O God, what virtue is this that accompanies Thy friends?
With what privilege hast thou brought them into the world,
That whosoever found Thee would know them,
And whosoever knew them would find Thee!
-Munajat of Hazrat Abdullah Ansari Heravi (trans Lawrence Morris and Rustam Sarfeh)
Abdullah Ansari, the 11th century polymath, is recognized as one the greatest Persian poets, Sufi masters, and Quranic commentators of the classic age - and certainly Herat's most beloved figure. His shrine complex has held tremendous symbolic significance throughout history, and has been visited and patronized by every dynasty in the last millennium. (On display at the Kabul Archives is a land grant personally furnished by Ahmad Shah Durrani - the great Afghan empire builder - for the restoration of the shrine in the 18th century.) Note that among the kings and notables buried in the shrine courtyard is Dost Muhammad Khan, the 19th century ruler who famously defeated the British forces in the first Anglo-Afghan War.
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Abdullah, Afghanistan, Ansari, Herat, Iran, Persian, Sufi
© Mehreen Farooq & Waleed Ziad