Friday, September 12, 2008

10. Iqbal: the disciple of Ghalib

In 1926, the first general elections were held in India and they incorporated the principle of separate electorates, i.e. representation of Muslims as a separate community in the parliament. Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), already known as poet and thinker, became a political leader by getting elected. Presiding over the annual session of the Muslim League in 1930, he laid out the case for a separate Muslim state.

Similarities between Ghalib and Iqbal cannot be exagerrated. Iqbal's friend and confidante Sir Abdul Qadir wrote in the preface of one of the books of Iqbal, "Had I believed in reincarnation, I would have said that the restless soul of Ghalib came back as Iqbal..."

Just like Ghalib, Iqbal also took Rumi as his mentor. However, Iqbal was obliged to address an age when Muslims were regaining the hope of establishing a government in India (or a part of it), which was the opposite of the historical circumstances which Ghalib had addressed in his own times.

You can find out more about Iqbal and read his works and translations at the official website of Iqbal Academy Pakistan
Next: Ibne Safi, the disciple of Mir Amman


  1. I don't get it. Was Ghalib also trying to lead this nation?

  2. Rizwan, thanks. Ghalib was trying to "serve" his nation, as is clear from his 11 Persian masnavis (long poems).