Friday, February 24, 2012

Persian navigation

"Siraf, known today as Taheri Port,
was a legendary ancient Sassanid port..."
Photo and caption from
Historical Iranian Sites and People

Iqbal wrote the following foreword to A History of Persian Navigation by Prof. Hadi Hasan, Muslim University, Aligarh. The book was published in 1928

by Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal

I have read parts of Prof. Hadi's book on Persian Navigation with great interest and profit. Besides the innumerable Persian, Arabic and Chinese sources, he has utilized all the available sculptural, pictorial and numismatic material in establishing the conclusion that whilst the land empire of the Sassanids perished with the fall of Yazdigird the maritime activity of the Persians continued till the Caliphate of al-Mutawakkil, when it began to be displaced by the Arabs. The author's great capacity for sustained work, his infinite patience in sifting the details of evidence, and above all his youthful enthusiasm for the subject of his study - all this is abundantly clear from the remarkable work that he has produced. I have no doubt that Prof. Hadi's work is a very important contribution to modern historical research relating to Persian antiquities. It is needless to add that Prof. Hadi is a brilliant Persian scholar from whom yet greater things are expected.

Lahore Muhammad Iqbal


  1. This Foreword by Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal sounds remarkably contemporary. What a nicely nuanced description of Prof. Hadi's work -- a lovely window into the care Iqbal takes here describing another's scholarship. Beautiful photo of Taheri Port (Siraf).

  2. Professor Hadi Hasan – An Introduction to His Life and Contributions
    By Dr. Syed Ziaur Rahman

  3. From the link I posted:

    "He was the nephew of Nawab Mohsinul Mulk Syed Mahdi Ali Khan, a close companion of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Unconcerned with his interest in Botany, he soon distinguished himself as well-grounded scholar and admirer of Persian literature and..."

    "Hadi Hasan probably inherited his profound love for the Persian language and literature from his Iranian mother"

    "Besides being a Professor of Persian, he was also deeply interested in Mathematics, History, Astronomy and Sanskrit Drama. He translated Kalidas’ Shakuntlam into English and, while staging it, used to play the roles of different characters all by himself"