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Reply to The Complaint

by | Apr 21, 2012

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This is story of a man and we are discussing a page from the whole book of his life. He had a different angle of vision, one that could help him foresee future. He was a man of 21st century who died in 20th century!

Iqbal, known as Allama Iqbal- Scholar Iqbal– in the Muslim world died on 21st April 1938. He was a practicing Muslim plus one who was very moderate and optimistic. One very prominent feature of his personality was a unique relationship with Allah Almighty. He used to claim that though Islam was there in his roots since childhood but his belief strengthened while his stay in Europe.

Iqbal’s thoughts were a beautiful combination of Eastern religiosity and piety and Western modern world. This unique combination would at times lead the extremists (both conservatives and liberals) to disagree with him. In fact, dis-agreement is the most humble term that can be used. People in the time of Iqbal once labeled him as ‘kafir‘ a non-believer because of his poems in which he complained to Allah Almighty for the current situation of Muslims where they were suppressed all over the planet (seems like Iqbal’s poetry is more suitable for today). Iqbal’s grip on his pen is evident from the way he replied to the Shikwa (complaint) made by himself in his poem Jawab-e-Shikwa (Reply to the Complaint). We must notice one thing here. If you know in your heart that you are Right, you need not reply the critics, Keep doing your best and on day they’ll long to associate themselves with you.

Happy reading 

Reply to complaint:

Whatever comes out of the heart is effective
It has no wings but has the power of flight

On hearing it the sun said, “Somewhere there is somebody!”
The planets said, “At the ‘Arsh-i-Barân there is somebody

How ignorant of good manners the earth’s denizens are!
How bold and insolent these denizens of the low are!

Is he so insolent that even angry with God he is?
Is he the same Man who once worshiped by angels was ?


A voice came “Very pathetic is your story
Full of restless tears is your wine-measure

Your ecstatic clamor pervaded the celestial world
How bold in speech is your Loving heart !

You sweetened the Remonstrance with elegant graces
You established intercourse between God and His people

We are inclined to Mercy, but there is no one to implore
Whom can we show the way ? There is no wayfarer to the destination

Jewel polishing is there, but there is no proper jewel
There is no clay capable of being molded into ÿdam

We confer the glory of Kai on the deserving
We confer even a whole new world on those who search!

Arms are feeble, hearts are accustomed to apostasy
The ‘believers’ are a source of disgrace to the Prophet

Idol-breakers have departed, the rest are idol-makers
Though the father was Ibrahim the sons are Azar

The wine-drinkers, the wine, even the decanters are new
The sanctuary of the Ka‘bah, the idols, even you are new

There was a time when this alone was the source of Beauty
The wild tulip was the pride of the season of spring

Whichever Muslim there was, the Lover of God he was
A while ago your beloved this very Unfaithful was

Make the covenant of fealty now with some local one
Make the Ummah of the Holy Prophet a local one!

How difficult for you is waking up at the dawn!
You have no Love for Us, sleep is dear to you

You are the ones who do not know any art in the world
You are the nation which does not care for its nest

You are the harvest which harbors the lightning
You are those who sell their ancestors’ graves

As you have earned a good name by selling graves!!!
Will you not sell if idols of stone you get?

Who effaced false worship from the face of the world?
Who rescued the human race from slavery ?

Who adorned my Ka‘bah with their foreheads in Love?
Who put my Qur’an to their breasts in reverence?

They were surely your ancestors, but what are you ?
Sitting in idleness, waiting for tomorrow are you !!!

What did you say? “For the Muslim is only the promise of houri
Even if the Remonstrance be unreasonable decorum is necessary

Justice is the Creator of Existence’ custom since eternity
When the infidel adopts Muslim ways he receives houris and palaces

Not a single one among you is longing for houris
The Effulgence of ñër exists but there is no Mës«

The gain of this nation is one, also the loss is one
Only one is the Prophet of all, Deen is one, Emaan is one

The Holy Haram is one, God is one, Qur’an also is one
Would it have been very difficult for Muslims to be one

Sects abound somewhere and somewhere are castes!
Are these the ways to progress in the world?

Who is the renouncer of the laws of the Holy Prophet?
The criterion for whose actions is expediency of time ?

Who is enamored with the customs of the enemies
Whose thinking is disgusted with ancestors’ ways?

No warmth is in the heart, no feeling is in the soul
There is no respect for the message of Muhammad in you!

If some array themselves in mosques, it is the poor
If some endure the discomfort of fasting it is the poor

If some are reverent to Us it is the poor
If some hide your faults it is the poor

The rich in their arrogance of wealth are negligent of Us
The Nation is alive on the strength of the poor

That mature thinking of the nation’s preacher is gone
That natural lightning is gone, fiery speeches are gone

The ritual of adhan has persisted, the spirit of Bilal is gone
Philosophy has persisted, the teaching of Ghazali is gone

Mosques are lamenting that the reciters of prayers are gone
That is those with attributes of Hijaz’ people are gone

Clamor is that Muslims have disappeared from the world
We ask whether the Muslims were present anywhere?

In fashion you are Christians, in culture you are Hindus
Are these Muslims ! Who put the Jews to embarrassment!

Sure, you are even Saiyyid, Mirza and Afghans also
You are all these, say whether you are Muslims also?

During speech the candor of the Muslim was fearless
His justice was strong, undefiled by consideration of bias

The tree of Muslim’s nature was watered with modesty
In valor he was an incomprehensible existence

Internal warmth was the essence of his wine’s quality
To empty itself was the custom of his decanter

Every Muslim was a lancet for the vein of infidelity
Activism was the polish to the mirror of his life

Whatever trust he had, on his own strength it was
You are afraid of death, he afraid of God alone was

If the art of the father not well-known to the son be
How can the son worthy of the heritage of the father be!

Everyone is intoxicated with the wine of indulgence
Are you Muslims? To you is this the way of Islam?

You have neither the faqr of Haidar (Ali) nor the wealth of Uthman
What spiritual relation between you and your ancestors exists?

They were respected in the world by being Muslims
And you became disgraced by abandoning the Qur’an

You are indignant to each other, beneficent they were
You are guilty and prying into guilts, forgiving and merciful they were

You are self-destructive, zealous and self-respecting they were
You flee from brotherhood, lovers and brotherhood they were

You are head to foot talk, action incarnate they were
You tantalize for flower-bud, with garden in their lap they were

Even now nations remember their story
Impressed on existence’s sheet is their fidelity!

Like stars on the nation’s horizon you appeared also
In the Indian idol’s love you became a Brahman also

Qais may not continue enduring hardships of seclusion in the wilderness
May stroll in the city, may not remain wandering in wilderness

He is insane, he may or may not in the city remain
It is necessary the Lailah’s veil may not remain

Let there be no wailing against ‘tyranny’ or complaint of ‘injustice’
Love is free, why should not the Beauty be free also?

The new age is a lightning, consuming every barn is
Safe from this no wilderness and no rose-garden is

Of this new fire old nations are the fuel
The Ummah of the last Prophet is set afire

If the ¥man of Ibrahim is acquired even now
Fire can create the garden’s norm even now

The gardener should not be upset by seeing the garden’s state
Branches are about to appear from the bunches of buds

The garden will be cleared soon of the waste and trash
The red of the martyrs’ blood will be producing rose buds

Look a little the color of the sky somewhat red is
This the glowing of the horizon by the rising sun is!

Some nations in the existence’s garden benefited from their labors are
And some deprived of fruits and even destroyed by autumn are

Hundreds of trees deteriorated and hundreds flourishing are
Hundreds still even concealed in the bosom of the garden are

The tree of Islam a model of flourishing is
This the fruit of eons of gardening efforts is

Your skirt is undefiled by the dust of homeland
You are the Yusuf for whom every Egypt is Kan’an

It will never be possible to destroy your caravan
Nothing except the ‘Clarions’s Call’ are your chattel

You are a candle-like tree, in its flame’s smoke your roots are
Your thoughts free from the care of the end are

You will not be destroyed by the destruction of Iran
Wine’s ecstasy is not connected with its container

It is evident from the story of the invasion of Tatars
That Ka‘bah got protectors from the temple

You are the support of the boat of God in the world
The present age is night, you are a glimmering star

This tumult of Bulgaria’s invasion which is afoot
Is the message of awakening for the negligent

You think this is the plan for hurting your sentiments
This is a test of your sacrifice and your self respect

Why are you afraid of the hooves of the enemies’ horses ?
The enemies’ blows will be unable to extinguish the light of the Truth

Your potential is still hidden from the world’s nations
The assembly of existence still has need for you

The whole world is kept alive by your warmth
Your Khilifah is the star of the possibility’s destiny

There is no time for leisure, there is work to be done
Completion of the light of Tawheed is still to be done

Like fragrance you are contained in the flower-bud, become scattered
Become the chattel traveling on the wings of the breeze of the rose-garden

If you are poor, changed from speck to the wilderness be
From the melody of the wave changed to tumult of the storm be

With the Love’s power elevate every low to elegance
With Muhammad’s name illuminate the whole world

If there is no flower nightingale’s music should also not be
In the world’s garden smile of flower-buds should also not be

If there is no cup-bearer, wine, and decanter should also not be
Tawheed’s assembly in the world and you should also not be

The system of the universe is stable by this very name
The existence’ pulse is warm with this very name

In the wilderness, on the mountain-side, in the plains it is
In the ocean, in the lap of the wave, in the storm it is

In China’s city, in Morocco’s desert it is
And concealed in the ¥m«n of the Muslim it is

The world’s eyes should witness this sight till eternity
The Elegance of the grandeur of “Rafa‘na Laka Zikrak” should see

The majority people, that is the non-white world
The world which would nurture your martyrs

The world reared by the sun, the crescent’s world
What the people of Love call the Bilal’s world

Is agitated like mercury by this name
Is diving in Light like the Beloved

Intellect is your shield, Love is your sword
My dervish ! Your vice-regency is world-conquering

Your Takbâr like fire for Godlessness is
If you are Muslim your prudence your destiny is

If you are loyal to Muhammad we are yours
This universe is nothing the Tablet and the Pen are yours

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