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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Diseases caused by bacteria

            Diseases caused by bacteria

with special reference to antibiotic resistance
Staphylococcus aureus ... Streptococcus pneumoniae ... Klebsiella pneumoniae ... Escherichia coli (E. coli) ...
Enterococcus spp. .. Pseudomonas aeruginosa .. Clostridium difficile ...

For each organism, I have presented some information about its microscopic appearance and its characteristics in culture, together with background information - emphasising that even pathogenic bacteria have another side to them, some details of the diseases caused by these bacteria, and the modern problems caused as a result of the development of resistance to antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus

- sometimes called golden staph 

Image courtesy CDC/ Matthew J. Arduino, DRPH

This is a false colour scanning electron micrograph. Some of the cells can be seen to be preparing to divide. Staphylococci tend to cling together after dividing in different directions and so resemble a bunch of grapes.
To a bacteriologist,Staphylococcus aureus is afacultatively anaerobic Gram-positive coccus.

When cultured on blood agar it exhibits haemolysis and it testscoagulase-positive and catalase-positive.

Image courtesy The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen

On this blood agar plate Staphylococcus aureuscolonies show whitish grey and glistening.

Mouseover to see zones of haemolysis, visible when lit from below.

Background information

Staphylococcus aureus is part of normal skin flora (possibly including nasal passages) in a large proportion of the human population, without causing problems to the carrier.

It may be passed from person to person by direct contact or via surfaces, including door handles. It has been shown to persist on hospital privacy curtains. This underlines the importance of hand-washing and hygiene.

It may cause disease if it enters an open wound and it can become a major problem for people with damaged or depressed immune systems, either from chronic disease, such as HIV, or in those undergoing chemotherapy, which represses the activity of the immune system.

The related species Staphylococcus epidermidis (used to be known as S. albus) also exists on skin and may play a protective role against S. aureus in normal conditions.

Causes (disease):

Staphylococcus aureus may cause minor skin infections such as pimples and boils, but these may become deep-seated, causing abscesses etc.

If it enters the blood it can cause a number of problems in the body: bacteremia and sepsistoxic shock syndrome (TSS)pneumoniameningitisosteomyelitisendocarditis.

Some strains produce (entero)toxins which can cause food poisoning.

Staphylococcus aureus is likely to cause problems in hospital patients:
  • pressure sores due to inactivity in bed
  • surgical wounds after operations such as hip replacements or heart surgery
  • being treated with intravenous drips or urinary catheters
All of these offer opportunities for bacteria to enter the body from the skin surface and cause infection.
Image courtesy CDC/ Bruno Coignard, M.D.; Jeff Hageman, M.H.S.
This is a cutaneous (skin) abscess on the hip of a prison inmate, spontaneously releasing its contents as pus.

Resistance Problems

Before antibiotics were discovered, Staphylococcus aureus infections were frequently fatal. Originally Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were easily killed by penicillin, as shown by the zone of inhibition on this Petri dish from Alexander Fleming in 1928.

Some bacteria by chance acquired the ability to break down and inactivate penicillin, using the enzyme penicillinase, which breaks open the beta lactam ring. Since these penicillin-resistant strains were not killed by it, they reproduced and replaced the original (penicillin sensitive) strains of Staphylococcus aureus. These are not necessarily more aggressive pathogens, but more difficult to control.

By the end of the 1950's penicillin resistance was a major problem,and spreading round the world. Several derivative compounds were developed for medicinal use, and categorised as beta lactamase sensitive or insensitive, depending on bacterial resistance to them.

Methicillin was developed in the early 1960's, and fell into the beta lactamase insensitive category. It is no longer produced - having been displaced by flucloxacillin, and dicloxacillin - but it gives its name (or at least its initial) to one of the most well known "superbugs".

The main current cause for concern is MRSA, a methicillin-resistant form of Staphylococcus aureus.

There is some variation in abundance and virulence of MRSA from country to country, as well as between community and hospital strains.

It is also likely to be resistant to basic penicillin and more recently developed forms.

Other antibiotics, e.g. vancomycin, teicoplanin or linezolid, may be used to treat MRSA, but they need to be (a) injected, either directly into a vein or fed into the blood stream via a drip rather than by mouth and (b) given at quite a high dose. Treatment is likely to involve several weeks in hospital.

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Image courtesy CDC/Dr. Mike Miller

This is a photomicrograph of Streptococcus pneumoniaebacteria, grown in a liquid medium containing blood. It is a gram-stained preparation, seen using a light microscope. The bacteria can be seen as purple dots in short rows, and the pinkish strands are fibres of fibrin in the clotted blood.
Initially this organism was known as Pneumococcus, then renamed Diplococcus pneumoniae because it was commonly seen as pairs of cells in sputum from people infected with pneumonia. When grown in liquid media in the lab it forms chains so it is now known asStreptococcus pneumoniae.

It was first isolated and described on 1881, by two pioneers of bacteriology working independently of one another: Louis Pasteur in France and George Miller Sternberg in America.

This organism was used to show the significance of DNA as the carrier of genetic information when the 'transforming principle' passed from a virulent but killed strain of bacteria (a 'smooth' form, with a capsule) to a non-virulent strain (a 'rough' form, with no capsule), as shown by experiments on mice. This transformation, discovered by Frederick Griffith in 1928, was proved in 1944 by Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty to be caused by DNA not protein.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a gram-positive, catalase-negative coccus. It is said to be an aerotolerant anaerobe. When grown on agar containing blood it shows alpha haemolysis.

Background information

Streptococcus pneumoniae is very common and may be found in the back of the nose and throat, or the upper respiratory tract. Up to 40% of healthy adults and children show no adverse effects.

Causes (disease):

Streptococcus pneumoniae can be one cause of lobar pneumonia (infection of the lung), especially in young adults. It is estimated that 25% of all community-acquired pneumonia is due to this species.

Other forms of pneumonia may be caused by different bacteria including Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Haemophilus, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma, or by certain viruses, fungi or protozoans.

