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By AllamaMuhammad Iqbal

About Khudi
In recent times, the role of Islam in the politics of Muslim countries, and the implications of this phenomenon, has become the focus of a great deal of attention in the media, press and academic circles, as well as in the popular imagination of developed countries. This heightened attention is spurred not only by the continuing use of religious symbolism and rhetoric in the political arenas of Muslim countries, especially by many radical groups, but also because of the rising geopolitical and economic importance of the postcolonial Muslim countries in an increasing interdependent world. Events like the oil shocks of the 70’s, then, have made the outside world aware of the rhetoric of groups like al-Jihad; similarly, the nuclearization of South Asia and the fear of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East has made the domestic politics of Muslim countries an international concern. In the academic arena, there has been growing interest in Islamic liberalism and the possibilities of democratic transition in the Muslim world, and this interest has refocused attention on the works of Muslim modernists. In this context, the study of the thought of Muhammad Iqbal, one of the most influential Muslim modernists of the twentieth century, finds a new relevance. Iqbal was born, and lived most of his life, in India; however, since he wrote in three languages, English, Persian, and Urdu, his impact spread beyond his homeland. Also, even though he has left behind some prose works, he chose poetry as his main mode of expression, and so his message spread across a greater cross-section of community than it might otherwise have. However, what is intriguing about Iqbal is not only the quantitative diffusion of his message, but also the qualitative diversity of its impact— militant traditionalists like Egypt’s Sayyid Qutb, ideologues of various strands of ‘fundamentalisms’ like Pakistan’s Abu ‘Ala Mawdudi, and committed modernists like Iran’s Ali Shariati have acknowledges the influence of his ideas. And it is not uncommon to hear his verses mouthed by mullahs from the pulpits of mosques, and recited in living rooms over tea, in Pakistan. His thought has also produced varying responses at the intellectual level. “While some regard him as a great thinker, philosopher, scholar, humanist, poet, and the intellectual Godfather of Pakistan, others perceive him as an ideologue and yet others see him as a confused thinker who could not reconcile the contradictory elements of his… ideology” (Dorraj, p. 266). Given the extensive, diverse and controversial nature of Iqbal’s thought and its impact, it would be a worthwhile venture to try to understand Iqbal’s political philosophy. This paper is an attempt in that direction. A study of Iqbal’s works reveals that his political ideas cannot be separated from his philosophy as a whole. An attempt to understand his politics in isolation leads to only a partial grasp of the rationale behind it. It is for this reason that, before delving into Iqbal’s view on politics, this paper tries to present the relevant aspects of his general philosophy. Moreover, this paper tries to present Iqbal’s thought, not his politics. This is an attempt to cull out his political philosophy from his political participation. Most of Iqbal’s writings, and almost all of his speeches and statements, were not aimed at outlining his philosophy in a systematic way. Rather, they targeted a Muslim audience, specifically the Muslims of India, and were aimed at making his thought relevant to their activities; in other words, Iqbal’s writings are a part of his politics, not explicit expositions of his philosophy. Many scholars have overlooked this, and reduced his philosophy to his message to Muslims, or even to just the Muslims if India. This paper then, hopes to contribute to the academic focus on Iqbal by trying to extract his political philosophy, which is universal in its applicability, even if Iqbal applied it to specific situations in his lifetime1[1].

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after all. to the writings of intellectuals like Rashid Rida of Egypt and the political exertions of international activists like Jamal-ud-Din Afghani. a supporter of the revivalist activities initiated by Sayyid Ahmad Khan in India and stirred up by Jamal-ud-Din Afghani in other parts of the Muslim world. Moreover. And like in other places. especially Britain and France. Arnold. There was thus a tension between the two main tools of anti-colonial movements. During his schooling at the Scotch Mission College. was born at a time when the peoples of Asia and Africa including India. was possibly the one most 3 . which exhibited the whole gamut of anticolonial ideologies. This realization spawned a variety of calls for religious revivalism: from Pan-Islamism to religious nationalism. The other dominant theme that emerged along with religious revivalism was a movement towards Europeanization—borrowing what were perceived to be the superior technology. Iqbal was exposed to devout Islamic observance through his mother and traditional Sufism through his mysticallyinclined father. by the late nineteenth century. it would be useful to have some knowledge of Iqbal’s life and times. but was born in response to the circumstances he lived in. The fact of European domination was almost universally taken as a sign of the backwardness of the Muslims. were preeminently concerned with the psychological angst of why they had been subjugated. anti-colonial sentiment was also on the rise and was increasingly taking an organized shape. In Muslim lands. Lahore.As we shall see. In college. p. H K U D y b I L A B Q I Born in the 1870’s[3] in Sialkot. After the failure to resist the colonial incursion. This tension was also present in India. However. he came under the tutelage of T. Iqbal’s conception of the human personality and his communal ideals have far-reaching ramifications for his political thought. Iqbal’s place of birth. Europeanized politicians. primarily European nations. but also Japan. anti-colonial movements had strong nationalist as well as religious overtones—“religious motifs and sentiments burst forth in a mighty stream in the teachings of the overwhelming majority of the ideologists for Afro-Asian nationalists” (Anikeyev. had come under official British control after the failure of the War of Independence (known to the British as The Great Mutiny) of 1857. the indigenous peoples of Africa and Asia turned towards ways of reversing the ideological. institutions. philosophies and politics of Europe. before even that. the anti-colonial effort ranged from the violent revolt of local military leaders like the Mahdi of Sudan. a town in the province of Punjab in British India. and the historical context in which he lived The colonization of the New World had commenced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Iqbal. technological and military domination of the colonizers. were well into their enterprise of bringing the lands of Asia and Africa under their control for the sake of economic and political dividends. his thought did not arise in a vacuum. from liberal. Life & times —a brief biography of Iqbal[2]. India. Even as colonialism tried to establish its foothold. then. and the practical dilemma of reversing the colonial incursion. with its majority Hindu population and a significant Muslim minority. his life afforded him the opportunity of coming into contact with a wide spectrum of indigenous and foreign thought. In 1895 he went to study at Government College. he was influenced by Shamsul Ulama Mir Hasen. to fundamentalist ulema. 267). enabling him to make an informed contribution to the thought of his era. one that accentuated the role of the indigenous tradition (religious revivalism) and one that highlighted the need to adapt to the foreign civilization (Europeanization). from calls to reinvent what was seen as an antiquated Islam to attempts to remake what was perceived as an un-Islamic community. a British Orientalist who “of all Western Orientalists. More often than not. The Muslim lands stretching across Asia and Africa were also coming under colonial subjugation. and was shaped by his personal history. religion and nationalism emerged as dominant themes. W. where he studied Arabic Literature and Islamic culture.

and atheism. 176). “he came away with a deep understanding of European thought from the theology of Thomas Aquinas to the philosophy of Henri-Louis Bergson. he spent most of his time in Lahore. and sustained and elaborated in all his subsequent works. J. prose as well as poetry.concerned to affirm the values of Islamic civilization” and who “quite possibly helped Iqbal develop the attitude of balanced appreciation of western thought which remained characteristic of all his later writings about philosophy and religion” (McDonough. p. His participation in active politics was limited to his city and province. but without its amorality. self. The concept of the khudi is informed by both the Western and eastern traditions. Thomas Arnold. then Heidelberg. individual ego or human personality) is the bedrock of Iqbal’s philosophy. bears the mark of his unique creative genius. 58). E. his study of Islamic culture. it is one of the two concepts that is fundamental enough that he devotes a separate chapter to it in his seminal prose work. p. A. He had always shown a propensity for writing poetry. It is akin to Nietzsche’s cncept of the Superman. yet Iqbal’s development of the concept. supporting himself by practicing law till his death in 1938.’ published in 1918). Thus. 58). The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. and its articulation through lectures.” In fact. At Cambridge. and. he studied with the neo-Hegelian. but he kept in touch with most of the leading politicians of India. Iqbal attempted to synthesized “his dynamic concept of the self which is central to his teachings” (Esposito. contempt for other individuals. especially the colonial predicament and the crisis in Muslim lands. Proposed in his first book of Persian poetry. p. Nicholson. Khudi & be-khudi Iqbal's philosophy of the self and the community The concept of the khudi (the self. his awareness of the Islamic revival movement of the era…and a commitment to Indian nationalism based on Muslim-Hindu solidarity” (Lee. “embraced all of reality. in English. and its application. McTaggart. Reynold. Persian and Urdu. Since Iqbal’s views on politics are naturally embedded in his understanding of reality—especially human nature and communal organization—therefore it is essential to understand his concept of the khudi in order to appreciate the rationale and vision behind his political outlook. 16). and his works during this time “reflected his upbringing as a Muslim. but without its excessive mysticism and predilection for otherworldly concerns. After earning his Masters in Philosophy. However. 177). correspondence with politicians. He returned to India with a law degree from England and a doctorate in Persian mysticism from Germany[4]. and also came into contact with the renowned scholar on Sufism. community. most significantly. and his “main contribution to the thought of his times. but more importantly. p. and is also similar to Al-Jili’s concept of the Insan il-Kamil (Perfect Man). and informed by Western philosophy and his Islamic heritage. Iqbal began the next phase of his life: three years of education in Europe. Encouraged by his mentor. and is also treated separately in its own chapter). spurred by the conditions of the world. first to Munich. from 1905 till 1908. and God” (Esposito. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 4 .’ published in 1915). Iqbal’s philosophy of khudi. From England he went to Germany. the most prominent feature of the period between Iqbal’s return from Europe and his death is the conceptualization of his philosophical outlook. developed in Rumuz-e-bekhudi (‘Mysteries of selflessness. articles. p. Asrar-e-Khudi (‘Secrets of the self. (the other concept is the existence of God. his exposure … to Sufism. After his return. he began teaching at Government College. M. and Nietzsche” (Lee. through Persian and Urdu poetry.

all that weakens it is evil. it is one of the two concepts that is fundamental enough that he devotes a separate chapter to it in his seminal prose work. this ‘all’ refers to the reality outside the self. The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam.” Thus. is good. all that weakens it is evil— in itself implies some interaction between this ‘all’ and the ‘self’. strengthening the individual ego is the ultimate aim of life. But in order to understand all the ways that the human personality can be affected by the outside world. The concept of the khudi (the self. and is also treated separately in its own chapter). As we shall see. However. moreover it implies that this interaction affects the self in decisive ways. Correct development of the khudi involves a particular kind of activity directed by a particular kind of purpose. is not the desirable end. to be passive is to die. both Natural and Historical. this preceding statement—that all that strengthens the self is good. to live is to act. the treatment of this point makes more sense when discussing the self in relation to the community. and so will be carried out later in the paper. Such an understanding of the human personality implies a standard of good and evil: all that strengthens the directive purpose. or even rationally directed activity.As we shall see later. if the human personality is rationally directed action.” In fact. And the directive force—born out of a sense of purpose and controlling the actions for the sake of achieving that purpose—is a matter of evident observation by the introspective self. mere activity. leading to and controlling actions. it is necessary to understand Iqbal’s theory of knowledge. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 5 . Iqbal finds this understanding of the personality to be self-evident. given coherence by a purposeful directive force. individual ego or human personality) is the bedrock of Iqbal’s philosophy.Conceptof Selfhood Iqbal describes the individual human personality as “a series of actions held together by a directive purpose. make up the unity of the self. However. In Iqbal’s view. actions. The actions of the self—and their relatedness or the lack thereof—are a matter of evident observation by all other individuals who come into contact with it. (the other concept is the existence of God. and his “main contribution to the thought of his times.

he means all reality outside the self. religion. And. for Iqbal. the environment of the self—i. However. as we have seen. The individual ego thus acquires knowledge through Nature. especially of the human self. This inner experience. Iqbal is not merely affirming the worth of the scientific endeavor. Iqbal call this inner experience ‘intuition. This. But by ‘nature’ Iqbal does not simply mean the natural world. and.e. for providing an independent content of knowledge for the individual. Therefore. history. plays multifarious roles—in ascertaining the spiritual nature of all reality. However. He is also making the knowledge and meanings embodied in communal institutions.Knowledge Iqbal posits three sources of human knowledge: nature.’ It is ‘intellectual’ because the products of this experience have a definite cognitive content. most importantly. Thus. is for Iqbal. History. then. This is so because even though historical knowledge is also contained within the world outside the self. is anathema for Iqbal’s concept of the personality. History conveys to the individual a sense of all that has gone before. nature—is a legitimate source of knowledge. and inner experience. rather. therefore. by making ‘nature’ a legitimate source of action.’ and makes it a ‘higher form of intellect. and inner experience. and rather than making it a passive recipient of knowledge. intuition apprehends Reality in its wholeness in non-serial time. as well synthesizing the knowledge derived from the other sources into a unique product. is from outside the self towards the self. It is the third source of knowledge. which is crucial to Iqbal: inner experience. the creative process that preserves the individuality of the self. Iqbal finds this conceptualization to be in congruence with the reality outside the self. thus providing a sense of continuity with the past. as relevant sources of knowledge for the individual ego. these two modes of acquiring knowledge—Nature and History—are both contained outside the self. contrary to what many philosophers have asserted. And this flow makes the self a passive recipient of knowledge—and passivity. it is a ‘higher form’ because while normal discursive or analytical intellect approaches Reality piecemeal in serial time. mores.. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 6 . While residing in the world now. The relationship between knowledge and the human personality can now be elaborated. he singles out History as a separate source of knowledge. its content is different. the flow of information. etc. then. for corroborating the validity of the knowledge derived from History and Nature. The human mind is endowed with the ability to conceptualize all that it observes. makes it the active creator of unique knowledge.

its religious inclinations. whether it will be spurred into action. mores. however. As we have seen. and derive meanings from. As Iqbal puts is “streams of causality flow from nature to the individual and vice versa. The individual and the community The origin of the human personality or ego is independent of community. which is death. Knowledge can lead to action or passivity. including community. In this whole process.Knowledge& Khudi As we have seen. it can be strengthened and weakened. but to develop it and make it active in a particular way. specifically.” The fact that activity does not occur in isolation but impacts its environment made Iqbal carry his philosophy a step further: it was not enough to develop the ego and make it active. economic. And so it is most susceptible to be undermined by knowledge acquired from the other sources (History and Nature). Thus nature determines the character of the historical knowledge transmitted to the individual. its temporal existence in space-time and its development occur firmly within the context of its communal environment. However. The reason for this should be clear from the preceding discussion: the community is the repository of the knowledge. and plays a crucial role in the development of the human personality. and hence life. its values. Since community constitutes an overwhelming portion of the ‘reality outside the self. in Iqbal’s philosophy. This is especially important with respect to History. sense-perceptions—inner experience is the last faculty in the sequential development of the human personality. and crucial with respect to inner experience. purposeful activity—to the ideal goal for the community—the knowledge it imparts to the individual 7 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . knowledge derived from one mode should not inhibit the acquisition of knowledge form other modes. political. Knowledge. And it has to be consciously acquired—intuition is a faculty that has to be cultivated. Thus the nature of knowledge acquired by the ego is crucial to its development. in important ways. including of the historical kind. historical knowledge is contained within nature—reality outside the self—therefore this reality determines what kind of historical knowledge will be transmitted to the individual. This is the point where Iqbal goes from elaborating the ideal goal for the individual—the development of its rationally directed. including historical knowledge. Its institutions (educational. Iqbal does not view the human personality as static. it is not only the development of the khudi that occurs within the community—its actions are also carried out within it. In short: knowledge impacts the development of the self. while sense perception comes naturally. followed by the gradual development of analytic intellect—which Iqbal describes as the ability to make patterns out of. practices and ideas—all play a crucial role in determining the way the individual ego will perceive its past. Since there are three modes of knowledge-acquisition. The particular method of development and activity was also determined by Iqbal’s concept of the khudi—the development and activity of each individual must be such that other individuals are also allowed to develop their individuality. the importance of nature—the reality outside the self—can clearly be discerned. plays a crucial role in this process. etc). that is imparted to the individual. or whether it will be lulled into passivity. In fact. It is the repository of knowledge. the extent to which he can be an active participant in knowledge-creation and aware of the nature of his own self and all of reality. and it can lead to a strong sense of purpose and direction and also to a weakening of this directive force. Iqbal was convinced that even more than occurring within nature. human activity changes nature.’ it should now be clear how crucial the community is in Iqbal’s philosophy of the khudi. nature determines the kind of historical knowledge that the self receives—and hence the degree of continuity with the past that it imbibes—and knowledge derived from nature and history together determine the extent to which the individual will be able to develop his intuitive faculty—and hence. Moreover. whether it will develop its intuitive faculty.

Iqbal’s sources of knowledge are crucial here: Historical awareness and the religious values.should not only make it active. these factors must be verifiable! Thus. like-mindedness cannot be based on some artificial communal value. Thus. it means individual creativity and activity that leads to communal harmony and cohesion. spiritual values alone can be intuitively known and verified. participation in the community amplifies his freedom. and transmitted over time through social structures. this is so because Iqbal firmly believed that unless individuals identify with others. Moreover. Once again. but so is change. Likemindedness. a respect for other individuals. Through participation with this community. It is for this reason that Iqbal stresses the importance of shared spiritual values—for him. To put it differently. because it is a community of like-minded individuals. and the community benefits from his creativity. the continuity provided by the community is important. it can only be created by a historical awareness that reflects the facts as they are. institutions change. and harmful to. he expresses his creativity. the factors that create likemindedness must be verified by inner experience—and for this. or a reconstructed history. but should make it active in a way that allows for the development of all other individuals who are part of the same community. because of his like-mindedness with other individuals (on the basis of shared spiritual values and historical memory) he comes together with them to form a community. the values of this community—the spiritual values that create like-mindedness. but this change must be cautious. sharing spiritual values (that ensure. He benefits from the power of the community. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 8 . the community attempts to retain its structure. Once again. For Iqbal. but this change must be cautious and informed by the past. self-concentrated individuals to self-concentrated but like-minded individuals who identify with each other. communal mores embodied in the environment outside the self are crucial to the creation of like-minded individuals. others. so as to retain the environment that is conducive to proper individual development. While like-mindedness means that these individuals come together in a cohesive bond. And the preservation of these institutions is essential in order to transmit the values of the community over time. if it is to ensure the continuity of the community. historical knowledge provides this sense of continuity with the past. to inclusionary of. and a value that can is universally verifiable by each individual ego through its own inner experience. held strongly enough to mould action. and creative process. However. The question no longer is: what kind of community will develop active individuals? Rather. one who is active and creative. and beneficial to. But does not this creation of like-mindedness inhibit the individuality and creativity of the human personality? Not according to Iqbal. their assimilation of knowledge remains a unique. if the creation of like-mindedness is not to lead to passivity and weakening of the ego. as we have seen. thus. not reduces it—it empowers him to achieve communally what would be impossible individually. it is: what kind of community will develop individuals whose activity does not hamper the development of other active individuals? It is here that Iqbal moves from the creation of unique. and also acts as a conservative force on the individual and the community. does not mean passivity. above all else. it does not mean that they loose their individuality— through inner experience. their activity will not be transformed from exclusionary of. Thus. Continuity and change in the ideal community Thus we arrive at Iqbal’s ideal individual. Moreover. and also encourage the development of each individual’s ego and creativity—are embodied in institutions. respect for other individuals). and the individuals and the society progress. ethical standards. and therefore remain active and creative. individuals participate in the creation of their own like-mindedness. Sudden changes in the communal structure would threaten to dissolve the environment that fosters individual growth. The products of individual creativity must be reflected in the society. there is a tension: even as the individual expands his creativity. even as knowledge increases. others.

he was very much concerned with creating a world order that would be conducive to the development of individuals in all of its constituent communities As we have seen. Given the individual’s spiritual nature. Thus. since he was convinced that since the real nature of the human individual was spiritual and not physical. and if these spiritual values were in accord with Reality. And like-mindedness stemming from faith in God would be a special kind of likemindedness—it would not only lead to a sense of affinity with all people who shared the same value. one that shaped his attitude towards politics. reflecting the creativity of individuals and other communities. they could also be verified by each individual. faith in God—due to its magnitude and due to its verifiability—would be strong enough to create a meaningful level of like-mindedness in the individuals who shared it. indeed. God—understood as the Ultimate Ego expressing itself in all of creation—could be verified by each individual. so that the cohesion and harmony of the community. but also being informed by the past. Iqbal was universalistic. For Iqbal. and also to a willing and active consent in their acceptance. But which spiritual value was to form the basis of a global sense of community? A value. widening circles of association (from the individual to the community. in the form of faith in God. And so. Moreover. and religious diversity of the world. the development of the egos in those communities. as well as the environment conducive to the development of the khudi. one of the major concerns of his life was how the preoccupation of each European nation with its own economic development had led it to disregard the well being of other peoples. Moreover. it would also lead to a respect for all people who shared the same God. this would lead to conviction. rationally directed activity). that single spiritual value that would allow for diversity. faith in monotheism would not be a result of a passive acceptance of a myth—it would be the result of active verification of Reality by each individual. but strengthen it. could develop their khudi? Iqbal came to the conclusion that faith in monotheism. it would not weaken the ego. it was more organic to cultivate affinities based on shared values. in all communities. he could not be satisfied with providing a solution for one community. to all of humanity) based on the creation of like-mindedness (through the sharing of spiritual values) and all with the primary aim of ensuring the development of each individual ego in the world (by ensuring the development of its intuitive and creative faculties. Iqbal considered that for one ego to identify with another. cultural. with disregard to others. it would have to perceive some similarity in it. This was Iqbal’s vision of the ideal world. Even as individual egos within a community cannot help but affect other egos through their activity. and leading to purposeful. which would lead to a respect for all its constituent communities as well as the individuals in it. likewise. as we shall see. First. there were too many languages and races to create a sense of affinity through such characteristics. Such an outlook proved particularly useful in a global context— physical similarity seemed impossible in the world. was the only way possible of achieving this on a global scale. and a respect for. This last point was crucial in Iqbal’s vision of the world—given the racial. The ideal and reality Thus we see in Iqbal’s thought two major themes. he was loathe to base this affinity on physical characteristics. all peoples. essential but cautious change in the community. like race or language. remains intact. he was 9 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . and yet lead to a sense of affinity with. and so lead to the creation of an environment where all individuals in the world. However. he had found. each community cannot help but affect other communities. Indeed. it was not only the ideal vision that would shape his views on politics. And second. in the one God. feel some affinity for it. and hence.From the community to humanity No community can exist in isolation to other communities. linguistic. Thus.

namely: imperialism. but he was not willing to concede a reality that could never be ideal. but rather than which debarred his ideals from ever being translated into reality. socialism and democracy. nationalism. he was willing to concede a reality that was not ideal. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 10 . What he would condemn. is not something that did not incorporate his ideals.more than willing to compromise on his ideals as he believed in not just what was good. but what was good and achievable. In other words. then. This approach is characteristic of his views on all major political issues and ideologies of his time.

with its focus on the creation of a particular kind of individual through the creation of a certain kind of community. guided by spiritual values. rather than nurturing it. the only way to end psychological and intellectual colonialism was to gain freedom through regaining their creativity and dynamism. for without a moral basis. their power. free choice was constrained. It was the lack of this awareness. Thus. Iqbal was most opposed to the national idea. there could be merely coerced obedience. then. it had led to the subjugation of other peoples. that resulted in the transformation of their power. religion without power was [passive] mysticism. all united by their sense of equality and similarity engendered by an awareness of the Divine. Without freedom. Even while religion remained a potent force. the colonized people had failed to resist this colonial incursion because they were passive. capitalism and democracy Iqbal’s political philosophy is firmly embedded in his view of the world. the lack of activity on the part of the colonized peopled. and a source of strife for themselves. and the repugnance of wars and subjugation. in the realm of International Relations. As we have seen. as it was understood and practiced in Europe. urging Europe to regain its spiritual values as a potent factor in its politics. creativity and activity into an oppressive force for others. “power was [inherently] oppressive. especially religion.” The shared value of faith in God would make all communities realize the necessity for tolerance. Moreover. any kind of domination of one individual by another within a community. for “Power without religion was corrupt. his opposition to the nationalist movements was based on his general critique on nationalism. Since the pressing political concern of his time for most intellectuals of Asia and Africa was the European incursion into their land and subjugation of their peoples. was grounded in his larger worldview. as the essence of life. then. or of one community by another in the world—was supremely repugnant because it inhibited the development of the personality of the oppressed. powerful. In fact. not activity. and consequently. a global community comprised of separate communities. And a shared belief in that God meant a basis for a common humanity. On the other hand. were active. for Iqbal. both the colonizing and the colonized peoples exhibited a deviation from his ideals of the individual and the society.” Thus Iqbal opposed the colonial incursion. The colonizers. Only by subscribing to spiritual values could a people renounce destructive activity. socialism. Imperialism For Iqbal. Iqbal was also among the handful of intellectuals of the time who opposed the nationalist nature of the anti-colonial movements. the colonial situation—indeed.Khudiand Politics Iqbal’s views on imperialism. In fact. meant the equality of all individuals and communities. H K U D y b I L A B Q I Nationalism Amongst all the ideologies of Europe. Thus. stifling the development of individuals. and calling upon the peoples of the East to regain their dynamism and creativity as well as their freedom—in fact. in the thoughts and deeds of the Europeans nations. and as it was being adopted by the peoples of Asia and Africa. had become static and ill adjusted to the times. nationalism. it seems logical to begin with Iqbal response to Imperialism. though in different ways. and the lack of proper activity on the part of the Europeans had lead to the spread of Imperialism in the world. at least. their individuals and communities had lost their creativity and dynamism. in turn. the structures regulating their communities. which. for Iqbal. 11 . creative. One God. but because their activity was not guided by spiritual values. even while advocating freedom. And without free choice. Iqbal envisioned activity.

Second. with its emphasis on the eradication of inequality. Iqbal’s communities could retain their uniqueness but still co-operate with each other through a sense of equality and spiritual affinity. dry up the sources of their creativity. It was for these reasons that Iqbal firmly believed in the necessity of social and economic justice—without them. Thus nationalism effectively made the idea of a global community (based on equality through a shared spirituality) unrealizable. There is 12 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . by definition. the sudden and drastic disruption of social institutions meant that the community would cease to function as an effective repository of cultural and ethical values over time. All these factors were inimical to the creation of an environment where the khudi could develop. for Iqbal. based on a growing realization of shared values. Iqbal never expected his vision of a global community to be realized any time soon. even worse. the peoples of Asia and Africa were emasculating their individual and collective selves. the meta-ideal for a society was the creation of an environment conducive to the development of all its constituent individuals. poverty. Iqbal was convinced that nationalism lead to the creation of artificial communities that were harmful to the individuals within it. Economic deprivation leads to dependence on charity. oppression and exploitation constrain the freedom of the individual. The consequent loss of history meant that individuals could not imbibe a sense of continuity with the past. First. to replace them with concocted notions. And its importation into other communities weakened their agency as well as their sense of historical continuity and organic social organization. it made the actual subjugation of others palatable. by portraying one’s nation as inherently superior to others. Iqbal found nationalism to be inherently divisive—barring the creation of a global community. what he could not accept was that the existence of nationalism would mean that his vision could never be realized. led Iqbal to praise these aspects. Being defined in opposition to other nations. religion. poverty. and fail to create that particular sense of moral purpose that makes thoughts and deeds respectful of others’ development and freedom. exploitation and oppression. the society would hamper the development of its members. from the individual. borrowing of any kind leads to the weakening of the ego. concerning lands of diversity like India. and lack of freedom is tantamount to lack of activity because it leads to coercive constraints. it encouraged the prospect of acquiring domination over them. inequality. and history. And finally. and oppression. his opposition to its spread in non-European lands had three other reasons. in order to create the fiction of unity. and simultaneously fuelling the imperial impulse and weakening opposition to it. In short. he felt that it made the colonized people weaker by dividing them along national lines. and as we have seen. then. however nations.As we have seen. The economic and social ideals of socialism. Socialism In Iqbal’s thought. exploitation. and locating its uniqueness in un-shareable factors like language and race. Moreover. it tried to suppress them and. In addition to his critique of nationalism in general. tended to be exclusionary and antagonistic. This was impossible in the presence of inequality. territorial nationalism attempted to create a unity out of a people who had nothing in common except that they shared the same land. in opposition to other nations. Iqbal also felt that nationalism was one of the major forces fuelling imperialism. Territorial nationalism was an anathema to this vision—defined. Nationalism. Moreover. to the community. poverty. Thus Iqbal’s opposition to the national idea remained a vehement and continuous theme in his life. as it was in Iqbal’s mind. he felt that in the process of borrowing the national idea from outside. In such diverse contexts. feeding off the idea of one’s nation’s superiority over them. Iqbal envisioned widening circles of association. to all of humanity. not only tried to paper over differences in culture. and the replacement of organic and spiritual bases for affinity (like religion and culture) with inorganic and non-spiritual ones (like race and language) meant that the resulting structure if society would debilitate the development of the spiritual side of its individuals. as must happen in all processes of borrowing.

