Hyderabad: Hyderabad accomplished a literary feat of sorts on Wednesday when it witnessed the 1,000th lecture being delivered on Allama Iqbal, one of the greatest Urdu poets. The celebrated poet who penned ‘Saare Jahan se accha’ is loved and respected by all. However, it goes to the credit of Jama Masjid Aaliya, Gunfoundry, to honour Iqbal like no one else. For the last 22 years, it has been organising weekly lectures on Iqbal Shinasi without a break.
Today Masjid-e-Aaliya touched a milestone when the thousandth lecture was delivered to a packed audience at its conference hall. No other country, not even Pakistan where Iqbal is regarded as the national poet, can boast of this record. Prof Khaja Nasiruddin, who addressed the landmark lecture, was beside himself with joy for being part of this rare achievement.
The credit for this marathon lecture series goes to senior advocate, Ghulam Yezdani, who thought of organising talks on the poet. The first lecture was delivered by Mohd Zaheeruddin Ahmed, President of Iqbal Academy, on October 8, 1997. Since then, the weekly lectures had continued without any break except when the city was under curfew.
Over the years, several national and international scholars have held forth on Iqbal’s poetry. Speakers like Ziauddin Shekeb, Dr Taqi Abedi, Dr Murtuza Siddiqui, Maslehuddin Saadi, and Dr Yousuf Azmi have expounded on various aspects of Iqbal’s shayeri. Come Wednesday and Iqbal aficionados make a beeline to the Masjid-e-Aaliya to understand the poet-philosopher.
“The idea of launching a lecture series on Iqbal is to enthuse the youth to take inspiration from his poetry and achieve excellence in whatever field they choose to work in,” says Yezdani.
To commemorate the occasion in a befitting way, a two-day celebration is planned to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Urdu Hall, Himayatnagar.