نشریه نثر پژوهی ادب فارسی، دانشگاه شهید باهنر کرمان،نثر فارسی Journal of Prose Studies in Persian Literature
عنوان مقاله [English]
Zaidari’s prose writing is widely regarded as an artistic and rhythmic masterpiece, with his work “Nafthat-al-Masdur” standing out as a tour de force. Despite the scientific and novel explanation provided by Dr. Amir Hassan Yazdgerdi, there remain several issues and ambiguities within this text.
Shihab al-Din Muhammad Khurandizi Zaidari al-Nasawi or Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ali bin Muhammad Monshi (died: 647?), whose family resided in the Khurandz Fortress near the city of Zaidar in the province of Nisa (Nasavi, 1965: Introduction), wrote the book Nafthat-al-Masdur four years after the death of Jalal al-Din Khwarazm-Shah (murdered: 628 AH) while describing his own one-year sufferings, and the reign of Jalal al-Din Mangburni (ruling: 617-628AH)
Nafthat-al-Masdur is considered a reliable historical and literary work, particularly concerning the events and situations of the Anushtegin dynasty, their bravery, cowardice of the king, the corruption and betrayal among courtiers, Minkubirni’s disease, and the extinction of the Anushtegin dynasty. Furthermore, it serves as one of the crucial historical sources regarding the Mongol invasions, atrocities, and plundering of Iran.
The book Nafthat-al-Masdur is written in the format of a letter addressed to a prominent figure from Khorasan named Saʿd al-Dīn, who was apparently a relative of Shihab al-Din Muhammad Khurandizi Zaidari (Nisavi, 2020: introduction, 79). Shihab al-Din writes in clerical prose style, which entails the use of verses from the Quran, Hadith, common proverbs, as well as Arabic and Persian poetry to make his prose more artificial and decorated for the reader (Sajjadi, 2016: 532). At times, he employs exaggeration, metaphor, irony, allusion, rhyme, contrast, derivation, and simile to such an extent that it can confuse the interested and novice reader. This study strives to clarify some of the ambiguities within the book.
Despite the efforts made in providing explanations to resolve ambiguities in the text of Nafthat-al-Masdur, certain readers would encounter difficulties and ambiguities that require further clarification. In order to attain a more precise understanding and explanation of Nafthat-al-Masdur, it is imperative that specific points be clarified and expounded upon. Furthermore, technical language and reference pronouns have been identified as areas of confusion for some readers. Correcting the movement of words and punctuation marks, as well as reference pronouns, may also prove necessary in certain instances. The aim of this undertaking was to elucidate the salient points and challenges inherent in Nafthat-al-Masdur to the best of our abilities.
The research methodology entailed providing answers to key questions that had emerged over several courses in which Nafthat-al-Masdur was taught to esteemed doctoral candidates. Furthermore, responses were furnished to other ambiguous aspects deemed necessary. Additionally, the author's intended objectives were cross-examined with three handwritten versions, most notably the version recognized as “Sii”, which is considered the most accurate and superior rendition (Khazanedarloo and Sultani, 2016: 26).
This study aims to elucidate, and enhance comprehension of the vocabulary and phrases featured in Nafthat-al-Masdur by presenting the contents of the book according to the late Dr. Yazdgerdi's explanation in a systematic manner. In contrast to the original text, which included the opinions of other scholars, this summary solely focuses on the author’s viewpoint and interpretation.
Page 1, Line 6: “When the Lord of the Days bears the burden of events entwined, he wields the sword of severity in full force.”
The salient point of significance here pertains to the aspect of burden, rather than the placement of “small loads on larger burdens”. In the greater Khorasan region, the term “sarbari” holds two distinct meanings:
Firstly, it denotes a lightweight or minor object that is placed on or adjacent to a larger load after some time has elapsed from the movement of the pack animal.
Secondly, it refers to a person or object that interferes or becomes involved in a situation or environment without any necessity. With regards to the feminine phrase under consideration, the latter meaning is intended. The sword, in this context, serves as a lightweight weapon that instead becomes an encumbrance or vexation, causing pain and suffering to others—a burden that materializes during a caravan of unfortunate events, namely, the advent of the Mongols.
