Allow me to point out that the letters “F” and “P” are both legitimate Avestan alphabetical characters. As our migration and conquests proceeded to the West after the death of our Prophet a dialect of the Avestan language of our scriptures emerged and was spoken in the West (just like we speak a dialect of the Pure (Shuddha) Gujarati on the Subcontinent).
For example, the Avestan sentence “Ahami Kourash Khshathra Haakaamaani” was inscribed on Cyrus the Great’s bas-relief at the top (which has been vandalized but shows in Sir Robert Ker Porter’s water colour painting of 1818) as “Aadam Kourash Khshayaathiyaa Haakhaamaanishya.” Even other sentences in the Achaemenian rock inscriptions are in this Western dialect of the original Avestan language of our scriptures of the Eastern homeland.
After Alexander, the spoken language in the autonomous Hellenized Parthian Satrapy of Pars (Greek: Persis) was Pahlavi, which was derived from the Aramaic language (not at all related to the Avestan language of our Scriptures). The legitimate Avestan “F”s of our Scriptures were converted to the Pahlavi “P”s. Thus, Firoz became Piruz ….and so on. (See my brief history of the Sassanian Dynasty on the website Avesta – Zoroastrian Archives: Kerr, Sam: Sassanian Dynasty — Historical Perspective and read the legend on the Sassanian coins in the Pahlavi language). Then try and consult Kawasji Edalji Kanga’s Avestan Dictionary to see the legitimate “F”s and “P”s of the Avestan language of our Scriptures.
The attempted ‘Paazand’ language introduced to eliminate Hellenized letters, words and phrases did not entirely succeed during and after the Sassanian Regime. After the Battle of Nihavand 641 CE we, further, ended up inheriting Arabic corruptions of an already corrupted Pahlavi language. Then, sadly, in our exilic state on the Subcontinent we embraced Gujarati language (and in Iran the ‘Farsi’ language, also called Modern Persian language, although the name, Persia has been deleted) with still more corruptions to the original Avestan language of our Scriptures in the Khordeh Avesta printed in the Gujarati script.
[According to Wikipedia, in 1935, Reza Shah asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran (the historical name of the country, used by its native people) in formal correspondence. Since then, in the Western World, the use of the word “Iran” has become more common. This also changed the usage of the names for the Iranian nationality, and the common adjective for citizens of Iran changed from Persian to Iranian in common usage]. To add to this continuing uncertainty the Iranian government (the Shah’s regime in 1959), the Iranian government had announced that both “Persia” and “Iran” could officially be used interchangeably. Nonetheless, the word “Iran” has replaced “Persia” in the common usage. Nonetheless, the word “Iran” has replaced “Persia” in the common usage.
The rightful word remains Iran – a remnant of the name of our ancient Primal Mazdayasni Homeland – Airyana vaeja – thus, Airyana>Airyan>Airan as on Sassanian coins>Iran). To my simple way of thinking it seems now that the correction of this continuing and bizarre uncertainty can be done by a single Act of the present Iranian Parliament to call Iran’s national language, ‘Iranian‘ and remove the name ‘Modern Persian’ and all other controversial names (imposed by Hellenic and Arabic influence) once and for all.
I have included an attachment of this message for easy reading.
With all good wishes
Sam Kerr (Sydney, Australia