It was a bright Saturday evening and the hall was packed with audience. It was not exigerting as commented by one of the particiipants that the cream of Copenhagen community was present there. This year Iqbal Day was observed exactly on the same date i.e. 21st April on which date in 1938 our beloved Iqbal had left this planet The session was presided by Safdar Hamadani, a well known literary person, a poet, an author of several books and now broadcaster with BBC at London. The special guest was the Ambassador for Pakistan Her Excellency Fauzia Mufti Abbas. Mr. M. Masud Khan, the Consulate General of Lithuania in Pakistan was also one of our honourable guests. Anjum Parveen was entrusted the job to hold the Stage. .
We will be lacking if we do not say a word for Anjum Parveen. She is a well educated and senior teacher of a Danish School. She beautifully handled the session and kept the hall lively by reciting very selective and timely verses of Iqbal every time before calling a new speaker. At the end Abid Ali Abid presented flowers to all guest speakers including Anjum Parveen in appreciation of her performance.
The programme started at the fixed hour. The first speaker was Sadia Akbr, a law student in the final year at Copenhagen University and a member of Iqbal Study Group. Her speech was unique in a sense that it was all about Iqbal but without a single sentence related to Iqbal’s philosophy or connected with his poetry. She literary represented the mind of the youth of Muslim nation in her questions, like: who was Iqbal, why we are told that he was a great poet and how was it that he dreamt of Pakistan. She forcefully questioned that why we do not know Iqbal in the way as it should be. These and other questions together with her way of presenting them caused lot of amusement and clapping from the audience. She actually pin pointed the right direction in an indirect way for understanding Allama Iqbal’s teachings.
Iram Khawaja, a devoted young girl, an active member of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and the leader of Iqbal Study Group was invited to speak. She is lecturer and a Ph.D. Researcher in Roskilde University. With all of her responsibilities and academic involvement she has been taking keen interest in the activities of the Academy. She delivered a beautiful speech in English. She said that Iqbal’s Khudi or Self has three aspects, namely self realisation, self actualisation/development and ultimately self expression, which follows full, complete and selfless involvement in the affairs of the society and the society consisting of such persons demonstrate Collective Self.. She said that Iqbal had deep study of Qur’an, which is evident from his poetry. At the end she presented beautiful English rendering of the last poem of Iqbal’s great book Javidnama,which is dedicated to the youth..
Then came Hadi Hussain Khan, another young member of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. He is Secretary General of the Academy. He briefly explained the achievements of this organisation during the past three years. He said that we have got to be more active and our scope of function must be widened covering the fields of Social and Cultural in addition to Academic activities. He invited the youth to be more organised as Iqbal was worried when he said “Bujhee Ishq kee aag andher hai, Musalman naheen raakh ka dher hai”. In his speech, throughout, he was reciting Iqbal’s beautiful verses supplementing his view points. As a whole his speech was very lively and meaningful.
Abdus Sattar Siraj, the director Youth Centre, addressing the audience said that it amounts to injustice and degrading of Iqbal if we just say that he is a great poet. He said that Iqbal represented not only the Muslims but entire human race in a way that we do not see any other person in the whole world after him. He advised the educated people to study Iqbal and bring the philosophy of Iqbal to the knowledge of others. He elaborated seven main features of Iqbal philosophy of the Self.
Shama Cheema, a learned lady from Odense addressed on Iqbal’s “Mard-i Momin” (Existent person). Her speech contained full explanation of the qualities of a complete person in the light of Iqbal’s philosophy. In her speech she quoted quite a number of verses from Iqbal’s poetry on the subject. For us and specially for the younger generation, she said, that Iqbal is the light for us to guide and chose our path in the difficult and thorny way of life.
The youngest of speakers, Mohsin Abid, a student of class III, in his short speech in Danish language told about the life of Allama Iqbal. He said that he was a great person, his poetry was great. He has written beautiful poems for children, which give us lesson of morality and kindness towards other human beings.
