Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī (Persian: ابومحمد مصلحالدین بن عبدالله شیرازی), better known by his pen name Saadi (/ˈsɑːdi/; Persian: سعدی, romanized: About this soundSaʿdī, IPA: [sæʔˈdiː]), also known as Saadi of Shiraz (سعدی شیرازی, Saʿdī Shīrāzī; born 1210; died 1291 or 1292), was a major Persian poet and prose writer of the medieval period. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition, earning him the nickname “Master of Speech” (استاد سخن ostâd-e soxan) or simply “Master” (استاد ostâd) among Persian scholars. He has been quoted in the Western traditions as well. Bustan is considered one of the 100 greatest books of all time according to The Guardian.
Sa’di’s best known works are Bustan (The Orchard) completed in 1257 and Gulistan (The Rose Garden) completed in 1258. Bustan is entirely in verse (epic metre). It consists of stories aptly illustrating the standard virtues recommended to Muslims (justice, liberality, modesty, contentment) and reflections on the behavior of dervishes and their ecstatic practices. Gulistan is mainly in prose and contains stories and personal anecdotes. The text is interspersed with a variety of short poems which contain aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections, demonstrating Saadi’s profound awareness of the absurdity of human existence. The fate of those who depend on the changeable moods of kings is contrasted with the freedom of the dervishes.