Author: Prof. Nadeem Ikram
The 9th of November 1877 is a memorable day in the annals of history. It is the birthday of Allama Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan. The great poet, philosopher was born in Sialkot (سیالکوٹ). After receiving preliminary education from his native city, he came to Lahore from where he did his graduation and Masters. He served as a professor for two years in Oriental College, Lahore. He later proceeded to England where he studied law. He secured his doctorate from Munich, Germany and finally qualified as a lawyer.
Allama Iqbal (علامہ اقبال) returned to India in 1908. He started teaching and practicing law. He also started writing poetry. He was grieved to see the miserable plight of Muslims all over the World. He expressed the same grief over his verses. He tried to instill a new passion in the dormant and sluggish spirit of Muslims who were poor, illiterate and backward. Allama lqbal was gifted with amazing innate poetic genius. His poetry gave Muslims a message of hope and optimism. He pressed upon them to awake from the deep slumber and start working hard. He inspired them to seek knowledge. He motivated the youth through his verses to be practical. Iqbal believed that the young men had great potential and they could guide Muslims towards progress and prosperity.
lqbal’s “Nojwan-نوجوان” is a true Muslim, “Mard-e-Momin” (مردمومن), “Mujahid” (مجاہد), Man of “Khudi” (خودی) and an optimistic person who can even conquer the stars.
“Mohabbat mujhe un jawanoon sy hai – Sitaron py jo daalty hain kamand”
(محبت مجھے ان جوانوں سے ہے -ستاروں پے جو ڈالتے ہیں کمند)
Iqbal, through his verses, stressed upon the readers that men can be masters of their fate. They should not be governed by fate. Their sincere, true and earnest endeavor can take them to sublime heights of self determination.
“Khudi ko kar buland itna, k har taqdeer sy pehly
Khuda bandy sy khud pochy, bata teri raza kya hai”
(خودی کو کر بلند اتنا کہ ہر تقدیر سے پھلے – خدا بندے سے خود پوچھے بتا تیری رضا کیا ہے)
Iqbal preached love of Islam and the Holy Prophet (May peace be upon him) through his verses. In his famous poem Armaghan-e-Hijaz, he advised the youth to seek guidance and knowledge from the Holy Quran. He advised them to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet (May peace be upon him) in true letter and spirit. Loyalty with the Holy Prophet (May peace be upon him) and adherence to his teachings can bring their indomitable success in this material world.
“Ki Muhammad sy wafa tu ne tu ham tere hain
ye jahan chez hai kya loh O kalam tere hain”
(کی محمد سے وفا تم نے تو ہم تیرے ہیں – یہ جہاں چیز ہے کیا لوح و قلم تیرے ہیں)
Iqbal was a great Muslim poet. Through his verses, he tried to teach the Muslims what they had forgotten. He made them remember their glorious past. He inspired the Muslims to break the shackles of slavery. He advised them to educate themselves. He taught them a lesson of “self-esteem”. The poetry of Iqbal is a permanent source of joy for the readers. The quality of lqbal’s verse is that it does not sadden the reader; rather it urges them to action. Every verse of Iqbal is full of passion for life. His poetry arouses patriotic sentiments.
Iqbal is admired as a prominent classical poet by Pakistani, Indian, Iranian and other International scholars. His poetry has universal appeal. He is also recognized as a highly acclaimed Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times. His first book “Asrari-e-Khudi” (اسرار خودی), appeared in Persian language in 1915 followed by Ramooz-e-Bekhudi (رموز بے خودی), Payam-e-Mashriq (پیام مشرق) and Zabur-e-Anjam (زبورانجم), Bang-e-dara (بانگ درا), Bal-e-Jibril (بال جبریل), Zarb-e-kaleem (ضرب کلیم), Shikwa (شکوہ) and Jawab-e-Shikwa (جواب شکوہ) are counted among his best.
As a political activist and social worker lqbal truly fulfilled his political and social obligations. It was he who motivated the Quaid-e-Azam (قائد اعظم) to take up the command of the Muslim League and launch a political movement for the establishment of a separate independent Muslim country. In the annual session of the Muslim League in Allahabad in 1930, he suggested a solution to the discontent of India. He maintained that the Muslims were different in their religious beliefs and traditions from the other nations living in the sub-continent. He said that the concept of nationality of the Muslims is quite different from those of other nations of the World. He suggested that India should be divided into two nation states. The territories of the Muslim majority should be made a new Muslim state.
In 1940, The Muslim League passed the historic Pakistan Resolution which later paved the way for the establishment of Pakistan. Allama lqbal is also known as “Muffakir-e-Pakistan” (مفکر پاکستان) and “Hakeem-ul-Ummat” (حکیم المت). Iqbal passed away in Lahore on April 21, 1938 without seeing his dream of a separate homeland for Muslims materialize. But Pakistan did appear on the map of the world as an independent and sovereign Muslim state.
It is necessary that we should seek guidance and inspiration from lqbal’s poetry. lqbal’s poetry should be taught in educational institutions. If we follow his poetry, we can redeem ourselves and regain our glorious past.
“Qafla Ho Gya Asuda-e-Manzil Mera”