Monday, September 7, 2009

"Dare and Live": a new motto from the Quaid

The following message was issued by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the occasion of celebration of Iqbal Day in Lahore on March 20, 1943. It was published in The Dawn the next day:

"Dare and Live" is Iqbal's message. Optimism, industry, faith, self-confidence and courage are the principles on which Iqbal bases his philosophy and which he believes are the essential factors for the purification of human soul and for the elevation of human character. The obstacles and setbacks in life, according to him, make the life worth living. The sacrifices and losses, made and incurred in the service of a right cause and for noble principles elevate a nation and make life more glorious and worth living.

Iqbal never believed in failure. He believed in the superiority of mankind over all the rest that God created. In fact he was convinced that man is a collection of all that is best in God's universe. Only man does not know himself. Man has but to utilize his great potentialities and to use them in the right direction for the realization of that "self" which finds itself so near to God; and Islam is the code which has prescribed easy ways and means for that realization.

Iqbal was not only a philosopher but also a practical politician. He was one of the first to conceive of the feasibility of the division of India on national lines as the only solution of India's political problem. He was one of the most powerful though tacit precursors and heralds of the modern political evolution of Muslim India.

Iqbal, therefore, rises above the average philosopher, as the essence of his teachings is a beautiful blend of thought and action. He combines in himself the idealism of a poet and the realism of a man who took practical view of things. In Iqbal this compromise is essentially Islamic. In fact it is nothing but Islam. His ideal therefore is life according to the teachings of Islam with a motto "Dare and Live."

I wholeheartedly associate myself with the efforts of the Iqbal Day Committee in celebrating the Poet's Day on his birthday and I hope and pray that every one of us may be able to live up to the ideals Iqbal preached by his beautiful national poems and which have now embedded the doctrine of Pakistan into the heart and soul of Muslim India which is now burning very brightly, never to be extinguished.


  1. We should adopt this forgotten motto again and put it to use. Looking retrospectively, "Dare and Live" is the what Iqbal and the Quaid's lives seem to be governed by. This is exactly what we need.

  2. Ahmad Bhai, thanks. Iqbal quoted a few lines from his JAVIDNAMA at the end of the RECONSTRUCTION - hence these lines, quoted simultaneously in his two greatest works become very important. Two of those lines are:

    "That man alone is real who dares -
    Dares to see God face to face."

    In these lines, Rumi is explaining to Iqbal how one gets to attain immortality and live forever. Hence, Quaid's choice of "dare and live" as a motto which encompasses the ENTIRE message of Iqbal was very profound. It can be interpreted at many layers, from here to hereafter.