Love Conquers The WorldAug 28th, 2014 | By Hassan Habib | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Religion, Social
(محبت فاتح عالم)
I thought of contemporary love as a feeling of deception that you have for somebody, enslaving you to inferior desires. It was not until I read عشق کے پانچ درجے1 by Khurram Ali Shafique and discovered Iqbal through his Marghdeen2. This change introduced me to that powerful love through which beloved says بتا تیری رضا کیا ہے (What is your wish?)3.
My original thought was a reflection of the society, a society having boys and girls eager to talk to each other, spending sleepless nights on phone and offering useless gossip about girls/boys in gatherings. It is an ignorant world view to which youth is forced to believe in; this world view of lust, promulgated by media. It is nothing but a means of profiteering from the masses.
Love is much more powerful than all this, it is that curiosity for an infant to take the first steps; it is in those sleepless nights of mother taking care of her child; it is in those scholars who persevere to preach goodness; it is in those martyrs who stand for their countrymen. It is this love in the universe that holds it all together.
Love is quite a real phenomenon. It exists physically. It is tangible and can be felt and sensed. It can be experienced and then held. It is supreme power of love is that constitutes ‘humanity’ today. It is the foundation of human existence: ‘He placed between you affection and mercy’4.
Iqbal wanted to revive this love, this ‘nigah-e-shoq’ to reach for the ultimate love for the Creator, The Sustainer. We often talk about wrath of Allah Almighty, obscuring His forgiveness, His love and mercy. This introduces to people a God-King who would punish them for wrong doings and reward them for obedience. However, the basic element in this is missing; love. Quran’s message is not the rulings of a King, but a code to search and see in Him the muse ‘So remember Me; I will remember you’.5
This conception is a shared reality with Christianity that ended in a complete denial of the basis of religion. Karen Armstrong writes:
“When I was about eight years old, I had to memorize this catechism answer to the question, ‘What is God?’: ‘God is the Supreme Spirit, Who alone exists of Himself and is infinite in all perfections.’ Not surprisingly, it meant little to me and I am bound to say that it still leaves me cold. It has always seemed a singularly arid, pompous and arrogant definition. Since writing this book, however, I have come to believe that it is also incorrect. . . . As I grew up, I realized that there was more to religion than fear.”6
Islam’s concept is based not on fear; rather it regards fearlessness as the supreme attribute of a Musalman. This love is what inspires freedom from all that restrains the true goodness in humanity. The greatest obstacle Iqbal say ‘that restrains man’s ethical progress is fear’.7
“. . . and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”8
Due to centuries of decline negativity has been embedded in the genes of Musalmans of today. We do not let any incident go without criticizing it, blaming someone or something, and a widely heard line would be:
“Everything happening is because of a third evil power”
It is a loveless life we are living. It was the primary objective of Iqbal to set mankind free of dogmatic following, to think freely and to reach out for goals far reaching the capability of humans fulfilling the prophecy of God:
کنتم خیرامت اخربت للناس تامرون بالمعروف و تنھون عن المنکر
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.”13
Our society tends to seek reality in those ‘out of the box’ opinions and theories (end of times, illuminati, etc.). Instead of focusing on love for the society, and love for the Creator, our conversations are confined in brackets with a negative outside. Popular belief defines a society, popular actions defines their goal and it is these goals and beliefs in which Iqbal wanted to see growth of a collective ego. Pakistan was founded on the basis of this collective ego and it is still forming our society.
There is also an argument that suggests Iqbal ‘said’ many things but he didn’t materialize them in his own life or:
افکار تازہ سے جہان تازہ کی نمود نہی ہوئ
Iqbal became the President of Muslim League, Pakistan was his conception and it was his goal (that he envisioned through collective will). How can we point fingers on his actions when we are ourselves in deep pessimism? Iqbal believed in a melioristic attitude towards life. He believed man has an innate quality of expressing and developing. He saw in man the infinite possibilities to expand his consciousness and will, to completely change what they believe in, to pursue and dream new worlds, worlds that have new possibilities.
