Acquaintance with Taqizadeh

Not unlike Rashid al-din Fazlallah al-Hamadani or ‘Ata Malek Jovaini, Taqizadeh was a man of politics, religion and scholarship. I became acquainted with him in early 1950's when I was a student in University of Tehran’s School of Theology. He had been invited to deliver a series of lectures on the history of the Arabian Peninsula.  His extensive knowledge on the subject, particularly his mastery of the characteristics of various Arab tribal communities, was quite impressive. In doing research for my doctoral dissertation on the Divan of Nasser Khosrow, I came across Taqizadeh’s scholarly, comprehensive and detailed commentaries on the poet’s works.

Years later, on the eve of my departure for London to teach Persian in the Oriental School of Languages, and being aware of Taqizadeh’s own teaching experiences in England, I sought his guidance and advice. I was again impressed by his knowledge of the state of Iranian and Middle Eastern studies in the west and his familiarity with the works of prominent British scholars in these fields. It was during my stay in England, that Taqizadeh’ friends and former students edited a festschrift in his honor titled “The Locust’s Leg.”

Taqizadeh was always eager to encourage young scholars and to introduce them to their older and preeminent peers. He believed that as a result of these personal contacts and collaborations scholarly traditions would be revived, updated and maintained. In the pursuit of his academic and scholarly goals Taqizadeh's humility and sense of fairness remained the most endearing of his traits. A man of ideas and action, surely Taqizadeh must be considered one of the most prominent scholars of the Islamic world.

Mehdi Mohaqqeq
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