(MENAFN - Arab News) The Indian community here paid rich tribute to "Poet of the East" Allama Iqbal for his leadership and rich contribution to poetry and Islamic awareness in the world.
The Mahfil-e-Iqbal, a cultural evening, was organized by Tanzeem Hum Hindustani (THH), a voluntary, non-profit and non-religious organization of overseas Indians, to express gratitude to the great leader.
Expatriates from India, Pakistan and other countries attended the event. THH President Mohammed Quaiser presided over the event. Jawaid Akhtar Jawaid, a poet from Pakistan and president of Halqa-e-Fikr-o-Fun Saudi Arabia, was the chief guest, and Akhtarul Islam Siddiqui, president of the Middle East Non-Resident Indian Association, was the keynote speaker.
Siddiqui said Iqbal had a deep concern for humanity and his messages were filled with spiritual values. He also tried to clear misconceptions on issues of Islamic importance.
After the 1857 revolt in united India, he said Iqbal's poetry encouraged people to rise against the tyranny of British rule
Wdah Abdul Hameed Qureshi, secretary-general of Hum Nawa, a literary organization of Pakistani women, said Iqbal had a universal message and would never be forgotten.
"Iqbal's poetry lent a new life, courage and enthusiasm to all Muslims," she said.
Jawaid said that Iqbal's poetry produces rhythms that capture the hearts of readers and listeners.
In his presidential remarks, Quaiser said Iqbal was a great poet and philosopher of the 20th century who provided solutions to problems facing Muslims today.
"He is not only a national poet of Pakistan but is equally popular in India," he said.
Hesham Syed said that Iqbal demonstrated ways to understand the basics of Islam and the unconditional love of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
A poetry collection of Ashar Nadeemi, published by THH, was also released and presented to the chief guest.
The celebration began with a recitation of the Holy Qur'an by Mohammed Abdul Badee Khan, with schoolchildren presenting the famous Dua-e-Iqbal, "Lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri."