Thursday, September 20, 2012

From the Republic of Rumi BlogPosts on...what word-legacy do we value most?

How will our young describe our Legacy?

This morning, before my own writing, I decided to post a sample on the effect of words from The Republic of Rumi collection - where there is always food for thought.

This may be a way of getting the truth herein deep into my own soul as I write...?

Recently, I found this profound post which speaks to me in a stronger way than perhaps before that what is written and lifted up as literature (whether classical or popular) has a lasting effect on our societies.

If Words Could Kill By Khurram Ali Shafique at Republic of Rumi Blog Saturday, September 15, 2012 Part of the text is here:

Recently, I was interviewed for BBC Radio Urdu Service. One of the questions asked to me was about the role of literature in society. The answer I gave there was restricted by the limited time of the interview but I would like to share a few details through this blog.

Principles of literature

Should it not be ironic that despite hundreds of books written about Iqbal, it is still very difficult to come across a clear statement about how he envisaged the role of literature in society? As far as I understand, the basic principles which Iqbal offers us on this issue are three:

Societies prosper when their poets, writers and artists portray beauty, love and hope, and when they offer an idealistic picture of the world - giving us a virtual experience of the world as it should be.

Societies suffer and may perish when their posts, writers and artists portray ugliness and despair, and deny the centrality of love.

Pessimism in literature cannot be justified by arguing that it is a depiction of the real world, because the purpose of art and literature is to paint a picture of the world as it should be, and not just as it appears to be.

The first two of these principles were stated in a chapter on literary reform in Secrets and Mysteries (1915-22). The third was elaborated in 'The Book of Servitude' in Persian Psalms (1927). Both those works are in Persian, but the principles were later summarized altogether in English in the preface to Muraqqa-i-Chughtai.


The overall conclusion to be drawn from these three principles is that literature is the main factor in determining the destinies of nations. Other variables also play their roles, such as politics, religious thought, science, education and so on. However, even the impact of those factors is eventually moderated by literature.

In other words, if a society - or the whole world - is facing problems today, we first need to look at the kind of literature it has been patronizing. Did it place pessimist writers on the pedestal of high literature? Did it assign importance to literature which portrayed the world as it appeared to be?

For this writer/scholar's theory, READ more in the original here

( Connie's note: Again and again I am recognizing how legacy counts not only in politics, education, CURRENT EVENTS, as well as values we and our loved ones know best. How do we ask ourselves about what we leave behind in words? Written, spoken, seen, discussed? And educators, how do we choose what we recommend for others to read? And what are we reading our very young? While we may see many other dynamics that effect our social well-being and how we interact with the rest of the world -- it's hard to deny the time-honored wisdom that we are largely what we subsist on and live by in terms of literature -- even if it's mouthed through others...

I offer links to a few posts which bear out the point the scholar Khurram Ali Shafique makes about the effect of literature...

For those interested in a well-known poet to many Muslims worldwide and to those who love Rumi, here's an introduction to a new volume on Allama Iqbal (and note that much on Iqbal is available in English.)
GO here (Let me know by your comments if you can't find a way to order the biographies)

A new paperback and ebook on these topics here

Finally, I want to end with this post which again touches on the uneven value of much that proposes to be truth and that which we may ignore or miss if we don't pay attention. CLICK here Robert makes in effective point via question form in a conversation in comments to his post:

"How do we attempt to track light?. Do we track it as it skitters through the personality? Or do we track it to its source?"

Again please go to the original post to read in full and to see the interesting and varied comments CLICK here

Photo Credits:

Top item here

The end photo is sunrise_photography_33.jpg from public internet cache


CN said...

Here is a core point made by the scholar Khurram Ali Shafique in the post above (which I want to emphasize before leaving) -- that:

"Societies suffer and may perish when their posts, writers and artists portray ugliness and despair, and deny the centrality of love."

This certainly speaks to me! At least for today, I am taking heed as I write.

Thank You deeply, Republic of Rumi.

CN said...

Of course, some of the same ol' truth stands!

Khurram Ali Shafique said...


robert said...

Hi Connie,

Thank you for this post.

The bottom photograph implies to me a sense of a melioristic journey...walking into a sunrise.

All good wishes,


CN said...

CN said...

Dear Robert...

I'm going to have to look into melioristic -- ? -- I'm sure it's a word I need to keep challenging us all with your own unique and life-offering perspective. Thanx for coming by :))

CN said...

I forgot to name this entry -- it's Peace Is the Path and refers to International Peace Day from Kabul....when time this one needs a whole post:

CN said...

Be sure to go to Shafique Sahib's original posting to see the comments which have been recently added there:
at Republic of Rumi blog...