What Allama Dr. Mohammad Iqbal was for Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah?

Statements of Quaid-e-Azam about Allama Iqbal

Message of condolence on the death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Calcutta, April 21, 1938
The Star of India, April 22, 1938

Mr. M. A. Jinnah issued the following condolence message on the death of Allama Iqbal:

I am extremely sorry to hear the sad news of the death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal. He was a remarkable poet of world wide fame and his work will live for ever. His services to his country and the Muslims are so numerous that his record can be compared with that of the greatest Indian that ever lived. He was an ex-President of the All-India Muslim League and a President of the Provincial Muslim League of the Punjab till the very recent time when his unforeseen illness compelled him to resign. But he was the staunchest and the most loyal champion of the policy and programme of the All-India Muslim League.

To me he was a friend, guide and philosopher and during the darkest moments through which the Muslim League had to go, he stood like a rock and never flinched one single moment and as a result just only three days ago he must have read of been informed of the complete unity that was achieved in Calcutta of the Muslim leaders of the Punjab and today I can say with pride that the Muslims of Punjab are wholeheartedly with the League and have come under the flag of the All-India Muslim League, which must have been a matter of greatest satisfaction to him. In the achievement of this unity Sir Muhammad Iqbal played a most signal part. My sincerest and deepest sympathy go out to his family at this moment in their bereavement in losing him, and it is a terrible loss to India and the Muslims particularly at this juncture.


Reported Speech at a public meeting to mourn the death of Allama Iqbal, Calcutta, April 21, 1938
The Star of India, April 22, 1938

Mr. M. A. Jinnah said that the sorrowful news of the death of Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal had plunged the world of Islam in gloom mourning. Sir Iqbal was undoubtedly one of the greatest poets, philosophers and seers of humanity of all times. He took a prominent part in the politics of the country and in the intellectual and cultural reconstruction of the Islamic world. His contribution to the literature and thought of the world will live for ever.

“To me he was a personal friend, philosopher and guide and as such the main source of my inspiration and spiritual support. While he was ailing in his bed it was he who as the President of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League, stood single-handed as a rock in the darkest days in the Punjab by the side of the League banner, undaunted by the opposition of the whole world. When on account of his serious illness he was confined to bed, he resigned the post of the Presidentship of the Punjab League but was instead elected its Patron. He still continued to guide the work of the Punjab League from his bed and had somebody to reply to all letters concerning the League. It would have been a matter of great satisfaction for him to hear the news with great delight that the Bengal and Punjab Muslims were absolutely united on the sommon platform of the All-India Muslim League. In that achievement the unseen contribution of Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was the greatest. No greater blow has struck the Muslims at this juncture.”


Presidential Address, 26th Annual Session of the All-India Muslim League, Patna, December 26, 1938. Speeches, Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam, Vol.II, p.906

Quaid-i-Azam made the following comments extempore during his presidential address:

Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s death is an irrepairable loss to Muslim India. He was a personal friend of mine and composer of the finest poetry in the world. He will live as long as Islam will live. His noble poetry interprets the true aspirations of the Muslims of India. It will remain an inspiration for us and for generations after us.”


Comment made after the passage of Lahore Resolution, March 23, 1940
Jinnah, Creator of Pakistan by Hector Bolitho (London, 1954), p.129

Sometime after this meeting, Jinnah turned to Matlub Saiyid, who had been present at the Lahore session, and said:

Iqbal is no more amongst us, but had he been alive he would have been happy to know that we did exactly what he wanted us to do.


Reported presidential speech in Iqbal Day meeting, Lahore, March 25, 1940
The Civil & Military Gazette, March 26, 1940

If I live to see ideal of a Muslim State being achieved in India and I were then offered to make a choice between the works of Iqbal and the rulership of the Muslim state, I would prefer the former.

This view was expressed by Mr. M. A. Jinnah presiding over the second session of the “Iqbal Day” held in the University Hall, Lahore.

Continuing, Mr. Jinnah said that in April 1936, he thought of transforming the Muslim League, which was then only an academical institution, into a parliament of the Muslims of India. From that time to the end of his life, he continued, Iqbal stood like a rock by him.

Iqbal, Mr. Jinnah said, was not only a great poet who had a permanent place in the history of the world’s best literature, he was a dynamic personality who, during his life time, made the greatest contribution towards rousing and developing of Muslim national consciousness. He compared Iqbal with great literary figures of England like Milton and Shelley.


Reported speech in Iqbal Day meeting, Lahore, March 3, 1941
The Civil & Military Gazette, March 4, 1941

Iqbal was described by various speakers not only as one of the greatest poets of the world, but also a political prophet who first visualised the ideal of a separate Muslim State in India, at the celebrations in connection with the Iqbal Day held in the University Hall, Lahore, under the auspices of the University Union.

Paying his tribute to the memory of the poet, Mr. M. A. Jinnah said:

The message of Iqbal has reached the farthest corners of the world. He was the greatest interpreter of Islam in modern times.

“I have had the privelege and opportunity,” he added, “of being associated with him. I have never found a more true and more loyal colleague than him.”

Mr. Jinnah exhorted Muslim youth to understand the spirit of Iqbal’s message. This, he said, would show them their goal. “Iqbal is goig to live for ever. The coming generations will look upon him as the greatest benefactors of Muslims.”


