عنوان مقاله [English]
Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, for the purpose of achieving servitude. In Islamic mysticism, asceticism does not go beyond the framework of the Islamic law (Sharia). To determine the framework and the limits of asceticism in mysticism, we study the views of Attar Neyshaburi, one of the three highlights of mystical literature of Iran. The present article attempts to examine the basic concepts and indexes in asceticism in masnavis of Attar by using analytic method. He refers to chelleh-neshini (worshipping for a forty days period), keeping a vigil, silence, patience and control the passions as the important elements of asceticism and believes that they are the best methods to reach the Truth. Very few references to methods of asceticism in his masnavis reflect the political and social complexities of his time. In his masnavis, the frequency of physical asceticism is higher, because this kind of asceticism is a tool for the self-purification. Attar believes that the true asceticism or jehād al-akbar (the greater war and struggle) is to overcome the carnal soul. According to him, when the sālek (the holy traveler) is annihilated from his selfhood, he is united with God and his carnal soul is curbed.