Dr Sir Allama Iqbal
9th of November reminds me birth of a great Poet, Philosopher and thinker Sir Dr Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal, he was born on 9th of November, 1877, in undivided part of India Sialkot today presently in Pakistan. This day is celebrated in almost one hundred countries where people from subcontinent and other countries where his poetry is understood and taught observe it as “Iqbal day” . After having command over traditional languages including, Arabic, Persian, English and Urdu, he attained his M.A. degree in Philosophy from the Scottish Mission School. He continued his education of Doctorate in the development of Metaphysics from Germany. He also possessed the degree of Barat Law. Moreover, getting influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold one of his philosophy teacher at Government College Lahore, he went to Europe for his further education. He achieved the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1906, given the name of barrister at Lincoln’s Inn in the same year.
In his entire life , he followed different professions at different times. He worked as a professor of philosophy, practiced law, took part in politics and joined the round table conference. Eventually, he became the outstanding international poet and and through extraordinary poetic expressions he conveyed the Idea of pluralism, tolerance and encouraged youth for meaningful ventures and endeavor in life to achieve goals. The most interesting part of his poeticjouney is that his major portion of writing is in Persian though having Urdu as his mother tongue. His poetic mastery is compared with famous poets of all time Ghalib and Meer. He composed his famous lectures known as Reconstruction of Religious thoughts in English also. Scholars from his era tagged him as the “Poet of the east”, His followers remember him for his contribution as one who brought the philosophy of Khudi, called for self-realization and a very instrumental tool to enhance and pioneer the human potential of self.
Iqbal wrote his first poem at the age of five though his poetry is versatile and having multi dimensions shows very influencesinspirations of famous Persian poet and scholar Rumi. I am compelled to remember him for his contribution for also secular image of his human nature and a staunch teacher of love humanity and brotherhood which is quite obvious in his poetry. His poetry not only potrays the great respect for other religions but also gives the message of respecting their followers. If we have an insight tour of his poetry we find him writing about other religious divinities like Lord Rama, Guru Nanak , Buddha and many contemporary personalities of his time like Mussolini, Lenin, Shakespeare, Carl Marx and Mughal emperor Humayun. He penned very famous poem for children and youth which are part of syllabus in schools in many parts of the subcontinent .
In his poem Lab pe aatihaidua at one place it says, Ho merey dam say yunhimereywatan key zeenat/ Jistarahphool say hotihaichamankizeenat. (May my homeland through me attain elegance… As the garden through flowers attains elegance).
Allama Iqbal is the same poet who also wrote India’s well-known national song Saarejahan se achcha Hindustan hamara.His emphasis on education and overcoming the social problems were also brought into the light. Iqbal as visionary and a reformer had a deep understanding of contemporary regional and international issues whether it is related to independent movement in India against British colony, issues related to Middle east or formation state of Israel and fall of Othman empire during world war-I. In many of his couplets he highlighted the aftermaths and dark part of the capitalism and transition of European society from religious to atheism which was spreading through Russia and rights of the deprived workers in capitalism.
We find Allama Iqbal totally a different person when it comes to love for Prophet Mohammed and deep understanding of Quran and Islamic values. He had very high values to Islamic civilization which he expressed in poetic words and many of the scholar’s attribute Iqbal as a divine poet and he alienate himself from traditional poets by saying
Meri Nuwa-e-Preshan Ko Shayari Na Samajh
Ke Main Hun Mehram-e-Raaz-e-Darun-e-Maikhana
Take not my rhymes for poet’s art,
I know the divine secrets of revealing the truth .
Few of his most renowned books are; Bang e Dira ,Armaghan-e-Hijaz, Bal-e-Jibrael ,Zarb e kaleemetc and jawed nama ..and others which gave him lot of success. Especially his poem Shikwa (complain to the god) created hype as many Muslims scholars were concerned that how he can complain to Almighty god. But after Jawab e Shikwa, (Answer to the complain by God) everybody was not only impressed but also loved his poetry style.
Sir Allama Iqbal died on the 21st of April, 1938, but his remarkable work and beauty of poetic skill will remain alive throughout generation
Quwwat-e-Ishq Se Har Past Ko Bala Kar De
Dehr Mein Ism-e-Muhammad (PBUH) Se Ujala Kar De
Raise you, through Love, all humble to greatness and to fame;
Enlighten you the groping world with dear Muhammad’s Name.
Mohammmed Abdul Azeem
Senior Structural Engineer