Streptococcus pneumoniae may also cause infections of the sinuses or ears. As a result, it may go on to cause bacterial meningitis. It may also infect bones andjoints as well as internal organs, especially in children and elderly people.

It has quite a complex cell wall which tends to become attached to human cells, and produces several toxins which perforate cell membranes and cause tissue damage. There are many possible proteins in the bacterial cell wall and membrane, and abot 90 different strains or serotypes can be identified, allowing the monitoring of outbreaks but a mixed vaccine must be developed to deal with the most likely strains.

Some strains have a capsule which makes them more virulent, and some have pili (hair-like structures that extend from the surface) which assist in the colonization of the upper respiratory tract. They also increase the formation of cytokines - signalling compounds produced by the immune system, and this causes tissue breakdown and allows invasive infection.

Resistance Problems

S. pneumoniae has a natural transformation system as a mechanism for genetic exchange (horizontal gene transfer) with related and unrelated species. It has been shown that genes coding for alterations in penicillin binding proteins have been passed in this way so that resistance to beta lactam antibiotics has quickly spread in the last 20 years.

As it grows in numbers quite fast and achieves large populations when it causes infections, it achieves conditions which quickly lead to random mutations, the most advantageous of which are selected for and consequently get to dominate the population.

Multiple antibiotic resistance now covers the globe and has rapidly increased since 1995.

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Klebsiella spp. as seen under the light microscope
Klebsiella species are nonmotilerod-shaped,gram-negative, catalase-positive, oxidase-negative, lactose fermentingfacultatively anaerobic bacteria with a prominent polysaccharide capsule.

The genus Klebsiella is named after Theodor Albrecht Edwin Klebs, a German-Swiss pathologist and microbiologist who identified the bacterium causing diphtheria.

Klebsiella pneumoniae ferments lactose and produces pink colonies on McConkey agar. The shiny (mucoid) colonies indicate the presence of the capsule.


K. pneumoniae is part of normal skin, mouth and gut flora - no problem to most healthy people.

Causes (disease)

When K. pneumoniae colonises the respiratory system it can cause bronchopneumonia or bronchial pneumonia - as distinct from lobar pneumonia (see above). This results in the acute inflammation of the walls of the bronchioles (small air passages leading from the windpipe and bronchi towards the alveoli: the terminal air sacs) and consequent congestion with pus. Usually there are several sites of infection, on both lungs.

Endotracheal intubation (insertion of a tube into the windpipe to assist breathing) sometimes results in this infection.

Bronchopneumonia may also be caused by Staphylococcus aureusE. coli, and Pseudomonas.

Klebsiella pneumoniae can also cause urinary tract infections often associated with catheters (UTIs) as well as infecting surgical wound sites.

Resistance problems

In healthcare settings, Klebsiella infections commonly occur among sick patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions, especially those with a weakened immune system or on long courses of certain antibiotics. Patients on ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous (vein) catheters, and urinary catheters are most at risk for Klebsiella infections.

Some Klebsiella strains have become highly resistant to antibiotics, especially carbapenems which are the last line of defence against Gram-negative infections

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

Image courtesy CDC/ National Escherichia, Shigella, Vibrio Reference Unit at CDC

This is a colourized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicting a number of Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria of the strain O157:H7.

Escherichia coli as seen under the light microscope
Escherichia coli is widely known as E. coli, although scientific names should not be abbreviated until they have been stated once in full.
In the past it has been called Bacterium coli and Bacillus coli, but it was (re-)named after Theodor Escherich, a leading German bacteriologist in the field of paediatrics, who first described it in 1886. The specific part of the binomial name "coli" means " of the colon" - the large intestine (also known as the bowel).

It has been widely used in laboratories for over 60 years because it is easy to grow and offers little danger of infection, and it has been extensively used in virology and recombinant DNA work.

As it leaves the body in faeces and can survive for some time afterwards, it serves as an indicator of faecal contamination of the environment and foods. A number of microbiological test procedures have been developed for this purpose. It lends itself to tests involving selective media based on recreating conditions within the colon.

It is a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobicrod-shaped bacterium. It is non-sporulating i.e. it does not produce spores.

Some strains are motile i.e they possess flagella, which are described as peritrichous i.e. projecting outwards all round the surface of the cell wall.

Background information

There are many strains of E. coli.

The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut. It is said that they are beneficial in that they produce vitamin K2, and that they prevent the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine - an effect that may be counteracted if antibiotics are used for treating other bacterial conditions.

Interestingly, E. coli is one of the first bacteria to colonise the gut of new-born children, but not those born by Caesarean section.

Disease caused by E. coli

Enteropathogenic forms of E.coli have recently become more well known than the "ordinary" forms. These cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), and vomiting and perhaps slight fever. They produce a toxin that can attack the body in several areas: the gut (causing bloody diarrhoea), the kidneys (causing kidney failure), and sometimes the nervous system.

One strain in particular (known as O157, O157 H7, STECVTEC or EHEC) has been responsible for most problems i.e outbreaks of “E. coli” infections around the world, first noted in 1982. In addition, other kinds of E. coli (called serogroups) can cause disease of varying seriousness. These serotypes are based on antigensassociated with various components: (O: outer cell wall layer, H: flagellin, K: capsule).

A recent outbreak in Germany was caused by a strain now known as O104:H4 from contaminated seed sprouts.

The faecal-oral transmission route is the main way in which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease.

Many incidences of holiday diarrhoea have been attributed to it, especially after consuming food which has been contaminated with faeces, either in preparation following poor lavatory hygiene or as a result of the application of (animal or other) manure to land on which crops are grown. Salads are especially suspect in this respect. Unpasteurized (raw) milk, soft cheeses made from raw milk and undercooked beefburgers are common sources of infection, as well as swallowing lake water while swimming, visiting petting zoos and other animal exhibits.

Resistance problems

Digestive system infections are not treated with antibiotics; recent strains e.g O104:H4 are resistant to most antibiotics. This is likely to be due to previous "environmental" exposure to them.

