Iqbal - a man of vision
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - so goes an old adage. It has stood the test of time because it quintessentially epitomizes the prime rationale
behind the rise and fall of nations all through history. And it is Muslim India's good fortune that it found a man of vision in Iqbal at a most critical juncture
in their 1200-year old encounter with Hinduism in India.
As seer who could see beyond time and space, an outstanding intellectual, who had the ability to analyse the Indian Muslim situation in the light of its past
history and current predicament and give serious thought to their short- and long-term problems, he envisioned for Muslim India a destiny. What was most
remarkable about it was that while being congruent with the ideological legacy of Indian Islam, it provided a viable and constructive answer to Muslim India's
current problems and predilections.
That vision was spelled out and the contours of Muslim India's destiny delineated in Iqbal's presidential address to the annual session of All India Muslim League
at Allahabad in December 1930. The most important of his many political pronouncements concerning the Muslim destiny in India, this address was as significant as Quaid-i-Azam
Jinnah's presidential address to the League Lahore session in March 1940 which provided the background of, and the justification for, the adoption of the Lahore
Resolution (1940), later known as the Pakistan Resolution.
While Jinnah argued the case for separate Muslim nationhood at the micro level, Iqbal did it at the macro level; while Jinnah provided the political justification
of that nationhood in terms of an achievable goal, Iqbal presented its intellectual justification on the ideological plane. Devoid of such justification, an issue
cannot be intellectualized and it fails to find a viable solution.
In any case, it was Muslim India's good fortune that the protagonist of the ideal and the one who brought to fruition thought on the same lines, so that
the Allahabad address and the Lahore address together present a composite and well-integrated concept of Muslim nationhood.
In his 1930 address, Iqbal, if only because of his wide-ranging scholarship, his long insight into Muslim history (both in the subcontinent and elsewhere),
his close familiarity with the Muslim ethos, was able to envision and enunciate the intellectual justification of Muslim nationhood, of Muslim nationalism,
and for a separate Muslim national and cultural home in the subcontinent.
Iqbal justified Muslim India's claim to nationhood on the basis of the "moral consciousness" created among the Muslims by their allegiance to Islam, its ethics
and ethos and its institutions. He argued, "Islam, regarded as an ethical ideal plus a certain kind of polity - by which expression I mean a social structure
regulated by a legal system and animated by a specific ethical ideal - has been the chief formative factor in the life-history of the Muslims of India.
It has furnished those basic emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups, and finally transform them into a well-defined people,
possessing a moral consciousness of their own. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that India is perhaps the only country in the world where Islam, as a
people-building force, has worked at its best.
In India, as elsewhere, the structure of Islam as a society is almost entirely due to the working of Islam as a culture inspired by a specific ethical ideal.
What I mean to say is that Muslim society, with its remarkable homogeneity and inner unity, has grown to be what it is, under the pressure of the laws and
institutions associated with the culture of Islam."
It is important to remember that Iqbal believed in Islam "as a living force for freeing the outlook of man from its geographical limitations." He also believed
that "religion is a power of the utmost importance in the life of individuals as well as states." Above all, he believed that "Islam is itself destiny and
will not suffer a destiny."
Despite all this, he could not possibly ignore what was happening to Islam and the muslims in India and elsewhere. "True statesmanship", he told his Allahabad
audience, "cannot ignore facts, however unpleasant they may be. The only practical course is not to assume the existence of a state of things which does not exist,
but to recognize facts as they are, and to exploit them to our greatest advantage."
Hence Iqbal took cognizance of the fact that in an attempt to get rid of foreign domination, for successfully withstanding western designs as well as for rehabilitating
themselves, the Muslim countries had gone in for nationalism and nationalist movements, that the national idea was racializing the outlook of Muslims everywhere,
and that the growth of racial consciousness might mean "the growth of standards different and even opposed to the standards of Islam."
Since the people of India had refused to pay the price required for the formation of the kind of moral consciousness which, according to Renan, constitutes the
essence of national feeling and nationhood (as evidenced by the failure of Akbar, Kabir and Nanak to capture the imagination of the Indian masses, India at the
moment could not be considered a "nation" in the western sense of the terms.
And since, on the other hand, Islam had provided the Indian Muslims with a moral consciousness of their own, Iqbal argued, they were the only Indian people who
could aptly be described as a "nation" in the modern sense of the term. Having thus made out a cogent case for Muslim nationhood, Iqbal went on to suggest
a viable solution to India's communal problem: "a redistribution of British India", and territorial readjustment, which would ensure stable Muslim provinces
in the North-Western India.
It is in this context that Iqbal suggested the amalgamation of Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan into a single state and the formation
of an integrated North-West Indian Muslim state. He also suggested the exclusion of the Ambala Division and perhaps some of the districts where non-Muslims predominated,
with a view to making it less diverse and more unitary in population.
Iqbal's reasons in favour of this solution were unassailable. Since Indian nationalism was pro-Hindu and predominantly Hindu-oriented, the Muslims should construct
a separate "nationalism" of their own. Since the whole of India could not be won for Islam, if only because of the overwhelming Hindu majority, "the life
of Islam as a cultural force" in India must be saved by centralizing it "in a specified territory". This must be achieved by setting up "a consolidated
North-West Indian Muslim state", comprising "the most living portion of the Muslims of India."
It is also significant that Iqbal demanded the creation of "autonomous states" on the basis of "the unity of language, race, history, religion and identity
of economic interests", and that "in the best interests of both India and Islam."
Iqbal's elucidation of this last point is important: "For India, it means security and peace resulting from an internal balance of power; for Islam, an opportunity
to rid itself of the stamp that Arabian imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilize its laws, its education, its culture, and to bring them into closer
contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern times."
Two years earlier, in the course of his famous Lectures, Iqbal had enunciated two basic principles. First, he called on every Muslim nation to "sink into
her deeper self, temporarily focus her vision on herself alone, until all are strong and powerful to form a living family of republics." Second, he warned
his audience that Islam "recognizes artificial boundaries and racial distinctions for facility of reference only, and not for restricting the social horizon of
The destiny that Iqbal envisaged for Indian Muslims in 1930 represented a political expression in the peculiar Indo-Muslim context of these twin principles. For
while proposing a national or territorial solution to the Indian Muslim problem, Iqbal - unlike leaders of other Muslim countries such as Turkey, Iran and Egypt
- was against restricting the social horizon" of the Indian Muslims. Thus, he laid the groundwork for delineating the demand for Pakistan, which the Muslims
of the subcontinent finally adopted as their main political objective, in essentially Islamic terms, signifying a renewed interest in international Islam.
Iqbal: a mirror of Indian Muslim psyche
By Prof Sharif al Mujahid
MULTIDIMENSIONAL are Iqbal’s thoughts as are his intellectual forays and philosophical shifts at various times in his four-decade long active career as a poet and philosopher. Yet all said and done, it was given to the renowned Professor Hamilton A.R. Gibb to provide a perspective on how to look at him. This Gibb did in his Chicago lectures (1946) on “Modern trends in Islam” which have since been published under the same title.
In this he perceptively observes, “Perhaps the right way to look at Iqbal is to see in him one who reflected and put into vivid words the diverse currents of ideas that were agitating the minds of Indian Muslims. His sensitive poetic temperament mirrored all that impinged upon it — the backward looking romanticism of the liberals, the socialist leanings of the younger intellectuals, the longing of the militant Muslim League for a strong leader to restore the political power of Islam. Every Indian Muslim, dissatisfied with the state of things — religious, social, or political — could and did find in Iqbal a sympathizer with his troubles and his aspirations and an adviser who bade him seek the way out by self-expression.”
This means that despite being a creative thinker, Iqbal was addressing the situation at hand. The ideas he enunciated, though intrinsically creative in themselves, and abiding in appeal beyond a particular time and place, were yet primarily meant to salvage the bleak Muslim situation in India and the world at large. This makes Iqbal, in a sense, oriented towards the Indian Muslim psyche and situation.
This framework makes his periodic forays into discussing and suggesting solutions to the problems of the Muslim world at large and his consuming concern with the “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” (1930) — a logical extension of his role as a modern Muslim ideologue, attempting to analyze and see Muslim India’s problems and predicament on a wider canvas and in a total context. After all, Iqbal regarded India, if only because of the Muslim numerical strength, as “the greatest Muslim country in the world”, to quote his own words. These tasks, both critical and onerous as they were, he fulfilled squarely.
His emotion-leaden and soul-lifting poetry was the medium Iqbal chose to bring his people a new awareness of the depths of degradation to which they had fallen, to diagnose their ailments, their predicament and the prime cause of their decline, and to warn them of the dire consequences if they failed to mend themselves in good time. A more effective medium he could not have possibly chosen.
For one thing, poetry is the most powerful medium for touching the deepest emotions of a people and for driving a message into their subconscious. For another, the Indian Muslims had been among the most poetry-oriented people in the world, with a long tradition of readily taking to heart what was written in verse. Political orations may stir an audience into action, but their impact is bound to be restricted to a particular audience, and dissipate with time and events. In contrast, a poetic message seeps through the ethos of a nation, working on its psyche all the while.
