Iqbal and Kashmir

He loved not only its natural beauty but its people, culture and traditions too
Allama Iqbal
Allama Iqbal File/GK

Iqbal belonged to Kashmir and he gratefully described himself as a Kashmiri. His mind and heart was full of love and affection for Kashmir. Iqbal, like the great English Poet William Blake, was a poet of the people.

Blake says in his book “Jerusalem”, “My streets are my Ideas of Imagination”. Blake’s centre of inspiration and attention was men and the men in the street. Iqbal, like Blake was a poet with concern and commitment to the people.

His desire was to create society and protect its interests rather than to use knowledge for his limited and selfish interests. In “Zabur-e-Ajam”, he attacks philosophers like Plato for their abstract philosophy.

Iqbal’s poetry is organic and rooted in the heart of the masses because he shares their feelings and desires and speaks and writes for them. The love and passion for Kashmir only grew as Iqbal advanced in his age and in his intellectual grandeur.

“Javed Nama”, presents the past glory of Kashmir in personalities of Shah-e-Hamdan (RA) and Ghani Kashmiri (RA) who enlightened the environment of Kashmir through their spiritual and religious inspiration. Iqbal eulogises the greatness and grandeur of Shah-e-Hamdan (RA) and highlights his goodness and contribution  done to Kashmiris. The saint was not only a virtuous inspirer of Kashmiris but was also a sincere well-wisher of Kashmiris who made this land “Iran-e-Saghir” by contributing to its social, economic, literary, spiritual and cultural enrichment.

Iqbal loved Kashmir; he loved not only its natural beauty but its people, culture and traditions also. He aspired that Kashmir and Kashmiris should be booming and posses a universal outlook to cope up with the social, and political developments of the world.

Moreover, he ardently wanted that Kashmir should follow strictly and advance in the mission for which the humans have been brought to this world by the Creator, and there should be no distinction of caste, colour and creed in the society of Kashmir. It should spread the message of fraternity, togetherness and brotherhood among all the people.

In “Bayaaz of Lollabi” included in the “Armughaan-e-Hejaaz” (urdu) under the assumed name of Mulla Zada Zaigham Lollabi, he gives vent to his passion and intense involvement in Kashmir. He had experienced Kashmir in 1921 during his maiden visit.

(It is revealed the he had visited Kakroo family of Baramulla also during his visit with whose ancestors, he had developed intimacy).  It was also during this brief visit to Kashmir that he had first hand idea of how nature has adorned the lovely valley and what man had made of it. The scenic beauty, the big mountains and rivers revealed to him the grace of God.

He was excited by the mountain-peaks, flowing water streams, leaping cascades, fascinating fountains, flowery beauty of the Nishat and the ecstatic grandeur of the Shalimar with its lush green lawns and meadows.

The fragrance of the valley, the sound and colour and the warbling birds caught his eye and he invited others to visit and watch the haunting beauty, gushing streams, flowing rivers and sparkling and dazzling nature. He appreciates this kind of beauty in his famous poem “Saqi Nama”. 

It is significant and momentous to mention that Iqbal had deep concern and passion for the literary advancement of Kashmir that he wrote a letter to the poet of Kashmir Mehjoor thanking him for his service and contribution which he had been rendering as a poet and writer to Kashmir. He even goes to the extent of suggesting him that he should adhere to “Shura ul Ajam” of Moulana Shubli Noamani (RA).

Iqbal had deep love for Persian literature and particularly Persian poets of Kashmiri origin. He actually yearned Mehjoor to festoon and embellish the literary history of Persian poets of Kashmir. 

Iqbal like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Emerson of English Literature uses nature in his early poetry at different times and for different themes.

At a close look one finds that there are influences of different philosophical systems emerging from Naturalism, Pantheism, Mysticism, and Transcendentalism to Monotheism in Iqbal’s treatment of Nature.

As a young poet Iqbal was deeply interested in Nature and his approach was either naturalistic or pantheistic, but later when he evolved his own philosophy and became an exponent of religious faith, his interest in Nature dwindled and his naturalistic and pantheistic preoccupations were wiped away by theistic and philosophical considerations.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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