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But who in the World is or was Iqbal?

DR.PASHA | February 27, 2004 | Section: Articles | 1104 reads


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But Who in the World
Is or Was Iqbal?

Dr. Pasha

 

Who in the World Are You?

People today ask: Who in the world is or was Iqbal?

All kinds of people.

Among them Muslims and non-Muslims.

Among them Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Americans, Europeans and others.

Among them educated and uneducated people.

Among them people of a wide range of ‘Aqeedahs and Maslaks and Madh-habs.

They all ask: Who in the world is or was Iqbal?

Well, let me put it to you this way: Who in the world are you?

In other words, you tell me who you are and I will tell you who or what Iqbal is or was.

Are you a Muslim? Are you a Pakistani or an Indian or a Bangladeshi? Are you an Arab or an Iranian? Are you a Turk or a Kurd or a Malay or Nigerian?

Do you have anything to do with the United Kingdom? Are you in some shape or form connected with Europe or any other part of the Western world?

Are you from just about any part of what people call the Muslim world – from Chechnya to Arabia, from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Morocco to Malaysia?

And what is your language – and your culture? Is it Arabic? Is it Urdu? Is it Farsi? Is it English, French or German?

Or is it Malay, Tamil, Hindi, Indonesian, Spanish, Swahili, Chinese or Japanese?

Just what and who in the world are you and where are you from? You tell me that and I will tell you who or what Iqbal was and is and how Iqbal may turn out to be more relevant to you than you thought.

Do You Care About the World and Its Wonders?

And then are you an educated person?

Are you thoughtful and cultured?

Are you someone who appreciates literature and poetry, science and philosophy?

Are you tantalized by the power of human language and expression? Are you at all moved or mesmerized by the magic that words hold?

Is your heart struck by the wonders of the world? Is it in awe of the majesty of God’s creation?

Does the motionless majesty of the mountains, the churning of the surf in the sea, the soaring of the birds in the sky, the whispering of the winds in the branches of the trees and the dancing of water drops in pearly brooks and silver streams stir and awaken your mind and give your soul peace and serenity all at the same time?

Can you appreciate design, symmetry and color in things you see in nature, and in human artistry and creativity, and recognize rhyme and balance and cadence in the sounds you hear?

Are you one to be intrigued by the power of ideas and to be dazzled by the wonders of human reason, logic and imagination?

Are you one who cares about culture and civilization and about some of the higher and finer forms of human expression and achievement?

Are you a lover of humanity, regardless of race or color, creed or culture, country or nationality?

And are you passionate about such nobler ideals of human life as truth, justice, freedom, fairness, equality and human dignity and decency – for each and all of God’s creation and Adam’s breed?

Do You Love Islam and Muslims?

Do you love Islam, Muslims, Qur’an, Hadith, Allah and Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?

Are there moments in your life when you find yourself thinking and wondering about what the real message of Islam and the Qur’an is to the world?

And about what the wonderful model of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was all about?

Are there times when you lie awake at night asking yourself what it was that propelled the Muslims with such spectacular rapidity to the pinnacle of power, wealth, virtue and glory in the world, and how it is that they seem to have descended in our days to the bottom of the pit of ignominy, humiliation, destitution, helplessness, crisis of character and powerlessness?

Or are you, at a more basic and rudimentary level, a human being who in some form or fashion cares about your fellow human beings and the sad and ignominious fate of poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance, economic and social backwardness and political bondage and subjugation that befalls them?

And is there in your heart a drop or two of what Shakespeare so beautifully and touchingly calls the milk of human kindness?

And does it bother you, even a little bit, what human beings have done to God Almighty’s beautiful planet earth: to its waters; to its forests; to its air and atmosphere; to its earth and soil; to its animal and plant life; and to its people?

Then Iqbal Is Your Man!

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you must know Iqbal, because Iqbal was and is your man. You must know who he was and what he did.

And more importantly what he said.

For, it was in what he said, in his poetry, that Allah appears to have elevated him over a lot of others in the world and made him a very special manifestation of his power and glory on earth.

A vox dei in short: a voice of God on earth. That is who Iqbal was.

Iqbal’s poetry radiated the divine glory that bursts out of the Aayats of the Qur’an:

Arrahman.
‘Allamal Qur’an.
Khalaqal Insaan.
‘Allamahul Bayaan

Paraphrase:

“The most merciful one!
He taught the Qur’an.
He created the human.
And he taught him expression” (55:1-4).

And the glory that shines through the blessed words of our beloved prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam:

Inna Minal Bayaani La-Sihraa!

Paraphrase:

“Some expression is indeed like magic.”

In short, that is who Iqbal was and is.

A Lover of Humanity and of This World

Iqbal was a lover of humanity and of this world – blessed by God with an amazing understanding of Islam and of the world, and with an equally brilliant ability to express that understanding in the form of some of the most powerful and imaginative poetry ever produced by the human mind – in any language or culture.

 

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