Tag Archives: Zafar Anjum’s Iqbal

Quarantine Poetry Series # 6 – Aik Shaam by Allama Iqbal recited by Zafar Anjum

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal (Allama Iqbal) is one of Urdu’s tallest poets and this poem, “Aik Shaam“, appears in his collection, “Bang-e-Dara“. The sub-heading of the poem says, “Darya-e-Neckar (Heidelberg) ke kinare par” (by the banks of the River Neckar, Heidelberg, Germany). Blogger Fawad Zakariya who visited Heidelberg (where Iqbal studied for a while), “This is a poem of ambience and conjures a lovely atmosphere in which the poet standing at the edge of the river at night experiences a calm and peaceful communion with nature. It is not until the powerful last verse when an inner turmoil and sadness is suddenly hinted at, revealing the heart of the poet at odds with his serene surroundings.”

You can read more about Iqbal’s life and times in Zafar Anjum’s biography of Dr. Iqbal, Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician (Penguin Random House).


Aik Shaam (Darya-e-Neckar (Heidelberg) ke kinare par)

Khamosh hai chandni qamar ki

ShaakheiN haiN khmosh har shajar ki

Waadi ke nawa farosh khamosh

Kohsaar ke sabz posh khamosh

Fitrat behosh ho gai hai

Aaghosh maiN shab ke so gayee hai

Kuch aisa sakoot ka fasooN hai

Neckar ka kharam bhi sakooN hai

TaaroN ka khmosh kaarvaaN hai

Yeh kafila be dara rawaN hai

Khamosh haiN koh-o-dasht-o-darya

Qudrat hai muraqbe maiN goya

Aye dil! tu bhi khmosh ho ja

Aaghosh maiN gham ko lay ke so ja

You can find the Urdu/Roman text of the poem along with English translation HERE.

Hard Lines: Rakhshanda Jalil’s review of Iqbal by Zafar Anjum

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

iqbal frontI 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. Read more