Biography Sir Muhammed Iqbal

Sir Muhammed Iqbal

photo of Sir Muhammed Iqbal
  • Time Period1877 - 1938
  • PlaceSialkot
  • CountryPakistan

Poet Biography

Muhammad Allama Iqbal was born on November 9th in Sialkot, in the Punjab province of then India (now Pakistan). His initial education was in Lahore, and at the age of 28 he studied in the hallowed halls of Cambridge, gaining a degree in Philosophy, after that came a qualification in law which was how he was to earn a living as a barrister in London. He was later to receive a doctorate from Munich for his thesis on Persian Metaphysics and Islamic mysticism unveiling some of the hidden aspects of the faith to western scholars.

His poetry and essays before his journey west were affirmations of his patriotism for India Naya Shawala (The new Alter). However upon his return he had developed a twofold distaste for nationalism:

1: For the damage he had seen in Europe where nationalism had racially imperialistic overtones, and:

2: The India he had grown up in now seemed to Muhammad to be unequal in common purpose.

It was on his return that Muhammad expressed a way forward utilizing a Pan-Islamic direction, there are in his writings of the time, melancholic undertones, and nostalgic visions of the past. He also wrote of the then current 'slumber' and decay of Islam and called for a unified renaissance.

Iqbal was at this point in his life a respected philosophical thinker and Islamic scholar, his poetry was widely acclaimed and well known, his readings to the masses bought him closer to the general population of Indian Muslims and it was from these meetings and readings that the seed of Pakistan was sown. His most noted pieces of this time Shikwah, Jawab-e Shikwah and Khizr-e Rah , later published in the Urdu collection Bang-e Dara .

He received, in 1915 both vilification and critical acclaim for his long poem Asrar-e Khudi written in Persian so as to maximize its impact.He was thought by his detractors to be imposing western philosophies on Islam.

Although distrusting and rejecting western ideals, he was honoured with a knighthood in 1922. The following years saw yet more volumes, enhancing the virtues of Islam as he saw it, a passionate and compassionate faith.

Muhammad Allama Iqbal died in Lahore in 1938, never seeing the vision that was passionate in his writing for many years, that of a modern Muslim society finally flower into the country of Pakistan.