• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


IMAGE OF "EAGLE" IN IQBAL'S POETRY Iqbal is the best articulated Muslim response to modernity that the Islamic world has produced in the twentieth century. His response has the following dimensions: * A creative engagement with the conceptual paradigm of modernism at a sophisticated philosophical level through his prose writings, mainly his "Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam" which present his basic philosophic insights. * His Urdu and Persian poetry which is the best embodiment of poetically mediated thought, squarely in the traditional continuity of Islamic literature and perhaps the finest contemplative or inspired poetry in the modern times. "Eagle" is a potent and powerful symbol applied in an aptly unique style and prolific fashion by Iqbal in his poetry. He is keen to select the eagle because of its courage, great strength, self-reliance and superb aerial skills. The eagle does not attempt to live of the efforts of others. It flies high and seems to have no concern to build its nest in wild and mountainous country. It is guardian of liberty, courageous protector of its young ones and fearlessly combats any threat to their safety. It lives an austere life and subsists on live prey. Eagles try to surprise and overwhelm their prey on the ground due to their immense sharp-sightedness. Iqbal's Shaheen stands for the self-respect, struggle and endurance, prestige and perseverance, self-control and self-reliance. ...read more.


In Iqbal's view, in fact, the Muslims have acquired the ways of the vulture, the kargas, with which Iqbal often contrasts the shahin, signifies, in Iqbal's poetry, not so much greed or rapacity, as it would in English, but baseness of stock, lowness of ambition, and parasitic attitudes. Iqbal tells them to go back to their roots and become eagles again in Bal-i-Jibril, where Iqbal, alluding to Muslims, remarks that they have been corrupted by their association with ravens, and Zabar-i-Ajam which is similar. "You are the eagle of Muhammad," says Iqbal, addressing the Muslim, "and angels and houris are your prey". In "The Philosopher," Iqbal points out the limitations of philosophical thought. For all its achievements, philosophy has not yielded definitive and reliable guidance on issues of fundamental importance to man. The philosopher is the vulture that flies around in space like an eagle, but unlike the eagle, fails to catch live prey. In Payam-i Mashriq, "The wings of a nightingale are of one kind, those of an eagle of another"; and in a slightly different context, in Javid Namah, the truly religious are contrasted with the shallow and unscrupulous pretenders to religiosity. What distinguishes the eagle from the other birds is its sharp vision, its ability to soar into the air and rule the skies, its swift movement, its daring nature and love of freedom. ...read more.


Although it had occasionally been used before Iqbal to express quasi-philosophical notions, such use had more to do with mood than with thought. The ghazal, that is to say, might reflect a mood, usually sombre and melancholic, another respect in which Iqbal's ghazal is different, that passed from philosophical seriousness and fanciful musings to weighty thought. Iqbal effectively redefined, at least for his own purposes, the ghazal, using it to treat a variety of serious subjects and his use of the genre to talk about the eagle should be seen in that larger context. "The Eagle," highlights the "ascetic" and freedom-loving nature of the eagle: "Mine is the boundlessness of the blue sky!" The eagle shuns the pleasurable but enervating life of the garden, preferring the austere but wholesome environment of the desert. The second poem, "Beyond the Stars" is an exhortation to the eagle to discover new worlds by soaring ever higher- "Do not be content with the world of colour and smell: There are other gardens, and other nests, too". Iqbal's addressee here is evidently an eagle that has lost its nest and Iqbal consoles it by saying that there are realms yet to be explored and conquered. "An Eagle's Advice to Its Young One," is the most complete portrait of the Iqbalian eagle, and deserves special attention from the readers. "Live in the world like an eagle, and like an eagle die," says Iqbal in Javaid Nama. An understanding of the eagle motif in Iqbal's poetry thus becomes essential to understand Iqbal's thought and message. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Social and literary background to Mirza Ghalib's works. Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan known ...

    days of my youth, when the blackness of my deeds outdid the blackness of my hair, and my head held the tumult of the love of fair-faced women..." Ghalib made no secret of the fact that he never kept the more troublesome commandments of his religion -never said the five

  2. To what extent is Hardys poetry dominated by relationships?

    The structure clearly juxtaposes the past against the present. When he walked up the hill in "earlier days" he was on his own but "did not mind" because he didn't think of her as "left behind". He walks up the hill in the "former way" and sees that the surroundings are "similar", so he asks the, "What difference then?"

  1. Allama Iqbals idea of the modern man presented in his poem Modern Man also ...

    This is clearly visible in both these poems. With this as base it is for the readers to observe how Iqbal desired for the progress of human race as he did acknowledge the work done. It also depicts that checks and balance are definitely necessary to keep one's life stable

  2. Analysis on Michael Longley's Poetry - Its effect on me

    This is however not the case. Longley suprisingly does not mention the batman again in the poem and does not express any sort of resentment or anger at him. In "wreaths", a poem dealing with victims from the Northern Irish conflict, Longley again tells us of despicable acts.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work