Allama Iqbal – A visionary writer, philosopher, and politician

Allama Iqbal (RA) was a multidimensional personality. Apart from being a poet, philosopher, educator, lawyer, political activist, and social reformer, he was a devoted Muslim. His devotion to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the holy book of the Quran is vividly reflected in his words and actions.

Though Iqbal (RA) went abroad for higher studies and drank deep at the wells of knowledge in England and Germany, studied different schools of philosophy, and attained deep insight into both ancient and modern branches of learning there. But, he did not surrender to Western thinking.

On the contrary, he conquered the ideology of the West. He talked about the various dimensions of Islam.

He also introduced Moulana Rumi and his disciples to a foreign land without compromising his allegiance to the authentic dimensions of the Islamic spirit. It was his ardent love and immense spiritual attachment that he composed the verses of matchless beauty and excellence.

One of his famous poems- Asrar-I- Khudi is a masterpiece in which, he expressed the intensity of his devotional and loyalty in favor of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). While writing devotional songs (Naath-Shareef), his poetic instinct aroused high, and verses begin to flow from his pen, freely as if the springs of love burst forth within him. He says; “In the Muslim’s heart is the name of Mohammad, All glory is from the name of Mohammad.”

With each passing day, his love and devotion to the sacred prophet grew till the last phase of his life. Whenever there was the mention of Prophet Mohammad, he became so emotional and restless, tears started to roll down from his eyes. He wrote numerous poems through which, he called upon the Muslim youth to shake off their lethargy and lassitude and join the battle of life as the brave soldier.

Regarding the holy book of the Quran, it has been related by the poet himself that he used to recite the Quran daily after the Morning Prayer. He said, “Whenever my father witnessed me reciting the holy verses, he asked me this particular question- “What are you doing”? Every time my answer was, “I am reciting the Quran”.

One day, I dared to enquire about this repeated question and my father remarked, “My son, I wish you to recite the Quran as if it was being revealed to you there and then.” This particular episode left deep imprints in his mind and since then he made it his mission to read the Quran with deep understanding. This holy book opened vistas of knowledge from him. He adhered to this faith that this eternal book (the Quran) is the master key and can be used to open all the vaults of human existence. It is because of this deep attachment to the holy book of the Quran that he came out with these conclusions. Iqbal regarded the Qur’an not only as a book of religion (in the traditional sense) but also as a source of fundamental principles upon which the infrastructure of an organization must be built as a coherent system of life. It can provide perfect harmony, balance, and stability in society. According to him, a Muslim is like any other mortal. He is born as all men are, grows, feels, falls ill, gets well, and faces ups and downs.

In brief, a Muslim is governed by the same law of nature as others are. But in the spiritual sphere of his existence, a Muslim is endowed with a message which is the legacy of the prophets. He lives for a definite aim. Iqbal further claims that the Muslim is the object of creation. The world has been created for him and he has been created for God. He is responsible for the guidance of mankind. He wants a man to understand the forces of the divine element that reside in him because once it is realized and achieved; man will become the reflection of Allah.

This noble soul breathed his last in the early hours of April 21, 1938, in the arms of his devoted servant, Ali Bakish, leaving behind his rich legacy in the form of written works. There was a faint smile playing on his lips which reminds one of the last criteria he had laid down for a truthful Muslim. “I tell you the sign of a Momin when death comes, there is a smile on his lips”

نگاہ مرد مومن سے بدل جاتی ہیں تقدیریں
جو ہو ذوق یقین پیدا تو کٹ جاتی ہیں زنجیریں

Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher and columnist. He can be mailed at

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