Naser Khosrow

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Naser ibn Khosrow Qubadiani (1004 - 1088 AD) was a Persian poet, philosopher, Isma'ili scholar and a traveler. He was born in Qubadyan, in Afghanistan, and died in Yamagan, in Afghanistan. He is considered as one of the great poets and writers in Persian literature, the Safarnama (The Book of Travels), an account of his travels, being his most famous work. He was well versed in all the branches of natural science, in medicine, mathematics, astronomy and astrology, in Greek philosophy and the interpretation of the Qur'an. He had ####studied Arabic, Turkish and Greek. The graphic description of his journey to Mecca, is contained in the Safarnama (The Book of Travels), which possesses a special value among books of travel, since it contains the most authentic account of the state of the Muslim world in the middle of the 11th century. The minute sketches of Jerusalem and its environs are even today of practical value. During the seven years of his 19,000-kilometre journey (1046-1052), Naser visited Mecca four times, and performed all the rites and observances of a zealous pilgrim; but he was far more attracted by Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and the residence of the Fatimid caliph-imam Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah, the Imam of the Ismaili Shi'a Muslims, which was just then waging a deadly war against the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, and Toghrul Beg the Seljuk, the great defender of the Sunni creed. At the very time of Nasir's visit to Cairo, the power of the Egyptian Fatimids was in its zenith; Syria, the Hejaz, Africa, and Sicily obeyed al-Mustanir's sway, and the utmost order, security and prosperity reigned in Egypt.

1- Safarnameh (The Book of Travels)
This book is his most famous work. He visited tens of cities in about seven years (1046, March 6 – 1052, October 23) and wrote comprehensively about them: colleges, caravanserais, mosques, area, population, scientists, kings, usual people and his interesting memories. After 1000 years, his Safarnama is still readable for Persian-speaking people.
2- Diwan (Poetical work)
Among his other works, most of the lyrical poems in his Diwan were composed in his retirement, and their chief topics are an enthusiastic praise of Ali, his descendants, and al-Mustansir in particular; passionate outcries against Khorasan and its rulers, who had driven him from house and home; the highest satisfaction with the quiet solitude of Yumgan; and utter despondency again in seeing himself despised by his former associates and forever excluded from participation in the glorious contest of life. But scattered through all these alternate outbursts of hope and despair we find precious lessons of purest morality, and solemn warnings against the tricks and perfidy of the world, the vanity of all earthly splendour and greatness, the folly and injustice of men, and the hypocrisy, frivolity and viciousness of fashionable society and princely courts in particular.
3- Gushayish wa Rahayish (Relief and Deliverance)
Another work of Nasir Khusraw is the Persian philosophical work which has been translated into English by F.M. Hunzai under the title "Knowledge and Liberation". The work discusses creation, questions related to the soul, epistemology, creation and Ismaili Islamic doctrines. From a linguistic point of view, the work is an example of early philosophical writing in new Persian.
4- Book on Mathematics
Naser Khosrow wrote a book on mathematics which has now been lost. He states in his other work that he could: not find one single scholar throughout all of Khorasan and eastern lands like myself [who] could grapple with the solutions to these problems. But he felt it his responsibility to take the task for readers he would never see, 'those yet to come, in a time yet to come'.

The poetry of Naser Khusrow is replete with advice and wisdom. Being the representative of the Fatimid Imams in Khorasan, Naser guided his followers through his poetry. His Persian poetry is enjoyed by the average Persian speaker of today.




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