Talk:Nizami Ganjavi/Archive 1

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Following the usual procedure with Arabic names, the "more authentic" spelling Nezami takes precedence over the quite standard spelling Nizami. Wetman 22:47, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The good news is that Wikipedia has the redirect feature, which in this case it is being used; so either spelling works.    --K1 20:06, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

A person who has "contributed" to other articles recently with a clear agenda has added to this article that Nezami also has works in Turkish and he writes that Nezami "also" created works in Persian. Well, I just happen to be a person who has read all works of Nezami in Persian -- several time as a matter of fact. I would like to ask this person to mention the names of the Turkish works of Nezami. Also, if Nezami created works in Turkish, since you bothered to "contribute" to this article, why didn't you just kindly include the names of those Turkish works of Nezami in the article? Could it be that it's because you can't name one? --K1

Listen Anonymous Pan-Turkist, this is the third time that you put in this article that Nizami also had Turkish works. I am asking you again, what are the names of those works and why don't you just include the titles of those "turkish works" of Nizam in the article? By the way, have you read his "turkish works" yourself?! haha  :-) ... also, neither Azerbaijan, an nor the lands to the north of the Aras river, were originally Turkish speaking. Nearly 100% of the names of the towns and villages and mountians and rivers are of Iranian origin. The language of those regions gradually changed to Turkish when Turkic tribes started to move in and occupy those lands. This is why all the great masters of those regions such as Nizami, Khaqani, Beylaghani, Qatran, Shabestari, Homam Tabrizi .... and many many more, do not have even one work in Turkish ... not even one line. Because they were NOT turks, and almost all of them (INCLUDING NIZAMI) have insulted Turks and have referred to them as uncultured boors. Get a clue. We will give you one more chance to include Nizami's "turkish works" into this article !! hehe this is actually getting to be entertaining. --K1 13:14, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hello, the five big poemes of Nizami is written in Azrbaijani using Arab and Farsi alphabets. Just look originals.

All of the poems of Nezami have been written in persian,those who have any doubt go and learn persian alphabets and read them!!!! and don't come here and speak about the things that they don't know anything about them.


Comment: The article mentioned that Nezami also has a diwan, but this is not true. All we have from Nezami are five Persian works:

  • Makhzan al-Asrar (The Storehouse of Mysteries) (1165)
  • Khosrow o Shirin (The story of Khosrow and Shirin) (1175)
  • Leily o Majnoun (The story of Layla and Majnun) (1188)
  • Eskandar-Nameh (The Book of Alexander) (1191)
  • Haft Paykar (The Seven Beauties) (1198)

Three of these works have to do with pre-Islamic Persian: Haft Paykar, Eskandar-Nameh, Khosrow o Shirin. The other one consists of Makhzan al-Asrar which is a sufic work and Leily o Majnoun which is a love story of the Arabian peninsula. Leily o Majnoun was composed for the Shirvanid Shahs who were originally of Arab Descent but became heavily Persianized.

UNESCO

The year 1991 was named the Year of Nezami, Azeri poet, by UNESCO

Ask UNESCO, if you don't believe

That is nonsense since there was no such thing as "azeri" Turkic speaker back then. UNESCO did no such thing, since Nezami Ganjavi ethnically is Kurdish from his mothers side and Persian from his father side.


How can you have something as an absolute fact in 12 century, Sounds strange. The sure thing that he wrote in Persian. Options are several 1) he was of local Albanian stock 2) he was Iranian stock, most likely Kurdish 3) Seljuk Turkish or all above combined. . It is unlikely that he was ethnically Persian as Persians live in SW of Iran. If it is known that his father is from Qom then it is a different matter. abdulnr 18:43, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Persian language has always been used for poetry even today there are Azeris who wrote in Persian because its much more a artistic language. I think we should remove what ethnicy he had and just write he was born in Ganja. Baku87 22:48, 5 May 2006 (UTC)Baku87
Hmmm, ok. I suggest we ask the Persian editors what they think as well, namely Zereshk (who is also half Azeri). —Khoikhoi 23:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


Nizami and his ethnicity

The problem with our friends from the republic of Azerbaijan is that they can not read Nizami or sometimes they mention a verse that does not exist or is pronounced so badly, that one can not judge it. I want to add that any person can find all the original 5 jewels of Nizami in its original language:

1) His Mother

Else his ethnicity is very clear if you read and understand his work. His mother is definitely of Kurdish extraction and that is pretty clear by this verse about his own mother: Gar maadar man Rai'seyeh Kurd - Maadar Sefataaneh Pish Man Mord. (If my mother Ra'iseh the Kurd - Left this world in motherly way). This is clearly makes him Iranian and not Turkic..

گر مادر من رئیسه کرد

مادر صفتانه پیش من مرد

از لابه‌گری کرا کنم یاد

تا پیش من آردش به فریاد

غم بیشتر از قیاس خورداست

گردابه فزون ز قد مرد است

زان بیشتر است کاس این درد

کانرا به هزار دم توان خورد

با این غم و درد بی‌کناره

داروی فرامشیست چاره

ساقی پی بار گیم ریش است

می ده که ره رحیل پیش است


Persian (like Turk/Tukic) is also a fluid term and has been used ethnically for Iranian(Iranian branch of Indo-Iranians) in general sense. Note some Azarbaijan scholars want to change the term Kord to Gord (warrior) here although no edition and manuscript supports this and the verses above would be meaningless. Because Nizami is talking about the suffering of his mother and how motherly she was. Nothing about being a warrior and in fact for strict Muslims like Nizami, Women had their traditional role, specially his mother.


2) His Father

As per his father, the following verses are in some of the manuscripts:

cho dorr gar cheh dar bahr-e ganjeh gomam valee az ghohestan-e shahr-e ghomam beh tafresh dehee hast "taa" naam-e oo Nezamee az aanjaa shodeh naamjoo

It is from introduction section of "Divan-e khamseh, nezamee ganjavi" by Moinfar, corrected by Vahid Dastgerdi, Zareen Publishing, second edition, Tehran 1362 (1983). It describes his father as being from Qom (Central Iran).


These are all the verses available about his parents. None of them mention Turkish. Dr. Julia Meysami, as well as Vahid Dastgerdi and Dekhoda have all mentioned his Kurdish mother and Persian father.

3) Now as per Albanian, Albanian (Arrani) did not exist anymore during Nizami's time and the Albanian church was already incorporated into Armenian Church and became part of the Armenians. Note I am not denying that ethnically Azarbaijanis are not related to Albanians either. In fact genetic testing shows that both Armenians and Azarbaijans of the Caucus are the closest people to Albanians. But here I am mainly concerned about culture and language of Nizami and so Albanians (which did not exist at that time anymore) would be invalid. Nizami contributed solely to Persian culture and language.

4) As per Seljuq Turks, Nizami was not a Seljuq or from their family. Else he would not be a court poet of theirs! Also the Seljuqs intermarried all over with local dynasties and they were Persianized to a large extent. They supported Persian culture and eventually some of them took Persian names like Keykhosrow, KeyKavus and etc. The term Turk even was derogatory in Anatolia prior to Ataturk. But Nizami was definitely not a Seljuq or else it would have been mentioned in different biographies as well as his five jewels. Nizami has some very harsh words about Turks. For example, he describes from eskandar: "Beh nefrin torkaan zabaan bar goshaad - keh bi fitna torki ze maadar nazaad" or "Torki sefat-i vafaayeh maa nist - Torkaaneh Sokhon sezaayeh maa nist - An koo ze nasab boland Ayad - oo raa sokhan boland baayad". Three of his works are also about Ancient Persian and two about the Sassanid dynasty. Had he contributed anything to Turkish folklore or culture, there could have been a debate on his ethnicity and him being partially Turkish. The fact is, the Sassanids and the Alexandar/Dara stories does not have anything to do with Turkish folklore and heritage like Dede-Qorqod or KurOglu. They are part of Persian/Iranian folklores (see Shahnameh).

5) Persians/Iranians today live from the North and South of Baku (Tats in Baku and Talysh in Lankoran/Astara and Tati in in Iranian Azarbaijan) all the way down to the Persian Gulf. And from the west all the way to Bukhara/Samarqand and Tajikistan. So I am not sure where one person gets the SW Iranian theory. Yes the ancient Persian empire rose out of the SW Iran, but their language was ancient Persian which was mutually intelligible with Median, Soghidan, Avesta and etc. of that time. This is 2500 years ago and by that time various Iranians had intermingled and the term Persian came to refer to any Iranian –speaking group.

You might want to read the following about the turkification of the area: http://www.kiffer.us/azeri_info/history_of_azerbaijan-emb.htm

6)

Nizami has some harsh words for Turks when he describes them in a non-figurative way. First we should not be confured and to Nizami the term Turk meant the Mongloids of Central Asia, as Anatolian and Azarbaijani Turkic speakers did not exist back then. Nizami describes the ethnicity of Turks clearly: Cheshm Tang (narrow eyed) like that of the Mongoloid race. See the Persian verses below which he belittles Turks and leaves us no doubt that he was not related in any way to Turks:

به نِفرين تُرکان زَبان بَرگُشاد

که بي فِتنِه تُرکي زِ مادَر نَزاد

زِ چيني بِجُز چينِ اَبروُ مَخواه

ندارند پِيمان مردم نِگاه

سُخن راست گُفتند پيشينيان

که عَهد و وَفا نيست در چينيان

همه تَنگ چِشمي پَسنديده اند

فَراخي به چَشمِ کَسان ديده اند

خبر ني که مهر شما کين بُوَد

دل تُرکِ چين پُر خَمُ و چين بُوَد

اگر تُرکِ چيني وَفا داشتي

جهان زيرِ چين قَبا داشتي


I do not want to translate the above verses because it is absolutely rude to a great degree. He also says in another poem:


تُرکی صِفَت وَفای ما نيست

تُرکانِه سُخن سِزای ما نيست

آن کز نَسَبِ بُلَند زايد

او را سُخن بُلند بايد

And again he describes Turks as narrow-eyed and Mongoloid as well:

ز بس که آورده ام در چشمها نور

ز ترکان تنگ چشمي کرده ام دور


7)

There is also a theory put forth by the Azarbaijan republic scholars that Nizami's third wife could have been Turkish of Qipchaq. But this is not supported clearly. Because a ‘’Turk-e-Qipchaq’’ is used in Persian poetry as a beautiful lover (since Iranians at that time found the Mongoloid race beautiful) and does not have an ethnic connotation. For example Hafez used Tork-e- Yaghma, Tork-a-Khajal, Tork-e-Khataai....etc. The term Turk and Hindu and Roman and Ethiopian are used as Sun and Darkness in Persian poetic imagery. Because Turks were yellow and Romans are white, while Hindus and Ethiopians are Dark, the contrast provided a reasonable poetic symbolism for the poets. So there is a lot of imagery here and nothing of it has to do with ethnicity. For example Nizami in one verse described a beauty of Kurdish extraction of having a Turkish face with a Hindu mole. Khaghani in one verse claims to be a hindu (here meaning slave or servant) of

Turks(the mongloid types) while being considered beautiful by Persians poets, were also deemed as cruel and unfaithful.

Also the term Tork-Zaad (born of a Turkish mother) rather than Tork means someone born of a Turkish slave. And it is actually derogatory: "Sokhan bas kon az Hormozd-e-Tork-zaad - Keh andar zamaaneh mabaad aan Nejaad". (Ferdowsi) The Sassanid half Turkish king Hormozd whose mother was a Turkish princess of the Gok-Turks, was referred to as Tork-Zaad in Shahnameh,. Zaadan means to give birth and Tork-Zaad rather than the term Turk, refers to a son of Turkish slave (Dekhodas dictionary). So if Nizami used such a term about the son from the Turkish slave (assuming the term Turk here is literal and not metaphorical like most of Persian poetry) given to him by the Seljuqs, then he would definitely not be a Turk.

Also Afaagh is not the name of this wife. Afaagh means horizon and Nizami is saying that his beuty is like the Horizon. I am not sure how even some go from Afagh to Apaq, when there is no mention of such word and all the copies have put Afagh.


8) Nizami heavily praises Ferdowsi:

سخن گوی پیشینه دانای طوس

که آراست روی سخن چون عروس


The wise speaker of Tus who wrote verses as beautiful as new brides. Ferdowsi was not much liked by Turks either and has harsh words in reference to Turks. In fact Nizami mentions that he took a flower from Shahnameh and expanded it.

9) Nizamis description of Azarbaijan in Eskandar nameh is purely Zoroastrian and Persian.


So this makes it clear Turks were not natives of Azarbaijan at ancient times. Furthermore Nizami has very harsh words for Turks that I will just write in Persian:

http://rira.ir/rira/php/?page=view&mod=classicpoems&obj=poem&id=10905&lim=20&pageno=3


وز آنجا به تدبیر آزادگان

درآمد سوی آذر آبادگان

بهر جا که او آتشی دید چست

هم آتش فرو کشت و هم زند شست

در آن خطه بود آتشی سنگ بست

که خواندی خودی سوزش آتش پرست

صدش هیربد بود با طوق زر

به آتش پرستی گره بر کمر

بفرمود کان آتش دیر سال

بکشتند و کردند یکسر زکال

چو آتش فرو کشت از آن جایگاه

روان کرد سوی سپاهان سپاه

بدان نازنین شهر آراسته

که با خوش‌دلی بود و با خواسته

دل تاجور شادمانی گرفت

به شادی پی کامرانی گرفت


بسی آتش هیربد را بکشت

بسی هیربد را دوتا کرد پشت

بهاری کهن بود چینی نگار

بسی خوشتر از باغ در نوبهار

به آیین زردشت و رسم مجوس

به خدمت در آن خانه چندین عروس

همه آفت دیده و آشوب دل ز گل

شان فرو رفته در پا به گل

در او دختری جادو از نسل سام

پدر کرده آذر همایونش نام

چو برخواندی افسونی آن دل‌فریب

ز دل هوش بردی ز دانا شکیب

به هاروتی از زهره دل برده بود

چو هاروت صد پیش او مرده بود

The above verses clearly mention Azarbaijan as Iranian and Zoroastrian (Magian) stronghold. The Turks were a shamanistic people living far away from Azarbaijan . At the time of Nizami Ganjavi, the main language of Azarbaijan was not yet Turkish. For example the city Ganjeh is clearly a Persian word, as are cities like Shirvan, Baku, Nackjivan,Darband,.. as well as the name Azarbaijan itself. The Turkification of this area occurred later.


