Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Khudii" ...The Iqbalian Concept of "Self"

The Concept of Khudii or the 'higher Self' is synonymous with Allama Mohammed Iqbal, who was perhaps the
greatest philosopher-poet of the modern era, his stature and visionary outlook being percieved to be head and shoulders above the times that he and his contemporaries lived in. In fact, the greatest tribute to his stature among poets is that even to this day, poets , acaedemicians, researchers and scholars of urdu, farsi & Arabic poetry and philosophy the world over simply cannot but approach his works except with the deepest sense of awe and admiration at the depth of his thoughts.

Iqbal & the concept of Khudi are described by Dr Rafik Zakaria, a
leading indian author of our times, thus :-

While Faiz, Sahir and others enjoyed considerable popularity in India,
Iqbal has not been granted the same stature and popularity, despite the adoption
of his "Sare Jahan Se Achcha, Hindustan Hamara..." as the National Song of
India. The reasons are not far to seek, Iqbal has often been seen as one of the
initiators of the demand for Pakistan and one of its leading advocates.

The role of the politician in Iqbal has unfortunately overshadowed both his
contribution in the field of Urdu poetry as well as his inspiration to the
younger generation of the poets in the sub-continent, specially the Muslim
youth-- who made a swift turn towards the Left in the 1930's and gave a fresh
reign of life to Urdu.

The most important of Iqbal's contribution is the enunciation of the
concept of khudi (the self) and action. He abohorred inaction and laziness, and
gave the resounding call to his brethern:

Khudi ko kar buland itna, ke har taqdeer sey pehley,
Khuda bande sey poochey, bata teri raza kya hai.

(Raise thyself to such heights, That God Himself may Ask-
What do you wish me to write your fate ?)
Dr. Allama Iqbal takes this concept a step further again, in his famous lines :-

Nahiin Tera NashemaN , Qasr-e-Shahenshahii Ki Gumbadd Parr,
Tu Shaheen Hai, Basera kar, Pahadon Kii Chattanon Par.

It's not among the Domes of the Empire's Palaces that your abode lies,
For you are the Falcon, So make then your abode,
Among the high peaks of the lofty mountains.

Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal

( Still is one of my all-time favourite 'shers' , just as it has been a source of inspiration to thousands across the subcontinent.

The late Sunil Dutt, who began his highly publicised career as a popular actor , and later became a social activist ,before finally becoming a highly respected politician in India , had his own interpretation of these famous lines , which go thus...

"tu Shaheen Hai, Parvaz hai Kaam Tera"


"You are the falcon, and to keep Soaring high among the lofty peaks , is your very nature ."



At 6:59 PM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Sharjeel said...


Have not written since a long time, and did not even visit your blog since long.

However, today I just kind of sneaked into your blog and read this article. Great man!!!

Allama Iqbal has always been very close to my heart. And your thoughts are really very close to mine as well. Some days back, I was reading a book by Rajmohan Gandhi (Understanding the Muslim Mind). You must be knowing Rajmohan is the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi (I never call him "Mahatma," because to me, no man on this earth is greater than our beloved Prophet Muhammed - SAWS).

Well, I stopped reading that book in between, and that book has a description on Allama Iqbal as well. I plan to read it soon and write a review on it. - Will really be elated if you agree to be my coauthor for that :)

And yes, I have a whole list of things which we can coauthor. This is one reason I am desperately waiting for your next visit :) Hehehehehe

So, come down and we will talk and make some plans :)

At 7:54 PM, December 12, 2006, Blogger riz said...


Thanks for your perspectives on the same.

Sure would love to do literary work with you on so many things that we might be able to do better together.After all, i sure would be able to learn a lot from yourself, more actively involved as you have been with writings. :)-

Okkie dokkie..c ya soon buddy.

Look forward o meeting u again :)-


At 2:32 AM, December 19, 2006, Blogger Tom Bailey said...

This is a very different way of looking at things. I like it.


At 10:47 PM, May 27, 2007, Blogger Afroz said...

Well written, but way too brief, i know asking anythign substantial would be waaaay too much, but the Iqbalian concept of khudi is one of the best thigns that has happened to mankind and that for itself merits greater study.....Well written as i said before, if you come up with somethign more plz kee me updated
thanks Afroz Mohiuddin

At 2:20 PM, July 20, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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