QAZVINI, MOḤAMMAD B. ʿABD-AL-WAHHĀB (محمد عبدالوهاب قزوینی, b. Tehran, 15 Rabiʿ I 1294/30 March 1877; d. Tehran, 6 Ḵordād 1328 Š./27 May 1949), distinguished scholar of Persian history and literature. 

Qazvini’s life story is related in a number of sources, including an autobiography composed in 1924 but published in 1928 and reprinted in his Bist maqāla (1984, I, pp. 7-30). Another informative biography, written by Moḥammad Moʿin, may be considered equally authoritative, since it had been approved by Qazvini himself (Moʿin, pp. 38-64; repr., pp. 129-56).  Additional information may be culled from Qazvini’s writings and the recollections of his friends and associates.   Two other important sources have recently become available, namely, Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi’s journals (Foruḡi, see I. Afšār’s introd., pp. 1, 13) and a volume of Qazvini’s letters to Foruḡi (Qazvini, 2015). 

Youth and education in Iran.  Qazvini studied the basics of Arabic grammar and syntax with his father until the age of twelve.  After his father’s death in 1889, he continued his education under his father’s friend and colleague, Shaikh Moḥammad-Mahdi ʿAbd-al-Rabbābādi, and later at the Moʿayyer-al-Mamālek madrasa under the distinguished scholars Ḥājj Sayyed Moṣṭafā Qanātābādi (d. 1340/1922) and Ḥājj Sayyed Moṣṭafā Qāyeni (Moʿin, p. 38; repr., pp. 128-29).  He was trained in the preliminaries of Islamic Law and jurisprudence (feqh) for five or six years by Ḥājj Sayyed Moḥammad-Ṣādeq Ṭehrāni and studied advanced law under Shaikh Fażl-Allāh Nuri (k. 1327/1909).  He also learned Islamic philosophy from Ḥājj Shaikh ʿAli Nuri at the Ḵān Marvi madrasa in Tehran, before 1319/1902 (Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, pp. 2248-49, 2270-71), and was educated in the basics of Islamic jurisprudence by Mollā Moḥammad-ʿAli Āmoli at the Ḵāzen-al-Molk madrasa.  Later, he studied advanced jurisprudence under Ḥājj Mirzā Ḥasan Āštiāni (d. 1316/1899; Moʿin, repr., p. 129).  He studied with a number of other scholastic luminaries of his time, whom he fondly recalls in his autobiographical essays (Bist maqāla, pp. 9-10), and he mentions his great intellectual debt to one of the founders of modernism in Iran, namely, Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Foruḡi (1839-1907). 

Qazvini’s education in Iran was not limited to traditional Islamic sciences.  He also studied French at the Alliance School (see FRANCE xv. FRENCH SCHOOLS IN PERSIA) and even jokingly referred to himself as a “French-speaking mulla” (āḵvond-e farānsavidān; Foruḡi, p. 266).  His command of the French language and literature later impressed Qāsem Ḡani, who had been educated at French schools of Beirut and Paris (Ḡani, 1982, p. 857; idem, 2000, pp. 170-71). Qazvini never mentioned the fact that he had learned his French at the Alliance School, which was run by the International Jewish Organization, to Ḥasan Taqizāda, who believed that he had learned it at the San Louis School, which was managed by French Catholic missionaries  (Taqizāda, 1950, p. 73).  In fact, Qazvini attended this school surreptitiously and even changed his traditional turban and garb of a young mulla when he wanted to attend a performance at the school (Foruḡi, pp. 99, 106; cf. Ḡani, 1982, p. 849). Qazvini received a prize for his command of the language in May 1904; he was also familiar with the approach and techniques of Western scholarship through reading scholarly French books and journals, which he managed to obtain from special bookstores in Iran.  He also translated some of his readings into Persian (Foruḡi, pp. 42, 48-49, 78, 87, 252, 334, 377; Qazvini, Maqālāt IV, p. 881).  This is a significant point concerning the assessment of the impact of Qazvini’s European experience on his scholarship, an impact that is often exaggerated.  He was one of the best teachers of Arabic grammar in Tehran (Taqizāda, 1950, p. 80); and, before moving to Europe, he was not only very well trained in traditional Islamic learning, but was also familiar with methods and approaches of Western scholarship.   

In his youth, Qazvini, who was known as Āqā Shaikh Moḥammad (Foruḡi, p. 28) was a close friend of Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi.  The two shared many of their private thoughts, and it is fortunate that Foruḡi preserved some of Qazvini’s early views in his meticulous journals.  He writes of the young Qazvini’s intense curiosity about everything, for instance, how handsome people felt about their own looks (Foruḡi, pp. 48-49).  We know from Foruḡi that Qazvini was interested in folk expressions and slang, especially those that thugs and wrestlers, with some of whom he was personally acquainted, used (pp. 78, 327; cf. Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2202).  We also have reports of Qazvini going to various traditional Persian gymnasiums (zur-ḵāna) in order to learn wrestling and collect wrestlers’ slang and names of various wrestling moves (Eqbāl, 2003, p. 523).  Quite possibly, his interest in folklore, as reflected in the considerable folklore data in his notes, was rooted in this youthful fascination.  However, he did not want to be publically associated with folk tradition, and when Taqizāda asked him for the folklore data that he had collected from classical sources, he agreed on the condition that his involvement with “this nonsense (lāṭāʾelāt)” be kept private (Qazvini, Nāmahā, p. 15).   

Qazvini was generous with younger scholars and those who needed his help or advice, but he was also sensitive and got easily offended.  When feeling scorned, he was capable of considerable bitterness.  For instance, towards the end of Foruḡi’s life, he was angered with his old friend and severed all contact with him over something quite trivial (Nafisi, pp. 152-53) in spite of the fact that Foruḡi, by Qazvini’s own admission, had several times rescued him from virtual poverty in Europe (Qazvini, 2015, pp. 56-60, 70-71, 77).  Qazvini’s sudden dislike of Foruḡi was so severe that, in his celebrated notices about his contemporaries (wafayāt al-moʿāṣerin), he merely recorded Foruḡi’s name and date of death without a word of description, pity, or praise (Yāddāšthā, p. 2255).  Aḥmad Mahdawi Dāmḡāni, who was closely associated with Qazvini, intimated to the author that, once in response to his praise of Foruḡi’s learning, Qazvini disdainfully shook his head and commented, “Foruḡi and learning?” repeating the statement twice (Foruḡi wa fażl? Foruḡi wa fażl?). 

The relationship between Qazvini and Foruḡi may have been somewhat ambivalent from their youth, because in his journals Foruḡi praises Qazvini’s learning and natural curiosity (Foruḡi, pp.), but also considers him to be psychologically imbalanced and even suggests that he may suffer from melancholia (pp. 110, 172, 193, 325). 

Life in Europe.  Qazvini’s immigration to Europe was instigated by his younger brother, Aḥmad Wahābi, who was staying in London as an employee of an Iranian company. Aḥmad invited him to visit London in order to rest and visit the city’s fine libraries.  Qazvini must have received the invitation shortly before 3 April 1904, when he told Foruḡi about it (Foruḡi, pp. 249, 252, 333, 372).  After some hesitation, he decided to leave for London and informed Foruḡi of it (pp. 358, 365).  He left Iran on 19 June 1904 and travelled to London by way of Russia, Germany, and Holland (Qazvini, Bist maqāla I, p. 13; Moʿin, repr., pp. 129-30).  At this time, he was about twenty-seven years of age.  Qazvini’s European life may be divided into four parts: staying in London for two years (1904-06), a first Parisian sojourn of eight years (1906-15), a stay of four and half years in Berlin (1915-20), and a second Parisian period of nineteen years (1920-39).  In total, he spent thirty-five of his seventy-two years abroad. 

In the course of his stay in London, Qazvini met a number of famous English orientalists, including Henry Frederick Amedroz (1854-1917), Anthony Ashley Bevan (1859-1933), Edward G. Browne (1862-1926), and Alexander George Ellis (1851-1942), for whom he had a great deal of respect.  Of these, Browne exerted the greatest material influence on Qazvini’s life, though his intellectual impact upon the Iranian scholar has been exaggerated (see Omidsalar, 2014).  Qazvini loved Browne dearly and movingly eulogized him (Bist maqāla II, pp. 292-333, esp. pp. 299, 326-27).  It must have been Browne who brought Qazvini to the attention of other members of the Gibb Memorial Trust.  The Trust asked him to prepare a critical edition of Jovayni’s Tāriḵ-e jahāngošāy, and in April of 1906, Qazvini left for Paris, where better manuscripts of the text were available.  This trip marks the beginning of the second phase of his European sojourn. 

In Paris, Qazvini came into contact with several French orientalists, including Hartwig Derenbourg (1844-1908), Antoine Meillet (1866-1936), Gabriel Ferrand (1864-1935), Clément Huart (1854-1926), Paul Casanova (1861-1926), Louis Massignon (1883-1962), Henri Massé (1886-1969), Edgard Blochet (1870-1937), and Paul Pelliot (1878-1945).  Except for Casanova and Meillet, he was less impressed by the French orientalists than he was by those whom he had met in England.  Qazvini stayed in Paris until October of 1915, when his access to manuscripts was severely curtailed, because, with the outbreak of World War I, they were moved to safer quarters.  Toward the end of 1915, an Iranian diplomat of his acquaintance, who was on his way to assume a new post in Berlin, persuaded Qazvini to accompany him to Germany.  Thinking that the war would end in a few months and he could return to his work in Paris, Qazvini agreed and left for Berlin.  His stay in that city however, was to last nearly five years.

Qazvini’s arrival in Berlin on Wednesday, 27 October 1915, marks the third period of his life in Europe (Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2568).  This was one of the most difficult but also fruitful parts of his European stay, during which he formed a long and productive friendship with Ḥasan Taqizāda, to whose journal, Kāva, he contributed several important essays.  He also attended the literary meetings that were held every Wednesday at the offices of that journal.  Aside from developing close friendships with a number of exiled Iranian luminaries, he made the acquaintance of several German orientalists in Berlin, including Sebastian Beck (1878-1951), Eduard Sachau (1845-1930), Eugen Mittwoch (1876-1942), Bernhard Moritz (1859-1939), and Martin Hartmann (1851-1918).  However, he always regretted that he could never meet the dean of 19th-century German orientalists, Theodor Nöldeke  (1803-1875; Bist maqāla I, pp. 18-23). 

Because of wartime shortages and other hardships, Qazvini’s stay in Berlin was physically taxing, and he recalls that many Iranian expatriates survived those lean years largely thanks to the extra rations that Taqizāda had managed to secure for them from the German government (Qazvini, Bist maqāla I, pp.17-18; Taqizāda, 1990, pp. 181-86).  Qazvini’s stay in Germany ended at the end of World War I, and he returned to Paris in January 1920 (Qzvini, Bist maqāla I p. 26; idem, Yāddāšthā, pp. 2610-13). 

The fourth and final phase of Qazvini’s European life begins with his return to Paris from Berlin, and ends with his return to Iran in 1939.  While living in Europe, he not only came to know and work with several Western orientalists, but also made friends with many Iranian luminaries.  The most important of these were ʿAli-Akbar Dehḵodā, Naṣr-Allāh Aḵawi, Sardār Asʿad Baḵtiāri, Mojtahed Tabrizi, whose command of Arabic literature amazed Qazvini, Moḥammad-ʿAli Jamālzāda, Kāẓemzāda Irānšahr, Mirzā Moḥammad-ʿAli Tarbiat, and Ebrāhim Purdāwud (Bist maqāla I, pp.16, 18-21; Taqizāda 1990, p. 344). 

Qazvini left Paris at the end of the summer 1939 and travelled by rail to Istanbul through the Balkans.  At this time, he was so well known that his arrival in Istanbul was reported by a Turkish newspaper on 21 September 1939.  In Istanbul he was warmly received by Ḥosayn Dāneš, an Iranian scholar and poet residing in Istanbul (Yāddāšthā, p. 2214).  After a short stay in Turkey, he travelled to Iran by way of Iraq.  In Iran, his friends and admirers, the Foruḡi brothers, Naṣr-Allāh Taqawi, Jamāl Aḵawi, Qāsem Ḡani , and the minister of education of the time, Esmāʿil Merʾāt, came as far as Karaj, some twenty kilometers west of Tehran, to receive him (Ḡani, 1982, p. 853).

In Tehran, Qazvini first rented a four-room apartment, but later he bought a house in the vicinity of Tehran University for thirty-six thousand tumāns.  He used his savings of four thousand and a royal gift of twenty thousand to pay part of the price in cash, and obtained a bank loan for the remainder.  Later, he paid off the loan when a wealthy merchant gave him twelve thousand tumāns to edit a history of Kermān (Ḡani, 2000, p. 163; Mahdawi, p. 812). 

Qazvini’s home in Tehran was the gathering place of the capital’s literary scholars, including Sayyed Faḵr-al-Din Šādmān, ʿAbbās Eqbāl, Saʿid Nafisi, Jalāl-al-Din Moḥaddeṯ Ormavi, Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Ṣediqi, Moḥammad-Taqi Modarres Rażawi, and Moḥammad Naḵjavāni.  Younger scholars such as Mortażā Modarresi Čahārdehi, and Aḥmad Mahdawi Dāmḡāni also attended the gatherings that he hosted at 10 o’clock in the morning on Fridays (Mahdawi, pp. 821-25).  A number of his close friends, such as Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi, Adib-al-Ṣalṭana Samiʿi and others also attended private sessions at his home, where the master musician ʿAli-Naqi Waziri occasionally came to play music and sing.  News of these meetings reached the royal court, and the young king, Moḥammad-Reżā Shah Pahlavi, expressed a wish to host some of these literary gatherings.  Qazvini was initially reluctant, but after repeated requests from the king’s associates and the encouragement of a number of his trusted friends, he finally relented.  These gatherings met Tuesday afternoons, usually at the Marble Palace (Qaṣr-e marmar).  Aside from a few officers of the court such as Ḥosayn ʿAlā’, Adib-al-Ṣalṭana Samiʿi, and the general Mortażā Yazdānpanāh, scholars such as Sayyed Naṣr-Allāh Taqawi, Moḥtašem-al-Salṭana Ḥasan Esfandiāri, ʿAli-Akbar Dehḵodā, Ḥosayn Šokuh (Šokuh-al-Molk), and Qāsem Ḡani attended these meetings (Ḡani, 2000, pp. 163-66).

Illness, death, and burial.  Qazvini suffered from chronic prostatitis, which worsened in the fall of 1948.   The shah informed him that the royal court would pay all of his expenses if he decided to undergo treatment in Europe, but Qazvini preferred to be treated in Iran and in the winter of that year was admitted to the Reżānur Hospital, where Yaḥyā ʿAdl operated on him and Doctor Yusef Mir took over his postoperative care (Ḡani, 1951, pp. 36-37; idem, 1982, pp. 858-59; Mahdawi, pp. 829-33).  After release from the hospital, he remained bedridden at home and developed bedsores, which worsened his condition.  In the early evening of 27 May 1949, his daughter called Taqizāda, who was out of town, and told him that her father’s situation had worsened.  At 10 p.m., Taqizāda asked Dr. Yusef Mir to pay Qazvini a visit.  By the time Dr. Mir arrived at Qazvini’s house, however, he had passed away, but neither his daughter, who was sitting at his bedside, nor Ḡani’s servant, who was standing in the hallway, were aware of his death (Ḡani, 1982, pp. 859-60, quoting Dr. Mir’s letter).  Qazvini’s death may therefore be placed at around 10 p.m. on 6 Ḵordād 1328/27 May 1949 (Eqbāl, 1950 p. 33).

In the morning of the next day, Mahdawi Dāmḡāni, hearing that Qazvini had passed away, went to Qazvini’s home, where he found his wife and daughter confused about what to do with the corpse.  Aided by Qazvini’s sister, who had arrived earlier, Mahdawi performed the traditional Muslim death rites, and the corpse was carried to the Sepahsālār Mosque at 2 p.m., where it was washed and shrouded for burial. The next day it was taken to the ʿAbd-al-ʿAẓim Sanctuary, where Sayyed Moḥammad Meškāt Birjandi led the burial prayer, and it was put to rest within the mausoleum of the great Shiʿite scholar Shaikh Abu’l-Fotuḥ Rāzi. Badiʿ-al-Zamān Foruzānfar managed the ceremonies of Qazvini’s burial, which was attended by more than two hundred and fifty people (Mahdawi, pp. 832-39). 

Ceremonies that marked the fortieth day of Qazvini’s death were held on 14 Tir 1328/5 July 1949 (Mahdawi, p. 844).   Tehran University was closed in observation of his death, and a memorial ceremony that was hosted by the Ministry of Education and the University was held at the auditorium of the Nurbaḵš high school and was attended by about two hundred people (Yaḡmāʾi, p. 196; Ḡani, 2000, p. 174).

Personal and family life.  Qazvini was born in the Darvāza Qazvin quarter of Tehran to ʿAbd-al-Wahhāb b. Abdal-ʿAli Qazvini, one of the contributors to the Qajar encyclopedia project Nāma-ye dānešvarān, and his wife Sāra Ḵātun (d. 1323/1905; Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2223).  Both of his parents were natives of the village of Golizur near Qazvin, where his paternal grandfather was the village headman (Eqbāl, 1950, p. 27).  For this reason, he occasionally used the nesba Golizuri (e.g., Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2251).  He was the eldest of his parents’ children and had a younger brother, Aḥmad, who adopted the surname ʿAbdolwahhābi (sometimes called Wahhābi), and a sister named Maryam.

Qazvini married late in life, and may have had at least one pre-marital romantic involvement, because, in a note dated 10 November 1918, he mentions a certain Anna, who apparently spent some evenings at his home during his stay in Germany (Yāddāšthā, p. 2591).  In 1920, Qazvini married Rosa Schiavi, who hailed from the region of Savoy in France (Ḡani, 1982, p. 850).  Little was known about his marriage until his letters to Moḥammad- ʿAli Foruḡi were discovered.  In one of these, dated 5 November 1921, he gives a brief account of what led to his marriage (Qazvini, 2014, pp. 25-26).  He recounts that before World War I in Paris, he was friendly with a family that had a daughter of thirteen or fourteen years of age.  At the outset of the war, he left for Berlin, and following his return after the war, he re-established contact with this family.  The girl was now a young woman of about twenty and had grown fond of him in spite of their age difference (Qazvini was 44 at that time).  Qazvini and the girl, Rosa, decided to get married, and her family consented.  All the required paperwork was filed, but Rosa’s brother suddenly died of appendicitis.  Therefore, the marriage was postponed until after the mourning period.  However, Rosa, who had already moved in with Qazvini, gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Susan Nāhid, born 22 February 1921 (Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2620; cf. idem, Nāmahā, 1974, p. 95).  Perhaps because of the circumstances of his daughter’s birth, Qazvini preferred to keep his family situation private until he could marry the mother of his child. 

The dedication of Qazvini’s wife to him would lead an observer to speculate that his treatment of his wife and daughter seemed a bit dictatorial, which is contradicted by the statements of the person who was close to him (Mahdawi, p. 827; Ḡani, 1982, p. 850).  In a letter to Foruḡi, Qazvini expresses his great love for them and profusely thanks him for arranging a stipend that enabled him to take better care of them He also states that, after the baby’s birth, he was completely surprised by the depth of his affection for her, particularly because, prior to becoming a father, he could not understand how a person might love someone else unconditionally (Qazvini, 2005, p. 26; cf. Foruḡi, p. 95).  Referring to Susan as “my little girl” (doḵtarak-e man) in one of his letters to Taqizāda, in which his deep devotion to the child is obvious, he relates an amusing story about her objections to the spelling of French words.  In another letter he proudly praises his daughter’s excellent memory (Namahā, 1974, pp. 177, 274-75).  Qazvini personally walked Susan to and from school every day (Ḡani, 1982, p. 850).  This is especially interesting since Foruḡi reports that, as a young man, Qazvini had confessed that he did not understand how fathers could love their children unconditionally (Foruḡi, p. 95).  Susan is described as shy but fond of reading.  She was thoroughly familiar with the chaotic arrangement of her father’s library and would readily fetch the volumes that he needed when he himself was hospitalized in Tehran (Ḡani, 2000, p. 173).  Judging from the sophisticated prose of a letter that Taqizāda wrote to her, it appears that she knew literary Persian quite well (Taqizāda, 2011a, pp. 208-10). 

Qazvini’s wife has been described as tall and large-boned with a deep voice.  She either did not know Persian or preferred not to speak it in public (Mahdawi, p. 826).  However, it appears that she knew some Persian, because there is a report of her scolding someone in heavily accented Persian (Jawāherkalām, p. 359).  We also know from Qazvini’s own statement that she copied some of her husband’s work before it was sent to others.  He writes that he had to mail his introduction to the Manāfeʿ al-ḥayawān before Rosa could copy it as usual (ʿla’l-ʿāda sawād bardārad) and also that his essay on Abu ’l-Fotuḥ Rāzi was copied by Rosa (Yāddāšthā, p. 2680).  In one of his letters to Mojtabā Minovi, Qazvini implies that Rosa may have copied his work by placing a clear paper on the text and simply tracing the lines of his handwriting (Qazvini, “Az makātib,” p. 23).  By all accounts, Rosa was a great help and comfort to her husband, who unambiguously states his debt to her in his will (Qazvini, “Waṣiyat-nāma”). Qazvini’s wife passed away in the 1970s in a nursing home in the suburbs of Rome (Mahdawi, p. 851).   

Qazvini was a devoted husband and father and kept all of his Sundays free for his family (Ḡani, 1982, p. 850).  In fact, although the reason for his return to Iran has been somewhat vaguely blamed on the outbreak of World War II (Moʿin, p. 41; repr., p. 131) or on the difficult circumstances of foreign residents of France (Qazvini, “Šarḥ-e ḥāl,” p. 24).  Qazvini may have left Europe during the war because of concerns for his family’s safety.  There is an unconfirmed report (aural communication with Mahdawi Dāmḡāni and Ṣādeq Sajjādi) that Mrs. Qazvini was Jewish, and the reason that he took his family to Iran in the summer of 1939 was his concern about his wife and daughter’s security and his wish to protect them from possible detention by the Nazi occupation forces.  Qazvini’s wife and daughter remained in Iran only because of him. Shortly after his death, they returned to Europe and had a friend sell their Tehran home and wire them the money (Mahdawi, p. 849).

Qazvini’s character and finances.  In spite of his great learning, Qazvini had an almost child-like innocence to the point of being unable to deal with simple tasks of daily life, for which he was often in need of help (Ḡani, 2000, p. 171; Afšār, 1958, pp. 49-50).  His moral character comes through even the thick fog of hagiography that surrounds him in biographical essays and remembrances of his friends and associates.  He was steadfast in his friendships but also very easily offended (Eqbāl, 1949, p. 8; Nafisi, 2002, pp. 152-53).  In his notes, he speaks with great affection about his friends (Yāddāšthā, pp. 2209, 2568, 2622-23) and about his special relationship with Taqizāda and Foruḡi, who were especially helpful to him when he needed it most (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 78-79, 94-95, 161, 171, 258; idem, Yāddāšthā, p. 2258).  Nonetheless, he would not allow friendship to interfere in scholarly debates, because there are reports of very hot arguments between him and Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi (Yaḡmāʾi, p. 105).

He was somewhat obsessive, which accounts for the meticulousness of his scholarship, and was also an unabashed nationalist.  According to Taqizāda, he once angrily and loudly chastised the editor of the Revue de monde musulman, who expected Iranians to support France’s ally Russia, asking how he could expect Persians to do so when the Russian atrocities during their attack on Iran were known to all (Taqizāda, 1950, pp. 74-75).  According to Qāsem Ḡani, the Collège de France, the School of Oriental Languages, and the National Library of France offered to appoint him to academic positions, provided that he would become a French citizen.  But he refused to give up his Iranian citizenship, although he lived in dire economic circumstance, which would have been eliminated by the jobs that he was offered (Ḡani, 1982, p. 850).  Qazvini was strongly religious, but not fanatically so.  He had a strong sense of political identification with the oppressed masses of the Muslim world, and because of it he was deeply concerned about the suffering and dispossession of the Palestinians that was in the news in the last years of his life (Taqizāda, 1950, p. 74).  Qazvini’s strong religious beliefs come through in his writing and in reports of his conduct.  He harshly criticized Aḥmad Kasravi for his anti-religious views (Yāddāšthā, p. 2261) and the Belgian Arabist, Père H. Lammens (1862-1937), whom he faults for his Christian fanaticism and critique of Islam (Yāddāšthā, p. 2246).

Mahdawi Dāmḡāni has mentioned numerous instances of Qazvini’s reactions to those who treated Islam, especially Shiʿism, with disrespect.  The account of his angry response to the Syrian scholar Moḥammad Kord-ʿAli’s disrespectful comments about Imam ʿAli during a lecture at the Sorbonne, is noteworthy.  Enraged by Kord-ʿAli’s comments, Qazvini got up in the middle of the lecture and, inviting all the Iranians who were present to follow suit, stormed out.  He then forbade ʿAbbas Eqbāl from ever mentioning Kordali’s name in his presence (Mahdawi, 1381, pp. 852-57). Mahdawi also reports that, while he was preparing Qazvini’s body for transport to the Sepahsālār Mosque, he noticed that he was clasping a prayer tablet (mohr-e namāz) in his left hand.  Since Qazvini’s wife and daughter were not familiar with Muslim death rites, Mahdawi surmises that Qazvini must have taken hold of the object in anticipation of his approaching death (Mahdawi, p. 835).

