Written by Kieran Proctor

Tomb of Saadi

The Tomb of Saadi located in Shiraz Iran is a site worth visiting when in Shiraz. Here’s what you should ...

The Tomb of Saadi located in Shiraz Iran is a site worth visiting when in Shiraz. Here’s what you should know before you visit Saadieh’s tomb.

Saadi | Who was Saadi Shirazi

Saadi Shirazi is considered the supreme master of speech and persian prose. Even the better know persian poets such as the supreme mystical persian poet Hafez defer to Saadi as The Master (استاد). With the more famous Hafez explicitly stating that ‘for everyone The Master of speech is Saadi’.

Saadi is referred to as ‘The Master of Speech’ or ‘The Wordsmith’ or just ‘Master’. Yet beyond his works and that he travelled widely, not much is known for certain about Saadi’s life. Even the dates of his birth and death are disputed but it is estimated that he lived about 90 years from around 1200-1210.

Saadi has two major works. Those works are Bustān (The Orchard) and Golestān (The Rose Garden). Bustān is considered by some to be one of the 100 most important books of all time.

Golestān despite being a relatively short book of 50-60 pages is the fruit of his mature years. And Golestān is one of the most important works ever written on ethics throughout the history of persian and islamic literature.

What is know for certain about Saadi is that he was highly educated in Baghdad. A centre of excellence at the time. And that he travelled widely in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and possibly India and North Africa.

It’s also known that Saadi is not his real name. But is rather a pen name he adopted in honour of his former teacher. Saadi Shirazi, also known as Saadieh was born Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī.

Though he was ‘The Master of Speech’ and prose he did not use his own name and nor was he known to be a man of many words. Saadi preferred quiet contemplation and solitude.

The tomb of Saadi Shīrāzī

The current building housing the Tomb of Saadi is relatively new and was built after 1950. The original tomb on the same site was destroyed in the late 13th century and rebuild by Karim Khan following his relocation of the capital of Iran to Shiraz. Yet this tomb was to be destroyed once more and rebuilt during the Pahlavi Dynasty in the 1950’s.

Not much is original beyond the original aqueduct that fed Saadi’s fish pond and where guests of Saadi would ritually wash their clothes. Pahndej aqueduct named for the Pahndej fortress that stood next to Saadi’s residence is among the oldest in the region.

The site on where the Tomb of Saadi sits is not just his burial site. It was his home. The place where he retired to spend his remaining years and the place where he eventually died.

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Pictures of the Tomb of Saadi Shīrāzī سعدیه