Iqbal was born on 22nd February 1873 in a Muslim family of Sialkot, now in Pakistan. It had migrated from Kashmir. His father Sheikh Nur Mohammad was a trader. He did his M.A. in Philosophy from Govt. College Lahore in 1899, took his Honours Degree in Philosophy from Cambridge, his doctorate from the University of Munich in Germany and was called to the Bar in London. Though he joined Bar but neglected his practice because his main interest was in writing poetry. He had the advantage of good training in traditional Islamic learning and languages as well as in Western thought and philosophy. He knew many languages well- Urdu, Persian, Arabic English, German- and has a working knowledge of several ancient and modern languages. He made Urdu and Persian the vehicle of his poetry. Some of his Urdu and Persian poems have been translated into English, German, Italian etc. He did an intelligent and critical study of Eastern and Western thought and philosophy. His poetry and philosophy reflected a coherent view of life and its problems.
Returning to India after his study abroad, he taught philosophy and literature in a Lahore College for a few years and then started law practice, which he carried on till the end of his life. He was elected a member of the Old Punjab Legislature Assembly for one term, and there he usually advocated radical views about various social, economic and political issues. He was also elected President of the All India Muslim League one year and took part in practical politics.
Iqbal was primarily a poet and a thinker, a keen and inclusive student of philosophy, a tireless voyager in the realm of the mind. Both as a poet and a philosophical thinker, he exercised considerable influence on the minds of millions living in India and Pakistan. Many honours came to him. He was knighted for his eminence in poetry and was a recipient of several honorary doctorates. Like many other great artists and thinkers, he was interested not in himself but in the impact of his art and philosophical thought on the mind of his generation and the youth. His last days were clouded in illness. He died in April 1938.
Works of Iqbal:
(1) Works in Persian:
- Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of the Self).
- Ramuli-i-Bekhudi (Mysteries of Self-denial).
- Payam-i-Mashriq (Message of the East).
- Zahur-i-Azam (Testament of Iran).
- Javeed Nama (Persian Poetry).
(2) Works in Urdu:
- Armaghan-i-Hizaz (The Gift of Hijaz).
(3) Works in English:
- Develpoment of Metaphysics in Persia.
- Reconstruction of ReligiousThought in Islam.