The teaching of the Qur'an that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems.

(The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam)

Iqbal Day at Copenhagen on 15th November 2009

(Picture Gallery)

As usual Iqbal Day was observed under auspices of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia (IAS) on the 15th. November this year. The guest of honour was Professor Mustansir Mir, Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Youngstown State University, Ohio, USA. He delivered his historic speech on “The Qur’an in Iqbal’s poetry”. Seema Kamil performed as Stage Secretary for the session. She opened the session, thanked the audience and the guest speaker, then conducted the programme as under:

Muhammad Kamil recited in Qir’at the first few verses from Sura Rehman of the Qur’an followed by translation in Urdu.

Hadi Husain Khan, member of executive body of IAS highlighted the achievements and activities of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and Iqbal Study Group. He said that in these forums we discuss Allama Iqbal’s religious and moral philosophy through the help of his poetical and prose works works in order to create awareness among our young generation of their own identity and importance in the world’s nations. Referring to the famous verses of Iqbal’s Jawab-i Shakwa, ‘ki muhammad sey wafa tuney to Ham terey hain, Yey Jehan cheez hai kiya lauho qalam terey hain’, he stressed on the word “TO” in the first verse and explained that the blessings of Allah promised to us in these verses are conditional subject to being faithful to Muhammad (PBH).

Arushma, a young girl, medical student of Copenhagen University delivered a short telling how she understood Iqbal by attending Study Group meetings. She also talked on what she learnt about Tawawuf (Mistisism) through in the sessions of Study Group and that how the original concept of Tawawuf underwent changes when it came under Persian influence. She also praised Iqbal’s teachings to us as to how to live an honourable and purposeful life in a world of multi-ethical society.

Another young girl, a science student, Zarmina delivered a short speech in Urdu which ended up in Danish language.. She said that she used to wonder as to why people talk only about Iqbal and not for other writers, but said that ‘now I know “why only Iqbal”. Moreover I never knew, before joining Iqbal Study Group, anything about the term “metaphysics” but I can now understand a little of that as well.’ She added that Iqbal’s philosophy covers all aspects of life including politics, religion, art, science etc.

Abid Ali Abid, a member of executive body, briefly talked on the achievement of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. He paid great tribute to Allama Iqbal. In his speech he reviewed the history of Indian Muslims and highlighted how Allama Iqbal changed the lives of the deprived Muslims through his powerful poetry. He said that Iqbal brought visible change in the behaviour of Muslim nation of Indo-Pak sub continent as he taught them how to live like a great nation.

Ghulam Sabir, the founder of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, delivered a speech on “Azmat-i Insan” (Human greatness). During his speech he referred to several verses from the Holy Qur’an and many verses from the poetry of Allama Iqbal. His talk covered various aspects of the life of Man, his power over Nature’s creation, his place on earth and his relation with the universe. With regards to our behaviour with fellow human beings he referred to Iqbal’s verse, “Admi-yat Ehtram-i Admi”. He ended his speech with stress to act upon three keys of a successful life, namely, 1) Faith (Iman), 2) Love and 3) Knowledge.

M. Kamil, member of executive body IAS, delivered a short but touching speech on Iqbal’s love with prophet Muhammad (PBH).. He said that people had seen the intensity of his love at times that whenever and wherever Iqbal heard the name of the prophet Muhammad (PBH) his tears used to burst from his eyes and there were occasions when he looked fainted after the recitation of Naat.. He used to hear Naat-i Rasul with great fondness and invariably was seen overwhelmed in Wajd during such recitations by individuals or in Qawalees.

Dr. Rubya Mehdi was the last speaker in the first half of the session. She is a learned lady, a writer of several books including two big books, on subjects pertaining to modern problems namely, “Integration and Retsudvikling” and “Law and Religion in Multicultural Societies”. She is teaching Law in Roskilde University. Dr. Rubya and her husband, Pervaiz Akhtar have always been attending our functions and take keen interest in the activities of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia (IAS). Pervaiz is also a well known musician. Inspired by Iqbal he has recently prepared a volume of Allama Iqbal’s Ghazals. Rubia highly praised the hard work and achievements of the founder of IAS. She was deeply impressed by the two younger members of Iqbal Study Group, who appeared on the stage before her and demonstrated their confidence in Iqbal. She said that IAS platform is a source of inspiration to young generation to create in them the love for Islam. Dr. Rubya said that world’s big powers want to make Pakistan once again a “Nao abadi”. Iqbal is telling us to guard our existence and step forward. His insistence to adopt the way of Ijtihad leads to survival of Muslim nation. Movement, she said, is in nature of everything including man. She said that we must adopt the way of living according to the need of time and place keeping ourselves strictly in the realm of Islam.

After the break for refreshment and Zuhar prayer, Ghulam Sabir recited Iqbal’s poem “Awaz-i Ghaib” and one Ghazal. Then the floor was handed over to the Chief guest of the event Professor Mustansir Mir.

Musansir Mir at this event delivered his historic speech spread over an hour, in which he provided material of immense value to the audience. The subject of his speech was “Qur’an in Iqbal’s poetry”. In the beginning of his speech he spoke highly on the constructive work of the founder of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. Commenting on the speeches of two young girls, Arushma and Zarmina, members of Iqbal Study Group, he said, “I have not seen such maturity in older people”. In reply to Zarmin’s question: “Why Iqbal only …”, he said that Iqbal is an encyclopedia of eastern and western philosophers. The people in the west admit that Iqbal has understood the western philosophers better than them. He further elaborated his view point that if you combine several text books on one subject and make one consolidated text book you would naturally prefer to read the consolidated text book instead of reading each of the books separately. Exactly in the same manner Iqbal is a text book of eastern and western thought. Exactly in the same way Iqbal is a text book of western and Muslim thought.

Coming to his topic he said that Iqbal has not a Mufassir as he has not written commentary on the Qur’anbut he said that Kalam-i Iqbal is the best Tafsir (commentary)of the Qur’an. He told that Iqbal was deeply attached with Qur’an. Whenever he read the Qur’an his tears dropped on the pages in such a quantity that the Qur’an was put in the sun to dry up. Mustansi Mir explained the meanings of each and every word of Sura Ikhlas (sura No.112) quoting the relevant verses from Iqbal’s poetry and then elaborating in depth Iqbal’s view in understanding the words of Qur’an. In this Sura he proved with the help of Iqbal’s verses the unique way of God’s existence and the idea of His Oneness. Through this Sura he explained how the unified unity of God leads to the unity of Muslim Ummah. In a beautiful manner he clarified how God is not Muqayad (restricted) but Heis Mutlaq (unrestricted). In this connection he referred to various verses of the Qur’an, including Sura Noor (No.24) where God is said to be the light – a light like that of a lamp or the ‘light of heavens and the earth’ and proved how God is Mutlaq, In the same way Mustansir Mir deliberated the ideas, meanings and lessons behind Surah Yusuf (No.12). With the help of the powerful poetry of Iqbal and referring to various verses from the Qur’an Musansir Mir said that Yusuf (PBH) in the well was not Muqayad (restricted) as considered by people but he was Mutlaq (unrestricted). While in the well Yusuf carried all his glories as a prophet which remained unseen in those hours.

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