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Revisiting Iqbal’s Philosophical Thoughts
By:
Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak
Department of Fundamental & Inter-Disciplinary Studie...
Allama Muhammad Iqbal
1879-1938
2
My Journey into Iqbal’s Philosophical Thoughts
At the age of 19 (during my High School)
Later in Aceh, Indonesia (during m...
My Research Works
1. Konsepsi Pendidikan Akhlaq Menurut Muhammad Iqbal,
1992, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
2. Human Nature: A Com...
My Book on Iqbal:
Iqbal’s Theory of Personality: A Contrastive Analysis with Freud,
Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, ...
Personal Information on Iqbal
• Born in Sialkot Punjab
• His ancestors were of Kashmiri Brahmins
• Pakistan was Iqbal's br...
Personal Information
• He was given titles like Allama Iqbal (Iqbal the
learned)
• Shaire-e-Mashriq (Poet of the East)
• H...
How to Read Iqbal
(Personal Experience)
Iqbal’s Ideas are enshrined in his poems and
philosophical views
Read the social a...
Iqbal’s Magnum Opus
The Reconstruction of Religious
Thought in Islam
(Iqbal’s Philosophical Ideas)
My personal experience ...
Other Great Works of Iqbal
Poetic books in Persian
Asrar-i-Khudi (1915)
Rumuz-i-Bekhudi (1917)
Payam-i-Mashriq (1923)
Zabu...
Poetry and Philosophy
To Iqbal, poetry and philosophy are the two
vehicles through which he conveyed his
ideas to the inte...
The Language of his Poems
-In the beginning he wrote in the Persian
language and later in the Urdu language
- Former Presi...
Iqbal's Enthusiasm
What can I do? My nature is averse to rest;
My heart is impatient like the breeze in the poppy field:
W...
Professor Nicholson on Iqbal:
“He is a man of his age and a man in
advance of his age;
he is also a man in disagreement
wi...
Stood Firmly on his Principles 
I am the voice of the poet of To-morrow
My own age does not understand my deep
meanings,
M...
Areas of Interest
• Iqbal had keenly studied philosophy of both the East 
and the West. He was well versed in literature, ...
Learned Man
• Iqbal was deeply interested in the issues that have exercised 
the best minds of the human race—the issues o...
Iqbal's Philosophy (An Eclectic Approach)
18
Mohd Abbas,
2013,p.227
Relationship between Rumi & Iqbal 
19
(1207- 1273)
(1877–1938)
Rumi wrote the  Masnavi (in the poetical expression)
Iqbal ...
Similarity between Al-Ghazali and Iqbal
20
(18771938)(1058-1111)
During Al-Ghazali’s time, he has to face the philosophers...
Western Philosophers
        
                       Nietzsche
                                                           ...
Iqbal’s Response to Western Philosophers
Nietzsche’s Übermensch (Superman)
Iqbal’s Insanul Kamil(Perfect Man)
Henri Bergso...
Iqbal’s Theory of Personality came as a Response to:
Mohd
Abbas,
2013, p.315
23
Wahdatul Wujud
• Iqbal was against that teachings of wahdatul wujud that 
says man at his highest level of  spirituality w...
Iqbal’s concept on Ego/Khudi/Self
Efficient
Ego
Appreciative
Ego
Mohd Abbas,
2013, p.338
25
Iqbal & the Study on Man
• Iqbal said that his forefathers (Brahmins) were 
interested in God and they were searching for ...
Iqbal’s Love for the Prophet
Just like Ar-Rumi, Iqbal had a similar
pattern of love for the Prophet of Islam,
expressed in...
Poems
In Armaghani Hijaz, Jawab-e- Shikwa, Javid
Nama & other poems he referred to the
Prophet as:
•Mustafa
•The source of...
Poems (Cont.)
• Muslims in the modern world have made
themselves strangers to ways of the prophet
• As a lamp in the darkn...
Mawlid Celebration
In the year 1922, Iqbal stated his satisfaction
in seeing the Mawlid celebration of Prophet in
South In...
Personality of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
In scrutinizing the Qur’an and Sunnah, Iqbal found out
that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H....
Mystic & Prophet
Muhammad of Arabia ascended the highest Heaven and
returned. I swear by God that if I had reached that po...
A Response to George Fox
Muhammad, we are told, was a psychopath.
Well, if a psychopath has the power to give a
fresh dire...