10) Nizami understood Arabic, Persian, Bukhari(Soghdian Persian/Iranian dialect) and Tabari (Mazandarani Persian/Iranian dialect).

باز چستم ز نامه‌هاي نهان

كه پراكنده بود گرد جهان

زان سخن‌ها كه تازي است و دري

در سواد بخاري و طبري

وز دگر نسخه‌ها پراكنده

هر دري در دفيني آكنده

But no where has he mentioned using Turkish sources for any of his stories.

11)

Note I am not trying to put the people of republic of Azerbaijan down, but the simple fact is that at that time, Turkic was not predominant neither in the caucus nor Azarbaijan. Neither did the formation of an Azarbaijani ethnic group exist. There is simply not one poetic manuscript of this language from the caucus prior to the Ilkhanid mongol invasion, long after Nizami. And even after that, it was just from couple of court poets of the Ilkhanids. Azarbaijani Turkish started developing during the Black Sheep Turkomans and then Safavids. Indeed if there was a formation of Azarbaijani ethnic group at the time of Nizami, then they would have had poetry in that language as well. Also expert Oxford Professor like Julia Meysami has already given a very clear verdict and I support her decision. So Nizami would be ethnically Iranian.

Another Russian Iranian scholar, by the name of Mikhail Kapustin in 1988 (during the time when the soviet union was opening up to the world and there was no pressure on scholars to manipulate fact) wrote in the cultural magazine of Soviets: Nizami Ganjavi is one of the greatest thinkers and poets of the middle ages and belongs to the exceptional heritage of Persian literature. He had no connection with the current culture of Azarbaijan. And Azerbaijanis (he means the caucus ones that consider themselves Turks) are making a useless effort to claim and make him of their own. At the time of Nizami, Azeri-Turks did not exist in Azarbaijan. (sovietkaya kultura (soviet culture) magazine, 27 of December, 1988).

Here I will mention another historic figure which is claimed by some Turkic groups, Babak Khorramdin. The reason is that it sheds more information on the ethnicity of the region during the time of Nizami.

Azerbaijan was the scene of frequent anti-caliphal and anti-Arab revolts during the eighth and ninth centuries, and Byzantine sources talk of Persian warriors seeking refuge in the 830s from the caliph’s armies by taking service under the Byzantine emperor Theophilos (p.195)…Azerbaijan had a Persian population and was a traditional centre of the Zoroastrian religion…(p.203)…The Khurramites were a…Persian sect, influenced by Shiite doctrines, but with their roots in a pre-Islamic Persian religious movement (p.215) From: Whittow, Mark, The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025, Berkley: University of California Press, p.195, 203, 215.


12) Culturally Nizami is a Persian. (There is no debate on this as he is a Persian poet and his five jewels have nothing to do with Turkic culture). Ethnically he is with 100% certainty half Kurdish and with reasonable certainty half Persian. So he is a product of the Perso-Islamic culture that produced other poets like Khaghani, Mahasti Ganjavi, Qatran, Homam and over 1200 Persian poets that we know from the area before Turkification. His works also reflects it as the Sassanids were true glorious Iranian dynasty and his most well known work is the Haft-Paykar and Khusraw o Shirin. If he was Turkish, he would write something about Turkic epics which he did not. The Sassanids were major enemies of Turkic dynasties like Go-Turks and Khazars. Note Nizamis praise of Alexander is due to the fact that Alexander was considered a religious Islamic figure named Dhul-Qarnain. So even Ferdowsi has put some good words for Alexander in some verses.

So even if some users suggest we do not mention his ethnicity, the term Persian poet is very clear. The fact is his contribution is all for the Persian culture and he lives through this culture. And Iranians, Afghans and Tajiks today understand him while Turks do not. Also it is 100% that he was half Kurdish and this is well known fact mentioned by Dr. Meysami amongst many other scholars. His cultural contribution are all left for the Iranian world and even if he hypothetically speaking was a black African, the poetry today is known by the culture and language and masterpieces that he created. Poetry can not be translated and lives through the language that is spoken by the people. So culturally Nizami did not have anything to do with Turkic groups.

