Review on Biography of IQBAL- Ibtadai daur (till 1904)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Imagine yourself surrounded by an enchanting daybreak in the valley of Kashmir where the mantra of the Brahmans spreads the aura of Love and Harmony. You are Welcomed to a world where you explore the Secrets of Nature embedded in the Life-story of Iqbal as narrated by a pen which has the power to relive the Story as if developments are taking place all around you.

Yes, I m talking about Khurram Ali Shafique’s  
Biography of Iqbal Part 1 “Ibtadai-Daur (till 1904)”.

Before embarking onto an enthralling Voyage, the Contents page declares that there are nine stations or stages to be covered before the reader finds itself arriving towards the end of the First out of a Total of Six Parts of a captivating experience. And as indicated in the Preface every ‘station’ holds a hidden message ready to get revealed as the journey of the reader proceeds.
The flow of Time takes a backward turn and the story begins from the time when the early ancestors of Iqbal would greet a newborn Day with hymn for the one who brought that day upon them. 15th century saw the conversion of some of these ancestors to Islam and the end of 18th century brought a family of them to the plains of Punjab.
Nature plans and the whole of the World positions itself in a way as to make perfect arrangements in order to assist the growth and advancement that was to be witnessed by the soul of Iqbal. The impact of Sir Syed’s Aligarh Movement on the society where Iqbal opened his eyes, and the personality of Mir Hassan, one of Iqbal’s early teachers and guide soon take over the imagination spectrum of the reader.
Historic and Literary developments continue to take place at the same time and if while reading this the readers develop such a feeling that they are trapped watching a 3-D Film, the book will not let this impression vanish.
The book comprehensively describes effects of any social or religious movements that took place around Iqbal and the direct or indirect influences it had on his Ideas.
The world of Iqbal grows and along with him the understanding of the Reader about Iqbal’s skills and the efforts of those who nurtured him, also develops. The book closely follows every major Cognitive development that took place in Iqbal and gives a clear picture of the events that led to their happening.

The Biography of Iqbal Part 1 “Ibtadai-Daur (till 1904)” is not just the life story of a single individual, it’s a track of all the major historic, social and cognitive revolutions that took place in the collective conscious of the society where Iqbal lived, and the impact they had on the psyche and vision of Iqbal. The truths of nature gets glimpsed here and there, and one may notice that the ‘reconstruction’ of Islamic thought and of Indian-Muslim culture is taking place as the society moves on from Shah WaliUllah and Ghalib to Sir Syed, Hali and Shibli Naumani and gets influenced by their viewpoints; and the same society is also nourishing Iqbal in its bosom so that further contributions can be made in uniting the Muslims as a Single nation and providing directions for them to follow.
The book can help us identify with the course that our ancestors underwent in order to carve out a place for us so that we can stand side by side to the other nations of the world. It can also assist individuals in their search for the secrets of life and to embark on a journey within. Truly it is a book not to be missed.

At the end I thank Khurram Ali Shafique heartily for writing such a marvel and introducing all of us to the life of Iqbal, taking into account all the aspects of history and society in such a novel way that the reader becomes part of every development that is taking place in the world of Iqbal.

Kikli....!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Studying Centripetal force and Circular motion in Physics class we started discussing the everyday importance of the phenomenon. As I could not come up with a unique and interesting example from everyday life that could fit in, the lecture started boring me, and the only escape I could find was looking out of the window of class-room. The scene was perfect, a cloudy sky with grassy play-ground in view.
But what were some little girls doing on the other side of the ground? I wondered.
Oh, they were playing Kikli.

A traditional game which is deeply rooted in the culture of Punjab, Kikli, involves mostly two or an even number of young girls, in which girls of each pair stands facing each other, holding each others hands with their arms crossed and the toes of their feet touching one another in the center. The girls then stretch their arms as much as possible, bend their backs and start whirling around, singing songs. The girls must keep their balance as they spin, and if anyone of them is unable to keep the balance, she looses the game.
The mere mention of this game recalls childhood memories to most of the females of sub-continent, but this time it proved to be a co-incidence for me, Circular motion and Kikli.
The example that I was looking for came to me, but this realization left me awe-struck for a while. This game is thriving in the culture of Punjab for many centuries and no one can be sure of its exact origin. Yet the matter was very clear to me. Just consider the minds who perceived the game for the first time. It is certain that those ancient ancestors had the knowledge about the scientific logic behind the phenomenon of Circular motion that if a moving body can not provide enough Centripetal Force required by it to continue to move in the circle, it moves away from the circle. Thus the rule of the game that the girls must keep their balance, and the one who ‘moves’ out of the circle looses could be established.
The interesting aspect of this finding is,
Who could make out while playing the game that one is imitating the motion of the big celestial objects?
Who could perceive that the game can be in a way a symbolism of the movement of the most basic elements of nature i-e photons?
And the point that bewilders me the most is that,
isn’t it possible that the masterminds of our ancestors put this game in our roots so that we can understand more deeply the concept of Evolution, by resisting all ‘external forces’ that can deviate one (symbolizing evil) from the ‘circular path’ of Life and keeping the toes ‘touching’ each other (exhibiting Unity) in the ‘center’ of that ‘Circle of Life’ is the only way that can bring ‘success’ to us.