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Free «The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-din Attar» Essay Sample

Farid ud-din Attar work that was best known was “The Conference of the birds”. Farid ud-Din Attar was a Persian poet born during the 50th century in the north eastern Iran. He later passed on in 13th century in the same city. Despite of Attar’s low opinion when it comes to earthly rulers, his poem “The Conference of the birds” was about searching for an initiative and spiritual king (Farid, 1177). He described the earthly rulers characters as cruel and capricious, at a point in the poem, Attar said that it would be better having nothing to do with the earthly kings.

We are analyzing a beautiful poem related to the Sufi culture which is The Conference of the Birds. Sufism is the set of guidelines promulgated by the spiritualists of Islam, and it is essential to recognize and analyze these principles if the poem is to be fully respected. Sufism was an abstrusely structure, somewhat, it was repeatedly charged for being profane, partially as it holds to be inconceivable and perilous if illustrated to those who had not experienced the indispensable spiritual guidance. The author in this poem talks about Sufism. These are the doctrine or beliefs propounded by the Islam mystics; nevertheless, it is crucial to discover something about the belief or doctrine before appreciating the poem fully. The author describes Sufism as esoteric system for it was to some extent accused of being heretical. Somehow, this was because of sufi holding for unintelligible and also dangerous if explained to the ones without the required spiritual training. Sufism was handed down according to the adepts orders. Moreover, it was forbidden to the adepts to disclose the beliefs of tenets from the sheikh to the pupil, however, some of them occasionally revealed. According to the poem, Sheikh represented a spiritual leader but not a secular chief.



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According to the author, Sheikh Sam ‘an is presented as the first man in his time. He was termed as the man living for his faith, and the same faith defines him. Sheikh Sam ’an kept Mecca his holy place for 50 years for he made his pilgrimage fifty years and also observed his sacred laws. Sheikh Sam’ an is well known for his religious observation that gained him 400 children. The author uses sheikh as the central character in the story for he embodies love elements. Attar then talks about the Sheikh re-announcing himself in loves name. It was a dream that made the sheikh to travel to Rome. Upon his arrival to Rome, he fell in love with a Christian girl who caused him to “throw away” who he used to be. Attar states that love sacked Sheikhs heart (p.58). Love consumed his daily actions that could not be recognized. He did not bother taking care of himself but “smears his locks with dust and filth….” And becomes “waste it weak and pale” (p.60&63). As quoted;

“Love’s built on readiness to share love’s shame;

Such self-regarding love usurps love’s name.”

Further, in his poem, Attar speaks about elusive doctrine; nonetheless, certain tenets came up as familiar to many accounts. The poem portrays Islam as most useful faith, on the other hand, mans distinctions that differentiate evil and good has no impact for God, who talks about unity (Farid, 1177). The poem then talks more about the soul trapped in the body’s cage, but after it looks inward, it recognizes its principal affinity to God. Furthermore, the awakened soul that God’s grace controls will proceed on a long way that will guide it to obliteration in God. Attar propounds the same doctrine in his poem only to back down and maintain final distinction the last moment between God and creatures of God as quoted:

“Act as a lover and renounce your soul;

With love’s defiance seek the lover’s goal.”

In the poem conference of the birds, Attar talks about a group of fowls travelling together towards a far-valley. The birds aim was to search for the king of the Birds, a kind of phoenix called as mythical Simorgh. The author describes sufi as a path to unite with God and each of the valleys along the way standing for contemplative path (Farid, 1177). Like Minnesingers and troubadours, Attar used little piety. In long anecdote relation conference, the author talks about Sheikh Sam’an story. According to Attar, Sheikh Sam’an lived a better Muslim life until when he fell in love with a Christian girl. In different ways, this story reflects on the image of Gahmuret in Parzifal story as quoted:

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“If you desire this quest, give up your soul

And make our sovereign’s court your only goal.

First wash your hands of life if you would say:

‘I am a pilgrim of our sovereign’s Way’;

Renounce your soul for love”

It was one shocking turn after Sam’ans’ students and friends asked him to go back to his religious life. The Sheikh’s tale was a cautionary tale whereby, he not only goes back to his religion Islam, but he also converts his Christian girlfriend to Islam. The poem by Attar also talks about Sam’an love for Infidel and is described in greater length, with proper attention and vitality than his automatic return to religious norms in the end. In this case, Sheikh Sam’an story has a sense of going through the opposite and thereafter returning to oneself at a higher level. Also, it includes the recognition of the heart on the difference and similarity of something. He holds that, Gods true love leads the past piety aspirant, through blasphemy gates into the actual communion together with holy source. The socially constructed idea was rooted piety how God must be like this lead to image of God to be socially consecrated.

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The Conference of the Birds has continued to exist and mystify the readers for centuries due to its fascinating lyrical fashion, and its figurative investigation on the accuracy of God’s character in Sufism context.


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