This ghazal was written in 1907, i.e. about the end of `Allamah Iqbal's stay in Europe. It is the first expression of his thoughts based on his experiences in Europe. The ghazal covers several of his favorite themes. There was a time when, as a result of the knowledge spreading from Islamic Spain, Europe was starting to be freed from the theocracy of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire, which had kept Europe enslaved in bondage of ignorance for centuries. Europe was beginning to benefit from the Reformation and Industrial Revolution. New discoveries in material sciences as well as metaphysics were beginning to show promise that Europe would benefit ethically from the blessings of knowledge. Allamah Iqbal also was somewhat impressed by this situation as is reflected by verses 1 3 and 10. He also got some hope of the renaissance of the Muslim world as a result of the new general awakening, as is expressed in verses 4 and 5. However, he was not completely dazed by the apparent material progress of Europe, and tempered his earlier expressed optimism with the material of verses 7 9 and 12. The rest of the ghazal briefly talks about some of the Islamic values which have been repeatedly preached by him. These are:
(i) The supremacy of the Heart over Intellect (verse 11). Also see Note 8 to Poem 73 "Abd al Qadir Key Nam (Addressed to Abd al Qadir) and Introduction to ghazal 75 5.
(ii) Love of humanity is of prime importance for piety and religion (verse 13).
(iii) Avoiding ostentation, and practicing perseverance and selflessness is very important in Love for God (verses 14 16).
(iv) Expression of his own ambition for participation in the important task of struggle for Islam's revival and renaissance (verse 15). The ghazal ends with an expression of his own condition. (verse 17).
Time has come for openness, Beloved's Sight will be common
The secret which silence had concealed, will be unveiled now
O Cup bearer! Time has gone when wine was taken secretly
The whole world will be tavern, everyone will be drinking
Those who once wandered insane, will return to habitations
Lovers' wandering will be the same but deserts will be new
The Hijaz's silence has proclaimed to the waiting ear at last
The covenants established with desert's inhabitants will be re affirmed
Which coming out of deserts had overturned the Roman Empire
I have heard from the Qudsis that the same lion will be re-awakened
As the cup bearer mentioned me in the wine drinkers' assembly
The tavern's sage said, "He is insolent, he will be disgraced"
O Western world's inhabitants, God's world is not a shop!
What you are considering genuine, will be regarded counterfeit
Your civilization will commit suicide with its own dagger
The nest built on the frail branch will not be durable
The caravan of the feeble ants will make fleet of rose petals
However strong the ocean waves' tumult be it will cross the ocean
The poppy, roaming in the garden, shows its spots to every f lower-bud
Knowing that by this exhibition it will be counted among the Lovers
O Sight! That was the One you showed us as a thousand
If this is your state what will be your credibility? 1
As I told the turtledove one day the free of here are treading on dust !
The buds started saying that I must be the knower of the garden's secrets!
There are thousands of God's Lovers, who are roaming in the wilderness
I shall adore the one who will be the lover of God's people
This is the world's custom, O Heart! Even winking is a sin
What will our respect be if you will be restless here?
In the darkness of the night I shall take out my tired caravan
My sigh will be shedding sparks my breath will be throwing f lames
If there is nothing but show in the aim of your life
Your destruction from the world will be in a breath like spark
Do not ask about the condition of Iqbal, he is in the same state
Sitting somewhere by the wayside he must be waiting for oppression!
1. Allusion to the theories of Intellect about God, which present an enigma to Man. This attains nothing but confusion. However, Iman , Love of God and Faith present the Truth through the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. In this condition Intellect cannot be trusted as a guide on this path.