SADI, Sheykh Moslehoddin

Born: Circa 1213, in Shiraz, Iran

Died: December 9, 1293, in Shiraz, Iran

Sheykh Moslehoddin Sadi was born and raised in Mongol-occupied Persia. His full name was Musharrif od-Din Muslih od-Din. He later derived his pseudonym from the name of the local prince, Sa'd ibn Zangi. When Sadi was a child, his father, Mosleh od-Din died. After completing his education at the Nezamiyeh College, he traveled through India and Central Asia. On his journey, he was captured by the Franks and made to labor on their stronghold in Tripoli. When he finally returned to his village he was an old man. He remained there until his death.

The first of Sadi's two principle works, The Bustan or The Tree Garden, published in 1257, is a philosophical and epic poem that expresses Muslim virtues. His second work, The Gulistan or The Rose Garden, published in 1258, is a collection of poems and prose that document his travels. The Gulistan was first translated in 1787 and is very popular among Western readers of poetry.

Sadi's work is often referred to for its description of the history of ancient Persia. He is recognized as the first Persian poet to employ the lyric to illustrate the principles and the problems of love.