Sheikh Bahai; renowned & distinguished scholar of Safavid Era

TEHRAN, Apr. 22 (MNA) – Today is the day that Iranians commemorate the birth anniversary of Sheikh Bahai, prominent scholar, philosopher, architect, mathematician, astronomer and poet in 16th -century, Iran.

Sheikh Baha' ad-Din al-`Amili, Shaykh Bahai (February 1547 - 30 August 1621) was a prominent scholar, philosopher, architect, mathematician, astronomer and poet in 16th -century Iran. He was born in Baalbek, Lebanon, but immigrated in his childhood to Safavid Iran with his father. He wrote over 88 books on different topics mostly in Persian but also in Arabic.

He is considered one of the main co-founders of Isfahan School of Islamic Philosophy. In later years, he became one of the teachers of Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, also known as Mulla Sadra.

His works include Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, as well as designing the construction of the Manar Jonban, also known as the two shaking minarets, situated on either side of the mausoleum of Amoo Abdullah Garladani in the west of Isfahan.

Sheikh Baha' al-Din contributed numerous works in philosophy, logic, astronomy, and mathematics. His works include 88 articles, epistles, and books. Sheikh Baha' al-Din also composed poems in Persian. His outstanding works in the Persian language are Jame’ Abbasi and two Masnavis (rhymed couplets) by the names of "Milk and Sugar" and "Bread and Halva". His other work “Kashkool” includes stories, news, scientific topics, and Persian and Arabic proverbs. He wrote Khulasat Al-Hisab and Tashrih Al-Aflak in Arabic.

Sheikh Baha' al-Din's fame was due to his excellent command of mathematics, architecture, and geometry. He was the architect of Isfahan's Imam Square, Imam Mosque and Hessar Najaf. He also made a sun clock to the west of the Imam Mosque. There is also no doubt about his mastery of topography. The best instance of this is the directing of the water of the Zayandeh River to different areas of Isfahan. He designed a canal called Zarrin Kamar in Isfahan which is one of Iran's greatest canals. He also determined the direction of Qiblah (prayers direction) from the Imam mosque.

He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still exists in Isfahan, known as Sheikh Bahaei's bathroom. The furnace was warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure. The candle burned for a long time, warming the bath's water. According to his own instructions, the candle's fire would be put out if the enclosure was ever opened. This happened during the restoration and repair of the building and no one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the Manar Jonban (shaking minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.

The High Council of Cultural Revolution in Iran designated today as the National Architect Day, marking the birth anniversary of Sheikh Bahaei.

Shaykh Baha’ al-Din is also recognized with architectural planning of the city of Isfahan during the Safavid era. Shaykh had designed a public bath called “Garmabeh-e-shaykh” in Isfahan which for a long period it was running and providing hot water to public for years without any visible heating system of the day which usually needed tons of wood. Newly in 1969-70 the bathroom heating system was excavated and few series of underground pipe lines made of sun dried clay were discovered even though there are many theories about the working of this heating system, it was found out recently that he knew about biogas and the network was to guide toilet wells which were common to Iranian’s houses and mosques.

He died in Isfahan but according to his last will, he was buried in Imam Reza's [PBUH] Shrine in Mashhad, Iran.

A part of his poem is as follows:

So long, in plead of unison with thee
My eyelids are drowned in the deluge of tear.
So long, in plead of unison with thee,
Thou, the sole beloved!
The arrow of thy sorrow pierced all lovers’ heart…
For how long, how long shall we be kept apart?
We are countless, all occupied by thy thought
Helas! Thou beest concealed of our sight.
Thou, the sole beloved!


Report by S. Morteza Ahmadi

News Code 157704


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