Qazvini was almost never financially secure, but he preferred to live frugally and rarely accepted financial help.  A period of temporary employment by the Bibliothèque National in order to fill in for Edgard Blochet was one of the few times in his life that he managed to receive an adequate income.  He used the money to purchase a house in Paris by the advice of an Iranian businessman of his acquaintance (Ḡani, 1982, pp. 850-51).  After the death of the French orientalist Clément Huart in 1926, he filled in for Henri Massé, who was temporarily indisposed, at the School of Oriental Languages of the University of Paris (Eqbāl, IV, p. 525).

According to a document at Iran’s National Library and Archives (no. 297026736), the Iranian Parliament passed a bill to authorize a stipend of 1,000 francs to Qazvini during the reign of the last Qajar king.  Because it was inadequate, efforts were launched by his friends to increase his stipend.  In a letter to Taqizāda (July 1928), he complains about the inadequacy of his monthly stipend of 2,500 francs and writes that he can barely maintain himself in France.  In the same letter, he hopes that a bill that would add 600 tumāns to his stipend would pass the Parliament (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 214-15).  When the Pahlavis came to power, his friends, Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi and Ḥabib-Allāh Šeybāni, persuaded the government to give him a monthly salary of 100 tumāns for his research.  This was later increased to 200 tumāns, in return for which the Ministry of Education and Culture imposed numerous demands on his time.  Qazvini’s masterful essays on the old preface to the prose Šāh-nāma and on the life of Shaikh Abu’l-Fotuḥ Rāzi were among the works that he produced in return for these funds (Ḡani, 2000, p. 167; Moʿin, pp. 48-49; repr., pp. 139-40).  Qazvini’s monthly salary was increased to 500 tumāns after he returned to Iran.  However, this sum also proved insufficient, and Moḥammad-Reżā Shah ordered Ḥosayn ʿAlāʾ to quietly arrange payment of a yearly sum of 5,000 tumāns to Qazvini.  This was the only outright financial help that Qazvini accepted from an individual.  He later told Qāsem Ḡani that he ordinarily did not like to accept such gifts, but because the king was the donor, he would make an exception in his case.  The yearly stipend of 5,000 was regularly paid to him by the royal court until his death (Ḡani, 2000, pp. 167-68). 

ʿAbbās Eqbāl, Badiʿ-al-Zamān Foruzānfar, and Maḥmud Farroḵ, who knew the humble circumstances of Qazvini’s life, had arranged a payment of 5,000 tumāns to him from the Āstān-e Qods in Mashhad, in return for editing one of their manuscripts.  Although the check was sent to Qazvini, he refused to accept it on the grounds that he did not have the time to devote to a proper edition of the text.  Later, when the minister of education tried to hire him to take part in preparing the catalog of the royal library, he refused (Eqbāl, 2003, p. 525).  The details of this incident are recorded by Qazvini, who meticulously kept a list of all of his daily expenses.  He writes that he initially received a check for 2,000 tumāns on 15 March 1943 as the first installment for preparing the catalog.  He cashed the check two days later, but in a note that is dated March 28 of the same year, he writes that he personally returned the money to the minister because he did not have the time to devote to the job (Afšār, 1958, p. 54).  In all likelihood, the court did not care about when he could finish the project and was only looking for an honorable way to send some money his way. 

Qazvini was a strict observer of scholarly and bureaucratic rules.  In  1943, a bill was under consideration at the parliament, which by circumventing some rules would have granted him the highest professorial grade at Tehran University.  When he found that less deserving individuals wanted to advance their careers by the provisions of the same rule, he personally went to the ministry of education and demanded that the bill be withdrawn.  He argued that he did not want to be the cause of disrupting the university’s official rules (Siāsi, pp. 70-71).

Qazvini’s scholarly reputation had brought him to the attention of many of Iran’s powerful men, who wanted to associate with him, but he was reluctant to do so and met most of them by accident or because of his friends’ insistence.  He met the last Qajar king, Aḥmad Shah, in the Persian embassy in Paris during the New Year celebration of 1922, when one of his friends introduced him to the monarch (Qazvini, Yāddāšthā, p. 2624). His equivocation when Moḥammad-Rezā Shah requested to meet him is already mentioned above  (Ḡani, 2000, pp. 163-64).  In 1928, when ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Timurtāš, the powerful minister of the royal court was to arrive in Paris, Ḥosayn ʿAlāʾ, the Iranian ambassador plenipotentiary in Paris, had written to all Iranian residents of the city asking them to go to the minister’s residence in order to welcome him.  Qazvini refused to go and acquiesced only after Qāsem Ḡani’s insistence.  Timurtāš was a learned man, an influential politician, and a confidant of Reżā Shah.  When the two met, Timurtāš was duly deferential, saying that he was going to come to the great scholar in order to pay his respects, and that Qazvini had beaten him to it (Ḡani, 2000, pp. 171-72).  During this meeting, Qazvini proposed that important Persian and Arabic manuscripts that were kept at European libraries be photographically reproduced for Iranian libraries.  Timurtāš agreed and placed 100,000 Francs at Qazvini’s disposal for the project (Moʿin, repr., pp. 130-31; Masʿudi and Moṭallebi; Moṭallebi).  A list of these manuscripts, most of which have Qazvini’s detailed and scholarly introductions, has been published (Moʿin, pp. 49-64; repr., pp. 143-56), and the texts of his introductions have also been made available (e.g., see Qazvini, Bist maqāla; Maqālāt Qazvini).

Qazvini’s financial condition had improved at the end of his life, although the text of his will shows that his estate did not amount to much (Qazvini, “Waṣiyat-nāma”).  In November 1948, he told Ḡani that he had paid off all of his debts and had saved enough money to cover the costs of his burial and was also able to leave his wife and daughter his homes in Tehran and Paris (Ḡani, 2000, p. 168). 

Qazvini and the orientalists.  It has become something of a tradition in studies of modern Iranian scholarship to claim that Qazvini learned the techniques of scholarship in Europe and introduced them into Iran.  For instance, in his eulogy at Qazvini’s memorial ceremonies, Taqizāda claimed that it was Edward Browne who drove Qazvini (sawq dād) into the path of critical research in Western style (Taqizāda, 1950, p. 73).  Iraj Afšār also claims that Qazvini learned his critical techniques from the Europeans (Afšār, 1958, p. 52).  Others have repeated this statement without a shred of evidence in its support (e.g., Interview, p. 4; Moḥaqqeq, p. 797; Siāsi, p. 70). 

The assertion that Qazvini learned his scholarly techniques, especially his editorial style, from European orientalists is untenable for two reasons.  First, because the short time that elapsed between his arrival in Europe and the beginning of his editorial activities rules out the time or opportunity of learning from the European orientalists.  Second, because Qazvini, who was quite meticulous about acknowledging his scholarly debts, has nowhere in his thousands of pages of published works thanked an orientalist for teaching him anything about technique or approach.  This is a common misconception that needs to be discussed in greater detail.

Qazvini left Iran in mid-June of 1904. Assuming that his trip to London through Russia, Germany, and Holland took a couple of months with the available means of transport of the time, he must have entered London sometime around August 1904.  In the same year, he writes the Persian introduction to R. A. Nicholson’s edition of ʿAṭṭār’s Taḏkerat al-awliāʾ, and Nicholson thanks him for it in the volume’s preface, which is dated 12 October 1904 (ʿAṭṭār, p. 16).  He must have therefore come to the attention of Browne and Nicholson within months after his arrival in England.  It is notable that, at the time of the publication of the Taḏkerat al-awliāʾ in 1905, Qazvini (b. 1877) was a young man of 28, while Browne (b. 1862) was 43 and Nicholson (b. 1868) was 37 years old.  Assuming that the young Qazvini reached London in or around August of 1904, and given the fact that he was completely finished with researching and writing of the volume’s long introduction before early October of that year, he must have begun his scholarly career almost immediately after arriving in Europe. 

Furthermore, we know that he was busily editing texts within a few months of reaching England.  In the preface to his edition of the Čahār maqāla, dated 2 Moḥarram 1328/14 January 1910, he writes that Browne asked him to edit the book four or five years earlier, which would place the start of this edition sometime in 1905 or 1906.  We also know that Browne translated Qazvini’s long essay (nearly 90 printed pages) about the poet MASʿUD-E SAʿD and published it in two parts (JRAS, Oct. 1905 and Jan. 1906).  This essay grew out of his notes on the Čahār maqāla (Qazvini, tr. Browne, p. 693).  Naturally the exhaustive research that such a paper would have required, and the time that Browne would have needed to translate it into English, would place the date of its completion months before it was published in October of 1905.  In the preface of his edition of al-Moʿjam fi maʿāyir-e ašʿār al-ʿAjam (dated 28 Moḥarram 1327/19 February 1909), he points out that the editing of the text had begun four years earlier (Šams-al-Din Moḥammad b. Qays Rāzi, pp. yw-yz). His editions of the Marzbān-nāma, al-Moʿjam, Lobāb al-albāb, and the Čahār maqāla appeared in 1909, but it is known that they had been edited much earlier (Omidsalar, 2014, Pers. text, p. 34; Eng. text, pp. 17-18). 

All indications point to Qazvini embarking on his scholarly and editing activities shortly after he reached London, which in turn rule out the assumption that the young Qazvini “learned” either his scholarly techniques or his editorial approach from the European orientalists.  If anything, it was the orientalists who were impressed by the scholarly and critical abilities of their young Iranian colleague.  Of course, there may be no doubt that, in over thirty years of living in Europe and using its scholarly journals and vast library collections, Qazvini greatly benefited from all that Europe scholarship had to offer.  The importance of this point is recognized by one of his Iranian friends who witnessed his life in the West (Purdāwud, p. 325).  However, Qazvini’s use of the better-organized means of research and scholarly communication in Europe may not be reasonably passed off as learning from Europeans.  Qazvini’s scholarly activities in Europe should be viewed as supplemental to his mastery of vast traditional learning.   His scholarship truly bloomed in the West, not because he learned anything from Western orientalists, but because he gained access to the rich and well-organized sources housed in European libraries. 

Therefore, given what we know about the extent and quality of the education that he had received in Iran, and how he put that native learning to use in his new surroundings, the interpretation of his impressive scholarly achievements as mere emulation of European orientalists makes no reasonable sense.  It ignores the fact that, thanks to Qazvini’s training under some of the best Muslim scholars of his native land, no European orientalist could offer him more.  This is an incontestable fact that Edward G. Browne (1862-1926) and a number of other Western scholars have unambiguously expressed (see below). European orientalists did not teach Qazvini anything; they merely discovered him.  It was the Western orientalists who were influenced by Qazvini or, as Vladimir Minorsky puts it, took advantage of his great learning, not the other way around (Minorsky, pp. 20-22; cf. Omidsalar, 2014, pp. 19-20, 27-33).  Therefore, the claim that Qazvini learned his technical abilities or editorial acumen from the orientalists is not rooted in evidence or reason, but merely in the misconceptions of those who make such statements (Omidsalar, 2014, p. 18 of the English section).

Once in Europe, Qazvini availed himself of Western research institutions and revived the traditional techniques of Muslim scholarship that he had mastered in Iran (cf. Taqizāda, 1950, pp. 80-81, who makes contradictory statements on this point). ʿAbbās Eqbāl argues that Qazvini had already learned the techniques of European scholarship before moving to Europe from his association with Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Foruḡi and through reading Western journals in Iran (Eqbāl, 1950 p. 28; cf. idem, 2003, pp. 408-9).   The most that can be said for the European influence on Qazvini’s development as a scholar is that he synthesized the methods of the traditional Muslim scholarship with what he found useful in the approach of the Western orientalism.  It is, of course, true that Qazvini attended some of the classes offered by Antoine Meillet on Indo-European linguistics and by Hartwig Derenbourg on Himyarite script (Moʿin, p. 42; repr., pp. 132-33); but that was because none of these areas were part of the traditional curriculum in Iran, and being new to him, he wanted to learn about them.

In fact, Qazvini judges most European orientalists (with the exception of Reinhard Dozy, Paul Casanova, Theodor Nöldeke, and a few others), very harshly.  He makes very derogatory statements about Derenbourg, whose edition of Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā’s al-Faḵri he criticizes harshly (Yāddāšthā, pp. 2127-28).  Generally speaking, Qazvini did not trust most orientalists, whom he faulted for carelessness or incompetence (e.g., see Afšār, 1979, pp. 296, 298, 301; Qazvini’s notes, in Jovayni, II, pp. 291-92; III, p. kj).  In a letter dated 1921, he faults Charles Schefer for his technical incompetence (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 51-52; cf. his introduction to Varāvini, p. h), and faults Wojciech Kazimirski for his error-ridden edition of the divan of Manučehri Dāmḡāni.  Louis Massignon, whom he calls an illiterate charlatan, is subjected to especially cruel criticism, and so is Edgard Blochet (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 62, 103-5, 62, 105, cf. Yāddāšthā, pp. 2123-24).  

Most other European and Russian orientalists are treated very unkindly in Qazvini’s letters (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 106, 112, 226; for references, see Omidsalar, 2014, Pers. text, pp. 22-26; cf. Rafiʿi Jirdehi, passim).  In his opinion, no matter how skilled a Western orientalist may be, he/she will always be linguistically inadequate, which is why the texts that they edit are always full of errors (Bist maqāla II, pp. 320-21).  Qazvini considered the work of the Muslim scholars superior to that of the European orientalists, which would make it hard to believe that he even wanted to imitate the Westerners (Omidsalar, 2014, pp. 26-31). 

Qazvini and the art of editing.  Concern about textual accuracy is practically built into traditional training in Islamic sciences.  Those who, like Qazvini, study the Quran, ḥadith (accounts of what the Prophet said or did), rejāl (transmitters of hadith), history, law, or literature in traditional madrasas, develop a special sensitivity about the accuracy of their texts.  This may be partly due to the centrality of the “text” of the Quran in Muslim traditional learning. 

In his introduction to Neẓāmi ʿArużi’s Čahār maqāla, Qazvini regrets that the traditions of careful collation with the original (moqābela aṣl), auditing masters (samāʿ bar asātid), and obtaining relating permission (ejāza dar rewāyat), which were integral to the process of transmission of knowledge in general, and the transmission of written documents in particular in the classical Muslim civilization, have been abandoned In Iran.  He laments that these traditions never took root among the Iranians, whose texts suffer from extensive corruption, while the Arabs, who nurtured the customs, managed to keep most of their classical literature relatively error-free (Neẓāmi ʿArużi, 1910, pp. ka-kb; rev. ed., p. twenty-six).  He considers some of the old lithographed editions of Persian classical sources superior to the more modern publications that appeared in Iran and Europe, because the editors of those texts tended to be the products of traditional Muslim scholarship.  Thus, he speaks highly of the ʿAlāʾ-al-Dawla edition of Rumi’s Maṯnawi, which he considers to be an example of textual accuracy and handsome design (Yāddāšthā, pp. 211, 2246).

Regarding Qazvini’s approach to textual criticism, it should be noted that he lived in London, Berlin, and Paris, at a time when great European editors such as Reinhold Backmann (1884-1947) and Georg Witkowski (1863-1939) in Germany, Alfred E. Housman (1859-1936) and Albert C. Clark (1859-1937) in England, and Gaston Paris (1839-1903) and Joseph Bédier (1864-1938) in France had revolutionized the art of editing in the West.  It is highly unlikely that Qazvini would have been unaware of the current debates in editorial theory that were raging all around him.  He must have consciously or unconsciously absorbed at least some of the issues that these scholars were raising and must have been influenced by them.  However, this is not the same thing as the unfounded claim that he “learned” his editorial technique from the orientalists. 

Two schools of editorial technique were dominant in Europe at one time or another during Qazvini’s stay.  The first of these, one that shared many features with traditional Muslim scholarship, relied primarily on the authority of the witnesses rather than on the editors’ conjectures.  The authority of a witness to a textual tradition often (though not always) coincides with the witness’s age.  Ordinarily, the older the manuscript, the more authoritative it proves to be.  The editors who followed this method carefully examined their manuscripts and arranged them into genealogical groupings, on the basis of which they constructed the text’s stemma.  This process was called recension.  They then used the information that they extracted from this process (examinatio) to correct the errors of the text (emendatio or divinatio).  This method is generally known as the “Lachmann Method” or “stemmatics,” after the philologist Karl Lachmann (1793-1851). 

The second school of European textual criticism, namely, that which was formulated by Joseph Bédier, is a reaction to Lachmannian stemmatics (Bédier, 1913, pp. vi-vii, xxiii-xlv; see also idem, 1928).  Bédier preferred to reproduce the text of a single good manuscript with minimal interference.  His objections to the genealogical approach of the Lachmannians gained some currency in France, where Qazvini was living and working in 1928.  Among the Iranian scholars, Taqizāda seems to have been influenced by Bédier’s ideas the most, especially in his edition of the Toḥfat al-moluk (1938).  Qazvini, however, did not approve of this method and, in a letter dated 29 May 1939 to Taqizāda, severely criticized his blind adherence to the manuscript and criticized him for leaving even glaring errors of his base manuscript untouched (Nāmahā, pp. 308-13). 

As for his own approach, one must say that Qazvini followed the editorial practices of the traditional Muslim scholarship with some minor adjustments adopted from Western textual criticism.  Edward Browne says that Qazvini “superimposed on his foundation a knowledge of European critical methods” that he had acquired in Europe (Browne, IV, p. 372).  Qazvini collated his witnesses and chose a variant that he decided was more likely to be true.  In this respect, his approach was similar to that of the Lachmannians with the difference that he did not devote any systematic effort to reconstructing either the stemma of his manuscripts or their “archetype.”  Instead, from a careful weighing of their testimonies, he reconstructed the text as he saw fit.  The main difference between his method and that of some of his Iranian contemporaries was that he showed greater respect for the testimony of his witnesses and restrained his impulses to freely emend the text to a greater degree than was common among other Iranian editors.  But even in this restraint, he believed that he was following the practice of the traditional scholarship (sira-ye ʿolamā wa modaqqeqin; Introd. to Ḥāfeẓ, 1941, p. kh). 

On the whole, Qazvini edited ten texts, which were published in thirteen volumes.  To these, must be added his two editions of the old preface to the Abu Manṣuri Šāh-nāma (1920, revised 1934).  He edited five texts and collaborated with others for the remaining five.  The texts that he edited singlehandedly are: the first part of the Lobāb al-albāb (1906), Marzbān-nāma (1909), al-Moʿjam fi maʿāyir ašʿār al-cAjam (1909), Čahār maqāla (1909), and Tāriḵ-e Jahāngošā-ye Jovayni (Leiden, 1912-37).  Those that he edited together with collaborators are: Divān-e Ḥāfeẓ (with Qāsem Ḡani, 1941), Šadd al-ezār (1948), cAtabat al-kataba (1950), Haft eqlim, and Mojmal al-tawāriḵ of Faṣiḥ Ḵvāfi, all of which were done with cAbbās Eqbāl (Eqbāl, 1950, pp. 35-36).  Of these, the Haft eqlim and the Mojmal al-Tawāriḵ have never been published, and it is not clear what has become of their manuscripts.  Qazvini’s flurry of editorial activity between 1904 and 1912 produced valuable volumes of text and richly detailed notes that remain instructive a century after their composition. 

Since Qazvini was editing between 1904, when he began working on his earliest editions in England, and 1947, after he had returned to Iran, it is reasonable to admit that, in more than four decades of editing, his technique and approach must have changed.  In fact, the quality of his editorial work moves along a trajectory of improvement and maturing.  One of the most judicious and learned critics of Qazvini’s early work, Moḥammad Farzān (1904-70) points out that, at the time of editing the Marzbān-nāma, Qazvini was a young man of only twenty-seven and was naturally far from the skillful and seasoned scholar that he was to become later in life.  Therefore, the errors that are found in his early editions must not be judged too harshly (Farzān, pp. 143-44). 

Qazvini’s earliest editions, the Marzbān-nāma and al-Moʿjam, are more problematic than his later works.  Several scholars have pointed out a number of errors in his Marzbān-nāma and its notes.  One critic has put his objections in a book-length treatise (Kamāli).  Qazvini was aware of the problems of this edition, because in his letter of 2 November 1925 to Taqizāda, written some twenty years after his initial edition of the text, he forbids the reprinting of his original edition without the many corrections and additional notes that he had prepared since the book’s publication (Nāmahā, pp. 184-85).  Unfortunately, his personal copy of the Marzbān-nāma that contained his corrections and marginalia has been lost.  Moḥammad Rowšan, who re-edited the text later, had to content himself with Moḥammad-ʿAli Jamālzāda’s personal copy, which contained some notes and corrections in Qazvini’s hand (Varāvini, ed. Rowšan, pp. xxxii-xxxiv). 

Similarly, Qazvini’s edition of al-Moʿjam, which he jointly undertook with Edward Browne (1909), leaves much room for improvement.  It was supplanted by a superior edition by Moḥammad-Taqi Modarres Rażawi (1895-1986), who included Qazvini’s learned introductory essay and re-published it during Qazvini’s own lifetime.  The same may be said of his edition of the Čahār maqāla (1910).  In 1931 Foruzānfar published a review article in which he had criticized some of Qazvini’s notes to the Čahār maqāla.  Offended for what he considered disrespectful towards his mentor, ʿAbbās Eqbāl wrote a rather harsh rejoinder in response to Foruzānfar (Foruzānfar, pp. 8-21; Eqbāl, 2003, I, pp. 375-401).  However, Qazvini did not find Foruzānfar’s critique of his Čahār aaqāla as unreasonable as Eqbāl seems to have perceived, and he wrote a letter to Foruzānfar in which he agreed with the gist of the younger scholar’s criticisms (quoted in Nuriān, p. 28). This book is now available in a superior, revised edition prepared by Moḥammad Moʿin. 

Qazvini’s approach to editing was quite traditional in most respects.  However, he was pragmatic about the task, which gives his editions a special eclecticism that is tempered by great learning.  He believed that the editor should choose witnesses that were copied as near to the time of the work’s composition as possible and that he should draw on the testimony of later codices only when that testimony can help him choose one reading over another (Ḥāfeẓ, pp. ku, lz-lṭ).  However, although Qazvini was careful to limit himself to the testimony of his main witnesses, he was not given to slavishly following his optimus codex (Ḥāfeẓ, p. mz).  In a letter to Taqizāda, dated 13 September 1936, he suggests that the editor should use his best judgment about whether or not he should follow the readings of his optimus codex and be mindful that there is no set rule by which he can reach editorial decisions.  Every case, he implied, is a special case and must be judged on its own merits and based on its own circumstances (Qazvini, Nāmahā, pp. 240-41).

Generally, what sets Qazvini apart from some of his contemporary Iranian editors is that, although he did not go as far as a typical Lachmanian would go, he took pains to determine the relationship between his witnesses (Ḥafeẓ, pp. m-ma) and tried to consult all of the existing copies of the text, even when such efforts resulted in the postponement of the text’s publication (e.g., Awfi, I, pp. d-w; Šams-al-Din b. Qays Rāzi, pp. y-yb).  He spent a lot of time on meticulous research to prepare his notes and introductory essays.  Sir Denison Ross’s irritation with Qazvini’s meticulousness comes through in the introduction that he wrote to the third volume of Tāriḵ-e Jahāngošāy.   Ross points out that, although Qazvini was charged with the task of editing the text in 1906, the first volume did not appear until 1912 because of “the elaborate nature of the editor’s preliminary researches” (Jovayni, III, p. xi).  According to Taqizāda, Qazvini took so much time in preparing the third volume of the book that Dennison Ross was sent to Paris to give him an ultimatum to the effect that, unless he finished the work in two or three years, the Gibb Trust would assign the task to another scholar.  It was only after receiving this ultimatum that Qazvini picked up the pace and completed the project.  Ross also reported that Qazvini spent five years searching for the source of one line of Arabic verse that was quoted in the text (Taqizāda, 1970-78, II, pp. 127-28, apud Āzādiān, p. 178).

What Qazvini adopted from Western textual criticism may be inferred from scattered sentences in his various introductory essays to his editions.  For instance, he refers to the type of scribal error that is called “modernization” or “simplification” in Western criticism.  This is when the scribe simplifies the text by changing an archaic word or expression to one that is current during his time.  Qazvini calls the idea tajdid-e šabāb (Ḥāfeẓ, p. kz).   At least early in his editorial career, he was also influenced by the European practice of maintaining the orthography of his optimus codex as much as possible.  That is why, in his edition of the Marzbān-nāma, he has maintained the orthography of his base manuscript (Or. 6476) whenever he could (Varāvini, 1909, p. yḥ, especially note 2; cf. Qazvini, Nāmahā, p. 63).  He is careful to describe the orthographic features of his important witnesses (e.g., Varāvini, pp. yḥ-yṭ, note 2) and tends to record manuscript variants carefully except in the case of small and unimportant differences (Varāvini, p. kā).  He was the first Iranian scholar to describe his witnesses carefully, including their physical characteristics, orthography, and linguistic features.  In this respect his work is certainly superior to that of Western orientalists such as Browne, who, in his own edition of the Lobāb al-albāb (1903), published before Qazvini’s arrival in England, does not provide either as detailed a description of his manuscripts or as informative a critical apparatus as Qazvini does in the part of the book that he edited.  In fact, Browne acknowledges the superiority of Qazvini’s edition to his own in no uncertain terms (Awfi, I, pp. 9-10). 

Qazvini also wrote a number of seminal essays that have remained authoritative decades after their publication.  His long essay on Masʿud-e Saʿd, which is available only in Browne’s English translation (Qazvini, tr. Browne), and his introductory essay on Nicholson’s edition of ʿAṭṭār’s Taḏkerat al-awliāʾ (1905) have already been mentioned.  He also wrote introductory and descriptive essays for the manuscripts that he was under contract by the Iranian government to photograph for Iranian libraries.  These essays were published in scattered sources later, and are considered to be some of the best codicological writings in Persian.  His essay on the great Shiʿite theologian, Abu’l-Fotuḥ Rāzi, which has been published as an addendum to the fifth volume of Rāzi’s great Persian commentary on the Quran, remains the best available source of information on Rāzi to date (Moʿin, 1950, pp. 48-64; Qazvini, Maqālāt I, pp. 1-99).  Aside from the papers that he published in the pages of the journal Kāva in Europe, he penned two articles that were published under the pseudonym “Juyā” in the journal Irānšahr (Qazvini, 1923 and 1924).  One of his little known publications, which appeared in Tehran in 1316 or 1317/1899-1900 (both dates appear on the title pages of the book) was a translation that he did of an Arabic text on cosmology, which Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi rewrote and published in Tehran (Mojāhed, pp. 36-38).   Generally, Qazvini’s editions alongside the rich volumes of his collected papers and notes remain indispensable to scholars of classical Persian nearly a century after their publication.



Works of Qazvini.

Selected works, in chronological order:

“Masʿud-i-Saʿd-i-Salman,” tr. Edward G. Browne, JRAS, Oct., 1905, pp. 693-740, and Jan., 1906, pp. 11-15.

“Ketāb-e Rāḥat al-ṣodur,” Irānšahr 2/1, 1923, pp. 41-45.

“Qaṣida-ye Moʿezzi,” Irānšahr 2/4, 1924, pp. 210-18; repr. in Bist maqāla I, Bombay, 1928, pp. 58-65.

“Šarḥ-e ḥal-e Šayḵ Abu’l-Fotuḥ Rāzi,” in Abu’l-Fotuḥ Razi, Rawż al-jenān III, Tehran, 1936.

Mamduḥin-e Saʿdi, Tehran, 1938.

“Šarḥ-e ḥāl-e Qazvini,” 1950; see below, Autobiography.

“Az makātib-e marḥum-e Qazvini,” Yaḡmā, no. 56, 1953, pp. 18-23.

“Taṣḥiḥāt-e Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr,” Farhang-e Irān-zamin 20, 1974, pp. 1-38.

Nāmahā-ye Qazvini ba Taqizāda, 1912-1939, ed. Iraj Afšār, Tehran, 1974.

Maqālāt-e ʿAllāma Qazvini, ed. ʿA. Jorbozadār, 5 vols., Tehran, 1983-84.

Bist maqāla-ye Qazvini, ed. Ebrāhim Purdāwud and ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni, 2 vols. in 1, 2nd. ed., Tehran, 1984.

Yāddāšthā-ye Qazvini, ed. Iraj Afšār, 10 vols. in 5, Tehran, 1984.

“Waṣiyat-nāma-ye ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini,” Eṭṭelāʿāt, Friday 10 Āḏar 1391/2002. Nāmahā-ye ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini ba Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi and ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni, ed. Nāder Moṭallebi Kāšāni, Tehran, 2005. 

“Waṣiyat-nāma-ye ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini,” available at, 2011.



Sadid-al-Din Moḥammad ʿAwfi, Lobāb al-albāb: Part Two (with Edward Browne), 2 vols., Leiden, 1903-06.

Badāyeʿnegār Lāhuti, Badāyeʿ al-aḥkām fi feqh al-Eslām, Tehran, 1945.

Ḥāfeẓ, Divān (with Qāsem Ḡani), Tehran, 1941.

Nur-al-Din ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmi, Lawāyeḥ-e Jāmi, London, 1906.

Moʿin-al-Din Abu’l-Qāsem Jonayd Širāzi, Šadd al-ezār fi ḥaṭṭ al-awzār ʿan zawwār al-mazār (with ʿAbbās Eqbāl), Tehran, 1948.

ʿAlāʾ-al-Din ʿAṭāʾ-Malek Jovayni, Tāriḵ-e jahāngošāy, 3 vols., London, 1912-37.

Moqaddama-ye qadim-e Šāh-nāma, Tehran, 1943.

Montajab-al-Din ʿAli b. Aḥmad, ʿAtabat al-kataba (with  ʿAbbās Eqbāl), Tehran, 1950. Aḥmad Neẓami ʿArużi, Čahār maqāla, Leiden, 1909; rev. new ed. Moḥammad Moʿin, Tehran, 1955.

Šams-al-Din Moḥammad b. Qays Rāzi, al-Moʿjam fi maʿāyir ašʿār al-ʿAjam (with Edward Browne), Beirut, 1909; repr., Tehran, 1945.

Saʿd-al-Din Varāvini, Marzbān-nāma, Leiden, 1909.

“Yāddāšthā-ye Moḥammad Qazvini bar Jahāngošāy-e Jovayni,” ed. Moḥammad Rowšan, Farhang-e Irān-zamin 15, 1968, pp. 161-221.



“Šarḥ-e ḥāl-e Qazvini ba qalam-e ḵvodaš,” Nāma-ye Farhangestān-e qadim, 1950, no. 1, pp. 2-24, repr., as “Šarḥ-e zendagāni-e Qazvini,” in idem, Bist maqāla, 2 vols., 2nd ed., Tehran, 1984, I, pp. 7-30.


Secondary sources.

Iraj Afšār, “Yābdbud-e pāyān-e dahomin sāl-e marg-e Moḥammad Qazvini,” Majalla-ye Dāneškada-ye adabiyāt wa ʿolum-e ensāni-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān 6/2, 1958, pp. 49-59.  Idem, ed., “Nāma-ye mohemm-e ḵvāndani az Moḥammad Qazvini,” Āyanda 5/4-6, 1979, pp. 291-301. 

Maḥmud Afšār Yazdi, “Ba ʿaqida-ye ʿallāma-ye bozorg Qazvini, zawāl-e zabān-e fārsi yaʿni zawāl-e mellat-e Irān,” Āyanda 4/4, 1978, pp. 268-77. 

ʿAllāma-ye Qazvini, Tehran, 1949. 

Farid-al-Din ʿAṭṭār, Taḏkerat al-awliāʾ, ed. Reynald A. Nicholson with a critical introduction by Moḥammad Qazvini, Leiden, 1905. 

Šahrām Āzādiān, “Taṣḥiḥāt-e ʿAllāma Qazvini dar majmuʿa-ye awqāf-e Gibb,” Majalla-ye Dāneškada-ye adabiyāt wa ʿolum-e ensāni-e Dānešgāh-e  Tehrān, no. 173, 2005, pp. 173-79. 

Charles M. Joseph Bédier, ed., Le lai de l’ombre par Jean Renart, Paris, 1913. 

Idem, “La tradition manuscrite de Lai de l’ombre: Réflexions sur l’art d’éditer les anciens textes,” Romania 54, 1928, pp. 161-96, 321-56. 

E. G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia, 4 vols., Cambridge, 1950. 

ʿAbbās Eqbāl, “Masāʾel-e ruz: Żāyeʿa-ye ʿaẓim-e jobrān nāpaḏir,” Yādgār, nos. 48-49, 1949, pp. 1-8. 

Idem, “Wafayāt-e moʿāṣerin: ʿallāma-ye marḥum Moḥammad Qazvini (1294-1368 A.H.),” Nāma-ye Farhangestān-e qadim, 1950, pp. 26-37 (first published in 1328 in the journal Yādgār). 