Letter sent on Iqbal Day, Hyderabad (Deccan), August 9, 1941
Facsimile included in Discourses of Iqbal by Shahid Hussain Razzaqi (1979/2003), Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Lahore

State Guest House
Hyderabad Dn
9th August 1941

Every great movement has a philosopher and Iqbal was the philosopher of the National Renaissance of Muslim India. He in his works has left an exhaustive and most valuable legacy behind him and a message not only for the Musalmans but for all other nations of the world.

Iqbal was a poet who inspired Muslims with the spirit and determination to restore to Islam its former glory and although he is no more with us, his memory will grow younger and younger with the progress and development of Muslim India.

His works should therefore, be read and digested by every Musalman to create solidarity, and we should all try to organise the Muslims throughout India economically, educationall, socially and politically.

M. A. Jinnah

Shahid Hussain Razzaqi, Esq,
Gulberga – Deccan


Message on Iqbal Day, Lahore, March 20, 1943
The Dawn, March 21, 1943

The following message has been issued by Mr. M. A. Jinnah on the occasion of celebration of Iqbal Day:

“Dare and Live” is Iqbal’s message. Optimism, industry, faith, self-confidence and courage are the principles on which Iqbal bases his philosophy and which he believes are the essential factors for the purification of human soul and for the elevation of human character. The obstacles and setbacks in life, according to him, make the life worth living. The sacrifices and losses, made and incurred in the service of a right cause nd for noble principles elevates a nation and makes life more glorious and worth living.

Iqbal never believed in failure. he believed in the superiority of mankind over all the rest that God created. In fact he was convinced that man is a collection of all that is best in God’s universe. Only man does not know himself. Man has but to utilize his great potentialities and to use them in the right direction for the realization of that “self” which finds itself so near to God; and Islam is the code which has prescribed easy ways and means for that realization.

Iqbal was not only a philosopher but also a practical politician. He was one of the first to conceive of the feasibility of the division of India on national lines as the only solution of India’s political problem. He was one of the most powerful though tacit precursors and heralds of the modern political evolution of Muslim India.

Iqbal, therefore, rises above the average philosopher, as the essence of his teachings is a beautiful blend of thought and action. He combines in himself the idealism of a poet and the realism of a man who took practical view of things. In Iqbal this compromise is essentially Islamic. In fact it is nothing but Islam. His ideal therefore is life according to the teachings of Islam with a motto “Dare and Live.”

I wholeheartedly associate myself with the efforts of the Iqbal Day Committee in celebrating the Poet’s Day on his birthday and I hope and pray that every one of us may be able to live up to the ideals Iqbal preached by his beautiful national poems and which have now embedded the doctrine of Pakistan into the heart and soul of Muslim India which is now burning very brightly, never to be extinguished.


Reported message to the Frontier Muslim Students Federation on Iqbal Day, Karachi, June 20, 1943. 
The Morning News, June 24, 1943

“It is a source of great encouragement to me that our people in your province have started to organize themselves. Strengthening yourself, really speaking, means strengthening borders of Pakistan, a thing which will enable us to achieve our goal and thus maintain our freedom, honor, prestige and glory of Islam for which we are now fighting,” says Mr. M. A. Jinnah in the course of a message to the Frontier Muslim Students’ Federation under whose auspices the Iqbal Day was celebrated.


Message on Iqbal Day being celebrated at Lahore, New Delhi, December 8, 1944
The Dawn, December 11, 1944

To the cherished memory of our National Poet Iqbal, I pay my homage on this day, which is being celebrated in commemoration of that great poet, sage, philosopher and thinker, and I pray to God Almighty that his soul may rest in eternal peace. Amen!

Though he is not amongst us, his verse, immortal as it is, is always there to guide us and to inspire us. His poetry, besides being beautiful in form and sweet in language, presents to us a picture of the mind and heart of this great poet, and we find how deeply he was devoted to the teachings of Islam. He was a true and faithful follower of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), a Muslim first and a Muslim last. He was the interpreter and voice of Islam.

Iqbal was not merely a preacher and philosopher. He stood for courage and action, perseverance and self-reliance, and above all faith in God and devotion to Islam. In his person were combined the idealism of the poet and the realism of the man who takes a practical view of things. Faith in God and unceasing and untiring action is the essence of his message. And in this he emerges truly Islam. He had an unflinching faith in Islamic principles, and success in life meant to him the realization of one’s “self”, and to achieve this end the only means was to follow the teachings of Islam. His message to himanity is action and realization of one’s self.

Although a great poet and philosopher he was no less a practical politician. With his firm conviction and faith in the ideals of Islam, he was one of the few who originally thought over the feasibility of carving out of India such an Islamic state in the North-West and North-East Zones which are historical homelands of Muslims.

I wholeheartedly associate myself with the celebrations of this “Iqbal Day”, and pray that we may live up to the ideals preached by our National Poet so that we may be able to achieve and give a practical shape to these ideals in our sovereign state of Pakistan when established.


Message on Iqbal Day, New Delhi, March 30, 1946
The Dawn, March 31, 1946

Iqbal voiced the ideals and aspirations of Muslim India. He made great contribution by his poems and prose to the political awakening and stirring up of the soul of Muslims of India. I wish the Iqbal Day every success.

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