Every year Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim (1896 – 1959) memorial lecture is organized at the Quaid-e-Azam Library. Dr. Hakim was a close associate of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 1938), both were disciples of Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi, having progressive thinking. On March 31, 2018 prominent Artist Aslam Kamal delivered a very powerful lecture on Dr. Iqbal Lahori as he is remembered in Iran. According to Aslam Sahib over 7000 books and 35000 research articles have been published on the poet of the East, which is one of the highest on any living being. In his concluding words he said, “Prophethood ended 1400 years ago but nations are gifted with special individuals like Iqbal”.
Iqbal’s ‘Javed Nama’ is an epic masterpiece which could not have been possible through human efforts alone. He used the word ‘Ilhami’ (Divine) help in producing such a publication. In the tea break, I mentioned to him the famous verses written about Jinnah in which it is mentioned that such individuals are born after thousands of years of drought, no such praise existed for Iqbal. We both agreed that together they were unstoppable, he asked me to write about this combination.
There is general consensus that three leaders played a pivotal role in the creation of Pakistan namely: Syed Ahmed Khan (1817 – 1898), Iqbal and Jinnah. It was Iqbal who conceived and visualized a homeland for the Muslims of India. He then decided on Jinnah to lead the freedom movement and could not have succeeded without this combination; it is like founder and father working in tandem.
According to the speaker, Iqbal was both physical and metaphysical. On one hand he talked about human struggle while on the other he could look into the future and make important pre-dictations. His influence was widespread. Through his Persian verses he inspired the Iranians. Dr. Shariati followed in his footsteps which eventually led to the revolution with the emergence of an Islamic Republic there.
Jinnah on the other hand was a leading lawyer of India, once he took up the case of Pakistan, Iqbal could smell success. Iqbal died before the passage of the Lahore Resolution of 1940 and was buried not too far from the place of the gathering. Today the Minar-e-Pakistan overlooks the resting place of its founder.
Jinnah took over where Iqbal left. It was a perfect change of baton from planning to its meticulous implementation. As leader of the Congress Party, Nehru tried his best to come in between but Iqbal was convinced that only Jinnah could deliver on his dream. Perhaps it was divine intervention that brought the dreamer and the executor together. Two years after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, another of Iqbal’s prediction came true when Mao’s China emerged on the world map. The poet could see the Warm Springs of revolution coming out of the Himalayas. In that struggle there was also a duo. While Mao Tse Tung led the revolution, Chou-en-Lai managed it. Together they proved to be a deadly combination that produced one of the biggest miracles of the 20th century. Iranian revolution came next.
Creation of Pakistan in 1947, followed by the Chinese Revolution in 1949 and then the Iranian uprising of 1979 established Iqbal as the Chief Architect of the reformed East. A new slogan emerged, ‘East is Red’ (Asia Surakh Hae). From the poet of the East, Iqbal emerged as a torch bearer of revolutions that followed.
Jinnah’s struggle was unique in many ways. He created a homeland for the Muslims without firing a single bullet. Iqbal’s vision was turned into reality through a democratic, legal struggle instead of guns and explosives. Jinnah’s leadership was selfless and honest; till today he remains a role model for the youth of the Indian Subcontinent.
In order to grow and prosper nations must learn from history. Visionaries are born after centuries of infertility, in the 20th century Iqbal clearly stands out. Turning vision into reality is equally challenging where status-quo is entrenched. Jinnah single handedly faced the entire Congress leadership together with the colonialists. He presented a very strong case for Pakistan and eventually prevailed against all odds.
While Iqbal communicated through ‘Nazam’ (Poetry), Jinnah’s medium was ‘Nasar’ (Prose). Both reached out well, while Iqbal’s message was in Urdu/Persian, Jinnah used English language to communicate yet their message was clearly understood. They both developed the trust of the nation.
It is high time that we follow their road maps. Iqbal’s ideology and Jinnah’s application, Pakistan can benefit from both of them. They wanted to create a welfare oriented democracy under a constitution which we have had since August 1973. If this agreement between the ruled and the rulers is followed, the country could be much better. While China is poised to be a world power with Iran not too far behind only Iqbal’s Pakistan remains in the woods. Iqbal believed in the potency of this soil (Zarkhais Mitti) all it needs is some moisture to sprout gold. Jinnah has left behind a legacy of honesty, integrity, and selfless service that our legislators/leaders can follow. Future of the motherland can be secured by following our heroes not zeros who despite all the propaganda have faded away while Iqbal and Jinnah are revered and remembered for their service to the nation. In order to understand Iqbal’s thoughts many more publications will surface, while Jinnah’s practical innings can be followed for ‘Naya Pakistan’ to emerge from the debris of the old, misguided and exploited land of the pure, it’s time to restore purity by weeding out the impurities that have taken over to derail Iqbal and Jinnah’s homeland. Only ‘Pak’ is the way forward as it was when the journey started. Salvation lies in understanding Iqbal’s thoughts and then following Jinnah’s footsteps.
The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation.