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Iqbal’s Poetic Expression

Eminent historian Ramachandra Guha shares with us Iqbal’s poetic reflections as he looks into his 1910 Diary. [View the story "Iqbal's Poetic Expressions" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, History, Literature, Pak Tea House, poetry, Writers

A Translation of Iqbal’s Prayer in the Mosque of Cordova

By Asif Jehangir Dua (Written in the Mosque of Cordova) (Pentameter translation) This alone is my prayer, this alone my ablution In my cries there is the blood of my liver. The company of the Purified ones Is Light and presence and tranquillity. Giddy, anguished, the tulip at stream’s edge. On the path of love no one is a friend- My longing alone is my companion. My nest is no haven for chiefs, viziers You alone are my nest, You alone its’ branch. From You my collar opens to the dawn From You the flame of ‘He is God’ lights my breast From You my life is anguish, fever, pain. You alone are my longing, my desire. If You aren’t with me, the town seems barren. If You are, wild alleys seem full of life. Give me again, that ancient wine as I Am craving it, breaking all flasks and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Literature, poetry

Allama Iqbal: a critical perspective

By Abdul majeed Abid: “Every generation has its own dreams and vision which it wants to accomplish without interference. Not imitation but freedom is required to build a new world. Therefore, an attempt should not be made to repeat but to make new history. People should be liberated from the shadows and allowed to flourish in a free society. Great leaders should be respected but not worshipped”. (Dr Mubarak Ali) Ibne Khaldun, the doyen of Muslim Historians, described History as a science and not an art. He was of the view that History should be objective, not subjective to the historian’s whims or the needs of the hour. The problem with later-day Muslim historians arose when they tried to “glorify” Muslim history and “re-invented” certain personalities as shining examples for the modern Muslims. This historical … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

The Right to Dissent

By Raza Rumi (The year 2011 will be celebrated worldwide as the centenary of the great poet of Southasia, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Himal‘s forthcoming January 2011 issue will carry cover features on Faiz and his poetry. Over the year, we will also be posting fresh material on our website www.himalmag.com.) Over the course of human history, intellectuals and artists have helped broaden the scope of citizenship and the nebulous contours of citizen rights. Southasia is no exception. Despite its colonial past and internal fault-lines, it can boast of extraordinary individuals who have stood up against tyranny and reaffirmed the innate strength of the human spirit. A tradition of resistance by artists and intellectuals that was built up in colonial times continues to thrive in the Subcontinent. Arundhati Roy in India remains undeterred despite being charged with sedition … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The light of tears

This article, first published in the Himal is a tribute from a grandson to his grandfather and from a Pakistani to Pakistan’s most talented phenomenon. 2011 is the Faiz Year.   By Ali Madeeh Hashmi   The life and poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Karey na jag mein alaa-o tau shair kis masraf Karey na sheher mein jal thal tau chasm-enam kyaa hai What good is a verse that does not light up the world? What good a tearful eye if it does not wash away the city? – Faiz Ahmed Faiz Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistan’s unofficial poet laureate, was born almost exactly a hundred years ago, on 13 February 1911, in Sialkot, the hometown he shared with Pakistan’s national poet, ‘Allama’ Muhammad Iqbal. Faiz passed away in 1984, aged 73, in Lahore, the city he came to call home during the last … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Never A Lamentation

Never A Lamentation

A Tribute To Alys Faiz By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari The topography of women’s empowerment in Pakistan is a treacherous terrain, harsh on the eyes. It is often marked by subjugation, lack of education and basic literacy, utter neglect of health; for instance, Pakistan has among the highest occurrence of preventive complications leading to steep maternal mortality rates in the world, and downright flogging in honor-based regions. Traveling this road, names like Fatima Jinnah, Shaista Ikramullah, Jahanara Shahnawaz, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pak Tea House, Pakistan

Three Poems By Iqbal IV: Dialogue Between God And Man

By Dr. Ali Hashmi Muhawaraa Maa Bain Khuda-o-Insan (Dialogue between God and Man):  The third poem in this selection, ‘Muhawaraa maa bain Khuda-o-Insaan’ features one of Iqbal’s favorite styles, a dialogue or interplay between earthly and celestial figures. It also employs one of Iqbal’s favored poetical styles, the Socratic Method (or Socratic Debate), named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate rational thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving an oppositional discussion in which the defense of one point of view is pitted against the defense of another. One of the most famous examples of this genre is Iqbal’s lengthy poem ‘Shikwah’ or ‘Reproach’ in which Man(representing the Muslim … Read entire article »

Filed under: Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Three Poems By Iqbal III: Khizr The Guide

By Dr. Ali Hashmi Khizr-e-Rah (Khizr the Guide) Al-Khizr (Arabic: “the Green One”) is an enigmatic figure in Islam. He is best known for his appearance in the Qur’an in Sura al-Kahf. Although not mentioned by name, he is assumed to be the figure that Musa (Moses) accompanies and whose seemingly violent and destructive actions so disturb Moses that he violates his oath not to ask questions. Islamic tradition sometimes describes him as Mu’allim al-anbiya (Tutor of the Prophets), for the spiritual guidance he has shown every prophet who has appeared throughout history. In Sufi tradition, Khizr has come to be known as one of those who receive illumination direct from God without human mediation. He is the hidden initiator of those who walk the mystical path and also figures into the Alexander … Read entire article »

Filed under: Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Three Poems By Iqbal II: Maa Ka Khawab.

By Dr. Ali Hashmi A Psychological Interpretation of ‘A Mother’s Dream’ On the surface this poem is simply a description of a mother’s dream about her young son who is lost somewhere. Some commentators have described it as a lament by a mother whose child has died. However, there is a more life affirming explanation which makes more sense psychologically. The poem starts out simply enough. It is in the first person with a mother describing her dream: ‘Main soey jo ik shab toe dekha yeh khwaab Badha aur jis say meraa iztiraab Yeh dekha kay main jaa rahi hoon kahin … Read entire article »

Filed under: Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Three Poems By Iqbal: Introduction

A Psychological Interpretation  By Dr. Ali Hashmi ‘Everywhere I go, I find that a poet has been there before me’ Sigmund Freud One of Iqbal’s translators, the Scotsman Victor Kiernan wrote ‘Mohammad Iqbal, the ‘Poet of the East’, lived a life of which outwardly there is little to be said and inwardly, of which little is known.’ Works on Iqbal by scholars and academicians would fill up a small library, particularly in Pakistan, where he is revered as one of the country’s founding fathers. He was one of the early proponents of the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of British India, a fantastically improbable idea at the time. His eventual whole hearted support for the idea of Pakistan was surprising considering that one of his early poems ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’ (‘Song of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Nisar Teri Gallion Pay Ai Watan

Nisar Teri Gallion Pay Ai Watan

(Posted by YLH) A few weeks ago an ignorant little Mullah from the Jamaat-e-Islami claimed that Dr. Salam’s achievement in science was nothing compared to many other great scientists of Pakistan and that Salam got the Nobel Prize because he was a “Jewish agent”.  I suppose one of these “great scientists” he was referring to was the idiot who read his paper on “how to harness the power of genies for electricity production” at Zia’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Physics, Science

Happy Birthday Allama Iqbal

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqzmo82MOlI] Today is the birthday of Pakistan’s National Poet/Philosopher Dr. Muhammad Iqbal’s Birthday.    This above is a beautiful song that he wrote so many years ago and which has become the anthem of Pakistan’s children.   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Internally Displaced In The War On Terror ..

Aadil Shah I wrote the poem below sometimes back to try and express the feelings of those who are displaced from their homes by the beast of terror and war. In March, the situation of the IDP’s wasn’t as grim as it is now as they’re pouring into the city of Mardan with each the passing hour. Our house, the mixture of mud and stones, was feeble, yet it homed our aspirations in all the moods of life; when the sun smiled, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, poetry

Pushto Poetry: Things are like they were!

Aadil Shah The poem below is breath-taking in its original content in Pushto. My love for the verses made me try and ruin them through a translation but that could be forgiven, for everything is fair in love and .. err .. I don’t wanna talk of war as it reminds me our war ravaged Pushtun belt — a sad sad story being played in our backyards. Lets look at the rich Pushto literary tradition and we’ll find people like Rehman Baba, Khushal Khan, Ghani Khan, Amir Hamza Shinwari and many many more who stirred the hearts and souls through the magic of their words. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, poetry

Appeal to the President of Pakistan

Dear Readers: Pakistan is under threat from a minority of radical extremists who have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with grabbing state power and nuclear weapons to create chaos and anarchy in the world. My country has a rich history of music, dance, poetry, art and literature. All will be lost and more if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not confronted decisively by the Pakistani state, army and its people. This is a letter to Pakistan’s president from an organization called Concerned Citizens of Pakistan. I hope it will enlighten you.  Salman Ahmad of Junoon. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan