THE POEM OF THE SCARF AN ANALYSIS OF THE POEM


This poem is regarded by the Mohammedans with deep reverence and respect, and is generally recited and read an solemn occasions as an auspicious source of blessing. Several lines are said to have great influence in curing diseases, removing sufferings and affording relief from
distress and calamity, if recited and read repeatedly according to certain prescribed formulae.
CRITICAL REMARKS
This poem is one of the noblest poetical productions of the seventh century after Islam. It holds its own against any of the best poems of the Abbaside times in florid diction, choice of words, and propriety  of expression. perspicuity and charming eloquence of language, natural development of the train of thoughts, the subtlety of its transitions, current and harmonious flow of the metre, and absolute freedom from any kind of solecism. The poem abounds in a variety of images, similes and metaphors, which far from being indistinct, remote or forced are very distinct clear, apposite and happy, and are such as add greatly to the graphic description of the narrative and to a clear elucidation of the incidents alluded to, while monotony in the metre and the language is greatly relieved by various verbal figures so much indulged in by the Post-Islamitic poets. The figures of speech, both verbal and rhetorical, are such as command deep admiration on account of their exquisiteness, elegance and propriety of application.
This poem is universally popular throughout the Moslem world in consequence of its holding no polemical views and its tolerance of views and opinions not shared by the poet. 

AN ANALYSIS OF THE POEM

Beginning with an exquisite allusion to the subject matter (   ) in accordance with the almost established custom of introducing poems with Love Description (   ), the poem gives a short description of the woeful plight of a tender lover during his separation from his sweetheart (1-8). This kind of introduction being incongruous to the sublime and grave subject of the poem, the poet, in trying to avoid this uncongruity, artfully gives it a better turn by calling in the agency of the reproachers, who come to discover his secret love, betrayed by his tears and pale colour (9-12). Naturally availing himself of the opportunity to expostulate with the lover, he exhorts him to give upsuch light pursuits as being inconsistent with his old age (13-16). While pointing out what the old age requires him to do instead, while showing the manner in which it peremptorily bids  him refrain from the indulgence of lust and passions (17-25), and while proposing to himself to make the best amends for the time he wasted therein (26-28), he slyly glides into his subject (  ) (29), viz.; the panegyrics of the Prophet (God’s Grace be with him).
Proceeding to  mention how the Prophet abstained from wordly indulgences (30-33), how he called people to the won ship of one God  (34-37), how he excelled all the noble prophets that preceded him in social, moral and mental Qualities (338-40), how he was then as a reward, invested by God with the enviable rank of a favourite (41-42), the poet tells us how mankind, at all times, being at a Loss to comprehend his true nature, not with standing his kindly taking every care not to try them with anything, beyond their capacity, had to admit his  claims to every greatness and excellence, short only of divinity, he being but a human being after all (43-56); and how, while he stood so high among the prophets, and commanded the best respect of the people, he was always extremely affable, polite, accessible and gentle to his people. (57-61)
The poet is here naturally led in a poetic strain to sing of the wonderful and supernatural incidents that occurred at the time of the Prophet’s birth and predicted his high mission (62-72),
He then sings of the few out of many miracles showed by him in support of the truth of his mission (73-94), the greatest of them being the glorious and the inimitable Quran (95-108) and  the Ascension of the Prophet to the heavens (109-I 15), ending with his being invested by God with honours and ranks too high for any other prophet to attain (116-119).
Thus giving a short and lively description of the warlike deeds of the Prophet and of his noble disciples, who assisted him with their military achievements in support of his high mission (120-138)  the poet assures us how ready and prompt he is in defending  his own people against any calamities and in helping them in their distress (139-143).
At this stage the poet, reflecting on his past life and regretting the waste of his energies in serving and eulogising wordly people, which would rather compromise his interest in the good of the next world, makes amends by devoutly offering the poem to the Prophet (144-149), and tenders his apology, feeling confident in the generosity of the Prophet and the promises held forth by him to his people, which leave him no reason for despair even in spite of the enormity of his sins (150-152). Then gently hinting at the object he asks for 
 ) (153-154),and not coveting the gain of any wordly good (155), he invokes the promised intercession of the Prophet on his behalf on the Day of Judgement for the pardon of his sins and crimes, and thus consoles his despairing sinful conscience (156-160).
After a short prayer for himself (161-162) he finishes the poem (  ) very elegantly and appropriately, with invoking the eternal blessings of God on the head of the Prophet, his followers and his posterity, in well-rounded lines (163-165).
 
THE NOBLE POEMS. 
WELL KNOWN 
AS
“THE POEM OF THE SCARF”
INTRODUCTION 
ABOUT THE REMINISCENCES OF FRIIEN’DS. 
THEIR LOVE AND THEIR OLD ASSOCIATIONS.
Is it from the recollection of friends at Zu-salam, 1* that thou haste mixed the tears, flowing from thy eyes, with blood?
Or is i’ because the wind has blown from the direction of Kazimah? 2* or is it because lightning has flashed in the darkness of night, from the mount of Izam? 3*
What is the matter with thy two eyes, that the more I tell them to desist from tears, the more they flow; and what is the matter with thy heart, that the more I ask it to come to its senses, the more it is distracted by love?
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1*. Name of a place near Madeenah 
2*. Name of a place. 
3*. Name of a mountain. 
These places being near Madeenah, their special mention gives a gentle hint on the main subject of the poem being at Madeenah. The kind of subtle allusion in the beginning of a Poem is generally indulged in by the post-Islamic poets 
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Does the ardent lover think that his love can remain secret while his eyes are shedding tears and his heart is glowing with ardent low ? 1*
Had it not been for love, thou shouldst not have shed tears at the ruined abode of thy friend, nor shouldst thou have lost sleep at the recollection of the cypress 2* and the high mountain. 3*
How durst thou deny thy love after the evidence, given against thee by such equitable witnesses as thy tears and illness ?
And even now that thy ardent love has stamped on thy two cheeks the two lines of tears and emaciation like Buphthalmus 4* and Carob tree fruit. 5*
Yes, the phantom of the sweetheart, whom I love, “visited me at night and drove away my sleep.. And love interrupts pleasures with pain.
O thou, who reproaches” me regarding my love for one of the tribe of ‘ Uzrah, excuse me 6* and shouldst thou do me justice, thou wouldst not reproach me.
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1* Lit, in the midst of a flowing tear and a burning heart. 
2* The cypress among the Arabic poets is often a symbol of the straight stature of a sweetheart. 
3* The ” high mountain ” here refers to the abode of the sweet-hear!. 
4* Proverbial for its yellow colour. 
5* Proverbial for its red colour. 
6* Lit., take an excuse from me to you. 
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