Muhammad Iqbal Biography

Sir Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Allama Iqbal, was a renowned poet, philosopher, lawyer, and politician from British India. He played a significant role in the Pakistan Movement, being one of the visionary leaders who conceptualized the idea of a separate nation for Muslims. Iqbal’s extensive education in India, England, and Germany exposed him to the philosophies of Goethe, Heine, and Nietzsche. As a member of the London branch of the All India Muslim League, he actively contributed to the organization. Iqbal’s expertise in law, political ideologies, and philosophical theories made him a prominent figure in Indian politics. Additionally, his literary works, such as ‘Rumuz-i-Bekhudi’ and ‘Zabur-i-Ajam’, greatly enriched Urdu literature. In recognition of his exceptional talents and personality, he was knighted by King George V in 1922.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Sir Muhammad Iqbal
  • Died At Age: 60
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Karim Bibi, Mukhtar Begum, Sardar Begum
    • Father: Shaikh Noor Mohammad
    • Mother: Imam Bibi
    • Children: Aftab Iqbal, Javid Iqbal, Miraj Begum
  • Born Country: Pakistan
  • Quotes By Muhammad Iqbal
  • Poets
  • Died on: April 21, 1938
  • Place of death: Lahore, Pakistan
  • Notable Alumni: Government College University, Lahore, Murray College, Oriental College, Inns Of Court School Of Law
  • Grouping of People: Muslims
  • City: Sialkot, Pakistan
  • More Facts
  • Education: Trinity College, Cambridge, Government College University, Lahore, Heidelberg University, Inns Of Court School Of Law, Oriental College, Murray College

Childhood & Early Life

Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot, in the Punjab Province of British India to Sheikh Noor Muhammad and Imam Bibi. His father was not an educated man and worked as a tailor while his mother was a homemaker.

At the age of 4, Iqbal was introduced to religious studies and was sent to a mosque to learn the Qur’an. He learned the Arabic language at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot and pursued his intermediate education from the Faculty of Arts, Murray College.

In 1895, Iqbal enrolled in Government College Lahore to study philosophy, English literature, and Arabic for his bachelor’s degree. He also received his Master of Arts degree from the same college and secured the number one position in Punjab University, Lahore.


After completing his Master of Arts degree, Iqbal started his academic career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College. Within a short period of time, he became a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore.

Iqbal decided to pursue higher studies in the West and traveled to England on a scholarship from Trinity College, Cambridge. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College in 1906. In 1907, he went to Germany to pursue a doctorate and earned a PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. During this time, he got his doctoral thesis ‘The Development of Metaphysics in Persia’ published.

Upon returning to India, Iqbal became an assistant professor at Government College, Lahore. However, the job did not provide enough financial support, so he decided to turn to the practice of law. He worked as a lawyer from 1908 to 1934.

In 1919, Iqbal became the general secretary of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam, an Islamic intellectual and political organization based in Lahore, Pakistan. He had been an active member of the organization for many years before gaining this position. In 1927, Iqbal was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly and was later elected to preside over the session of the Muslim League. It was in these positions that he first introduced the idea of ‘Pakistan’.

Due to his failing health, Iqbal stopped practicing law altogether in 1934 and was honored with a pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. He dedicated his life to his own spiritual upliftment and contributing to Persian and Urdu literature.

Major Works

Iqbal was known for his legal expertise and political ideologies, but it was as a poet that he is still fondly remembered. With books like ‘Rumuz-i-Bekhudi’ and ‘Zabur-i-Ajam’, his contribution to Urdu literature is immense.

Personal Life & Legacy

Iqbal married three times in his life. His first marriage was in 1895 with Karim Bibi, and they had two children together – Miraj Begum and Aftab Iqbal. His second marriage was with Sardar Begum, and his third marriage was with Mukhtar Begum in 1914.

Iqbal died in 1938 in Lahore after suffering from various illnesses for many years. His tomb was erected in Hazuri Bagh, Pakistan.


  • He is regarded as the ‘Shair-e-Mashriq’ in most of Southeast Asia. He is also called ‘Muffakir-e-Pakistan’ and ‘Hakeem-ul-Ummat’.
  • He is Pakistan’s National Poet, and his birthday is a national holiday there.
  • He is the author of ‘Saare Jahan Se Achcha’.
  • In Iran and Afghanistan, he is famous as ‘Iqbal-e Lahori’.
  • His son Javid Iqbal served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Many public institutions in Pakistan are named after him, such as the Allama Iqbal Campus Punjab University in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, and Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan.

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