Sunday, April 25, 2010

Part 2: Reaction

In the second part of The Republic of Rumi, comprising of Chapters 18 to 30, the reader discovers that the  Garden of Poetry is capable of "remembering." It is interacting with the reader, who has now become "part" of the Garden. The Poet assumes the fictitious identity of "the Old Man of the Desert" (Chapter 18) and guides the reader to the link between the Garden and the Quran (Chapter 30).
  1. The Old Man of the Desert: A possible explanation is offered for the Poet’s assumption of a fictitious identity at this point.
  2. ‘Time is a Cutting Sword’: This is a unique interpretation of Time, one of the five clues for finding Joseph.
  3. Silent Tunes: The Poet’s prayer to God in which he is asking for a companion and it turns out that you are that companion.
  4. Selflessness: Here the reader discovers that the self attains perfection through selflessness.
  5. Prophets: This chapter offers an explanation of the role of prophets in the task of civilization and shows why only prophets could found nations.
  6. The Pillars of Nationhood: The two “pillars” of Muslim nationhood are (1) Unity; and (2) Prophet-hood. The purpose of Prophet Muhammad’s mission was to establish (a) equality; (b) brotherhood; and (c) freedom. This is explained here in the light of the reader’s journey.
  7. Kerbala: The Islamic concept of freedom is explained here with reference to the Prophet's grandson Imam Husain (and how it is different from other notions of rights and liberties). The clues that you have about Joseph are now reinterpreted through the five elements of the Islamic conception of nation (Unity, Prophet-hood, brotherhood, equality and freedom) presented in the previous chapter.
  8. Machiavelli: The concept of territorial identities, which can be traced back to the Florentine thinker Machiavelli in our times, practically reduces nations to tribes.
  9. Remembrance: Due to nine basic concepts, Muslim nationalism is different from other worldviews.
  10. The Collective Ego: The collective ego is formed when a people learns to remember its past. The Garden of Poetry is doing the same and hence it is acting like a collective ego of which the reader has become a part.
  11. Fatima: The daughter of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is a role model for Muslim women.
  12. Abu Bakr: A summary of the philosophy of Muslim nationalism is offered here in the light of Surah Ikhlas (Chapter 112 of the Quran).
  13. Quran: This chapter explains the connection between the Garden of Poetry and the Quran.

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