Thursday, May 26, 2011

An online Course on Allama Iqbal: Some useful information

Course Outlines
  • Induction: abridged translation of an excerpt from Javid Nama,describing the ultimate ideal that Iqbal desires and foresees for humanity. It is a world where people live inside-out, bodies have become contained in souls rather than the other way round, there is no crime and everybody lives in material and spiritual bliss. Is this world possible? That is the question which is central to any genuine learning in Iqbal Studies, and learners will be encouraged to arrive at their own answers. آج بروز جمعرات ۲۶ مئی ہم نے اس کے تعارف میں ا اوپن ھاوس میں شرکت کی جس میں جاوید نامہ  کی ورک شیٹ اس فائل کے آخر میں ضرور دیکھیے اور جواب لکھئیے تاکہ آپ کو اس کورس سے متعلق آگاہی ہو جائے۔
  • The Conquest of Nature: This is a poem in five segments describing, respectively (a) the birth of Adam; (b) the Devil’s animosity; (c) the Temptation; (b) the sweet challenge of the worldly life; and (e) Adam’s explanation to the Almighty on the Day of Judgment. In five short scenes, the poem gives us a complete overview of the past, present and the future of humanity as Iqbal perceives it. This is the broad outlines in which learners can fill in details as they move along in life and studies, even beyond and after the completion of this course.
  • The New Garden of Mystery: Iqbal summarized his philosophy in the form of nine questions that are cross-cutting across all fields of human knowledge – i.e., each of these questions can be answered through any discipline according to the scope of that discipline. Here, the learners will be encouraged to find answers from brief synopses of Iqbal’s works. The aim of this component is to give the learners a handy introduction to all the poetic works of Iqbal and also to show them the nine basic issues that can be used for summing up the entire philosophy of Iqbal – and possibly also the entire range of human knowledge in the present age. گلشنِ راز۔ جدید
  • The Sphere of Moon: This chapter describes the beginning of Iqbal’s spiritual journey in search of immortality under the guidance of the spirit of his mentor, Maulana Rumi, in Javid Nama. On Moon, which is the first stage of the journey, they come across seven visions: (a) the Hindu sage Vishvamitra; (b) the music of Sarosh, the angel who inspires poetic visions; (c) the poetry of Sarosh; (c) the Tablet of Buddha; (d) the Tablet of Zoroaster; (e) the Tablet of Jesus; and (f) the Tablet of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These visions are brief and engaging introductions to seven cultural forces shaping the human civilization even today. Learners will be encouraged to explore the relevance of these cultural forces, and to develop personal insights about them.
  • Application: These concluding lessons facilitate the learners to make some personal action plans in the light of Iqbal’s thought.
  • کورس کا تمام  مواد علامہ کے فارسی کلام سے منتخب کیا گیا ہے۔ آپکے لیے اس کا انگریزی ترجمہ مہیا کیا گیا ہے، لہٰذا پریشان ہونے کی کوئی وجہ نہیں۔
Course Material
The course material comprises mainly of three components: (a) the course manual; (b) videos; and (c) the blog.
  • Course Manual will consist of approximately 25 lessons (see “Course Outline” above to get an idea about the contents of these lessons). It will be provided to participants in PDF and MSWord formats. They can take printout and do the activities.
  • Videos. There will be a brief video to accompany each lesson. These videos will contain a mini-lecture to go with the lessons given in the manual. They will be uploaded on YouTube for participants to view, and links will be provided (Pakistani students will be provided the course manual as well as videos on a CD). یہ سی ڈی صرف پاکستانی شرکاء کو پیش کی جائے گی۔
  • Blog. Each lesson in the manual will lead to an open-ended question involving reflection and thinking from the participants. They will be required to post their answers as "comments" on the official blog of the course, or as posts on their own blogs if they have any. They will be able to choose whether they wish to do it on a daily basis or only once or twice a week.
  • مزے کی بات یہ ہے کہ ان کے بلا گ پر لکھنے کی بجائے جواب آپ اپنے بلاگ پر بھی لکھ سکتے ہیں اور انھیں اپنے بلاگ کا ایڈریس دے سکتے ہیں۔
  • As an option Course material will be posted free of charge at home to all participants located inside Pakistan. In any case, you can still receive all the course material through the Internet
  • Participants will be given a course manual consisting of approximately 25 lessons. They can take printouts of activities and do them on paper. These are comprehension activities. The outcome of each lesson will be a reflection, which the participants should post as comments on the official blog of the course (soon to be announced), or as posts on their own blogs, if they have any. اس فائل کے آخر میں ملاحظہ فرمائیے ہماری اوپن ھاوس کی سرگرمی  جو پہلے سبق پر مشتمل تھی۔ ہمیں جاوید نامہ کے ایک باب مرغدین سے متعلق ایک صفحے پر مشتمل مواد دیا گیا اور اس سے متعلق اپنا جواب لکھنے کو کہا گیا۔ ضرور دہرا لیں تاکہ کورس کے بارے میں ایک آئیڈیا ہوجائے۔
  • Many lessons will be accompanied with short videos that will be uploaded on YouTube and can be watched or downloaded by participants. Pakistani participants may also be given these videos on a complimentary VCD. 
  • The lessons are scheduled in such a manner that the participants can either work daily (for an hour or so), or at their own pace as long as they spend 5 to 7 hours a week on the activities and postings - some participants might be spending time on the course only on weekends, and catching up in that manner. روزآنہ کی بنیاد پر آدھے گھنٹے سے لیکر ایک گھنٹے کا کام ہوگا۔ آپ چاہیں تو ویک اینڈ پر بھی پورے ہفتے کا کام کرسکتے ہیں۔
  • Presently the course is being offered in English only. However, it is designed with special consideration for the difficulties faced by many non-native speakers – we do not want language to become a handicap. ہمیں بتایا گیا کہ اردو کی بورڈ کی سہولت میسر ہونے کی صورت میں جوابات ( جو دراصل آپ کے تاثرات یا تبصرہ  ہوں گے،  اردو میں بھی دیئے جاسکتے ہیں

