ALLAMA Iqbal’s two Persian masnavis, or kind of long poems, Asraar-i-Khudi (1915) and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (1918), were later on published in one volume (1923) and are often jointly referred to as Asraar-o-Rumooz.

Both Asraar-i-Khudi and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi sparked great interest among the poetry buffs and scholars alike. Aside from a controversy that lasted for quite long, both the masnavis were well-received and translated into several languages. Here is a brief intro to the translated versions.

According to Rafiuddin Hashmi, Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian works have been translated into 41 different languages of the world. Asraar-i-Khudi and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi, too, were rendered into many languages, wholly or partially. But here we would list only the complete translations:

English: Prof Reynold A. Nicholson (1868-1945), a renowned English scholar of Islamic mysticism and Islamic literature, translated Asraar-i-Khudi in 1920, titled The Secrets of the Self. Interestingly, Allama Iqbal pointed out many errors or misconceptions and corrected the translation. Nicholson accepted the corrections, except for a few. The second revised edition was published in 1940 and many editions of the corrected version appeared from Lahore. Saeed Akhter Durrani discovered the original copy that had Iqbal’s corrections and its facsimile was published by University of Karachi in 2001.

Prof A. J. Arberry, another renowned orientalist, translated Rumooz-i-Bekhudi under the title The Mysteries of Selflessness. It was published from London in 1953. Other English translations include the ones by Abdur Rahman Tariq and Maqbool Ilahi.

Arabic: Aside from other works by Iqbal, Abdul Wahab Azzaam published versified Arabic translation of Asraar-o-Rumooz from Cairo in 1956. Sameer Abdul Hameed Ibrahim published its another Arabic translation from Cairo in 2005.

Bengali: Syed Abdul Mannan translated Asraar-i-Khudi into Bengali, published from Dhaka in 1940. Mirza Sultan Ahmed translated Asraar-i-Khudi and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi and separately published them from Dhaka in 1954.

Bhasha Indonesia: Bahrum Rangkuti translated Asraar-i-Khudi into Bhasha Indonesia and published it from Jakarta in 1976.

Chinese: Liu Shuxiong rendered Asraar-i-Khudi into Chinese and it was published from Peking (now Beijing) in 1999.

French: Jamshed Murtazvi and Meyerovitch translated Asraar-o-Rumooz into French and it appeared from Paris in 1989.

Kashmiri: Ghulam Ahmed Kulgami translated Asraar-i-Khudi into his native Kashmiri and it was published from Karachi in 1969.

Malayalam: Abdul Qadir translated Asraar-i-Khudi into Malayalam and Cochin’s Iqbal Library published it in 1941.

Pashto: Samandar Khan Samandar translated Asraar-i-Khudi (1954) and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (1952) into Pashto and both were published from Karachi.

Punjabi: Ahmed Husain Qureshi Qaladari rendered Asraar-i-Khudi into Punjabi and in 1976 Lahore’s Meri Library published it. A year earlier, Khalil Aatish had translated Asraar-o-Rumooz into Punjabi and Sang-i-Meel was the publisher.

Sindhi: Lutfullah Badvi rendered Asraar-i-Khudi and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi, separately, into Sindhi and both were published in 1956 from Karachi. Muhammad Baksh Vaasif, also translated Asraar-i-Khudi, and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi separately and both were published from Karachi (year not mentioned).

Turkish: Ali Nihad Tarlan rendered Asraar-i-Khudi and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi, both were published from Istanbul in 1958. Ali Yuksel rendered Asraar-i-Khudi into Turkish and published it from Ankara in 1990.

Urdu: Aside from partial translations, complete translations into Urdu include the ones by: Dr Hamid Husain, Asraar-i-Khudi (Bhopal, 1978); Ahmed Isaar, Asraar-o-Rumooz (Bangalore, 2008); Asraar-i-Khudi, versified translation, Iqbal Husain Mehdi Rizvi (Muradabad, 1975); Khwaja Hameed Yazdani, Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (Lahore, 1994); Justice S.A. Rahman, versified Urdu translation of Asraar-i-Khudi, (Lahore, 1967); Ismat Javed versified translation of Asraar-i-Khudi (Delhi, 1991) and versified translation of Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (Delhi, 1998); Ghulam Dastgeer Shahab, Asraar-i-Khudi (Poona, 1989) and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (Poona, 1991); Abdur Rasheeed Faazil, versified translation of both Asraar-i-Khudi (Karachi, 1956) and Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (Karachi 1984); Mehr Taqvi Jaipuri, versified translation of Rumooz-i-Bekhudi (Hyderabad, Sindh, 1962).

Recently, a translation of Asraar-o-Rumooz has been published from Lahore. Though published earlier, this new edition has been recomposed and elegantly produced. The translator has used easy to understand Urdu and the meanings have been made quite clear. Its translator Mian Abdur Rasheed was a prominent scholar who translated several of Iqbal’s works and they include Urdu translations of: Armaghaan-i-Hijaz, Pas Che Bayad Kard Aye Aqvaame-i-Mashriq, Payam-i-Mashriq, Javed Nama, Zuboor-i-Ajam, Kulliyaat-i-Iqbal Farsi and Asraar-o-Rumooz. These books have run to several editions over a long period of time.

Mian Abdur Rasheed was born on Jan 1, 1915, in a village near Gujranwala, Punjab. Having passed his BA from Lahore in 1935, he worked as reporter at Punjab Legislative Assembly. Mian Abdur Rasheed wrote regular columns in Nawa-i-Waqt and Pakistan Times. He also broadcast a weekly programme from Radio Pakistan. Mian Abdur Rasheed died in September 1991.

Most of the info contained in this piece is derived from Kitabiyaat-i-Iqbal, a work by Prof Dr Rafiuddin Hashmi. Hashmi Sahib, considered Pakistan’s foremost expert on Iqbal, died on Jan 25, 2024, in Lahore. Though barely few newspapers reported his demise, a tribute to this great scholar of Iqbal Studies is well in order while remembering Iqbal on his death anniversary, which fell on April 21.

drraufparekh@yahoo.com

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2024

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