Friday, March 10, 2023

A Writer/Poet Should Have a Falcon's Eye-view

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 10 March 2023 Truth Is Often Orphan And Childless But Deceit Has Many Siblings And Innumerable Illegal Offspring. They Pounce On Truth And Try To Kill It By Any Means. There's An Old Scottish Adage, ' If You Cannot Slay Someone With A Knife, Slay Him With Slanders And Knavery. ------- “Mr Naipaul, I've noticed that you always choose to see what you want to see and ignore conveniently what you don't want to see....." A London-based Pakistani journalist to Sir V S Naipaul at Oxford in 2011 “You choose to see what you want to see is often an allegation made by those who themselves suffer from this proclivity. Thank your stars that I chose to reply to your question. I generally don't entertain fools." Sir Naipaul to that Pakistani reporter, reported in The Spectator, London I cannot and shouldn't be so rude like the legendary Nobel laureate but I must say that people should refrain from being judgemental and they must think twice before commenting on someone. There's a rare word in my mother tongue Pahalvi. It's ' Qalfat ' and means ' an ingrained habit of imposing one's shortcomings on others.' You'll come across the frequent occurrence (precisely 43 times) of this word in Rumi's earlier works in Pahalvi and Dari (Afghan variant of Persian) as the great mystic was born in Balkh, Afghanistan. Rumi further wrote that a poet ought to have a falcon's eyeview. Just the way a high-flying falcon can see everything and nothing escapes the range of its sight, a writer should be able to encompass all and sundry. Yet, people with an agenda will accuse you of being conveniently selective and dishonest. At the end of the 10th century, Suhrawardi (executed for heresy as he made it his life's work to trace Islam back to what he called the 'original oriental religion') and Al-Hallaj (excoriated by a mob possessed by religious zeal) were accused of (religious) dishonesty just like Abu Nasr al-Farabi was called an enemy of Islam for saying that philosophy was higher than revealed religion. But all these honest individuals were called dishonest by the most dishonest Muslims centuries ago. Such dishonest people are still in Islam and all man-made religions whose sole objective in life is to cast aspersions on those who tread on the path of truth and uprightness. I'm having to say, such elements abound in Islam. An average Muslim is unable to see beyond his Islam, Muhammad and Quran and will labour under the misconception that Islam is the alpha and omega. It's the universal panacea to mankind's all ills. Since it's predominantly an Islamic site and with the exceptions of Messrs Arshad Alam and Ghulam, all are devout and hard-core Muslims, an apatheist’s universal voice and views are always vehemently resented. It's but natural. As I've stated a number of times, when I write on Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, among others, the followers of these religions challenge my views and even PROVE ME WRONG at times, but don't resort to personal attacks by calling me shallow, superficial or dishonest. This is the difference between a Muslim and followers of other faiths. Truth is often orphan and childless but deceit has many siblings and innumerable illegal offspring. They pounce on truth and try to kill it by any means. There's an old Scottish adage, ' If you cannot slay someone with a knife, slay him with slanders and knavery. ‘This is what Mr Unknown is upto. Mind you, world's top-notch publications, portals, journals and their erudite editors don't seek Mr Unknown's opinion while accepting my articles on various subjects and in several languages. If I'm so shallow and superficial a writer, then why on earth editors across the world have been running my pieces for many years and also remunerating me? A number of times, they don't agree with me but carry my pieces for the sake of truth just like a remarkably upright editor of TOI shelved the rule for me and allowed me to write god in lower case. The same can be said about the latitudinarian editor of this site. Perhaps they're not as tajurbekaar as my dear friend Mr Unknown is. Lastly, a dishonest person doesn't admit on a public forum or site that he has erred. That needs integrity and honesty of the highest degree which I'm afraid, rabid detractors lack seriously. So, please seek truth and avoid personal jibes. Instead of just commenting, try to write something worthwhile if you can. ------- 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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