His father, Shaikh Nur Muhammed, was a very reputed tailor and a great devotee to Islam. Iqbal was raised in a strong religious background.
Iqbal initially started learning languages like Urdu, English and Persian along with history, poetry and religion. One of his tutors, Sayyid Mir Hassan, recognized a hidden poet and a writer in Iqbal. He encouraged him to continue his studies and polish himself as a poet at the Scotch Mission College in Sialkot. He graduated as a poet and writer in 1892.
At the age of 15, he got married to Karim Bibi, the daughter of a well- known physician. They had two children, a girl and a boy. Iqbal lost his third child soon after birth. Since, the couple could not meet up to each other's expectation, their marriage ended in 1916.
From the Government College Lahore, he studied Philosophy, English literature and Arabic and came out as a gold medalist with a Bachelors of Arts degree. While doing his masters, he met Sir Thomas Arnold who was a scholar in Islam and modern philosophy.
Sir Arnold made him familiar with the western culture and ideas. He taught him to relate the eastern ideas with the western ones. In 1903, Iqbal published his first book, "The Knowledge of Economics", in Urdu. Later in 1905, he published a patriotic poem, "Song of India".