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Saadi Day: Ayatollah Khamenei exalts great Persian poet

This file photo shows Ayatollah Khamenei visiting the grave of renowned Persian poet Saadi in Shiraz, southern Iran.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has praised renowned 13th-century poet Saadi as "one of the pillars of the solid foundation of Persian literature".

Saadi is widely known as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition, earning him the nickname "The Master of Speech" through Gulistan, a landmark of Persian literature and the most influential work of prose. His other magnum opus is the Bustan, a book of poetry.

"Saadi is definitely one of the pillars of the solid foundation of Persian literature, a product of poetry and prose, and the constituent of one of the most graceful organs of the glorious body of our current culture," the Leader’s message, issued by his office on the occasion of Saadi Day, reads. 

"Saadi's aphorism, which is derived from the teachings of the Qur'an and Hadith, has always been a golden pattern on the memory of learners, and his eloquent and explicit language has been the revelator of the treasures of meanings for the searching and eager hearts," the message says.

The message, addressed to a congress commemorating Saadi, was republished by the Leader’s office as Iranians marked the National Commemoration Day of Saadi Shirazi on Saturday.

"The celebration of Saadi is the celebration of not only eloquent poetry and prose, but also morals, wisdom and knowledge," Ayatollah Khamenei has said.

"In this era when the blessed Islamic Revolution has made the life of our people the realm of Islamic values, and put wisdom and knowledge in its worthy place, it is appropriate that the beautiful mention of Saadi be repeated and emphasized." 

Ayatollah Khamenei says Saadi's primacy over many Persian poets is that he did not break the value of speech and did not make it a source for patronage and subsistence. 

“There are very few orators who have not cast the heavenly jewel of speech at the feet of the demons of the time and not polished the blade of oppression with it,” the Leader’s message reads. 

“Saadi is one of the rare people who did not pour anything but healing and sometimes bitter advice and aphorism in his golden ocean of doxology whenever he opened his tongue to praise.” 

The Leader has cited Saadi’s unpretentious and transparent way of speaking as another advantage of “this great teacher of civility and love”. 

“His words, like a stream of limpid water, satisfy the listener's soul bit by bit and make a room in his heart without any mist of artificiality,” he says. 

“There are many who have achieved eloquence in both poetry and prose, but it is only Saadi who has created fluent poetry like prose and melodious prose like poetry and provided an amazing mixture of theme, composition, meaning and vocabulary in both realms.” 

Ayatollah Khamenei called on the congress then to present the “unknown corners of Saadi's personality and the brilliance of his art and pave the way for today's revolutionary generation to benefit from this precious treasure”. 

“This is the most worthy tribute to Saadi, and the Islamic Republic views this as a necessary task and a definite duty for all the immortal figures of art and healthy popular literature.”

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