NOTES AND COMMENTS
This collection of poems was written by Iqbal when he could not carry on legal practice on account of some mysterious laryngeal trouble. Nawab Sir Hamid-ullah Khan, ruler of Bhopal, got him treated under his own supervision, but Iqbal's health did not improve and he could not resume practice. The Nawab on the basis of old ties, fixed a stipend of Rs. 500/- per month for him, though Iqbal had never alluded to it. The Nawab wanted to increase -the -stipend, but circumstances deterred him from increasing the stipend. Iqbal dedicated the book to him and these three verses are dedicatory. The second hemistich of the last verse is by Talib Amli, a Persian poet.
Readers The Rod of Moses is meant for nations of Asia and particularly for Muslims. The real aim and purpose of the book has been explained in these verses, The Muslims are advised to cultivate the qualities of hardship and manliness.
In these poems the poet laments that the people of the East, both the Hindus and the Muslims are ease loving like addicts to narcotics and he has been appointed by God to reform and instruct them.
ISLAM AND MUSLIMS
IN THE NAME OF GOD THE BENEFICENT AND MERCIFUL
In this short poem Iqbal says that it is not known where from the past and future arise. He draws the conclusion that the morning which makes the dark being of life bright is born with the Prayer call of the True believer.
2. Unity of God
In this poem the basic tenet of Islam, 'The Unity of God' is discussed.
Line 5. Abraham was the first prophet who waged a war against idol worship and preached monotheism. His father, Azar, hewed idol. and sold them in the bazar. Whenever Abraham (A. S.) had an opportunity, lie broke the idol. chiselled by his father. His father complained against him to Nimrud, the king of Babylon. A mammoth fire was lit by the orders , the king and Abraham was thrown in this fire, but the fire was transformed into a garden. Abraham is held in great reverence by all the followers of Revealed Religions. He built the Holy Shrine at Makkah.
Line 9. Holy thread: the girdle. worn by the Hindus and fire worshippers
Line 26. The Muslims have not relinquished unislamic culture and civilisation. They still believe in colour, race and nation and stick to rites and customs that smack of idolatory.
3. Submission to Fate
Line 2. Pleiades a group or constellation of seven stars.
Line 4. Breach Monkery war, concocted by the Christians themselves. Christ (A. S.) taught his followers the lesson of chastity, fraternity and forbearance, but his followers misinterpreted his teachings and started the heresy of monasticism, teaching the followers of Christianity to renounce this world.
Line 4. Acquit: a weak bird like the partridge can give a praiseworthy account of itself, provided its heart is full of fire and zeal.
Line 7. The title of the Chapter of the Koran, 'The Star'. There is an allusion to ascension in this Surah (Chapter 53). in its opening verses God has vouched that what the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) claimed was true.
5. Admonition To A Philosophy Stricken Sayyad
This poem is about a philosophy-stricken Syed who breathed his last in 1959, after having attained a high position in Government service. He came to enquire about the poet's health. Protracted illness had made Iqbal's feelings very sensitive. The visitor put such questions to the poet which offended him and he wrote this poem admonishing not only that Sayyad but the youth of the nation, who are bewitched by Philosophy.
Line 2. Bergson: tie was born in 1859. He is of opinion that Science and Logic can not pierce the husk of reality and it is intuition only that can understand reality. There is something in the Universe analogous to the creative spirit of the poet, a living pushing force, an elan vital. Iqbal met him in Vichy and related the Holy Prophet's tradition Don't vilify Time'. Though a patient of paralysis, he jumped out of his bed on hearing these words. His most well known book is Creative Evolution.
Line -3. Hegel: He was born in Stuggart in 1770, studied Theology and Philosophy at Tubingen. He worked as a tutor for several years. Last of all he held the Professorship of philosophy in Berlin. He died of Cholera in 1831. He was a prolific writer and won many adherents.
Line 10. Worship Call: the Call of Muezzin for prayer early in the morning.
Line 11. Somnath: an idol house in Kathiawar, where the Hindus go for pilgrimage. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna destroyed the idols of this temple. The custodians of the temple offered him money requesting him to spare their idols, but the Sultan did not agree. He invaded this temple several times and broke the idols.
Line 12. Lat and Manat: these are (Baals and Dagons) the names of two idols which were placed in Kaaba in pagan (lays).
Line 13. Hashemite: the name of a branch of the Qureish tribe from which the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) was descended. It is the name of one of the ancestors of the Holy Prophet.
Line 27. Ali: the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. He was the first among the boys who embraced Islam. His valour, oratory and profound knowledge are proverbial. Avicenna: the name of a Muslim Philosopher (1037-1.094) who I insisted on the importance of Logic as an introduction to the stutdy of philosophy and emphasized the grounding of metaphysics and the study of nature. Avicenna died at the age of 57. He was a prolific writer and left many books on medicine and other allied branches of knowledge.
6. The Earth and the Sky
Line 4. Pilgrim: it is a symbol for a person who treads the path of mysticism ; there are four stages, Nasut, Malkut, Jabrut and Lahut, through which a mystic must pass before attaining perfection of merging with God.
7. The Decline of Muslims
Line 4. The Holy Prophet (A. S.) was wont to feel proud of I his Faqr. A virtue of which the Prophet felt proud must be commendable. The word means disdain for the rewards, which this world or the next has to offer and which the majority of mankind covet, It makes a man spurn all delights and rewards except the attainment of worthy ends. Its accepted use is for the states of poverty and indigence. A Faqir is one who lives on I charity. No one can extol begging which is a soul-destroying and degrading act. According to Iqbal, the term means an attitude of complete detachment and superiority to one's material possessions.
Line 7. Calender: A person 'who defies conventions is a Calender. Whatever he says carries weight. He severs himself from the rest of mankind and merges with God. Metaphorically the word is used for a rake who pays no heed to the tenets of religion and leads a free and reckless life.
Line 8. Alexander: Alexander the Great (356-323 B. C.), I King of Macedonia, succeeded his father Philip in 336 B. C. and from the first showed himself fitted for mighty military exploits, He conquered in turn the Thebans the Persian Satraps, overthrew Darius, over-ran Syria and Phoenicia, possessed himself of all the cities along the Mediterranean, conquered Egypt; founded Alexandria, and finally retired upon Babylon, where he died eleven days later.
8. Love and Knowledge
To Iqbal Love I means more than a source of joy. It regenerates the Universe. It provides a solution to all the perplexities of mankind and is an antidote to all human vices It brings forth beautiful things and thoughts into the world. Its highest achievement is the creation of values and ideals and the desire to realise them. Love individualises the lover as well as the beloved. The seeker and the sought become individualized. Poets, mystics, and metapysicians have underscored i's importance. For Iqbal Intellect and Love are two world forces, how 1 er, he prefers Love to Intellect.
Ijtehad means to make the Muslim Faith suit the changing times. This objective can be gained by great strife and struggle. The Holy Book and the traditions of the Holy Prophet provide guidance for Muslims, but if any such problem crops up which ha- no analogy, it can be solved by the consensus of Ulema effort to solve Problems is called Ijtehad.
11. Praise of God and Meditation
Line 4. There is an allusion to the verse of the Holy Book (Surah Baqr) that God taught Adam all the names And then presented the same names to the angels, but they could give no reply.
Line 5. Attar and Rumi: these are the names of two renowned poets and mystics.
Line 11. When the Muslims prostrate in their daily prayers they say 'My God is chaste and pure and is the highest of all'. This, is the first verse of the chapter 'The Most Lofty'. In this brief poem, Iqbal has presented the different aspects of man's perfection by meditation and remembrance.
14. Oneness of God
Pedant: one who attaches too much importance to formal matters in knowledge.
Line 11 There is an allusion to Surah lkhlas or 'The Unity'. The unity of God is declared in this short chapter.
16. Hindi Muslim
Line 3. Code of Prophet: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian claimed to be a Mehdi, a Messiah and a Prophet in 1908. With the partition of the Sub-Continent, they have shifted to a place near Chiniot, called Rabwah. His followers call the Muslims infidels. In 1914, his followers split into two groups, Lahori party and Qadiani party. The Lahori party considers Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a revivalist. Dr. Iqbal admits that they have done much missionary work abroad, but even the Lahori party is opposed to Muslims.
17. Written on the Occasion of British Government's Permission to Keep the Sword (1935).
After the war of Freedom in 1857, British Government disarmed the Indians. In 1935, the inhabitants of the Punjab were permitted to keep the sword and this poem was written on that occasion.
Line 3 Hemistich: one half of the verse.
Line 6. Sword of Faqr: Iqbal prays God that He may grant the sword of Faqr to the Muslims.
Line 8. Khalid: The name-of a great Muslim General, who participated in all the early wars waged against the infidels, The Holy Propet conferred on him the title of 'The sword of God' on account of his deeds of bravery. He was removed from the command of Muslim armies during the Caliphate of Hazrat Umar, the third Caliph and Abu Ubaidah bin Jarah was appointed commander of the army.
In ibis poem there is an allusion to chapter 'Hadid' of the Holy Book: "We sent our Prophets with our portents, the Book and Balance, so that mankind might not deviate from the right path of justice. We sent iron also with it. There is a great fright and advantage for mankind in it. God also wants to know who helps Him and his messengers. No doubt, God is
Mighty and Dominating". These verses show that God granted His messengers arms, besides the Revealed Books and Balance, Muslims must be. ready to fight against those who do not recognise the truth. It is their duty to put down turbulence with force, wherever it raises its head.
19. Authority and Faith
Line 1. Changez: a tyrant who hailed from Mongolia. He was very cruel. His hordes ravaged and pillaged several countries of the world and invaded India in 1221.
20. Faqr and Monkery
Pharoah: it is the generic name of the kings of ancient Egypt. Moses was sent to the Pharoah of his time with the message of God. The title of this book is derived from the miraculous powers possessed by the Rod of Moses. Moses was the first Prophet who performed miracles. On one occasion. the Israelites demanded water to quench their thirst. God ordered Moses to strike his Rod on the rock. No sooner did he strike the rock with his Rod than twelve springs welled up from the rock. On another occasion, Pharoah summoned the magicians, from all parts of his kingdom, because he thought that Moses was a magician and only his counter-parts could inflict a crushing defeat on Moses (A. S.). Moses and his adversaries assembledin a big arena. Moses asked the magicians who would take the lead. The magicians took the lead and threw their strings on the ground. As soon as Moses threw his 'Rod' on the ground, it assumed the shape of a python which swallowed up the snakes. Pharoah threatened the magicians with dire consequences, but they declared that they believed in the God of Moses. On the third occasion, Pharoah chased Moses with a big army. Moses struck the sea with his 'Rod' and a dry path appeared in the Red Sea. Moses and the Israelites crossed the sea, whereas, Pharoah and his enemies were drowned in the sea. Another miracle of Moses was that when he took his hand out of his sleeve, its light dazzled the eyes of the onlookers.
Line 6. Vicegerent: assistant ; there is an allusion to the verse of the Holy Koran, "Verily I am about to set a caliph on the earth."
Line 9. Prostration: to bow before God and pay Him homage by placing the Forehead on the prayer mattress.
Line 10. Essence. lake extract or soul of a thing.
Line 11. Belonging to the earliest times ; original.
Line 4. last: There is an allusion to the Koranic verses of Chapter called '.The Heights" which runs as follows: And when Thy Lord took from the children of Adam, from their loins, their seed, and made them testify touching themselves, 'Am I not your Lord'? They said,.'Yes we testify'. Code Divine: the mystics turn away from the injunctions of the Holy Book on the pretext that they are intoxicated with the wine of 'Alast' and can disregard the observance and injunctions of the Holy Book.
Line 7. Holy Wars: wars waged against the infidels for the sake of propagating the teachings of the Holy Koran.
Line 12. Retreat: this word has several meanings ; it means the rout of an army and its running away from the battle-field ; it also means seclusion or solitude,
33. Heart and Intellect
In this poem heart and intellect are considered to be allies. These gifts are bestowed by Benign God, on human beings. Man can succeed in life provided heart and wit are yoked together.
Line 4. God Benign: God, Who is kind to his creation.
36. Recognition of A Qalender
In this sonorous poem, Iqbal has briefly described the virtues owned by a true Qalender. The Qalender says that an ordinary person can not tolerate the tumults of the world and he must pass by his dwelling quickly. Though the river may be swollen, he does not need the help of a boat or the boatman. He is the rider of time not its steed, He takes the Sun, the stars, and to reckoning.
Line 1. Proclaims with main and might declares -vociferously.
Line 4. By Qalender's dwelling hie pass as speedily as possible by the residence of the Qalender.
Line 5. Revoke: to annul ; to retract or to deny.
Khizr is a person who gained immortality by drinking the Water of Life ; he wanders up and down in the world and is, accordingly, a sort of patron saint of travellers. Khizr is supposed to be the stranger in the story in the Koran (Chapter XVIII). Moses proud of his own wisdom, had to recognize that there were things beyond his understanding, when he saw Khizr perform three enigmatic action, in killing a youth (who would have turned out a bad man), damaging a boat (to save it from an unjust tax), and repairing a wall (which contained an orphan's treasure).
40. True Guide
Line 1. Sedent nations: lazy and lethargic nations of the East
Line 3. Dungeons: the principal tower of a prison ; a close dark prison ; an underground cell.
Line 13. Expected Guide the Muslims believe that Mahdi will appear before the Judgement Day. He will sweep away corruption and disorder prevailing in the world. The expectation of a Mahdi is a very useful idea for the Muslims. So far many Muslims have claimed to be the promised ones e.g. Mahdi of Sudan, Mirza Mohammad Ali Bab and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. Bab gave out that he was appointed by God to pave the way for the promised Mahdi
41. Believer in the World
The qualities of a true believer are derived from the Holy Book. In one ;of the verses of the Koran it is said, "True believers Show their wrath against their foes, but they are compassionate. among themselves. "At another place, the Book says, "They have a, soft corner in their hearts for, the Muslims, but are full of wrath against the infidels.
Line 3. Skirmish: ah irregular fight between small parties.
Line 5. Inveterate foes: rootedly antagonistic.
Line 12. Angels great: the two arch angels, Gabriel and Israfil. The former brought the messages of God to his apostles and the latter would blow the trumpet on the day of Resurrection.
42, Mohammad Ali Bab
Mohammad Ali Bab, who lived in the reign of Shah Nasir-ud-Din Kajar, claimed that he had come to pave the way for Mehdi and that he was the gate through which Mehdi would have to pass. Actually asceticism and self-denial were responsible for upsetting his mental balance and hence the claim that he made. He had several adherents, among whom was Qurra-tul-Ain Zarrin, a fiery poetess and the daughter of a great religious scholar. Bab was accused of heresy by the Shia Priesthood. He was arrested and brought before the assembly of Priests. It is said that he could not read' the syntactic marks of 'Samawat' correctly. The assembled Priests laughed at his ignorance with great contempt. Bab cleverly interpreted his mistake by remarking that the syntactic marks had been ransomed in light of his true guidance. He was imprisoned for his heresy and later on was shot dead in 1850. It is said that. the squad that was sent to shoot him hit the rope and he was saved. The Muslim soldiers took it as a miracle and did not like to shoot him for the second time. A Christian squad was sent for and he was shot dead. His disciple and propagator of his thoughts, Qurra-tul-Ain, got her father-in-law murdered and as a punishment for this she was strangled to death by the common people in 1852, though the king wanted to set her free on the plea that she had a beautiful face. Afterwards the mission was carried on by Behaullah who fled to Baghdad. It is an eclectic religion and the good points of all the religions are included in it. Dr. Iqbal had a predilection for this creed, but his firm belief in the finality of Prophethood, did not let him accept this creed.
Line 4. Syntactic marks Arabic has no vowels and as such Fatha, Kasra and Zamma are used to indicate the syntactical marks. They are called as desinential marks as well.
It is a sort of dialogue between God and Satan. The Fiend informs God that he bears no grudge against Adam, who is the captive of Space and Time. It was preordained that Satan would not bow before him. Satan tells God that this mystery was disclosed to him after his refusal to prostrate before Him. God rebukes Satan by telling him that his mean nature has taught him this argumentation, He is free, but gives his freedom the name of constraint and, though a burning flame, calls himself mere smoke. The ideas contained in this dialogue have been called, as stated by Dr. Iqbal himself, from the Spanish mystic Mohyud-Din Ibn-ul Arabi.
Line 1. Adam: the progenitor of all mankind. God Mighty created him from clay and then breathed his own spirit or soul in him. God ordered all the angels to prostrate before Adam. They all prostrated before him except Iblis. He refused to comply with the command of God.
He felt proud of his birth from fire, whereas Adam was created from clay. God drove him away from His presence for this act of disobedience. Yazdan: according to the followers of Zoroaster, there are two Gods, Yazdan the God of good and Ahriman the god of evil.
44. Invocation to the Soul of Mohammad (A. S.)
Invoke: to call upon earnestly to implore assistance to address in prayer.
The poem is addressed to the Holy Prophet (A.S.) and Iqbal laments the deplorable condition of Muslims. The Arabs, who were the finest sailors in the world, are idle now ; there is no stir or movement of ships and boats.. The cameleers, who sang, while driving their camels on the wastes or hills, are silent now. The poet calls earnestly and solemnly on the soul of the Holy Prophet and asks what the guardian of God's protents can do the world has become too narrow for him and he has no place to go.
Line 2. Faithful Fold: the poet wishes to convey the idea of the sectarian spirit prevailing among the Muslims.
45. Islamic Civilization.
Line 2. Veers: changes direction.
Line 5. Sick of modesty: Satiated with good manners , suavity ; politeness.
Line 6. Black art and tales: a true Muslim does not believe in magic or myths and legends which' are not based on truth. Warmth of Arabs: to have A warm and hospitable heart.
Line 10. Mind like Persian race: the Persian race has produced more scholars in every branch of knowledge than any other race. There is a saying of the Holy Prophet that the Persians can glean knowledge from the seventh heaven even. Ibn-I-Khaldun in his Proegomena has testified to this fact and he says, "Verily the Persian race has tackled all the, problems pertaining to knowledge. They have proved their superiority in every field of knowledge and arts."
In this poem Iqbal has enumerated the true qualities of a Guide or leader. That Guide, is. true who can make you fed up with the present age which is replete with ills of different types. A true Guide can lead you to the presence of God and can make your blood boil and seethe with wrath and rage against the present wicked age. He can sharpen your Ego on the whetstone and change it into a piercing sword. He can prevent you from
fawning upon kings and tarnishing the image of the lustrous Creed.
47. Faqr and Monkery
In this poem Iqbal warns the Muslims and tells them that Faqr and monkery are not identical. Monkery loves ease and rest, whereas a true Faqir is always ready to face the tempestuous sea. He knows what is perishable and what is lasting ; he can discriminate between reality and unreality. Now the Muslims have been bereft of the virtue of Faqr and consequently they I possess neither the Faqr of Salman nor the grandeur of Solomon.
Line 10, Salman: Salman was a staunch adherent of the Holy Prophet. He was a Persian by birth and his ancestors worshipped piebald horses. Salman did not like to worship horses. He left his country in search of a true religion. He embraced Christianity and when the Priest, who had converted him to Christianity was on his death-bed, he advised him to go to Hedjaz, where the Seal of Prophets had appeared, lie reached Hedjaz, where the Seal of Prophets had appeared. He reached Mecca, but one of the pagans made him his slave. When the Holy Prophet came to know about the matter, he ransomed him and set him free. He had an exceptionally long age and was one of the Members of the Bench. During the battle of Khandaq (ditch), it was Salman, who advised the Muslims to dig a trench round Medina. His enemies, the infidels, called him a follower of Mazdak, though the Holy Prophet considered him as belonging to his own family and he had the privilege of going to the Prophet's House, without seeking permission Mazdak: Mazdak lived in Persia about A.D. 500 and was the Chief protagonist of a cult, founded two centuries earlier, which proposed to eradicate the causes of hatred among men by allowing property and women to be enjoyed in common. He gained influence under King Kawadh, but his doctrines were disliked by the rich, and after a political upheaval, he and his followers were massacred.
