The Ideas and Poetry of Muhammad Iqbal

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Ideas and poetry
Iqbal Academy Pakistan / Public domain

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was the famous poet and thinker of Muslim India. He is named as “the spiritual father of Pakistan”.

The poet advocated its separation from British India.

The famous poet in the Urdu language, who also wrote in Persian and Punjabi and English.

He was also the national poet of Iran and Pakistan.

Iqbal authored the classic Urdu poetry collections “The Call of the Marching Bell”.

One of the poems in it, ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’ (‘Song of India’), became a patriotic anthem. The Indian officials play it in various official events.

The thoughts expressed in his works and letters had a great influence on the formation of modern Muslim concepts of society and state in Pakistan.

Early life:

Muhammad Iqbal was born into a tailor’s family in the northeast of the Punjab province.

He received his primary education in his home town. At the age of 15, he married the daughter of a doctor from a neighbouring city.

When he was 17, he entered the government college in Lahore. He studied philosophy and literature there.

At that time, English culture dominated British India, including the future Pakistani Punjab.

This could not but affect the ideas about the success and career of young Indians.

After graduating from college with a master’s degree, Muhammad Iqbal went to Europe.

He studied at Cambridge (Trinity College) and Munich (Ludwig and Maximilian University).

In 1908, he received his PhD in Munich.

In England, Muhammad Iqbal joined the All-India Muslim League. This advocated the partition of India.

In Munich, he studied the works of Goethe, Heine, Nietzsche. Returning to Lahore, he took up legal practice.

He began to write and publish his poetic works.

The ideas and poems:

Since 1926, Muhammad Iqbal has been actively involved in the political life of the country. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Punjab.

He made a programme statement ‘The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’. And became the leader of the Muslim League.

In 1930, Muhammad Iqbal made a proposal to create an independent state in Pakistan. Due to which he is the “spiritual father” of the Pakistani nation.

His ideas of independence were developed after his death and were ultimately implemented in the creation of the state of Pakistan.

He sympathized with the ideas of socialism.

In one of his poems, Allah meets with Lenin and sends the angel Jibril to raise the oppressed people of the Earth to revolt.

At the same time, Muhammad Iqbal categorically denied “atheistic communism”.

Muhammad Iqbal advocated the unity of the Muslim world. He saw the reasons for its disunity in several factors:

External – colonialism and imperialism.

Internal- Muslims forgetting their cultural roots. Preferring Western education. Depriving themselves of knowledge about Islam, its traditions, laws, rules.

He promoted of Islamic knowledge, traditions and culture fundamental in the rallying of Muslims.

“Knowledge is power”- This motto of Francis Bacon is fully consistent with the beliefs of Muhammad Iqbal. He wrote – “Muslim knowledge is power!”

The Pakistani government has awarded Muhammad Iqbal the title of the National Poet.

The country celebrates his birthday, November 9, as an official holiday the Iqbal Day.

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