Perchance the universe is as yet incomplete
For each moment is with echoes of ’be’ replete
Raise your Self so high
That for each fate’s decree
God himself will ask
’Say, what do you wish it to be?’
ye kainat abhi na tamaam hai shayad
(this universe yet incomplete is maybe)
ke aarahi hai damadam sada e kin fayakun
(that coming are every-breath echoes of be-it is)
khudi ko kar buland itna
(self it make elevated such)
ki har taqdeer se pehle
(that each fate before it)
khuda bandey se khud pooche
(god subject himself asks)
bataa teri raza kya hai
(say your wish what is)
Kun (be) and Fayakun (it is) describes the act of creation by God in Islam. It is mentioned in the Quran that for creation to happen, God wishes ’be’ and then ’it is’.
To say that Sir Muhammad Iqbal is venerated in the subcontinent is an understatement; his status in Urdu and Persian poetry is peerless, and in the Muslim community, he is considered a visionary and an ideological fount. His influence on the politics of the region also cannot be underestimated – he was quite instrumental in the founding of Pakistan, of where he is the national poet.
His style of poetry is epic with lashings of tenderness; quite intimidating to translate. A supremely accomplished and learned man, he drew influences from Rumi to Goethe to the philosophers of the enlightenment and created his unique, confident vision of the future of his society.