Armaghan-i-Hijaz is the latest composition of Iqbal and an essence of his lifetime's 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 Iqbal's 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 Iqbal's 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.
5- Garden Town Lahore