Ghazni, Afghanistan, Ghaznavid Dynasty
|Genre||Sufi poetry, Wisdom Literature|
|Notable works||The Walled Garden of Truth|
|Part of a series on Islam|
Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi (Persian: حکیم ابوالمجد مجدود بن آدم سنایی غزنوی), more commonly known as Sanai, was a Persian poet from Ghazni who lived his life in Ghazni in medieval Iran, which is now located in Afghanistan. He was born in 1080 and died between 1131 and 1141.
He wrote an enormous quantity of mystical verse, of which The Walled Garden of Truth or The Hadiqat al Haqiqa (حدیقه الحقیقه و شریعه الطریقه) is his master work and the first Persian mystical epic of Sufism. Dedicated to Bahram Shah, the work expresses the poet's ideas on God, love, philosophy and reason.
For close to 900 years The Walled Garden of Truth has been consistently read as a classic and employed as a Sufi textbook. According to Major T. Stephenson: "Sanai’s fame has always rested on his Hadiqa; it is the best known and in the East by far the most esteemed of his works; it is in virtue of this work that he forms one of the great trio of Sufi teachers — Sanai, Attar, Jalaluddin Rumi." Sanai taught that lust, greed and emotional excitement stood between humankind and divine knowledge, which was the only true reality (Haqq). Love (Ishq) and a social conscience are for him the foundation of religion; mankind is asleep, living in a desolate world. To Sanai common religion was only habit and ritual.
Sanai's poetry had a tremendous influence upon Persian literature. He is considered the first poet to use the qasidah (ode), ghazal (lyric), and the masnavi (rhymed couplet) to express the philosophical, mystical and ethical ideas of Sufism.
Rumi acknowledged Sanai and Attar as his two great inspirations, saying, "Attar is the soul and Sanai its two eyes, I came after Sanai and Attar." The Walled Garden of Truth was also a model for Nizami's Makhzan al-Asrar (Treasury of Secrets).
There is a reference to Hakim Sanai's poetry near the end of the 2017 film The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro. In the final scene of the movie, the narrator recites a few verses of poetry without specific attribution, although there is a reference in the film's credit sequence to "Adapted works by Hakim Sanai." Researching for the Library of Congress blog From the Catbird Seat, Peter Armenti confirmed with the assistance of Catbird blog readers that the poem spoken at the end of The Shape of Water is del Toro's adaptation of Priya Hemenway's translation of an original poem by Hakim Sanai. Hemenway's translation appears in The Book of Everything: Journey of the Heart’s Desire : Hakim Sanai’s Walled Garden of Truth (2002).
While mankind remains mere baggage in the world
It will be swept along, as in a boat, asleep.
What can they see in sleep?
What real merit or punishment can there be?
His means for this awakening is surrender to God, his poetry has been called "the essential fragrance of the path of love". He hits out at human hypocrisy and folly;
The Ḥadiqat al-ḥaqiqa is not only one of the first of a long line of Persian didactical maṯnawis, it is also one of the most popular works of its kind as the great number of copies made throughout the centuries attest. Its great impact on Persian literature is evidenced by the numerous citations from the poem occurring in mystical as well as profane works. It has been taken as a model by several other poets, including Neẓāmi, ʿAṭṭār, Rumi, Awḥadi, and Jāmi.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Sanā'ī.|