Iqbal on Palestine

The problem of Palestine causes the greatest stress to Allama’s heart and mind and its evidence exists throughout his writings and lectures.



Islam and the Muslim world constitute the central theme of all the works of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The defeat and dismemberment of the Khilāfat i Uthmānia hurt Allama Iqbal’s heart most severely. The problem of Palestine constitutes the greatest tragedy of this century for the Muslim world. This is a festering wound which has continued in the body politic of the Muslim world till today. It constituted the greatest stress to Allama’s heart and its evidence exists throughout his writings and lectures. As the Palestine problem is one of the most important problems of the present day Muslim world.  Iqbal had a very deep personal interest in the problem and future of Palestine and Arabs. His personal letters, particularly those to Miss Farquharson and Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, show his heart felt intense dismay concerning the Palestine problem. In a letter to Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah he writes, “The Palestine problem has long kept Muslims in mental distress. The Palestinian Arabs perhaps may attain some benefit through the Muslim League. Personally, I am prepared to go to jail for any issue influencing both India and Islam. The forcible establishment of a Western military cantonment at the gateway to Asia is fraught with dangers both to Islam and India. In another letter to  Miss Farquharson Iqbal writes “The Jews also have no right over Palestine. They had bid farewell to Palestine willingly long before its occupation by Arabs. Zionism also is not a religious movement in addition to the absence of any interest among religious Jews in Zionism”. 
                The advice and sympathies of Iqbal with Palestine were part and parcel of every Palestine conference held in India. Iqbal made a statement against The Palestine Report in the Muslim Conference held at Lahore in which he said: “The injustice meted out to Arabs has touched me intensively as it could touch any person who is conversant with the conditions prevailing in the Near East. This problem provides an opportunity to the world Muslims to declare with all the force at their command that the problem, the solution of which is the aim of the British politicians is not only the occupation of Palestine but is a problem which will lead to the creation of intense influence on the whole Islamic world. If the Palestine problem be viewed in its historical background, it will be obvious that this is a problem which is purely Islamic. If viewed in the light of the history of Bani Israel, the Jewish problem in Israel had ceased to exist thirteen centuries before the entry of Hazrat Umar in Jerusalem. The forcible expulsion of Jews from Palestine never occurred through Muslims but as is pointed out by Professor Hocking. Jews had spread out of Palestine voluntarily and intentionally and the larger part of their scriptures was written and organized outside Palestine. The Palestine problem was never a Christian problem. The recent historical discoveries have thrown a shroud of doubt over the existence of Peter the Hermit himself”.
                   Iqbal fervently held that the most tragic result of the First World War was the infliction of severe damage on the Islamic world. On the one hand, the Islamic Khilāfah of Turkey was disorganized and on the other, the allies again freely used their old stratagem of injudicious division of the booty. Consequently, the eastern part of Turkey was given over to Russia and the western provinces of Balkan, Hungary and Bulgaria etc. were declared completely independent. Iran and Syria were given over to France and Britain occupied Egypt and Iraq. In this way the Islamic world was dismembered and distributed among imperialist European nations. As the Palestine problem had international dimensions it was placed under the guardianship of United Nations to guide it to the path of progress and civilization. Iqbal throws light on this state of affairs and exposes the cunning stratagem of Europe. He shows how Europe first makes the weak countries the target of its tyrannies, then sheds crocodile tears over their misfortunes and shows sympathy. In Iqbal’s view this is an outrage and a joke on history and is a ridiculous attempt at its wilful distortion. If Jews have to be rewarded with a homeland at all this should be conferred upon them in Germany from where they have been really expelled. This new claim of Jews over Palestine after a lapse of a thousand years of its relinquishment, followed by silence about it is totally baseless and is only the result of prompting by the West. If the Jews have the right over the land of Palestine Why is there no right of Arabs over Spain;the object of British imperialism is something very different,It is not concerned with orange orchards or the Land of Milk and Honey.  Iqbal was believed and aware of the conceptions and potential of Palestinian Arabs as with their capabilities. Consequently, he wants to stir them up for the development of Khudī and excitement to the desire of being counted, and reminds them of their spiritual elegance from which the world is still benefiting. It is well known that in Iqbal’s message of Khudī the feelings of Arabs, their Islamic sentiments, the pleasures of Īmān and Belief, spiritual potentials and a stable determination alone are the basic components. Inviting Arabs to the war of independence, after furnishing themselves with these very arms, Iqbal says beside Faith in God and in Khudī any trust in Europe and the or the United Nations is nothing short of vain imagination and self-deception.

Author is Research Scholar at Iqbal institute of culture and philosophy,University of Kashmir.  

Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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