Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Allama Iqbal: A letter to The Times

Reproduced for your viewing pleasure is Allama Iqbal's letter that he wrote to The Times of London, and which was published on 12 October 1931 on page 8.

Iqbal's poetry may have been full dreams of Islamic revival and all out activism but it does not appear that he ever advocated, let alone dream, of what we are facing today as a result of injecting alien medicines that the body of Pakistan does not require for its cure.

The text

Sir,— Writing in your issue of October 3 last, Dr. E. Thompson has torn the following passage from its context in my presidential address to the All-India Moslem League of last December, in order to serve as evidence of “Pan-Islamic plotting”:

I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind, and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Moslem State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Moslems, at least of North-West India.

May I tell Dr. Thompson that in this passage I do not put forward a “demand” for a Moslem state outside the British Empire, but only a guess at the possible outcome in the dim future of the mighty forces now shaping the destiny of the Indian sub-continent. No Indian Moslem with any pretence to sanity contemplates a Moslem state or series of States in North-West India outside the British commonwealth of Nations as a plan of practical politics.

Although I would oppose the creation of another cockpit of communal strife in the Central Punjab, as suggested by some enthusiasts, I am all for a redistribution of India into provinces with effective majorities of one community or another on lines advocated both by the Nehru and the Simon Reports. Indeed, my suggestion regarding Moslem provinces merely carries forward this idea. A series of contented and well-organized Moslem provinces on the North-West Frontier of India would be the bulwark of India and of the British Empire against the hungry generations of the Asiatic highlands.

Yours faithfully,

Muhammed Iqbal
St. James’s court, S.W.1, Oct. 10.

Scanned image of the letter

12 October 1931
London visits

The following year, 1932, Iqbal again visited London in connection with the Third Round Table Conference held between Indian leaders and the British government. At a reception in his honour on 24 November, attended by members of the British Parliament and diplomats from many countries, Iqbal made a short statement which ended with the words:

“Muslims have courage and have always shown loyalty and affection for Great Britain. I hope the Muslims’ legitimate claims and aspirations would be fully safeguarded in the final settlement.” --(Letters and Writings of Iqbal, page 70)

A similar function was held on 15 December in a room in the Houses of Parliament where foreign diplomats and members of the House of Lords and Commons were invited to meet Iqbal and other members of the Muslim delegation. Iqbal summarised the case for the Muslims of India, and ended his speech as follows:

“I, therefore, respectfully submit that the demands the Muslims of India have placed before you are worth your consideration, because a powerful India will solve for ever the question that is most prominent in politics at the present time, the question of the cooperation of the East and West. India lies between the East and West, and if the Muslims are allowed an opportunity, with the co-operation of England, they can serve the people of Asia and of England.”

- - * * * - -

Now listen to what the Allama's own son, Justice Javaid Iqbal, says about India, Hindus, and the creation of Pakistan:

©Tahir Gul Hasan, 2011

Further reading

Iqbal At Close Range
The Artistic Youth Of Amrita Sher-Gil
The Fantastic Growth Of Amrita
The Dramatic Death Of Amrita Sher-Gil
Iqbal In Love With Emma Wegenast
Allama Iqbals' views were clear on the Hadith literature (compiled 200 years AFTER the revelation of the Holy Qur'an): Spiritual Quicksand Of The Traditions


Tayyiba said...

Thanks for sharing this valued piece of writing with ur readers.

TGH said...

Tayyaba, koi haal-ehwall hee pooch lia karo kabhi! Eid kaisi guzri aap ki?
Thanks for dropping by! :)

ayesha said...

Thank you for writing on this valuable letter, which many have actually exploited taking Allama's name during the course of history of this region.

Thinking said...

hmmm....there were rumours in UK about IQBAL that he is trying to force the Muslim state to be founded....

hmmm....bad omen to one is the good omen to least thats what Jibran said....

Nice sharing...may I have the link on my blog of this post...with your consent...please....

TGH said...

Thinking, hmmmm, thanks for your comments.
I'm sure Allama sahib wrote things he later regretted. He also wrote against a particular sect created during the Raj days. Interestingly, the scanned copy of THIS letter was found at their sect's website. Are THEY trying to get even with him now?

Here's the URL that you may use to re-direct traffic to the blog:

Tariq Mian said...

Precious informative piece on Hakeem ul ummat Allama Iqbal. It's almost impossible to find words to thank you. You may visit my blog to read a small article on the personality of repute (Allama Sahib).

Is Iqbal Really Followed?
Tuesday, 10 November, 2009
Posted by Tariq Mian

TGH said...

Thanks for dropping by, Tariq sahib.
Slowly but steadily we'll get to the bottom of the matter! :)

Tariq Mian said...

Pemission sought:
May I add the link within my post on Allama sahib?
Pl reply ASAP.

will you like to join my site? If yes-don't hesitate pl.

TGH said...

Of course, please add the link, after all I don't own the scanned copy of the above historic document. Thanks.

M.Sharique said...

Which year this latter was written is an important factor which confuses the mind of our generation MR. Tarique you must put the proof of that please.....

TGH said...

I believe this enquiry from M. Shafique was addressed to Tariq Mian; the letter was published on:

"12 October 1931 on page 8"

TGH said...

Thanks for reading, Ayesha!

Qazi Saddam said...

Iqbal is a legend

Qazi Saddam said...

Literally its a valued piece..well said tayyiba

TGH said...

We'll continue to have eye-openers until the day we finally close our eyes. --tgh

Always, welcome AZK! :)

MedTech said...

I am sure he would have regretted this letter becouse one can imagine his the depth of his love for ISLAM and muslims of this region from his poetry. No doubt he was a reformer which streamlined Muslims of this region.

MedTech said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TGH said...

MedTech, people change all the time.
The 'gora' gave us many complexes while attempting to 'reform' us poor folks through re-education.
Anybody with the title 'SIR" is a suspect in my eyes. The Queen doesn't hand out these knighthoods for nothing. The Crown's aim in the case of Muslims was promotion of NATIONALISM and creation of stooge countries.
Look where we are now!
Thanks for interacting.

Maqs said...

Nice retrieval from the archives . Keep it coming

Asif Ali said...

Great Collection Of Urdu And English Shayaris And Quotes. Latest Shayari And Poetry Collection Of Dr. Iqbal Sahab. beautiful quotes by dr. iqbal sahab

Muhammad Tayyab said...


Unknown said...

Iqbal never wanted pakistan. He didnt want divided india. Shame on pakistani book writers for spreading lies that iqbal was struggling for pakistan for muslims.

Unknown said...

How can anyone think Iqbal may have been a Mujadid? Sir Iqbal the British Knight? The student of British title holder Shams al-’Ulama’ Syed Mir Hassan? Sir Iqbal the spiritual father of nationalist Pakistan?

O Muslims open your eyes!