Fakhr al-Din ‘Iraqi

‘Iraqi Hamadani, Fakhr al-Din Ibrahim ibn Buzurgmihr ibn ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Farahani (1213-1287/1289), a mystic and poet with the nom de plume ‘Iraqi. He is regarded as one of the most prominent of ghazal poets and mystics of Persia. Born in the village of Kumjan or Kumijan, in the district of A’lam or Alamra, in the vicinity of Hamadan, where he studied literature and further disciplines. He was soon appointed a teacher at a school in Hamadan, but following a meeting with a group of Qalandar Sufis, he followed them and traveled to India, where he became a disciple of Baha’ al-Din Zakariyya’ of Multan and received the Sufi robe from him. He served his master for 22 years and married his daughter and fathered a son named Kabir al-Din, who succeeded his father in guiding the disciples. Later, he journeyed to Mecca, Medina, and Asia Minor (Rum), met Sadr al-din Quniyawi in Konia, studied Muhy al-din Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusus al-Hikam, the most well-known work on Sufism, under Sadr al-din, and made a name for himself there such that Mu’in al-Din Parvana, the governor of that region developed a great interest in him and built a Sufi spiritual center for him in Tuqat, where ‘Iraqi provided his disciples with spiritual guidance. ‘Iraqi journed to Egypt after the death of Mu’in al-Din, but after a while returned to Syria and died on 8 Dhu‘l-Qa’da 1287 or 1289/30 January 1871 or 7 January 1873. He was laid to rest in Jabal Salihiyya (Qasiyun), adjacent to Muhy al-Din Ibn ‘Arabi’s tomb. ‘Iraqi is a Persian poet who has composed most elegant and powerful mystical and lyrical ghazals and his poetry is particularly passionate. He also authored works in prose, including a treatise on the terminology used by Sufis in prose and poetry which he divides into three sections: the terms mainly devoted to the beloved, though some refer to the lover; the attributes shared by the lover and the beloved; some words particularly referring to the beloved and his conditions, though some of the words at times make references to the beloved. His Divan, running to about 5,000 couplets, includes qasida, ghazal, tarji’bands, tarkib-bands, qit’as, and lyrics (tarana). He wrote a quite well-known book on Sufism in prose, entitled Lama’at. Having studied under Sadr al-Din Quniyawi, he presented to his master this work, written in utmost passion in a quite delicate and powerful diction, and obtained permission from him. Regarded as the best of Sufi works in Persian, different commentaries have been written on it, including Ashi’’at al-Lama’at, written by ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami, the poet of renown flourishing in the fifteenth century, in 1484; that by Shah Ni’mat Allah Wali; the commentary by Sa’in al-din ‘Ali Turka (d.1432), entitled al-Zu’; one by Shaykh Yar’ali Shirazi, entitled al-Lamahat fi Sharh al-Lama’at; and those by Khawari, Burhan al-Din Khuttalani (d. 1488), and Darwish ‘Ali ibn Yusuf Kukahri (fl. early fifteenth century). The unsurpassed passion in his ghazals, tarkib band, and tarji band reflect his passionate love, at times intertwined with reflection on mystical teachings and truths and sometimes intermingled with novel depictions of the states of the wayfarers and those who obtained mystical union with God. His mathnawi and qasida are mainly scholarly, naturally lacking the delicacy of his ghazals which have always attracted the attention of authorities in the field of poesy and some of his ghazals have been so renowned that they have given birth to legends about him.

Az Sa’di ta Jami (170-181); Tarikh-i Adabiyyat dar Iran (3, 567-584, 1196-1198); Riyaz al-‘Arifin (105-107).