Iqbal lived for some months of 1907 in Germany at Heidelberg and Munich. The reader can have a vivid account of his stay in both these towns from the pen of the late Atiya Begum in Iqbal (Bombay, 1947) pp. 22-30. It would be appropriate to refer to two of the passages from this book:

“Germany seemed to pervade his being, and he was picking knowledge from the trees that he passed by and the grass he trod on” (24).

“Of all places in Germany, Iqbal liked Munich best . . . (he) called Munich the 'Isle of Bliss, bathed in the sea of imagination' “ (27).

In Heidelberg, he was enamoured of the Neckar valley through which the river Neckar flowed. Iqbal has composed a beautiful poem on the Neckar which is given in Urdu, German and English rendering at the end of this account.



Iqbal day was celebrated in the Federal Republic of Germany on 22 April, 1968, at Munich. A large memorial[1] in the beautiful park called Habsburgerplatz, was unveiled to pay tribute to Iqbal who had obtained his Doctor's degree from the Munich University in 1908.

The unveiling ceremony was performed by Dr L. Huber, Bavarian Minister for Education and Culture, in a colourful function, in the presence of H. E. Mr Abdur Rahman Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan in the Federal Republic. The function was attended by many distinguished people of Germany including Dr Trütschler von Falkenstein, former Ambassador for Germany to Pakistan and Dr E. Heckelmann, Pakistan's Honorary Consul for Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg.

The programme started with music played by the Federal Frontier Guard, followed by recitation of Iqbal's poems by Mr Rolf Castell, speech by the Bavarian Minister for Education, speech by H. E. the Ambassador of Pakistan, unveiling of the memorial by Minister for Education, H. E. Dr Huber, and in the end Pakistan National Anthem played by the Federal Frontier Guard.


Speech by H. E. Mr, Abdur Rahman Khan

Honorable Minister, Honorable Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentelmen,

I am deeply grateful to the Bavarian Minister for Education, Dr L. Huber, and the authorities of Bavaria for honouring Muhammad Iqbal, our national poet. Recently we had the privilege of welcoming in Pakistan, the prime Minister of Bavaria, Dr A. Goppel and you Mr. Minister and the programme included a visit to the tomb of Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore. Today we are assembled in Munich to commemorate the fact that our national poet had drunk deep at the fountain of German learning and obtained his doctorate from this famous University sixty years ago. This indeed is a graphic illustration of the deep spiritual bond between Pakistan and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Iqbal's mind ranged over not only poetry and philosophy — where he has made a permanent contribution — but also contemporary affairs and more particularly the destiny of the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-continent. A study of Iqbal's work reveals how deeply he was influenced by such great German thinkers as Kant, Fichte and Nietzsche. However, the most profound influence which moved Iqbal to his very depth was exercised by Goethe. Iqbal's Payam-e-Mashriq (Message of the Orient) is a glowing tribute to the genius of Goethe whom Iqbal calls “the philosopher of life”. When we consider that Goethe in his turn owed so much to classical Persian thinkers like Hafiz and Maulana Rumi and Iqbal chose the Persian language to write his great poems like Payam-e-Mashriq, we realize how long and unbroken has been the spiritual chain that has bound Germany with the world of Islam.

Iqbal, who through his pen, forcefully propagated the affirmation of the human ego, gave it practical shape by his championing of the cause of the right of self-determination of the Muslims of the IndoPakistan Sub-continent. He visualized a separate state for the Muslims. His vision was given practical shape by the great leader, Quaid -i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Ladies and Gentlemen, during my assignment here as Ambassador for Pakistan, of all the duties I had the privilege of performing the one that I have been associated with today has been most meaningful, because between our two friendly nations we have this unbreakable bond, the spiritual bond of Iqbal; and I have no doubt that in the long march of history, this is the one that will outlive all others.


Speech of Herrn Prime Minister Dr. Ludwing Huber

Excellency, My dear ladies and gentelmen,

I gratefully accepted the invitation to talk here and today at the unveiling of the memorial for Sir Muhammad Iqbal. On the occasion of my short stay in Pakistan I was impressed with what veneration and admiration one recalls this great man. He is considered as one of the spiritual fathers of this young and yet in tradition so rich Muslim State with which hearty friendship ties us together in Germany. Iqbal once wrote in his diary notes:

“Nations are born in the hearts of the poets.”

It is just he himself of whom this sentence is true to an outstanding degree. As a young man Sir Muhammad Iqbal has spent some years in Europe. As a student he came in 1907 to Germany, where he studied in Heidelberg and Munich. He finally took the doctor's degree at the university of Munich.

Iqbal did his best to familiarise himself with the ideas of German poets and philosophers. He was particularly familiar with Hegel and Goethe. A whole collection of poems he has explicitly called as counter-piece to Goethe's West-Eastern Divan.

In this way Sir Iqbal has acted as mediator between the German and the Pakistani nation and just in the present situation of our nation it is justified to say : We need such mediators as Iqbal.[2]



Some time earlier, on 16 September 1966, through the efforts of Mr. Abdul Rahman Khan, Pakistan's Ambassador, a Plaque commemorating Iqbal's stay at Heidelberg was unveiled.

Much hard work and devoted energy lay behind this important event. Locating the house where Iqbal lived at the beginning of the century was no easy task. An enterpising Pakistani student, Mr. M. S. Boikan, wrote a letter to a local newspaper which finally solved the mystery. Miss Sofie Wegenast, now in her eightees and slightly stooped, came forward with the address. She is the sister of Emma Wegenast, Iqbal's professor and friend. The house overlooks the beautiful river Necker about which Iqbal wrote a poem in Urdu included in Bang-i-Dara. Authorities of the Baden-Wurttemberg State extended their full cooperation in this noble task. Dr. Hahn, cultural minister of the State and former Rector of the Heidelberg University, was nominated by the State Government at the ceremony.

The guests assembled under the shadow of the house where Iqbal lived. Dr. Hahn delivered a moving speech when he feelingly spoke of the contributions that Iqbal had made not only in the world of thought and poetry but also his great contribution towards the creation of Pakistan. “Heidelberg is proud to have had Iqbal, Pakistan's Poet-philosopher for this is in the hoary traditions of this city which has attracted scholars, poets and philosophers, from the four corners of the globe.” He concluded by saying that the deep intellectual bonds weaved by Iqbal would be a beacon of light for future generations.

The Pakistan Ambassador then addressed the gathering:

“Of the many ties that bind the people of the Federal Republic of Germany and Pakistan, none is more enduring than the one that was built by Pakistan's poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal.”

He spoke of the “deep debt of graditude that we in Pakistan owe to Muhammad Iqbal, who conceived an independent homeland for the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent.

“Iqbal, the poet of the East, not only carried his message from East to West, but he was a bridge over which Western ideas travelled to the East.

“Heidelberg, the great city of learning of Germany and also its beautiful natural setting, provided him with the inspiration to write some magnificent poetry.

“Later, Iqbal drank deep of German philosophy, a philosophy which contributed so greatly to Western thought.

“I have no doubt that between our two friendly nations, in the long march of history, this spiritual bond of Iqbal is one that will outlive all others.”



A new street in a prominent part of Heidelberg city on the bank of the river Necker opposite the other bank where Allama Iqbal lived and where a plaque had already been put in his memory, was named on February 14 as “Iqbal ufer” after Allama Iqbal, our national poet who lived and studied in Heidelberg in 1907. The naming ceremony was performed by His Excellency Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, Pakistan's Ambassador in Federal Republic of Germany in the presence of Dr. Werner Munzinger, Regierungs President of Karlsruhe representing Lander government of Baden Wurtemberg and Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, Reinhold Zundel, with other four mayors, reprentatives of Heidelberg University, high Government officials, students and Pakistani community. Lord Mayor in his welcome address underlined growing relations between Germany and Pakistan and said that the town council unanimously decided to name the new street on the river bank, which has been built at a cost of four million German marks, after poet-philosopher Iqbal. In his address Regierungsprasident Dr. Munzinger said, “Our two countries have very close cultural relations and the new street with Iqbal's name is a sign of permanent goodwill.” He stressed that Iqbal is a cultural bridge between our two countries and will remain the biggest single factor in strengthening friendly relations between Germany and Pakistan. The Pakistan Ambassador, in his inaugural speech, thanked Regierungs president, Lord Mayor City Council and citizens of Heidelberg for honouring Pakistan's national poet, Iqbal, by naming a street after him. Introducing Iqbal he said that Iqbal, the poet of the East, forms bridge between East and West and has not only interpreted East to West but has introduced western thought and philosophy in the East and believed in internationalism. He deeply appreciated the gesture of town authorities of Heidelberg and said that it would remain as a permanent land-mark in the cultural relations of Germany and Pakistan. He also appreciated untiring efforts of Pakistani students in Heidelberg which made it possible to have an important street in Heidelberg named after Iqbal.

