Ferdowsi (940 – 1025), one of the greatest Persian poets of all time, author of the Persian national epic , Shahnameh (Book of Kings) to which he gave an eternal and final form, although he based his poem mainly on an earlier prose version. He was born in a village on the vicinity of the ancient city of Ṭous. Aside from his patronymic, “Abolqasem”, and his pen name, “Ferdowsi”, nothing is known with any certainty on his names or the identity of his family. In the course of the centuries, lots of legends have been woven around his name, but very little is discovered on the real facts of his life.
“If a violent guts blows in from a distant cape
It hurls down the royal citron, even though unripe.
Tyrannical should we call this wind or just?
Label it intelligent, blind or crass?
If justice can bring death, where does the injustice lie?
Why all this grief and howling because we all must die?
Your soul is not apprised of death’s full mystery:
Through its heavy veil you have no skill to see.
Having left the baser world through the gates of death,
No one has retravelled this mysterious path.
A better home may be granted him by going:
He may find peace in that other lodging.
The moment of death, like fire’s ravening tongue,
Fears neither decrepit, nor strong and young.
Going to this other place allows of no delay
When, no annihilation’s horse, death himself holds the reins.
Know that this is not unjust, but just:
When right is done, we’ve no good reason to protest.
If you’ve adorned your heart with the light of faith
Silence is best for you, for you are God’s slave.
You have no privileged insight into the Divine plan
Unless your soul’s familiar with the devil’s spying jinns.
In this world strive for this, that when you pass on,
You take with you the assurance of godly, pious end,”