Project Reports

Report of National Conference on Mevlana Rumi & Allama Iqbal

MUSLIM Institute and Pyaam Society, University of Lahore organized a conference “Mevlana Rumi & Allama Iqbal” on Tuesday November 27, 2018 at University of Lahore, Lahore. Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali (Chairman MUSLIM Institute), Prof. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Akram (Prof. Emirates Iqbal Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore), Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Mazhar (Dean, Faculty of Oriental Learning, University of the Punjab, Lahore) and Dr. Ghulam Shams-ur-Rehman (Chairman, Dept. of Arabic and Islamic Studies GC University, Faisalabad) were guest speakers on the occasion. Ms. Maria Rafi (Patron of Pyaam society & Lecturer LBS Dept. University of Lahore) gave the welcoming remarks. Mr. Adnan H. Satti (Research Associate, MUSLIM Institute) moderated the proceedings of the conference. Musical performance was also presented by university students at the end of the conference. Researchers, scholars, students, university professors, lawyers, journalists, social activists and people from different walks of life participated in the conference.

From Left: Prof. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Akram, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, Dr. Ghulam Shams-ur-Rehman, Ms Maria Rafi, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Mr. Adnan H. Satti.

Brief summary of remarks shared by speakers is as under:

Today’s conference is aimed at creating awareness regarding the philosophy of Allama Iqbal and Mevlana Rumi among our youth so that our youth is better acquainted with their personality, the role models for the whole Muslim world. It is a matter of great honor for the people of Pakistan as well as for this region to have such personalities. Allama Iqbal once said, “I would not be Iqbal if I had not found a teacher like Rumi”. Rumi is known for his universality and the art of narrating things in a universal manner.

Billions of human beings live on this planet. In centuries old civilizations, people are born as well as die on daily basis and the journey of humanity is going on. When a person leaves this temporary world, his dear ones remember him for some time. If he had done anything remarkable, he will be remembered for hundred years. Gradually, the need of his work diminishes with the passage of time and becomes outdated. Students of economics can better understand this concept that after every twenty to twenty-five years, a new theory emerges and replaces the old one which can only be used as an academic reference later on. Despite this change and even after the passage of eight hundred and fifty years, books of Mevlana Rumi are the bestselling books in Germany, America, Britain and Turkey. It means that a man can be the abode of such great values which remain equally applicable today in our society even after the passage of hundreds of years.

In east, we have limited the study of Rumi literature to Persian departments of our various universities. On the contrary, Rumi is widely read among social circles in the west. Western society is inclined towards materialistic tendencies nowadays. They abstain from things affecting their materialism. Despite the fact, Rumi, being a Muslim and a Sufi saint, who talks about spiritual world, does not affect their materialism rather they found more material successes after reading Rumi. In my opinion, the greatness of Rumi affects every kind of people, whether a Muslim or non-Muslim, believer of spirituality or materialism. Rumi is equally popular among comity of nations.

The objective behind the message of Allama Iqbal and Mevlana Rumi is the creation of an ideal society through the transformation of its youth. Holy Quran addresses human being most of the times and advises them to live with sympathy and in harmony. Allah designated human being as His best creation. The system being created by Allah for the welfare of the human beings is through human beings. Even prophets were human beings and so is the concept of Murshad and Mureed (spiritual mentor and his follower).

In one of his Masnavi, Mevlana Jalal ud din Rumi narrates that a Sheikh was roaming in the streets of the city carrying a torch in his hand and was saying that he was in search of a human being as he was tired of Satan and animals. People replied, he would not find as they had already searched for it everywhere. He replied that exactly he has been in search of a true man who was difficult to find.

Mevlana Rumi’s poetry spread across the regions with the efforts of his followers. One of his biggest followers was Mevlana Jami. In twentieth century, one of his lovers emerges from the land of subcontinent whose name was Iqbal. Allama Muhammad Iqbal never regarded Mevlana Rumi less than a mentor. Iqbal himself acknowledges that he learned a lot from Rumi. Mevlana Rumi narrates in his kalam, ‘listen to the flute when she narrates her story. She was detached from a bamboo tree in a jungle. Although she has travelled to city and amuses people through her melodious tunes. In fact, she cries about her loneliness and detachment from her origin (bamboo). One cannot understand the pain of flute unless he is enlightened about his origin’. Mevlana Jami writes in recognition of Masnavi that it is not an ordinary book. In fact, it is the translation of Holy Quran in Persian language. In twentieth century, the man with broken heart and the man who can understand the narrative of flute as understood by Rumi, was Allama Iqbal. However, hardly there is any poet or philosopher who understood Mevlana Rumi more than Iqbal.

Participants view during the conference.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a great personality who instilled the Quranic spirit into the Muslims. Nature bestowed upon him the mentor like Rumi. In poetry, Rumi possesses a magnificent treasure of 40000 verses. Iqbal also repeated this title in his revolutionary Masnavi “Israr-e-Khudi”.

Vast knowledge, imagination and eloquence of Rumi have been mesmerizing the intellectuals since ages. There is no such example in the history of Persian literature. Rumi’s era was followed by successive Muslim downfall. During the seventh century, Mongol invasion devastated everything. Era of Iqbal was also similar. The English invaded subcontinent, overthrew the Muslims and massacred them. Both Iqbal and Rumi infused hope into the heartbroken Muslim nation through their poetry.

Nowadays, nations extensively work on building their soft image across the globe through their heroes. Turkey glorifies Rumi, China talks about Confucius, India promotes her film industry and yoga practices and Iran promotes Iranian music and calligraphy in order to strengthen their soft image in the comity of nations. What is soft image of Pakistan? What are the things we can present before the world? Primarily it is our valorous youth and secondly tourism and the introduction of our northern areas in the world. Nusrat Fateh Ali khan is also considered the soft image of Pakistan. Similarly, Iqbal and Sufi music are recognised in the same context. We need to work further in this respect. Particularly, we should encourage extra-curricular activities organized by our universities and other societies. Along with the study of modern subjects, our universities should promote research in the works of Iqbal and Rumi.

Stage view during the conference.


Interactive Session


Participants asking questions during the interactive session of conference.

An exchange of views between speakers and participants during the interactive session is as under:

What are the methods adopting by which one can explore his hidden world without disturbing his family life? One needs sincerity if he wants to explore himself. An utmost curiosity is needed for this purpose. Without curiosity, one may astray. For the very purposes, there are some fundamental practices like meditation. By adopting this basic method, one can start his spiritual journey while maintaining his worldly relationships. It is the beauty of this method that one can maintain balance in his relationships as far as close relations of social and religious importance are concerned, particularly those described dear by the Holy Quran like parents, husband and wife, children, brothers and sisters. It will be highly practical to maintain balance among these relations. One of the wonders of Rumi’s philosophy is that he guides an individual without affecting his materialistic practicality. One can carry on his spiritual journey without disturbing his routine life. For this purpose, he needs a mentor who can guide and train him. Rumi calls it the company of a spiritual mentor who is well aware of the ups and downs of that journey and guides his follower in the right direction.

Somebody asked Iqbal that why he was called the sage of Ummah. Iqbal replied that Allah has bestowed him with the secrets of Ummah. He again asked Iqbal that why only he was chosen for this purpose. Iqbal replied that he offered a gift of ten million Darood in the court of Prophet (PBUH). It was only due to the blessings of this practice that he was revealed with unrevealed things. An individual has the ability to create a balance between his spiritual and material life if he wisely calculates his time. Hadhrat Allama Muhammad Iqbal was a lawyer, poet as well as a political analyst at the same time. He used to interact with a variety of people along with a healthy group of friends. Iqbal was managing all these things very beautifully.


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