ZABUR-I 'AJAM  (1927)

This collection begins with this Davidic psalm:

    I pray to the Lord, to me impart,
    Within my breast a conscious heart,
    Illuminate my lifeless clay,
    With anthem David used to play

There are four sections. The first two are sequences of ghazals in the classical form and the other two are single long poems. Iqbal forcefully expresses his inner convictions and urges the reader to advance himself to achieve progress and prosperity by discovering and strengthening the self. For his ghazals, Iqbal has been compared with the great Persian poets Attar, Hafiz, Sa'di and Jami.

The first of the two longer poems is the Gulshan-i Raz-i Jadid (New Garden of Mysteries). It alludes to the Gulshan-i Raz, the treatise on Sufism written in Persian verse by Sa'd ad-Din Mahmud Shabistari. Here Iqbal poses and answers nine questions on philosophical problems such as the nature of discursive thought, of the self, and of the relation between the eternal and the temporal. The subject of the second poem, the Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery) is the loss of freedom, particularly spiritual freedom, of an individual or society, and its consequent evils. It is divided into several sections and touches on the music and other arts of enslaved people, their religious tenets and the art of reconstructing free men.