Persian Poetics Presents:


Pandnāma-i Sa‘dī


A classic text of Islamic adab (etiquette)

O Kind one, pardon our state - it is dire!

For we have fallen captive to desire.


Our cries for help, you are the one who heeds,

you’re the forgiver of our sinful deeds.


Keep us far from the path of sin and plight,

look past our sins, show us the way that’s right.


-Sa‘dī, Pandnāma, Introduction

Sa‘dī Shīrāzī’s Pandnāma or Book of Wisdom, also know as the Karīmā (literally ‘O Kind one from the famous opening line above: karīmā bibakhshāy bar ḥāl-i mā) is a classic text written in the rhyming couplet (masnawī) style (like his more famous Būstān or Orchard).


The Pandnāma was not a text prepared by Sa‘dī himself, rather it is a (likely Mughal-era) compilation of his work. This text was likely put together as a standard for madrassa education.


Though Persian has declined considerably in the Subcontinent following colonization, this text continues to be read and taught using Urdu translations as an aid.
Join us as we read the original Persian and translate the text in real-time.

The second page of the Pandnāma.

The first page of the Pandnāma.

Course Syllabus:

  1. Course Introduction

  2. Pandnāma Introduction

  3. On Humility, Denouncing Pride, and Not Befriending Ignorants

  4. One Justice and Contentment

  5. On Patience, On Honesty, and On Avoiding Depending on Other Than God

A preview of the class:

Inside the mouth, as long as the tongue stays,

what can please the heart like Muhammad’s praise?


God’s dearest, most honored of prophets sent,

whose honored throne is a place of ascent.


-Sa‘dī, Pandnāma, Introduction