• Sat / 10 August 2019 / 16:02
  • Category: Culture and Art
  • News Code: 98051909599
  • Journalist : 99999

Attar of Nishapur

عطار نيشابوري

Tehran (ISNA) - Abu Hamed Abu Bakr Attar of Nishapur was a Persian Muslim poet, and mystic has lived between 1145 c –1221c. He was born in Kadkan, a village near Neishabour in Khorasan Razavi which is in the north-east of Iran. Sana'i, Maulvi and Attar are the three peaks of Persian mysticism that used poetry to express their intentions and thoughts.

He left his birthplace and traveled to Egypt, Mecca, Damascus, India, and other regions to seek wisdom. Attar’s work reflects the points of spiritual trip of a God lover. The obstacles and difficulties of those who step in the path, the ways of overcoming those obstacles and difficulties, are explained in the finest details. The main purpose in this trip for a human being is to recognize themself and their own passion.

About thirty works of Attar have survived, after the city was destroyed by Mongols in 1221, among them “The Conference of the Birds” (Manṭiq Al-Tayr) is a masterpiece.

In “Manṭiq Al-Tayr” he describees a group of birds (representing human souls) under the leadership of a Hoopoe (spiritual master) who are determined to search for the legendary bird called “Simurgh” (representing the ultimate reality or truth). The character of “Hudhud” is a symbol of sheikh (a wise man) in the religion. “Hudhud” stands for a wise man who guides the other birds on their way. The doubts and questions arose among the birds. But Hudhud answered the questions patiently and tried to explain that they are in the right direction.

Simurg stands for divine light which appears everywhere. When the birds reached Simurg, they thoroughly got rid of their physical pain and grief. All difficulties disappeared at once. They met with One (God). This shows that the person who loves God will be far from difficulties and pain. The mystical beliefs of Attar are totally reflected in his works and attached the readers and scholars throughout the centuries.

Edward Fitzgerald worked on Manṭiq Al-Tayr and translated it under the title of Bird Parliament in 1857. He used free translation in his work. In 1984, Dick Davis & Afham Darbandi translated Mantiq Al-Tayr under the title of "The Conference of the Birds"; it contains many anecdotes about Sufis. Anne Fairbairn, the Australian poet, changed Attar's masterpiece in a contemporary Australian context, named it “An Australian Conference of the Birds” in 1995.

Attar has received a huge reputation among Western Orientalists, and two hundred years ago, Europeans tried to introduce Attar's work to the Western society.

Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy was a French linguist and Orientalist who was one of the first European scholars who translated the poems of “Pandnama” in Paris in 1816. Hindley published a great editorial review on Pandnama titled as "Pendeh-I-Attar" in London in 1819. The second translation of Pandnama was in Latin by Gabriel GaiTelinin in 1835 in Finland.

Baron Eric Hermelin in 1929 translated Pandnama of Attar in Swedish. He has also translated Tadhkerat Al-Awlia in four volumes.

The Tazkerat al-Awliya has also been translated to Turkish, Urdu, and several other languages.

In 1966, Arberry translated "Muslim Saints and Mystics", episodes from the Tadhkerat Al-Awliaby.

Victor Hugo became familiar with Attar through Ernest Fuin Baudiya’s translation of Attar's works. He mentioned Attar in his Les Orientales book.

In Victor Hugo’s “The Legend of the Ages” Attar’s influence is clear.

Armand Renaud was another poet influenced by Attar. In "Iranian Nights" his influence of Hafez and Attar is quite evident. Saint Sans, the most famous French composer created a beautiful work based on Iranian nights.

Armand Renault believed, Persian poetry is the most original and poetic poem among the poems of all eastern nations. It has flourished over the centuries, perfected with great poets. Persian literature works cannot be found across the East.

Attar national commemoration day is on April 14th.

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