It is true, the famous Allama Muhammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi from 1892 to roughly 1935. However, he didn’t formally get into MGA’s bait until 1897, thus he is not listed in the famous list of the first 313 Ahmadi’s of 1896. Interestingly enough, he never admitted to ever being an Ahmadi in his entire life, nor did he ever admit to quitting Ahmadiyya. His father and elder brother were both also Ahmadi’s. Iqbal himself died in 1938. After the split of 1914, he seems to have sided with the Lahori-Ahmadi’s and in 1932, he called them “Muslims with a sense of honour”. He was instrumental in getting the Ahmadiyya Khalifa into a leadership position amongst Kashmiri’s in 1931. Ghulam Qadir, a Munshi from Siaklot, was an uncle of Allama Iqbal who was a convert to the Ahmadiyya religion.

1892 in Sialkot
Dr. Basharat Ahmad, the famous Lahori-Ahmadi revealed in 1936, in his famous book, “Mujadid e Azim” how him he saw a 15-year old Muhammad Iqbal in 1892, at the house of Hakim Hassam ud Din. Hakim Hasam ud Din also owned a mosque, where the Ahmadi’s read their prayers.

1893, from the Scotch Mission College in Sialkot
Even though he is a teenager, and officially not an Ahmadi (per all Ahmadiyya sources), he still defends MGA vs. Maulvi Sa’dullah. Iqbal must have already been an Ahmadi by then.  In 1892-1893, MGA had called Sa’dullah the famous arabic derogatory phrase, “Zarrayatul Baghaya”.  Ahmadiyya sources claim that MGA made a prophecy about Sa’dullah in a book called “Anwar-ul-Islam” (Urdu) which was published in 1894, 3 years after MGA had his initial altercation with Sa’dullah. In 1897, MGA wrote some poetry vs. Sa’dullah to the effect that God should make a decision between them, he also called Sa’dullah as the son of prostitutes (Ibn Bagha).  Sa’dullah died in January of 1907, 3-5 months later in May of 1907, as Haqiqatul Wahy was published, MGA claimed that Sa’dullah died of plague and mubahila. MGA also purposely left out his poetry wherein he called Sa’dullah as the son of prostitutes (ibn Bagha), Mirza Bashir Ahmad claims that Muhammad Ali advised MGA to leave this out, in fear of legal recourse, i.e. the son of Sa’dullah might have sued for defamation.

The poem was called, “Jaisa Moon Taisee Chapayrh (“A slap which your face deserves”.  A quote: 

‘””O Sa’d, we have seen your filthy abuse. It will make street sweepers appreciate you. Don’t be perturbed by the heat of the sun of truth, for the devil himself will be your sun-shade. You have become the brother of the Christians, you renegade! What a great favor you have done to Islam”””. (By Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal, F.A. class, Scotch Mission School, Sialkot. A’inah Haq Numa, p. 107)(See “Muhammad Iqbal and the Ahmadiyya Movement” by  Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad (1995).

Dard quotes the same poem with some variations
“””Viz. Shame! Sa‘dullah, I have seen your foul-mouthedness; you will be very much appreciated among the low class sweepers. Your versification is not less than a stinking privy. Your poems are the favourites only of sweepers.

He is still not an official Ahmadi at this point. His name doesn’t appear in the list of the first 313 (see Dard).

In 1953, in court, the Lahori-Ahmadi, Khwaja Nazir Ahmad confirms that Iqbal joined Ahmadiyya formally in 1897 (See “Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal and the Ahmadiyya Movement” by Hafiz Sher Muhammad {A Lahori-Ahmadi}, see page 9).

Iqbal published a paper in English on the famous Sufi saint Abdul Karim ibn Ibrahim al-Jilli.  Mentioning the great scholarship of the saint, Iqbal wrote:

“””It will appear at once how strikingly the author has anticipated the chief phase of the Hegelian Dialectic and how greatly he has emphasised the doctrine of the Logos—a doctrine which has always found favour with almost all the profound thinkers of Islam, and in recent times has been readvocated by M. Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, probably the profoundest theologian among modern Indian Muslims.”“”” (See the Indian Antiquary, vol. 29. September 1900, page 239.)

A poem of his is published in the Al-Hakam of 10 January 1903, see pages 8 and 9.  It was also published in the Makhzan, vol 2, p 48. Apparently, he praised MGA in this poem.

He seeks to meet MGA in Sialkot, along with his friend, Sir Mian Fazl-i-Hussain, they seem to have met, this was when MGA was fighting his court case in Gurdaspur (see Maulana Muhammad Ali,  Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s Statement re the Qadianis, and  

He moved to England and completed his academic studies, he also traveled to Germany as he completed his PHD studies. MGA was dead by the time he returned to British-India.

He seems to have returned to British-India in this era.

Winter of 1909
He writes to Noorudin (the Khalifa) and asks some questions. This is recorded only in one book,( “”Hakeem Noor-ud-Deen – Khalifatul Masih I – The Way of the Righteous”””by Syed Hasanat Ahmad, see pages 126-128)and (the Al-Hakam of December 21, 1909) and (History of Ahmadiyyat, v. 4, pp. 324-325) . From 1909 to 1911, he was a Professor at the Government College at Lahore, where he taught both English and Philosophy. Zafrullah Khan was one of his students (See Reminiscences of Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan).

On August 22nd, 1910, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Maulvi Noorudin arranged for Muhammad Iqbal to marry his granddaughter from his first marriage, the nikah was announced from Qadian (see Nooruddin, Hadhrat al-Hajj Maulana Hafiz Hakeem. Khutbat e Noor. (Nizarat Nashar o Ishaat, Qadian. 2003). page 477 and He would eventually marry her in the winter of 1914, it is unclear who read the Nikah. Her name was

In November of 1913 Iqbal attended a meeting at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, held to celebrate the acceptance of Islam by Lord Headley in England. He made a speech in which he praised Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din for his sacrifice in the propagation of Islam and urged Muslims to help him and not let differences with Ahmadiyyat stand in the way.

He sent Mirza Jalaludin to Qadian to request an Edict from the Caliph (Noorudin) regarding the case of the divorce of his wife (who he had intended to divorce and was unsure of whether divorce had taken place from the point of Islamic Law) which he promptly acted upon:

He officially marries the grand-daughter of Noorudin. She dies in 1924, along with his only child from this marriage, during child birth. Her name was Mukhtar Begum, it is unclear through which daughter of Noorudin’s she comes from. We had assumed that all of those people were non-Ahmadi.

Al-Fazl, April 11th, 1916 reports “an essay iqbal  published in lamaaat? saying “any person who accepts/believes advent of a prophet after Hazrat Muhammad SAW, is out of the pale of Islam. If Qadiani Jammat hold that belief then, that too is out of the pale of Islam”.

Qadiani Reply:  “If Dr Sahib had put the blow his sword only on our neck, we would not complain. But it seems like it is Nadir Shahi mass killing, so, ALL Ahl sunnat wa Jamaat, All ahl Islam, and many personalities in his dear family are not safe from his sword, based on what he has said. As much as i know, there is no one else claims to be muslim other than dwellers of Paigham Buildings (the Lahori-Ahmadi’s). That in the end times Masih Ibn Maryam as a Nabi ullah. this is a known fact anyone who denies the nabi is out of pale of islam. so not only us but all the ulema e Islam of Lahore and Amritsar or dwellers of Laknau or Braily, Mecca or Madina, all are out of Islam. Because they all believe advent of a prophet after Khatam e Nabiyeen”

Some Commentary for this quote
It seems that Dr. Iqbal was questioned on the finality of prophethood concept. In a newspaper called Lamaat he wrote that anyone who believes in a prophet after Muhammad is outside the pale of Islam. It seems that Dr. Iqbal had either became a Lahori-Ahmadi or a rogue Ahmadi. He clearly calls the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s as Kafirs. The Al-Fazl responds by accusing Iqbal of calling all Muslims as Kafirs, since all Muslims believe in the return of an old prophet, Esa (As). In fact, the Lahori-Ahmadi’s are the only group of Muslims who believe that Esa (as) will never return and Muhammad (saw) is the final prophet in order.  It should be noted that the Muslims of Lucknow, Mecca and Medina believe that Esa (as) will return, but since Esa (As) is an old prophet, his return doesn’t effect the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood. However, the Qadiani jamaat disagrees and allow 1000’s of prophets.

Alfazl 1916-04-11

After his death, writings from Iqbal emerged with proves that he never believed in any concept of Mahdi or the return of Esa (as).

Mukhtar Begum (second wife of Allama Iqbal) died on Oct 21, 1924. She is buried in Ludhiana graveyard of India, their new-born child also died.

In December of 1927, Iqbal attended the annual conference of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, at which Lord Headely visiting India was also present. Iqbal made a speech again praising Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din for his work of the propagation of Islam.

In April 1932, when someone asked Iqbal’s opinion about whether one should join the Ahmadiyya Movement, Iqbal wrote in a letter (which is in Makatib-i Iqbal):

“As to the Ahmadiyya Movement, there are many members of the Lahore Jama’at whom I consider to be Muslims who have a sense of honour, and I sympathise with their efforts to propagate Islam.”

When Iqbal called Lahori Ahmadis ghairat mand musalman (“Muslims who have a sense of honour”).

In March 1933 Iqbal attended a function at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore (centre of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement), at which a Hindu barrister declared his acceptance of Islam before Maulana Muhammad Ali.  In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal suffered from a mysterious throat illness.[42] He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan to establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at Jamalpur estate near Pathankot,[43][44] where there were plans to subsidise studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science. He also advocated for an independent Muslim state.

Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and was granted a pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. In his final years, he frequently visited the Dargah of famous Sufi Ali Hujwiri in Lahore for spiritual guidance.

He dies on 21 April 1938.  After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore on 21 April 1938.[8][12] His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are provided by the Government of Pakistan.

In 1951, writings from Allama Iqbal emerged which seem to prove that he was a Quranist, or someone who didn’t believe in the concept of the Mahdi or Messiah in Islam:

“I consider all the Hadith reports relating to the Mahdi and the concepts of Messiah-ship and Mujaddids to be the result of Persian and other non-Arab philosophies. They have nothing to do with Arab thought or the true spirit of the Quran.” (written in 1932) (Iqbal Nama, Part II, Makatib Iqbal, (Muhammad Ashraf, Lahore, 1951), pp. 230-232, Letter no. 87)

Links and Related Essays

Testimonies – Sir Muhammad Iqbal

Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi Muslim Until a few years before his Death

Allama Sir Mohammad Iqbal was an Ahmadi Muslim Until a few years before his Death