“Let the Muslims proclaim a million times that Iqbal is
their. But I declare that Iqbal belongs to everyone of us. In fact, confining Iqbal
to a particular religion or community is injustice to this one of
greatest poets in the world”, said a professor at a function held at Mysore
University. The function was organized in honor of Allama Iqbal when he visited Mysore in January
1929 on the special invitation of the Maharaja of Mysore.
It was the time the first war of freedom movement in 1857
was suppressed and the nation was readying itself for waging a fresh
war against the tyrant forces when Iqbal was born
at Sialkot in Punjab in 1877. Iqbal, who started his path towards
becoming the Great Poet of the East and Philosopher in his student
life itself, ultimately became the symbol and preacher of Indian and
Eastern values. While studying at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot
he attained mastery in writing prose and poetry. Iqbal, who
graduated in 1897, became proficient in English, Arabic and other
International languages very soon. He learnt German in just three
months when he went to Munich for seeking doctorate in Philosophy.
By the time he started teaching at Government College and
Oriental College at Lahore, he had already become popular in the
Indian subcontinent as a poet. In
September 1905 he left for Europe for further studies and returned
to India in 1908. Besides teaching and practicing law, Iqbal
continued to write poetry and by1928, his reputation as a great
philosopher was solidly established. His poetries have got the
reputation of being translated in several International Languages.
thoughts are focused on spiritual direction and development of
His poetry imparted message of pure and spiritual
focus on eastern values as a source for socio-political liberation
and greatness of the country. In his publication Payam-e-Mashriq
from the East), Iqbal reminds to the West the importance
of morality, religion and civilization by underlining the need for
cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism”, said Anika Sabahat, a
student of Iqbaliyat.
Iqbal wrote Shikwah
Complaints), in which he complained
to the God about the prevailing miserable conditions of the Muslims
in the world, it irritated the Maulvis and they declared him an
infidel. But when Iqbal wrote Jawab-e-Shikwah
(The Answer to
the Complaints), critics were finding very hard to escape. It is the
same Shikwah and Jawab-e-Shikwah that is translated in
English by Khushwant Singh.
Iqbal's encounter with Mussolini
September 1931, when Allama Iqbal was in England to attend the second round table conference, Italian
Government sent its emissaries and requested him to visit Italy.
While in Italy sometimes in November 1931, Allama Iqbal received a message through Dr.
Scorpa, the Italian Councilor in Mumbai that Mussolini wanted to
meet him. Dr. Iqbal accepted his invitation and met the Italian
Dictator on November 27 in his 'famous hall'.
During the course of the meeting Mussolini asked Iqbal,
“What you except we Italians to do?”
Dr. Iqbal replied, “Europe
has left with no moral values. Stop blindly following Europe and
learn lessons from the East.”
Mussolini then requested Dr. Iqbal to give few more
suggestions. Iqbal said, “Limit the size of the population of a city
and don’t allow overcrowding of the cities. After
a city reaches this limit, create new
settlements and cities for the people.”
A bemused Mussolini requested Iqbal to elaborate further.
Iqbal said, “As population of a city increases, its moral values
and economic power start waning. Worst, immoral activities start
challenging the cultural strength.”
Mussolini looked at Allama Iqbal in disbelief for a moment
but in the next moment stood from his chair and shouted in excitement, “What an excellent idea!”
Sare Jahan Se
Accha Hindustan Hamara
In 1905, when
was a lecturer at the Government College
preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal
in his typical
Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara
in front of the students.
recited in a small hall of the Government College
spread to every corner and streets of the country
it the greatest patriotic song of the country.
was sitting in a boat house in Kashmir when some children passed by
Sare Jahan Se
Accha. Iqbal smiled as these small kids were unaware of his presence
song in praise of India.
Each and every word in this
depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values
the Indian society inherited for long.
It was set to music
in 1950 by Pandit Ravi Shankar, and is
regularly sung on
occasions of national importance.
Gandhi asked Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut
space, how India looked from space, he immediately replied, “Sare
Se Accha Hindustan Hamara.”
1938 on April 21, the Great Indian Poet and the Philosopher,
died leaving behind him tremendous amount of literary works embedded
with priceless thoughts and messages that are still working as
guiding path for millions
about Allama Iqbal's death, he
wrote in his condolence
message for the nation, “What can I write about Dr. Iqbal except that
I was sobbing due to emotions when I first recited
In Yerawada Jail, I must have sung
hundred times. Each and every word of this great
song is sweet to me.
Even while writing this message,
the couplets of this
song into my ears.”