I am a great admirer of Iqbal. He was not only a great poet but also a great philosopher. He is commonly known as the greatest philosopher-poet of Asia. As a matter of fact, he deserves this title.
Iqbal was born at Sialkot at the end of the 19th century and received his early education in his native town. After passing his Intermediate examination from Murray College, Sialkot, he came to join the Government College, at Lahore. He took his M.A. in Philosophy with distinction and joined the Government College staff. Soon he went to England where he studied the law. When he came back, he settled down in Lahore as a practicing lawyer. But he never felt keenly eager for this profession as he had a higher calling before him.
After “Bang-i-Dara’, Iqbal wrote mostly in Persian and his later works contain mostly his Persian poems. But soon he realized that the common man in India- could not understand Persian. Therefore, once again, he began to write in Urdu. His Urdu works that followed Bang-i-Dara are comparatively difficult in expression and thought. These books set a new standard of literary excellence which none could match. All those who tried to imitate his style failed, and Iqbal is still matchless.
What attracts me most towards Iqbal and his poetry is the message of life that is conveyed by his poems. When he began to write poetry, Islam was passing through a critical phase. In India, the Muslims were being rapidly dominated by the Hindus. He foresaw their downfall and warned them against the consequences The Muslims, in other parts of the world, to were in no better condition. Turkey, Egypt, Persia and Afghanistan, all were Muslim states only in name.
Iqbal was not only a great poet but also a great leader of thought. He placed before the people his philosophy of self-realization, which means the realization of the capacities of one’ s soul. His poetry is full of force and confidence. It inspires us to life of struggle against the forces of evil. He is our national hero and that is, indeed, a very great honour for a poet. To a Pakistani, he is as great a poet as Shakespeare to an Englishman.