-Armaghan-i-Hijaz is the latest composition
of Iqbal and an essence of his lifetimes experience and thoughts.
Many Pakistani and English poets have already rendered versified
translations of selected poems of Iqbal. But nobody took the painstaking
to translate any book of Iqbal to maintain the same grace and gloss,
splendour and lush, the rich and gorgeous beauty of Iqbals
own style and symmetry of words with a proper rhyme and meterical
flow of Persian and Urdu compositions for which these languages
are so proud. The children and young generations do not retain a
prose or free verse in memory. The children sing nursery rhymes
and not a prose or free verse. The impact of a versified thought
is not less than magic.
Since 1951 I was feeling an urge to translate Iqbal in such a way
that people of West should consider him as one of their own national
poets but the livelihood worries did not give me time to pay my
attention towards it. About one fifth portion of "Armughan
was lying with me for the last decade. As soon as I got a signal
of Iqbal Academy I completed this job within three months.
In order to create Persian sweet taste in English I have avoided
the use of words having three or four syllables particularly when
the vocal harmony is missing, for example Crocodile, Alligator,
obedience etc. in case of Crocodile I would use its diminutive viz
croco; for Gabriel, Abraham and Alexander I would use the Gabe,
the Abe, Alec and so on. Since Pharoah is pronounced as Fero
a use of its Dim is not required. I have tried to do full justice
with Iqbal in my translations, yet it is my first attempt. I would
request the critics to avoid criticism with exaggeration. All opinions
of the worthy readers will be receive with thanks and necessary
amendments will be made in the Second Edition.
It would be an act of great ungratefulness on my part if I do not
acknowledge my thanks to Dr. Muiz-ud-Din, Director, Iqbal Academy
(nowadays Head of Iqbals Chair at Cambridge University) who
always took interest in my translations of Iqbal with pleasing remarks.
I am also grateful to Dr. Burhan Ahmad Farooqi who always saw my
works with appreciation, and gave me good suggestions where necessary.