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Allama Iqbal: A Philosopher, Poet, Politician, and Visionary

Allama Iqbal is one of the most celebrated and revered personalities of the Indian subcontinent. Born on November 9th, 1877, in Sialkot, British India, Iqbal is regarded as the spiritual father of Pakistan, a champion of Muslim rights, and a visionary who aimed to liberate Muslim thought and establish a separate Muslim state. Throughout his life, Iqbal expounded on his great philosophy of the human spirit, worked tirelessly for social reform, and created poetry that has captured the imagination of generations.

Key Takeaways

  • Allama Iqbal was a philosopher, poet, and politician who championed the cause of Muslim rights and the establishment of a separate Muslim homeland
  • Iqbal’s philosophy focused on the elevation of human spirit, its potential for growth, and its place in the spiritual hierarchy
  • Iqbal’s poetry, in both Urdu and Persian, is regarded as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century and remains widely read today around the world.

Early Life and Education

Iqbal was born in a modest family in Sialkot, a city in Punjab, India. His father, Sheikh Noor Muhammad, was a tailor and a devout Muslim who instilled in his son a strong religious and ethical code. Iqbal began his early education in Sialkot and went on to study at the Scottish Mission School.

Later, Iqbal went to the Government College Lahore, where he did his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, English literature, and Arabic in 1897. He later acquired his Masters in Philosophy from Government College Lahore and pursued a law degree from Cambridge University.

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Theology and Philosophy

Allama Iqbal’s philosophy is centered around the concept of Khudi, which means the elevation of the self or ego. According to Iqbal, the purpose of human life is to elevate the self and realize its full potential. He vehemently rejected the idea of fatalism and the notion that the human spirit was a static entity.

Accordingly, Iqbal believed that Muslims should revive their spiritual and intellectual heritage to reclaim their rightful place in the world order. He advocated for the creation of an Islamic state and believed that such a state would be the only way to guard Muslim rights and to promote Islamic values.

Poetry and Literature

Iqbal’s poetry offers a unique insight into his philosophy and vision for Muslim society. His works include “Asrar-e-Khudi” (Secrets of the Self), “Bang-e-Dra” (The Call of the Marching Bell), “Zarb-e-Kaleem” (The Reed’s Pen), and “Bal-i-Jibril” (Wings of Gabriel). His poetry has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, and Italian.

Iqbal is also known for his contributions to Persian literature, particularly his works such as “Javid Nama” (The Book of Eternity) and “Payam-e-Mashriq” (Message from the East). His Persian poetry blends Islamic mysticism and Persian literature, creating a unique style that resonates with readers across the globe.

Political Contributions

Allama Iqbal was a pioneer for establishing Muslims’ rights in British India. He was a proponent of the Two Nation Theory which called for the establishment of a separate Muslim homeland. His vision for a separate Muslim state was realized in 1947 when Pakistan was established as an independent state.

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Iqbal’s political activism was not limited to the call for a separate Muslim homeland. He also worked tirelessly for social reform, including women’s rights, education, and the pursuit of democracy.


Allama Iqbal’s life and legacy are a testament to his great contributions to Muslim society and intellect. He was a visionary who advocated for the revival of Muslim thought and culture. His philosophy of Khudi and his poetry continue to inspire people across the globe, and his contributions to the establishment of Pakistan as an independent state serve as a model for change and reform in modern times.


Q: What is Allama Iqbal known for?

A: Allama Iqbal is known for his contributions to Islamic thought, his poetry, and his political activism for Muslim rights.

Q: What is the Two Nation Theory?

A: The Two Nation Theory is the concept that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, and thus, there should be a separate state for Muslims. This theory was first proposed by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and was later championed by Allama Iqbal.

Q: What is Khudi?

A: Khudi means the elevation of the self or ego. According to Allama Iqbal, the purpose of human life is to elevate the self and realize its full potential.

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