Iqbal- Dream of an Eagle

The days we have marked for celebrations,
The rest in forgetfulness, we don’t explore
The splendour of Universe as it bestowed
The famous gift of language and rhythm

The unfolding mysteries and the songs
The birth of this poet, the Sufi of the east
What happened to those thoughts?
What happened to the message?

As we only celebrate,
With 21 guns salute and flowers
An enigma to all, the Universe around him,
The history of Islam, and its effect
Unforgettable tunes of Man and its defects.

As he created these visions of purity
The moments of realisation and khudi
All it contained, all it remained,
The old words that echoed
In Allahabad and in Lahore,
From the streets of London to Heidelberg
The flowers of his toil,
The poetry of freedom and its exercise

It is the conscience that requires,
The inheritance from the past,
To own and to live, as we foil ourselves
The daily routines in futile ways.
There lived once Iqbal, and his dreams
Their lived once Iqbal with his pen and thoughts
And us, the forgetful nation only in celebration
The days of their births and days of their deaths…

As I rotate in its rhythm and its silence,
The impounding gravity and its velocity
The inheritance of the past, our future
The eagle on the distant peak and its flight…



Filed under Pakistan, Philosophy, poetry, Politics

30 responses to “Iqbal- Dream of an Eagle

  1. Humanity

    A par excellence examen of Iqbal’s thought and philosophy featured at :
    Iqbal Day Special: An existential quest

    “Mujh ko jiddat ki talab hai, daal tarh-e-nau koi/
    kyun mujhe sagashta-e-imroz-o-farda kardiya (Innovation I seek, start a new order/
    Don’t let me be caught up between yesterday and tomorrow
    —Faiz’s translation from the Persian).
    This is the renewed human spirit in action in Iqbal, of looking God (or the powers that be) in the eye as did the classical Greek heroes, with the difference that Iqbal is not into writing tragedies, but stories of triumph of human endeavour and dignity and inspiring improvement in the human condition. “

  2. Humanity

    A par excellence examen of Iqbal’s thought and philosophy featured at :
    Iqbal Day Special: An existential quest

  3. fightingchance71

    The religious preachers, whatever their constituency only know how to breathe fire down the gullets of the gullible, perhaps the teachings of Iqbal could inspire them to see the humane, peaceful and loving tenets of Islam.

    The founding father’s vision of excellence for all of his students, his own achievements and international acclaim set a standard we must try to emulate.

    The bigoted preachers could also be emancipated, they should be asked to look beyond the tunnel vision and preach the same to their audience, it can change the whole landscape from hatred for others, jealousy and vengeance to an environment of tolerance and steady progress.

  4. O J DEEN

    Islam, like all true religions, taught Love, Peace and Tolerance in its beginning.
    There are the unholy scholars of the latter dark ages who attributed hatred, terrorism and violence towards Islam.

  5. Israr

    Iqbal – an average thinker of the average nation!

  6. What a lovely tribute.

    May we please not let this turn into another “set-to” over religion?

  7. IIC

    Thank God, Iqbal was dead long before the preachers of today got to the centre stage. Else, they would have tore him to pieces, the way they do today on the streets of Sialkot, Lahore, Karachi or Peshawar. Let his poems not be read, let his ideas not be discussed or his writings be studied, for then the preaches might blow up his tomb, might desecrate his grave. Let Iqbal rest in peace.

  8. faraz

    He allegedly hated European imperialism but had himself knighted when Turks were fighting their war of independence. He met Mussolini in 1933 and wrote a poem in his honour while Italian armies were colonizing Libya and Ethiopia; so much for his Ummah. And he didnt give the so called dream of Pakistan, he only talked of autonomy. His poetry is full of contradictions, he talks of golden era of Islam and Ummah, was proud of being an Indian national but wanted a muslim state. He hated democracy but joined politics. He wrote sarcastic poems on women education and opposed equal rights for women. He opposed Sufis, traditionalists, mullas, rational islam and secular state. He actually believed that the Europe was being controlled by a handful of Jews 🙂 If he had lived for few more years in Germany, surely he would have ended up in Auschwitz.

  9. Humanity


    One can read call for hate or message for love in the Scriptures. It all depends on the reader.

    “Decide who you want to be and adorn yourself accordingly”, I read some where ..

  10. Humanity

    The review is a an eloquent, refreshing read to appreciate Iqbal’s thought and message.

