Saturday, July 30, 2022

Fear Is The Cheapest Room In The House.....Hafiz Shirazi

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 30 July 2022 " Fear Is The Cheapest Room In The House. I'd Like To See You Living In Better Conditions." Hafiz Shirazi Hafiz Shirazi ---- The great maverick Nietzsche wrote in his book, ' Thus Spoke Zarathustra ' - " The most overwhelmingly negative human emotion is fear and it becomes all the more pronounced when it comes to god and religion, both fabricated by humans. " So very true. It was our primitive ancestors' atavistic and often unfounded fear that engendered god and all supernatural phenomena. Fear, esp. the fear of unknown, is ingrained in human psyche. We've been constantly living in the penumbra of fear since time immemorial. Josh Malihabadi aptly said, " Khauf Ke Khauf Se Khaayaf Hai Ye Jahan/ Har Shakhs Khaufzada Hai Yahan " ( The entire world is fearful of fear/ Every individual seems to be scared and terrified here). We're so damn scared. It's because of this primary and predominant emotion called fear that we accrue it to god and proudly say, we're god-fearing! What rubbish! No one says that he or she's god-loving. Everyone says that he's god-fearing as if you worship god/Allah out of fear. ' Where there's fear, love cannot appear, ' wrote Jami. Fear is an offspring of incertitude. At times, it also leapfrogs to the extreme end of the gamut of human emotions and becomes flippant. This is a mark of protest and an attempt to come out of the suffocating dungeon of constantly fearful existence. Have you ever thought as to why scores of Urdu poets (most of them being Muslim) have been rather flippant with Allah and why at times, they addressed Allah quite frivolously like in this couplet, " Mere Ek Sajde Ne Khuda Banaya Hai Tujh Ko/Tujhe Kaun Poochhta Tha Meri Bandagi Se Pahle " (My genuflecting before you made you the Almighty/ Who cared for you before I began to worship you?). Somewhere, Muslim Urdu poets, esp. all Sufis, realized that this unnecessary fear, of the Almighty and their earthly agents, Mullahs and Maulvies, was worming into the collective thinking and religious consciousness of the Muslim Ummah (community). Ergo, to bring the scared Muslims out of their perpetually fearful existence, many poets and mystics, wrote poetry that dispelled and diluted the fear of Allah and their worldly thekedar (contractors/custodians). Urdu poetry is full of criticism of Zahid (a religious wise-man). Why? To belittle his (Zahid's) fear and hegemony among the religiously-frightened and benighted Muslim masses. That's the reason, the highly evolved Mansur-Al-Hallaj could proclaim ecstatically, " I'm fearful of none/ I love Allah and Iblees as one, followed by his famous proclamation, An-al-Haq (I'm the Truth). " Alas, the fearful Muslims excoriated him for blasphemy. What the legendary mystic Mansur meant was that he was neither fearful of Allah, nor of Iblees (shaitan). He loved both equally because when Fear and Hatred (both are Siamese Twins) vanish, love reigns supreme and mind you, love doesn't discriminate and is fearful of none. Humans, esp. devout humans, whether Hindus or Muslims, need to have that mystical fearlessness in their interactions (sorry, dealings) with god, if at all this dubious entity does exist! --- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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