Translated by: Mehreen Misbah - DISNA
Though I am a great admirer of Iqbal's creative genius yet in my personal opinion, he should be banned. Thank God a part of his poetry has already been hidden and utmost efforts are being incorporated in preventing those poems of his to access the limelight. For example:
اٹھو ! مري دنيا کے غريبوں کو جگا دو
کاخ امرا کے در و ديوار ہلا دو
Rise, and from their slumber wake the poor ones of My world!
Shake the walls and windows of the mansions of the great!
On the other hand, our leaders and politicians use the verse:
اک ولولہ تازہ ديا ميں نے دلوں کو
"My songs fresh zeal to hearts of men impart,"
with intact consistency to make the public realize that Iqbal had penned this verse as a tribute to their own leadership. But never have I heard any of these 'leaders' mentioning this verse of Iqbal:
جس کھيت سے دہقاں کو ميسر نہيں روزي
اس کھيت کے ہر خوشہ گندم کو جلا دو
Find the field whose harvest is no peasant’s daily bread—
Garner in the furnace every ripening ear of wheat!
It is a good thing because if the poor of this country wake up they are going to shake the affluent few out of their lives of luxury. The earning of the harvest that is being enjoyed by the feudal lords exclusively, every inch of that harvest will be in danger of being burned by the laborer. This, in turn, is going to damage the capitalist democracy that is the 'guarantee of our survival'; the meaningless majority will take over while the elite class, having once been on the receiving end of the wondrous perks of this economic system, will be at the mercy of those two-penny losers.
But hiding just this particular part of Iqbal's poetry is not going to be enough. We have to get rid of his entire poetry collection. In attribution to the way we lead our lives and how dear our lives are to us, it will be interesting to point out that Iqbal perceives such a life as death and thus becomes the cause of hurting our feelings. For example we are grateful to Allah that not only did He make us part of a Muslim family but also He enabled us to follow His Commands where we never waver in offering our Salaah or fasting during Ramadh'haan. But Iqbal loves to shock us. He attacks those beloved religious scholars of ours whom we revere so much and who have assured us that no matter how deeply drenched we are in our worldly luxuries, our entry in heaven is a done deal. We just have to follow their lead and the guard of heaven could do nothing more than be left agape. The entire poetry collection of Iqbal is filled with such bizarre admonishments. For example
رگوں ميں وہ لہو باقي نہيں ہے
وہ دل ، وہ آرزو باقي نہيں ہے
نماز و روزہ و قرباني و حج
يہ سب باقي ہيں ، تو باقي نہيں ہے
That blood of pristine vigour is no more;
That yearning heart's power is no more;
Prayer, fasting, haj, sacrifice survive,
But in thee nature's old dower is no more.
ميں جانتا ہوں جماعت کا حشر کيا ہو گا
مسائل نظري ميں الجھ گيا ہے خطيب
The end of Muslim folk I know full well,
On theoretic points their preachers dwell
کس کو معلوم ہے ہنگامہ فردا کا مقام
مسجد و مکتب و ميخانہ ہيں مدت سے خموش
Who knows what tumult The Final Day will bring?
The mosques and the schools Are silent about that day.
دل ہے مسلماں ميرا نہ تيرا
تو بھي نمازي ، ميں بھي نمازي!
ميں جانتا ہوں انجام اس کا
جس معرکے ميں ملا ہوں غازي
Both you and I aren’t Muslims true,
Though we say the prayers due.
I know the end of wrangle well
Where mullahs at each other yell
تيرا امام بے حضور ، تيري نماز بے سرور
ايسي نماز سے گزر ، ايسے امام سے گزر
Thy imam is unabsorbed, Thy prayer is uninspired,
Forsake an imam like him, Forsake a prayer like this.
نہ فلسفي سے ، نہ ملا سے ہے غرض مجھ کو
يہ دل کي موت ، وہ انديشہ و نظر کا فساد
I care not for the philosopher, Or for The mullah,
One is the heart’s death; The other is death of thought.
رہا نہ حلقہ صوفي ميں سوز مشتاقي
فسانہ ہائے کرامات رہ گئے باقي
کرے گي داور محشر کو شرمسار اک روز
کتاب صوفي و ملا کي سادہ اوراقي
Sufis lack the fire, the passion that consumes,
But in miracles and in wonders their circles abound.
On the Day of Judgement, God will be embarrassed
By the blank book of the Sufi, and the mindless mullah.
There are countless other references where he has bruised our hearts and after reading his words, our acts of worship seem pointless to us because according to him, we have ignored the real soul of those worshipping experiences.
These are not the only reasons why I have put forth the demand to cast out Iqbal. There are many more. For instance, we know that our politicians are so God-fearing and how concerned they are for the welfare of the public and to serve the interests of the country how they never hesitate to beg for financial aid from the global donors. But Iqbal does not acknowledge their 'efforts' at all. He says:
نگاہ فقر ميں شان سکندري کيا ہے
خراج کي جو گدا ہو ، وہ قيصري کيا ہے!
بتوں سے تجھ کو اميديں ، خدا سے نوميدي
مجھے بتا تو سہي اور کافري کيا ہے!
کسے نہيں ہے تمنائے سروري ، ليکن
خودي کي موت ہو جس ميں وہ سروري کيا ہے
The splendour of a monarch great
Is worthless for the free and bold:
Where lies the grandeur of a king,
Whose riches rest on borrowed gold?
You pin your faith on idols vain
And turn your back on Mighty God:
If this is not unbelief and sin,
What else is unbelief and fraud?
Luck favours the fool and the mean,
And exalts and lifts to the skies
Only those who are base and low
And know not how to patronize.
To be a person great and strong
Is the end and aim of all;
But that rank is not real and true
That is attained by the ego’s fall.
This obsession of Iqbal with Khudi has really snatched our mental peace. Can this Khudi construct those luxurious mansions? Can this Khudi maintain the 'health' of those Swiss bank accounts? Can this Khudi make you 'brave' enough to 'request' aid every now and then? Needless to say, the approach employed by the Poet of the East is brainwashing our youth and hence he should be discarded to improve the current conditions.
Iqbal's poetry is not just a danger for us but it also qualifies as a peril for those 'profound' minds who have utilized their genius to take over more than half of the world's resources and have installed their personal puppets in important positions to continue with the 'wonders of their intelligence'.
He talks about freedom of nations and many Islamic nations have found his message attractive – to the extent that they have broken the chains of slavery as a direct response (big deal!). He is also the enemy of capitalism. Wherever this economic system will be opposed, it will be accompanied by the ideas of Iqbal. Many countries that had been following this doctrine till now, the masses of those countries have unified to raise a voice against capitalism. On certain instances, Iqbal is even found registering his queries to the One Above about the planet we are living in and the humans living in it who are gradually tearing away the remnants of humanity. He says:
اگر کج رو ہيں انجم ، آسماں تيرا ہے يا ميرا
مجھے فکر جہاں کيوں ہو ، جہاں تيرا ہے يا ميرا؟
اگر ہنگامہ ہائے شوق سے ہے لامکاں خالي
خطا کس کي ہے يا رب! لامکاں تيرا ہے يا ميرا؟
اسي کوکب کي تاباني سے ہے تيرا جہاں روشن
زوال آدم خاکي زياں تيرا ہے يا ميرا؟
If the stars are astray,
The heavens are Thine, not mine;
Why should I fret about the world?
The world is Thine, not mine.
If Thy world is cold,
Devoid of the warmth of passion,
Whose fault is it, my Lord?
That world is Thine, not mine.
Man is the star that brightens
Thy lonely, desolate world;
Will the eclipse of this star
Be a loss of Thine or mine?
Since I am not a poet but a columnist, there are certain literary restraints regarding article length. If I would not have been precluded by these limitations, I would have presented further logical arguments as to how expelling the ideas of Iqbal from our idealogical curriculum is the need of the time in terms of strengthening the current system in Pakistan as well as for the sake of ensuring world peace. A case in point will be the way he declares thirst for knowledge as the main reason behind the development of Europe; the way he mourns about how the Europeans are benefiting from the fruits of that tree of intellect and enlightenment that had been planted by our ancestors. That is how he tries (not hard enough though) to motivate the Muslim youth to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors and develop that intense hunger for knowledge in order to regain the glory of the past and lead the world to a meaningful culmination on all levels. To cut a long story short, he is actually saying that we are not doing enough (the nerve!) and that we are ignorant fools. He has the audacity to term our dearth of initiative to gain knowledge (duh we didn't have opportunities to live up to his unrealistic ideals) as the main reason for our decline as an ummah. He is practically insulting our nation. Henceforth without further delay such an uncouth poet should be banned. On may ocassions, Iqbal assumes the role of our defense lawyer and presents our case in the Court of Allah.
باغ بہشت سے مجھے حکم سفر ديا تھا کيوں
کار جہاں دراز ہے ، اب مرا انتظار کر
روز حساب جب مرا پيش ہو دفتر عمل
آپ بھي شرمسار ہو ، مجھ کو بھي شرمسار کر
Why did You order me to quit the Garden of Eden?—
Now there is much to be done here—so just wait for me!
When the roll of my deeds is brought up on the Day of Reckoning,
Be ashamed as You will shame me
Or he says:
فارغ تو نہ بيٹھے گا محشر ميں جنوں ميرا
يا اپنا گريباں چاک يا دامن يزداں چاک
On the Day of Judgement too
My frenzy will not let me rest:
With Mighty God I shall contend
Or rend to fragments my own vest
Iqbal himself understands what he have said, so he says:
چپ رہ نہ سکا حضرت يزداں ميں بھي اقبال
کرتا کوئي اس بندہ گستاخ کا منہ بند
—Will no one hush this too proud thing Iqbal
Whose tongue God’s presence‐chamber could not tie
Having quoted him, I don't think there is any further need for reemphasizing my stance. In the end, I'd take your leave by making an attempt to necessitate my perpetual references to Iqbal's poetry by once again quoting his words (this time is the last time I promise).
ميري نوائے شوق سے شور حريم ذات ميں
غلغلہ ہائے الاماں بت کدئہ صفات ميں
حور و فرشتہ ہيں اسير ميرے تخيلات ميں
ميري نگاہ سے خلل تيري تجليات ميں
گرچہ ہے ميري جستجو دير و حرم کي نقش بند
ميري فغاں سے رستخيز کعبہ و سومنات ميں
گاہ مري نگاہ تيز چير گئي دل وجود
گاہ الجھ کے رہ گئي ميرے توہمات ميں
تو نے يہ کيا غضب کيا، مجھ کو بھي فاش کر ديا
ميں ہي تو اک راز تھا سينہء کائنات ميں
A blaze is raging near His Throne
By my strains that burn like flames
The cries of "Mercy !" rise aloft
From the Temple of His Names.
Houris and angels, all alike,
My soaring thought can keep in hold:
The moulds in which Thou dost reveal
Get ruffled by my glances bold.
In my search and quest for Thee
Cloisters and Kirks I did design,
But my groans and woeful wails
Can shake the founds of Fane and Shrine.
There were times when my vision sharp
Pierced the heart and core of Life:
Time again, fell short of mark
By mine inner doubts and strife.
I was the only secret veil’d
In Nature’s Womb in Latent form:
When I was brought to light for show,
What wondrous act Thou didst perform