Alisher Navoi

Alisher Navoi

Alisher Navoi was a great poet, Statesman and the founder of Uzbek literature. He was born in Herat, on February 9, 1441. Navoi became a very famous poet. He was active for many years in the society which was torn by endless wars after the death of Temur. Alisher Navoi got a very good education for those days. He knew all poetic forms. Navoi wrote mostly in Turkic and used Persian very little.

Navoi was well known as a literary scholar. He supported poets, scientists and artists. He was a great master of fine arts and knew how to handle a painter’s brush himself. He was a very good architect, and designed many schools, hospitals, inns, bridges, roads and channels.

Navoi’s poems in old Uzbek were collected into four parts, which were called “Chor-Devon”. His poems in Persian were collected and called “Devoni-Foni”. His most important work is the “Quintuple”, five poems written between 1483 and 1485.

The first, “Hairat ul-Abror” is a philosophical work. The second poem is “Farhod and Shirin”. The third is “Laily and Majnun”. The fourth, “Seven Planets”, consists of seven short works around a common theme, the quarrel between King Bahram and his beloved Dilorom. The fifth is “Saddi Iskandari”.

Alisher Navoi spent his last years in Herat. His last book, “Mahbub-ul-qulub,” which was written in prose, is very popular with the Uzbek people to this day. Alisher Navoi died on January 3, 1501. His works have entered the treasury of world literature and have been translated into many languages.

Comprehension Questions

Why is Navoi famous?

At what was he skilled?

In what languages did he write?

What is the “Chor-Devon”? How is it different from the “Devoni-Foni”?

Name at least seven of Navoi’s works?

Discussion Questions

What have you read about Navoi? Did you like his writing? Why?

Navoi was skilled at many things. At what five things would you choose to be skilled?