Masud Sa'd Salman

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Mas'ud-i Sa'd-i Salmān (Persian: مسعود سعد سلمان‎‎) was an 11th-century Persian poet of the Ghaznavid empire who is known as the prisoner poet. He lived from 1046 to 1121.

Early life

He was born in 1046 in Lahore to wealthy parents from Hamadan, present-day Iran. his father Sa'd bin Salman was a great Persian ambassador who was sent to India by Ghaznavids.Masud was born there and he was highly learned in astrology, hippology, calligraphy, literature and also in Arabic and Indian languages.

In prison

In 1085, he was imprisoned, in the fortress of Nay, for his complicity with Sultan Ibrahim's son, Mahmud.[1] He was released in 1096, when he returned to Lahore and was appointed governor of Chalander. Two years later, continued political changes resulted in a prison stay of 8 years, with his release in 1106. The last years of his life was spent in high favor most of his best poems were written in the Nay prison.


He also known as a great Persian poet. His poems are so beautiful and painful. Most of his works are written in the qasideh form. He has some poems in other styles such as quatrian and qet'eh. In the qasideh he followed the famous Unsuri. During one of his prison stays, he wrote the Tristia, a celebrated work of Persian poetry. He had relationships with some of the Persian Poets like: Othman Mokhtari, Abul-faraj Runi, Sanai.

One of his famous qasidehs about the prison named ای وائی امید ہائے بسیارم:

شخصي به هزار غم گرفتارم  در هر نفسي بجان رسد كارم
  • I am fallen person in a thousand sorrows
  • In each breath my life's looking in end
بي زلت و بي گناه محبوسم  بي علت و بي سبب گرفتارم
  • with no sin I am prisoner
  • with no reason fallen in trouble
خورده قسم اختران به پاداشم  بسته كمر آسمان به پيكارم
  • stars have sworn to hurt me
  • the sky has come to fight with me
امروز به غم فزونترم از دي  امسال به نقد كمتر از پارم
  • today in pains I'm higher than the yester
  • this year my soul's lesser than last year
ياران گزيده داشتم روزي  امروز چه شد كه نيست كس يارم؟
  • I had many selected friends
  • what has become no one's remain
هر نيمه شب آسمان ستوه آيد  از ناله سخت و گريه ي زارم
  • every night the sky's made sad
  • with my painful sadness cryings
محبوس چرا شدم نمي دانم   دانم كه نه دزدم و نه عيارم
  • I falled in jail, why? I don't know
  • I just know: I'm not still nor wicked
بسيار اميد بود بر طبعم  اي واي اميد هاي بسيارم
  • to much desires I had before
  • oh alas! where is my lost desires

Couplet: Transliteration: Gardoon beh ranj o dard mara kushteh bood agar! Paiwand e umr e man neh shudey nazm e jan fizaaey! Translation: Had this sky (fate) got me killed with grief and pain (in my imprisoned state)! This patch (of garment) of my life would not have yielded life giving poetry!


  1. C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, (Columbia University Press, 1977), 66.


  • Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature. Reidel Publishing Company. ASIN B-000-6BXVT-K
  • selected Masud Sa;d Salman poems by Dr.Ismail Hakemi,Amir kabir publishing association,ISBN 964-00-0049-3

See also