Abol Ghassem of Tus: The Odyssey of Abol Ghassem Bakhtiar, M.D.


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Abol Ghassem revolutionized the Shahnameh of Hakim Abol Ghassem Ferdousi by taking the farr, traditionally defined as the divine right of kings to rule, to mean the divine right of the individual to rule himself or herself based on the Quranic verse 3:26. This is what he lived earning his medical degree at the age of 55 from Syracuse University Medical School and returning to Iran in 1931 to begin the first Iranian owned private hospital and to become the first head of the Department of Anatomy at Tehran University. He taught this philosophy, also known as the philosophy of bakht-yar (good fortune) to his seven Iranian-American children and his 10 Iranian children. Although he was born in Borogen, Chahar Mahal Bakhtiyari near Isfahan he chose to be buried in Tus. When asked, “Why?” he said that he had had a dream whereby his earth would mix with the earth of Ferdousi and a Rostam (the hero of the Shahnameh) would be born to save Iran. Illustrated.


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