commemorational session on Attar Neyshaburi was held on Tuesday evening (April
17) at Research Institute of Culture, Art, and Communications with the presence
of Dr Ebrahim Khodayar and Dr Mahmoud Ebadi.
first speaker in the session was Dr Mahmoud Abedi. "Attar is an
exceptional figure in theosophy. He is a follower of Sanai both in poetry and
theosophy, but after the composition of 'Asrar-nameh' (Book of Secrets' he
finds his own path," he said.
"Attar in Mantiq Altayr (Conference of the Birds) reports
the stages of mysticism and the work is organized in a new form and perspective
only comparable to the works of Avicenna and Sheikh Ishraq. Mantiq Altayr
relates the spiritual journey of man from plurality to unity or from self to
continued: "The story of Sheikh San'an is the core of Mantiq Altayr. It
describes the passage of man from acknowledged values of Sufism to love. In
fact the story begins with human existence and ends in annihilation."
stressed on the simplicity of the language of Attar and Mawlana that is devoid
of any artificiality or prosaism. And then he made a comparative reading of the
story of sheikh San'an in Mantiq Altayr and The Old Lyrist in Masnavi.
"Sheikh San'an is a man totally devoted to religion while
the Old Lyrist is totally sunk in sin. They meet each other in one place, that
is, meeting with truth. We should know that beauty is nothing external and in
fact begins in the eye of the beholder. Only if one reaches the truth and
beauty, he can find the status of the Old Lyrist and Sheikh Sanan alike. And
this is what Attar asks us to learn," he added.
next speaker, Ebrahim Khodayar, discussed the effect of Attar translations on
the thought of Mid Asia people and said: "Central Asia has played a key
role in forming the culture of Aryans. Citing Avesta, Saeid Nafisi proves that
the Promised Land of Iranians was Transoxiana, or the region between the shores
of Seyhoun and Jeyhoun."
continued: "Most of Transoxianan people learnt new sciences through
Persian, and Persian language was known as the language of wisdom for them.
From the ninth century Hijri onwards, Teimouri Court of Heart organized the
translation of great works of Iranians. Among these figures Attar had a deep
effect on a scholar of that period, Amir Ali ShirNavayi."
added: "I am going to describe the legacy of Attar in three regions:
Attar's manuscripts in Abu Reyhan Birouni Treasure of Tashkent, lithographed
manuscripts of Attar in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and translation of Attar's
works into Uzbek during the 9th century hijri."
explained: "Researchers have consensus over the works of Attar; seven long
poems make the main body of his work but there is a unique manuscript of
Tazkerat Al-olia in the State University of Samarqand dating back to 685 Hijri
– the very manuscript that Nicolson and Estelami have studied."
"There is still another manuscript of this work dating back
to 698 that is kept in Tashkent 51 copies of which are kept in Abu Reyhan
Birouni Treasure of Tashkent. Uzbek researcher Shah Niaz Musayev has introduced
150 works by Attar 90 of which are in verse forms. However, there are some
other texts whose actual belonging to Attar is under debate, such as the book
'Pandnameh' – it has been considered a work of Attar for a long time and even
included in textbooks of the region but Dr Shafiei Kadkani has not approved it
added: "Amir Ali Shir Navayi translated most of Attar's works into Turkish
and Uzbekistani. He is very similar to Amir Kabir in character as he was first
one to command mending Attar's tomb. He is also founder of Jagatai Turkish
literature. He translated Mantiq Altayr to Uzbekistani while keeping the
original rhythm that is regarded today as a superb and peerless
then made a comparative reading of Mantiq Altayr and Lessan Altayr, and finally
asserted: "Persian in the region of Transoxiana is no more the official
language after the 1917 revolution and today we have a big responsibility to
revive and promote the langue once again with the help of Iranian scholars and
cooperation of Uzbek and Tajik thinkers. Today very few Persian poets live in
Uzbekistan and call themselves small Iran and it is our duty to keep in touch
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