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Allama Iqbal’s Beautiful Tribute to Fatima Zahra(A.S.)

Original poem in Farsi by Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal, as published in his Asraar-o-Rumooz
Maryam az yek nisbat-e-Eesa azeez,
As seh nisbat hazrat-e-Zahra azeez
Maryam is honourable only because she is the mother of Jesus,
(Look at Zahra

Her honour comes from three relationships
Noor-e-chashm-e Rahmat-il-lil ‘aalemin
Un imam-e-awwalin-o-aahirin
She is the daughter of the person known as Rahmat al-lil aalameen
Who is Imam of all the (prophets) in the past and all the leaders in the future
Un ke jan dar payka-e-geeti dameed
Rozgaar-e-taaza aa’in aafreed
He, who revived a dead society back to life,
And brought a new system of law
Baanu-e un taajdaar-e-hal ata
Murtaza mushkil kusha sher-e-xuda
She is the wife of the one who was crowned with Hal Ata[1]
He is the chosen one, solver of all problems, the lion of God
Paadshhah-o-kulba’ee aywaan-e-oo
Yek hussam-o-yek zirh saamaan-e-oo
He was a king but lived in a hut,
All he owned was a sword and a coat of chain[2]
Maadar-e-un markaz-e-parkaar-e-ishq
Maadar-e-un kaarwan saalaar-e-ishq
Her son was the center of Love and devotion[3]
He was the chief of the army of Love
Un yeki sham’e shabistaan-e-haram
Hafiz-e-jamee’at-e khayrul-umam
He was a burning light in the gathering in the HARAM,
He was the protector of the best of the communities
Taa nasheenad aatash-e-paykaar-o-kin
Pusht-epa zad ba sar-e-taaj-o-nagin
He kicked the throne and the crown aside[4],
Only because he did not want to see the fire of killing and hatred
Wan digar mawlaa-e abraar-e-jahaan
Quwwat-e baazu-e-ahraar-e-jahaan
And the other son (of hers) is the leader of the pious
He gave strength to all the revolutionaries of the world
Dar nawaa-e-zindagi soz az Husayn[5]
Ahl-e-haq hurriyat amoz az Husayn[6]
Husayn gives passion to the ode of humanity
The truthful people learned the lesson of freedom from Husayn
Seerat-e-farzandaha az ummahaat[7]
Jawhar-e-sidq-o-safa az ummahaat
The character of sons are built by their mothers
The true mettle of truthfulness and honesty come from the mothers
Muzra-e-tasleem ra haasil Butool[8]
Maadaraan ra uswa-e-kaamil Butool
Butool was the epitome of the devotion to Allah
For mothers she is a guiding example
Bahr-e-muhtaaj-e dilash un guna sooht[9]
Ba yahoodai chaadar-e-khud ra farooht
Her heart was so overwhelmed by the plight of the poor,
That she sold her own chadar to a Jew
Noori-o wa ham atashi farmanbarash[10]
Gum razaayesh dar razaa-e shawharash
Both angels and Jinn are in her obedience,
(Because) she was obedient to her own husband
Un adab parawarda-e sabr-o-raza
Aasiya gardaan-o-lab Qur’an sara
She was raised with SABR and submission
Her lips would be reading Qur’an while her hands would be moving the hand mill
Girya haaye u ze baalin bai niyaaz
Gawhar afshandai badamaan-e-namaaz
She wept for fear of Allah
She shed tears during her prayers
Asahk-e-oo bar cheed Jibreel az zamin
Hamchu shabnam reext bar arsh-e-barin
Jibreel would pick up her tears from the earth
So that he may spread dew-drops in Jannah
Rishta-e aa’een-e haq zanjeer-e-pa ast
Paas-e-farmaan-e Janaab-e Mustafa ast
I am bound by the law of Islam,
I am beholden to the sayings of the Prophet
Warna gird-e-turbat-ash gardeed mi
Sajdaha bar khaak-e-oo pasheed mi
Otherwise, I would have gone round and round her gravesite,
And I would have done sajdah on her grave
[1] This is an allusion to the Qur’anic verses 1-12 from Sura Dahr, Chapter 76. Imam Ali gave away his meal while ready to break his fast to a beggar. Allah sent those verses in his praise.
[2] This is an allusion to the story when Imam Ali comes to the Prophet asking for Fatima Zahra’s hand in marriage. He asks Ali: What do you have? Imam Ali replies: A sword and a coat of chain. The Prophet then says that being valiant fighter in Allah’s way, he does not need a coat of chain, so he sells that to prepare for the wedding.
[3] These verse pertain to the eldest son of Fatima Zahra, Hasan bin Ali. Many of his virtues are recorded in books of hadeeth.
[4] Hasan abdicated in favour of Mu’awiyyah to avoid bloodshed and warfare
[5] An allusion to the passion of Karbala. Compare this with P.B. Shelly’s famous lines: “Our sweetest songs are those which are sung in the saddest tones.”
[6] Husayn stood up to a tyrant’s demand instead of compromising his principles
[7] It is amazing that Iqbal, a person raised in a typical male-chauvinistic society of Punjab, would write these lines
[8] These lines are highly metaphorical. The translation that I have done is not literal.
[9] Allusion to another story from the life of Fatima Zahra
[10] This is an allusion to the Qur’anic verse 51:56, “I have not created the Jinn and the men except that they would worship Me.” And it also connects to a hadeeth in which the Prophet had said: “If it was lawful to do sajdah to someone other than Allah, I would have commended women to worship their husbands.”

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