Mosharef-ed-Din Mosleh-Ebn Abdollah Shirazi was born sometime between 1207 and 1211 C. E., and died in 1291 in Shiraz.  His pen name was Saadi. The unsettled conditions following the Mongol invasion of Persia led him to wander abroad through Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. When he reappeared in his native Shiraz, he was an elderly man. He seems to have spent the rest of his life there.

Saadi’s best known works are Bustan (The Orchard, 1257) and Golestan (The Rose Garden, 1258). Bustan is entirely in verse (epic meter) and consists of stories illustrating the standard virtues recommended to Muslims (justice, liberality, modesty, and contentment) as well as reflections on the behavior of dervishes and their ecstatic practices. Golestan is mainly in prose and contains stories and personal anecdotes. The text is interspersed with a variety of short poems, containing aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections. Saadi demonstrates a profound awareness of the absurdity of human existence.