Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu: محمد اقبال) (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), also known as Allama Iqbal (Urdu: علامہ اقبال), 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. His birthday (یوم ولادت محمد اقبال – Yōm-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl) is a holiday in Pakistan.
Iqbal is admired as a prominent classical poet by Pakistani, Indian and other international scholars of literature. Though Iqbal is best known as an eminent poet, he is also a highly acclaimed “Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times. “His first poetry book, Asrar-e-Khudi, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Payam-i-Mashriq and Zabur-i-Ajam. Amongst these his best known Urdu works are Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i Kalim and a part of Armughan-e-Hijaz. Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his various Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political disputes over the years. In 1922, he was knighted by King George V, giving him the title “Sir”.
While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All India Muslim League. Later, in one of his most famous speeches, Iqbal pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in Northwest India. This took place in his presidential speech in the League’s December 1930 session. He was very close to Quid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Iqbal is known as Shair-e-Mushriq (Urdu: شاعر مشرق) meaning Poet of the East. He is also called Muffakir-e-Pakistan (“The Inceptor of Pakistan”), and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (“The Sage of the Ummah”). Pakistan has officially recognised him as its “national poet”. In Iran and Afghanistan he is famous as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī (اقبال لاهوری Iqbal of Lahore), and he is most appreciated for his Persian work.
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