Narcissus weeps for her sightlessness for many thousands year,
Before there is born in the world, a mystic rare.
The greatness of Allama Iqbal can not be captured in a few pages. Volumes after volumes have been written on the great Poet of the East. Like immortal Shakespeare, Iqbal did not belong to a particular age, but for all times. Indeed he was the greatest poet, philosopher and Thinker of his time. Like Milton, Iqbal tried to justify the ways of God to Man. Mysticism is the soul of Allama’s poetry.
Allama Iqbal was born on 9th November at Sialkot, in 1877. His parents Noor Muhammad and Imam Bibi were pious and religious persons. He had great attachment with his mother who died in 1914. His moving poem ‘Walda Marhuma'(Deceased Mother) has universal appeal. His elder brother Sheikh Ali Muhammad was responsible for giving the best education to his younger brother. He received his early education at home and in Muktab. He was admitted in Mission School Sialkot on the advice of father’s good friend, Mir Hassan who was a great scholar of Arabic and Persian. Mir Hassan left unerasable marks on the mind of his student, Iqbal.
He passed his matriculation and Intermediate exams in 1893 and 1895 respectively. He did his B.A. from Govt. College, Lahore in 1897 and M.A. is Philosophy in 1899. His brother sent his for higher education to England in 1905. During him, three years stay, he took his Doctorate Degree from Munich (Germany). His Thesis was “Philosophy of Ajam”. After taking his Barrister’s degree from London, in 1908; he returned home. During his stay he did not fail to visit the centres of Muslim excellence in Spain. His thirst for knowledge and learning was unquenchable. His philosophy teacher at Lahore Mr. Thomas Arnold had been great inspiration for him. Philosophy and literature were his life companions.
He earned fame as teacher before leaving for England. After returning from England he started to practice as a Barrister in 1908. The poet was born in him from an early age. He wrote poetry under inspiration. He had written poetry in Urdu and Persian. Allama Iqbal has left valuable and voluminous treasures of poetry and Prose after him. The following are famous poetic works of Iqbal: Israr Khudi (1915), Ramuz-eBekhudi (1918) Paigam-e-Mashriq (1923), Javed Nama (1932) and Musafir (1934) are his great works in Persian. Bang-e-Dera (1924) Bal-e-Jibrael (1935) and Zarb-e-Kaleem (1936) are famous collections in Urdu. The famous Prose collection of Iqbal’s lectures is “The Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam’.
Iqbal was a great mystic, a sufi. The poet of Khudi (I-amness) lived a very simple and contented life. He passed a retired life and subsisted on the Wajifa (500/-) from Nawab of Bhopal. There had been a line of visitors low and high at Lahore residence from morning till evening. His talks were full of wisdom and humor. He generally shunned the poet’s gatherings (Mushairas). He was indifferent to wealth and fame. He loved music. Iqbal had good command on English, German and Arabic languages.
He was greatly moved on seeing the down-trodden and miserable conditions of the Indian Muslims. He kept away from practical Politics. But seeing the conditions of Ummat-e-Muslaman, he came forward to serve them. He inspired them with his poetry. He was also elected to the Punjab Legislature in 1928. He attended Round Table confidences at London in 193132.
It was Allama Iqbal who for the first time presented the idea of a separate Homeland (Pakistan) for the Indian Muslims. He was the originator of the two-nation theory. He was not only a poet and great thinker but also a great moralist, a reformer and an educationist. Iqbal breathed his lost on 21st April 1938 and is buried in the compound of grand Badshahi Mosque, Lahore.