Moses in Oriental tradition is called Kalim, one who talked with God It is based on Qur’anic narration (xx. 11-24). Here God addresses Moses and advises him to take certain steps in his encounter with the Pharaoh and his hosts. Iqbal has taken Moses as a prototype of Prophethood and in his works we often meet with the contrast of reason and love expressed as Moses and Pharaoh, philosopher and prophet, etc. Moses or Kalim stands for knowledge based on revelation

[Only a Kalim can rise in revolt against imperialism,
a mendicant, without cap and blanket.]1

[The heart of a people is purified
By a Kalim or reed-playing poet.]2

“Reed-playing poet” refers to Rumi.

[Modern knowledge has once again revived Old Magic,
it’s impossible to live now without Moses’ rod.]3

The word hikmah is generally used for wisdom. The Qur’an employs this term often for knowledge received through revelation from God. “This is the wisdom (hikmah) which thy Lord has revealed to thee” (xvii. 39). Again. “He grants wisdom to whom He pleases and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good” (ii. 269).

            The Prophet brings about a revolution in the minds of the people, transforms societies by his new message. Speaking about the role of the Prophet. Iqbal says: “The Prophet’s return from the repose of unitary experience] is creative. He returns to insert himself into the sweep of time with a view to control the forces of history, and thereby to create a fresh world of ideals. . . A prophet may be defined as a type of mystic consciousness in which ‘unitary experience’ tends to overflow its boundaries, and seeks opportunities of redirecting or refashioning the forces of collective life” (Reconstruction, pp. 124-25).

[So to return from the Spaceless world,
that He be in thy heart and the world, in thy grasp.]4

The message that Iqbal wishes to convey is that man must first start with a firm conviction in God’s overall supremacy conveyed in words like “Law is only Allah’s”. This conviction is the basis of a new social order that emancipates people from loyalty to false ideals.

Under the influence of this teaching, the Prophet transforms ordinary people into men of highest calibre both spiritually and materially. Such people are not anchorites ; they insert themselves into the sweep of history and refashion it after the pattern desired by God’s When they annihilate their will in the Will of God, the world of God moves according to their will. They are repositories both of Dilbari (love) and qahiri (might), jamal (beauty) and jalal (power).

1.         Armaghan-i Hijaz, p. 127.

2.         Ibid., p. 14.

3.         Bal-I Jibril, p. 88.

4.         Zabur-i ‘Ajam, p. 225.