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

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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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37 replies

  1. Off and on, it comes in media that Allama Iqbal was Ahmadi and also said he pledged for Ahhmadyiat. Once I had a chance to read a book entitled IQBAL MERE CHACHA ( Iqbal my uncle) was written by his real nephew, and he wrote it that Allama was Ahmadi. True or wrong, GOD KNOWS BETTER. Another time a book written by a known Ahmadi ( name forgotten)in which a poem written by Allama IQbal was published according which Allama accepted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as true muslim. Also it is said Allama changed himself and disowned himself because of his political reasons.

    • we are very glad on recommending our friends and as such commentings thoughts very naturely and and cousiues emmitionse blessing manpower kind pleisure. Prof.Habeeb Mohammed.(DAF) UNIVERSITY . OFFICIALLY……………..——–

  2. There is no doubt that Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a great poet and an Ahmadi Muslim. His father and mother were Ahmadis until late 1925 when the enmity against Ahmadis increased. They were good persons. They said they could not bear the burden of enmity in old age. The elder brother Ata Muhammad was Ahmadi Muslim.

    Allama sahib progressed very well as long as he remained well with Ahmadiyyat. Allah gave him great honor. Later, the company he kept affected him, that was the Lahore group and the Pervaizee group. His retired idle life, bad health and Huqqah (a water cooled smoking pipe) also affected him badly. Slowly, Allama sahib went away from true Ahmadiyyat.

    It appears that he even entertained the Ahrar in company. That is not understandable, being himself a staunch supporter of Pakistan. How could Allama sahib take side with Ahrar and issue statements against Jama’at Ahmadiyyah Muslimah of Qadian? He had differences with Quaid e A’azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah sahib in the last days of life.

    He was a great poet and a philosopher, a respected renowned leader of the Indian Muslims and well known, respected by many in the world. May Allah forgive him and bless him with His rewards.

    Is it possible that some one else (and not Allama sahib himself) was issuing statements on his behalf in the last days of his illness and he may not have known much about it? He may have been overtaken completely during illness. There is an important book in Urdu written by his nephew, book title “Mazloom Iqbal”. The title of book tells that Allama sahib was wronged, oppressed and dealt unjustly. It may also convey the meaning “Misunderstood Iqbal”.

    • Iqbal was an admirer or Panjetan Pak and considered them the best creature of Allah. He was not Sunni, Ahmedi, Shia, he was a man with true beliefs of Islam, Prophet Mohammed and his Ahlayibait.

  3. سنہ 1892 ميں حضرت مسيح موعود عليہ السلام سيالکوٹ تشريف لا ئے اور ايک مسجد ميں ظہر کی نماز کے بعد تقرير فرمائ ڈاکٹر سر محمد اقبال مشہور شاعر مسجد کی ڈيوڑھی پر چڑھے بيٹھے تھے۔ سامعين کو ديکھ کر کہنے لگے
    “ديکھو شمع پر کس طرح پروانے گر رہے ہيں “۔
    انہی دنوں سعداللّہ لدھيانوی نے حضرت اقدس کے خلاف ايک دشنام آميز نظم لکھی تو علّامہ اقبال ( جو ان دنوں حضرت اقدس سے بہت ارادت رکھتے تھے ) کی غيرت نے گوارہ نہ کيا اور اس کے جواب ميں ايک طويل نظم بعنوان ” جيہہا منہ تيہی چپٹير ” کہی جس کے چند اشعار ملاحظہ فرمائيں :
    واہ سعدی ديکھ لی گندہ دہانی آپ کی خوب ہوگی مہتروں ميں قدر دانی آپ کی
    آفتاب صدق کی گرمی سے گھبراؤ نہيں حضرت شيطاں کريں گے سائبانی آپ کی
    بات رہ جاتی ہے دنيا ميں نہيں رہتا ہے وقت آپ کو نادم کرے گی بد زبانی آپ کی
    قوم عيسائ کے بھائ بن گئے پگڑی بدل واہ کيا اسلام پر ہے مہربانی آپ کی

  4. Why are we so hung up on having Allama Iqbal as an Ahmadi? If he didn’t want to call himself a part of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, why are we so adamant to have him brought in this fold?

    I think it shows our weakness in our faith. We, just like many other factions, want to cling on to mortals (although great people) for recognition.

  5. @ Abdul: it is not about being hung up but about the two-facedness of Iqbal that irks!
    He did that just to get some political traction & also that the Pakistani people set him on a pedestal : he was human after all & everyone should accept that.
    Just think of Zafrullah Khan & Abdus Salam who never shied away from their beliefs even in the face of terrible discrimination.

  6. Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was not an Ahmadi Muslim. Otherwise he would be sitting with Bashiruddin Mehmood Ahmad Rz.a.
    The problem is explained in the first 17 verses of the Surah Baqarah. First few verses describe the God fearing people, the Muttaqeen, who believe in the unseen things (Ghaib) and establish a system of daily prayers and spend money in the way of Allah. Please note that these people are given a certificate of being with Imam Mahdi: “They are on the path of guidance from their Lord…”

    Next are described the Kafir, the open enemies of Islam. It is useless to preach to them.

    Next are described, some people, who claim to be Muslims. They have the love of Islam and some pain in their heart to do good for Islam. These people come between the true Muslims and the enemies, described above. They try to be mini reformers (mujaddid). We have seen few examples of such persons in years 1900 onward. I need not mention any names here. Allah tells us further in Surah Baqarah (most likely verse 17) that they had never been guided. (Wa maa kaanoo muhtadeen.”
    In other words, certificate of Guidance is not given to them. The list includes all educated persons, intellectuals who did not come in the (fold) company of Jama’at Ahmadiyah.

    Now, I tell an important problem caused by Doctor Iqbal sahib. Doctor sahib was the one who selected Maudoodi sahib and invited him to come to Punjab from Hyderabad Deccan. That was because doctor sahib had much faith in the (Jihaadi?) teachings of Maudoodi sahib. It is a well known fact that doctor Iqbal sahib selected Maudoodi sahib as some kind of Muslim scholar and called him to come to Punjab. So Maudoodi sahib moved to Pathankot (east Punjab).

    It is further reported (admitted) by Chaudary Ghulam Ahmed Pervaiz sahib that it was his fault. He had suggested the (name or move) about Maudoodi sahib to doctor Iqbal. He said it was his mistake.
    I know very well that at the instigation of Maudoodi sahib (in 1961), 300 Ulema of Pakistan declared the followers of Pervaiz sahib as apostates.

    So doctor sahib has a hand in whatever damage is done by Maudoodi sahib in the world. or, am I wrong?

  7. Dr Muhammad Iqbal (RA) was not an Ahmadi although some of his relatives were/are but his great great grandfather was a Hindu so he cannot be blamed for having non-Muslim relatives. It should be noted that Dr Sahib wrote an admirable response to Pandit Nehru denigrating Mirza Ghulam and his movement likening it to messianic Judaism and Zionism. This may indicate the fact that such feelings cannot reflect a man who was ever an Quadiani. Given that the British rulers were always looking for people from within the Muslim community to be promoted so that they could go against the self-determination path, by force if necessary, and thus gave Mirza all the help and support to recruit others – an old imperial tactic. Why don’t the quadianies claim Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi as well as he was taught by Mirza ghulam’s older brother. Please desist from slating the great Allama because he rejected the heretic creed born in Quadian.

    • Obviuosly Mr. Khan will need to do some reading before he can make a coherent case for Iqbal not being Ahmadi. There is plenty of historical evidence that he was and this has been extensively documented by his nephew Shiekh Ata Mohammad (see his book on Zinda Rawad). Iqbal left Ahmadiyya in 1930 in a rivalry against Sir Zafarullah Khan.

  8. Iqbal an ahmedi.!!!! Read his poetry.
    Ki Mohammad say wafa thoo nay tto hum theray hein. yey jehan cheez hay kia Loh o Qalam theray hein.

  9. DR.ALLAMA IQBAL was a true muslim not ahmadi.plz for ALLAH sake do not estimate is a plan of qadiyanise against iqbal..hkeem ul umat. plz plz. read poetry of iqbal ,especialy this verse.
    ……. qooat e ishaq sn hur pust ko bala kr dy,
    ……..ism e MUHAMMAD.P.B.U.H. sn dahir min ojala kr dy…..
    shame to those who say iqbal ahmadi.
    iqbal is a ture muslim.true muslim…

    • In the poetry Iqbal called Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as – AFTAB-E-SIDDIQ in his poem which Iqbal wrote to a foulmouthed opponent of the Promised Messiah when Iqbal was a college studentin Sialkot. Please read his all poems. Dr Mutteeullah Matiullah Dard. London, UK.

    • Dr Allama Iqbal sent his son Aftab to Qadian to be educated and consulted Hadhrat Allama Hakeem Noor ul Din, Khalifatul Masih the First regarding his personal domestic matters to know the Islamic Teachings.
      Dr Iqbal as an Ahmadiyya Muslim sought advice from the Khalifa asmost Ahmadis do.
      It was Dr Iqbal who proposed the name of HadhratMirza Basheer ul Din Mahmood Ahmad as President of All India Kashmir Committee. Another Ahmadi Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Rahim Dard the First Imam of the First Mosque ever built by Muslims in London eas unanimously elected as Secretary of the Committee in 1931 at Simla, India.
      Dr Mutteeullah Matiullah Dard. London

  10. Dr Saeedulla,Professor& Head of Psychology Dept.of Islamiyya College, Lahore was related to Allama Sir Iqbal closely. I was a student of M. A. Psychology class in 1955 with my dear classmate Dr Rasheed Azam, residing in USA presently. Dr Saeedullah told me that he went to Qadian with Dr Sir Iqbal and Saifudin Kitchloo and performed Bait to join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at at the hand of the Promised Messiah. He said that he had been a regular subscriber to Alfazl Newspaper. Dr Rasheed Azam alludes to this Bait in the observation he kindly allowed me to publish in my Autobiography -An Ahmadiyya Muslim-Published in London, UK in 2010. ( Dr Mutteeullah Matiullah Dard )

  11. About sir Alama Mohd Iqbal is going on about his real religion inthis reqard plow he was Ahmadi Muslim but it might be true that he left Ahmadyt before his departure from this world but I know my grandfather from my mother side told me that in his chieldhood he remembe sir Llama Mohd Iqbal visited Qadian with a company of his two the friends to see Hadrat Mirza ghulam Ahmad sb Qadyani imam mehdi mashemaood allaheslam and stay some days there my grandfather from my mother side name was Baoo sh Mohd Ismail latte he was capanion of messialahslan he has been resided at Gujranwala he had been some talk about sh noor Mohd And sh Ata Mohd saying them CHAChAs because they were causons And mother some times talk about Dr mehboobul Haq late former minister Finnance Govt of Pakistan his family also relates with them and he was my mother causon (at the end of my comments I would like to Shere my thoughts that reality can not be changed if he was Ahmadi or he was not Ahmadi but his services for the seprat home land for all muslims can not be forgeton H.A.KHALID SH USA

    • Dear me Khalid AAO Thanks. For giving us little bit more information about Alama Iqbal rh I will. E aprricte if you provide some more history about the life of. Alama sb I know by face ch. Ijaz Ahmed well Known figure of Ahmadya Jamat and served for country on different s portfolio s he was son of Alama Iqbal s sister Waslam Nasir Rub Nawaz jehlem pakistan

  12. what can you say about the people who think another guy as a prophet after Hazrat Muhammad(P.B.U.H)….they are the greatest threat to Muslims…

  13. All those people are Muslims because everyone by consensus believes that Hazrat Isa will descend in the 14th century and he will be a prophet. The controversy in not about a prophet after the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) but about who is it. Is the the 2000 year old Hazrat Isa or is it some one from the Umma of the Holy Prophet.

  14. I am extremely shocked that Ahmdya firqa is a great problem for the muslims of the world. Their blame is complete wrong that Iqbal r. a was a in Ahmddya jamat. He was a great muslims, a great scholor, a great leader and Authorty of Muslims. I love iqbal r. s he was not in Ahmdya jamat During his whole life. He hated ahmddya’s because he did not bear any wrong blame About Hazrat Muhammad s. A. W. Ahmdya is a jews compain.

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