Allama Iqbal's Poetry
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Gabriel’s Wing


Arise in order that we may make the order of the sun’s...
The heart of a diamond can be cut by the leaf of a flower;
My epiphany of passion causes commotion in the precinct of...
All potent wine is emptied of Thy cask;
If the stars have strayed—To whom do the heavens belong,...
Bright are Your tresses: brighten them even more:
Make our hearts the seats of mercy and love,
Whether or not it moves you, at least listen to my...
Give to the youth my sighs of dawn;
What avails love when life is so ephemeral?
My scattered dust charged with Love The shape of heart may...
Thy world the fish’s and the winged thing’s bower;
Contrary runs our planet, the stars whirl fast, oh Saki!
Due to Thy benevolence, I am not without merit,
Set out once more that cup, that wine, oh Saki—
He is the essence of the Space as well as the Placeless...
My Saki made me drink the wine of There is no god but He:
At times, Love is a wanderer who has no home,
Slow fire of longing—wealth beyond compare;
Love, sometimes, is the solitude of Nature;
Have You forgotten then my heart of old,
Grant me the absorption of the souls of the past,
By dint of Spring the poppy-cup, with vintage red is...
I learnt from Abul Hasan:
Mine ill luck the same and same, O Lord, the coldness on...
This reason of mine knows not good from evil;
Methought my racing field lay under the skies,
To be God is to have charge of land and sea;
Reason is either luminous, or it seeks proofs;
This Adam—is he the sovereign of land and sea?
Lovely, oh Lord, this fleeting world; but why
All Nature’s vastness cannot contain you, oh
Who is this composer of ghazals, who is burningly...
The breath of Gabriel if God on me bestow,
Fabric of earth and wind and wave! Who is the secret, you...
Thou art yet region-bound, transcend the limits of space;
The free by dint of faqr Life’s secrets can disclose:
Hill and vale once more under the poppy’s lamps are...
Muslims are born with a gift to charm, to persuade;
Through Love the song of Life Begets its rhythmic flow:
Of passion’s glow your heart is blank, Your glances are...
A host of peril though you face, Yet your tongue with...
Rely on the witness of the phenomenal world
These Western nymphs A challenge to the eye and the heart,
A heart awake to man imparts Umar’s brains and Hyder’s...
In the coquetry and fierceness of the self there is no...
A recreant captain, a battle-line thrown back,
At London, winter wind, like sword, was biting though,
The ancient fane in which we live Has heaps of thorns at...
The way to renounce is To conquer the earth and heaven;
Though reason to the portal guide,
The self of man is ocean vast, And knows no depth or bound:
The morning breeze has whispered to me a secret,
Thy vision and thy hands are chained, earth-bound,
The mind can give you naught, But what with doubt is...
The splendour of a monarch great Is worthless for the free...
You are neither for the earth nor for the heaven:
O Prisoner of Space! You are not far from the Placeless...
My mind on me bestowed a thinker’s gaze,
From the heavens comes an answer to our long cries at last:
All life is voyaging, all life in motion,
Every atom pants for glory: greed
This wonder by some glance is wrought, or Fortune’s...
What should I ask the sages about my origin:
When through the Love man conscious grows of respect...
Once more I feel the urge to wail and weep at dead of night:
Devoid of passion’s roar I can exist no more:
