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A Journey to Shiraz

Sakineh Soltan
Shiraz, Iran (Original Language: Persian)

On June 1 1905 at the command of His Majesty Mozaffar-od-din Shah and the request of Soltan ‘Abd-ol-majid Mirza ‘Ain-od-dowleh and Her Highness Shams-od-dowleh I had to go to Shiraz with Her Highness Anis-od-dowleh. For several days I was busy with the arrangements and paperwork for his lord Mo’tasam-ol-molk, my husband, who was to take the bride. The lady Nozhat-os-saltaneh was sent to invite us to go to the andarun from where the bride would depart, inshallah.…

Another Time, Another Place: Memories of a Trip to Europe

Farogh Farrokhazad
Europe (Original Language: Persian)

Extracted from Words, Not Swords: Iran Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement (Syracuse University Press, 2011).


As I put pen to paper to jot down my recollections of the fourteen months I spent in Europe, I feel a bit apprehensive. I have to rely solely on what I can remember, and I confess I am rather weak when it comes to remembering.…

Kashf al-Asrar [The Unveiling of Secrets]

Ruzbihan Baqli
Shiraz, Iran (Original Language: Persian)


  • Explaining Past Experience
  • I was fifteen years old when the beginnings of these secrets occurred in my heart. I am now fifty-five; how shall I explain to you the secrets of my unveilings, and my subtle witnessings, things that have escaped you? But I shall explain some things that were unveiled to me in days past, and I shall mention to you what happened to me after that, if God most high wills.…

    Munis al-Arvah

    Jahanara Begum
    Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

    Know that, after the performance of religious duties, requirements, and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, this weak woman who hopes for salvation regards no action as nobler than the remembrance of the spiritual states and stations of the revered saints (may God sanctify their spirits). Therefore, I have spent a portion of my time in reading books and treatises that contain the felicitous accounts of the great ones of religion and the mighty ones of certainty.…

    Risalah Sahibiya

    Jahanara Begum
    Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

    Extract from Risala-i-Sahibiyah (1640)

    Translated by Sunil Sharma


    Since my twentieth year I have had a sincere resolution and firm belief in the … order of the masters of Chisht (may their secrets be sanctified) and the ring of discipleship and servitude to the guiding pir, who is the pole of the saints,    leader of the perfect sages, is marked on the ear of the soul of purity.…

    Tazkirat al-Ahwal

    ٘Muhammad Ali ‘Hazin’ Lahiji
    Isfahan (Original Language: Persian)

    [From Hazin’s days of study as a young man]

    During those days [in Isfahan], of all the strange occurrences and events, there was the passion for a beauty [with such] manner of beautiful qualities, that my heart became maddened.

    You showed me a trace of the beauty of the friend but / Should this world and the next collide I have no agitation or malevolence

    A novel agitation befell the secluded palace of my mind and from my restless heart arose sedition and tumult.…