Alamgir și Tigrul


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That Despair, Grief and Fear are the Mother of Abominations, destroying Life;

and that Belief in the Unity of God puts an end to those Foul Diseases


The amputation of desire condemns

To Death; Life rests secure on the behest

-Do not despair-. Desire continuing [16]

The substance is of hope, while hopelessness

Poisons the very blood of life. Despair

Presses thee down, a tombstone on thy heart,

And, though thou be as high as Alond’s mount, [17]

It casts thee down; impotence is the slave

Of its poor favours, unambition hangs

Upon its skirts. Despair lulls Life asleep,

And proves the languour of its element;

The spirit’s eye is blinded by the smear

Of its collyrium, and brightest day [18]

Transformed to pitchy night; Life’s faculties

Die at its breath, Life’s springs are all dried up.

Despair and Sorrow sleep beneath one quilt;

Grief, like a lancet, pierces the soul’s vein.

O thou who art a prisoner of care,

Learn from the Prophet’s message, -Do not grieve!- [10]

This lesson fortified with trusty faith

The heart of Abu Bakr, and with the cup [20]

Of blessed certitude rejoiced his soul.

The Muslim, well content with God’s good grace,

Is like a star, and goes upon his way

Smiling. If thou acknowledgest a God,

Shake free from sorrow, and deliver thee

From vain imagining of Fortune’s turns.

Life more abundant strength of faith bestows.

-No fear shall be upon them-: let this be [21]

Constantly on thy lips. When Moses strides

Before the Pharaoh, steadfast is his heart

As he remembereth -Thou shalt not fear-. [22]

Fear, save of God, is the dire enemy

Of Works, the highwayman that plundereth

Life’s caravan. Purpose most resolute,

When fear attends, thinks upon what may be,

And lofty zeal to circumspection yields. [19]

Or let its seed be sown within thy soil,

Life remains stunted of its full display.

Feeble its nature is, and well accords

With heart a-tremble and with palsied hand.

Fear robs the foot of strength to rove abroad,

And filches from the brain the power of thought.

Thy enemy, observing thee afraid,

Will pluck thee from thy bower like a bloom;

Stronger will be the impact of his sword,

His very glance transfix thee like a knife.

Fear is a chain that fetters close our feet,

A hundred torrents roaring in our sea.

And if thy melody not freely soars,

Fear has relaxed the tension of thy strings;

Then twist the pegs that keep thy lute in tune,

And hear its music mount into the skies

In unrestrained and passionate lament.

Fear is a spy sent from the clime of Death,

Its spirit dark and chill as Death’s own heart;

Its eye wreaks havoc in the realm of Life,

Its ear’s a thief of Life’s intelligence.

Whatever evil lurks within thy heart

Thou canst be certain that its origin

Is fear: fraud, cunning, malice, lies – all these

Flourish on terror, who is wrapped about

With falsehood and hypocrisy for veil,

And fondles foul sedition at her breast.

And since it is least strong when zeal is high,

It is most happy in disunion.

Who understands the Prophet’s clue aright

Sees infidelity concealed in fear.


Conversation of the Arrow and the Sword


How truthfully the well-notched arrow spoke

Unto the sword in heat of battletide:

“What magic lustre glitters in thy steel

Like fairy dancers in the Caucasus?

Thou, who canst boast in thy long ancestry

Of Ali’s trusty weapon, Dhu’l Faqar; [23]

Who hast beheld the might of Khalid’s arm, [24]

Sprinkled red sunset on the head of night –

Thine is the fire of God’s omnipotence,

And neath thy shadow Paradise awaits.

Whether I wing in air, or lie encased

Within the quiver, wheresoe’er I be

I am all fire. When from the bow I speed

Towards a human breast, right well I see

Into its depth, and if it do not hold

A heart unflawed, unvisited by thoughts

Of terror or despair, swiftly my point

Plucks it asunder, and I spread it o’er

With surging gore for shift. But if that breast

Serenely throb with a believer’s heart

And glow reflective to an inward light,

My soul is turned to water by its flame,

My shafts fall soft as the innocuous dew.”


