Essay On Allama Iqbal In Sindhi Language

"The study of history never existed in the true sense in the British time", he said. "Because they were propagating certain ideas. These divided Hindus and Muslims. They would refer to eye witnesses as "native historians", and imply that they wrote unscientifically and subjectively to please local rulers. They denigrated Akbar and Aurangzeb and chose not to compliment the Mughals. It was the Muslims who coined the word Hindu and Hindustan. They created India. True the Muslims broke idols because they believed in the one God, but they integrated Hindus into the system. They even married Hindu wives. The Muslims studied Sanskrit, the Hindus studied Islam and Islamic languages.

"This was destroyed by the colonial historians. The Muslim contribution to the subcontinent was downgraded. This tradition has continued in India today, where Indo-Muslim history is being studied and turned topsy Turvy. No one in Pakistan is doing anything. That is why Pakistanis are demoralised. They don't know anything about themselves."

"The study of history", he continued" gives a sense of identity and culture to nation. This has been entirely neglected in Pakistan. The problem is that the source books are in Persian and Arabic so students have to rely on secondary sources written by British or Hindu historians. I am the only person who has done some work on the early Muslim period. I have come to the conclusion that there was no written history in India until the Muslims came and published the "Chachnama"

One of Pakistan's foremost authorities of Sindh, Dr. Baloch has edited the "Chachnama" with introduction in English. He took advantage of a 13 month period of unemployment to wander across the interior collecting and compiling Sindh folklore which has become a milestone in Sindhi Studies.

A lively and entertaining conversationalist, Dr. Baloch was still in Aligarh, when Pir Elahi Bakhsh persuaded him to come and teach at Karachi's new Islamia College. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Baloch won a competitive government scholarship to Columbia University for higher studies in education. He did his Masters and his Doctorate there and was selected for a UN internship programme. While he was in New York, Pakistan came into being. On his return, Dr. Baloch was selected by the Public Services Commission.

Here he fell foul of provincial wrangling in the Ministry of Education and after a time in the wilderness, joined External Publicity in the ministry of Information. He has many lively anecdotes to tell about the aggressive broadcasts that he developed to counter Indian and Afghan propaganda. He joined the faculty of SindhUniversity when the campus moved from Karachi to Hyderabad in the 1950's. He worked here for 25 years. He still lives in Hyderabad.

"In Pakistan", he said "we say funds are not available for education but almost 80% could be corrected without funds. It's a question of management. We must correct the apparatus of education. We must see that teaching is done."

"Students attend, exams are taken, and all other functions are performed as they should be. Appoint a principal and hold him/her responsible. At present no one cares because there is no reward and no accountability. Discipline has been thrown to the winds."

"The British were not interested in educating the masses and we have followed that legacy. They set up universities and colleges to recruit colonial administrators and we still think those are more important than primary education. The fact is that a normal child, with six years of planned primary education, can be better prepared to participate in nation building activities, than the distracted youth, who graduates through a disorganized effort of years of misdirection."


(Daily Dawn, Karachi)

Professor Nazir Ahmed


I first read about Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch (Dr. N. A. Baloch) in a letter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz written on 8 June 1953 to Mrs. Faiz from Hyderabad Jail, and included in the collection ’صليبين ميرﻵ دريچـﻶ مين‘ published from Karachi in 1971. Faiz describes him as a pleasant visitor, a professor in the local University who brought for him translations of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Sindh's great mystic poet. He recalls with affection the kind words of Dr. Baloch and the useful discussion with him on poetry and educational, matters. A few years later when I was at the Ministry of Education, Islamabad and we were preparing lists of scholars from within the country and from abroad who could speak or write on Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in connection with his centenary celebrations, Dr. Baloch's name came up and he complied a booklet on quotes from the Quaid-i-Azim in Urdu for students.

( طُلبه اور تعليم: قائداعظم نـﻶ کيا سوچا اور کيا کها‘ مؤلف: اور مرتب: ڊاکڻر نبي بخش بلوچ، اسلام آباد 1976ع، ص: 74)

It continues to be a useful reference book despite the fact that Dr. S.M. Zaman has more recently published a comprehensive reference book on the subject. In 1975 in connection with Sindh Through Centuries Seminar, I heard Dr. Baloch speak on folklore and music with authority and aplomb, and it left on my mind an indelible impression of his multifaceted personality,- as a scholar with multi-disciplinary approach, a scholar in the traditional mould having to do something or the other with the entire corpus of knowledge. Two of the major article in the introductory brochure brought out on the occasion by Pyar ali allana, Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs, Government of Sindh, and Chairman, Central Committee, Sindh Through Centuries Seminar, were by Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch, Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, namely (1) 'Sindh, a Historical Perspective' and (2) 'Sindhi Folk Arts and Crafts'

I came in contact with him in 1976 when after having been Vice-chancellor, University of Sindh, Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch was posted as O.S.D (Secretary) in the Ministry of Education, Islamabad. The work assigned to him for supervision included programmes of century celebrations of the founding fathers of Pakistan,  Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Mohammad Iqbal, the programmes in the preparation of which I had played a pivotal role as secretary to the two Executive Committees concerned but I had in the middle of 1976 been posted abroad as Education Attache at the Pakistan Embassy London. My predecessor there, Dr. S.M. Zamann (presently, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology) had returned home. I was fully prepared to leave as Mumtaz Daultana, ambassador of Pakistan in the United Kingdom had urged that the new Education Attache' should join immediately now to his assignment. Dr. Baloch probably felt that in my absence he might experience difficulties in implementing the centenary programmes. He therefore in a meeting convened by the Education Minister, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Pirzado brought up the subject and the Minister remarked that if the officer was so indispensable for the job, he should be stopped from proceeding abroad. A friend of mine who met me in Aabpara in the afternoon informed me about the development and sympathized with me. However, in an interview the following morning, the Education Minister Okayed my going abroad and decided to host a reception bidding me farewell.

Thus my contact with Dr. Baloch started on a discordant note which was, without loss of time, smoothed away for us, me as a junior and him as a senior, to resume a friendly relationship which continues to flourish.

I returned from England in March 1981 and was posted in the Cabinet Division where circumstances again put me in touch with him but before I reminisce about those times, a word about activities of Dr. Baloch in the interval.

