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Sufism in Poetry

Published : Saturday, 9 September, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 607
Mohammad Jashim Uddin

Sufism in Poetry

Sufism in Poetry

What is Sufi thought or Sufism? In a limited sense, Sufism is the path to self-realization within the framework of Islam. In other words, it is a way of establishing relationship with Allah because, we are standing in such a country-time-perspective, when everyone is disturbed by huge doubt-disbelief-confusion-garbage-stupidity-cruelty.

If anyone talks about religion, many of the scholars in modern education will either squint their noses, or else they will look suspiciously and think that a new fundamentalist has arrived or not! Again, those who draw the boundaries of religion within certain formal worship and Mullah-called 'Haram-Halal-Sawab', will want to think: Are these things Sharia, or some hypocrisy or confusion?

But there is no God outside this world? May have but we do not find that transcendental Allah/God in science. According to the Big Bang theory, which is the most widely accepted theory about the universe; the entire universe was created from an extremely small point, called singularity or Tawheed. Before that? There is no such thing as 'before that' in the view of science (so far), because the three-dimensional world and time were created from the Big Bang. How can there be anything called 'before that'? So what is before it is incomprehensible - the intellect cannot know it, but the mind feels that there must be 'something' before it.

Allah, who exists within man as the Supreme Being. [Testimony of Dharmashastra: The Qur'an says, "I am near to your soul", "I am with your soul, do you not see", "Call me, I will answer." And the Hadith says, "Allah's throne is in the heart of the believer," "He who knows himself, knows the Lord." etc.]

Why not find him? Because we are subject to the soul. In an understandable sense, Nafs is the confluence of the conscious-unconscious-conscious mind with the totality of instinct-emotion-intellectuality. In fact, the soul is the soul. At the center of the soul is the 'self' or the ego, which is always driven by its own interests. So, our mind is immersed in attractive (lust, greed, infatuation, desire...) and repulsive (anger, hatred, envy, hatred, fear...) emotional and thought processes.

These are provoked by the ego and they also affect the ego. The goal of the Sufi is to recognize this impersonal form through meditation and transcend it to reveal the pure self. The aim of the Sufi's self-purification is to observe the states of the conscious-unconscious-conscious mind and be freed from their constraints. Through this self-purification, his 'raw self' (in the words of Rabindranath) or 'small self' (in the words of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) is gradually transformed into the 'ripe self' or 'big self'. That is, the saint moves from the chains of Nafsaniyat to the perfection of Ruhaniyat. His Nafs then merges with Paramatma or Ruh.

In other words, only when one is freed from the bonds of egoism, the integral non-dual form of the universe is revealed in it. In that non-dual state he realizes the Absolute within his being, and the saint immediately exclaims, 'Anal Haq', i.e. I am the Absolute Truth.

Now you have to understand, Nimrud also claimed himself as 'God', and Mansur Hallaj also said the same. Both sentences are grammatically identical. But from the point of view of meaning, one says egoism in the pride of power, while the other says the heart feels the Supreme Being. So to experience the fullness of being in one's own fragmented being is the aspiration of a Sufi. Through this experience he becomes a resident of the realm of divine, blissful wisdom and love from the world of everyday egocentric indulgence.

How did the subject of love come about? Love must come because Sufi's main support is love and his longing for the Absolute. He who has attained the Absolute is the real counterpart of the abstract Absolute. Such a person should be accepted as a Guru. Why obey the guru? I got the answer in Rabindranath. Gurudev wrote that to not submit to one current is to be enslaved to millions of currents. One has to develop a relationship of love with this Guru and perform Sadhana-Bhajan as directed by him; because,

All his efforts are fulfilled
Bhabe people are devoted to the guru.

This love is beyond worldly relationships. It is through this act of love that the Sufi ascends to a higher level of humanity, he becomes non-sectarian, imbued with a sense of brotherhood, universal.

But what is the relationship with poetry? Ranjit Das said about that relationship. Procedural similarity. Sufis have to meditate. Through meditation he enters into his consciousness. He sees his own mind. He sees his thoughts and feelings. He sees the subconscious. He sees things that arise from consciousness. He has acted in countless films. Right here lies a world of infinite possibilities for poets and painters. There is also room to let the imagination play here. This is getting very close to the process of creation.

Jalaluddin Rumi Pir Shamse Tabriz said, "I am not a Jew, nor a Christian, nor a worshiper of fire, nor even a Muslim." When the Sufi attains the truth, he becomes universal. He no longer lives under any particular religious signboard. He transcends religion. And that's why, "how many people cherish what kind of caste in the world."

Here's a little talk on using meditation in the creative realm. And the Sufi perspective, which I called at the beginning of this article, "conformism within the framework of Islam", is actually a religious and post-religious perspective at the same time.

Again Sufi thought is indeed a timeless and universal view. Only his name varies according to country-time-society-culture. For this reason the meditative style of introspection in any religious framework can be called Sufism. In the case of Bengali poetry, in this sense, the poetry of Charyapad is Sufi, the poetry of Nathpanthi is Sufi, Vaishnava poetry is Sufi, Shakta poetry is Sufi, Rabindranath is Sufi, Nazrul Islam is Sufi, DL Roy-Rajinikant-Atulprasad is Sufi, Fakir-Baul-poets are all Sufi. Anyone who writes poetry in this genre is a Sufi poet in that context. Again, any poet can become a Sufi at some point.

When ShamsurRahman writes:
Chest rib encircled bait
Fuchki mare strange bird.'
Go to the tree and say, "Kind tree can you give me a poem? The tree says, if you can break my bark and mix with my marrow, then, maybe you will get a little poem."

He was a Sufi then. Or when Masud Khan becomes agitated by the memory of a friend or writes a poem 'sitting on a distant planet', he too is a Sufi. But these revelations are partial and temporary.

Sufism is a higher humanist ideology. The Supreme Being resides here in man as the man of the mind. The entire universe is a manifestation of that Self. There is food for thought here for the environmentalist as well. All men are brothers. All creation is an indivisible part of man. Sufism is a way to get rid of isolation.

If this humanity develops, it is good in the social sense as well as it is positive for creativity. Rumi, Hafiz, Saadi, Jami, Attar, Khayyam, Iqbal, Mir Taqi Mir, Abdul Latif Vitai, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusru etc. are names of classical poets in Sufism, similarly Mansoor Hallaj, Rabeya Basri, Bara Pir Abdul QuaderJilani are in the scope of Sufism. , Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, Sheikh Farid and many others have expressed spiritual truth and beauty in poetry. The Sufi poets of this country have also left a rich tradition of poetry.

Looking at the Bengali poetry of this period, we can see that the philosophy of Rabindranath-Nazrul has changed due to the impact of modernity in 30s poetry; Poetry then became scholarly; in content, variation and style, modernism permeated the modernism. Poetry, however, had long ago become scholarly, and it will be: folk literature and civic literature are not the same. Rabindranath Elite of course. Madhusudan too. But 30s poetry is a leap. However, '30s poetry is not understood as much as it is condemned as violent. Recently Souvik Reza has written a research book called 'Trishottar Bengali Kavitaya Adhyatmachetna'.

He concluded by saying:
Spirituality is not an object opposite to life or art-literature. And in Indian culture it is not the result of any particular religion; rather, it is a multi-dimensional expression of the inner feelings of human consciousness. Due to which self-knowledge, self-purification is given importance here. Of course, it all starts with self-inquiry. And self-realization is born from this self-questioning. [It is a] journey through self-discovery that ultimately leads to fulfillment. This perfection contains the essence of being, the whole being within man. To achieve this perfection requires the predominance of merit in the mind, so does the effort to discover the eternal truth of life. We can see all these efforts in various ways in the poetry of our discussed five poets, in their life consciousness.

Still, it must be admitted that the eloquent sentiments that emerged from 'Charyapad' to Rabindranath and even the spiritualist works of Nazrul Islam and DL Roy-Atul prasad-Rajinikanth etc., took a back seat at this time.
In the poetry of Bangladesh in the pre-partition era, from the beginning of the 40s, the trend of Islamic nationalism started with political incentives, whose main protagonist was Farrukh Ahmad.
(To be continued�)

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