“Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians.”

On this day in 1877, Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot. Muhammad Iqbal is Pakistan’s national poet. However, he was more than a poet. Muhammad Iqbal wore many feathers on his hat. He was a poet, lawyer, politician, religious scholar and one of the sharpest political commentator on the rapidly evolving situation in the Muslim world in his times. Iqbal was a beacon of light for many when people could not think of an alternative worldview against the dominant western civilisation. 

Iqbal through his poetry succeeded in exposing the contradictions of the Western enlightenment project and civilizational message. He was one of the earliest thinkers who showed dissatisfaction with the modernity project and warned the world of its disastrous consequences. Pankaj Mishra in his book ‘Age of Anger’ has reaffirmed some of Iqbal’s fears that the modernity project has unleashed on people’s lives today.