Sunday, August 2, 2009

Iqbal's relationship with Rumi

A frequently asked question is why Iqbal chose Rumi as mentor. Iqbal's own answer would be that he didn't. Rumi chose him. "The candle rushed onto the moth," he says in the prelude of his first book of poetry. Some biographical evidence explains this (and has been brought to light in my recently published Iqbal - Tashkeely Daur).

Even then, the question remains valid when reworded: In what manner is the thought of Iqbal connected with the thought of Rumi?

When studied in the light of guidance from Iqbal, the central message of Rumi turns out to be that idea can become reality. That happens to be the gist of Iqbal's message as well (and incidentally he is the only poet whose imagination gave birth to a real country on the map of the world).

Hopefully, this may also explain why this blog is called The Republic of Rumi while so much of it deals with Iqbal and related concepts - and why there is a symbolic tomb of Iqbal in the family graveyard of Mevlana Rumi in Konya (dust from Iqbal's real grave in Lahore was taken and buried just outside the entrance to Mevlana's own mausoleum, with Iqbal's name written on the tombstone).


  1. Incidently, I remember there used to be the dust from Rumi's grave placed in a khaakdaan on Iqbal's grave. I remember seeing it till the 80's but recently I visited Iqbal's Tomb and did not find it there.

  2. yet again, one learns and a new window is opened. We were never told in school by our 'urdu literature" teachers, how Iqbal ever came to be influenced by Rumi. In fact Rumi, who came again and again in his poetry was never really explained. Never told that Iqbals dust is there in Konya, that his symbolic tomb is by Rumi, and yes, I fully believe that Rumi must have come to Iqbal. He does that, but then that is how all knowledge really is passed on. Knowledge comes walking towards you and enfolds you in its embrace. Chosen ones, remain always, chosen ones.

  3. I happen to be born and broughtup in a same neighbourhood where Iqbal was born. As a kid I kept wondering looking at his home that what has made him so special as a person? It took years of personal experience and adventure till I realized the importance and influence of Iqbal. Rumi changed the world as we percieve it today and Iqbal executed the idea in to reality. Now after twenty five years I see my self still standing and looking at Iqbal's cradle but not wondering anymore as what made him so special.

    Faisal Hussain

  4. I think I should read your new book as soon as possible :)

  5. When we read Iqbal and Rumi, we find so much similarities that sometimes its difficult to tell who is who. In one account its mentioned that Iqbal cited RUMI’s name 70 times that is only second to the name of prophet MUHAMMAD(peace be upon him) which was cited in more instances in Iqbal’s poetry.

    Arzu and Khudi are Rumi’s and Iqbal’s main themes. The evil/Satan is a subject of all great literature, and Goethe’s FAUST, Dante’s DIVINE COMEDY has similar insights about that, however RUMI and IQBAL differ with their point of view and according to them evil is necessary for the fulfillment of the divine plan. The similarities just start here……..

  6. I need to read all the posts on this blog which i have been missing cause of my long absence over blogs, to understand all properly.

    Seems you've started another topic full of information.

  7. I am so impressed to read this blog.My name is Roomy and I was told that I was named after the great Rumi with a different spelling. I will link to your blog on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

  8. Ahmad Bhai, Farrokh, Faisal Hussain, Rehan, Akhtar, ReeBz and Roomy Naqvi, thanks.

    And Roomy Naqvi, you are most welcome.

  9. I relate iqbal with Rumi by his own versus:::::
    "Attar ho roomi ho razi ho gazali
    kush hath nahi ata be-e-ahe-e- sahar gahi"
    No one can achieve success in this world and world after here without weeping before the ALLAH at early in the morning. some great personalities use the same path to achieve thier goal like ataar,romi razi and gazali

  10. thanks for this information...I recently went to Konya and was surprised to see a tomb with an inscription to Iqbal on it. I checked the usual suspects - google and wikipedia but if it wasn't for your information, I wouldn't have known...

  11. I was in Konya recently and visited the tomb of the great Mevlana Rumi. I also came across Iqbal's symbolic tomb . I wasn't surprised to learn about the connection... I only started reading Rumi a couple of years ago and feel i'm only at the tip of the iceberg. A beautiful experience. Truly

  12. Thanks for the above ;-) .. Can u please qoute that Iqbal's poetry where he compared himself with Roomi ? It was something like 'kabhi roomi to kabhi...'
    reply at

  13. @Anonymous: Sorry, I am not on Facebook. Here are the verses:

    اِسی کشمکش میں گزریں مری زندگی کی راتیں
    کبھی سوز و سازِ رومی، کبھی پیچ و تابِ رازی

  14. two greats separated by time but united by faith and philosophy,is time irrelevant in mysticism or Tareeqat?

  15. Maulana rumi had said that he will write one more masnavi after his death people could not believe it. Then he said a poet will come after him who will write it. Rumi had predicted about his disciple Iqbal. As iqbal has said one night while he was in remembrance of God the spirit of Rumi appeared to him. And Rumi asked Iqbal to write in persian. Iqbal replied that he knows persian a little. Then Rumi gave him a cup to drink after that Iqbal started writing in persian as if it was his mother tongue. It was spiritual blessing that was passed from Rumi To Iqbal. the details are in fact in verses of Iqbal himself.