June 8, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Iqbal: A neglected nationalist

1 min read

Ziya Us Salam pays tribute to the great Urdu poet and Muslim philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal in The Hindu

iqbal frontIndeed, Iqbal was a genius without a parallel, a die-hard nationalist who, over time, transformed into an internationalist, a man once won over by the West who went on to be at the head of Eastern revivalism. Yet for a young man or woman growing up in 2014, Iqbal remains a mystery with most having nothing more than a passing acquaintance with his works. For entirely non-literary reasons, he has been denied a place in the pantheon of modern Indian giants.

Through a systematic approach, using a technique similar to that of a labourer building a skyscraper, brick by brick, Zafar, shows the real poet, the real philosopher, the politician. As said in the introduction, “Europe infused Iqbal’s life with a singular mission – to revive the dynamism of Islam to save humanity from the ills of materialism. A transformed Iqbal stopped considering himself a poet; to his mind, he became a messenger who used poetry to awaken humanity, especially Muslims, to its ills.”

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