|Published online: May 7, 2014||$US5.00|
In both classical Persian and medieval European literatures, a number of poets and philosophers were interested in allegorizing the journey of the soul to Allah or to God. This essay examines two allegorical masterpieces: Attar of Nishapur’s “Manteq ut-Tair” and William Langland’s “Piers Plowman: The C Version.” Attar’s criticism of Christianity in the “Manteq ut-Tair” and Langland’s attacks on the Prophet have not received adequate attention to date. This essay argues that Attar advises humankind to take Christianity’s threat to Islam seriously on their Way to Allah, while Langland demonizes the Prophet of Islam and excoriates him for misleading mankind, impeding the spiritual growth of Christians and of humankind in general on their way to Truth. While both Attar and Langland degrade their opposite religion in the poems—Christianity, in the case of Attar and Islam, in the case of Langland—what is far more important is the fact that the attacks occur in poems whose central theme is the salvation of humankind.
|Keywords:||Attar of Nishapur, William Langland, Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad|
Ph.D Student, Department of Comparative Literature, University of California--Davis, Davis, California, USA