SANA'I, the common name of ABULMAJD MAJDUD B. ADAM, the earliest among the great Sufic poets of Persia, was a native of Ghazni (in Afghanistan). He flourished in the reigns of the Ghaznevid sultans Ibrahim (1059-1099, AIL), his son Masud (1099-1114) and his grandson Bahram (1118-1152).
He composed chiefly qa,sidas in honour of his sovereign Ibrahim and the great men of the realm, but the ridicule of a half-mad jester is said to have caused him to abandon the career of a court panegyrist and to devote his poetical abilities to higher subjects.
For forty years he led a life of retirement and poverty, in which he wrote his great double-rhymed poem on ethics, which served as model to the masterpieces of Farid-uddin 'Attar and Jelal ud-din RUrni, the Hadiqat ul-haqiqat, or "Garden of Truth" (also called Alkitab alfakhri). Sanal wrote, besides the Hadiqat and the Tariq-i-tahqiq, several other Sufic mathnawis of similar purport: for instance, the Sair utibad ild'maedd, or "Man's Jour ney towards the Other World" (also called Kunia-urrumfa, "The Treasures of Mysteries") ; the ishqncima, or "Book of Love"; the eAqincima or "Book of Intellect"; the Karnama, or "Record of Stirring Deeds," etc. ; and an extensive diwan or collection of
lyrical poetry. He died in 115o.
See Abdullatif al-`Abbasi's commentary (completed 1632 and pre served in a somewhat abridged form in several copies of the India Office Library) ; on the poet's life and works, Ouseley, Biogr. Notices, 184-187 ; Rieu's and Fliigel's Catalogues, etc. ; E. G. Browne, Literary History of Persia (1906), ii. 317-322 ; H. Ethe in W. Geiger's Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, ii. 282-284.