Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:06 pm Post subject: Ginans and IIS Scholars
Few years back I had written criticism of Farhad Daftary's history book on ismailis. He had also written a point that Bujh Nirinjan is not Ginan but a poem of some Sufi Saint which was later attributed to Pir Sadardin by khojas. Farhad Daftary's idea seems to be wrong as if any one studies the Ginan..all the theme and content is showing Ismaili beliefs.
Now in a book ""Mediaeval ismaili history and thought" edited by Farhad Daftary, in a chapter of Ginans Ali Asani has written that his own study shows that Buj Nirinjan was written by anonymous sufi and not by Pir Sadardin. He has further mentioned that according to study by Tazim Kassam, Brahm Prakash was written much after the time of Pir Shams and According to Pyar Ali Keshwani's study se harfi is also composed by Some sufi.
What are your views on these "studies" of IIS scholars?
Not all IIS cholars can be put in the category, they vary in thoughts and competence, thought they tend to pet each others back and perpetuate a lot of myths [though they pretend otherwise]..
I remember for example in December 1988 [I think] an incident which happened in my presence in Karachi when Ali Asani was talking about his research on Buj Nirinjan and that it may not be from Ismaili source because this is what was appearing from the old manuscript at the British Library where the name of Pir Sadardin was missing.
Mumtaz Ali Tajddin told him that he had access to an older manuscript then the British Library and that that older manuscript mentioned the name of Pir Sadardin at the end. the reply of Asani was "I am too advanced in my thesis to change anything now but send me a writeup anyway on your analysis".
Mumtaz is very well versed in manuscripts and indian languages but not in English so what Asani did in his thesis, his took a paragraph of Mumtaz's writting which was not in a so good English and to demolish the credibility of Mumtaz Ali he wrote that someone with a so bad English could not be trusted on Buj Nirinjan..
And later I attended one of his speech at McGill University where he was trying to convince some non-ismaili dhorias that since the name of Pir Sadardin only came once in Buj Nirinjan it was probably added to the work. Of course all this ignorant dhorias never being to Jamatkhana, never heard any ginans, not knowing that the name of the Pir only appears once in all of the grants and ginans [and that is normal] they applauded.
I was upset, I asked him how many times his own name appeared in his thesis and when he said once, I said maybe someone else wrote his thesis...
That is the level of scholarship unfortunately on ginans. When our scholar sing [Khota "nana-small" tame dour chukawso] instead of "nanra -money] how are they going to understand anything?
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