Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A few days in Sheikh Sadi’s birthplace Shiraz

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I saw perfectly carved paintings on the walls Main entrance with huge statue

In late 2003, I had the opportunity to attend a conference on biosafety in Shiraz, Iran. Participants from different parts of the world came to the conference. I have participated in many seminars, conferences, meetings in the country and abroad in my life, this was the most well-organized or organized conference.

I arrived at Tehran airport at two in the morning. Four of us went from Bangladesh. All three were from the Ministry of Agriculture and I went as a biotechnology researcher or scientist. We were picked up at the airport by two young Iranian ladies, aged between 20-22 years. Wearing a white knee-length veil like a lab coat. A headscarf that does not cover the entire head of hair. I was very surprised to see the two girls. This old girl has come to deliver us to the hotel at such a late night, which is not even possible for us to think about.

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After spending the night in Tehran, I left for Shiraz by plane the next day. Shiraz is a one and a half hour flight from Tehran. I reached Shiraz. I saw Shiraz with fascination. Shiraz is a historical city, beautiful city. Birthplace of Mohakbi Sheikh Sadi and Hafiz. The city is famous for these two poets, Sufis, the ancient tradition of Iran, Persepolis and the martyrs of Shah Cheragh.

The conference is at Homa Hotel. We have accommodation there. A luxurious five-star hotel. The hotel is named after a legendary bird called Huma in Iran. Huma is a Persian word which is actually pronounced Homa. A bird that never stops flying and lands on the ground. The huma bird never rests, flying invisibly above the earth night and day all its life. The huma bird is a symbol of great stature in Turkish folklore. Huma bird has both male and female nature in the same body. Every nature has a wing and a leg. Huma is considered auspicious and ‘bird of fortune’ as its shadow or touch is considered auspicious. We found the portrait of Huma among the ruins of Persepolis.

On the opening day of the seminar, the Chief Guest was delivered by a veiled middle-aged lady. He was the governor there. We could only see his face. The long veil, falling down under the feet, is held tightly in the left hand, so that it does not fall to the ground.

The chief guest’s speech started in Persian and as usual we were left in awe. I thought there would be an interpreter to facilitate the understanding of the participants. To our surprise, after 2-3 minutes his speech started in pure English. In fact, he spoke on biotechnology and biosafety for a long time, without seeing anything. I was listening to him with fascination, the whole audience was listening. After the speech, the auditorium was filled with applause. I moved forward as if enchanted to speak to him, to thank him.

We were given a dress code before going to Iran. It does not say to wear burkha or hijab but to wear full sleeves, long dresses that extend below the knees and a headscarf. It was also informed that speakers and participants will come from different parts of the world, they will also fall within this rule. I collected two sets of veils. Before reaching Tehran, everyone took off the veil in the plane. I did the same. I had another girl with me. She carried long sleeves, long salwar kameez and scarf. I saw that no one was saying anything to him. They don’t adhere to the screen that hard, just keep it fairly covered. But the official law, therefore, will not run without the veil.

People from all over the world have gladly accepted this dress code given by them. A female speaker from America came in a long dress. Head scarf. Talking with a microphone in one hand and holding a headscarf in the other. Falling down again and again and covering his head. Those who came from France, England, Netherlands and other countries of the world also dressed in the same way. It sounded pretty good to me. The eyes are not unnecessarily hurt when women go out in the city and are veiled all around, which is common in most developed countries.

As I noticed later, Iranian women wear two types of veils. Younger girls wear veils like white labcoats and headscarves. Those who are a little older wear a long veil that falls to the ground and the head is well covered. They hold a long veil with one hand. Do all the work with the other hand. Much like the women of our country holding the hem of our saree with one hand.

Iranian women are smart to the core and beautiful at the same time. I was very happy to see their beautiful participation. Most of the papers presented by Iranians were pioneered by Iranian women. I was amazed at their ability to ask and answer questions. Iranian girls also speak English well. There was fear that a serious conference was going to be held in Iran. It’s just the opposite. I have attended many conferences in my life, this was one of the best. Their technical session, paper presentation, catering, accommodation, all were of very high quality.

One day in the middle took us to see Persepolis. Persepolis symbolizes the glory and majesty of ancient Iran and is one of the must-see places in Shiraz. The large area of ​​Persepolis in ancient Iran and the remaining buildings of its ruins are regarded as one of the most important documents in the history of world civilizations. Hence, eminent scientists and archaeologists from all over the world have flocked to Iran to visit Persepolis at various times.

Persepolis is a ruin of the Achaemenid kings in Iran from 2500 BC. It covered a significant part of the world due to the greatness of the Achaemenid Empire in ancient Iran. The glory of the headquarters of these kings at Persepolis is evident from these ruins.
What attracts worldwide attention to Persepolis is the historical antiquity of this ancient city. Archaeologists have traced the development of ancient Iranian civilization through careful study of inscriptions and artifacts in the region. The social laws of the Achaemenid period also surprised many historians.

