SHAKWA AND JAWAB-I SHAKWA
(THE COMPLAINT AND RESPONSE TO THE COMPLAINT)
BY DR. SIR MUHAMMAD IQBAL
Iqbal wrote the two poems, “Shakwa” and “Jawab-i Shakwa” (Complaint to God and its Response), in early twentieth century. It was the prime time of his poetic revelation, which is called his third period that began in 1908 and ended at his death in 1938. During that time Muslims in India had almost lost their entity as a nation.
In the first stage of this poem Iqbal counts the chivalrous deeds of the Muslims reminding them of their past glory when they happened to be the leaders and teachers of mankind. They implemented the rule of God on the earth and brought revolutionary reforms in the states under their control where justice prevailed.
The second part shows the state of decline of Muslim nation. But Iqbal has projected this aspect so beautifully that instead of creating a sense of despair and destitute in the mind it inspires a new vigour and courage to stand up and deal with rival forces.