    Iqbal Day Special: An existential quest

    While the link awaits moderation, I post below the URL in words.


  11. amar

    Is he shown sleeping in that picture?

    Muslims don’t know how to produce a book or philosophy free from contradictions. Iqbal was no exception.

  12. Humanity

    @amar “Is he shown sleeping in that picture?

    Muslims don’t know how to produce a book or philosophy free from contradictions. Iqbal was no exception.”

    You see what you choose to see. Elsewhere you claimed something to the effect “all are your kind..” but you don’t tire of slandering Muslims. Get a life, amar for your own good, please!

  13. amar

    to humanity

    When I say “all are my kind” then I am merely recognizing that the muslims with their faith-caused arrogance cannot be better than me. And I have my own frailties too. One does not have to be perfect in order to criticize someone else. If perfection is made the criterion then no one can criticize anyone else and then we are all losers.

    BTW – I am only criticizing through words and not calling for any violent actions. The critic is always the genuine friend. Not the flatterer.

    To equate criticism with slander or hate – that is typical muslim lore. That will keep muslims backward. Learn to thank the one who criticizes you.

    So the real question was: Is Iqbal’s so-called philosophy free of contradictions?

  14. Humanity


    No right minded Muslim can ever claim s/he is better than any on else. That is God’s prerogative as He alone is the Master of the day of judgment.

    An overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace loving people. A genuine friend refrains from making sweeping generalizations because a friend does not shut close his/her mind to not see that light is made of numerous hues each different from the other.

    The small number of so-called Muslims will get over their current obsessive compulsive disorder sooner rather than later. Islam has and will survive and flourish because of its message of benevolence and love for humanity. Nothing can stop that from happening. The hate and anger of both the non-Muslims and the misguided Muslims only helps show the purity of the message like a beautiful rainbow as the sun shines through dark clouds. Love has always prevailed and it will continue to so so.

    As we debate these issues, it would be good to open up our minds and address our own contradictions. While the Muslims work on the OCD of the radical Muslims on PTH, how about you engage in some therapy for the radical Hindus on an Indian website with a mission to promote tolerance and harmony. The radical Hindus definitely need some tender, loving care too!

    Let’s clean our respective houses, please. Regards.

  15. Kaalket

    What is so hard to understand that Islam is a religion of peace, moderation and high intellect. You dont have to go that far to see the effect of islam. All you need to know is in Najaraya Pakistan , a real living Islamist force in action controlling all spheres of life avoiding the sin of logic ,thinking and humane behavior. As they say Mullha ki daur Masjid tak, so is Pakistanion ki daur 6th century Book tak, nothing else exist beyond this except the term “give me this, give me that , demanding , begging ,sulking for all free things from kuffar world. When kaffir says “let me think”, Pakistani says “Book says …. or Muhamad say ” The contrast is so wide and can never be covered half way.

  16. MilesToGo

    No rush against anti-India militants, says Musharraf
    (5 hours ago) Today

    It’s a difficult situation for any government in Pakistan. So the root is (to) resolve the Kashmir dispute, frankly: Musharraf.—File photo

    WASHINGTON: Former president Pervez Musharraf called Wednesday for a more gradual approach against militants such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, saying they enjoyed sympathy for fighting India.

    The United States and India have urged Pakistan to step up pressure against movements such as Lashkar-e-Taiba which is blamed for planning the bloody siege of Mumbai that killed 166 people two years ago.

    “You can’t rock the boat so much that the boat capsizes,” Musharraf said at the Atlantic Council think-tank in Washington.

    “While these things have to be done, allow piecemeal, gradual action through a well thought-out strategy which does not disturb the entire law and order situation in Pakistan,” Musharraf said.

    Musharraf acknowledged that Lashkar-e-Taiba and like-minded groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad were “involved in terrorism in Pakistan” but said they have been “very popular” for fighting Indian rule in divided Kashmir.

    “Since they were going to Kashmir and fighting the Indian army, it went along with the psyche of the people of Pakistan — with everyone,” Musharraf said.

    Musharraf said the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, “did an excellent job” in relief operations following major floods this year and “the best work” in the wake of the 2005 earthquake on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.

    “It’s a difficult situation for any government in Pakistan. So the root is (to) resolve the Kashmir dispute, frankly,” Musharraf said.

