Iqbal’s dreams for an ideal homeland | Pakistan Today

Iqbal’s dreams for an ideal homeland

  • Remembering Iqbal on his 142nd birth anniversary

By Muhammad Sohail Ahmed

It was in 1938 that Allama Iqbal died on 21 April 1939 after dreaming of Pakistan and handing it over to the founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his companions. He was born in Sialkot in 1877 and settled in Lahore. He is called Iqbal Lahori by the Persians as most of his poetry is 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 thinkers’ forum at Allama Iqbal’s residence near Macleod Road. He was very concerned about 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 their 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 {to Javed} in Zarb-e-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 believed that strong faith leads to the 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 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 a strong faith in Allah without assistance from anyone 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 the absence of khudi. Here Iqbal seems to have felt pain for the entire humanity.

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

In his message, he reminds us that the problem with worshipping 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-recognised eminence with an 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 youth’s zest for challenges ceases’.

Allama Iqbal identified and explained to the Muslims of the 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 thy nation- best”. In his poem, The Muslim Nation (Baang-e-Dara) he states that the Western nations are based on ethnic identities in a state where ‘The strength of Muslims lies in the brotherhood of religion Serene’. He also mentions that the uniting force for Muslims is their belief and religion. It is this solid bond that unites people with diverse backgrounds.

During a recent interview, at a book festival an individual attacked the Two-Nation concept given by Allama Iqbal and recommended that Pakistan could only progress if it sheds the two-nation concept. If for the sake of discussion, we say goodbye to the 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 Hasan Nadwi stated to one of the cognisances of Allama Iqbal that when he read the poetry of Iqbal, he felt that his reading rekindled the spirit of Islam. One of Allama Iqbal’s contemporaries wrote a book on the history of Islam. Initially, it was in the form of the periodical. Later it was published and the preface of the book was written by the famous poet. In the preface, he states that to create akhlaq-e-hasna among the Muslims common Muslims must 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 people’s interest in the history of their elders. Iqbal writes that from the observation it can be seen that there is a 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 Islamic history to prepare good citizens with a 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 fibre, 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, he can be reached at msoha [email protected]



Top