SHAKWA AND JAWAB-I SHAKWA
(THE COMPLAINT AND RESPONSE TO THE COMPLAINT)
BY DR. SIR MUHAMMAD IQBAL

Iqbal wrote the two poems, “Shakwa” and “Jawab-i Shakwa” (Complaint to God and its Response), in early twentieth century. It was the prime time of his poetic revelation, which is called his third period that began in 1908 and ended at his death in 1938. During that time Muslims in India had almost lost their entity as a nation. They had become the most oppressed community in British ruled India …

… Iqbal stood alone with his powerful poetic way to waken self confidence in the people of his community. He and his contemporaries (named above) were able to move the masses and carried them forward on the road to get rid of the British rule. Iqbal nurtured the minds of the people and changed the direction of the society through his melodious voice reciting his own songs in a touching way reminding them of their past glory. He was the person who discovered a leader like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and convinced him to lead the nation under whose banner Muslims of India were united and marched towards independence till the world saw a new country “Pakistan” emerged on the world map with the rising sum of the morning of August 14, 1947…

… Iqbal’s poem “Shakwa” was one of his most thrilling poems, which he recited personally in the month of April 1911 at the annual session of Anjuman Himayat-i Islam held in the compound of Islamia College, Lahore. It was largely applauded and subsequently published in the magazines and journals of the country…

… After one year of reciting Shakwa Iqbal presented Jawab-i Shakwa in a huge gathering in 1913 at a famous public place Outside Mochi Gate of Lahore City… This thrilling poem in a way was a call from God rather than a reply to Iqbal’s complaint. It added fire to the already boiling blood of the nation after Iqbal’s Shakwa, as a result of the Indian Muslims arose with a new life filled with enthusiasm, courage and a determination to change their fate…

Misl-i boo qaid haye ghunche men pareeshan hoja
Rakht bar dosh hawa-i chmanistaan hoja
Hai tunak maya to zarrey say biyabaan hoja
Naghma-i Mauj say hangaama-i toofaan hoja
Quwwat-i Ishq sey her past koi balaa kardey
Dhr men ism-i Muhammad sey Ujala krdey

(Like fragrance you are contained in the flower bud, become scattered
Become the chattel travelling 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 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.)

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