His name deserves occupying the place among the rare figures of science, literature and culture not only of Azerbaijan, but also of the world. Haji Zeynalabdin Shirvani, as a unique person with universal knowledge, primarily is the founder of geographical science of Azerbaijan. Zeynalabdin Shirvani, who covered over 60,000 kilometers within 40 years of his lifetime, traveled to many countries in Asia and Africa thus reflecting his journeys in valuable books. However, the books he wrote fundamentally differ from the travel stories written by other Western and Eastern travelers. Each of his works such as “Riyaz us-sayaha”, “Hadaik us-sayaha”, “Bustan us-sayaha”, “Kashf ul-maarif” is universal like the author himself who owns many fields of knowledge. In these works, such fields of science as geography, history, ethnography, sociology and cultural studies converge, and for this reason the works by Zeynalabdin Shirvani, in addition to all other merits, serve as an authoritative source for each of the mentioned fields. His notes on various countries and peoples don’t comprise solely descriptions. They appear to be solid scientific researches based on deep and detailed observations. For that reason, the works by Zeynalabdin Shirvani have become reliable sources regularly referred to by Indian, Russian, Polish, English, French, Afghan, Turkish, Chinese, Iranian scholars already since the late 18th and the early 19th century. The poetry of this great scientist and traveler who with verses written under the pseudonym "Tamkin" also occupies a notable place in the history of classical literature in Persian language, is as colorful as his scientific works. Along with traditional lyrics, scientific and philosophical lines stand out in his verses. Notwithstanding various studies were conducted on Zeynalabdin Shirvani, and certain work was carried out in the field of publishing and translating some of his scientific-critical texts, this activity cannot be considered satisfactory. These unresolved issues are significant not only for a closer and wider acquaintance with the great geographer, historian, ethnographer and poet Zeynalabdin Shirvani and his heritage, but are also of exceptional value for introducing into scientific circulation vast necessary knowledge about peoples and countries located in a huge territory through which he has travelled.
UNENDING JOURNEYS OF HAJI ZEYNALABDIN SHIRVANI
Keywords: Zeynalabdin Shirvani, “Riyaz us-sayakha”, “Hadaik us-sayakha”, “Bustan us-sayakha”, “Kashf ul-maarif”, “Divan”, Tamkin, geographer, historian, ethnographer, poet, heritage, scientific circulation