Against Pseudo-Mysticism
Remember that Islam was born in the broad day light
of history. The great democratic Prophet live...
Iqbal’s Version of Zuhd
• According to Iqbal, the highest form of Zuhd is
to posses the money and power in one’s hand
and ...
What to take from the West
The East in imitating the West is deprived of its true self.
It should attempt, instead, a crit...
Dynamism In the West
To Iqbal, the dynamism of the West is
the lost heritage of the Muslims of
the past (Mohd Abbas,2011)
...
Criticism on the West
The European man of wisdom does not possess
a wakeful heart, although he possesses a
wakeful eye (Ba...
The Difference bt. West & East
The East perceived God and failed to perceive
the world
The West lost itself in the World a...
The Role of Science
Science is an instrument for the preservation of
Life.
Science is a means of invigorating the Self.
Sc...
Science
• To Iqbal, the exploration, observation and
investigation done by the scientists is a kind of
mystic behaviour tr...
The Way Forward
“He (the Muslim) has to rethink
the whole system of Islam
without completely breaking
with the past” (Iqba...
The Way Forward
• In analyzing Iqbal's ideas and advice for the
Islamic Ummah, one would come to recognize
that as a relig...
In his view, the message of the Qur’an is not all rituals
(Zikr) but also scientific (Fikr). As Muslims, we should
possess...
Critique
• The scenario in the Muslim World has not
changed very much from the time of Iqbal
• The Ummah is still lagging ...
Critique
• Due to brain drain phenomenon, there is a
poor rate of development and intellectual
progress.
• To counter the ...
Iqbal Criticized for the Partition(1947)
He had a noble intention of getting a separate
homeland for the Muslims of India ...
Critique
The departed melody may or may not come,
The zephyr may below again from Hejaz or not!
The days of this Faqir hav...
Reference
49
Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak. ( 2011). Contribution of Iqbal’s dynamic personality theory to Islamic
psychology : A...
Syukran Jazilan
Terima Kasih
Thank You
50
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Revisiting iqbal's Philosophical Thoughts

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Presentation Slides on 'Revisiting Iqbal's Philosophical Thoughts' presented at the 'Pakistani Food Festival', organized by the Pakistani Business Community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the 27th March,2015. Malaysia.

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Revisiting iqbal's Philosophical Thoughts

  1. 1. Revisiting Iqbal’s Philosophical Thoughts By: Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak Department of Fundamental & Inter-Disciplinary Studies Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (maarji@iium.edu.my) Presented at: Pakistani Food Festival Organized by: The Pakistani Business Community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Place: Kababish Restaurant, Star Point Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Date: 27th March. 2015 1
  2. 2. Allama Muhammad Iqbal 1879-1938 2
  3. 3. My Journey into Iqbal’s Philosophical Thoughts At the age of 19 (during my High School) Later in Aceh, Indonesia (during my Bachelor’s degree) Later during my Postgraduate Studies at IIUM 3
  4. 4. My Research Works 1. Konsepsi Pendidikan Akhlaq Menurut Muhammad Iqbal, 1992, Banda Aceh, Indonesia 2. Human Nature: A Comparative Analysis between Western and Islamic Psychology, 1997, IIUM 3. Contribution of Iqbal’s Dynamic Personality Theory to Islamic Psychology: A Contrastive Analysis with Freud and Selected Mainstream Western Psychology, 2011, IIUM 4
  5. 5. My Book on Iqbal: Iqbal’s Theory of Personality: A Contrastive Analysis with Freud, Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2013. 5
  6. 6. Personal Information on Iqbal • Born in Sialkot Punjab • His ancestors were of Kashmiri Brahmins • Pakistan was Iqbal's brainchild • Poet-philosopher, thinker, Sufi-scholar, statesman, religious- reformer, advocate, educationist 6
  7. 7. Personal Information • He was given titles like Allama Iqbal (Iqbal the learned) • Shaire-e-Mashriq (Poet of the East) • Hakeem-ul-Ummah (The sage/physician of the Ummah) 7
  8. 8. How to Read Iqbal (Personal Experience) Iqbal’s Ideas are enshrined in his poems and philosophical views Read the social and political milieus of India during Iqbal’s time Read what others have written on Iqbal before reading his own thoughts 8
  9. 9. Iqbal’s Magnum Opus The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (Iqbal’s Philosophical Ideas) My personal experience in trying to understand Iqbal’s Philosophical Ideas 9
  10. 10. Other Great Works of Iqbal Poetic books in Persian Asrar-i-Khudi (1915) Rumuz-i-Bekhudi (1917) Payam-i-Mashriq (1923) Zabur-i-Ajam (1927) Javid Nama (1932) Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (1936) Armughan-e-Hijaz (1938) (in Persian and Urdu) Poetic books in Urdu Bang-i-Dara (1924) Bal-i-Jibril (1935) Zarb-i Kalim (1936) Books in English The Development of Metaphysics in Persia (1908) The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930) 10
  11. 11. Poetry and Philosophy To Iqbal, poetry and philosophy are the two vehicles through which he conveyed his ideas to the intellectuals as well as the masses in the East and West 11
  12. 12. The Language of his Poems -In the beginning he wrote in the Persian language and later in the Urdu language - Former President of Iran Ali Khamenei spoke highly of Iqbal’s skillful usage of the Persian language in his poems 12
  13. 13. Iqbal's Enthusiasm What can I do? My nature is averse to rest; My heart is impatient like the breeze in the poppy field: When the eye beholds an object of beauty The heart yearns for something more beautiful still; From the spark to the star, from the star to the sun Is my quest; I have no desire for a goal, For me, rest spells death! With an impatient eye and a hopeful heart I seek for the end of that which is endless! (Iqbal and Saiyidain,1995: 11) 13
  14. 14. Professor Nicholson on Iqbal: “He is a man of his age and a man in advance of his age; he is also a man in disagreement with his age” (Nicholson in Iqbal 1983,p.xxxi)   14
  15. 15. Stood Firmly on his Principles  I am the voice of the poet of To-morrow My own age does not understand my deep meanings, My Yusuf(Joseph) is not for this market I despair of my old companions (Iqbal,1983) 15
  16. 16. Areas of Interest • Iqbal had keenly studied philosophy of both the East  and the West. He was well versed in literature,  history and law. A student of science he perhaps  never was, yet he kept a keen eye on the latest  scientific discoveries and theories. Being thus  equipped intellectually he was in a position to pick  up good points from different systems of polity,  philosophy, economics and what not, and weave  them into a new pattern (Munawwar,1985,p.18) 16
  17. 17. Learned Man • Iqbal was deeply interested in the issues that have exercised  the best minds of the human race—the issues of the meaning  of  life,  change  and  constancy,  freedom  and  determinism,  survival and progress, the relation between the body and the  soul,  the  conflict  between  reason  and  emotion,  evil  and  suffering,  the  position  and  role  of  human  beings  in  the  universe—and  in  his  poetry  he  deals  with  these  and  other  issues.  He  had  also  read  widely  in  history,  philosophy,  literature,  mysticism,  and  politics,  and,  again,  his  catholic  interests are reflected in his poetry (Mir, 2009) 17
  18. 18. Iqbal's Philosophy (An Eclectic Approach) 18 Mohd Abbas, 2013,p.227
  19. 19. Relationship between Rumi & Iqbal  19 (1207- 1273) (1877–1938) Rumi wrote the  Masnavi (in the poetical expression) Iqbal wrote the Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of the Self)(1915) Both Spoke about the Khudi According to Iqbal, it was Rumi who inspired him to write the Asrar- i-Khudi (Rumi came in his dream and suggested the idea on Asrar ) Iqbal took Rumi to be his Spiritual Guide The Ego philosophy or Khudi is about the Man and his personality  
  20. 20. Similarity between Al-Ghazali and Iqbal 20 (18771938)(1058-1111) During Al-Ghazali’s time, he has to face the philosophers (He wrote Tahafut Al-Falasifa)  Iqbal also faced a similar situation with pseudo-mysticism (He wrote Asrar-i-Khudi) Al-Ghazali & Iqbal highlighted the errors committed by the Muslim philosophers Iqbal also criticized Socrates , Plato and other Western modern philosophers
  21. 21. Western Philosophers                                 Nietzsche                                                                                                                   Henri Bergson                                                            Goethe 21
  22. 22. Iqbal’s Response to Western Philosophers Nietzsche’s Übermensch (Superman) Iqbal’s Insanul Kamil(Perfect Man) Henri Bergson’s Élan vital (Creative Evolution) Iqbal’s Khudi Philsophy (Ego Philosophy) Goethe’s West-östlicher Diwan Iqbal’s Payam-i-Mashriq (Message from the East) 22
  23. 23. Iqbal’s Theory of Personality came as a Response to: Mohd Abbas, 2013, p.315 23
  24. 24. Wahdatul Wujud • Iqbal was against that teachings of wahdatul wujud that  says man at his highest level of  spirituality will merge with  God and attains union with God; like a drop that fall into  the ocean. Man becomes one with God. To him, this  teaching is not there in the Qur’an and Hadith. • In Iqbal’s view, man does not disappear at that point of his  spirituality but become more refined in his personality. He  analogically explained that Man becomes a shining pearl  when he falls into the Ocean of God & at the same time he  maintains his personality. 24
  25. 25. Iqbal’s concept on Ego/Khudi/Self Efficient Ego Appreciative Ego Mohd Abbas, 2013, p.338 25
  26. 26. Iqbal & the Study on Man • Iqbal said that his forefathers (Brahmins) were  interested in God and they were searching for  God • On the contrary, Iqbal was interested in the  study on Man as such he came up with his  theory on personality(Khudi)  26
  27. 27. Iqbal’s Love for the Prophet Just like Ar-Rumi, Iqbal had a similar pattern of love for the Prophet of Islam, expressed in his poems He made the prophet to be the role-model in bringing the socio-political change within the Muslim society of his time 27
  28. 28. Poems In Armaghani Hijaz, Jawab-e- Shikwa, Javid Nama & other poems he referred to the Prophet as: •Mustafa •The source of everything good and useful in human life •King of both poverty and sovereignty •He is the good role-model for humanity •The visible and witness of God’s beauty & power 28
  29. 29. Poems (Cont.) • Muslims in the modern world have made themselves strangers to ways of the prophet • As a lamp in the darkness • The ‘slave’ of God • The mercy of Allah sent to all the worlds • The self is strengthened by the love for the prophet • The concept of Insan al- Kamil explained in his theory of personality is the representation of the Prophet’s personality 29
  30. 30. Mawlid Celebration In the year 1922, Iqbal stated his satisfaction in seeing the Mawlid celebration of Prophet in South India: In order to bind together the Islamic nations of India the most holy personality of the honoured Prophet can constitute as our greatest most efficient power (Iqbal) 30
  31. 31. Personality of the Prophet (s.a.w.) In scrutinizing the Qur’an and Sunnah, Iqbal found out that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) as a messenger of God had a dynamic personality, which was anchored in the teachings found in the Qur’an. Iqbal further thought that throughout his life and mission, the Prophet always showed great vitality in toiling and struggling together with his companions to uphold the message of Islam (Mohd Abbas, 2013, p.36) 31
  32. 32. Mystic & Prophet Muhammad of Arabia ascended the highest Heaven and returned. I swear by God that if I had reached that point, I should never have returned’ (Abdul Quddus of Gangoh) The mystic does not wish to return from the repose of ‘unitary experience’; and even when he does return, as he must, his return does not mean much for mankind at large. The prophet’s return is creative. He returns to insert himself into the sweep of time with a view to control the forces of history, and thereby to create a fresh world of ideals (Iqbal, 1996, p.99) 32
  33. 33. A Response to George Fox Muhammad, we are told, was a psychopath. Well, if a psychopath has the power to give a fresh direction to the course of human history, it is a point of the highest psychological interest to search his original experience which has turned slaves into leaders of men, and has inspired the conduct and shaped the career of whole races of mankind (Iqbal,1996,p.150) 33
  34. 34. Against Pseudo-Mysticism Remember that Islam was born in the broad day light of history. The great democratic Prophet lived and worked among intelligent men, who have transmitted to posterity every word that dropped from his sacred lips. There is absolutely nothing esoteric in his teachings. Every word of the Qur’an is brimful of light and joy of existence. Far from justifying any gloomy, pessimistic mysticism, it is an open assault on those religious teachings, which have for centuries mystified mankind. Accept, then, the reality of the world cheerfully and grapple with it for the glorification of God and His Prophet (Iqbal, 1992: 151-152) 34
  35. 35. Iqbal’s Version of Zuhd • According to Iqbal, the highest form of Zuhd is to posses the money and power in one’s hand and he is not touched by this material things. • While others teach that man must keep away form money and power in order to attain the nearest to God 35