--Ali doostzadeh 08:44, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


Hi. I’m not participating in this discussion, but with regard to Nizami’s Turkic wife Afaq you may wish to have a look at this article by Iranian scholar Iraj Bashiri:
Nizami married three times. His first wife, Afaq, a Kipchak slave girl, was sent to him by Fakhr al-Din Bahramshah, the ruler of Darband, as a part of a larger gift. She became Nizami's first and most beloved wife. The wife who gave Nizami his only son, Muhammad, could well also be the inspiration for Shirin in "Shirin and Farhad." Afaq died after "Khusrau and Shirin" was completed. Muhammad was seven at the time. Strangely enough, Nizami's other wives, too, died prematurely--the death of each coinciding with the completion of an epic, prompting the poet to say, "God, why is it that for every mathnavi I must sacrifice a wife!" [1]
I don’t know why this fact is not mentioned in the article. And the claims that he was anti-Turkish sound strange, considering that his beloved wife was Turkic, and he’s patrons were Turkic rulers. Regards, Grandmaster 06:50, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


I did not claim he was anti-Turkish, but he has some very harsh words about Turks in two instances, which makes it improbable that he was a Turk. Because a person that has pride in any Turkishness, would not write such verses. One is when Alexander confronts the Khaghan of Turks and I did not want to even translate this section. Note Nizami wrote the poems. The other is in the introduction of Lili o Majnoon which was written for the Persianized Shirvan-Shah (originally of Arab descendant). I brought the example of Ottoman empire where the term "Turk" was an insult. Khaghani Shirvani has similar sentences. As does Qatran Tabrizi. But Nizami was also a mystic poet. The term Turk has a variety of meanings in Persian poetry which is beyond this discussion.

As per Afaq, the fact is that the word Afaq means horizon. So scholars (like Said Nafisi and Vahid Dastgerdi) who have written many books on Nizami and are more of an expert than Dr. Iraj Bashiri on Nizami, have concluded the verse to mean that Nizami's wife was like the horizon for her, and not that her name was "Afagh", which is an Arabic name. All manuscripts have also written "Afagh" and this is an Arabic name and not Turkish. Either way, Nizami by ethnicity is a Kurd and his father is probably Persian. (Which Dr. Iraj Bashiri, Julia Meysami, Dehkhoda, Said Nafisi, Vahid Dastgerdi amongst many scholars have agreed upon). Specially the Kurdish part is 100% certain. But as per one of his wife (his third or first), which is alleged to be a Qipchaq slave given to him by one of his patrons, there is only few lines and the key word is Bot-e-Qapchaq (the idol of Qifchaq). The problem is that in Persian poetry bot-e-Khotan,Bot-e-Khalkh,Bot-e-Tork.. means a beutifull person. At that time Turks (and I emphasize mongloid Turks as Nizami has called them chesm-tang) were also an object of beauty in Persian poetry and so anyone that was beautifull would be called Tork-Vash, Tork-Roo, Tork.. The same can be said with the word Hindu which came to mean servant and also darkness. For example Khaghani and Attar both call themselves Hindu in different verses, but these do not have ethnic connotations. Considering the fact that Nizami uses a lot of symbology, for example in this verse he callsed a daughter of a Kurdish person, Hindu and Turk:

کرد را بود دختری به جمال

لعبتی ترک چشم و هندو خال

مهی ترک رخساره هندو سرشت

ز هندوستان داده شه را بهشت

Or take this verse by Rumi:

گه تركم و گه هندو گه رومي گه زنگي

از نقش تو است اي جان اقرارم و آنكارم

Sometimes I feel like a Turk, sometimes a Hindu, sometimes a Roman, Sometimes an African.. It is from your design that I exist and do not exist.

Or Attar:

کي توانم گفت هندو توام

هندوي خاک سگ کوي تو


When Can I say that I am your Hindu I am hindu of the place of your dog.

Or Khaghani describing himself in one verse:

کمترين هندوي او خاقاني است

I am the lowest amongst his Hindus..

So the words Hindu/Turk/Roman/African(Zang) have taken much symbolic meaning in Persian poetry and that part that he calls his wife Bot-e-Qapchaq (the idol of Qifchaq) does not necessarily have ethnic meaning. As already pointed out. Virtually any time you see the word Turk comeup with Hindu/Zang(Black)/Habash(Ethipion), there is symbolism. Also Nizami was definitely a Muslim first (and it should be mentioned).

