TAASA REVIEW VOLUME 21 NO.1 – TAASA Review March 2012
The Simurgh maintained its hold on the Persian imagination into Islamic times, appearing notably in the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940 1020).
In choosing to utilise this figure so deeply grounded in his own Persian mythological heritage to structure his Sufi narrative, Attar perhaps wished to convey something of the ambivalence he may have felt toward himself as a Persian Muslim.
The related themes of home-leaving and homecoming, community and alienation, national and spiritual identity, recur throughoutAttar’s collected works: it is in the figure of the Simurgh that we find these themes most conspicuously drawn together. Attar's Simurgh has been described as "enigmatic beyond description.....