and hence. Thus. Iqbal also found. he felt that some form of republican democracy was the most suitable type of political organization in the th 20 century. while he viewed some of the practices of democracy and capitalism to be culpable. in Iqbal’s mind. it sought its well-being through economic prosperity. In fact. The treatment could not be limited to a realization that economic prosperity of everyone demanded redistribution of wealth—even while reducing inequality and poverty. Viewing the human personality as merely a physical organism. was flawed. In addition to the neglect of Man’s spiritual side and the opposition to religion. However. the ultimate objective—for Iqbal. Capitalism and democracy Iqbal’s criticism of capitalism and democracy is qualified. duly noted by Iqbal. On the other hand. a closer examination of his thought reveals that he viewed both of them critically. Therefore. was also limited and flawed. In fact. while accepting them as a whole. Iqbal’s views on socialism and capitalist democracy have often been reduced the generalization that he viewed the former positively and the latter negatively. therefore. while socialism made economic prosperity of the people an end in itself—in fact. inequality and exploitation. economic prosperity was important to the extent that economic deprivation was not conducive to the development of spirituality. he rejected it as a system—and with it. Iqbal. That is precisely why his criticism of the existing capitalist democracies is scathing and relevant for understanding his political thought. he felt that unchecked capitalism was one of the evils that needed to be treated. it reveals his desire to ensure the implementation of proper democratic and capitalist practices. While he vehemently opposed imperialism and nationalism. it would seem that his harsher criticism of European democratic and capitalist practices did ot imply his rejection of the systems. while he viewed some of the ideals of socialism to be commendable. in fact. capitalism only claimed to do it.e. and appreciated some aspects of socialism but rejected the system as a whole. the communist state to be excessive—it constrained individual freedom. on the other hand. On the contrary. socialism as it came to be practiced in the Soviet Union in Iqbal’s lifetime. Iqbal felt that even with respect to his material prosperity. not only neglected individuals’ spiritual reality.also some similarity. Thus. and aggressively sought to eradicate religion from the society. However. Iqbal rejected socialism. While socialism categorically aimed at redistributing wealth and eradicating inequality and exploitation. On the whole. their attitude towards the human condition. viewed human nature as a combination of spirit and body. capitalism as it was practiced at the time. the ideal of an international socialist brotherhood—because it inhibited the proper development of the khudi. achieved the opposite: the betterment of a few. this was merely the means to an end: i. this would fail 13 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . In spite of the above discussion. and growing poverty. Neglecting the spiritual aspects of man. capitalism focused merely on his material betterment. and in actual practice. Neglecting either aspect of the individual would be a flaw. with its understanding of human nature—limited to its physical aspects—was ill suited for the needs of Man. He felt that socialism. Iqbal accepted some version of a capitalist republican democracy as the most appropriate polity in the 20th century. Thus. unlike socialism. and their prescription for his well-being. as we have seen. it negated it. Capitalism and democracy. Hence religion was an essential component of life. the spiritual development of the people. But this is where his appreciation ended. his activity and the flowering of his potential. So while Iqbal admired the economic ideals of socialism. since in Iqbal’s view it was essential for the spiritual growth of the individual. This was an impermissible state of affairs for Iqbal. the spiritual needs were more important. his attitude towards capitalism and democracy was different: he criticized some aspects of these systems. he rejected it as a general ideology. completely neglecting his spiritual needs. between the socialist ideal of an international community united by its commitment to certain ideals and Iqbal’s own notion of a global community. suffered from a flaw shared by socialism: their understanding of the human personality was limited.

with Iqbal’s conception of the human personality—which is not static but susceptible to degeneration and capable of development—it was preposterous to imagine that each individual was capable of making an equally valid judgment. and the predicament of the third world The fact of colonial domination evoked a response from all segments of the population in the colonized lands. The purpose of redistribution would not be to allow each individual to become rich. for all its institutions. and hence was bound to fail. Thus. Given Iqbal’s aversion to any kind of borrowing—economic or intellectual—the question naturally arises: Doesn’t this acceptance of democracy. While explaining his position. could not be carried out without a combination of material well-being and spiritual elevation. Even while the elective principle may be flawed. constitute a retreat from his position? Iqbal was certainly cognizant of this question. the democracy. secular democracies were making morality irrelevant too. and not just a legal matter. Institutionally. As we have seen. and its relevance to the modern world. but would fail to elevate the spirits of individuals. sufficient economic well-being would be the means to the end of individual growth. Iqbal feared that western democratic theory would be unable to create societies that were conducive to human development. without which development was impossible. a legality devoid of morality could temporarily control the body from excesses. it would not be possible to ensure its development. For Iqbal. then. “Democracy counts heads. By pointing this out. Any system based on the franchise of the people would be as good as the individuals utilizing that franchise. even if it was irremediable. but to allow each individual to strengthen his personality. His critique was merely meant to highlight a drawback. And with a flawed understanding of human nature. Iqbal wanted to bring the focus back to his concept of khudi. not what’s in them. 14 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . not be divorced from it. then. Thus. and replacing it by legality. suffered many drawbacks. the profitmotive must be replaced by the objective of seeking the development of all individuals in society. An unending desire for economic prosperity would not be the end in itself. and his thought remains very much relevant today: the end of physical colonial incursion has not ended the debate on the agency and authenticity of the third world. The elective principle granted each individual equal weight. Iqbal. human nature was an inextricable mixture of spirit and body.to address the root-cause of social evils: the limited understanding of human nature. and spiritual and moral values should pervade the public sphere. By being secular. this critique did not lead Iqbal to advocate the abandonment of the elective principle. And if the individuals were not developed enough. it would imply the creation of a society conducive to the development of each individual’s ego. By making religion irrelevant. all responding to their common predicament of being dominated by Europe. for Iqbal. too.” However. it was clear to Iqbal that western democracy was indeed limited in its understanding of human nature. it may be useful to contextualize him amongst the traditionalists and modernists of Asia and Africa. grappled with the situation. Only such a democracy could ensure the balanced development of its members. Democracy. Iqbal. As Iqbal put it. the legislative process must be a moral affair. it would mean some kind of a welfare state. Human development. Iqbal felt that it was the only way of ensuring the freedom of each individual. The point. for Iqbal. would be failure. And only a democracy with developed individuals could be a true democracy. His message was clear: no system can function properly by neglecting the development of all the individuals within it. however qualified. metaphysically. and addressed it a number of times in his writings. Even worse than making religion irrelevant. was to alert others to a wider critique of democratic theory: that democratic institutions could not ensure freedom and good governance.

by other individuals or other communities. but the product of. Moreover. received from the past or generated in the present. nor just a synthesis of Historical or Real imperatives. similarity of one’s ideology with those of others did not make it inauthentic. not the specific outcome. Thus. it must be a certain kind of intellectual act. it meant the strengthening of the khudi. not only must the intellectual act precede the vital act. economic. most importantly for Iqbal. respond to modern realities and borrow from modern ideologies. practices and ideas—all play a 15 . This clarifies Iqbal’s acceptance of democracy. from Iqbal’s point-of-view. he was convinced that his acceptance of democracy was not a compromise with. but a new creation altogether (for only then could it be the authentic expression of the dynamic khudi. (In fact. The modernists. it must be informed by history. and the creation of communities whose social order would be conducive to the growth of all its constituent individuals.) In other words. for Iqbal there can be no going back to the past. on the other hand. its values. wholesale at worst. As Iqbal himself pointed out. his ideals. for the intellectual act to be of any value. But for Iqbal. it must be preceded by the intellectual act. and. Unlike traditionalists. there can be no borrowing of ideology. Iqbal was more concerned with the nature of the intellectual and vital acts. the outcome would be different for each community and time. for the vital act to be authentic. it must be the product of the inner experience of the developed khudi—not just a response to the situation.” However. however. and not the working of a weak ego). from reaction to purposeful action. critically or uncritically. Thus. only going forward with it. Its institutions (educational. etc). “The final act. of our time—becomes apparent. For Iqbal. political. “must be the vital act. mores.Iqbal’s conception of the correct response to the situation involved a transformation in the realms of both thought and deed. freedom did not just mean independence. conversely. There can only be critical awareness of knowledge. It must be an intellectual act—involving the reworking of one’s worldview—as well as a vital act—involving the reworking of one’s world. H K U D y b I L A B Q I The individual and the community The origin of the human personality or ego is independent of community. Given the process of his arriving at the conclusion that democracy was the most suitable polity for the modern world. this was the only way the subjugated peoples of the world could regain their freedom— because for him. the modernists by borrowing from the present It should be clear by now that for Iqbal. An understanding of Iqbal’s unique position amongst modernists and traditionalists of his time— and. indeed. tempered by a sense of continuity with the past (for only then could it be organically related to the community and could avoid being disruptive).” says Iqbal. its religious inclinations. One’s ideology—and all thought that governs one’s actions—must always be the product of the creative dynamic self (through the process delineated above). that is imparted to the individual. The reason for this should be clear from the preceding discussion: the community is the repository of the knowledge. both modernists and traditionalists ultimately fail because they circumvent the crucial intellectual act before the vital act: the traditionalists by borrowing from the past. its temporal existence in space-time and its development occur firmly within the context of its communal environment. it must lead to the vital act. the process of change was crucial. not their contents. Specifically: it must take into account the requirements of the situation/ predicament and all advances in the realm of human knowledge (for only then could it be relevant and effective). critically at best. in this way Iqbal attempted to find a way from nostalgia to hopeful confidence. in order to be effective and authentic. not the content. not was dissimilarity grounds for claiming authenticity. including historical knowledge. The process was of the essence. the strong individual self.

but should make it active in a way that allows for the development of all other individuals who are part of the same community. like-mindedness cannot be based on some artificial communal value. ethical standards. and transmitted over time through social structures. respect for other individuals). whether it will be spurred into action. and the community benefits from his creativity. Iqbal’s sources of knowledge are crucial here: Historical awareness and the religious values. He benefits from the power of the community. and a value that can is universally verifiable by each individual ego through its own inner experience. But does not this creation of like-mindedness inhibit the individuality and creativity of the human personality? Not according to Iqbal. and creative process. because it is a community of like-minded individuals. others. or whether it will be lulled into passivity. Once again. their assimilation of knowledge remains a unique. whether it will develop its intuitive faculty. Likemindedness. and harmful to. In fact. it is not only the development of the khudi that occurs within the community—its actions are also carried out within it. Through participation with this community. spiritual values alone can be intuitively known and verified. does not mean passivity. Moreover. because of his like-mindedness with other individuals (on the basis of shared spiritual values and historical memory) he comes together with them to form a community. others. in important ways. thus. The question no longer is: what kind of community will develop active individuals? Rather. Moreover. communal mores embodied in the environment outside the self are crucial to the creation of like-minded individuals. including community. he expresses his creativity. it does not mean that they loose their individuality— through inner experience. their activity will not be transformed from exclusionary of. and hence life. and beneficial to. not reduces it—it empowers him to achieve communally what would be impossible individually. self-concentrated individuals to self-concentrated but like-minded individuals who identify with each other. held strongly enough to mould action. it means individual creativity and activity that leads to communal harmony and cohesion. as we have seen. purposeful activity—to the ideal goal for the community—the knowledge it imparts to the individual should not only make it active. It is for this reason that Iqbal stresses the importance of shared spiritual values—for him. above all else. and therefore remain active and creative. if the creation of like-mindedness is not to lead to passivity and weakening of the ego.crucial role in determining the way the individual ego will perceive its past. individuals participate in the creation of their own like-mindedness. Iqbal was convinced that even more than occurring within nature. it is: what kind of community will develop individuals whose activity does not hamper the development of other active individuals? It is here that Iqbal moves from the creation of unique. Continuity and change in the ideal community Thus we arrive at Iqbal’s ideal individual. sharing spiritual values (that ensure. but to develop it and make it active in a particular way. However. The particular method of development and activity was also determined by Iqbal’s concept of the khudi—the development and activity of each individual must be such that other individuals are also allowed to develop their individuality. To put it differently. While like-mindedness means that these individuals come together in a cohesive bond. which is death. one who is active and creative.” The fact that activity does not occur in isolation but impacts its environment made Iqbal carry his philosophy a step further: it was not enough to develop the ego and make it active. or a reconstructed history. human activity changes nature. to inclusionary of. the factors that create likemindedness must be verified by inner experience—and for this. it can only be created by a historical awareness that reflects the facts as they are. participation in the community amplifies his freedom. 16 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . This is the point where Iqbal goes from elaborating the ideal goal for the individual—the development of its rationally directed. However. As Iqbal puts is “streams of causality flow from nature to the individual and vice versa. these factors must be verifiable! Thus. this is so because Iqbal firmly believed that unless individuals identify with others.

it would also lead to a respect for all people who shared the same God. and the individuals and the society progress. he was very much concerned with creating a world order that would be conducive to the development of individuals in all of its constituent communities As we have seen.the values of this community—the spiritual values that create like-mindedness. and if these spiritual values were in accord with Reality. this would lead to conviction. Thus. Sudden changes in the communal structure would threaten to dissolve the environment that fosters individual growth. but strengthen it. And like-mindedness stemming from faith in God would be a special kind of likemindedness—it would not only lead to a sense of affinity with all people who shared the same value. and yet lead to a sense of affinity with. Moreover. the development of the egos in those communities. in all communities. The products of individual creativity must be reflected in the society. and also to a willing and active consent in their acceptance. in the one God. And the preservation of these institutions is essential in order to transmit the values of the community over time. linguistic. but this change must be cautious and informed by the past. there were too many languages and races to create a sense of affinity through such characteristics. cultural. a respect for other individuals. it was more organic to cultivate affinities based on shared values. For Iqbal. Moreover. even as knowledge increases. he could not be satisfied with providing a solution for one community. likewise. and so lead to the creation of an environment where all individuals in the world. Iqbal considered that for one ego to identify with another. he had found. one of the major concerns of his life was how the preoccupation of each European nation with its own economic development had led it to disregard the well being of other peoples. institutions change. which would lead to a respect for all its constituent communities as well as the individuals in it. the continuity provided by the community is important. if it is to ensure the continuity of the community. Thus. faith in monotheism would not be a result of a passive acceptance of a myth—it would be the result of active verification of Reality by each individual. For Iqbal. and a respect for. faith in God—due to its magnitude and due to its verifiability—would be strong enough to create a meaningful level of like-mindedness in the individuals who shared it. Once again. and also encourage the development of each individual’s ego and creativity—are embodied in institutions. feel some affinity for it. God—understood as the Ultimate Ego expressing itself in all of creation—could be verified by each individual. it would have to perceive some similarity in it. each community cannot help but affect other communities. so as to retain the environment that is conducive to proper individual development. like race or language. the community attempts to retain its structure. Thus. and hence. From the community to humanity No community can exist in isolation to other communities. Given the individual’s spiritual nature. Even as individual egos within a community cannot help but affect other egos through their activity. there is a tension: even as the individual expands his creativity. But which spiritual value was to form the basis of a global sense of community? A value. it would not weaken the ego. that single spiritual value that would allow for diversity. and religious diversity of the world. historical knowledge provides this sense of continuity with the past. Thus. Iqbal was universalistic. Such an outlook proved particularly useful in a global context— physical similarity seemed impossible in the world. but this change must be cautious. could develop their khudi? Iqbal came to the conclusion that faith in monotheism. with disregard to others. all peoples. he was loathe to base this affinity on physical characteristics. was the only way possible of achieving this on a global scale. and also acts as a conservative force on the individual and the community. in the form of faith in God. since he was convinced that since the real nature of the human individual was spiritual and not physical. This last point was crucial in Iqbal’s vision of the world—given the racial. but so is change. 17 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . And so. they could also be verified by each individual. Indeed.

one that shaped his attitude towards politics. as we shall see. This was Iqbal’s vision of the ideal world. nationalism. rationally directed activity). However. socialism and democracy. essential but cautious change in the community. it was not only the ideal vision that would shape his views on politics. he was willing to concede a reality that was not ideal. and leading to purposeful. What he would condemn. is not something that did not incorporate his ideals. First. This approach is characteristic of his views on all major political issues and ideologies of his time.The ideal and reality Thus we see in Iqbal’s thought two major themes. but he was not willing to concede a reality that could never be ideal. to all of humanity) based on the creation of like-mindedness (through the sharing of spiritual values) and all with the primary aim of ensuring the development of each individual ego in the world (by ensuring the development of its intuitive and creative faculties. but what was good and achievable. remains intact. indeed. namely: imperialism. so that the cohesion and harmony of the community. he was more than willing to compromise on his ideals as he believed in not just what was good. And second. but rather than which debarred his ideals from ever being translated into reality. In other words. reflecting the creativity of individuals and other communities. widening circles of association (from the individual to the community. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 18 . as well as the environment conducive to the development of the khudi. then. but also being informed by the past.

wo qaiseri kya hai? Falaq nay ki hai ata un ko khaajgi kay jinhain Khabar nahin rawish-e-banda parwari kya hai? Kissey nahin hai tamanna-e-sarwari lekin Khudi ki mout ho jis main. khud afroz-o-jigar soz = A person with motivation and determination. imroz = Present) *. rawishe-banda parwari = Sense of serving humanity. Khaajgi = Ruling class. Khiraj ki jo gada ho. Buton = Idols (referring to fellow human beings here). Khabar nahin = Ignored. is worthless. Haider-e-Karrar= Ali Ibn-e-Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him)) *. Fuqr ki talwar = Strong Faith. Khudi ki mout ho jis main wo sarwari kya hai = Such rule is insulting to gain which. Wo kal kay gham-o-aish per kuch Haq nahin rakhta Jo aaj khud afroz-o-jigar soz nahin hai Wo qaum nahin laiq-e-hangama-e-farda Jis qaum ki taqdeer main imroz nahin hai (Meanings: gham-o-aish = thick n' thin. haq goi-o-bay baaqi Allah kay sheron ko. Khuda say no meedi Mujhey bata tou sahi aur kaafri kya hai? (Meanings: Nigah-e-Faqr main shan-e-sikandari kya hai = What is the worth of kingdom in eyes of a saint?. umeedain = Expectations. Bay Baaqi = Bravery. hypocrisy) *. uss rizq say mout achi Jis rizq say aati ho. tamanna-e-sarwari = Desires to rule. no meedi = Disappointment. Kaafri = Non Muslim who donot believe in Oneness of God) *. Kotahi = Laziness. Laiq-e-hangama-e-farda = worthy to survive anymore. Aey Tair-e-Lahooti. Falaq = Nature. Paani paani ho gaya sun ker Qalander ki ye baat 19 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . Aain-e-Jawanmardi = Conditions to live with dignity.Khudi& Mard-e-Momin Nigah-e-faqr main shaan-e-sikandari kya hai? Khiraaj ki jo gada ho. Haq goi = Honesty. self respect is required to be sacrificed. Rubaahi = cunningness. Hai Fikr mujhey misra-e-saani ki zyada Allah karey tujh ko ata Fuqr ki talwaar Jo haath main ye talwaar bhi aa jayey tou Momin Ya Khalid-e-Janbaaz hai. wo qeseri kya hai = Such a rule in which ruler is always worried about keeping it secure. Ya Haider-e-Karrar (Meanings: misra-e-saani = proceeding verse. Khalid-e-Janbaaz = Khalid Bin Waleed (May Allah be pleased with him). denotatively and connotatively referring to slavery here. aati nahin rubaahi (Meanings: Tair-e-Lahooti = Simile. addressing to Muslim youth. parwaz main kotahi Aain-e-jawanmardi. Rizq = food/income. wo sarwari kya hai? Buton say tujh ko umeedain.

gawara = acceptable. Sehra = Desert. Taj-e-sir-e-dara= Royal crown. Deen = Islam. Naujawan Muslim! taddabur bhi kiya tu ney? Wo kya gardon tha tu jis ka hai ik toota hua tara Tujhey uss qaum nay pala hai aaghosh-e-mohabbat main Kuchal dala tha jis nay paon main taaj-e-sir-e-dara (Meanings: Taddabur = To think. Muqaddar = destiny. Ghairat = Self Respect. na tann tera na mann Apney mann main dub kay pa ja suragh-e-zindagi Tu agar mera nahi banta. Hawa-e-byaban say hoti hai kaari Jawanmard ki zarbat-e-ghaaziyanan Paltna. Kabhi aey. Afraad = People. Khasara = Loss) *. jhapatna. tann and mann = Body and Soul. suragh-e-zindagi = Connotatively referring to secrets to live prestigious life) *. Derwesh = begger here.Tu jhuka jab ghair key aagey. Utha mat khana-e-shesha-e-farang kay ihsaan Sifaal-e-Hind say meena-o-jaam paida ker Hazar chasshmey teri sang-e-rah say phootey 20 H K U D y b I L A B Q I . Aaghosh-e-Mohabbat = Caring protection. Wadi = Valley. Akwaam = Nations. Jawanmard = Brave man. Ghair = Stranger (British here). Simt = Direction. Qalander = Saint. Derwesh = Saint. Gardon = Sky (Simile. Tijarat = Deal/Trade agreement. jhapat kay palatna Lahu garm rakhney ka hai ik bahana Parindon ki duniya ka derwesh hon main Kay shaheen banata nahin aashiyana (Meanings: Hawa-e-byaban = Deserts (referring to challenging tasks here). Bahana = Excuse. Taje-sir-e-dara = Royal crown) *. Fard = Individual. Iqbal is addressing British here) (Meanings: Bayaban = referring to Britain here. Qaum = Nation (Muslims here). Shaheen = Falcon (Muslim youth here). dasht = Desert denotatively (India connotatively). Zarbat-e-Ghaziana = Daring strike. Jahan-e-tag-o-dou = World of struggle. Aashiyana = Permanent residence) *. Kuchal = Trample. sift-e-sal-e-rawan chal Wadi ye hamari hai. Kaari = Influential. sift-e-sal-e-rawan = Continuous flow. wo sehra bhi hamara Ghairat hai bari cheez jahan-e-tag-o-dou main Pehnati hai derwaish ko taj-e-sir-e-dara Afraad kay haathon main hai akwaam ki taqdeer Her fard hai millat kau muqaddar ka sitara Deen haath say dey ker agar azad ho millat Hai aisi tijarat main Musalaman ka khasara (Dr. group of Prophet (PBUH) and his companions here). Millat = Nation. Ho terey bayaban ki hawa tujh ko gawara Iss dasht say behter hai na Dilli na Bukhara Jis simt main chahey. na ban. apna tou bann (Meanings: paani paani ho gaya = ashamed of oneself. Lahu = Blood.

Gadai= to beg. Nahin tera nash-e-mann kasr-e-sultani kay gumband per Tu Shaheen hai basera ker paharon ki chatanon per (Meanings: nash-e-mann = home. Sifaal-e-Hind = Referring to former united India (sub contient) here. Nigah-e-Mard-eMomin = Glare of a Muslim (connotatively referring to strength of a strong faith Muslim). na tadbeerain Jo ho shok-e-yaqeen paida tou cut jaati hain zanjeerain Koi andaza ker sakta hai iss kay zor-e-bazu ka? Nigha-e-mard-e-momin say badal jati hain taqdeerain (Meanings: Ghulami = Slavery. Chatanon = Rocks) *. rasai = access) *. Shok-e-yaqeen = Sense of self respect. it means ease and laziness. Takhayyul = Theories. Phootey = Emergence. Basera = Shelter. Tadbeerain = Plannings. Zor-e-Bazu= Strength. Shamsheerain = Swords. referring to obstacles. Chasshmey = Denotatively means fountains but connotative meanings here. Ghulami main na kaam aati hain shamsheerain. Sang-e-rah = Track/path. Zanjeerain = restraints. Taqdeerain = Destiny) H K U D y b I L A B Q I 21 .Khudi main doob kay zarb-e-kaleem paida ker (Meanings: Khana-e-sheesha-e-farang = Referring to British here. Andaza= Guess. it stands for royal palace but here. Meena-o-jaam = Referring to necessities of life here. Aghyaar kay ufkaar-o-takhayyul ki gadai Kya tujh ko nahin apni khudi tak bhi rasai? (Meanings: Aghyaar = Referring to British. Ufkaar = Policies. Zarb-e-Kaleem = Powerful Strike) *. Khudi ko ker buland itna kay her taqdeer say pehley Khuda bandey say khud poochey bata teri raza kya hai *. kasr-e-sultani = denotatively.

for Iqbal was the only acceptable state of affairs. The former he accepted critically—as a critical attitude towards reality was one way in which it could be shaped in accordance with the ideal—and the latter he rejected vociferously. Iqbal was careful to discern between the reality in which the ideal was an operating force and the reality in which the ideal was reduced to irrelevance. for Iqbal. worth and potential (though still not universally practiced) are becoming universal enough to be enshrined in international declarations and charters—this world. a world where conceptions of individual human dignity. Six decades after his death. in the case of multi-cultural states) could develop through the strengthening of the individual personalities in them. It has been rightly remarked. In doing so. accept their role as members of a world system where all states were equal—in their subservience to individual development. and most importantly. where countries are being mapped less and less on the basis of shared skin color and more on the basis of shared values. when moving from the ideal to the real. but grappling with the pressing issues in the lives of men and the world they lived in. “Iqbal’s philosophy began with the individual and ended with it”—not just one individual in one community. then. today’s world—where emphasis is shifting from democratic institutions to democratic practice. he proposed and lobbied for a worldview that placed the individual and his development in center stage. and finally. But this did not imply that all else was utterly unacceptable. But it was essential that the ideal remain relevant at all times. where debates on colonialism are focused on authenticity and intellectual agency rather than just land. As we have seen. but all individuals in all communities. it was not necessary (or possible) for the ideal to be realized at once.Conclusion Thus. This is why he accepted capitalist republican democratic states—provided they accept the primacy of individuals within them.  ---------. encourage the creation of an environment where the community (or communities. ---------. where multiculturalism is becoming a central issue in politics as nationalist wars create doubts about the whole notion of territorial nationalism. bears testimony to the vision of a 20th century Muslim activist and his universalistic worldview. H K U D y b I L A B Q I 22 . Thus. we see in Iqbal a philosopher not just lost in his own idealism. This.

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