اس ذرہ کو رہتی ہے وسعت کی ہوس ہر دم
یہ ذرا نہی، شاید سمٹا ہوا صحرا ہے
This speck remains incessantly ambitious of expansion
Not a speck but perhaps the constricted wilderness he is
چاہے تو بدل ڈالے ہئیت چمنستاں کی
یہ ہستی دانا ہے، بینا ہے، توانا ہے
If he wills he can change the face of the garden
This entity wise, clear‐sighted and powerful is.9
Another argument that is widely spoken in our society when compelled to do something instead of criticizing, they would say:
آپ سہی کہتے ہیں، ہمارے ٹھیک ہونے سے کیا ہوتا ہے جب تک اوپر سے لوگ ٹھیک نہ ہوں، ہم کیا کریں؟
You are right but nothing would change unless the rulers change, what can we do?
This attitude aggravates the inactivity. It is that state which Iqbal said about Musalmans of that time:
“Truly economic dependence is the prolific mother of all the various forms of vice. Even the vices of the Indian Muhammadan indicate the weakness of life-force in him. Physically too he has undergone dreadful deterioration. If one sees the pale, faded faces of Muhammadan boys in schools and colleges, one will find the painful verification of my statement. Power, energy, force, strength, yes physical strength, is the law of life. A strong man may rob others when he has got nothing in his own pocket; but a feeble person, he must die the death of a mean thing in the world’s awful scene of continual warfare.”10
He points out the degraded state of Musalmans of that time as ‘a mean thing in the world’s awful scene’. Unfortunately we still have to conceive a powerful Musalman in our society whose character is the key to happiness of a freeman/freewoman. Freedom that allows the sterling character to grow in a person, making him fearless of everything that enslaves him. Instead of giving in to such notions we have to think hard what we can give to this society.
The character of a Musalman seems to be incomplete without this integration of love for Allah. And this love is not instinctive; rather, it is intellectual and conscious in nature, attained through knowledge of His existence. This knowledge must have unadulterated ‘nigah e shoq’ (Fervent Glance) in order to reach for the buried pearls deep down. If this ocean is murky with ‘complexes’ of any sort it would be difficult to witness the shimmering light of the reality of those pearls.
نگاہ شوق میسر نہیں اگرتجھ کو
تیرا وجود ہے قلب و نظر کی رسوائ
If fervent glance and vision keen You have not met or ever seen;
Your being is a source of shame on heart, and sight can bring a blame.11
So, instead of rendering every activity of our society null by disclaiming its effectiveness, complete transformation of thinking is needed to be that Musalman. The natural melioristic attitude, however, can only be achieved if we unlearn what we have learned. It is one of those hardest things we are capable of doing. Let us revive this spirit to adopt a positive, collective goal, by treading the road of shared love for humanity.
ضمیر لالہ میں روشن چراغ آرزو کر دے
چمن کے ذرےذرے کو شہید جستجو کر دے
Make the lamp of desire bright in the heart of the tulip!
Make every particle of the garden a martyr to search!12
2. Marghdeen Learning Center (www.marghdeenlearningcenter.com)
3. Iqbal: Khirad Mandon Se Kya Poochun Ke Meri Ibtada Kya Hai, Baal-e-Jibril [Translation from: http://iqbalurdu.blogspot.com/2011/04/bal-e-jibril-053-kirad-mandon-se-kya.html]
4. Quran: 30:21*
5. Quran: 2:152*
6. Karen Armstrong: A history of God
7. Iqbal: Islam a moral and Political Ideal, 1909
8. Quran: 2:62*
9. Iqbal: Insan, Bang-e-Dra [Translation from http://iqbalurdu.blogspot.com/2011/04/bang-e-dra-113-insan.html)]
10. Iqbal: Islam a moral and Political Ideal, 1909
11. Iqbal: Nigah e Shouq, Zarb-e-Kalim. [Translation from http://iqbalurdu.blogspot.com/2011/04/zarb-e-kaleem-119-nigah-e-shauq.html]
12. Iqbal: Tulu-e-Islam, Bang-e-Dra [Translation from: http://iqbalurdu.blogspot.com/2011/04/bang-e-dra-163-tulu-e-islam.html]
13. Quran: 3:110*
* The translations are taken from www.quran.com of Sahih International.