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Iqbal: The Laureate of the East
Who is Iqbal?
Muhammad Iqbal was a great poet and philosopher. His main concerns were the thoughts, ideas and conditions of the global Muslim community, in particular the Indian Muslims under British rule who were threatened by a Hindu majority.
The pen of Iqbal is symbolic of true love and devotion. His intellect and depth are found in his writings. Iqbal was hugely inspired by Mevlana Rumi and considered him as his spiritual guide.
He has authored many works which are still very relevant today such as "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" and "Bang e Dara".
During that era, Ghalib was a renowned poet but the honour and prestige given to Iqbal were far greater. Someone asked him about the sweetness of his words. Iqbal replied, "I recite 125,000 salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ.
Iqbal is famous for the concept of "Khudi". Khudi refers to the inner self of an individual and how we should nurture it to realise our full potential.
In a poem, Iqbal writes:
"The path to God is hidden in Khudi, find it! O the one who has neglected,
This is now the way of your salvation and reawakening!"
A Lasting Legacy
Many of us know Iqbal as one of the forefathers of Pakistan. He argued that Muslims should create a nation of their own, free from British influence. He also pushed for Arabic to be the national language for it was the language of our Beloved ﷺ but also so sub-continent Muslims could access books of religion, history and literature.
He was a firm believer that the youth inherit the roles of leadership and guidance for each community and nation. He, therefore proposed that the Prophetic Characteristics (Shama'il) should be a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
Sadly, Iqbal's vision of Pakistan did not come to fruition. However, we learn many lessons from his books and teachings.
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