Allama Iqbal's Poetry
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The Gift from Hijaz-Urdu


The Devil’s Conference
The Advice Of An Old Baluch To His Son
Painting and the Painter
The State Of Barzakh
A Deposed Monarch
Litany of the Damned
The Late Masud
A Voice from Beyond
What fruit will the bough of my hope bear–
Set him free of this world’s affairs
Upset this world of morn and eve,
My poor estate makes proud men covetous,
Rescue me please from wisdom’s narrowness
Iqbal said to the Shaykh of the Ka‘bah:
The old flame of desires has grown cold
The talk of Muslim is interesting,
The clairvoyance of the zephyr
Of love and losing what words need be said?
Why is there no storm in your sea?
If with the heart’s eye the intellect would see aright
Sometimes by rising from the ocean like a wave
The Poetic Notebook of Mullazade Zaigham of Laulab
Your springs and lakes with water pulsating and quivering...
Harder than death is what thou call’st slavery,
Downtrodden and penniless is Kashmir now;
When the enslaved people’s rage boils and they rise in...
The partridge flies with the majesty of the falcons;
The dissolute know the Sufi’s accomplishments
Come out of the monastery and play the role of Shabbir
Thou think’st it a mere drop of blood; well
When flowers’ bookshop opened in the garden
The freeman’s veins are firm as veins of granite
All of the self dwell ignorant, whether by Light touched...
Nations in whom life marches to action
It is the sign of living nations
How heretically do you play the game of life?
The ways of the West are calculating, the ways of the East...
O land of charming and sweet flowers what need is there to...
Self-awareness has made the mujahid forget his body,
Nourish that lofty will and burning heart,
I walk lonely the earth; hear my lament,
To Sir Akbar Hyderi the Chief Minister Of Hyderabad Deccan
Husain Ahmad
The Human Being

The Devil’s Conference

1936 AD
This ancient game of elements, this base world!
The frustration of the longings of the great Empyrean’s dwellers.
Upon its destruction is bent to-day that Fashioner of things,
Who gave it the name, “The world of Be it so.”
I inspired in the European the dream of Imperialism:
I broke the spell of the Mosque, the Temple and the Church.
I taught the destitute to believe in Destiny:
I infused into the wealthy the craze for Capitalism.
Who dare extinguish the blazing fire in him,
Whose tumults are stimulated by the inherent passion of Satan?
Who could summon the courage to bend down the old tree,
Whose branches their height to our watering owe?
First Councilor
Stable is the Satanic system, no doubt there is!
It has further strengthened in the commoners their slavishness indeed.
Since the dawn of Time have these helpless mortals been ordained to prostration:
Prayer devoid of the posture of standing erect is their nature’s constant urge.
In their heart no desire can in fact take its birth:
But if it does, perchance, it dies or is left unripe.
What wonders have our hard, persistent endeavours wrought!
To-day finds the mystics and the priests all as subjects of Imperialism.
Suited to the disposition of the East was this opium indeed:
Otherwise Ilm-i-Kalam is no less self-effacing than qawwali in effect.
What matters it, if the tumult of the pilgrimage and tawaf abides?
For, rendered blunt, lies unused the unsheathed sword of the Faithful.
Whose despair does this latest Ordinance prove:
“To the Muslim in this age is forbidden fighting in Lord’s name”?
Second Councilor
Is the clamour for “Government by the people” evil or good?
Art thou unaware of the fresh mischiefs of the world?
First Councilor
Aware am I! but tells me my cosmic foresight:
No danger from what is but a masquerade for imperialism.
We ourselves have dressed imperialism in the garb of democracy
When man has grown to be a little self-conscious and self-observant.
The true nature of the system of imperialism lies elsewhere:
It depends not on the existence of an individual leader of a king.
Be it a national assembly of the court of Parviz,
Whoever casts a covetous eye on other’s harvest is a king.
Hast thou not observed the democratic system of the West?
With a brilliant exterior, its interior is darker than Genghis’s.
Third Councilor
No cause for anxiety then, if the spirit of imperialism be preserved:
But what counter-measure to the mischief wrought by that Jew have you?
That Moses without Light, that Jesus without the Cross:
No prophet is he, yet with him a book he carries.
I can hardly explain what significance does the infidel penetrating vision possess:
It is, methinks, the day of reckoning for the peoples of the East and the West.
No greater corruption of human nature than this would be:
Slaves have broken asunder the ropes of the masters’ tents.
Fourth Councilor
Watch its counteraction in the palaces of Imperial Rome:
Again did we inspire in the descendants of Caesar the dream of Caesar.
Who is coiled round the waves of the Mediterranean?
That now expands like a pine, and then wails like a rebeck!
Third Councilor
Little do I recognize him to be a man of far-sighted wisdom:
(A fool!) who has thus European politics exposed.
Fifth Councilor
(Turning to Iblis)
O thou! the fire of whose breath lends stability to the world-process:
Whenever thou wished, everything hidden presently did thou reveal.
It is thy fire that has transformed dead earth and water into a world of beauty and endeavour:
Inspired by thy instruction, the fool of Paradise turns a seer.
More closely familiar with man’s nature than thee is not He:
Who among the simpletons is known as God the Sustainer.
Those whose business was confined to sanctifying, singing hymns and going round:
Thy sense of self-respect has out them to shame for ever, with their heads hanging low.
Though the wizards of Europe all are disciples to thee:
No longer have I faith in their sagacity left.
That Jew, that mischief-maker, that reincarnation of Mazdak:
Each tunic is about to be torn to shreds by his fanaticism.
Behold! the wild crow is vying with the falcon and the hyena:
Lo, how swiftly does the disposition of Time allow of a change!
It spread about, and covered the whole expanse of skies:
What we unwisely had taken for a handful of dust.
Such is the state of the ghastly dread of the morrow’s disturbance:
To-day tremble with overwhelming awe, mountains, meadows and rivers all.
That world is going to turn topsy-turvy, my Lord!
The world which resteth solely on thy governance.
(to his councilors)
Absolute command have I of the world of scent and hue!
The earth, the sun, the moon and the firmaments all!
With their own eyes shall the West and the East witness the Spectacle:
When I but warm the blood of the nations of Europe.
The leaders of politics and the patriarchs of church all:
One call from me would be enough to turn them mad.
The fool who considers it to be mere glass-work:
Let him dare smash the goblets and ewers of this Civilization.
The collars torn asunder by the hand of Nature:
Can’t be darned with the needle of the Mazdakite logic.
How could I be frightened by these Socialists, straying about the streets?
Wretched and straitened, distracted in mind, incoherent in speech!
The only menace I anticipate may come that community:
Which still a spark of ambition hidden in its ashes retains.
Amongst this people there are still to be seen a few
Who go so far as to perform their ablutions with the tears of pre-morning hours.
Knows he to whom are revealed the inner secrets of Time:
Not Mazdakism, but Islam is to be the trouble of the morrow.

I do know this community is no longer the bearer of the Quran:
The same Capitalism is the religion of the Believer now.
And I know, too, that in the dark night of the East
The sleeve of the holy ones of the Sanctuary is bereft of the white, illuminating hand.
The demands of the present age, however, spell the apprehension:
Lest the Shari‘ah of the Prophet should come to light one day:
Beware, a hundred times beware, of the Law of the Prophet!—
The protector of women’s honour, the tester of men’s capacities, the rearer of worthy men!
The message of death to any kind of slavery!
No sovereigns and no monarchs, no mendicants begging!
It does purify wealth of all pollution:
It makes the wealthy trustees of wealth and property.
What greater revolution in thought and action will there be:
Not to the crowned heads, but to God alone does this Earth belong!
Better, if this Law be kept hidden from the world’s eye:
So much the better, the Believer himself is deprived of inner conviction.
Better that he remains busy and entangled in the metaphysical theology:
Better, that he remains busy and entangled in the interpretations of the Book of God.

Whose cries of God is Most High could break the charm of the universe:
May the dark night of that God-thinking man not ever turn bright!
Is the Son of Mary dead or is he endowed with eternal life?
Are the Attributes of God separate from God, or do they form what He is?
Does the expected mean Jesus of Nazareth?
Or a Renewer, endowed with the attributes of the Son of Mary?
Are the letters of the Word of God New or of Old?
In which of the doctrines does the salvation of the Blessed Community lies?
Are not enough to the Faithful in this age:
These idols of worship carved by Metaphysical Theology?
Our safety lies in that Believer remains a slave till Doomsday:
Renouncing this transitory world for others’ sake.
He’s better a slave upto the dooms day,
Leave the mortal world for others hey-day.
What is good in his case is that poetry and mysticism
Which may keep hidden from his eyes the game of Life.
Every moment do I dread the awakening of this community
Whose religion is, in reality, nothing short of taking account of the universe.
Keep him well absorbed in the thought and contemplation of God in pre-morning hours:
Ye all make him grow stronger in his monastic disposition!

Translated by: Muhammad Ashraf
The Devil’s Conference

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