Javed Nama Translated
By Attyia Mirza


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Translating poetry is frequently considered a difficult endeavor as even the most creative, sensitive and literate translator finds it hard to interplay its rhyme, meter and meaning from one language to another without losing something crucial along the way, as words don’t have equivalents in different languages. One aspect of translating poetry is to preserve its poetic form. Many poems, particularly classical works, adhere to strict rules of rhyme and meter.

Poetry is considered a music of words, and is a way of seeing and interpreting one’s experience of the world to the listeners. It conveys the poet’s feelings in metaphors and words in a natural flow of speech in some kind of formal pattern. Such patterns can never be the same after the act of translation. All said, it still is worthwhile and imperative to share the beauty and depth of poetry beyond the bounds of any given language — thus, poetry begs to be translated.

The work under discussion is the versified translation of Iqbal’s Javed Nama. Javed Nama was in Persian and most of the fans of Iqbal’s poetry were not aware of the message he wanted to convey to his audience. I bumped into this translation of Javed Nama and after its review, wish to share it with all poetry enthusiasts. I wish and hope all would love to share Iqbal’s extraterrestrial experience of heavenly spheres. What one achieves in his extra-ordinary journey is not the emotional excitement and romantic feelings of intellectual complexities of metaphysical poets but also gain surreal insights in spiritual domains of other planets. Dr Mukhtar Chaudhry has deftly not only converted but preserved the pattern of long and short syllables of Persian text into English couplets. It looks surreal and naturally original.

It will transit the literacy study of Javed Nama into the twenty-first century and will herald Iqbal’s scholarship into the new millennium. The pansophic multimedia nature of much of Iqbal’s spiritual experience in the company of his mentor Rumi reveals a striving towards the realms of spirit away from logical reason and sequenced toward the associative spheres.

Every subject has been dealt in a beautiful verse, and expressed his message in a stanza designed purely in plain and natural words for a particular situation. Thus a. florid, elevated and figurative net of passions is woven in the soul by showing the objects in their true perspectives. One learns how Iblis tries to cheat a man into wrongful passions and Iqbal’s verse reasoned him into truth. In this bold endeavor, Dr Chaudhry has done a superb job to convey the real message of Iqbal for the benefit and enjoyment of English speaking poetic enthusiasts.


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