The Mosque of Cordoba by Allama Iqbal (1933)





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Published on Aug 15, 2008

Poem composed by Allama Iqbal in 1933 after visiting Masjid-i-Qartaba (Mosque of Cordoba) "My visit to the Mosque elevated me to such a height of feeling as I had never attained to before" (Iqbal)

Translation available from:


Full poem narated by Muhammad Ali from http://www.allamaiqbal.com/


The cycle of day and night [is] the engraver of events.
The cycle of day and night [is] the essence of life and death.
The cycle of day and night is a two-colored thread of silk
with which the being weaves its attire of traits.
The cycle of day and night [is] the lamentation of the musical-instrument of the origin
through which the being shows the vicissitudes of possibilities.
It tries you, it tries me;
the cycle of day and night is the examiner of the cosmos.
If you're impure, if I'm impure
[then] it leads to your funeral procession, it leads to my funeral procession.
What else is the truth of your days and nights;
a surge of the time sans day and night.
All the marvels of the skills are transient;
the existence of world is ephemeral! The existence of world is ephemeral!

[The fate of] the beginning and the end is death, [the fate of] the unseen and apparent is death.
Be it an antiquated imprint or the latest one, its last destination is death.
Yet there exists a hue of eternity in this imprint;
the one that has been completed by some man of God.
The actions of the man of God get accelerated with [the help of] love.
The essence of life is love; death is forbidden for it.
hough the gush of the time is intense and fast
love itself is a tempest that restrains [other] tempests.
In the calendar of love, besides the contemporary age,
|there're other ages too that don't have names.
Love is the mainstay of Gabriel, love is the heart of Mustafa.
Love is the Messenger of God, love is the message of God.
The flower looks dazzling because of the intoxication of love.
Love is the undiluted wine, love is the wine-cup of a munificent drinker.
Love is the jurist of the Shariat, love is the commander of the army.
Love is the traveler because of which it passes through thousands of stages.

The lifeline streams out of the plectrum of love.
The radiance of life is due to love; the fire of life is because of love.

O Mosque of Cordoba! Your existence [too] is because of love.
Love is infinite time that's beyond the cycle of transient time.
Be it painting, architecture, music poetry or calligraphy,
all these arts thrive on the intensity of love!
The intensity of love turns a stone into a heart
[and] it's love that bestows depth of feeling, exhilaration and melody to the voice.
Your environ is charming, my songs are poignant;
you make the hearts bow before God, I make the hearts capacious.
The bosom of man isn't inferior to the empyrean throne of God
though his body is made of earth and is mortal.
Though the angels [also] prostrate before God
but their prostration lacks poignancy.
[Though] I'm an infidel from India, behold my earnestness
[that] my heart prays benison for the Prophet, my lips do the same.

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