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Uzbekistan: a land multifarious geniuses. DAVLATSHAH SAMARQANDI (Part 3)

Davlatshah Samarqandi’s “Tazkira” has long been attracting the attention of the public. Since 1819, some pieces of the book have been published in Russia (by V.A. Jhukovski and F. Erdman), in France (by Silvestre de Sasi), in England (by E. Broun and A. Falconer), in Turkey (by Fahim Suleiman afandi), in Germany (by Hammer) and in Holland. Its full text was published in 1887 in Bombay by Mirza Muhammad, in 1901 in London by E. Broun and in 1958 in Teheran by Hajji Muhammad Ramazani.

In 1900, this “Tazkira” was first translated into old Uzbek (Khoresm dialect) in Khiva by Muhammad Rafe. In 1967, an orientalist B. Ahmedov translated some parts of “Tazkirat ash-shuara” into Uzbek dealing with the life and activities of 32 poets from Central Asia and Khorasan, and in 1981, he translated the pieces of the book dealing with the life and activities of more than 50 poets into Uzbek and attached them to the book of Davlatshah Samarqandi. Thus, one of the important tasks facing our specialists is that this great book should be fully translated into Uzbek, i.e. into our language in future.

The following pieces are taken from the translations done by B. Ahmedov:

Amir Khusrav Dehlaui. Amirzada Baisunqur preferred “Hamsa” written by Amir Khusrav to Sheikh Nizamiy’s “Hamsa”, but highly educated Ulugbek Kuragan would not admit it and he used to admire Sheikh Nizami. This was the reason for different debates between the two rulers and each of them would support different poets. If these debates were held today, the highly experienced experts in these fields would easily settle the questions and would define which of those poets were higher in their status.

Muiniddin Juvayni. Mavlana Juvayni’s book titled “Nigaristan” was of the series of books written by him in the style of “Gulistan” by Sa’di but it was created by the author masterfully and with great attention. It is simpler and wiser than “Gulistan”. It contains lots of rare and useful advice and aphorisms. Scribes from Bahrabad gathered at the disposal of Mirza Ulugbek and copied this book masterfully and skilfully. Ulugbek Mirza used to read this book and preferred it to other books. In Maveraunnahr this book earned a greater fame than in Khorasan.

Bisati Samarqandi. After taking the throne of Samarkand, Shahrukh Sultan came into the treasury of Temur the Great hidden in Kuksarai palace but like those cursed people who lacked intellect they found it empty. Unexpectedly, the ruler’s stick fell on a coin of one dirham on the floor and he picked it up and brought to his eyes. Facing his followers, he said: “We enjoyed the treasure of my father with that coin”. After these words, he left the empty treasury.

Khoja Ismatulla Bukhari.’ During the reign of Khalil Sultan, he was under his care. The prince used to respect him as they were very close friends. The intriguers were very envious of their closeness and friendship and used to cavil on Khoja Ismatulla. However, this dear person’s heart was far from perjury and calumny. Khalil Sultan learnt the science of poetry from Ismatulla.

Khoja Ismat stopped praising the rulers during the reign of the king of the world Mirza Ulughbek. When the ruler mentioned above asked him to create some poems on his own address,he used to recite some odes.

The scholar, just ruler, victorious military leader as well as generous king Ulugbek Mirza reached the highest level in astronomy and had a good command in the field of the “meanings” of words. Under his reign, the scholars and learned people were highly-appreciated and supported. Mirza Ulugbek was smart on geometry. The opinions of the learned people of the land was such that in the Islamic world, perhaps since the times of Alexander the Great, there had never been such a great scholar and ruler on the throne of Samarkand as Ulugbek Kuragan. He had such a good command of mathematics that collaborating his knowledge and efforts with such great scholars as Qazizada Rumi and Ghiasiddin Jamshid Kashi, he studied the system of stars on the sky and established an observatory, a laboratory to study the movement of the stars. However, bothof his colleagues died on the way of their studies and Ulugbek continued his research in this field and made a complex of astronomic tables called “Ziji Sultani” (Kuragani). (The astronomic table of Ulugbek Kuragan). Today this table is in use and, according to the opinion of the experts, it is far better and exact than the “Ziji Nasiri Erkhani”.

Mirza Ulugbek also erected a magnificent madrasah in Samarkand. If to take its design, beauty of decorations and marvels into consideration, it has no equal in the world. More than a hundred students are studying and living there today.

During the reign of his father Shahrukh Mirza, he ruled independently over Maveraunnahr for forty years. He was a just ruler and used reasonable principles in governing the country. He is said to have used very acceptable principles for ordinary people in the fiscal system.

Mavlana Badakhshi. He was one of the learned people of Samarkand. During the reign of Mirza Ulugbek, he reached the highest level in poetry and became the leader of the poets of the time. The rulers of his time appreciated and estimated his rare ability in the world of literature, especially in poetry. He had some precious odes devoted to the ruler Mirza Ulugbek. His “Divan” became famous in Maveraunnahr.

Dilaram Yusupova
Doctor of History

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