November 30, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Review: The Legacy of Allama Iqbal

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iqbal frontKhudi ko kar bulund itna ke har taqdeer se pahle

Khuda bande se khud poochhe teri raza kya hai

(Exalt thyself so high that before issuing the decree of fate

God may ask what your desire is.)

Years ago, I heard these lines from my father who also explained me the concept ofKhudi or selfhood, and it was my first introduction to Allama Iqbal. For many years this couplet adorned the wall next to my study table. Whenever I felt low I would recite it loudly. It made me feel better. Later, I loved his poems which were coloured in patriotism and gave the message of communal harmony and peace. But, at the same time, I also wondered how come a poet who had written Sare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamarabecame ‘the spiritual father of Pakistan’. The book under review, to some extent, answers my questions about this great poet’s transformation from an Indian nationalist poet to a votary of pan-Islamism.

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