DASTŪR AL-AFĀŻEL FĪ LOḠĀT AL-FAŻĀʾEL (Manual of the learned for learned words), an early Persian-to-Persian dictionary (farhang-nāma), compiled in India in 743/1342, during the reign of Moḥammad b. Tōḡloq Shah (725-52/1325-52) by Ḥājeb Ḵayrāt Rafīʿ, a poet from Delhi, for his patron Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Aḥmad b. ʿAlī Jajnīrī. Comparisons show that Ḥājeb Ḵayrāt’s sources included the early dictionaries Lōḡat-e fors of Asadī Ṭūsī (11th century) and Farhang-e Faḵr-e Qawwās (ca. 700/1300). Although the dictionary includes no corroborative citations, the compiler listed the authors whose prose or poetry he used: Ferdowsī (d. ca. 416/1025-26), Abu’l-Qāsem Ḥasan ʿOnṣorī (d. 431/1039), Abu’l-Majd Majdūd b. Ādam Sanāʾī (d. after 528/1134), Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Fāryābī (d. after 598/1201-02), Mojīr-al-Dīn Baylaqānī (d. 597/1197-98), Jamāl-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Razzāq Eṣfahānī (d. 588/1192), Kamāl-al-Dīn Esmāʿīl (d. 635/1237), Neẓāmī Ganjavī (d. 605/1209), Šaraf-al-Dīn Šafarva (fl. 12th century), Saʿdī, Homām Tabrīzī (d. 714/1314), Nāṣer-e Ḵosrow (b. 304/1004), Sayf Aʿraj, Awḥad-al-Dīn Moḥammad Anwarī, Moḥammad b. ʿAlī Sūzanī Samarqandī (d. 569/1173-74), Afżal-al-Din Ḵāqānī Šīrvānī (d. 595 /1199), Emām Nāṣerī (fl. 13th century), and other poets of India and Khorasan.

Dastūr al-afāżel contains 2,111 definitions, mostly of nouns and proper names, with only a few infinitives, adjectives, and adverbs. There are many Arabic and a few Turkish words. It is the first Persian dictionary known to have been arranged alphabetically by initial letters, though words beginning with the same letter occur in no particular order. Entries are very short, consisting only of the word and an equivalent (sometimes in Urdu), usually without further explanation or indication of pronunciation. There is occasional evidence of dialectal or local lexical peculiarities, for example Transoxanian dādar “brother” and Deylamite kīā “hero” (pp. 127, 208).

The work includes words not found in other early dictionaries and was a source for later dictionaries, including Adāt al-fożalāʾ (822/1419), Farhang-e zafāngūyā (before 837/1433), Baḥr al-fażāʾel (837/1433), Šaraf-nāma-ye Monyarī (878/1473), Toḥfat al-saʿādat (916/1510), Moʾayyed al-fożalāʾ (925/1519), Madār al-afāżel (1001/1592), and Farhang-e jahān-gīrī (1017/1608).

Only one manuscript of Dastūr al-afāżel is known to have suvived; it was copied ca. 900/1600 and is now kept in the library of The Asiatic Society in Calcutta (Ivanow, no. 517). It was published for the first time in Persia in an edition by Naḏīr Aḥmad (Tehran, 1352 Š./1973).



W. Ivanow, Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Curzon Collection, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1926.

S. I. Baevskii, Rannyaya persidskaya leksikografiya, 11th-15th vv. (Early Persian lexicography, 11th-15th centuries), Moscow, 1989, pp. 55-60.


(Solomon Baevsky)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 18, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 112 and Vol. VII, Fasc. 2, p. 113