Allama Iqbal was bom in Sialkot on 9 November 1877 within the Punjab Province of British India (now in Pakistan). His grandparents were Kashmiri Pandits, the Brahmins of the Sapru clan from Kashmir who converted to Islam. In the 19th century, when Sikhs were taking over rule of Kashmir, his grandfather’s family migrated to Punjab. Allama Iqbal often mentioned and commemorated about his Kashmiri Pandit Brahmin lineage in his writings.
Allama Iqbal s father. Sheikh Noor Muhammad (died 1930), was a tailor, not formally educated but a religious man All am a Iqbal‘s mother Imam Bibi was a polite and humble woman who helped the poor and solved the problems of neighbours. She died on 9 November 1914 in Sialkot. Allama Iqbal loved his mother, and on her death he expressed his feelings of pathos in a poetic form elegy.
Allama Iqbal was four years old when he was admitted to the mosque for learning the Qur’an, he learned the Arabic language from his teacher Syed Mir Hassan. the head of the madrassa and professor of Arabic language at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot. where Allama Iqbal completed matriculation in 1893. He received Intermediate with the Faculty of Arts diploma from Murray College Sialkot in 1895. The same year he enrolled Government College Lahore where he qualified for Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. English literature and Arabic as his subjects from Government College Lahore in 1897. and won the Khan Bahadurddin F.S. Jalaluddin medal as he took higher numbers in Arabic class.181 In 1899. he received Masters of Arts degree from the same college and had the first place in Punjab University. Lahore.
Allama Iqbal had married three times, in 1895 while studying Bachelor of Arts he had his first marriage with Karim Bibi. the daughter of physician Khan Bahadur Ata Muhammad Khan (the maternal grandfather of director and music composer Khwaja Khurshid Anwar), through an arranged marriage. They had daughter Miraj Begum and son Aftab Allama Iqbal Later Allama Iqbal s second marriage was with Sardar Begum mother of Javid Allama Iqbal and third marriage with Mukhtar Begum in December 1914.
Higher education in Europe
Allama Iqbal was influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold, his philosophy teacher at Government college Lahore. Arnold’s teachings determined Allama Iqbal to pursue higher education in the West. In 1905. he travelled to England for his higher education. Allama Iqbal qualified for a scholarship from Trinity College. University of Cambridge and obtained Bachelor of Arts in 1906. and in the same year he was called to the bar as a barrister from Lincoln’s Inn. In 1907. Allama Iqbal moved to Germany to study doctorate and earned Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University. Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel. Allama Iqbal published his
doctoral thesis in 1908 entitled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.
During Allama Iqbal s stay in Heidelberg. Germany in 1907 his German teacher Emma Wegenast taught him about Goethe’s Faust. Heine and Nietzsche. During his study in Europe. Allama Iqbal began to write poetry in Persian. He prioritized it because he believed he had found an easy way to express his thoughts. He would write continuously in Persian throughout his life.
Allama Iqbal, after completing his Master of Arts degree in 1899. initiated his career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College and shortly was selected as a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore, where he had also been a student, and worked there until he left for England in 1905. In 1908. Allama Iqbal returned from England and joined the same college again as a professor of philosophy and English literature. At the same period Allama Iqbal began practicing law at Chief Court Lahore, but soon Iqbal quit law practice, and devoted himself in literary works and became an active member of Aniuman-e- Himavat-e-lslam In 1919, he became the general secretary of the same
organisation. Iqbal’s thoughts in his work primarily focus on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centered around experiences from his travels and stays in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche. Henri Bergson and Goethe.
The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Allama Iqbal s mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood. Allama Iqbal began intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, while embracing Rumi as “his guide”. Allama Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of guide in many of his poems. Allama Iqbal‘s works focus on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilization, and delivering the message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for sociopolitical liberation and greatness. Allama Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community or the Ummah.
Iqbal’s poetry has been translated into many European languages, at the time when his work was famous during the early part of the 20th centuryJ51 Allama Iqbal s Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R. A. Nicholson and A. J. Arberry respectively.
While dividing his time between law practice and poetry. Allama Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He did not support Indian involvement in World War I and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Mohammad Ali Jouhar and Muhammad Ali Jinnah He was a critic of the
mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s. it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.
In November 1926. with the encouragement of friends and supporters. Iqbal contested for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes. He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League. While in Lahore he was a friend of Abdul Sattar Ranjoor.
Allama Iqbal, Jinnah and concept of Pakistan
Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders. Allama Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman. Allama Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League’s objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong.
personal correspondence with Jinnah. Allama Iqbal was an influential force in convincing Jinnah to end his self- imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Allama Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress. While Allama Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930. Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the partition of India. Allama Iqbal‘s close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah’s embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Allama Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on 21 June 1937.