The nation observes the death anniversary of Pakistan’s great thinker and poet, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal on April 21. He had awakened the Muslims of the sub-continent and, more importantly, he had also presented the concept of a separate homeland for the Muslims where they could lead their lives according to their religious tenets and be socially and economically free from Hindus economic subjugation.This concept was transformed into reality by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah through his inspirational leadership and statesmanship in a very short period.Pakistan had come into existence on August 14, 1947 but Allama Iqbal had passed away about nine years earlier on April 21, 1938.Allama Iqbal had breathed his last at Javed Manzil, which know is known as the Iqbal Museum. The building houses personal belongings and handwritten manuscripts among a lot of other articles of daily use.A visit to the Iqbal Museum on the eve of his death anniversary of the great philosopher and poet turned out to be quite an educative and informative experience for me.Dr Iqbal had lived at a couple of other places in Lahore for varying periods prior to getting Javed Manzil constructed and shifting there in May 1935. According to the information gathered from different sources, Dr Iqbal upon his return from Germany had lived in the upper storey residence in Anarkali, Mcleod Road and also somewhere inside the Bhatti Gate between 1906 to1916.Construction of Javed Manzil and its ownership on Mayo Road at the back of Railways Cairns Hospital makes quite an interesting and illuminating reading in general and particularly for the Iqbaliyat research scholars. While living at rented premises on Mcleod Road, Allama Iqbal had bought a piece of land in 1934 – measuring seven kanals in open auction – in Mauza Garhi Shahu in the name of Javed Iqbal at which the house constructed and completed at a cost of Rs 42,025. Iqbal shifted there in May 1935.While living in Javed Manzil for a couple of years, Dr Iqbal had many illustrious visitors including Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his sister Fatima Jinnah in 1936 and Hindus leader Pandit Jawahir Lal Nehru, who was also a great admirer of the great poet and thinker.Within days of shifting to the newly-constructed Javed Manzil, Dr Iqbal had suffered a great personal loss when his wife Sardar Begum expired on May 24, 1935.Allama Iqbal’s birth on November 9, 1877 to a Kashmiri family in Sialkot was confirmed officially after extensive research by the National Committee for Birth Centenary Celebrations was set up by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had also visited the mazar of great thinker and poet on January 1, 1977 to mark inauguration of year long centenary celebrations.This very committee had also suggested that the federal government should buy Javed Manzil and turn it into a museum where all personal belongings of Dr Muhammad Iqbal be preserved and displayed for the posterity.Since then, November 9 is officially celebrated as the birthday of the great thinker and poet both nationally and internationally by every succeeding federal government and colourful ceremony of change of guards takes place on this at the mazar of Allama Iqbal. Death anniversary of Dr Iqbal is also duly observed with due respect and reverence every year on April 21 and number of functions are held to remember and pay homage to the poet for his illustrious services towards the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims besides his literary and poetic works.This was done accordingly and Javed Manzil possession was taken over by the federal government in December 1977 and it was turned into Iqbal Museum which was renovated by some Japanese engineers, who had especially visited Lahore for this purpose at the invitation of the federal government.The Iqbal Museum was formally inaugurated by President/Chief of Army Staff General Muhammad Ziaul Haq in December 1984. During the fag end of the tenure of President/Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf, on his directions, more than 50 articles on display in the newly converted Iqbal Museum were supposedly borrowed and taken to Islamabad and put on display in the newly-established National Monuments Museum there. Some of these borrowed items had since been returned while others remain unreturned.On the persuasion of General Muhammad Ziaul Haq, Javed Manzil owner Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had agreed to sell the house as well as all belongings of Allama Muhammad Iqbal to the federal government for turning it into a museum on payment of a hefty amount of Rs 3.5 million.Afterwards, Dr Javed Iqbal had shifted to a bungalow of his choice on the Main Boulevard in Gulberg where he had breathed his last couple of years back.In one of the rooms of the bungalow, there is a big mural. This is the transformation into colours of Allama Iqbal’s poetic collection “Javed Namah” which has been painted by prominent Pakistani artist Jimmy Engineer at the invitation of Dr Javed Iqbal. He completed this challenging task in one-year (1980-81) during which he had stayed there as well.In fact, Dr Iqbal in one of his letters to son Javed Iqbal had stated that in the first instance, no artist can transform “Javed Namah” into colours in a mural but whosoever accomplishes this challenging task, he will attain international reputation and fame.Jimmy Engineer takes genuine pride in having accomplished this task which no other local and foreign artist could undertake though several had tried over the years. He regards the mural as one of his major artistic achievements along with Pakistan Movement series of paintings.Despite the information provided in this piece, the true essence of Iqbal’s ideology and his personality could only be explored through a comprehensive visit to the museum. At the place, there is a lot to see, a lot to know and a lot more to learn.