Mohammad Iqbal

Other names: 

Allamah Iqbal


Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ
United Kingdom
52° 10' 21.3528" N, 0° 6' 40.3992" E
Date of birth: 
09 Nov 1877
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
21 Apr 1938
Location of death: 
Lahore, Pakistan
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1904
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1904-7, 1931-2


Mohammad Iqbal was born in 1877 in Sialkot, Punjab, to father Sheikh Nuruddin Mohammad, a tailor by profession and of Kashmiri background, and mother Imam Bibi. He was educated at the Scotch Mission College, where he also took up poetry, and later, in 1895, at Government College, Lahore, where he would come into contact with Sir Thomas Arnold. In 1903, he published a treatise on economics entitled Ilmul-Iqtesad, and in 1904 he wrote the Indian patriotic song Sare Jahan se Achccha Hindostan Hamara. He would once again work with Thomas Arnold when he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a student of Philosophy in 1905. He obtained his degree at Cambridge and went on to Munich University where he obtained a doctorate; his thesis was entitled The Development of Metaphysics in Persia. He later qualified as a barrister. In London, he delivered a series of lectures; his lecture at Caxton Hall was widely reported in the papers. While in Europe, Iqbal became influenced by Kant, Bergson and especially Nietzsche.

In August 1908 he returned to Lahore where he joined the Government College as a part-time professor of philosophy and English literature while also practising as a lawyer in Lahore Chief Court. After a while, he resigned from the College and focused on law. Besides law he found time to develop his poetry in the 1920s, but he was also drawn into politics by his friends, Jogendra Singh, Zulfikar Ali Khan and Khawaja Shahabuddin. His Persian masnavi sequence Asrar-i Khudi (1915; Secrets of the Self (1920)) and Rumuz-i Bekhudi (1918; 'The Mysteries of Selflessness') were the foundation of Iqbal's philosophical poetry. In them he combined his ideas of the ego striving to achieve freedom and to develop a fuller personality with the moral, spiritual and intellectual values of Islam. He continued to develop these ideas in his poetry for the rest of his life. It is on the basis of these that he is know as the poet-philosopher of Pakistan.

From 1926 to 1930 he served on the Punjab Legislative Council and was President of the All-India Muslim League in 1930. That same year, he gave evidence before the Simon Commission and in 1931-2 he was a delegate to the Second and Third Round Table Conferences, visiting London again. He dissociated himself from the idea of Pakistan as a country carved out of Muslim majority states of the Indian sub-continent. By the mid-1930s, his health had deteriorated so much that he had to decline to give a series of Rhodes lectures at Oxford in 1935. He continued to write poetry but died on 21 April 1938. He is buried near the Shahi Mosque in Lahore.


B. R. Ambedkar, Syed Ameer Ali, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, T. W. Arnold, Abul Kalam Azad, Syed Hassan Bilgrami, Atiya Fyzee, Sayyid Mir Hassan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Aga Khan, John McTaggart, William Rothenstein, Edward John Thompson, James Ward.

Published works: 

Ilmul-Iqtesad (1903) 

Armaqhan-i Hijaz (Lahaur: Javid Iqbal, [19--])

The Development of Metaphysics in Persia: A Contributon to the History of Muslim Philosophy (London: Luzac & Co., 1908) 

Asrar-i Khudi (1915)

Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (1917)

Secrets of the Self: A Philosophical Poem, translated from the original Persian, with introduction and notes by Reynold A. Nicholson (1920)

Bang-e-Dara (1924)

Payam-e-Mashriq (1924)

Pas Chih Bayad Kard, ay Aqram-i Sharq (1926)

Zabur-e-Ajam (1927)

Javed Nama (1932)

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (London: Oxford University Press, 1934)

Bal-i Jibril (Lahaur: Taj Kampani, 1935)

Darb-i-Kalim (1936)

Pa Cheh Bayad Kard ay Aqwam-i-Sharq (1936)

Armughan-e-Hijaz (1938)

The Tulip of Sinai (London: Royal India Society, 1947)

The Mysteries of Selflessness: A Philosophical Poem, translated with introduction and notes by Arthur J. Arberry (London: J. Murray, 1953)

(with S. Y. Hashimy) Islam as an Ethical and a Political Ideal (Lahore: Orientalia, [1908] 1955)

Poems from Iqbal, translated by V. B. Kiernan (London: John Murray, 1955)

Persian Psalms, translated into English verse by A. J. Arberry (1961)

Javid-Nama, translated from the Persian with introduction and notes by Arthur J. Arberry (London: Allen & Unwin, 1966)

A Message from the East (Karachi: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1971)

Islam and Ahmadism (Lucknow: Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, 1974)

Mission of Islam (New Delhi: Vikas, 1977)

Letters and Writings of Iqbal, compiled and edited by B. A. Dar (Karachi: Iqbal Academy, 1967)

Contributions to periodicals: 



Secondary works: 

There are over 800 secondary works on Iqbal. Below we have included a selection of those: 

Abbas, Syed Ghulam, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal: The Humanist: A Reassesment of the Poetry and Personality of the Poet-Philosopher of the East (Lahore: Iqbal Academy, 1997) 

Ahmad, Absar, Concept of Self and Self-Identity in Contemporary Philosophy: An Affirmation of Iqbal's Doctrine (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1986)

Ahmad, Aziz, Islamic Modernism in India and Pakistan, 1857-1964 (London: Oxford University Press, 1967)

Ahmad, Doris, Iqbal as I Knew Him (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1986)

Ahmad, S. Aasan, Iqbal: His Political Ideas at the Crossroads: A Commentary on Unpublished Letters to Professor Thompson with Photographic Reproductions of the Original Letters (Aligarh: Print vol Publications, 1979)

Ahsan, A. Shakoor, An Appeciation of Iqbal's Thought and Art (Lahore: Research Society of Pakistan, University of the Punjab, 1985)

Ali, Parveen Shaukat, The Political Philosophy of Iqbal (Lahore: Publishers United, 1970)

Aqeel, Moinuddin, Iqbal: From Finite to Infinite: Evolution of the Concept of Islamic Nationalism in India
(Karachi: Abul Kalam Azad Research Instititute, 1986)

Ashraf, S. E., A Critical Exposition of Iqbal's Philosophy (Patna: Associated Book Agency, 1978)

Azad, Jagan Nath, Iqbal: His Poetry and Philosophy (Mysore: Prasaranga, 1981)

Bilgrami, Hamid Hasan, Glimpses of Iqbal's Mind and Thought: Brief Lectures on Iqbal Delivered at London, Cambridge and Oxford (Lahore: Orientalia, 1954)

Biswas, Lakshmi, Tagore and Iqbal: A Study in Philosophical Perspective (Delhi: Capital Publishing House, 1991)

Burney, Sayed Muzaffar Husain, Iqbal and National Integration (Chandigarh: Haryana Sahitya Akademi, 1986)

Chaghatai, Muhammad Ikram, Iqbal and Goethe (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2000)

Cughtai, Muhammad Ikram, Goethe, Iqbal and the Orient (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1999)

Dar, Bashir Ahmad, A Study in Iqbal's Philosophy (Lahore: Ghulam Ali and Sons, 1971)

Dhawan, Madan Lal, Iqbal and His Equals (Delhi: Bhavna Prakashan, 1986)

Enver, Ishrat Hasan, The Metaphysics of Iqbal (Lahore: Muhammad Ashraf, 1944)

Ghani, Abdul, The English Translations of Iqbal's Poetry: A Critical and Evaluative Study  (Lahore: Bazm-i Iqbal, 2004)

Gibb, H. A. R., 'Iqbal, Sir Muhammad (1877-1938)', rev. Francis Robinson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Grover, Verinder, Mohammad Iqbal: A Biography of His Vision and Ideas (New Delhi: Deep & Deep, 1998)

Hamid, Muhammad, The Poet Philosopher of Fifteenth Century Hijrah (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1980)

Haq, Q. M., and Waley,  M. I., Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of the East (London: British Museum Publications Ltd for the British Library, 1977)

Hasan, Masudul, Life of Iqbal: General Account of His life (Lahore: Ferozsons, 1978) 

Hasan, Mohammad, A New Approach to Iqbal (New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1987)

Hassan, Parveen Feroze, The Political Philosophy of Iqbal (Lahore: Publishers United, 1970)

Hassan, Riffat, The Sword and the Sceptre: A Collection of Writings on Iqbal, Dealing Mainly with his Life and Political Works (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1977)

Iqbal, Javid, Stray Reflections: Allama Iqbal's Note-Book (Lahore: Iqbal Academy, 1992)

Iqbal, Saeeda, Islamic Rationalism in the Subcontinent: With Special Refernce to Shah Waliullah, Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Allama Muhammad Iqbal (Lahore: Islamic Book Service, 1984)

Jawed, Mohammad Aslam, The Unknown Iqbal (New Delhi: Kitab Publishing House, 1996)

