowest uptake grasp them. He also taught Arabic literature and his students later became scholars and belletrists of renown.

Having gained mastery over Arabic literature and poetry, he taught in Mashhad for 43 years. His distinguished students include Badi' al-Zaman Furuzanfar. Despite living in poverty, he is remembered for his generosity and magnanimity. He was content with living on the annual stipend of the Nawwab School and the meager proceeds from his inheritance, but he never sought favors from officials or composed panegyrics for anyone. His qasida in which he eulogized Muzaffar al-Din Shah was composed on the occasion of the inauguration of the National Consultative Assembly. While studying in Nayshabur, he was acquainted with the Divan of Qa'ani in whose style he followed. After coming to Mashhad and meeting Sayyid 'Ali Dargazi's, he adopted the Khurasani style at the latter's suggestion and took up studying the works of Firdawsi, Farrukhi Sistani, Manuchehri, 'Asjadi, and Mas'ud-i Sa'd-i Salman. His sincere devotion to Sayyid 'Ali Dargazi continued to the latter's execution in 1911. He wrote poetry in Arabic and Persian and was well versed in ancient philosophy and Sufism. He was a sincere devotee of Habib Khurasani, a distinguished mystic, and loved Safa-yi Isfahani's poetry, a distraught and recluse poet, and was profoundly impressed by him. Besides writing in the Khurasani style, he also composed poem in the style of Habib Khurasani and Safa-yi Isfahani's. He never married. Despite his poor eyesight, he never abandoned teaching in daytime and reading at night. One his associates was Iraj Mirza. Despite his differences with Iraj, Adib extolled his poetry. Iraj Mirza was sincerely devoted to Adib and made use of his erudition. In his 'Arif-namih, Iraj praised Adib and regarded him as superior to Adib-i Pishawari. Adib died almost two months after Iraj and was buried in Mashad at the shrine of Imam Riza's. Adib's poetry may fall into three categories: 1. The Poems composed in his youth on the model of Qa'ani, which he laterdisgarded; 2. The poems versified at the suggestion of Sayd 'Ali Dargazi after his acquaintance with the Khurasani style which are quite elegant with a rich vocabulary; 3. The mystical and Sufi poems in the style if Safa-yi Isfahani which he preferred.

In his Sufi poetry he employed the mystical terminology of Ibn 'Arabi and Vadat-i vujud, his verses are rhythmic and graceful, intertwining the mystical and Sufi idioms in the Khurasani style.

Adib lived in constitutional era, though his poetry is less influenced by the poetry of the time. Owing to his acquaintance with poets like Iraj Mirza, he was indubitably familiar with different genres of his milieu, but he was always devoted to the traditions of classical Persian poetry and he may be regarded as one of the supporters Baz Gash (revival classical poetry) movement. He was not innovative in terms of meaning, imagery, and figures of speech and thought. He was fascinated by the poets of the Samanid and Ghaznavid eras that he made alluded to the cities of Transoxiana which he never visited, for which he was criticized by some of his students, like Malik al-Shu'ara' Bahar. Adib's poetry is marked by its musicality, diversity of rhyme and employing fast paced, exhilarating, and at times obsolete, meters, and with measured vocabulary and making use of middle. Few of his works are extant, among which may be mentioned made his commentary on the Seven Odes; his partial abridgement of Khatib Tabrizi's commentary on Abu Tammam's Hamasa; a treatise on a comparative study of Persian and Arabic prosody. His. Tarikhchih-yi Gurgan (History of Gurgan), was first published in the Dabistan periodical, and Nuktih-ha'i dar barih-yi Shi'r va Sha'iri (Some Points on Poetry) appeared in Danishvaran-i Khurasan (Scholars from Khurasan). ‘Abbas Zarrin-qalam Khurasani published in Mashhad in 1954 some of the poems by Adib in a collection entitled La'ali Maknun which includes 1,000 Persian couplets and only two Arabic couplets at the end. In editing the poems contained in La'ali Maknun, Marzabadi has added 61 Persian and 9 Arabic couplets. The latest critical edition of his Divan including his biography is published by Jalali Pandari who, having assiduously searched in numerous sources, has included 1,189 couplets.

Asar-afarinan (1, 222-223); Da'irat al-Ma'arif-i Farsi (1, 78); Sukhanvaran-i Nami-yi Mu'asir-i Iran (1, 218-223); Sad Sal Shi'ir-i Khurasan (60-69).