Relevance of Iqbal’s poem Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa with present day Muslim

OpinionRelevance of Iqbal's poem Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa with present day Muslim

By GM Channa

Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a poet, philosopher, politician, lawyer, and scholar born on November 9, 1877, in Punjab, Pakistan, to Kashmiri parents and was educated at Mission College in Sialkot. The poem Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa are the most read and amazing works of the Iqbal in as his literary contributions. The poem SHIKWAH was written and recited in the annual session of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam that was held at Islamia College Lahore in April 1911. Due to a lack of public understanding and the criticism from the religious segments of Indian society on the poem SHIKWA Allama Iqbal had to write and published Jawab-e-Shikwah (answer to the complaints) in the year 1913. These two poems are considered revolutionary poems of Iqbal. The main theme of both poems and their backgrounds are described below separately:


Allama Iqbal, a thinker of Islam went to Europe to obtain higher education, where he did a Ph.D. And law as well. Allama Iqbal saw the scientific, material, political, economic, and social development of Europe and its cultural values very closely during his stay in Europe. He was inspired by the intellectual dedication, scientific progress, liberalism, passion, and patriotism of Europeans. When he came back to his own country in 1908 he found there, on the contrary, the laziness, humid, inaction, slavish mentality, economic backwardness, lack of academic taste and passion of the Muslims, and a false sense of being God’s beloved nation despite mere verbal devotion to Islam. Appeared normal Muslims believed themselves to be followers of Islam, but in practice, they were far away from the teachings of the Qur’an, the Messenger of God, and Islam. Despite this, they also complained that God had deprived them of the blessings of the world and religion. This is the basic concept of Iqbal’s poem “SHIKWA”. Not only in India but Muslims in other countries of the world politically and economically were bound in slavery. Their condition was not much, better in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and Africa. Besides, the wars of Tripoli and the Balkthe also made the feeling of the decline of Muslims more acute. The oppression and subjugation of the Muslim world, especially the Muslims of India, gave rise to these two famous and revolutionary poems of Iqbal. As a scholar of the nation and a thinker of Islam, he has described in these two poems the reasons for the decline of the current Muslims and the rise of the Muslims of the ancient era in great detail. By reading them, on the one hand, the map of our glorious past begins to appear before our eyes, and on the other hand, we get clues to the causes of our present decline. The main goal of the late Allama was also that we can define our future in the light of our glorious past and great historical traditions and facts.

A Summary of the major debates in the Shikwah;

In “Shikwah” Allama Iqbal has described the following important things in the presence of God Almighty. The poet Allama possesses a sensitive nature and a heart familiar with pain. Therefore, he fulfills the duty of conveying the grievances of Muslims to God through his poetry. In other words, he dares to address God Almighty as the spokesperson of Muslims. Iqbal, though a realist, cannot be expected to base his poem on the false claims and baseless demands of the Muslims of the present and who are unsophisticated, and unIslamic. He described the baseless complaints and misunintandilang Muslims with his plan, gag most of them are:

O, God! We are famous all over the world for your obedience. We Muslims had done a lot of work to promote our religion and monotheism in the world.

No other nation in the world could have had the good fortune to sacrifice their lives to exalt your name. We showed unparalleled bravery.

Demonstrations have been performed in Iran, Africa, Europe, and India for Jihad for the sake of Allah. We also offered prayers in the Karzar field for Islamic equality.

Evidence of Universal brotherhood has been given and we ourselves followed Islamic teachings and gave other people the opportunity to walk on the right path of humanity by freeing them from all kinds of slavery according to your word.

You still have this problem with us that we are not loyal to you. These people mock us. O, Lord! Is it that non-Muslims have all the naats in the world, but we Muslims have only been given anna (the comfort) for visiting Hoor and Kasur (Female angels in Jannah)? Other nations are the best in the world and are rich, but we Muslims are victims of slavery and poverty. After all, why is this displeasure for Muslims?

O, God! We also have a complaint that you have showered your blessings on nonmuslims, even though there are thousands of people like us who are bald, proud arrogant even with your name, and even they (nonmuslims) taunt us (Muslims).

At the end of this poem, the poet says that he alone is lamenting the downfall of Muslims. “I wish someone would understand his cry”. Although Iqbal was very concerned about the state of affairs of Muslims. However, he does not give up hope. He has a strong hope that through the influence of this bill alone, the seeds of life will be born again in the dead hearts of Muslims.

A Summary of the major debates in the Jawab-e-Shikwah

In Answer to Complaints Iqbal made in SHIKWAH, he tried to resolve the grievances of Muslims by God. And has made clear to them the hidden reality of their complacency. This is by God is Allama Iqbal’s propagation of his true views.” The complaints or unfounded claims expressed in “Shikwah” are in fact representative of the current Muslim way of thinking. But the answers and arguments presented in “record” echo Iqbal’s ideas. In “Answer to SHIKWAH” he informed the Muslims about the reasons for their political, moral, social, cultural, and religious decline so that they can remove them and become masters of greatness again.

Those reasons are described as follows;

God Almighty says: As usual, we also show mercy and grace to humans, but if no one asks for our grace, then what should we do?

Atheism and falsehood exist in your hearts, therefore you have rejected me. Gods have started to happen. If you were faithful to us, you would not have disliked the observance of prayer and fasting. Isn’t it a fact that you have left the noble brotherhood of Islam and adopted a limited nationality?

If you (current Muslims) are incompetent and have moved away from the sciences, your sect Religion, trade-in graves of ancestors, blind following of non-Muslims, and non-Islamic culture at the time of expediency, Hindu society, caste, nakedness, and immorality are considered Islam!

You cannot have any relation with your ancestors because they were followers of Islamic teachings, practical, Mujahid, righteous, fearless, just, generous, brave, selfless, kind to each other, independent, and freedom-loving, but you lack these qualities.

Being deprived of our constitution is justice and fairness, so we will shower our blessings on every nation that abides apparently, it still exists but none of you is asking for it.

Only the poor Muslims observe prayer and fasting, but your rich people, drunk with their wealth, are oblivious to us and your worship.

They have become soulless. Your preachers are no longer having firm ideas and effective words. Your youth have become victims of the new civilization and have become inactive and ignorant of religion. In the present age, the horror of the new age can be avoided through faith.

The Nation of Islam is never going to disappear because the community needs it now, but the survival of Islam is not tied to any particular country or nation. May you cover the world with the power of the love of the Prophet (PBUH).‎ Thanks to the Holy Prophet who established this system. The name Islam is present in almost every country of the world. If you want to excel in the world, then follow the teachings of my great prophet. This is the only solution to all your problems.  Although these poems were written 0ne hundred and ten years ago if one can understand these are still relevant to the contemporary Muslim world.  Where Muslim ummah is divided and busy with unnecessary debates which are causing intolerance, and extremism in society there is a dire need the Muslims should understand the message and philosophy of Allama Iqbal.

Relevance of Iqbal's poem Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa with present day MuslimThe writer is an MPhil Scholar at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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