The prose of Khagani Shirvani and the poet's new manuscript
Elnara Zeynalova

The article considers the prose works which are the least studied directions of Khagani Shirvani's creativity and his recently found manuscript as a research object. It first notes the study history of the poet's poetry, containing well-known examples, then provides information about the manuscript MS 3798 received from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland and two letters in Arabic mentioned in it. The first letter was addressed to Qutb al-Din al-Abhari while the other one - to Awhad al-Din al-Ghaznawi. It must be pointed out that these letters are also found in the cipher 1173/4 in the Damad İbrahim Paşa Collection of the Suleymaniye Manuscripts/Written Monuments Library of Turkey. Comparison of the two manuscripts showed that the copy from Chester Beatty is older and written more clearly than the one from Suleymaniye. Study of both manuscripts allows to assert that the translation and extensive scientific analysis of the two letters written by Khagani in Arabic will reveal new facts regarding Khagani's world vision, the spread of Sufism in Azerbaijan in the 6th century of Hijra, two historical figures to whom the letters were addressed to, also Khunaj, one of the medieval provinces of Azerbaijan and etc. The special attention is given to the date of the copy from Chester Beatty (Hijri 581), made by the calligrapher Abd al-Wahhab bin Abi al-Fadl al-Tabrizi, and considering the fact that the manuscript begins with a a call for mercy for a poet's soul, it emphasizes the need to review all available sources in order to revise the date of Khagani's death.

Keywords: Khagani Shirvani, prose, Chester Beatty, manuscript, letter