Nature before your mind present,
Alas! The mullah and the priest, conduct their sermons so
The magic old to life is brought by means of present...
Other worlds exist beyond the stars—
The West seeks to make life a perpetual feast;
If self with knowledge strong becomes, Gabriel it can...
The schools bestow no grace of fancy fine,
Events as yet folded in the scroll of Time
To Lover’s glowing fire and flame the mystic order has...
Intuition in the West was clever in its power,
O manly heart, the goal you seek is hard to gain like gem...
A monarch’s pomp and mighty arms can never give such glee,
On me no subtle brain though Nature spent,
By men whose eyes see far and wide new cities shall be...
To God the angels did complain 'Gainst Iqbal and did say
Over the tussle of heart and head
Arise! The bugle calls! It is time to leave!
The Gnostic and the common throng new life have gained...
Through many a stage the crescent goes and then at last...
In the maze of eve and morn, o man awake, do not be lost:
The cloisters, once the rearing place of daring men and...
From Salman, singer sweet, this subtle point I know:
The crown, the throne, and mighty arms by faqr are wrought...
In my craze that knows no bound, of the Mosque I made the...
Knowledge and reason work in manner strange,
The rituals of the Sanctuary unsanctified!
O wave! Plunge headlong into the dark seas,
Am I bound by space, or beyond space?
Confused is the nature of my love for Thee,
I was in the solitude of selfhood lost,
Faith, like Abraham, sits down in the fire;
Arabian fervour has within it the Persian melodies,
A restless heart throbs in every atom;
I wish someone saw how I play the flute—
Thy vision is not lofty, ethereal,
Neither the Muslim nor his power survives;
Distracted are thy eyes in myriad ways;
Selfhood in the world of men is prophethood;
The beauty of mystic love is shaped in song;
Where is the moving spirit of my life?
Thy bosom has breath; it does not have a heart;
I am not a pursuer, nor a traveller,
Pure in nature thou art, thy nature is light;
They no longer have that passionate love—
Not translated yet
Dew-drops glisten on flowers that bloom in the spring;
Conquer the world with the power of selfhood,
A Prayer
The mystic's soul is like the morning breeze:
The Mosque of Cordoba
Mu‘tamid’s Lament In Prison
First Date Tree Seeded By Abdul Rahman the First
That blood of pristine vigour is no more;
The veiled secrets are becoming manifest—
Tariq’s Prayer
This revolution of time is eternal;
Song of the Angles
God’s Command
Theorizing is the infidelity of the self:
The Moth and the Firefly
To Javid
Heaven and the Priest
Church and State
The Earth is God's
To a Young Man
Poppy of the Wilderness
Iqbal recited once in a garden in Spring
The Angels Bid Farewell to Adam
Adam Is Received By the Spirit of the Earth
My nature is like the fresh breeze of morn:
The Mentor and The Disciple
Thy body knows not the secrets of thy heart,
Gabriel And Iblis
The mentor exhorted his disciples once:
The Prayer-call
Though I have little of rhetorician’s art,
The Star’s Message
To Javid
Philosophy and Religion
A Letter from Europe
At Napoleon’s Tomb
A Question
To the Punjab Peasant
Nadir Shah of Afghanistan
The Last Testament of Khush-hal Khan Khattak
The Tartar's Dream
Worlds Apart
Abu al ‘Ala al-Ma‘arri
To the Punjab Pirs
The Self
Satan’s Petition
To the Headmaster
The Philosopher
The Eagle
Disciples in Revolt
The Last Will of Harun Rashid
To the Psychologist
Freedom of Thought
The Lion and the Mule
The Ant and the Eagle