So Nizami is a Kurdish Muslim by ethnicity (confirmed by all sources that his mother and mothertongue was Kurdish), Persian/Kurd (Iranian) culturally (all of his writing is in Persian, three of his five jewels (Persian: Ganjhaa) are about ancient Iran..) and a Ganjavi (A city of modern republic of Azarbaijan) by birth. Also I will emphasize that the Seljuqs who were one of his patrons and new arrivals to the region, might have been originally Turkic in culture, but they became Persianized, married with local dynasties and their court language was Persian and they did not develop or support Turkic culture. One can not find the geneology and the ethnicity of the parent (luckily we know Nizami was Kurdish) or grandparent or all the grand-grand parent of each historical figure. So culture takes primacy and culturally Nizami is a Muslim and an Iranian having written all his work in Persian and also creating masterpieces from the folklore of ancient Persia as well Islamic folklore. A poet is tied with the culture and language he lives by.

--Ali doostzadeh 10:28, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Please have a look at this as well. This is also an Iranian source, and it also says that Afag was his wife and not horizon.
Nezami was married three times. His first wife was Afagh who he deeply loved. His only son Mohammad was from Afagh. When Nezami was writing "Khosrow and Shirin", Afagh died. After the death of Afagh, he married again. His second wife died when he was writing "Leyla and Majnoun". He got married for the third time. His third wife died when he was writing the book of "Eghbalnameh." Nezami surprisingly said, "It seems that with every book I write, I give a sacrifice."
His son Mohammad was seven years old when Nezami wrote "Khosrow and Shirin", fourteen years old when he wrote "Leyla and Majnoun", and eighteen or nineteen when he wrote "Haft Peykar" (Seven Beauties). Nezami said that his son encouraged him to write "Leyla and Majnoun". It is said that his son was very intelligent and familiar with poetry. Nezami sent his son to give his messages to King Malek Ezeddin as well as to deliver a copy of "Eghbalnameh" which Nezami wrote in the name of the king. [2]
As for Nizami’s ethnicity, it is not known, and academic sources agree only that his mother was of Kurdish origin and his beloved wife Afagh was Turkic. You can’t say Nizami was Kurdish because his mother was Kurdish. See the way Britannica handles this issue:
Nezami
Encyclopædia Britannica Article
born c. 1141, Ganja, Seljuq empire [now Gyandzha, Azerbaijan] died 1209, Ganja, in full Elyas Yusof Nezami Ganjavi, Nezami also spelled Nizami greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic. [3]
It does not say anything about his ethnicity, which is a very obscure issue, but states that he was one of the greatest poets in Persian literature, which everybody agrees with, since he wrote in Persian. As for his supposed anti-Turkish statements, it’s looks like they belong to the characters of his poems and cannot be attributed to the poet. Grandmaster 11:02, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Note the same link that you brought does not say anything about Turkic wife. It just calls Nizami's wife by the name Afagh. At the same time I brought the interpretation of Vahid Dastgerdi about Afagh, who is the foremost amongst Nizami scholar. The main thing is that the poetry does not use the word Apaq at all and this part is definitely an extrapolation not supported by the poetry. Nizami had three wifes and one of them could have been the slave by the name Afagh. At the same time, one can just consider the word Afagh to mean horizon as Vahid Dastgerdi (who has published the most complete Panj Ganj) has stated and not necessarily be his wifes name.
The anti-Turkish statements are written and versified by Nizami. One is in the introduction of Lili o Majnoon. The other is from Alexandar who is regarded highly by Muslims because he assumes the Quranic character Dhul-Qarnain. For example: "Torki Sefat-e- Vafaayeh maa nist - Torkaaneh Sokhon, sezaayeh maa nist- An koo ze nasab boland zayad - oo raa sokhan boland ayad" (Our faithfullness is not like that of Turk, Speaking like a Turk is not befitting for us, the person who is born of a high race/birth, his language should be of high place). They are relatively harsh that it rules out any possibility of him being partly Turkic in anyway. The part where Alexander addresses the Khaghan is also extremly harsher. Also when he states his sources about Sassanids, he mentions Persian, Arabic, Tabari (Iranian dialect), and Bukharic (Soghdian)). Either way I agree that Academic sources agree that he had a Kurdish mother and his father could have been from Qom. Besides both of these are supported by his actual poetry. The part about Kurdish mother is in all manuscripts and the part about Qom is in some manuscripts. So he either was of mixed ancestory (half Kurdish) or was full Kurdish. The Kurdish part is not at all obscure and is agreed upon by all Nizami Scholars with some repute. It is supported by the verses: Gar maadar man Raiseyeh KORD - Maadar sefataaneh Pish man mord. So the Kurdish part should definitely remain while his other half, one can say "may" have been from Qom, like Prof. Julia Meysami stated. Other than that, we have nothing else to indicate he was Turkish, (even if he knew Turkish which again is not supported by any hard evidence). Since his contribution is to Iranian/Persian culture and he was a Persian poet (has all his work in Persian), and his works about ancient Iran, we should mention his Iranian character. Which is stated in the article already. --Ali doostzadeh 17:57, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
The majority of sources agree that his wife was Afag and she was Turkic. This has not been seriously disputed so far. And second source does not contradict Bashiri, it does not say she was not Turkic, it just does not mention specifically her ethnicity. Also sources that I read agree that his mother was Kurdish, but that does not make him Kurdish, in Muslim world ethnicity is traced by father’s line. As for his father, the verse about Qom was a later addition, Russian academician Barthold, who’s considered one of the best specialists on Iran, said that he checked the oldest manuscript of the poem, which is held in Paris library, and that verse was not there, so it’s a later addition. Now as for his supposed anti-Turkic statements, they both come from the characters in his poems, Shirvanshash Ahsitan and Alexander the Great (Iskanadar), and cannot be attributed to the poet. I know the verse about Shirvanshah you are referring to, in fact it is used by some as a proof of Nizami’s supposed Turkic origin. Some interpret it as Shirvanshah’s opposing to Nizami’s idea of writing the poem in Turkic language, and Nizami was indignant with the words of Shirvanshah “Speaking like a Turk is not befitting for us, the person who is born of a high race/birth, his language should be of high place”, which is interpreted as Shirvanshah’s dislike of Turkic language usage. Nizami did not like these words of Shirvanshah. At any rate, there are many versions of this, I think we should include the line about his wife with reference to Bashiri, and nobody disputes the fact that Nizami wrote in Persian and contributed to Persian literature, so I think we should chose wording similar to Britannica, something like Nizami was one of the greatest poets in Persian literature, etc. That may help to prevent future edit wars. Grandmaster 18:59, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


