Iqbal was born in the Punjab
on February 22, 1873. His ancestors, who were Kashmiri Brahmins, had embraced
Islam two hundred years earlier. Iqbals own father was a devout Muslim
with Sufistic bent of mind.
He received his early education
in Sialkot. After passing the entrance examination, he joined Intermediary College.
Mir Hassan, a great oriental scholar, had a special aptitude for imparting his
own literary taste and to his students. Under his influence, Iqbal was drawn
towards Islamic studies, which he regarded to be an outstanding favor that he
could not forget it all his life.
Passing on to the Government
College of Lahore, Iqbal did his graduation with English Literature, Philosophy
and Arabic as his subjects. At the college he met Prof. Arnold and Sir Abdul
Qadir. Iqbals poem, Chand (moon) and other early poems appeared in the
journal (which belonged to Sir Abdul Qadir) in 1901 and were acclaimed by critics
as cutting a new path in Urdu poetry.
It did not take him long
to win recognition as a rising star on the firmament of Urdu literature.
In the mean time he had
done his MA in Philosophy and was appointed as a Lecturer in History, Philosophy
and Political science at Oriental College, Lahore. He then moved to Government
College to teach Philosophy and English Literature.
Wherever Iqbal worked or
thought his versatility and scholarship made a deep impression on those around
Iqbal proceeded to Europe
for higher studies in 1905 and stayed there for three years. He took the Honors
Degree in Philosophy and taught Arabic at the Cambridge University in the absence
of Prof. Arnold. From England, he went to Germany to do his doctorate in Philosophy
from Munich and then returned to London to qualify for the bar. He also served
as a teacher in the London school of Commerce and passed the Honors Examination
in Economics and Political Science. During his stay in Europe Iqbal not only
read voraciously but also wrote and lectured on Islamic subjects which added
to his popularity and fame in literary circles.
Back in India
Iqbal returned to India
in 1908. The poet had won all these academic laurels by the time he was 32 or
33. He practiced as a lawyer from 1908 to 1934, when ill health compelled him
to give up his practice. In fact, his heart was not in it and he devoted more
time to philosophy and literature than to legal profession.
He attended the meetings
of Anjuman Himayat-I-Islam regularly at Lahore. The epoch making poems, Shikwa
and Jawab-e-Shikwa, which he read out in the annual convention of it one year
after another, sparkled with the glow of his genius and made him immensely popular.
They became the national songs of Millet.
Iqbals other poems
Tarana-e-Hind (The Indian anthem) and Tarana-e-Milli (the Muslim Anthem) also
became very popular among masses and used to be sung as symbols of National
or Muslim identity at public meetings.
The spirit of Change
The Balkan wars and the Battle of Tripoli, in
1910, shook Iqbal powerfully and inflicted a deep wound upon his heart. In his
mood of anger and frustration, he wrote a number of stirring poems, which together
with portraying the anguish of Muslims were severely critical of the West.
The spirit of change is
evident in poems like Bilad-e-Islamia (the lands of Islam), Wataniat (Nationalism),
Muslim, Fatima Bint Abdullah (who was killed in the siege of Cyrainca, Siddiq,
Bilal, Tahzib-e-Hazir (Modern civilization) and Huzoor-e-Risalat Maab Mein (in
the presence of Sacred Prophet).
In these poems, Iqbal deplores
the attitude of Muslim leaders who lay a claim to Islamic leadership and yet
are devoid of a genuine spiritual attachment to the blessed Prophet.
The turning point in Iqbals Life
Iqbal was shaken
by the tragic events of World War I and the disaster the Muslims had to face.
The genius had passed through the formative period. He had attained maturity
as a poet, thinker, seer and crusader who could read the signs of tomorrow in
the happenings of today, make predictions, present hard facts and unravel abstruse
truths through the medium of poetry and ignite the flame of faith, Selfhood
and courage by his own intensity of feeling and force of expression. Khizr-e-Raah
(The Guide) occupies the place of pride among the poems he wrote during this
period. Bang-e-Dara (The caravan bell) published in 1929 has held a place of
honor in Urdu poetry and world poetry.
Persian for poetic expression because its circle was wider than that of Urdu
in Muslim India. His Persian works, Asrar-e-khudi (Secrets of the self), Rumuz-e-Bekhudi
(Mysteries of Selflessness), Payam-e-Mashriq (Message of the East), Javed Nama
(The Song of Eternity) belong to the same period of his life. And so is Reconstruction
of Religious Thoughts in Islam, which was extensively appreciated and translated
into many languages. Academies were set up in Italy and Germany for the study
of Iqbals poetry and philosophy.
In 1927 the
poet was elected to the Punjab Legislative assembly. In 1930, he was elected
to preside over at the annual session of Muslim League. In his presidential
address at Allahabad, Iqbal for the first time introduced the idea of Pakistan.
In 1930-31, he attended the Round Table conference, which met in London to frame
a constitution for India.
in England, Iqbal accepted the hospitality of Spain. He also went to Cordoba
and had the distinction of being the first Muslim to offer prayers at its historical
mosque after the exile of Moors. Memories of the past glory of Arabs and their
800-year rule over Spain were revived in his mind and his emotions were aroused
by what he saw.
Meeting with Mussolini
In Italy Iqbal
was received by Mussolini who had read some of his works and was aquatinted
with his philosophy. They had long meetings and talked freely to each other.
of Cambridge, Rome and Madrid and the Roman Royal society organized meetings
in his honor. On his way back he also went to Jerusalem to attend the International
Conference of Motamar-i-Isalami.
At the invitation
of King Nadir Shah, Iqbal visited Afghanistan in 1932. The king received the
poet with great honor and met hi privately, as well during which he laid bare
his heart. The two talked and wept.
The last phase
of Iqbals life was embittered with constant illness. But as regards his
creative activities this product was most productive. He kept in touch with
every question of the day and continued composing beautiful verses.
A few minutes
before his death he recited these touching lines:
melody may return or not!
from Hijaz may blow again or not!
of this Faqir has come to an end,
may come or not!
Although Iqbals was long and
protracted the end was sudden and verypeaceful. He breathed his last in the
early hours of April 21, 1938, in the arms of his old and devoted servant, leaving
behind a host of mourners all over the Islamic world. There was a faint smile
playing on his lips, which irresistibly reminded one of the last criterions,
which he laid down for a truthful Muslim.
you the sign of a Mumin-
comes there is smile on his lips.
above biography is a summarized version from Glory of Iqbal by Syed Abul Hasan
with permission from www.jaihoon.com]
Date/Time Last Modified: 6/2/2004 2:51:33 PM
$@|\/|: 1/24/2006 7:17:12 AM
This is an excellent aticle.It contains all the information of Allama Iqbal.Just read it!
Ahmadsaeed: 1/11/2007 11:13:53 PM
Good page ..i want to know "Did Allama offered his Five times prayers Regularly" plz reply me
Syed Danish: 1/12/2007 3:27:46 PM
Allama Iqbal was a great poet ,now it's the time that we need another Iqbal for the awakening of Muslims.
Ayisha Javaid: 1/25/2007 8:55:08 PM
There never will be another Iqbal who awaked Muslim from sleep. There never will be another Mohammad Ali Jinnah who gave freedom to Muslim and equal right for men and women. Iqbal was/is a role model for all pakistani.
burhan: 1/25/2007 9:18:27 PM
iqbal is the final and last poet in this universe who know the meanings of real islam and he expressed it in his poetry and i love his poetry if some one have some dout on his poetry then call me 03456539124
naureen: 2/20/2007 1:31:13 PM
its a wrong presumption that there can never b iqbal r jinnah again .
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