Iqbal's "Javed Nama"
I've been reading an English translation of Iqbal's Javed Nama (by Dr. Fazl Mahmud Asiri), that I recently found in a book that has been buried in our University Library.
It's format reminded me a lot of the Voltaire's satire -Candide and Dante's Divine Comedy - only it appealed much more to my beliefs and ideals.
I've never read an Urdu version (would have to be romanized - if someone has a copy would appreciate receiving one).
I'd like to post an excerpt of it. I wasn't sure if it would be more appropritate in the "how to improve Pakistan", or "religion" section. However, it is a work of poetry, so I thought that I would post it in the Poetry section.
Those unfamiliar with the "Javed Nama"
Iqbal's objective is to "preach his philosphy in the light of the history of the past"
In this poem, Iqbal describes his flight through heaven with his guide, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. He visits various planets inhabited by dead souls and discusses with them the new and old problems of life. He also tries to understand the way they behaved during their life uponhtis world. In the end he meets the Lord - and regains conciousness.(pg.74-75,Asiri).
The excerpt I'd like to post is when Rumi introduces Iqbal as "Zinda Rud" (th leaving stream -") to Sayaad Jamaluddin Afghani and Sa'id Halim Pasha.
The conversation in this section made me really reflect on the positions of Muslims currently, and the
Afghani: How is the world getting on, and where do the Muslims stand now?
Iqbal: Owing to lack of faith in religion, the soul is dead in the body; the mind is preoccupied witht he hopeless controversy over the supremecyof religion or "watan". Turkey, Iran or Arabia - each one is dominated by the West. Religion has been divorced from politics.
Afghani: Alas! Treacherous lords of the west have split wider internationalism into narrow sheres of nationalism. How painful it is that a man of Faith has been turned into a man of place! (profoundly accurate observation!)
If you possess a little reason
Ne'er bind yourself to clay, to stone and to brick.
Faith helps one to rise above the dust.
And it makes the soul concious of "Self".
To him the entire wrold is a tiny thing.
Who has grasped the ultimate truth.
Continuing discussion, Afghani threw some light on socialism so popular these days, and feudalism and Capitalism. "Kark Marx, the inspired prophet of hte descendents of Israil" said he "has with his faithful heart but heretical brain created a new situation upon the earth. But he was totally ignoring the soul, and putting too much emphasis on the body. Empty stomach, he believes is responsible for all the trouble in the world. No. It is not the stomach that unites man with man.; but it is the heart or sound soul. the origin of love, which works out unity. His Socialism is no better than medieval Aristrocracy. The former assails the sould iwth its alluring sceintific tactics, while the latter applies force on the body and takes life out of it.
Sa'id Halim Pasha, who sat quite all this while, listening to the dialague of Iqbal and Afghani, moved suddenly and said:
"West sought equipment for life from the Intellect
East Depended on Love - both missed perfection!
But if Love accompanied Intellect
A new and perfect life is originated
A live heart is really the creator of time and age
But it dies out with blind following.
If you really possess a live heart, look
To the Holy Word for your guidence
Iqbal: We are left without a guide. None knows the real significance of the holy worlds.
Agfani: These Holy Worlds contain a world concealed in them a world awaiting a signal for its becoming visible, a world far above the distinctions of race and colour, based on perfect equality and having no ruler or the ruled. Man, you know, occupies the highest stage of the evolutionary process in this world, and has been endowed with all the qualities necessary for his perfection. Above all, he as been given a heart which throbs in unision with the pulsation of the whole universe; and the Love that originates in his heart provides him with impetus for further progress towards Divinity-the main object of his. But in order to overide the difficulites of the path, a divenely inspired guide is essential - and that is the Prophet with his Book.
But in spit of all this, man fights against man for supremecy. This history of mankind in East or West, when studied in its true perspective is the history of continuous warfare for a handful of dust.
This bride, the earth, flirts with many
But surrenders to no one.
This has never been realized that the 'earth'
Is the property of none, but God.
This earth, a handful of dust, as a matter of fact,
Has never attracted the heart inspired with Love.
Acquisition of wisdom is good for polishing up the intellect. But the difficulty lies only in the APPLICATION of this intellect. It is sainthood if used for Truth, otherwise sheer faithfullness.
Iqbal: The world we live in is bad anyway; but why does it shy of becoming manifast to all? Whati is really the reason that the Tarters and Kurds seem to have lost their ancestral spirit-is the Muslim dead or the Quran?
Sa'id Halim: Alas for these Mullas and Sufis who have identified Faith with faithfullness! It is due to the follishness of these so-called custodians of the faith that Islam lost its grip on men. They interpret the Quran according to their personal gains. A blind man cannot appreciate the beauty of the sun-beams.
There is a lot more I would have/could have posted, but I think that's more than enought to chew on for while.
[This message has been edited by KhurramS (edited September 07, 1999).]
HaaN Khurram bhai--I too would like to read the Javidnamah in it's original---but alas! it is in FARSI not URDU!
It was pleasure reading your thread! I did not think Pakis with such a taste existed now a days, at least not on this forum, where mostl of seem to be "Bhungi" especially the moderators.
Please keep on posting such threads..it may just wake up Pakis on this forum.