On the occasion of the 143th birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal, the great poet, politician and philosopher of Pakistan, a virtual meeting was held by ECO Cultural Institute in cooperation with Allameh Tabatabai University of Tehran and Pakistan Embassy on November 9, 2020.
According to ECO Cultural Institute, at the meeting, Sarvar Bakhti, the ECI president; Seyed Ali Onsor Zaidi, deputy Pakistan ambassador to Tehran; Dr. Ali Akbar Ahmadi Aframjani, director of Philosophy department of Allameh Tabatabai University as well as Senator Walid Iqbal, the grandchild of Allama Iqbal delivered speeches.
While welcoming the guests and expressing gratitude to the officials of Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran as well as the event speakers, Sarvar Bakhti said: "Iqbal is among the multidimensional intellectuals of the ECO region with unique viewpoints and practical measures. He is one of the renowned personalities of mysticism and Sufism of the recent century and one of the brilliant intellectuals that the Islamic culture has offered to the world."
Bakhti continued his remarks saying that Iqbal is the bond connecting the lofty mystic concepts of the previous centuries. Politically, he is also one of the intellectual founders of Pakistan and he possess a very profound outlook towards peace and security of both his own country and other Islamic countries. He was of the opinion that Muslims are not that developed partly due to the fact their they are not unified. Therefore, he believed that the Muslims and the regional countries must unite with each other.
Sarvar Bakhti went on saying: "The Islamic identity as well as the commonalities that Allameh Iqbal believed in, can in general lead to the establishment of more ties among the regional countries. On the other hand, he held a profound attachment to the Persian language and poetry, and that is why his poems were comprehensible for the Persian speakers and his increasing popularity among them."
The next speaker was Sayyid Ali Onsor Zaidi, deputy Pakistan ambassador, who stated: "The ECO region is one of the richest world regions in terms of history and cultural heritage. We not only share the same religion but also have many commonalities in arts and handicrafts, language, literature and history and the ECO Cultural Institute plays a key role in identifying and promoting our common values. As one of the founding members of the Institute, Pakistan honored to have contributed to the establishment of such a prestigious institution."
As for Allama Iqbal's personality, he went on saying: "Pakistan is known as the land of Iqbal; A world-famous, matchless poet that combined his political and religious ideas with his poetry and made efforts to awaken the members of his nation who were trapped by colonialism. Through introducing the concept of "khudi" (the Self), he delivered a message to the Muslims of the subcontinent to rise up and stand the trials of the times." He further continued that Iqbal's best poems are in Persian language. Two of his works titled 'Asrar-i Khudi' (The Secrets of the Self) and 'Gabriel's Wing' are very popular in Iran. Iqbal's other work Zabur-i 'Ajam (Persian Psalms) has been a source of inspiration for many youngsters.
Dr. Aframjani, director of Philosophy department of Allameh Tabatabai University, was another speaker of the inaugural who talked about the philosophy of the concept of Iqbal's 'Khudi' (the Self). As per Aframjani, Iqbal's Khudi philosophy is a complete reflection of all his thoughts and ideas. He invites us to study ourselves and find out our own true self more. The pain that the Islamic society inflicts upon him is due to forgetting our own identity and imitating others. Aframjani further said we can also look at Iqbal's thoughts and ideas critically. A review of his religious thoughts and avoiding the philosophy of Khudi are subjects to be studied critically, however, the principles of his thoughts and ideas are acceptable to different generations.
The event was held with the participation of Senator Waleed Iqbal, the grandchild of Allama Iqbal, as its guest of honor. He expressed his gratitude to ECO Cultural Institute and Pakistan Embassy in Tehran and talked about Iqbal's ideal society and said: "Iqbal was of the opinion that an ideal society must be a peaceful one because Islam is fundamentally a peaceful religion. Expressed through his ideas, Iqbal is of the firm belief that the ideal society is the one that has been refurbished with the principles of modern Islam along with unity, equality and freedom of humanity being administered under a peaceful political system.
Then Dr. Narges Jaberi Nasab, assistant professor of Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, delivered the first specialized speech and while expressing her gratitude to the organizers of the event, she talked about the themes of Iqbal's Persian poems. Jaberi Nasab said that Iqbal used Persian language to express his thoughts and ideas on the themes of love for religion and Quran, love for the Holy Prophet of Islam, Imams and great religious personalities, political issues, patriotism, cultural issues, freedom and enlightenment of the peoples, fighting oppression, philanthropy and social justice and thus, the themes of his poems are generally political-social and moral-educational.
Mohammad Afsar Rahbeen, an Iqbal scholar and the director of Afghanistan's National Archives, was another speaker of the event and talked about Iqbal's visits to Afghanistan and his thoughts on this country. In the second part of his speech, Rahbeen provided information on the studies made by Afghanistan researchers on Iqbal and his poems as well as Persian and Pashto translations of Iqbal's works. It is worth mentioning that Rahbeen himself has made a Persian translation of Iqbal's 'Gabriel's Wing' and "Zarb-i Kaleem' which have been published by ECO Cultural Institute. He has also translated and published Iqbal's Urdu poems.
Dr. Faiza Mirza, Professor of Karachi University in Pakistan, was another speaker who deliberated upon the orientation towards Iran reflected in Iqbal's poems and Iqbal's love for Iran. She further talked about the linguistic, historical, political and intellectual orientation of Iqbal's poems towards Iran and said Iqbal was inspired by the great Iranian poets, mystics and Sufis.