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  Hakim Sana'i of Ghazni

Afghanland.com: Hakim Sana段 was one of the most significant poets in the history of Islamic mysticism. The proper name of Sana段 of Ghazni was Abul Majd bin Majdud bin Adam. Sana段 was born in the province of Ghazni in southern Afghanistan. He was one of the three great mystical mathnavi writers of Persia, the second being Shaikh Faridu'd-Din 'Attar and the third jalalu'd-Din Rumi, who write; 鄭ttar is the soul and Sana段 its two eyes, I came after Sana段 and 'Attar.

Sana段 was the court poet of Bahram Shah, according to afghanland.com sources, and spent many years praising the king and his court but few years later he became more devoted to God and abruptly left the court of the king.

Bahram Shah was planning to lead an expedition to India, Sana段 wrote a verse and took read it to the palace at the presence the King. On the way to the palace he heard a drunkard ordering the Saqi (the, Cup bearer) to serve him wine, which he would drink for the King's stupidity. The cupbearer said, "Don't talk nonsense, Bahrarn Shah is not stupid, he is wise and just." The drunkard retorted, "His expedition to Ghazni has not yet come to an end; he is planning to lead an expedition to India. What else can be more foolish than this?"

After finishing one jaam of wine he asked for another saying he would drink the second to Sana段's foolishness. The cupbearer said, "Why do you call Sana段 foolish? He is a good natured poet with lofty ideas." The boozer answered, "He writes in praise of unworthy persons, goes to them and with folded hands recites what he has written for worldly gains. Is he not a fool? What will he say to God, on the day of the Reckoning when He (God) asks him, 'what have you brought for me? "

The words of the drunkard opened Sana段's eyes; he left the king's service, gave up writing panegyrics and retired into seclusion.

Sana段 wrote his most famous mathnawi Hadiqat-ul-Haqaiq ("Garden of Truth") at a very old age and died soon after its completion in A.D. 1131. He uttered the following words at the time of death:

I returned to what I had said previously because there is no word in meaning -nor words in meaning.

Hakim Sana段 is the first writer to introduce "Tasawwuf" in poetry. Before him AbuSaeed Abul Khyr wrote several quatrains in Sufi style but Sana段's verses were completely covered in Tasawwuf. He writes in Hadiqa:' 4

No one in the world wrote verses (of Tasawwuf) like myself; if anyone has written tell him to come and recite. In the world if there are verses like this (even if it is one in thousand) they are mine. No one can write like me baning the Quran and Hadith (the Traditions). Even Maulana Rurni has acknowledged the claim of Sana段. He writes:'5

I have given up Tasawwuf half finished, hear it complete (in full) from Hakim of Ghazna i.e. Sana段. Sana段 was also the first to lay the foundation of ethical poetry, and laid down rules for it. He introduces ethics in an uncommon manner, which produces great impression on reader's mind. 

People, as a rule, obey doctor or physician's orders but they circumvent religious instructions. Sana段 saw that in his time the physicians in Iran were mostly Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians. He also saw that what these physicians generally told their patients to abstain from were lawful things like sweets etc., while Shara tells people to abstain from harmful and unlawful things. He writes: 6

God forbids you to drink wine and a Christian (physician) forbids you to eat sweets. You give up sweets for the sake of your body, at your doctor's command although eating sweets is lawful, but you do not give up drinks which you yourself consider unlawful and which God forbids you to drink. This clearly proves that you consider a Christian's command above God's injunction. Everyone admits that death ends all troubles and tribulations of life. Hakim Sana段 thinks otherwise. He says:'7

Behave with mankind in such a way that when you die you free yourself from the worries of the world; not in a way that when you die people may have to say "God has relieved us from a troublesome fellow."

Against wine one can say that in a state of intoxication one loses his head, quarrels and starts abusing all and sundry. It can also be said that one becomes generous when drunk.

Hakim Sana段 presents the evils of drink in the following verses: Wine is such an abominable substance that if one showers gifts in state of drunkenness that is attributed to liquor and not to one's generous nature.

To prove people's judgment, their acceptance and rejection wrong, Sana段 says:' Let not people's judgment influence you. Tribe of Moses worshipped the 'golden calf' and Noah's tribe refused to accept him as a prophet. (They both were in the wrong.)

Similes and metaphors are the main organs of poetry. Sa'di, Saeb, Kamal and many other poets used these figures of speech in abundance in their verses; but Sana段 was the pioneer and past master in the art of making appropriate use of metaphor and simile in his verses. One reaches perfection not immediately but after years of labor and pain. Rome was not built in a day. Sana段 proves validity of the maxim in verses given below:"

It takes months for a handful of wool from sheep's back to become a Sufis patched cloak or a rope for donkey's neck. It takes years for a stone to become a ruby. You have to wait for ages for a drop of rain to become a pearl in the shell; and it takes years for a child to become learned. Truth, sincerity, straightforwardness and long fife is needed to get nearer to God like Uwais-i-Qarni.

Sana段 presented mysticism as a philosophy of life. His diwan besides being read in royal courts was a popular textbook of study in the Sufi centers of Delhi, Gulbarga and Multan, and his verses were quoted on every matter. Shaikh Nasiru'd-Din Chiragh of Delhi was a great admirer of Sana段's spiritual excellence and very pathetically recited the verse of Sana段:

"O you who have listened about the glories of Rum and China, get up and behold the realm of Sana段."

In this verse Sana段 invited the people lost in the ephemeral glory and the glamour of the political world to return to the world of spirit.

The following couplets were often on the lips of Shaikh Nizamu'd-Din Awliya of Delhi:"

Do not parade much your world illuminating beauty and if you have done so go bum the aspen seeds. What is your beauty? It is your pride while aspen is your existence.

Shaikh Saifu'd-Din Bukhari used to say that the following verse of Sana段 made him a true Muslim: 13`

"You blow the lute of your sex-impulse from top of mount Sinai of desire; Do not seek the Love of Moses with this self-abasement." From the time of Shaikh Nizamu'd-Din Awliya to the days of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Sana段 has been a powerful influence on Indo-Muslim religious thought. When lqbal declared: 14

"The shield that protects God's virtuous creatures, in ruler ship and in slavery, is independence" he was inspired by Sana段, and was speaking Sana段's language when he said:" A voice proclaimed, "Is this less than the Day of Reckoning that the Chinese have put on the clothes of pilgrimage while Mecca's are sleeping?" Unlike his many other contemporary mystics Sana段 did not believe in knowledge being (a big Curtain that prevented the vision of Reality). He rejected over-intellectualism and defined the purpose of (knowledge) thus:16

Knowledge is good, it leads towards God. A learned person is considered God's chosen one; yet over-intellectualism is bad. To acquire knowledge for the sake of dignity and power is a waste of time and labour.

The following are the works of Sana段:

(a) Kulliyat containing thirty thousand verses

(b) Seven Mathnavis viz.

(1)     Hadiqa (2) Sayr-al-Abad (3) Kamama-i-Balkh (4) Tariqa-al-Tahqiq (5) Ishq-nameh (6) Aql-nameh (7) Bahruz-Bahram. Hadiqa is the only extant work of Sana段, others are extinct 



ساقیا می ده که جز می نشکند پرهیز را

تا زمانی کم کنم این زهد رنگ آمیز را

ملکت آل بنی آدم ندارد قیمتی

خاک ره باید شمردن دولت پرویز را

دین زردشتی و آیین قلندر چند چند

توشه باید ساختن مر راه جان آویز را

هر چه اسبابست آتش در زن و خرم نشین

بدرهٔ ناداشتی به روز رستاخیز را

زاهدان و مصلحان مر نزهت فردوس را

وین گروه لاابالی جان عشق‌انگیز را

ساقیا زنجیر مشکین را ز مه بردار زود

بر رخ زردم نه آن یاقوت شکر ریز را


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