Message of Allama Iqbal

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Mohammad Sohail Ahmed

IT was in 1877 that Allama Muhammad
Iqbal was born on 09 November and died
in 1938 after dreaming of Pakistan and handing it over to the founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions. He was born in Sialkot and settled in Lahore. He is called Iqbal Lahori by the Persians as most of his poetry was in Persian. Mr. Ghulam Qadir Fasih was his contemporary and friend and his son Zafar Iqbal was an admirer of Iqbal. He used to visit Allama Iqbal where other young boys of his age used to benefit from the thinker forum at Allama Iqbal’s residence near Macleod Road.He was very concerned about the future generations and their training for follow up of his vision and mission. It was necessary to interact with them and train them to take over the responsibilities. What was the message of Allama Muhammad Iqbal? The first thing was to make them powerful. For making them strong, he recommended modern education for the young generation. He got his son admitted in Central Model School Lahore. In his verses addressed to his son (Javed) in Zarbe Kaleem he says: If you are strong in your faith of one and only one Allah, you don’t fear anything may it be the western education.
Iqbal was a strong believer in one Allah. He was of the opinion that strong faith leads to development of strong character. A strong Self (Khudi) evolves with strong belief. This forms the basis of true glory for one in this world and in the hereafter. A successful person must have full trust in Allah, where he should bow and supplicate. Rest of the world and its divine glories will fall on his feet. During his epoch, Iqbal found that most of the nations had forgotten the real spirit of Islam. They lacked self-esteem, self-respect, true faith and all actions based on strong faith in Allah without assistance from any one which he termed as Khudi. In his book Zarb-e-Kaleem, {Marg-e-Khudi}, he categorically mentions the western nations, the eastern and Arab world as well as India to be in a state of failed humanity plagued with miseries and pathetic state of affairs owing to absence of Khudi. Here Iqbal seems to have felt pain for the entire humanity.
In his message, he reminds us that the problem of worshiping idols is that one starts to bow in front of everyone and falls from the divine status of spiritual esteem thereby losing his Khudi. He compared the true Muslim, an embodiment of self-recognized eminence with ocean that contains every drop of blood which in itself is an incredible ocean. Another important message to youth in Bal-e-Jibreel he advised the Muslim youth to avoid comfort or luxuries as ‘nations earn no glories high if youths zest for challenges cease’. Allama Iqbal identified and explained to the Muslims of Indian subcontinent that the Muslims had a unique identity that could not be compared with the West as “the way of Arab Prophet be the way that suits the nation best”. In his poem, ‘the Muslim Nation’ {Bang-e-Dara} he states that the western nations are based on ethnic identities in a state where, ‘the strength of Muslims lies in brotherhood of religion serene’. He also mentions that the uniting force for the Muslims is their belief and religion. It is this solid bond that unites people with diverse backgrounds. During a recent interview, at Oxford Press book festival an individual attacked the Two Nation concept given by Allama Iqbal and recommended that Pakistan could only progress if it sheds away two nations concept. If, for the sake of discussion, we say good bye to two nation concept, then the country can’t exist anymore as mentioned in the above stated poem. In another poem Allama Iqbal says that a secular ethnic Nation State is a false idol and Muslims have been led astray in an unprecedented manner due to the modern age scholars presenting ‘fiery wines never sipped before’.
A famous scholar of the subcontinent Abul Hassan Nadvi stated to one of the cognizance of Allama Iqbal that when he read the poetry of Iqbal, he felt that his reading rekindled the spirit of Islam after he had gone through his poetry. One of Allama Iqbal’s contemporary wrote a book on the history of Islam. Initially it was in the form of periodical. Later it was published and the preface of the book was written by the famous poet. In the preface, he states that in order to create Akhlaq-e-Hasna among the Muslims it is necessary that common Muslims should know the events related to their elders so that they can learn from their conduct. The state of awakening of a nation can be judged from their interest about the history of their elders. Iqbal writes that from the observation it can be seen that there is visible awakening among the masses and they carefully listen to the historic material. In the end he wishes that every Muslim house must read the book. Therefore, it can be concluded that we must educate and update our children and the young generation about the Islamic history to prepare good citizens with high level of personal conduct. Allama Iqbal was a great poet. He was a great thinker and a great deal more. A man of high moral fiber, a person sensitive to the problems of Muslims. He says in one of his poems that a thinking poet is like an eye of the nation, whenever there is any problem in any part of the body, the eyes start to exhibit the pain in the form of tears. Similarly, the poet feels the pain of the Nation. This anniversary is particularly reminding us that the pain of Allama would have been extremely excruciating if he would have been alive today to see the state of Kashmiri Muslims.
—The author is a freelance writer and Retired commodore of Pakistan Navy.