The Element of Moralism in Pashto Sayings


Pashto literature has one of the oldest folklores in the world. It has nourished several genres like Alaho, Bagatay, Badala, Charbaita, Children Songs,Ghazal, Gharry , Saandy, Loba, Neemakay, khairy, Duagany and Old Sayings of the learned elders, to name a few genres. One of these genres is the famous sayings of the olden learned elders which apparently is a few words or a single line but on a deeper level it contains within itself an ocean of knowledge, wisdom, philosophy and meaning. In fact such sayings are the result of the direct or indirect experiences of life which the speakers have accumulated over their life time after having gone through many events of different kinds. Such sayings can be likened to the salt in the meals without which they taste meals but with no relish. Sayings encompass varied themes and address different thoughts and connotations regarding different life situations. They contain themes related to various human emotions like love, sympathy, jealousy, hopelessness, optimism and so on. Moralism is also one of the dominant themes of such sayings. On one hand these sayings reflect the overall social and moral excellence of a society and on the other hand serveas guidelines for the moral development of the coming generations of that society. For instance the sayings like, ”Do Good and Have Good’ or ‘As you sow, so shall you reap”, ”A clear conscience fears no accusation”, ”In movement is true blessing” etc. If we think over the deeper meanings of these sayings, we see that there is a lot of wisdom contained in them. They also have very high moral standards to be followed by the individuals of a society. Observance of such moral standards takes a society to supreme heights of moral excellence. Equally their nonobservance by the society can lead to moral degradation. Among the many forms of folklores the sayings have specific focus on moralism due to the fact that they come into existence after an even or happening which is faced by an individual practically by himself which renders him more knowledge able and wise and that is why he wants to transmit his personal experience to the next generations in the form of saying in order to help them gain wisdom from his own experience and let them avoid any situation which can harm them. Keeping in view their practical utility, sayings are of a high importance when it comes to learning the moral norms of a given society. This treatise endeavors to explore the moralistic aspect of Pashto sayings and attempts to bring to light the philosophy and wisdom contained in such sayings.

Syed Zafar Ullah Bakhshali