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The Secrets of the Self, by Muhammad Iqbal, tr. by Reynold A. Nicholson, [1920], at

p. 116


Showing that the purpose of the Moslem's life is to exalt the Word of Allah, and that the Jihád (war against unbelievers), if it be prompted by land-hunger, is unlawful in the religion of Islam.

Imbue thine heart with the tincture of Allah,
1320 Give honour and glory to Love!
The Moslem's nature prevails by means of love:
The Moslem, if he be not loving, is an infidel.
Upon God depends his seeing and not- seeing,
His eating, drinking, and sleeping.

p. 117

In his will that which God wills becomes lost—1325
How shall a man believe this saying?" 1
He encamps in the field of "There is no god but Allah";
In the world he is a witness against mankind.
His high estate is attested by the Prophet that was sent to men and Jinn—
By the most truthful of witnesses. 1330
Leave words and seek that spiritual state,
Shed the light of God o’er the darkness of works!
Albeit clad in kingly robe, live as a dervish,
Live wakeful and meditating on God!
Whatever thou doest, let it be thine aim therein to draw nigh to God, 1335
That His glory may be made manifest by thee.

p. 118

Peace becomes an evil, if its object be aught else;
War is good if its object is God.
If God be not exalted by our swords,
1340 War dishonours the people.
The holy Sheikh Miyán Mír Walí, 1
By the light of whose soul every hidden thing was revealed
His feet were firmly planted on the path of Mohammed,
He was a flute for the impassioned music of love.
1345 His tomb keeps our city safe from harm
And causes the beams of true religion to shine on us.
Heaven stooped its brow to his threshold,
The Emperor of India was one of his disciples. 2
Now, this monarch had sown the seed of ambition in his heart
1350 And was resolved on conquest.

p. 119

The flames of vain desire were alight in him,
He was teaching his sword to ask, "Is there any more?" 1
In the Deccan was a great noise of war,
His army stood on the battlefield.
He went to the Sheikh of heaven-high dignity 1355
That he might receive his blessing:
The Moslem turns from this world to God
And strengthens policy with prayer.
The Sheikh made no answer to the Emperor's speech,
The assembly of dervishes was all ears, 1360
Until a disciple, in his hand a silver coin,
Opened his lips and broke the silence,
Saying, "Accept this poor offering from me,
O guide of them that have lost the way to God!

p. 120

1365 My limbs were bathed in sweat of labour
Before I put away a dirhem in my skirt."
The Sheikh said: "This money ought to be given to our Sultan,
Who is a beggar wearing the raiment of a king.
Though he holds sway over sun, moon, and stars,
1370 Our Emperor is the most penniless of mankind.
His eye is fixed on the table of strangers,
The fire of his hunger hath consumed a whole world.
His sword is followed by famine and plague,
His culture lays a wide land waste.
1375 The folk are crying out because of his indigence,
His empty-headedness, and his oppression of the weak.
His power is an enemy to all:

p. 121

Humankind are the caravan and he the brigand.
In his self-delusion and ignorance
He calls pillage by the name of empire. 1380
Both the royal troops and those of the enemy
Are cloven in twain by the sword of his hunger.
The beggar's hunger consumes his own soul,
But the sultan's hunger destroys state and religion.
Whoso shall draw the sword for anything except Allah, 1385
His sword is sheathed in his own breast."


117:1 See Introduction, xix, note 1.

118:1 A celebrated Moslem saint, who died at Lahore in a.d. 1635.

118:2 Aurangzíb.

119:1 Koran, ch. 50, v. 29.

Next: XVI. Precepts of Bábá Sahrá’í