    Musharraf renewed criticism of President Barack Obama for not raising Kashmir during his recent visit to India and for not stopping in Pakistan, the frontline US partner in the war in Afghanistan.

    Musharraf banned Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2002 after they were accused of storming the Indian parliament. But many experts say the ban has been half-hearted, with Pakistan believing the groups serve its strategic purpose.

    Tagged with: india militants, musharraf

    add to my favorite ilogs flag objectionable content edit this ilog

    Write your comments

  17. YLH

    I don’t want to comment on Iqbal as frankly I don’t have the energy…

    I just want to point out that he is not our founding father.

    Thank you


  18. Bin Ismail

    @amar (November 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm)

    * “…..The critic is always the genuine friend…..”

    “Ye kahaan ki dosti hai keh banay hain dost naasih
    Koi charasaz hota koi ghamgusar hota” [Ghalib]

    * “…..Learn to thank the one who criticizes you…..”

    Thank you very much indeed.

    @Kaalket (November 12, 2010 at 2:07 am)

    * “…..All you need to know is in Najaraya Pakistan , a real living Islamist force in action controlling all spheres of life avoiding the sin of logic ,thinking and humane behavior…..”

    Interestingly, this “nazaria-e Pakistan” was never known to “Bani-e Pakistan”.

    * “…..Mullha ki daur Masjid tak…..”

    A fine proverb and oft-quoted too, but in reality the mullah’s “daur” seldom goes beyond his self-worship. The mullah’s own ego is his qibla and kaaba.

    Now, coming to Iqbal, may I add that while he was a great poet indeed and the literary value of his poetry is undoubtedly established, yet his posthumous canonization proved only to be the greatest wrong done against him. He should have been allowed to rest in peace and his memory as a great poet should indeed have been cherished, but his elevation to sainthood was a grave disservice to this unfortunate poet. The mullahs forcibly dragged Iqbal into their court of choice – quoting, misquoting, misapplying and exploiting his verses for their own iniquitous purposes.

  19. Bin Ismail

    I agree with YLH (November 12, 2010 at 11:52 am). Pakistan has only one founder and this nation has only one “father of the nation” – and his name was Jinnah.

  20. amar

    Humanity wrote:
    “No right minded Muslim can ever claim s/he is better than any on else.”

    But that’s what the kuran tells him (her). The kuran says in clear words that muslims are better. So the kuran is not written by a muslim in his right mind.

    “An overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace loving people.”

    Love is not enough. Are they bringing peace? Can they? When? How? Does islam/kuran really give them the necessary mental equipment for it? There are too many loose ends and contradictions and outright lies.

    Generalizations are unavoidable in today’s unsafe world. You can’t be examining every individual situation or case.

    Hindu radicals are a reaction to the successes of islamic fascism and imperialism of the past 1400 years. So these radicals will be dealt with only later. Otherwise it would leave the hindus again at the mercy of the agents of islam and their “hindu” quislings and bootickers (like Ram Puniani).

    to bin ismail

    I am not very conversant with urdu. It is a rich and beautiful language though (I like arabic too and did make an attempt to learn it a bit). Unfortunately urdu and arabic have become captive instruments of islamic fascism or backwardness or emotionalism. It does not help us.

    The words “naasih, charasaz and ghamgusar” are unknown to me.

  21. Bin Ismail

    @amar (November 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm)

    “Ye kahaan ki dosti hai keh banay hain dost naasih
    Koi charasaz hota koi ghamgusar hota”

    Translation: What form of friendship is this? The friend has become an admonisher. He should have been my healer. He should have been my sympathizer.

    By the way, this is an off-hand loose translation. The word “naasih” is indeed of Arabic origin, which I have come to know, is not exactly your favourite language. It means “admonisher” or “one who gives counsel”. Now please don’t respond by saying, “look who’s speaking”. I admit beforehand that I do, at times sound like the “unasked for naasih”, but anyway this is what the word means. The words “charasaz” and “ghamgusar” are both of Persian origin – a language I suppose not as high on your list of “not-so-favourite-languages” as Arabic. “Charasaz” approximately means “healer” or “one who prepares a remedy” to be less idiomatic and more literal. The word “ghamgusar” means “someone who shares another’s grief”.

    On a lighter note, its a comfort to note that on a thread pertaining to Iqbal, we can actually take time off to discuss Ghalib.

