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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1586

Allama Muhammad Iqbal: The Great Philosopher poet of Pakistan

allama_iqbal.jpgFor a person to be remembered and honoured every year he must be a genius and extraordinary personality. Dr Muhammad Iqbal of Pakistan was one such person who touched the pinnacle of fame.

Iqbal was one of the best articulated Muslim reformers that the Islamic world produced in the 20th century and was commonly referred to as Allama “scholar” Iqbal. He was a great representative of the subcontinent and an important personality for the Pakistan Movement. The Pakistani nation pays special tribute for his vision of a separate country for Muslims of the sub-continent.

Sir Allama Muhamed Iqbal was one of the finest Muslim thinkers of modem times. His range of understanding of the working of human mind and its chemistry was so wide, that even trying to become acquainted with the comprehensiveness of Allama’s thought and ideas, is a daunting one, though an exciting experience. He is undoubtedly a great poet, but it is not fair to restrict him within the boundaries of mere flowery words. He was a philosopher, visionary, statesman and a historian.

Iqbal, a Kashmiri by descent, whose ancestors settled in Sialkot in Punjab, was born on November 9, 1877, and left this mortal world on April 21, 1938. His demise occurred two years before the adoption of the historic Lahore Resolution, ‘The Magna Carta’ of Muslim freedom in the sub-continent, which was Allama’s great vision and dream that became a reality in the birth of Pakistan in 1947.

At a very early age Iqbal showed a remarkable leaning towards philosophy that had caught the attention of his teacher, Sir Arnold who took him to Cambridge University for higher education. Later he went on to Munich University in Germany from where he earned a PhD for his work on metaphysics entitled ‘Asrar - e - Khudi [Secrets of the Self].

His poetic gift has been of such high order, that his place in literature is certainly amongst the greats of the world. He holds the same place in the line of the world’s greatest poets as has been held by Homer, Jalaluddin Rumi, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Goethe. The poetry of Iqbal is a contribution to the human thought and an embodiment of a definite mission that is noble and invigorating.

Iqbal was a Sufi poet for the modern age, who infused a revolutionary spirit in the nation through his poetry. His poetry has been translated in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, English and several other languages and is considered a great philosopher all over the world.

He describes the past, contrasts it with the present, and casts a glance towards the future. Seldom does he express despondency in life and its adversities. He sets a way out and to him, the life is synonymous with persistent and vigorous action. This was Iqbal’s dire warning to the West not to lean on materialism abandoning spiritualism. The Western culture will commit suicide with its own dagger.

Iqbal at the same time was a true nationalist. The popular anthem he wrote glorifying his country [undivided Sub-Continent] is in every Indian’s mouth. Yet to think of Iqbal only as a great poet-philosopher, which he undoubtedly was, would be denying him, his proper place in history. He was a awakener of humanity. His message is universal and to the entire humanity. His rank among the immortals of history is unquestionable.

As a Kashmiri, Iqbal loved his homeland. He claims Kashmir as a legacy, the Paradise from Adam. Iqbal’s fight for freedom of Kashmir from the Dogra kings, was as old as from 1931, when Kashmir Committee was formed and Iqbal was elected the president. Allama Iqbal thus is no mere figure in history. He is an architect of a brave new world. A master builder that he was.

It was while in England Iqbal first participated in politics. Following the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906, he was elected to the executive committee of its British chapter in 1908. While dividing his time between law and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League and became one of the most prominent leaders of the league.

We not only remember him; we believe in his philosophy that is a universal one belonging to all lands and the entire humanity.

- Asian Tribune -

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