One person who has always been a source of inspiration for the people of Indian subcontinent is the national poet of Pakistan, Allama Iqbal. He was born in the pre-partition era and wrote extensively about the plight of Muslims, humanity in general and the various reasons for trouble befalling Muslims. His poetry gained popularity in the pre-partition era and was looked upon as a source of inspiration. His dream was the creation of Pakistan, an independent state in which Muslims and non-Muslims alike would have the freedom to practice their religion without fear or persecution. Even thou fully believed that the creation was Pakistan was imminent, he died before he could witness his dream.
Allama Iqbal hailed from a humble background. He was from the city of Sialkot where his father was a tailor. After completing his intermediate education in India he later went abroad to study Law and Philosophy. It was at Cambridge, England that he became more refined and further expanded his ideological views. The depth ofhis poetry revealed the extent of his sentiments for his beloved countrymen. He was fluent in both Persian and Urdu both of which were commonly spoken in India at the time. One of his most famous works ‘Shikwa’ caused quite an uproar in the Muslim community. It is a poem written from a Muslim’s perspective who is complaining that God has abandoned Muslims in their time of need. In response to the negative public reaction, Allama Iqbal wrote “Jawab-e-Shikwa’ in which he elaborated that reason for the plight of Muslims was that they had strayed from the right path.
In the struggle for independence, Allama Iqbal’s voice became prominent through his literary works. The message that he conveyed to the masses was that the Muslims of the subcontinent should hold steadfast to their belief and to their demand for an independent sovereign state. He was also a staunch advocator of education. He believed that without education Muslims would be helpless. Posthumously Allama Iqbal became renowned as Pakistan’s national poet and even today his poetry is considered inspirational and motivating.