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Abu Abdullah Rudaki.

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“Rudaki’s gaze saw so clearly that sometimes we question the veracity of the legend, because colors play an unexpectedly large role in those poems that are left of him ... and it seems to us that he forgets his blindness too much.”

French orientalist J. Darmsteter.

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Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad Rudaki (Persian ابو عبد الله رودکی‎) is a Persian poet, singer, founder of Persian literature. One of the first famous Persian poets who began to compose poems in New Persian. He is considered the "father of Persian poetry", who stood at the origins of literature in this language.
According to legend, he composed about 180,000 bayts, of which about 1,000 came to light. 2 qasidas (“Mother of Wine” and “On Old Age”) and about 40 rubais have survived in their entirety. As-Samani, and after him Ahmad al-Manini, as the name and kunya of the poet calls "Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn Hakim ibn Abdu-r-Rahman ibn Adam ar-Rudaki, poet of Samarkand".
This trend, but sometimes with some omissions, will continue until the XVth century. Starting from the 15th century, sources give a different kunya of the poet. So, according to Daulatshah of Samarkandi, he was called “Ustad Abu-l-Hasan Rudaki”.
Valikh Daghistani writes: "His own name is Abdullah, and the kunya is Abu Jafar and Abu-l-Hasan." Riza Kuli Khan could not resolve this issue and wrote: “His own name is Muhammad, kunya - Abu-l-Hasan. Some consider his name Abdullah, while others consider him a kunya Abu Abdullah, and the name Jafar ibn Muhammad.
Little is known about the life and work of Rudaki. The only source reporting on the early period of life is Lubab al-albab (The core of hearts). Sources do not report Rudaki's date of birth. The researchers, based on the year of the poet's death and from some of his statements, made different assumptions about it.
European authors called the date of birth the beginning of the second half of the 3rd century BC. X. - 865 (H. Ethe), about 880 (Pizzi, W. Jackson), the fourth quarter of the 9th century (Ch. Pickering) and the end of the IXth century (F. F. Arbuthnot).
According to A. Krymsky, Rudaki was born at the time when Bukhara passed from the hands of the Saffarids to the hands of the Samanids (874); E. E. Bertels indicated 855 - 860 as the date; A. Dehoti and M. Zand - 850 - 860, Mirzozoda - 858; I. S. Braginsky - 50s of the IX century; A. M. Mirzoev - the beginning of the second half of the IXth century; S. Nafisi - about 873 - 874 or in the middle of the III century X - about 864 - 865 years of the III century.
The place of his birth until 1940 was not known. According to some, Bukhara was the birthplace of Rudaki, others considered Samarkand, and others - the village of Panjrud. On the basis of written testimonies and communication with local residents, the largest Tajik writer and literary critic Sadriddin Aini came to the conclusion that the poet's birthplace is the village of Rudak.
He also managed to establish the burial place of the poet in the village of Panjrud. What social class the Rudaki family belonged to is unknown. But from one bayt it follows that the poet came from the bottom and that he had to endure difficulties:
"[Weared] chariks, [ridden] a donkey, and now I have achieved
That I recognize Chinese boots and an Arabian horse."
A. T. Tagirdzhanov believes that the poet's father either belonged to the clergy or was an educated person. Focusing on the fact that by the age of eight, Rudaki knew the Koran by heart, he suggests that the poet began to learn the holy book from the age of 5 - 6, since learning by heart a book in an unknown language is “a rather complicated matter.”
In all likelihood, it was necessary to read to him every day for several hours, and both the parents of the child and one of the inhabitants of the village or his imam could do this. Since the end of the 10th century, there have been statements in the literature that Rudaki was blind from birth.
According to the writer and scholar of the late XIIth - early XIIIth centuries, Muhammad Aufi, who noted the poet's congenital blindness, "he was so capable and receptive that at the age of eight he memorized the entire Koran and learned to read, began to compose poetry and express deep thoughts."
Following M. Aufi, his statements were repeated by the authors of subsequent anthologies. Until 1958, many Soviet researchers of Rudaki's work adhered to the same opinion. For the first time, H. Ethe doubted this, and after him J. Darmesteter, I. Pizzi, E. Browne, W. Jackson and A. Krymsky.
The French orientalist J. Darmsteter, without denying the poet’s blindness, at the same time notes that “Rudaki’s gaze saw so clearly that sometimes we question the veracity of the legend, because colors play an unexpectedly large role in those poems that remained from him ... and to us he seems to forget his blindness too much."
