Dervish – A Seeker of Truth
4th May 2018
Dervish presents his compliments to Rabia.
Dervish is a seeker of truth. Alongside, he is holder of an idea, a wish, a message and a dream. Dervish holds the idea of peaceful and tranquil world. For that he wishes to promote love amongst the humanity living across the globe. Dervish also holds a dream of humanity evolving in a harmonious world.
It was evening here when Dervish received Rabia’s letter. Rabia lives in the East whereas Dervish dwells in the West. In Rabia’s land when the Sun is rising in the morning, the same is setting in Dervish’s country to end the previous day. In this way, Rabia’s letter travels backwards in the ocean of Time. When Rabia is passing her night, Dervish is busy in his day’s errands, yet both are connected regardless of clock time.
To Dervish, Rabia’s name not only holds a magnetic attraction but a great mystery. Rabia is not just the name of a woman, it is rather a title assigned to an extra ordinary personality as well as a tradition. Dervish was introduced to Mystic Rabia Basri by his Sufi Father when Dervish was just twelve. His father handed him Tazkra tul Aulia (the account of saints) to read. The book mesmerized him so much that he wrote first essay of his life on Rabia Basri’s personality and philosophy of life. He sent the article to children’s magazine of that time; ‘Bachoo’n Ki Dunya’. Dervish’s bliss touched its peak when the editor published Dervish’s commentary on Rabia Basri. A similar happiness was felt when Dervish received Rabia’s letter last evening Dervish received Rabia’s letter not only in the evening of the day but also in the evening of his life. He felt as if the cycle of Rabia’s life has been completed. It is the cycle that is the symbol of infinity with neither a start nor an end. Dervish felt the aroma of two Rabias infused into each other.
Dervish still remembered that in one of Rabia Basri’s stories, there was a slave woman. She served her earthly master all day long and worshiped her heavenly Lord the entire night. She was addicted with nectar of love. When the earthly master learnt it, he freed her.
In another story; one day Rabia Basri was found running in crowded city of Basra. She carried two pots in her two hands. One pot carried fire while the other carried water in it. On someone’s inquiry she replied: I am going to burn the Heaven to ashes with fire and quench the Hell with the water. So that people could no longer worship God due to fear of Hell or lust for Heaven. Rather they should adore their Creator due to His sheer Love.
Dervish also recalls an incident written in the same book. Rabia Basri used to visit a Dervish who would urge his disciples: “Do not lose heart. Keep knocking, the door would open one day. Watching for many days, one day Rabia addressed the Dervish: “O Dervish! What you keep telling your pupils? Did you know? The door was never closed.”
Rabia Basri had acquired a very high spiritual pedestal in the realm of Tareeqat (a tradition of mysticism that follows practices of earlier saints) and Maarfat (knowledge of religion and spirituality), a place extremely difficult if not impossible for ordinary men and women to acquire.
Dervish commenced his journey of creativity from the alley of mysticism. He then took the trail of literature that led him to the track of philosophy and ultimately Dervish found himself traversing on the highway of psychology. On this highway another milestone awaited Dervish. He was astonished to learn that the word “psyche” that meant’ soul in ancient religions is now understood “mind” in the contemporary world.
Rabia has quizzed Dervish: “Like the prophets and saints, are the writers also born as writers? Or can someone become a writer through sheer hard work?” I felt as if Rabia believes in a divinely Father who sends his Messengers to guide his children on earth. And Dervish opines that humans are not children of a divinely Father, rather they are wards of the Mother Earth.
Dervish is of the view that every child has some creative capability. Some children have this capability greater than the others. The creative talent is like a seed. It goes without saying that every seed needs requisite light, water, air and a rigorous care to become a strong tree. Similarly, every child needs loving parents, kind teachers, free land and peaceful society to actualize his potentials to become a poet, scientist or a scholar. But if you cut the wings of a baby-hawk, at best it would become a pigeon.
Dervish surmises that creativity, insanity and spirituality are mystically and mysteriously connected. In this realm of connection, the insane and creator of a scripture sit on the same pedestal. Over there, the poetry becomes an important attribute of prophet-hood.
After having numerous intellectual discourses with his poet uncle Arif Abdul Mateen and through his own reading, experiences and observations, Dervish has arrived on a conclusion that there are three ways to reach at the ultimate wisdom or the truth. These are namely; Intuition – used by ascetics and mystics, Aesthetics – used by poets and artists and the Logic used by the scientists. A scientist first all feels the truth, then he expresses it in his words and finally proceeds to prove it through his research. In this manner a scientist in fact strives to model an intuitive reality into an objective reality. Because he knows, to believe in an intuitive truth one needs the faith more than the logic. On the contrary, countless simple souls have blind faith in centuries-old-dogmas and waste their life in aimless wandering. A sincere mystic, a real scientist and virtuous poet respect each other’s truth.
On the dawn of his life Dervish believed that there is only one truth and that truth is the last and eternal reality. But on the dusk of his life he has conclude that there are as many truths in this world as many people it holds. Hence Dervish is trying to figure out Rabia’s truth which is based on her sincerity and experiences. Like Rabia Basri all the night, she remains immersed in thoughts, creative exertion and worship. Dervish has been reading biographies of scientists, scholars, poets, thinkers and mystics. He has arrived at the crux as how much toil, sweat and exertion is needed to reach at the zenith of one’s art. He likes Albert Einstein’s this saying: “Creativity is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Dervish knows many such artists who have sacrificed the precious years and decades of their lives rigorously working to acquire mastery over their acumen. Dervish considers it as their home work to become a successful poet or a scholar. Dervish knows that the expression of his art is a matter of life and death for an artist. Rabia’s letter reminds him Abbas Tabish’s couplet:
Skoot e Dahr raggo’n mein utter gya hota
Agar mein Sheyr na kehta tou mar gya hota
The poisonous solitude of the world had run into my veins
Not reciting my poetry would have turned me into remains
Throughout his life Dervish has been striving to know the secrets of life, death, love, hatred, friendship, enmity and poetry. He is smelling a fragrance of friendship from Rabia’s letter. Dervish is recalling his grandmother’s saying: “One and one do not make two, they rather make eleven.”
Dervish had thought to ask Rabia about the beginning of her intellectual journey. How she embarked upon the flight of creativity? How the travelling on the path of creativity has affected her personal life? What sacrifices she had to render to become a writer? But the slumber is inviting Dervish and he doesn’t want to annoy her. He therefore wishes to take a leave from Rabia until the next letter.