Iqbal Academy Scandinavia celebrated a wonderful Sham-i Iqbal (Iqbals Evening) in remembrance of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal at Taastrup on May 17, 2008. It was a very selected gathering from intellectuals and well educated families. Appreciable number of audience comprised of young boys and girls including those from higher classes of different universities in Copenhagen. Arif Mahmud Kisana, leader of Stockhm Study Circle, Sweden, was special guest of the event. Syed Ejaz Haider Bokhari recited verses from holy Quran in his melodious voice followed by Urdu translation by Hadi Khan, General Secretary of the Academy. Anjum Sabir performed the function of stage secretary.
The first speaker who was invited was Abid Ali Abid, who is a devoted member and functions organiser of the Academy. He offered warm welcome to the guests and delivered a short but meaningful speech. He explained the aims and objects of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and invited the people to join this organisation in order to participate and share others with their knowledge. He highlighted a few problems faced presently by the community and suggested the way of tackling them.
Next speaker was Perwez Iqbal, another important member of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. His speech was not long but it was extremely meaningful and solid. He touched directly the theme of the event, which was Iqbals idea of the unity of Ummah He supported his contention by reciting and explaining the verses of Allama Iqbals poetry.
Hadi Hussain Khan was the third speaker. He is General Secretary of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia, a young, enthusiastic and devoted member of it. He is a lover of Iqbal in real sense. Being born and educated in Denmark, not learnt Urdu in a school, but he recited Iqbals Urdu verses throughout his speech explaining the meanings of the words used and the central idea contained in each and every verse. He told that to be a Muslim is not enough, according to Iqbal, but he said one has to learn what is Islam and understand it by passion. Hadi said that wisdom accompanied by love will lead you to the right path.
Iram Khawaja was the fourth speaker from the members of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. She belongs to the creative brains of this organisation. She is doing her Ph.D. in psychology at Roskilde Univesity in Copenhagen. She spoke on Rumis life, his contact with the great saint and Sufi Shams Tabrez, and about his spiritual relationship with Iqbal. She said that the basic teaching of Rumi and Iqbal is love and conscious awareness of Self, without which the life of a person is worthless. She said that the way of expression of Rumi and Iqbal is their rich and heart capturing poetry; their passion towards Quran is unmatched; and both of them are preachers of sublime human values.
Arif Mahmud Kisana, the chief guest of the day, spoke extensively on Iqbals philosophical expression in his poetry. He said that generally Iqbal is not understood as someone treats him as poet of the East, another thinks that Iqbal is a philosopher, and majority of the people know him as the one who dreamt of Pakistan. He expressed his disappointment that people in general do not know Allama Iqbal. Arif Kisana, in his beautiful speech explained about he works of Iqbal. He elaborated the three periods of Iqbals life that reflected in his poetical thought supported by Iqbals verses in relevance to the three periods of his life. He said that the life minus Quran is no life and that such a life is nothing more than an animals life.
The last speaker was Ghulam Sabir, the founder and chairman of Iqbal Academy Scandinavia. His address was brief but solid relaying in his speech a unique picture of Iqbal while he stepped in the Qortoba Mosque of Spain. He recited and explained the verses from Iqbals poem Masjid-i Qortoba, which was written by him during his stay in the city of Qortoba. Sabir also recited a few verses from Iqbals poem Dua (prayer to God) that was written by him when he was still in this historical mosque.
Anjum Sabir, who was conducting the session, kept the house lively all the time by reciting the verses of Allama Iqbal which she dedicated to each and every speaker while inviting him/her on the mike. The audience largely appreciated her way of handling the stage.
The last and the most thrilling item of this beautiful evening culminated on the music performed by the famous musician of Denmark Pervaiz Akhtar. He presented Iqbals selected lyrics and verses from his poems. His melodious voice and perfect music mixed with the sound of his harmonium carrying along the fragments of Iqbals poetry intoxicated the air of the hall. With him enhancing the musical charm was his colleague Asadullah Khan with his wonderful performance on Tabla.