Muhammad Iqbal

Topics: Muhammad Iqbal, Persian literature, Rumi Pages: 10 (3955 words) Published: June 21, 2013
spiritual father of Pakistan and leading Persian and Urdu poet of India in the first half of the 20th century (1877-1938). He was well versed in the various fields of European philosophy and thought. He was equally well read in the Eastern tradition, and special mention should be made of his analysis of Persian thought in his thesis of 1907.  

IQBAL, MUHAMMAD (1877-1938; FIGURE 1), the spiritual father of Pakistan and leading Persian and Urdu poet of India in the first half of the 20th century. Born in Sialkot on 9 November 1877, Iqbal first learned Arabic and Persian, finished the Scotch Mission College in his hometown, and then joined the University of the Punjab in Lahore. After teaching for some time in the Oriental College, Iqbal, already known as a fine poet in Urdu, traveled to Cambridge (1905) on the advice of Sir Thomas Arnold (q.v.) to study Neo-Hegelian philosophy and law. In the summer of 1907 he went to Heidelberg to learn German, and submitted a thesis on “The Development of Metaphysics in Persia” at the University of Munich in November 1907. One year later he returned to Lahore, where he taught philosophy for some time; but he spent most of his life as a lawyer. The period of his spiritual change can be witnessed in his notebook Stray Reflections (1910). In 1911 he found his way to a new style of powerful poetry; the long Urdu poem “Šikwā” (Complaint), in the spirit and form of Alṭāf Ḥosayn Ḥāli’s (q.v.) Musaddas, is the first expression of this activity. The Muslims’ complaint in this poem that God has forsaken them is answered, a year later, in “Jawāb-e Šikwā,” in which God blames the indolent Muslims and tells them that they bring misfortune upon themselves. In 1915 Iqbal’s first major Persian work appeared: Asrār-e ḵᵛodi "The Secrets of the self.” In this maṯnavi, written in the meter of Rumi’s Maṯnavi, he preaches, not the dissolution of man’s being in the ocean of God as the highest goal, but rather the strengthening of personality, activity, and courage. His readers, used to the sweet melodies of Persian lyrics, were shocked, especially by Iqbal’s attack on Ḥāfeẓ (q.v.), which was excluded from the second edition. Two years later another maṯnavi in the same style, Romuz-e biḵᵛodi “Mysteries of selflessness,” followed. It explained the individual’s duties in the ideal community of Muslims and the role of this community in the world: as the “seal of communities” they should act, following the Prophet’s example, as “mercy for the worlds” (Koran 21:107). In 1922 Iqbal was knighted by the British Crown. One year later, his Persian answer to Goethe’s West-Östlicher Divan, the Payām-e mašreq "Message of the East,” was published. This fascinating work contains not only quatrains and ḡazals in the classical style, but many interesting remarks about European philosophers and politicians. One year later, a collection of Iqbal’s Urdu poetry appeared, called Bāng-e darā “Sound of the caravan bell,” as the poet felt like the bell that leads the striving and confused pilgrims on the right path towards the Kaʿba in Mecca. In 1927 Iqbal published his Zabūr-e ʿajam “Persian Psalms,” a collection of beautiful Persian poetry. Its third part, “Golšan-e rāz-e jadid,” is his answer to Maḥmud Šabestari’s Golšan-e rāz (717/1317-18) and deals with the problems of God, man, and the worlds. In 1928 Iqbal, who participated in the activities of the Muslim League of his native province, toured various universities in India to deliver a series of six lectures, later published under the title The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, a work which is indispensable for the interpretation of his poetry. In 1930 he was called to preside over the annual session of the Muslim League in Allahabad, and it was there that he first voiced the idea of a separate Muslim nation in the northwestern part of then British India, the nucleus of what was to become Pakistan. In 1931 and 1932 Iqbal participated in the Round Table...

Bibliography: of Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), Leuven, 2000.
Asrār-e ḵᵛodi, Lahore, 1915; 2nd ed., 1918, many reprintings and translations; tr. Reynold A. Nicholson as The Secrets of the Self, London, 1920; 2nd ed., Lahore, 1955.
Bāng-e darā, Lahore, 1924, many reprintings; tr. Muhammad Sadiq Khan Satti as Allama Doctor Iqbal’s "Baang-e dara,” Islamabad, 1984 or 1985.
Gulshan-i raz-i jadid (New Garden of Mystery) and Bandagi namah (Book of Servitude), tr. Bashir Ahmad Dar, Lahore, 1964; Pers. tr. Moḥammad Baqāʾi, Tehran, 1368 Š./1989.
Collections of poetry. Armaḡān-e Ḥejāz, Lahore 1938; many reprintings and translations. Bāqiyāt-e Iqbāl (selection of unpublished poems), ed. S. A. Vahid, Karachi, 1952; 3rd ed., Lahore, 1978.
Kolliyāt-e ašʿār-e fārsi, ed. Aḥmad Soruš, Tehran, 1323 Š./1964, many reprintings

Gozida-ye ašʿār-e fārsi, ed. Abu’l-Qāsem Rādfar, Tehran, 1372 Š./1993. I
qbal: A Selection and Translation of the Urdu Verse, tr
Poems from Iqbal (English and Urdu), tr. Victor G. Kiernan, Karachi and Lahore, 1999.
Tulip in the Desert: a Selection of the Poetry of Muhammad Iqbal, ed. and tr. Mustansir Mir, Montreal, 2000. There are also a number of sound recordings of Iqbal’s poetry.
Collections of articles. Iqbal’s articles are many and are not easily accessible as originally published. Some signifi;cant titles include: “Doctrine of Absolute Unity as Explained by Abdul Karim al-Jilani,” Indian Antiquary 19, Bombay, 1900.
“ʿElm-e eqteṣād” (“Economics”), 1901, repr. Karachi, 1961.
“Islam and Khilafat,” Sociological Review, London, 1908.
“Islam as a Moral and Political Ideal,” Observer, Lahore, 1909; repr. as Islam as an Ethical Ideal, ed. S. V. Hashimy, Lahore, 1955; 2nd ed., 1977.
“Our Prophet’s Criticism of Contemporary Arabic Poetry,” The New Era, Allahabad, 1915. “Notes on Muslim Democracy,” The New Era, Allahabad, 1917.
“Self in the Light of Relativity,” The Crescent, Lahore, 1925.
“Inner Synthesis of Life,” In-Review 27, Madras, 1926.
“Khushhal Khan Khatak: The Afghan Warrior Poet,” Islamic Culture, 1928.
“A Plea for Deeper Study of Muslim Scientists,” Islamic Culture, 1929.
“Is Religion Possible?” Proc. of the Aristotelian Society, London, 1932-33.
“McTaggart’s Philosophy,” Indian Art and Letters 6, 1932.
Collections of Iqbal’s articles, speeches, and letters include: Mażāmin-e Eqbāl, ed. Taṣadduq Husain Taj, Hyderabad, 1364/1945; repr., 1985.
Eqbāl-nāma (collection of Iqbal’s letters in Urdu), comp. Shaikh Moḥammad Atā’, 2 vols., Lahore, n.d. Letters of Iqbal to Jinnah, Lahore, 1942, many reprintings.
Speeches and Statements of Iqbal, comp. “Shamloo,” Lahore, 1948.
Maktubat-e Muhammad Iqbal, comp. Sayyid Nazir Niyazi, Lahore, 1977.
Letters of Iqbal, ed. and comp. Bashir Ahmad Dar, Lahore, 1978.
Discourses of Iqbal, ed. Shahid Hussain Razzaqi, Lahore, 1979.
Maqālāt-e Iqbāl, ed. Sayyid ʿAbdulvahid Muʿini and Muhammad ʿAbdullah Quraishi, 2nd ed., Lahore, 1982.
Nāmahā o negāštahā-ye Eqbāl-e Lāhuri, ed. B. A. Dar, tr. ʿAbd-Allāh Ẓāheri, Mašhad, 1989?
Khwaja Abdul Ḥamīd ʿErfāni, Rūmi-ye ʿaṣr, Tehran, 1332 Š./1953.
Qazi Ahmad Mian Akhtar Junagadhi, Iybāliyāt kā tanqīdī jā’iza (in Urdu), Karachi, 1955.
Yusuf Husain Khan, Rūḥ-e Iqbāl, Hyderabad, 1940, many reprintings. Abdul Majīd Sālik, Ḏekr-e Eqbāl, Lahore, 1955.
Hafeez Malik, ed., Mohammad Iqbal, Poet-philosopher of Pakistan, New York, 1971.
ʿAli Šarīʿati, Eqbāl: meʿmār-e tajdid-e bināʾi-ye tafakkor-e Eslām, Tehran, 2536 = 1356 Š./1977.
Annemarie Schimmel, Gabriel’s Wing: A Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Leiden, 1963 (with extensive bibliography of publications up to 1963).
Ikbal Singh, The Ardent Pilgrim, London, 1951.
S. A. Vahid, Iqbal: His Art and Thought, 3rd ed., London, 1959.
See also the studies and articles published in connection with Iqbal’s centenary in 1977, among which: Iqbal Centenary Papers, comp. Mohammad Monawwar, Lahore, 1982.
Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Iqbal, Eqbal Centenary Symposium, New Delhi, 1977.
(Annemarie Schimmel)
Originally Published: December 15, 2004
Last Updated: March 29, 2012
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