Shaykh Fariduddin Attar in words of Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Faridudin Attar (فریدالدین عطار) was born in Nishapur In 1136. After completing his studies he followed his father’s profession of a druggist and hence the name ‘Attar’. He was a gifted poet and writer. He never attached himself to any court, nor did he write any panegyrics for any king.
Attar was a Sufi and wrote Tadhkirat al Awliya or “The Anthology of Saints” which is a famous prose work giving the life stories of saints.Attar was a distinguished poet. Among his poetical works “The Assembly of Birds “is very famous. It is mystical treatise telling the story of a multitude of birds, but allegorically describing man’s journey toward perfection and his identification with God. Also Ilahi Naama remains one of Attar’s best works.
Attar died around 1230. His mausoleum at Nishapur is a national shrine.
In the introduction to The Secrets of the Self*, Iqbal has paid a great tribute to Attar and Rumi and observed that he had written the poem because of the inspiration of Rumi and Attar.
In the ‘Gulshan-i-Raz-i-Jadid’ also Iqbal has paid a tribute to Attar. He has observed:
“I am not ashamed of such poetry,
For in a hundred years an ‘Attar* might not appear”.
In *Pas Cheh Bald Kard Ai Aqwam-i-Sharq’ in the section ‘A Few Words to the Arabs”, Iqbal has adopted a verse of Attar with slight variations. The verse reads:
“Many praises to the Holy Prophet,
He, who endowed you with fafth,
And raised you from insignificance To the pinnacle of fame and glory.”