عنوان مقاله [English]
Attar and Nezami, two Mathnawi poets, are among the most famous Persian language poets. At first and thoughtlessly, in the multiple layers of the works of these two poets, their line of thought and worldview may seem distant and different from each other. Still, with a deeper look at the moral-judgmental context of the works and, of course, relying on a specific commonality, this masked intellectual coherence manifests itself. This common point is the poetic talent in the simulation of the Sana'i Hadiqat al Haqiqa. Nezamis's Makhzan ol-Asrar is an educational system containing abstract thoughts and sermon stories, a strange and eloquent echo of Sanai's Hadiqat al Haqiqa, but with an instructive and ascetic melody and with a different and clever choice in the meter and style of poetry. Sheikh Attar also composed his Asrar-Name poems with some differences, but in a romantic and painful tone, almost simultaneously or a little later.
Research method, background, and purpose
The attractive point in Nezami and Attar's works is the common moral and mystical themes that are important for both of them, and each of them has benefited from them in their way. These similarities are more apparent in Makhzan ol-Asrar and Asrar-Name. After hearing the names of these books, the audience immediately thinks that they are probably common due to their similarity, and one may be influenced by the other. Numerous studies have been conducted independently on Makhzan ol-Asrar and Asrar-Name, but the two books have not been matched so far. Only Ashrafzadeh (1994) addresses common narrative concepts in Attar and Nezami's works in a general comparison. Zarrinkoob (2001) also implicitly refers to the influence of Makhzan ol-Asrar and Asrar-Name from Hadiqat and the possibility of the influence of Asrar-Name from Makhzan ol-Asrar. However, he suffices with this general statement and does not enter into a detailed comparison. This article assesses the similarities and differences between the theme and structure of Attar's Asrar-Name and Nezami's Makhzan ol-Asrar so that the similarities would bring some conclusions.
As mentioned before, Makhzan ol-Asrar and Asrar-Name are moral-mystical Masnavis comparable with Hadiqat al Haqiqa based on their poets' mental structure and taste, and they can be compared with each other from this point of view. This comparison reveals their similarities and differences, which will be described below.
The central concept that Attar pursues throughout his book is the "structure of human existence." In this structure, the body is like a spell guards the treasure of existence. Man must find that existential treasure and release it from the spell. He introduces and responds to different concepts in different articles. Still, he does not forget the invisible thread connecting the articles and the thematic unity of the whole book, the "structure of human existence". For Attar, cosmology, theology, poetry, and other concepts are inextricably linked to anthropology. The same thing exists from another perspective in Makhzan ol-Asrar. Makhzan ol-Asrar is a book that introduces the man to himself and provides a general solution for human happiness.
The difference is that the poet's intention in this book is to address the general public, especially the king and courtiers, whose happiness and healthy living depend on the health of their souls. If Nezami speaks of other sub-concepts while composing, he defines and gives meaning to all those concepts in the shadow of human existence. The secret hidden in Makhzan ol-Asrar and Asrar-Name is the "secret of human existence". However, the point that makes the expression of this mystery astonishing is as follows. In Nezami and Attar's view, the three concepts of "God," "man," and "world" are astonishingly intertwined, creating a meaningful geometry that there is a path from one to another. The world becomes meaningful with man's existence, and man with God and God exists in both in terms of emergence and has nothing in common with either of them in existence. Cosmology is valid and valuable because it is a way of anthropology. In the holistic view, which is based on unity, the analysis of the world can lead to the analysis and interpretation of human existence. Man himself is a world of the advent of God the almighty. He becomes a bridge to theology because the "I" that characterizes identity, like the world, is existentially extinct. There is nothing but the "ultimate existence." This amazing geometry has not been introduced to this extent by other poets and even the mystics before Nezami and Attar, considering all three concepts in connection with each other. Only Sanai transiently and incompletely refers to the connection between "man and God" and "the world and man" separately, but there is no connection between these three concepts in his view. This connection winding connection is a key to understanding the attitude and worldview of both poets and their most important similarity, which is a solid reason to prove their influence on each other.
The differences in the content and structure of the two books are due to the two poets' different personalities, mental structure, and positions. Nezami is a romantic, wise, and moral poet who has a special place among the kings of Azerbaijan. According to his special audience, he cannot speak recklessly and without any cover of high mystical behavior or concepts. Nezami, by considering the audience's request and their level of understanding, reduces the transcendent human and existential concepts to the level of common and all-encompassing advice, and of course, sometimes gives up and devotes verses directly to his favorite topics. On the other hand, he is a poet more than anything else, and he needs to pay attention to the word and its nature, and this poetic identity and context of his poetry distinguish him from a poet's mystic like Attar. As a poet attributed to the court, he tries to present his social criticism in the form of an allegorical poem to his primary audience, the Shah and his entourage, and this interaction with those in power makes his poetry more reflective of social issues.
On the other hand, Attar is a lover of mystics and poets who does not place himself in any of the social relations and faces relative freedom in composing. The only thing that limits him is to cover the secrets from the incompetent, which occasionally interrupts his speech and disturbs him. Attar's poetry, which is a mirror of his existence, is so clear and free from the poetic array and even the element of time that it can be considered the embodiment of the poet's existence. The poet's reflection of the eternal and timeless soul has appeared in his poems.
The general comparison of the two books shows the intellectual commonalities of the two poets in the fundamental issues. Any differences in content and structure in this regard indicates the different personalities, mental structures, and positions of Attar and Nezami. Although it is impossible to prove the influence of Asrar-Name from Makhzan ol-Asrar, the similarity of mentalities reflected in the poems and the central themes are two graphic effects of this influence.
Keywords: Asrar-Name, Influence, Attar, Makhzan ol-Asrar, Nezami
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