Line 11. Solomon: a Prophet, who held command over the genii and other creatures. His grandeur and glory are proverbial. He built the temple at Jerusalem in 961 B.C.
This short poem teaches the lesson that man should utilize his physical powers as well as spiritual powers to the utmost. Having done his best, he must learn the lesson of patience. God forbid, if the result of his efforts is still negative, even then he must show stoicism and should -how no wavering in his struggle. This is what is meant by resignation to the will of God.
51. Revelation and Freedom
In this poem, the poet draws a line between the revelations of a thrall and a free-born Prophet. The revelations of a free born person inspire others and spur them to perform noble acts. They make sparrows learn the ways of hawks and infuse a new spirit in them. Their teachings can raise low born men to the rank of emperors like Jamshed and Parvez. Probably Iqbal is alluding to the Qadiani Prophet, who could not teach his followers anything except the traits of the Jewish race. He gave the verdict that Holy War against the British Government was not permissible. Dr. Iqbal sought the opinion of Syed Sulaiman Nadvi about Ghulam Ahmad Mirza and he declared him a delict.
Line 5. Jamsbed: a legendary king of ancient Persia. It is said that he invented a bowl which could foretell the events that were likely to happen in the future. Some Persian writers confuse him with Solomon, the Prophet. There is a mountain near Persepolis, the ancient capital of Iran, in ruins now, which is given the name of the throne of Jamshed or Solomon's throne.
52. Soul and Body
Since times immemorial, the wise men of the world have tried to find the link that binds the body and soul together. Iqbal says that he is thinking how the, states of rapture, pain and anguish penetrate the heart and mind. He has spent great energy to find whether matter has evolved from the soul or the soul from matter. Their relation is the same as that of words and their meanings. just as a red hot coal gradually turns into ash and wears the cloak of its own ash, similarly the soul and matter are., identical and there is nothing to wonder at if the body and soul get yoked together. Their origin is the same.
53. Lahore and Karachi
In this poem there is an allusion to two significant happenings at Karachi and Lahore. The Arya Smajists, according to some pre-planned scheme, started publishing books about the Holy Prophet that offended the feelings of the Muslims. An Arya Smajist of Lahore Rai Pal, published a derogatory book of this type in which he threw mud on the life of the Holy Prophet. 'He was sued, but Kanwar Dalleep Singh, judge High court at Lahore acquitted him. The Arya Smajists were emboldened by the acquittal of Raj Pal and began to publish pamphlets and books in quick succession about the Holy Prophet, which aggrived the Muslims very much. The editor of the 'Vertman' was prosecuted by the Government and convicted. The late Sir Mohammad Shafi pleaded the case on behalf of the Government. The Muslim-; lost their patience. An illiterate young man, Ilm-ud-Din, the son of a carpenter, murdered the publisher of 'Rangila Rasul' in broad daylight. He was executed in Mianwali, from where his dead body was brought to Lahore for burial. A very large crowd participated in the funeral prayer. Similarly a Pathan, Abdul Qayyum, murdered the publisher of Karachi, Who had published a book, slinging mud on the chaste life of the Holy Prophet (A.S). He too was executed. A book-seller of Calcutta had also published a similar book. Three young men of Lahore went to Calcutta to chastise that book seller. The third happening did not get the same publicity as the first two on account of the remoteness of Calcutta. Iqbal advises the Muslims not to beg for Blood Price (Kasas) from the English.
In the third verse, there is an allusion to an authentic tradition (Hadith-i-Qudsi) of the Holy Prophet which he uttered mlifle circumambulating the Holy Shrine. He said, 'The, blood of a true Muslim is more precious than Ka'ba even'. In the last verse, there is an allusion to the Koranic verse, 'Don't call others as partners of God. There is no god but He. Everything is sure to perish except God. He ordains everything and you have to return to him (last verse of 'The Spider)'.
56. Makkah and Geneva
After the 'First World War' the victors formed 'The League of Nations' with its headquarters at Geneva. The real aim of the formation of the League was that if any war broke out in future,' the victors would interfere and thus end the war. Iqbal was critical of this organisation and he wrote in Pyam-I-Mashriq ;
I do not know more than this that some thieves of shrouds Have formed an Organisation for the division of graves.
Iqbal desired that the centre of such a League should be Makkah instead of Geneva. He disparages the League, because it could not teach the lesson of universal brotherhood as was taught by Muhammad and Christ. The Franks have achieved their aim of causing rupture among the different states.
57. The Elder of the Shrine
This poem is addressed to spiritual, religious and political guides. Iqbal tells them to preach to the youth the lesson of sticking to their faith and shunning conceit. The education imparted by the Franks has made the youth ease-loving. They should be taught to work hard and hew rocks. The English rule has enervated the youth to such an extent that no Elixir can restore their health. He implores God to bestow some reward on him for disclosing the flaws of the youth of the nation.
59. A Muslim
This is one of the most melodious poems in this collection and has been set to music and sung by several eminent singers of the country. This poem is often broadcast by the net of Pakistani T.V. and Radio stations.
Line 5. To rout: to defeat the enemy and make him run from the battle-field. Reprieve: pardon ; forgiveness.
Line 7. Ingredients: constituents ; the parts that make a mixture or a compound.
Line 11. Badakhshan and Bokhara: the names of two places in central Asia.
Line 23. Sifts the good and bad the true Muslim is a criterion for what is good and what is bad.
Line 27. Rahman: it is a chapter of the Holy Book. Its music is very charming and enchanting to the ears.
60. The Panjabi Muslim
In this poem the traits that distinguish a Punjabi Muslim are counted one by one. His credulousness is exemplary. If there is a new Faith, he is soon bewitched by it, but discards it soon. Religious Guides or Pirs have a great influence on him. If some person interprets the Holy Book in a heretic manner, even then he fails in the trap very easily.
Iqbal says that no one has the courage to check a Muslim in the exercise of his free thoughts, which he regards as a gift of God. If lie desires, lie can transform the Holy Shrine into a Magian temple, or can transport Frankish icons to adorn it. The exegesis of the Holy Book is a mere plaything for him and he can interpret it in such a way that he can devise new creed even, just as Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian did. A strange farce is being played in India. Islam is in chains ; whereas the Muslims are free to think as they like.
63. Negation and Affirmation
Negation is the denial of all other gods and deities and affirmation is the avowal that there is one God only; These two words form the initial part of the sentence declaring the Unity of God. The Allama has proved this by the seed's losing itself in the darkness of the soil and afterwards shooting up into the light of the Sun. If the seed had not come out of the darkness, it would have never acquired leaves, foliage and fruit. It shows that life begins with negation and a thing that does not cross this stage suffers annihilation. That nation which fails to cross the boundary of negation is certain to perish. To declare the Unity of God is the first requisite or pillar of Islam. To declare the Unity of God with heart and tongue is essential for a Muslim.
64. To the Amirs of Arabia
In this poem, Iqbal has addressed the Arab Chiefs and tells them that this Indian, whom they probably consider an infidel, wants to ask which community was taught the lesson of universal brotherhood for the first time and who were the men, like Abu Lahb (Holy Prophet's uncle) and an inveterate enemy of Islam, who tried to sow seeds of dissension among the Muslims. The Geographical boundaries of Arabs exist through the blessings of the Holy Prophet, otherwise the Chiefs have no reality and their pride is quite baseless.
If a person's Selfhood reaches its acme, Death can not destroy him. His soul remains as restless as Mercury after death even, because he is removed from his beloved, God, and sometimes feels His presence in the niche of the Grave. The light of the stars and the moon is ephemeral, whereas the intoxication caused by the wine of Selfhood is eternal. If a person's Self becomes mature and ripe, the angel of death can touch the clayborn body alone, but can not harm the soul.
67. By Grace of God Rise
In this poem there is an allusion to Mansur Hallaj executed in 922 A.D. on the charge of blasphemy. He was a carder by profession. He uttered the words, 'The Self is true' which was misinterpreted by the Priests of his time. The mystics who followed him declared that Mansur meant that he was nothing and only God bad real existence Later on he was canonised by the mystics.
Hussain bin Mansoor, known as Hallaj or wool carder, was born in the same year in which the great Egyptian mystic Dhun Sun died (859 A.D.). From his native Faras, he went to Baghdad, the centre of mystic life and religion in the middle Abbasid period. Hallaj joined the group of the mystics of Baghdad, but he was not on good terms with his master Junaid, who is said to have cursed him. For a year or so he stayed in Makkah performing miracles. Then he embarked to India to learn Yogi practice. He was imprisoned in 913 A.D. The Ulema accused him of impiety. They identified him with the dangerous Qaramatian movement. Attar thinks his being hanged as Ascension. Maulana Rumi once compared the red rose on the bough to Mansur and, in Indian mystic poetry, the gibbet of Mansoor is likened to the nuptial bed. His most well known book is Kitab-ut-tawasin. Dr. Iqbal says in 'Gabriel's Wing'
The rift between the Priest and Saint
Is to the Pulpit's error due-;
For the gibbet of Hallaj
Appears a rival in its view
(Gabriel's Wing Part II, Ghazal No. 1)
Iqbal advises the Muslims not to lose heart, though a great change has overtaken tbe entire world. 0 Muslim, you have the same blood in you that circulated in the veins of Hallaj, who said, 'the Self is true'. Rise by the grace of God and go in Quest of new ventures and expeditions. Your are grieved on account of the spell that the Franks have cast on you, but you can cast it away easily and play your part in the world unflinchingly.
EDUCATION AND UPBRINGING
Spinoza, Baruch or Benedict (1632-77), one of the greatest philosophers, was born at Amsterdam, the son of a Portuguese Jew, who had settled there as a merchant. He had a sceptical turn of mind and having expounded philosophical doctrines antagonistic to Judaism, was excommunicated by the rabbis as a heretic. He owed much to Descartes and in 1663 published his work on Cartesian philosophy. The attainment of truth was his only object in life. Indifferent to money, he spent his life in study and earned his living as a lens grinder. His writings have had an enduring influence, though during his life time some of his works, including Ethics, were not allowed to be published.
Plato (427-347 B.C.), great Athenian philosopher, pupil of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle. He founded a school at Ahens under the name of Academy, where he taught philosophy and Mathematics. His great work is his Dialogues. which includes the Republic, the longest and most celebrated of them all. All Plato's known writings have come down to us, and they constitute one of the most influential bodies of work in history.,
In this poem, the opinions of Spinoza, Plato and Iqbal himself are given regarding the goal a person must keep in view. Spinoza is of opinion that the chief aim of life is search for the real Beloved. Wise men always keep this Quest in view and get life and joy by its means. Plato says that the earthly life is transitory and just like a spark, its glow is short-lived and does not deserve attention. Iqbal says that the main end of life is the preservation and consolidation of the Ego.
69. The Man of Present Age
In this poem Iqbal says that the hearts of the men of the present age are quite devoid of the love of God ; they have miser ably failed to subordinate their intellect to their intuition. They try to find the position of stars in the sky, but have not succeeded in finding truth about the human brain as yet. Man has succeeded in putting solar energy to use, but has met no success in eradicating the ailments that make human life so miserable.
Line 8. Intricacies: complexities ; difficulties.
Line 10. Embroiled: involved ; to throw into confusion ; to distract.
72. Reformers of the East
Line 1. Vinteners: wine sellers.
Line 2. Samri: During the absence of Moses (A.S.) on the Mount Sinai, Samri, who was a magician, collected gold from the Israelites and prepared a calf from gold, which could low like a living calf. The Israelites began to worship the calf. When Moses returned from the Mount Sinai after forty days, he was very angry with his brother, Aoron. Moses dispelled the magic of Samri and guided the Israelites to the right path.
The reformers of the East can bring about no change. They can only cast a spell, like Samri, on their followers. They have brought empty bowls to the East. They are quite void and blank of old knowledge as well as new sciences and can't recognise the true status of man.
73. Western Culture
In this short poem, Iqbal has pejorated the Western Civilisation, because it corrupts both heart and vision. If the soul is bereft of chastity, a person can not retain clean conscience, lofty aims and refined taste.
74. Open Secrets
A nation whose youth have a strong Self, does not stand in need of swords in war. They possess a free will, whereas the moon and stars are bound by natural laws. The waves of the sea are always restless and are in search of new shores. What lies in the mother shell is a gift of God, which is not known to human beings. The hawk is never tired of flight and does not drop breathless on the ground. Similarly, if the youth of the nation fortify their Egos, they can never suffer defeat at the hands of their foes.
75. The Testament of Sultan Tipu
The real name of Sultan Tipu was Fateh Ali Khan. His father, Haider All Khan, paid a visit to the mausoleum of an eminent Saint, Mastan Shah, and prayed for a son. His prayer was accepted and God granted him a son. Besides calling him by the name of Fateh Ali Khan, he started to call him Tipu Sultan to invoke the blessings of the Saint and he became known by this surname. He took the rule of Mysore in his own hands on the demise of his father, which was the largest state of the Deccan after the uprising of 1857. Haider Ali Khan was the first prince, who judged the true and correct consequence of the British rule and he dedicated his life to the extermination of this danger. He fell a martyr on the battlefield. Tipu Sultan inherited the enmity of the English along with the rulership of the state. He spent each and every moment of his reign in opposing the English. The Sultan left no stone unturned to seek assistance from within India and from abroad as well to thwart the growing menace of the English. No power showed readiness to join him in this Holy War. The Nidham and the Marhattas joined the English. The Sultan made up his mind to fight to the end and was martyred on 4th May 1799, while fighting against the English. The English wished to win him over to their side, but he was aware that the acceptance of this offer would divest tile country as well as his own person of true freedom, therefore lie laid down his life for the sake of freedom. He used to say that a single day in the life of a lion was superior to hundred years of a jackal's life and he endorsed his maxim with his own blood. The verses of this poem are not the rendering of any testament of the King, but are the impressions of the Sultan's life on Iqbal.
A person, who walks on the road of Love, Must continue his journey without caring for rest or other allurements'. The stream is counselled to continue its flow and swell into a river that sweeps everything before it. Man is advised not to lose his bearinqs in this life and though the assembly lends warmth to the heart, yet he must spurn it. The archangel Gabriel advised the poet On the Primordial day not to accept a heart which was slave to intellect. Falsehood has several aspects, whereas truth is only one, therefore, there can't be any alliance and partnership between the two.
In this poem the poet teaches the lesson that the Muslims are not tied to one country. They are indifferent to both the worlds. Iqbal addresses the Muslims and says that they are infidels in his eyes, whereas he is an unbeliever according to them. Their life's main aim is the counting of breath, while his task is to melt the breath. It is good that they have changed their way of life, because the ways and modes of the hawk cannot suit the partridge He has not come across such love of God in wastes and deserts that might set intellect right. A poet should not keep aloof from the strife of life, for if he does so and loses interest in the facts of life, his verse-crush the soul of the nation.
Line 2. Don't trace my breed: don't trace my genealogy or pedigree.
Line 12. Pheasant's quivering breed: the pheasants belong to a spacies of birds which are timid and begin to quiver with fear on seeing a hawk.
78. Nourishing of Selfhood
If the Ego is nourished properly, it can consume the wrongs and untruths easily. Moses tended the sheep of Hazrat Shoaib, whose headquarter was situated on the road that ran to Egypt and Arabia. When Moses left Egypt, he stayed with Shoaih for some time and married one of the daughters of Shoaib. Before the appointment of Moses by God as apostle, Shoaib gave full attention to the education of Moses. When Moses left for Egypt with his family, God nominated him to reform Pharoah and emancipate the Israelites.
Line 5. Attribute: ascribe.
Line 8. Mode sublime: lofty manners ; courteous behaviour.
79. Freedom of Thought
Freedom of thought is the source of disaster for such people who do not possess the accomplishment of thinking and preplanning. If the thoughts of a person are unripe and immature, the freedom of thinking can give him no help. The utmost that such free thinking can do is that it can transform a human being into an animal.
Line 6. Accrue: to come as an accession increment ; product.
80. The Life of Selfhood
Line 4. Sanjar and Tughral: the names of two Seljuk kings whose glory and grandeur was very exalted ; the Seljuk Turks settled in Bokhara and Samarkand. When the Government of Ghazna became weak after the death of Mahmud, the Seljuqs defeated Masud under the command of Tughral (died 1063). Their reign continued from 1037 to 1256. The government became weak after Sanjar (died 1.157) and the Ghori family established themselves in the North and East. Sanjar's reign is considered to be the golden age of Seljuq period.
Line 10. Suburbs: surroundings ; environment ; atmosphere.
Line 11. Billows of mirage: an appearance of objects raised or depressed, erect or inverted, single or double owing to the varying refractive index of layers of hot and cold air, the sky often simulating the appearance of water ; illusive waves of the sea.
Iqbal says that his talk is disliked by the Sheikh and Mullah, though their followers don't take it ill. That community soon loses the capital of good deeds whose members wrangle with each other about God's Essence and Attributes. The. tavern, Saqi and flask do not last for long in this life. Only the youth of that nation deserve luck in life, who welcome the blows and buffets of life as honey.
82. Indian Schools
In this poem Iqbal has criticised the in than schools for their apathy to develop the Ego. The students of these schools are merely like sparrows and it is not proper to teach them the ways and modes of a hawk. Free men can perform a work in a short span of time, though the slaves do the same work in a year. The thoughts of free persons are illuminated by truth. The free person himself is a living miracle and is not credulous like the slaves, who are 'easily misguided by the pseudo mystics. At the end of the poem the poet suggests that painting, music and botany are enough for the students and they don't need the lesson of self-respect.
Life and knowledge are two different things ; one consumes the heart, whereas the other sets the brain afire. Knowledge can provide wealth and riches, but the trouble is that it can not guide a person to the Self as can be done by a true Guide.. There is an abundance of educated men, but they can't give a bowl full with the wine of gnosis. The teachers of the present age are unable to impart broad views to their pupils and the taught remain narrow-minded.
Line 1. Poles apart: remote from each other like the North and South poles.
Line 5. Lettered men: educated men.
Line 6. True Guide saintly person whose one glance is enough to bring about' a change in the life of a person.
84. Foul and Fair
In this brief poem, Iqbal has drawn a line between good and bad. He says that just as the stars appear and disappear, similarly the thoughts of mankind are always in a flux. A duel is always going on between good and bad in the heart of man. If the Self of a man is developed and has attained the nadir of perfection, his, actions can be called good, but if his Self is base, his actions don't deserve the name of good.
85 Death of the Ego
The poet says that the West is bereft of the light of the Ego, and the East is suffering from leprosy on account of its demise. Its lack has reduced Persia and Iraq to mere bones. Its death has made the Indians, whose wings are broken, reconciled to a life of bondage. The death of Ego has made the Custodian of the Holy Shrine sell the garments worn by the pilgrims and live on their sale proceeds---.
Line 4. A leper: one who suffers from leprosy. In this disease the joints and bones get decayed and rotten. Sometimes wounds also appear on the body. It is an incurable disease and is contagious. Pinions Cleft: torn wings
Line 11. Pilgrim's don: the white robe or mantle worn by the pilgrims, while circumambulating the Holy Shrine at Makkah.
Line 11. Sale proceeds: on the money he gets by selling those garments.
88. The Student
The poet deplores that the hearts of the students are not stirred and animated by any high goals or ideals. He prays that their hearts may imbibe the spirit of forming lofty aims and ends. The attention of the students is occupied in cramming, from which they get no spare time ; consequently they can not learn the Holy Book.
90 The School
The present age is the enemy of man, because it has snatched his soul, like the angel of death. Man's only concern is how to earn his living. The man of today cannot face the tumults of life the bludgeons of life make him quiver like a quail and the lesson that this age has imparted to him has made him forget fervour. Nature bestowed upon him the sharp eyes of the hawk, but slavery has replaced those bright eyes with the eyes of a bat, which can not see during the day.
Neitzche, Fredriedrich Wilhelm (1844 to 1900), German philosopher, in his younger years greatly influenced by the work of Wagner and Schopenhauer. His 'Superman' philosophy is expressed in many writings, i.e. thus spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Will to Power.
