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Amir Ali Shir Navai, the acclaimed Central Asian politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet

Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 17th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 844 AH, Amir Ali Shir Navai, the acclaimed Central Asian politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet, was born in the Khorasani capital, Herat, which is currently in western Afghanistan. He is considered the Father of Chaghatai Turkic literature, and was a prolific author. He also wrote and composed poems in Persian under the penname “Faani”, and has excellent compilations in this language as well to his credit.
He studied in Mashhad, Herat and Samarqand, and when his childhood friend, Sultan Husayn Bayqarah became the principal Timurid ruler of Khorasan, he joined his service and for almost 40 years devoted his efforts to cultural developments including fine arts and the building of public utility works like schools, mosques, caravanserais and hospitals.
In Mashhad, he carried out extensions in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and after his death in Herat at the age of 63 his body was brought to this holy city and laid to rest in the Aivan (porch) of the grand mausoleum of the 8th Imam. He is regarded as a national hero in the modern republic of Uzbekistan, and in addition to his popularity in the Persian speaking countries of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, he is famous all over the Turkic-speaking world.

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