Dr. Baloch consolidated his position and emerged as a figure of considerable consequence beginning from 1977. Late Mr. A.K. Brohi's association with the government of General Zia-ul-Haq as Minister turned out to be a helpful factor for him. Among other things Mr. Brohi headed the National Hijra Committee setup in April 1978 to mark the occasion of commencement of the 15th century of Hijra in a befitting manner in line with decisions taken in the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Countries. One of the proposals of the committee led to the establishment of the Islamic University, Islamabad, Dr. Baloch was appointed the first Vice-chancellor of this University. He also came to head the Institute of Islamic History, Culture and Civilization, a research organization which had earlier been established as Commission for Historical and Cultural Research with Professor K.K. Aziz the well known historian as its chairman. Dr. Baloch as director of the institute continued with its programme of publication and research but reoriented it to suit new requirements and his own experience as a scholar. Recalled here are two books of the period:

1) Dr. N.A. Baloch, ed, Pakistan: A comprehensive Bibliography of Books and Government Publications with Annotations 1947-80, Islamabad,  Institute of Islamic History, Culture and Civilization, 1981, pp 515,

2) Dr. N.A. Baloch. Ed, Fatahnamah-i-Sind. Islamabad, Institute of Islamic History Culture and Civilization, 1982, pp A-English 158. B-Persian 279

The comprehensive bibliography is the joint compilation of the research scholars of the Institute who worked under the direction of Dr. Baloch. It is based on different bibliographical sources, and, besides English, lists books in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi and Pashto, It also draws on government publications, documents and reports. Primarily relating to the post Independence Period (1947-80), the bibliography contains 8,385 entries which cover a wide range of subjects such as: (1) Reference Works. (2) Land and the people. (3) History.(4) Geography (5) Politics (6) Government (7) Economics (8) Foreign Affairs (9) Defence (10) Culture and Civilization (11) Art Architecture and Archaeology (12) Language and Literature (13) Education (14) Religion and Philosophy (15) Sciences and Technology (16) Health and Medicine (17) Migration and (18) Mass Media and Information.

In its general outline, the bibliography brings to one's mind the series titled Books From Pakistan published by the Pakistan Book Council under the supervision of late Ibne Insha.

Fatahnamah-i-Sindh is a scholarly edition of a manuscript, work of Dr. N.A. Baloch in its entirety. He visualized for implementation by the Institute of Islamic History, Culture and Civilization a 25- Volume Project dedicated to the original sources of the Indo-Muslim History, and issued Fatahnamah-i-Sindh as volume- I Part-I of the project. It has two sections, A- English (notes and commentary) and B- Persian (text).

 The manuscript contains the original record of the Arab conquest of Sindh by Mohammad b. Qasim (712-15-A.D). Besides detailed reports of the campaign in general and eyewitness accounts of different battles in particular, Fatahnamah also contains information on ethnological dissemination and Buddhism in Sindh, and on relations between the kingdom of Sindh and other contemporary kingdom.

An eminent literary scholar named Ali b. Hamid b. Abu Bakr Kufi found an Arabic work on the early history of the Arab conquest of Sindh in the form of a manuscript preserved by an illustrious family of Aror and Bakhar in Sindh. For wider dissemination of its contents Ali Kufi translated the Arabic manuscript into Persian in 1216. A.D.

By drawing on Arabic sources of the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., Dr. N.A. Baloch has illuminated the scholarly background of the manuscript translated by Ali Kufi. He has also assessed the translation for its faithfulness (or otherwise) to the original. In doing so his objective has been to establish the correct Persian text of Fatahnamah-i-Sindh, important as it is as the first truly historical work about historical events which took place during a known historical period, ever compiled in the South Asian Subcontinent.

In his research on Fatahnamah, Dr. Baloch has followed incremental approach, building the quantum of research gradually over a long period of time as the sources became available, and by taking into account English translation of the work in modern times. He has commented on and acknowledged the value of late Dr. U.M. Daudpota's research who first edited the Persian text based on five manuscripts and published in 1939. Dr. Baloch started his journey from where Dr. Daudpota left it and sustained it from 1943 onwards till the present edition with a tenacity and farsightedness of a genuine research scholar looking up major repositories of manuscripts in the subcontinent and the U.K. for materials relevant to his purpose, reading those materials with an incisive intellect and using them objectively to establish what is historically authentic in Fathnamah and explaining what needs to be replaced in the text. The end result should be described as a major academic achievement. The work as published is Volume-I part of an unfulfilled dream, 25 volume projects on the original sources of Indo-Muslim History starting with the years 712 and ending in 1947 when Pakistan emerged as a sovereign state.

After Dr. Baloch's is tenure as the Vice chancellor of the Islamic University and as Director Institute of Islamic History, Culture ad Civilization came to an end, the question of further utilization of his services was examined in the mid eighties by the Establishment and Cabinet Division in the light of a directive issued by the late President General Zia-ul-Hq. As a consequence of this exercise, I was asked to draft and issue, after due process, a government resolution setting up National Hijra Council, raising its status from a committee to an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division located at 20 Masjid Road F 6-4, Islamabad. Late Mr. A.K. Brohi remained its chairman and Dr. N.A. Baloch became advisor to the Council. He continued his scholarly work with unabated devotion. Three publications of the National Hijra Council during this period stand out vividly in my recollection. Those are:

1. S-Amjad Ali, ed., the Muslim World Today, Islamabad, National Hijra Council, 1985, pp 627.

2. Lois Lamya al-Faruqi, Islam and Art, Islamabad, National Hijra Council, 1985, pp 236.

3. Dr. N.A Baloch, ed, Muslim Luminaries, Leaders of Religious, Intellectual and Political Revival in South Asia, Islamabad, National Hijra Council 1988, pp 402.

The Muslim World Today is profusely illustrated survey of forty six independent Muslim countries plus Palestine. A part of the book is devoted to the resurgence of Islam in Europe and America, The text was written and designed by S. Amjad Ali, Preface contributed by Dr. N.A. Baloch and foreword by late Mr. A.K. Brohi. It was printed by the Elite Publishers, Karachi in an extremely attractive manner.

The book contains information on various aspects of the countries concerned some of which has become outdated but the major theme of the book namely, release of the Muslim world from imperialist domination to an era of freedom is of enduring historical value.

Collection of the information that went into the making of the book required coordination of truly gigantic proportions, informed by vision and administrative efficiency. This was provided by Dr. N.A. Baloch with his characteristic sobriety in the publication of this unique book.

The Muslim World Today was launched with late Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo as the chief guest. He made a generous grant on this occasion to help the Hijra Council continue with its publications programme devoted to promoting consciousness of the historical role of Islam.

Islam and Art are authored by Dr. Lois Lamy al Faruqi, Professor of Religion and the Arts at the Temple University, Philadelphia, U.S.A. with a preface by Dr. N.A. Baloch. The book attempts to state the aesthetic principles of art and their uses with the principles of Islam in general, and to survey the artistic expression of Muslim sensibility in various forms and lands in the historical perspective. Calligraphy which is central to art in Islam has been discussed as arabesque with copious illustrations of contemporary scripts, and the various functions it has performed in the Islamic Culture. From calligraphy discussion moves to architecture. Common components in Islamic buildings such as enclosed courtyard, dome, aisled sanctuary, mihrab, etc, have been identified. Arabesque decoration and its motif vocabulary as used in architecture, ceramics, carpets, textiles, and metal work have been high lighted. The last chapter deals with music.