Infections within other areas of the body can cause a variety of problems:
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs), which may lead to:
  • bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the blood - not quite the same as "blood poisoning")

  • - this may lead to:
  • E. coli pneumonia (bronchopneumonia of the lower lobes) - especially in patients weakened by other conditions e.g. diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • cholecystitis - inflammation of the gallbladder
  • acute bacterial meningitis in newborn children (may also be caused by group B streptococcal infections)
Urinary tract infections by E. coli are more common in females than in males because the ureter is shorter and nearer to the anus and is associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Some strains possess P fimbriae (many short proteinaceous appendages) that are used to adhere to human body cells, especially epithelial cells of the urinary tract.

Trimethoprim is the drug of first choice for the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections although 10-20% of E. coli infections will be resistant to it. Other antibiotics which may be used as first-line agents if a patient is allergic to trimethoprim include nitrofurantoin and cefalexin. Amoxicillin is not used routinely as 50% of organisms will be resistant to it.

Enterococcus spp.

Image courtesy CDC/ Janice Haney Carr
This is a monochrome (uncoloured) scanning electromicrograph.
Enterococci are facultatively anaerobic Gram-positive cocci. In culture media they do not show haemolysis. The most clinically relevant of these bacteria are E. faecalis and E. faecium.

The term enterococci may be used in a general sense to mean round-shaped bacteria (cocci) found in the gut, but if used as a Genus (Enterococcus spp.), it should be italicised.

They were previously categorised as "Group D" Streptococcus organisms.

Background information

Enterococcus spp. are said to be commensal, inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts of humans. As such, they are not a problem unless complications arise following surgery or deterioration in health.

Disease caused by Enterococcus spp.

Enterococcus spp. from a patient's intestine can spread to other parts of the body, often causing urinary tract infection, infection within the abdomen, and infection of operational wound sites. From here it can spread and cause infections in a number of areas such as endocarditis.

Antibiotic Resistance problems

Enterococci from the gut are commonly found to have resistance to a variety of antibiotics and thus treatment of supplementary infections in the hospital setting presents a challenge.

The current focus of attention is on vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

A number of resistance genes are known; these are carried on plasmids or transposons.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Image courtesy CDC/ Janice Haney Carr
This is another false colour scanning electron micrograph.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa - also known as Pseudomonas pyocyanea - is a Gram-negativeaerobic orfacultatively anaerobicrod-shaped bacterium. It is motile. When grown on certain types of agar in the laboratory, it produces green pigments.

The genus name Pseudomonas means 'false unit', although it might be an attempt to distinguish it from another organism living in water, probably a protoctistan. The species name aeruginosa refers to the blue-green pigment produced in culture.

Background information

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is widely distributed in the environment - in soil and water, especially stagnant water. It may be found on the surface of human skin and may be said to be part of the normal skin flora for some people.

Because it is quite flexible in its nutrition and respiration, it can colonise many areas around the home and hospital, and (non-sterile areas) inside the human body. This is seen as less of a problem than growth of P. aeruginosa in normally sterile areas.

Disease caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Under some circumstances Pseudomonas aeruginosa may cause infections in the body. It may be considered as an opportunistic, nosocomial pathogen of immunocompromised individuals, including premature and newly-born babies.
These infections commonly involve the pulmonary tract, urinary tract infections, burns, wounds, and other blood infections

It also commonly affects those with the condition cystic fibrosis, in which thick mucus in the lungs restricts diffusion of oxygen, providing conditions which favour its growth.

P. aeruginosa may also cause Hot tub folliculitis - a skin rash caused by bacterial growth in hair follicles, when hygiene falls due to inadequate treatment of water in these environments, and it has also been implicated in osteomyelitis due to puncture wounds of the foot, resulting in direct inoculation with P. aeruginosa via the foam padding found in tennis shoes.

Antibiotic resistance problems

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not easily controlled by antibiotics, because it is Gram-negative and has a fairly impermeable outer layer (envelope) and it can also turn on "pumps" that remove antibiotics from the cell.

Additionally, it may benefit both physically and geneticaly from the formation of biofilms within the body.

P. aeruginosa is generally controllable by the use of certain antibiotics, although the classically-used examples are ineffective.

The Health Protection Agency suggests the use of third generation cephalosporins (ceftazidime), carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem), aminoglycosides (gentamicin and tobramycin) and colistin. For serious infections, broad-spectrum penicillins are recommended in combination with an aminoglycoside.

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile

Image courtesy CDC/ Lois S. Wiggs & Janice Carr
Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positiveanaerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium.

Its specific name (difficile) - meaning difficult - may be pronounced in a number of ways, depending on different styles of Latin or even French.

Being anaerobic spore-formers, Clostridium species are in a category of their own. They also produce toxins which have adverse effects on the human body. Other members of the genusClostridium cause tetanus (jockjaw)botulism, and gangrene.

Most bacteria form only vegetative cells, and although they grow quickly and can cause different sorts of problems inside the body, outside the body they are easily killed by exposure to reasonably high temperature, dry conditions, and certain sorts of chemicals - antiseptics and disinfectants.

The spores formed by Clostridium species are extremely resistant to these conditions, and remain viable for months or years. In fact these spores can withstand exposure to high temperatures and strong disinfectant chemicals.

As anaerobic organisms, they can cause problems within the body as they can respire, function and reproduce in parts of the body that are not well supplied with oxygen, such as in the gut or deep within muscles.

Background information

Clostridium difficile bacteria are naturally found in the gut of some people, probably kept under control by the activities of other harmless bacteria there - it may be called commensal. Some cells of Clostridium difficile are transformed into spores, which will leave the body in faeces and on underclothes and bedclothes, but presumably these do not cause any further problems for these people. The spores of C. difficile can survive in the environment in a state of suspended animation for months or years.

Disease caused by Clostridium difficile

In the hospital or other healthcare environment spores may be spread from one patient to another, perhaps when bedclothes are changed. Spores of Clostridium difficile entering the body can germinate and the resulting vegetative bacterial cells can grow in number. This may cause flu-like symptoms or (mild?) colitis.

However, if antibiotics are administered, they may eliminate other competing micro-organisms in the gut, causing unchecked growth of C. difficile. In this context cephalosporins and in particular quinolones and clindamycin are considered to be high risk antibiotics.

Growth of C. difficile may cause more severe diarrhoea - the condition being known as antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD). Toxins from C. difficile can cause severe inflammation of the colon - pseudomembranous colitis may result. This may be treated using completely different antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistance problems

Clostridium difficile strains resistant to clindamycin and to fluoroquinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin) have been reported in the USA. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bottle feeding linked to stomach obstruction in infants

New research says that bottle feeding appears to increase the risk of babies developing hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, a form of stomach obstruction characterized by severe and frequent projectile vomiting and most common among infants in their first 2 months of life.
Surgery, called pyloromyotomy, may be needed to clear the hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS), which occurs when the smooth muscle layer of the pylorus (the "gateway" between the stomach and small intestines) thickens.
Dr. Jarod P. McAteer from Seattle Children's Hospital and colleagues say in the study that although this is a fairly common condition - it occurs in approximately 2 in 1,000 births - the cause remains unknown.
This study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, sets out to establish if bottle feeding during early infancy increases the risk of developing HPS, and if so, how the risk is modified by other factors.

Largest study to date

The study reports that breastfeeding became a target of interest in the 1980s, as researchers noted that an upsurge in the breastfeeding rates coincided with a decrease in the number of cases of HPS.
The doctors claim that this study analyzes the largest group of HPS patients with data on infant feeding practices yet studied.
The researchers collected data from Washington State birth certificates and hospital discharge data between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2009.
Participants in the study had to be singleton babies under 6 months old who had been both diagnosed with HPS and undergone corrective surgery.
During the time period selected, researchers identified 714 such infants and matched them to "control" babies - ones without HPS.
The researchers do note that as the study is observational, all associations should be interpreted "with caution." They also point out the data of how a baby was fed is based on information provided when the mother and baby were discharged from the hospital.
Some babies who were breastfed initially could have switched to bottle feeding (or vice versa) prior to developing HPS, the researchers say.
There are many reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding their babies, including cracked and sore nipples or mastitis. A report, published by UNICEF, reports that 60% of women did not manage to breastfeed for as long as they would have wanted.
Another potential pitfall in this research is that babies bottle-fed expressed milk are coded as bottle-fed in the data, so interpretations regarding formula milk versus breast milk may also be skewed.

Bottle feeding 'may play a role in HPS'

The researchers found that the incidence of HPS decreased from 14 per 10,000 births in 2003 to 9 per 10,000 births in 2009. They note that the popularity of breastfeeding also increased during that time from 80% in 2003 to 94% in 2009.
The study revealed that bottle-fed infants were more likely to develop HPS, compared with controls (19.5% vs. 9.1%). The odds of an infant developing HPS also increased if they were male, and when mothers were 35 years and older and multiparous (having given birth more than once before.).
The study concludes:
"These data suggest that bottle feeding may play a role in HPS etiology, and further investigations may help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the observed effect modification by age and parity."
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Douglas C. Barnhart from the Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City, writes:
"While the data seem convincing that bottle feeding increases the risk, the reason is not clear."  
"Further understanding of the pathogenesis of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis will come from both basic research and more detailed epidemiologic studies," Barnhart concludes.
Dr. McAteer and his colleagues agree, adding:
"Further studies are warranted to validate these findings and to look more closely at the speculative mechanisms, including possible hormonal effects, underlying the bottle feeding-HPS association."
Written by Abdul Samad

Lack of sleep may increase Alzheimer's risk

A new study suggests that reduced sleep and poor sleep quality may be linked to increased build-up of beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of older adults - a sign of Alzheimer's disease. This is according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Researchers from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health say that previous research has linked disturbed sleep to cognitive impairment in older individuals.
They note that those with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been shown to spend more time awake and have higher levels of fragmented sleep, compared with those who do not have the disorder.
Sleep patterns have previously been linked to beta-amyloid plaques. Research has indicated that changes in beta-amyloid levels may be regulated by sleep-wake patterns, the researchers say.
Therefore, they wanted to determine whether there is a link between beta-amyloid deposition and sleep variables within community-dwelling older adults.
The research team analyzed data from 70 adults with a mean age of 76 years, taken from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. All participants were free of any form of dementia.
The participants were required to self-report their sleep patterns, disclosing the mean hours of sleep they had each night, how often they woke throughout the night, whether they had trouble falling asleep and whether they woke earlier than planned.
Their beta-amyloid deposition in the brain was measured using various brain imaging techniques.

Lack of sleep 'increases beta-amyloid deposition'

The participants reported sleep duration ranging from no more than 5 hours, to more than 7 hours each night.
When comparing sleep duration with brain imaging showing the participant's beta-amyloid deposition, it was found that shorter overall nights' sleep duration and poor sleep quality were linked to increased beta-amyloid build-up.
However, the researchers note that the number of times a person woke during the night was not linked to an increase in beta-amyloid build-up.
The study authors say:
"Our results are consistent with those from animal research in which sleep deprivation increased interstitial fluid beta-amyloid levels.
These studies raise the possibility that poor sleep may promote beta-amyloid deposition, but they also raise questions about the mechanisms linking sleep/wake patterns and beta-amyloid burden."

Promoting healthy sleep 'may offset AD risk'

The researchers add that these findings could have significant public health implications, noting that AD is the most common form of dementia and almost half of older adults with the disorder report insomnia-based symptoms.
"Because late-life sleep disturbance can be treated, interventions to improve sleep or maintain healthy sleep among older adults may help prevent or slow AD to the extent that poor sleep promotes AD onset and progression," the study authors say.
"This result would have a substantial effect on the independence and quality of life of older adults and their families and on the significant health care costs associated with AD."
The researchers conclude that intervention trials are warranted in order to determine whether longer sleep duration and better sleep quality may prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Research into beta-amyloid deposition in the brain continues. Medical News Today reported earlier this month that researchers from the University of Rochester have suggested sleep "detoxes" the brain by flushing out the waste products of neural activity.

