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Ideology of Pakistan in the light of Allama Iqbal

In this article we will discuss the Ideology of Pakistan with reference to Allama Iqball, how he supported the two nation theory of Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the struggle that gave result in the form of creation of Pakistan.

Introduction of Allama Iqball

Allama Iqbal was a great poet, thinker, philosopher, and politician. He is known as Muffakir-e-Pakistan (The Thinker of Pakistan), Shair-e-Mashriq (Poet of the East) and Hakeem al-Ummat (The Sage of the Ummah).

He was born on 9th November 1877 in Sialkot which was then part of British India. His father Shaikh Noor Muhammad belonged to Kashmiri family and his mother’s name was Mariam Bibi who came from a village near Lahore in Punjab. He spent most of his childhood and early youth in Sialkot where he received his primary education from his father and later from Mr. Jacob at the Scotch Mission College. In 1894, he graduated from Scotch Mission College with a First Division and was awarded a gold medal for standing first in Mathematics by the University of Punjab.

In 1895, Iqbal went to England initially for the Army entrance examination which he passed with flying colors but instead of signing up as an Army officer he chose to enroll himself as a student of philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge. During this period of four years (1895-1901) Iqbal came under intense influence of ‘Scandinavian socialism’ and had deep interest in Western philosophers like Nietzsche, Bergson etc. While still in England, he published three poems including “The Secrets of the Self” in 1899. In September 1901, Iqbal graduated from the Cambridge University with a first class degree in Philosophy and it was here that he met Syed Mir Hassan who later became his life-long companion.

In 1902, he wrote “ The Message of Indian Revolt” and “A letter to His Highness (the Aga Khan)” which were both published in ‘Kaisar-i-Hind’ under pseudonym A.R. Nizami. He returned to India in October 1903 and joined Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh as Professor of Philosophy where he also taught European Poets like Dante, Shelley etc. for two years.

Ideology of Pakistan in the light of Allama Iqbal

The ideology of Pakistan is grounded in the idea of duality, both ethnic and religious. The ideology of Pakistan is based on the Two-Nation Theory, which states that Muslims in India are a separate nation from the Hindus. Based on this ideology came the Lahore Resolution, in 1940’s British India, demanding a separate state for Indian Muslims. The ideology further provided strength to resolve multiple issues between India and Pakistan after independence was achieved in 1947, with Jinnah being known as Quaid-e-Azam , or “The Great Leader” . Although initially supporting non-violence , it later adopted an aggressive stance vis-à-vis India over the Kashmir issue .

It may seem difficult to imagine driving inspiration for an ideology from a person whose ideas confine to the realm of poetry, but when Allama Muhammad Iqbal wrote his book Asrar-e-Khudi in 1915 , he actually coined the ideology of Pakistan. In fact, it is through this ideology that Iqbal’s nationalistic spirit can be understood . In his book, Iqbal was highly critical of the Western societal norms and the Muslim decadence which he believed were making Muslims weak both physically and spiritually. The Islamic society had become so degenerated that it no longer believed in self-realization for an individual or community. This weakness allowed others to continue exploiting them .

Iqbal did not believe that reforming one’s own society would solve all problems; there was a need to look beyond the boundaries of India. The ideology of Pakistan was based on four tenets, i.e., “Ek Omkar” (One God), “Ek Millat” (One Nation), “Ek Raaj” (One King) and ” Ehsan” (Chivalry).

There is evidence that Pakistan’s ideology is based more upon Iqbal than Jinnah. Historians believe that Jinnah never felt so passionate about his desire for a separate Muslim state as much as when meeting Iqbal in 1932. It is because of Iqbal’s ideology for a separate nation for Indian Muslims after the British left, which eventually led to the creation of Pakistan .

            The ideology of Pakistan was put on hold for a while after Jinnah’s death, the ruler of Pakistan at that time being Liaquat Ali Khan , unfortunately fell short on translating ideology into reality . He was unable to create unity among different ethnic groups in his country, which had begun to grow apart. This led him to introduce two sets of laws, one for the majority of Muslims and another set for those who were not Muslim .

This ideology is susceptible to criticism both from within and without. From within, the ideology has been criticized by various religious groups as basically an ideology based on religion rather than ethnicity. This has made it difficult to control the growth of extremism in Pakistan since 1980s.

From outside, it is criticized due to the ideology’s use of hostility towards India and other countries. Pakistan has helped in nurturing terrorism, which is a threat not only for itself but also for the world .

            The ideology of Pakistan that Iqbal introduced had slowly started being modified after Jinnah’s death into something that is no longer an ideology based on just religion rather than ethnicity or nationality.  This ideology has been criticized by various religious groups, including Muhammad Ali Jinnah when he stated in 1944 , “I do not know what ideology they are going to… It will be narrow-minded, it will be limited… What sort of ideology? Our ideology will have nothing to do with hatred against any community .” It failed to create unity among different ethnic groups in Pakistan, which began to grow apart. This ideology also failed miserably when the rulers of Pakistan could not stand by what they preached and became corrupt .

Quotes of Allama Iqbal about Ideology of Pakistan

In his famous 1930 speech he shared his views about the two nation theory. He said islam is code of conduct for Muslims and thats why muslims should have a separate state. 

Ideology of Pakistan in the light of Allama Iqbal sayings

He said
Islam guides the mankind in every aspect of worldly life and therefore must be enforced in an Islamic state as a code of life

He also said 

“Nations are based with religion; not with territories. So we are separate nation because we have our own ideology.”

Here are his words in which he introduced the concept of Pakistan very first time.


I would like to see the Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into single state. Self-government within the British Empire or without British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims at least of North-West India.



My favorite Personality Allama Iqball

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