Allama Iqbal, Hakeem-ul-Ummat

Sir Muhammad Iqbal, better remembered as Allama Iqbal, was born in Sialkot on November 9, 1877. He studied in Sialkot and Lahore, and later in Cambridge. After graduating with a doctorate from Ludwig-Maximillian University in Munich in 1907 with his dissertation The Development of Metaphysics in Persia, and instituted law at Lincoln's Inn in 1908, he practiced law for many years in Lahore, his hometown.

Iqbal's reputation as a poet grew through his annual staging at the gathering of a philanthropic association from 1900 in Lahore and the publication of his poems in Makhzan, the leading poetic magazine since 1901. With Asrar-i-Khudi (The Secrets of the Self), he moved to Persia, especially a form of mathnavi, as the first to express his philosophical views.

His greatest gem was Javidnama (1932), a spiritual journey across the universe under the guidance of Maulana Rumi and come to a head in an interview with God. Of his Urdu compilation, Bang-i-Dara (The Caravan Bell), which emerged in 1924, became the most popular and includes such famed poems as 'The Complaint,' 'The Candle and the Poet' and 'Khizr of the Way' and Baal-i-Gabriel (The Flight of Gabriel) in 1936 took the literary forms of Urdu poetry to incomparable heights through poems like 'The Mosque of Cordoba,' which is often ejective to be the greatest poem in the Urdu language.

Iqbal's Eminence as a philosopher is largely based on his masterly poetry but is complemented by his prose writings, especially The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. He also supported the vision of a separate Muslim state in Northwestern South Asia in his State of the Nation Address at the annual conference of the All India Muslim League in Allahabad in December 1930.

In the years that followed, he gave deedful support to the cause of this nation although he did not live to see its construction as Pakistan in 1947 when Iqbal was officially acclaimed as its ideological founding father. On April 21, 1938, Iqbal died in Lahore.

Iqbal wrote both Persian and Urdu, and is often regarded as a philosopher of the East who spoke to the Muslim community, believed in the philosophy of wahdatul wujood, and invented the philosophy khudi, or selfhood, which called for self-knowledge and the discovery of the Mystic talent with love and perseverance.

Beyond that modest the stages of complete submission and forgetfulness which, Iqbal thought, was the ultimate stage of Khudi. He visualized the ‘complete man’ and also got in a metaphoric talk with the divine. Iqbal poetry came out as a miraculous site where message and art coalesced, as Iqbal re-configured major poetic devices like a myth, metaphor, and symbol to re-visit, philosophy, history, and the Islamic faith to build his individual vision.

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