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Posts Tagged ‘Allama Iqbal’

 

Here, the master-piece of Iqbal “Jawab E Shiqwa” is pasted in Urdu and English translation. Original poem ” Shiqwa ” was a complaint to God by Iqbal, about why the Muslim nation was subjected to downfall across the world. Hence, Jawab E Shiqwa serves to answer the question that was asked in Shiqwa. Bear in mind, the Shiqwa was subjected to severe critcism by the Mullah-brethen, as some even labelled him a “Kaafir” (Infidel). Jawab E Shiqwa points at what is lacking in Muslims that makes them suffer from Palestine to Kashmir, in Iqbal’s view. Iqbal was a master poet and he used his poetry to stir a revolution in the hearts and minds of Muslims of subcontinent. He yearned to wake them up from sleep of apathy and asked them to look within for faults, errors and mistakes, because only after realising ones incompetence, can one overcome the weakness and progress in these challenging times.

The word springing from the heart surely carries weight,
Though not endowed with wings, it yet can fly in space.

Pure and spiritual in its essence, it pegs its gaze on high,
Rising from the lowly dust, grazes past the skies.

Keen, defiant, and querulous was my passion crazed,
It pierced through the skies, my audacious wail.
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“Someone is there,” thus spoke the heaven’s warder old,
the planets said, “From above proceeds this voice so bold.”

“No, no,” the moon said,” “tis someone on the earth below,”
Butted in the milky way: “The voice is hereabouts, I trow.”

Ruzwan alone, if at all, understood aright,
He knew it was the man, from heaven once exiled.

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Even the angles wondered who raised this cry,
All the celestial denizens looked about surprised.

Does man possess the might to scale empyreal heights?
Has this mere pinch of dust learnt the knack to fly?

What are these earthly folks? Careless of all respect,
How bold and impudent, the lowly dwellers of the earth!

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Extremely rude and insolent, cross even with God,
Is it the same Adam whom angels once did laud?

Steeped in bliss, man is of wisdom’s lore possessed,
Nonetheless, he’s alien to humility’s sterling worth.

Man feels proud of the power of his speech,
But the fool doesn’t know how and what to speak.

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You narrate a woeful tale, thus the voice arose,
Your heart is boiling over with tears uncontrolled.

You have delivered your plaint with perfect skill and art,
You have brought the humans in contact with God.

We are inclined to grant, but none deserves our grace,
None treads the righteous path, whom to show the way?

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Our school is open to all, but talent there is none,
Where is that soil fertile to breed the human gems?

We reward the deserving folks with splendid mead,
We grant newer worlds to those who strive and seek.

Arms have been drained of strength, hearts have gone astray,
The Muslim race is a blot on the Prophet’s face.

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Idol-breakers have left the scene, idol-makers remain,
Aazar has inherited Abraham’s glorious name.

Wine, flask, and drinkers-all are new and changed,
A different Kaaba, different idols now your worship claim.

There was a time when you were respected far and wide,
Once this desert bloom was the season’s wealth and pride.

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Every Muslim then was a lover profound of God,
Your sole beloved once was the all-embracing Lord.

Who removed falsehood from the earth’s face?
Who broke the shackles of the human race?

Who reclaimed our Kaaba with their kneeling brows?
Who presses the sacred Quran to their heart and soul?

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True, they were your forbears, but what are you, I say?
Idle sitting, statue-like you dream away your days.

What did you say? Muslims are with hopes of houries consoled,
Even if your plaint is false, your words should be controlled.

Justice is the law supreme, operative on this globe,
Muslims can’t expect the houries, if they follow the kafir’s code.

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None of you is in fact deserving of the”hoor”,
A Moses is but hard to fin, burneth still the Tur.

Common to the race entire is their gain or loss,
Common is their faith and creed, common too the Rasul of God;

One Kaaba, one Allah, and one Quran inspire their heart,
Why can’t the Muslims then behave like a single lot?

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Cast, creed and factions have disjointed this race,
Is this way to forge ahead, to flourish in the present age?

It’s the poor who visit the mosque, join the kneeling rows,
The poor alone observe the fasts, practice self-control.

If someone repeats our name, it’s the poor again,
The devout poor hide your sins, preserve your vaunted name.

