IQBAL, SIR MUHAMMAD (1877-1938) Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot, a city near the Punjab-Kashmir border He was educated at Lahore, Cambridge, and Munich He started his professional career as a teacher at Government College, Lahore He returned to Europe after a brief stay in Lahore and in 1908 was appointed professor of Arabic at London University He gained considerable reputation as a poet after publishing a long poem, Asrari-i-Khudi, in Persian in 1915 In spite of the success of this poem, he wrote most of his poetry in Urdu He and Faiz Ahmad Faiz are generally regarded as the most prominent Urdu poets of the 20th century Iqbal also gained a reputation as a philosopher His theme was the role of religion in the life of man His philosophical essays were published in a collection entitled Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam

His poems and writings had a profound influence on Muslim IndiaIqbal was also to play an important role in the Muslim politics of British India In 1930, he was invited to chair the annual session of the All-India Muslim League The session was held at Allahabad, and in his inaugural address, he proposed the establishment of an autonomous Muslim state in northwest British India He was one of the several prominent Muslims leaders who persuaded Muhammad Ali Jinnah to return to India from a self-imposed exile in London Jinnah returned to India in 1931, and in an exchange of letters with Iqbal that lasted for several years, the two discussed the future of the Muslim community in South Asia Iqbal died in Lahore and was buried in the compound of Lahore’s Badshah-i-Mosque Pakistan observes 21April, the day of his death, as Iqbal Day

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