Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born on 9th November 1877 in Sialkot. After seeking early education, he was admitted to the Government College Lahore, where he obtained the degree of MA in the subject of philosophy. He left for England for higher studies in 1905. He obtained the degree of philosophy of ethics in 1907; he obtained the degree of doctorate (Ph.D.) from Munich University.
Services of Iqbal in Pakistan Movement
Iqbal and Pakistan Movement
Although his main interests were scholarly, Iqbal was not unconcerned with the political situation of the country and the political fortunes of the Muslim community of India. Already in 1908, while in England, he had been chosen as a member of the executive council of the newly-established British branch of the Indian Muslim League. In 1931 and 1932 he represented the Muslims of India in Round Table Conference held in England to discuss the issue of the political future of India. And in a 1930 lecture Iqbal suggested the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. Iqbal died (1938) before the creation of Pakistan (1947), but it was his teaching that spiritually ... has been the chief force behind the creation of Pakistan.
Iqbal's Idea about Nationhood
Allama Iqbal is the greatest philosopher and poet of the present era. Along with this, he possessed the view about political affairs. He awakened the feeling of Muslim nationhood among the Muslims of India through his poetry and told them about the propaganda of West about the Muslim nationhood.
When the Hindu philosophers presented this philosophy that a nation is born throughout the country and when Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni seconded it, then Iqbal reacted strongly towards it. His thinking and poetry reflect the Two Nation Theory and his poetry awakened the feeling of Islamic Nationality among the Muslims of India. This feeling was a milestone in the created of Pakistan.
Iqbal's Political Life
Allama Iqbal made his debut in politics then he was elected as the member of Punjab's Legislative Assembly in 1926. During the elections of 1937, when Quaid-e-Azam started re contructioning of the Muslim League, Allama Iqbal was along with him. He always supported Quaid-e-Azam and the Muslim League. He always respected Quaid-e-Azam's point of view.
Iqbal and Two Nation Theory
Allama Iqbal firmly believe that the Muslims of India have a separate identity and to protect his identity, the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India was necessary. On 28th March, 1909, he excusing the invitation from the secular party "Minsva Lodge" said
I have been a keen supporter of this theory that religious differences in the country should end and even now I practise the principle. But, now I think that separate national identity for the Muslims and the Hindus is necessary for their survival.
At his Presidential address in 1930, on the occasion of the annual session of Muslim League at Allahbad, Iqbal said
India is a continent of human groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages and professing different religions. There behaviour is not at all determined by a common race conciousness. I therefore, demand the formation of consolidated Muslim state in the best interest of India and Islam
Allama Iqbal's Presidential Address at Allahbad in 1930 determined the political path of the Muslims of sub-continent. In his address, he in clear words said
I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan be amalgamated into a single state.
He further stated that
The formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appeares to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.
Thus, Iqbal demanded a sovereign independent Muslim state even before the Muslim League demanded it in Pakistan's Resolution.
Round Table Conference
During 1930-1932 three sessions of Round Table Conference were held. Iqbal attended Second and Third Round Table Conference. Having attended the Second Round Table Conference in September, 1931 in London, he was keenly aware of the deep-seated Hindu and Sikh prejudice and unaccommodating attitude. He had observed the mind of the British Government. Hence he reiterated his apprehensions and suggested safeguards in respect of the Indian Muslims
In so far then as the fundamentals of our policy are concerned, I have got nothing fresh to offer. Regarding these I have already expressed my views in my address to the All India Muslim League. In the present address I propose, among other things, to help you, in the first place, in arriving at a correct view of the situation as it emerged from a rather hesitating behavior of our delegation the final stages of the Round Table Conference. In the second place, I shall try, according to my lights to show how far it is desirable to construct a fresh policy now that the Premier's announcement at teh last London Conference has again necessitated a careful survey of the whole situation.
I mus be kep in mind that since Maulana Muhammad Ali had died in January 1931 and Quaid-e-Azam had stayed behind in London, the responsibility of providing a proper lead to the India Muslim had fallen on him alone. He had to assume the role of a jealous guardian of his nation till Quaid-e-Azam returned to the sub-continent in 1935.
During the Third Round Table Conference, Iqbal was invited by the London National League where he addressed and audience which included among others, foreign diplomas, members of the House of Commons, Members of the House of Lords and Muslim members of R.T.C delegation. In that gathering he dilated upon the situation of the Indian Muslims. He explained why he wanted the communal settlement first and then the constitutional reforms. He stressed the need for provincial autonomy because autonomy gave the Muslim majority provinces some power to safeguard their rights, cultural traditions and religion. Under the central Government the Muslims were bound to lose their cultural and religious entity at the hands of the overwhelming Hindu majority. referred to what he had said at Allahabad in 1930 and reiterated his belief that before long people were bound to come round to his viewpoint base on cegent reason.
Iqbal's letter to Quaid-e-Azam
The seed sown, the idea to began to evolve and take root. It soon assumed the shape of Muslim state or states in the western and eastern Muslim majority zones as is obvious from the following lines of Iqbal's letter, of June 21, 1937, to the Quaid-e-Azam, only ten months before the former's death
A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal should be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are.
Ideology of Pakistan and Iqbal
Iqbal was strictly against nationalism. He considered all the Muslims to be a part of One Umma. For him, a Muslim whether he belonged to any part of the world was the part of brotherly relation. He considered nationalism to be a coffin for the Muslim Umma.
Thus, opposing the limitation and disadvantages of nationalism, Iqbal gave the philosophy of a "Millat-e-Islamia" and this philosophy is the basis of Pakistan ideology.
In short, personality of Allama Iqbal has left indelible marks in history. He tried to awaken the Muslims of India through his philosophy, poetry and politics and he brought the ideas of independence among the Muslims of India. Iqbal died on 21st April, 1938. He was buried in front of the "Badshahi Mosque" in "Huzori Bagh".