November 9, 2012 - Iqbal Day in Pakistan

Today is the birthday of Pakistan's “national poet,” Muhammad Iqbal. It's interesting that he was named Pakistan's national poet, since he never lived to see the creation of the Pakistan nation.

Iqbal lived from 1877 to 1938 in the Punjab Province of British India. It wasn't until 1947 that Pakistan became an independent nation, partitioned off from India when the British Indian Empire was dissolved following World War II. Iqbal was more than a poet—he was also a philosopher and politician—and he spoke and wrote in favor of the creation of a Muslim state in Northwest India. He did not get to see his dream occur, but he had a part in inspiring the creation of Pakistan.

Iqbal wrote in both Urdu and Persian. Here are some Iqbal quotes:

"I have seen the movement of the sinews of the sky,
And the blood coursing in the veins of the moon."

Look at the evils of the world around you and protect yourself from them. Our teachers give all the wrong messages to our youth, since they take away the natural flare from the soul. Take it from me that all knowledge is useless until it is connected with your life, because the purpose of knowledge is nothing but to show you the splendors of yourself!”

The highest art is that which awakens our dormant will-force, and nerves us to face the trials of life manfully. All that brings drowsiness and makes us shut our eyes to reality around—on the mastery of which alone life depends—is a message of decay and death.”

Learn about Pakistan

Pakistan is a gorgeous but rugged land. Take a peek at a few of its mountain and cultural splendors

I don't really "get" this photo. Are people hanging onto
this train just because it makes such a cool photo?

For more on Pakistan, check out this earlier post

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