Kh. M. Mirzozade draws attention to the fact that if the poet was blind from birth, then it seems unlikely that he would be accepted as a court poet by the Samanid court. Moreover, he notes that from the realistic descriptions in the works of Rudaki it follows that "he was a poet who had the opportunity to observe life phenomena with his own eyes."
According to the prominent Soviet anthropologist M. M. Gerasimov, who restored the sculptural portrait of the poet from his remains, Rudaki was blinded in adulthood: his eyes were burned out. Analyzing the state of Rudaki's skeleton, he finds that "Rudaki is blinded by a piece of red-hot iron", and "the eyeball is not affected and probably not even deformed."
Since no signs resulting from the removal of the eyes were found, M. M. Gerasimov believed that Rudaki was blinded "only from the outside by means of a burn." The fact of Rudaki's blindness from birth is denied by the Soviet scientist Mikhail Gerasimov, the author of a method for restoring the appearance of a person based on skeletal remains, arguing that blindness did not occur earlier than 60 years.
Iranian scholar Said Nafisi, who claims that Rudaki and the Samanid emir Nasr were Ismailis and in 940 there was a great uprising against the Ismailis. On the advice of the vizier, who hated Rudaki, Nasr ordered the poet to be blinded and his property to be confiscated.
After another court poet, who had previously envied Rudaki, shamed him with the words: “In history you will be remembered as a ruler who blinded a great poet,” Nasr, greatly regretting what he had done, ordered the vizier to be executed and generously bestowed on Rudaki, but the poet refused generous gifts and died in poverty in his native village Panjrud.
In 1958, a mausoleum was erected on the site of the supposed grave of the poet. According to H. M. Mirzozoda, Rudaki, having left his native village, went to Samarkand, the main city of the Zarafshan valley, which was the second center of the political, economic, scientific and literary life of the Samanid state of the Xth century.
He draws attention to the fact that Rudaki spoke Arabic, "which could be studied only in the spiritual schools of large centers ...". S. Nafisi believes that Rudaki went to Bukhara from Samarkand Rudak. In one of his poems, Rudaki says that he arrived in Bukhara already a mature poet and a wealthy man:
“Your servant from a long way, on a horse, young and rich
I came to you, thinking about your good, wishing you well.”
According to Samani, Rudaki transmitted hadiths from the words of Qadi of Samarkand Ismail ibn Muhammad ibn Aslam and his teacher Abdallah ibn Abu Hamza Samarkandi. From this, S. Nafisi concludes that Rudaki, before going to Bukhara, arrived in Samarkand to study and studied the hadiths from the qadi of the city.
When Rudaki was attracted to the court of the Samanids is unknown. All sources agree that he was a contemporary of the Samanid emir Nasr ibn Ahmed, who ruled in 913 - 943. A. Krymsky, S. Nafisi, M.I. Zand and A.M. Mirzoev suggested that the poet ended up at the Samanid court in the 890s, back in the reign of Ismail Samani.
The circumstances of bringing Rudaki to the court of Emir Nasr ibn Ahmed are also unknown. According to Aufi, the poet became fabulously rich at his court: “Emir Nasr ibn Ahmed Samanid was the ruler of Khorasan, he brought him (that is, Rudaki - approx.) very close to his person, so that his affairs went uphill, and wealth and treasures reached the limit .
They say that he had two hundred slaves, four hundred camels were in his caravan. After him, no other poet had such power and happiness. Rudaki enjoyed the favor of Emir Nasr II. For several decades he headed a galaxy of poets at the court of the Samanid rulers of Bukhara; had wealth and fame.
Rudaki was a fairly prolific author. He wrote poems, qasidas, gazelles, rubais, lughz (or chistan), kita, etc. According to legend, more than 130,000 couplets came from him; another version - 1300,000 - is implausible.
According to Aufi, Rudaki's works comprise one hundred notebooks. Rudaki is considered the founder of Persian literature, the ancestor of poetry in Farsi. Early became famous as a singer and rhapsodist, as well as a poet. He received a good scholastic education, knew the Arabic language well, as well as the Koran.
From the literary heritage of Rudaki, only a thousand couplets have come down to us. Whole the qasida "Mother of wine" (933), the autobiographical qasida "Complaint of old age", as well as about 40 quatrains (rubai) have been preserved.
The rest are fragments of works of panegyric, lyrical, philosophical and didactic content, including excerpts from the poem "Kalila and Dimna" (translated from Arabic, 932), and five other poems. Along with the laudatory and anacreontic themes in Rudaki's poems, there is faith in the power of the human mind, a call for knowledge, virtue, and active influence on life.
The simplicity of poetic means, the accessibility and brightness of images in the poetry of Rudaki and his contemporaries characterize the Khorasan style they created, which was preserved until the end of the XIIth century.

Authority and photos:
"Belskie expanses", 2004
Chief editor: Yuri Andrianov.