On Wings of Falcons

Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was one of the greatest poet-philosophers of the 20th century. Iqbal was born in Sialkot in 1877 to a family that traced its roots to Sapru brahmins of Kashmir.

Iqbal is revered as the Shair-e-Mashriq (Poet of the East) in the subcontinent. For his massive literary achievements in Urdu and Persian he was knighted by King George V in 1922 and gained the title of Sir Muhammad Iqbal.

Annemarie Schimmel (Gabriel's Wing) described Iqbal as a "universalist poet" who strove to span a literary and philosophical bridge between the East and the West.

The central theme of Iqbal's poetic philosophy is the concept of 'Khudi' – a synergestic amalgam of self-realization and decisive action.

The Falcon or Shaheen is a familiar motif in Iqbal’s poetry, especially in exhortative verses meant to inspire muslim youth.

Here are a few of Iqbal’s well-known Shaheen verses, popular enough that even I can quote them when the occasion demands.


Tu Shaheen Hai, Parwaz Hai Kaam Tera

Tere Samne Asman Aur Bhi Hain


One verse used to grace the header of this blog.


Shaheen Kabhi Parwaz Se Thak Kar Nahin Girta


Nahin Tera Nasheman Qasr-e-Sultani Ke Gumbad Par

Tu Shaheen Hai, Basera Kar Paharon Ki Chataanon Mein


Parwaz Hai Dono Ki Isi Ek Fiza Mein

Kargas Ka Jahan Aur Hai, Shaheen Ka Jahan Aur


Jhapatna, Palatna, Palat Kar Jhapatna

Lahoo Garam Rakhne Ka Hai Ek Bahana

Parindon Ki Duniya Ka Darvesh Hoon Main

Ke Shaheen Banata Nahin Ashiyana

This is probably my first post that features Allama Muhammad Iqbal even though Iqbal and Ghalib were conversationally quoted at my naanihal.

Faiz and the rest I sought out on my own later in life.

Der Ayad Durust Ayad !

Bonus: Enjoy the Shaheen verses in this spirited performance of Iqbal's 'Sitaron Se Aage' by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan