The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 39


By Khurram Ali Shafique

Coming out of the second enclave, you see a little forest in the Garden. It is dense but well-kempt and is teeming with variety. This is the third enclave, the Call of the Marching Bell. It was opened to public in 1924 but contains many items older than that.

After visiting two enclaves it is now the time to know the architect. Hence this enclave gives you a biography of his mind. It is open on one side, so that you may step outside the Garden and follow the downhill track to the point from where Iqbal first saw this hilltop where he was going to build the Garden. The Preface, contributed by a close friend, is a shortcut to that spot.


Ten thousand people are listening to Iqbal singing a long poem in a fundraiser. Those who can understand and those who cannot are equally moved. Spellbound, they make generous donations.

This is how Iqbal emerged at first. He was a voice of the masses equally acceptable to all segments of society. In Persian, his name meant ‘Glory’.


The highest mountain of the world stands guard over the Poet’s homeland, India. Its snow-clad peaks are intimations of immortality and the valleys a playground for the elements. The stream flowing down from it is a reminder of how Goethe symbolized the purpose of Islam. The Poet is haunted by the sound of the waterfall when night sets in.

“O Himalayas!” He can speak to the mountain since his heart can communicate with Nature. “Tell us a tale from those bygone days when the grandparents of humanity settled down in your foothills. Amaze us by telling us something of that simple life unstained by the rouge of conditioning. Yes, O imagination! Show us those days and nights again. Turn back, O Wheel of Time!”

Mirza Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib, the poet who inspired Iqbal’s teacher Maulvi Mir Hasan, lies buried with the civilization to which he belonged. Even then he may show the expanse of human imagination to any who have the courage to confront the narrow breadth of their own.

Iqbal finds him to be the counterpart of Goethe in many ways but there is one big difference. He says to Ghalib, “Alas! You rest in the ruins of the devastated Delhi while your fellow-singer sleeps in the Garden of Weimer.”


  • Can these excerpts from the early period also be helpful in your search for Joseph?

  • What do you learn here about the mind of Iqbal as the architect of the Garden?

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The reader enters the third enclave, The Call of the Marching Bell (1924), which is a biography of the Poet’s mind.
Urdu text

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