Hence Iqbal achieved through his poems what a thousand speeches could not. But for the silent mental preparation that had gone on for long decades, the people would not have responded to the call of political leaders — in this case, especially of Jinnah during the 1937-47 epochal decade. No wonder, the pandals of the League sessions from Lucknow (1937) onwards were plastered with Iqbal’s couplets, calling on Muslims to rise and take their destiny in their own. Iqbal was quoted oft and on to rouse Muslims to a new awareness of their destiny. All this had an electrifying effect on the audience since Iqbal, though generally complex and couched in an appropriate idiom, was, straightforward and yielded clear guidelines.
Besides being a poet of extraordinary merit, Iqbal was a thinker of a high order. Thus, while Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulana Mohammad Ali and Jinnah provided political leadership to Muslims, Iqbal took upon himself the task of setting the intellectual tone for Muslim thought and action. (previously, this was done by Sir Syed’s, writings and the Aligarh school). In addressing himself to this task, Iqbal brought a revolution in Muslim thinking at various levels; he also made a significant contribution to keeping them stolidly anchored to their pristine ideology and historical legacy.
His role in awakening the Muslims to a new consciousness began in 1899 when he recited a poem at the annual session of the Anjuman-i-Islam, Lahore. His moving “Nala-i-Yatim” was symbolic of the echoing cry of the faceless masses of the Indian Muslims, who had long felt themselves sidelined neglected.
Like Syed Ahmad Khan and Jinnah, Iqbal had started out as an Indian nationalist, but ended up at the threshold of Muslim nationalism. While the former two came at this threshold directly, Iqbal did it via the pan-Islamism route. With Muhammad Ali, he shared the passion for pan-Islamism. In terms of ideological orientation, these three trends at various stages in Iqbal’s poetic and public life represent his point of convergence with the three most important political leaders Muslim India had produced during the ninety years of British imperial rule (1858-1947). When Iqbal sailed for Europe in 1908 for higher studies, he had gone there as an Indian nationalist, but he returned in 1911 as a pan-Islamist. His European sojourn had acted as a catalyst, enabling him to look at events and developments in a wider perspective. Thus, he came to be disillusioned with the very concept of nationalism, which had spawned inequality and discrimination (even as the European credo of laissez-faire had between man and man) and bred racial discrimination.
What pained him most was the impact of nationalism on various Muslim countries, eroding the pan-Islamic concept, enfeebling the Muslim world and laying it open to European aggression, and exploitation. To the ailments the Muslim world was afflicted with, Iqbal found the solution in Islam and its message. In order to reach the innermost recesses of their consciousness, he invoked the past glory of Islam, telling Muslims of the accomplishments of their ancestors. In so doing, he tried to fight off the prevalent slough of despondency, raising drooping spirit of Muslims and replacing it with a sense of soaring confidence.
Next, he grave them a message of hope. He told them that they could still redeem themselves if they could only recapture their soul and regain their pristine moral and spiritual values. He emphasized the imperative need to develop human qualities and the right type of character. He attributed their degeneration to their taking to a life of passivity and resignation for several generations. That debilitating trend could be reversed by opting for initiative and endeavour which, he believed, Islam stood for. To him, an active, struggling non-believer was preferable to a sleeping Muslim.
But if Muslims were to be beckoned to a new destiny, they must first be confirmed as Muslims and they must own up their pristine values. This was all the more necessary in the context of the rise of positivism and skepticism, which posed a serious challenge to the modern Muslim.
To Iqbal, “the task before the modern Muslim is to re-think the whole system of Islam without completely breaking with the past”. And this crucial task he undertook in a series of lectures since compiled as “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930).” In these he argued that Islam represented a philosophy of action, for faith without action was a life bereft of any significance.
A true Muslim should always be on the move: he should have an energetic and an active interest in the material reality around him; he should cultivate the sciences and mould the forces of life rather than submit to them. To him, “here on the path halt is improper,/As in rest remains concealed the death;/Only those on move have gone ahead./And who tarried get to be trampled!” Again: “from Khizr you should ask the secret of life,/ Through ceaseless efforts all things exist here!”
That mnas toil and labour, ceaseless efforts and relentless exertions alone will lead to success — to new vistas, greener pastures and goals. He wished Muslims to become dynamic, enterprising and assertive as in early Islam. He wished them to realize, own up and raise their “khudi”, and his doctrine of ‘self’ was meant to strengthen through moral and intellectual power lying within oneself which can enable him to master the world around, besides fulfilling Allah’s will.
Thus, Muslims could remain Muslims and yet enjoy the fruits of modern science and civilization. Yet another crucial task still remained — that is, to spell out the destiny for Indian Muslims. This Iqbal did in is Muslim League Allahabad (1930) address. Here, for the first time, he set out to delineate and address their psychic needs and political aspirations. As a piece of political discourse this address was unique: it spelt out in some detail the intellectual justification for the Muslims’ aspirations for a separate nationhood and a separate national existence.
Seldom does a poet exert such profound influence on the course of history and in changing the destiny of a nation. But Iqbal did because his accomplishments extended far beyond the realm of mere imagination and into the sphere of objective realities, because in the final years of his eventful life he donned the mantle of an ideologue, besides being a national poet.
And, to be sure, all of Iqbal’s efforts throughout the whole span of his active life were directed towards the regeneration of Muslims and the resurgence of Islam.
Scholars of Iqbaliat are aware that Iqbal is a multi-dimensional personality and his thought can be examined from different angles. However, the basic idea on which he constructed the superstructure of his philosophy and contributed to the cultural renaissance of Islam is his concept of the "Self". With his emphasis on the "Self", Iqbal desired the re-birth of the spirit of inquisitiveness and defiance among the Muslims so that they as individuals and as a society re-discovered their lost position in the fields of creativity and innovation.
According to his definition Islam in not a religion in the ancient sense of the word. He maintains: "It is an attitude-an attitude, that is to say, of freedom and even of defiance of the universe. It is really a protest against the entire outlook of the ancient world. Briefly it is the discovery of man." Therefore in his perception Islam as a religion and as a culture is humanistic and egalitarian. Any interpretation of Islam which sanctifies elitism of any variety and discriminates between man and man is not acceptable to Iqbal.
In the sphere of politics of Muslim India, his concept of the "Self" led eventually to the development of self-awareness amongst the divided and fragmented Muslims as a nation. Thus his vigorous poetry created a nation out of a scattered multitude. He has correctly stated: "Nations are born in the hearts of poets; they prosper and die in the hands of politicians."
He dreamt of carving out a state out of the Muslim majority areas of the North - West of the Indian Sub-continent and preached that they should claim their right of self-determination as an independent cultural unit. He even persuaded Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to return from England and to lead the Muslims to the goal of Pakistan. Quaid-i-Azam’s efforts bore fruit and Pakistan was established as a Muslim nation-state. Consequently, the foundations of this State are laid on Iqbalian Idealism of "Individual Self" and "Collective Self" of the Muslim community.
Jinnah once remarked that Iqbal was one of the few individuals who originally thought of the feasibility of carving out an "Islamic" state in the historical homelands of Muslims in the Indian Sub-continent. In other words, Iqbalian Idealism was not only responsible for the creation of a new nation and a new state, but it also resulted in the development of Iqbal’s concept of the political and social order of this new State. The demand for the creation of Pakistan, in the eyes of Iqbal did not imply the establishment of any specific kind of sectarian Muslim State. It was a State for anyone who considered himself religiously and culturally a Muslim.
In view of the human and natural resources of the territories which were to constitute Pakistan, Iqbal was convinced that the separation of these areas from India would resolve the Muslim’s problems of economic development. Thus by reconciling traditional Islamic values with modern liberal ideas Iqbal highlighted the broad principles of a modern Muslim entity, and provided a political and intellectual framework of a new modern Islamic democratic welfare state, which Pakistan was expected to be.
If one tries to elucidate the main features of Iqbalian Islamic State, one can proceed with the argument that the State in Islam has always been in the process of becoming. Its political order is distinct from its legal order, because a state becomes "Islamic" only when it enforces Islamic laws for its Muslim citizens.
Although in the Prophetic era certain guiding constitutional principles were laid down, politically the state in Islam was not considered a finished product. During the Republican period, different experiments of constitutional dispensation were made namely: election, nomination, election through an electoral college and referendum. Thereafter establishment of numerous forms of autocratic monarchy, based on coercion and force became the order of the day until the abolition of the Caliphate and Sultanate in Turkey in 1924.
Iqbal realized that modern Islam requires emancipation from the medieval fancies of theologians and jurists, and proclaimed: "Spiritually we are living in a prison-house of thoughts and emotions which during the course of centuries, we have weaved round ourselves". It is in this background that he rejected the dynastic/hereditary Caliphate, Imamate or Sultanate as outmoded forms of government which the Muslims evolved in the past. Iqbal believed that the powers of the Caliph can be exercised by the popularly elected Muslim Legislative Assembly which would constitute a modern form of "Ijma" (consensus of the community).
In his view the Quranic rule of obeying those who exercise authority, from amongst you, in fact means obeying only those leaders who are like you in status, and not Kings, Sultans or Military Dictators. Similarly the Quranic command to decide matters through mutual consultation implies the establishment and supremacy of a Parliament for such consultations. Like many modem political thinkers Iqbal criticizes the western form of democracy as a political system, which is flawed in many ways. But as there is no other acceptable alternative, he advances the viewpoint that the establishment of popularly elected legislative assembly in his contemplated State would be a return to the original purity of Islam.
In Iqbalian terms, secularism is rooted in the spirit. If secularism means guaranteeing the rights of religious freedom and equality of all the citizens by the state, then it cannot be opposed as according to Iqbal Tawhid (God’s Unity) stands for human solidarity, human equality and human freedom. Iqbal’s Islamic State is expected to have "mixed laws." Islamic laws would apply not only to the Muslim citizens whereas the minorities would have the freedom to be governed under their own personal religious or customary codes of law. He takes pains in explaining that the division of the religious and political functions in his Islamic State does not amount to the separation of Church and State. It is only a division of functions.
Iqbal was the first Muslim thinker in South Asia who claimed that the real object of Islam is to establish a spiritual Democracy. Iqbal does not explain from where he derived this idea. Probably his concept of the state in Islam as a spiritual democracy implies a state in which all religions are equally free, genuinely tolerated, respected, accepted and protected. Thus Iqbal’s Islamic State stands for religious and cultural pluralism and peaceful coexistence.
As for Islamic legislation in Iqbal’s proposed Islamic State, he urges that "Ijtehad" must be adopted as a legislative process in the Parliament. He is in agreement with the modern Muslim liberal’s claim to re-interpret the foundational legal principles of Islam in the light of their own experience and the changed conditions of modern life. He recommends that every generation of Muslims should be permitted to solve their own problems, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors.
For Iqbal, the establishment of Pakistan was not an end in itself. He wanted Pakistan to become a model Islamic welfare State which should facilitate the unification of the fragmented Muslim world. He has even discussed the possibility of how, after each of them achieving strength through a uniform democratic political and social system, the Muslim nation-states could be joined with one another through bilateral or multilateral treaties to eventually form a living family of republics. But this ideal of Iqbal can only be realized if Pakistan could itself become a model State as visualized by Iqbal.
Iqbalian idealism is an appropriation example of the fusion of some of the Islamic principles with the new liberal ideas. Clearly he was ahead of his times as the Muslims are not yet ready to accept all his views. Iqbal’s western critics may find his concept of modern Islamic State as anchored in some form of secular humanism or liberal Unitarian humanism. To Iqbal, the spirit of Islam is capable to assimilating all the new ideas of other civilizations, giving them its own synthesized direction.
Modern Islam in South Asia produced a series of guides for the Muslim community in the form of outstanding personalities like Sah Waliullah, Syed Ahmad Khan, Jamalud Din Afghani, Iqbal and finally Jinnah. But it is unfortunate that after Jinnah no outstanding leader has emerged to lead the Muslims politically or intellectually. In these circumstances it is necessary to establish an independent national forum (Dabistan) comprising of intellectuals and scholars of Iqbaliat who should collectively work on political and social ideas of Iqbal and their future development in light of the new experiences of the Muslim community.
Iqbal - The Internationalist
The aftermath of the War of Independence of 1857 had kept the Muslims sad, sullen and inactive. It was Sir Syed who learnt and who taught his people that it was necessary for the Muslims to be educated that they must know and understand the superior scientific methods of the West, and thus be able to keep pace with other people in the race for self-realization and self-assertion.
Iqbal follows in the footstep of Sir Syed. He is the poet of Muslim national awakening. But to him there is nothing inconsistent in the love of Islam and the love of India. Iqbal has written probably the greatest anthem of the Indian peoples as a whole - 'Sare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara.' And Iqbal also has written that wonderful song of the Muslims - 'Cheeno Arab Hamara, Hindustan Hamara, Muslim Hain Ham Watan Hai Sara Jahan Hamara.
There are some whose minds are so shuttered-in, that they see a contradiction between the two anthems. But there is none. For Iqbal was also a firm internationalist believing in the brotherhood of Islamic nations.
There was not intention whatsoever in Iqbal’s mind or philosophy, as narrow minded bigots try to make out, of conquering countries for Islam. All that Iqbal means is that Islamic fraternity is world-wide. And the poet would indeed have been the first to applaud Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in saying that the Hindus and the Muslims when free would untidily tell all aggressors "Hands off India".
When slanderers brand those who fight for Pakistan as lacking in love for India, they forget the patriotic poems of the greatest Pakistani of all-Iqbal. Could any one but passionate lover of this land write as he writes in his first poem in his first publication Bang-i-Dara.
‘Hail O Himalay, O mighty Wall of the Land of Ind!
The heavens stoop to kiss thy brow,
The ages come and go
But thou art eternally young.
For Moses of Sinai there was but one vision,
Whilst thou art a panorama of vision glorious to the seeing eye".
In this Tasvir-i-Dard, Iqbal writes his heart tormented at the thought that our alien masters bleed our land while we fail to unite:
"The sight of thee makes me weep, O India
For thine is the most tragic all stories,
Leave not the trace of a single petal in this garden. O flower-gatherer,
Thanks to the feuds of the gardeners, their path is smooth"
O people of India! You will be destroyed if you do not understand,
Your very story will be erased from the book of the stories of nations,"
Iqbal’s words are as true as ever today.
Could there be anything more full of patriotic fervour than Iqbal’s Hindustani Bachoon ka Quami Geet, in which he sings:
The land where Chishti gave message of God,
The Land where Nank sang song of unity,
The Land where the Tartars made their home,
The Land for which the Hedjazians left their deserts,
That is my country, that is my Motherland.
From 1905-1908, Iqbal was in Europe. Here he became deeply conscious of the effect of democracy and nationality in firing the European nations with a new spirit. But he also saw that the Imperialist nations were crushing the colonial peoples underfoot and were denying them the very rights which they themselves valued. In the poem which he wrote in this period, Iqbal prophesied in remarkable manner the downfall of Imperialism and the awakening of the oppressed peoples of the East.
"The lion which came out of the wilderness and upset the Empire of Rome,
I here from the angels that he shall awake once more."
At one stage early in his career, Iqbal fought with the idea of giving up poetry, for he thought, as he says in this own words, that:
"The nations that are achieving something have no taste for poetry."
He too wanted the Indian Muslims to achieve something, and therefore he wished to give up poetry. Fortunately for poetry and for his nation, he was dissuaded from carrying out this idea.
Iqbal’s hatred for imperialism came out of a profound love for the peasant and the worker-for the wide masses of the people. Muslim poverty and backwardness had gripped his heart with the determination to change the destiny of his people. In The Candle and the Poet (1912), one of the greatest poems, Iqbal is already beginning to be influenced by social justice. Addressing the toiling peasant, he writes:
"Know thou the essence of thy being, O peasant.
Thou art the grain, thou the field, thou the rain; thou the harvest."
The last stanza of the poem fortells revolution.
"The Birds will sing at the cry of the fowler,
The bud’s garment will be dyed with the blood of the flower-gatherer,
That which the eyes see, the lips cannot utter,
Dumb-founded am I to think what the World is and what it is to be."
His Khizr-i-Rah (1922) hails the Soviet Revolution and the new proletarian movement, in which he rejoices.
"Arise, for associated mankind has now turned a new leaf,
And both in the East and the West, it is now the worker’s age."
"Make thine own world, if thou art alive,
For life is the secret of Adam; the conscience of all true being,
In slavery becomes a more shallow stream;
While in freedom, life is like the Ocean, free and boundless,"
A new sun has arisen from the womb of the earth,
O heaven! for how long will you mourn the fate of fallen stars?"
In his Zabur-i-Ajam, Iqbal writes of Revolution, burning at the injustice of capitalism:
"The master is making pretty rubies out the blood of the workman’s veins.
Through the tyranny of these lords of the soil,
the fields of the peasants are all waste.
Revolution! Revolution, O Revolution!"
In his famous trilogy, Lenin,
And warm up the blood of slaves with the fire of belief,
And make the tiny sparrow engage the falcon.
‘Tis the age of the common people’s lordship,
So obliterate all marks of the olden days.
And the field which yields not food for the peasant
Burn every corn’s ear of that field".
Iqbal is essentially a poet who preaches action. "By action alone is life made a heaven or hell"," this is what he cunsles in his poetry. Action to change the world, to change the destiny of his beloved people. And how? In his presidential address at the Muslim League session in 1930, he said:
"If the principle, that the Indian Muslim is entitled to full and free development on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own Indian homeland is recognised as the basis of permanent settlement he will be ready to stake his all for the freedom of India."
Today the Pakistan Movement embraces million’s of Indian Muslims. Iqbal’s call to action has won wide response and, more than anything else, the movement for the freedom of the Indian Muslims is developing with the same ideals of patriotism, democracy, equality and unity which Iqbal preached.
The Punjab Muslim League has issued its Manifesto now championing the cause of the toiling masses, emphasizing the unity of interests between all the peoples of India against British Imperialism.
Iqbal had laid down manifesto of Pakistan already in his glorious poetry- "People’s War."
Source: The Eastern Times, Lahore, March 25, 1945 (The author himself a prolific writer was Editor of a Urdu journal called: Humanyun, published from Lahore. Mian Basheer Ahmad was Organizing Secretary of the All-India Muslim League Annual Session held at Lahore on March 21-23, 1940.