I saw perfectly carved paintings on the walls. Main entrance with huge statue. Portrait of Homa bird, etc. Debris is scattered over many areas. I was getting nostalgic. We are standing in this era, coming far from the country, seeing the achievements of a group of civilized people thousands of years ago. It is understood that they were very organized at that time. They were also very advanced in their art work.
All but the Iranians were pale in the midday sun. I noticed that even in the hot sun, their faces did not get dirty at all. The faces of the Iranians were glowing. Among our guides was a young young lady. His gray eyes looked like they were coated with silver. I could only see the faces of the Iranian girls with me. The intense sun could not tarnish their beauty. Iranians are really beautiful.

In the afternoon after our 5 day technical session was over, an Iranian gentleman said that he was going to see Sheikh Sadi’s tomb, if we were interested in going. We agreed, as if we were waiting for it. The gentleman lives in Tehran, came to Shiraz to attend the conference. So he is also very interested in seeing Sheikh Sadi’s tomb. I felt privileged to be able to visit the grave of a man whom I remembered with utmost respect since my childhood. Visiting Sheikh Sadi’s tomb is a unique event in my life. By the time we reach his tomb complex, afternoon and evening light Aadhari is playing. Neither cold nor hot. Beautiful weather, beautiful environment. All in all a great feeling.

Sheikh Sadi’s poetry is world-class. Sheikh Sadi’s real name is Sharfuddin. His nickname is Maslehuddin. Sadi was his surname. He is known as Sadi to the people of the world. He was a very pious and moral person. Sadi was a poet, writer and scholar. He knew more than one language. Traveled many countries. Sheikh Sadi’s famous books are: Gulistan, Bustan, Karima, Sahabiyyah, Qasayed Farsi, Qasyed Arabiya, Ghazliat, Kulliyat etc. Many sayings of Gulistan and Bustan have become proverbs that have spread all over the world. We read the story of Sheikh Sadi’s clothes and food in text books as children. Many more of his moral stories intrigued Sheikh Saadi in his childhood.

I saw a lot of tourists at Sheikh Sadi’s shrine. Not all of them are foreign tourists. Many citizens of Iran have also come here. It is known that the world poet Rabindranath Tagore also came to the shrine of Sheikh Sadi in 1932. Before entering the shrine, one has to pass through the garden. Rows of nine stars on both sides of the road. The purple eye star, which I saw in my childhood in our country. I felt very familiar – I remembered the country. Sadi Samadhi Kshetra can be seen from far away. Sheikh Sadi’s mausoleum covered with a green dome is very beautiful. His poems are written on the wall. The most surprising thing is the solemnity and spirituality of this place. It seems that life has laid down immense peace here. It seems that this immortal poet-philosopher-scholar may wake up soon.

The shrine building was built in Persian style. It has 8 brown stone pillars in front of the tomb. The main construction is made of white stone and tiles. The area of ​​the tomb is about 257 square meters. The main building of the mausoleum has two terraces that are perpendicular to each other. Sadi’s tomb is located at the corner of this terrace. On the wall around the tomb are seven stanzas of Sadi’s poem. Another epic poet of Iran is Hafiz Shirazi. Full name is Khwaja Shamsuddin Muhammad Hafiz Shirazi. He was born in Shiraz city of Iran between 710-730 Hijri. His tomb is also in Shiraz. But we could not make time to see his tomb.

After visiting the tomb of Sheikh Sadi, we left for the shrine of Shah Cherag. It is a religious monument located in Shiraz, the capital of Fars province in southern Iran. The structure is built around the tomb of Sayyid Ahmad, son of Musa al-Kazim, known in local tradition as Shah Cheragh, meaning King of the Light. This building is named after him. The monument contains the tombs of the brothers of the seventh Imam, Amir Ahmad, son of Musa al-Qadim, Mir Muhammad and the eighth Imam Reza. The story of the establishment of this establishment and its wonderful decoration make it one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the country. Although a mausoleum was first built on the site in the twelfth century, most of the current structure dates from the late Qajar period and the Islamic Republic. I was impressed by the craftsmanship of the shrine. Such beautiful and high quality craftsmanship is not easily seen.

Many domestic and foreign tourists have come. Everyone is allowed to see the shrine of Shah Cherag. There are special arrangements for performing ablution and offering prayers for everyone. We also prayed two rakat Nafal prayers and prayed for the peace of Shah Cherag’s soul.

Shiraz is one of the oldest cities in Iran. Shiraz is known as the city of poetry and wine. Culture, history and nature come together in this beautiful city. It satisfies every traveler with its amazing gardens, historical attractions and the friendly atmosphere of its people. May 5th is named Shiraz Day in Iran to appreciate this fascinating city and its connection with nature and history. Many have chosen Shiraz as the most memorable city, the most beautiful city in Iran.

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