The International Commemoration Conference on Allama Iqbal Lahori, organized by the ECO Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Arts Department in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Huzeh Hunari), held in Tehran on 14 June 2015, well- attended by Iranian senior cultural authorities and prominent Iqbal scholars from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan and graced by the messages from H.E. Mamnoon Hussain, President and H.E. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as well as H.E. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
"It is a pleasure to know that the ECO Cultural Institute is holding an International Conference on Allama Iqbal's poetry and philosophy. The theme of Iqbal's poetry addresses the challenges confronting Muslim Ummah today. Therefore we need to revert to Iqbal's teaching and philosophy more than ever before. "The President's message reads in part.
The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan also declared in his message that Allama Iqbal's discourses were prophetic in their entirety and based on the unifying principles of Islam. Today the scourges of terrorism and extremism that afflict our body politic can be eliminated by preaching Allam Iqbal's message that emphasizes forging unity in our ranks.
"The invaluable effort made by the ECO Cultural Institute in holding an International Conference to commemorate Allama Iqbal Lahori is regarded as an opportunity for the intellectuals and scholars on Iqbal in I.R. Iran and other countries in the region to be inspired once again by the ideas and works of this contemporary peacemaker and to draw new perspectives underpinned by the unity-oriented spirit of Iqbal to encourage further convergence of the Muslim nations." The message of H.E. Dr. Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran reads in part.
H. E. Noor Muhammad Jadmani, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Tehran also stated that: "This international conference is considered an important step forward in the presentation of Allama Muhammad Iqbal's thoughts and philosophy."
"He is liked in every stratum of society in Iran. As the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hailed Allama Iqbal as the Brilliant Star of the East" He added.
He noted: "Allamah Iqbal chose the Persian language to convey his meaning, and show great enthusiasm for the people of Iran."
Speaking about Allama Iqbal's personality, Iftikhar Husain Arif, President of the ECO Cultural Institute, expressed that: "Iqbal is for the entire humanity. He is not restricted to any specific segment of the world community. He is admired as a prominent poet all over the world specifically by Muslims of South Asia Subcontinent. His thoughts go beyond the limit of time and space. "
"His thoughts have been manifested in his revolutionary works and poetry which have been very influential in the awakening of the Muslim Ummah specifically of the Muslims of Subcontinent who had long been suppressed by the colonial enlargements and domination of the West." He added.
Mohsen Momeni Sharif, Head of Huzeh Hunari, co-organizer of the conference, in his welcome speech, referred to the position of Allama Iqbal in Iran and said: "during Iqbal's time, British colonialism seriously endeavored to destroy the Persian language in the Subcontinent, which was the key to thoughts in the Islamic Philosophy; he chose Persian language in such circumstances because he believed in Persian language as one of the common languages of Islamic civilization."
"The role of him in Islamic awakening in the Muslim world is undeniable. Decades ahead of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the arrival of the Imam Khomeini in Iran, Iqbal had predicted about that." He added.
Dr. Ali Asghar Dadbeh, a faculty member of Allameh Tabatabai University, was another lecturer at the event. Noting that Iqbal had a propensity for culture, he said: "Iqbal paid a special attention to Iran's culture. Sometimes he was criticized for composing poetry in Persian; his famous reply was that my inspiration comes from Persian. "
He continued: "selection of a language by the person who desires to express his ideas means a lot. He could not speak Farsi, but composed poetry in the language."
H.E. Dr. Gholamali Haddad Adel, the Head of Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature, appreciated the ECO Cultural Institute for organization of the conference and stated: "One of Iqbal's characteristics was combination of the intellectual and emotional abilities which made him a thinker as well as a poet. Generally, the balance between these two aspects is less established. Those who are recognized mostly as a thinker are not good at poetry as much and vice versa. Iqbal enjoys high position in both aspects."
The Head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature also said: "another aspect of his personality was the link he made between individual and social aspects of human beings. As you read his poetry, it elevates the human status as an individual and a God's servant to the heaven while makes him a drop which is missing in the society as a sea. "
Then on behalf of Allamah Iqbal's family and as the guest of honor of the conference, Iqbal Salahuddin delivered his statement in Persian. He said: "Iqbal's objective was to revive his dead nation, hence he wrote Asrar-i-Khudi."
"Iqbal believed that human is able to elevate his status. He called indifference as hypocritical tendency and hated it." He added.
Further, some Iqbal scholars from Pakistan, Iran and India delivered their lectures.
- Later at the event, the book "Gabriel's Wings", a poetic Persian translation of Allama Iqbal's Urdu Poetry, published by the ECO Cultural Institute, and translated by Mohammad Afsar Rahbeen, the Cultural Attaché of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Iran, and the book "Who was Iqbal and what he said?", by Mohammad Baghaee Makan, a prominent Iranian Iqbal scholar, were unveiled. A musical performance of Iqbal poetry by an ensemble from Afghanistan was also conducted on the sidelines of the event.
- It is noteworthy that during the tight deadline, almost 60 papers from different countries were submitted to the secretariat of the conference. Eight articles were shortlisted and recognized worthy of appreciation by the jury. At the end of the event, top authors from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and India were awarded.
- Also another session was held on June 14, 2015 at the ECO Cultural Institute Headquarters, attended by Iranian Iqbal scholars and foreign guests of the conference in which Allama Iqbal's philosophical discourses and literary features of his works were discussed. Fourteen articles and lectures were delivered and discussed in the meeting.
- The Secretariat of the Conference will publish a collection of the selected articles in the near future.
- The foreign guests of the event also went on a trip to Isfahan on June 18, 2015, organized by the Huzeh Hunari and met with H.E. Rasool Zargar Pour, Governor of Isfahan Province and the enthusiasts for Iqbal. At the meeting, the Governor of Isfahan explained on the future programs in the province, including launch of chair of Iqbal studies and Urdu faculty at the Isfahan University.