PIETY AND ECSTASY

Introduction:
This poem brings out two important points in rather humorous style. Firstly, ‘Allmah Iqbl wants to expose the formalism ostentation and pretentiousness of the common, so called ‘Ulam. In their view Islam is restricted to the observance of a few formal rules of the Islamic law and that too only in the letter of the law and not in its spirit. Secondly, he wants to bring out his own universality as far as the orbit of Islamic learning is concerned. ‘Allmah Iqbl's knowledge of and service to Islam is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted to the extent that it is difficult to say whether he was a poet, an exegesist of the Holy Qur'n, an Islamic revivalist, a philosopher, or a sfi. Study of his books will show that he was all these par excellence. This is what he means in the last four verses. Also see Chapter 2, paragraph ‘Allmah Iqbl's Personality".

Translation:
I am only relating to you the story of a mawlav
I have no intention of showing my smartness

His pious nature was widely known
All the high and low respected him

He used to say that Shar‘ah was veiled in taawwuf 1
As meanings were veiled within words

His heart's flask was filled to the brim with piety's wine
He also had lees of the thought of pantology at the bottom

He often used to describe his supernatural powers
He always intended increase of his disciples' numbers

He had been living in my neighborhood since long
The ascetic and the rind were mutual friends since long

The dignitary asked a friend of mine one day
"Iqbl who is a dignitary in the field of literature

How is he in the obedience to the rules of Shar‘ah ?
Though in poetry he is envy of the Kalm of Hamadan 2

I hear he does not consider the Hindu a non-believer
He has such beliefs as a result of philosophy

He has accepted a little bit of Shiaism also
I have heard the greatness of ‘Al 3 from him

He considers music as part of adoration
He aims at making a mockery of religion

He does not feel shy with amorous people
This is a very old habit of our poets

He has music at night, Qur’n's recitation in the morning
This secret is not yet fully understood by me

But the information obtained from my disciples is
That spotless like the dawn's whiteness his youth is

He is not Iqbl but a strange mixture of opposites he is
Treasure of wisdom is his heart, but enigmatic his temper is

He knows spiritual freedom as well as the Shar‘ah
Regarding taawwuf, he is second only to Manr 4

I am unable to understand his reality
Founder of another kind of Islam he appears to be"

In short he prolonged his sermon very much
He long continued this wonderful speech

Everyone soon hears all happenings in this city
I myself heard it through my friends in the city

One day as the respected ascetic met me in the street
The old story restarted during the talk in the street

He said, "That accusation was due to my affection
It was my duty to show you the path of the Shar‘ah"

I said, "I have no intention of any complaint at all
It was your right due to being my neighbor

I bow my head respectfully before you
My youth is accustomed to respect for the old

If you do not know the reality about me
It does not show any lack of pantology

I myself do not know my reality
Very deep is the sea of my thoughts

Since long I am also longing to see Iqbl
For long I have shed tears in his separation

Iqbl also is not acquainted with Iqbl
There is no joke in it, by God he is not


Explanatory Notes

1. Taawwuf See Chapter 3, paragraph "Taawwuf " for its correct comprehension. However, in this verse it is used in the sense in which the ‘Ulam of the type described in this poem use it. This consists of merely a means of curing illness and helping people solve their day to day problems through amulets and by pretending to subdue secret spirits to carry out the subduer's behests. They use this "art" for worldly gains and respectability, and have commercialized a noble concept.

2. Kalm of Hamadn- See Appendix I, No. 49.

3. S. ‘Al R.A.- See Appendix I, No. 7

4. Manr allj- See Appendix I, No. 54.