FARHANG-E EBRĀHĪMĪ, a Persian-language dictionary by the well-known poet Ebrāhīm Qewām-al-Dīn Fārūqī. The author lived in Bihar and compiled his dictionary in 878/1473-74 during the reign of the ruler of Bengal Abu’l Moẓaffar Bārbak Shah (r. 864-79/1460-74). Fārūqī dedicated the work to his spiritual guide (moršed), the famous Sufi shaikh Šaraf-al-Dīn Aḥmad Monyarī (d. 782/1380-81). It is also known by the titles Šaraf-nāma, Šaraf-nāma-ye Monyarī, Šaraf-nāma-ye ebrāhīmī, or Farhang-e Ebrāhīm-šāhī.

This dictionary is preserved only in manuscript form, and has not been published. It begins with an exordium in verse praising God, the Prophet, and Shaikh Šaraf-al-Dīn Aḥmad Monyarī, followed by an extensive lexico-grammatical preface (moqaddema). In the latter, Ebrāhīm Fārūqī explains the usage of some suffixes, such as the diminutive -ča; the suffix as an indicator of singularity; and the suffixes -ān, and -hā, denoting plurality in animate and inanimate objects respectively. He also discusses the function of some verbal forms which, in conjunction with the eżāfa, are used as verbal nouns. The dictionary consists of thirty-one chapters (bāb), divided according to the first letter of vocabulary entries, and arranged in the order of the Persian alphabet. Each chapter is subdivided into sections (faṣl) according to the alphabetical order of the last letter of the entries. The dictionary features general Persian vocabulary, selected mostly from the works of early Persian poets. It also contains many proper names, most often extracted from the Šāh-nāma of Ferdowsī, such as Rostam, Żaḥḥāk, Īraj, and Sīāvoš. The entries on these proper names often include legendary accounts. There are entries on various plants, whose medicinal qualities the author mentions. When discussing geographical names, the author refers to the ʿAjāʾeb al-boldān. The pronunciation of the words is expressed descriptively. Explanations of antonyms and synonyms are sometimes included. The dictionary also lists some Arabic words without making a special note of their origin. At the end of some sections the lexicographer introduces entries on Turkic words under the general heading torkī. Some entries also provide Indian equivalents to the Persian words. There are entries for about 11,000 words in all. The entries for some words are relatively short, but the dictionary also contains longer entries up to thirteen, sixteen, or twenty-seven lines in length. One peculiarity of this dictionary is the fact that Ebrāhīm Fārūqī prefaces each chapter by a qaṣīda of his own composition. Some lexical and grammatical propositions in the introduction are also illustrated with examples in verse.

The entries in the dictionary feature corroborative examples from the poetry of Ferdowsī, ʿOnṣorī, Sanāʾī, Sūzanī, Anwarī, Ẓahīr Fāryābī, Ḵāqānī, Kamāl-al-Dīn Esmāʿīl, Sāʿdī, Ḥāfeẓ, and others, as well as verses by the author. The contents of the dictionary show that Ebrāhīm Fārūqī was familiar with earlier lexicographical works such as the Loḡat-e fors of Asadī Tūsī, Adāt al-fożalāʾ, Farhang-e zafāngūyā, Lesān al-šoʿarāʾ, Mawāʾed al-fawaʾed, and Farhang-e Amīr Šehāb-al-Dīn Kermānī. The Farhang-e ebrāhīmī was used as a source by subsequent lexicographers, including the authors of Moʾayyed al-fożalāʾ, Toḥfat al-saʿādat, Kašf al-loḡāt wa eṣṭelāḥāt, Farhang-e Mīrzā Ebrāhīm, Farhang-e Sorūrī, Madār al-afāżel, Farhang-e jahāngīrī, and Farhang-e rašīdī.



Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short references”):

S. Baevskiĭ [Bayevsky], Opisanie persidskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta narodov Azii (Description of the Persian manuscripts at the Institute of Asian peoples), fasc. 4, Moscow, 1962, pp. 12-16.

Idem, Rannyaya persidskaya lexikografiya XI-XV vv. (Early Persian lex icography, 11th-15th cc.), Moscow, 1989, pp. 81-83.

H. Blochmann, “Contributions to Persian Lexicography,” J(R)ASB 37/1, 1868, pp. 7-9.

M. Dabīrsīāqī, Farhanghā-ye fārsī be fārsī, Tehran, 1996, pp. 62-68.

P. de Lagarde, Persische Studien, Götingen, 1884, p. 43.

Š. Naqawī, Farhang-nevīsī-e fārsī dar Hend wa Pākestān, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.

C. Salemann, “Bericht über die Ausgabe des Miʿjar i Jamalī,” in Mélanges Asiatiques (St. Petersburg) 9, 1888, pp. 514-15.

Storey, III/1, pp. 13-15.

(Solomon Bayevsky)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: December 15, 1999