About Foruzanfar and his Edition of Rumi's Divan

Badi`uzzamân Forûzânfar (1900-1970) was the greatest Iranian Rumi scholar of the twentieth century.

When he was a young man, growing up in Iran, he met a sufi who loved to chant Rumi's poems whenever the opportunity arose. He spent a number of summers with this sufi, chanting Rumi's poems all day long. He went on to study various available editions of the Divan and felt dissatisfied with them, since they included too many poems which either did not sound authentic or were composed by other poets. Eventually, he published the best availableedition of Rumi's Divan, in ten volumes, between 1957-1967.

Volumes 1-7 include all the ghazals found in the earliest manuscripts of the Divan available. Volume 7 includes the last of the ghazals (nos. 3107- 3229, the tarji`-bands (1-44), plus a glossary of rare words (comprising the second half of the book. Volume 8 includes all the quatrains (1-1983). And Volumes 9-10 (contained in a single book) include a concordance with which any individual verses (among the ghazals) can be found (given the final rhyme words plus the first few words of a given line).

His ten-volume edition, entitled, "kulliyât-é shams yâ dîvân-é kabîr," is the only authentic edition of his work on Rumi's Divan.

A widely selling commercial one-volume edition ("kulliyât-é shams-é tabrîzî") falsely claims to contain all of Professor Foruzanfar's edition, but only includes about 90% of it-- equivalent to his Volumes 1-6. In this commercial edition, the last sections of ghazals, all of the tarji`-bands, and all of the quatrains were incorporated from inferior sources (before Foruzanfar had completed and published his Volumes 7-8). The poems in these sections are not those collected by Foruzanfar, and are also in a different order.

In addition to his work on the Divan, Foruzanfar wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Rumi's life ("risâla dar aHwâl va zendagânî-yé mowlânâ jalâlu 'd-dîn MuHammad") , which was later published in 1936 (revised, 1954). He edited Rumi's "Discourses" (fî-hi mâ fî-hi), edited Rumi's father's spiritual notebook (ma`ârif: majmû`i mawâ`iZ wa sokhan-ân-é sulTânu `l-`ulamâ bahâ'u 'd-dîn muHammad b. Husayn khaTîbî balkhî, mashûr-é bahâ' i walad"). He wrote three volumes of commentary on the Masnavi ("sharhH-é masnavi-yé sharîf," 1967-69).1


1. The material about Foruzanfar's life was taken from "Rumi-- Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi," 2000, by Franklin D. Lewis, pp. 554-557.