Statement by: Dr. Mohammad Hossein Saket at the International seminar on Iqbal, Lahore, Nov. 2014
Esteemed Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Today it is an honour for all of us gathering here to celebrate Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal's anniversary of an event. Undoubtedly, it is a great opportunity to remember a personality who is the source of pride not only for Muslim nations, but also for all the nations who respect freedom, altruism, dignity and true human rights. We deeply express our appreciation for AIC for its performance. Nowadays, the best appreciation to Iqbal will be the understanding and dissemination of his doctrines and ideas.
Ladies and Gentlemen, 137 years ago Iqbal was born in Sialkot. He became the great poet and thinker who casted a moonlight in the night of the East.
ماهتابی ریختم در شام شرق
Many scholars and literary critics have described Allama Muhammad Iqbal as a poet-philosopher. Gholam Qadir Girami of Jullandur (d. 1927), who was Iqbal's friend corrected his poems, for the first time called Iqbal as a poet-prophet.
در دیدهی صاحبنظران حضرت اقبال پیغامبری کرد و پیمبر نتوان گفت
[In the opinion of authorities, the highness Iqbal performed a prophet's role, yet he cannot be called prophet].
To Iqbal, the main and major purpose of poetry is humanity. So, poetry is just the inheritor of the prophesier.
شعر را مقصود اگر آدمگری است شاعری هم وارث پیغمبری است
Iqbal had a heart with vision. This vision is not granted to all and sundry. A poet with vision appears only once in a while:
[A seer does not appear in a garden easily,
For thousands of years the narcissus cries on her lightlessness].
As Iqbal wrote: "a prophet is only a practical poet".
In fact, what does a committed Muslim poet inherit from the Prophet? The answer is very clear. A real and obliged Muslim poet, as the messenger of his community, ought to follow the exemplar which the Holy Qorān has introduced to all Muslims.
لَقَدْ کانَ لَکُمْ فی رَسُولِ الله اُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ
"In the Apostle of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar." (23:21).
We recite too, بِالْمُؤمنینَ رَئوفٌ رحیمٌ "The Apostle is most kind and merciful to the faithful" (9:128);
محمدٌ رَسُولُ اللهِ وَالّذینَ مَعَهُ أشِدّاءُ عَلی الکُفّارِ رُحَماءُ بَیْنَهُمْ
"Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah and those who are with him are against the faithless but merciful amongst themselves." (49:29).
As a result, a poet-prophet makes an effort to take a step in the Prophet's trace by following his style of life. The Prophet (Sm) always smiled; he was kind, far from violence, and as well as forgiver. He respected humanity and man's dignity; It is why Allah called him mercy and blessing for the worlds و ما ارْسَلْناک الارّحْمَةً لِلْعالَمینَ "We did send you but as a merciful to all nations (21:107).
Iqbal in his private and collective life attempted to follow the Prophet. obedience to the Prophet is obedience to Allah. As the Prophet is a good exemplar, then his acts are exactly done by the order of Allah. Iqbal says that we all should renew our faith followed from the Prophet (Sm).
طرح عشق انداز اندر جان خویش! تازه کن با مصطفی پیمان خویش!
Iqbal selected Mowlana Jalaluddin Mowlavi of Balkh as his spiritual guide. Mowlana was a great humanist. He also had a message of kindness and friendship to the modern world. Iqbal could reconcile between "Love" and "Intellect". He borrowed liberation, freedom and dignity from Imam Hussayn, and Islamic legal reasoning from Abū Ḥanīfa, the founder of the Hanafite school of Law who was an Iranian descend, as well as a pacifist jurisprudent.
عشق چون با زیرکی همبر شود نقشبندِ عالم دیگر شود
[When "Love" joins forces with "Intellect"
It characterizes a new system in the world].
According to Iqbal, the structure of Islam is ijtehād اجتهاد (the expertise to interpret religious and legal matters independently).
Iqbal's poetry cites:
رمز قرآن از حسین آموختیم
[We learned the mystery of Qurān from Imam Hussayn].
Once, Iqbal writing to a friend of himself declared that he intended to compose an epic poem on the tragedy of Imam Hussayn's martyrdom, just following John Milton's Lost Paradise and wished to call it Regained Paradise.
Ladies and Gentlemen! I would like to remind that we have to reconstruct and promote Iqbal's doctrine and thought in the current situation. We need to extend Iqbal's peaceful message among the public in order to prevent them from the extremism.