The German Sage, Neitzche, inspite of his great sight and misdea; could not realise the Oneness of God. His imagination was very high and he could cast his lasso on the Sun and the Moon. He was chaste by nature, but his soul betrays this hidden fact that he longed for a life full of joy and pleasure. In 'Gabriel's Wing' also, Iqbal has mentioned him thus
If that Frankish Sage,
Him Iqbal would teach
Were present in this age,
God's high place -and reach.
(Gabriel's Wing, Ghazal 33 Part 11)
Despite his great philosophical acumen, he could not realise tile Unity of God and remained an atheist. Iqbal refers to him on several occasions.
Line 7. Noose: lasso.
Line 11. Dormant hidden ; concealed.'
Line 12. A bout of drinking: revel carousal.
Such teachers, who are unacquainted with the tenets of Islam, cannot guide the students to the right path, because if the Sun (teacher) deviates from the right path, it can't breed rubies (students) of Badakhshan. The world is caught in the snare of old traditions and customs. The preceptors are quite helpless and their efforts can not wean the world of their old habits. As a matter of fact, the teachers, who ought to have guided others, possess worn out brains and are reconciled to be led by others.
Line 1. Badakhshan: a place in Iran from which rubies are quarried. In India Golkanda (near Hyderabad Deccan) is well known for the production of rubies and mausoleums of ancient kings.
Only a keen-sighted man can find a clue to true aim and end. In worldly life, only slaves can find repose and rest, whereas the free have no spare time on account of their strife and struggle against the vicissitudes of life. The great progress made by Europe has stupefied your sight. The poet prays that the Holy Prophet, to endorse whose claim, the chapter Najm of the Holy Koran was revealed, may protect your sight I There is an allusion to the Koranic verse, "Neither his eyes deviated nor went astray." The verse testifies to the Holy Prophet's Ascension. The joys and revels of this world are short-lived they do not last long and the beaker and flasks soon lose their lustre. The books studied by you have marred your taste so much that even the scent of the rose can not guide you to the rose.
94. Religion and Education
The religious leaders boast that they possess insight and can give true guidance to the Muslims. The system of education introduced by Lord Macaulay (1802 to 1857) is a great intrigue against Muslim Faith. A community that fails to bring to light the hidden powers of the Ego, can not be pardoned. Nature can pardon individuals, but communities can not expect any reprieve from it,
95. To Javid
The next three poems are addressed to Iqbal's son, Dr Javid Iqbal. He advises him to shun the company of great men for the bounteous glance of a true Saint can work wonders. There is no lack of famous poets. It is only through God's grace that his own poetry has found favour with the world. He advises him not to boast of his lineage and quotes a verse from Nidhami Ganjwi to this effect. He counsels him to acquire the brand of Faqr which has its source in Hedjaz. Such Faqr can inspire mighty upheavals in the world. If a warrior can get this brand of Faqr, he can fight against his foes without sword or lance. Iqbal advises his son to beg such Faqr from God Mighty.
To Javid No. 2
Jami: His full name was Mullah Abd-ur-Rahman. He was born at jam in the province of Khorasan in 1914, where his ancestors had settled after shifting from Isfahan. Jami was devoted to Sheikh-ul-Islam jam and, therefore, he selected his nom-de-plume as Jami. Besides acquiring the current knowledge, he was initiated into mysticism in Herat. In the last days of his life, he gave tip writing poetry and started the investigation of religious matters. He died in 1912 and was buried in Herat.
According to Dr. E. G. Brown his ghazals can hold their own against eminent Ghazal writers like Sa'di and Hafiz. They have a charm of their own and are full of pathos. His panegyrics praising the Holy Prophet (A. S.) are the product of a true and I sincere devotee. Iqbal himself had a great admiration for them and often prayed that he might get the style of Jami in this genre of poetry. Anwari: His original name was Auhad-ud-Din and was born at Budna, a town of Abiward. His study was very vast and had enough knowledge of Arabic language as well. There is no consensus of opinion about his death or birth. He gained access to the court of Sanjar and became his stipendiary. When Sanjar as defeated by the Guzz Turks (1151) and Khorasan was ravaged, he shifted to Balkh. The inhabitants of Balkh attributed a satire to him and so he was forced to flee to Naishapur. In the last days of his life, he renounced the world and became a. refuse. He is famous for his panegyrics.
Nizami Ganjwi (1141-1203) was born at Ganja in Adharbaijan. He lost his parents while he was still a child. He was brought up in orthodox Sunnite surroundings. He is famous for his five Mathnawis (Khamsa) written by him. He was a self respecting poet and was not attached to any court. Many poets have tried to write Khamsa, but none of them can rival him. Besides these five Mathnawis, he wrote Skandar Nama in imitation of Firdausi.
To Javid No. 3
Rhazes the most illustrious name beside Avicenna in the history of medicine is Abu Bakr al-Razi (Rhazes), a native of Ray, near Tehran (died 923 or 932).
The present age is very covetous to display itself and this greed has blurred the heart of mankind. When man's frame for manifestation reaches the highest point, the things get out of joint and disorder ensues. The rain drop can not become a pearl unless it finds a hospitable place in the. lap of the mother shell. Seclusion is quite essential to get true knowledge, but the trouble is that it is not to be found either in the fane or shrine.
This world derives its glory and grandeur from the presence of women only. She is the lyre (musical instrument) that gives warmth and passion to the heart of man. Though she is unable to declaim (debate) and discourse like Plato, yet all Prophets and wise men are the gems of her cask. She is the procreator of man kind, and has a very lofty rank and status.
101. Emancipation of Women
Iqbal says that he can discriminate between poison and honey, but can give no decision regarding the emancipation of women they can decide it themselves. The devotees of modern civilization are already annoyed with him (Iqbal). He wants to leave this knotty problem to the women, who possess enough insight to find a solution to his problem. If they want emancipation (freedom), they will have to forgo the demand for a superb (nice) neck-lace made of precious emeralds (zamurrad). They must form a firm decision to which of these two things (emancipation or neck-lace) they attach greater importance. After emancipation they won't have a right to demand a superb necklace.
A man can display his worth and value without relying upon others, whereas a woman cannot show her worth and value. withnut the help of man. A woman always shows a great concern and anxiety for her children. From this concern it is obvious that her maternal instinct is very strong. It is through women only that existence. non-existence, the strife between death and life continue. If she had been devoid of this fiery element, human race would have come to end. She is -a creator and preserver of mankind from utter ruin. Iqbal is grieved to see her slavery, but is helpless and can think of no solution to this knotty problem.
LITERATURE AND FINE ARTS
105. Religion and Crafts
Poetry, music government, religion and crafts are all the productions of human brain. They are as bright and lustrous as gems The main purpose of these is the preservation of the Self, but if they fail to do so, life is merely a tale told by an Idiot. When religion and crafts or statesmanship sever their relationship, the nation can not preserve self esteem. here Iqbal is criticising the West, because there is a cleavage between religion and statescraft among the Franks. They think that religion is a private affair, whereas Muslims think that they are the two ,ide, of the same coin.
Line 1. Enshrine: embody ; enclose.
Line 3. They race: they jump out of the brain of man.
Line 7. Intact: whole or complete.
New worlds are not created out of bricks and stones but are built by the thinking and pre-planning of wise men. Such people have a firm determination and they dive deep into the depths of the Self. - They can transform the Self to a boundless sea. Only that man can overcome the freaks of Fate, who creates a new everlasting life with every breath. In the East, the death of the self has made the lands effete of such men. As a result those men who partake of the secrets of God are not to be found anywhere. However, Iqbal is riot completely disappointed and is hopeful that some man living in the desert may keep him company.
Line 9. Freaks: uncertain behaviour.
Line 14. Effete: exhausted ; worn out.
Line 16. Deplete: empty missing.
Our poets and Muslims are just like the workshop of those who blow the glass. They are unaware that a mad person also possesses many accomplishments, provided he is made to quit tile mounts and deserts and is allowed to pass by the shops of these glass-blowers, because these shops serve no useful purpose and require smashing. The lunatic feels at home among big throngs and feels happy. It is not necessary that he should wander alone in lonely places. Even the climate of the seats of learning is congenial to him and he feels neither coy nor dejected in these seminaries. Iqbal wants to clarify that the poets and Mullahs of the present age are merely hypocrites and their shops need to be razed to the ground and this can be accomplished by some mad person.
109. Paris Mosque
The mosque built by the Parisians is not built on the founds of piety, but is only a hypocrisy. The Franks have imported idols in the mosque. The same brigands have built this mosque, who ravaged Syria and slew its inhabitants. They have built the mosque to show that they are the well-wishers of Islam, whereas actually they are the enemies of Islam.
Love and Intellect are two world forces which God has bestowed on man. Love must accept the lead from Intellect. The Lover should give tip frequenting the street of the beloved. Doing so will spare him the disgrace and ignominy that he brings on his head. Love must breathe a new spirit in the old moulds of poetry and set it free from imitation. The old type of poetry does not suit the present age. Such poetry is needed these days that may consolidate the human Ego and benefit society.
This poem celebrates the. beauty of Nature in Word worthian manner. Iqbal has acknowledged the debt he owed to Wordsworth and Dr. Annemarie Schimmel writes in her book, 'Gabriel's Wing' that the great romantic poet, Wordsworth, prevented Iqbal from becoming an atheist. God Himself says in the Holy Book, 'There are many tokens in the earth and skies. The people bypass them without paving any heed to them.' It is the spring season and the wild tulips look like a Caravan on the move. The youth, who themselves are blessed with comeliness and charm, enhance the beauty of natural scenes. The boundless sea and the azure sky glint and shine like stars in the pitch dark night. The moon, which is gorgeously clad like a bride, moves through the sky in the litter of night. The simili used here for the moon creates an enchanting atmosphere. The scenes presented by Nature compete with each in beauty and grace. As alluded in the preceding lines to the verse of the Holy Koran, Nature does not sell her charms but bestows them gratis on mankind, if they pay heed to them and don't ignore them (This poem was written in Riaz Manzal, the residence of Sir Ross Masud, Bhopal).
Line 4. Colossal; a gigantic statue ; especially that of Appollo (the sun god) at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes.
Line 10. Van: carriage. Litter is the word used in the Urdu text of the poem.
112. Might of Islam Mosque
Now the Muslims have lost their fervour and zeal for their faith. The Muslims do not awow, "No god but He" with zeal and strength. The Muslims have declined to such an extent that even Nature can not recognise them easily. The slavish modes has wrought no change on your firmness, but slavery has made of Ayaz have jeopardised the state of Sultan Mahmud. Time the Muslims as weak and brittle as glass. Only such Muslims are eligible to offer prayer. in your precincts who can dispel falsehood by their Takbir (God is the most high). The blessings and prayers of Muslims are devoid of heat and warmth. The Muslim's Call to Prayer lacks grandeur and lofty tones. Do you like the prostration of such Muslims?
The construction of this Cathedral Mosque was started by Sultan Kutb-ud-Din 1\ibak in 1192 after the conquest of Delhi. Kutb Minar, which is one of the wonders of the world, was one of the minarets of this mosque. Sultan Ala-ud-Din KhiIji laid the foundation of the other minaret, but it could not be completed. Only one relic of Ala-ud-Din's reign, the entrance door to the mosque, is still intact and is known by the name of Alai gate.
The body of a human being gets light from the self. It enjoys a loftier rank than the Pleiades and the Moon. You should not let the foreign Self enter the sanctum (holy place) of your body. If you take part in theatricals and perform the part of another person, it means that you are identifying yourself with some one else, whose role you are playing,. This destroys your own identity. The greatest success in drama is achieved by one, who forgets his own Self and imitates the Self of the person whose role he is performing. From this Poem it is manifest that Iqbal had a great aversion to dramatic performances, because they weaken the Ego.
114. Ray of Hope
In these poems (three) Dr. Iqbal symbolises himself as a ray. The sun addresses its rays and remarks that they have been wandering since a long time in the parks and making a round of flowers, but mankind has not forsaken hatred against one another is yet. The rays rise from every corner and proceed to the Son to embrace it. They say with one voice that there can't be light in the West owing to the smoke emitted by the tall chimneys Although the West is totally bereft of Spiritual light, yet there is no commotion or stir among the people of the East. They are. as lethargic and lazy as before. The rays wish that the Sun may take them back in its bosom. However, one ray (the poet himself) which was quite pert asked the Sun to let it remain in India, as it wanted to arouse the people of India from their deep slumbers. The hopes of Asia depend on India and Iqbal sheds tears on account of India's bondage. Their thraldom is not due to any lack of intelligence: it has produced men who could easily understand the most abstruse things and could cross the tempestous seas with ease. Slavery has crushed the spirit of its natives and the harp that used to warm the hearts of the people has grown unfamiliar with the plectrum.
Although the poet is neither a warrior nor a Chief, yet he is always ready to wage a war against the evils that prevail these days. God has blessed him with His praise, reflection and song. The same grandeur that manifests on the forehead of a true Muslim, fills the conscience of being. To be a captive of the present tantmounts to unbelief. There is riot the least reason to worry, because there are still more planets and epochs for man.
116. Eager Glance
If eager glance and sight become companion,,, they can easily read the heart of the Universe. Subject nations can gain freedom through it. It can inflict defeat on its enemies and put them to rout. It (Faqr) possesses so much strength that it can bring about the union of the Lover and the Beloved. It is by means of his glance that the poet can teach the motes the wont and mode of vagrants, who pay very scanty heed to camps and wander wherever they like without any restraint. if you are unacquainted with eager glance and sharp sight, you are to be blamed for this shortcoming.
117. To Craftsmen
The sun and other planets shine for a short time and disappear. Your Ego is strengthened by means of Love. Muslims make no distinction between colour and race. When you are alone, worship your Creator with due respect. When your Self displays itself, you can make yourself merry. If bondage makes you smart and groan, it means that your craft is nothing more than idol-worship. A man, who becomes cognisant of his own high states and rank, becomes the Chief of mankind is well as spirits.
A person 'seeking gems must dive deep into the sea. because the sea coast can not yield any gifts except dust and straws. The Allama says that his songs can set men afire, but the trouble. is. that the reed-bed of the listeners still has some sap, which prevents the spreading of fire. Man is the architect of his own Fate and it does not depend either on the spheres or stars. There is no dearth of men who can repair the harm caused by Fate. That person is true toper, whose ecstasy does not depend or wine, but is due to his love of God. Topers of this type do not create noise and turbulence. There are still taverns in the East wherefrom one can get the wine of gnosis, which makes dull perception (vision) sharp. There is not the least hope for the people of the West, because they have no relish for good deeds.
Though the life of man is short-lived as a spark, yet his status is very high. If a craftsman fails to modify the Ego and strengthen it, his craft is quite useless. The seminaries and monasteries do not teach morals or good manners. They teach that man does not exist. You must learn to exist and thus your Ego will get an eternal life.
This poem has some resemblance to the opening verses of the Mathnawi of Maulana Rumi. A question arises in the heart how the hollow reed can impart the intoxication of wine. Does the music spring from the musician's heart or from the hollow wood? Why is the heart of man prone to ecstasy and how does it overthrow mighty Empires? Why does heart bestow new life on nations on the verge of decline? It is also hard to detect why its states are constantly undergoing change. A man whom God has endowed with a true heart, does not show much heed to the domains of Syria, Rome and Ray. He attaches no importance to them and considers them worthless goods in the world. When the minstrel grasps the fact hidden in the heart, rest assured that he has traversed all the stages required by 'Art'.
121. Breeze and Dew
This poem is a dialogue between Dew and Breeze. Dr. Iqbal, though antagonistic to Plato. is his disciple in several respects. In Iqbal's theory of art it has already been pointed out that be. is a disciple of Plato. Both of them subscribed to the theory of Functionalism. Plato also pressed dialogue into service to clarify philosophical problems.
The Breeze says that it has remained busy in making the rose and tulip bloom and has failed to reach those regions of the sky where stars are suspended like lamps. The Breeze adds that it is willing to bid adieu to the park as well as the meadow, because the songs of the nightingale fail to please it. The Breeze likes to know what is more precious in her eyes, the dust of the park or the dome of the sky.
Dew replies that if the toils and hardships of this world fail to produce a state of tension in you, then remember that this worldy park is also one of the veils of heaven.
Line 2. Pendent hanging ; suspended.
122. The Pyramids of Egypt
These Pyramids are situated _on the banks of the Nile at some distance from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Actually they are the sepulchres of ancient kings of Egypt. They were built four thousand years ago. They are one of the wonders of the world. The passage of Time has made no effect on them, nor they have ever been repaired. Their majesty and grandeur inspires awe in the hearts of onlookers. It is said that one of the kings tried to pull down one of the smallest Pyramids, but the labour employed by him could not remove the plaster even. They are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Nature has displayed her art in this scorching desert by forming dunes of sand. The Pyramids are so grand that they put the sky also to shame. They appear to be dressed in eternal beauty. The poet wonders at the skill and dexterity of masons who built them. Iqbal advises the craftsmen to set themselves free from copying Nature. because they are hunters and not prey and a-, such they need not fear the hunters.
Line 2. Scalds burns; scorches.
Line 3. Dunes: mounds of sand ; in the Panjab such dunes can be seen in the newly created district, Leah.
123. Creations of Art
The craftsmen have built such things which put Eden (Paradise) to shame. A person, whom God has granted insight, can easily see the different phases of the heart. The 'Muslims are bereft of the Self and are ignorant of the change of morning and night. The Muslims have become so timid and cowardly that they can -not bear the struggle and strife of life. The infidel, despite the knowledge that idols can give him no help, still adores them. The artist is a carcass and his craft is the conductor of his funeral rites. He takes pleasure in painting gloomy pictures.
Khakani's name was Afzal-ud-Din Budail or Ibrahim. He was born at Sherwan in 1106. His father, Ali, was a carpenter and his mother was a convert to Islam from Christianity. His life was full of hardships. His uncle made him learn Arabic, medicine, astronomy and philosophy. His uncle died when he was about 35 years old. After his mother's death, he had to suffer the loss of his young son and wife. He was very fond of travel, but his enemies got him imprisoned by his patron, Manu Chihr Shervan. On his return from second pilgrimage, he met the Abbasid Caliph, who offered him a post in his court, but lie re jected it. He wrote a very pathetic panegyric on seeing the ruins 4 of the palace of Chosroes at Madain. He died in 1135 and was buried at Tabrez. His most well known book is 'Tuhfat-ul-Araqain', which he wrote after performing the second pilgrimage. In this Mathnawi he has described the happenings and the places that he visited. He was self respecting and had a great love for the Holy Prophet. His panegyrics show that he was a great scholar of Persian and Arabic.
Khaqani has a great mastery over words and his insight is so keen that he can find the implicit meanings of words easily. The. words can not say to him, "You can not see us" as God told Moses. He is fully aware of the causes of corruption and disorder. He is acquainted with the next world, Where mankind will be punished or rewarded according to their deeds in this world. He thinks that Satan who defied God is still alive, but Adam who obeyed and acted upon God's injunctions is dead.
Line 6. You can not see: there is an allusion to the Holy Book ;. God told Moses that he could not see Him.
Line 9. World of requital:. the next world, where men will be rewarded or punished for their actions in this world.
130. Mirza Bedil
Mirza Abdul Qadir, Bedil, Azimabadi is scarcely known to European readers and his poetry is intrinsically difficult, is more admired in Afghanistan and Central Asia than in Persia. He is of 'In typical exponent than Style' which interlaces most complicated similies and unexpected turns: but at the same time Bedil is more than a player with words, he is a genuine mystical philosopher, as Professor Bausani, the only European who has investigated carefully his writings was able to prove. Mirza Bedil lived during the last period of Moghul rule and he died in 1721.
The poet can not decide whether the world exists or does not exist. Different people have different opinions about this matteir. It is very hard to penetrate to the core of this intricate problem. Mirza Bedil says that if the heart of man had been wide enough, there would have been no trace of this world, but as the flask of man's heart was narrow, so some wine overflowed and this world which is the reflection of God came into existence.
131. Grandeur and Grace
These are the two comely attributes of God (Grandeur an Grace). Iqbal does not desire to possess the wit of Plato and feels contented with the valour of Ali, the lion of God. He is convinced that even the heavens bow before strength. He would not like. to go to such Hell even for punishment, whose flames do not produce a roaring noise and are tame.
