The Conference of the Birds Test | Final Test - Hard

Sufi texts#Farid ad-Din Attar
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the poor man, who lived in a drainage ditch, borrow from his rich neighbor to ride to the mill?

2. According to the peasant in the desert ("Sheikh Mahna and the Peasant"), what hides the musk of the hunted deer?

3. What was the metaphor based upon the following tenet: "When my exchequer has no love to give"?

4. What quote, from the Koran, did the voice from heaven remind the "faithless Moslem" about?

5. Who waited anxiously to see Joesph's face when he was up for sale as a slave?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were the two things that the Sheikh of Turkestan loved?

2. What did the hoopoe say in regard to the length of the quest to see the Simorgh?

3. Describe the Valley of Detachment.

4. Describe the Valley of Unity.

5. Why did the hoopoe not have an exact length of the quest for the birds?

6. According to the hoopoe, who does the Way belong to?

7. What did the hoopoe say about audacity being allowed before the Simorgh?

8. From the story "The Beggar Who Fell in Love with Ayaz," how was it justified that a beggar could be seen as an equal in royal court?

9. Why was Husain, the son of Ali, killed?

10. Describe the Valley of Bewilderment.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Given that the book was written in Persia during the twelfth century, how successful is it in relating to current issues that people face today? Does Attar's book pass the test of time? Why/Why not? Is the book as relevant today as it was during the twelfth century? What did you find to be lost in translation?

Essay Topic 2

At the end of the book, the birds find out that they are, in fact, the Simorgh. Discuss the inferences that are made throughout the book that hint at this being true. How did their concerns, actions, fears, and successes lead you to believe that the birds were the Simorgh.

Essay Topic 3

Many of the stories detailed the different ways to deal with the Self. Choose three of the stories that dealt with the conquering of the Self and analyze the usefulness of the story in overcoming the negative influence that the Self had over the possessor.

(see the answer keys)

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