ADĪB PĪŠĀVARĪ, poetic name of SAYYED AḤMAD B. ŠEHĀB-AL-DĪN RAŻAWĪ. He was born near Peshawar ca. 1260/1844 and claimed descent from the noted Sufi Šehāb-al-dīn ʿOmar Sohravardī (539-632/1144-1234 A.D.). During his youth, his father and numerous relatives were killed in the border wars between the British and the Afghan tribes. In consequence, Adīb moved to Kabul and then Ḡaznī, where he completed his early education. In 1877 he migrated to Iran, where he joined the madrasa of Ḥāǰǰī Mollā Hādī Sabzavārī (d. 1295/1878) in Sabzavār. There he attended lectures in advanced philosophy. Eventually he settled in Tehran, where he died on 3 Ṣafar 1349/30 June 1930.

Adīb’s output of poetry comprises about 20,000 couplets. The selection published three years after his death consists mainly of ḡazals and qaṣīdas; it amounts to about 4,200 Persian and 370 Arabic verses. He also wrote a lengthy maṯnavī, the Qayṣar-nāma, which was dedicated to Kaiser Wilhelm II and extolled Germany’s role in World War I. Although Adīb belonged to the older generation of poets, he espoused, like some of his younger contemporaries, new social and political ideas. Thus he helped pioneer patriotic trends in Persian verse. His importance is that of a forerunner, whose early poems indicate tendencies which gained prominence during the constitutional period.


Dīvān, ed. ʿA. ʿAbd-al-Rasūlī, Tehran, 1312 Š./1933.

The same editor provided supplementary verses in Naqd-e ḥāżer, Tehran, 1312 Š./1333.

Tārīḵ-eBayhaqī, ed. Adīb Pīšāvārī (with calligraphy by Moḥammad Ḥasan Golpāyagānī), Tehran, 1307/1889-90.

For discussions of Adīb, see: D. J. Irani, Poets of the Pahlavi Regime, Bombay, 1933, pp. 5-19.

M. Esḥāq, Soḵanvarān-e Īrān dar ʿaṣr-e ḥāżer I, Delhi, 1933, pp. 1-8.

S. M. Bāqer Borqaʿī, Soḵanvarān-e nāmī-e moʿāṣer I, Tehran, 1329 Š./1950, pp. 1-2.

F. Machalski, La littérature de l’Iran contemporain I, Krakow, 1965, pp. 42-48.

Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., p. 374.

(Munibur Rahman)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, p. 460

Cite this entry:

Munibur Rahman, “ADĪB PĪŠĀVARĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, p. 460; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 7 February 2014).