Muhammad Iqbal (Allama Iqbal)

Muhammad Iqbal (Allama Iqbal)

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu: محمد اقبال‎) (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), widely known as Allama Iqbal (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.


1877 —— Born in Sialkot, Panjab; father a tailor; large pious family, Kashmiri Brahman ancestry

1892 —— Graduates from Scotch Mission High School, Sialkot

1892 —— Parents marry him to Karim Bibi

1893 —— Enters Scotch Mission College, in liberal arts course

1894(?) —— Takes Dagh as his ustad, begins to send him verses by mail

1895 —— Daughter, Mi’raj Begam (d. 1914), born to Karim Bibi

1895 —— Passes Intermediate examination

1895 —— Goes to Lahore, enters Government College

1897 —— Receives B.A., second division; stands first in Arabic

1898 —— Begins to study Philosophy with Prof. Thomas Arnold

1898 —— After some study, appears for exams in law; but fails in Jurisprudence

1899 —— Receives M.A. in Philosophy, third division; gets gold medal since he’s the only successful candidate in Phil. at all

1899 —— Becomes known in Lahore for his Urdu poetry

1899 —— Son, Aftab Iqbal, born to Karim Bibi

1899 —— Appointed Reader in Arabic, Oriental College, Lahore

1900 —— Recites, or ‘sings’, his poem naalah-e yatiim (Orphan’s lament) at Anjuman-e Himayat ul-Islam; receives tremendous acclaim, becomes instantly famous

1901 —— Baby boy born to Karim Bibi, dies soon after birth

1901 —— Applies for post as Extra Ass’t Commissioner, rejected for eye defect

1901-05 —— Publishes poems in ‘Abd ul-Qadir’s new journal ‘Makhzan’; including the patriotic ones taraanah-e hindii (Indian song) (Oct. 1904), hindustaanii bachcho;N kaa qaumii giit (Indian children’s national song) (Feb. 1905), nayaa shivaalah (New Shiva-temple) (Mar. 1905); becomes well-known as a nationalist

1903 —— Becomes Ass’t Prof. of Philosophy and English Literature, Government College, Lahore

1903 —— Publishes ((ilm ul-iqtisaad , the first book in Urdu on economics

1905 —— Goes to Europe: studies in London at Lincoln’s Inn (law), Trinity Colleg e (B.A.); simultaneously prepares doctoral dissertation on ‘The Development of Metaphysics in Persia’ for University of Munich

1907 —— Meets ‘Atiyah Faizi, and begins close personal relationship with her

1907 —— Awarded B.A. degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University

1907 —— Awarded doctorate in philosophy by University of Munich

1908 —— Qualifies as barrister-at-law, Lincoln’s Inn

1908 —— Dissertation published in London

1908 —— Elected to Executive Committee, London Branch, All-India Muslim League

1908 —— Returns from Europe; is offered academic positions, but gives up academia in favor of law for financial reasons

1909 —— Marries(?) Sardar Begam; but has doubts about her based on anonymous letters; rejects her

1909 —— Marries Mukhtar Begam

1909 —— Takes a temporary professorship at Government College, in addition to law practice

1909 —— In a letter to Munshi Ghulam Qadir Farrukh, he writes that contrary to his personal views, it may prove ‘too difficult for the Hindus and the Muslims to forge a common policy’ because their ‘basic cultures’ are different ‘and the Muslims would not like to submerge their identity among the Hindu majority’; (M. ul-H. v.1, p. 94)

1910 —— Keeps the notebooks which become ‘Stray Reflections’

1910 —— Composes taraanah-e millii (Song of the religious community) as a children’s song

1911 —— Recites shikvah (Complaint) at annual meeting, Anjuman-e Hidayat ul-Islam, Lahore; insists on speaking it taht ul-laf;z though the audience demands singing in tarannum , because the subject is so important

1911 —— Resigns from professorship, but continues to act as Examiner

1911 —— Acquires an all-India reputation

1912 —— ‘Atiyah Faizi marries someone else (Faizi Rahman)

1913 —— Recites javaab-e shikvah (Answer to the complaint) at a mushairah in Mochi Gate, Lahore

1913 —— Re(?)marries Sardar Begam; lives with both women together

1915 —— Publishes asraar-e ;xvudii (Secrets of the self) (P)

1916 —— Karim Bibi begins to live separately, supported by Iqbal (d. 1946)

1918 —— Publishes rumuuz-e be-xvudii (Mysteries of selflessness) (P)

1919 —— Elected General Secretary, Anjuman-e Himayat ul-Islam

1920 —— ‘The Secrets of the Self’ (trans. of asraar-e ;xvudii ) published in England by Reynold Nicholson of Cambridge University

1923 —— Publishes payaam-e mashriq (Message of the east) (P), a response to Goethes ‘West-Ostlicher Divan’

1923 —— Knighted by British Government

1924 —— Resigns from Secretaryship of Anjuman

1924 —— Publishes baang-e daraa (Sound of the bell) (U)

1924 —— Mukhtar Begam dies of pregnancy complications and pneumonia

1924 —— Son Javed Iqbal born to Sardar Begam

1926 —— Elected to a Lahore seat in the new Punjab Legislative Assembly, begins active political involvement

1927 —— Publishes zubuur ul-((ajam (Persian psalms) (P)

1929 —— Travels to Madras, delivers ‘The reconstruction of religious thought in Islam’, lectures to the Madras Muslim Association

1929 —— Schoolchildren greet him in Hyderabad singing chiin-o-((arab hamaaraa from taraanah-e millii

1930 —— Daughter Munirah born to Sardar Begam

1930 —— Publishes ‘The reconstruction of religious thought in Islam’ (English), in which he declares the baab-e ijtihaad to be open again

1930 —— Giving his Presidential Address to the Muslim League in Allahabad, speaks of the possibility of a separate Muslim state

1931 —— Last known poetry recitation: masjid-e qur:tubah (Mosque of Cordoba), Jamia Millia, Delhi

1931-32 —— Revisits England for Second and Third Round Table Conferences, travels extensively in Europe; visits Bergson in Paris; sees Spain; meets Mussolini in Rome; visits Egypt, Palestine

1932 —— Giving his Presidential Address to the Muslim League, he declares his opposition to nationalism ‘as it is understood in Europe’

1932 —— Publishes jaaved-naamah (The book of eternity) (P), perhaps his favorite Persian work, with Miltonic overtones

1933 —— Briefly visits Afghanistan, as part of a commission for educational reforms

1934 —— Health deteriorates; ceases practicing law

1935 —— Publishes baal-e jibriil (The wing of Gabriel) (U), his Urdu masterpiece

1935 —— Sardar Begam dies

1935 —— Granted pension by Navab of Bhopal

1935-36 —— Visits Bhopal several times

1936 —— Publishes zarb-e kaliim (The staff of Moses) (U)

1938 —— Publishes armu;Gaan-e ;hijaaz (Gift of the Hijaz) (U & P)

1938 —— Dies in Lahore; buried next to Badshahi Masjid

Collection of  old and rare photos (images) of Allama Iqbal

Allama Iqbal Quotes

Letters of Allama Iqbal to Quaid E Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar