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Mohammad Iqbal and Seringapatam

I have lighted a different fire in the heart.
I have brought a tale from the Deccan.
I have a shining sword on my side;
I am drawing it out gradually from the scabbard.
I speak a subtle point about the Martyr Tipu Sultan,
I fear the festival day may turn bitter,
I proceed to kiss his dust,
There I heard from his holy grave;
If one cannot live a manly life in this world
Then to sacrifice life, like a man, is life!

Excerpt from:
Javid-Namah (The Book of Eternity).
[In Persian].
[First publ. 1932, in Lahore].


Iqbal, Mohammad (1877-1938)
Celebrated Urdu poet.

Mohammad Iqbal, the celebrated Urdu poet and philosopher, had long expressed a desire to visit the Gumbaz, the tomb of Tipu Sultan. In 1929 he travelled from Lahore to Srirangapattana and entered the mausoleum on the morning of 11 January where he remained inside for over an hour. When he emerged he was deeply affected by what he had seen and experienced; similarly he was greatly moved by the ruins of Srirangapattana (Seringapatam), the paintings on the walls of Tipu's Summer Palace, the Daria Daulat Bagh, as well as the beauty and significance of the Kaveri (Cauvery) River.

Upon his return to Lahore he composed a series of couplets devoted to Tipu Sultan that he included in his poetic masterpiece Javid-Namah (The Book of Eternity) in which he placed Tipu at the highest rank in Paradise.