Love and appreciation for literature and poetry by the Urdu speaking expatriate community in Qatar is highlighted by the fact that they discuss different poetic ideas and philosophies of classical Urdu poets.
A symposium on Dr Muhammad Iqbal, well-known poet of Urdu and Persian from Pakistan, and a classical Urdu mushaira was organised online recently, providing a platform to poetry
A symposium on Dr Muhammad Iqbal, renowned poet of Urdu and Persian from Pakistan, as well as a classical mushaira was organised online recently, providing a platform to poetry lovers to dwell on his philosophy
lovers from different countries to dwell upon philosophy and ideas of Dr Iqbal.
The programme was organised by Iqbal Academy Middle East, Doha-based literary group. Poets from Qatar, India and Pakistan took part in the mushaira and the Iqbal symposium. There were three speakers who highlighted different aspects of Iqbal’s philosophy and poetry. As many as 12 poets recited the poetry of different classical Urdu poets during the mushaira.
The three speakers on Iqbal were Dr Faisal Hanif, founder chairman of Iqbal Academy Middle East; Mohamed Rafique Shad Akolvi, president of Bazm-e-Urdu Qatar; and Jaleel Nizami, founder president of India Urdu Society. The topic of Dr Hanif was ‘Western philosophy in Iqbal’s poetry and its transformation’. Mohammed Rafique explained the topic of ‘Concept of Nation-State in Iqbal’s Poetry’. The topic of Jaleel Nizami was ‘Iqbal, Ghalib’s extension’.
“Dr Iqbal wears many hats. He is a poet, thinker and philosopher. He holds a very high position in Urdu poetry. Purposefulness dominates his poetry. Iqbal favours the philosophy of art for life sake. His poetry is didactic. For him, both knowledge and art need to represent life. Iqbal’s concept of poetry is very sublime,” said Dr Hanif, who founded Iqbal Academy in 2013 and has regularly been holding discussions on Iqbal and his works.
Dr Iqbal was greatly influenced by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. “Iqbal also known as the poet of the east was influenced by different Western philosophers and Nietzsche is one of them. Iqbal did not merely borrow Western ideas but transformed and transfigured them. He ushered in originality in the ideas by presenting them in the context of the sub-continent. For example, he was deeply moved by Nietzsche’s Apollonian and Dionysian ideas. The German philosopher propagated that there should be a balance between heart and mind. Only this balance can ensure a perfect personality. Taking inspiration from these ideas, Iqbal further propounded the theory of having a balance in emotional and rational behaviours.”
According to Dr Hanif, Iqbal also got influenced by the idea of superhuman from Nietzsche. “Iqbal’s concepts of ‘shaheen’ and ‘mard-e-momin’ emanate from the idea of the German philosopher. However, he has transformed it. For Iqbal, an individual can become a superhuman only after having full control over his or her own self. Iqbal’s superhuman is meant to offer collective benefits for his or her nation and humanity as a whole.”
Through Islamic thoughts, Dr Iqbal has offered a concept of universalism through his poetry. “His poetry carries a universal appeal. His creative works comprehend different aspects of life and humanity,” Dr Hanif maintained.
Mohamed Rafique Shad Akolvi spoke about how Iqbal perceived the concept of nation-state in his poetry. “Iqbal is national poet of both India and Pakistan. This shows the universality of his message. Dr Iqbal wants man to be as free as a bird in the world. Like the fish, man needs to roam around without borders and countries. According to Iqbal, Allah has created planet Earth and it is home to all human beings. It is a universal message. It can bring in international harmony and peace.”
Jaleel Nizam brought the point home that Iqbal is an extension of Mirza Ghalib, reputed classical Urdu poet. “Contemporary men of letters were of the opinion that Iqbal was an extension of Ghalib. He is very close to Ghalib in his expressions. Iqbal used Ghalib’s work as a benchmark for himself. He borrowed from Ghalib and then presented it in his own way.”
The next session was the classical Urdu mushaira. Contemporary poets recited the works of classical poets. The mushaira was presided over by Jaleel Nizami. Mohammed Rafique Shad Akolvi recited verses of the Holy Qur’an and hamad (poetry in praise of Allah) was recited by Dua Fatima.
Shahbaz Shamsi presented the selected poetry of Ibrahim Zauq, Abu AlKhair Khan of Daagh Dehvli, Sadia Sadaf of Parveen Shakir, Iftekhar Raghib of Akbar Alahabadi, Dr Faisal Hanif of Majaz Lakhnvi, Dr Tariq Faiz of Amir Khusro, Muzaffar Nayab of Dr Mohammad Iqbal, Jaleel Nizami of Nasir Kazemi, Shad Akolvi of Mirza Rafi Sauda, Mubasir Eman of Hakeem Momin Khan Momin, Fayaz Bukhari Kamal of Josh Malihabadi, and Wazir of Jalaal Lakhnvi.