Saturday, May 23, 2009

Iqbal in the diary of Rashid Minhas

Here is what most readers have asked for: the lines from Iqbal which Rashid Minhas copied in his diary (apparently during a phase in late teens when he started studying Islam and Iqbal on his own).

As we know, ‘Gulshan-i-Raz Jadid’ is a summary of Iqbal’s thought, comprising of “nine questions” and their answers. The lines which Rashid copied were from the answer to the final question, “Who at last became familiar with the secret of unity? Who is the wise man that is a Gnostic [Arif – or the knower of mysteries]?” The following is what he wrote in his diary:

In this world things decay. Passage from Iqbal’s Gulshan-i-Raz-i-Jadid.

In this world things decay
And stay for a brief day.

To know what is
to have true bliss
And what gnosis is? This:
Our heart does not seek lies
It is divinely wise.

A fruitless grief
Is not our brief,
And pining after what is not
Is not our lot.

True passion,
yearning, zest,
A roaring quest—
Keep these alive:
On them your self will thrive.

The self can be immortalized
And union with God realized
Without losing your identity—
A lover’s unity.

A breath if it is burning bright
Can set a lamp alight.

There is a needle
that can mend a rent
In the cloak of the firmament.

Translated by M. Hadi Hussain

Next - 4. A Poem by Rashid Minhas


  1. let's all take deeply to heart until they root within us & among us...

    these most elevated & perfect lines...

    until we are able to root this universal guidance -

    so sublime & all encompassing & yet so practical and applicable in the present...

    i especially thrill with the lines:
    "a fruitless grief is not ours" and the "breath on fire can light a lamp"

  2. Splendid, sublime,magnificent-IQBAL is IQBAL.

    Rashid Minhas's story unfolding beautifully.

  3. Connie and Wasim, thanks. Support and encouragement from readers is being very helpful in guiding me about the episodes of this series. I hope that it shall meet your expectations.