Today, promotion and propagation of peace and nonviolence amongst the people and our community is the most important and essential duty. Unfortunately, Islam is entangled among inability of 'Ulamā' and ignorance of the Muslim public, on the one hand, and inefficiency of some statesmen, on the other hand. We must make people believe that Religion is nothing unless "Love", "Kindness" and "Friendship". ألیْسَ الدّینُ الّا الْمَحَبَّةُ؟. Iqbal says in respect of disciplined and principled life achievable through the observance of Dīn:
چیست دین؟ برخاستن از روی خاک تا ز خود آگاه گردد جان پاک
[What is religion? It is true outgrow the earthliness (earth-rootedness) so that soul achieves self-consciousness]
Iqbal in a couplet says:
زندگی را شرع و آیین است عشق اصلِ تهذیب است دین و دین است عشق
[Love is the code and law for life
The essence of culture is religion and religion is Love].
Nowadays, it is the great task of 'Ulamā', scholars, writers, poets and artists to preach and promote Iqbal's thoughts by reciting and translating his both Persian and Urdu poetry and prose.
Iqbal was very hopeful. He said:
دانهای را که به آغوش زمین است هنوز شاخ در شاخ و برومند و جوان میبینم
[The grain which is lying dormant in the earth, I see it fruitful on branches and bubbling with vigour].
All Iqbal's poetry portrays the conflict of sin and righteousness in which his poetry comes to the rescue of mankind. Thus whatever we may have of the prophetic role of a poet, Iqbal was a prophetic poet. It has been argued and established that the language of poetry is that of art and delicacy, and at the same time is the most effective form for promoting the peaceful thought and conciliatory deeds. Now we understand why Iqbal chose the language of poetry for his immortal and effective message to the nations generally, and to the Muslim community particularly.
It must be noted that the emergence of Islam is desired, not as a conquering force, but as a force of liberation as it did in the past. To Iqbal the defeat of Rome implies the victory of the forces of liberation. The defeat of the Roman empire in Iqbal's view was the defeat of tyranny and oppression and victory of the power of freedom It is being asserted in Bang-i-Darā That the tyrannical rule could be destroyed by the power of Ḥaidar, by the asceticism of Abū Dhar and the truth of Salmān.
Iqbal believes that one of the most essential teachings of the Qur'ān is that nations are collectively judged and suffer for their misdeeds here and now. The Qur'ān emphasizes the fact that whenever the majority of the members of a society fall into evil ways, the nation is deemed fit for punishment
فطرت افراد سی اغماص بهی کرلیتی هی کبهی کرتی نهین ملت کی گناهون کومعاف
[Nature may at times ignore individual misdeeds, but collective misdeeds of a community are never ignored or forgiven]
Iqbal wrote: True political life begins not with the claiming of rights, but with the doing of duties."
According to 'Ibādat Barēlvī, "every man can see himself in Iqbal's versified work". He considers Iqbal as one who expressed and interpreted both political and religious doctrines. Barelvi notes that in Iqbal's view a poet must have his hand on the pulse of life.
Today our collective duty is to wake up the ignorant Muslims by preaching Iqbal's religious and political thoughts and ideas, which are based on "Love" and "Intellect". The "Love" in the teaching of Iqbal is the key to understanding of "man-within- man".
حرف بد را بر لب آوردن خطاست کافر و مؤمن همه خلقِ خداست
آدمــــیــت احــــتـرام آدمــی بــاخـبر شـو از مـــقـامِ آدمـی
[It is evil to speak ill of others,
For Muslims and non-Muslims all are the created of God; to be human is to have respect for all mankind; so, be thou aware of the station of Man!
The whole world directed to inculcating in man respect for mankind].
Iqbal also says:
بهر انسان چشم من شبها گریست
[For man my eyes shed tears for nights].
This verse might be compared with what Wordsworth wrote:
"And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man"
We respect Iqbal for his humanity feelings and affinity, as well as for his invaluable contribution to Persian and Urdu Poetry and Languages which is the bridge of brotherhood and cooperation amongst the regional countries, generally and Iran and Pakistan particularly. In march 2005, I composed the following single verse in Islamabad to express the solidarity of Iran and Pakistan:
هست اردو زندهرود نظم و نثر فارسی «مهر» ایرانی و «ماه» شهر پاکان زنده باد!
[Urdu is the Live River (Zende Rood ) of Persian prose and verse. Long live the "Sun" of Iran and the "Moon" of Pakistan].
Mohammad Hossein SAKET, IR. of Iran, Lahore, Nov. 2014