The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 71

The Fall of the Idols


By Khurram Ali Shafique

Rumi and Iqbal bypass the sun and the countless curtains of intertwined firework display that hang between them and the light. On the other side is the planet Venus, the third destination in their journey.

Gods of the Ancient Peoples

In a leveled and smooth valley on Venus, deities from ancient Egypt, Yemen, Arab, Iraq and other lands have gathered. They are gods and goddesses of separation, union and many other things. Most are inter-related through marriages but all have suffered the blow of Abraham and are not worshipped anywhere anymore.

Ancient Babylonian god Marduk has seen a silver lining in the cloud. He says, “The human being rent asunder the blue sky but found no God.”

Another god Baal starts a song, “Ancient gods, our day has arrived.” The four stanzas of the song defy the four foundational principles previously listed by Afghani.

Rumi counters the song of Marduk by reciting a poem from Iqbal – Number 21 from the second chamber of the Temple of Modern David:

Again one must gaze on the past and the future.
Ho! Rise up, for one must think anew.

Angels fall prostrate as if Abraham has struck them again, and Rumi and Iqbal move on to see more of the planet.


DISCUSS

  • In the previous chapter, Rumi asked Iqbal to recite his poetry but here he recites it himself. Is there some reason for this?

  • Is it likely that the world of Quran mentioned in the previous chapter is already taking form and this preempting of the revival of false idols is the first step in its realization?

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On Venus, which is the third stop in the spiritual journey, the rebirth of ancient gods is thwarted by Rumi through recital of Iqbal’s poetry.


Persian text