|Persian literature scholar Jafar Shahidi commemorated||
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance organized the meeting, which was attended by cultural officials, a group of literati and his pupils.
“This meeting was not organized to explore Allameh Shahidi’s place, but is being held to polish our minds to reflect on the light of the teachings, which if they are not in our everyday life, a life devoid of spirituality and uplifting will be waiting for us,” Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini said during the opening ceremony of the meeting.
“I miss such a teacher, whose being honest and unbiased in academic research was his trademark,” he added.
Hosseini also thanked the people and some institutions, which helped the Culture Ministry, hold the meeting.
Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature Director Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel was also in attendance and delivered a speech at the meeting.
“The future generation should be familiar with the strong personality of Allameh Shahid,” he said.
“He was a great master and today, we are reaping the harvest of his great efforts in education,” he added.
The ceremony went on with reciting poetry by Ali Musavi Garmarudi. In addition, a number of scholars were presented with the Allameh Jafar Shahidi Literary Awards, which are given to authors of works on Imam Ali (AS) and Nahj-ul-Balagha.
Shahidi was a pupil of lexicographer Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda, who wrote the most comprehensive unabridged Persian dictionary. He later became a director of the then Dehkhoda Dictionary Institute, which Dehkhoda had established in 1945 to complete the dictionary.
He got a Ph.D. in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran in 1961 and continued his studies at the Qom and Najaf seminaries, where he received permission to practice ijtihad, the use of reason to arrive at the knowledge of truth in religious matters.
His most notable work is the fluent and eloquent translation of Imam Ali’s Nahj-ul-Balagha. He was also the author of “Analytical History of Islam”, which won Iran’s best book of the year award in 2006.
Shahidi was also president of the International Center for the Teaching of the Persian Language.
The Dehkhoda Dictionary Institute and the International Center for Persian Studies combined in 2007 to form a united institution for the promotion of Persian literature and language.
Shahidi presided over the institution, which is affiliated with the University of Tehran, until his death in January 2008.
He also wrote “A Description to the Masnavi-e Manavi”, which is a comprehensive analysis of Persian poet and mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi’s Masnavi-e Manavi.
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