Allama Iqbal’s Mazar

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Allama Iqbal delineated the historical and philosophical underpinning for a separate state for Muslims in the subcontinent. His stature as a spiritual guide to the Muslim nation behoved him to openly come forward for demanding a specific homeland for Muslims who held a distinct status in the subcontinent as a nation. His call was widely appreciated by the Muslims and initiated a process that ultimately saw the emergence of Pakistan. The Muslim nation recognised his contribution and erected a befitting final resting place for him in Lahore that is rated as a national monument.

The architecture of the Mazar is an endearing combination of styles but its dominant tilt is towards Mughal style. The building is entirely constructed by using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan. The marble used came from Rajputana. The rectangular mausoleum has two gates at the eastern and southern side respectively, inlaid with marble while the cenotaph itself is made of white marble. The tombstone was a gift from the people of Afghanistan and is made of lapis lazuli and is inscribed with Quranic verses.

Allama Iqbal was a poet of great intuition and achieved great fame. His poetry was instrumental in instilling a sense of unity amongst Muslims as a global nation.  Six couplets of one of his ghazals are carved from Iqbal’s poetical work Zabur-e-Ajam on the interior side of the Mazar. Outside, there is a small garden, divided into small plots. The design of the Mazar was prepared by Nawab Zain Yar Jang Bahadur, chief architect of the Muslim state of Hyderabad Deccan. The building took 13 years to finish at the cost of Rupees One hundred thousand.

The Mazar is a national icon and is visited by a tremendous number of people coming to pay homage to the philosophical guide of Pakistan. It is also a place of veneration to be paid respect to during national occasions. TW

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