Iqbal Society of Chicago Annual Day
By Dr Zafar M. Iqbal & Khursheed Khizer
Iqbal Society of Chicago held its Annual Day on Sunday, 21 April, from 12 Noon to 6 PM at East-West University, Chicago. That day also marked the 75th year of Allama’s passing.
Roughly 100 people, including many visitors, Iqbal Society members and Iqbal scholars from the greater Chicago metropolitan area, were present for the occasion. There were scheduled presentations by 11 local-area speakers covering different aspects of Iqbal’s work. The meeting was chaired by Dr Arshad Mirza, Vice President of the Society. The keynote speaker was Dr M. Taqui Khan, a Professor Emeritus of Osmania University, Hyderabad (India) and an Iqbal scholar. As a youngster, he (now over 90) also had a rare privilege of meeting Iqbal and listening to his lecture in Hyderabad.
Mr M. Nooruddin, a student at Loyola University, first recited verses from the Qur’an and a naath using “Lauh bhi thu, Qalum bhi thu, thera wajood ul-Kithaab …” from Iqbal’s ‘Zauqh wo Shauqh’ in Baal-e-Jibrael).
Before starting the meeting, Dr Mirza asked the audience to observe a moment of silence and reflection for the victims of Boston Marathon.
As Secretary of the Society, Dr Wasiullah Khan, Chancellor of East-West University and host of the meeting, presented some of the Society’s activities last year and made comments laced with some relevant lines of Iqbal and a glimpse of his philosophy. Dr Azra Haq emphasized in her remarks the guidance she received growing up in a family that held Iqbal in high moral regard. Mr Khaja Mahmood elaborated on the symbols (like shaheen) that Iqbal used to convey key parts of his philosophy. Mr Tanveer Azmat, a doctoral student working on Iqbal for his thesis, described in some detail Iqbal’s concept of God, along with its epistemological and ontological aspects.
Mr M. Wasiuddin expanded on one of Iqbal’s famous lines, “dayaar-e-ishq main upna muqaaam paida ker,” with its background and Iqbal’s expectations from future generations. Mr Jamal Nasir recited some well-known parts of Iqbal’s poem, “Shikwa, some in ‘tarrannum.’ This livened up the mood of the audience. Prof. Aqeel Alam Khan explained some of Iqbal’s Farsi poetry to a largely Udru-speaking audience.
Then, the keynote speaker, Dr Taqui Khan, who received his PhD from Clark University (Worcester, MA), delivered his address on “Scientific trends in Iqbal’s thoughts,” including Iqbal’s view on concepts of Time-and-Space, Motion-and-Rest and Eisntein’s complex equation, E=MC2. Dr Khursheed Khizer paid a poetic tribute to the guest speaker and, taking off on Iqbal’s poem, “Iblees ki mujlis-shoraa, 1936,” in Armeghan-e-Hijaz, recited his new poem, full of satire and sarcasm, addressed to an unspecified Muslim leader of an unspecified Muslim country. Dr Habibuddin Ahmed described the issues of time-and-space that Iqbal dealt with in his own work.
Dr Teepu Siddique, presented his official remarks as Society’s president, eloquently mixing them with some memorable Iqbal lines. Jamal Nasir then recited parts of Jawab-e-shikwa at the end of the meeting. Mr S. M. Azhar Shah presented the vote of thanks.
Light refreshment was kindly provided again by the same person who wants to remain anonymous and to whom our thanks are due.
The meeting ended at 6:30 PM, 30 minutes past schedule, reflecting the level of the audience interest.