Muhammad Iqbal: Rumuz-e Bekhudi [Mysteries of Selflessness]

(736 words)

This Persian poem of 1107 rhyming couplets in the “masnavi” form [a narrative poem composed of distichs corresponding in measure, each consisting of rhyming couplets] is divided into 31 sections. It addresses the question of selflessness [“bekhudi”] and focuses on how a Muslim community is formed through an association of self-affirming individuals. The poem argues that it is only by forming such a community and working within its constraints that the individual Muslim is able to develop and hone his or her selfhood. Some commentators argue that Iqbal had been influenced by the ideas of Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) in this poem (Schimmel 1963, p. 163). The poem defines the values, beliefs, laws and symbols that hold an I…

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Majeed, Javed. "Rumuz-e Bekhudi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 July 2010
[, accessed 25 May 2015.]