Ayatollah Khomeini considered the “Shahnameh” unpleasant, even blasphemous. He rejected public readings and declared all unspiritual verse as forbidden. Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali in 1979 tried to bulldoze the Ferdowsi’s tomb and Persepolis, he was stopped by the provisional governor.
Even Khomeini Iran tried to destroy the poetry and culture of pre-Islamic era. Abolqasem Ferdowsi wrote the “Shahnameh,” a 1000 years ago known as “Book of Kings. It is the legendary epic encapsulating the first erratic moments of creation to the Arab conquest of the Persian Empire in the seventh century.
Ferdowsi maintained connection of essence to the bequest and heritage of pre-Islamic Iran. “Shahnameh” was composed on request of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazanavi. Abolqasem Ferdowsi was offered one dinar for every couplet. Ferdowsi presented the Sultan with almost 60,000 couplets, an embarrassed Mahmud Ghazanavi backed out of his enterprise. Ferdowsi abandoned the lessened reward, he died impoverished and embittered in Tus. Yet, his poem is now the grand epic of Persian literature . Ferdowsi’s hostility toward the desert invaders ends the epic where ‘Rostam’ stood before the marching army and mourn:When the pulpit’s equal to the throne
And Abu Bakr’s and Omar’s names are known
Our long travails will be as naught, and all
The glory we have known will fade and fall.
The stars are with the Arabs, and you’ll see
No crown or throne, no royal sovereignty.