1.1 Induction
What is the ultimate ideal that Iqbal can suggest for us? One of the best answers comes from Javed Nama( 1932) the fifth book of Iqbal’s Poetry. The spirit of Maulana Roomi takes Iqbal on a heavenly journey in search of immortality. As they pass the planet Mars Roomi mentions that the Martians have discovered an inside out mode of existence. “ While our hearts are captivated and controlled by our bodies , the bodies of the Martians are contained in their Hearts .” On Roomi’s suggestion, they take a brief tour of a Marcian city, MURGHIDEEN.
Given below is an abridged version of the passage from Jawaid Nama. It is perhaps the easiest way for us to see where Iqbal wants to lead us eventually – or where , in his opinion , the Humanity is going to reach anyway whether some of us know it or not.

While Reading
A.   As you read the passage, underline the things you like in Murghideen.

Welcome to Murghideen
The city of Murghideen is a magnificent place of tall buildings. Its people are beautiful, selfless and simple; they speak a language that sounds melodious to the ears. They are not after material goods; rather they are the guardians of knowledge and derive wealth from their sound judgment. The sole purpose of knowledge and skill in that world is to help improve the life. Currency is unknown, and temperaments are not to be governed by machines that blacken the sky with their smoke. The farmers are hard working and contented – there are no land lords to plunder their harvest, and the tillers of the land enjoy the entire fruit of their labor. Learning and wisdom don’t flourish on deceit and hence there is neither army nor law keepers are needed, because there is no crime in Murghideen.  The marketplace is free from noisy shouts and heartrending cries of the beggars. (In this world there is no beggar” said the Martian astronomer,” Nor anyone is poor; no slave, no master- no ruler and thus none dominated.”
I said,” Being born a beggar or a destitute, to be ruled or suppressed, is all by the decree of God. He alone is the architect of destiny. Destiny cannot be improved by reasoning.”
“If you suffering at the hands of destiny, “replied the Martian astronomer with a visible anger, “ It is not unfair to ask God for a new one. He has no shortage of destinies for you. Failure to understand the mystical significance of destiny has led the inhabitants of the Earth to loose their identities. Here is a hint to the secret of destiny: Change your self and your destiny will change with you. If you are dust, you shall be scattered by the wind. But if you become solid as a rock, you can break the glass. If you are a dewdrop, then you are destined to fall, but if you are an ocean, then you will remain. To you, faith means conformity to others while your imagination remains confined because you do not conform to your self. Shame on the faith that serves like an addiction to opium!”
Then he paused , and added ,” a gem is a gem, as long as you think it is valuable, otherwise it is just a stone. The world will shape itself according to your perception of it. The heavens and the Earth , too, will adjust.”

After reading
b. would you like that there should be a world like Murghideen? Why? Why not? Write your reflections  in comments below    

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