Hard Lines: Rakhshanda Jalil’s review of Iqbal by Zafar Anjum1 min read
In lucid prose, Zafar Anjum presents before the modern reader the life of a visionary poet, and possibly the last of the great Muslim thinkers: The Indian Express
I must confess to being somewhat dismayed at the sight of Zafar Anjum’s Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician. For me, a near-perfect non-scholarly introduction to the poet’s life and work has long been Iqbal Singh’s The Ardent Pilgrim, first published in 1951 with a revised reprint coming out in 1997. Singh, a journalist of some repute, made Iqbal accessible to the English reader and in elegant prose located Iqbal on the cusp of a change between tradition and modernity. Over the years, a series of academic works in English — most notably Annemarie Schimmel’s erudite Gabriel’s Wing: A Study Into the Religious Ideas of Muhammad Iqbal — have tried to grapple with the complexity of Iqbal’s oeuvre and the dualities and contradictions that make him a biographer’s delight. But I have found none that match Singh’s simplicity and empathy.
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