Much of Iqbal’s poetry revolves around the ideas of well being and prosperity of Muslim youth. And for the most part of that Iqbal has likened the Muslim youth to his ideal of an eagle; Shaheen. Shaheen is referred to a lot in his poetry. This is especially the case when he tries to remind the youth about the high moral, ethical and charismatic standards they should have cherished.
Iqbal’s times were highly turmoiled. It was a time of transition. Global political system was shifting rapidly.And the Muslims faced a major challenge. They were not only not ready to embrace the change, they were also not willing to adapt themselves to the emerging challenges of their times.
Iqbal’s ideal of a shaheen is one who cherishes very high standards for life and is quite charismatic and adaptive to the situations of life. A shaheen can live a life of upto seventy years. However, as it approaches its forties, it begins to become feeble. It still has to deal with the similar situations of life on a diurnal basis. It has to manage its nest. It has to catch its prey. And it has to do it all alone.
When Iqbal refered to the youth to his ideal of Shaheen, he expected him to embrace certain standards of livelihood. He expected them to be tough. He expected them to be able to cope with the rapidly changing world system. He expected them to be good at survival skills.
Much of what he expected and pointed out about the Muslims is even true today. Actually it is a lot more true today than any other era. We live in a globalized world now which has its own peculiar challenges. The question is that whether our youth is ready to cope up with those challanges with grace.
The truth, as it seems to me, is that our youth by any chance is not truly depictive of the Iqbal’s ideal of a shaheen. As a matter of fact there are no signs that our youth even cares or cherishes such ideals. It might be partly true that segments of our youth are coping with the demands of the emerging global system. It is indeed true that our youth are getting better education than before. There is more dynamism and vigor among the youth about modern education and progress. However, it is all happening at the rapid westernization of our youth. Our youth does not cherish Iqbal’s values of a young and compassionate Muslim that resembles his shaheen.
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