ʿAYNĪ, ṢADR-AL-DĪN (1878-1954), poet, novelist, and the leading figure of Soviet Tajik literature, born 18 Rabīʿ II 1295/15 April 1878 in the village of Sāktarī in the emirate of Bukhara, a Russian protectorate. His father, Saidmurad-hoja, (Sayyed Morād ḵᵛāja), a village craftsman, influenced his son’s early intellectual development. Although his formal education had amounted to no more than a brief stay in a madrasa, he read classical Persian poetry as an avocation and instilled in his son a love of heroic legends and popular songs (ʿAynī, Yoddoštho (Yāddāšthā) I, pp. 22-43, 131-40).

The death of ʿAynī’s parents in 1889 brought his village childhood to an end. He moved to Bukhara in 1890 as a ward of a high emirate functionary, Šarifjon Maḵdum (Šarīfjān Maḵdūm) who wrote poetry under the pseudonym, Sadri Ziyo (Ṣadr-e Żīāʾ), and had been impressed by ʿAynī’s skill at impromptu versification. Except for short absences, ʿAynī remained in Bukhara until the First World War, integrating himself fully into its varied intellectual life. He studied at several madrasas, but their narrow curricula, dominated by conservative religious ideals, and their emphasis upon rote learning repelled him. To satisfy his intellectual curiosity he joined small groups of students who secretly indulged in “secular” studies—history, literature, and geography—and who read newspapers, an activity forbidden by the amir. From time to time ʿAynī attended the literary salon held at Šarifjon Maḵdum’s home. The discussions ranged widely over classical and contemporary literature, and it was here that ʿAynī, by his own account, acquired the foundations of his literary education (ʿAynī, op. cit., III, pp. 3-37).

By the mid-1890s, ʿAynī had become engrossed in poetry. He was attracted to the classical Persian poets, especially Jāmī and Ḥāfeẓ, and the Perso-Jaḡatay master, ʿAlī-Šīr Navāʾī. He was also influenced by contemporary Tajik poets such as Šamsiddin Maḵdum Šohin (Šams-al-dīn Maḵdūm Šāhīn) (1859-94), a skilled satirist and critic of the emir’s regime, and he became good friends with Muhammad Siddiq Hairat (Moḥammad Ṣeddīq Ḥayrat, fl. 1878-1902), a writer of simple, direct verse, who deepened ʿAynī’s knowledge of prosody. ʿAynī composed his first poems in 1895. Being of a reticent nature, he used various pseudonyms and at first shared his work only with Hairat. But as his poems circulated more widely under the by now sole pseudonym, ʿAynī, which he liked most (ibid., p. 250), he attracted the attention of Bukhara’s intellectual elite and began to be invited to their literary salons. This early poetry consisted mainly of love poems, ḡazals written in the classical manner with complex rhyme schemes. Later he also wrote qaṣīdas, qeṭʿas, and robāʿīs and delighted in composing moḵammases on the ḡazals of Ḥāfeẓ and Bīdel. The mood of some poems was melancholy, expressing deep loneliness and a pervasive sense of the injustice of life. Occasionally, he turned to satire and parody, which were in vogue among Central Asian writers of the time as instruments of social commentary. Whatever their subject, all these poems displayed a freshness of conception and a mastery of the ʿarūż.

At this time ʿAynī’s intellectual horizons were broadening and after the turn of the century he became increasingly interested in social issues. His sense of responsibility towards others grew, and he was persuaded that he could change the conditions of life for the better through his own knowledge and work. Of critical importance for the development of his social consciousness were the writings of Ahmad Doniš (Aḥmad Dāneš, fl. 1827-97), the most influential Tajik social critic of his day. Doniš’s Navodir ul-vaqoeʿ (Nawāder al-waqāʾeʿ), a wide-ranging examination of Central Asian society, was a revelation to him (ʿAynī, Buḵoro inqilobi taʾriḵi učun materiallar [Materials for a history of the Bukhara revolution], in Asarlar I, Tashkent, 1963, p. 198). Doniš’s faith in progress and his advocacy of knowledge and reason as the means of promoting it drastically affected ʿAynī’s relations with the mullahs and channeled his own frustration with the obscurantism practiced in the madrasas into a sustained effort at educational reform. But his disenchantment with Muslim religious leaders did not lead to indifference or atheism. Islam remained a guiding principle of his literary and educational activities at least until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, but the Islam to which he owed allegiance was the enlightened, socially conscious form advocated by Doniš and his circle.

ʿAynī’s commitment to educational and religious reform was strengthened by contact with the new currents of social thought that were emerging throughout the Muslim Middle East. He avidly read the burgeoning newspaper press, from the satirical Azeri Mollā Naṣr-al-dīn published by Jalīl Mamedkulized (Moḥammad-qolī-zāda) in Tbilisi beginning in 1906, to occasional newspapers (Čehranama, Ḥabl al-matīn) from Egypt and India. Most influential of all was Tarjomān, the organ of Muslim reformers published in the Crimea since 1883. Through its pages and other publications from Kazan, Tashkent, and Samarkand in Tatar and Uzbek he became acquainted with the tenets of Jadidism (modernism), a movement among Turkic intellectuals in the Russian empire for school reform and general public “enlightenment.” ʿAynī was one of numerous Tajik intellectuals who were attracted to its causes. The fact that the Jadids (modernists) were often Pan-Turks did not deter Tajiks from joining in their activities, for at this time a distinct Tajik national consciousness did not exist. Moreover, any nascent ethnic rivalry was assuaged by the supra-national character of Jadidism, which expressed itself in strong Pan-Islamic sentiments. The Jadid movement had important immediate consequences for Tajik intellectual and cultural life, notably the creation of the Tajik-language press. Although the Jadid newspapers in Central Asia appeared mainly in Uzbek, several of them such as Samarkand (1913) and Oina (mirror, 1913-15) carried articles and poetry in Tajik. Buḵoroi šarif (Boḵārā-ye šarīf, 1912-13) was the principal Tajik newspaper.

ʿAynī wholeheartedly embraced the Jadid educational program. His own sharing of the hard life of artisans in Bukhara and his travels in the surrounding villages, where poverty and ignorance abounded, had convinced him that change must come primarily from education. But he was equally certain that benefits could not be expected from the traditional madrasa but only from the “new-method” schools being promoted by the Jadids. He joined the Tarbiyati Atfol (Tarbīat-e Aṭfāl), a secret Jadid society committed to the establishment of schools and the promotion of various literary activities (ʿAynī, Muḵtasari tarjumai holi ḵudam [Moḵtaṣar-e tarjama-ye ḥāl-e ḵᵛodam “My short biography”], in Kulliyot [Kollīyāt] I, pp. 85-86). He taught in a new-method school which had been established for Tatar children in Bukhara in 1907, and a year later he founded a separate school for Tajiks. The elementary textbook, Tahzib us-sibyon ([Tahḏīb al-ṣebyān “Education of the youth”] 1909), which he composed for it, offered a variety of readings based upon new-method principles. Within the religious and moral framework of Islam, it taught pupils to revere school as a holy place and to pursue learning as a salvation from evil in this world. Another of ʿAynī’s textbooks, Zaruriyoti din (Żarūrīyāt-e dīn “Requirements of religion” 1914), reveals his continued preoccupation with religion as an indispensable moral accompaniment to secular learning. Like his fellow Jadids, ʿAynī also used the press to disseminate his pedagogical ideas and contributed regularly to Buḵoroi šarif and Oina.

ʿAynī continued to write poetry in both Tajik and Uzbek. Although the form remained classical, the themes reflected his growing involvement in current social questions, and the language showed a further move towards a more colloquial diction. Sometimes sadness showed through as he meditated on human irrationality and ignorance. In “Fojiai shea va sunni” ([Fājeʿa-ye šīʿa wa sonnī “The Šīʿa-Sunni tragedy”), written in 1910 shortly after a bloody clash between Sunnis and Shiʿites in Bukhara, he expressed horror at the killing of Muslims by Muslims in the name of religion. In “Hasrat” (Ḥasrat “Grief”), a long poem in Uzbek, he lamented the lack of modern educational opportunities for the peoples of Central Asia and warned that if reforms were not soon forthcoming Turkestan would be transformed into a “graveyard.”

During the First World War ʿAynī remained active in Jadid educational activities. His most important didactic publication was the second edition of his 1909 school reader. It contained a new story illustrative of the development of his own ideas and art, one told by means of letters passed between a young man and his family. Entitled “Ḵonadoni ḵušbaḵt” (Ḵānadān-e ḵošbaḵt “Fortunate family”), it was intended to impress upon young readers the need for serious study (ʿAynī, Tahzib us-sibyon, Samarkand, 1917, pp. 44-46). It was ʿAynī’s first piece of realistic prose, a modest work, but one in which straightforward dialogue, in contrast to the flowery narrative style of the time, allowed the characters to reveal their distinct personalities.

The Russian revolutions of February and October, 1917 changed the direction, if not always the substance, of ʿAynī’s art. After a brief imprisonment and severe beating by the amir’s men in Bukhara in April, he went to Samarkand, which was under Russian control and where he came into contact with Muslim organizations linked to the local soviet. These experiences and his belief that revolution had opened the way to intellectual freedom and the enlightenment of the masses made him a fervent supporter of the new regime. He served it as poet, journalist, and teacher.

The poetry he wrote between 1917 and 1920 faithfully chronicled the growth of his militancy. His first poems after his arrival in Samarkand were filled with a sense of hopelessness at being uprooted from familiar places. But by the end of 1917 he had rediscovered his vocation as a teacher and reformer. He attacked the amir’s regime in harsh, uncompromising verses and composed a series of marches extolling the accomplishments of the October revolution. Notable among them was “Surudi ozodi” (Sorūd-e āzādī “Song of freedom”), composed in October, 1918, which was revolutionary for Tajik poetry not only in theme but also in its rhythms. He sensed an awakening of the entire East and in marches written in 1919 in Uzbek and Tajik he summoned its peoples to rise up together against the old order.

ʿAynī also used the columns of the new Soviet Tajik press to rally support for the revolution and social and economic reform. Almost daily between 1919 and 1921 he published articles in Šuʿlai inqilob (Šoʿla-ye enqelāb), the organ of the Samarkand Communist Party regional committee, explaining the party’s objectives and urging support for the Red Army. On the delicate national question he followed the Bolshevik line, which called for autonomy for Turkestan on Soviet rather than “bourgeois nationalist” foundations. Yet, the idea underlying these articles was the promise of new freedom and well-being under the Soviet system, which ʿAynī argued, could prosper only by eliminating “darkness”(torikī). He thus pursued his old theme of enlightenment as the way to progress, praising the opening of new schools and the printing of more books and newspapers (“Hukumati shuroi ba mo chi dod [Ḥokūmat-e šūrāʾī ba mā če dād]?” Šuʿlai inqilob, December 15, 1919, in ʿAynī, Aknun navbati qalam ast [Aknūn nawbat-e qalam ast] I, pp. 105-09).

The reform of education remained ʿAynī’s constant preoccupation. He founded the first Soviet school in Samarkand and taught in it himself and wrote new textbooks, which were widely used in Tajik and Uzbek schools. Characteristic of these readers was Qizbola yo ki Ḵolida (“The little girl or Ḵolida” Berlin, 1924), written in Uzbek in 1922 for girls’ primary schools. In thirty lessons it traced the maturing of Ḵolida from a spoiled little girl into a devoted, self reliant teacher, who was the prototype of later heroines of ʿAynī’s novels—the liberated woman.

The early 1920s were a period of literary transition for ʿAynī. Although he continued to write poetry, he had by now decided that prose would be his principal means of artistic expression. He evidently thought prose better suited than poetry to depict the fundamental social changes taking place under the new regime, for he confessed that he found the meters and rhythms of classical prosody inhibiting. In 1922 he completed his first realistic story, Jallodoni Buḵoro ([Jallādān-e Boḵārā “The executioners of Bukhara”] in Kulliyot I, pp. 101-82; Sobranie III, pp. 7-66), an indictment of the amir and his circle told through the conversations of prison guards, and in 1924 he began the publication of his first critical success in prose, the short novel, Sarguzašti yak tojiki kambaḡal (Sargoḏašt-e yak tājīk-e kam-baḡal “The story of a poor Tajik”), better known by its hero’s name, Odina. His marches in 1918 and 1919 may have been an initial attempt to bridge the perceived gap between poetical form and social reality.

The political and social changes that had taken place in Central Asia after the revolution and civil war had a profound effect on the development of Tajik literature in general and ʿAynī’s creativity in particular. The recognition of a distinct Tajik ethnic and political nation through the establishment of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924 and of the Union Republic in 1929 provided a framework within which a “national” literature could be nurtured. The new regime, which had embarked upon rapid industrialization and collectivization, mobilized writers to promote its ambitious economic and social goals. The creation of the Tajik Union of Writers in 1933 gave it an instrument capable of directing all aspects of literary production. ʿAynī was its first president. He also served on various local governmental bodies, but, preferring the quiet of his study, he does not seem to have been an “activist.”

After 1925 ʿAynī devoted himself primarily to literary and scholarly pursuits. In the latter 1920s and the 1930s, the most creative period of his life, he produced three major novels: Doḵunda (1930), Ḡulomon ([Ḡolāmān “Slaves”] 1934 in Uzbek; 1935 in Tajik), and Margi sudḵur ([Marg-e sūd-ḵor “the usurer’s death”] 1939). He wrote another novel, Yatim (“Orphan;” Stalinabad, 1940, in Kulliyot IV, pp. 183-345; Sobranie III, pp. 321-432), about a Tajik boy’s separation from his mother and subsequent adventures with Soviet border guards in their struggle against counterrevolutionaries. The plot is melodramatic and the characters are predictable, but the scenes of early family life are charming. ʿAynī’s main poetical work during the period was Jangi odamu ob ([Jang-e ādam o āb “Man’s struggle with water”] 1937), a doston in the old Iranian motaqāreb meter, which described in heroic terms the taming of the Vaḵš river to serve the needs of the new collective farms.

During the Second World War ʿAynī voiced his patriotism in numerous short poems and prose works, but unlike the majority of Soviet writers, who focused their attention on contemporary events, ʿAynī turned to the past. In his condemnation of Hitler and the German invaders he drew upon heroic episodes of Perso-Tajik history. Characteristic were the stories, Qahramoni halqi tojik Temurmalik ([Qahramān-e ḵalq-e tājīk Tīmūr Malek “The hero of the Tajik people, Tīmūr Malek”] Stalinabad (Dushanbe), 1944; Kulliyot V, pp. 141-218; Sobranie VI, pp. 104-41), which told of the defense of Ḵojand against the armies of Genghis Khan, and Isyoni Muqanna ([ʿEṣyān-e Moqannaʿ “Moqannaʿ’s uprising”] Stalinabad, 1944, in Kulliyot X, pp. 194-284; Sobranie VI, pp. 7-78), a tale of resistance by the ancestors of the Tajiks to the Arab invasion of the eighth century.

After the war ʿAynī’s literary activities remained focused on that past. Although numerous civic honors were bestowed upon him—he became president of the newly established Tajik Academy of Sciences in 1951—he refused to join in the adulation of Stalin or to turn out production novels as prescribed by party ideologues. Rather, he intensified his study of Tajik and Central Asian literatures and wrote four volumes of his memoirs, which by the time of his death he had brought down to 1900.

ʿAynī’s reputation as a creative writer rests primarily upon four novels published between 1924 and 1939. Forming a panorama of Tajik society between the first half of the nineteenth century and the early 1930s, they are concerned mainly with the lives of ordinary people. ʿAynī was clearly influenced by the general evolution of Soviet fiction during the period, but his principal debt was to the Tajik ethnic experience and the Tajik literary tradition.

Odina (Kulliyot I, pp. 183-327; Sobranie III, pp. 67-132) is concerned with the mountain peasants of eastern Bukhara and the changes brought about in their traditional way of life by the revolution. ʿAynī displayed an intimate knowledge of the dehqon (dehqān) and described sympathetically the struggles and ultimate failure of the hero to make a new life for himself. Odina was thus far removed from the positive hero of socialist realist art. He remained a traditional figure, undergoing no inner evolution as a result of his experiences and allowing fate to take its course. Many other features of traditional prose were also present—the loose construction and the accumulation of casual incidents, the abundance of poetic interventions, and the idealized pair of lovers (Odina and Gulbibi). Yet, a transition to modern techniques is discernible. Odina was indeed unlike anything that had appeared before in Tajik prose: The main characters were poor peasants, the past was recent and unheroic, the images and style were down-to-earth, and the language was the rich vernacular.

The positive hero made his appearance in Tajik fiction in Doḵunda (Kulliyot II; Sobranie I, pp. 121-494). Yodgor was a poor peasant, but unlike Odina, he struggled to reshape the village in accordance with Communist values. Artistically, Yodgor is a more successful creation than Odina. While the latter was a static figure, the former evolved from a submissive mountaineer eager to obtain the good things of life only for himself into a class-conscious revolutionary dedicated to improving his community. But this is no five-year-plan novel written to ideological specifications. Tradition retained its hold on ʿAynī. He digressed frequently, and his portrayal of life in the village before the revolution is a masterpiece of affectionate detail.

Gulomon (Kulliyot III; Sobranie II) chronicles the life of Tajik peasants from the early nineteenth century to the triumph of the kolkhoz in the 1930s. Perhaps ʿAynī’s finest novel and certainly the major work of Tajik fiction before the Second World War, it combines his deep knowledge of Tajik history and sympathetic understanding of Tajik rural life with continued faith in the new economic order as the key to prosperity and social justice. It also brings ʿAynī’s art closer to the ideals of socialist realism. Society is divided into opposing classes, and the heroes and villains stand in stark contrast to one another. Here, no middle ground exists between good and evil. ʿAynī also contrasts the individualistic labor of the old society, which brought neither material rewards nor spiritual happiness, with the collective labor of the new, which ennobled man. Here the “new man” of Soviet society reaches maturity in the persons of the kolkhoz member Hasan (Ḥasan), the son of slaves, and Fotima (Fāṭema), a Komsomol member and a tractor driver. Their superior moral and social qualities and optimistic view of life stamp them as citizens of the future. But they are not merely embodiments of an idea. In ʿAynī’s hands, they are also creatures of flesh and blood.

The short novel, Margi sudḵur (Kulliyot IV, pp. 6-182; Sobranie III, pp. 183-320), added a new dimension to ʿAynī’s art—psychological analysis. He probes the character of a moneylender against the background of Bukharan society before the revolution. Through numerous episodes in Qurī Iškamba’s business and religious life ʿAynī fashions a portrait of utter baseness and hypocrisy. The moneylender, who exhibits no redeeming qualities, symbolizes a society for which there is no hope, and at the end of the novel Qorī himself falls dead at reports that the Bolsheviks have seized power.

All of ʿAynī’s works of fiction were, in a sense, studies of Tajik history and society, but he also investigated his people’s cultural development and ethnic character in numerous works of original scholarship. He was, for example, intent upon proving the antiquity of Tajik literature and argued that it had had its beginnings in the ninth century and that the great poets from Rūdakī to Jāmī were the common heritage of both Tajiks and Persians. To persuade doubters and to give the lie to the claims of Pan-Turks that the Tajiks were merely Turks who had lost their language because of Iranian domination (ʿAynī, Muḵtasari tarjumai holi ḵudam, Kulliyot I, p. 97), he assembled a critical anthology, Namunai adabiyoti tojik ([Namūna-ye adabīyāt-e tājīk “A picture of Tajik literature”] Moscow, 1926), covering a thousand years of writing. ʿAynī’s comments on classical and modern authors make it the first work of Tajik literary criticism. To his earlier, shorter studies of classical verse in Ustod Rudaki ([Ostād Rūdakī] Stalinabad, 1940; Sobranie VI, pp. 79-103), Dar borai Firdavsī va "Šohnoma"-iu ([Dar bāra-ye Ferdowsī wa Šāh-nāma-ye ū “About Ferdowsī and his Šāh-nāma”] Leningrad, 1940; Kulliyot XI/1, pp. 7-50), and Šaiḵ Muslihiddin Saʿdīi Šerozii ([Šayḵ Moṣleḥ-al-dīn Saʿdī Šīrāzī] Stalinabad, 1942; Sobranie VI, pp. 1942-68) he now added large-scale monographs—Alisher Navoi ([ʿAlī-Šīr Navāʾī) Stalinabad, 1948; Kulliyot XI/1, pp. 265-470) and Mirzo Abdulqodiri Bedil ([Mīrzā ʿAbd-al-Qāder Bīdel] Stalinabad, 1954; Kulliyot XI/2, pp. 9-327; Sobranie VI, pp. 194-265). The former was the culmination of his longstanding interest in the relations between Tajik and Jaḡatāy-Uzbek literatures and of his appreciation of Navāʾī’s influence throughout the Middle East; the latter was the first scholarly biography of Bīdel and detailed analysis of his work, and, in a sense, it reintroduced him into Tajik literature.

ʿAynī’s historical writings are mainly to be found interspersed in his memoirs and fiction, where materials for a social history of the Tajiks abound. His view of history as a teaching tool and a political weapon is evident in his two principal historical works: Taʾriḵi amironi manḡitiyai Buḵoro ([Tārīḵ-eamīrān-e manḡītī-e Boḵārā “The history of the Mangit amirs of Bukhara”] Tashkent, 1923; Kulliyot X, pp. 5-191; Sobranie VI, pp. 266-312) dwelled upon the corruption of the Bukharan ruling dynasty between the middle of the eighteenth century and 1920 and was undoubtedly intended to justify its recent overthrow: Buḵoro inqilobi taʾriḵi učun materiallar (Moscow, 1926; ʿAynī, Asarlar I, pp. 181-349) reveals ʿAynī as a skillful chronicler of contemporary events and polemicist and should be read in conjunction with his newspaper columns of the same period. Drawing upon diverse sources relating to the period 1900-18, he shows why and how revolution came to Central Asia.

ʿAynī, more than any other individual, was responsible for establishing the norms of the modern Tajik literary language. His works of fiction winnowed out elaborate phraseology and obsolete vocabulary and spoke directly to the growing mass audience (N. Maʿsumi, Očerkho oid ba inkišofi zaboni adabii tojīk [Očerkhā ʿāyed ba enkešāf-e zabān-e adabī-e tājīk “Sketches concerning the development of a Tajik literary language”], Stalinabad, 1959, pp. 145-59, 231-60). Of particular importance was dialogue, a major component of his fiction, which elevated everyday speech to the level of art. ʿAynī also intervened directly in the debates among Tajik intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s over the nature and future development of the Tajik literary language. He favored its modernization through the gradual elimination of unnecessary Arabic and Uzbek words and expressions and the replacement of the “complicated” Arabic by the “more appropriate” Latin alphabet. Yet, he urged that changes be made with due consideration for the Tajik cultural heritage and warned against the artificial replacement of Arabic terms that had become an integral part of the Tajik language (ʿAynī, Masʾalahoi zaboni tojiki [Masʾalahā-ye zabān-e tājīkī “Problems of the Tajik language”], Kulliyot XI/2, pp. 335-86). His goals were practical—to provide contemporary writers with a suitable tool and the public with ready access to enlightenment. His pioneering works of lexicography, notably his massive Luḡati nimtafsili tojiki baroi zaboni adabii tojik ([Loḡat-e nīm-tafṣīl-e tājīkī barā-ye zabān-e adabī-e tājīk “A half-comprehensive Tajik dictionary for the literary Tajik language”] Dushanbe, 1976; Kulliyot XII), were intended to set the new literary language on a solid foundation.

ʿAynī’s final major work, Yoddoštho (Kulliyot VI, VII; Sobranie IV, V), may be read on several levels—as a remembrance of childhood and young manhood, as an inquiry into the meaning of his own life, and as an attempt to comprehend the underlying forces at work in social change. At the same time, the four parts, which span a period between the 1880s and 1900, provide a synthesis of all his previous literary work. In subject matter, the varied individual types and groups of Tajik society from his novels—the artisans of Bukhara, the mountain peasants, and those who exploited them—are all there. In form, the memoirs resemble a succession of stories, each complete within itself and confirming once again ʿAynī’s mastery of short fiction. His technique varies from the sober, almost scholarly exposition of events (the description of his life in the madrasa) to the lyrical “ḡazal in prose” (the death of his mother and father). Perhaps most striking is the directness with which great and small events alike are related, an apparent simplicity that suggests profound truth.

ʿAynī died on July 15, 1954 in Dushanbe. His contributions to Tajik fiction, literary history and criticism, and language were pioneering. They are the starting-point for any study of twentieth-century Tajik literature.



(A) Works. Publication of a complete edition of ʿAynī’s works in Tajik in 15 volumes has been underway for some time: Kulliyot I-VII, IX-XIII, Stalinabad (Dushanbe), 1958-77. The first edition of Yoddoštho I-IV was published in Stalinabad, 1949-54; a fine Persian edition was published in one volume in Tehran (ed. ʿA. A. Saʿīdī Sīrjānī, 1362 Š./1983) with an introduction, a glossary of Tajik words (pp. 834-945), and indexes. Ample selections of his works are available in Russian: Sobranie sochineniĭ I-VI, Moscow, 1971-75, and in Uzbek: Asarlar I-VIII, Tashkent, 1963-67.

In Uzbek there is also Tanlangan ilmiy asarlar, Tashkent, 1978. Noteworthy among other anthologies are S. ʿAynī, Aḵgari inqilob, Dushanbe, 1974, a collection of lesser known poems and newspaper articles, and S. ʿAynī, Aknun navbati qalam ast I-II, Dushanbe, 1977-78, which contains newspaper articles, especially those from Šuʿlai inqilob, and literary works. Little of ʿAynī’s work has been translated into Western languages. His memoirs have appeared in German: Erinnerungen (Leipzig, 1955) and in French: (Boukhara by S. Borodine and P. Korotkine, Paris, 1956, the first two parts only). Pages from My Own Story (Moscow, 1958) is a translation by G. H. Hanna of ʿAynī’s Muḵtasari tarjumai holi ḵudam. There is also S. ʿAynī, La mort de l’usurier, Paris, 1957.

(B) Studies of his life and work. Among recent general surveys are I. Braginskiĭ, Sadriddin Aĭni. Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1978, and Jiří Bečka, Sadriddin Aini, Father of Tajik Culture, Naples, 1980.

On ʿAynī’s poetry, Kh. N. Niyazov, Put’ Sadriddina Aĭni—poet, Moscow, 1965, is indispensable. The realist elements in ʿAynī’s novels have received continuous attention. Useful are A. Saifulloev, Romani ustod Sadriddin Ayni “Dokunda” (Romān-e Ostād Ṣadr-al-dīn ʿAynī “Doḵunda”), Dushanbe, 1966; H. Husainov, Zabon va uslobi “Odina”-i ustod Ayni (Zabān wa oslūb-e “Odina”-ye Ostād ʿAynī), Dushanbe, 1973; and A. Saifulloev, Maktabi Ayni (Maktab-e ʿAynī), Dushanbe, 1978.

For a discussion of ʿAynī’s fiction and memoirs within the broad framework of modern Tajik prose, see Taʾriḵi adabiyoti sovetii tojik (Tārīḵ-eadabīyāt-e sāvetī-e tājīk) II: L. N. Demidchik, Nasri solhoi 30 (Naṯr-e sālhā-ye 30), Dushanbe, 1978, pp. 46-161, passim, and IV: M. Shukurov, Nasri solhoi 1945-1974 (Naṯr-e sālhā-ye 1945-74), Dushanbe, 1980, pp. 198-219, passim.

ʿAynī’s views on the modern Tajik literary language are amply discussed in N. Maʿsumi, Očerkho oid ba inkišofi zaboni adabii tojik, Stalinabad, 1959, which analyzes Margi sudḵur, and S. Halimov, Sadriddin Aynī va baʿze masʾalahoi inkišofi zabone adabii tojik (Ṣadr-a-dīn ʿAynī wa baʿż-ī masʾalahā-ye enkešāf-e zabān-e adabī-e tājīk), Dushanbe, 1974.

On the problems of translating ʿAynī’s prose into Russian see Z. Mullodzhanova, Stil’ originala i perevod, Dushanbe, 1976.

Articles in Tajik and Russian on all aspects of ʿAynī’s life and work are contained in the series Jašnnomai Ayni (Jašn-nāma-ye ʿAynī) I-V, Stalinabad (Dushanbe), 1960-78.

Essential research tools are the bibliographies of over 4,500 items by J. Azizqulov and Z. Mullojonova, Fehrasti asarhoi S. Aynī va adabiyoti oid ba u to okhiri soli 1961 (Fehrest-e aṯarhā-ye Ṣ. ʿAynī wa adabīyāt-e ʿāyed ba ū tā aḵer-e sāl-e 1961), Dushanbe, 1963 and by Z. Mullojonova and N. Faizulloev, Fehrasti asarhoi S. Aynī va adabiyoti oid ba ū, solhoi 1962-1976, Dushanbe, 1978.

See also Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., pp. 535, 559-64, 602-03, and index.

Search terms:

 عینی، صدر الدین ayni, sadr al din   eyni, sadr al din


(K. Hitchins)

Originally Published: December 15, 1987

Last Updated: August 18, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, pp. 144-149