Actually the majority of sources on Nizami are written in Persian. So lets not throw statements like "majority of sources", when we are not sure. Just a statement from Vahid Dastgerdi is very significant since he is recognized as amongst the foremost Nizami scholars and he is heavily quoted by Western Scholars. Ethnicity did not exist that much in the Muslim World and I totally agree. It is an unfortunate that it does today. But we are talking about ethnicity today and Kurdish mother, and more importantly Kurdish Mother tongue is very important and would be sufficient to define at least half the ethnicity. Also the role of mother was very important for Nizami as he has written so. As per the verses about Qom, it is in some manuscripts. That is why we can say His Father may have been, and we can not be 100% sure. We have over 400 manuscripts from Nizamis work and some of the ones that have Qom are more than 400 years old. As per the verse from ShirvanShah, you might want to know that the introduction of that poem was completed after the whole masterpiece was written. Furthermore the ShirvanShah Akhistan (I thought you guys have kh in the Turkish of Azarbaijan republic?) were of Persianized Arab descent, and the story of Lili o Majnoon is a pre-Islamic Arabian story which became part of the Islamic folklore and indeed the best work on it is in Persian. Either way, Nizami was the one that rendered those verses and he indeed has heavily praised the ShirvanShah and Akhistan. http://rira.ir/rira/php/?page=view&mod=classicpoems&obj=poem&id=10798 سر خیل سپاه تاجداران سر جمله جمله شهریاران خاقان جهان ملک معظم مطلق ملک الملوک عالم دارنده تخت پادشاهی دارای سپیدی و سیاهی

So your statement that he did not like those words, is actually wrong. Read the whole introduction and is full of praise for Shirvan-Shah and there is no way someone that is half Turkic would render in verse such a ridicule about Turkish language without a protest or at least ridicule of the Akhistan. While Nezami not only rendered those verses, but fully praises the Akhistan. He also praises Ferdowsi who is also by all definition nationalistic. Furthermore the Akhistan were under Seljuqs. If Nizami wanted to write Turkish, he would write it for Seljuqs (who were also heavily Persianized and did not develop Turkic language or culture) and not Persianized Arab dynasty of Shirvanshah who did not understand it. But he wrote the works patronized by the Seljuqs in Persian also. I agree with the Britannica wording..but I think his Kurdish mother and "may have been" from Qom Father should be mentioned as Dr. Meysami said. His wife (whose name may have or may not have been Afagh) is also a "may" just like the Qom part. Since it is not unanimous like the Kurdish mother. Personally I do not think we should concentrate too much on Nizamis ethnic background, but Kurdish mother is definite. The Britannica part is also well written. -- --Ali doostzadeh 21:52, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

