As usual an Iqbal Day was observed on April 25 under auspices of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia in the beautiful hall of Taastrup Culture Centre.
Mohammad Kamil, an active member of the Academy recited Sura Al-tin (95) in his beautiful way of Qir’at followed by its Urdu translation. After him an school boy Jahanzeb Ahmad recited Iqbal’s poem for children “Hamdardi”.
Aadil Ansari, another member of Academy, delivered a short speech explaining how a person looks outwardly with his contrast inside. The central idea of his whole talk was that whatever we say, we must do, whatever we do it reflects our inner thinking and whatever we look from outside our inside should not be different with it. In short our outside and inside should be one and the same. He said that such should be the identity of a Pakistani.
Bashy Quaishy, a brilliant guest speaker and a known fighter for the rights of ethnic minorities in Europe, delivered a detailed talk on ‘Qaid-i Azam’s Pakistan”. His speech consisted lot of material and information for our youth. About Qaid-i Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah he said that the story of Pakistan is so much linked with his life that one cannot be told without the other. He quoted Stanley Wolpert, the American Historian, saying about Muhammad Ali Jinnaha's following:
“Few individual significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three”.
During his lifetime, Bsshy remarked, ‘Qaid-i Azam brought the wisdom to walk in the path of honour, the courage o follow his conviction, and on abiding compassion for others. He enriched us all by the nobility of his spirit’, Bashy deliberated at length on the ‘life and times’ of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, his working with Indian Congress, his break up with them, his joining Muslim league, his various rounds of talks and negotiations with Gandhi, Nehru and other Indian leaders seeking for a compromising formula on distribution of powers between Muslims and Hindus after acquiring independence from British Government, etc. etc. Bashy said that in one of his letters Jinnah asked Gandhi to be more precise as to how the power would be distributed, Gandhi replied, “My dear Jinnah, I cannot answer your question because my inner light is not working”. Jinnah wrote back, “To hell with your inner light. Why do not you admit that you have no answer to what I am asking”. Under the heading “Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan” Bashy quoted extracts from Jinnah as saying to an American press representative in July 1942 as following:
“We are a nation of our own distinctive culture and civilisation, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportions, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions, in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all cannons of international law we are a nation.”
Bashy’s talk was quite lengthy but it did contain some very serious information and facts. We are, therefore, including extracts from his speech in the page “Articles and Papers” of this website.
Sarosh Alamgir, a learned young member of IAS delivered a rich speed on ‘Iqbal’s Pakistan’. He said that Iqbal views Islam as a complete progressive, effective and adaptable polity with highest ethical ideals (polity = complete social structure regulated by a legal system and animated by a specific ethical ideal). Explaining further he added that Iqbal’s view of a state and its value, and his conception of Pakistan as a Muslim state owing to employ the Islamic polity and ideals of her social, cultural and political structure.
Sarosh narrated excerpts from Iqbal’s speeches suggesting his views on the specifics like the suitable political structure, economic system, legislature and the status of minorities in his ideal Islamic state. He said that Iqbal at times expressed his resentment against materialistic secularism and theocracy as the political disorder, and feudalism, capitalism and communism as economical extremes. Sarosh read out following excerpts from Allama Iqbal’s presidential address at Muslim Leagues’s annual conference 1932:
“The faith you represent recognises the worth of the individual, and disciplines him to give away his all to the service of God and man. Its possibilities are not yet. It can still create a new world where he social rank of man is not determined by his caste pr colour or the amount of dividend he earns, but by the kind of life he lives, where he poor tax the rich, where human society is founded not on the equality of stomachs but on the equality of sprits, where an untouchable can marry he daughter of a king, where private ownership is a trust and where capital cannot be allowed to accumulate so as to dominate the real producer of wealth. This superb idealism of your faith , however, needs emancipation from the medieval fancies of the theologians and legists.”
The next speaker was Nasar Malik, a well known literary person and a poet. He said that Iqbal is not the property of Pakistan or Muslims but he is a universal gift from God for entire human race. He added that Iqbal is a teacher for mankind. He teaches us how to live a life with honour and dignity by serving others and loving the people whom God loves more than a mother loves her children. Nasar Malik delivered his speech in extremely beautiful Urdu language in which he demonstrated his fine literary taste.
At the end of his speech Nasar Malik put up a resolution urging Pakistan Government to recognize the great work and service for our people done by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. Nasar Malik’s resolution was passed unanimously by the audience in words and clapping.
After the break for refreshment Hadi Khan, a brilliant member of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia,
presented an elaborate talk on Iqbal’s concept of Ijtihad. He is one of a few IAS members who have Iqbal’s great book “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” in their regular study. Hadi, referring to the 6th. lecture of Iqbal in this book titled “The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam”, said that ‘the possibility of change, according to the Qur’an, is one of the greatest ‘signs’ of God, tend to immobilise what is essentially mobile in its nature’. The principle of movement, he said, is what we call Ijtihd. The idea has its origin in the Qur’an, according to Iqbal, as given in the verse “And to those who exert we Show our path.” At this stage Hadi quoted a well known Tradition of the Prophet (PUH) in connection with the appointment of Ma’adh as governor of Yemen.
About the way of Ijtihad Hadi referred Iqbal’s idea, mostly in Iqbal’s words, in which he presented the example adopted by Turkey in terms of Khilafat, where the government examined how Caliphate (Khilafat) be established. ‘Should the Caliphate be vested in single person? Turkey’s Ijtihad is that according to the spirit of Islam the Caliphate or Imamate can be vested in body of persons or an elected Assembly … I believe the Turkish view is perfectly sound.’ Iqbal says that Muslim countries ‘are mechanically repeating old values whereas the Turk is on the way to creating new values.’ A question ‘which is likely to confront to other Muslim countries in the near future is whether the Law of Islam is capable of evolution – a question which will require great intellectual effort, and is sure to be answered in the affirmative, provided the world of Islam approaches it in the spirit of Umar – the first critical and independent mind in Islam who, at the last moments of the Prophet, had the moral courage to utter these remarkable words: “The book of God is sufficient for us.”’
Ghulam Sabir, the founder and chairman of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, Highly praised the talk of all the five speakers on their well prepared and thought provoking speeches. He supplemented Hadi’ speech on Ijtihad by reading several Persian verses of Iqbal and explained their meanings. He said that individual Ijtihad, according to Iqbal, would lead to Intishar (disunity)instead of unity among Ummah and that the best way is that the task of Ijtihad in Muslim Law as and when needed should be done only by a Legislative Assembly of the country in which Muslim Ulema of highest calibre and having sufficient knowledge of modern scientific developments. scientific development should be included. Ghulam Sabir created a light atmosphere and changed the serious air of the house into fresh cool breeze by reciting an extremely beautiful Ghazal.