My body reverberates with patriotism when I listen  " Sare Jahan se Accha'' sung by Lata Mangeshkar, India’s noted playback singer.  Though I know that it was written by Muhammad Iqbal, beyond that I know nothing.

The other day when I was reading the poetry of Ghalib, a friend of mine told that there was another marvelous urdu/persian poet whose poetry I should not miss to read. Then my attention has gone to find about Iqbal and luckily  in our office library I got a book "Iqbal - His poetry and Message written by Sheikh Akbar Ali.

The cover flap gave a brief bio of Iqbal. He was born at Sialkot (Pakistan) on 22nd Feb., 1873. He graduated in philosophy and was awarded two gold medals and a scholarship for his proficiency in English and Arabic. His profession was teaching history and philosophy. After a fruitful life, he died at the age of 60 due to prolonged illness.

On the death of Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore said that India, whose place in the world is too narrow, can ill-afford to miss a poet whose poetry had such universal value. Another giant Sarojini Naidu said that ' though the earth may enshrine the precious dust of Sir Mohammad Iqbal's body, his imperishable genius will shine through the ages in undimmed splendor.

Though we all  know him as  a lyricist of great patriotic song 'Sare Jahan se accha', he did not get his due recognition in India for his poetic works. And it is time for all of us to savour the following translated lines of his poetry :

 "Among the sweet-tongued poets I have been endowed with a power of expression, That I sing in tune with the birds that soar to the high Arsh.

Don't ignore my song of love, you shall find in it, The way to saintliness, and the glory of Kings'.

God unfolded to me the secrets of state and religion, And took a way all other images from the retina of my eyes.

Life is occupied with conquest along, And the one charm for conquest is desire. Life is the hunter and desire the snare, Desire is love's message to beauty.

No particular tune is prescribed for lamentation, And the cry is not bound the flute.

O reader !, do not find fault with the wine cup, But consider attentively the taste of the wine'

I prefer this earth to the celestial paradise, As it is the place of love and enthusiasm and is the repository of burning pangs.

What is Quran ? - a message of death for the capitalist, It befriends the laborers of no means. Seek not any good from the hoarder of wealth, You cannot attain to virtue unless you spend out of that, which you hold dearest.

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