Insufficient vitamin D may raise anemia risk in children

The researchers report their study, the first to comprehensively explore the link between low vitamin D and anemia in children, in a recent online issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
They say the results highlight the complex relationship between vitamin D and hemoglobin, the protein that holds oxygen in red blood cells.
They suggest that low vitamin D might be linked to anemia via several mechanisms, for example, the link might be the way the vitamin affects the production of red blood cells in bone marrow. Or it could be vitamin D's role in regulating immune inflammation, which is known to trigger anemia.
Anemia, a condition where the body does not have enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells, is thought to affect around 20% of children at some point in their lives.
And several large studies estimate that nearly 7 out of 10 American children do not have enough vitamin D, with around 1 in 10 suffering from severe deficiency.

'Double the anemia risk'

For their study, the team looked for links between vitamin and hemoglobin in the blood samples of over 10,400 children and adolescents (aged between 1 and 21 years) who took part in the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
They found children with low hemoglobin levels consistently had lower levels of vitamin D, compared with children who had normal hemoglobin levels.
Children whose vitamin D levels were below 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), defined as mild vitamin D deficiency, had nearly double the risk of anemia than counterparts with normal vitamin D levels.
When they examined the results by race, they found black children had higher rates of anemia compared with white children, and much lower vitamin D levels overall, but their risk of anemia did not increase until their vitamin D levels were much lower than those of white children.
Lead investigator Dr. Meredith Atkinson, a pediatric kidney specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, says:

 "The clear racial variance we saw in our study should serve as a reminder that what we may consider a pathologically low level in some may be perfectly adequate in others, which raises some interesting questions about our current one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and supplementation."

It is important to treat chronic anemia and vitamin D deficiency as they can lead to a range of health consequences, including organ damage, bone deformities and frequent fractures, as well as early development of osteoporosis later on in life.
The authors note that as well as being important for healthy bones, there is also evidence that vitamin D plays other roles - recent studies have found low levels of the vitamin are linked to cancer, heart disease and suppressed immunity.


Baldness cure a step closer with promising new treatment

The team, from Columbia University Medical Center in the US and Durham University in the UK, says their technique generates new human hair growth, rather than simply redistributing hair follicles from one part of the scalp to another.
In a study they report online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they describe how they tested their new approach on mice - by growing hairs on human skin grafted onto the animals.
Current hair transplant treatments relocate hair follicles from one part of the head to another, usually from the back to the front. This redistributes rather than increases hair follicles and is a lengthy process that can take all day in the clinic and leaves a large scar.
The new approach would actually increase the number of hair cells able to produce hair. It would take fewer hair cells (leaving a much smaller scar), grow them in a lab culture, then transplant the multiplied cells back into the bald or thinning parts of the patient's scalp.
If it leads to clinical success, the technique could benefit not only men in early stages of baldness, but also women with hair loss, who are mostly unable to use current transplant treatments because of insufficient donor hair.
Co-lead author Angela M. Christiano, the Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology and professor of genetics & development at Columbia, explains:

"This method offers the possibility of inducing large numbers of hair follicles or rejuvenating existing hair follicles, starting with cells grown from just a few hundred donor hairs. It could make hair transplantation available to individuals with a limited number of follicles, including those with female-pattern hair loss, scarring alopecia, and hair loss due to burns."

New hair growth in mice

The idea of cloning hair follicles has been around for decades. Scientists already know that dermal papilla cells, that are found inside the hair follicles, can give rise to new follicles.
Man going bald
A new technique that involves cloning dermal papillae and transplanting them in tissue culture has resulted in the successful growth of new human hair, results which could transform hair-loss treatment.
But attempts to make this happen tend to hit brick walls, as co-lead author Colin Jahoda, professor of stem cell sciences at Durham and co-director of North East England Stem Cell Institute, explains:
"However, once the dermal papilla cells are put into conventional, two-dimensional tissue culture, they revert to basic skin cells and lose their ability to produce hair follicles. So we were faced with a catch-22: how to expand a sufficiently large number of cells for hair regeneration while retaining their inductive properties."
They found their way out of the catch-22 when they observed how hair grows on mice and other rodents. Prof. Jahoda, one of the early founders of stem cell sciences, has been working on methods of harvesting, expanding and successfully transplanting rodent skin cells back into their skin for years.
From observing this process over the years, the researchers developed a hunch that one reason rodent hair transplants easily is because once they are in culture, rodent skin papillae tend to spontaneously aggregate, unlike human papillae.
They reasoned that the clumps of rodent skin papillae were somehow creating their own environment, allowing them to interact and send signals in a way that reprogrammed the recipient skin to grow new follicles.
So they tested their idea by harvesting dermal papillae from seven human donors and cloned them in tissue culture - without adding any additional growth factors.

Importance of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is meal made from rolled or ground oats, or porridge made from ground or rolled oats. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the term "porridge" or "porridge oats" are common terms for the breakfast cereal that is usually cooked.

Interest in oatmeal has increased considerably over the last twenty years because of its health benefits.

Studies have shown that if you eat a bowl of oatmeal everyday your blood cholesterol levels, especially if they are too high, will drop, because of the cereal's soluble fiber content. When findings were published in the 1980s, an "oat bran craze" spread across the USA and Western Europe. The oats craze dropped off in the 1990s.

In 1997, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) agreed that foods with high levels of rolled oats or oat bran could include data on their labels about their cardiovascular heart benefits if accompanied with a low-fat diet. This was followed by another surge in oatmeal popularity.

Oats is rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as water-soluble fiber, which slow digestion down and stabilize levels of blood-glucose.

Oatmeal porridge is very rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.

Coarse or steel-cut oats contain more fiber than instant varieties.

Importance of Avocados

Many people avoid avocados because of its high fat content; they believe that avoiding all fats leads to better health and easier-to-control body weight - this is a myth. Approximately 75% of the calories in an avocado come from fat; mostly monosaturated fat.

Weight-for-weight, avocadoes have 35% more potassium than bananas.

Avocados are also very rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin K and vitamin E.

Avocados also have a very high fiber content of 25% soluble and 75% insoluble fiber.

Studies have shown that regular avocado consumption lowers blood cholesterol levels.

Avocado extracts are currently being studied in the laboratory to see whether they might be useful for treating diabetes or hypertension.

Researchers from Ohio State University found that nutrients taken from avocados were able to stop oral cancer cells, and even destroy some of the pre-cancerous cells.

An article on avocados and oral cancer prevention:
"Avocados May Help Prevent Oral Cancer, OSU Study Shows")


Muhammad Iqbal
محمد اقبال
Born 9 November 1877
Sialkot, Punjab, British India
Died 21 April 1938 (aged 60)
Lahore, Punjab, British India
Era 20th century philosophy
Region British India
Main interests Urdu poetry, Persian poetry
Notable ideas Two-Nation Theory, Conception of Pakistan
Website Importance of Nature
Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu: محمد اقبال‎) (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), also known as Allama Iqbal (علامہ اقبال), was a philosopher, poet and politician in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages.
Iqbal is admired as a prominent classical poet by Pakistani, Indian, Iranian, and other international scholars of literature. Though Iqbal is best known as an eminent poet, he is also a highly acclaimed "Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times".His first poetry book, Asrar-e-Khudi, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Payam-i-Mashriq and Zabur-i-Ajam. Amongst these his best known Urdu works are Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i Kalim and a part of Armughan-e-Hijaz. In Iran and Afghanistan, he is famous as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī (اقبال لاهوری‎) (Iqbal of Lahore), and he is most appreciated for his Persian work. Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his various Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political disputes over the years.
In 1922, he was knighted by King George V, giving him the title "Sir".
While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All India Muslim League. Later, in one of his most famous speeches, Iqbal pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in Northwest India. This took place in his presidential speech in the League's December 1930 session. He was very close to the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
In much of Southern Asia and Urdu speaking world, Iqbal is regarded as the Shair-e-Mashriq (شاعر مشرق, "Poet of the East"). He is also called Muffakir-e-Pakistan (مفکر پاکستان, "The Thinker of Pakistan") and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (حکیم الامت, "The Sage of the Ummah"). The Pakistan government officially named him a "national poet". His birthday Yōm-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl (یوم ولادت محمد اقبال) or (Iqbal Day) is a public holiday in Pakistan. In India he is also remembered as the author of the popular song Saare Jahaan Se Achcha.

Personal life


Iqbal was born in Sialkot on 9 November 1877 within the Punjab Province of British India (now in Pakistan). His grandparents were Kashmiri Pandits, the Brahmins of the Sapru clan from Kashmir who converted to Islam. In the 19th century, when Sikhs were taking over rule of Kashmir, his grandfather's family migrated to Punjab. Iqbal often mentioned and commemorated about his Kashmiri Pandit Brahmin lineage in his writings.

Allama Iqbal with his son Javed Iqbal in 1930

Mother of Allama Muhammad Iqbal who passed in November 9, 1914.Iqbal expressed his feeling of pathos in a poetic form on death
Iqbal's father, Sheikh Noor Muhammad, was a tailor, not formally educated but a religious man. Iqbal's mother Imam Bibi was a polite and humble woman who helped the poor and solved the problems of neighbours. She died on 9 November 1914 in Sialkot. Iqbal loved his mother, and on her death he expressed his feelings of pathos in a poetic form elegy.
Who would wait for me anxiously in my native place?
Who would display restlessness if my letter fails to arrive?
I will visit thy grave with this complaint:
Who will now think of me in midnight prayers?
All thy life thy love served me with devotion—
When I became fit to serve thee, thou hast departed.
Iqbal was four years old when he was admitted to the mosque for learning the Qur'an, he learned the Arabic language from his teacher Syed Mir Hassan, the head of the madrassa and professor of Arabic language at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, where Iqbal completed matriculation in 1893. He received Intermediate with the Faculty of Arts diploma from Murray College Sialkot in 1895. The same year he qualified for Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, English literature and Arabic as his subjects from Government College Lahore in 1897, and won the Khan Bahadurddin F.S. Jalaluddin medal as he took higher numbers in Arabic class. In 1899, he received Masters of Arts degree from the same college and had the first place in Punjab University, Lahore.
Iqbal had married three times, in 1895 while studying Bachelor of Arts he had his first marriage with Karim Bibi, the daughter of a Gujarati physician Khan Bahadur Ata Muhammad Khan, through an arranged marriage. They had daughter Miraj Begum and son Aftab Iqbal. Later Iqbal's second marriage was with Sardar Begum mother of Javid Iqbal and third marriage with Mukhtar Begum in December 1914.

Iqbal in Spain, 1933

Higher education in Europe

Iqbal was influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold, his philosophy teacher at Government college Lahore, Arnold's teachings determined Iqbal to pursue higher education in the West. In 1905, he traveled to England for his higher education. Iqbal qualified for a scholarship from Trinity College in Cambridge and obtained Bachelor of Arts in 1906, and in the same year he was called to the bar as a barrister from Lincoln's Inn. In 1907, Iqbal moved to Germany to study doctorate and earned PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published his doctoral thesis in 1908 entitled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.
During Iqbal's stay in Heidelberg, Germany in 1907 his German teacher Emma Wegenast taught him about Goethe's Faust, Heine and Nietzsche. During his study in Europe, Iqbal began to write poetry in Persian. He prioritized it because he believed he had found an easy way to express his thoughts. He would write continuously in Persian throughout his life.


