Mohammad Iqbal, the poet of the East, was born in Sialkot,
a town in the Punjab, on 9th November, 1877. He received his
early education in his home town. In 1895, he went to Government
College, Lahore. He passed his M.A. in 1899, from the University
of the Punjab. In the same year, he was appointed Professor
of Arabic at the Oriental College, Lahore. He held this job
till 1905. In that year, he left for England for higher studies.
In London he received a law degree. In 1908, he was awarded
a degree of Ph. D. by Munich University, for his work on Persian
philosophy. That is why, he is also known as Dr. Mohammad
Iqbal is generally known as a great poet. He was no doubt
a great poet, but poetry was only one of his many accomplishments.
He was well-versed in philosophy, both Eastern and Western.
He pointed out the defects in some of the philosophical systems
of the West. He devoted a great part of his life to the study
of Islam. He also took an active part in politics. He worked
for the Muslims of South Asia with great courage,
He was elected a member of the Punjab Legislative Council
in 1926 and held that office till 1929. He did not seek re-election.
He was elected President of the Punjab branch of the All-India
Muslim League and held that post till his death. In 1930,
he presided over the Allahabad meeting of the All- India Muslim
League. It was on this historic occasion that he made a definite
demand for a separate Muslim State in South Asia. In his presidential
address Dr. Iqbal said, "India is a continent of human
groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages
and believing in different religions. Their behaviour is not
governed by a common race feeling. These groups are all separate
nations. The principle of European democracy cannot be applied
to India without recognizing the fact of different groups.
The Muslim demand to create a Muslim India within India is
in no way without justice. For my part I would like to go
one step forward; I would like to see the Punjab, North West
Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan united under a single
Muslim State. The Muslims are anxious to have a separate state,
because they fear the Hindu majority which, they believe,
will not allow Muslims to develop freely." This demand
shocked both the Hindus and the British alike. They both opposed
was the first time that a demand was made for a separate Indian
Muslim State. Dr. Iqbal did not stop at this. All his efforts
were now directed towards the achievement of this goal. In
May 1937 Dr. Iqbal wrote a letter to the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah. In this letter, he discussed in detail the problems
of the Indian Muslims. He once again, advised that only the
creation of a separate Muslim State could solve these problems
and said to the Quaid, "Don't you think that the time
for such a demand has already arrived?"
21st June 1937, he again wrote to the Quaid-i-Azam, "A
separate federal state of Muslim provinces, formed on the
lines I have proposed, is the only way by which, we can have
a peaceful India and save Muslims from the rule of non-Muslims."
Muslims awoke from their sleep as a result of Iqbal's efforts.
They turned over a new leaf. Now they all wanted a separate
Muslim State. The Muslim League representing the whole of
Muslin India, met in Lahore and passed a resolution on 23
March, 1940, demanding a separate state for the Muslims of
India. This resolution is now known as the 'Pakistan Resolution'.
From this time onward the Muslims never looked back. They
put their heart and soul into the struggle for Pakistan'.
They succeeded in their struggle. On 14 August, 1947, Pakistan
appeared on the map of the world. Iqbal died in 1938, and
could not see the actual creation of Pakistan, but he had
played a major part in its creation. Quaid-i-Azam praised
Iqbal's role in a message on his death: 'To me was a friend,
guide and philosopher and during the darkest moments through
which the Muslim League had to go, he stood like a rock ............"
believed that faith in Islam made the Indian Muslims one nation,
separate and apart from the Hindus. He strongly believed that
in a united India where the Hindu majority would rule the
country, the Muslims could not develop freely He had a great
love for Islam, and was completely devoted to it. Both his
prose and poetry reflect this devotion. He always advised
Muslims to remain true to their faith. In his Allahabad address
"I have learned one lesson from the history of Muslims.
At difficult moments in their history, it is Islam that has
saved Muslims and not Muslims that have saved Islam. If today
you put your faith in Islam, you will become strong and united
once again and save yourselves from complete destruction".