Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world (from Baal-i-Jibreel)

by Allama Muhammad Iqbal

English version by Naeem Siddiqui
Original Language Urdu

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world;
But our belief in The One is not comprehended by all.

Have a seer's eye, and light will dawn on thee;
As a river and its waves cannot remain apart.

The light of God and knowledge are not in rivalry,
But so the pulpit believes, afraid of Hallaj's rope.

Contentment is the shield for the pure and the noble
A shield in slavery, and a shield in power.

In the East the soul looks in vain for light;
In the West the light is a faded cloud of dust.

The fakirs who could shatter the power and pelf of kings
No longer tread this earth, in climes far or near.

The spirit of this age is brimful with negations,
And drained to the last drop is the power of faith.

Muted is Europe's lament on its crumbling pageant,
Muted by the delirious beats, the clangour of its music.

A sleepy ripple awaits, to swell into a wave
A wave that will swallow up monsters of the sea.

What is slavery but a loss of the sense of beauty?
What the free call beautiful, is beautiful indeed.

The present belongs to him who explores, in their depths,
The fathomless seas of time, to find the future's pearl.

The alchemist of the West has turned stone into glass
But my alchemy has transmuted glass into flint

Pharaohs of today have stalked me in vain;
But I fear not; I am blessed with Moses' wand.

The flame that can set afire a dark, sunless wood,
Will not be throttled by a straw afloat in the wind.

Love is self-awareness; love is self-knowledge;
Love cares not for the palaces and the power of kings.

I will not wonder if I reach even the moon and the stars,
For I have hitched my wagon to the star of all stars.

First among the wise, last of the Prophets,
Who gave a speck of dust the brightness of the Mount.

He is the first and last in the eyes of love;
He is the Word of God. He is the Word of God.

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Recommended Books: Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Poems From Iqbal: Renderings In English Verse With Comparative Urdu Text The Ardent Pilgrim: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Mohammed Iqbal





Selfhood can demolish