Idem, Majmuʿa-ye maqālāt-e ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni, ed. Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi, 5 vols., Tehran, 2003. 

Idem, “Baʿżi molāḥaẓāt dar bāb-e enteqādāt bar ḥawāši-e Čahār maqāla,” in Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi, ed., Majmuʿa-ye maqālāt-e ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni I, Tehran, 2003, pp. 375-401. 

Moḥammad Farzān, Maqālāt-e Farzān, ed. Aḥmad Edārači Gilāni, Tehran, 1977.  Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi, Yāddāšthā-ye ruzāna, ed. Iraj Afšār, Tehran, 2009. 

Badiʿ-al-Zamān Foruzānfar, “Enteqādāt bar ḥawši-e Čahār maqāla,” in ʿEnāyat-Allāh Majidi, ed., Majmʿa-ye maqālāt wa ašʿār-e Ostād Badiʿ-al-Zamān Foruzānfar, Tehran, 1972, pp. 8-22.

Qāsem Ḡani, “Dar aḥwāl wa aḵlāq-e marḥum-e Qazvini,” Yaḡmā 4,  no. 35, 1951, pp. 34-43. 

Idem, Yāddāšthā-ye Doktor Qāsem Ḡani, ed. Sirus Ḡani, 12 vols., London, 1980-84, III, pp. 146-72. 

Idem, “Didārhā wa yādgārhā: Mirzā Moḥammad Qazvini dar Yāddāšthā-ye Ḡani,” Āyanda 7/11-12, 1982, pp. 848-59 (repr. of Ḡani, 1951, pp. 36-37; idem, 1980-84, III, pp. 146-72). 

Idem, “Bargozidahā: Marḥum-e Moḥammad Qazvini dar jalasāt-e adabi,” Iranshenasi 12/1, 2000, pp. 163-74. 

Ḥāfeẓ, Divān-e Ḵˇāja Šams-al-Din Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ Širāzi, ed. Moḥammad Qazvini and Qāsem Ḡani, Tehran, 1941. 

[Interview]  “ʿAllāma Qazvini va taṣḥiḥ-e motun,” an interview with Moḥammad Rowšan et. al, Ketāb-e māh: Adabiyāt wa falsafa, Mordād 1378, pp. 4–11. 

Farid Jawāherkalām, “Goftogu wa barḵord-e ʿAli Jawāherkalām bā Šayḵ Moḥammad Ḵān Qazvini,” Boḵārā, nos. 13-14, 2000, pp. 357-59. 

Moḥammad-ʿAli Kamāli Dezfuli, al-Tarjomān ʿan Ketāb al-Marzbān, Tehran, 1973.  Aḥmad Mahdawi Dāmḡāni, “ʿAllāma Qazvini qoddasa serrohe al-ʿaziz,” in idem, Ḥāṣel-e awqāt: Majmuʿa-ʾi az maqālāt-e Ostād Doktor Aḥmad Mahdawi Dāmḡāni, ed. ʿAi-Moḥammad Sajjādi, Tehran, 2002, pp. 803-60. 

Akram Masʿudi and Nāder Moṭallebi Kāšāni, “Goftahā wa yādgārhā: Rāport wa ṣurat-e ḥesāb barā-ye estensāḵ wa ʿaks-e nosaḵ-e ḵaṭṭi,” Nāma-ye Bahārestān, nos. 7-8, 2003, pp. 225-60. 

Vladimir Minorsky, “Be-yād-e Qazvini,” Yaḡmā, no. 69, 1954, pp. 20-22.

Mojtabā Minovi, “Allāma Moḥammad Qazvini,” Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 15, 1972, pp. 337-41. 

Mahdi Moḥaqqeq, “Šiva-ye ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini dar taṣḥiḥ-e nosaḵ-e ḵaṭṭi,” Boḵārā 14, no. 82, pp. 795-97. 

Moḥammad Moʿin, “ʿAllāma-ye moʿāṣer āqā-ye Moḥammad Qazvini,” Nāma-ye Farhangestān-e qadim, 1950, pp. 38-64; repr. in idem, Majmuʿa-ye maqālāt-e Doktor Moḥammad Moʿin, ed. Mahdoḵt Moʿin, 2 vols., Tehran, 1985-88, I, pp. 129-56. 

Aḥmad Mojāhed, “Yak aṯar-e moʿarrefi našoda az Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Wahhāb Qazvini,” Ḥāfeẓ, Ābā, no. 36, 1385/2006, pp. 36-38. 

ʿAli Montaẓemi, “Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Wahhāb Qazvini, āḡāzgar-e šiva-ye novin dar taṣḥiḥ-e motun,” Keyhān-e farhangi, nos. 227-28, 2005, pp. 82-87. 

Nāder Moṭallebi Kāšāni, “Moqaddama-ye ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini bar ʿaks-e nosḵa-ye al-Abnia ʿan ḥaqāʾeq al-adwia,” Nāma-ye Bahārestān, nos. 13-14, 2008, pp. 443-45.  Saʿid Nafisi, Ba rewāyat-e Saʿid Nafisi: Ḵāṭerāt-e siāsi, adabi, javāni, ed. ʿAli-Reżā Eʿteṣām, Tehran, 2002. 

Moḥammad-Reżā Naṣiri, “Nāma-i az ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini,” Nāma-ye Anjoman, no. 16, 1950, pp. 49-58. 

Mahdi Nuriān, “Darshā-i az ʿAllāma Qazvini,” Našr-e dāneš 16/4, 1999, pp. 26-31. 

Mahmoud Omidsalar, “ʿAllāma Qazvini wa fann-e taṣḥiḥ-e matn,” Nāma-ye Bahārestān 6/11-12, 2005-06 pp. 189-206. 

Idem, Motun-e šarqi, šivahā-ye ḡarbi: Šāh-nāma wa abʿād-e ideoložik-e Šāhnāma-Šenāsi dar Maḡreb-zamin/Eastern Texts, Western Techniques: European Editorial Theory and the Editing of Classical Persian, 2nd ed., Tehran, 2010. 

Idem, ʿAllāma Qazvini wa šiva-ye ḡarbi-e taḥqiq/Qazvini and the Western Method of Textual Criticism, Tehran, 2014.

Ebrāhim Purdāwud, “Yāddāšthā-ye Qazvini,” in idem, Ānāhitā: Panjāh goftār-e Purdāwud, ed. Mortażā Gorji, Tehran, 1964, pp. 323-28.

Moḥammad Qazvini, Nāmahā-ye Moḥammad Qazvini ba Moḥammad-ʿAli Foruḡi and ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštiāni, ed. Iraj Afšār and Nāder Moṭallebi Kāšāni, Tehran, 2015.

ʿAli Rafiʿi Jirdehi, Irānšenāsān wa ḵāvaršenāsān ba rewāyat-e ʿAllāma Moḥammad Qazvini, Rasht, 2014. 

Šams-al-Din Moḥammad b. Qays Rāzi, al-Moʿjam fi maʿāyir ašʿār al-ʿAjam, ed. Moḥammad-Taqi Modarres Rażawi, Tehran, 1935. 

ʿAli-Akbar Siāsi, “Ḵeṭāba dar majles-e yādbud-e Qazvini,” Nāma-ye Farhangestān-e qadim, 1950, pp. 68-71. 

Ḥasan Taqizāda, “Ḵeṭāba … dar majles-e yādbud-e marḥum-e Qazvini,” Nāma-ye Farhangestān-e qadim, 1950, pp. 72-82. 

Idem, Maqālāt-e Taqizāda, ed. Iraj Afšār, 10 vols., Tehran, 1970-78. 

Idem, Zendagi-e ṭufāni: Ḵāṭerāt-e Sayyed Ḥasan Taqizāda, ed. Iraj Afšār, Los Angeles, 1990. 

Idem, “Do nāma az Taqizāda,” in Masāʾel-e pārisiya, ed. Iraj Afšār and ʿAli-Moḥammad Honar III, Tehran, 2011. 

Saʿd-al-Din Varāvini, Marzbān-nāma, ed. Moḥammad Rowšan, Tehran, 1976. 

Ḥabib Yaḡmāʾi, “Moṣibat-e ʿaẓim: Marg-e Mirzā Moḥammad Ḵān Qazvini,” Yaḡmā 2, no. 13, 1949, pp. 105-8.

(Mahmoud Omidsalar)

Originally Published: January 28, 2016

Last Updated: January 28, 2016

Cite this entry:

Mahmoud Omidsalar, “QAZVINI, MOḤAMMAD,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2016, available at (accessed on 28 January 2016).