Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa are the evergreen poems of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Dr. Iqbal used wonderful Urdu vocabulary in this poem and highlighted achievements of Muslims.
In Shikwa, he played an oppressed and frustrated Muslim who is being complaining to Allah Almighty. In its second part, he assumed if Allmighty Lord Himself is addressing to this complaining Muslim and answering to his protest.First read Shikwa than we'll move to its answer javab-e-shikwa.
Why should I abet the loss, why forget the gain,
Why forfiet the future, bemoan the past in vain?
Hear the wail of nightingal, and remain unstirred,
Am I a flower insensate that will not say a word?
The power of speech emboldens me to speak out my heart,
I'll sure be damned, I know, if fault my God.
Hear, O Lord, from the faithful ones this sad lament,
From those used to hymn a praise, a word of discontent.
Enternally were you present, Lord, eternally omniscient,
The flower hung upon the tree, but without incense.
Be Thou fair, tell us true, O fountsinhead of grace,
How could the scent spread withoutthe breeze apace?
The world presented a queer sight ere we took the stage,
Stones and plants in your stead were worshipped in that age.
Man, being inured to senses, couldn't accept a thing unseen,
How could a formless God impress his senses keen?
Tell me, Lord, if anyone ever invoked Thy name,
The strength of Muslim arm alone restored Thy fame.
There was no dearth of peoples on this earth before,
Turkish tribes and Persian clans lived in days of yore;
The Greeks and the Chinese both bred and trove,
Christians as well as the Jews on this planet roved.
But who in Thy holy name raised his valiant sword,
Who set the things right, resolved the rigmarole?
We were the warrior bands battling for Thy cause,
Now on land, now on water, we the crusades fought.
Now in Europe's synods did we loudly pray,
Now in African deserts made a bold foray.
Not for territorial greed did we wield the sword,
Not for pelf and power did we suffer the blows.
Had we been temped by the greed of glittering gold,
Instead of breaking idols, would have idols sold.
We impressed on every heart the oneness of our mighty Lord,
Even under the threat of sword, bold and clever was our call.
Who conquered, tell us Thou, the fearful Khyber pass?
Who vanquished the Imperial Rome, who made it fall?
Who broke the idols of the primitive folks?
Who fought the kafirs, massacred their hordes?
If the prayer time arrived right amid the war,
With their faces turned to Kaaba, knelt down the brave Hejaz.
Mahmud and Ayaz stood together in the same flank,
The ruler and the ruled forget the difference in their rank.
The rich and poor, Lord and slave, all were levelled down,
All became brethern in love, with Thy grace crowned.
We roamed the world through, visited every place,
Did our rounds like the cup, serving sacred ale.
Forget about the forests, we spared not the seas,
Into the dark, unfathomed ocean, we pushed our steeds.
We removed falsehood from the earth's face,
We broke the shackles of the human race.
We reclaimed your Kaaba with our kneeling brows,
We pressed the sacred Quran to our heart and soul.
Even then you grumble, we are false, untrue,
If you call us faithless, tell us what are you?
You reserve your favours for men of other shades,
While you hurl your bolts on the Muslim race.
This is not our complaint that such alone are blesse,
Who do not know the etiquette, nor even can converse.
The tragedy is while kafirs are with houries actually blest,
On vague hopes of houries in heaven the Muslim race is made to rest!
Poverty, taunts, ignominy stare us in the face,
Is humiliation the sole reward of our suffering race?
To perpetuate Thy name is our sole concern,
Deprived of the saqi's aid can the cup revolve and turn?
Gone is your assemblage, off your lovers have sailed,
The midnight sights are no more heard, nor the morning wails;They pledged their hearts to you, what is their return?
Hardly had they stepped inside, when they were externed.
Thy lovers came and went away, fed on hopes of future grace,
Search them now with the lamp of your glowing face.
Unassuaged is Laila's ache, unquenched is Qais's thirst,
In the wilderness of Nejd, the wild deer are still berserk.
The same passion thrills the hearts, enchanting still is beauty's gaze,
You are the same as before, same too is the Prophet's race.
Why then this indifference, without a cause or fault?
Why with your threatening looks dost thou break our heart?
Accepted that the flame of love burneth low and dim,
We do not, as in your, dance attendance on your whims;
But you too, pardon us, possess a coquettish heart,
Now on us, now on others, alight your amorous darts.
The spring has now taken leave, broken lies the lyre string,
The birds that chirped among the leaves have also taken wing;
A single nightingale is left singing on the tree,
A flood of song in her breast is longing for release.
From atop the firs and pines the doves have flown away,
The floral petals lie scattered all along the way.
Desolate lie the garden paths, once dressed and neat,
Leafless hang the branches on the naked trees.
The nightingale is unconcerned with the season's range,
Would that someone in the grove appreciates her wail.
May the nightingale's wail pierce the listeners' hearts,
May the clinking caravan awaken slumbering thoughts!
Let the hearts pledge anew their faith to you, O Lord,
Let's re-charge our cups from the taverns of the past.
Through I hold a Persian cup, the wine is pureHejaz,
Thought I sing an Indian song, the turn is of the Arabian cast.