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Uzbekistan: a land multifarious geniuses. SUFI ALLAYAR (Part 2)

Sufi Allayar was famous among the Turkish and Persian speaking people. One of the historians who marked the date of his death in verses estimated him as “Abu Hanifai vaqt ast” (The Abu Hanifa (Imam A’zam) of his time). As is well known Imam A’zam Abu Hanifa put the rules and laws of Islam in order in accord with the requirements of the Holy Qur’an and Hadiths. He was the author of the book “About the rules of Shariah”, the earliest book on the Islamic law. Sufi Allayar also created two books on the main laws of Shariah in Turkish and Persian languages which were the languages of the ruling class.

Sufi Allayar could spread the main ideas of the Islamic enlightenment in the vast territory of Turkish and Persian speaking countries covering the area from Eastern Turkistan to Syria, as well as from Volga to the territory of India. This is the main factor of his being famous throughout the Islamic world.

The scholar and poet Sufi Allayar remembers that while creating his precious works and poems, he could feel that his spiritual leaders sent him waves of support and encouragement.

At the time of Abdulaziz Khan’s reign (1645-1680), approximately at the age of 25, Sufi Allayar was appointed as head of the customs house. This was one of the highest positions of that time. Deeply engaged into his position, he witnessed unlawfulness and unfair acts in this business and mercilessness of the officials. As a result, Sufi Allayar decided to leave his position in accord with his own will.

During his service in this position, he worked strictly and was so merciless to those who breached the law and instructions that they were afraid even of his name. Once he punished mercilessly one of Sheikh Habibulla’s caliphs who came to Rastan market of Bukhara to sell a sack of goods and did not pay the established tax. On hearing this event, Sheikh Habibullah cursed Sufi Allayar to prevent him from this deed. According to another legend, in order to get rid of his self-confidence, Sufi Allayar wore the stomach of a sheep on his head and walked along the streets of Bukhara. People seeing this situation thought that Sufi Allayar went mad. After that, he came to the disposal of Sheikh Habibullah to be pardoned.

As has been mentioned above, during his work at the customs house he saw many unjust and unlawful acts carried by its staff. Later in one of the chapters of his book “Maslaku-l-muttaqin” titled as “Dar bayani va shikayat kardan az narasaihoi khud, ya, Allah”, he mentions the following information dealing with his biography:

“I admit all of my faults,but I cannot explain them all in written form because I am not a man of high level to be pardoned, neither a man of authority nor a prince. If I tell you about my previous life, you will get shocked and get far from me. I have been in the service of the ruler of the time and I have eaten bread from the hands of different tribes, but this bread was a product of my abuse of power. I think it is needless to speak further. It was my habit to regret for my wrongdoings, my suffer was higher but my ideas were too low to be announced. My food turned into poison in my mouth. Our life in the town was the worst in the world. It was common to smile at the face of each person in the high position and toady him”.

In the process of re-establishing Sufi Allayar’s biography, his words written in his book “Maslaku-l-muttaqin” under the title of “Dar bayani nasihati farzandi arjumandi dilband” play an important role. This piece of his work also helps us to reveal the details of his outlook. The meaning of this piece is as follows:

“If you listen and follow your father’s advice, you will be successful in your future activities, i.e. you will get the key to the highest respect. However, your father was famous for his wrongdoings. You should not spend your life in vain. Your father wasted his life in doing evil things, but you should not choose the way of indifference to the surrounding world. Try to study and be afraid of the doomsday. Do not avoid the advice given by men of goodwill; they are as useful as the order of Allah. The Creator’s order is to avoid the men of evil deeds. All of the Prophets of the past had their own profession, so you should follow their deeds. Those people who acknowledged the existence of Allah have never been dependent on other people. You must be proud of your poorness. Your close relatives have been in the service of the king of the time and they have erected marvellous homes for their own use. Your uncles resemble dangerous wolves with sharp teeth, but they look at the ordinary people like jackals. Their souls are anxious to seize the property of the ordinary people. It is a pity that they have lost the principles of justice among the common people. Is it possible that the wolf were a shepherd? Could the robber be a guard? From his evil deeds, the ordinary people suffer much but his generosity astonishes the owners of high position in the government. 7 hey are all dragons wearing the clothes of man. However, your father is a small lame ant before them. They show off themselves like dragons and try to avoid acknowledging their poor relatives. Your close relatives in new clothes try not to notice us. They are ashamed of our poorness. If they decide to support you, they offer you one of the positions in the government.

Oh, my dear, rays of my eyes! You are the one who acknowledged the existence of Allah, and this is more than the position they offer you. It is better to lie on the hard earth with a burning heart than on the several sheets of blanket without a heart. Spreading the lights of enlightenment is better for you than your high position as a king or emir. An ordinary robe of a poor man is better than the glittering gold clothes of the ruler.

Patience is better than anything else. To share the ideas and outlook of the ordinary people with pure heart full of anxiety is the best thing in the world. He who does not try to reach the mercy of the Creator is nothing more than a cow. He is not a man of this world. If a man does not have the signs of devotion, he is considered to be alive but, in fact, he is dead. If your father, your son or your daughter do not have any signs of goodwill in their hearts, they look as if they were your enemies.

Inayatulla Suvanqulov
Professor, Doctor of Philology

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