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Salutation to Rumi  from Iqbal’s
‘Bal-i-Jibreel’– Gabriel’s Wings
    Gabriel’s consciousness; (1)
    That secret message I may profess  
    Leading to my rapturous tunes.
    How can any stars foretell my fortune
    Roaming in shore less skies, they are  
    Lost, bewildered and doomed.

    Ever pondered what life is for thee?
    Lack of vision; mind’s emptiness,
    Caught in scepticism; suffering;
    Listening the call: annihilate thyself,
    Crying…why me? Proclaiming,(3)
    How strange! He wants me to lose
    The greatest gift He bestowed on me.

    Clear conscience, high vision,
    Arduous passion bold,
    I neither liked nor claim
    Plato’s philosophy or Croesus’ gold.
    I learnt my lesson
    With Holy Ascension
    Men are holding a tight grip
    On celestial horizon. (2)

    Life is still in the process of becoming
    Listen to the chanting
    Be and it becomes.
    Your reason is mesmerized
    By Western thought;
    your life sickened with their style;
    Remedy lies but with Rumi
    Burn thyself; catch his flame of ecstasy
    His graciousness enlightened my spirit,
    Transforming my small cup into gigantic Amu. (5)

    Bal-i Jibril (Gabriel's Wing, 1935) is the second collection of Urdu poems of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877- 1938).
    Three major themes have been explored in the book: conflict between reason and divine love, mystic
    experience, and the concept of selfhood (Persian: Khudi) and theses themes are presented in odes, quatrains
    and poems. Many odes touch the apex of poetics with a chastened lyricism signifying ecstatic mystic state of
    the poet. Iqbal had a deep reverence for Rumi. Rumi was for him what Shams was for Rumi, opening the doors
    of inner realm to him.

    (1) ‘Nafs-i-Jibreel’ is the prophetic consciousness, the intuitive intellect, which is self empowering to connect
    with the Divine Intellect – (Persian: Zaat-e-Haq) – Allah the Almighty.

    (2)  Following Rumi, Iqbal believes in ‘intuitive knowledge’; hence, he claims:  No rational science may lead to
    perfect understanding of the life and universe systems, but the knowledge of heart. It is proven by the holy
    ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The greatness lies not in Muhammad’s cognitive power, but in
    documentation of received knowledge to quote a perfect system of life favouring the weak and the vulnerable,
    protecting the human from the human, saving human from human atrocities.

    (3) The secret of self:  
         Our personality is how others view us and our self is how do we view us, (Persian: ‘Zahir’ and the ‘Batin’).
    The self is the material expression of soul, which seeks expression of its potential in most natural of its ways
    and our personality is the (Persian: ‘libas’), the dressing of the self, its tool and cover for its protection. Soul is
    the energy to “be” – (Arabic: ‘kun’) and “self” is “it becomes” – (Arabic: ‘fa ya kun’). Human soul is the tool
    through which God realizes His dream of life, so all of its potential must be spent in service of the life and the
    living.  In order to become God’s hand Mawlana guides us to shut our physical eye and open our internal eye
    by getting into resonance with all universal spirits – the soul of life. And this is the way of getting spiritual
    command over the process of life.
    (4) The process of initiating spiritual transformation (Persian: Soz o saaz e Rumi) comprises two essential steps:
    (1) (Persian: ‘Sokhtan’), i.e. to burn and by burning freeing oneself from all that is superfluous and artificial.
    (2) (Persian: ‘Sakhtan’), i.e. construction and reconstruction – shaping one’s personality and behavior
    according to divine principles through inculcating in oneself  (Arabic: “Saffat Allah”)  – the divine attributes.

    (5) Amu – The River Oxus

    The River Oxus is today generally known as the Amu Darya and is the longest river in Central Asia. The Dari
    name Amu Darya (river) is used in Dari/Farsi speaking areas, whereas, Panj (five) is the Tajik name. “Oxus” is
    believed to be a derivation of the Kirghiz words Aksu, meaning white water. For centuries, the Oxus River has
    played an important role in Central Asian history and geography and has inspired many explorers, travellers
    and writers.
    The River Oxus rises in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan, traversing a total length of approximately 1,500
    miles (2,400 kms), and empties into the southern end of the Aral Sea. The source of the River Oxus lies in the
    Wakhan Corridor of North East Afghanistan. The Wakhan Corridor, also called the tongue of Afghanistan
    divides Pakistan from Tajikistan and China. The Southern boundary of the Wakhan corridor is in effect the
    watershed between the Hindu Kush and the Pamir and at the Eastern end between the Hindu Kush, The
    Karakorum and the Pamir.

    The access to the area is unchanged in the last 200 years. It is still as dangerous, thrilling and under-explored
    as it was centuries ago. Still ancient means of transport such as horse and donkey are used to travel by it. So
    is the wisdom of Qur'an, unchanging, daunting, challenging and yet under-explored.


English Translation of
Part II (Ode no. III)
Allama Iqbal