In 1927, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal too wrote an inspiring article for Islamic Culture, a popular magazine published from Hyderabad Daccan. In this article titled “Khushhal Khan Khattak: The Warrior Afghan Poet”, Iqbal wrote, “He was a versatile mind and wrote on various subjects, such as poetry, philosophy, ethics, medicine and his own autobiography, which was unfortunately lost. His poetry, the major portion of which was written in India and during his struggle with Mughals, breathes the spirit of early Arabian poetry. We find in it the same simplicity and directness of expression, the same love of freedom and war, and the same criticism of life."
Not only did Iqbal study Khushhal Khan Khattak’s translations in English and his Persian poetry, he also adopted the falcon, which was Khushhal Khan Khattak’s symbol for man of action, in his own poems while elaborating the concept. Interestingly, the fourth centenary birth celebrations of Khan Baba, according to the Islamic Calendar, coincided with the year of Allama Iqbal in 2002.
Besides giving lectures on Khushhal Khan Khattak in 1931, Allama Iqbal persuaded one of his students, Khadeeja Fairoz-ud-din, who was born and raised in Bannu and could speak Pushto fluently, to research the life and works of the great poet. It was an honour for Khadeeja to be considered for the job. It took her nine years to complete her PhD thesis on Khushhal Khan. By this time Iqbal had passed away. Unfortunately, even after a span of 62 years, the well-researched work lies unpublished.