The Hadîqatu'l-Haqîqat, or the "Enclosed Garden of the Truth", commonly called the Hadîqa, is a poem of about 11,500 lines; each line consists of two hemistichs, each of ten or eleven syllables; the bulk, therefore, is equal to about 23,000 lines of English ten-syllabled verse. It is composed in the metre ### which may be represented thus:
The two hemistichs of each verse rhyme; and the effect may therefore roughly be compared to that of English rhymed couplets with the accent falling on the first (instead of the second) syllable of the line, and, occasionally, an additional short syllable introduced in the last foot.
The chapter,; of which the Hadîqa consists treat, according to a few lines of verse at the end of the table of contents in the Lucknow edition, of the following subjects; the First, on the Praise of God, and especially on His Unity; the Second, in praise of Muhammad; the Third, on the Understanding; the Fourth, on Knowledge; the Fifth, on Love, the Lover, and the Beloved; the Sixth, on Heedlessness;
the Seventh, on Friends and Enemies, the Eighth, on the Revolution of the Heavens; the Ninth, in praise of the Emperor Shâhjahân; the Tenth, on the characters or qualities of the whole work. This, however, is not the actual arrangement of the work as presented in the volume itself; the first five chapters are as already given, but the Sixth concerns the Universal Soul; the Seventh is on Heedlessness; the Eighth on the Stars; the Ninth on Friends and Enemies; the Tenth on many matters, including the praise of the Emperor. Prof. Browne (Lit. Hist. Persia, vol. ii., p. 318) gives still another order, apparently that of an edition lithographed at Bombay in A.H. 1275 (A.D. 1859).
Sanâ'î's fame has always rested on his Hadîqa; it is the best known and in the East by far the most esteemed of his works; it is in virtue of this work that he forms one of the great trio of Sûfî teachers,--Sanâ'î, `Attâr, Jalâlu'd-Dîn Rûmî. It will be of interest to compare some of the estimates that have been formed of him and of the present work in particular.
In time he was the first of the three, and perhaps the most cordial acknowledgment of his merits conies from his successor Jalâlu'd-Dîn Rûmî. He says:--
I left off boiling while still half cooked;
Hear the full account from the Sage of Ghazna."
"`Attâr was the Spirit, Sanâ'î the two eyes:
We walk in the wake of Sanâ'î and `Attâr."
`Abdu'l-Latîf, in his preface called the Mirâtu'l-Hadâ'iq, enters into a somewhat lengthy comparison between Sanâ'î and Rûmî, in which he is hard put to it to avoid giving any preference to one or other. It is interesting to observe how he endeavours to keep the scales even. He begins by adverting to the greater length of the Mathnawî as compared with the Hadîqa, and compares the Hadîqa to an abridgement, the Mathnawî to a fully detailed account. Sanâ'î's work is the more compressed; he expresses in two or three verses what the Mathnawî expresses in twenty or thirty, `Abdu'l-Latîf therefore, as it would seem reluctantly, and merely on the ground of his greater prolixity, gives the palm for eloquence to Jalâlu'd-Dîn.
There is the most perfect accord between Sanâ'î and Rûmî; tile substance of their works, indeed, is in part identical. Shall it therefore be said that Rûmî stole from Sanâ'î? He asks pardon from God for expressing the thought; with regard to beggars in the spiritual world, who own a stock-in-trade of trifles, bankrupts of the road of virtue and accomplishments, this might be suspected; but to accuse the treasurers of the stores of wisdom and knowledge, the able natures of the kingdom of truth and allegory, of. plagiarism and borrowing is the height of folly and unwisdom.
With regard to style, some suppose that the verse of the Hadîqa is more elevated and dignified than the elegantly ordered language of the Mathnawî. The Hadîqa does indeed contain poetry of which one verse is a knapsack of a hundred dîwâns; nor, on account of its great height, can the hand of any intelligent being's ability reach the pinnacles of its rampart; and the saying--
"I have spoken a saying which is a whole work;
I have uttered a sentence which is a (complete) dîwân,"
is true of the Hadîqa. But if the sense and style of the Maulavî be considered, there is no room for discrimination and distinction; and, since "Thou shalt not make a distinction between any of His prophets," to distinguish between the positions of these two masters, who may unquestionably be called prophets of religion, has infidelity and error as its fruit. Who possesses the power of dividing and discriminating between milk and sugar intermingled in one vessel? `Abdu'l-Latîf sums up thus "in fine, thus much one may say, that in sobriety the Hakîm is pre-eminent, and in intoxication our lord the Maulavî is superior; and that sobriety is in truth the essence of intoxication, and this intoxication the essence of sobriety."
Prof. Browne, however, places the Hadîqa on a far lower level than the Eastern authors quoted above. He says 1:--"The poem is written in a halting and unattractive metre, and is in my opinion one of the dullest books in Persian, seldom rising to the level of Martin Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy, filled with fatuous truisms and pointless anecdotes, and as far inferior to the Mathnawî of Jalâlu'd-Dîn Rûmî as is Robert Montgomery's Satan to Milton's Paradise Lost."
