Lenin before God

In one of the notable parts of Baal-e-Jibreel (Gabriel’s Wing), Allama Iqbal, the famous poet and philosopher of the Indian sub-continent, artistically describes the encounter of the Lenin with God. The discussion that went on between Lenin, God, and the angels during their meeting is spread over three poems.

In the first poem, “Lenin before God”, Lenin acknowledges the presence of God in the “nature’s infinite music”. With remarkable honesty, Lenin proceeds to describe the situation on Earth to God. Here, instead of flattering the Deity, Lenin files his complaint:

Omnipotent, righteous, Thou; but bitter the hours,
Bitter the labourer’s chained hours in Thy world!
When shall this galley of gold’s dominion founder?
Thy world Thy day of wrath, Lord, stands and waits.

After hearing the fiery address of Lenin, the angles also express their support for the Lenin’s arguments in “Song of the Angles”, and request the God to bestow another glance to the earth:

Reason is unbridled yet,
Love is still a dream;
Thy work remains unfinished still,
O Craftsman of Eternity!

In the concluding part of the sequel, “God’s Command to his Angles”, the Lord, convinced and moved by the contentions of Lenin, orders the angels to provoke a revolution on Earth:

Rise, and from their slumber wake the poor ones of My world
Shake the walis and windows of the mansions of the great!
Kindle with the fire of faith the slow blood of the slaves
Make the fearful sparrow bold to meet the falcon’s hate!
Close the hour approaches of the kingdom of the poor—
Every imprint of the past find and annihilate!
Find the field whose harvest is no peasant’s daily bread—
Garner in the furnace every ripening ear of wheat!
Banish from the house of God the mumbling priest whose prayers
Like a veil creation from Creator separate!
God by mm’s prostrations, by man’s vows are idols cheated-.
Quench at once in My shrine and their fane the sacred light!
Rear for me another temple, build its walls with mud—
Wearied of their columned marbles, sickened is My sight!
All their fine new world a workshop filled with brittle glass-
Go! My poet of the East to madness dedicate.


English Translation of Baal-e-Jabreel

2 Responses to “Lenin before God”

  1. Saad Ahmed Baghi Says:

    Extremely great article. I think every revolutionary and rebel of the world, esp. India and Pakistan, should read theses three set of poems by Dr.Mohammad Iqbal.
    I have heared that Iqbal wrote on Karl Marx too. It’ll be great job if you post it too here, as you have did know.



  2. This is Iqbals poem on Marx

    The world does not like tricks and
    Of science and wit nor, their contests
    This age does not like ancient thoughts,
    From core of hearts their show detests.

    O wise economist, the books you write
    Are quite devoid of useful aim:
    They have twisted lines with orders strange
    No warmth for labour, though they claim.

    The idol houses of the West,
    Their schools and churches wide
    The ravage caused for, greed of wealth
    Their wily wit attempts to hide.

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