THE STUDENT WHO BECAME THE MASTER
At times, writers are out of words whilst praising a personality. Allama Iqbal had such a charisma that is difficult to transform into words. Dr / Sir / Allama / Hazrat and many other salutations used to refer to his multi-dimensional personality do not do justice to the man whose every face embraces a new height of perfection. My ignorant self is often at loss of words and does not know where to start and when to end whilst mentioning the great poet, philosopher, revolutionist, Ideologist, Spiritualist, humanitarian, politician and Muslim.
The departed melody may return or not!
The zephyr from Hijaz may blow again or not!
The days of this Faqir has come to an end,
Another seer may come or not!
- Allama’s verse minutes before his death.
Through various excerpts, I will try to uncover a side of him many of us have not seen. The biggest influence on Iqbal’s personality was none other than the greatest Sufi poet of all time, Maulana Jelal-ud-din Rumi. To understand the verses of Iqbal and unveil the mysticism concealed in his words, it is imperative to study Rumi.
The poetry and philosophy of Rumi had the deepest influence on Iqbal’s mind. Deeply immersed in religion since childhood, Iqbal began concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, the mystical side of Islam and embrace Rumi as “his guide.” .Iqbal refers to Rumi in countless poems to underline the message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for socio-political liberation and glory.
Iqbal was not the same after reading Masnavi, perhaps the greatest masterpiece of spiritual poetry in all of human history. Iqbal pays tribute to Rumi in almost all of his books and acknowledges him as his spiritual guide.
Few verses in chronological order are given below:
Inspired by the genius of Master of Rum
I rehearse the sealed book of secret lore;
The master of Rum transmuted my earth to gold
And set my ashes aflame
Spiritual Master Rumi, the sage of holy origin
Opened the secret of life and death to us
Have a spark from my innermost heart
For my heart is as fiery as Rumi’s
In Javed Nama, Iqbal describes how Rumi’s soul appeared to guide him:
And like the sun was his clear countenance
And age in him, scintillate the youth
His figure gleamed with godly light that lent
Him bliss and grace, the secrets of his life
Hung on his lips and burst the bound of word
And sound, the words he spoke were crystal clear
With learning full and inward light
Again, Iqbal calls him!
- Javed Nama
In “Letter from Europe“, Rumi is described by Iqbal as “Lamp of the way of free man”.
I have learnt the subtleties from Pir Rumi
I have burnt myself in his letters
- Pas Cheh Bayd Kard
It is time that I reopen the tavern of Rumi
The sheikhs of Kaaba are lying drunk, in the country-yard of the church
That string of the instrument of your ego is broken
Due to your indifference to Rumi’s Music
Besides there are other numerous pointers regarding Rumi as Iqbal’s guide
An important thing to note here is that there is nothing demeaning in getting guidance from Murshid in Sufi tradition. Like a patient needs doctor and a student needs teacher, Sufis seeking spiritual enlightment need a guide /”murshid”. A question comes to mind that why Iqbal chose Rumi as mentor. Iqbal’s own answer would be that he didn’t. Rumi chose him. “The candle rushed onto the moth,” he says in the prelude of his first book of poetry.
When studied in the illumination of direction from Iqbal, the core essence of Rumi turns out to be that idea can transform into reality. That happens to be the gist of Iqbal’s message as well. Iqbal being the only Sufi poet whose words created a storm within the hearts of a nation who was living in slavery; he used his words to pierce their hearts and shook them to stand up for their rights. It is not an incident that he is the only poet whose imagination gave birth to a real country on the map of the world.
<big>The great master resembles the sea and the great pupil resembles the river which surges in the sea to become the sea itself. </big >
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