132. The Painter
The imagination of the Indians and Persians is dead. They Imitate the Franks in every matter. The painters of modern age have lost sweet ecstasy and unbound joy. Dr. Iqbal says that he is quite aware of the mental qualities of the painters, they know the old as well as the new crafta. He advises the artists to show their Selves in the mirror of Nature.
Line 3. Behzad : the name of a classical miniature painter.
133. Lawful Music
There is no doubt that the rise and fall of the Singer's music charms the heart, but its magic does not last long. That song is still unborn which can transform the stars into a liquid form and can dispel grief from the hearts of mankind. Such a song can make Ayaz give up slavish modes. This kind of song can make the moon and stars leave their tracks and fall down. The cry, 'God is great' shall last for ever and all else shall perish. So far no poet has been born who may perform such a function.
134. Unlawful Music
Iqbal regrets that his remembrance of God lacks the fervour which the mystics can attain. His thoughts are not a criterion good and bad deeds. He desires that the Mullah of the town, who claims to be well-versed in understanding the Revealed Book, may have the same views as he has, In his opinion, such music is forbidden, which fails to infuse a fresh spirit among the listeners. A song should not act as a dope for the listeners and make them oblivious of their surroundings.
The poet advises the youth of the nation to divert their eyes to the fountain. Its water rises high in the air on account of its inner force. He compares the fountain with the stream which flows in a serpentine manner on the earth. The sight of the fountain gives pleasure to the eyes of the onlooker, but the sight of the streamlet rubbing its forehead on the earth can afford no pleasure. Iqbal wants to inculcate the lesson of developing the Ego among the youth of the nation by the comparison of the book and the fountain.
Line 8. To meander : to flow in a serpentine manner.
Line 9. Surges high - rises high in the air.
137. Persian Poetry
Doubtlessly classical Persian poetry is as sweet as the strains of harp and lute, but it does not strengthen the Self. If the birds that chirp early in the morning, can not dispel sorrow and griefs or mankind, their chipring is quite useless. A strong blow can cleave a big mountain, but if it fails to shake the throne of Chosroe Parvez. such stroke, is meaningless. A great strife is essential in the present age for the preservation of the Self, therefore, the youth of the nation are advised to shun repose and avoid looking into the mirror, which is an effeminate habit.
138. The Craftsmen of India
In this poem, Iqbal has admonished the craftsmen of India, who can portray nothing except gloomy images. Their temples are full of pictures that depict death. It appears that the Brahmans are fed up with life. They try to conceal man's high rank from him. Sex rides astride an their nerves. The painters, writers and poets have no other theme except sex. They excite lust for crime among men by their works.
141. Invention of new meanings
The coining of words with new meanings is, no doubt, a gift of God, but a poet or artist must strive incessantly to improve his art, because the gift of spontaneity is possessed by very few. Even the great poet Virgil had to pass through. travail in composs and finishing verse and then had to lick them to give them gloss. The builder, the poet and the painter need warmth to perform their respective jobs successfully. If Farhad, the lover of Shirin, does not work hard, no sparks rise and his cottage remains dark. In this poem, Iqbal wants to drive home the lesson that hard work is essential for poets, artists and architects, because there are very few artists endowed with unpremeditation. They must work hard to gain their targets. Even a poet like Hafiz Shirazi must strive to make his poetry intoxicating, like liquor. Hafiz
His name was Shams-ud-Din Shirazi. He was born, according to the investigations of Agha Nafisi, from 1226-1329. His ancestors had shifted from Isfahan to Shiraz. He was still a child, When his father died and the burden of supporting the family, besides getting education, also devolved on his shoulders. The period in which he was born was period of disorder. The Timurid Empire was in its throes and petty dynasties were coming into existence. The destruction and ravage caused by Timur did not fail to cast its shadow on Hafiz. He has praised several rulers of his time. He saw many kings enthralled and ethroned in his life and lie has pointed to these revolutions in his poems In such conditions, there is a mushroom growth of mystics. He has made fun of such hypocrite mystics it) his verses Hafiz, sip wine and act like a toper and spend your life happily,
But don't transform the Holy Book into a snare of hypocrisy.I He loved his native town very much and, therefore, never left Shiraz, though he was invited to India. No other poet can rival him in the writing of Ghazal.- He became famous during his life time and his Diwan has been translated into several European languages. He died in 1389 and is buried at a site, called Mausalla in Shiraz.
Iqbal seems to have a great aversion to dance, balls and theatricals that prevail in the West. He advises the Muslims to leave the twists and turns of the body to the Franks. These dances show immodesty. He adds that if the soul of man can acquire a rapturous mood, it can deal as strong blows as the Rod of Moses, which possessed miraculous powers. Some of the miracles performed by Moses have been dealt with in detail in the preceeding notes. Dance confers nothing on man except a parched palate. On the other hand, ecstatic soul can grant Derveshhood and kingship
Line 4. Resound : reverbrate ; to produce a loud noise.
Line 5. Palate -. the roof of the mouth, - consisting of the hard palate in front and the soft palate behind.
THE POLITICS OF THE EAST AND THE WEST
When communism was in its early stages, Iqbal thought that it would solve some of the problems with which humanity was faced. However, he was soon disillusioned and realised that it could not help mankind. Only a social democracy could solve the problems of mankind. Iqbal says that the Russians appear to be in haste to achieve their aims and ends. The world is fed up with old modes of government. Man had concealed those mysteries, but they are coming to light gradually. The Muslims are advised to read the Holy Book carefully and ponder over its meanings. If the Muslims act upon the poet's advice, they can easily understand the meanings of the first verse of the Surah, Anfal (the plunder).
O Prophet, the people ask you what they should spend. Tell them to spend whatever is spare. The poet is hopeful that the Russians may introduce equality and brotherhood. However, Iqbal's expectations were belied, %hen be found that communism counted the bellies and paid no heed to the Epiritual need., of human beings.
KARL MARX (1818-1883)
149. The Voice of Karl Marx
Karl Marx addresses the economists that throw the dice with great dexterity and conduct discussions and adds that the world is tired of their tricks, and disdains old thoughts. O economist, the books which you write, serve no useful purpose. The instructions. and orders given in them are such which can not be complied with. They claim to be the helpers of labour, but they have no regard for labour at all. The synagogues, spacious schools and churches of the West try to hide the great ravage caused by the Capitalists. Instead of condemning them, these institutions endorse the policies adopted by the Capitalists.
Karl Marx, Heinrich Carl (1818-1883), German philosopher and socialist and life long partner of Engels with whom he collaborated in writing many important works on Socialism and in developing the theories of dialectical materialism. After being expelled from the continent. He settled in London, where he wrote his monumental work, DAS CAPITAL. Communism is based on the teachings of Marx.
This poem was written in 1935, when the new constitution framed by the British granted provincial autonomy to the sub-continent. However elections were held in 1936 and the members and ministers were inducted to the provincial Councils in 1937. The Unionists won the elections in the Panjab.
Dr. Iqbal ironically alludes to these newly elected councils and remarks that he has not enough insight to know about the affairs of this world. If any person wants a high office, he must flatter the ministers to gain his object. In fact these ministers don't possess any authority. To call them ministers is synonymous with calling the owl as the hawk of night, because no real authority is vested in these ministers.
152. High Offices
Dr. Iqbal is grieved that the English have succeeded in bewitching the Muslim majority of the Punjab. The Muslims have butchered their Egos for the sake of getting high offices. However,. he prays that these offices for which they have bartered.' their Egos may last for long. This fact is known to all who possess some tact that the British don't like to make the Indians their compeers. They only want to gain their ends and so buy their intellect. This poem also refers to the newly formed ministries. These two poems are reminiscent of the humour of Akbar Allahbadi.
153. Europe and the Jews
Great luxury, government and commerce prevail in the countries of the West. The only thing they lack is spiritual light. The countries of Europe are dark on account of the smoke emitted by tall chimneys. This Sheltered Vale not fit for the Epiphany of God. Though the culture of the Franks is new, yet it is likely to perish soon. After its complete destruction, the rich jews, who have the jugular vein of Europe and America in their grip, may become the custodians of European Church.
Line 7. Sheltered Vale . there is an allusion to the valley, where God manifested Himself to Moses.
Line 12. Custodianship : guardianship.
157. The East
My morning songs have torn the vest of the tulip, but the breeze is still roaming since the dark and has not found any park as yet. The people of the East had attached their hopes to Kamal and Raza Shah Kabir, but their expectations were belied by them. They started westernising their countries. Dr. Iqbal's thoughts about Turkey were always fluctuating. In one of the poems (The Rod of Moses, page 175), he admonishes Mustafa Kamal for introducing Latin Script and godlessness in Turkey. Raza Shah Pehlvi also wanted to westernise his country. The clergy of the country did not want to exchange their turbans for PehIvi cap, because they thought the wearing of the turban a. a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (A. S.) and hundreds of them were massacred ruthlessly. In the concluding verse Dr. Iqbal says that the people of his age are in search of a plank and rope to hang him for his bluntness like Hallaj.
Mustafa Kamal (1881-1933), builder of modern Turkey. A fine soldier, he defended the Dardannels against the British in 1915 and drove the Greeks out of Turkey in 1922. President of the Turkish Republic, and virtually dictator 1923-32.
Raza Shah was an ordinary soldier in the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar, the last king of the Kaiar dynasty, who was externed from the country while still a boy. Raza Shah rose to the position of commander'-in-chief and later became the king in 1925. Persia was defeated in the Second World War by the English after four days brief war and Raza Shah was exiled from the country. His young son Mohammad Raza Shah was placed on the throne by the victors. After many vicissitudes, he too was ousted from Iran by Mullah Khomeni, who has set up a theocratic state in Persia. The deposed king died of cancer in Egypt, where he had sought asylum, Imperialism has been brought to end in Iran after thousands of years.
161. To the Egyptians
Iqbal says that the Sphinx told him the subtle point that wisdom can not match might. It can change the fate of nations easily. Might displays itself in different garbs. Sometimes it. manifests itself as the sword of Mohammad (A. S.) and sumetimes as the 'Staff of Moses'.
Sphinx : A monster of Greek -mythology, with the head of a. woman, and the body - of a lioness, that proposed riddles to the travellers, and strangled those who could not solve them. This epithet is applicable to enigmatic and inscrutable persons or a similar monster. I
162. Abyssinia (August 18, 1935)
The Muslims in the heyday of their power even never thought of invading Ethiopia. They spared it on account of its being the first asylum for the Muslims under the leadership of Hazrat Jaafar Tayyar (A. S.), when the infidels of Mecca persecuted them. The Negus summoned the Muslims to his court and asked Jaafar Tayyar to recite some verses from the Holy Book. He recited the chapter 'Mary ' of the Koran. Tears welled up in the eyes of the Negus and he kissed the Holy Prophet's epistle. It is said that the Holy Prophet prayed for the eternity of their kingdom.
During the Second World War, the Italians invaded Ethiopia and occupied Addis Ababa. Haile Selaissie (b. 1891), Emperor of Ethiopia and a protege of the British Government, which had conferred many titles on him, had to flee from his country. He was Emperor of Ethiopia, April 1930 to May 1936 and since May 1941. He was deposed in a coup and died in the prison.
In this poem Iqbal has admonished the Italians, who under the Fascist Government of Mussolini, occupied the country. He tells them that they have shown a meanness in attacking their coreligionists. Iqbal first admired Mussolini, but this happening disenchanted ,him.
163 Orders of Satan to his Political Progeny
Line 1. Embroil ; involve ; ensnare.
Line 3. Mendicant a beggar ; here the word is used for the Muslims who are often indigent.
Line 10, Cathay's mead : meadows of Khutan (ancient name for China and East Tartary) where the musk yielding deer is found.
In this brief poem, Iqbal ironically insinuates that Western Democracy is a mere hoax. They count the votes for election to the Parliament, but pay no heed to the conduct of the representatives elected for the Parliament.
167 Europe and Syria
The boundaries of Syria were very extensive before the two major wars, but the land was truncated and the machinations of the Franks reduced its area by carving new kingdoms. In olden times Jordan, Palestine and some parts of Lebanon were included in it. After the first world war, the Sharif of Mecca was given Iraq as reward for his treachery in helping the Franks in expelling the Turks from the Holy Land. Jesus Christ was born in Bethelhem, which is in Jordan these days. Iqbal says that the land of Syria gave the Franks a chaste and forbearing Prophet. who disliked to inflict pain on others, but the Franks have recompensed the Syrians by spreading debauchery in that land. They have introduced gambling and sexual crime in the country by sending troops of whores (Prostitutes) there.
(To his Eastern and Western adversaries)
Mussolini Benito (1983-1945), Fascist dictator of Italy, 1922-43, adopted an aggressive policy in 1935 towards Abyssinia, Spain etc. At first he was successful and in June 1940, lie entered the Second World War on the side of Germany. The defeat of Italian arms in North Africa and the invasion of Sicily caused the collapse of his government, but he was rescued from Imprisonment by parachuists He was executed two years later by his own partisans.
In this, poem Mussolini tells his enemies that he has not committed a more serious crime than his adversaries who accuse him of indulging in the desire of expanding his empire. They did it in the past and he -is doing it today to propagate his idea. It is not fair for the kettle to call the pot black.
Line 9. Sons of Caesar : Italians are the descendants of Caesars, the ancient Emperors of Rome. Watered reedy sands they were fond of music and such like amusements and did not direct their attention to the expansion of their Empire.
No one can tell the ultimate fate of India. For the present she is a part of the British Empire. The Indian peasant appears like a corpse disgorged from the grave, whose rotten shroud is still beneath the earth. The natives of India have sold their souls to the British and are reconciled to their state of bondage. Iqbal does not like to complain against the British, but he is pained to see India satisfied- with her thraldom.
It is not difficult to ascertain the places, where the angel of culture is needed. There are very few places in the world, where gambling and drinking are forbidden by law and where, the women keep their bodies properly bidden. Though the poet's soul is restless and unfathomable yet he is not fed up with the wont and ways of his ancestors. The Beduins of Arabia, despite the non-existence of schools there, possess daring and intellect. However, the verdict of the Franks is that the Arab lands are devoid of vision and insight.
172. Culture's Snare
When Palestine and Syria formed a part of the Turkish empire, the Europeans repeated several times that the Turks were meting out a cruel treatment to the natives of Palestine and Syria. These countries gained freedom from the Turkish rule, but France and Britain took possession of those countries and put thousands of Arabs to sword. No such blood-shed hid been witnessed in these countries during four hundred years of Turkish rule. In this poem Dr. Iqbal has brought to light the cruelties perpetrated by the Franks in the name of culture.
Line 6. Unknit this skein : there is no device or contrivance to solve this tingle or knotty problem.
Line 8. Slid : it is the second form of the verb slide ; it means to slip.
176. Syria and Palestine
The French vinteners have filled the Alleppo made bowls and flasks with sparkling wine. Dr. Iqbal says that if the jews can lay a claim to Palestine as their ancestral home in ancient times, why can't the Arabs make a similar claim to Spain. English imperialism has no other aim than that of sowing the seeds of dissension among the Arabs.
179. The Prayer of Slaves
A Turkish deputation of Red Crescent visited Lahore and offered their prayers in the Royal Mosque. At the end, the leader of the Turkish deputation asked Iqbal the reason for the long prostration of the Muslims of India. That free-born man remarked that a person has many other engagements in life. Iqbal explained to him that the slaves hav no other pursuit save that of prostration. The slaves don't possess. any zeal for brave actions.
180. To the Palestinian Arabs
Iqbal addresses the Palestinians in this poem and says that he knows the zeal that burns in their Breasts. He advises them to seek the cure for their troubles from somewhere else than Geneva or London. The treatment that can prove effimcious for them can be found in the cultivation of the Self. If they cultivate the Self assiduously, they can achieve their aim and goal.
181. The East and the West
Neither the people of the East nor of the West, can enjoy true peace of mind. In the West the rule of mobs is a great source of sorrow and pain. The malady of heart and vision is so wide spread in the world that neither the East nor the West is free from it.
182. Psychology of Sovereignty
The British have no love for the people of India and their show of love is a mere trick. The songs sung by Iqbal fail to make any effect on the hearts of these slaves, inured to the state of bondage. Now the Franks have started to place withered and dry (constitution) flowers in the cage so that the slaves may get reconciled with their imprisonment.
THE MEDITATIONS OF MIHRAB GUL AFGHAN
It has been pointed out in the Introduction that Mihrab Gul Afghan is an imaginary name. Something has been said in the Introduction about Allama's great expectations of the Afghan nation. In the notes that follow, there will be no comments and the meanings of difficult words or allusions alone will be touched upon so that the notes may not become unwieldy.
Line 5. Eternal dawn : Primordial day ; the day the world was created.
Line 10 Kestrel . a small eagle or hawk; a bird of prey.
Line 9. God has no peer ; God has no partner O or compeer.
Gourd : a large hard-rinded fleshy fruit characteristic of the cucumber family ; its dried skin is used In monasteries for storing wine or other liquids.
Line 3. Like thunder clap : Alexander fell on the world with the quickness of (thunder clap) lightning.
Line 4. King Nadir Shah Afshar took possession of the throne from the Safwis in 1736. His reign was very brief and short-lived. He was as great a brigand as Timur or Chengez. He looted Delhi and took away the famous Peacock Throne with him. He died in 1747.
Line 7. Barley corn : it means that the education that is imparted in the present day seminaries makes the alumni get very low salaries and they can hardly make both ends meet with such low income and can procure only a handful of barley to fill their bellies.
Line 2. Make his round : the People respect him very much ; they eireumambulate round him in the same manner as the pilgrims do on the occasion of pilgrimage.
Line 7.Assumption : adoption of new ways and modes.
Line 12. Can be ransomed : redemption from captivity by the payment of money ; here it means that kings can not match such peasants, who work hard and provide sustenance for the whole world.
Line 13. Savants it is a French word and means profound scholars.
Low-caste : untouchables the Hindus are casteridden ; Iqbal has called the crow and bat as low-caste birds ,.s they can't compete with the hawk.
Line 11. Herald's sound : an officer whose duty is to proclaim announcements.
Line 12. Ding dong : the ringing of bells ; the bells are rung when the Caravan moves from one place to the other.
Line 16. Borrowed Frankish breath : the college students have no thinking powers and live on borrowed thoughts ; in other words they cram everything without developing the intellect.
Line 3. Prime of life : the period of youth,
Line 4. Ascribe : attribute.
Line 8. Tartar deer : the deer found in the region known as Tartary now it is divided between East Turkestan and West Turkestan.
Line 14. Gear a cap or turban it is an abbreviation of head-gear.
Latin Scrip, . there is an allusion to ' Mustafa Kamal of Turkey and Raza Shah Pehlwi : both of them tried to westernise their countries.
Line 18. Precincts : the inner part of a Shrine.
Line 6. Pilgrim : it is a symbol for a person who professes mysticism.
Line 14. Hymns: Songs sung in the praise of God (Munajat).
Line 7. Pot-sherd : a broken fragment of earthen or China ware. Bezel : a precious gem or stone embedded in a ring.
Line 1. Sher Shah Suri : His real name was Farid Khan and he attached himself to a Chief. Once he killed a lion and his patron conferred on him the title of Sher Khan. He established a small state in Bihar (India). Later on he became the Emperor of India by defeating Hamayun, the son of Babar. He did many works for the. welfare of his subjects. He got the Grand Trunk Road constructed, which runs from Lahore to Peshawar He built wells and inns on the road for the travellers. The empire founded by him lasted for fifteen years. only.
Lines 9-12 - in these Line s the poet says that. the West keeps the door of the Universities open for all ; the acquisition of new knowledge is not a sin ; however, one must not forget his own Faith.
Line 15. Farook -. his full name is Hazrat Umar bin Khattab and he was the third orthodox Caliph of Islam lie was a great statesman and during his Caliphate many countries were conquered and Islam spread to the remotest parts of the world he brought about many reforms ; for the welfare of the Muslims he was slain by a Persian slave. His Caliphate may be called the golden age of orthodox Caliphs.
Salman Farsi : a detailed note about him has been given in one of the poems and, therefore, there is no need of repetition.