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philosphy of iqbal

philosphy of iqbal

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Muhammad Iqbal

Professor Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

Iqbal stands alone in the post classical period of Islamic philosophy as a reviver of the discipline within the Muslim world. He is the only Islamic philosopher to make a serious attempt at grabbling with the problems of modern western philosophy within an Islamic context. His thought has been extremely influential throughout the Islamic world today. Iqbal introduces his notion of Khudi, or self. Arising from a desire to awaken the Muslim Ummah and drawing upon inspiration from western existentialists like Nietzsche, and Muslim spiritual teachers he empowers the Muslim individual. Beyond its superficial, and important, role as a motivator for Muslims Khudi embodies a deep philosophical concept prevalent throughout his philosophical writings. Iqbals breadth and depth of knowledge is truly remarkable. Being educated both in the east and the west gave him a unique perspective to tackle the problems of modern times. Below we sample some of his work, and some work related to him. Iqbal wrote in English, Urdu and Farsi. Many links below are compliments of the Iqbal Academy.

In English: • •

The Development of Metaphysics in Persia (1908)
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930): landmark work in Islamic philosophy by Iqbal. [alternate site] The

In Urdu: •

Bang-i Dara (1924) - Call of the Marching Bell [alternate site] [alt. site2] [English translation]

• •

Bal-i Jibril (1935) - Wings of Gabriel [alternate site] [English translation] Zarb-i Kalim (1936) - The Rod of Moses [alternate site] [English translation]

In Persian (Farsi): [All of the below are English translations]
• • • • • • •

Asrar-i Khudi (1915) - The Secrets of the Self Rumuz-i Bekhudi (1918) - The Mysteries of Selflessness Payam-i Mashriq (1923) - Message from the East Zabur-i Ajam (1927) - Persian Psalms Javidnama (1932) - To his son Pas Chih Bayad Kard (1936) - What should then be done: O people of the East? Armaghan-i Hijaz (1938) - Gift from Hijaz







of Rationality:
Posted by khuram on August 27, 2006 Iqbal, basically was not a Rational Philosopher. He was a Scholastic (Mutakkalim — Mahir-e-Ilm-ul-Kalam). Scholasticism basically is such an attempt whereby Scholastic scholars try to interpret their religion in such a way as to show that religious doctrines are in perfect harmony with the established rational philosophies. As I pointed out in another post on the topic of “Scientific Revolution and Muslim World” that roots of early Muslim philosophers could be found in Mutazillah faith. Mutazilities were the first ever Scholastics (Mutakalims) in Islam. Thus Yaqub Alkindi, Al-Farabi and Ibn-e-Sina etc. were also basically Scholastic scholars. All of them had tried to resolve the apparent differences between the doctrines of Islam and the work of such rational Philosophers as Aristotle and Plato. All of these Muslim scholars however committed a common mistake. They mistakenly took the work of Platinus, a first century B.C mystic type philosopher as an original work

in his work. ultimate reality could be found in the true meaning of his ‘duration’. had preferred ‘passions’ (jazbat) to ‘rationality’ (aqal). Allama Iqbal also had tried to bring ‘harmony’ between Islamic doctrines and the doctrines of Western philosophers. which had been contaminated by the elements of mysticism. He had viewed it as a defeat to classical physics. Platinus was not pro-rational in the strict sense but under the influence of Plato. Loyed Margon. Their intention was admirable and it might had got ultimate success also just if they had successfully segregated the mystic elements from the rational elements of Greek thought. Just like early Muslim philosophers had tried to bring harmony between Islamic religious doctrines and rational doctrines of Aristotle and Plato. This point basically deceived Muslim philosophers and they considered those doctrines as the original work of Aristotle. who were popular in his time. So the work of Muslim Philosophers was aimed at bringing harmony between the religious doctrines of Islam with such Greek rational doctrines. In addition. etc. Neitzsche. He also equalized this ‘defeat’ of classical physics as a ‘victory’ of religion. who was a complete Rationalist Philosopher. Alexander Ward etc.of Aristotle. According to him. Both Plato and Aristotle were pro-rational philosophers but Platinus was inspired by mysticism of Pythagoras. he did assign due importance to rationality in his otherwise pure mystic type doctrines. Iqbal. Iqbal also incorporated various elements of Muslim Sufism in his work. Muslim Philosophers had tried to get understanding of religious doctrines based on strong rational footings. For him. Neitzsche and Bergson. Bergson was another anti-rationalist. Rousseau. Thus Iqbal had tried to bring harmony between Islamic doctrines and the works of such Western philosophers as Rousseau. Bergson. human rationality particularly was incapable to understand the true nature of time or ‘duration’. Iqbal also had taken the negative meanings of the emergence of Quantum Physics in his time. In this way elements of Greek mysticism entered in the work of above-mentioned Muslim scholars. had adopted many anti-rational elements out of the work of Rousseau. But this purpose could not be . Fichte. The same thing reflected in the work of Iqbal where he gave preference to ‘Ishq’ (obviously a kind of passion) over ‘rationality’. in his work.

Iqbal also says that pure knowledge can be acquired only through personal ‘intuitive’ experience. So reality can be found only through personal intuitive experience.e. See that for the purpose of getting new knowledge. can find out this reality. He also says that only intuition gives pure knowledge but this pure knowledge cannot be communicated. By just following the Bergson’s course. . according to him. In this way. self-aware instinct) can find out the ultimate reality of ‘creative evolutionary’ duration. What Iqbal has done? He has picked the same concept of Bergson’s ‘intuition’ with the same meaning and has given preference to this concept of intuition over rationality. there is no need of rational inquiry according to Bergson and Iqbal. So according to Bergson. Rationality cannot produce any knowledge. ‘intuition’ produces the knowledge of reality. He calls this phenomenon as ‘creative evolution’ and considers it as the ultimate reality of universe. which intuition finds in this way cannot be communicated to others with the help of written or spoken words. This original knowledge is pure but cannot be communicated to others in this pure form. he says that rationality can be used to convert this pure knowledge into impure form and so knowledge can be communicated but only in impure form.achieved by using intellect or rationality. Just like Bergson. According to Bergson. Since rationality sees time just in mechanical terms of minutes and seconds. Only ‘intuition’. Bergson also discusses the role of ‘rationality’. Only intuition. This reality. only the ‘intuition’ (i. which just serves the purpose of converting that non-communicate-able pure reality into the shape of less pure but communicate-able form of written or spoken words of language. whereas reality is that each and every moment of time continuously keeps on creating new and new features to the universe. which acquire the quality of ‘self cognition’. so it cannot get the true knowledge of ‘creative evolutionary’ aspect of duration. according to Bergson. Rationality only converts pure knowledge into impure but communicate-able form. Bergson has conceived ‘intuition’ as equivalent to such ‘instincts’. Rationality can understand ‘time’ only in terms of ‘minutes’ and ‘seconds’ etc. Rationality converts this pure knowledge into impure form that can be communicated to others in the form of written or spoken words. Role of rationality is secondary. could find that ultimate reality.

then he can bring sufficient elaboration in that idea that now it becomes communicate-able. in my work. I consider it the product of rationality. which are advanced features of same rationality. At first instance. Actually it could not be communicated just because it was not sufficiently elaborated or it had not acquired sufficient transparency and explanatory power so as to be successfully communicated. his intuitive and ‘pure’ knowledge could be made into ‘impure’ but ‘communicate-able’ through the application of rationality. Those vague and less transparent ideas can be made into more transparent and more explanatory through the processes of deep purposeful thinking and analysis. At first new ideas (in the form of compound ideas etc. I have shown that in producing any form of new knowledge. which are more advanced features of human rationality. In my opinion. that ‘vogue’ and ‘less transparent’ knowledge can be made into solid. What cannot be communicated can be better termed as ‘vogue’ or ‘less transparent’ etc.) are formed inside mind in such way that gives the vague feelings that something new has been known. In another post. Despite the traditional criticism. This thing has been considered to be ‘intuitive product’ by Bergson. have defined ‘intellect’ as the ability of mind that it can arrange and re-arrange various sets of information. these views are not acceptable to me because of my own views about how new ideas are generated by mind. If that person makes his mind more clear about that vogue or less transparent idea after thinking and analysis. A more elaborated idea would be better than a vogue . rationality can produce only vague and less transparent ideas. more transparent and more explanatory by purposeful thinking and deep rational inquiry. According to Bergson. where I have presented some aspects of my views about ideas. What cannot be communicated cannot be regarded as ‘pure’ just because it cannot be communicated. I. mind only arranges and re-arranges the already available pieces of information. I consider it as vogue and less transparent knowledge. One who knows something new in ‘vogue’ and ‘less transparent’ form finds oneself unable to successfully communicate it to others. Bergson considers it as pure knowledge. I am having the opinion that only rationality produces new ideas. I myself have worked on the issues of how new ideas come to mind. So the process of creation of ‘new’ knowledge takes place under the control of ‘intellect’ or ‘rationality’.Bergson’s views deserve heavy criticism.

he has presented these ideas and has given supporting proofs by manipulating the meanings of various teachings of Islamic Sacred books in a way which was suitable to his context.idea. which at once can convey the knowledge of reality to Sufi etc. they openly had admitted that their works were the attempt to bring harmony between the doctrines of religion and those of Plato and Aristotle. Allama Iqbal however never has admitted that he has taken such and such ideas from the works of such and such western or Muslim Sufi Scholar. Iqbal is also a Sufi. Bergson has just presented old Sufism using modern terminology of biology such as ‘instincts’ etc. it always has been regarded as something very mysterious. he has taken the same meaning of ‘time’ as had been taken by Bergson. It is another interesting fact that only Bergson has tried to define the term ‘intuition’. Ancient Muslim Philosophers like Al-Farabi and Ibn-e-Sina also had tried to present Islamic Theology on strong rational footings. But. Actually this ‘intuition’ has deceived many Sufi-type philosophers. ‘Reconstruction of Religious Thought’ is actually an attempt to ‘modernize’ the Islamic Theology. which Iqbal takes for his purpose. He has taken many of the views from above mentioned western philosophers as well as even from Wahdatul-Wajoody Sufism and has presented them in the name of new Islamic Theology. According to Bertrend Russell. Instead. Iqbal has presented his views in the form of poetry but his detailed views about philosophical matters are found in his lectures on ‘Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’. Original meanings of those teachings do not come up to the meanings. Bergson and Iqbal are having the view that more elaborated idea would be ‘impure’ whereas that vogue idea would be ‘pure’. But Iqbal uselessly has tried to show that he had taken that meaning of time from the work of ancient Muslim scholars. Otherwise. His poetry is full of exaggerations and cannot serve the purpose of any systematic philosophy. For example. There is clear difference between the approach of ancient Muslim philosophers and that of Iqbal. . Actually there are many other things in Iqbalian thought where he has assumed clear contradictory positions. though explicitly he has reacted against Wahdat-ul-Wajood. Bergson is actually a Sufi by heart. for doing it.

e. an impersonal entity – i. Iqbal’s Ana-e-Mutlaq is also in the state of transition towards stronger positions. with the help of his philosophy of ‘Egoism’. i. He also conceives ‘Ana-eMutlaq’ as the ultimate reality but in addition. See that in this scheme. What Iqbal has done? In his new Theology. This Absolute Ego. According to him ‘Absolute Ego’. Fichte had conceived Absolute Ego as the ultimate reality. was the ‘ultimate reality’. That ultimate reality was of a non-religious type. etc. instead of religion’s God who possesses ‘personality’. It’s meaning is that persons who did not possess strong khudies shall not be given any life after their death. He had tried to re-build the morale of German nation after their defeat in the hands of Napoleon. not only contribute to the purpose of Universe as a whole. was in the state of transition towards stronger positions. Just like SATAN is hero of Milton (Remember a famous quotation by Milton: “Better to reign in . a person who wants to die forever can do it provided he must not try to give any strength to his khudy. according to Fichte. Iqbal only has given this non-religious type ultimate reality a religious touch. individuals have not been ‘created’ by God but individual khudies (individuals) have been ‘emanated’ from Ana-e-Mutlaq (God). All humans also possess ‘personal egos’ which have been originated (emanated) from the same ‘Absolute Ego’. Individuals. Iqbal has adopted the same concept of Ego by the name of ‘Khudi’ and Fichte’s ‘Absolute Ego’ has become ‘Ana-e-Mutliq’ for Iqbal. Individuals who try to give strength to their khudies (through ‘ishq’. Just like Fichte’s views. not through using rationality) contribute to the purpose of Ana-eMutlaq. he has equalized this ‘ultimate reality’ to God. Again just like Fichte.FICHTE belonged to post Napoleon-war Germany. which have been emanated (originated … In a manner in which light originates from sun) from Ana-eMutlaq.) Fichte also asserted that those individuals who successfully strengthen their personal egos. In Iqbalian system also. ‘riazat’ etc. on the other hand possess personal ‘khudies’. individuals who possess strong khudies can survive death also. There is one important difference however. So there are no such things as paradise and hell in Iqbalian new Theology. but also they could ensure the survival of their individual personalities even after death.e. (Remember that aim before Fichte was to give strength to the ego of German nation after their defeat … with the view to restore the morale of nation. According to Iqbal.

according to Imminatalism. God and Universe neither had any origin and nor would have any end. Secondly. possess the ‘Transcendental View of God’ (Mawarayi Khuda).Hell. God is not viewed as any personality. there always have been two different types of views about God. Iqbal also was influenced by Romantic writers/ scholars like Milton etc. Iqbal has equalized this impersonal entity with God. God existed in those times also when there was no existence of material world. (In Europe. Semitic religions like Judaism. name of . is known as ‘Imminentalist’ (Suryan) view of God. Alexander. So Iqbalian Theology talks of an ‘Imminantalist’ God and this view has to be contradictory with the Islamic doctrines. Second view. It is clear that Islamic concept of God is that of Transcendental. Its meaning is that these religions conceive God as a ‘personality’ whose existence is separate from and is independent of the existence of material universe. Iqbal was also influenced by an Evolutionary School of Thought. God actually pervades (Taari-o-Saari Hona) in the whole Universe. There is no separate existence of God and Universe. Alexander Ward and Loyed Margon were the main proponents of this school of thought. First one is the ‘Transcendental View of God’ (Mawarayi) and the second is ‘Imminentalist View of God’ (Suryani). If God is viewed as a ‘soul’ of Universe then it means that God did not exist before the existence of material world. which is mainly held by Arian nations. According to this view. At this point. than serve in Heaven” – Milton’s work relates to Romantic movement in literature) . In Theology. it seems necessary to give a mention of two main forms of Theology. which is known as “Emergent Evolution”. According to Prof. Christianity and Islam etc. The relationship between God and Universe is that of a Creator and creature. Actually. Theology is any systematic theory about God and about the relationship of God with the Universe. First of all Fichte’s ‘Absolute Ego’ is an impersonal entity. The relationship between God and Universe is not that of Creator and creature but is that of soul and body. Iblees is the hero of Iqbal.

Here Iqbal explicitly adopts the imminentalist view of God. Posted in -Home-. since reality is ‘evolutionary’. He says that universe is moving towards another stage of evolution. it seems wrong to assume that human mind was the last stage in the evolution of universe. He calls this stage to be Divinity. nor anything can be regarded as pro-rationality in this confused bundle (Iqbalian thought) of a handsome variety of ideas. He says that relationship of human mind to Divinity is similar to the relationship of animal life to human mind. This life ultimately has been evolved into the shape of human mind. According to him. To be in the process of evolution means to be still incomplete etc. By saying that God pervades in such an evolutionary reality. Alexander) the whole Universe is in the process of evolution. Divinity shall evolve from human mind.one of Iqbal’s teacher was Alexander … I am not confirmed however whether he was same Prof. Philosophy in Pakistan. According to him. in the same way. According to him. Then plant life evolved into animal life. Allama Iqbal's Philosophy. so Transcendental God will have to be considered indifferent and having no linkage with the affairs of material world. 2006 Some Historical Facts About “Ishq”: . So there is variety in Iqbalian thought but neither Iqbal has given this variety any systematic shape. Iqbal has conceived reality to be in the process of continuous evolution. Non-living matter first evolved into the form of plant life. Iqbal is saying that God is also in the process of evolution. Thus universe is not complete at the moment because it is still in the process of evolution. God pervades (taari-o-saari hai) in this evolutionary reality. Muslim Philosophy. According to him. just like human mind has been evolved from animal life. Philosophy. Philosophy of Science | 17 Comments » Some Possible Historical Roots of Iqbalian ‘Ishq’: Posted by khuram on August 19. Under the influence of these views.

in his work has compared Ishq with Rationality. they however had to include the native Indians also in their society. This was the time when they felt the need of splitting up their society into various castes so as to ensure the survival of their distinct identity from the native Indians. or because of anything else? Aryian Vedas are the most ancient religious teachings which are available to us. it is important not only to differentiate between ‘Haqiqi’ and ‘Majazi’ Ishq. In the main classification of four castes. For example they used to offer those prayers so that they might get good crops. With the view to introduce such a social . “Ishq vs Fear” has been the issue of religion whereas “ishq vs Rationality” has been the issue of Philosophy. Berhaman. It is clear now that Iqbal. first three i. but also to differentiate between “ishq vs Fear” and “ishq vs Rationality”.e. Contents of Rig-Vadas show that the ancient Arians had been offering their whatever form of prayers with the view to ensure worldly benefits for them. Vedas did not contain any mention about the stratification of society into caste system. the issue has been that should humans offer prayers because of worldly gains. Haqiqi and Majazi Ishq. Arians had been just fighting against the native Indians. on the other hand.In the context of Iqbalian ‘Ishq’. or because of fear of God. At first. Eventually.Ishq vs Fear: Since most religions require their followers to offer certain prayers. Khashtaries and Vesh were Arians whereas Shudars were the Native Indians. Soon Arian religion turned into a strict but invisible code of many customs and traditions. Should humans offer prayers in order to ensure some worldly benefits? Or should they offer prayers with the view to avoid punishment in after life? Or with the view to acquire good status in paradise. So here I only shall mention some historical facts regarding “Ishq vs Fear” and “Ishq vs Rationality”. 1. The difference beween ‘Haqiqi’ and ‘Majazi’ Ishq is quite famous. The issue in various religions has been that what should be the reason of prayers. have been the issues of religion and Sufism. throughout the time of Vedas. or so that they win wars against their enemies etc. surely in the after life? In other words.

e. A person who did good aamals in his life.stratification. This philosophy asserted that after death. doings) of the person. of their right to complaint against their such a low status in society because according to this philosophy. Emergence of such literature as Ramayein and Maha-Bharata relates to this point in time. in those days. they brought about many changes in their religious doctrines as well. Philosophy of . Now reason for offering prayers also changed. Similarly. they would offer prayers with the view to avoid “Janam-Chacker”. Hindu religious leaders again felt the need to introduce new reforms in their religion in order to counter the threat of Janeism and Buddhism as well as to win the popularity of Hinduism among the general public. the soul again would take birth in some other body. Previously. This philosophy deprived shudars. now on ward. With the passage of time. Janeism and Buddhism emerged mainly as a reaction to this caste system and the philosophy of Kerma. Actually. Philosophy of Bhagwat Geeta provided for a new basis for why humans should offer their prayers.). after his death his soul would go to superior body. Whether the soul would go to some inferior body or to some superior body. In this way. For example the soul of a good vesh would again take birth in the body of a Khashtari or even Berhaman. would be determined by the “karams” (i. Aamals …. their low status was the result of their own bad kermas (aamal) in their previous life. this philosophy of “kerma” “successfully” legitimized the rigid caste system. which was a new introduction to the religious outlook of Indian people. Both Janeism and Buddhism rejected caste system and introduced the idea of Nirvana with the view to end up the evil “janam chacker”. So the basis of Aamal (or prayers etc. Hindu religious leaders had developed a philosophy of “kerma”. the soul of a bad Berhaman could go in the body of Shudar or even in some other inferior animal. Bhagwat Geeta is the important portion of Maha-Bharata. Rapid success of Janeism and Buddhism posed severe threat to Hinduism. had been the fear of bad transmigration as well as the fear of social punishments because of strict social customs and traditions. with the view to legitimize such a rigid caste system. they had been offering prayers with the view to ensure worldly benefits. for them.

Bhagwat Geeta is also not in favour of caste system. In Semitic religions like Judaism and Christianity. The ‘riakary’ of such ‘Abid-o-Zahid’ persons was apparent in their dishonest conducts and attitudes in various worldly matters. Hazrat Isa (RA) had promised for the ‘heavenly kingship’ for his nation. etc. or expectation of reward after death. Hazrat Rabia Basri (RA) happened to be the first Muslim scholar who introduced the idea of ‘Love of Human for God’. Early Sufis differentiated between ‘Zahir’ and ‘Batan’. instead of just to make show of their number of prayers to others. This original idea of ‘Love of Human for God’. originally as a reaction to this type of ‘riakary’ of such type of ‘Abid-o-Zahid’ persons. Secondly this philosophy asserts that basis of prayers should be the LOVE OF HUMANS FOR GOD. the reason for offer of prayers include (i) spiritual growth. the reasons for why humans should offer prayers have been both (i) to ensure worldly benefits and. has been emerged. (iv) As a thanks to God. later on was contaminated by later Sufis with the Greek notion of ‘Ishq’. In Islam. Sufism. (ii) fear of punishment and expectation of reward in the after-life. By that time. and Such a love for God should be the reason for the offer of religious prayers. They used to offer their prayers just to show before others that how much ‘ibadat-guzar’ they were. They took the initiative to offer their prayers with such purpose as the purification of their inner-self (batan). in Islam. in an elaborated and transparent form. (iii) Love for and obedience to Prophet of Islam (PBUH). has been evolved after 1st century of the emergence of Islam. Humans should love God without any hidden or secondary motive. Actually later Sufis had adopted various elements of ‘Immanatalist’ doctrines of Indian ‘Vedantas’ and Greek’s ‘Neo-Platonist’ theologies. According to this philosophy. (ii) the fear of punishment or expectation of reward in the after-life. this love should be unconditional — means the basis of this love should not be the fear of punishment. In those days. The concept of ‘love of human for God’. The examples of worldly benefits include that Jews were promised for the acquisition of ‘promised land’. many ‘Abid-o-Zahid’ Muslims had lost the spiritual basis of their prayers. I . as a basis for the prayers.

This theology. then to intellect and finally again units with the ‘zat-e-behet’. Then Ruh-e-Alvi of humans emanated from that Ruh-e-Kul. the whole reality or the source of origin of everything is a single unity which he calls ‘Zat-e-Behet’. The highest goal before human is to try to purify his soul (through ‘riazat’. have been EMANATED from that ‘zat-ebehet’. first of all ‘first intellect’ emanated directly from ‘zat-e-behet’. ‘riazat’ etc. This entity. up-ward movement towards Ruh-e-Kul.shall discuss about the historical development of ‘Neo-Platonism’ theology later in this post. the ‘purified’ souls then starts backward. or better to say. it feels intense missing of ‘zat-e-behet’ and the soul acquirs the feeling of ‘Be-Qarari’ for meeting or uniting with ‘zat-e-behet’. After getting freedom from matter. according to this doctrine. To get his soul re-united with the zat-e-behet is the ultimate real goal for any human. human body is composed of matter. This feeling of ‘Be-Qarari’ of human soul for uniting with ‘zat-e-Behet’ has been named as ‘Ishq’ by Platinus. Platinus says that when human soul is in imprisonment of matter. was developed by the 1st century B.) so that the soul may get freedom from the imprisonment in matter. ‘maraqba’ etc. Human soul has been imprisoned in matter in this way. so that the soul may be purified and get freedom from the imprisonment of matter. etc. According to Platinus. Here I shall discuss only the main doctrine of this ‘Neo-Platonism’. Then Ruh-e-Kul emanated from the intellect.C philosopher Platinus. It is this ‘Ishq’ which compells humans to do such things as ‘maraqbas’. (iii) Ruh-e-Alvi of humans. According to the details. or philosophy. Then this Ruh-e-Alvi lost its true status and became inclined to matter and thus became ‘Ruh-e-Safli’. but Muslim rationalist philosophers such as Al-Farabi and Ibn-e-Sina also had adopted this emanation doctrine with its details . According to him. (ii) Ruh-e-Kul. etc. ‘Emanation’ means just like light emits from sun in such way that no loss is suffered by the sun. It is important to mention that not only Muslim Sufis. according to him. (iv) Ruh-e-Safli of humans and (v) matter. transcends the universe but everything of the universe which are (i) First Intellect.

