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Saturday, 9 November 2013


9th November: Allama Iqbal’s Birth Anniversary

“Islam Is Itself Destiny
And Will Not Suffer Destiny” – Iqbal

(Compiled by: M. Javed Naseem)

An independent state (Pakistan) for the Muslims of South-Asia was the brain-child of Muhammad Iqbal, the spiritual disciple of Rumi. I cannot find words to pay him enough tribute worthy of his contribution to the creation and history of Pakistan. Therefore, I present to you the compilation of the thoughts of international scholars. Today is the day Iqbal was born 136 years ago. And I want to take this opportunity to remember this great personality of the East, and, at the same time, remind the new generations of Muslims of the East about the legacy of Iqbal. His message is universal and alive. He wanted you to wake up and take charge of your own destiny. You and only You can change the plight of the Muslim Ummah!

“Nations are born in the hearts
of poets, they prosper and die
in the hands of politicians” – Iqbal

From : Iqbal Academy, Lahore (Pakistan): 
Iqbal is the best articulated Muslim response to Modernity that the Islamic world has produced in the 20th century. His response has three dimensions:
A creative engagement with the conceptual paradigm of modernism at a sophisticated philosophical level through his prose writings, mainly his The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam which present his basic philosophic insights
His Urdu and Persian poetry which is the best embodiment of poetically mediated thought, squarely in the traditional continuity of Islamic literature and perhaps the finest flowering of wisdom poetry, or contemplative poetry or inspired poetry in the modern times.
As a political activist/ social reformer― rising up to his social responsibility, his calling at a critical phase of history.
(Courtesy: Iqbal Academy, Pakistan.

Western Democracy

“Woe to the constitution of the democracy of Europe!
The sound of that trumpet renders the dead still deader;
Those tricksters, treacherous as the revolving spheres,
Have played the nations by their own rules, and swept the board!
Robbers they, this one wealthy, that one a toiler,
All the time lurking in ambush one for another;
Now is the hour to disclose the secret of those charmers –
We are the merchandise, and they take all the profits.”
-- Muhammad Iqbal
(From: Divine Government, Javid-Nama)


Quotes of Iqbal:
(From ‘brainyquote’)

From The Open University, UK:

Mohammad Iqbal was born in 1877 in Sialkot, Punjab, to father Sheikh Nuruddin Mohammad, a tailor by profession and of Kashmiri background, and mother Imam Bibi. He was educated at the Scotch Mission College, where he also took up poetry, and later, in 1895, at Government College, Lahore, where he would come into contact with Sir Thomas Arnold. In 1903, he published a treatise on economics entitledIlmul-Iqtesad, and in 1904 he wrote the Indian patriotic song Sare Jahan se Achccha Hindostan Hamara. He would once again work with Thomas Arnold when he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a student of Philosophy in 1905. He obtained his degree at Cambridge and went on to Munich University where he obtained a doctorate; his thesis was entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia. He later qualified as a barrister. In London, he delivered a series of lectures; his lecture at Caxton Hall was widely reported in the papers. While in Europe, Iqbal became influenced by Kant, Bergson and especially Nietzsche.
In August 1908 he returned to Lahore where he joined the Government College as a part-time professor of philosophy and English literature while also practising as a lawyer in Lahore Chief Court. After a while, he resigned from the College and focused on law. Besides law he found time to develop his poetry in the 1920s, but he was also drawn into politics by his friends, Jogendra Singh, Zulfikar Ali Khan and Khawaja Shahabuddin. His Persian masnavi sequence Asrar-i Khudi (1915; Secrets of the Self (1920)) and Rumuz-i Bekhudi (1918; 'The Mysteries of Selflessness') were the foundation of Iqbal's philosophical poetry. In them he combined his ideas of the ego striving to achieve freedom and to develop a fuller personality with the moral, spiritual and intellectual values of Islam. He continued to develop these ideas in his poetry for the rest of his life. It is on the basis of these that he is know as the poet-philosopher of Pakistan.
From 1926 to 1930 he served on the Punjab Legislative Council and was President of the All-India Muslim League in 1930. That same year, he gave evidence before the Simon Commission and in 1931-2 he was a delegate to the Second and Third Round Table Conferences, visiting London again. By the mid-1930s, his health had deteriorated so much that he had to decline to give a series of Rhodes lectures at Oxford in 1935. He continued to write poetry but died on 21 April 1938. He is buried near the Shahi Mosque in Lahore.

From: Javid Nama
The Masterpiece! 

Iqbal included a few passages from Javid-Nama, duly translated by him, in his English-language paper: Reconstruction of Religious Thought In Islam. Iqbal’s second self- translation is more extensive, representing lines 239 to 266 of the Javid-nama:

Art thou in the stage of ‘Life’, ‘death’, or ‘death- in- life’?
Invoke the aid of three witnesses to verify thy ‘Station’.
The first witness is thine own consciousness–
See thyself, then, with thine own light.
The second witness is the consciousness of another ego– 
See thyself, then, with the light of an ego other than thee.
The third witness is God’s consciousness–
See thyself, then, with God’s light.
If thou standest unshaken in front of this light, 
Consider thyself as living and eternal as He ! 
That man alone is real who dares—
Dares to see God face to face! 
What is ‘Ascension’? Only a search for a witness 
Who may finally confirm thy reality—
A witness whose confirmation alone makes thee eternal. 
No one can stand unshaken in His Presence; 
And he who can, verily, he is pure gold. 
Art thou a mere particle of dust? 
Tighten the knot of thy ego; 
And hold fast to thy tiny being! 
How glorious to burnish one’s ego 
And to test its lustre in the presence of the Sun! 
Re-chisel, then, thine ancient frame; 
And build up a new being. 
Such being is real being; 
Or else thy ego is a mere ring of smoke!

(Translation: Arthur J. Arberry)

The servant of God has no need of any station,
No man is his slave, and he is the slave of none;
The servant of God is a free man, that is all,
His kingdom and laws are given by God alone,
His customs, his way, his faith, his laws are of God,
Of God his foul and fair, his bitter and sweet.
The self-seeking mind heeds not another’s welfare,
Sees only its own benefit, not another’s;
God’s revelation sees the benefit of all,
Its regard is for the welfare and profit of all.
Just alike in peace and in the ranks of war,
His joining and parting are without fear and favor;
When other than God determines the aye and nay
Then the strong man tyrannizes over the weak;
In this world command is rooted in named power;
Mastery drawn from other than God is pure unbelief.

The tyrannical ruler who is well-versed in power
Builds about himself a fortress made up of edicts;
White falcon, sharp of claw and swift to seize,
He takes for his counselor the silly sparrow
Giving to tyranny its constitution and laws,
A sightless man giving collyrium to the blind.
What results from the laws and constitutions of kinds?
Fat lords of the manor, peasants lean as spindles!

Woe to the constitution of the democracy of Europe!
The sound of that trumpet renders the dead still deader;
Those tricksters, treacherous as the revolving spheres,
Have played the nations by their own rules, and swept the board!
Robbers they, this one wealthy, that one a toiler,
All the time lurking in ambush one for another;
Now is the hour to disclose the secret of those charmers –
We are the merchandise, and they take all the profits.
Their eyes are hard out of the love of silver and gold,
Their sons are a burden upon their mothers’ backs.
Woe to a people who, out of fear for the fruit,
Carries off the very sap from the tree’s trunk
And, that the plectrum wins no melody from its strings,
Slays the infant yet unborn in its mother’s womb.
For all its repertory of varied charms
I will take nothing from Europe except a warning!
You enchained to the imitation of Europe, be free,
Clutch the skirt of the Koran, and be free!

(Iqbal Ufer - A boulevard named after Iqbal in Heidelberg, Germany)

Iqbal’s Contribution:

The bare facts of the life and career of the author of the work here translated may be summarized in a few sentences; more extended biographies are not far to seek, and for the English-reading public A. Schimmel’s Gabriel’s Wing, Iqbal Singh’s The Passionate Pilgrim, and S. A. Vahid’sIqbal, his Art and Thought, contain a wealth of detail and interpretation sufficient to satisfy the most exacting curiosity.

Throughout his extremely active life, in which he did so much to shape the destinies of the land of his birth and to mould the political future of the Moslem community (so that he has been called the spiritual founder of Pakistan), Iqbal maintained a steady and, towards the end, a torrential output of literature. Writing with equal facility in Urdu, Persian and English, and in his soaring range covering law, philosophy and religion as well as politics, it was as a poet that Iqbal made his greatest contribution to letters. Iqbal’s first publication, in 1901, was a treatise on economics in Urdu, the earliest to appear in that language; his last, issued posthumously under the title Armughan-i-Hijaz(‘Present from Hijaz’), contained his final collection of Persian and Urdu poems. The volume here translated, the Javid Namah, came out in 1932.

On his death Rabindranath Tagore wrote:

"The death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal creates a void
in literature that like a mortal wound will take a very
long time to heal. India, whose place in the world is
too narrow, can ill afford to miss a poet whose poetry
had such universal value."
--- Sir Rabindranath Tagore

(Iqbal's memorial plaque near Heidelberg University in Germany where he lived in 1907)

The ‘Magnum Opus’:
‘Iqbal’s magnum opus’, writes his biographer S. A. Vahid, ‘is the Javid Namah. Within a few years of its publication the poem became a classic, and. one great scholar proclaimed that the poem will rank with Firdausi’s Shah Namah, Rumi’s Mathnawi, Sa‘di’s Gulistan and the Diwan of Hafiz. Nor was this tribute an exaggeration, as subsequent criticism showed ... In judging a poem we have to consider two things: the style and the substance. So far as the style is concerned, Javid Namah belongs to the very first rank of Persian verse. It is unsurpassed in grandeur of expression, in beauty of diction and in richness of illustration. As regards theme, the poem deals with the everlasting conflict of the soul, and by telling the story of human struggle against sin, shows to mankind the path to glory and peace. In every line the poet makes us feel that he has something to say that is not only worth saying, but is also fitted to give us pleasure. Thus, as regards style as well as theme the poem is a masterpiece.’
The Javid-nama, having been frequently reissued in lithograph – the edition on which the present translation is based was published in 1946 at Hyderabad (Deccan) – was first translated, into Italian, by Professor Alessandro Bausani under the title II Poema Celeste (Rome, 1952). A version in German verse, Buch der Ewigkeit (Munich, 1957), has come from the pen of Professor Annemarie Schimmel. A French version, by E. Meyerovitch and Mohammed Mokri, has the title Le Livre de l’Éternité (Paris, 1962). In 1961 a translation in English verse was published in Lahore, The Pilgrimage of Eternity by Shaikh Mahmud Ahmad. The poem has thus reached a truly international public, and has already taken its rightful place amongst the modern classics of world literature.


خدا  تجھے  کسی  طوفاں  سے آشنا  کر  د ے
کہ تیرے بحر کی موجوں میں اضطراب نہیں



1 comment:

  1. Get the Dr. Iqbal Sahab Shayari and Quotes, poetry collection online in Urdu and English. Beautiful Shayari and Quotes of Dr. Iqbal Sahab.
    beautiful quotes by dr. iqbal sahab


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