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The Poet-Scientist of Chitral
This is with reference to Dr Ismail Wali's letter, "Poet
scientist" in which the learned writer has paid tribute to the abilities
of Nasirul Mulk. I am also an admirer of Nasirul Mulk and I am impressed
by his works in Persian poetry specially his classic "Saheefa
he happened to be the ruler of Chitral (1936-43) and unfortunately his
name was prefixed with His Highness, which overshadowed his literary and
scholarly achievements in life. It is high time that we forget about his
tenure of office as the Mehtar and give proper attention to his poetry
and literary persuits.
It is good
news that Qari Faizullah Chitrali has taken up the task of publishing
the Urdu translation of his works. I hope the upcoming book will go a
long way in introducing Nasirul Mulk to the new generation as a poet
scientist and poet philosopher.
Dr Inayatullah Faizi,
The Poet-Scientist of Chitral
The first poet
who anesthetizes "electron," "proton," " atomic nucleus," and the
cosmological history of the universe from the Big Bang through the
formation of our solar system to the emergence of man(consciousness) on
the earth is His Highness Nasir-ul-Mulk, usually known as Mehtar II in
Chitral. Besides Tohfat-ul-Abraar and Mashriq-ul- Anwaar, he wrote
Saheefa-tut-Takween, which may be rendered into English as Scripture of
Creation. The book in Persian rhymed couplet (masnavi). We may look at
the contents of the book in the following way:
The poet begins with the invocation of God and his Prophet, a practice
usually followed by the Persian and Urdu poets. In the Prologue, the
poet employs the dream motif to criticize the laziness of the Muslims
under the influence of poetry leading to escapism. In the dream-mode, he
sees Maulana Room, and Roomi inspires him to embark upon a new aesthetic
journey hitherto unimagined.
After celebrating scientific knowledge, the poet turns to the geography
of the earth with all its details; north/south poles, equator, radius,
circumference, distance from the sun. All the details are described in
verse without losing the artistic and maintaining the mathematical. All
the planets in the solar system with the above details are described
bracketing here and there to pause over the "wonders" human mind.
Capturing all the details which are found in a book of cosmology, the
next portion takes us to the nebulaic state of the universe before the
big bang. The big bang occurs, and the universe passes through the
initial stages of formation till the solar system evolves. After
undergoing a long process of formation, the physical environment becomes
fit for an amoeba to survive.
After the unicellular organisms, the multi-cellular ones appear. Then
the age of reptiles is poetically elaborated before the mammalian one.
At this stage, the poet does not follow the classic theory of Darwin,
but follows his way of looking at the issue of evolution. The poet
thinks that humans have not descended from the same biological root, but
from a totally different organism, as if the "human germ and egg" were
first fertilized in a "muddy atmosphere" before it passes through the
evolutionary stages of becoming a self-conscious being.
Dr Ismail Wali
20 Feb 09.