The event was followed by a cultural evening which included dinner speeches and cultural show. Beside Regierungsprasident, town authorities and university representatives some 300 guests including high Government officials, journalists, scholars and representatives of cultural organizations attended the cultural evening. Regierungsprasident, the Mayor and Chairman of town council in short speeches warmly referred to Iqbal's memory and growing friendly relations between Germany and Pakistan. The Ambassador in an address briefly recounted progress made in Pakistan in different fields and Pakistan-German relations in general and economic and technical cooperation in particular. Cultural programme included variety of Pakistan dances, songs, display of Pakistani costumes and recitations from Iqbal's poems including German translation and a dialogue between Iqbal and Goethe. The cultural show received thundrous applause from the audience and continued for more than two hours. Both naming ceremony and cultural show were given coverage by local television, radio and the press.

ایک شام

(دریائے نیکر ہائیڈل برگ کے کنارے پر)

خاموش ہی چاندنی قمر کی

شاخیں ہیں خموش ہر شجر کی

وادی کے نوا فروش خاموش

کہسار کے سبز پوش خاموش

فطرت بیہوش ہو گئی ہے

آغوش میں شب کے سو گئی ہے

کچھ ایسا سکوت کا فسوں ہے

نیکر کا خرام بھی سکون ہے

تاروں کا خموش کارواں ہے

یہ قافلہ بے درا رواں ہے

خاموش ہیں کوہ و دشت و دریا

قدرت ہے مراقبے میں گویا

اے دل تو بھی خموش ہو جا

آغوش میں غم کو لیکے سو جا



(Translated by Otto von Glasenapp)

Still ist der Berg un dr Fluss un des Tal,

Es scheint die Natur ine Sinnen vers unken.

Die gefiederten Saenger verstummen zumal,

Und der Wald an dem Huegel ruht schlummertrunken.



Die Karawane der Sterne zieht

Ohne Gloeckchenklingen auf himmlischen Wegen.

Still leuchtet der Mond, die Bewegung entflicht,

Im Schosse der Nacht sich schlafen zu legen.


So stark ist der Stile Zaubermacht,

Dass der Necker ruht, weiterfliessend,

Num sei auch du stille, mein Herz, in  der Nach

Und schlafe, das Leid in dick verschliessend.[3]



On the Banks of the Neckar (Heidelberg)

(Translated by Mumtaz Hasan)

Silent is the moonlight

 Silent the bought of trees.


Silent are the music makers of the valley,

 And silent the green robed once of the hills.


Creation is in a swoon

And asleep in the arms of the night.


The stillness has cast such a spell

That even the flow of the Neckar seems still.


The Caravan of the stars moves on

In silence, without bells.


Silent are hill and forest and river;

Nature seems lost in contemplation.


Thou too, o heart, be still!

Hold thy grief to thy bosom, and sleep.[4]




See the rock-born stream!

Like the gleam

Of a star so bright!

Kindly spirits

High above the clouds

Nourished him while youthful

In the copse between the cliffs.


Young and fresh,

From the clouds he danceth

Down upon the marble rocks,

Then tow'rd heaven

Leaps exulting.


Through the mountain-passes

Claseth he the colour'd pebbles,

And, advancing like a chief,

Tears his brother streamlets with him

In his course.


In the valley down below

Neath his footsteps spring the flowers,

And the meadow

In his breath finds life.


Yet no shady vale can stay him,

Nor can flowers,

Round his knees all softy twining

With their loving eyes detain him,

To the plain his course he taketh,



Social streamlets

Join his waters. And now moves he

O'er the plain in silv'ry glory,

And the plain in him exults,

And the rivers from the plain,

And the streamlets from the mountains,

Shout with joy, exclaiming : “Brother,

Brother, take thy brethren with thee,

With thee to thine aged father,

To the everlasting ocean,

Who, with arms outstrecthing far,

Waiteth for us,

Ah, in vain those arms lie open

To embrace this yearning children,

For the thirsty sand consumes us

In the desert waste, the sunbeams

drink our life-blood, hills around us

Into lakes would dam us! Brother,

Take thy brethren of the plain,

Take thy brethren of the mountain

With thee, to they father's arms!”


