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The Tomb Stone of Saiyyid


"Saiyyid" or "Sir Saiyyid" is the popular name of Sir Saiyyid Ahmad Khan. See Appendix I, No. 69 for his biography and services to the Muslim Ummah. This poem is the spontaneous expression of the sentiments which must have been created in the heart of ‘Allamah Iqbal when he visited the grave of Sir Saiyyid Ahmad Khan in the yard of the Central Mosque of the Muslim University, Aligarh. The poem contains the advice which the deceased would have given to the poet if both had met in actual life. The poem is an indication of the reverence of ‘Allamah Iqbal for Sir Saiyyid Ahmad Khan. The advice contained in this poem applies to any sincere leader.

O you whose life is confined in the material world
O you whose soul is imprisoned in the cage

Look at the freedom of this garden's warblers
Look at the prosperity of those once desolate

This is the congregation with which I was concerned
This is the reward of patience and perseverance

My tomb-stone is ardently desirous of speech, look !
At this tomb-stone's inscription with insight look !

If your aim in the world is
din's education
Never teach your nation world's abdication

Do not use your tongue for sectarianism
Resurrection Day's tumult for booty is stalking

Your writings should pave the way for unity
Beware! No heart should be hurt by your speech

In the new congregation do not start old tales
Do not start again what are now unacceptable tales

Listen to my advice if you are any statesman
Courage is your support if you are a leader of men

Hesitation in expressing your purpose does not behoove you
If your intentions are good you should not fear anything

Mu’min's heart is clear of fear and hypocrisy
Mu’min's heart is fearless against the ruler's power

If your hands do hold the miraculous pen
If your heart's cup is clear like the cup of Jam

You are a Divine pupil! Keep your tongue immaculate!
Beware, Lest your prayer's call remains unanswered!

With the miracle of your verse awaken those sleeping
Burn down falsehood's produce with the flame of your call

Explanatory Notes
1. This and the following verse allude to the beginning of the renaissance of the Indian Muslims resulting from the efforts of Sir Saiyyid Ahmad Khan and his cooperators.
2. This is the legendary wine-cup of a pre-Islamic Persian emperor, Jamshed, in which he could see the world.

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