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Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi Muslim Until a few years before his Death

Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi Muslim Until a few years before his Death

By Dr. Abdul Alim on July 21, 2013 • ( 34 Comments )

The Muslim Times’ Editor’s Note: This subject is controversial, however, what is clear is that an important part of family of Allama Iqbal even today is part of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. The best references to this can be found in an Urdu book called IQBAL & AHMADIYYAT : ZINDA RAWAD PAR TABSARA (Urdu) by Sheikh Abdul Majid who comes from his family and has written authoritatively on the subject refuting all other versions against the fact.

The article below is taken from a blog by the following Author:

Rehan Qayoom is a poet, editor and translator educated at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has featured in numerous literary publications and performed his work at international venues. He is the author of several books including Prose 1997 – 2008(2009), After Parveen Shakir and About Time(2011): a collection of his English poetry. He is the editor of the prose and poetry of Morney Wilson, published as Martyr DollRemains and The Recordings (2011).

Iqbal Mausoleum in Lahore Pakistan

Allama Iqbal mausoleum in Lahore, Pakistan

Sir Muhammad Iqbal & Ahmadiyya

It is mentioned that the famous poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal, arguably the greatest twentieth century poet of the Indian sub-continent was greatly influenced by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 – 1908).  This is thought to be a cause of consternation to those Muslims who wish to herald Iqbal as a champion among Muslim thinkers of the twentieth century.

Iqbal had become a great admirer of Hadhrat Ahmad of following the conversion of Iqbal’s father and elder brother Shaikh Ata Muhammad.  Iqbal himself made his pledge in 1897 and even celebrated it in a poem on the subject.[1]  He visited Qadian and had defended Hadhrat Ahmad in other verses as well  before and after this event.  When Hadhrat Ahmad visited Sialkot in 1904, Iqbal and his friend Sir Fazli Husain sought audience with him.[2]It is a well known fact, for example, that it was Iqbal, who became instrumental in choosing Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad to lead the All India Kashmir Committee in 1931.[3]  He also had a close relationship with Hadhrat Sir Chaudhry al-Hajj Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, who also a prominent Ahmadi.[4]

Allama Iqbal

In 1900, Iqbal published a paper in English on the famous Sufi saint Abdul Karim ibn Ibrahim al-Jilli.  Mentioning the great scholarship of the saint, Iqbal wrote:

It will appear at once how strikingly the author has anticipated the chief phase of the Hegelian Dialectic and how greatly he has emphasised the doctrine of the Logos—a doctrine which has always found favour with almost all the profound thinkers of Islam, and in recent times has been readvocated by M. Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muslims.[5]

During the period of the Caliphate of Hadhrat al-Hajj Hafiz Hakeem Maulana Nooruddin, Iqbal was married to his granddaughter.  The Caliph himself led the ceremony of Nikah in Qadian on 26 August 1910.[6]   Iqbal would also correspond with the Caliph on many issues regarding Islamic jurisprudence, theology and Arabic literature. He even sent Mirza Jalaludin to Qadian to request an Edict from the Caliph regarding the case of the divorce of his wife (who he had intended to divorce and was unsure of whether divorce had taken place from the point of Islamic Law) which he promptly acted upon:

The Maulana said that no divorce had taken place according to Islamic law, but if he was uncertain in his mind he could hold the marriage ceremony again. So a Maulvi was called, and the Allama was re-married to this lady. He then took her to Sialkot. This happened in the year

Iqbal refered to the Community as “a true model of Islamic life” in a lecture he delivered at Aligarh[8] and sent his eldest son Aftab from his first marriage to Karim Bibi to Qadian to be educated in the Taleem-ul-Islam High School there.[9]

He actively continued engaging with both the Qadian and Lahore branches of the movement for the rest of his life.[10] Praising their work and influential publications.  But eventually detracted to the Sufi order of the Qadiriyya on the grounds of doctrinal difference only during the last few years of his life.


[1] Makhzan,  vol 2, p 48.  See also AlHakm.  (10 January 1903).  8, 9.
[2] Maulana Muhammad Ali.  Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s Statement re the Qadianis.
[3] Shahid, Maulana Dost Muhammad. Tahrikh eAhmadiyya v. [History of Ahmadiyya v]. 418.
[4] Perwazi, Professor Pervez.   The Reminiscences of Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan.  (Oriental Publishers, 2004).  15 – 19.

[5] Indian Antiquary, vol. 29.  (September 1900). 239.
[6]  Nooruddin, Hadhrat al-Hajj Maulana Hafiz Hakeem. Khutbat e Noor. (Nizarat Nashar o Ishaat, Qadian. 2003). 477.
[7] Salik, Abdul Majeed. Zikr e Iqbal.  70.  See also Ahmad, Syed Hasanat.  Hakeem Noor-ud-Deen – Khalifatul Masih I 
    – The Way of the Righteous.  (Islam International Publications Ltd, 2003).  126, 127.
[8] Iqbal, Sir Muhammad.  Millat Baiza Per Ayk Imranı Nazar.  84, 85.
[9]  Al Fazl, 2 August 1935.[10] See Muhammad, Hafiz Sher.  Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal & the Ahmadiyya Movement.  (Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat
Islam Lahore, 1995).

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Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi Muslim Until a few years before his Death


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