It is of course true that to us, at least, the interest of the Hadîqa is largely historical, as being one of the early Persian text-books of the Sûfî philosophy, and as having so largely influenced subsequent writers, especially, as we have seen, the Maulavî Jalâlu'd-Dîn Rûmî. Yet I cannot butt think that Prof. Browne's opinion, which is doubtless shared by other scholars, as well as the neglect to which the Hadîqa has been exposed in the West, is due not to the demerits of the original text so much as to the repellent and confused state into which the text has fallen; and I would venture to hope that the present attempt at a restoration of the form and meaning of a portion of the work, imperfect in the highest degree as I cannot but acknowledge it to be, may still be of some slight service to its author's reputation among European Orientalists.
The first Chapter or Book of the Hadîqa, which is here presented, comprises a little more than one-sixth of the entire work. The subjects of which it treats may be briefly resumed as follows:--
After an introductory section in praise of God the author speaks of the impotence of reason for the attaining a knowledge of God; of God's Unity, of God as First Cause and Creator and delivers more than one attack against anthropomorphic conceptions of God (pp. 1-10). After speaking of the first steps of the ascent towards God, for which worldly wisdom is not a bad thing, with work and serenity (pp. 10-11), he devotes the next portion of the book to God as Provider, to His care for man through life, the uselessness of earthly possessions, and to God as guide on the road, but self must first be abandoned (pp. 11-46). A fine section on God's incomprehensibility to man might perhaps come more fittingly at an earlier stage instead of here (pp. 16-18). After overcoming self, God's special favour is granted to the traveller on the path: but we see crookedly, and He alone knows what is best for us: He has ordered all things well, and what seems evil is so only in appearance (pp. 18-25).
The greater part of the book is really concerned with the life and experiences of the Sûfî, and especially with continually repeated injunctions as to abandonment of the world and of self; to be dead to this world is to live in the other. Pp. 25-30 are thus concerned with poverty in this world, with loss of the, self, humility, man's insignificance and God's omnipotence; pp. 30-34 with
the necessity of continual remembrance of God, of never living apart from Him, and again of dying to the world; death to the world leads to high position with God. There follows (pp. 34-41) a series of passages on the duty of thanksgiving for God's mercies; His mercy however has its counterpart in His anger, and examples of His wrath are given; then returning again to the subject of His mercies, the author speaks of God's omniscience, and His knowledge of the wants of His servants; we must therefore trust in God for all the necessaries of life, they will be given as long as life is destined to last. Two later pages (48-50), which are similarly devoted to the subject of trust in God, should probably come here. Pp. 41-48 deal with the Sûfîs desire for God, and his zeal in pursuing the path; various directions for the road are given, especially as rewards the abandonment of the world and of self, and fixing the desires on God only; union with God is the. goal. The abandonment of self is again the theme of pp. 50-51.
A portion of the book (pp. 51-56) is, curiously, here devoted to the interpretation of dreams; after which the author treats of the incompatibility of the two worlds, again of the abandonment of earth and self, and of the attainment of the utmost degree of annihilation (pp. 56-58). There follows a passage on the treatment of schoolboys, a comparison with the learner on the Sûfî path, and an exhortation to strive in pursuing it (pp. 58-60). The next portion of the book (pp., 60-67) treats of charity and gifts as a form of renunciation, of relinquishing riches for God's sake; prosperity is injurious to the soul, and the world must be abandoned; possessions and friends are useless, and each must trust to himself; each will find his deserts hereafter, and receive the reward of what he has worked for here.
Pp. 67-80 treat of prayer, the preparation for which consists in purity of heart, humility, and dependence upon God. Prayer must come from the heart; the believer must be entirely absorbed in his devotions. Prayer must be humble; the believer must come in poverty and perplexity, and only so can receive God's kindness. A number of addresses to God follow, prayers for help, and humble supplications to God on the part of the author. A few pages (80-92) treat of God's kindness in drawing men towards himself, though His ways may appear harsh at first. The progress of the
believer is described in a strain of hyperbole (pp. 82-83); and this portion closes with a few sections (pp. 83-86) on God's majesty and omnipotence somewhat after the manner of those in the earlier part of the book.
In pp. 86-97 the author speaks of the Qur'ân, and its excellence and sweetness. The letter however is not the essential: its true meaning is not to be discovered by reason alone. The Qur'ân is often dishonoured, especially by theologians, and by professional readers, who read it carelessly and without understanding it. A short section (pp. 97-98) on humility and self-effacement follows, and the book is brought to a close by a description of the godlessness of the world before the advent of Muhammad (pp. 98-100), which serves to introduce the subject of the Second Chapter.
Though it must he admitted that the author is occasionally obscure, sometimes dull, and not infrequently prosaic, some fine sections and a larger number of short passages of great beauty are contained in this chapter; I may perhaps be permitted especially to refer to the sections "In His Magnification," pp. 16-18. and "On Poverty and Perplexity," p. 74; while as characteristic and on the whole favourable passages may be mentioned "On His Omniscience, and His Knowledge of the Minds of Men," pp. 37-39; " On the Incompatibility of the Two Abodes," pp. 56-58; "On intimate Friendship and Attachment," pp. 62-63; and certain of the addresses to God contained in pp. 74-77.
xxvii:1 A Literary History of Persia, Vol. II., p. 319.