We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Iqbal, Muhammad - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Iqbal, Muhammad

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Iqbal, Muhammad

    1877 – 1938

    Poet and

    political writer

    Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot, India (now a part of Pakistan), and raised in a devout Muslim family. After completing high school, he attended Scotch Mission College for two years. Iqbal then went to Government College in Lahore, where he graduated with honors. He remained at the school to earn a master's degree in philosophy. After teaching for a few years in Lahore, he traveled to Europe to continue his education. He studied at Cambridge University and Munich University, where he received a doctorate in philosophy.

    Iqbal's extensive schooling enabled him to develop an expertise in many areas. He was fluent in several languages, including Urdu, Arabic, Persian, English, and German. At Government College, he gained a deep understanding of Western philosophy, Islamic culture, and Arabic literature. His advanced studies in Europe included law and Islamic mysticism. Returning to India in 1908 , Iqbal pursued a career as an attorney and a college professor. It was his poetry, however, that made him famous.

    Iqbal wrote his best-known poems in Persian and Urdu. Muslims across the Indian subcontinent recited his verse. Even the illiterate became familiar with his poetry. Reynold Nicholson , a tutor at Cambridge University, translated his classic poem Secrets of the Self ( 1915 ) into English. Several themes emerge from Iqbal's poetry. Disturbed by what he perceived as the moral decline of Muslim culture, many of his poems call for greater obedience to the law of Islam. Although Iqbal is critical of nationalism, much of his verse promotes Muslim unity.

    Iqbal used prose to elaborate on his philosophical approach to religion. Influenced by Indian writer and political activist Sayyid Ahmad Khan ( 1817 – 1898 ), Iqbal believed the modernization of Islam held the key to Muslim advancement. In The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, he wrote that Muslims could achieve economic gains by embracing science and technology. Furthermore, he called for a reinterpretation of the Qur'an and the sunnah as a way to create new social and political institutions. His thinking helped to shape modernist Islam in the broader Muslim world.

    Although Iqbal was uncomfortable with politics, his ideas influenced several important political figures. He even served in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from 1926 to 1930 . By that time, he had become concerned about the political future of Muslims in India.

    In 1930 Iqbal gave a speech rejecting the idea that India's Hindus and Muslims could live together in a single nation. He became a leading spokes-person for a separate Muslim state in northwestern India. According to Iqbal, this state should be based on the principles of Islam and it could then function as part of a larger community (ummah) of Muslim countries.

    Iqbal's vision had a lasting political impact. The All-India Muslim League vigorously promoted Iqbal's ideas. This campaign gained strength in the late 1930s and 1940s. In 1947 Great Britain partitioned India into two independent states—the predominantly Hindu India and the Muslim state of Pakistan. Iqbal died in 1938 and did not live to see the realization of his goal. Nonetheless, he remains one of Pakistan's national heroes. See also Ahmad Khan, Sayyid; India; Pakistan.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice