Iqbal Day

Iqbal Day is a holiday that celebrates the birthday of Muhammad Iqbal. It is celebrated annually by many people on November 9th. Although it had been a prominent holiday in Pakistan, as of 2015 it is no longer being celebrated in that country. Muhammad Iqbal was a philosopher, poet, and politician who is traditionally regarded as the spiritual father of the Pakistan movement.

History of Iqbal Day

Born on November 9th, 1877 in Sialkot, British India (which is now Pakistan), Sir Muhammad Iqbal to Sheikh Noor Muhammad – a tailor, and Imam Bibi – his mother. He was a bright child who learned Arabic from his teacher Syed Mir Hassan and was admitted to the masjid to learn the Koran at the age of four.

When he got older, he studied at the University of Cambridge. He then traveled to London to become a lawyer before heading to Germany to earn his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. In 1908, he earned his doctorate and also began to write poetry in the Persian language.

Over the years, he continued to write poetry in both Persian and Urdu. Many of the volumes of poetry have also been translated into a number of other languages, including Arabic, English, German, Russian and Turkish.

He also wrote a considerable amount of philosophy which is highly regarded in not only Pakistan but also India and Iran as well. Many people consider him to be one of the most important persons to have ever written Urdu literature. At a 1930 lecture, Muhammad Iqbal suggested the creation of a homeland for Muslims of Indian descent.

The following year, he represented Indian Muslims at the Round Table Conferences held in England. The main purpose of these conferences were to determine the political future of India. Unfortunately, Muhammad Iqbal died on April 21st, 1938 – 9 years before the creation of Pakistan.

Iqbal Day Customs & Traditions

Traditionally, Iqbal Day was a national holiday in Pakistan. As a result, government buildings and businesses were usually closed on that day. However, that changed in November of 2015.

That is when the Ministry of the Interior announced that Iqbal Day was not a national holiday. However, some admirers of Muhammad Iqbal may still celebrate the holiday by reading his philosophy or his poetry.

Where is it celebrated?
Pakistan (Optional holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
November 9 Thursday
Next year (2024)
November 9 Saturday
Last year (2022)
November 9 Wednesday