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Drunk with the wine of wealth, the rich are unconcerned with God,
The Muslim race owes its life to the poor, indigent lot.

“Muslims have vanished from earth,” this is what we hear,
but we ask, ” Were the Muslims ever the Jewish sects.

You are Nisars by your looks, but Hindus by conduct,
Your culture puts to shame even the Jewish sects.

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If the son is alien to his learned father’s traits,
How can he then claim his father’s heritage?

All of you love to lead a soft, luxurious life,
Are you a Muslim indeed? Is this the Muslim style?

All of you desire to be invested with the crown,
You should first produce a heart worthy of renown.

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The new age is the lighting blast, it will set your barns on fire,
It can’t produce in groves or deserts the Old Sinai’s burning spire.

The new fire consumes for fuel the blood of nations old,
The clothes of the Prophet’s race are incinerated in its folds.

Don’t be depressed, gardener, by the present scene,
The starry buds are about to burst with a brilliant sheen.

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The garden will soon be rid of its thorns and weeds,
The martyr’s blood will bring to bloom all the dormant seeds.

Mark how the sky reflects its orange purple hues,
The rising sun will flush the sky with its rays anew.

Islamic tree exemplifies cultivation long and hard,
A fruit of arduous gardening over centuries past.

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Your caravan needn’t fear the perils of the path,
But for the call of bells you own no wealth at all.

You are the plant of light, the burning wick that never fails,
With the power of your thought you can incinerate the veil.

We’ll love you as our own, if you follow the Prophet’s ways,
The world is but a paltry thing, you’ll command the pen and page.

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Dr. Muhammad Allama Iqbal ,who was ardent follower of Rumi, perhaps the greatest Sufi poet of all time, openly criticized the self-proclaimed guides of the religion. However, it is satirical that mullahs of the same breed quote verses of Iqbal to support their pose, yet his poetry is filled with open disapproval of them. Here he bashes out at Mullahs in his famous “The Mullah and the Paradise”

When in a vision I saw
A mullah ordered to paradise,
Unable to hold my tongue
I said something in this wise:

‘Pardon me, O Lord
For these bold words of mine,
But he will not be pleased
With houris and the wine

He loves to dispute and fight
And furiously wrangle,
But paradise is no place
For this kind of jangle

His task is to dis-unite
And leave people in the lurch,
But paradise has no temple
No mosque and no church

– translated by Naeem Siddiqui

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Mystifying is the turn of time, indeed. The same Allama Iqbal who was given fatwa’s on, by his contemporary “Mullahs” is now quoted by well-reputed Mullahs of the same school of thought.

The same Bulleh Shah, who had been refused by the mullahs to be buried after his death in the community graveyard because of his unorthodox views, today enjoys worldwide reverence and is quoted by contemporary mullahs. The tomb of Bulleh Shah in Qasur and the area around it is today the only place free of collective refuse, and the privileged of the city pay handsomely to be buried in the proximity of the man they had once rejected.

Maulana Rum (aka Rumi), who was condemned as a kaafir, is not only the top selling poet across the globe but is held in high reverence by people of all religions.

I have written on this topic previously, the verses of Bulleh Shah force me to write again. Every word that was misinterpreted by mullahs, can serve a cure for all the ills we are facing in our times.

Chal Way Bullehya Chal O’thay Chaliyay
Jithay Saaray Annay
Na Koi Saadee Zaat PichHanay
Tay Na Koi Saanu Mannay
 
O’ Bulleh Shah let’s go there
Where everyone is blind
Where no one recognizes our caste (or race, or family name)
And where no one believes in us
 
Masjid Dha Day, Mandir Dha Day
Dha Day Jo Kujh Disda
Par Kissay Da Dil Na Dhawee(n)
Rub Dilaa(n) Wich Wasda
 
Tear down the Mosque, tear down the temple
Tear down every thing in sight
But don’t (tear down) break anyone’s heart
Because God lives there
 
Hindu na nahi musalmaan,
Baheeye tiranjan taj abhimaan.
Sunni na naheeN ham sheeya
Sulha kuhl ka maarag leeya.
 
Neither Hindu nor Muslim,
Sacrificing pride, let us sit together.
Neither Sunni nor Shia,
Let us walk the road of peace.

 

Props to Junoon, Rabbi, Abida Parveen, Saeen Zahoor and other musicians of our times for helping the new generation in rediscovering the message of Bulleh Shah. Junoon started the trend and was labeled as “Sufi Rock Band” – The message that pierced my heart was through them, when I was 12.

This first aspect of Bulleh Shah’s poetry and philosophy that strikes upfront is his bold and almost arrogant critique of the religious orthodoxy of his day; specifically the Islamic religious orthodoxy. His poetry is filled with direct attacks on anyone claiming control over religion.

Mulla tay mashaalchi dohaan ikko chit
Loukan karday chananan, aap anhairae vich
 
Mullah and the torch-bearer, both from the same flock
Trying to give light to others; themselves in the dark 

 

Bulleh Shah’s poetry portray him as a humanist. Someone providing solutions to the sociological/political/cultural problems of the world around him, describing the turbulence his homeland of Punjab is passing through, while simultaneously searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual journey through the four stages of Sufism – Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). He starts from the rules as laid down by Islam, and eventually ends up at a point where he accepts the existence of God, everywhere, with no discrimination between different religions, finally becoming one with God.

Pointing at someone else’s faith would only unveil how weak your faith is. Picking up guns, instead of pens to enforce your way of thinking would never have an effect that the likes of Bulleh Shah had through his soul-searching and heart-melting poetry.

Islam was never spread by sword. It wouldn’t be the fastest growing religion on earth if that were the case. Islam is spread by the message of love and by deeds, not the way Taliban “ENFORCE” it.

Lord Almighty Himself says:

There shall be no compulsion in religion – [2:256]

I cannot help pasting the verse below:

Bulleh-a aashiq hoyiyon Rabb da, Hoai Malamat Lakh
Tenon Kafir Kafir aakhdey, toon aaho aaho aakh

O Bulleh, just love your God and ignore the chidings
When they say you are an infidel, say “yes I am one”

 

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Dr. Javed Iqbal in the biography of his famous father, Allama Iqbal, narrates one interesting incident.

The only role Allama Iqbal ever played in active politics was in 1926 when on the insistence of his followers he opted to contest the Punjab Legislative Council Membership elections. While all others withdrew their names to honor him, one diehard Malik Din Mohammad stayed in the contest. The election campaign started with all the traditional wherewithal of mud-slinging which in diction and dirtiness was not very different from that of today’s.

Allama Iqbal was unabashedly called a “kafir (due to his endorsement of Sultan ibn Saud)”, a “Kashmiri”; a “pro-Ahmadi”; “a Wahabi”; “an enemy of Tasawwaf (Sufism). In short, some 14 points highlighting the absence of character in Allama Iqbal, which included the accusation of his being a wine-addict, a murderer of a Tawaif, a man with three wives, etc appeared on the walls of Lahore. This was too much for Allama Iqbal. But he was made to believe that it was a part of politics.

According to Hafeez Jullundhri, one day after a tiring campaign in the downtown area of Lahore, Allama Iqbal and he were walking on foot towards their car when something unique happened. Being a candidate, Allama had to extend his salutation to each person he countenanced while walking. In one such courtesy offer, Allama extended his “Aslam-o-Alaikum” to a person, who as it turned out, happened to be belonging to the opposite group of Malik Din Mohammad. That unruly person reciprocated Allama’s salutation, just by dropping off his, “dhoti”, and Lo, there he stood in the middle of the street, and in front of Allama in his utter naturalness.

This, indeed, was too much for a poet and thinker.

Taking his seat in the car, Allama addressed Hafeez Jullundhri in a somewhat dismayed and tired tone, “I have lost my sleep thinking about the causes of the decline of values, self-respect and good-conduct in this nation, and look how they are acting!”. Hafeez Jullundhri in his typical Jullundhri way, replied to Allama, “Doctor Sahib. Do not get upset or sad. The nation has showed you whatever it possesses”.

The remark freshened up Allama Iqbal for the moment and he smiled, losing all bitterness. Our people also should not get upset, nor should they lose hope because “the politicians are showing whatever they possess”, like the man in the story.

” Nations are born in the heart of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians ” – Dr. M. Allama Iqbal

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