    Bin Ismail

  22. Milestogo

    Have you guys heard of this brilliant Pakistani logic that now I have heard multiple times on Internet – it goes like this:

    because most western countries and india proclaim to be secular countries they need to treat the Muslims minorities at par with the majority,

    However because Pakistan and other Muslim countries do not claim to be secular countries – rather these are officialy Islamic countries – therefore there is no binding requirement to treat the non-Muslim minorities at par with the Muslim majority.

  23. amar

    to bin ismail

    thank you for your kind post.

    It is difficult to be a healer for muslims. Does the kuran allow muslims to really learn from non-muslims? Can one heal without being incisive? Can a surgeon work without his cutting instruments? Does god really heal or we just pretend that he does and thus claim piety as our virtue? What is needed to heal Pakistan? Restoring the hindu component in Pakistan?

    How long can we keep sharing grief? A time comes when one is forced to say: “You seem to revel and rejoice in grief, self-pity, conceit, victim-hood complex etc. So go and suffer.”

    As regards admonishing: Actually we (non-muslims) too are in pain because of your (muslims’) downward development or slide. What you think is admonishment is actually our cry of pain, exasperation and end of patience.

  24. Bin Ismail

    @amar (November 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm)

    Thank you for showing concern. Now coming to the most pertinent of the host of questions you’ve raised – whether or not Islam permits Muslims to learn from non-Muslims – may I point out:

    1. The categorization of Muslim and non-Muslim is only at the level of religious identity.

    2. Knowledge is the common heritage of the human race and is something shared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    3. Primarily, as I have said earlier, God introduces Himself as “Rabb ul aalameen” [Lord of all worlds] and His Messenger Muhammad as “Rahmatun lil aalameen” [Mercy for all worlds]. Hence the appeal of the Quran is truly a universal one. Knowledge too, is a blessing of God, and a universal one, one to be shared by all Humanity.

    4. Muhammad the Messenger of God has said “Seek knowledge even if from China”. Now you would appreciate the fact that China was not Muslim and still is not, nor the center of Quranic learning. What the Prophet meant was that knowledge should be sought and acquired regardless of the religious identity of the source.

  25. amar

    to bin ismail

    I do not wish to offend you but another thought to the theme of sharing grief.

    How can we hindus share the grief of the pakistani muslims, now that the internet has brought to us the reality of what the pakistanis have been learning about hindus and hindu religions in the past 60 years?

    Provoking the indian state to get muslims killed in Kashmir has been a pakistani tactic, teaching ugly things about India and hindus to little impressionable children (one has to call it child molestation) in Pakistan, glorifying those who brought pain and humiliation upon hindus in their own hindu homelands, bootlicking arab and turkish imperialists – can a hindu share the pain of a muslim pakistani after knowing all this? Is it then not natural ? that some hindus say: “serves you right for your bad karma”. Even among muslims in India there is a lot of shamelesness in these matters – I am sorry to say that.

    How to rebuild the human trust – except through utter honesty it will not be possible.

  26. Bin Ismail

    @amar (November 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm)

    “…..How to rebuild the human trust – except through utter honesty it will not be possible…..”

    I couldn’t possibly disagree with you on the role of “honesty” in developing mutual trust among humans. However, in my opinion, the element of “courtesy” also needs to be there. It allows the best harvest of honesty to be procured.


  27. Humanity


    You have made up your mind to hate. You act like a child-bully who persists with but why , but why … but why questions … and when the answer is not to your liking your start to hit.

    You can seethe in your anger and hatred, if that is what you choose. You have to help yourself, man!

    Good luck!

  28. Kaalket

    The father of Pakistani nation is an Arab Mohammad Bin Qasim as per history books. The step fathers are many from Qasim’s armymen to Churchil and Jinnah.
    I dont know if they teach anything about who were the mother/s of Pakistani nation but i heard last supposed Qaed’s mother was a kaffir Hindu .

  29. amar

    to humanity

    I fear islam. Hate is the wrong word here. And my fears are being confirmed as correct and necessary by the muslims themselves through their deeds and words. So stop trying to vilify me or jeer at me.

    to bin ismail

    Yes for courtesy. If you have read my posts then you will surely have noticed that I never used vile or filthy or obscene language. A deceitful manipulative imperialist totalitarian ideology can be criticized only by using strong words. That is not my fault.