Published on 02 Dec 2012 | over 4 years ago
After the publication of the epic poetry of Iqbal about 100-years ago, we are still mystified by the poetry and philosophy of Iqbal. He was a great poet and philosopher at the same time. This video is a rare presentation of Urdu text and simple Urdu translation of each verse that will us help appreciate not only the beauty of Iqbal's poetry but its philosophy as well
Iqbal wrote the two poems, "Shikwa" and "Jawab-i Shikwa" (Complaint to God and its Response), in early twentieth century. It was the prime time of his poetic revelation, which is called his third period that began in 1908 and ended at his death in 1938. During that time Muslims in India had almost lost their entity as a nation. They had become the most oppressed community in British ruled India. A little before Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) had realized that the major cause of Indian Muslims' misfortune was their illiteracy and the lack of knowledge. After a long struggle and much hardship he succeeded in establishing an Anglo Oriental College (MAO) at Aligarh in 1875 which later on became Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1920 . This university became a source of self-awareness among a negligible portion of Muslim minority in India. However, the masses of the community remained deprived of education and ultimately remained suffering in all parts of life. Due to poverty and lack of resources they were unable to educate their children. Among those who were lucky and got education remained unable to get a job. Such a situation gave birth to the persons like Altaf Husain Hali, Shibli Nomani, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Ali Brethren (Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali), and others who worked in their respective fields to fight for the rights of Muslims. All of them were contemporaries of Iqbal and were among the front-line fighters for freedom. However Iqbal stood alone with his powerful poetic way to waken self confidence in the people of his community. He and his contemporaries (named above) were able to move the masses and carried them forward on the road to get rid of the British rule. Iqbal nurtured the minds of the people and changed the direction of the society through his melodious voice reciting his own songs in a touching way reminding them of their past glory. He was the person who discovered a leader like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and convinced him to lead the nation under whose banner Muslims of India were united and marched towards independence till the world saw a new country "Pakistan" emerged on the world map with the rising sum of the morning of August 14, 1947.
Iqbal's poem "Shikwa" was one of his most thrilling poems, which he recited personally in the month of April 1911 at the annual session of Anjuman Himayat-i Islam held in the compound of Islamia College, Lahore. It was largely applauded and subsequently published in the magazines and journals of the country. This poem consists of 31 stanzas having six verses each. In the poem Iqbal has highlighted Islam's living traditions in such a way that it strikes the very heart of a person. The carefully selected and well-knit words of the poem were immensely effective. They filled the hearts of a deprived nation with new life, courage and enthusiasm. The poem "Shikwa" is a unique example of a complaint to God.
In the first stage of this poem Iqbal counts the chivalrous deeds of the Muslims reminding them of their past glory when they happened to be the leaders and teachers of mankind. They implemented the rule of God on the earth and brought revolutionary reforms in the states under their control where justice prevailed. The second part shows the state of decline of Muslim nation. But Iqbal has projected this aspect so beautifully that instead of creating a sense of despair and destitute in the mind it inspires a new vigor and courage to stand up and deal with rival forces.
Shortly after reciting Shikwa Iqbal presented Jawab-i Shikwa in a huge gathering in 1913 at a famous public place Outside Mochi Gate of Lahore City. Jawab-I Shikwa contains 36 stanzas of six lines or verses each. This thrilling poem in a way was a call from God rather than a reply to Iqbal's complaint. It added fire to the already boiling blood of the nation after Iqbal's Shikwa, as a result of the Indian Muslims arose with a new life filled with enthusiasm, courage and a determination to change their fate. Inspired by Iqbal's songs they were united, fought the war of independence and achieved victory. Once again the Muslims of India were a free nation and masters of their own destiny living in an independent country called Pakistan, the new Muslim State appeared on the world map on the 14th of. August 1947.
The revelation of Jawab-I Shikwa and its compilation took a long time of over one year. In this poem a comprehensive reply to Iqbal's complaint to Allah is given. This poem contains 36 stanzas of 6 verses each.