The commemorational session on Attar Neyshaburi was held at Research Institute of Culture, Art, and Communications with the presence of Dr Ebrahim Khodayar and Dr Mahmoud Ebadi.
IBNA: The 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.
The 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 God."
He 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."
Abedi 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.
The 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."
He 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."
He 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."
Khodayar 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 as Attarian."
Khodayar 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 translation."
Khodayar 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 with them."