Mantiq at-Tayr is the greatest work of the mystic poet 'Attar, a parable describing the spiritual journey of birds with human traits and failings under the leadership of a Hoopoe, to find the legendary Simurgh. The birds are Sufi pilgrims, the Simurgh is God, the 'Truth'. Each time the birds seek to excuse themselves from their quest, the Hoopoe confronts them with further allegorical stories to encourage their perseverance. Eventually the thirty birds that stay find that the Simurgh is within themselves, a play on words si murgh, 'thirty birds'.
One of the earliest of the Persian mystic poets, 'Attar profoundly influenced the work of Rumi.