Shahnameh of Ferdowsi and the worldview of Iranians

Shahnameh of Ferdowsi and the worldview of Iranians

The characters of Shahnameh are each a special manifestation of worldview, philosophy or attitude towards the world and life.

From this perspective, this great work may also be a summary of different worldviews and ideologies. Here I do not intend to examine each of the characters of Shahnameh from this perspective and I only refer to the pattern that is evident in the Iranian characters of Shahnameh.

Shahnameh begins with the praise of God and then is the praise of wisdom. This point is well evident in the behavior of all Iranian characters in the story. They begin the word by praising the Lord and asking for His help.

This view even goes so far as to attribute their actions to his administration. Belief in God or superhuman and extraterrestrial forces or divine wisdom is one of the principles of the worldview of Iranian characters in Shahnameh. Wisdom is the next important step. For example, consider Khosrow Parviz’s letter to the Roman emperor (Shahnameh Ferdowsi, Behzad Publications, Tehran 2007, p. 744)

He first created the world / humiliated the world with it

That he is superior to every superior / able and knower of every door

By his command be this heaven / that he is superior to place and time

The sphere and the star have all done / fulfilled the top cycle

Chou revived from the dust of every animal / revived the first Kiomers

This is how it reached Shah Afridon / he chose Vera Sarfarzan from it

Hemi Zoo did not leave a big crown like this until the top of Kiqbad

Did not come to this period, never bad / kept going to God

Now the unfortunate servant of the post / came to the throne of Kian did not sit

I will give it to the tyrant / neither the officer nor the bed and the hat and the waist

Every annex that he does not sit on the throne / wisdom and fame and fortune

In this letter, Khosrow Parviz begins with the praise of God and knows the whole universe from him. He then acknowledges that the kings are chosen by God, and then wisdom comes to the fore.

The inscription of Darius on the palace of Susa has the same theme: the great god Ahura Mazda who created this land ….. who made Darius king …. he gave me this prince cheaply ….. Ahura Mazda helped me. What I did, I did all thanks to Ahuramazda. (Inscription of Darius the Great in the Apadana Palace of Susa, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Xerxes Shah’s inscription has the same theme. For comparison, now pay attention to the answer of the Roman emperor to Khosrow Parviz:

The secretary read / saw the great world before him

He said that he wrote the answer letter / it is like a meadow of paradise

Enough advice and connection and good speech / from that time to ancient times

He is both a weapon and a man and he did not bring treasure to anyone

And if we are not from any country / you want more from any country

Know that you are calm from the soul with your palate

Here, Qaysar intends to talk rationally with Khosrow Parviz. In Caesar’s vision and worldview, rationality with reason is paramount. I do not intend to compare the two worldviews and judge them here. I just want to point out that in the worldview of Iranian characters in the Shahnameh, belief in God as a superior force takes precedence over reason.

This view can be clearly seen in other Iranian characters of Shahnameh such as Fereydoun, Rostam, Kaykhosrow, etc., which is different from the view of other non-Iranian characters of Shahnameh. This view in our Iranian-Islamic culture is now referred to as “trust”.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

Relying on piety and knowledge in the path is a disbeliever.

The worldview of Iranians in Shahnameh is first of all about believing in God and gaining strength from Him. Even their deeds are the will of God and nothing else. The manifestation of this insight can also be seen in mysticism.

I have said it many times and I will say it again / that I am lost, we are going this way

I had a parrot behind the mirror / I say what Master Azal said

This worldview, which is manifested in the Iranian characters of Shahnameh, may still be reflected in our modern Iranian thought. This view is different from any Western worldview. Rationalism and humanism are at the heart of Western thought during and after the Enlightenment. The issues that our society raises under the headings of “tradition and modernity”, “new and old”, “science or religion” and “East and West” are definitely rooted in the difference between the two.

Dr. Reza Saidi Firoozabadi – Transplant surgeon

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *