In response to Write Hand by Ajaz- ul-Haque
FEEDBACK BY AJAZ AHMAD KAKROO
This is in response to Write Hand by Ajaz-ul-Haque titled, “ Iqbal this week.” (GK, Sunday 18 April, 2010). Every sensible person is thrilled by the classical remark of Voltaire that, “ I differ profoundly with what you say but I shall give my life to safeguard your right to say it”,. After reading this write-up, I am reminded of a remark by famous Iqbal scholar Professor Jagan Nath Azad. Mentioning the translation of Iqbal by one of his detractors, Kaleem-ud-Din Ahmad, Prof. Azad writes, “ By these translations of Iqbal’s Poetry , Kaleem-ud-Din Sahib has done what Sagar Nizami did to Kalidas while translating ‘Shakuntala’. He further writes that after going through a few pages of the translation of Shakuntala, Firaq Gorakh puri remarked “He has brought Kalidasa down the poor level of his own mind”. While Iqbal has certainly “worshipping admirers”, he simultaneously has “worshipping critics” and Ajaz –ul- Haque has chosen to join the band of worthies mentioned later. The tragedy of our times is that some of our pseudo-intellectuals have taken fancy to belittle Iqbal, one of the greatest sons of Islam & Kashmir. Iqbal is a colossus, a phenomenon, an icon. One needs to, at least, have a reasonable knowledge of ‘Iqbalian thought & philosophy before one treads on the path of Iqbal critique. To say that the “ultimate” has eluded Iqbal is a sweeping statement, without any sound basis or knowledge. To bracket Iqbal with other poets and categorise his message, whether conveyed through prose or poetry, as “after all poetry is poetry” is to say, the least, an attempt to demean Iqbal, the Philosopher-poet. Allama Iqbal himself complains,
“Man Ai Mir-e- Umam daad az tu Khawaham,
Mora yaran ghazalkhane shumar-dand”
(O my Prophet, (SAW) I seek your benevolence, for my friends count me as a poet”) Through his prophetic poetry, Iqbal struggled for the fulfilment of the Muslim destiny , which is the key to human destiny. Regarding poetry, Iqbal says,
“ Shaer raa maqsood agar adamgiri ast;
Shaeri ham Waris-e- pagambery ast”
(If through the medium of poetry you want to shape the destiny of humans, then poetry is definitely the inheritance of the Prophet-hood) and this is exactly what Iqbal’s poetry has done.
No scholar of Iqbal has attempted to limit Iqbal to a “ time space continuum” because Iqbalian thought and philosophy transcends both time and space. As K.G. Saiyidain has rightly said that “ Little knowledge leads to wrong judgements”. It is distressing to note that Ajaz-ul-Haque has given an edict that the “cocktail of religion & politics” is a “terror” and ‘Iqbal’s ideology’ which he propagated throughout his life, has played ‘havoc’. Ajaz-ul-Haque has further imagined that Iqbal would have nullified all that he has, ‘activated’ had he been a witness to the present. A figment. Regarding the inseparability of Islam and politics, Faqeer Syed Wahid-ud-din records, “What is the status of religion and politics in Islam? Are these interlinked and one entity or two separate entities. This query I specifically made from Doctor Sahib. On listening to my query, Doctor Sahib (Iqbal) did not wait for a moment as if he had pondered over the proposition considerably and his reply was well considered. He empathically replied “One”. To make his reply more positive & emphatic, he raised his forefinger”. (Rozgar-i-Faqeer P-82)
This is apart from the famous Urdu verse, “ Juda ho deen Siyasat sey to rah jati hai Changezi” and tens of persian and urdu verses on the subject. Ajaz-ul-Haque should have gone through the various philosophical thoughts of Iqbal, rooted as these are in Islam and the life of last of the Prophets (SAW), before taunting on “Tumari Tahzeeb apne khanjar say aap hee khudkushi karegi” and ignoring the precedent verse “Diyari Magrib kay Rehnay walo Khuda ki basti dukan nahin hai”. Arnold Joseph Toyanbee, a renowned British historian and historicist of Iqbal’s times, has in his monumental work, “A study of civilization”, recognised twenty six civilizations and undertook a comparative study of these. Toynbee concludes that “religion can pass from one civilization to another” and the “missions of the higher religions are not competitive; they are complimentary”. This is what Iqbal believes in and he also agrees with Toyanbeethat there is need for co-existence among various religions. Christopher Dawson, another contemporary of Iqbal, holds, like Iqbal, that religion is the key to culture. Iqbal firmly believes that only Islamic teachings can put modern civilization on the right track and cure its ills. Like another Western philosopher Igne, Iqbal believes in a right blend of reason & faith. The great German sage Goethe was appreciating the completeness of Islam when he wrote to Eckermann, “ you see that nothing is wanting in this doctrine that with all our systems, we have got no further; and that, generally speaking, no one can get further” ( Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann (Eng. Tr VI P-391). The Western civilization is bereft of all these basics, and this is what Iqbal terms as ‘suicide’. Does moral degradation and economic exploitation of the poor nations by the West need any elucidation? Does this not tantamount to ‘suicide’. One need to at least go through the celebrated work of Iqbal “ Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam” and have sufficient knowledge of Persian language to study Iqbal before commenting on his analytical study of West. Instead of a blind imitation, Iqbal insists, that that the oriental people should make a critical appreciation of the West. Mehmood, Tariq or Teepu are our beacons to whom we look and will continue to look in the growing darkness of the modern godless civilization. Nobody can snatch them from us. K. G. Saiyidain has quoted Iqbal, “the ultimate fate of a people does not depend so much on organisation as on worth and power of individual men” (The faith of an Educationist P-104) These individual men are our assets.
Allama Iqbal’s ‘Eagle’ in a construct and he has used words like Shahin, Uqab, baz, Shahbaz, interchangeably. There is nothing ‘murderous’ in the use of this word. Iqbal preaches, “Live in the world like an eagle and like an eagle die” ( Javid Namah).
Let our columnists and intellectuals study Iqbalian thought and philosophy both in prose and poetry, before they make an adventure of writing on Iqbal. Let us be circumspect. If any body wants to be “ a creative heretic”, let him or her not target Iqbal. Iqbal is Iqbal, not a punching bag.
(Feedback at ajazkakroo1@ gmail.com)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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