Iqbal The Poet

I read the following lines written by Iqbal and wondered what exactly does he mean?

Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle

Khuda bandey se khud poochta hai, bata teri raza kia hai

Translation given is: The more humble one becomes, God would have to ask the human. What is your opinion about this?

The first word Khudi means Self. The poet tells us to raise our self to new heights The self height is achieved by being humble and developing love for all.

The lower one goes in being humble, the higher he/she will rise in success.

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Daily post’s prompt :Profound

In response to daily post’s one-word prompt : Profound

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When I think of someone who has a deep understanding and insight, Allama Iqbal comes to mind. Through his poetry and his philosophy he has tried to awaken the mind of a sleeping nation.

I was first introduced to him when I heard the following verses he wrote in Urdu :

Masjid toh bana di shab bhar mein Iman ki hararat walon nay

Mun apna purana papi hai, barson say namazi bun na saka.

The translation:

You’ve managed to build a mosque overnight

You people of faith,

But your sinful heart,

could not become religious in all these years!

I was curious to know who was the poet addressing and why?

I did some research on the internet and learned, there were two groups who wanted to take possession of a vacant land in Lahore. No one owned it, but among the two groups whoever could successfully build a place of worship would be owners.

Both the groups wanted the land, but one of the groups worked all night to build a mosque. After the building was complete, the people did not show up for prayers.

During the years when India was ruled by the British, there appeared a man named Iqbal who convinced his people, the only way they can regain their independence was to work hard for it. He was a man of deep understanding, he could not bear to witness the plight of the Indians.

He wrote poems, he spoke to the general public in person to make them understand freedom is achievable if they took active part in achieving it. They were successful but Iqbal did not live long enough to see it.

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Writing 101, Day Nine: Writing and not writing

Today’s assignment: What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, it depends on the time of day,if  I’m finished writing, early morning, I pick up either the Bhagwad Gita  or Thich Nhat Hanh,’The Miracle of mindfulness.’ It depends on my mood as well. If I’m happy, I listen to songs on YouTube, mostly Hindi or Urdu or my favorite Bengali songs.

Besides writing I am also registered for an online course, where there are lessons given to us, one every week. I study them, pick a question and answer it.

We the participants are expected to read each other’s comment and give our replies. When I first joined the course, I was bothered by someone,  who did not want me to be in the course, because I am  a  Bengali. I did not say or do anything to make her feel that way. My being a Bengali was the only reason.

At first I toyed with  the idea of leaving the course and joining the Memorial University, which is across the street from my house.Then the thought, I have as much right to be in the course as  her, made me change my mind.

I’m continuing the course and still enjoying it, the day I feel it’s a burden, I’d leave and concentrate on writing,reading and cooking too.

At the moment, I’m pleased to stay in the course. Our facilitator is a fine gentleman, I’m actually indebted to him for allowing me to register in the course. It’s a course on Allama Iqbal, the poet and philosopher.I did not have any previous knowledge of him, I have learned everything I know by doing this course.

I also spend time cooking, which I love to do. One time I baked a lot, I do not do it anymore, it keeps me from eating cookies and cakes, which really is not good for me, considering the fact,there is too much sugar in them. I have learned sugar is not the best thing to consume if I want to stay healthy.

These are some ways I spend my time. I love writing, when I have nothing to write I translate songs into English.

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Writing 101#3: One -Word inspiration

Prompts come in many different forms. Sometimes a single word is all you need to get your mind’s wheels turning. Here are six words:







Select one word in this list that speaks to you in some way.Have you always wanted to write about that wrong decision you made? Are you a long-term traveler looking for the right city to settle? Do you want to write about your relationship?

Regret is the word I feel speaks to me.

Although I think I’ve made right decisions in my life, my mind tells me I did not. Not working hard enough in primary and high school is one of the regrets, I have. I did not try to see what I could have accomplished if I were a little more careful in my studies earlier in life. I was happy getting passing grades without making any sincere efforts.

It is said,”Time and tide waits for no one” I heard it several times, I even loved repeating it. What I did not do is take a closer look and find out what message was  I getting from these few words.

I wanted to have a good education, I knew this was what  my parents wanted. I did accomplish this ambition. Still something tells me I should have listened to my uncle, who once told me, “Ranu you should study Philosophy.” I heard what he said but didn’t care enough to know what the subject was all about. I studied History instead, maybe I was good in remembering dates, which probably is  the reason why I opted to study   History.

Now when I look back I feel I did not make the right decision. When I read about Philosophers I find so much joy knowing, how they  entertained us with their knowledge and are continuing to do so despite the fact they are no longer among the living.

I have realized what I could have done when I was a student, the fact that I didn’t makes me unhappy sometimes.

I am happy  I got the opportunity to study about Iqbal  through online courses and Tagore,when I started blogging. Both were great philosophers in their time!

Dear participants and blogger friends, I’d love to get your feedback about my post. Thank you!

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Daily Prompts: Finite Creatures

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At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

I have learned man is ephemeral at the tender age of twelve. I watched my father take his last breath. I came to the sad conclusion I’d never see him again.

Bit by bit I grew up knowing , every living thing comes to this world for a certain number of days, months or years that it varies from plants, to humans, to animals and so on. It was a constant worry for me that my mom like my dad will leave us some day, when it happened I was far away from home, no one saw my tears and did not understand how painful it was for me to lose my mom too.

This I told myself is the cycle of life : we are born, grow up slowly, reach adulthood, get old our organs go through the process of deterioration, the clock of life tells us the journey is over and we must leave. The cycle is complete.

I always knew legendary status is not for me. I will never be remembered like Hitler, thank God for that. He was so brutal,who would like to be remembered as he is reminisced about  today.

But Tagore is a legend who has claimed the status of immortality by his life’s work. He was the youngest of his siblings but his name so far has not disappeared from our hearts, as long as we “The Bengalis” are alive Tagore’s name will be alive.

William Wordsworth’s poetry will always warm our hearts and we will say how great he was.

Who can forget Longfellow’s poem : “Tell me not in mournful numbers , life is but an empty dream.”

Yet another poet and Philosopher is worthy of mention in the long line of legends is Iqbal: The following is one of his many poems we love and repeat:

Two planets meeting face to face ,

One to the other cried ‘How sweet

If endlessly we might embrace,

And here forever stay! how sweet

If Heaven a little might relent,

And leave our light in one light blent!’


But through that longing to dissolve

In one,the parting summons sounded.

Immutably the stars revolve,

By changeless orbits each is bounded;

Eternal union is a dream,

And severance the world’s law supreme.

I’ve always known I am not immortal. It wasn’t a surprise for me. I did not have any reaction!

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365 Writing Prompts: Person of the Year

You’re asked to nominate someone for Time’s Person of the Year.Who would it be, and Why?

When I think of all the good things that has happened this year in our online course, I’d gladly nominate our facilitator,Mr. Khurram Ali Shafique.

He is a good teacher. He is humble and he knows his subject well. He offers online courses on,  “Iqbal” who is  a highly acclaimed Muslim Philosophical  thinker of Modern times.

I have learned a lot from him and I thank him for giving me the opportunity of learning about the great Philosopher.

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365 Writing Prompts: Ghostwriter

If you could have any author –living or dead— write your biography, who would you choose?

I’d choose Tagore to write the introduction, he is a Bengali like me,he’d be able to begin with an appropriate song, describing the places I visited foods I like, books I  read and songs that are my favorite.

I’d love to have Wordsworth write a small paragraph, explaining my love of nature.

The last part I’d implore Iqbal to complete, he was a Muslim, since our religion is the same he’d be able to explain my dedication for daily prayer.

These are the three authors I would select to write my biography. If there are any confusions writing it, Tagore will make it interesting by filling in the blanks with one of his remarkable songs.

If Wordsworth volunteers to get the blanks filled. It would be terrific, his wealth of knowledge of nature will fit in nicely to cover the spaces.

While I think Iqbal would do even better by covering the gap with his philosophy of human mind!…ts-ghostw


DP Daily Prompt: Curve Balls

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When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?

Last week we were given a paragraph in our online course which we had to read and quote one brief passage from Iqbal’s prose or poetry which may be connected with this thought— and explain briefly why we think so. And also make an effort to be brief, keeping in mind that my comment needs to be read by others. I am writing it here so that my readers know what the passage is.

Every Muslim believes in the Unseen, and understands the term to include all the invisible realities mentioned elsewhere in the Quran,e.g. angels, heaven, hell, and so on Iqbal wants us to expand that the signs of God in our soul which are mentioned by the Quran itself are to be included in the Unseen in which we believe.

We were expected to quote one brief passage from Iqbal’s prose or poetry which may be connected with this thought–and explain briefly why you think so.

This is where I was stumped I could find the poetry and prose without any problem,but they didn’t seem to be brief. Eventually I found two, which were very brief, here it is: The actual words with translation, ” Hai tujhe wasta bazahir se,

Aur Batin Se Ashna Hun Main.”

Translation : You deal with the outward aspects of things

I know what lies within.

I took the word briefly seriously and wrote my answer accordingly, then found out I didn’t have to be so brief.

So as they say in the phrase,”You live and learn.”

I certainly learned something very valuable.


365 Writing Prompts: Fifteen Credits

Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it— or are you glad those days are over?

I am not in school I took care of my studies a while ago. Sometimes I miss the atmosphere of school. I recall one of my profs was quite strange, when we’d see him coming towards us we’d be ready to wish him “Salaam”, meaning peace be on you, our words would be stuck in our throats, he’d turn around and look the other way, this was in the university. as usual we’d talk among ourselves about how strange he was.

Then there was Sr. Joseph Mary in college, before I could wish her,’good morning,afternoon or evening,’ depending on the time of day.

She’d quickly remind me, “Chaman, I hope you won’t go to your uncle’s house for the week-end.”

I’d say nothing and try to move on,then the question is louder,’Did you hear me my dear?’

I’d have no choice but to say, ‘Yes Sr. Joseph Mary.’

In London it was Prof. Baird, he’d wish me before I opened my mouth, “Good Morning, Miss Sabeth, how are you?”

My reply, “I’m fine Mr. Baird.”

I’d then quickly go into the classroom and open my phonetics book and pretend to study, so Prof. Baird wouldn’t ask any further questions.

It was a carefree life in school, after classes depending on where I was, I’d either go straight to my residence or in London I’d go to one of the stores, it was  Selfridges ,  I loved checking all the interesting things, I’d go from floor to floor it was my way of spending time, I dreaded going back to the residence because I knew I’d be homesick.

I miss my Profs., Sister Joseph Mary and also some of my classmates.

Now I registered for online courses, it’s stress-free, I see no one and no one sees me. I love the fact I do not have to dress up to be in this school. I’m studying about poet and philosopher Iqbal and enjoying a lot. The best part is we have no exam. We get a certificate at the end of a course.

I am using a video of Mary Hopkins, the lyrics  , “those were the days”, although we didn’t hang out in the tavern or drank,what is similar is we were young, and we never thought our days of fun will be over. Making fun of our teachers was one thing that made us laugh the most.