The Perfect Man of Iqbal
The Idea of Perfect Man, Mard-e-Momin, Mard-e-Khuda, Sheikh, Kamil, Faqir, Banda-e-Haq, Qalander and Banda-e-Hur are not unfamiliar. Rumi is probably the first Muslim thinker who has presented a complete picture of Perfect Man. There are other Muslims who also put forwarded theories of Perfect Man. Ibn-i-Muskwaih have undoubtedly initiated the idea which found its culmination in Rumi.
M. M. Sharif writes, "the idea of the Perfect Man is an old one in Muslim Philosophy. It had its roots in Plato’s conception of the philosopher king and Islamic idea of a prophet, but it found its highest development in the speculations of Ibn-e-Arabi, Al-Jilili and Rumi.
R. A Nicholson in the secret of self notes, ‘to the Iqbal the Perfect Man is highly developed ego the Naib (vicegerent) of God on earth is the complete ego, the goal of humanity, the acme of life both in mind and body, in him the discord of one mental life becomes a harmony, is the last trust of the tree of humanity, and all the trails of painful evolution are justified because he is to come at the end”.
The Perfect Man is developed personality and has earned complete and true freedom and immortality, true freedom belongs to him. In Gabriel’s Wing the free man is synonymous with the Perfect Man and earns immortality too. Iqbal says in Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadid:
The eternity is superior,
which a borrowed soul,
Wins for herself by love
The being of mountains
and deserts and cities is nothing,
The universe is mortal, the
ego immortal and nothing else
Dr. Nazir Qaiser Writes, ‘to Iqbal the Perfect Man has not ceased to exist, and is very much needed in the present age. In Zarb-i-Kalim says:
Today the world needs that true Mahdi,
Whose vision produces a commotion in the world of thought,
To find such a man is difficult. Iqbal says in Bang-e-Dara:
Narcissus weeps for many years over its sightless;
(only then) with great difficulty a person with vision is produced.
Perfect Man is blend of Ishq and Intellect. He has not fear and no difficulty can upset him. Also death cannot frighten him because of the developed state of ego. Physical death looks pleasant to him. Iqbal says:
What is the sign of the faithful man,
When death come, he has a smile on his lips.
To Iqbal the other name of the Perfect Man is Faqir. Both hold that all the qualities of Faqr are found in him. He is not an idle mystic, he is full of action. He earns lawful livelihood. He may be poor in appearance but he is owner of countless treasure, there is no greed in him. He has a great social relevance. He is not segregated from community. He contributes in bringing about a healthy social order. He combines in his behaviour Jamal (Divine beauty) and Jalal (Divine Majesty) like a true Faqir. Iqbal sys in Bal-e-Jibril:
He who saw is the leader of the world,
You and we are imperfect, he alone is perfect.
In Zarb-e-Kalim, Iqbal says:
He is the dew drop which cools the lives of the poppy flowers,
And he is that storm which makes the hearts of river shiver.
Vengeance and forgiveness, Piety and power,
These are four things which make up a Muslim.
The Perfect Man believes in higher religion. His message is universal and his love is for all, the human beings, his vital characteristics. In Tasbihat-e-Rumi says:
The slave of Ishq takes lesson from God,
He becomes kind equally, both with infidel and believer.
Perfect Man’s love for God is sincere. He loves God neither for the sake of gardens and Houris of Heaven not for fear of Hell. He does not love God for the traditional pictures of Heaven. Rather, the Houris complain against the indifferent behaviour. In Zarb-e-Kalim, Iqbal beautifully says:
The angles had said: the faithful is gracious,
But the Houris complain; the faithful does not mix with us.
Love for humanity was their hallmark. ‘Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, Sayed Ali Hujwiri and Mujjaddid Alaf Sani are those who were well known for their love for humanity.
He attains such power that his wishes and hands become wishes and hands of God: Iqbal beautifully says in Bal-e-Jibril that:
A Perfect Man’s arm is really God’s Arm,
Dominant, creative, resourceful, efficient,
"As a result of this spiritual power he gets control over the material world also. It is the world that is the universe is absorbed in him, lost in him" Dr. R. A. Nicholson writes the Perfect Man can never be lost to the world, since he has assimilated and, as it were absorbed into himself the Divine attributes which constitute the reality of the world. Further says, ‘the true person not only absorbs the world of matter, by mastering it he absorbs God himself into his ego.’
Iqbal sums up beautiful in a verse, in Zarb-e-Kalim:
The sign of an infidel is that he is lost in the world,
The sign of the believer is that the world is lost in him.
‘He is God fearing, liable to answer to God for his deeds. Pity and love are his nature. He aims at changing the destiny of the human beings at large. He has no prejudice and is above class-distinction. He gives code of morality; bring about social and economic justice; and show the way of life spiritual and material." To Iqbal, ‘the pragmatic value of the perfect Man is immense, both for the development of the individual and the society.’ Dr. R. A. Nicholson notes, ‘For Iqbal the Perfect Man is the real ruler of mankind; his kingdom of God on earth. Out of the richness of his nature he lavishes the wealth of life on others, and brings them nearer and nearer to himself’. He says:
Appear O rider of Distinct,
Appear O light of the dark,
Realm of change!
Illumine the scene of existence.
Dwell in the blackness of our eyes!
Silence the noise of the nations;
Imparadise our ears with thy music,
Bring once more days of peace to the world,
Give a message of peace to them that seek battle.
Perfect Man ‘feels that the loftier stages of life he reaches the more he is the slave of God.’ He doesn’t look down upon other human beings. Because of hid deed is superior not because of his birth. He is partly mystical and partly philosophical. He is a saint prophet.
Iqbal and secularism
Iqbal believes that the ultimate basis of all life, according to Islam is spiritual and this eternal principle reveals itself in variety and change. He states: “A society based on such conception of reality must reconcile in its life, the categories of permanence and change”. Evidently the category of permanence is observance of religious obligations whereas the category of change is the Quranic laws respecting worldly affairs. This distinction is accepted by Iqbal who is of the view that the Shariah laws pertaining to Muaamlaat are subject to the law of change through the process of Ijtehad.
Iqbal is also of the view that the claim of the present generation of Muslim liberals to reinterpret the foundational legal principles of Islam, in the light of their own experience and altered conditions of modem life, is perfectly justified.
“The spirit”,” according to Iqbal, “finds its opportunities in the natural, the material, the secular. All that is secular is therefore sacred in the roots of its beings. The greatest service that modern thought has rendered to Islam and as a matter of fact to all religions, consists of its criticism of what we call material or natural – a criticism that merely material has no substance until we discover it rooted in the spiritual. There is no such thing as a profane world. All this immensity of matter constitutes its scope for the self-realisation of spirit. All this is holy ground.
Iqbal is of the view that Muslims are passing through a period similar to those pre-modern times when the Protestant revolution was changing the religious profile of Europe. The reform movement of Martin Luther. according to lqbal, was essentially a political movement which eventually led to the formation of nation-states in Europe.
The profoundest of the philosophy of “secularism” in those times, were mostly atheistic materialists or agnostics. They resisted the expansion of the jurisdiction of ecclesiastic courts from priestly classes to the common folk, and insisted that the religious laws should apply only to the clerics. Their argument was that morality is not exclusively part of a people’s religious life.
It is not stationary in nature but has a tendency to change according to the needs and requirements of times. Therefore, it is essentially part of a community’s secular life. If the Church had evolved a process like Ijtehad, the inflexibility of ecclesiastic laws could have undergone a change to suit the new demands of times.
The result of this debate in the newly born nation-states of Europe, generally speaking, led to the displacement of laws founded on the universal Christian ethics by secular laws based on national conceptions of majority or human considerations. However, the imposition of secular laws did not in any sense make the European nation-states anti-religious. The change to secularisation took place only in the domain of religious laws pertaining to worldly affairs of the Christian communities, but they did not abandon their religious obligations. Their old hatred against Islam is still reflected in the present clash between Islam and the Christian powers.
However, the Ulema in the Muslim world defined secular state as an irreligious state or a state without any religion, implying thereby that the citizens of such state collectively became anti-religious. Consequently when Turkey adopted secularism as its ideology, it was condemned by the Ulema of South Asia as an anti-religious state the citizens of which had abandoned Islam. In fact the Turks, following the Europeans, had only replaced the Shariah laws by secular laws in the domain of Muaamlaat. In the sphere of observing religious obligations they remained Muslim and they are still devout Muslims.
If one examines carefully, no state which claims itself to be secular, is without religion or against religion (except perhaps the former Soviet Union, which imposed atheism on its people as a state policy). But it can be stated that secular state today means a state which is neutral in the matters of religion, grants religious freedom in the observation of religious obligations and adheres to the principle of equality of all its citizens. Is this not what Iqbal’s Islamic state is expected to be when he declares that the real object of Islam is to establish a spiritual democracy?
Yet there is another dimension of the discussion on secularism so far as Pakistani Muslims are concerned. Are the Quranic civil and criminal laws pertaining to Muaamlaat an integral part of a Musalman’s faith? The answer to this question is that to implement the moral laws of Islam in any Muslim majority state is the collective responsibility of the Muslims and on this basis the enforcement of civil and criminal laws of Shariah can he considered as part of a Muslim’s faith. Therefore, when the Ulema disapproved the replacement of the Shariah laws by secular laws in the Muslim majority state of Turkey, theologically speaking, they were correct. But if the Muslims in a Muslim majority state demand that the Shariah laws be reinterpreted so as to conform to the modern needs and requirements of the community, they cannot be declared apostates.
According to Iqbal, the Shariah laws respecting Muaamlaat can be reinterpreted whenever required through the process of Ijtehad by legislation in Parliament or through the judgments of the Superior Courts. However he is of the view that during the times of foreign rule and in order to counteract the forces of cultural decay leading to the Muslims’ communal disintegration, if the conservative Ulema of Islam jealously excluded all innovations in the interpretation of the Shariah laws in order to preserve the uniformity of the social life of the Muslim community, they were perfectly justified. But now after regaining political ind ependence, it is not possible for the Muslims to accept the reasoning that the law of Islam is stationary and incapable of development.
Therefore, if the Ulema continue following the old legists blindly by sticking to their interpretations of the Shariah laws (in the sphere of Muaamlaat) which had been presented to meet the requirements of their own specific times, the eventual result would be that till such interpretations (along with the deep differences of opinion among the Imams), would be left behind and the Muslim communities would proceed ahead.
In other words, in such circumstances, it is likely that every Muslim nation-state, disillusioned by their inflexibility as well as by the differences of opinion among the law doctors may be compelled to place more reliance on man-made laws formulated on the basis of each Muslim nation-states cultural or moral criterion and in order to confirm to the swiftly changing needs and requirements of the times. According to Iqbal the Muslim states at present are generally left in the hands of intellectual mediocrities and the unthinking masses of Islam, having no personalities of a higher caliber to guide them. He emphasizes:
“Our modern Ulema do not see that the ultimate fate of a people does not depend so much on organisation as on the worth and power of individual men. In an over-organised society, the individual is altogether crushed out of existence. He gains the whole wealth of social thought around him and loses his own soul. Thus a false reverence for past history amid its artificial resurrection constitute no remedy for a peoples’ decay.
The verdict of history ... is that worn out ideas have never risen to power among a people who have worn them out. The only effective power, therefore, that counteracts the forces of decay in a people is the rearing of self-concentrated individuals. Such individuals alone reveal the depth of life. They disclose new standards in the light of which we begin to see that our environment is not wholly inviolable and requires revision.”
The writer is Retired Judge of Supreme Court
Courtesy: The Nation, Lahore, December 04, 2004 (By DR JAVAID IQBAL)
Iqbal's thoughts on state & society
By Murtaza Razvi
It is seldom that a newspaper article on intellectual giants like Allama Iqbal, especially on Iqbal Day, gives more than a general biographical account of the man of his stature. The standard eulogizing poured out on such occasions tends to belittle the poet-philosopher's achievements by obscuring the more important facets of his intellect, namely, his contribution to Muslim religious and political thought in our times.
So on this Iqbal Day, let us not speak of him as we have been conditioned to speaking of many lesser men passing off as leaders in our midst. Iqbal's contribution to furthering Muslim thought goes far beyond the political sloganeering for which he has been used by successive governments in this country. The most recent examples were those of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Ziaul Haq.
During the former's premiership, Iqbal's line 'Uttho meri dunya ke gharibon ko jagado' became a slogan that galvanized and moved the teeming millions. It was left to General Zia to undo that populist appeal by hammering in before Khabarnama on PTV every night 'Juda ho deen siyasat se to reh jati hai changezi' as an instrument of supporting his own obscurantist brand of Islam. While Z.A Bhutto and Zia will find their place among the dead rulers of this country, Iqbal will continue to keep company with living academics and students of literature, philosophy and politics.
Iqbal's intellect, as deduced from his concept of Khudi (self) and the series of lectures on the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam, was very much the product of the socio-political realities of his time. The concept of Khudi (as put forth in the Persian masnavi Asrar-i-Khudi, published 1915) and the lectures delivered in Madras in 1928, were Iqbal's earnest attempts at seeking a meaningful place for Muslims among the then emerging comity of nation states.
The change engulfing the world in the aftermath of the dismantling of the Ottoman empire, Europe's espousal of modern knowledge and the industrial revolution, the emergence of the communist Soviet Union, having a popular appeal among colonized peoples, and impending decolonization, all made Iqbal's a rapidly changing world. Muslims spread across Asia and Africa, with most living under western colonial rule or in protectorates, appeared least prepared to take their reins in their own hands.
Iqbal had no ready solutions to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing the Muslims. But that did not stop him, like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Jamaluddin Afghani and Mohammed Abduh before him, from trying to stir a debate and seek an indigenous Muslim response to change. This was despite knowing that what was endorsed as his scholarship by western academia and enlightened sections of his own community could well become his handicap with the Muslim religious establishment. But his own thorough understanding of religion propelled him to seek to bridge the gap that was seen to exist between religion and modern knowledge.
His call for reinstating Ijtihad, as proposed in the Madras lectures, for instance, met with fatwas and allegations of blasphemy from some quarters. The populist appeal of his poetry - prophetic, nationalist and spiritual and devotional by turns - saved him from outright condemnation by the self-proclaimed guardians of faith. The latter day Persian masnavi 'Pas che bayad kard aye aqwam-i-sharq' (so what should be done, nations of the East?) has all three elements woven into its poetic eloquence.
As time has shown, the post-colonial Muslim experience, Iqbal's primary concern, has not been a particularly happy one. He was well aware of the Muslims' shortcomings and the lack of modern intellectual acumen that was needed to counter western civilization's onslaught against them. This was manifest in the form of direct colonization of Muslim peoples or forced military or political intrusions into Muslim countries on the pretext of countering the threat from communism or fascism.
Today, although under different circumstances, Iqbal's prognosis, outlining the then impending misery he believed would be Muslims' lot in a rapidly changing and modernizing world, has largely come true. In a country believed to be of his own ideological conception, the scourge of resistance to new ideas from the outside world and our failure to bridge the gap between the modern and the spiritual ways of life have rendered us socially, politically and intellectually almost dysfunctional.
This state of static living has been compounded over the years. This is because the world today has gone much further and deeper in scientific knowledge than was thought possible in Iqbal's lifetime. But it remains just as dangerous a jungle where the survival of the fittest is still the norm.
The arm twisting and the vanquishing of the weak and the meek has continued, whether it is in Palestine, Iraq or as seen in the cat-and-mouse game being played out between the US and al Qaeda terrorists throughout the world. That Iqbal should have been the last of the great Muslim thinkers is a measure of our self-imposed socio-political and economic apathy and ineptitude.
How often do we take stock of such facts? Not even on occasions like the Iqbal Day. The aim here is not to give ready solutions; for that we have the generals who, in the absence of anyone more worthy, have donned that mantle. Iqbal suggests that a possible solution of Muslims' dilemma lies in the re-opening of the doors of Ijtihad (interpretation).
Separation of the eternal and temporal aspects of the faith, as in Ibadaat (obligatory prayer, the fast, Hajj and Zakat) and Muamelaat (everyday decision-making, including legislation and governance) is another remedy - as has been deduced from Iqbal's Madras lectures by Justice Javid Iqbal, Iqbal's son and a scholar in his own right.
In a published interview with this writer in 1990s Justice Iqbal dwelled at length on the latter aspect of his father's thought. While the Allama believed that there should be no alteration in the way the Ibadaat are performed, the Muamelaat, which directly relate to change as a continuing process, will have to be dealt with in accordance with the demands placed by society.
We know from the Madras lectures on the reconstruction of religious thought that Iqbal was not in favour of the traditional madressah-qualified scholars as being the sole guardians of faith entrusted with giving authoritative rulings on Muslims' everyday problems. Indian scholar Asghar Ali Engineer, in his recent paper on the Madras lectures, quotes Iqbal as saying, "...state in Islam is theocracy, not in the sense that it is headed by a representative of God on earth who can always screen his despotic will behind his supposed infallibility."
This also puts in perspective the latter-day Allahabad Address to the All India Muslim League session (1937), in which the Allama gave the idea of the creation of an independent Muslim-majority state in India, and which became the basis for the Muslims' demand for Pakistan.
This, and his correspondence with the Quaid while the latter was practising law in England, urging him to come back and lead the Muslims of India, explain the solution that Iqbal sought for his community's social and political uplift. There was no dearth of religious scholars among the community and Iqbal was on very good personal terms with many of them, but he refrained from giving them the centre stage of Muslims' affairs.
Though essentially very conservative and careful with interpreting religion, Iqbal, both at the political and intellectual levels, managed to present a possible confluence between modern sensibilities and the role of divine injunctions in public life of our times. At the academic level, this was made possible through his informed interpretation of the religious dogma.
We know that Ijtihad undertaken by Muslim scholars before the sack of Baghdad in 1258 was done under the guidelines then having been established by the four learned Imams, - Hanbal, Malik, Shafe'i and Abu Hanifa. Iqbal insisted that the scholars who undertook the task of interpreting the Shariah under the Abassids were well-versed in temporal knowledge of the day as well as the divine injunctions, as decreed by the Quran and Sunnah.
The doctrine of Ijtihad, which itself flows from the Shariah as ruled by the learned Imams, is all about interpreting and reinterpreting the two basic sources of Islamic jurisprudence in accordance with change taking place in society. The Shariah does not place a time limit on the practice of Ijtihad. This is because as human society evolves and socio-political and economic realities change, the spiritual need to seek guidance from faith remains a constant, and Iqbal held that the ulama alone could not be made the sole arbiters on that score.
It may sound anathema to today's more assertive ulama, but the fact remains that Iqbal was an ardent admirer of Kemalist Turkey, and there are several references to this in his Madras lectures. This is despite the fact that he never denied the emotional and symbolic importance the Ottoman caliphate had for Muslims everywhere, including the subcontinent.
However, Iqbal's absence from the Khilafat Movement, which by default fell to the lot of the Congress and the Muslim religious establishment in the former's bid to enlist the latter's support for its brand of politics, also remains a fact.
It is ironic that textbooks promoting Pakistan ideology and written during Gen Zia's time should have tried to lump Iqbal's thought with that behind the Khilafat Movement or that espoused by the ulama and mashaaikh belonging to the traditional madressah establishment of the period. It is intellectual dishonesty of this kind that must be exposed and disowned as a crude aberration. The traditional mullah and the scholar equipped with both religious and modern knowledge remain poles apart in Iqbal's perception.
Justice Javid Iqbal sums up the Allama's concept of a modern Muslim state, saying that members of parliament in a given nation state, who should be well versed in both religious and modern knowledge, could be entrusted with making laws in line with modern demands and enshrining the faith's spirit of justice and equity.
This was Iqbal's blueprint for a desirable Muslim government in modern times. While we may have achieved the nation state we claim he had conceived, his real dream of running that state effectively has remained unfulfilled. This, unfortunately, is the truth today as it has been all these years.
Iqbal: a leading thinker of modern times
By Dr M.Yakub Mughul
THE decline of Muslim political power after the death of the last great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658-1707 A.D.), created many political, social and religious problems for Indian Muslim society. Indian Muslims had enjoyed privileges during the Mughul rule in India, but with its decline, they gradually lost their special status.
According to Allama Iqbal, the year 1799 was extremely important in the history of the world of Islam. In this year fell Tipu Sultan and his defeat meant the shattering of Muslim hopes for political rejuvenation in India. In the same year was fought the Battle of Navarneo which saw the destruction of the Turkish naval fleet.
Prophetic were the words of the author of the chronogram of Tipu’s fall which visitors of Serangapatam find engraved on the wall of Tipu’s mausoleum “Gone is the glory of Hind as well as of Roum.” Thus in the year 1799, the political decay of Islam in Asia reached its climax. But just as out of the humiliation of Germany on the day of Jena arose the modern German nation, it may be said that out of the political humiliation of Islam in the year 1799 arose Modern Islam and its problems.
During the War of Independence of 1857, Muslims suffered heavily at the hands of the British and after their suppression began a period of systematic persecution and political annihilation of the Muslims all over the country. “By the end of the Mutiny” says Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, “The Mussalmans, high and low, were brought down by these series of events to the lowest depths of broken pride, black despair, and general penury. Without prestige, without education and without resources, the Muslims were left to compete with the Hindus. The British, who pledged neutrality, were indifferent to the result of this struggle between the two communities. The result was that the Mussalmans were completely worsened in the struggle.”
In times of crisis, nations somehow produce men to pull them through. Ability to do so is the evidence of the vitality of a nation. Indeed a reformer of outstanding merit with a breadth of vision, and insight into the true spirit of Islam was the need of the day. Mohammad Iqbal fulfilled this role to a remarkable degree. He possessed all these qualities and performed this duty quite successfully.
Like Rumi, Iqbal refused to be shaken by the pall of gloom which hung over the world of Islam. His stay in England and Germany in the first decade of the twentieth century made him painfully conscious of the ruthless materialism of the West on the one hand, and the lengthening shadows of imperialism on the other.
As a thinker, Iqbal deserves to be included among the greatest philosophers of the Islamic World. “If ever there was a Poet Philosopher, it was Iqbal” says Professor Arberry. It was Iqbal alone among all the contemporary thinkers who succeeded most in persuading Indian Muslims of getting rid of their apathy and pursuing the path of liberty and glory.
Endowed with the gift of poetry, Iqbal decided to put it to good use. He used his poetry as a vehicle to convey his message. The paramount question before him was how to approach the younger generation of Islam, which was not properly indoctrinated.
Iqbal thought that with the reawakening of Muslims, it was necessary to examine in an objective manner what Europe had debated and how far the conclusions reached by it would help in the revision and, if necessary, reconstruction of theological thought in Islam.
He wanted to convince all that Islam strived for promoting the advancement of science and technology and exploitation of nature in the service of mankind. He commented “in the past centuries, no difference had arisen in the principles enunciated by Islam. Due to the advancement of science in the present age and the knowledge gathered in different spheres of life as a result thereof it has become necessary to know the basic principles of Islam.”
Iqbal elaborated: “Islam in my opinion is the only positive system that the world possesses today, provided the Muslims apply themselves to it and rethink the whole thing in light of modern ideas. The Indian Muslim in my opinion is likely to play a very important role in the future of Islam. New Islam relies more on the younger generation which has received more education with necessary grounding in religion.
His conception of Islam was certainly different from the commonly accepted orthodox view. To Iqbal, Islam meant reverence for one’s higher self and a passion for socially useful and creative work. He totally refused to believe that a man who did not respect his ideal self or lacked the creative urge to enrich humanity could be called a Muslim.
Iqbal was opposed to the blind imitation of Western ideas, but he exhorted people to adopt its spirit of research and urged for harnessing the forces of nature. Iqbal sought to lead the Muslims back on the path of Islamic glory which would link them with the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Pious Caliphs.
In fact, Iqbal combined in his teachings, the spirituality of the East and dynamism of the West and this to him was the real Islam. Giving a brief account of the expansion of Islam, Iqbal said. “The history of Islam tells us that the expansion of Islam as a religion is in no way related to the political power of its followers. The greatest spiritual conquests of Islam were made during the days of our political decrepitude. When the rude barbarians of Mongolia drowned in blood the civilization of Baghdad in 1258 A.D., when Muslim power fell in Spain, and the followers of Islam were mercilessly killed or driven out of Cordova by Ferdinand in 1236, Islam had just secured a footing in Sumatra and was about to work for the peaceful conversion of the Malay Archipelago.”
It is interesting to note that in the hours of its political degradation, Islam achieved some of its most brilliant conquests. On two great historical occasions, infidel barbarians set their foot on the neck of the followers of the Prophet: the Seljuk Turks in the eleventh and the Mongols in the thirteenth century, and in each case, the conquerors ended up accepting the religion of the conquered.
After the destruction of Baghdad in 1258, this advancement of knowledge was stagnated and the doors of ijtihad were closed, which ultimately left the Muslims behind. Allama Iqbal describes this in these words:
“During the last five hundred years, religious thought in Islam has been practically stationary. There was a time when European thought received inspiration from Islam. The most remarkable phenomenon of modern history, however, is the enormous rapidity with which the world of Islam is spiritually moving towards the West. There is nothing wrong in this movement, for European culture, on its intellectual side, is only a further development of some of most important phases of the culture of Islam. Our only fear is that the dazzling exterior of European culture may arrest our movement and we may fail to reach the true inwardness of that culture. During all the centuries of our intellectual stupor, Europe has been seriously thinking on the great problems in which the philosophers and scientists of Islam were so keenly interested.”
Allama Iqbal further states: “The political fall of Islam in Europe unfortunately took place, roughly speaking, at the moment when Muslim thinkers began to see the futility of deductive science and were fairly on the way to building inductive knowledge. It was practically at this time that Europe took up the task of research and discovery. Intellectual activity in the world of Islam practically eased from this time and Europe began to reap the fruits of the labours of Muslim thinkers.”
Describing the ignorance of the Muslims in the same letter, Iqbal says:
“The ignorance of the Mussalmans of today is so great that they consider thoroughly anti-Islamic what has in the main arisen out of the bosom of their culture.”
“In all the Muslim countries, Muslims are either fighting for their liberty or thinking about the Islamic laws (except in Iran and Afghanistan). But in these two countries also, sooner or later, this question is bound to come up. It is a matter of regret that the Muslim jurists are either ignorant of modern trends or stick to their conservation... In my view Islam is being tested by the modern age.”
We may say that Allama Iqbal was a prominent thinker of the modern Islamic world, who not only played a great role in reawakening the Muslims in India but at the same time contributed towards Islamic resurgence in the light of the modern philosophical concepts.
The writer is director of the Quaid-i-Azam Academy,Karachi.
Iqbal and Pakistan Movement
Allama Muhammad Iqbal was one of the greatest thinkers and poets of the Muslim world. He was not only a sage, a revolutionary poet-philosopher, an extraordinary scholar and harbinger of Islamic renaissance but also a political thinker and ‘seer’ of Pakistan. From the outset he took keen interest in the political situation of India and in 1908 while he was still in England, he was selected as a member of the executive council of the newly-established British branch of the Indian Muslim League. In 1931 and 1932 he represented the Muslims of India in the Round Table Conferences held in England to discuss the issue of the political future of the Indian Muslims
A brilliant intellect from the beginning, Allama Iqbal's devotion to knowledge and intellect verily attributed to his academic achievements:
Bachelor's degree from the Government College Lahore, then another Bachelor's from the Cambridge University, Master's degree from the Punjab University, Law degree from the Lincoln's Inn London, and a PhD from the University of Munich. In recognition to his remarkable scholastic work and extraordinary poetry, the British Crown knighted him in 1922. His works and inspirations cover a wide range of topics, e.g., Religion, Islam, Quran, Philosophy, Metaphysics, Art, Politics, Law, Economics, Universal brotherhood, the Revival of Muslim glory. The Encyclopedia Britannica appropriately entitled him as "the greatest Urdu poet of the century."
Iqbal was immensely inspired with political wisdom and divinely insight. He was deadly against atheism and materialism and discarded the European concept of religion as the private faith of an individual having nothing to do with his temporal life. In his view, the biggest blunder made by Europe was the separation of Church and State. His prophecy that he had made in the following verse of a ghazal written in March 1907:
Your civilization will commit suicide with its own dagger
Because a nest built on a frail bough cannot be durable
came absolutely true in 1914 when the European war broke out because of the European nations’ blunder of separating the Church from the State. In the same ghazal he had also said:
“I will take out my worn out caravan in the pitch darkness of night
Lo! My sighs shall emit sparks and my breath will produce flames.”
This again proved to be a wonderful foresight as in a Presidential Address delivered at the annual session of the all-India Muslim League on December 29, 1930, Iqbal demanded in the best interests of India as well as Islam the creation of a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims. Let us delve into this monumental and historic document of great importance, which like Rousseau’s “Social Contract” is most widely quoted but rarely studied in full. Expressing his views as a student of Islam, its laws and polity, its culture, its history and its literature, Iqbal believed that Islam was “the major formative factor in the life history of Indian Muslims; it adequately furnished those basic emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups and finally transform them into a well-defined people, possessing a moral consciousness of their own.” He maintained: “Islam does not bifurcate the unity of man into an irreconcilable duality of spirit and matter. In Islam, God and the Universe, spirit and matter, church and state are organic to each other. For such a group of people, the concept of an Indian nationhood and the construction of a polity on national lines amounted to a negation of the Islamic principles of solidarity and, therefore, not acceptable to Muslims.” Iqbal had no hesitation in saying “if the principle that the Indian Muslims is entitled to full and free development on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own Indian homeland is recognized as the basis of a permanent communal settlement, he will be ready to stake all for the freedom of India.” He added: “The life of Islam in this country very largely depends on its centralization in a specific territory” and thereby posed a question: “Is it possible to retain Islam as an ethical ideal and reject it as a polity in favor of national politics in which religious attitude is not permitted to play any part.” If the answer to this question was in the negative, it was impossible for the Muslims of India to stay within a secularized and unified political structure.
Iqbal further argued: “The principle that each group is entitled to free development on its own lines is not inspired by any feeling of narrow communalism. There are communalisms and communalisms. A community which is inspired by feeling of ill will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religious and social institutions of other communities. Nay, it is my duty, according to the teaching of the Quran, even to defend their places of worship if need be. Yet I love the communal group which is the source of my life and behavior; and which has formed what I am by giving me its religion, its thought, its culture and thereby recreating its whole past, as a living operative factor, in my present consciousness. The religious ideal is organically related to the social order which it has created. The rejection of the one will eventually involve the rejection of the other. Therefore, the construction of a polity on national lines if it means the displacement of the Islamic principles of solidarity is simply unthinkable to a Muslim. This is a matter which at the present moment directly concerns the Muslims of India.”
Taking a broader view of the tedious problem, Iqbal explained: “India is Asia in miniature. Part of her people have cultural affinities with nations in the East and part with nations in the middle and West of Asia. If an effective principle of co-operation is discovered in India, it will bring peace and mutual good will to this ancient land which has suffered so long, more because of her situation in historic space than because of her inherent incapacity of her people. And it will, at the same time, solve the entire political problems of Asia.” Iqbal was cognizant of the fact that: “To base a constitution on the conception of a homogenous India or to apply to India the principles dictated by democratic sentiments is unwittingly to prepare her for a civil war.” Being a poet of peace, love, tranquility and fraternity, Iqbal despised the very idea of a civil war. Hence he was obliged to propound:
“Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. The formation of the consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of the North-West India. I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim State in the best interests of India and Islam. For India it means security and peace resulting for an internal balance of power; for Islam an opportunity to rid itself of the stamp that the Arabian Imperialism was forced to give it, to mobilize its laws, its education, its culture, and to bring them into closer contact with its own original spirit and with the spirit of modern times.”
It is apparent from the above that the purpose for the creation of a separate Muslim state was two-fold. It was to end the Hindu-Muslim conflict and also to enable Islam to play its vital role as a cultural force. In the context of the Indian sub-continent commitment to Islam could only be fulfilled by the creation of a separate Muslim state. Iqbal’s address came at the time when Indian Muslims were passing through a great crisis. “To be or not to be” was the only question left before the desperate Muslim nation. Muslim leadership was utterly isolated and demoralized. And the British and Hindus had agreed upon a sinister scheme of constitutional amendments and establishing Hindu Raj under the aegis of the British. Therefore, according to Allama Iqbal the future of Islam as a moral and political force not only in India but in the whole of Asia rested on the organization of the Muslims of India led by the Quaid-i Azam.
It is noteworthy that Iqbal’s proposal for a separate homeland or the Indian Muslims was a bombshell for the British as well as Hindus. Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald was highly displeased with the views expressed by Iqbal. British and Indian circles in the Round Table Conference expressed resentment and termed it as an assault against the idea of an all India constitution being worked out. “The Tribune of Lahore” viewed that Iqbal had torpedoed all chances for a communal settlement. The Hindu Press carried out maligned and raging campaign against him. They used all sorts of abusive epithets like ‘fanatic, mischievous, dangerously prejudiced, venomous, narrow-minded, mean, and a dangerous Muslim of Northern India’.
It was “Inqilab” of Lahore that came to his rescue and wrote a number of articles and editorials in his favor. Here is an excerpt from an editorial entitled “Iqbal’s Victorious March against Hindu Raj” published in its issue on March 17, 1931:
“The truth stands declared. The untruth lies prostate. Hindu machinations have been exposed. Long live the personality that showed light to a Millat that was lost in the magic of deceptive slogans of nationalism and democracy. God willing, this light would remain a constant companion of the Muslims of India till they reach their destination.”
The sentiment of separate entity had its foundations not only in religion and culture but also in history because Muslims had identified themselves as inheritors of the traditions of Muslim supremacy for a millennium. The Hindus who constituted the majority community developed under the banner of the Indian National Congress the concept of composite nationalism supposed to embrace all religious communities, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and the rest. However, the mass of Muslim community could not accept the concept of composite Indian nationalism. Iqbal was singularly the major influence in sharpening and delineating the feeling of Muslim identity and separateness on the basis of religion, history, tradition and culture. He gave his community a message of faith, hope and struggle. He believed in a dynamic rather than static view of life. Self-awareness, which was the corner stone of Iqbal's philosophical thinking, profoundly motivated the rising middle class of the Muslim Community.
Since Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar had expired in January 1931 and Quaid-i-Azam had stayed behind in London, the responsibility of providing a proper lead to the Indian Muslims had fallen on his shoulders till Quaid-i-Azam returned to the sub-continent in 1935. He had to assume the role of a jealous guardian of his nation also because the League and the Muslim Conference had no organization in the provinces and their leaders had lost confidence of and contact with the masses.
During the Third Round-Table Conference, Iqbal was invited by the London National League where he addressed an audience which included among others, foreign diplomats, members of the House of Commons, Members of the House of Lords and Muslim members of the R.T.C. delegation. In that gathering he dilated upon the situation of the Indian Muslims. He explained why he wanted the communal settlement first and then the constitutional reforms. He stressed the need for provincial autonomy because autonomy gave the Muslim majority provinces some power to safeguard their rights, cultural traditions and religion. Under the central Government the Muslims were bound to lose their cultural and religious entity at the hands of the overwhelming Hindu majority. He referred to what he had said at Allah bad in 1930 and reiterated his belief based on cogent reason.
There are some critics within Pakistan and without, who insist that Allama Iqbal never meant a sovereign Muslim country outside India. Rather he desired a Muslim State within the Indian Union: A State within a State. This is absolutely wrong. What he meant was vividly understood by his Muslim compatriots as well as the non-Muslim contemporaries till Quaid-i-Azam returned to the sub-continent in 1935. Nehru and others who knew what Iqbal meant had then tried to refute the idea of Muslim nationalism had no basis at all. Nehru, in particular, observed:
“This idea of a Muslim nation is the figment of a few imaginations only, and, but for the publicity given to it by the Press few people would have heard of it. And even if many people believed in it, it would still vanish at the touch of reality.”