When I said majority of sources, I meant Western and Russian ones, that are available to me. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Persian language to be able to read Iranian sources. As for Nizami’s mother, it should be mentioned that she was of Kurdish extraction. As for his father, we may also mention that according to some sources he originated from Qom, but this is disputed by many scholars, because the verse on basis of which this statement is made is not found in older manuscripts of the poem. We can think of better phrasing for this part. As for his wife, to tell you the truth I’m hearing first time from you that somebody doubts that her name was Afag and that she was a Kipchak slave girl. Nizami mentions her in his verses a number of times, and it’s not likely that he always referred to horizon. This is a view of minority of scholars and should be attributed as such. As for Ahsitan, it’s not surprising that Nizami was praising him, after all, Shirvanshah was the one who ordered the poem and paid for it. As for Ferdowsi, praising him is just appreciation of his poetry, but not necessarily endorsement of all of his views. So I think we should agree on the following. We need to mention that his mother was of Kurdish origin, we need to quote Bashiri with regard to Nizami’s wife and son, most of scholars, including Iranian ones, agree on that, and we should mention the existence of the view that his father may have originated from Qom, but that that is just one of the versions and not an established fact. And we can stile the beginning of the article according to Britannica. What do you think? Grandmaster 11:52, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually his praise of Ferdowsi is not about poetry only. He calls him wise and one whose words are like new bride. Either way such a strong statement of a nationalistic poet does prove a point. Yes Shirvanshah ordered the poem, but Nizami wrote the introduction (moqadameh) after the whole story was done.
Anyhow, the information of Dr. Bashiri is good. (Kurdish mother, could have been Qom father and slave girl sent by the ruler of Darband, perhaps from Qipchaq). According to one source Kamran Talatoff, Nizami's Unlikely Heroines, pg 63): According to his chronology, he lost his wife Afaq as he wrote the story of Shirin, his second wife when he completed Layli's story, and then he lost his last wife.. This part should be mentioned as well. --Ali doostzadeh 21:39, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
By the way, I suggest we merge information from Nizami mausoleum into this article, that article is about the building, not the poet. So the article about the mausoleum should provide only brief info about the poet and deal with the structure, while the detailed information about the poet should be here. What do you think? Grandmaster 14:26, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. --Ali doostzadeh 21:39, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Still the introduction was dedicated to Shirvanshah and it’s hard to expect harsh criticism of the man who ordered the poem. Normally that part was the last to be written, because you never knew with politicians, if they still would still be ruling the country by the time you finish the poem. All Nizami’s harsh words about Turks are the words of the poem characters, and not his own. As for the part you suggest to include, I agree that it should be included. Also, Khoikhoi suggested that we ask help of Saposcat, who created many beautiful articles about Turkic poetry, to improve this article. See Fuzuli, for example. I don’t know if he would agree to work on Persian poetry article, but if you don’t mind I can ask him to have a look at this article, because the article about great Nizami should be up to the highest standards. Grandmaster 05:47, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
You said that Nizami criticized the ShirvanShah and now you change your opinion and say he praised him. Either way Nizami was not a coward and he wrote his opinions in the verses. Sometimes It seems that you know Nizami better than Nizami knows himself. I would probably read the whole introduction first before giving various contradicting opinions. Anyways as per Nizami article, anyone informed has the right to get involved. The article on Fizuli has some strong and some weak points. I like how the user incorporated some of Fizuli's poems with English translation. But that article has mistakes and is not complete in anyway. In fact we have given a more better introduction to each of Nizamis work whereas the author of that page just lists his works. Fizuli was born in Baghdad I believe under Ottoman administration (and not Persian) and when Ismail conquered Iraq for a while, Fizuli was not that much fond of the Safavids. Anyways back to Nizami, I have read a good portion of Nizami in its original language and have some various translations. I will include it pretty soon in the article although we do not want to over-burden the article. But I will include some lines from each of his work (don't worry nothing that talks about this or that ethnic group). If you or anyone else likes to help, sure come alone. Best Regards --Ali doostzadeh 07:49, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I don’t change my opinion. I read in some sources (Russian) that Nizami was not happy with the words of Shirvanshah and mentioned it in the verse. At the same time, the introductory part traditionally contains a praise of the patron to whom the poem is dedicated. Also, I don’t think we should take a confrontational approach when discussing the changes to the article. And no one says that article about Fuzuli is perfect, I pointed it out just to hint to how we could structure this one. Of course we should give a description of each of Nizami’s work, and that’s what will be done in that article as well. Overall, I think we agreed on most of the facts that should be mentioned in the article. Take care. Grandmaster 08:05, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

repeated links

I removed two borkens links from the Notes. --Ali doostzadeh 06:19, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

The first three refs were the same website, so I think I got it right. BTW, the Notes section is only supposed to have the <references/> thing, nothing more. That's how the software works. —Khoikhoi 18:23, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I tried to give description on one of the Persian links as well fix the information on one of the links (Oxford Scholar). I think the broken link is removed. Have a look. --Ali doostzadeh 22:24, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok, nice job. But as I said, the Notes section is only supposed to have the <references/>, not the 3 links you added. —Khoikhoi 21:23, 21 May 2006 (UTC)