Let all come, then!

And now swells he

Lordlier still ; yea, e'en a people

Bears his regal flood on high!

And in triumph onward rolling,

Names to countries gives he,—cities

Spring to light beneath his foot.


Ever, ever on he rushes,

Leaves the tower's flame-tipp'd summits,

Marble palaces, the offspring

Of his fulness, far behind.


Cedar-houses bears the Atlas

On his giant shoulder, flutt'ring

In the breeze far, far above him

Thousand flags are gaily floating,

Bearing witness to his might.


And so beareth he his brethren,

All his treasures, all his children,

Wildly shouting, to the bosom

Of his long-expectant sire.

جوئے آب[6]

بنگر کہ جوئے آب چہ مستانہ می رود

مانند کہکشاں بگریبانِ مرغزار

در خوابِ ناز بود بہ گہوارۂ سحاب

وا کرد چشمِ شوق بآغوشِ کوہسار

از سنگریزہ نغمہ کشاید خرامِ او

سیمائے او چو آئینہ بے رنگ و بے غبار

زی بحر بیکرانہ چہ مستانہ میرود

در کود یگانہ از ہمہ بیگانہ میرود

در راہِ او بہار پریخانہ آفرید

نرگس دمید و لالہ دم ید و سخن دمید

گل عشوہ داد و گفت یکے پیش ما بالیست

خندیدہ غنچہ و سر دامان او کشید

ناآشنائے جلوہ فروشانِ سبز پوش

صحرا برید و سینۂ کوہ و کمر درید

زی بحرِ پیکرانہ چہ مستانہ میرود

در خود یگانہ از ہمہ بیگانہ میرود

صد جوائے دشت و مرغ و کہستان و باغ و راغ

گفتند ’’اے بسیطِ زمین با تو سازگار

ما را کہ راہ از تنک آبی نہ بردہ ایم

از دستبردِ ریگِ بیاباں نگاہ دار‘‘

وا کردہ سینہ را بہ ہوا ہائے شرق و غرب

در بر گرفتہ ہمسفرانِ زبون و راز

زی بحرِ بیکرانہ چہ مستانہ میرود

با صد ہزار گوہر یک دانہ میرود

دریائے پر خروش از بندہ و شکن گذشت

از تنگنائے وادی و کوہ و دمن گذشت

یکساں چو سیل کردہ نشیب و فراز ر ا

از کاخِ شاہ و بارہ و کشت و چمن گذشت

بیتاب و تند و تیز و جگر سوز و بیقرار

در ہر زماں بتازہ رسید از کہن گذشت

زی بحرِ بیکرانہ چہ مستانہ میرود

در خود یگانہ از ہمہ بیگانہ میرود



نغمہ محمد

جوئے کہسار ہے منزل کو رواں

زادۂ کوہ و کمر

نجم تاباں کی طرح ضوافگن

سبزۂ و خس میں چٹانوں کے م یاں

مہربان روحوں نے پالا ہے جوانی می ں اسے

مسکنِ ابر سے بالا ہے نشیمن جن کا

تازہ دم اور جواں

حجلۂ ابر سے باہر آکر

سنگ مرر کی چٹانوں پہ ہوئی رقص کناں

اور پھر رفعت گردوں کی طرف پر افشاں

شاداں فرحاں


اور درّوں سے گزرتے جہوئ ے

ٹکراتے ہوئے

سنگریزوں کا تعاقب کرتے

آگے بڑھتے ہوئے مثلِ رہبر

ندی نالوں کو جلو میں لے کر

اپنے رستے پہ بہے جاتی ہے


اس کے  ہر لحظہ دواں قدموں کے تلے

پھول کھلتے ہیں جس وادی میں

اور اس کے دم جاں افزا سے

مرغ زاروں کو بقا ملتی ہے

وادئ سایہ فگن بھر بھی، اسے

پا بہ زنجیر نہیں کر سکتی

اور بکھرے ہوئے پھولوں کی نگاہِ الفت

روک سکتی ہین رستہ اس کا

جادہ پیما ہے وہ میداں کی طرف

صورت مارِ گراں بل کھاتے

ندیاں نالے تمام

اس کے سینے م یں ملے  ہیں آکر

اورا ب بہتی ہے وہ میداں پر

اک نئی سطوت رفتار کے ساتھ

مایۂ فخر ہے میداں کے لیے

ندیاں نالے کہستانوں کے، میدانوں کے

مل کے کہتے ہیں خوشی سے


تو رفیقوں کو، وفاکیشوں کو

اپنے ہمراہ لیے جا ساتھی!