Emperor Alamgir and the Tiger


Shah Alamgir, that high and mighty king, [25]

Pride and renown of Gurgan Timur’s line,

In whom Islam attained a loftier fame

And wider honour graced the Prophet’s Law,

He the last arrow to our quiver left

In the affray of Faith with Unbelief;

When that the impious seed of heresy,

By Akbar nourished, sprang and sprouted fresh [26]

In Dara’s soul, the candle of the heart [27]

Was dimmed in every breast, no more secure

Against corruption our Community

Continued; then God chose from India

That humble-minded warrior, Alamgir,

Religion to revive, faith to renew.

The lightning of his sword set all ablaze

The harvest of impiety; faith’s torch

Once more its radiance o’er our counsels shed.

Many the tales misguided spirits told,

Blind to the breadth of his percipient mind;

He was a moth that ever beat its wings

About the candle-flame of Unity,

An Abraham in India’s idol-house. [28]

In all the line of kings he stands alone;

His tomb is witness to his saintliness.

One day that ornament of crown and throne,

That lord of battle, saint and emperor,

Set forth into the jungle with the dawn

Attended by one faithful follower;

Exultant in the joyous breath of morn,

Birds sang their hymns to God on every tree.

The conscient king became absorbed in prayer,

Striking his tent from this contingent world

To pitch it in the realm of truth sublime.

A tiger at that instant from the plain

Suddenly sprang; heaven trembled at his roar;

Scenting afar the presence of a man,

He leaped on Alamgir, and smote his loins.

The king, unviewing, drew his dagger forth

And rent the belly of the furious beast;

His heart admitting not a thought of fear,

He stretched the tiger prostrate at his feet,

Then sped again impatiently to God

Mounting prayer’s ladder to His heavenly throne.

A heart so humble and at once so proud

No other lodge but the believer’s breast

Possesses; for the servitor of Truth

Is naught before his Master, but stands firm

Against Untruth, and positive indeed.

Thou too, O ignorant man, take such a heart

Into thy hold; let it a litter be

Wherein immortal Beauty may be borne.

Stake Self, to win Self back; spread out the snare

Of supplication, glory to entrap;

Let Love set fire to pale Anxiety;

Be thou God’s fox, to learn the tiger’s trade.

The fear of God faith’s only preface is,

All other fear is secret disbelief.


Second Pillar: Apostleship


Abraham, friend of God, -loved not the things- [29]

-That set-; and lo, his footprint was a guide

To all successive prophets. He, the sign

And witness to the everlasting Lord,

Yearned in his heart for -a Community-, [30]

And from his sleepless eyes the flood of tears

Unceasing flowed, until the message came,

-Cleanse thou my House-. Then for our sake -he made- [31]

-A desert populous-, and founded there [32]

A temple whither pilgrims might process.

And when the stem of -Turn Thou unto us- [33]

Burst into bud, the tillage of our Spring

Took visible shape; God fashioned forth our form

And through Apostleship breathed in our flesh

The soul of life. We were a word unvoiced

Within this world, that by Apostleship

Became a measured verse; and that same grace

Both shaped our being, gave us Faith and Law,

Converted our vast myriads into one,

And joined our fractions in a mighty whole

Inseparable, indivisible.

He, who is pleased to -guide whomso He will-, [34]

Made of Apostleship a magic ring

To draw around us; the Community

A circle is, whose great circumference

Centres on Mecca’s valley; and by force

And virtue of that same relationship

Stands our Community unshakable,

Tidings of mercy to the world entire.

Out of that sea we surge, nor break apart

Like scattering wave; its people, closely fenced

Within the ramparts of that holy soil, [35]

Roar loud as jungle lions. If thou look

To prove the truth that lies within my words,

Gazing with Abu Bakr’s veracious eyes,

The Prophet, power and strength of soul and heart,

Becometh more beloved that God Himself.

His Book is reinforcement to the hearts

Of all believers; through his wisdom flows

The lifeblood of the whole Community;

To yield his garment’s hem is death – the rose

So withers at the blast of Autumn’s wind.

His was the breath that gave the people life;

His sun shone glory on their risen dawn.

In God the Individual, in him

Lives the Community, in his sun’s rays

Resplendent ever; his Apostleship

Brought concord to our purpose and our goal.

A common aim shared by the multitude

Is unity which, when it is mature,

Forms the Community; the many live

Only by virtue of the single bond.

The Muslim’s unity from natural faith

Derives, and this the Prophet taught to us,

So that we lit a lantern on Truth’s way.

This pearl was fished from his unfathomed sea,

And of his bounty we are one in soul.

Let not this unity go from our hands,

And we endure to all eternity.

God set the seal of holy Law on us,

As is our Prophet all Apostleship

Is sealed. The concourse of unending days

Is radiant in our lustre; he was Seal

To all Apostles, to all Peoples we.

The service of Truth’s winebearer is left

With us; he gave to us his final glass.

-No Prophet after me- is God’s grace, [36]

And veils the modest beauty of the Faith

Muhammad brought to men. The people’s strength

All rests in this, that still the secret guards

Of how the Faith’s Community is one.

Almighty God has shattered every shape

Carved by imposture, and for evermore

Stiched up the sacred volume of Islam.

The Muslim keeps his heart from all but God

And shouts abroad, -No people after me-.



[16] Saba, 45: Cei dinaintea lor au hulit, însă aceştia n-au căpăt nici a zecea parte din ceea ce le-am dat strămoşilor lor care i-au hulit pe trimişii Mei. Ce (teribilă) a fost mustrarea Mea!

[17] Alond (Alvand-Koh) este un lanț muntos aflat la vest și sud-vest de Hamadan.

[18] coliriul este considerat un leac pentru îmbunătățirea vederii.

[19] Tawba, 40: Dacă voi nu-l ajutaţi; Allah l-a ajutat deja când necredincioșii l-au izgonit; al doilea dintre cei doi, atunci când amândoi se aflau în grotă şi el spuse însoţitorului său: Nu te mâhni! Allah este cu noi! Allah a pogorât asupra lui Liniștea şi l-a sprijinit cu oştiri nevăzute. El a făcut în zadar cuvântul celor care tăgăduiesc, deoarece Cuvântul lui Allah este cel puternic. Allah este Puternic, Înţelept.

[20] Abu Bakr a fost primul calif al islamului.

[21] Baqara, 36: Diavolul însă i-a dus în ispită şi i-a izgonit de acolo. Noi le-am spus: Coborâţi şi vrăjmaşi să fiţi unul altuia! Pe pământ, veţi avea adăpost şi cele de trebuinţă!

[22] Tā-Ha, 71: Faraon spuse: Voi aţi crezut în el înainte ca eu să vă dau îngăduinţa, pentru că el este mai-marele vostru care v-a învăţat vrăjitoria. Voi pune să vi se taie mâinile şi picioarele în curmeziş, apoi veţi fi răstigniţi pe trunchiuri de curmali. Veţi afla atunci care dintre noi este mai aprig şi mai crâncen în osândă.

[23] Ali, al patrulea calif al islamului, era vărul lui Muhammad ﷺ și ginerele său. Legendara lui sabie se numea Zulfiqar.

[24] Khalid a fost cel mai mare general al islamului fiind supranumit „sabia lui Allah” de către Profet ﷺ.

[25] Iqbal citează una dintre faimoasele anecdote ale împăratului mogul Aurangzeb (1618-1707); Timur era strămoșul împăraților moguli.

[26] se referă la „religia divină”, din-e-ilāhi, sincretism religios inventat și promulgat de mogulul Akbar (1542-1605).

[27] Dara Shikloh (1615-1659), stră-strănepot al lui Akbar, s-a arătat interesat de idee lucrând la o nouă sinergie între islam și hindusim. Fratele său mai mic, Aurangzeb, a preluat însă tronul și l-a trimis la moarte.

[28] se istorisește că Avraam (pacea fie asupra lui) a dărâmat idolii aflați în Sfânta Casă a Meccăi, Haj, 27: Cheamă-i pe oameni la pelerinaj; ei vor veni la tine, pe jos ori pe cămile felurite din oricare îndepărtată văgăună.

[29] Avraam (pacea fie asupra lui) a respins venerarea corpurilor cerești observând că apun, An’ām, 76: Atunci când noaptea îl învălui, el zări o stea şi spuse: Iată-l pe Domnul meu! Când aceasta asfinţi însă, spuse: Nu-i iubesc pe cei care asfinţesc.

[30] Baqara, 122: Voi, fii ai lui Israel! Amintiţi-vă de harul Meu cu care v-am copleşit alegându-vă înaintea lumilor!

[31] Baqara, 119: Noi te-am trimis întru Adevăr să vesteşti şi să predici; şi nu vei fi întrebat despre oamenii iadului.

[32] Ibrahīm, 40: Domnul meu! Fă-mă să-mi săvârşesc rugăciunea, pe mine şi pe cei din seminţia mea. Primeşte ruga mea, Domnul nostru!

[33] Idem [30].

[34] Haj, 16: Noi l-am pogorât în Versete ca dovezi vădite iar Allah călăuzeşte pe cine voieşte.

[35] Iqbal parafrazează un vers din Qasidat al-Burda, un lăudat panegiric al poetului egiptean Busiri (1296) închinat Profetului ﷺ.

[36] este citată o spusă a lui Muhammad ﷺ.


Stray thoughts Reflections



From what I have said above on Islam and patriotism it follows that our solidarity as a community rests on our hold on the religious principle. The moment this hold is loosened we are nowhere. Probably the fate of the Jews will befall us. And what can we do in order to tighten the hold? Who is the principal depositary of religion in a community? It is the woman. The Musalman woman ought to receive sound religious education, for she is virtually the maker of the community. I do not believe in an absolute system of education. Education, like other things, is determined by the needs of a community. For our purposes religious education is quite sufficient for the Muslim girl. All subjects which have a tendency to de-womanise and to de-Muslimise her must be carefully excluded from her education. But our educationists are still groping in the dark; they have not yet been able to prescribe a course of study for our girls. They are, perhaps, too much dazzled by the glamour of western ideals to realise the difference between Islamism which constructs nationality out of a purely abstract idea, i.e. religion, and “westernism,” the very life-blood of whose concept of nationality is a concrete thing, i.e. country.



In the economy of nature each nation has a function allotted to it. The function of the German nation is the organisation of human knowledge. But they have recently started on a commercial enterprise which may give them an empire, but they will have to suffer the displacement of a higher ideal by the all-absorbing spirit of trade.



It is extremely interesting to watch the birth and growth of a new ideal among a people. O the enthusiasm it inspires and the force with which it attracts all the energies of a people to one common centre! The modern Hindu is quite a phenomenon. To me his behaviour is more of a psychological than a political study. It seems that the ideal of political freedom which is an absolutely new experience to him has seized his entire soul, turning the various streams of his energy from their wonted channels and bringing them to pour forth their whole force into this new channel of activity. When he has passed through this experience he will realise his loss. He will be transformed into an absolutely new people – new in the sense that he will no longer find himself dominated by the ethical ideals of his ancestors whose sublime fancies have been a source of perpetual consolation to many a distressed mind. Nations are mothers of ideals; but ideals, in course of time, become pregnant and give birth to new nations.



Philosophy is the logic of right; history the logic of might. The canons of this latter logic appear to be more sound than those of her sister logic.



The verdict of history is that buffer states have never been able to form themselves into great political units. So was the case with Syria – a buffer state between the Empire of Rome and that of the Persians. It seems difficult to forecast the future of Aghanistan.

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