Quote: "When truth has no burning, it is philosophy" -Allama Iqbal This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 30, 2010
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The great Muslim poet, thinker, and humanist Allama Iqbal once said, 'When truth has no burning, it is mere philosophy. When truth has burning from the heart, it becomes poetry'. This quote, at first, may seem somewhat hard to understand. Allama Iqbal says that the truth is always there. You can see it. When you see the truth, and simply speak of it, when you do not get inspired by it, when the truth does not spark you heart, and starts a burning blaze, the truth remains philosophy.

What is philosophy? Philosophy is the art of recognizing truths, looking back at truths, expecting future truths, and speaking about them. However, when the truth DOES ignite, (the heart being the flammable thing it is), it starts a fire in the heart. The simple words begin to open up. Instead of just seeing the words, you can interpret them, understand them. This is poetry. When philosophy ignites the heart, the output is poetry, words that come from the heart. Think of it like this: when you see the truth, your mind makes up words. Your mind interprets the truth, and creates your own version of the truth. This also makes truths that are limited to yourself. By this, I mean truths that are only true to you. A good example of this is imagination. Imagination is true, but only to you. Your dreams are true, but only to you. This stage of 'truth' is at the mind. The mind creates philosophy. If this philosophy is powerful, it penetrates the mind, and delves into the heart. This is where the philosophy acts as an ember, creating the uncontrollable sparks of the heart we know as feelings. These sparks, when powerful enough, ignite the heart, and lead to something bigger, a blaze. This is what Iqbal is referring to when he says 'burning'. In a way, poetry is the philosophy of the heart. What is the difference? Philosophy is a bland restatement of the truth created by the mind, while poetry is the truth, the philosophy, turned into art.

How does this affect us here, today, living in 21st century America? Well, truth is everywhere. We have many, many, many sources of truth: news, TV, the Internet, our friends and family, etc. Truth is everywhere. However, this truth is without the burning that Iqbal describes. The truths we see in our everyday lives is philosophy. However, on the few occasions when the truth does set off sparks, when some people's hearts ARE ignited, the philosophy of our everyday lives suddenly becomes a little more beautiful. Sometimes, some amazing people with the right insight, can translate the straightforward philosophy into poetry. So, in essence, Iqbal somewhat defines poetry. Iqbal defines poetry as the ashes of philosophy after having been burned by the heart. Poetry is the heart's interpretation of the mind's interpretation of the truths we see in our common interpretation of reality.

MLA Citation
"When the truth has no burning, it is philosophy".QuotesandPoem. Nov. 15 2009. QuotesandPoem.com. Nov. 15. 2009. <http://www.quotesandpoem.com/quotes/showquotes/author/Allama-Muhammad-Iqbal/13052>





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