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Dr. Muhammad Umar Riaz Abbasi

The writer holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Thought and Culture from the Department of Islamic Thought and Culture, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. Additionally, the writer is a visiting faculty member at Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Email: [email protected]

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Hilal English

Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal

January 2024

This article aims to explore the complex fabric of these leaders' legacies, with a specific focus on Jinnah's practical guidance and Allama Iqbal's philosophical vision for the youth, both of which established the groundwork for the future young leadership of Pakistan.



Comprehending the vision of Allama Iqbal and the mentorship provided to the youth by Quaid-i-Azam is a historical analysis and an investigation into the fundamental principles that still influence Pakistan's sociopolitical environment. This article aims to extract timeless wisdom from historical events, providing valuable insights that align with the ambitions of today's young generation while the country confronts present-day difficulties. This research is vital in its ability to provide information and motivation, closing the time difference to link the knowledge of the past with the necessities of the present and future.
This historical research seeks to enhance our nuanced comprehension of the interdependent connection between vision and mentorship by exploring the intellectual realms of Iqbal's poetry and the practical domain of Jinnah's leadership. This relationship is crucial in determining the path of Pakistan's emerging youthful leadership. 
Geographical factors did not solely influence the establishment of Pakistan as a sovereign state in 1947; instead, it was a culmination of visionary principles and revolutionary leadership. Central to this revolutionary journey were two steadfast individuals, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, whose profound understanding and unshakable dedication influenced the future of a young nation.
In the early 20th century, there was intense intellectual activity in the Indian subcontinent. This period was characterized by a strong desire to establish identity and achieve self-governance. Allama Iqbal flourished as a poet, philosopher, and political thinker in this context, where his poetry conveyed a profound feeling of spiritual enlightenment and personal empowerment. Iqbal's vision transcended the immediate realm of political conflicts; it aimed to cultivate a vibrant youth capable of actualizing their inherent abilities and making meaningful contributions to society's well-being.



Iqbal emphasized the imminent arrival of a ‘New Age’ that the world eagerly anticipates. Iqbal's message was unmistakable; he intended to convey that the emergence of the ‘New Dawn’ is solely dependent on the contemporary young who possess the ability to dismantle the constraints imposed by external (western/imperialist) capitalism and revive their intrinsic fervor (devotion to God).


Allama Iqbal's Vision for Youth
Allama Iqbal's poetry, commonly regarded as the "spiritual framework" of Pakistan, expressed a vision that surpassed geographical limits. Iqbal's emphasis on individual empowerment and moral fortitude is seen in his call for ‘khudi’ (selfhood) and his advice to "Raise yourself to such heights that even God asks, 'What do you want?'" 
He conceived of a cohort of youthful Muslims, known as the ‘shaheen’, (falcon) who would emerge to confront the obstacles of their era and guide the Muslim Ummah towards a more promising tomorrow. Allama Iqbal believed that the youth should possess specific attributes and qualities to become influential leaders and agents of transformation within the Muslim community.



Iqbal employed the metaphor of the shaheen, primarily about young Muslims, to represent the persistent endeavor to make a difference in the Islamic mission of serving humanity on a grand scale. He compared the relentless pursuit of this objective with the existence of the parasitic vulture, which sustains itself by feeding on dead animals without the honor of exertion. He asserted that Islam promotes a perpetual state of mobility for Muslims, like falcons, as a means to counter over-reliance on a convenient and pleasant lifestyle. Iqbal stressed the necessity of great spiritual enlightenment among the youth of the Muslim community.



He believed that a robust affiliation with their religious beliefs and a profound comprehension of Islamic tenets would provide them with the moral and ethical foundation required to navigate the intricacies of the contemporary world.



Iqbal eloquently depicted the dangers inherent in the contemporary Muslim and Western society, while simultaneously providing great optimism to the youth who were open to embracing his vision and following his guidance. Iqbal's portrayal of the forthcoming morning is forceful, as he states, "Observe your current situation in the illumination of previous events." Iqbal emphasized the imminent arrival of a ‘New Age’ that the world eagerly anticipates. Iqbal's message was unmistakable; he intended to convey that the emergence of the ‘New Dawn’ is solely dependent on the contemporary young who possess the ability to dismantle the constraints imposed by external (western/imperialist) capitalism and revive their intrinsic fervor (devotion to God).
The youth were anticipated to be strongly inclined towards academic curiosity and keen cognitive abilities. Iqbal perceived them as individuals who actively pursue knowledge, can analyze and evaluate information, and are adept at finding solutions to problems. He believed fostering intellectual growth was essential to tackling contemporary difficulties.



Iqbal emphasised the significance of bravery and tenacity. 



The youth were expected to exhibit courage in difficult times and advocate for justice and moral correctness. They were expected to possess the fortitude to surmount challenges and setbacks.



Iqbal promoted the ideals of solidarity and fraternity among the youth of the Muslim community. He advocated for the collaboration of young individuals to transcend divisions and disparities, cultivating a collective consciousness and oneness.



Iqbal advocated cultivating creativity and innovation among young people, with a specific emphasis on science, technology, and the arts.



He believed that Muslims should make valuable contributions to advancing human civilization through their talents and thoughts.



Iqbal's vision for the youth remains pertinent in modern society. Young Muslims encounter novel and intricate obstacles, and Iqbal's principles offer a robust basis for tackling them. Iqbal's vision entailed the aspiration of young Muslims to embody the epitome of Islam and humanity, which he referred to as God's vicegerent (Khalifatullah). This ideal individual would strive to internalize and exhibit as many of God's traits as feasible. Iqbal juxtaposes and differentiates this concept with Nietzsche's atheistic ‘superman’ and the radical individualism advocated by pseudo-secularism, democracy, and commercialized capitalism. Iqbal's Mu'min (believer) is a staunch adherent of God who bestows upon him seemingly extraordinary abilities. The inherent gift of self-assurance and vitality propels the Mu'min to reach their utmost human capacity. Once believers achieve enlightenment, as God's representative on earth, they fulfill their divine purpose of establishing justice via God's limitless mercy and abundant love and grace.


In his poetry, such as "Elevate yourself to great heights" and "The youth has been enlightened with the secret of life," Iqbal imagined a youth endowed with self-awareness, independence, and a deep feeling of duty towards the society. Jinnah, in response, transformed these forward-thinking principles into practical guidance, placing great importance on education, moral values, and active participation in society.


Amidst globalization, which can lead to the weakening of cultural and religious identities, Muslim youth must maintain a strong bond with their faith. The next generation can find motivation in Iqbal's plea for profound spiritual enlightenment.



Also, Iqbal emphasized that,



Iqbal had an unwavering belief in his young age's strength, intelligence, and energy. Simultaneously, he harbors profound fear and apprehension for the younger generation of his day. Iqbal desires their active and proactive involvement in guiding the Muslims of united India away from the perils of moral and societal decline. He desires them to reject the submissive inclinations of their minds and develop into influential intellectuals to achieve their ultimate fate.
Moreover, Iqbal motivates the younger generation to develop as innovative and imaginative individuals. He has faith in the potential of the human intellect, particularly in the vitality of his younger years.



Iqbal defines the role of a young Muslim as that of Isma‘il (AS) and Hussain (RA). Isma'il (AS) instructs us on the importance of prioritizing Allah's command over our desires and objectives, even if it means sacrificing ourselves during the peak of our youth. Hussain (RA), however, testified that when faced with the decision between submitting to the oppressive figures of our era, like Yazid, at the expense of compromising the principles of Islam and resisting oppression, Muslim youth must opt for martyrdom (shahadat).