Page 3, Line 7: “From a pen that when it does not sit on black, performs white, and when sitting on white, performs black...”
The meaning of “sitting on black” is to insert the nib of the pen into the black inkwell. Considering that a pen filled with black ink creates valuable and useful books and writings, we take “whitework” to mean the good work of the pen and the beneficial effect it produces. The last meaning that the late Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda wrote about “white-work” is true here.
Page 9, Line 14: “And I had heard the news of the return of my desired army from the Romans.”
What was discussed in this article is about “Rome” so that it can be definitively stated for the audience, with reference to historical sources, what is meant by “the army that has returned from the Roman side”.
Page 14, Line 8: “He attained a kind of madness, like that of a shoemaker’s device, in distress.”
With reference to the tools used by traditional shoemakers, “a line like a shoemaker’s device” refers to the non-standard hooks that shoemakers use with a hammer to shape the leather into a shoe. The bad handwringing of Zaidari’s rival is compared to this.
Page 42, Line 8: “You couldn’t even pass through the ring with all your might, and breathing with all your delicacy...” (Nasvi, 2020: 42).
In this phrase, the "ring" refers to the ring of Mongol troops around the tent and court of Anushteginids. The Mongol army had surrounded Jalal al-Din's camp in such a tight circle that even breathing was impossible.
Page 85, Line 3: “Basemak, Ahmad Urmawi..”
“Basemak” or according to Minovi’s the handwritten copy "Bashmik" (Nasvi, 1926: 70), is a non-Persian word. Here, it is used as an insult meaning “dishonorable, dishonored, and weak person.”
Page 104, Lines 8-9: “What is the event of Urmia? ...”
This refers to the attack by Jamāl al-Dīn al-Iraqi's assignees, who beat and stripped Zaidari and his servant in the midst of snow and cold, leaving them to die (Zaidari, 2020: 86). Using contemporary texts, Zaidari provided insights in explaining the meaning of this event.
Despite the extensive commentary of the late Yazdgerdi on Nafthat-al-Masdur and the efforts of other scholars to explain ambiguities in the book, due to the intricate nature of the book, some readers still have difficulties in understanding certain parts. In this regard, an attempt was made toelucidate, as much as possible, some of ambiguous points of the book. In brief, some of the matters which have been discussed are enumerated as follows:
1- “Sarbari”. Although this word has been explained, in Greater Khorasan it has a broader meaning that is better suited to the context.
2- The phrase “blackening the pen” seems to imply that coating the tip or nib of the pen in either silver or black color is more appropriate for the context than other explanations. Likewise, the phrase “whitening the pen” means doing good and virtuous deeds with the pen which results in the production of valuable books and writings.
Regarding the phrase “return of the army from Rome” and based on historical books of the same period such as Tarikh-i Jahangushay and Zaidari’s other book, the meaning of the phrase “I had heard news of the return of an army from Rome” was convincingly explained with reference to the sources, leaving no doubt about this matter.
The simile “a line like a shoemaker’s device” was explained by examining the tools and methods of shoemaking in the past, and the image and meaning of the phrase were elaborated.
The word “to” at the beginning of the first line and the word “jewel box” in the next line were identified, and then the meaning was determined based on the meanings of “to” “in” and “inside”.
“The green and emerald plant are the same color, but they differ in appearance due to their jewel boxes”
The meaning of the first line on page 33 was explained.
The explanation was given regarding whether “bashmak” or “bashmik” is an adjective or a noun.
The meaning of the incident of “Urmia” on page 104 of the book was explained, and some other ambiguities were also resolved.
یزدگردی، امیرحسن. (1348). «به دیدۀ انصاف بنگریم»، نشریّۀ دانشکده ادبیات و علوم انسانی دانشگاه تهران، سال شانزدهم، شماره 5 و 6 ، پیاپی 69 و 70، صص. 672- 594.