Allama Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Mufakkir-e-Pakistan, Shair-e-Mashriq (The Thinker of Pakistan, Poet of the East), was a philosopher, poet, and politician in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages.
Iqbal was born in Sialkot, British India (now Pakistan) in 1877, and was educated at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, Government College in Lahore, and Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He later studied at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where he earned a PhD in philosophy.
Iqbal’s poetry celebrated the spiritual journey of man and urged Muslims to create a new civilization based on Islamic principles. His most famous poem, Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua Ban Ke Tamanna Meri, is a prayer for divine guidance and is taught to children in Pakistan.
Iqbal was also a political leader and was elected to the British Indian Legislative Assembly in 1926 and the Imperial Legislative Council in 1930. He was a strong advocate for the rights of Indian Muslims and worked to create a separate Muslim state in British India. In 1940, he delivered a famous speech, now known as the “Iqbal’s Allahabad Address” in which he laid out his vision for an independent Muslim state in northwest British India.
Iqbal died in Lahore on April 21, 1938. He is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Pakistan and his birthday is celebrated as National Iqbal Day in the country.