Book Review: khutut e iqbal / letters of iqbal

Discussion in 'Bibliophile's Corner' started by naqshbandijamaati, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. jazak Allah!

    Is this collection available online or did you buy the book?
  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    another clipping in iqbal's own hand to a student, Fazli Karim on philosophy: [this is a part of a longer letter; letter no.109]

    It seems, however, that you and your friends are interested mainly in metaphysics etc. If so, there is plenty of material relating to Muslim thought in India. Some time ago, I discovered it with great surprise that the latest work on the nature of time was published in India only in 1924. This was in Arabic. If therefore you are interested in Muslim thought, you must impress on the authorities of your University the need of a more intensive study of Arabic. Many years ago I suggested to the Muslim University a scheme to prepare scholars for research work in Islamic lore. Unfortunately nothing came out of it.

    I do not wish to conceal from you the fact that after 30 years' study of modern Metaphysics, I have lost the enthusiasm which philosophy roused in me in my youth. However in the present state of ill-health I can be of some use to a young scholar, and help him to understand the problems which stirred the emotions of our fathers. It is, however, necessary that such a scholar should possess good knowledge of Arabic, and have time to sit near my sick-bed for some days.

    Yours sincerely,
    Muhammad Iqbal.
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    a collection of 111 letters of iqbal, compiled by rafi'uddin hashmi titled khutut e iqbal with annotations and background on some letters by the compiler. there are a few scans of his own hand - which is very impressive - in both english and arabic/urdu script. there is also an arabic letter written to one dr. mustafa maraghi in egypt.

    these letters provide an insight on the man - the blurb quotes iqbal himself:
    "the literary and private correspondence of a poet, sheds [more] light on his poetry; it is quite beneficial to publish the correspondence of great poets from a literary perspective"

    [shayir ke literary aur private khutut sey uskey kalaam par raushni paRhti hai; aur a'ala darjey ke shu'raa key khutuut shayiy karna literary aitbaar sey mufeed hai]
    i found a few letters written in english interkesting; here are two of these. [i have typed it out exactly as it is in the book]

    Letter no.22

    3rd January, 1919.


    Thanks for your sending me the paper. I read it a few days ago, but do not think it worth while to reply. The poem was written 20 years ago and I do not know who has published it. It would have been only fair to me to ask my permission before doing so. But literary morality is unknown in this country and no body cares for the author whose mind and outlook are continuously changing. In spite of the fact that the poem is one of my earliest attempts, some of the criticisms are based on misprints for which I cannot be held responsible.

    The critic, however, has failed to see the real flaws of the poem. Poetry is something more than the mere correctness of idioms and expressions. My ideals are different to the critic's literary ideals. Poetry plays only a subordinate role in my utterances, and it is not my ambition to be classed among the poets of the day.

    Yours truly
    Muhammad Iqbal

    apparently, a critique was published in a periodical avadh-panch of his poem that ends thus:
    khabar iqbal ki layee hai gulistaN sey naseem
    nau giraftar phaDaktaa hai tahey daam abhi.

    an admirer shaukath husayn sent iqbal the newspaper clipping for his comments; iqbal's reply is the letter mentioned above.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008

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