Book of aphorisms published in English

By Fazil Guney (Abbasov), PhD in Arab language studies, honorary journalist

A book of philosophical and religious aphorisms of the Islamic Orient by well-known Azerbaijani writer Haji Farhad Mirza, titled "Kalams", has been published in English in Frankfurt, Germany.

The 330-page book, which covers 267 spheres of life, was released by the decision of the Moscow City Branch of the Writers Union of Russia, Presidium of the International Scientific Academy for Turkic World Studies based in Ankara, Turkey, the Hannover-based European Academy of the Natural Sciences, and the Baku-based Vector International Research Center. The preface of the book was written by Prof. Elchin Iskenderzadeh, president of the Vector center, Prof. Hayrettin Ivgin, president of the Turkic studies academy, Vladimir Boyarinov, a Russian poet, Honored Worker of Culture and board chairman of the Writers Union's Moscow branch, Academician V.G.Tyminskiy, president of the European Academy of Natural Sciences, and Prof., PhD Ali Abbasov of Azerbaijan's National Academy of Sciences. Reviews were written by Prof. Dr. Tofiq Bakixanov and Ittifag Mirzabeyli.

On the first page of the book, Haji Farhad Mirza appeals to the readers with his words of wisdom. He writes:

Let's say our prayers in common.

Let countries worldwide turn into a single family, blessed be brotherhood between peoples.

Let's transform our earthly home into unity, equality, peace and tranquility.

Let's make generations happy.

Our every deed, be it great or worthless, is done in the name of Allah, in the name of human beings.

In fact, these words are a motto in Haji Farhad Mirza's life, a leitmotif of his book.

Vector president Elchin Iskenderzadeh wrote in the preface:

"What is kalam? The kalam science was widely spread and enjoyed great popularity in the Orient. Note that Azerbaijani thinkers made their contribution to the development of kalam. However, for a long period the kalam had been ignored as an intellect-related sphere of activity and no interest shown in the subject.

It'd be appropriate to note that the kalam cannot be created at any time. The kalam makes its appearance when the society is in trouble to get out of difficulties and efforts are made to help humans out of hardship and put strays to the straight and narrow. This concept is apparent in kalams by Haji Farhad Mirza. 'Kalam is essential to mirror its epoch and to put the society on the right track'.

The kalam is a specific product of thought with which to disclose the essence of things and the unity between the spirit and the mind.

The "Kalams" book, authored by Haji Farhad Mirza, founder of the modern kalam school, prominent philosopher and thinker, has been published and circulated worldwide to hit the highlight of progressive mankind.

Irrespective of language, religion and national identity, "Kalams" has won the respect of readership and became a reader's scripture and favorite reference-book."

Vladimir Boyarinov wrote after reading Haji Farhad Mirza's "kalams", "There is not a theme in the world which would not excite Haji Farhad Mirza: divinity and humankind's rescue, mercy and exhortation on the way of truth, teachers and poets, father's duty and daily bread, the state and dictatorship, cowardice and will, destiny and crises.

The thoughts of Farhad uttered as kalams are not urged to amaze imagination with their aphoristic nature or paradoxicality. They have warmth of home, they remind at times a strict fatherly word, they carry centuries-old popular wisdom, they are initially close to the reader and the interlocutor, are close at deep genetic level, and are astonishing with their grandeur and simultaneously simplicity."

About the author

Haji Farhad Mirza is the author of eight books and academician of the International Eco-Energy Academy and the Azerbaijan Institute of History, member of the writers unions of Azerbaijan, Russia and Eurasia, as well as the Azerbaijan Union of Journalists. He has been awarded with the title of honorary doctor of religion and philosophy for his literary-philosophic contribution.

In 2008, Haji Farhad Mirza was elected Honorary Academician and Honorary Professor of the International Academy of Sciences of the Turkish World Researches Organization; he was also awarded with the organization's Gold Medal. The same year, he was elected "Man of the Year" of the Turkic World.

In 2009, Haji Farhad was conferred with an award "For Services to the World Culture" (Turkey).

Among his numerous awards, also worthy of note is the "Honorable Banner" of the Republic.

During my meeting with Haji Farhad, my first question to him was "how do you write kalams?" He replied, "I don't ponder kalams while seated at my desk. The kalams stem from our everyday life; the developments I encounter; conversations with people; political, economic, religious and cultural events ongoing around the globe. I just write them down. When I was in the Vatican last year, I visited the grand Papal Basilica of Saint Peter and the very plain Church of Jesus Christ. Three kalams came to my mind while in the Church of Jesus Christ."

Academician V.G.Tyminskiy, president of the European Academy of Natural Sciences, describing kalam as "the unity of multiformity", wrote in the book that it is present-day continuation of an ancient tradition of the use of metaphors, parables and edifications for image-bearing expression of fundamental principles of faith of various world religions. Cited as examples may be numerous excerpts from the text of Far-Eastern religious systems, the Old and New Testaments and the Koran. Though the focus is on the Islamic tradition, there are explicit references to other Abrahamic religious -- Judaism and Christianity -- on the pages of this book. It is no mere coincidence that Islam comes as continuation of these religious; it is founded to worship a chain of Prophets, including primogenitor Adam; Abraham (Ibrahim) as ancestor of faith in Unique God; Moses (Musa); and Jesus (Isa). The above is none other than a manifestation of the unity of diversity of Abrahamic religious in which, as the author puts it, "All Prophets are teachers of our great school".

Kalams

Religion is in opposition both to the power and to opposition.

Religion means unity, to vary it means to harm ourselves.

People deprived of religion are deprived of everything.

Absence of religion transforms the society into idolaters, and the leaders - into idols.

The Koran is the answer to all questions.

Belief in Allah is in deeds, not words.

Our world is one of the schools of the Almighty, and its tutor is Allah.

The womb of a mother is materiality, our world is spirituality, and the afterlife is divinity.

The world is as sweet as is bitter. Its sweetness is of its bitterness, and its bitterness is of its sweetness. Choose the median way not to go astray.

Your world is a storming sea with nice islands, your body is a ship without sails, your mind - a wheel and your soul is sails, but the coast is the afterlife.

Like the nature that repays its debts, the man should also be able to repay his debts.

We can return our debt to Allah only to His creatures, that is, to people and the nature.