The Mentor and The Disciple

The Indian Disciple
Discerning eyes bleed in pain,
For faith is ruined by knowledge in this age.
Fling it on the body, and knowledge becomes a serpent;
Fling it on the heart, and it becomes a friend.
The Indian Disciple:
Master of love; of God!
I do remember thy noble words:
‘Wherefrom comes this Friendly voice—
Thin, feeble, and dry as a reed?’
The world today has an eternal sadness,
With neither joy, nor love, nor certitude,
What doth it know about this mystery—
Who is the friend, and what is the friend’s voice?
The sound of music is a dirge
In the West’s crumbling pageant.
Every ear is not attuned to the word of truth,
As a fig suits not the palate of every bird.
The Indian Disciple
I have mastered knowledge of both the East and the West,
My soul suffers still in agony.
Quacks sicken you more;
Come to us for a cure.
The Indian Disciple
Thy glance of wisdom brightens my heart;
Explain to me the order for jihad.
Break the image of God by the command of God,
Break the friend’s glass, with the friend’s stone.
The Indian Disciple
Oriental eyes are dazzled by the West;
Western nymphs are fairer than those in Paradise.
Silver glisters white and new,
But blackens the hands and clothes.
The Indian Disciple
The warm‑blooded youths in schools,
Alas, are victims of Western magic!
When an unfledged bird begins its flight,
It becomes a ready feline morsel.
The Indian Disciple
How long this clash between church and state?
Is the body superior to the soul?
Coins may jingle at night,
But gold waits for the morrow.
The Indian Disciple
Tell me about the secret of man,
Tell how dust is a peer of the stars.
His outside dies of an insect’s bite,
His inside roams the seven heavens.
The Indian Disciple
Dust with thy help has a luminous eye,
Is man’s purpose knowledge or vision?
Man is perception; the rest is skin;
Perception is the perception of God.
The Indian Disciple
The East lives on through your words!
Of what disease nations die?
Every nation that perished in the past,
Perished for mistaking stone for incense.
The Indian Disciple
Muslims have now lost their vigour and force;
Wherefore are they so timid and tame?
No nation meets its doom,
Until it angers a man of God.
The Indian Disciple
Though life is a mart without any lustre,
What kind of bargain doth offer some gain?
Sell cleverness and purchase wonder;
Cleverness is doubt; wonder is perception.
The Indian Disciple
My peers consort with kings in court,
While I am a beggar, uncovered, bare‑headed.
To be the slave of a man with an illumined heart,
Is better than to rule the ruler’s of’ the land.
The Indian Disciple
I am at a loss to know the puzzle
Of free will and determination.
Wings bring a hawk to Kings;
Wings bring a crow to the grave.
The Indian Disciple
What is the aim of the Prophet’s path—
The rule of the earth, or a monastery?
Prudence in our faith decrees war and power,
In the faith of Jesus—a cave and mount.
The Indian Disciple
How to discipline the body?
And how to awaken the heart?
Be obedient, ride on the earth like a horse,
Not like a corpse borne on shoulders.
The Indian Disciple
The secret of faith I do not know;
How to believe in the Day of Judgement?
Be the Judgement Day, and see the Judgement Day;
This is the condition for seeing everything.
The Indian Disciple
The selfhood soars up to the skies—
It preys upon the sun and the moon—
Deprived of the Presence, relying on existence, wearied:
Impoverished by its own preys.
Love alone is fit to be hunted,
But who can ever ensnare it!
The Indian Disciple
Thou knowest the heart of the universe;
Tell how a nation can be strong?
If thou art a grain, it will be picked by birds,
And if a blossom, it will be picked by urchins.
Hide thy grain, and be the trap;
Hide thy blossom, and be the grass.
The Indian Disciple
Thou callest me to seek the heart;
To be a seeker of the heart, and to be in a conflict;
My heart is in my breast,
Like a mirror, it shows my powers.
Thou sayest thou hast a heart
The heart is not below, but in the empyrean,
Thou thinkest thy heart is a heart,
Forsaking the search for illumined hearts.
The Indian Disciple
My mind soars in ethereal flights,
But I grovel in the dust;
I have failed in the affairs of the world;
Kicks and buffets are my lot;
Why is material world beyond my reach?
Why are the wise in faith, fools in the world?
One who can scale the heights of heaven,
Can tread the path of earth with ease.
The Indian Disciple
What is the secret of knowledge and wisdom?
And how to be blessed with passion and pain?
Knowledge and wisdom are born of honest living;
Love and ecstasy are born of honest living.
The Indian Disciple
The world demands me to meet and mingle,
But the song is born in solitude.
Keep away from strangers, not from Him,
Wrap thyself for winter, not for spring.
The Indian Disciple
India now has no light of vision or yearning;
Men of illumined hearts have fallen on evil days.
Imparting heat and light is the task of the brave;
Cunning and shamelessness are the refuge of the mean.

Translated by: V.G. Kiernan
The Mentor and The Disciple

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