‘Iqbal a revolutionary, not reactionary poet’
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Chairman Fakhar Zaman said on Tuesday that Allama Iqbal was a symbol of change and this is the way he should be interpreted.
Speaking at a literary function organised by Halqa-i-Arbab Zauq at the National Language Authority, the venue for the launch of Dr Rashed Hameed’s book Iqbal ka Tasawwur Tareekh, Fakhar Zaman said Allama Iqbal gave Pakistan a sense of identity as a purveyor of soft image in the comity of nations, especially in the Central Asian states where the national poet was almost worshipped and in Iran where he was venerated.
At the same time the PAL chairman advised academicians and writers to interpret him (Iqbal) as a revolutionary instead of a reactionary poet.
In this regard he claimed that incorrect history was being taught to children, citing the example of MA Urdu syllabus of the Punjab University in which the verse Jis khet se dahkan ko Mayassar na ho rozi had been excised.
Nonetheless, he praised Dr Hameed’s book as a scholarly work written with love and passion, which was also the assessment of most literati who spoke at the book launch.
International Islamic University Rector Prof Fateh Mohammad Iqbal endorsed the PAL chairman’s view saying that the book renewed the argument of teaching history in universities, where, presently, history departments were not well managed or properly manned.
The National Language Authority chairman, Iftikhar Arif, considered the author’s work a valuable document with fresh approach to discuss philosophies of history, both of the present and past, illustrated with well worded discourse on the value of time according to the Islamic tradition.
Prof Ayub Sabir discussed the issue of timelessness and the liner and cyclic theory of civilisations in the light of the Quran and Islamic teachings.
Dr Najeeba Arif assessed Iqbal’s prominent stature as a leader of philosophical thought.
Dr Abdul Azeez Sahir saw Dr Hameed’s book as setting a trend in understanding Iqbal’s philosophy correctly.