At this stage a well known social figure Malik Muhammad Siddique from the audience, inspired by the prevailing air of the hall came on the mike and expressed his feelings of appreciation of the constructive work being done by the management of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. He paid high tributes to Allama Iqbal and regarded as the ideal of today to follow.
Abid Ali Abid, the organiser Iqbal Academy and president of Denmark’s World Peace Organisation, said that Iqbal Academy has been working to build the harmony and understanding between man to man and creating the sense of brotherhood among various thoughts and religions. He said that from the beginning up to this time all our programmes.have been very successful in the sense that all of them carried the message of Iqbal as a need of time in the most befitting manner. He said that our activities and achievements are available on the website of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, which are inspiring and attracting the attention of those sitting far away from us. He was also of the opinion that the time has come that the activities of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia should be expanded covering the fields of Cultural and social as well.
Mr. Ghulam Sabir, the founder of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, in his address produced a few examples of young persons inspired by Iqbal’s poetic expression of human values. He explained the place of man in the universe and said that all human beings are equal, their origin is the same and their soul is the same. He produced various verses of Iqbal and Sheikh Saadi in support of his claim. He said that Iqbal is in fact a gift of God for the humanity. He is the son of the soil of human’s earth and equally belongs to the East and the West. At the of his speech Mr. Masud Khan requested him to stay back on the mike and recite from Iqbal’s Shikwa (complaint to God), which he recited in his usual melodious voice. The next few moments of his recitation of the most famous Iqbal’s poem spell bounded the packed hall and carried the audience to a different world as expressed by some of them later on. That was a practical demonstration of the magic of Iqbal’s poetry, about which Iqbal himself said that ‘every verse of my poetry is a drop of my heart’s blood’.
In that air prevailing in the hall Anjum Parneen invited Safdar Hamadani dedicating to him two beautiful verses of Iqbal. Safdar Hamadani started his speech expressing his appreciation rather praising achievements of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. He was so much moved by the intelligent questions and positive response from the audience by that time that he preferred to leave aside his written speech, which as he said, specifically written for this function and which took a couple of his days to complete. He wished Academy to grow and wanted to see the day that it turns out to be a bridge between the West and Islam. He said that he attended many functions during the past six years but had never seen ladies in such a big number having so much of literary taste. Today the ladies, he said, are occupying nearly half of the seats in the hall.. Speaking on Iqbal’s philosophical poetry he said that Iqbal has beautifully expounded the principles of Islam as belonging to the world and as applicable to everyday life of a person irrespective of his creed or colour. He said that we cannot separate Iqbal’s philosophy from his poetry. At this stage Abid Ali Abid interfered and requested him to read out a little from his written address to the audience. He acceded to the request and read out certain portions in which he quoted many instances of translation and the work done on Iqbal by other countries of the world including in Denmark by some of the Danish thinkers and learned persons.. Safdar Hamadani has sent us his written speech in full which is in Urdu and available for the readers on the pages of articles and papers of this website of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia.
Shamim Tahira, a known figure of Copenhagen, an educationist and a lover of Iqbal, speaking on Iqbal, highlighted the universality of Iqbal’s poetry. She said that each and every verse of Iqbal is unique in its nature as it carries a certain idea which is connected with one or the other aspect of Iqbal’s philosophical deliberations. She paid high tributes to Mr. Ghulam Sabir, the founder of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and highlighted his hard work as a result of which she said that we see here such a beautiful gathering of highly learned people and intellectuals. She also praised his team of dedicated young people who have set an example of selfless service to the society and promoting the cause of brotherhood and harmony.
Honourable Fauzia Mufti Abbas, the Ambassador of Pakistan and the special guest of the day, in her address said that it was a great idea to establish Iqbal Academy Scandinavia , which has since achieved marvellous results and popularity in a couple of years; she wished further progress for the Academy. She also proposed that creating an Iqbal Seat in one of the universities here is the need of time. She said that Iqbal’s philosophy, his poetry and his life is an open book for a person in search of Truth.