(He who seeks- shall find)- Sufi Proverb
The area of Badakhshan (Eastern Afghanistan, Southern Tajikistan and Northern Pakistan) is blessed with the highest mountain peaks: Lenin Peak, Tirichmir Peak, Pamir Peaks and so on but there is no Mountain high enough to praise Nasir khusraw’s personality, even writers find themselves dumb whilst praising him. Ocean too before his great wisdom shrinks into a single drop; his words are lamp of enlightenment for the heart. It’s hardly possible in such a brief introduction to deal with the facts of Khusraw’s thoughts as he deserves to be discussed, to be loved and to be infused in today’s knowledge society. His poetry is full of wisdom, of reason, of the right meaning and the right faith.
Nasir Khusraw famously known as “The Ruby Of Badakhshan,” and was born in Khurasan 1004 C.E. He ranked among the greatest mystic of Persia and was the early link in the chain of meta physical poetry, which was continued later by such figures as Rumi, Attar, Sa’di and Hafiz. Unlike others he was also a master of the science of the time and was a preacher of philosophical wisdom but unfortunately we have not given high accolade to this mystic poet in our school of thoughts.
A Sufi proverb: “One who seeks shall find”- Nasir Khusraw’s wandering ceased after his search for wisdom amongst all school of thoughts culminated in his meeting with the Imam of the time Mustansir Bil’lah (a.s) the 18th Imam of Shi’a Ismaili Muslims and 8th Fatimid Caliph who ruled from (1035-1094) in Cairo Egypt. The meeting was similar as Rumi’s to Shams. The era of Fatimid’s was the golden era of inventions, scholars, thinkers, philosophers and scientists.
In praise of Fatimid’s He says:
“The sun shines forth, like Fatimid’s as it ascends the slope from its winter exile, It’s rays as bright as Zulfiqar (Sword Of Ali) giving vigor to the rose as to the pearl-white steed of Ali “
He pours out his devotional songs to the Beloved of the time as Nightingale to the Rose. His poetry is based on intellect, which distinguishes human being from other animals. He enforces us to contemplate and to comprehend the manifestation of God through intellect and search.
“The world is a deep ocean, its water is time;
Your body is like a shell, your soul the pearl.
If you wish to have the value of a pearl,
Raise up the pearl of your soul by learning.”
“What did God give us alone of all the other creatures?
The intellect, by which we lord o’er all the beasts.
But note, that virtue and intellect which makes us lords of donkeys,
Are the very same trait which binds us as slaves of the Lord
With intellect, we can seek out all the hows and whys,
Without it, we are but trees without fruit.”
His teaching was not well received in his native land ‘Balkh’. His opponents incited a mob to sack his house and even attempted to assassinate him. Finding his native land uncomfortable he fled to remote valley of ‘Yamgan- now eastern part of Afganistan.
“The wise man wastes no words on a horde of idiots- They call me ‘unorthodox’-bah!- What do they know of Islam except the name? “
Divan-e Khusraw is full of wisdom, each time when I open the Divan, it blossoms. Perhaps it is my intense curiosity and restless wandering heart that have instilled love of Khusraw’s theology. During the study of his Divan I acquired an almost physical picture of him and if I’m questioned, how Khusraw influenced me? Almost every time when I hear his Qasidas( devotional songs) I can imagine him singing and dancing to praise and please the beloved in the valley of Yamgan.
“O Beloved! When I proclaim your name Roses spring up from your blessings When your servant speaks your name The vale of Yamgan feels with dancing stars”.
Fariduddin Attar wrote a six-line poem entitled, “The Tale of Nasir Khusraw and His Seclusion”
The cry of Nasir Khusraw when he dwelt in Yumgan,
Arched even past heaven’s nine-storied vault,
A little corner he took to hide himself away
Hearing the Prophet himself had named that very spot,
Not a man to enter into the fighting fields of dogs,
Like a Ruby in Badakhshan he hid himself away
Mid the hidden hearts of mountain he chose the corner of Yumgan,
So as not to have to look upon the horrid faces of his foes,
Now I, too, like that great Prince have found a little corner for myself,
Since in the search for deeper meaning
He provided the provisions.
Khusraw’s poetry reflects his rejection of orthodox hold of Mullahs over Islam. One consistent theme is his scorn for hypocritical religious leaders:
From pulpit-tops they preach to the common folk,
Dazzling them about paradise and the food to be had there.
They crow and cry in hope of food;
Asses always bray when you speak of barley.
By day you fast and moan and finger your rosary, By night you’re enjoying music and wine. You’ve memorized the Book of con quite smoothly,
So now you’re grand mufti of Balkh, Nishapur and Herat. Your words are very heavy with fruits as a date palm But when it comes to action your thorn appear.”
In the poems, he asks, if those who pledged their allegiance to Muhammad are assured a place in heaven, what is the justice for those who live at a later time, to whom should they stretch out their hand? He asks, have you not heard to whom Prophet entrusted his dominion of the sermon by the ditch? The one before whose courage the boldness of unbelievers faded like lantern held up to Sun?
In Praise of Ahle-Bait (Progeny of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he says:
“I choose the friendship of Ali, whose swords brings dark nights to his foes bright day to his partisans. Light is far superior to a smoke, even if both come from fire. Black smoke may arise high as clouds but gives no rain. Not every child whose father called him Noah owns an ark to ride out the Flood- Only prophet family has the power to decipher.”
For more on Khusraw’s poetry:
Today’s knowledge society needs someone like Khusraw to lit the fire of reason and to show the true spirit of Islam. We have to reclaim Khusraw and introduce the rich, plural heritage of Islam to the world. This age is the time for exploration of truth and confusion. Pick up guns and spread the message of Islam was never a motive of Muslims, Islam spread by the message of love by deeds, by the weight of the inks not the way Talibans enforce it or the ones who sees everything through blurred lens-practicing it.
In service to the Real