Iqbal: The forgotten Vision

As I updated my FB/BBM status to “Happy Birthday National Poet” like many of my other countrymen, a thought hit my conscience, how would Iqbal think of us remembering him only on his birthday? So here’s an imaginary letter, things that Iqbal would have said.

“Dear Son,

Thank you for your wishes. It means a lot, especially when half of your nation is still confused if it’s my birthday or death anniversary. It’s the only day of the year people remember me, write poems or articles, organize Conferences and Seminars about The Allama Iqbal, but

never bother to understand who Iqbal is. People know me as a mere poet. A poet whose greatest works are ‘cow & goat’, ‘Mother’s prayer’ and ‘Child’s dream’ etc, no one knows about Iqbal the philosopher, the orator, the poet of struggle, motivation, vision and Iqbal the leader. People have long forgotten Iqbal the vision of Pakistan.I know 90% of youth hardly read any of my works, so I write few of stanzas for reference, to re-establish my teachings, with translation in English because many of you can’t even read Urdu properly.

آ تجھ  کو بتاؤں تقدیرِ امم کیا ہے

تیغ و سناں اول ، طاؤس و رباب آخر

[Let me tell you the secret of rise of the nations, struggle and hard-work first, rest & recreation later]

Pakistan wasn’t made the easy way. It took everything to establish the idea, convincing masses and making it the only identity we had. Pakistan’s identity was a nation that fought its way through. A nation that changed the course of history, made alterations to the world map, won the war of its survival on table. A nation that honored brotherhood cherishes culture & traditions and value education. An honest nation, true and great leaders, but alas, we lost it all. We lost it to our earthly desires.

نہیں تیرا نشیمن قصرِ سلطانی کے گنبد پر

تو شاہین ہے بسیرا کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں پر

[Your destination isn’t the Royal castle, you are a Shaheen, be on your toes all the time and strive for new heights]

پرواز ہے دونوں کی اسی ایک فضا میں

کرگس کا جہاں اور شاہیں کا جہاں اور

[Both fly in this very sky, yet crows have their own world and shaheen has its own world]

   نیہں تفاوت الفاظ و معانی میں لیکن

ملا کی اذاں اور مجاہد کی اذاں اور

[words are the same, but a Mujahid’s (whose in battlefield) prayer is way more stronger and passionate than a Mullah (whose is in peace)]

Pakistan was never about the Royals and their joys. It was an emblem of iqbal ka shaheencontinuous struggle with outer and inner mortals. I always wanted them to be like ‘Shaheen’. Shaheen is aliving example of excellence, he stays at heights, beyond earthly desires, struggles, is far-sighted, focused and consistent. Even being a bird, he still makes it different and superior. I wanted Pakistanis to be like this.

اگرچہ بت ہیں جماعت کی آستینوں میں

مجھے پھر بھی ہے حکمِ ازاں لاالہٰ الا اللہ

[Even if they have vested interests, my duty still remains the same]

I see ranting becoming a national habit. Everyone’s blaming other from top to bottom. First you fulfill your own duty, contribute as much as you can, forget about the rest. Do your part.

تجھے گر فقر و شاہی کا بتادوں

غریبی میں نگہبانی خودی کی

[Should I tell you the secret of spiritualism and ruling, ‘khudi’ is nourished in hard times]

میرا طریق امیری نہیں فقیری ہے

خودی نہ بیچ، غریبی میں نام پیدا کر

[I am not a man of treasure, I have knowledge, never compromise on your ‘khudi (self)’ prefer hardships rather]

One cannot prosper unless they maintain their dignity and pride, and once they lose shame, they lose all. As said earlier, the idea of Pakistani nation was of a struggler, whose beyond earthly desires, who starves instead of bowing in front of enemies. But today it seems as if west is ideological forefathers of current political leaders.

فرد قائم دبط ِ ملت سے ہے تنہا کچھ نہیں

موج ہے دریا میں اور بیرونِ دریا کچھ نہیں

[Identity is just because of its relationship with the nation, nothing individually. Similarly a wave has an impact when in the ocean, nothing once it’s outside the sea]

Unity, faith and discipline was the great lesson taught by the great Quaid-e-Azam. 

But you have long forgotten that. And see most of the troubles you have created for yourself. Unity, discipline are the basic essence of a nation, their power and appeal. You have lost that. All I see divided and separated groups of people on basis of sects, creed, race, religion, politics and what not. That’s not how nations prosper, that’s the path for downfall rather. Pakistan has lost its identity, media propagates the wrong stereotypes hence making our youth believe Gandhi was a greater leader than Jinnah. Politicians and liberals claiming, Pakistan to be a political stunt, that went wrong. Youth has learned Indian bhajjans and adopted western ways that is damaging our culture and structure. And most threatening thing I came across the other day was the slogan of “perhne likhe ke siwa, Pakistan ka matlab kya” instead of “Pakistan ka matlab kya, la illaha illa Allah” an attempt on ideology of Pakistan.

This verse from my poem best describes my heartiest fears and nation’s condition. You are losing it day and night, yet you people don’t bother.

وائے ناکامی متاعِ کارواں جاتا رہا

کارواں کے دل سے احساسِ زیاں جاتا رہا

[Pity that nation kept losing all they had, for they lost the, ‘realization’ of losing it]

Son, I don’t need any appreciation or conferences or seminars in my honor,  I have seen enough respect, fame & honor as a poet in my life, all I wish for now is you to understand me, understand the message, know what is need of the time, instead of beating around the bush. And also please keep me away from today’s politics, for my vision, struggle and message is way beyond this politics.

Best Regards,

Muhammad Iqbal,

The forgotten Vision of Pakistan “

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