اس کہن سال پدر کی جانب

دائمی بحر کے پاس

منتظر ہے جو ہمارے لیے اک مدت سے

دور کھولے ہوئے بانہیں اپنی

آہ! بے کار وہ بانہیں وا ہیں

اپنے بچوں کے لیے

جو ہیِں مشتاق بہت

تشنہ لب ریت بیابانوں کی

جذب کرتی ہے ہم یں

مہر کی کرنیں مٹاتی ہیں ہماری ہستی

حلقۂ کوہ گراتا ہے ہمیں جھیلوں میں

اپنے م یدان و کہستان کے رفیقوں کو، وفا کیشوں کو

ساتھ تواپنے لیے جا ساتھی!

اس کہن  سال پدر کی جانب

جو ہمارے لیے ہے چشم براہ‘‘


ہم کناری کا شرف سب کو دیا

اور اب بڑھ کے کہیں پہلے سے

شور انگیز ہے وہ تمکنتِ شاہی سے

خیر مقدم کے لیے آتی ہیں قومیں اس کے

اور منزل کو رواں ہے وہ ظفر مندی سے

وہ ممالک کو عطا کرتی ہے اک ناموری

اس کی قدموں تلی آباد ہوئے جاتے ہیں شہر

وہ ہی ہر لحظہ دواں

چھوڑتے پیچھے اپنے

چوٹیاں شعلی کے مانند دمکتے ہوئے ایوانوں کی

سنگ مرمر کے محل

اور صنوبر کے مکاں

(اس کی ثروت کے ثمر)

اُس کی شانوں پہ نئی سج دھج سے

پھڑ پھڑاتی ہے ردائے اطلس


صبح کی باد معطر کے نمیں جھونکوں میں

رفعت چرخ پہ، اس کی اوپر

محوِ پرواز ہزاروں پرچم

اس کی سطوت کا پتہ دیتے ہیں

اورپھر اپنے رفیقوں کے لیے

ساتھ لپٹائے خزینے اپنے

اپنے بچوں کو جلو میں لے کر

شور کرتے ہوئے جا ملتی ہے

وہ کہن سال پدر سے اپنے

ثاقب رزمی



[1] It is a 39X30X200 cm. large stone memorial. Cost of its erection, Rs. 4,200.00, was borne by the Iqbal Academy, Karachi.

[2] This account is based on the report very kindly supplied by the Pakistan Embassy at Bad Godesberg, Germany.

[3] Reproduced from Muhammad Iqbal : poet and philosopher (a publication of the Pakistan-German Forum, Karachi), 123.

[4] Reproduced from Muhammad Iqbal: poet and philosopher (a publication of Pakistan-German Forum, Karachi), 122.

[5] This song was intended to be introduced in a dramatic poem entitled Mahomet, the plan of which was not carried out by Goethe. He mentions, that it was to have been sung by Ali towards the end of the piece in honour of his master Mahomet, shortly before his death, and when at the height of his glory, of which

it is typical.

The English rendering is by Edger Alfred Bowring and is taken from The Poems of Goethe (London, George Bell and Sons, 1904).

[6]’’جوئے آب‘‘ گوئٹے کی مشہور نظم موسوم بہ ’’نغمۂ محمد‘‘ کا ایک نہایت آزاد ترجمہ ہے۔ اس نظم م یں جو دیوانِ مغربی سے بہت پہلے لکھی گئی تھی المانی شاعر نے زندگی کے اسلامی تخیّل کو نہایت خوبی سے بیان کیا ہے۔ اصل میں یہ ایک مجوزہ اسلامی ڈرامے کا جزو تھی جس کی تکمیل اس سے نہ ہ و سکی۔ اس ترجمہ سے گوئٹے کا نقطۂ نگاہ دکھانا مقصود ہے۔