Today on the 9th of November in 1877 CE, a famous British Indian Muslim thinker, philosopher, and Urdu poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot, Punjab, British India (in present-day Pakistan).
Iqbal has been defined as one of the greatest Urdu and Persian poets of all time. He received his early education in Lahore. Iqbal traveled to Europe in 1905 CE where he earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Cambridge, qualified as a barrister in London, and received a PhD from the University of Munich, Germany in 1907-08 CE.
Iqbal visited the Great Mosque of Córdoba (Masjid e Qurtuba) during his tour of Spain in 1932/33 CE. The Great Mosque of Córdoba was converted into a Catholic Church in back 1236 CE but Iqbal was fortunate that he was allowed to offer his prayers in the mosque (as you can see in the photo).
After paying his visit to the Great Mosque, Iqbal wrote a poem called Masjid e Qurtuba that was later published in his collection Baal e Jibril (The Wing of Gabriel) in 1936 CE. A couplet from that poem is as follow:
اے حرم قرطبہ عشق سے تیرا وجود
عشق سراپا دوام جس میں نہیں رفت و بود
Ae Haram-E-Qurtuba! Ishq Se Tera Wujood
Ishq Sarapa Dawam, Jis Mein Nahin Raft-o-Bood
To Love, you owe your being, O, Harem of Cordoba,
To Love, that is eternal; Never waning, never fading.
You can read the full poem with English translation here.
Throughout his career, Iqbal wrote and delivered lectures on the political and spiritual revival of the Muslim community across the world, but specifically in India. The six lectures he delivered at Madras (now Chennai), Hyderabad, and Aligarh in 1928–29 were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam in 1934 CE.
Iqbal had a great interest in Islamic studies, especially in Tasawwuf (Sufism). His thesis, The Development of Metaphysics in Persia, revealed some aspects of Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf) formerly unknown in Europe.
Iqbal was very much influenced by the famous Islamic scholar and Sufi poet Mawlana Rumi. In one of his poems, he embraced Rumi as his guide. Today, Iqbal is celebrated throughout the world, especially in Pakistan and India, for his outstanding contributions to Urdu and Persian poetry, philosophy, and thought.
You can learn more about his life by visiting: http://www.allamaiqbal.com/biography/en/index.php
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