IQBAL DAY - A PANEL DEBATE
“IQBAL’S IMPORTANCE FOR US TODAY”
Iqbal’s teacher Professor Reynold A. Nicholson has written following words in the preface of his book, The Secrets of the Self, an English translation of Iqbal’s “Asrar-i Khudi”. About Iqbal’s poetical expression on the “Self” he writes:
“….its logical brilliancy dissolves in the glow of feeling and imagination, and it wins the heart before taking possession of the mind”. Prof. Nicholson also expressed his views on Iqbal’s importance of ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ in these words, “He is a man of his age and a man in advance of his age; he is also a man in disagreement of his age.”
Iqbal himself said, “MON NAWA-I SHAI-R-I FARDAASTAM” (I am the voice of tomorrow’s poet). Iqbal’s Farda (tomorrow) is our ‘today’ and also it is our ‘tomorrow’. Indeed Iqbal is our need of today. His teachings are the teachings of Qur’an of which most of us are ignorant. The teachings of Qur’an are never outdate. It is like a spring of fresh waters always flowing, always fresh and transparent. The works of Iqbal cover Religion, Philosophy, Art, and Economics, all of which are the basics for the individuals as well as for the society of mankind. In particular Iqbal is the call for revival of Muslim nation, which was almost on the brink of death in his time. Thanks God that today we feel a little life spark in the body of Muslim society.
As for Pakistan Iqbal wanted a separate Muslim land in order to make it a Research University for Islam which could provide the guidance and lead Muslim world to regain their past glory. For this purpose a country named Pakistan has already been created, but unfortunately it has not yet achieved its status as a University of Islam, which could present the true face of Islam before the world. In order to achieve the end that Iqbal wanted the constitution of Pakistan needs a revolutionary change. After making Pakistan and naming it as an Islamic State the most important task for its people is still ahead and that requires “Ijtihad” (independent inquiry), as said by Iqbal. To Iqbal only this is the way to implement real democracy in a Muslim country. He has used the term of ‘spiritual democracy’ for such governance. By‘spiritual democracy’ Iqbal means a state in which human freedom, human solidarity and human equality prevail. Iqbal provides a guideline in his “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” to make the country a genuinely Islamic state in which people from all walks of life are equally free. In such a state’ according to Iqbal, every one irrespective of faith, sect, creed is tolerated, respected and accepted.
As for us who are residing in Denmark but have also blood relation with the people of Pakistan, and much more to that belong to Islam, have responsibility to provide all possible assistance to our mother country in achieving their goal to make Pakistan a real and genuinely Islamic state. To us Iqbal says, “WAQT-I FURSAT HAI KAHAAN KAAM ABHI BAQI HAI - NOOR-I TAUHID KA ATMAAM ABHI BAQI HAI”.
Iqbal tells us to acquire knowledge and complete the task, which was left unfinished by our ancestors. He warns us not to follow others blindly but instead learn the lesson from them as they had done earlier. They acquired knowledge from your forefathers and extended that knowledge in all the fields of learning. The present glittering light of the West is the gift of Muslims of the past.
Therefore, Iqbal is our need of today in this country as well as for the people living in Pakistan. Both have still the task ahead to complete, as the result of which we will not only get back our past glory but will make this world worth living for human beings. Iqbal has proved that only Islam provides the best code of life and conduct for Man to become the vicegerent of God.