according to Neo-Platonism. various concepts which are found in works of Muslim scholars such as sufli. Secondly Ibn-e-Arabi has described ‘creation’ of universe in Neo-Platonic terminology of emanation etc. there are not more than one gods. first intellect etc. Universe is the creature and the creator is only one God. so all the beauty found in universe is just the reflection of that singe source. etc. This concept has been taken up by Sufis by the name of ‘Husn-e-Azal’ and they have named the ‘attraction’ for this ‘Husn-e-Azal’ as Ishq. Just like in Neo-Platonism. Muslim Sufis have derived their concepts of ‘IshqHaqiqi’. has taken many things from Neo-Platonic doctrines. The thing which mono-theism emphasizes is that God is only one i. he also has adopted another Greek concept of ‘Logos’. since everything has been emanated from a single source. asserts that God and universe are two separate entities. But fact remains that one God is considered separate entity than universe. where ultimate goal for human is to get his soul re-united with ‘zat-e-behet’.e. alvi. Then Iqbal compares this ‘ishq-o-masti’ with ‘rationality’ and then gives preference to ‘ishq-o-masti’ over . Mono-theism (Islamic Tauheed) on the other hand. which Iqbal takes of this term. 2. in many forms of Sufism. the main proponent of Islamic Wahdat-ul-Wajood. Hazrat Muhayyudin Ibn-e-Arabi. has compared ‘ishq’ with ‘rationality’.Ishq vs Rationality: Iqbal. In addition. according to Mono-theism. also has very interesting history. according to Monism. In other words.— but after some modifications. God and Universe are one and single thing as no other thing can exist except God. Iqbal has equalized ‘ishq’ with ‘masti’. It is clear by now that the term ‘ishq’ has Greek origins. in many forms of Sufism also the same maraqbas and riazats are required for this purpose. from this doctrine. The meaning. In addition. Monism asserts the unity between God and universe. Both ‘Neo-Platonism’ and Ibn-e-Arabi’s ‘Wahdat-ul-Wajood’ are ‘monistic’ doctrines instead of ‘mono-theistic’ doctrines. in his work. ‘Fana-Fi-Allah’. where maraqbas and riazats are required for this purpose. In various poetic verses. In addition. also have Greek origins. the ultimate goal before Sufi is also ‘Fana-fi-Allah. after some modifications. It means that he has taken whole different meanings of ‘ishq’. Just like in this ‘Neo-Platonism’.

masti and be-khudi’ was imported from the nearby island of Kareet. The name of that god was ‘Dyonisus’. it was only ‘Kahins’ etc. this term has been derived out of this ‘Orphios’ which becomes ‘oriph’ and so ‘Arif’). to get freedom for soul from the prison of body. Actually. The reform which he brought about was that he replaced the method of ‘masti-o-be-khudi’ with the method of applying rational thought and pondering etc. In ancient Greece. Dyonisus entered in their inner selves (halool ker jata hai). They had the belief that during ‘masti-obe-Khudi’. even in those times (i. Actually. In many ancient nations. And those Kahins usually did it in the state of ‘masti-o-be-khudi’. A person named ‘Orphios’ is said to be the main proponent of this Dyonisusism. was not ‘getting of knowledge’. ‘masti’ vs ‘rationality’ also has Greek origins. their god i. These views later on would serve the founding stone of above mentioned Neo-Platonism. the process of acquisition of new knowledge was considered to be the most mysterious one. Pythagoras was actually a reformer of this ‘Oriphism’. The objective before human was the same … i.e. When this god enters into the innerself of a ‘mast-o-be-khud’ person.e.e. some Greeks (including Pythagoras) believed that body was the prison of soul. with the view to get ‘irphan’. Masti was older than rationality. Although for Pythagoras also. in old times. So this was the first ever comparison between masti and rationality. The meaning of Kahin is also that a person who tells mysterious .‘rationality’. But this masti had no any such roots over which Allama Iqbal sahib can feel any pride. who used to tell mysterious new things to general public. ‘Oriphies’ endeavoured to get ‘irphan’ (irfan) in the state of ‘masti-o-be-khudi’. Orphios and other followers of Orphism used to try to get this ‘irphan’ in the state of ‘masti-o-be-khudi’. about 500 BC).e. Note at this point that many Sufis use to call themselves as ‘Arifs’ (i. So this ‘Dyonisusism’ is also known as ‘Oriphism’. Pythagoras introduced reforms whereby he replaced the method of ‘mast-o-be-khudi’ with the method of ‘rational thought and pondering’.e. The purpose of getting liberty from body could be achieved if a person acquired the state of ‘irphan’. The worshipers of that god used to heavily drink ‘sharaab’ in order to get ‘masti’ and ‘be-khudi’. Here. that person is supposed to acquire ‘irphan’ (i. a god of ‘sharaab. There was no such idea that rationality could produce new knowledge. just like other followers of ‘Orphism’. the meaning of ‘irphan’. famous ilm-o-irfan’).

Rather. In the pre-Islamic Arab. we first should give the rationality its due respect. in his work has taken immediate inspirations out of the work of Rousseau. so they are not in need to apply their rationality with the view to get knowledge of any new thing. Comparison of ‘masti’ with ‘rationality’ has this type of history … but Iqbal. whenever any poet used to say any new poetry. which unfortunately has not been given to rationality by our national heroes. ancient people only could think that new knowledge or poetry could only be produced in the state of masti and be-khudi when the inner self of person was pre-occupied by some supernatural entity such as Jin or god etc. But before applying rationality. common people would consider that it was actually some JIN in the inner self of that poet who was telling that poetry to the poet. who in his work had given preference to passions over rationality. Dogmatists are those who think that since they already know all the possible things. It was due to the simple fact that those people did not know that new poetry was just a product of rationality (obviously inspired by intense feelings) of poet. we must think that we are behind other nations just because we really do not know so many things. Rousseau was a supporter of dogmatism. Due to the ignorance of this fact. But instead of following the views of Rousseau. they unduly have de-graded the rationality by just following the views of some anti-rational type western scholars. .things in the state of masti-o-be-khudi. We must accept this clear fact that we are in need of acquiring new knowledge and for this purpose we should apply our rationality.

Khanna. Probably his most remarkable achievement was that he gave an abiding place to the teachings of Islam and patriotism in the hearts of the people. The language he used was one of rare beauty and charm. Sh. In the field of journalism. which he wanted to give to the nation. he has the experience of almost 45 years. This work was to give message to the nation. S. wealth of stirring phrases and telling epigrams.D. The limits of his poetry are unbounded and limitless. Allama Iqbal used the vehicle of poetry that he weaved with prophetic vision. in Urdu. he has keen interest in Urdu poetry and is himself also a poet in the language.A. social. Even moderately educated has a readily useable treasure of Iqbal’s wisdom on the tip of his tongue. He provided it with a philosophical and spiritual content and drove it deep into people’s consciousness. To Allama Iqbal. He dedicated Godly gift of his mind for only one work – spiritualism and patriotism. which he gave in each and every way.Allama Iqbal : The Poet and Philosopher (This article was written about 20 years back by my father. Iqbal was considerably influenced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s thoughts. historical. He lived for only this work.) Iqbal is probably the most quoted poet in world’s literary and intellectual circles. At present he is serving as the News Editor in Daily Hind Samachar. He studied the ups and downs of the culture of man very deeply. we owe not only a poetry that stirs our soul and philosophy that serves us a clarion call for a dynamic life. . but a message to his countrymen to fulfill their destiny as ordained for them in the Holy Qoran. He used it as a source of his message. An M. his verse can be memorized easily and recalled and reproduced effortlessly. religious. For his exhortations. With its solid Islamic background. psychological. Allama Iqbal is the spokesman of reality. It was the only motive of his life. cultural and political themes as if in a Kaleidoscope. He sprang into prominence about the time of Sir Syed’s death. His admirers attach some sort of sanctity to his opinions and use his verses as arguments.

each capable of blazing a resplendent trail. Everything in this world belongs to you. If I were a believer in the transmigration of soul.” The couplets of Iqbal symbolize the true teachings of Holy Qoran. because life is not a bed of roses. In trying to evolve a nationhood of the western pattern. He says. But the quintessence of his message is best expressed in his own words in his lectures on “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”. Remove fear and intimidation from your hearts. Iqbal led an unrelenting crusade against all forces of disruption from the beginning . He was named Iqbal. the countrymen would be wiping out of the brightest achievements of Islam. Dive into seas.” he said. This love did not let his soul take rest in paradise and compelled it to transmigrate again in someone’s body to irrigate the garden of poetry and he was again born in Sialkot – a city of Punjab. Iqbal says. “Humanity needs three things today – Spiritual interpretation of the universe. “Know Thyself. “There are so many things which are alike between Galib and Iqbal. countless facets of Iqbal’s message each replete with limitless truths. “The youth. Spiritual emancipation of the individual and basic principles of a universal impart directing the evolution of human society on a spiritual basis.There are. but a battle field. indeed.” Iqbal also made some very pertinent comments on the rising generation. little realizing the incalculable damage that exotic ideologies had done in the land of their birth. “had been largely captivated by western ideas and was impatient to put them into practice in their immediate environment. Fight with tides and strike with rocks.” Sir Abdul Qadir said. I would have remarked that Mirza Galib had great love for Persian and Urdu poetry.

with confidence and without doubt that except elementary practice. is the main spring of all evils.to the end. intellectual serfdom leads to indiscriminate adoption of alien wonts and usages. he recited his poem Himalaya that was published in the first issue of MAKHZAN. Such was the background of mind when our world was feeling the . Fifteen to twenty years had elapsed in coming into existence of the Congress. it can be said. Daag Dehlvi was in high esteems. The light of the teachings of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Shah Wali Allah was quite new. Several religious movements had breathed their last. Much of what he said constitutes the warp and woof of our thinking. Dada Bhai Naoroji. in Iqbal’s reckoning. was criticizing social and political problems. it brings out the most sinister side of human nature warps and minds of the rulers and the ruled alike and dehumanizes vast segments of humanity. in his special way. the base of new poetry was prepared. The roaring of Gokhale had shaken the foundations of the palaces of the government. Akbar Allahabadi. What he branded as forces of disintegration including colonialism. All of these are more or less closely inter-related political slavery. he initiated writing in Urdu before beginning of the 20th century. With reference to Sir Abdul Qadir. he was seen in poetical symposiums. Immitation kills initiative and discourages independent thought and effort. lashes out at all the major evils that would banish from the kind of society he was advocating. Western education changes our habit of thought and scale of valves. The struggle for independence of 1857 had not vanished from the minds. A great revolution was created in political and social life with the efforts of Surinder Nath Bannerji. When Iqbal started composing couplets. indifference to religion etc. There. The speeches and writings of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had done well in eradicating the darkness of minds and thoughts. His idealism is a force that goes deep into our mental and moral make up. western education. after some days. Apparently coming from an overused pen and a tired mind. The Hexameter (a verse which consists of six metrical feet) of Hali was becoming popular among the masses. his last Urdu work published in his lifetime. In 1897-98. He attended a meeting in which the renowned literary personalities participated. Sir Feroz Shah Mehta and Badr-ud-Din Tyabji. By the efforts of Maulana Mohammad Hussain Azaad. Iqbal is not a poet of insurrection but a poet of man’s awakening.

the Congress. humanist. More or less. Tirath Ram Ferozepuri. blossomed at the turn of the century into a new centre of knowledge and culture. College. Aab-i-Hayat. when from the platform of the Congress. was changing its own strategy. the firebrand nationalist and Sir Abdul Qadir.necessity of a new culture. the saintly Principal of the local D. Among them were Mohammad Hussain Azaad. in accordance with the demands of the circumstances. A galaxy of writers. litterateurs and educationists appeared on the literary scene. he by Jal (I Sone She’r Khirmane Shaula-o-Awaaz nest by the voice of flame. Gokhale was about to demand the reduction and annihilation of new colonialism. it was the time when Home Rule League was founded. an open challenge should have been given to British Imperialism. Iqbal. he as totally of light saw the wall of India – “Himalaya”. Set ablaze the internal Lahore.A. the legendary city of united Punjab. Lala Hans Raj. There were also Lala Lajpat Rai. This was the environment when the spokesman of reality opened his eyes. The day had not come yet. In the struggle of independence of country. Our angel Poet. a noted translator. a first rank writer known for the first authentic history of Urdu poets. Yeh Lazzte Khamoshi Faryaad warns Kahan Paida us: Tak Kar . philanthropist. They slowly but silently brought about renaissance in thought and literature in the province. who dedicated his services to the Arya Samaj and the cause of education. a legal luminary.V. At that time. editor and many more.) am making Raha burning the Hun and Walon Ke Batin find Ganges Kal no peace Ko Aijaaz Jalaa a witness Nahin and spoke Parti tranquility Jaga in lonely: Mujhe anyway.) De Se De Se (O poet! Rouse the people from sleep with the miracle of poetry. and Principal Hakim Ali of Islamia College – an embodiment of simple living and high thinking.

a poem unmasking and dissecting the European civilization and statesmanship and Talu-e-Islam (The Rise of Islam). the promise to flourish. in which the poet glorifies the vision of the rebirth of Islam. Strike and shake the palaces of the rich.) One of the great forums of literary and religious gatherings in Lahore was Anjuman-eHimayat-Islam. “Shikwa” (the complaint) written soon after Italy had grabbed Tripoli from the Turks. “Hindustan Hamara” his short poem of nine stanzas pointedly refers to the citizens of .Zamin Sa’daa create Again. Khizr-e-Rah (The Guide). like Nalaa-e-Yateem (orphan cry). The Anjuman provided a ready platform to Iqbal to recite some of his famous poems. a pathetic verse lamenting the pitiable condition of the Muslims. of which Mustafa Kamaal Pash’a coup in Turkey. educational and social interests of the Muslims.) Ke Do Ke Hila Se Nahin Khet Ko Ke Jala Dekhan Do Ko Rozi Har Do Duniya Jaga Umra’a Deewar Khet (Rise and rouse the poor of my world. A field that does not give bread to the farmer should be burnt completely. voices the grievances of the Muslims against their God. which had the avowed object of promoting the cultural. His verse invariably succeeded in generating the right atmosphere of emotional upsurge. Utho Garibon Kakhe Daro Jis Muyassar Us Khosha-e-Gandam such Par Ho a situation that Meri Ko Ho Too Aasmano Aur Teri Mein (O man! How long will your silence continue? You should reveal your hardships and your voice should go from earth to sky. was in his opinion.

rapacious. the poet of world celebrity.) Iqbal summed up for all times to come his and the nation’s emotions in lines of ineffable Iqbal. He passionately attacked the European civilization in poems which are pearls of Persian and Urdu poetry. us. There must be something and some reason why we have not been wiped out of existence. Iqbal described the European civilization as inhuman. Spengler and Karl Marx holding conflicting views to denounce in different aspects. especially among its . which Islam stood for. It chides communalists by saying that “Religion does not teach bigotry. played an important role in the history of the Indian Muslims. started under the leadership of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. despite the fact that for centuries the horrible winds have been blowing against beauty and splendour. played a significant role in bringing about awakening among the Muslims. Egypt and Rome are dead and gone but the glory of India shines still. predatory and decadent. he asked the liberal Muslims to be on guard so that the broad human principle. The last two stanzas of the poem require a special significance: Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma Ab Kuchh Sadiyon Tak Baat Raha Magar Hai Hai Sab Hai Ke Mit Baki Hasti Dushman Gaye Mit’ti Jahan Nahin Se Hamara Hamari Hamara. He was essentially a humanist and considered Islam as a religion of broadest humanism. Though he supported the Liberal movement. was not thrown in the background by emphasis on the nation and the race. Schopenhauer.the sub-continent as Indians and India as their motherland. He even quoted such writers as Nietzsche.” (Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna) One critic hails it as the best patriotic poem written by any Indian in modern times. The Aligarh Movement. Naam-o-Nishan Daur-e-Zaman (The civilizations of Greece.

Nazir Ahmed and Mohammad Shibli were the outstanding leaders and exponents of the ideas of the movement. Syed Mehdi. They exhorted the Muslims to imbibe the western culture to interpret Qoran in the rational terms and in accordance with the needs of the Muslims in the present period and to revise their social system on more or less modern and democratic lines.middle classes. . Hali. Chirag Ali. Khuda Bakhsh. Mustafa Khan.

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