A great man is one who serves humanity heart and soul. But no man is great who is great only in his life time. The test of greatness is the page of history. History is replete with the noble deeds of men whose sole and sacred aim of life was to help and guide their fellow men. We read scientist, artists, philosophers, politicians, poets and sages who are tireless and selfless efforts brought comfort and peace to the suffering humanity. They die but their death makes them immortal because they live in our hearts. Allama Iqbal is one of them. Wise is the meaning of Alim in English.
Allama Iqbal is the greatest Muslim Poet and Philosopher. He was born at Sialkot on the 9th of November 1877. His father Sheikh Noor Muhammad was a great mystic. He was a merchant and shifted his business from the Kashmir and settled in Sialkot. Iqbal inherited deep love for religion from him. His school teacher, Syed Mir Hassan also played an important role in shaping his personality. He taught him Arabic, Islamic Studies and Philosophy. He moved to Lahore after his early education. There he joined the Government College and passed M.A Examination in Philosophy. Then he started teaching in the same college. After a few years he went to Europe for higher studies. He received PhD in Philosophy from Germany and Bar at Law examination from London. When he returned home, he started his law practice in the Lahore High Court.
He devoted most of his time to poetry, Philosophy and religion. He was much worried about the sad and deplorable plight of the Muslims. They had forgotten the true message of Islam and had indulged in petty worldly pursuits. Allama Iqbal tried to reawaken them from the sound slumber of luxurious ease. He wrote many great and beautiful poems which carry the message of Islam. Through his immortal theories of “Khudi” (self respect), “Mard-e-Momin” (Young Muslim) and “Shaheen” (eagle) he taught them self control self respect and love for the religion. He was against all political and religious exploitation. In his poems, he used simple language with beautiful similes and metaphors to explain his philosophical thoughts.
It was he who presented the idea of Pakistan. In 1930, he presided over the Allahabad session of the all India Muslim League. In his presidential speech, he made clear that the Muslims of the subcontinent would have to struggle hard to achieve a separate homeland if they wanted to lead their lives according to the teaching of Islam. Unfortunately, he did not live to see his dream come true. He died on 21st of April 1939. He was buried in Lahore Where Minar-e-Pakistan stands to bear witness to the insight and prudence of this great “Poet of the East” Dr. Allama Iqbal.