Iqbal Day: A tribute to spiritual father | By Tasneem Shafiq

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Iqbal Day: A tribute to spiritual father

THE Birth anniversary of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal is celebrated on 9 November every year in Pakistan as Iqbal Day. He was born in 1877.

Iqbal was a great poet, philosopher, and a great inspiration for the Pakistan Movement, due to which he came to be known as ‘spiritual father of Pakistan’.

He is considered to be one of the most important figures in Urdu literature. He had literary work in Persian and Urdu.

His best-known Urdu work was Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i-Kalim and a part of Armughan-e-Hijaz.

His best-known Persian work was Asrar-e-Khudi. His poetry awakened the feeling of Islamic nationality among the Muslims of India.

This sense of a single unity was a major factor in the creation of Pakistan. Iqbal hailed the creation of Pakistan in his most profound and witty poetry; ‘Sary Jahan se acha Hindustan hamara’.

He wanted everyone to unite under one umbrella. Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India during Allahabad address.

This makes him the first ever politician to articulate the base of what is known as Two-Nation Theory.

He mentioned that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India.

Although Iqbal is most renowned as an author, he has conjointly been acclaimed as a contemporary Muslim thinker.

He defined the Muslims of India as a nation and suggested that there could be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation and under a federal system, the Muslim majority units were given the same privileges which were to be given to the Hindu majority units.

The government of Pakistan has declared him as a national poet. On this day, the country pays a tribute to Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the “Poet of the East”.

It was the only way in which both the Muslims and the Hindus could prosper in accordance with their respective cultural values.

Allama Iqbal experienced intellectual growth and conveyed and nurtured his thoughts to the Muslims of India to understand and strife for their separate identity.

He believed that the ultimate goal of Muslims should be the strengthening of Muslim nationalism for the attainment of Islamic universalism.

He did not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic State would construe a theocracy, even as he rejected secularism and nationalism but his perception of an Islamic State is a State that attempts to realize the spiritual principles of Tawhid, equality, solidarity, and freedom in a definite human organization.

He is known as the ideological founder of the state, who inspired the Pakistan Movement. He propounded the two-nation theory and the ideology of Pakistan Tehreek at a time when even the biggest of the Ashraaf leaders did not have courage to publically make a case for partition of India.

Allama Iqbal emphasized that unlike other religions, Islam came with “legal concepts” with “civic significance,” with its “religious ideals” considered as inseparable from social order.

The construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim.

He stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles.

The later part of Iqbal’s life was concentrated on political activity. He would travel across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, and he reiterated his ideas in his 1932 address and during the Third Round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces.

He died on 21 April 1938 in Lahore, and unfortunately could not witness manifestation of his dream; the creation of Pakistan.

Iqbal’s message through his poetic and philosophical works guides us in all the important and essential areas of our lives.

It guides us towards a better life and being a better person by developing virtues that are characteristic of successful and happy people.

—The writer has remained associated with the Institute for Strategic Studies and ISPR.

 

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