Baba Kuhi Shirazi, also known as Ali Abu Abdullah Ibn Bakooyeh, was a renowned Persian mystic and poet who lived in the 9th and 10th centuries. Born in Shiraz around 337 AH (Islamic calendar), he left an indelible mark on the spiritual and literary landscape of his time.
Early Life and Spiritual Journey
Baba Kuhi was deeply inclined towards acquiring knowledge, particularly in matters of spirituality and mysticism. His quest for spiritual enlightenment led him to significant encounters with other prominent scholars and mystics of his era. Notably, he engaged in extensive discussions with Sheikh Abu Saeed Abu Alkhair Bini Sina, a distinguished scholar of his time, in Neyshabur.
Moreover, Baba Kuhi’s intellectual exchanges with Sheikh Abu Al-Abbas, the spiritual successor of Sheikh Khafif Shirazi, in Nahavand, fueled debates on Sufism and mystical philosophy. These dialogues, marked by profound insights and wisdom, demonstrated Baba Kuhi’s deep spiritual awareness and intellect.
The esteemed poet Jami, a significant figure from the 9th century, mentioned Baba Koohee in his book “Nafahat al-Uns” and held him in high regard. Jami celebrated Baba Koohee, highlighting his wisdom and contributions. He even attributed a vast number of sayings and stories to him, emphasizing his prominence in the scholarly and spiritual circles.
Jami went so far as to declare Baba Koohee as a “king” among scholars and a remarkable teacher. Jami’s recognition of Baba Koohee’s significance in the spiritual realm set him apart from many of his contemporaries.
Baba Koohee’s Final Years
After years of traveling and spiritual exploration, Baba Koohee returned to Shiraz, where he spent several years in isolation atop the majestic mountain known as “Sabuy” in the north of Shiraz. This remote retreat allowed him to immerse himself in contemplation and devotion. In 442 AH, at the age of 105, Baba Koohee passed away on this mountain, which is home to Iran’s oldest spring, still flowing to this day. His followers laid him to rest in his khanqah, which has now become his shrine.
In the vicinity of this mountain, there are various recreational facilities, including fast-food restaurants, liver-serving establishments, cafés, and entertainment centers.
Controversy Surrounding His Authorship
While Baba Koohee Shirazi’s contributions to Islamic mysticism and literature are well-documented, there have been controversies regarding the authorship of his attributed works. Some scholars and critics argue that he may not have been the actual author of the works credited to him. They point to differences in style and content between his writings and those typical of the 9th and 10th centuries. Additionally, some believe that certain themes and verses from his works bear striking resemblances to the poetry of Hafez, suggesting possible influence.
In conclusion, Baba Kuhi Shirazi remains a captivating and enigmatic figure in the history of Persian mysticism and literature. His life and legacy continue to spark interest and debate among scholars and enthusiasts, underscoring the profound impact he left on the spiritual and intellectual heritage of his time.