Poetry in Translation

Jihad

by Sir Mohammad Iqbal

“The pen is mightier than the sword,”
preaches an imam from the pulpit.

In our era such sermons lack virtue: Don’t
talk of a Muslim with a dagger, speak

instead of a Christian gunrunner who
smears a striving for truth as unholy.

Ask: If war is immoral for the East,
is it not so for the West, and if truth

is the path, why are Western blunders
burnished and those of Islam broadcast?

Translated, from the original Urdu, by Rafiq Kathwari

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