Desperately Seeking Sikanderi
June 20, 2010 9:53 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find an English translation of Amir Khusrow's A’ina-yi Sikanderi?

According to Wikipedia, it's part of a pentalogy called Khamsa-e-Nizami or Khamsa-e-Khusrau, which I also can't find. I want to read this particular text (a Sufi Alexander Romance), but don't speak Persian. I can find references to it in English sources (mostly in older texts and art collections), but not the actual book. Has anyone ever seen this text in English (or, I guess, French)? Any suggestions for alternate spellings?
posted by oinopaponton to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Worldcat doesn't seem to have anything.

If it's medieval Persian Alexandrian romances you're after, may I recommend Nezami's Iskandarnameh? It's readily available in English, though I can't vouch for the translation. Nezami Ganjavi was an immensely influential poet, and Amir Khusraw's Khamsa was following Nezami's model.
posted by a sourceless light at 11:16 PM on June 20, 2010

Here is the longest translation available of that book:
Remove the curst of selfishness from thy heart. Give with a pleasant face whatever thou hast, shower thy gifts on all and be not like the cat that withdraws into a corner whenever it has found a morsel to eat. Every silly ass can be generous to his wife and children. The man whose kindness extends to his family only is really selfish.
No larger translation exists of this particular book.

It may be helpful to record English translations that do exist:

Bāg̲h̲ o bahār: by E.B. Eastwick (1877)
Bāg̲h̲ o bahār: by Duncan Forbes (1882)
KHAẒĀ’INUL FUṬŪḤ: by Mohammad Habib (1931)
Nuh-Siphir: by R. Nath (1981), as India as seen by Amir Khusrau in 1318 A.D.
Siyar al-awliya and Hasht bihisht (excerpts): by Sunil Sharma (2005), in Amir Khusraw (Makers of the Muslim World)
Ijaaz-e-Khusrovi: by Habibuddin Ahmed (2007), as The Writings of Amir Khusrau: 700 Years After the Prophet: A 13th-14th Century Legend of Indian-Sub-Continent
posted by shii at 11:49 PM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, if you look here at item 59 on the list, that might be a starting point for a search.

I'm assuming you've tried variant spellings? Sikandari would be pretty common. And the author's name is more commonly spelled Khusrau when Urdu speakers are writing it out in English, although some use Khusro, too.
posted by bardophile at 12:41 AM on June 21, 2010

Aaina-e-Sikandari is a possibility as a spelling. I don't know what your timeline is on this. I could check in Lahore for you if it's not something you need yesterday...memail me if you'd like.
posted by bardophile at 12:58 AM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: I'm going to leave this unresolved for now in case some Persian superstar translator shows up, but thanks, guys. Iskandarnameh sounds like a good substitute for now.
posted by oinopaponton at 2:43 PM on June 21, 2010

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