Quaid-i-Azam's Mentorship for Future Leadership
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the shrewd leader who skillfully managed the complexities of political talks to achieve Pakistan's independence, not only adopted Iqbal's philosophical beliefs but also transformed them into practical guidelines. Jinnah's guidance and support of the younger generation were practical and based on the urgent need to construct a nation. His remarks, such as the renowned "You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques," demonstrated a dedication to diversity and emphasized the vital importance of an educated and accountable youth in the nation's progress.
Jinnah consistently advocated for the importance of the young and their contribution to a nation's progress. His exceptional speaking and writing skills allowed him to flourish in the subcontinent, and he was greatly admired for his unique approach to advocating for his cause. As a young barrister, he knew the youth carried a significant burden. Quaid held the youth in high regard and expressed unwavering confidence in them, as seen in his speeches.
During a public gathering in Dhaka following the country's independence, he imparted self-integrity counsel to the younger generation. Being fair to oneself also entails being fair to the state. He emphasized the importance of education. Being knowledgeable, he possessed a deep understanding of the significance of education. Based on this instruction, he placed the onus on the younger generation to actively pursue equity in all areas and universally implement the principle of fairness.
Moreover, he perceived the future leaders of Pakistan in the country's young population. He instructed the young individuals to equip themselves extensively with discipline, education, and training, as a challenging undertaking lies ahead. He emphasized that young people must comprehend the enormity of their task and be prepared to fulfill it. He anticipated that Pakistan would see significant upheavals, so he preemptively informed the youth about the nature of their challenges and provided guidance on how to address them.
Quaid-i-Azam acknowledged the youth's crucial significance in constructing the nation as he navigated the challenging journey toward independence. During his address to students on October 30, 1947, Jinnah expressed the fundamental nature of education and its obligations to young individuals: "It is incumbent upon you to fulfill your obligations and carry out your role with integrity, earnestness, and commitment." Youth must embody the essence of the nation, represent its future, and epitomize its strength. This speech highlights Jinnah's focus on the moral aspects of leadership and the crucial contribution of the youth in maintaining the recently established nation. 
Jinnah envisioned a well-educated and conscientious youth who would assume leadership responsibilities with integrity. Additionally, he was well aware that there would be traitors and self-serving individuals actively seeking to undermine the peace of Pakistan. He sounded the alarm to warn the young people that they must be vigilant to identify such wrongdoers. Jinnah possessed a strategic mindset, and his astute political acumen remained unknown to others. Lord Mountbatten keenly understood his pragmatic approach.
Moreover, he was an unwavering advocate of equality. Therefore, he emphasized the importance of upholding social equality and embracing tolerance. Equality and tolerance foster societal peace. It is not just a necessity for Pakistan but also a fundamental principle in Islam. One of the duties of young people is to uphold the principles of equality and promote the practice of tolerance in society.
Similarly, Quaid-i-Azam consistently emphasized that the youth should not avoid any task. Even if they must engage in manual labor, they should not hesitate. Ultimately, each carefully positioned and securely bonded brick serves as a crucial building block for the progress and advancement of the nation.


During his address at Dhaka University in 1948, Jinnah emphasized that attaining freedom should not be misconstrued as a state of unrestrained liberty. Engaging in unrestricted behavior without regard for the interests of others or the state is not permissible. Youth bear a significant burden, and we must collaborate as a cohesive and disciplined nation, particularly now. What is necessary from everyone is a mindset focused on building and improving rather than one that is aggressive or combative.


