Persian Language & Literature

Baba Taher Oryan Hamadani


Baba Taher Uryan Hamadani with certainty is not much known about him. The date of his birth and death are unknown, but one source indicates that he died in 1019 CE. If this is accurate, then Baba Taher is a contemporary of Ferdowsi and Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) and an immediate precursor of Omar Khayyam. It is said that he lived for seventy five years.

It is stated that he was one of the "Ahl-e Haqq" sect (Dervish or follower of truth) and that his sister Bibi Fatimeh is equally respected by this community. Baba Taher Uryan Hamadani was one of the most eminent mystics of his time. He was from Hamadan; a learned man, knowing all things (meaning of hama dan in Farsi). His popular name Uryan means "The Naked"; he was a dervish or inspired beggar.

Baba Taher is known for his dubayti, four line poems that is not the common rubai metre although Persians refer to the quatrains of Baba Taher as rubaiyat. Baba Taher poems are recited to the present day all over Iran accompanied with Sih-tar (three stringed viol or lute). The quatrains (dubeyti or two -beyt metre poems) of Baba Taher are written in local accents such as Mazandarani. They say Pehleviat to these kinds of poems and they are very ancient. Baba Taher songs originally read in Fahlavi, Luri, Kurdish and Hamadani dialects, taking their present form in the course of time. The quatrains of Baba Taher have a more amorous and mystical connotation rather than philosophical.

It is said that he was a woodcutter. It is also said that Baba Taher had extraordinary heat in his body so much that no one could sit near him. He spent his time in the jungles and mountains. His tomb is in Hamadan.