A long standing friend revealed his low IQ after a long time. He simply said ‘What was Iqbal?’ in a demeaning way. ‘Certainly not a philosopher, perhaps, yes merely a children poet’. It was a stunning revelation, and he went out blurting his father’s statement, that Iqbal used to write obnoxious verses on his favorite prostitutes of Lahore. Most Mullahs generate an alcoholic impression of Iqbal, and a relative came back from the USA with the knowledge that Iqbal was a murderer too. The Hindu lobby was projecting on their blogs that he was even a murderer of a prostitute of Hira Mandi Lahore. A so called ‘hamdard’ of Iqbal was projecting that when Iqbal said salam to a citizen of Lahore, the man to spite him, uncovered himself by throwing down his dhoti. A famous Pakistani lesbian termed both Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal as homosexuals and then retracted her statement after she lit anxiety in many quarters, and she could not handle the fall out, for in certain quarters abroad, it was a positive thing. Add more and more juicy things. Belittle the message of Dr Allama Iqbal, the founder of the idea of Pakistan. The Iqballian thinking dangerous for the enemies of Pakistan.

The Chughtai Artist house was a meeting place of the best and worst of Pakistan. The writers, the poets, the artists, the bureaucrats, you could see most of the bigger names at home all the time. Hafeez Jullundri would come with his British wife , laughing loud with the artist Chughtai. ‘Abhi to main jawan hoon’, surely. Faiz could emit cigar smoke from his mouth like a chimney gone awry. One could even see Hanif Ramay on his bicycle, coming to get some designs made for his magazine. Qudratullah Shahab spun his magic. Sufi Ghulam Tabbassum much loved. The list is endless and no time to list all of them. Dr Nazeer Ahmad and Dr Muhammed Din Taseer were particularly close. Colonel Majeed Malik could take the nomenclature of being Chughtai’s best friend. Pitras Bokhari also lived nearby, and was a close associate. Of course Agha Babar had his own episodes to trace. Ikram Sahib, federal secretary could talk of the book he wrote on Pakistan and took advantage of Chughtai all the time. Justice S. A Rahman was there too. When the Chief Justice got slapped by the daughter of a famous politician, at a function at Alhamra, it was not an ordinary affair, and S.A Rahman proved that he was a gentle lamb. You name it, we saw them at home. These were the people who promoted URDU as the language of Pakistan, and all of them were fanatics about the modern language of Islam.

A longer time back, after work was done, there was a habit in the house. The three Chughtai brothers, Abdur Rahman, Abdullah and Abdur Raheem would move with Dr M D Taseer and they would all go to the house of Dr Muhammed Iqbal and till late at night, chat their hearts out. The laughter of them would reverberate long distance away. Dr Iqbal would not mutter English, or Urdu, or Persian, but share jokes and pleasures in plain Punjabi. It went on for nearly twenty years. Even at the Round Table Conference in London in 1932, Abdur Rahman Chughtai was there with Dr Iqbal. That is why tears would come to the eyes of Chughtai when he would recount Iqbal. And again and again he could say ‘hazar sal nargis apni bay noori pay roti hai bari mushkal say hota hai chaman may deeda war paida.’

IQBAL WAS NOT A GREEK ARM CHAIR THINKER. He reached the people direct in Badshahi mosque, Sheranawala gate School or Islamia College or elsewhere. He addressed people and people wept at the plight of Muslims all over the world. Iqbal has channeled the NATIONHOOD of people, indeed he had reconstructed Islam as a religion in his sayings to people itself. People wept with him. And the environment of Lahore was anti-Mullah in all way. The Quranic revolution was going on here in the Chinay-wali masjid Lahore. It ended in Lahore hosting Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, the Adviser on Islamic Affairs to the Quaid-e-Azam himself.

To paint such a philosopher in lower light is the mind of wicked foxes and senile crows all over the world. Dr Iqbal was a man par excellence A true Mard-e-momin. His message was simple Islam had got Persianized with time and the Persian version was in vogue here. Iqbal stressed a back to original Islam position, back to the Arab foundation, back to the Quran itself. The people who had distorted Islam through the centuries fumed at the gall of the man trying to bring in renaissance, to undo centuries of Mullah’s mischievous conceptions.

The hypocrisy of promoting Iqbal in Pakistan is evident too. Lip service alone, not a reconsideration of ijjtehad in Islam. Except for permanent values given by Allah, everything else can be changed by common consent. Democracy very relevant here. Pakistan was the first step in telling the world the beauty of the Islamic system to live peacefully in co-existence with the world, without sacrificing an iota of self respect and equality of the nation as a whole. In the end we have to prevail, if not for ourselves, for our salat to Allah Al-Mighty.


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