In Iqbal’s poetry, we find a significant symbol, "Deeda-war" (visionary), who may be deemed as Iqbal himself. He could foresee what others could not. A visionary sees the problems or critical phenomena in a long term perspective and develops some sort of cosmic sense. Such individuals, although very rare, change the course of history forever, as indeed Iqbal did. Pakistan owes its existence to Allama Iqbal and the people of Pakistan owe a great deal of gratitude to his extraordinary vision. After the disaster following the Balkan War of 1912, the fall of the caliphate in Turkey, and many anti-Muslim incessant provocations and actions against Muslims in India and elsewhere by the intellectuals and so called secular minded leaders, Allama Iqbal suggested a separate state for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent so that they can express the vitality and veracity of Islam to the utmost.
............Iqbal and Pakistan Movement
After delivering the Allahbad Address the idea of a Muslim State always remained alive in his mind. He was sure that the Muslims of sub-continent were going to achieve for themselves an independent homeland. On 21st March, 1932, in the Presidential address at the annual session of the All-India Muslim Conference at Lahore, Allama Iqbal stressed his view regarding nationalism in India and commented on the plight of the Muslims under the circumstances prevailing in the sub-continent. Having attended the Second Round Table Conference in September, 1931 in London, he was keenly aware of the deep-seated Hindu and Sikh prejudice and unaccommodating attitude. He had observed the mind of the British Government. Hence he reiterated his apprehensions and suggested safeguards in respect of the Indian Muslims:
“In the present address I propose, among other things, to help you, in the first place, in arriving at a correct view of the situation as it emerged from a rather hesitating behavior of our delegation the final stages of the Round-Table Conference. In the second place, I shall try, according to my lights to show how far it is desirable to construct a fresh policy now that the Premier's announcement at the last London Conference has again necessitated a careful survey of the whole situation.”
On June 21, 1937, only ten months before his death, Iqbal wrote in a letter to the Quaid-i-Azam:
A separate federation of Muslim Provinces…is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are?”
During the Third Round-Table Conference, Iqbal was invited by the London National League. Addressing huge audience including foreign diplomats, members of the House of Commons, Members of the House of Lords and Muslim members of the R.T.C. delegation, he dilated upon the situation of the Indian Muslims. He explained why he wanted the communal settlement first and then the constitutional reforms. He again stressed the need for provincial autonomy because autonomy gave the Muslim majority provinces some power to safeguard their rights, cultural traditions and religion. Under the central Government the Muslims were bound to lose their cultural and religious entity at the hands of the overwhelming Hindu majority. He referred to what he had said at Allahabad in 1930 and reiterated his belief that before long people were bound to come round to his viewpoint based on cogent reason.
In his dialogue with Dr. Ambedkar, the leader of the Harijans, Allama Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British Government and with no central Indian Government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim Provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared Muslims would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their separate entity as Muslims. On the issue of fourteen points, Gandhi offered to accept all the Muslim demands laid therein provided their representatives including Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal opposed the demands of the Depressed Classes for separate electorates. “But it stands to the credit of the great Muslim community that they refused to betray the Depressed Classes and go back upon their signature” as remarked by M. Mondal.
Allama Iqbal's statement explaining the attitude of Muslim delegates to the Round-Table Conference issued in December, 1933 was a retort to Jawaharlal Nehru who had said that the attitude of the Muslim delegation was based on "reactionarism." Iqbal summed up his statement in these words:
“In conclusion I must put a straight question to Pundit Jawaharlal, how is India's problem to be solved if the majority community will neither concede the minimum safeguards necessary for the protection of a minority of 80 million people, nor accept the award of a third party; but continue to talk of a kind of nationalism which works out only to its own benefit? This position can admit of only two alternatives. Either the Indian majority community will have to accept for itself the permanent position of an agent of British imperialism in the East, or the country will have to be redistributed on a basis of religious, historical and cultural affinities so as to do away with the question of electorates and the communal problem in its present form.”
Allama Iqbal's apprehensions were validated by the Hindu Congress ministries established in Hindu majority province under the Act of 1935. Muslims in those provinces were given baleful and dastardly treatment. In his letters to the Quaid-i Azam written in 1936 and in 1937 he referred to an independent Muslim State comprising North-Western and Eastern Muslim majority zones. Now it was not only the North-Western zones only as alluded to in the Allah bad Address.
It was Allama Iqbal who called upon Quaid-i Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to lead the Muslims of India to their cherished goal. He preferred the Quaid to other more experienced and well-known Muslim leaders such as Sir Aga Khan, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Nawab Muhammad Ismail Khan, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Nawab Hamid Ullah Khan of Bhopal, Sir Ali Imam, Maulvi Tameez ud-Din Khan, Allama al-Mashriqi and others. But Allama Iqbal had his own reasons. He had explored all the salient features of true leadership in the personality of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was destined to guide the Indian Muslims to their goal of freedom. In a convincing tone Allama Iqbal addressed his “Khizr-i-Rah”:
I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India, and perhaps to the whole of India. Similar sentiments were expressed by him about three months before his death. Sayyid Nazir Niazi in his book Iqbal Ke Huzur, has stated that the future of the Indian Muslims was being discussed and a tenor of pessimism was visible from what his friends said. At this Allama Iqbal observed:
There is only one way out. Muslim should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence. He continued:
The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims. His fervent zeal and unbounded enthusiasm of Islam fired the imagination of Muslim youth. With a firm conviction in “Islam is itself destiny and will not suffer destiny”, Allama Iqbal in his letter of March 29, 1937 to the Quaid-i Azam had said:
While we are ready to cooperate with other progressive parties in the country, we must not ignore the fact that the whole future of Islam as a moral and political force in Asia rests very largely on a complete organization of Indian Muslims.
After Allama Iqbal’ death in April, 1938, the Quaid acknowledged his debt to the great philosopher in the following words:
“His views were substantially in consonance with my own and had finally led me to the same conclusions as a result of careful examination and study of the constitutional problems facing India and found expression in due course in the united will of Muslim India as adumbrated in the Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League popularly known as the "Pakistan Resolution" passed on 23rd March, 1940.” Matlub ul-Hasan Sayyid stated that after the Lahore Resolution was passed on March 23, 1940, the Quaid-i Azam said to him:
Iqbal is no more amongst us, but had he been alive he would have been happy to know that we did exactly what he wanted us to do. Iqbal was an ailing man when he assumed the leadership of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League in the mid thirties. He operated from his sick-bed. This again is a proof of his intense feeling for his community and his deep involvement in its affairs. The most notable thing about the last two years of Iqbal's life, 1936-1938, as brought out and emphasized by an eminent historian of the period. Dr. Ashiq Hussein Batalvi, is how Iqbal fought against the domination of the feudal landlords in the Provincial Muslim League. He represented the rising middle-class and in fact the mass of the Muslim community. He was acutely conscious of their problems. The Great Depression of the 1930's had its terrible impact on the people of the sub-continent. It is, therefore, not surprising to observe that Iqbal was perhaps the first Muslim leader to draw attention to the economic problem of Muslims as a community. In his letter to Jinnah, Iqbal highlighted his concern for the problem on more than one occasion. In his letter of May 28, 1937, he says. "The problem of bread is becoming more and more acute.” The question, therefore, is how is it possible to solve the problem of Muslim poverty? And the whole future of the league depends on the League's ability to solve this question. If the League can give no such promises I am sure the Muslim masses will remain indifferent to it as before." Having posed the question in such candid terms Iqbal goes on to observe: "After a long and careful study of Islamic Law, I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at least the right to subsistence is secured to everybody. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state of states. This has been my honest conviction for many years and I still believe this to be the only way to solve the problem of bread for Muslims as well as secure a peaceful India".
Iqbal issued numerous statements pertaining to the burning topics of the day relating to various aspects of social, religious, cultural and political problems of India, Europe and the world of Islam. He remained thoughtful about the Muslim Ummah as a whole. He was so eager and anxious for amelioration and liberation of the downtrodden people of Kashmir. It is poignant to observe that an ailing Iqbal, barely six months before his death, was prepared to go to jail on an issue which he thought was a menace both to his religion and his country, and was distressed over the Palestine question:
"The Palestine question is very much agitating the minds of the Muslims. We have a very fine opportunity for mass contact for the purposes of the League. I have no doubt that the league will pass a strong resolution on this question and also by holding a private conference of the leaders decide on some sort of a positive action in which masses may share in large numbers. This will at once popularize the League and may help the Palestine Arabs. Personally I would not mind going to jail on an issue which affects both Islam and India. The formation of a Western base on the very gates of the East is a menace to both".
In short, Iqbal was the man behind the idea of Pakistan. His contributions to the Muslim world as one of the greatest thinkers of Islam also stand unparalleled. In his writings, he exhorted people, particularly the youth, to stand up and face the various challenges bravely like an eagle. The central theme and main source of his message was the Qur'an that is a source of foundational principles upon which the infrastructure of an organization must be built as a coherent system of life. According to Iqbal, the only system of life that could be implemented as a living and cultural force is ISLAM because it is based on permanent and absolute values given in the Qur'an. Jinnah, for whom Iqbal evinced a great deal of respect and admiration, was so eloquent in his praise of the great Muslim poet. “He will live”, said Jinnah, “as long as Islam will live. His noble poetry interprets the true aspirations of the Muslims of India. It will remain an inspiration for us and for generations after us.”
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