During his speech at Dhaka University on March 24, 1948, Jinnah emphasized the need for education to mould young individuals' moral fiber. He stated, "The qualities of character, courage, and industriousness are the distinguishing features of a remarkable nation." If we lack these attributes, we will continue to be a feeble nation, unworthy of respect among other nations. This passage demonstrates Jinnah's dedication to fostering a cohort of leaders who possess the indispensable attributes necessary for the advancement and stability of the country.
During his speech in Lahore on October 31, 1947, Jinnah expressed his admiration for the Punjabi Muslim Students Federation. He stated that Pakistan takes pride in its youth, especially the students who consistently show bravery and dedication during challenging times. As our nation's future leaders, youth must thoroughly prepare themselves through discipline, education, and training to face the challenging responsibilities that await them. Also, youngsters must comprehend the enormity of their responsibilities and be prepared to accept them.
He was acutely aware that there would be individuals who would betray and act selfishly, seeking to undermine the peace of Pakistan. He sounded the alarm to warn the young people that they must be watchful and observant to identify such wrongdoers. Jinnah was strategic, and his astute political acumen remained unknown to others. Lord Mountbatten keenly understood his pragmatic approach.
In his address to the All Pakistan Educational Conference in Karachi on November 27, 1948, Jinnah emphasized the need for Pakistan's education policy to be tailored to the needs and characteristics of its people, in harmony with its historical and cultural context, and taking into account the contemporary global advancements and progress. He expressed the need to rally our citizens and cultivate the moral qualities of our upcoming generation. This entails possessing the utmost respect, integrity, and selflessness in serving the nation and a strong sense of duty. Our citizens must be adequately skilled and prepared to contribute to the different sectors of the economy in a manner that reflects positively on Pakistan.
Jinnah referred to Pakistan as a moral and intellectual triumph. On August 31, 1947, he urged the people of Pakistan to develop, rebuild, and revitalize our esteemed country. He expressed that the responsibility is with the young generation of Pakistan. Quaid acknowledged that Pakistan possesses abundant resources and potential. Providence has given us abundant natural resources, and humanity is responsible for optimizing its utilization.
During his address at Dhaka University in 1948, Jinnah emphasized that attaining freedom should not be misconstrued as a state of unrestrained liberty. Engaging in unrestricted behavior without regard for the interests of others or the state is not permissible. Youth bear a significant burden, and we must collaborate as a cohesive and disciplined nation, particularly now. What is necessary from everyone is a mindset focused on building and improving rather than one that is aggressive or combative.
Constructing is significantly more challenging than possessing a combative spirit. Our adversaries, unable to prevent the creation of Pakistan, shifted their focus towards devising strategies to undermine and dismantle us. However, they have been unsuccessful in their endeavors. Pakistan not only endured the impact of the disruption but also emerged more resilient and prepared than before.
From a leader's perspective, all dependants or followers must be treated equally. In response to the civic address given by the Quetta Municipality, Jinnah stated that all citizens of Pakistan should identify themselves solely as Pakistanis rather than by their regional or ethnic backgrounds. He emphasized the importance of feeling, behaving, and acting as proud Pakistanis.
Pakistan, situated at a strategically important location and boasting a substantial population of 241.49 million, a significant portion of which consists of young individuals eager to be guided toward peace, growth, and prosperity, has been engaged in a struggle for its existence for a considerable period. It is imperative to cultivate exemplary leadership in Pakistan, modeled after Jinnah, at every level of the nation. Countries that fail to remember or disregard the teachings and principles of their founding fathers typically face catastrophic consequences and ultimately become unsuccessful nations. Our young generation must engage, read, and comprehend the concepts, beliefs, values, and vision of our founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. They must strive to establish and maintain a Pakistan that aligns with Jinnah's vision for all future generations.
Parameters for Contemporary Youth: A Fusion of Iqbal's Vision and Jinnah's Mentoring
In the modern world, the profound ideas of Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal and the practical guidance of Quaid-i-Azam are valuable sources of inspiration for Pakistan's youth. Based on the deep and insightful verses of Iqbal's poetry and the wise remarks of Quaid-i-Azam, the following recommendations are designed to empower and guide young people in becoming responsible leaders and contributors to the success of the nation:
▪  Iqbal's emphasis on ‘Khudi’ urges young people to acknowledge their innate abilities and work towards self-actualization. Developing a robust sense of self-identity is essential in a world with several obstacles. It is vital for young people today to fully embrace their talents and abilities, cultivating a mindset that views adversities as chances for personal development.
▪ Quaid-i-Azam emphasized the importance of education in moulding the character of young individuals. Education continues to be the fundamental basis for individual and societal progress. Young individuals should actively seek information with a clear objective, recognizing that their cognitive development not only leads to personal achievement but also advances the overall advancement of the nation. Character, courage, and industry are the defining qualities of a great nation.
▪  Both Iqbal and Jinnah emphasized the need for moral integrity. Amidst ethical concerns frequently overlooked, the young generation of Pakistan must give precedence to virtues such as honesty, integrity, and compassion. Adhering to these values will facilitate personal development and cultivate a climate of confidence and collaboration in society.
▪  Jinnah's vision for the youth encompassed more than just personal achievement; it also involved their active engagement in the country's public affairs. Motivating the younger generation to actively engage in activities that foster social well-being, inclusiveness, and tolerance within their communities is essential.
▪  Quaid-i-Azam's remarks emphasized the importance of religious tolerance and diversity. In an era characterized by growing global interconnectivity, young individuals must embrace and commemorate difference, perceiving it as a reservoir of resilience rather than a cause for conflict. Promoting intercommunity connections and cultivating a collective spirit will enhance societal harmony and advancement.
▪  Iqbal's advocacy for active involvement with the world resonates in the contemporary day through entrepreneurship and creativity. It is imperative to foster the youth's inclination towards innovative thinking, risk-taking, and active participation in the economy's advancement. Engaging in entrepreneurial pursuits can serve as influential agents for beneficial transformation, propelling a country's achievement and overall economic well-being.
By combining the enduring wisdom found in Iqbal's poetry and Jinnah's speeches, the young people of Pakistan today may create a path that respects the legacy of the nation's founding leaders and leads to a future marked by strength, success, and ethical strength.
In retrospect, this study has revealed the complex and detailed connections between Allama Dr Muhammad Iqbal's forward-thinking ideas and the practical guidance Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah offers. As we explore the intellectual aspects of Iqbal's poetry and examine the practical aspects of Jinnah's leadership, it becomes clear that their combined knowledge still has a lasting impact on the values and principles of Pakistan's young leaders. The interdependent connection between Iqbal's philosophical vision and Jinnah's practical mentorship is a significant theme that forms the basis of their friendship. In his poetry, such as "Elevate yourself to great heights" and "The youth has been enlightened with the secret of life," Iqbal imagined a youth endowed with self-awareness, independence, and a deep feeling of duty towards the society. Jinnah, in response, transformed these forward-thinking principles into practical guidance, placing great importance on education, moral values, and active participation in society. 
Iqbal's plea for ‘Khudi’ reverberates as an eternal command, compelling young people to accept their uniqueness and acknowledge their innate capabilities. The significance of this principle in the modern society cannot be exaggerated. Amidst a world characterized by globalization and a tendency towards uniformity, Iqbal's vision emerges as a guiding light, directing young people towards self-empowerment and a clear sense of purpose. The speeches of Quaid-i-Azam emphasize the crucial significance of education in molding the character of young individuals. The suggestion to actively seek education in a meaningful manner perfectly corresponds with Iqbal's vision of an intellectually dynamic and socially aware youth. Education provides knowledge and catalyzes change, giving young people the necessary skills to traverse the intricacies of the world. The significance of moral and ethical principles, which both Iqbal and Jinnah emphasize, is highly pertinent to today's youth. As societal systems progress, there is an increasing demand to maintain honesty, integrity, and compassion as a fundamental principle. Jinnah's perception of the youth as the nation's backbone is closely linked to a notion of civic duty, promoting enthusiastic involvement in the development of the community and the welfare of society. It is crucial to suggest the celebration of diversity and the support of creativity to the modern young. In a society characterized by pluralism, recognizing and embracing multiple viewpoints promotes harmony while fostering innovation, which drives advancement. These recommendations are influenced by both Iqbal's advocacy for active involvement and Jinnah's concept of a unified and all-encompassing country.


The writer is a Ph.D. in Islamic Thought and Culture from the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is the author of five books and has published 41 research papers. Additionally, he is a columnist for Daily Pakistan Observer and received the Best Paper Presenter Award at the Globetz International Conference in Turkiye in November 2021. He is currently serving as Visiting Faculty at Air University's Faculty of Social Sciences in Islamabad. 
E-mail: [email protected]


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Dr. Muhammad Umar Riaz Abbasi

The writer holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Thought and Culture from the Department of Islamic Thought and Culture, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. Additionally, the writer is a visiting faculty member at Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Email: [email protected]

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