rind-zahid-2013Rind and Zahid

The dialogue of the mind and the heart / Two zurnas made of plum tree wood / 10,5x35cm - 8x8x35cm

“Rind” and “zahid” are two frequently used symbols in Ottoman Divan poetry. “Rind” represents the mature individual, whereas “zahid” represents the sanctimonious puritan. The rind does not care for external appearances. He possesses clemency and tolerance. The Zahid, on the other hand, represents the vulgar fanatic. Thus, rind and zahid appear as two opposite characters in our literature. The Divan poet presents himself/herself as the rind character and constantly criticizes the zahid, in turn presented as sofu [religious fanatic], hodja, vaiz [preacher], nasıh [religious commentator], fakih [religious jurist], müddei [religious propagandist] etc. A study of the sarcastic rhetoric surrounding this conflict would itself ammount to a work of several volumes. However, this all comes from the rind’s point of view. Since zahids do not write poetry, or in other words, do not approve of writing that much, their views are not reflected widely in literary works. “Rind ü Zahid” the work of the poet Fuzuli, is therefore a significant work since it also features the views of the zahid. (On Fuzuli’s ‘Rind ü Zahid’, Doç. Dr. Ahmet Sevgi, Türkiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi [The Journal of Turkology Research], issue: 3, Konya 1997, p. 129-135)

“O Zahid! You see the tavern as the seat of the devil, and know wine as the tool of sin. You are mistaken! The source of sin is pride and ambition. Yet these are attributes distant to the tavern connoisseur. The devil's tool of perversion is trickery and hypocrisy. However, these are considered bad by the connoisseur of wine. If you think that this house [tavern] is Godless, then you do not know that Allah is ready and present everywhere. If you accept the presence of Allah in this house, then you indirectly express the presence of the devil, too. Glorify Allah! Do not fear the devil! Because speaking to the devil is within the sphere of humanity.”
In closing his work ‘Rind and Zahid’, Fuzuli writes “In the village of mortality, there is no difference between the sane and the insane. At the bottom of the sea, there is nothing to choose from between a stone and a pearl. And once the bookkeeping of good and bad is over, there is no difference left between the mesjid and the tavern.” / From Fuzuli’s ‘Rind ü Zahid’ (Translated into Turkish by Hüseyin Ayan, MEB Yayınları [Publication of the Ministry of National Education], 2001)

Translation: Nazim Dikbas