In a recent announcement, the federal government of Pakistan has declared a public holiday on the occasion of Iqbal Day, which falls on November 9. This decision was made by the Cabinet Division, putting an end to speculations regarding the observance of this important day. It is worth noting that the Iqbal Day holiday had been canceled in 2015, but it was reinstated last year. Moreover, the official list of public holidays for the year 2023, published in December last year, had already confirmed the Iqbal Day holiday.

The Significance of Iqbal Day

Iqbal Day is a significant day in Pakistan’s history as it pays tribute to Allama Iqbal, a philosopher, poet, and politician who played a vital role in inspiring the Pakistan Movement. This day holds great importance in the hearts of the Pakistani people, and it symbolizes the nation’s commitment to preserving its cultural and intellectual heritage.

The History of Iqbal Day

The tradition of celebrating Iqbal Day dates back to 1938 when Muhammad Iqbal’s poetry was first acknowledged and celebrated. The day was officially recognized as a public holiday much later, and it has been observed with enthusiasm and reverence ever since.

The Cancellation of Iqbal Day Holiday in 2015

In 2015, the government decided to cancel the Iqbal Day holiday, which created a considerable amount of controversy and disappointment among the public. This decision was met with strong opposition, as Iqbal Day held immense cultural and historical significance.

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The Reinstatement of Iqbal Day Holiday

However, recognizing the importance of Iqbal Day in Pakistan’s history, the government decided to reinstate the holiday, allowing the nation to continue honoring the philosopher-poet. This move was well-received by the general public, who saw it as a step toward preserving their cultural heritage.

Iqbal Day in 2023

With the official declaration of Iqbal Day as a public holiday in 2023, Pakistanis from all walks of life are looking forward to celebrating this special day. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the visionary thoughts of Allama Iqbal and his contributions to the nation.

Celebrations and Traditions

Iqbal Day is marked with a variety of cultural and educational events. Schools, colleges, and universities hold special programs and seminars to discuss Allama Iqbal’s philosophy and poetry. Poetry recitation contests and literary events are common during this time.

The Role of Allama Iqbal in Pakistan’s History

Allama Iqbal’s influence on the creation of Pakistan cannot be understated. His philosophical ideas about an independent Muslim state laid the foundation for the country we know today. He is often referred to as “Mufakkir-e-Pakistan” (The Thinker of Pakistan) for his pivotal role in shaping the nation’s destiny.

How People Observe Iqbal Day

On Iqbal Day, people visit the poet’s tomb and offer their respects. They also spend time reading his poetry and reflecting on its messages, which continue to inspire and guide the nation.

Public Response to the Holiday

The reinstatement of the Iqbal Day holiday has been widely appreciated, as it allows the Pakistani people to connect with their cultural roots and heritage. The decision reflects the government’s commitment to preserving the legacy of Allama Iqbal.

Educational Institutions’ Involvement

Schools, colleges, and universities take an active part in celebrating Iqbal Day. They organize various programs, lectures, and competitions to encourage students to explore and understand the profound philosophy of Allama Iqbal.

Cultural Events and Programs

Apart from educational institutions, cultural organizations and the media also play a vital role in celebrating Iqbal Day. They arrange seminars, exhibitions, and cultural events to highlight the importance of this day.


Iqbal Day is a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration. It reminds Pakistanis of the intellectual and philosophical treasure they have inherited and encourages them to strive for a better future. The reinstatement of the Iqbal Day holiday underscores the enduring significance of Allama Iqbal’s contributions to the nation.


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