Just as the poetry of shah Latif is a source of inspiration for the Sindhis, in the same manner Dr. Muhammad Iqbal holds a special interest among that section of the people of Pakistan today who have an understanding and interest in Urdu. Both can easily be considered among the national poets of the world. Shah Latif and Dr. Iqbal are respectively the national poets of Sindhis and Muslims of Pakistan who understand Urdu.
By presenting a few facts about their thoughts and philosophy in this chapter, I would make an effort to being out the contradiction between the two. If the readers take a closer look at the poetry of Shah Latif and Dr. Iqbal, they will discover that their source of inspiration and ideas are quite the same. They had been deeply influenced by the Holy Prophet, the Holy Qur’an and the Mathanvi of Maulana Rome. For the information and knowledge of the reader, some extracts from the poetry of these leading poets are presented below as an evidence.
One can easily see after the study of the poetry of ‘Shah Latif that he regarded it essential to understand and accept the teachings of the Holy Prophet in order to protect one self from being misguided, and be truly guided by the teachings of the Holy Prophet. He says:
As for Shah Latif the source of inspiration for Dr. Iqbal was the Prophet of Arabia, the Holy Qur’an and Maulana Rome. In the following verse, Allama Iqbal expresses his view about the Holy Prophet
The Ideas of Shah Latif
1. The Unity of Religion
Since Shah Latif believed in the philosophy of Pantheism, he was convinced of the unity as being the source of diversity. He was not prepared to accept diversity as having a separate existence. However, he believed it to be a manifestation of unity. He believed in a faith, which illustrated the idea, that "He is the friend, he is the beloved, he is the enemy and he is the protector. He considered the drum and its sound as one and indivisible:
He had read the only lesson, which unites man with Allah, and he never considered anything worthy of attention, which was contrary to this belief. Those who were his opponents, they were at the same time his friends and his protectors. The most fundamental principle of his life was his love of God, whose glory he found reflected in everything he cast his eyes upon. He had transcended far the stages of scepticism and doubt. He called the creators of hatred and division between human beings in the name of religions quacks and charlatans. Referring to people of this character, he says:
In accordance with the injunctions of the Holy Qur'an, Shah Latif considered the entire human race as one nation. However, for the convenience of identification and from the point of view of making progress by being organized, he did not consider it a sin for a distinct and separate nationality of Sindhis. By accepting the idea of a distinct and separate identity of Sindhis, he never aimed at a division of humanity, but considered it a source of reaching the international and universal brotherhood.
He had traveled through almost the entire Sindh province and had observed it closely. The people were living in a state of total helplessness. As Shah Latif looked around he observed other nations marching on the road to progress, but the Sindhis were living a life of stagnation and indolence. They were like an orphan who had no guardian. No one cared about the neighbors, that they were passing their day and night in unmitigated misery. It was due to this lamentable state of affairs that, he spurred the people in their idea of a united Sindh or a Sindhi nationality with the purpose that people may share each other’s pain and suffering, and to develop in themselves an aspiration to contemplate the affliction and troubles of the country and steer it safely to a situation of security and safety. In this struggle, he was so deeply absorbed that he became completely oblivious to the apparent difference between religions. He espoused the cause of uniting the miserable humanity in Sindh, and addressed those living in comfort and happiness in the following manner:
The entire philosophy of Shah Latif is based upon the idea of a homeland and for him love of the country is an integral part of his faith. Through his personal experience and the knowledge of history, he had come to realize the truth that the building and formation of a nation on the basis of beliefs (Religions) does not correspond to the requirements of the time and mental standard of the people. Such ideas had no significance more than building castles in the air, and he knew that the people who promulgate such ideas and raise such slogans have no correspondence between what they desire and what they say. So, at one place addressing such people he says:
4. SeparatIon of Religion from Politics
In the light of history Shah Latif had seen the harm, which can been done by allowing religion and politics to go together. He was thoroughly aware of the fact that neither the majority of Muslims have a correct conception of Islam, nor the rulers have the quality of true cognizance of God nor the spirit to serve the people. Instead of running the affairs of the state and the government in conformity with Islamic system, it was being ‘i~ d to serve the personal and class interests of the rulers. The people had become extinct who were sincere in maintaining the affairs of the state under the influence of religion, and at the same time had the ability to achieve this aim. Expressing his despair to remember such people, he says:
Shah Latif never encouraged the people to take up arms except for resistance against aggression or liberating the nation from slavery. Under any guise he was firmly opposed to oppression and aggression, and always condemned those who possessed belligerent mentality... The following verse is adequately reflective of his thoughts on this subject:
Contrary to the view held by Shah Latif, Dr. Iqbal considered the philosophy of Pantheism as an obstacle in the progress of the nations. In his opinion the supremacy of man’s existence did not consist in his elimination of self and being absorbed in the supreme Being, but the culmination of human existence, consists in that man should develop in himself the capacity to elevate the self to such a level that he could absorb the Omnipotent in himself. He says that:
Shah Latif is the torchbearer of the thought of elf-abnegation and being absorbed in the supreme. Being:
In accordance with the views mentioned above, Dr. Iqbal considers all the Muslims a separate and distinct nation on the basis of religion. In his view the idea of nationality based on the country, race or color is antiquated. There is a clear evidence of this idea of Dr. Iqbal in the following verses. (From Ramooz-e-Bekhudi-the secrets of the self abnegation):
Basing the foundation of nationalism on religion, Dr. Iqbal considers the concept of patriotism equivalent to idolatry and regards as poison for religion. He also considers the concept of nationalism the root cause of mutual disputes and quarrels between the nations, and considers this concept responsible for the tendency among some nations to occupy other countries to serve their trade interests. He is firmly opposed to the idea of dividing humanity into the confines territory and countries, and counsels Muslims to never consider themselves attached to one particular country, and considers the entire world as their homeland.
The following verses of Dr. Iqbal illustrate his concept of nationalism:
Dr. Iqbal expresses his views in the following verses about those nations of the world whose foundation is the concept of nationalism.
Dr. Iqbal never supported the idea of keeping religion and politics apart. Considering Islam pre-eminently capable as religion of administration and discipline, he considered its guidance essential in every problem of life. It was through Islam, as an administrative force, he wanted to establish justice and equity in order to bring about peace and security in the world.
He does not like the political systems of today in which politics and religion are kept apart. He firmly believes, that politics after being separated from religion has lost its real spirit and the formal treaties, pacts, laws and regulations have completely lost their effectiveness:
Considering that Muslims possess all those characteristics, which qualify them eminently to lead the world, he desires the domination of Islam and the establishment of the caliphate of the entire Islamic world. He counsels the Muslims to launch a Holy war with the purpose of making the whole world the world of Islam, and keeps them reminding that they have attained the age of youth growing in the shadow, of the sword, and their national symbol is the crescent which symbolizes a curved sword. Arousing this spirit among the Muslims, he expresses himself in the following verses:
1. Advice about love.
In the opinion of both, love is the remedy of every national malady. They firmly believed in the principle that human existence without love is lifeless. Unless a nation entirely goes through an experience of love, it is not capable of making any great achievement. Shah Latif expresses his views in the following verse.
Both the poets are unanimous that no nation can achieve independence and progress without facing the dangers courageously and showing patience and perseverance in the face of suffering and persecution. Expressing his view Shah Latif says in the following verse:
Shah Latif and Allama Iqbal, both were deeply influenced by this Qura'nic Verse, which means that whoever develops the knowledge of self only he can developed the understanding of God and Shah Latif counseled the nation to develop the capability of self-knowledge:
Shah Latif desired to bring about the progress and development of the Sindhis without discrimination of religion and nationality, before the nations of the world, while, on the other hand Dr. Iqbal dreamed of the Muslims as one strong nation to lead the nations of the world through the virtues of courage and justice. As Hitler considered it the prerogative of the German nation to assume the leadership of other nations on the basis of numerical superiority, in the same manner Dr. Iqbal desired to assign to the Muslims the leadership of the entire world on the basis religious superiority.