M Zahid Rifat
DR Muhammad Iqbal was a great thinker and poet who is paid rich tributes for his contributions towards creation of Pakistan by presenting concept of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent generally round the year but particularly on his birth anniversary on Nov 9 and death anniversary on April 21 every year. It is well-known that Allama Muhammad Iqbal hailed from a Kashmiri family which had migrated from Kashmir in the early part of 19th century and settled in Sialkot.
Allama Iqbal had lived at several places in Lahore for varying periods including upper storey of a shop of Attar Chand Kapoor Booksellers in Anarkal, Mcleod Roadand also somewhere inside Bhatti Gate from 1906 to 1935.Construction of Javed Manzil on road from Lahore Railway Station to Garhi Shahu at the back of Cairns Railways Hospital, which has since been turned into Iqbal Museum housing personal belongings etc of the great thinker and poet, makes interesting story which may not be know to many. While residing on Mcleod Road, in 1934 Allama Iqbal had bought a piece of land measuring about seven kanals in open auction at Mauza Garhi Shahu in the name of his younger son Javid Iqbal. When the construction of the house was completed at an total cost of Rs 43,025, he had shifted there from Mcleod Road.
Javed Iqbal was the owner of the house and Allama Iqbal lived there on rent. Allama Iqbal had gor written a document on stamp paper in May 1935 according to which he had rented three front rooms for Rs 50 per month and the amount was paid regularly to his son/landlord Javed Iqbal and receipt of the same duly acquired. Within four days of shifting to the newly-constructed house,Allama Iqbal suffered a great personal loss when his wife and mother of Javed Iqbal, Sardar Begum, expired on May 24, 1935.
Allama Iqbal had lived at Javed Manzil till his death on April 21, 1038, nine year ahead of his concept of a separate homeland for the Muslims was translated into reality under inspiring leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on August 14, 1947. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah along with his sister Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah had visited Allama Iqbal at Javed Manzil in 1936. Hindu leader Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was also a great admirer of Allama Iqbal and had visited him at the Javed Manzil. Transformation of Javed Manzil, the last abode of Allama Iqbal, into Iqbal Museum is also story of great interest and will be narrated some other time in bit detail.
In brief here, on the asking of military ruler, President/Chief of Army Staff General Muhammad Ziaul Haq, Dr Javed Iqbal sold Javed Manzil along with all personal documents, belongings and articles of personal use to the Federal Government for Rs 3.5 million and it was turned into Iqbal Museum in December 1977. Dr Javid Iqbal had purchased a bungalow of his choice, as per direction of the President/COAS to the Punjab Government, on Main Boulevard in Gulberg Lahore where had lived till his death more than year back with wife Justice (retd) Nasira Javid Iqbal.
Dr Javid Iqbal’s bungalow in Gulberg is also a place of great interest for the researchers and scholars of Iqbaliyat, in one of its room there is a big mural which is the great art work of prominent Pakistani artist Jimmy Engineer who had translated Allama Iqbal’s collection of Persian poetry “Javid Namah” into colours on the asking of Dr Javid Iqbal in 1980/81. It was the desire of Allama Iqbal expressed in one of is letter to son Javid that ‘Javid Namah” be translated into a mural by any artist. The great thinker and poet had stated in the first instance, no artist can do that but if any artist dares and accomplishes this challenging task, he will attain immense fame and reputation both nationally and internationally. Jimmy Engineer had undertaken this challenging task and accomplished it successfully in one year while staying at the bungalow of Dr Javid Iqbal all the time.
So, there is lot to see for the researchers and scholars of Iqbaliyat at the Iqbal Museum , which is looking for the visitors as none goes there despite the fact entry is free, and at the bungalow of Dr Javid Iqbal on Main Boulevard in Gulberg Lahore where Jimmy Engineer’s mural of “Javid Namah” may be of some interest for many.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.