|Allama Muhammad Iqbal
( 9 November 1877 – 21 April 1938)
known as Allama Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher and politician, as well as an academic, barrister and scholar in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is called the “Spiritual Father of Pakistan”. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both Urdu and Persian.
Iqbal is admired as a prominent poet by Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians, Bangladeshis 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, The Secrets of the Self, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include The Secrets of Selflessness, Message from the East and Persian Psalms. Amongst these, his best known Urdu works are The Call of the Marching Bell, Gabriel’s Wing, The Rod of Moses and a part of Gift from Hijaz. Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political discourses.
In 1922 New Years Honours, he was made a Knight Bachelor by King George, While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All-India Muslim League. Later, during the League’s December 1930 session, he delivered his most famous presidential speech known as the Allahabad Address in which he pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in north-west India.
Iqbal’s house is still located in Sialkot and is recognised as Iqbal’s Manzil and is open for visitors. His other house where he lived most of his life and died is in Lahore, named Javed Manzil. The museum is located on Allama Iqbal Road near Lahore Railway Station, Punjab, Pakistan. It was protected under the Punjab Antiquities Act of 1975, and declared a Pakistani national monument in 1977.
Iqbal was born on 9 November 1877 in an ethnic Kashmiri family in Sialkot within the Punjab Province of British India (now in Pakistan).His family was Kashmiri Pandit (of the Sapru clan) that converted to Islam. In the 19th century, when the Sikh Empire was conquering Kashmir, his grandfather’s family migrated to Punjab. Iqbal often mentioned and commemorated his Kashmiri lineage in his writings.
Allama Iqbal with his son Javed Iqbal in 1930, Iqbal’s mother, who died on 9 November 1914. Iqbal expressed his feeling of pathos in a poetic form after her death.
Iqbal’s father, Sheikh Noor Muhammad (died 1930), was a tailor, not formally educated, but a religious man. Iqbal’s mother Imam Bibi, from a Kashmiri family since long settled in the city of Sambrial (in the Sialkot District), was described as a polite and humble woman who helped the poor and her neighbours with their problems. 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.
Iqbal was four years old when he was admitted to a mosque to learn about the Qur’an. He learned the Arabic language from his teacher, Syed Mir Hassan, the head of the madrasa and professor of Arabic at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, where he matriculated in 1893. He received Intermediate with the Faculty of Arts diploma in 1895. The same year he enrolled at Government College University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, English literature and Arabic in 1897, and won the Khan Bahadurddin F.S. Jalaluddin medal as he performed well in Arabic.In 1899, he received his Master of Arts degree from the same college and had the first place in University of the Punjab.