Allama Iqbal as Youth in 1899
Iqbal, after completing his Master of Arts degree in 1899, initiated his career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College and shortly was selected as a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore, where he had also been a student, Iqbal worked there until he left for England in 1905. In 1908, Iqbal returned from England and joined again the same college as a professor of philosophy and English literature. At the same period Iqbal began practicing law at Chief Court Lahore, but soon Iqbal quit law practice, and devoted himself in literary works and became an active member of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam. In 1919, he became the general secretary of the same organisation. Iqbal's thoughts in his work primarily focus on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centered around experiences from his travels and stays in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe.
The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal's mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal began intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, while embracing Rumi as "his guide". Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of guide in many of his poems. Iqbal's works focus on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilization, and delivering the message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for sociopolitical liberation and greatness. Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community or the Ummah.
Iqbal poetry has been translated into many European languages, at the time when his work was famous during the early part of the 20th century. Iqbal’s Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R A Nicholson and A J Arberry respectively.

Final years and death

The tomb of Muhammad Iqbal at the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore.
In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal had suffered from a mysterious throat illness. He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan to establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at Jamalpur estate near Pathankot, where studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science were plan to be subsidised, and Iqbal also advocated the demand for an independent Muslim state.

Iqbal as a Barrister-at-Law.
Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and was granted pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. In his final years he frequently visited the Dargah of famous Sufi Hazrat Ali Hujwiri in Lahore for spiritual guidance. After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore on 21 April 1938. His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are provided by the Government of Pakistan.

A night view of the tomb.
Iqbal is commemorated widely in Pakistan, where he is regarded as the ideological founder of the state. His Tarana-e-Hind is a song that is widely used in India as a patriotic song speaking of communal harmony. His birthday is annually commemorated in Pakistan as Iqbal Day, a national holiday. Iqbal is the namesake of many public institutions, including the Allama Iqbal Campus Punjab University in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal hall in Nishtar Medical College in Multan and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi and Allama Iqbal Hall at AMU, India.
The government and public organizations have sponsored the establishment of educational institutions, colleges and schools dedicated to Iqbal, and have established the Iqbal Academy to research, teach and preserve the works, literature and philosophy of Iqbal. Allama Iqbal Stamps Society established for the promotion of Iqbaliyat in philately and in other hobbies. His son Javid Iqbal has served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Javaid Manzil was the last residence of Allama Iqbal.

Efforts and influences


While dividing his time between law practice and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He did not support Indian involvement in World War I and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Ali and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.

Iqbal with Muslim politicians.
(L to R): M. Iqbal (third), Syed Zafarul Hasan (sixth) at Aligarh Muslim University.
In November 1926, with the encouragement of friends and supporters, Iqbal contested for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes. He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League.

Iqbal, Jinnah and concept of Pakistan

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League's objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force in convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:
"I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India and, perhaps, to the whole of India."
While Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930, Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the partition of India. Iqbal's close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah's embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on 21 June 1937:

Allama Iqbal in Allahabad with other Muslim leaders
"A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are."
Iqbal, serving as president of the Punjab Muslim League, criticised Jinnah's political actions, including a political agreement with Punjabi leader Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, whom Iqbal saw as a representative of feudal classes and not committed to Islam as the core political philosophy. Nevertheless, Iqbal worked constantly to encourage Muslim leaders and masses to support Jinnah and the League. Speaking about the political future of Muslims in India, Iqbal said:
"There is only one way out. Muslims should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence.... The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims."

Revival of Islamic polity

Iqbal with Choudhary Rahmat Ali and other Muslim leaders
Iqbal's six English lectures were published first from Lahore in 1930 and then by Oxford University press in 1934 in a book titled The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Which were read at Madras, Hyderabad and Aligarh. These lectures dwell on the role of Islam as a religion as well as a political and legal philosophy in the modern age. In these lectures Iqbal firmly rejects the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with Muslim masses.
Iqbal expressed fears that not only would secularism weaken the spiritual foundations of Islam and Muslim society, but that India's Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence. In his travels to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, he promoted ideas of greater Islamic political co-operation and unity, calling for the shedding of nationalist differences. He also speculated on different political arrangements to guarantee Muslim political power; in a dialogue with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British government and with no central Indian government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims.
Sir Muhammad Iqbal was elected president of the Muslim League in 1930 at its session in Allahabad, in the United Provinces as well as for the session in Lahore in 1932. In his presidential address on 29 December 1930, Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India:
"I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of Northwest India.
In his speech, Iqbal emphasised that unlike Christianity, Islam came with "legal concepts" with "civic significance," with its "religious ideals" considered as inseparable from social order: "therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim." Iqbal thus stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities, but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles.
He thus became the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-Nation Theory—that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India. However, he would not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic state would construe a theocracy, even as he rejected secularism and nationalism. The latter part of Iqbal's life was concentrated on political activity. He would travel across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, and he reiterated his ideas in his 1932 address, and during the Third round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces.
He would serve as president of the Punjab Muslim League, and would deliver speeches and publish articles in an attempt to rally Muslims across India as a single political entity. Iqbal consistently criticised feudal classes in Punjab as well as Muslim politicians averse to the League. Many unnoticed account of Iqbal's frustration toward Congress leadership were also pivotal of visioning the two nation theory.

Copy of the first journal of Tolu-e-Islam.

Patron of The Journal Tolu-e-Islam

Iqbal was the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited, a journal Tolu-e-Islam named after the famous poem of Iqbal, Tulu'i Islam. He also dedicated the first edition of this journal to Iqbal. For a long time Iqbal wanted a journal to propagate his ideas and the aims and objective of Muslim league. It was Syed Nazeer Niazi, a close friend of his and a regular visitor to him during his last two years, who started this journal. He also made Urdu translation of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, by Sir Muhammad Iqbal.

In the first monthly journal of Oct. 1935, an article Millat Islamia Hind The Muslim nation of India was published. In this article Syed Nazeer Niazi described the political conditions of British India and the aims and objectives of the Muslim community. He also discussed the basic principles of Islam which were aims and objective of Iqbal's concept of an Islamic State.

The early contributors to this journal were eminent Muslim scholars like Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri, Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, Dr. Zakir Hussain Khan, Syed Naseer Ahmed, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Maulvi Ghulam Yezdani, Ragheb Ahsan, Sheikh Suraj ul Haq, Rafee ud din Peer, Prof. Fazal ud din Qureshi, Agha Muhammad Safdar, Asad Multani, Dr. Tasadaq Hussain, Prof. Yusuf Saleem Chisti.
Later on, this journal was continued by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, who had already contributed many articles in the early editions of this journal. After the emergence of Pakistan, the mission of the journal Tolu-e-Islam was to propagate the implementation of the principle which had inspired the demand for separate Muslim State according to the Quran. This journal is still published by Idara Tolu-e-Islam, Lahore.

Literary work


Iqbal's poetic works are written primarily in Persian rather than Urdu. Among his 12,000 verses of poetry, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal's finest poetic work In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal explains his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self."Iqbal's use of the term "Khudi" is synonymous with the word "Rooh" mentioned in the Quran. "Rooh" is that divine spark which is present in every human being, and was present in Adam, for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. One has to make a great journey of transformation to realise that divine spark which Iqbal calls "Khudi".
The same concept was used by Farid ud Din Attar in his "Mantaq-ul-Tair". He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him, the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become a vice-regent of God.
In his Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove the Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation's viability. A person must keep his individual characteristics intact, but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the "Self" outside of society. Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community, Islamic ethical and social principles, and the relationship between the individual and society. Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal also recognises the positive analogous aspects of other religions. The Rumuz-e-Bekhudi complements the emphasis on the self in the Asrar-e-Khudi and the two collections are often put in the same volume under the title Asrar-e-Rumuz (Hinting Secrets). It is addressed to the world's Muslims.
Iqbal's 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the famous German poet Goethe. Goethe bemoans the West having become too materialistic in outlook, and expects the East will provide a message of hope to resuscitate spiritual values. Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilisation by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual can never aspire to higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality. In his first visit to Afghanistan, he presented his book "Payam-e Mashreq" to King Amanullah Khan in which he admired the liberal movements of Afghanistan against the British Empire. In 1933, he was officially invited to Afghanistan to join the meetings regarding the establishment of Kabul University.
The Zabur-e-Ajam (Persian Psalms), published in 1927, includes the poems Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed (Garden of New Secrets) and Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery). In Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed, Iqbal first poses questions, then answers them with the help of ancient and modern insight, showing how it affects and concerns the world of action. Bandagi Nama denounces slavery by attempting to explain the spirit behind the fine arts of enslaved societies. Here as in other books, Iqbal insists on remembering the past, doing well in the present and preparing for the future, while emphasising love, enthusiasm and energy to fulfill the ideal life.
Iqbal's 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems. It follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante's The Divine Comedy, through mystical and exaggerated depictions across time. Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud ("A stream full of life") guided by Rumi, "the master," through various heavens and spheres, and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations. In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. At the end, by addressing his son Javid, he speaks to the young people at large, and provides guidance to the "new generation."
His love of the Persian language is evident in his works and poetry. He says in one of his poems:
گرچہ اردو در عذوبت شکر است
garche Urdū dar uzūbat shekkar ast
طرز گفتار دري شيرين تر است
tarz-e goftar-e Dari shirin tar ast
Translation: Even though in sweetness Urdu* is sugar(but) speech method in Dari (Persian) is sweeter *


Iqbal's Bang-e-Dara (The Call of the Marching Bell),the first collection of Urdu poetry was published in 1924. It was written in three distinct phases of his life. The poems he wrote up to 1905—(the year Iqbal left for England) reflects patriotism and imagery of nature, that includes the Tarana-e-Hind (The song of India),[2 and another poem Tarana-e-Milli (The song of the Community). The second set of poems from 1905—1908; when Iqbal studied in Europe and dwell upon the nature of European society about whom he emphasised had lost spiritual and religious values, these inspired Iqbal to write poems on the historical and cultural heritage of Islam and Muslim community, with the global perspective. Iqbal urges the entire Muslim community, addressed as the Ummah to define personal, social and political existence by the values and teachings of Islam.
Iqbal work mainly in Persian for a predominant period of his career and after 1930, his works were mainly in Urdu. The works of this period were often specifically directed at the Muslim masses of India, with an even stronger emphasis on Islam and Muslim spiritual and political reawakening. Published in 1935, the Bal-e-Jibril (Wings of Gabriel) is considered by many critics as the finest of Iqbal's Urdu poetry, and was inspired by his visit to Spain, where he visited the monuments and legacy of the kingdom of the Moors. It consists of ghazals, poems, quatrains, epigrams and carries a strong sense of religious passion.
The Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (What are we to do, O Nations of the East?) includes the poem Musafir (Traveler). Again, Iqbal depicts Rumi as a character and an exposition of the mysteries of Islamic laws and Sufi perceptions is given. Iqbal laments the dissension and disunity among the Indian Muslims as well as Muslim nations. Musafir is an account of one of Iqbal's journeys to Afghanistan, in which the Pashtun people are counselled to learn the "secret of Islam" and to "build up the self" within themselves. Iqbal's final work was the Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz), published posthumously in 1938. The first part contains quatrains in Persian, and the second part contains some poems and epigrams in Urdu. The Persian quatrains convey the impression as though the poet is travelling through the Hijaz in his imagination. Profundity of ideas and intensity of passion are the salient features of these short poems.

Sir M. Iqbal wearing Bow tie.
Iqbal's vision of mystical experience is clear in one of his Urdu ghazals which was written in London during his days of studying there. Some verses of that ghazal are:
At last the silent tongue of Hijaz has
announced to the ardent ear the tiding
That the covenant which had been given to the
desert-dwelles is going to be renewed
The lion who had emerged from the desert and
had toppled the Roman Empire is
As I am told by the angels, about to get up
again (from his slumbers.)
You the dwelles of the West, should know that
the world of God is not a shop (of yours).
Your imagined pure gold is about to lose it
standard value (as fixed by you).
Your civilization will commit suicide with its
own daggers.