In language of different folk, there are many proverbs and aphorisms belonging in origin to the religious sources. Considerable part of Uzbek proverbs and aphorisms appeared on the basis of sacred books such as Koran, hadiths. Such proverbs and aphorisms are widely spread and successfully used in modern Uzbek language. The article is an attempt to define aforesaid proverbs, aphorisms. Moreover, in the article briefly gives information on appearance of Islam in Central Asia as well as its influence on culture, mentality, lifestyle and languages of folk in this region.
Key words: proverb, aphorism, Islam, Koran, hadith
There is no folk and language in the world that doesn’t use proverb and create them. It is well known, as there is no folk without language, at the same time there is no language without proverbs. So every nation in the world has its own proverbs which are regarded as disseminator of traditional wisdom, knowledge and apparent truths handed down from generation to generation. Proverbs being vehicles of popular morality are considered one of the means of transmitting moral ideas of our ancestors. That’s why they are used in wide circulation around folks of the world.
Formerly having arisen in individual consciousness, proverbs in course of time became a part of public consciousness. Expressing folk consciousness, they have been remaining as mirror reflection of the folk and its experience, world outlook, cultural and spiritual values yet. Apart from it, proverbs may also reflect history of a nation. For example, one can meet the proverbs that might depict scenes specific to a certain historical period or contain distinct words or phrases characteristic of it.
Proverbs have been in use in language for many centuries. It is expedient to assume that proverbiality has its roots in oral tradition. Before appearing in written forms, some of proverbs were used in everyday speech by common people with a purpose of affecting the actions and thoughts. Thus, proverbs appeared earlier than written literature i. e. having overtaken on the time of origin proverbs were bolted in oral folk creativity then fixed in written monument of the culture.
The most intriguing question concerning proverbs is, no doubt, their origin that is to say how they were created. According to their origin proverbs may be of two types:
- Proverbs which appeared according to certain sources. But some of them in the process of historical development have completely lost their source of origin.
- Proverbs which authors are unknown. They are considered as an example of oral folk creativity.
Proverbs and aphorisms are as widely distributed across our written remains. They appear not only in independent collections and embedded in works of literature, but on papyrus in formal, and in inscriptions. One of the prolific sources of proverbs is religious writings. Mieder & Dundes (1994: vii) state that the greatest religious texts contain a great number of proverbs that is still relevant in modern societies.
It is vital to note that according to «Short literary encyclopedia» (Краткая литературная энциклопедия) proverbs and sayings are firstly used in the religious books including Koran, Bible, Panchatantra (1968:907). Admittedly, many proverbs and sayings in common use today began as quotations from the Bible, Koran and most of them were formed on the basis of moral ideas in above mentioned religious books. Additionally, it is important to notify that the Koran and Bible occupy an important position among the great religious books of the world. They were fallen to the earth by the God. Thus, we reckon that proverbs are not firstly used in the Bible and Koran but quotations, moral statements after becoming popular among people through time eventually entered common wisdom or traditions of people and gained the status of a proverb.
The genealogy of Uzbek proverbs begins with Uzbek ancient traditions, culture and oral creativity. A great part of them was formed on the basis of Islam, themes (suras) of Koran and hadiths. In other words, Islam inspired many proverbs in the Uzbek language. Moreover, Islam influenced on the formation of mentality, traditions and values of Uzbek people.
Islam was introduced into Central Asia by the Arabs in the second half of 7th century. The religion soon took root in the great cities of the region and then more gradually spread out to the remoter areas. Within relatively short period, an institutional infrastructure was set in place. And the written word was Islamicised too as the Arabic script came to replace the various writing systems that has been used previously for local languages. Many Arabic words were adopted, extending existing vocabularies in new directions. Within Arabic words, proverbs which origin trace back to Arab language began to be used by common people. Hitherto some of them have been using in Uzbek language such as Eshshak Makkaga borgani bilan hoji bolmas (A mule can go to Mecca, but it will not come back as a pilgrim), Dostini aybini qidirgan dostidan ayrilar (He that counts his friend's mistakes will be abandoned by him). Apropos it is important to note great Uzbek scholar, arabist, poet and writer Abu al-Qasim Mahmud b. Umar al Zamakshariy is considered as compiler of old Arabic proverbs. He compiled 3461 Arabic proverbs and arranged them in strict alphabetical order. Like other scholars al Zamakshariy was keen to explain the origin and the setting of his proverbs (Riad Aziz Kassis 1990:19)
From 8th century on wards the Movarranahr saw a remarkable economic, scientific and cultural development. World-known scholars as Imom Bukhari, Ibn Sina, Beruni and Khorazmi lived and worked in this period. Arabic was the language of composition for many Turkish scholars, notably in the fields of religious and philological studies.From ninth and tenth centuries the science and learning developed at an increasing pace in Movarranahr. In early medieval century in Movaraunnahr the science developed in two directions:
1) humanitarian science which included methods, fundamentals of Arabic language, language of Koran and norms of Islam as well as hadith studies;
2) rational science which included in itself mathematics, natural sciences, logics and metaphysics (Боҳодиров. Р.М 1998:44).
In medieval century Movaraunnahr had been the center of excellence for studies of the Holy Koran and Hadith. As the result of it in Movaraunnahr were brought up many world-known scholars in Islamic theology such as Imam Bukhari, Imam Termizi, Imam Maturidi, Abu Laith Samarqandi.
It is known the Koran and hadiths of Prophet Muhammad had a significant place in the life of people of Central Asia as well as they have been the ultimate source of legal authority for many centuries. Besides it legislative and theological value, the Koran and hadiths of Prophet Muhammad have also served as a source of spiritual guidance for them. Because they are considered not only religious sources but at the same time they reflect the complexity of moral virtues which is regarded as universal value. That’s why, soon Hadiths and quotations of Koran spread among the people of Central Asia
After converting to Islam radical changes occurred in the social life of people of Central Asia and of course these changes were reflected in the literature. Thus under the influence of Islamic culture as well as fiction of regional traditions were created masterpiece works of literature. For example, the «Kutadgu Bilig» by Yusuf Has Hacib, written in the eleventh century, the first example of Turkic literature which developed under the influence of Islamic culture. In his «Kutadgu Bilig» («The Wisdom that Conduces to Royal Glory or Fortune») Yusuf Has Hacib discusses the morality and values of good rulers:
− The foundation of kingship, the core of it, is based righteousness.
− The root of kingship is the road of righteousness.
− If the leader advances a just policy for the tribe, if he be right.
− The wishes and desires that he may want, he will be find. (Allworth E.A 1990:19).
Although it was written in pure Turkic language, we may witness the usage of Koranic themes, quotations and phrases and hadiths. Moreover, «Kutadgu bilig» is regarded as valuable contribution to the formation of modern Uzbek proverbs.
In Qutadgu bilig patience is regarded as one of the highly moral virtuous of human being. The author of the book called people for being patient because patience is the ballast of the soul that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms of the life. Moreover, the Koran defines patience as one of the paths that lead people from darkness to light and as an attribute of morality that is superior to, wide-ranging, and very different from the daily behavior of many people (Harun Yahya 2003:10). Additionally, in the Koran the concept Sabr (patience) is mentioned 90 times. Yusuf sura is one of the suras in the Koran which glorify patience and leads people to it. And it has significant place in the history of Islamic literature. The following lines of Qutadgu bilig is the most striking example to it:
− 1297: Barcha ishda ham shoshilma, sabrli bo‘l, o‘ylab ko‘r, Sabrli kishilar orzuga yetadi (Don’t be in haste in every work, be patient, think a while, Patient man attains his aim.)
− 1304: Qachon qahring kelsa, o‘zingni tut, sabrli bo‘l, Sabrli kishining sevinchi oldida. (When you are angry, you should control yourself, be patient, Joyful days of patient man are ahead of him.)
− 1306: Kishi sabr qilsa, o‘z tilagin topadi, Sabr qilib turguvchi kishi oqqush tutadi. (If a man is endurable, his desires will come true, If a man is patient he may even catch (hunt) a swan).
− 1309: Sabr qilgin, sabr qilmoq kishilarning odati, Sabr qilsa, kishi bamisoli ko‘kka ham yo‘l topadi. (Be patient, patience is inherent feature of a man, if a man endures he will find the way to the heaven).
The ideas about patience in Qutadgu-bilig are met in the Koran and amongst Uzbek proverbs. For example, Koranic quotations about patience corresponding with statements in Qutadgu bilig are followings:
The reward of those who exercise patience is doubled
أُولَـٰئِكَ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend out of what We have provided them. (Koran 28:54)
إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning. (Koran 39:10)
Uzbek proverbs about patience which originated from Holy Koran and Qutadgu-bilig are followings:
Sabr etgan yetar murodga,
Besabr qolar uyatga.
Sabr etgan — murodga yetgan.
Sabrli kishining ishi soz.
Sabrli qul murodiga yetar.
The meaning of these four proverbs corresponds in English to following proverb: Everything comes to him who waits
Shoshmagan er oqqush tutar.
(Patient man catches a swan).
Oshiqmagan ovchi humo ovlar.
(Patient hunter catches humo).
Oyning o‘n beshi qorong‘u bo‘lsa,
O‘n beshi — yorug‘
The last proverb is formed on the basis of Surat al-Inshirah of the Koran:
«For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease» (Surat al-Inshirah, 5–6). Also Prophet Muhammad gives Moslems many advantages, good information and great chances of the patience. For example: «And know victory comes with patience». In English, there are some proverbs which conform to the meaning of abovementioned hadith: He conquers who endures (Chidamli inson g‘alaba qozonadi), He that endures is not overcome (Chidamli insonni yengib bo‘lmaydi), Patient men win the day (Sabrli insonlar g‘alaba qozonishadi).
It is obvious from foregoing examples that some abovementioned proverbs correspond verbatim to the quotation from Holy Koran and Qutadgu bilig and some of them conform with respect to their meaning. From the preceding study it is possible to say that many Uzbek proverbs and also instructions in Qutadgu-bilig are appeared under the influence of Koran i. e. they were premised on the Koranic quotations. Besides Yusuf Has Hacib, in the work of many famous Uzbek writers such as Fariuddin Attor, Zahirriddin Bobur, Alisher Navai and etc we may witness the usage of Koranic quotations and hadiths. Having analyzed a sufficient number of proverbs, quotations from Koran and hadiths it is possible to note that the origin of many Uzbek proverbs stretches back to Koran and hadiths. Furthermore, it is expedient to emphasize that the text of Koran hasn’t been changing over 14 centuries and hadiths have never lost its value. On the contrary, many Koranic quotations, phrases and hadiths were acquired by language of people who convert to Islam and they served as fundamental bases for forming many proverbs and sayings.
To conclude, it should be stated that in Moslem countries on the basis of spiritual upbringing lies Koran and hadiths. Although many centuries have passed since they were created, they have been widely acknowledged to be the authority on moral education yet. Certainly these sources greatly influenced not only on shaping folk consciousness, custom, traditions and beliefs but also language of a nation who considers them sacred i. e. many religious writings such as in the Koran and hadiths entered various strata of language and most of them are identified as popular expressions or sayings of common wisdom.
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 Humo is a mythical bird that brings people happiness