Bāgh-e Ferdows [The literal meaning of "Bāgh-e Ferdows" is "The Garden of Paradise" (see Bāgh). The following is however suggestive that this literal interpretation may not be precise, if correct at all. According to Dehkhoda (in "Loghat'nāmeh-ye" Dehkhoda) and with reference to the pertinent investigations by Dr Mohammad Moin, the word "Ferdows" is an Arabicized word of the Persian origin, referred to twice in
Avestaas "pairi-daēza", where "pairi" stands for "perimeter" and "daēza" originates from the infinitive "daēz", meaning "to accumulate", "to surround" or "to enclose". The Achaemenid Dynastybuilt over the entire Persian Empire, especially in Asia Minor, "pairi-daēza"s, or "paradises", which consisted of extensive gardens and parks. According to OED, as well as Dehkhoda, Xenophonwas the first to use the word "paradeisos" in the meaning of "enclosed park, orchard, or pleasure ground". Dehkhoda writes that the Hebrewword "pārdēs" entered into this language in the 5th century BC, following the arrival of Jewsin Babeland that in the sections of the Old Testamentthat predate this arrival, the notions of "Heaven" and "Hell" are not specific; only later has "pārdēs", originally meaning "garden" and "orchard", been endowed with the spiritual meaning that is signified by this word (as well as "paradise") in later times, up to the present date. Dehkhoda adds that "pārdēs" has been used synonymously as the Hebrew word "gān" in the meaning of " Garden of Eden". He continues that the word "Ferdows", that has been used twice in Qur'an, has its root in Judaismand Christianityand that the Islamicscholars are generally united in considering that the word "Ferdows" has been used in Qur'an in the meaning of "garden" and "orchard"; there is, however, no consensus amongst these scholars as to the nature of this place. Note that since the Arabic languagedoes not accommodate the letter "P", the "P" in the Arabicized Persian words, as well as the Hebrew word in the present context, is replaced by "F" — compare "Ferdows" with "Pairi-daēza" and "Pārdēs".] (Persian: باغ فردوس), also known as Emārat-e Bāgh-e Ferdows ["Emārat" here means "building".] and The Mohammadieh Palace, is part of a historical complex of garden palaces in Tajrish, Shemiran, North Tehran, between Zafaraniyehand Jafar Ābād. ["Loghat'nāmeh-ye" Dehkhoda, Third Edition ( Tehran University Press, 2006).] This complex consists of two castles, the North Castle and the South Castle, of which the former has decayed. The complex was originally designed by Hāji Mirzā Āqāsi, [Hāji Mirzā Āqāsi is said to have been a Sufibeliever, and Mohammad Shah to have been influenced by Sufism. This has been considered to be the cause of Mohammad Shah not having been on good terms with the Shiaclergy. See: "Mohammad Shah", [http://fa.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF_%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87 "Persian Wikipedia"] .] the Prime Minister of Mohammad Shah Qajar, and was used as a summer residence by the Qajarfamily and some nobility. Mohammad Shah Qajar died here in September 1848 and the complex became disused in subsequent years. [Sadeq Dehqan, "A Glorious Complex: Bagh-e Ferdows", Iran Daily, Arts & Culture, Thursday 20 July 2006, [http://www.iran-daily.com/1385/2615/html/art.htm] .] [Khodadad, "Mohammadieh Palace, Bagh-e Ferdows", [http://picasaweb.google.com/hrolfkrake/Tehran/photo#5128470916404164546 "Picasa Web Albums"] . ]
During the reign of Nasser ad-Din Shah Qajar, the ownership of the compund was transferred to Nezām od-Dauleh, Mo'ayyer ol-Mamālek, who refurbished the palaces and gave the place the name "Ferdows". Later, Doost-Ali Khan, the brother-in-law of Nasser ad-Din Shah, using the workmenship of architects from
Esfahanand Yazd, built a new building at the Southern edge of this structure, giving it the name "Rashk-e Behesht". ["Rashk-e Behesht" means "Envy of the Paradise". According to Dehkhoda, "Behesht" is the Persian for the Avestanword "Vahishteh" which is rooted in the combination of the words "Vohu" (which is the comparative of the suppressed adjective "Anghu", meaning "good"), and "Isht". Thus "Behesht" means "The better world", "Ferdows" or "Paradise". With reference to an earlier footnote, in which "Ferdows" is discussed, one notes that in principle "Behesht" and "Bāgh-e Ferdows" need not refer to the same metaphysical location. ] Following this, the palace complex changed several hands, until it was bought by Mohammad-Vali Khan, Sepahsālār-e Tonekāboni, [Mohammad-Vali Khan, Sepahsālār-e Tonekāboni, also known as "Sepahsālār-e A'zam-e Tonekāboni", was the leader of the constitutionalist revolutionary forces from Iran's northern provinvces of Gilanand Mazandaran. He was the first to arrive in Tehran and liberate the city from the Royalist forces. He became Minster of Defence in the first constitutionalist government that followed dethroning of Mohammad-Ali Shah Qajar in 1909. He subsequently became Prime Minister, holding this post between October 1909 and July 1910. For the time being see: Haj Ali-Gholi Khan, Sardar Asad II.] from Amin ol-Molk [Amin ol-Molk is the honorific title of Pāshā Khan. Sadeq Dehqan's reference in Iran Daily, "loc. cit.", to "Aminol Malek" (i.e. Amin ol-Mālek) seems incorrect. For Details consult: "Dowlatshahi-Qajar", [http://www.qajarpages.org/dowlatshahi.html "Shajareh'nameh Project"] .] in 1897. Sepahsālār Tonekāboni added some further pools and fountains to "Bāgh-e Ferdows" and regenerated the aqueduct that in earlier years had fed the garden with fresh water. The impressive gate of the garden dates also from this time. Later "Bāgh-e Ferdows" was handed over to Tomanesian Company for repaying debt. In turn, this Company used this complex as a means of obtaining a state loan during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi. In 1937 the Ministry of Education ("Vezārat-e Ma'āref") housed a primary and a secondary school, "Shapour" Schools, in this compound. After the Iranian Revolutionof 1979 until 2002, "Bāgh-e Ferdows" served as a training centre for film-making. Since 2002, it houses "Film Museum of Iran". [See the "History" section in [http://www.filmmuseum.ir/english/index.htm "Film Museum of Iran"] .]
Bāgh-e Ferdows is also the name of an area in the South of Tehran, near "
Bāgh-e Jannat". ["Loghat'nāmeh-ye" Dehkhoda, "ibid."] [According to Dehkhoda, "Jannat" means both Garden (one in which the ground is fully covered by trees) and "Behesht" (concerning "Behesht", see an earlier footnote). It is most likely that the Urduword "Jinnah", as in Mohammad Ali Jinnah, may be the equivalent of the word "Jannat". If this is indeed the case, then it is appropriate to make mention here of the historical garden Bāgh-e Jinnah (formerly known as "Lawrence Gardens") in Lahore, Pakistan.]
The Iranian motion picture "Bāgh-e Ferdows, 5 O'clock in the afternoon" (2005) [Written, produced and directed by
Siamak Shayeghi, with Reza Kianian, Ladan Mostofiand Azita Haijanplaying in the principal roles.] refers to a public park in front of "Bāgh-e Ferdows", from where the main palace is in view.
Notes and References
* Film Museum of Iran, [http://www.filmmuseum.ir/english/index.htm Home] , [http://www.filmmuseum.ir/english/about.htm History] , [http://www.filmmuseum.ir/english/cinema.htm Cinema Saloon] .
* TaymazG, A photograph of the building of the main palace in "Bāgh-e Ferdows", 12 August 2007, [http://www.flickr.com/photos/taymaz/1097870321/sizes/l/ flickr] .
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