All in all, Islam and Art is a compact and concise volume sensitively conceived and aesthetically presented.

The Muslim Luminaries is the first volume in the 3 volume project prepared by Dr. N.A. Baloch and approved by late Mr. A.K. Brohi who died in September 1987, a few months before the first volume was issued. Late Mr. A.K. Brohi's essay on Allama I.I. Kazi (1888-1963) is included in the book. The contributors and luminaries are as follows.

1.     Dr. Burhan Ahmed Faruqi on.

        Shaikh Ahmed Sarhindi  (1563-1624)

2.     Prof: G.N. Jalbani, on

        Shah Waliyullah (1704-1763)

3.     Prof: M.Y. Abbasi, on

        Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) and Syed Amir Ali (1849-1928)

4.     Dr. Afzal Iqbal, on

        Maulana Mohammed Ali (1879-1930)

5.     Justice Dr. Javed Iqbal, on

        Mohammad Iqbal (1877-1938)

6.     Dr. M. Moizuddin, on

        Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi (1872-1944)

7.     Prof: Sharif al Mujahid, on

        Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948)

8.     Syed Shabir Hussain, on

        Inayat ullah Khan El-Mashriqi (1888-1963)

9.     A.K. Brohi, on

        I.I. Kazi (1888-1963)

10.   Qazi Hasan Moizuddin, on

        Syed Abul A'la Maududi (1903-1979)

As would appear from the outline given above, selection of thinkers and leaders is faultless and so is the choice of scholars to write their biographies. The luminaries came alive on the stage of history and among themselves crystallized a period of nearly four centuries in which life of Muslims went through many changes but shaped up around great ideals emanating from their faith in Islam.

The editor of the Muslim Luminaries (Dr. Baloch) has done a commendable job in getting quality material and producing a fascinating volume.

One of the projects on which late Mr. A.K. Brohi expressed his views in quite a few meetings of the Hijra Council was based on the proposed publication of a hundred works in English translation representing various aspects of Islamic culture and civilization down the ages. Dr. N. A Baloch took it up assiduously and prepared a conspectus of the project by listing works of scholarship which could mirror Islamic culture, and started consultation meetings with scholars in the Muslim world. Dr. Baloch implemented the project with rig our and published four volumes continuing further work on a dozen more. But the project could not be completed and it remained an unfulfilled dream of a fertile mind after Dr. Baloch departed from the Hijra Council.

My reminiscences of Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch in Islamabad have focused on his academic pursuits. Fact of the matter is that his dominant impression on my mind is that of an academician par excellence with profound interest in the Islamic world view in various fields and the evolution of Muslim Identity in the subcontinent.

He carries on the tradition of classical scholarship deeply rooted in Persian and Arabic with a touch of the spirit of the Aligarh movement. He has been rightly complimented for his encyclopedic knowledge of the Sindhi culture but he rises above this level to the status of a scholar who should figure prominently on the national sense in Pakistan and simultaneously find a respectable mention in the Muslim world as a whole.

In my official dealings with Dr. N.A. Baloch I was struck by his sagacity. A few examples would suffice here.

For some years he chaired the meetings of the scanning committee of the National Documentation Centre. I was the secretary of the committee. Our job was to finalize in consultation with historians and archivists selections of British Period historical materials for acquisition from the India Office Library and Record, London. Dr. Baloch would listen to everyone with enormous patience without wearing his own scholarship on his sleeve and imposing it on others. Practical consideration guided his course of action.

For sometimes we were both concerned in different capabilities, with our annual celebration of Independence Day. Each year I would convene a meeting at the Cabinet Division for one particular item, the publication programme for the day. The meeting was attended by representatives of all ministries and divisions concerned and Dr. Baloch chaired the meetings from the very beginning he was clear in his mind that the set of publications to be prepared each year for distribution among school children should be memorial in character, in memory of the event being celebrated. It should not have anything to do with the government of the day. The programme was implemented along these lines and everybody endorsed this approach.

When late Mohammad Khan Junejo became the Prime Minister and the main celebrations on 14th August had to move out of the Presidency, a venue was to be selected to the purpose, Final choice of venue in front of the Parliament house was proposed by Dr. N. A. Baloch and adopted officially without much discussion.

Aziz Malik

Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch:

Scholar and Educationist.

I have known Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Baloch for the last 50 years but have always maintained a respectful distance. So for me writing about him proved to be a Herculean task. The problem was how to approach the elusive professor, as he has always shunned publicity. But like all great men he is the embodiment of humility. I could not believe my luck when Dr. Baloch himself called me to comment on a report I had filed and asked me to join him over a cup of tea.

Those who know Dr. Baloch. 'The renaissance man of Sindh', also know hour busy he is. He reads, sleeps, drinks, eats and writes books. Dr. Hamida Khuhro describes Dr. Baloch as "a man with the curiosity of an explorer and the application of a scholar. He is a born researcher and an indefatigable worker devoted to the cause of learning and knowledge. There is no corner of Sindh's folk literature, culture, history, geography and anthropology that has not been researched by him. It would not be an exaggeration to call him an encyclopedia of Sindh."

Born in small village of Sanghar district, Dr. Baloch has had a brilliant academic career. He was initially schooled at a local school and then went on to do his matriculation from High School Naushahro Feroze. Then came graduation with honours from Bahauddin College, Junagadh, and a Masters Degree from the Aligarh Muslim University. Yet another feather in his cap was his degree in Law.

Based on his academic performance, he was selected by the Birtish Government of India for higher studies aboard with specialization in Education. Selection in those days was made purely on merit: out of 600 candidates only about a dozen candidates were selected. Dr. Baloch being one of them. He proved his wroth by obtaining Masters and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University, New York. Since then Education has remained his passion and first love. Later he was also selected for a ten-week information techniques course by the U.N.

The real educationist in Dr. Baloch emerged on the scene, when he was appointed Press Attache in the Middle East. He called on the great Allama I.I. Kazi, the Vice Chancellor of the SindhUniversity, when it was being shifted to Hyderabad. The Allama asked Dr. Baloch to join university and when he asked about the tenure, Dr. Baloch weans told, "Till you retire". Without a moment's hesitation, Dr. Baloch tendered his resignation from the Ministry of Interior, Information and Broad casting Division, where he was serving, and joined the university to become the founder of the Department of Education in SindhUniversity, which till than did not exist in any other university of the country.

He then helped the other universities establish their Education Departments. His love for education is so profound that when he became the Vice Chancellor of Sindh University in the early 70's, he did not give up teaching, under his leadership; this department later became a full fledged Institute of Education and Research. It will be not exaggeration to say that Dr. Baloch is a pioneer in the field of higher professional education of teachers in Pakistan.

Dr. Baloch served as a Vice Chancellor of Sindh University from December 1973 to January 1976, when his services were acquired by the federal government. In Islamabad he held important position as secretary (O.S.D) Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture: Chairman, National Institute of Historical Research: Member of Pay Commission: Member of Federal Review Board: Advisor to the National Hijra Council: but perhaps his singular distinction is that he was the first Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University (now International Islamic University).

As the first chairman of Sindhi Language Authority, Dr. Baloch president over and participated in a number of national and international seminars and conferences. A recognized scholar of international repute, he is the author of a large number of research papers, and the author and editor of more than 80 books in five different languages English, Sindhi, Urdu, Persian and Arabic.

He developed and directed the monumental "Great Books Project" of the Hijra Council, Islamabad aimed at translating and editing into English one hundred great books of Islamic civilization. Earlier, he had directed another important project of the Sindhi Adabi Board, the 'Folklore Project'. He has published forty volumes on Sindhi folklore, ten volume of the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and five volumes of dictionary of Sindhi, which according to Dr. Hamida Khuhro "must be regarded as a seminal work on the Sindhi language".

Dr. Baloch has received Tamgha-e-Pakistan and Pride of Performance Awards, and the "Twentieth Century Scholar Award" from "Kalhora Seminar" organizing committee held in Karachi in 1996. At present he is Professor Emeritus (Education) University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Only a scholar can assess the man who is a peerless educationist, historian, linguist, researcher and a literary giant.

(Daily "DAWN" Karachi)

Dr. Habibulla Siddiqul

Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch:

An Insight into a Living Legend of Sindh

”تو جو ڏيئو ڀانئيو، سا سورج سهائي،

انڌن اونداهي، جي رات وهامي ڏينهن ٿيو“

(شاهه لطيف، رامڪلي)

What you thought was a lamp,

Was indeed the sun shine,

It is dark for the blind,

Though the day has dawned.

A chilly morning of January 1957, a heavy down pour and gushing northern wind, we were waiting for Dr. Baloch to come and preside the debate scheduled for the day. We thought and wished that a word would come from him that the debate is postponed: but at the exact time he appeared plodding his way through the rain. He gave us a quick smile and said, "It's a wonderful morning! Let us get to work."

A cast steel disciplinarian, who would never allow a letup in work, has himself passed 84 years working incessantly and indefatigually. One can peep into his profile.

The Profile

Dr. Nabi bakhsh Khan S/o Ali Muhammad Khan s/o Arz Muhammad Khan Baloch, his ancestors migrated from Dera Ghazi Khan and settled in Saghar area, during Kalhora rule- was born on 16th December, 1917 A.D. Father died after four months and the uncle Wali Mohammad Khan took over the guardianship of the orphan nephew. There was no primary school in village Jafar Khan Laghari where he was born, so when he became of school going age, he was admitted in a primary school at village Palio Khan Laghari at a distance. Four standards of primary education he passed successfully, after playing truant and being punished for his weakness in arithmetic. For secondary education, he got admitted in the historic Naushahro Feroz Madresah & High School in 1929. An indigent bright student, he passed seven standards in seven years and matriculated from BombayUniversity in 1936. Bahauddin College Jhungarh, run by the philanthropist Nawab, offered a venue and he went there for four years more and in 1941 got the degree of B.A (Hons) with first class third position in the BombayUniversity. Then he had to move out of Jhungarh due to his Khaksar activities, which the State did not aprove of. He went to Aligarh Muslim University and did his M.A, L.L.B there with first class first position in M.A, and first class ranking in L.L.B. When the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah visited the University, he led the Khaksar contingent to present guard-of-honour. On return from Aligarh, he served as lecturer at the Sindh Muslim College Karachi in 1945-1946.

Due to his first class first position in M.A, he got scholarship from the British Government of India to prosecute further studies at the University of Columbia in New York City. He did M.Ed. and B.Ed. during 1946-1949, which were hot years of burning debate over the "two-nation-theory" in the sub-continent, discussed abroad with interest. An Indian scholar, Taraknath Das, was at the rostrum in New York outrightly condemning the two nation theory. Youthful Baloch, a student from the Columbia University took his turn during the question answer time and raised such finding points that the speaker Taraknath Das could not refute and walked out. "Khan Baloch" won the day and became a popular debater. He had already organized a Muslim Students Association in the Columbia University. As its secretary, now he participated in the debates in important cities of the United States and Canada. At the first independence-day-celebratation held in New York City in 1947, scholarly Baloch presided and presented a map of Pakistan to illestrate his presidential address. Then he went round the States and Canada to collect contributions in cash and kind for the rehabilitation of Muslim refugees uprorted from India.

Nabi Bakhsh Khan became Doctor of Education, from the Columbia University, in 1949. He had an offer for employment in the UNO, but he preferred to get back home and engage in its development. Back home in May 1949, he found that the promised job had already been filled and he had to go unemployed for at least a year. Undaunted by adverse circumstances, he drew his own action-plan. During the year 1949-50, he visited many places in Sindh its villages, hamlets and towns, organized kutchehris with the folk and educated himself about the culture and traditions of Sindh, and visited schools to address young students. He visited DaduHigh School in 1950, when I was a student of IV Standard. His speech infused the spirit or organization amongst us. Soon we formed an English Debating Society and a Sindhi Bazm-i-Adab.

In 1950, Dr. Baloch got a job in the Pakistan Information Division, and then in the foreign service, but he left good jobs to become a teacher in the university. The University of Sindh had been established in Karachi on 3rd, April 1947, replacing the BombayUniversity as an examining authority for the colleges and high schools then existing in Sindh. After four years, the nascent University of Sindh got its god-father Allama I.I. Kazi as its second Vice-chancellor, who looked for talented young professors, who could help him turn the University of Sindh into a teaching University. Dr. N.A.Baloch was identified and picked up, along with a few more. A Department of Education was the first teaching institution which was made functional in September 1951 with Dr. N.A.Baloch as its founder Director. During the academic year 1952-53, the Department of Sindhi started working. It became the additional assiganment of Dr. Baloch. Allama Kazi loved, appreciated and trusted him and he was also getting popular with the students community all over Sindh. The SindhUniversity was shifted to Hyderabad on 4th May 1951, and housed in what is now called the Old Campus, since named Elsa Kazi Campus, and Dr. N. A. Baloch took his residence there and is living and working there continuously eversince.

Allama I.I.Kazi resigned from the Vice-chancellor's post on 25th May 1959, and passed away on 13th April 1969. Dr. N.A.Baloch continued to develop the Department of Education, raised it to the status of Institute of Education & Research and produced pristine research works on the history and culture of Sindh, since unprecedented. He was inspired by Allama I.I. Kazi and had turned a visionary for educational advancement of Sindh. He keeps the memory of his ideal alive by managing Allama I.I. Kazi Memorial Society, on behalf of which he has published a number of books on the teachings of the great sage of modern Sindh.

Dr. N.A. Baloch was made the Vice-chancellor of the University of Sindh in 1973 and remained as such up to 1976, when he was called to Islamabad. He was appointed as OSD (Jan 1976-Aug 1977) in the MOE, then posted as secretary Ministry of Culture, Archaelogy, Sports and Tourism (as a right man for the right job), where he worked from September 1977 to March 1979, and simultaneously during 1978-79 he remained a member of the Federal Review Board. on first July 1979, he joined the National Institute for Research in History and Culture, at first as Chairman. Within three months he institutionalized it as "National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research" and became its founder Director (1979-1982). In the meantime the International Islamic University was established in Islamabad in 1980 and he was chosen as the founder vice-chancellor. He laid its foundation and raised its organs for two year (1980-1982): When the 15th century celebrations were launched in 1983, he was taken up as Advisor of the Hijra council. He joined on 22nd November 1983, and worked for 7 years (1983-1990) on his 100 Great Islamic Books Project in right earnest. A number of useful books were translated and published with his scholarly editing and annotations.

The Sindhi Language Authority was established on 4th December 1990 and Dr. N.A. Baloch was called up to become its founder –Chairman. He laid the foundations of the Sindhi Language Authority and developed it till 1994. In the mean while he was assigned additional job of Minister for Education in the care-taker Government of Sindh Province. He returned to the University of Sindh as professor emeritus, managed the Allama I.I. Kazi Chair and ran Allama I.I. Kazi Memorial Society. He a founder of institutions is ever busy at work, gets ready for the office/field work every morning. He has proved that a true teacher never retires. He has been decorated by the Government of Pakistan with four awards so far. Tamgha-i-Pakistan, Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, President's Award for Pride of Performance, and this year's Sitara-i-Imtiaz, (announced on 14th August 2001)

For other people named Muhammad Iqbal, see Muhammad Iqbal (disambiguation).

Muhammad Iqbal
محمد اِقبال‬

Allama Muhammad Iqbal

BornMuhammad Iqbal
(1877-11-09)9 November 1877
Sialkot, Punjab Province, British India,
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Died21 April 1938(1938-04-21) (aged 60)
Lahore, Punjab, British India
(now in Punjab, Pakistan)
NationalityBritish subject
Alma materScotch Mission College(F.A.)
Government College(B.A., M.A.)
University of Cambridge(B.A.)
University of Munich(Ph.D.)
Notable workThe Secrets of the Self, The Secrets of Selflessness, Message from the East, Persian Psalms, Javid Nama (more works)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionMuslim world
SchoolIslamic philosophy

Main interests

Islam, Urdu poetry, Persian poetry, Law

Notable ideas

Allahabad Address

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu: محمد اِقبال‬‎) (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), widely known as Allama Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher, and politician, as well as an academic, barrister and scholar[1][2] in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is called the "Spiritual Father of Pakistan."[3] He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature,[4] with literary work in both Urdu and Persian.[2][4]

Iqbal is admired as a prominent poet by Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians and other international scholars of literature.[5][6][7] Though Iqbal is best known as an eminent poet, he is also a highly acclaimed "Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times".[2][7] His first poetry book, The Secrets of the Self, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include The Secrets of Selflessness, Message from the East and Persian Psalms. Amongst these, his best known Urdu works are The Call of the Marching Bell, Gabriel's Wing, The Rod of Moses and a part of Gift from Hijaz.[8] Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political disputes.[8]

In 1923, he was knighted by King George V,[9] granting him the title "Sir".[10] While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All-India Muslim League.[7][8] Later, during the League's December 1930 session, he delivered his most famous presidential speech known as the Allahabad Address in which he pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in northwest India.[7][8]

In much of South Asia and the Urdu speaking world, Iqbal is regarded as the Shair-e-Mashriq (Urdu: شاعر مشرق‬‎, "Poet of the East").[11][12][13] He is also called Mufakkir-e-Pakistan (Urdu: مفکر پاکستان‬‎, "The Thinker of Pakistan"), Musawar-e-Pakistan (Urdu: مصور پاکستان‬‎, "Artist of Pakistan") and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (Urdu: حکیم الامت‬‎, "The Sage of the Ummah"). The Pakistan government officially named him "National Poet of Pakistan".[7] His birthday Yōm-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl (Urdu: یوم ولادت محمد اقبال‬‎), or Iqbal Day, is a public holiday in Pakistan.[14]

V.S. Naipaul views him in much unfavourable light seeing him as one of the main activists for the partition of India and the creation of an Islamic theocracy.[15][page needed]

Iqbal's house is still located in Sialkot and is recognized as Iqbal's Manzil and is open for visitors. His other house where he lived most of his life and died is in Lahore, named as Javed Manzil.( "Javed Manzil". Retrieved 24 July 2014.) The museum is located on Allama Iqbal Road near Lahore Railway Station, Punjab, Pakistan.[16][better source needed] It was protected under the Punjab Antiquities Act of 1975, and declared a Pakistani national monument in 1977.[16][better source needed]

Personal life[edit]


Iqbal was born on 9 November 1877 in Sialkot within the Punjab Province of British India (now in Pakistan). His grandparents were Kashmiri Pandits, Brahmins of the Sapru clan from Kashmir who converted to Islam.[12][17] In the 19th century, when the Sikh Empire was conquering Kashmir, his grandfather's family migrated to Punjab. Iqbal often mentioned and commemorated his Kashmiri lineage in his writings.[18][12]

Iqbal's father, Sheikh Noor Muhammad (died 1930), was a tailor, not formally educated but a religious man.[19][20] Iqbal's mother Imam Bibi, a Punjabi Muslim from Sialkot, was described as a polite and humble woman who helped the poor and her neighbours with their problems. She died on 9 November 1914 in Sialkot.[17][21] Iqbal loved his mother, and on her death he expressed his feelings of pathos in a poetic form elegy.[19]

Who would wait for me anxiously in my native place?

Who would display restlessness if my letter fails to arrive?
I will visit thy grave with this complaint:
Who will now think of me in midnight prayers?
All thy life thy love served me with devotion—
When I became fit to serve thee, thou hast departed.[19]

Early education[edit]

Iqbal was four years old when he was admitted to the mosque to learn the Qur'an. He learned the Arabic language from his teacher, Syed Mir Hassan, the head of the madrasa and professor of Arabic at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, where he matriculated in 1893. He received Intermediate with the Faculty of Arts diploma in 1895.[12][21][22] The same year he enrolled at Government College University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, English literature and Arabic in 1897, and won the Khan Bahadurddin F.S. Jalaluddin medal as he performed well in Arabic.[21] In 1899, he received his Master of Arts degree from the same college and had the first place in University of the Punjab.[12][21][22]


Iqbal married three times. His first marriage was held in 1895, when he was 18 years old, shortly after he had completed his Intermediate and enrolled at Government College, Lahore. The bride, Karim Bibi, was the daughter of physician Khan Bahadur Ata Muhammad Khan. Her sister was the mother of director and music composer Khwaja Khurshid Anwar).[23][24] The match was arranged by their families in the usual Indian manner, and the couple were blessed with two children, a daughter Miraj Begum and a son, Aftab Iqbal. Later Iqbal married Sardar Begum, and they became the parents of a son, Javed Iqbal, who was to become a judge. Iqbal's third marriage was with Mukhtar Begum and it was held in December 1914, shortly after the death of Iqbal's mother in November the same year.[11][21]

Higher education in Europe[edit]

Iqbal was influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold, his philosophy teacher at Government college Lahore. Arnold's teachings determined Iqbal to pursue higher education in the West, and in 1905, he travelled to England for that purpose. Iqbal qualified for a scholarship from Trinity College, University of Cambridge and obtained Bachelor of Arts in 1906, and in the same year he was called to the bar as a barrister from Lincoln's Inn. In 1907, Iqbal moved to Germany to pursue his doctoral studies, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal's doctoral thesis entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia was published.[12][25][26][27]

During Iqbal's stay in Heidelberg in 1907 his German professor Emma Wegenast taught him about Goethe's Faust, Heine and Nietzsche.[28] During his study in Europe, Iqbal began to write poetry in Persian. He prioritised it because he believed he had found an easy way to express his thoughts. He would write continuously in Persian throughout his life.[12]

Iqbal had a great interest in Islamic studies, especially Sufi beliefs. Much of it can be evident from his poetry, in which apart from the independence ideologies he also explores concepts of submission to Allah and following the path of Prophet Muhammad.

Academic career[edit]

Iqbal, after completing his Master of Arts degree in 1899, began his career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College and shortly afterwards was selected as a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore, where he had also been a student in the past. He worked there until he left for England in 1905. In 1908, he returned from England and joined the same college again as a professor of philosophy and English literature.[29] In the same period Iqbal began practising law at Chief Court Lahore, but he soon quit law practice and devoted himself in literary works, becoming an active member of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam.[21] In 1919, he became the general secretary of the same organisation. Iqbal's thoughts in his work primarily focus on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centred around experiences from his travels and stays in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe.[19][28]

The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal's mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal began concentrating intensely on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilisation and its political future, while embracing Rumi as "his guide".[19] Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of guide in many of his poems. Iqbal's works focus on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilisation, and delivering the message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for socio-political liberation and greatness. Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community or the Ummah.[8][19]

Iqbal's poetry has been translated into many European languages, at the time when his work was famous during the early part of the 20th century.[7] Iqbal's Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R. A. Nicholson and A. J. Arberry respectively.[7][13]

Career as a Lawyer[edit]

Iqbal was not only a prolific writer but was also a known Advocate. He used to appear before the Lahore High Court in both civil and criminal matters. There are more than 100 reported judgments to his name.

Final years and death[edit]

In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal suffered from a mysterious throat illness.[30] He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan to establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at Jamalpur estate near Pathankot,[31][32] where there were plans to subsidise studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science. He also advocated for an independent Muslim state.

Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and was granted a pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. In his final years, he frequently visited the Dargah of famous SufiAli Hujwiri in Lahore for spiritual guidance. After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore on 21 April 1938.[8][12]His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are provided by the Government of Pakistan.

Iqbal is commemorated widely in Pakistan, where he is regarded as the ideological founder of the state. His Tarana-e-Hind is a song that is widely used in India as a patriotic song speaking of communal harmony. His birthday is annually commemorated in Pakistan as Iqbal Day. Iqbal is the namesake of many public institutions, including the Allama Iqbal Campus Punjab University in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, Iqbal Hostel in Government College University, Lahore, the Allama Iqbal hall in Nishtar Medical College in Multan, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi, Allama Iqbal Town in Lahore, and Allama Iqbal Hall at Aligarh Muslim University.

The government and public organisations have sponsored the establishment of educational institutions, colleges and schools dedicated to Iqbal, and have established the Iqbal Academy Pakistan to research, teach and preserve his works, literature and philosophy. Allama Iqbal Stamps Society was established for the promotion of Iqbaliyat in philately and in other hobbies. His son Javid Iqbal has served as a justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Javaid Manzil was Iqbal's last residence.[33]

Efforts and influences[edit]


Further information: Pakistan Movement

As Iqbal was interested in the national affairs since his youth and he had got considerable recognition after his return in 1908 from England by Punjabi elite, he was closely associated with Mian Muhammad Shafi. So when All-India Muslim League was expanded to provincial level and Mian Mohammad Shafi got major role to play in the structural organization of Provincial League, Iqbal was made one of the three first joint secretaries of the Punjab Muslim League with Shaikh Abdul Aziz and Maulvi Mahbub Alam.[34] While dividing his time between law practice and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He did not support Indian involvement in World War I and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Mohammad Ali Jouhar and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus, and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.[35][unreliable source?]

In November 1926, with the encouragement of friends and supporters, Iqbal contested the election for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes.[8] He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League.[35][unreliable source?] While in Lahore he was a friend of Abdul Sattar Ranjoor.[36]

Iqbal, Jinnah and concept of Pakistan[edit]

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Muhammad Shafi and Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving unity and fulfilling the League's objectives of Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force in convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:

I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India and, perhaps, to the whole of India.[37]

While Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930, Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the partition of India.[38] Iqbal's close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah's embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on 21 June 1937:

A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are.[8]

Iqbal, serving as president of the Punjab Muslim League, criticised Jinnah's political actions, including a political agreement with Punjabi leader Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, whom Iqbal saw as a representative of feudal classes and not committed to Islam as the core political philosophy. Nevertheless, Iqbal worked constantly to encourage Muslim leaders and masses to support Jinnah and the League. Speaking about the political future of Muslims in India, Iqbal said:

There is only one way out. Muslims should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence.... The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims.[37]

Revival of Islamic polity[edit]

Iqbal's six English lectures were published in Lahore in 1930, and then by the Oxford University Press in 1934 in a book titled The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. The lectures had been delivered at Madras, Hyderabad and Aligarh.[8] These lectures dwell on the role of Islam as a religion as well as a political and legal philosophy in the modern age.[8] In these lectures Iqbal firmly rejects the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with the Muslim masses.

Iqbal expressed fears that not only would secularism weaken the spiritual foundations of Islam and Muslim society, but that India's Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence. In his travels to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, he promoted ideas of greater Islamic political co-operation and unity, calling for the shedding of nationalist differences.[19] He also speculated on different political arrangements to guarantee Muslim political power; in a dialogue with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British government and with no central Indian government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim provinces in India. Under a single Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims.[8]

Iqbal was elected president of the Muslim League in 1930 at its session in Allahabad in the United Provinces, as well as for the session in Lahore in 1932. In his presidential address on 29 December 1930 he outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India:[8]

I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of Northwest India.[8]

In his speech, Iqbal emphasised that unlike Christianity, Islam came with "legal concepts" with "civic significance," with its "religious ideals" considered as inseparable from social order: "therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim."[39] Iqbal thus stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles.

He thus became the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-nation theory—that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India. Even as he rejected secularism and nationalism he would not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic state would construe a theocracy, and criticized the "intellectual attitudes" of Islamic scholars (Ulema) as having "reduced the Law of Islam practically to the state of immobility".[40]

The latter part of Iqbal's life was concentrated on political activity. He traveled across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, he reiterated the ideas of his 1932 address, and, during the Third round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces.

He would serve as president of the Punjab Muslim League, and would deliver speeches and publish articles in an attempt to rally Muslims across India as a single political entity. Iqbal consistently criticised feudal classes in Punjab as well as Muslim politicians averse to the League. Many unnoticed accounts of Iqbal's frustration toward Congress leadership were also pivotal in providing a vision for the two nation theory.

Patron of the Journal Tolu-e-Islam[edit]

Iqbal was the first patron of Tolu-e-Islam, a historical, political, religious and cultural journal of the Muslims of British India. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited the journal,[41] named after the famous poem of Iqbal, Tulu'i Islam. Niazi also dedicated the first edition of this journal to Iqbal. For a long time, Iqbal wanted a journal to propagate his ideas and the aims and objectives of the All India Muslim League. The journal played an important role in the Pakistan movement.[35]

Later, the journal was continued[42] by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, who had already contributed many articles in its early editions.

Literary work[edit]

Main article: Works of Muhammad Iqbal


Iqbal's poetic works are written primarily in Persian rather than Urdu.[citation needed] Among his 12,000 verses of poetry, about 7,000 verses are in Persian.[citation needed] In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal's finest poetic work[43] In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal explains his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self."[8][19] Iqbal's use of the term "Khudi" is synonymous with the word "Rooh" mentioned in the Quran. "Rooh" is that divine spark which is present in every human being, and was present in Adam, for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. One has to make a great journey of transformation to realise that divine spirit.[8]

The same concept was used by Farid ud Din Attar in his "Mantaq-ul-Tair". He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him, the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become a vice-regent of God.[8]

In his Rumuz-i-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove the Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation's viability. A person must keep his individual characteristics intact, but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the "Self" outside of society. Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community,[8] Islamic ethical and social principles, and the relationship between the individual and society. Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal also recognises the positive analogous aspects of other religions. The Rumuz-i-Bekhudi complements the emphasis on the self in the Asrar-e-Khudi and the two collections are often put in the same volume under the title Asrar-i-Rumuz (Hinting Secrets). It is addressed to the world's Muslims.[8]

Iqbal's 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the German poet Goethe. Goethe bemoans the West having become too materialistic in outlook, and expects the East will provide a message of hope to resuscitate spiritual values. Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilisation by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual can never aspire to higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality.[8] In his first visit to Afghanistan, he presented his book "Payam-e Mashreq" to King Amanullah Khan in which he admired the liberal movements of Afghanistan against the British Empire. In 1933, he was officially invited to Afghanistan to join the meetings regarding the establishment of Kabul University.[28]

The Zabur-e-Ajam (Persian Psalms), published in 1927, includes the poems Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed (Garden of New Secrets) and Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery). In Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed, Iqbal first poses questions, then answers them with the help of ancient and modern insight, showing how it affects and concerns the world of action. Bandagi Nama denounces slavery by attempting to explain the spirit behind the fine arts of enslaved societies. Here as in other books, Iqbal insists on remembering the past, doing well in the present and preparing for the future, while emphasising love, enthusiasm and energy to fulfil the ideal life.[8]

Iqbal's 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems. It follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante's The Divine Comedy, through mystical and exaggerated depictions across time. Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud ("A stream full of life") guided by Rumi, "the master," through various heavens and spheres and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations. In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. At the end, by addressing his son Javid, he speaks to the young people at large, and provides guidance to the "new generation."[8]

His love of the Persian language is evident in his works and poetry. He says in one of his poems:[44]

گرچہ ہندی در عذوبت شکر است‬[45]

garchi Hindi dar uzūbat shakkar ast

طرز گفتار دري شيرين تر است‬

tarz-i guftar-i Dari shirin tar ast

Translation: Even though in sweetness Hindi* is sugar(but) speech method in Dari (Persian dialect) is sweeter *


Iqbal's Bang-e-Dara (The Call of the Marching Bell), his first collection of Urdu poetry, was published in 1924. It was written in three distinct phases of his life.[8] The poems he wrote up to 1905—the year he left for England—reflect patriotism and imagery of nature, including the Tarana-e-Hind (The song of India),[28] and Tarana-e-Milli (The song of the Community). The second set of poems date from 1905–1908, when Iqbal studied in Europe, and dwell upon the nature of European society, which he emphasised had lost spiritual and religious values. This inspired Iqbal to write poems on the historical and cultural heritage of Islam and the Muslim community, with a global perspective. Iqbal urges the entire Muslim community, addressed as the Ummah, to define personal, social and political existence by the values and teachings of Islam.[8]

Iqbal's works were in Persian for most of his career, but after 1930 his works were mainly in Urdu. His works in this period were often specifically directed at the Muslim masses of India, with an even stronger emphasis on Islam and Muslim spiritual and political reawakening. Published in 1935, the Bal-e-Jibril (Wings of Gabriel) is considered by many critics as his finest Urdu poetry, and was inspired by his visit to Spain, where he visited the monuments and legacy of the kingdom of the Moors. It consists of ghazals, poems, quatrains, epigrams and carries a strong sense of religious passion.[8]

The Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (What are we to do, O Nations of the East?) includes the poem Musafir (Traveler). Again, Iqbal depicts Rumi as a character and an exposition of the mysteries of Islamic laws and Sufi perceptions is given. Iqbal laments the dissension and disunity among the Indian Muslims as well as Muslim nations. Musafir is an account of one of Iqbal's journeys to Afghanistan, in which the Pashtun people are counselled to learn the "secret of Islam" and to "build up the self" within themselves.[8] Iqbal's final work was the Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz), published posthumously in 1938. The first part contains quatrains in Persian, and the second part contains some poems and epigrams in Urdu. The Persian quatrains convey the impression that the poet is travelling through the Hijaz in his imagination. Profundity of ideas and intensity of passion are the salient features of these short poems.[8]

Iqbal's vision of mystical experience is clear in one of his Urdu ghazals, which was written in London during his days of studying there. Some verses of that ghazal are:[8]

At last the silent tongue of Hijaz has

announced to the ardent ear the tiding
That the covenant which had been given to the
desert-[dwellers] is going to be renewed
The lion who had emerged from the desert and
had toppled the Roman Empire is
As I am told by the angels, about to get up
again (from his slumbers.)
You the [dwellers] of the West, should know that
the world of God is not a shop (of yours).
Your imagined pure gold is about to lose it
standard value (as fixed by you).
Your civilization will commit suicide with its own daggers.
For a house built on a fragile bark of wood is not longlasting[8]


Iqbal also wrote two books on the topic of The Development of Metaphysics in Persia and The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam and many letters in the English language. In these, he revealed his thoughts regarding Persian ideology and Islamic Sufism – in particular, his beliefs that Islamic Sufism activates the searching soul to a superior perception of life. He also discussed philosophy, God and the meaning of prayer, human spirit and Muslim culture, as well as other political, social and religious problems.[8]

Iqbal was invited to Cambridge to participate in a conference in 1931, where he expressed his views, including that on Separation of church and state to participants which included the students of that university :[8]

I would like to offer a few pieces of advice to the youngmen who are at present studying at Cambridge. ... I advise you to guard against atheism and materialism. The biggest blunder made by Europe was the separation of Church and State. This deprived their culture of moral soul and diverted it to the atheistic materialism. I had twenty-five years ago seen through the drawbacks of this civilization and therefore, had made some prophecies. They had been delivered by my tongue although I did not quite understand them. This happened in 1907. ... After six or seven years, my prophecies came true, word by word. The European war of 1914 was an outcome of the aforesaid mistakes made by the European nations in the separation of the Church and the State.[8]

Iqbal known in subcontinent[edit]

As Poet of the East[edit]

Iqbal has been recognised and quoted as "Poet of the East" by academics and institutions and media.[13][46][47][48][49][50][51]

The Vice-Chancellor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Dr Masoom Yasinzai described in a seminar as chief guest addressing to a distinguished gathering of educationists and intellectuals, that Iqbal is not a poet of the East only, actually he is a universal poet. Moreover, Iqbal is not restricted to any specific segment of the world community but he is for the entire humanity.[52]

Yet it should also be born in mind that whilst dedicating his Eastern Divan to Goethe, the cultural icon par excellence, Iqbal's Payam-i-Mashriq constituted both a reply as well as a corrective to the Western Divan of Goethe. For by stylising himself as the representative of the East, Iqbal's endeavour was to talk on equal terms to Goethe as the representative of West."[53]

Iqbal's revolutionary works through his poetry awakened the Muslims of the subcontinent. Iqbal was confident that the Muslims had long been suppressed by the colonial enlargement and growth of the West. In this concept Iqbal is recognised as the "Poet of the East".[47][54][55]

So to conclude, let me cite Annemarie Schimmel in Gabriel's Wing who lauds Iqbal's 'unique way of weaving a grand tapestry of thought from eastern and western yarns' (p. xv), a creative activity which, to cite my own volume Revisioning Iqbal, endows Muhammad Iqbal with the stature of a "universalist poet" and thinker whose principal aim was to explore mitigating alternative discourses with a view to constructing a bridge between the 'East' and the 'West'.[53]

Urdu world is very familiar Iqbal as the "Poet of the East".[55] Iqbal is also called Muffakir-e-Pakistan, "The Thinker of Pakistan") and Hakeem-ul-Ummat "The Sage of the Ummah"). The Pakistan government officially named him a "national poet".[7]

Iqbal in Iran[edit]

In Iran, he is famous as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī. (Iqbal of Lahore) Iqbal's "Asrare-i-Khudi" and "Bal-i-Jibreel" are known in Iran, while many scholars in Iran have recognised the importance of Iqbal's poetry in inspiring and sustaining the Iranian Revolution of 1979.[56][5] During the early phases of the revolutionary movement, it was a common thing to see people gathering in a park or corner to listen to someone reciting Iqbal's blood-warming Persian poetry, that is why people of all ages in Iran today are familiar with at least some of his poetry, notably "Az-zabur-e-Ajam".[57][5]

In his analysis of the Persian poetry of Muhammad Iqbal, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that "we have a large number of non-Persian-speaking poets in the history of our literature, but I cannot point out any of them whose poetry possesses the qualities of Iqbal's Persian poetry. Iqbal was not acquainted with Persian idiom, as he spoke Urdu at home and talked to his friends in Urdu or English. He did not know the rules of Persian prose writing."[58]

After the death of Iqbal in 1938, by the early 1950s, Iqbal became known among the intelligentsia of the academic circles of Iran. Iran poet laureate Muhammad Taqi Bahar universalize Iqbal in Iran. He highly praised the work of Iqbal in Persian.

In 1952, the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq, the national hero because of his oil nationalisation policy broadcast a special radio message on Iqbal Day and praised his role in the struggle of the Indian Muslims against British imperialism. At the end of the 1950s, Iranians published the complete works of Persian. In the 1960s, Iqbal thesis on Persian philosophy was translated from English to Persian. Ali Shariati, a Sorbonne-educated sociologist, supported Iqbal as his role model as Iqbal had Rumi. It is the best example of admiration and appreciation of Iran that they gave him the place of honour in the pantheon of the Persian elegy writers.

In 1970, Iran realised Iqbal. Iqbal verses appeared on the banners and poetry recited at meetings of the intellectuals. Iqbal inspired many intellectuals, including famous names, Ali Shariati, Mehdi Bazargan, Sayyed Ali Khamenei and Dr Abdulkarim Soroush.[5]

Key Iranian thinkers and leaders who were influenced by Iqbal's poetry during the rise of the Iranian revolution include Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Shariati, and Abdolkarim Soroush; although much of the revolutionary guard was intimately familiar with numerous verses of Iqbal's body of poetry.[59] In fact, at the inauguration of the First Iqbal Summit in Tehran (1986), The Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that in its 'conviction that the Quran and Islam are to be made the basis of all revolutions and movements', Iran was 'exactly following the path that was shown to us by Iqbal'.[59] Ali Shariati, who has been described as a core ideologue for the Iranian Revolution, described Iqbal as a figure who brought a message of "rejuvenation", "awakening" and "power" to the Muslim World.[60]

International influence[edit]

Iqbal and the West[edit]

Iqbal's views on the Western world were applauded by men including United States Supreme Court

Iqbal's mother, who died on 9 November 1914. Iqbal expressed his feeling of pathos in a poetic form after her death.
Photograph taken during Allama Iqbal's youth in 1899
Iqbal as a Barrister-at-Law
Allama Iqbal in Allahabad with other Muslim leaders
Copy of the first journal of Tolu-e-Islam.
Allama Iqbal(In the Doctorate of Literature) after the conferment of this Degree by the University of the Punjab in 1933
Name plate of a street Iqbal-Ufer, Heidelberg, Germany, honoured in the name of Iqbal.[61]

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