Photos by Mohsen Bakhsandeh, Islamic Republic News Agency
Happy Attar Day!: April 14 is National Attar Day in Iran
Abu Ḥamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim (c. 1145 - c. 1221), better known by his pen-names Farid ud-Din and Aṭṭar ("the perfumer"), was a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Neyshabur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism.
A strong believer in the principles of Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism, Attar was born in the northeastern Iranian city Neyshabur.
He traveled widely throughout Egypt, Turkistan and India during his youth, and eventually returned to live in Neyshabur. Little is known of his life although it is thought that he may have been a pharmacist.
Asrar-Nama, Mantiq at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds), Mosibat-Nama, Elahi-Nama, Mokhtar-Nama, Khosrow-Nama and Tadkerat al-Awliya are among Attar's masterpieces.
Attar's most famous work "The Conference of the Birds" is an allegorical poem describing the quest of the birds, which symbolically represent Sufis, for the mythical Simorgh, or Phoenix.
The Seven Valleys of spirituality (conference of the birds)"
Attar has described the seven stages of spirituality in the conference of the birds:
- The Valley of Quest
- The Valley of Love
- The Valley of Understanding
- The Valley of Independence and Detachment
- The Valley of Unity
- The Valley of Astonishment and Bewilderment
- The Valley of Deprivation and Death
The Conference of the Birds:
The Selected Sufi Poetry of Farid Ud-Din Attar
by Farid Al-Din Attar, Sufi Poetry (2003)
Attar's Conference of the Birds, is an epic of approximately 4500 lines written in Persian.
In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh, a mythical Persian bird roughly equivalent to the western phoenix. The hoopoe leads the birds, each of whom represent a human fault which prevents man from attaining enlightenment. When the group of thirty birds finally reach the dwelling place of the Simorgh, all they find is a lake in which they see their own reflection.
Besides being one of the most celebrated examples of Persian poetry, this book relies on a clever word play between the words Simorgh - a mysterious bird in Iranian mythology which is a symbol often found in sufi literature, and similar to the phoenix bird - and "si morgh" - meaning "thirty birds" in Persian.
- It was in China, late one moonless night,
- The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight -
- He let a feather float down through the air,
- And rumours of its fame spread everywhere; 
Its most famous section is:
- Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
- And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
- Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
- Return and back into your Sun subside
read more on wikipedia.
Related Info: The Conference of the Birds by Fariduddin Attar - audiobook on youtube
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