God of the Orient

The other day I came across an Urdu novel titled “Khuda-e-Mashriq”, literally meaning “God of the Orient” in English. I casually browsed its pages and I could not resist reading a part of it with a lot of concentration. I shall talk about that latter. But first I would like to briefly describe what the novel is about. The novel is written by Muhammad Zahid Afghan. As the name suggests, the writer is most possibly from Afghanistan. The central character of the novel is a British female who travels all the way from England to various Eastern countries and probably lands up somewhere in the subcontinent. Her name was Salomi. I am not sure though, but I think that I should reconfirm. There she makes friends. And she has her perplexities and bewilderment typical of a traveler.

The part that I found the most interesting was that the favorite personality of Salomi was the renowned German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In her conversations with her friends she talks about Friedrich Nietzsche and his nihilism. This was the part that I found most interesting. I heard about Friedrich Nietzsche  and a few about his quotes a long time a go from friends. Names such as Friedrich Nietzsche and others can be quoted in educated circles as a symbol of intellect. But after a long time, I started wondering what his really philosophy was. After all it is important to know what someone really contributed as a philosophy as opposed to merely quoting from his/her quotations. I came to know that Friedrich Nietzsche was an atheist and that much of atheism of the present day can be attributed to having a background in Nietzsche-ism. Well, I could be wrong but I suppose that Friedrich Nietzsche still has an impact. Latter I came to know that Friedrich Nietzsche was a nihilist about the existence of God. And I wondered what were the reasons that led Friedrich Nietzsche in to nihilism.

Salomi explained the underlying reason very clearly. At one point she starts narrating about the life of Friedrich Nietzsche to her friends with an emotional vigor. She says that as Christianity arrived, for some odd reason the West started indulging in barbarism. As a consequence Friedrich Nietzsche became agnostic about the existence of God. He abandoned his civil life and went somewhere in the alps to live there. There he created a new God. Zarathustra! 

Latter while having a discussion with her friends, they ask each other that then who was the God of Zarathustra. One of the characters proposes that the God of Zarathustra was the God of Hazrat Ghulam Moi-ud-din Chishti (RA). He (RA) was a sufi saint with a substantial following in the subcontinent. It is interesting to note that Zarathustra (AS) was himself a prophet of Islam. Overall the novel is nicely written and tries to address various philosophical curiosities. It is interesting to note also that there are people in Afghanistan who try to do such delicate and creative work.

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CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 God of the Orient by Psyops Prime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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