The Story of Khosrow and Shirin (Part V)


Nazy Kaviani
by Nazy Kaviani

Let me tell you one of the most beautiful love stories ever written in Persian literature. It will be summarized. If you can, please do seek it in Farsi and in its original form, because any efforts to summarize or translate it fall hugely short of doing justice to this gem of a Persian tale. Remember this story. Tell it to your children. They will always remember that they heard about love from you first. Celebrate love Persian style.


Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

The deal made, Farhad went to Bistoon Mountain and started work.

First thing he did was to engrave a statue of Shirin in the mountain, one which he kissed several times a day to gain energy to carry on his laborious project. He would then climb to the mountaintop and from there he would proclaim his undying love for Shirin, and begin his work. He worked day and night to deliver on his end of the promise, hoping for Khosrow to keep his end, letting him marry Shirin.

The story of Farhad's astonishing progress in what everyone had thought to be an impossible project soon reached Khosrow. Everyone was talking about Farhad, the artist, the poet, the lover who slept none, working a miracle in the mountains, building Khosrow's desired path.

On some occasions Shirin went to visit Farhad, to "observe his progress on the project." Each time she was more in awe of his dedication and felt closer to Farhad. Hearing about all this, Khosrow was beside himself with envy and fear of losing Shirin to Farhad's amazing love as the project neared completion. He sought counsel from his advisors who told him the only way to eliminate Farhad would be to take brutal action.

A messenger was dispatched to the mountaintop to tell Farhad of Shirin's death. Hearing this horrible lie, Farhad who saw no reason to live anymore without Shirin, threw himself down from the mountaintop to his death. Shirin was devastated at the news of Farhad's death. She mourned his death, cried inconsolably and ordered a suitable memorial monument erected at his gravesite.

Khosrow tried to console Shirin by sending her a letter, paying her condolences (though it war clear that he had a hard time expressing real sorrow). Soon thereafter, Khosrow's wife, Maryam fell ill and died. Shirin, in a similar gesture, sent Khosrow a letter of condolences.

As fate would have it, though Khosrow was now free to marry Shirin, before he would propose marriage to her, he had to try intimacy with yet another woman named Shekar in Isfahan, which further delayed the lovers' union.

(To be continued….)



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the ending

by carolina (not verified) on

i really liked the story!! however, it seems that it has to be continued.. so, when are you going to post the part VI ?
please answer as soon as possible! i want to know how this beautiful story ends!


khosrow and shirin in farsi

by sadat (not verified) on

can you please help me locate a copy in farsi? even a link on the internet? i would like it for my wedding and need it as soon as posible.
thank you

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Nadia,

by Nazy Kaviani on

Oh, that Farhad...! Nezami portrays him, and not Khosrow, as the "perfect man," to Shirin's "perfect woman," the man who is articulate, artistic, passionate, honest, loyal, and generous. Shirin could and in a way did, albeit briefly, fall in love with Farhad, in her loneliness and sadness in Khosrow's doings. The really interesting thing about his character is that if he jumped off that storybook and became real today, I doubt most women could resist his charm and attraction!

Yes, it was a sad ending for him and it was so cowardly of Khosrow to authorize his death like that. Nezami actually makes a reference to the way Khosrow dealt with Farhad and attributes certain subsequent outcomes in Khosrow's life to that decision.

The interesting thing is that the story itself (not Nezami's version, of course), is equally known as "The Shirin and Farhad" story in Iran, showing the legitimacy this love has enjoyed for centuries in Iranian minds and hearts.

The story will end with the next episode. I have thought long and hard about which Iranian love story to do next. I have access to a few, but the problem is that Nezami's Khosrow and Shirin sets the bar on content and storyline so high, nothing else feels good enough after it! We shall see.

Thank you so very much for your kind and continued interest. You are a romantic yourself, I can tell.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Questioner

by Nazy Kaviani on

Indeed I have had the good fortune to locate the story in its original form, complete with an audio version and further related material in Giti Mahdavi's blogs here:


Take a look, and enjoy. I do believe nothing beats reading it or listening to it in Nezami's original poem form in Farsi, if you can. Thank you for taking the trouble to ask.

Nazy Kaviani

Irani 989098

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your kind comment and support. I will wrap this story up in the next episode. Perhaps you could tell me what other Iranian stories you would like to read next, and I can work on them. Thanks again.


so,sorry to read.....

by Nadias on

that Farhad died. I was hoping he would end up with Shirin.

Excellent story Nazy. I look forward to the next installment.


Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)




by Questioner (not verified) on

Dear Mrs. Kaviani
I was wondering if you know any website that offers Khosrow and Shirin Story in Persian version. I am really interested to read some of it's poems.


I just found out about this

by irani989098 (not verified) on

I just found out about this article, and I have read all the parts so far. I always wanted to know about the story of Khosrow and Shirin. It is amazing and loving. thanks for the effort and I can't wait for the rest.