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Photographer's Note

The Pakistani government maintains an official guard at Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal's mausoleum at all times.

Allama Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was born on November 9, 1877 in the city of Sialkot. He was an important Indian Muslim poet from the colonial era, a philosopher and thinker. A major Urdu and Persian writer, he is in the unusual position of having penned one of India's major national songs (Sare Jahan Se Accha) while at the same time being credited as a major force behind the creation of Pakistan. He is posthumously revered in Pakistan as Muffakir-e-Pakistan (The Thinker of Pakistan) or Shair-i-Mashriq (The Poet of the East). Along with Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam) he is considered one of the preeminent founding fathers of Pakistan. Iqbal died on April 21, 1938 in Lahore and is buried in an imposing mausoleum outside the Badshahi Mosque on the southeast of the main gateway. Soon after his death, the Iqbal Tomb Committee, presided over by the late Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain, approached eminent architects to design the tomb, but they were dissatisfied with the results. The President expressed a desire that the monument, like Lahore's great works of Mughal architecture, "should aim at the expression in stone of the self." The committee was of the opinion that the designer, instead of copying architectural models of the Mughal period, should derive inspiration from Afghan interpretations of Moorish architecture. Consequently, the present design, a mixture of Afghan and Moorish architecture, was approved by the committee. It took thirteen years to complete. It was designed by Nawab Zain Yar Jang Bahadur, the chief architect of Hyderabad Deccan. The mausoleum has two gates with teak frames inlaid with marble. The taweez of the tomb, done in lapis lazuli, the most expensive architectural stone in Afghanistan, is a gift from the Afghan government. On the inside walls of the mausoleum are written six couplets of a ghazal of the poet from Zabur-e-Ajam which epitomize the message of Iqbal.

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