Hajra Saeed

This statement by the Father of the Nation and his close friend, alone speaks volumes about the kind of man Allama Muhammad Iqbal was. He was truly remarkable for it is a rarity to find a poet, philosopher, lawyer, educationist, politician, and social reformer molded into a single personality.

An example of his uniqueness is the incident that happened during the 1900s, for while he was studying in England; he got a Divine Revelation about the West. This demonstrates the astounding foresight that he had been endowed with. Years later when he was there again in December 1931, he was invited to speak to students at the Cambridge University; he referred to that as the following:

“I would like to offer a few pieces of advice to the young men who are at present studying at Cambridge ...... I advise you to guard against atheism and materialism. The biggest blunder made by Europe was the separation of Church and State. This deprived their culture of moral soul and diverted it to the atheistic materialism. I had twenty-five years ago seen through the drawbacks of this civilization and therefore had made some prophecies. They had been delivered by my tongue although I did not quite understand them. This happened in 1907..... After six or seven years, my prophecies came true, word by word. The European war of 1914 was an outcome of the aforesaid mistakes made by the European nations in the separation of the Church and the State.”

Furthermore after carefully observing the events that were taking place around the world especially those concerning Muslims, he contemplated upon the reason why the Muslims were being suppressed or were facing moral decadence. The conclusion was simple: It was because they had stopped seeking guidance from the Holy Quran and in doing so had become sedentary. So he was the only one who had the vision of viewing the problems in the light of Islam, thereby making him the first Muslim of the sub-continent, who actually put forward a solution to India’s political problem which was logical as well as feasible.

So for us, he was an institution in himself. All we needed to do was study his works that provided us with the blueprint of a society where the development of individuals to the best of their abilities could have taken place. Thus we would have been able to live a successful life not only in accordance with the ideals of Islam, but would have allowed us to advance and adjust to the changes in the rest of the world as well.

And the irony of it all is that though we often quote his poetry, it is part of our academic curriculum and we even obtain degrees in ‘Iqbaliaat’ yet we have never made any efforts to actually understand its meaning and apply it in our daily lives. That is why sadly our greatest asset through which even today; we can revive and rebuild our social, economic, cultural and political life, lies dormant. 

‘Life’ for Allama Iqbal was all about continuous effort and so he stressed upon taking action, especially for the improvement of social and economic conditions because when they start deteriorating, so does a nation. 

One of his thought-provoking reflections’ which was published in New Era, Lucknow in 1917, truly depicts the unfortunate predicament of our country today.

 “Nations are born in the hearts of poets; they prosper and die in the hands of politicians”

Yet one can find hope and strength in these words, as he said “Given character and healthy imagination, it is possible to reconstruct this world of sin and misery into a veritable paradise.”n