Cover Page

Cite item


The literary achievements of the major Persian Sufi poet Farid ad-Din ‘Attar Nishapuri (1145/46-1221) ranges with the great poets of the turn of 12th and 13th century Sanai (d. 1131) and Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273) in the history of classical Persian literature. However, the author of this article sets himself the task of presenting ‘Attar not as a poet, but as a thinker, who made a significant contribution to the development of Persian Sufism. The study is based on the analysis of the most important Attar’s poetical composition - “The Language of the Birds” ( Mantiq al-tayr ). Particular attention is given to the description of the categories and principles of theorizing, reflecting the philosophical approach to understanding reality. The author uses the methods of philological and textological analysis, the method of philosophical interpretation of the poetic text, identifying the relationship between specific poetic concepts and philosophical terms. The novelty of the research lies in the fact that it is representing systematically Attar’s philosophical views of for the first time in Russian philosophical Iranian studies. Analysis of the explicit references and the hidden allusions to specific concepts and the most important provisions of the Sufi doctrine, description of ‘Attar’s philosophical strategy and his understanding of philosophy, comparing ‘Attar’s views with the philosophical ideas of the major Sufi thinker Ibn ‘Arabi (1165-1240) allows the author to put ‘Attar’s philosophy into the context of Islamic medieval philosophical tradition.

About the authors

Yu E Fedorova

Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: juliia_fedorova@mail.ru

кандидат философских наук, научный сотрудник Института философии РАН

Goncharnaya st., 12/1, Moscow, Russia, 109240


  1. Reinert B. Attar Farid al-Din. Encyclopaedia Iranica [On-line Edition]. Access mode: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/attar-farid-al-din-poet (the date of request 26.10.2018).
  2. Lewisohn L., Shackle Ch. [Ed.] Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition: the Art of Spiritual Flight. London; New York: I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2006. xxvii + 355 p.
  3. ‘Attar Farid al-Din Muhammad ibn Ibrahim. Musibat-namah. Muqaddama, taskhih va ta‘liqat-i Muhammad Reza Shafi‘i Kadkani (The Book of Sorrow. Int., comment. by Muhammad Reza Shafi‘i Kadkani). Tehran: Suhan Publ., 2007. 957 p. (in Persian)
  4. Landolt H. ‘Attar Farid al-Din. Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia. Josef W. Meri, ed. New York: Routledge, 2006. V.1. xliii + 878 + 155p.
  5. Furuzanfar B. Sharkh-i akhval va naqd va takhlil-i asar-i shaykh Farid al-Din Muhammad ‘Attar-i Nishaburi (Biography definition and critical study of Sheikh Farid al-Din ‘Attar Nishaburi’s poems). Tehran, 2008. 682 p. (In Persian)
  6. Ritter H. The Ocean of the Soul: Man, the World, and God in the Stories of Farid al-Din Attar. Tr. O’Kane J. with the editorial assistance of Radtke B. Leiden: Brill. 2003. xxvi + 832 p.
  7. [‘Attar Farid al-Din]. Mantiq al-tayr. Asar-i Farid al-Din ‘Attar Nishaburi (The Language of the Birds. The complete works of Farid al-Din ‘Attar Nishaburi). Bar asas-i nuskh-i Paris. Taskhih va sharkh-i Kazim Dizfuliyan. Tehran: Tilaya Publ., 2014. 613 p. (In Persian)
  8. Lahuti L.G. Masnavi Farid ad-Dina ‘Аttara “Ilakhi-name”. K problemam ponimaniya i perevoda [The mathnawi of Farid-al-Din ‘Attar “Ilahi-Nama”. Problems of understanding and translation]. Vestnik RGGU. 2011;(63)2:180—220. Moscow: RGGU Publishing House. (In Russ.)
  9. Smirnov А.V. O podkhode k sravnitel'nomu izucheniyu kul'tur [What does ‘comparative study of cultures’ mean?]. Saint-Petersburg: Trade Unions Humanitarian University Publishing House, 2009. 132 p. (In Russ.)
  10. Smirnov A.V. Velikiy Sheikh Sufizma. Opyt paradigmal'nogo analiza filosofii Ibn Arabi [The Great Shaykh of Sufism. A Sample of Paradigmatic Analysis of lbn ‘Arabi’s Philosophy]. Moscow: Nauka Publ., 1993. 328 с.
  11. Ibn al-ʻArabi Muhyiddin. The Universal Tree and the Four Birds: Treatise on Unification (al-Ittihad al-kawni). Int., trans. and comm. by A. Jaffray. Oxford: Anqa Pub., 2006. viii + 127 + 20 p.
  12. Lukashev А.А. K voprosu ob universal'nosti kategorial'nykh otnosheniy (na materiale proizvedeniy Sana‘i i Shabistari) [On the question of universality of categorical relations (on the material of the poetic compositions of Sanai and Shabistari)]. Rassypannoe i sobrannoe: kognitivnye priemy arabo-musul'manskoy kul'tury. Otv. red. A.V. Smirnov. Moscow: Sadra: LRC Publ. House, 2017. P. 342—383. (In Russ.)
  13. Smirnov А.V. Bog-i-mir i Istina istin: logiko-smyslovoy analiz osnovaniy kontseptsii Ibn ‘Аrabi [The God and the world in their relation to the Third Thing: a logic-and-meaning analysis of Ibn ‘Arabi’s philosopheme]. Israq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook: 2012, no 3. Moscow: Nauka — Vost. lit. Publ., 2012. С. 41—61. (In Russ.)
  14. Nasyrov I. Osnovaniya islamskogo mistitsizma (genezis i evolyutsiya) [The Foundations of Islamic mysticism (genesis and evolution)]. Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskikh kul'tur Publ. 552 p. (In Russ.)

Copyright (c) 2018 Fedorova Y.E.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies