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The Bustan of Sadi, tr. by A. Hart Edwards, [1911], at

p. 153


1. I.e. the Bustān.

2. I.e. its ten chapters.

3. Lit. "bone"; used metaphorically in the sense of "a truth."

4. One of the kings of Persia in whose reign Sadi flourished. His full name was Atābak Muzaffar-ud-Din Abu Bakr-bin-Sa’d-bin-Zangī.

5. I.e. Abu Bakr.

6. Naushīravān the Just was the twentieth king of the fourth dynasty of Persia, and contemporary with the Roman Emperor Justinian. The Prophet Muhammad was born in his reign.

7. A title of the kings of Persia. It was originally applied to Naushīravān.

8. Lit. "silver."

9. Darius Codomanus was the last king of Persia. He waged many wars with Alexander the Great, who finally defeated him at Arbela. The unfortunate king was afterwards killed by one Bessus, governor of Bactriana, 331 B.C.

10. One of the kings of Persia. He was called Qazal because of the redness of his hair. Arsalān means "a lion."

11. Name of a lofty mountain situated in Hamdān, north-west of Isfahan.

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12. I.e. shows one thing and sells another of inferior quality. The expression is commonly used to denote a hypocrite.

13. To do either is considered an act of virtue among Muhammadans.

14. By reason of the opportunity it presented to bestow his charity.

15. It is impossible to convey the beauty of this line in English. The Persian words here used to express "food" and "kiss" are written alike, except for one diacritical mark, and the word change "literally means making an error in writing and changing the diacritical points."

16. Hatim Tai was an Arabian chief who was renowned for his generosity. He was born in Yaman, in Arabia Felix, and lived some time before Muhammad in the sixth century. Many legends have been woven round his life and character.

17. Horse-flesh was formerly eaten in parts of the East.

18. I.e. their love for God is insatiable.

19. I.e. the fire of love.

20. "Gold" refers to "life," and "Friend" to "God." The meaning is that one should devote one's life to religion, and thus gain an entrance to the presence or the Deity.

21. Bāyazid Bustāmī was a celebrated saint of Bustan, in Persia. He died A.D. 261.

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22. Abul Mahfūz, surnamed Marūf, was a celebrated saint of Kareh, a village in Baghdad. He was the son of a fire-worshipper, and was born A.D. 813, during the reign of Caliph Māmūn, son of the celebrated Hārūn-ar-Rashīd.

23. Abū-al Hasan Kūshyār was a celebrated astronomer and the tutor of Avicenna.

24. Luqman was a famous Greek philosopher, and is supposed by some to have been the author of Æsop's Fables.

25. Bakhtyār literally means "fortunate "; the play on the word is, therefore, obvious.

26. "Darkness" and "light" are used metaphorically in the sense of "falseness" and "truth."

27. Khawarazm is situated to the east of the Caspian Sea, near the mouth of the Oxus.

28. I.e. in this transient and fleeting world.

29. Korah, the cousin of Moses and the proverbial miser of the Easterns.

30. I.e. if you possess merit.

31. A famous hero; the Hercules of the Persians.

32. The grandfather of Rustam, and, like him, a celebrated hero.

33. Faridun was the seventh king of Persia, his reign commencing about 750 B.C. He was the boast of the Persians and a model of every virtue.

34. A celebrated temple in Guzerat demolished by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in A.D. 1024.

35. I.e. engage in good works while you still have time.

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36. Muhammad commanded that sand should be used for ablution before prayer when water was unobtainable, as is more often than not the case in the desert.

37. Name of a village on the road to Mecca.

38. The angel who examines the dead in their graves.

39. I.e. your native land.