Among the Kashmiris of International repute, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, the greatest poet and philosopher of the continent, tops the list. Iqbal’s ancestors were the Kasmiri Pandits of the Saproo family who, after embracing Islam, cam be known as the Sheikhs. His grandfather migrated to Sialkot in order to explore the better avenues of livelihood and then settled there permanently. Iqbal always boasted of being a Kashmiri and used to introduce himself in these words: ‘The seeds of this flower are from the flower-gardens of Kashmir” . The plight of Kashmiris always dominated Iqbal’s thinking which prompted him to take’ active part in the freedom struggle of Kashmir. He loved his ancestral land immensely and did his utmost to make its inhabitants realize the true value of freedom and the dignity in struggling for it. For higher education Dr. Iqbal had to go Lahore where he settled permanently. His tomb is situated adjacent to the famous Shahi Masjid in Lahore (Pakistan). All foreign delegates and dignitaries visiting Lahore visit his tomb and pay homage to this world famous philosopher-poet.
Besides Iqbal, Kashmir has produced numerous philosophers , intellectuals and poets who in their own age were considered the great literary figures. These include Gani Kashmiri,
Shaikh Nooruddin Wali, Shah-e – Hamdan, Habba Khatoon, Rasul Mir, Wahab Khar, Mehjoor, Abdul Ahad Azad, Agha Hashar Kashmiri and Agha Shoorish Kashmiri.