Iqbal was born in 1876 in the Punjab, in what is now Pakistan, Where, then, first attempts had been made yo reconcile Islamic thought with western civilization. He had the great luck to
find a teacher like a famous Orientalist Sir Thomas Arnold Who introduced him in both eastern and western thought, and gave him who had already shown his skill as a poet in his native tongue-Urdu-the opportunity of finishing his study in Europe.
Iqbal whose first lyrical poetry contains inter alia translations from Longfellow, Emerson, and Tennyson, became, in 1905, a student of the Hegelian philosopher Mc Taggart in Cambridge, and became deeply submerged in Hegelian thought which he. nevertheless,, criticized in the later period of his life as the produce of artificial reasonment-Hegel is characterized in the Payam e Mahrik(1923) as "a hen that by dint of anthusiasm lays eggs without assistance from the cock."
After finishing his studies in England Iqbal went to Munich where he graduated with a thesis on the "Development of Metaphysics in Persia", in 1908, a work which shows not only deep knowledge of important, and in the west hitherto almost unknown Muslim thinkers but also at astonishing insight into Christian theology from Thomas Aquinas up to Harnack, as well as into the problems of the history of Religions.
It must be confessed that Iqbal, after the great spiritual conversion which took place after 1908, at last in 1911, changed his view in many a point completely; but the solid knowledge of European thought was useful for him in all his later poetical and philosophical work.
In the Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of the self) which appeared in 1915 and caused an immense shock among pious and pseudo-mystics, Iqbal shows for the first time his philosophy of the ego, of the self which is not, as pantheistic mysticism wants , to be extinguished in the ocean of absolute being, but is to be developed by means of love, working and restless striving . In the beautiful Persian couplets of this work as well as in his following Persian and Urdu poetry, until the last fact, expressed in the Javed Nama by the spirit of Tolstoy, has caused the bitterest attacks of the poet-philosopher.
Faithful To Quran
He is faithful to the essentially dynamic and completely anti-classical spirit of Quran which gave him the courage to open new ways for the development of Islam which had under the influence of even the philosophical spirit, forgotten also the word of Quran (Sura 13 : Verse 1) "Verily ALLAH does not change th destiny of people unless it changes itself."
Iqbal has used all the life-giving forces he found in east and west for changing the destiny of his people as just he sings in the Payam-e-Mashrik:
Open thine eyes , if thou hast eyes to see !
Life is building of the world to be !