DHĀRVĀL or DHĀR, QĀŻĪ KHAN BADR MOḤAMMAD (or Ḥosayn) DEHLAVĪ, 15th-century Persian lexicographer in India, so named because he settled in Dhār (hence his nesba Dhārvāl), capital of the Ghurid principality of Malwa.

A native of Delhi, he studied there with two leading philologists of the time, Qāżī Borhān-al-Dīn of Bodhānā and ŠayḵzādaʿĀsheq, the author of a dictionary used by Enjū Šīrāzī (Dhārvāl, p. 1; Rieu, Persian Manuscripts, p. 491; Nafīsī, Naẓm o naṯr, p. 194). He specialized in the study of the Persian vocabulary. From Delhi he went to Jaunpur, the capital of the Sharqid kingdom (796-881/1394-1477), which was becoming an important center of patronage for scholars. Under the governorship of Qadr Khan, the scholarly brother of the Ghurid ruler Hūšang Shah, the town of Dhār had become a center of scholarship. Qāżī Khan emigrated there, making use of his Adāt al-fożalāʾ as an introduction (Dhārvāl, p. 2).

Dhārvāl was one of the first Indian scholars to compile a Persian dictionary. His Adāt al-fożalāʾ (822/1419 or 812/1409) is small book divided into two parts, the first an alphabetical list of Persian words and the second a list alphabetized by first and last letter of compounds and poetical phrases. It was compiled on the basis of several earlier dictionaries, with the addition of words and phrases found by the author in a number of classical Persian poets. The book survives in manuscript and was used by Enjū Šīrāzī, the author of Farhang-e jahāngīrī. His second work was an Arabic to Persian dictionary entitled Dastūr al-eḵwān. A brief introduction in Persian lists a number of authors, mostly classical Persian poets (Anwarī, Saʿdī, Neẓāmī, etc.), from whose works the Arabic words had been chosen. It seems that a major use of the dictionary was to define the Arabic words found in Persian poetry, rather than to assist students of Arabic. It contains 16,000 words, arranged alphabetically by word (not root), with Persian translations. Verbs are given in the form of infinitives or participles, the form in which they would be used in Persian. Several equivalent words or phrases are often given for a single Arabic word, and Arabic idioms are sometimes explained. In the introduction to the latter work Dhārvāl mentions that he had also written a taḏkera of poets(al-Ḏarīʿa VIII, p. 150).



M. A. ʿAbbāsī, Tafṣīlī fehrest-e maḵṭūṭāt-e fārsīya-ye Panjāb Public Library, supp. I, Lahore, 1966.

M. Bašīr Ḥosayn, Fehrest-e-maḵṭūṭat-e Šafīʿ, Lahore, 1392/1972.

Dehḵodā, I, pp. 180, 317-18.

Qāżī Khan Badr Moḥammad Dhārvāl, Adāt al-fożalāʾ, ms. no. 473 qāż, Punjab Public Library, Lahore.

Idem, Dastūr al-eḵwān, ed. S. Najafī Asad-Allāhī, 2 vols., Tehran, 1349-50 Š./1970-71; review in Rāhnemā-ye Ketāb 18, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 83-86 and Soḵan 24, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 842-44.

ʿA.-A. Ḥekmat, Sarzamīn-e Hend, Tehran, 1337 Š./1958.

ʿA.-Ḥ. Ḥosaynī, al-Hend fi’l-ʿahd al-eslāmī, Hyderabad (Deccan), 1392/1972.

ʿA.-N. Monzawī, Farhang-nāmahā-ye ʿarabī be fārsī, Tehran, 1337 Š/1958.

Storey, III, pp. 11-12.

Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., pp. 430, 721.

(M. Saleem Akhtar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1995

Last Updated: November 22, 2011

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Vol. VII, Fasc. 4, pp. 358-359