By: Arfa Siddiq
Words play more havoc than swords. They cut more deeply than any dagger. In the quote, “Words, without power, are mere philosophy”, Iqbal demonstrates the idea as to how powerful words imbued with the feelings exert a greater influence on the hearts. But when the words become mere the mode of inquiry, they turn into philosophy and philosophy primarily deals with the truths empty of inciting any inspiration to the common minds. Though philosophical words are prenatal with intellectual thoughts, they rarely inspire man to act, they evoke more skeptical thoughts and instead of unraveling the mysteries, they make them more complex. In contrast to philosophy, the words with power; poetry, can carve out the stone of hope out of the mountain of despair.
Words are powerful. They are splendid tools to unscrew any gadget of success. They can ignite even revolutions. Emerson once said, “Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind.” When powerful thoughts are transformed into powerful words, they can change the map of history. For instance, the greatest revolution in the pageants of history was brought by Muhammad (PBUH). His revolution began with the words on a hilltop and his words shook the faith of the listeners. He spoke the words of Allah, the words with power that hammered the idols of darkness. His words not only revolutionized their outer world but also the world of their spirit. His eloquence of voice melted the stubborn hearts of tyrants to the extent that the illiterate desert dwellers became the monarchs of the worlds.
Similarly, if we go through the course of human events and glance into the other revolutions brought by the French, American and Russian people, we would realize that they began with the watchwords of, ‘Liberty, fraternity, and equality.’ This was the power of these words that moved the masses to question the established authority. These words became the cause of change. Likewise, if we study about the men that are no longer in this world but their words still exist. For example, what made Socrates the great man of his time, what made Hitler the powerful man, what made Martin Luther the healer of pain, what made Churchill, Baldwin, Rogers, the great leaders. They were actually the masters of eloquence. They made their words the vehicle of inspiration. They proved the beacon of light in the utmost despondence. For instance, in his speech, ‘I have a Dream’ Martin Luther sang the song of hope when the blacks would be able to walk hand in hand with the white people. Through his speech, he encouraged the blacks to raise the slogans of freedom. He forbade them to wallow in the valley of despair. It was not a mere philosophy of his mind, it was his piercing thoughts that were shaped into powerful words. In the words of Tennyson, “The song that nerves a nation’s heart is in itself a deed.”
Moreover, If we look deep into Iqbal’s poetry, we would realize that his greatest gift as a poet was, no doubt, his ability to move the depressed and despondent hearts through his words that inspired the Muslims of the subcontinent to get their separate homeland. Through his poetry, he touched the injured soul of the Muslims and reintroduced them with the teachings of their ancestors. He reconstructed the religious thoughts of Islam through his poetry. He awoke Muslims from the sleep of negligence. He once said, “Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians.” It shows how powerful words can motivate people and infuse insight in their vision. It would not be an exaggeration, if we say, if there would be no Iqbal, there would be perhaps no Pakistan. It was the dream of Iqbal, which Jinnah turned into reality.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that words have both negative and positive impact. They can make one the hero and other the villain. For, people die, but their words keep them alive. As Rumi says, ‘Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” So, the ones who negate the power of words and try to promote the ideas that mere talks can do nothing. They should go through the pages of history to know the fact as to how the powerful words brought great revolutions and inspired the people to fathom the great depths of knowledge.