PROF G R MALIK
As I write these lines an international seminar on Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi is in progress at the University of Kashmir. It is high time we asked the question about Rumi’s relevance to the present age. The crucial question was raised around eighty years ago by Iqbal – Pir-i Rumi’s Indian disciple:
Is ‘ahd ko bhi us ney diya hai koie paigham
Kahtey hain charagh-e rah-e ahrar hai Rumi
The crux of the answer to this question that Iqbal deduced from Rumi’s work consists of two main tenets. First man should learn to live like a human being and not be content with an animal existence. Body is a vehicle meant to realize the possibilities of the soul and should not be the ultimate objective of human endeavour. The cultivation of the soul should constitute the pivot around which human life should revolve. Rumi pleaded for the dance of the soul in place of the dance of the body.
Secondly, mere reason should not be relied on as the only infallible guide in life. The role of reason is important but limited. To realize the higher aims of human existence we have to turn to the guidance of revelation:
Pa-i istidlalian chubin buwad:
Pa-i chubin sakth be-tamkin buwad
The feet of the rationalists are wooden
And wooden feet are severely undependable.
From this point of view, Rumi’s clarion call is: ‘Return to the Divine Light.’
Having experimented with all sorts of sedatives and intoxicants modern man is vaguely and unknowingly aspiring for the wholesome remedy proposed by Rumi. That the translations of Rumi are becoming a best-seller in the hub of modern materialistic civilization – America and the West – after seven and a half centuries, confirms this inarticulated thirst. Rumi reminds modern man that peace of mind will elude us as long as we do not establish a vital contact with our Creator. “Beware”, says the Quran, “it is only through remembering Allah that hearts attain to peace and satisfaction. (13:28) Today Rumi’s poetic rendering of this truth reverberates around us:
Har ki kaah-o jav khurad qurban shawad
Har ki Nur-e Haq khurad Quran Shawad.
Whoever feeds on grass and barley is meant to be slaughtered:
Whoever feeds on Light Divine becomes (sanctified like) the Quran.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 31 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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