A historical event by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and The Embassy of Pakistan, Denmark
On the 30th of April, a historic session was observed to commemorate the great poet and philosopher Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal at Taastrup Medborgerhuset. The theme of the session was “Iqbal’s message to the present age”. The guest of honour was Dr. Umneea Ahmad Khan (University of Western Australia) who came from a far away country exclusively on her own expense just on a short visit of two days. In her speech she stated that she was inspired by the work of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and her purpose behind undertaking such a long, tiresome and expensive journey was her love for Iqbal. She has been following various events held by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia over the year with great interest and decided to participate in the annual Iqbal day event in Copenhagen. Furthermore, the Ambassador of Pakistan his Excellency Mr. Masroor Ahmad Junejo also joined us on this historical eve. Prior to Iqbal Day, the Iqbal Academy had arranged an essay competition open to any student from any school from grade 5 to grade 10. The topic was indeed “Iqbal’s message to the present age”. There was a good response from young contestants and a total of sixteen essays were submitted. Sidra Nurul Ameen and Maria Anjum were declared as the winner of the essay session, and his the ambassador of Pakistan personally awarded the prizes along with a certificate of merit under huge applause from the audience.
The session itself was chaired by none other than the honorable chairman of Iqbal Academy, Mr. Ghulam Sabir. Seema kamil, a life-long board member of Iqbal academy gave an entertaining, yet enlightening introductory speech on the topic. In her short speech she shed light on the achievements of Iqbal Academy over the past 18 years, which includes arranging two annual events to celebrate Iqbal. After the introductory speech, Mr. Hadi, an avid fan of Iqbal’s poetry, took over the responsibilities of anchorship. Before formally starting the session, Mr. Muhammad Kamil in his eloquent voice, recited a few verses from the Holy Quran followed by a translation and a transliteration of the recited verses.
After the recitation of the Holy Quran, Mr. Ghulam Sabir, the chairman Iqbal Academy Sandinavia, inaugurated the session by sharing his views on the event’s topic. Despite his old age and deactivating comorbidities, Mr. Ghulam Sabir spoke with great enthusiasm and conveyed his message to the audience. His main message was that parents hold enormous leverage in terms of what they teach their children. Therefore, a great responsibility lies on parents’ shoulders in order to groom their children, particularly those living in European countries, in accordance with the beautiful religion of Islam. Parents have to be very vigilant and must keep an eye on the activities of their children. They should be friendly to them at home and try to create the instinct in their kids to differentiate between good and bad in a very simple manner. Sabir advised the parents that they should follow Iqbal’s vision of mentoring today’s youth in to “Shaheen”. Indeed, a shaheen stands for courage, self-respect, and purity of soul and character. Iqbal dreamt of transforming the Muslim youth in Shaheens and regardless of which era we exist in, Iqbal’s poetry holds the key in this regard. He said that some of us think that Iqbal is no more needed at the present age and that his poetry is not only outdated but beyond to be understood by the people of today. He refuted such thinking by briefly highlighting Iqbal and the importance of his books. He quoted Iqbal as saying, “I am the poet of tomorrow” and added that Iqbal’s “tomorrow” is our present. He also quoted the great scholar and a teacher of Iqbal, Professor Reynold Nicholson, “He (Iqbal) is a man of his age and a man in advance of his age; he is also a man in disagreement with his age.”
After the short address of Ghulam Sabir, Dr. Umneea Ahmad Khan from Australia was requested to share her views. In the beginning of this report her short introduction has been mentioned. According to her, it was her first speech in Urdu and also the first talk on Allama Iqbal. She recited a couple of verses from Bang-e-dara, and said that the present age yearns for a revolution and it can only be achieved through understanding Iqbal’s message. Out of IAS sessions watched by her on internet she particularly mentioned the one of April 2012 in which Iqbal’s Khudi (the Self) was explained in great detail. She expressed her concern that the present youth are mostly ignorant of Iqbal’s Kalaam. Even some of them do not know Iqbal at all. It is pity, she said, that we are unaware of the value of Iqbal’s precious teachings like self confidence, high morality and the way of living like “Shaheen”.
Arif Mahmood Kisana, an well-known scholar from Sweden also shared his views at the eve of Iqbal day. He is a learned person, a journalist and a lover of Iqbal. He delivered a very rich talk that covered a range of Iqbal’s teaching supported by many verses of Iqbal. In his speech, he stressed that Iqbal’s “Armaghan-e Hijaz” is not only a book but a message for everyone. Indeed, Iqbal was the messengerof love and a fine disciple of the Prophet (saw). His briefly touched upon many important areas that Iqbal held significant in successful molding of people into Shaheens. He stressed that Allama Iqbal’s books are based on Allah’s Kalam, i.e. Quran-e-Majeed.
Professor Muhammad Sharif Baqa is an eminent Scholar who is based in United Kingdom. He has authored over fifty books on Iqbal, which is an outstanding achievement. He delivered a fine speech on Iqbal’s message to the new age in a scholastic manner that was relished by everyone. At the end of the session, Professor Baqa took questions from the audience and gave detailed replies which were appreciated by the participants.
At the end of the session, the Ambassador of Pakistan, his Excellency Masrror Ahmad Junejo addressed the house. He appreciated the efforts, the Iqbal Academy held four sessions and he participated in all the four functions. He expressed his gratitude and appreciated the efforts made by Iqbal Academy in organizing timely and informative events for the youth of Denmark. Being an avid fan of Iqbal’s poetry, Mr. Ambassador showed his excitement in collaborating with Iqbal Academy Scandinavia in instituting such events in future.
Finally, Iqbal Academy Scandinavia is thankful to all the participants, the honorable speakers, and the Ambassador of Pakistan for participating in the event and contributing to its success.
Reported by: Dr. Usman Khalid, Vice Chairman, Iqbal Academy Scandinavia.