Every year on November 9, Iqbal Day is observed to honour Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s contributions to the people of the Indian subcontinent, in general, and the Muslims all over the world, in particular. Dr Iqbal is profoundly owned and studied by Pakistan, India, Iran, Germany and several Arab countries, besides Europe and the Americas. He is lauded in Pakistan and throughout the world for his great thought-provoking writings, speeches and poetry. Rightfully, Iqbal is regarded as the ideological forerunner of Pakistan because of his proposal for an autonomous Muslim state in British India, on the other hand, he is celebrated all over the world for his mission to liberate humanity from slavery. In Pakistan, Iqbal has not been presented properly; in textbooks, only we learn that Allama Muhammad Iqbal was from a Kashmiri family, and Sheikh Muhammad Rafiq, the great-grandfather of Iqbal, acquired the Iqbal Manzil in Sialkot’s Kashmiri Mohallah in 1861. Moreover, On November 9, 1877, Allama Iqbal was born in this home, and so on. Also, books tell that since his early years, Allama Iqbal enjoyed poetry, and he was first made aware of it in 1901 when Sir Abdul Qadir published his poem Himala in his literary journal Makhzan. These are biographical facts, and the nation must be aware of them, but more importantly, Iqbal should be taken as a great national teacher, leader, and intellectual, instead of a poet.
A variety of state philosophies have crisscrossed the nation ever since the founding of Pakistan, but the nation is struggling to choose any of them. The state authorities should know that the great philosopher suggested a deeper study of the state ideology, which must be fully grasped and applied in letter and spirit. He wrote to Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1937, “The problem of bread is growing more acute; the Muslim has beginning to feel that he has gone down and down over the last two hundred years.” Today, on his birth anniversary, this is time to revive his ideology.