Muhammad Iqbal

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Allama
Sir Muhammad Iqbal
محمد اِقبال
Iqbal.jpg
Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Born Muhammad Iqbal
(1877-11-09)9 November 1877
Sialkot, Punjab Province, British India,
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Died 21 April 1938(1938-04-21) (aged 60)
Lahore, Punjab, British India
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Nationality British Indian
Other names Poet of the East
شاعر مشرق
Alma mater Scotch Mission College (F.A.)
Government College (B.A., M.A.)
University of Cambridge (B.A.)
University of Munich (Ph.D.)
Notable work The Secrets of the Self, The Secrets of Selflessness, Message from the East, Persian Psalms, Javid Nama (more works)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region British India
Main interests
Urdu poetry, Persian poetry, Law
Notable ideas
Two-nation theory, Allahabad Address

Sir Doctor Allama Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938) was a Muslim poet and philosopher who was born in Sialkot town, in British India (which is now in Pakistan). He became the national poet of Pakistan. He is also known as the poet of East. He wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. His poetry is considered to be revolutionary. [1] His vision of an independent state for the Muslims of British India was a starting point for the creation of Pakistan. He is commonly referred to as Dr Allama Iqbal.

Origins[change | change source]

Allama was born as Muhammad Iqbal, in Sialkot, Punjab, then British India, on 9th November 1877. His family migrated long before, from Kashmir to Sialkot. His father was Sheikh Noor Muhammad and his mother was Imam Bibi, who worked in a small government job but later started his own business. Both Allama Iqbal's mother and father were very pious and religious-minded people and devoted to a simple life. They had six children, two sons, Ata Muhammad and Muhammad Iqbal and four daughters.

After early Islamic education and then secondary at a small school in Sialkot, Iqbal was admitted to the Scottish Murray College, Sialkot, where he topped the higher secondary examinations and got a scholarship to study at the famous Government College, Lahore, for BA. On going to live in the hostel there, Iqbal met Professor Arnold, an English teacher who taught many things to Iqbal and guided him in his studies of philosophy and literature.

Early career[change | change source]

At this time, Iqbal also became well known as a new poet and writer. He used to go to attend a 'Mushaira' at the haveli of Hakim Syed Aminuddin, in BhaatiGate area of Old Lahore city—here, he met many famous poets and writers and also began to write good poems which became very popular. He was guided by Mirza Dagh, Mirza Gurgani, Hakim Amin uddin, Hakim Shuja uddin and Sir Abdul Qadir. His first famous poem, Koh i Himala was also printed in Makhzan magazine, owned by Hakim Shuja uddin and Sir Abdul Qadir

After doing his BA and MA from Government College, Lahore, Iqbal was appointed a professor at this same institution and after some time, in 1905, he was selected for higher studies in England and Europe. He went and studied in Cambridge University and then also law at University of London, and then he went to Munich, Germany, where he took a PHD degree. After all his study, Iqbal decided to go back and teach and also practice law in India.

Later career, poetic and ideological work[change | change source]

Although faced by many difficulties, Iqbal followed this plan. He taught some senior classes at Government College and also practiced Law at Lahore High Court. At the same time, he wrote many famous poems such as Asrar i Khudi, Ramuz i Bekhudi, Payam i Mashriq, Zabur i Ajam, Bang i Dara, Bal i Jibrail, Zarb i Kalim and etc. Because of his learning and knowledge, people soon began to call him 'Allama' Iqbal and in 1922, King George V of Britain, made him a knight, giving him the title of Allama 'Sir' Muhammad Iqbal. He was awarded 5 awards.

Ideological work[change | change source]

Allama Iqbal was a poet and a philosopher, he was always concerned about the thoughts and ideas and condition of Muslims everywhere, but specially Indian Muslims who were under British Rule and also threatened by Hindu majority population. Iqbal believed strongly in Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's earlier idea about 'Two Nation theory' that Muslims and Hindus were two separate nations and should be allowed to live separately. He put forward this idea again in his famous Allahabad Address of Muslim League, in 1930,[2] and also preached this in his poems and lectures. Allama's words and ideas inspired many Muslims, some of whom became leaders of the Muslim League, and struggled to obtain Pakistan later on. He was very popular amongst the Muslim masses too.

Death[change | change source]

Allama Iqbal died in Lahore, on 21st April 1938, and is buried near the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. His message and ideas lived on. Under the leadership of Quaid i Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan became separate from India in August 1947 by the partition of India.

References[change | change source]

  1. Bhatti, Alama (2006-06-28). "Iqbal and Goethe" (PDF). Yearbook of the Goethe Society of India. 
  2. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_iqbal_1930.html Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal's 1930 Presidential Address to the Muslim League at Allahabad

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