M. S. Umar received his classical (school) education at Central
Model School, Lahore, Forman Christian College, Lahore, Govt. College, Lahore, BA
(English, Philosophy) Govt. College, Lahore, MA (English); along with acquiring Arabic,
Persian and traditional Islamic Sciences (Arabic, Persian, Tajwid and Hifz).
Further studies included M. Phil. (Iqbal Studies), Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad and Ph.D. Department of Philosophy. Punjab University Lahore. Topic: Ibn Arabi and Iqbal - Comparative Study of Philosophic Issues.
Before starting his career at the Iqbal Academy he was a consultant to Suhail Academy, a publishing enterprise renowned for the high degree of accuracy, neatness and beauty of its English, Arabic and Persian reprints.
Since 1984 he worked with the Iqbal Academy Pakistan, a government research institution for the works and teachings of Iqbal, the poet Philosopher of Pakistan, first as Deputy Director and then as Director of the Academy.
He also worked as the Academic Director, Institute of Islamic Culture, Chief Editor, Al-Maarif and later on as Visiting scholar to International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
He is the Founder-Editor of Riwayat, intellectual journal of Urdu Language, Editor, Iqbal Review; Quarterly Journal, published alternately in Urdu and English, devoted to the study of the works and teachings of Iqbal as well as to Islamic Studies, Comparative Religion, Philosophy, Literature, History, Arts and Sociology. Its Persian, Arabic and Turkish issues were planned and inaugurated by him.
He also Edited Studies in Tradition, Quarterly Journal devoted to traditional studies on Metaphysics, Philosophy, Literature, Art and Science.
Well versed in Urdu, English, Arabic, and Persia, he has contributed number of articles on Islamic and literary themes to the reputed academic journals apart from publishing works in English, Urdu and Persian on Iqbal, Islamic Studies, literature and Sufism.
He specializes in Sufism as well as in the thought of Iqbal and in the intellectual history of the Indian subcontinent form Shah Waliullah to Iqbal.