Muhammad Iqbal, later to be the Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan, had emerged as aremarkable force on the intellectual scene early in the 20
century and was writing powerful nationalistic poetry well before the Great War. Two of his long poems,
(the Guide) and
(the Dawn of Islam), which appeared after the War, indirectly referred to the state of Islam generally and by implication to thePalestinian struggle of the early 1920’s. One couplet of
summarizes theMuslim situation by way of allusion to the event narrated by the Holy Qur’an inwhich the Prophet Ibrahim is thrown into a fire that is extinguished by Divineintervention.
Fire, Ibrahim’s progeny and Namrood* Does someone again seeks our trial?
(*The Babylonian King who ordered Prophet Ibrahim to be thrown into the fire) Towards the end of the poem, the overall state of the Islamic world is analysed. Iqbalstates that the West has divided the Muslim
(nation) and that Muslim blood has become as cheap as water. Grim as the reality is, Iqbal presents his own ideal andremedy:
United stand all Muslims in defence of the Holy Land From the shores of the Nile to the sands of Kashghar
, Iqbal predicts a bright future for the Muslim nation. In his last Urducollection,
Iqbal presents the Palestinian problem very clearly. TheZionist claim on Palestine having been recognized by Britain primarily as a war strategy to gain Jewish support – and perhaps also as atonement for the West’smistreatment of Jews over many centuries - is put to historical test. Iqbal refutes thisclaim by comparing a hypothetical Muslim claim on Spain with that of the Jews onPalestine.If the Jews have rights on the soil of PalestineWhy have the Muslims no rights on Spain?
In his short poem,
Falasteeni Arab Say
, (“To a Palestinian Arab”), Iqbal tells thePalestinian that they should not look for any support from the League of Nations or the British, as the West is economically dependant upon the Jews. He says thatnations can only gain freedom from slavery by raising their ‘khudi’ (self esteem, inner moral resolve, super-ego) and their own sense of belonging to themselves.
Your remedy lies neither in Geneva
, nor in London Firmly caught in Jewish clasp is the West’s jugular I have heard that fools deliverance from slavery Lies in cultivation and sweet realization of ‘khudi’
(* Then the headquarters of the League of Nations) Throughout his stay in Europe (1905-08) Iqbal was actively involved in its intellectualcircles (B.A., Cantab., Ph.D., Heidelberg, 1907). He thus had a very deep and clear 3