Kazmi, Syed Latif Hussain, Philosophy of Iqbal: Iqbal and Existentialism (New Delhi: A. P. H., 1997)

Khan, Asif Iqbal, Some Aspects of Iqbal's Thought (Lahore: Islamic Book Service, 1977)

Khan, Zulfiqar Ali, A Voice from the East: The Poetry of Iqbal (Lahore: Mercantile Electric Press, 1922)

Khanum, Sajida Adeeb, Iqbal as a Philosopher (Hyderabad: Abul Kalam Azad Oriental Research Institute, 1982)

Khatana, Manzoor H., Iqbal and Foundations of Pakistani Nationalism, 1857-1947 (Lahore: Book Traders, 1992)

Majeed, Javed, Autobiography, Travel and Postnational Identity: Gandhi, Nehru and Iqbal (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Majeed, Javed, Iqbal: Islam and Postcolonialism in South Asia (London: Taylor & Francis, 2007)

Malik, Ghulam Rasool, Iqbal and the English Romantics (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1988)

Malik, Hafeez, Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan (New York; London: Columbia University Press, 1971)

Malik, Nadeem Shafiq, The Political Segacity of Iqbal (Islamabad: National Book Foundation, 1998)

Malik, Rashida, Iqbal: The Spiritual Father of Pakistan (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2003)

Maruf, Mohammed, Iqbal and His Contemporary Western Religious Thought (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1987)

May, Lini S., Iqbal: His Life and Times, 1877-1938 (Lahore: Ashraf, 1974)

Mir, Mustansir, Iqbal: Makers of Islamic Civilization (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005)

Mujadir, Sharif, Allama Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of the East (Karachi: Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 1986)

Munawwar, Muhammad, Iqbal: Poet-Philosopher of Islam (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1982)

Naim, C. M., Iqbal, Jinnah and Pakistan: The Vision and the Reality (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1984)

Popp, Stephan, Muhammad Iqbal's Romanticism of Power: A Post-Structural Approach to his Persian Lyrical Poetry (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2004)

Qaiser, Nazir, Iqbal and the Western Philosophers: A Comparative Study (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2001)

Rafique, M., Sri Aurobindo and Iqbal: A Comparative Study of Their Philosophy (Aligarh: Alogarh Muslim University, 1974)

Rahim, Khawaja Abdur, Iqbal: The Poet of Tomorrow (Lahore: Ferozsons, 1968)

Rahman, Mujibur, Iqbal: The Great Poet Philosopher of the Muslim World (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2004)

Raina, Chaman Lal, Iqbal and the Indian Heritage (Srinagar: Iqbal Institute, University of Kashmir, 1988)

Raja, Tasadduq Husain, and Siddique, Qazi Muhammad, Iqbal: A Cosmopolitan Poet (Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1996)

Rashis, Khwaja Abdur, Iqbal, Quran and the Western World (Lahore: Progressive Books, 1978)

Rastogi, Tara Charan, Western Influence in Iqbal (New Delhi: Ashish Publ. House, 1987)

Rehman, S. A., andBrohi,  A. K., Iqbal and Socialism (Karachi: Hamdard National Foundation, 1974)

Saiyidain, Khwaja Ghulam, Iqbal's Educational Philosophy (Lahore: Arafat Publications, 1938)

Schimmel, Annemarie, Gabriel's Wing: A Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1963)

Siddiqi, Mazheruddin, The Image of the West in Iqbal (Lahore: Bazm-i-Iqbal, 1956)

Siddiqi, Nazir, Iqbal and Radhakrishnan: A Comparative Study (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1989)

Singh, Iqbal, The Ardent Pilgrim: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Muhammad Iqbal (London: Longmans, 1951)

Singh, Khushwant, Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa: Complaint and Answer: Iqbal's Dialogue with Allah (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1981)

Sinha, Sachchidananda, Iqbal: The Poet and His Message (Allahabad: Ram Narain Lal, 1947)

Taseer, Muhammad Din, Iqbal: The Universal Poet (Lahore: Munib, 1977)

Vahid, Syed Abdul, Glimpses of Iqbal (Karachi: Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1974) 

Waheeduddin, Faqir Syed, Iqbal in Pictures: A Pictorial Biography of the Famous Poet (Karachi: Lion Art Press, 1965)

Zakaria, Rafiq, Iqbal: The Poet and the Politician (New Delhi: Viking, 1993)

Archive source: 

Iqbal Academy, Lahore

Letters to E. J. Thompson, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Letters to William Rothenstein, Houghton Library, Harvard