Salman Savaji

Salman Sawaji, Khwaja Jamal al-Din ibn ‘Ala’ al-Din Muhammad (1309-1375/1376), a poet with the nom de plume Salman. Born in Sawa in early 14th century, he was one of the latest of distinguished Persian qasida poets in pre-Safavid era. His father, Khwaja ‘Ala’ al-Din, was a scholar who held an administrative office. Salman Sawaji who eulogied the Prophet’s household. Having studied sciences, administrative rules, and siyaq [accounting], he embarked upon his poetical career and made a name for himself as a poet in the late Ilkhanid era under the vizierate of Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad. He attached himself to the court of the Ilkanid Shaykh Hasan when he acceded to the throne in 1329 and composed eulogies for him. He also eulogized Dilshad Khatun, Shaykh Hasan’s consort. Later, he departed for Baghdad and settled there. He also had mastery in composing lyrical poems and exordia. Most of his qasidas are eulogies to sultans and viziers and few of them treat of moral topics, turning away from mundane life, and praise of the Prophet and Imams. His life was to some extent dependent on sultans’ patronage. Some of his qit’as indicate that he was not always in receipt of timely stipends which at times led to his running into debts. Besides his stipends, he at times received remunerations in kind, like clothing, wheat, barley, horses, and camels. Early in his poetical career, he eulogized Khwaja Ghiyath al-Din Muhbammad, the Ilkanid Sultan Abu Sa’id’s vizier, in his qasidas. then, he composed eulogies for the Jalayirid Shaykh Hasan Buzurg, Sultan Husayn, and Sultan Uways. His qit’as reflect that he had quite intimate ralations with Jalayirid sultans, like Shaykh Hasan Buzurg, his consort, Dilshad Khatun, and his son and successor, Sultan Uways, and he openly mentioned his personal relation with them in his poetry. Salman knew Sultan Uways from the latter’s birth and remained his educator and companion to his last days. Therefore, he composed many of his qasidas and qit’as for him in which he makes mention of his conquests and expansion of his territory. Salman took the opportunity of his intimate relations with the sultans and provided them with wise counsel. He spent years in Baghdad away from his family at the service of the Jalyirid Sultans. His contemporary poets include Kamal Khujandi, Hafiz Shirazi, and Abu Ishaq Shirazi (Bushaq At’ama). His qit’as provide the best material about his family. He had a wife and may children, numbering 20. The most significant events of his times are clearly reflected in his poetry in which he excels his contemporary poets. In his poetry, he alludes to the instabilities of his times and the injustice towards people. Most of his qit’as concern the people and events of that time. In some of his qit’as, he treats of different topics, like. his disapproval of avarice, miserliness, false pride, and urging people to contentment and magnanimity. He fell out of favor with the Jalayirids late in life and led a secluded and destitute life in Sawa where finally died in 1376. He is one of the poets who animatedly depict nature, in that they personify inanimate objects. Thus, many of his depictions are imbued with life and dynamicity. Most of his personifications are detailed and in the form of narrative expressions. The most significant themes of his poetry include philosophical and moral topics, transience of the world and pleasures, treading the path towards perfection and growth from corporeality and concupiscence towards union with the true beloved. His mastery is reflected in different poetical forms, such as qasida, ghazal, qit’a, tarji’band, tarkib-band, quatrain, and mathnawi, though his qasidas are more exquisite such that he may be regarded as the last distinguished qasida poet, particularly those composing eulogies. One of his qasidas which contributed to his recognition is an ornate qasida titled Bada’i’ al-Abhar or Ashar which he composed in his youth in eulogy of Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad, the vizier. Most of his ghazals have been composed on the model on Sa’di’s ghazals, many of which are mystical and at times bohemian in tone. His works include Jamshid u Khurshid; Farqnama; and his Diwan of poetry.

Asar-afarinan (3/ 245); Tarikh-i Adabiyyat dar Iran (3/ 1004-1022); Shi’ir-i Farsi az Aghaz ta Imruz (153-158).