ABŪ ŠOʿAYB HERAVĪ, ṢĀLEḤ B. MOḤAMMAD, or BŪ ŠOʿAYB as he is more commonly known, one of the many poets of the Samanid court which has survived virtually in name only. Hedāyat identifies him in the Maǰmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ (I, p. 139) as having been active during the latter part of Rūdakī’s life, but this dating is simply speculation. The earliest reference to him (Ṯaʿālebī, Yatīma [Cairo] IV, p. 422) is a mention of the Persian verses (fāresīyāt) of “Bū Šoʿayb” along with the poetry of “Abū Zoʾayb” in some Arabic verses of Abu’l-Ḥasan Moḥammad b. Ẓafar ʿAlawī Nīsābūrī. Unfortunately Abu’l-Ḥasan is a figure we know even less well than Abū Šoʿayb. Manūčehrī Dāmḡānī mentions “Bū Šoʿayb”, among other poets from Khorasan, in his eulogy of ʿOnṣorī; and ʿAwfī says that he was a fine poet (Lobāb [Tehran], p. 244); but these scattered references to him exhaust the biographical information available. Of his poetry, only eleven scattered bayts and one six-bayt fragment of a tašbīb have survived, the bulk of the former in Asadī’s Loḡat-e fors, and the latter in the Lobāb al-albāb. ʿAwfī suggests that the fragment was composed to praise the beauty of a Christian youth, probably because the opening line begins “Thou art of hellish faith, but paradisial face and form.”


Manūčehrī Dāmḡānī, Dīvān, ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, 3rd ed., Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.

Lazard, Premiers poètes I, pp. 30-31, 127-28; II, pp. 129-31.

Asadī Ṭūsī, Loḡat-e fors, ed. Dabīrsīāqī, see index, p. 183.

Ṣafā, Adabīyāt I, p. 395.

(J. W. Clinton)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 384

Cite this entry:

J. W. Clinton, “ABŪ ŠOʿAYB HERAVĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/4, p. 384; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-soayb-heravi-saleh-b (accessed on 31 January 2014).