Toward an understanding of Yāresān textual tradition: a study on the sacred text of “Sai Farzī” period

Shwan Safari, M.A.                                       

The planned project deals with the Yāresān’s sacred texts. Yāresān is a religious minority which took shape in the west of Iran in the 14th century. Now its followers, mostly live in some Kurdish parts of Iran and Iraq.
These sacred texts named Kalām. Kalāms have a mythological and holy history and they are divided into several inner historical periods. Usually the name of  a saint who lived in that period is applied for the name of Kalams. For example: kalām of Bohlul Māhi period or kalām of Soltān Sahāk period.
Among these periods of Kalāms the sacred text of the Sai Farzī period is one of the last Yāresān’s Kalālms.
According to an oral narrative Sayed Farzi was a great saint that with his disciples lived in Afshari dynasty’s rule period in Iran (1736-1796). They lived in a village named Ghazvineh in west of Iran, where the Sai Farzī and šix amir (one of the most important disciple of him) shrines are located.
In this research I intend to investigate:

  • What are the features of this period? And What are the similarities and differences between this period and older periods?
  • What are the social and historical circumstances in this period?
  • How was this Kalām transmitted from one generation to another, especially in its early years? And whether this transmission was essentially written or oral? And when and how was it codified?
  • What is Yāresān’s attitude toward this period of Kalām? How do they use that? And how do they think about their sacred texts?