Learning about Allama Iqbal’s message can help Pakistanis defeate the challenges they face, speakers at the two-day Allama Iqbal International Conference agreed on Thursday.
The two-day conference titled ‘Create your own world to prove you are alive’ is being held at the Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF) Urdu Department. Scholars from Pakistan, India, Turkey, England, Iran and Egypt are participating.
The first session of the conference was chaired by GCUF Vice Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussain while Justice (retd) Dr Javed Iqbal was chief guest.
Dr Iqbal said Pakistan could become an ideal Islamic state by practicing the clauses of the ‘Medina Pact,’ a social contract between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the various peoples that inhabited Medina. “It is the first constitution of a federal and democratic nature in the world…and laid the grounds for ‘spiritual democracy,’” he said.
He said the youth must learn Persian to be able to understand the message of Iqbal, their national poet.
“We are all Muslims and Islam gives the lesson of brotherhood. We should iron out all differences arising due to caste or creed,” he said.
He said one must develop an understanding of Islam and follow its rules. He also stressed on the need for students to acquire modern knowledge.
Professor Dr Zakir Hussain said Iqbal gave Muslims a revolutionary philosophy based on Islamic principles.
“The country can progress by practising Iqbal’s message,” he said. He said Iqbal had inspired the youth to takes concrete steps towards freedom and the creation of the independent state of Pakistan.
Columnist Ataul Haq Qasmi said Iqbal’s poetry had given the Muslim nation the fervor to attain freedom from the British Raj and implement Islamic thought in the new state.
He said an understanding of Iqbal could bear fruit for the development of each field of knowledge.
Urdu Department Chairman Prof Dr Tahir Taunsvi said Iqbal was needed to combat the problems of the current day.
Dr Javed Iqbal and GCUF VC Hussain also inaugurated a Khana Farhang-i-Iran, a Persian library sponsored by Iran.
The library will host hundreds of Persian books and digital reading material. The GCUF VC also approved the naming of the H-block Seminar Hall as Allama Iqbal Hall.
Dr Sulamani from Iran, Dr Moeenuddin Jina, Dr AB Ashraf, Dr Shahzad Qaisar and Dr Ibrahim Muhammad Ibrahim also spoke.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2012.