My Favorite Poet


“A poet is born, not made.”

Poetry is the art of expressing one’s feelings and ideas in an impressive manner. It provides us pleasure besides improving our awareness of life. The poet is a man of deep insight and sensitive nature. He can make us see and feel in a wonderful way. He is a man of exceptional qualities of heart and mind, unparalleled vigor, matchless genius and unique talent. I am also fond of reading poetry, especially Urdu and Punjabi poetry. Allama Muhammad Iqbal is my favourite poet. He is undoubtedly the greatest Muslim poet of this century. His poetry is read and appreciated not only in Pakistan and India but also in Iran and many European countries. His books have been translated into English, German and other languages of the world. He was not only a poet but also a great thinker.

“Greatness be nothing unless it be lasting” (Napoleon)

Unlike other Urdu poets he is not concerned with love and female beauty. He gets poetic inspiration from his beautiful ideas. Islam and Muslim civilization form the central theme of his poetry. He is deeply convinced that Islam is the best system of life that can make the Muslims glorious once again.

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“Faith is like Abraham at the stake: to be
Self-honouring and God-drunk, is faith.” (Iqbal)

In his poems, Dr. Iqbal exhorts the Muslims to come back to the fold of Islam and to regain their lost prestige. I like his poetry which gives us the message of hope and struggle of life. His concept of “Khudi” is appreciated by the scholars all over the world.

“Empty of concord is the soul of Europe,
Whose civilization to no Makkah bends.” (Iqbal)

He was born at Sialkot in a Kashmiri family in 1877. His father Sheikh Nu Muhammad was a mystique, from whom Iqbal inherited his deep love of religion. When he was a student at Murray Collage, Sialkot, he had the good fortune of getting the guidance of a capable teacher like Syed Mir Hassan. He created in Iqbal a genuine love for Arabic, Persian and Islamiat.

“Love’s madness has departed: in The Muslim’s veins the blood runs thins; Ranks broken, heart perplexed, prayers cold
No felling deeper than the skin.” (Iqbal)

When he came to “Government Collage Lahore” for higher education, he got the tutorship of Dr. Arnold who inspired in him a love of philosophy. He got his Master’s Degree in philosophy in 1899, and worked as a Professor of Philosophy for some time. In 1905, he proceeded to Europe for higher studies in Philosophy and Law. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Germany and his degree of Bar-at-Law in 1908. On his return to India, Dr. Iqbal started his legal practice but gave it up soon. His real interest lay in poetry and the plight of Indian Muslims. He says to the Muslims:

Read anew the lesson of the truthfulness of justice and bravery.
You will have to carry out the work of leading the world.

He started writing poems in Urdu as well as Persian. He produced such memorable works, as Bang-i-dara, Bal-i-Gibril, Zaboor-i-Ajam, Zarb-i-Kaleem, Asrar-i-Khudi and Payam-e-i- Mashriq. All of these have become classics of literature.

“His giant wings prevent him from walking”

Iqbal’s poetry worked wonder in arousing the Muslims from sound-slumber. Dr. Iqbal also proved to be the originator of the Idea of Pakistan. It was he who for the first time put forward the demand for a separate Muslim State within India in his famous presidential address at the Allah Abad session of the “All India Muslim League”. He said,

“The formation of the consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of the North-West India.”

With his selfless and sincere efforts, he moulded the fate of his people. He was a man of determination, will power, steadfastness and undaunted spirit. His charismatic personality stimulates the energy, courage and enthusiasm of the Muslims. His words have power to inspire devotion and dedication.

“Words are the most powerful drugs used by heroes.”

Unfortunately, he could not live long to see the emergence of Pakistan. He died in 1938, nine years before the creation of Pakistan. So he is remembered and honoured not only as a great poet but also as the founder of Pakistan Ideology. His death was mourned by the entire Muslim world. He will remain alive in the hearts of the Muslims forever.

“He dies … alas! How soon, he dies.” (Johnson)