Turkey honours Allama Iqbal with ‘Service to Islam’ award

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Pakistan’s national poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal has been honoured in Turkey, through the conferment of the “Dost Award” for “Service to Islam.” Iqbal’s grandson, Walid Iqbal, received the award on behalf of the Iqbal family.
The impressive ceremony for the prestigious Dost Awards, usually conferred on one Turkish national and one international personality, was held in Konya. Turkish scholar Prof. Dr. Süleyman Uludag received the award, said a statement issued here by the Embassy of Pakistan on Saturday.
Turkish Minister for Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci handed over the Award to Walid Iqbal. Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood was present on the occasion.
The Awards ceremony, which was preceded by an international symposium titled “Mevlana’s Love for the Prophet”, and a mystic music concert, was organized by the Konya Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, International Mevlana Foundation, Turkish Women Cultural Association (TURKKAD), and the Kerim Education, Culture and Health Foundation.
Addressing the guests, Minister Nabi Avci stated that the awards ceremony was organized at a time of celebrating the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, coinciding with the commemoration of Shab-e-Uroos of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. “Through this Award, we honour late Muhammad Iqbal for his contributions to the cause of Muslim political thought which still inspires people in the entire World,” said Minister Avci.
Walid Iqbal, in his speech, noted that holding of the Awards ceremony in Konya had special importance keeping in view the spiritual connection between Iqbal and Rumi. He said Muhammad Iqbal in his poetry, especially in “Javid Nama”, had referred to Rumi as Peer-e-Rumi or his mentor. He also highlighted Iqbal’s love for the Prophet (PBUH) as well as Iqbal’s tremendous efforts for unity of the Muslim Ummah.
Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kilic, in his speech titled “Prophet Muhammad in Mevlana”, also paid glowing tributes to Muhammad Iqbal. He quoted several verses from Iqbal’s poetry, composed in solidarity with the Turkish martyrs of Tripoli and Canakkale wars during the Ottoman times.
Separately, felicitating Walid Iqbal and the Iqbal family, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood highlighted the depth of love, affection and respect among the Turkish people and leadership for Muhammad Iqbal (as Allama Iqbal is known in Turkey) because of his immense services for Islam and contributions to Turkish causes including during the Balkan wars and Turkey’s War of Independence.—NNI

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