What is Research?

We are living in the age of science and scientific revolution. Science has become an integral part of our lives. Huge efforts are being made at a global scale to popularize science in the masses. The aim is to attract the most brilliant, hardworking, and intellectually gifted minds in the world to solve scientific problems ultimately leading to a prosperous present and future.

In such discussions, we often face the following question: What is Research? All of us come up with our own definitions, examples, and expositions. The best, most complete, answer to this question came to me while reading Hayat-e-Iqbal Ka Ek Jazbaati Daur by Professor Usman. It included few couplets of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, from his book Bang-e-Dara aptly defining research.

تری آگ اس خاک داں سے نہیں
جہاں تجھ سے ہے تو جہاں سے نہیں

بڑھے جا یہ کوہ گراں توڑ کر
طلسم زمان و مکاں توڑ کر

خودی شیر مولا جہاں اس کا صید
زمیں اس کی صید آسماں اس کا صید

جہاں اور بھی ہیں ابھی بے نمود
کہ خالی نہیں ہے ضمیر وجود

ہر اک منتظر تیری یلغار کا
تری شوخئی فکر و کردار کا

[ علامہ اقبال ]

For cutting-edge research one needs passion, self-confidence, curiosity-of-the-unseen, ideas-and-innovation, and character.