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Iqbal and Khushal: synonym and replica

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Studying Allama Iqbal and Khushal Khan Khattak reveals similarities in their ideology that they opted for poetry for unity and renaissance of Muslims. Khushal khan was born in 1613 AD and Iqbal in 1877 AD but both have the same universal poetic thoughts and diction. Studying Iqbal reveals poetic thoughts of Khushal have been rejuvenated after almost three hundred years. Iqbal came across Khushal’s work during his stay in London. Iqbal has also written an article on Khushal Khan Khattak, which was published in the quarterly English magazine “Islamic Culture” published from Haiderabad Deccan in 1928. Iqbal gave new dimensions to poetry in Urdu; Khushal was a trend-setter in Pashto poetry.

They both drew influence from Arabic and Persian literature through philosophy, wisdom, history, anthropology, cultural identity and social interaction. They both have used Arabic and Persian grammar, similes, metaphors, historical facts, references, allegory, concepts, simplicity, pure thoughts, independence, warrior nature and ethnocentrism. Iqbal’s Persian poetry is available in form of books; he also titled Persian names for his Urdu books.

All of these books are written in different themes with a different tone showing multi-dimensional class of Iqbal. Similarly, Khushal had also written poems in Persian with different poetic diction of Persian poetry showing his mastery over the Persian language and grammar.

Iqbal is known as a poet of Al-Quran and Khushal mentions “Al-Quran” the guarantor to righteousness. Both think and write in Islamic tone and ideology. Surprisingly, at one place they both quote same ayah of Al-Quran i.e. “Lun-Tanalul-birra-hatta-tunfiqu-mimma-tuhibboon”, Translation “Verily you won’t earn blessings of God till you spend the best in His way”.

At another place, both quote “Mun-Arafa-Nafsahu-faqud-arafa-rabbahu”, Translation “One who discovers himself, discovers the God”. They both are poets of “Hope” and never get frustrated in line with Al-Quran “La-Tuqnatoo” Translation “Never loose faith in God”. They are convinced a soldier of God spends nights in prayers for Him and doesn’t indulge in follies. They both idealize this soldier to be soft as silk for friends and hard as iron for enemies. They are staunch believers of faith in God’s blessings like a saint and feel contended even with limited food and shelter. They symbolically disregard crown and lust for worldly wealth and stature. Their soul is high thinking, courageous, bold, trust-worthy, well versed and a dedicated element of the universe. They want every Muslim to be an ideal man a true Muslim as per Allah’s desire.

Both are respectful for the Prophet Muhammad (Sallal-la-ho-alaeh-i-wasallam) with same perceptions. They describe love for the Holy prophet as part of belief and want it globally announced. God’s awareness is through knowing Prophet Muhammad (Sallal-la-ho-alaeh-i-wasallam). Taha and Yaseen are the names of God. Gabriel is the messenger of God for Muhammad (Sallal-la-ho-alaeh-i-wasallam). Muslim identity and self-identity, faith and all the traits present in personality of Muhammad (Sallal-la-ho-alaeh-i-wasallam) are the basics for a human being. Negation of Prophet Muhammad (sallal-laho-alaeh-e-wasallum) or his preaching entails negation of Islam. They also pay respect to Sahaba-e-Kiram the companions of holy prophet Muhammad (Sallal-laho-alaeh-e-wasallum) and Ahl-e-bayt ie family of the Holy prophet (Sallal-la-ho-alaeh-i-wasallam) during their narrations almost in the same words. They even quote meeting of Moses (Ale-hiss-salaam) with the God at “Toor” in their poetry.

Initial poetry of both Iqbal and Khushal carried shades of native love. If Iqbal says “Hindustan is the best in world” Khushal also appreciates the “sweet waters of Hindustan”. Both have used iconic synonyms for sword and throne, youth and character, fear of God and influence of mediation. Both preach steadfastness against the odds and fight for the truth, that’s why they are more popular in the thriving nations. They both have a message how to spend a free yet disciplined successful life. They both had clarity of mind, adaptability, vision and acceptability of new thoughts.

Iqbal describes “Eagle” as an icon of high aims for the Muslims and Khushal mentions “Falcon” as his ideal with the same characteristics. Eagle/Falcon is high aimed specie whereas crow, pigeon, kite and others are low in caliber and qualities to an Eagle. They both say “Eagles/Falcons are not bothered by crows in their flight”. They both describe Muslim invaders preached message of Allah through their administration, management, welfare mind, sensitive heart and a pious soul. They describe qualities of a leader as a person with bravery, high-aims, selfless, sincere, truth-lover, generous, sound character, chivalric, wise, foresighted, honest, polite and cultured. Imposed decisions and dictatorship was not the aim of any Muslim ruler. Iqbal and Khushal advise for consultation with peers and colleagues for a better decision. Khushal follows the Pashtun concept of (Da Saloro Faisla, tradition in Pathans to refer their matters to four elders). Likewise Iqbal favors consultation process (by sensible and wise) for every system to be successful.

They both are the teachers, leaders and the revolutionaries of their time. They both see life as dynamic and vibrant event. Their message with a universal philosophy is applicable for all times as they stress on constant effort and struggle guaranteeing a successful life. Tests and trails are part of future prosperity and bring laurels later and irritants are destined to shape a personality into a diamond. A pearl is developed after rugged experiences and toughest times. Iqbal and Khushal encourage seeking of knowledge in line with the Hadith asking to seek knowledge and learn. They both had deep knowledge of Hadith, Tafseer (explanation of Al-Quran), research, logic, counter argument, Sufism and different political thoughts of all the previous as well as present scholars of their time. They agree, success lies in learning and improving one-self continuously. Piousness of a human-being and his spirit are a pre-requisite to understand God. They simultaneously promote skill-learning, bravery, generosity, self-awareness, self-restrain, discipline, avoidance of lust for power, self-confidence, sincere thoughts, vision and a balanced love and logic relation. They debate conflict of Mind and Heart, if Khushal calls tussle of mind with passion, Iqbal also describes this struggle in human life a dominant factor. They say one has to be conscious of the dominance of mind over the soul.

Iqbal and Khushal desire exploration of universe and constant endeavor to learn. They are commonly found to be using astronomical signs and names of stars in galvanizing the high spirits and futuristic events. Depending upon one’s thoughts, a man can be at the skies and scale the universe. They present “Man” being descendant of God is a beautiful creature, who has created a man as a combination of vice & virtue, fire & water, evil & good, vice-regent of the skies and ultimate icon of God. They also describe man a combination of four elements (Greek myth). A man can match the angels or Satan at the same time (depending how he conceives). Both mention one is master of his destiny and becomes eligible for a paradise or hell depending upon his earnings. They are convinced discovering one-self makes a man know about his pride and grandeur.

If Iqbal addresses the Muslims as a nation, Khushal also calls Pathans as descendants of Muslims. Concepts of Millat and Ummah are clearly defined by both of them. If Iqbal wishes to see Muslims as a one unity, Khushal also loves to see his people united. They both lament the lost pride, ego, heritage, pride, culture and chivalry of Muslims. They consider downfall of Muslims is due to lust of money, power, losing their inherited traits, low-ideology and low-spirits. They preach to eliminate Kufr (unaware condition of Muslims) and focus on traditions and values for a better social set-up. They proclaim dictums of progress are influenced by social cohesion, unity of action, steadfastness, pursuance and pre-severance. Both wish zenith of Muslim chivalric values and stress with a pride and honor. Muslims can regain the glory by achieving cultural and social improvements in their character by following footsteps of ancestors and change of thinking pattern and spotless character. The universal quality “constant endeavors” has kept them alive till day and followed by all leaders and philanthropists of the world. Critics call Khushal love for the native land as a local effect, yet this is the basic idea towards unity of a nation further leading to one Ummah in the world.

Khushal and Iqbal portray traits of a Muslim society as hospitality, respect of elders, Islamic pride, open heart and arms, decent language and adherence to norms of a culture. They both want to groom the society through education, knowledge, communication, attitude and behavior. They describe an independent life should be lived with dignity through a motivated struggle for freedom for an ideology. They propagate implementation of truth and grooming of a society through character and values. During the struggle against tyranny, both are identical as per Al-Quran’s teachings “To hit hard and not to evade”. They both condemn fleeing the grounds.

Iqbal and Khushal are against so-called Theologians and illiterate Mullah. Both reject self-created theologian or pseudo-intellectual. They both agree “You will be misled, if you follow the half-knowledge based, showy, hollow personalities and self-projected Muslim scholars”. The cunning priests are making a fool of simple Muslims, these jargons are interested in selling their agenda and keep the pure souls under a disguise. These religious elders impose their own meanings and ideology to the public by claiming to be inheritors of the prophets and saints. Thus keep their business running through false un-Islamic thoughts and rituals. Here again they both quote Al-Quran “A pious is worse than a sinful, if he possesses his ego.” They both are against masquerading. They desire making a progressive and developing society by grooming through character and values. They want a dynamic culture with a faith in Almighty and avoid hypocrisy, fortune-oriented and superstitious beliefs. Both have a fair idea on economics of a society. They believe, without an economic stability a society cannot be balanced. They mention welfare of a society and economic health cannot be achieved without a change in the thinking and behavior of individuals.

Today if Iqbal is attributed as dreamer of Pakistan for the Muslims of Sub-continent, Khushal can be said laying down the foundation for these dreams to be implemented by a Muslim.

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