Commemorating Iqbal

PROF G R MALIK

Today- on Iqbal's birth anniversary - we consider one of Iqbal's short but substantial poems from Bal-i Jibreel. We choose it because it is one of the most perceptive, comprehensive and cryptic comments on the nature and development of the dominant civilization of modern times. In a few broad strokes the poet sketches, in its essentials, the history of this civilization. It is surprising that the poem has not received as much attention as it deserves. Here is the text of the poem followed by its translation.
Kalisa ki bunyad rahbaniyat thi
Samati kahan is faquiri mai miri
Khusumat thi sultani-o rahibi mai
Ki who ser-bulandi hai yeh ser-bezeri
Siyasat ne mazhab se picha chudaya
Chali khutch ne peer-e kalisa ki peeri
Hui deen-u dawlat mai jis dem judaie
Hawas ki ameeri hawas ki wazeeri
Dui mulk-u deen ke liay namuradi
Dui chashm-i tahzeeb ki na-baseeri
Yeh ‘ijaz hai eik sehra-nisheen ka
Basheeri hai aayineh-dar-e nazeeri
Isi mai hifazat hai insaniyat ki
Ki houn eik Junaidi-o Ardsheri

The (Pauline) Church was essentially founded on renunciation,
How could renunciation reconcile with owning and mastering the world?
Power and escapism contradict each other:
Holding one’s head high is not the same as bowing it low.
Politics then got rid of the control of religion;
The church father failed to stem the tide.
Once religion and statecraft were separated,
Positions of power were occupied by avarice and desire.
Duality is perdition alike to state and religion;
Duality denotes the sightlessness of civilization’s eye.
It is a desert-dweller’s living miracle.
That Basheeri reflects and is combined with the exercise of power.
Humanity’s security and salvation lies in this
That the saintliness of Juniad and the stateliness of Ardsher are rolled into one.

Salvation of mankind, in Iqbal’s view, lies in following the path shown by the Prophet (SAW); it lies in combining the saintliness of Junaid with the stately grandeur of Ardsher.    

Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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