“Why should I play the part of the loser and refrain from seeking what I can gain?
Why shouldn’t I think of the future, instead of mourning the losses of the past?”

Muhammad Iqbal’s seminal poems, “Shikwa” and “Jawab-e-Shikwa” pose a fascinating conversation of man complaining to God for purportedly failing to protect the followers of the Prophet at a time of great upheaval in the Muslim world, along with God’s striking response.

This session will be introduced by Saeed Khan who will elucidate the philosophy of Iqbal’s work, particular Shikwa (Complaint) and Jawab-e-Shikwa (The Answer to the Complaint) and why it continues to strike a powerful and resonant tone for so many Muslims today.

This will be followed by a musical performance of the two poems by Ustaad Rafaqat Ali Khan, a classically trained singer hailing from the legendary Sham Churasia Gharana of Pakistan.

About The Poet

Saeed Khan

Saeed Khan is Senior Lecturer of Near East & Asian Studies and Global Studies of Wayne State University in Detroit, as well the Research Fellow of its Center for the Study of Citizenship. His latest publications include Global Studies: A Reader on Issues and Institutions and What’s Going on Here: US Experiences of Islamophobia between Obama and Trump, co-authored with Saied R. Ameli.

About The Performer

Headshot of Rafaqat Ali Khan

Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan