Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Jalal al-Deen Muhammad Rumi: " Traveling Teaches You More Than Any Book Or Scripture Can Ever Teach You"

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 December 2022 When You Travel, See New Places And Come Across A Spectrum Of People, You Realise That Things Are Far Different Than What You Bargained For ----- Woh Phool Sar Chadha Jo Chaman Se Nikal Gaya/Izzat Use Mili Jo Vatan Se Nikal Gaya (A flower out of the garden is offered to god/ He who leaves his country or place is respected) Jalal al-Deen Muhammad Rumi ----- At the moment I'm traveling and pondering over Rumi's famous quote, " Traveling teaches you more than any book or scripture can ever teach you. " Rumi himself was a great traveller who was born in Balkh, Afghanistan that abuts Eastern Persia and from there he went to Greece, learnt rudimentary Greek and from Greece to the adjoining Turkey and passed away in Konya in Turkey. According to Rudolph Denzyl, Stephen Colbrook and Wick Blenz, Rumi visited India and stayed somewhere in northern India. But I doubt the veracity of this claim. Anyway, that he travelled extensively is a fact and excessive traveling deepened his perceptions. Those who've read Rumi's Masnavis in Persian are aware that in the volumes 2 and 3, Rumi commented rather pejoratively on the skin colour of people from the subcontinent and also of Africa. But before his demise, he admitted his mistake and wrote in archaic Turkish, ' Ees Be La'na Min Shaaf Rola El Aab' (When I travelled and interacted with different people, I realized my misconception/limited knowledge). After his visit to Calcutta (sorry, no Kolkata), Ghalib wrote, " Kooche Hain Dilli Ke Bahut Khoob Lekin/ Aab Mein Kalkatte Ke Sawaab Hai " (Although the alleys of Delhi are so special, the water of Calcutta has purity and is blessed). But some critics are of the view that this couplet was rather sarcastic as Ghalib suffered from dysentery after drinking water in Calcutta. Kabir was unlettered but his excessive traveling made him wiser. When you travel, see new places and come across a spectrum of people, you realise that things are far different than what you bargained for. My traveling across the globe has humbled me. Earlier, I had a streak of arrogance in me. Far better and wiser people brought me down to earth. I met such people in the remotest parts of the world. So, travel to unravel. For a seasoned traveller who's always on the trot, world could be too small a place, but most of us who've not seen the length and breadth of it, it's a galaxy. ----- 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 the 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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