Today is the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
Access to Indians to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, where Baba Guru Nanak settled and died, was opened via Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, which is Allama Iqbal’s birth anniversary as well.
Here’s a poem by Iqbal titled Nanak. In this poem, Iqbal has paid tribute to two great reformers indigenous to Indian Subcontinent: Gautama Buddha and Baba Guru Nanak.
qaum ne paiġhām-e-gautam kī zarā parvā na kī
qadr pahchānī na apne gauhar-e-yak-dāna kī
aah bad-qismat rahe āvāz-e-haq se be-ḳhabar
ġhāfil apne phal kī shīrīnī se hotā hai shajar
āshkār us ne kiyā jo zindagī kā raaz thā
hind ko lekin ḳhayālī falsafa par naaz thā
sham-e-haq se jo munavvar ho ye vo mahfil na thī
bārish-e-rahmat huī lekin zamīñ qābil na thī
aah shūdar ke liye hindostāñ ġham-ḳhāna hai
dard-e-insānī se is bastī kā dil begāna hai
barhaman sarshār hai ab tak mai-e-pindār meñ
sham-e-gautam jal rahī hai mahfil-e-aġhyār meñ
but-kada phir baad muddat ke magar raushan huā
nūr-e-ibrāhīm se aazar kā ghar raushan huā
phir uThī āḳhir sadā tauhīd kī punjab se
hind ko ik mard-e-kāmil ne jagāyā ḳhvāb se (Iqbal)
The nation could not care less about Gautama’s message—
It did not know the price of its unique pearl!
Poor wretches! They never heard the voice of truth:
A tree does not know how sweet its fruit is.
What he revealed was the secret of existence,
But India was proud of its fancies;
It was not an assembly‑hall to be lit up by the lamp of truth;
The rain of mercy fell, but the land was barren.
Alas, for the shudra, India is a house of sorrow,
This land is blind to the sufferings of man.
The Brahmin is still drunk with the wine of pride,
In the assembly‑halls of foreigners burns Gautama’s lamp.
But, ages later, the house of idols was lit up again–
Azar’s house was lit up by Abraham!
Again from the Punjab the call of monotheism arose:
A perfect man roused India from slumber.
Translated by: Mustansir Mir [Voice: Aleem Zubair]