  36. 36. What to take from the West The East in imitating the West is deprived of its true self. It should attempt, instead, a critical appraisal! The power of the West springs not from her music Nor from the dance of her unveiled daughters! Her strength comes not from irreligion Nor her progress from the adoption of the Latin script The power of the West lies in her Arts and Sciences At their fire, has it kindled its lamps (Iqbal in Saiyidain, 1977:p. 20) 36
  37. 37. Dynamism In the West To Iqbal, the dynamism of the West is the lost heritage of the Muslims of the past (Mohd Abbas,2011) 37
  38. 38. Criticism on the West The European man of wisdom does not possess a wakeful heart, although he possesses a wakeful eye (Bazm-i-Iqbal, 1969: 510) Believe me, Europe to-day is the greatest hindrance in the way of man’s ethical advancement (Iqbal, 1953: xii) 38
  39. 39. The Difference bt. West & East The East perceived God and failed to perceive the world The West lost itself in the World and fled from God! To open the eyes on God is worship! To see oneself unveiled is life (Iqbal and Saiyidain, 1995: p. 19) 39
  40. 40. The Role of Science Science is an instrument for the preservation of Life. Science is a means of invigorating the Self. Science and art are servants of Life (Iqbal, 1983:p26) 40
  41. 41. Science • To Iqbal, the exploration, observation and investigation done by the scientists is a kind of mystic behaviour trying to establish an intimacy with the Creator. Furthermore he believed that the physical sciences provide a sort of spiritual meaning to men who contemplate and ponder over God’s wisdom behind His creations (Mohd Abbas, 2013,p.248) 41
  42. 42. The Way Forward “He (the Muslim) has to rethink the whole system of Islam without completely breaking with the past” (Iqbal, 1996: p.78) 42
  43. 43. The Way Forward • In analyzing Iqbal's ideas and advice for the Islamic Ummah, one would come to recognize that as a religious reformer, all his works in poetry and philosophy were aimed at bringing the Muslims out of their backwardness, superstitious beliefs, conservatism and passivity in life towards a state of preparedness in facing the challenges of the modern world (Mohd Abbas, 2011) 43
  44. 44. In his view, the message of the Qur’an is not all rituals (Zikr) but also scientific (Fikr). As Muslims, we should possess both these two aspects mentioned in the Qur’an in order to fulfill our duties in this world as Allah’s vicegerents. In line with Iqbal’s vision for the survival of the Ummah, modern day Muslims should be prepared to learn from others, particularly from the West, the latest development in the areas of science and technology for the betterment of the Ummah and humanity at large (Mohd Abbas,2011) Zikr & Fikr 44
  45. 45. Critique • The scenario in the Muslim World has not changed very much from the time of Iqbal • The Ummah is still lagging behind other nations in the areas of Science and Technology • Many oil rich countries waste huge some of money buying armaments • Muslim World lacks facilities to conduct scientific research. This caused the Muslim scientists and scholars to migrate Critique 45
  46. 46. Critique • Due to brain drain phenomenon, there is a poor rate of development and intellectual progress. • To counter the phenomenon of brain drain, Muslim countries should use ‘brain gain’ and ‘brain retention’ to gain back the good brains and to prevent losing good brains • Besides the revealed knowledge, Muslims should also give equal emphasis on human and natural sciences. Critique…..cont. 46
  47. 47. Iqbal Criticized for the Partition(1947) He had a noble intention of getting a separate homeland for the Muslims of India during his time, whereby the Muslims will have the freedom to practice their religion and culture without any intimidation from others Iqbal should not be held responsible for what is happening between India and Pakistan right now and also the act of violence in Pakistan A lesson can be learnt on concept of friendly co-existence from Malaysia & Singapore 47
  48. 48. Critique The departed melody may or may not come, The zephyr may below again from Hejaz or not! The days of this Faqir have come to an end, Another seer may come or not (Iqbal in Beg,1961, p.50) Even as I depart from this world, Everyone will say ‘I know him’ But the truth is, alas! that none knew Who the stranger was, or what he said, or when he came! (Iqbal in Nadwi,1979,p.i) His Last Lines of his Poem 48
  49. 49. Reference 49 Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak. ( 2011). Contribution of Iqbal’s dynamic personality theory to Islamic psychology : A contrastive analysis with freud and selected mainstream western psychology. Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak. ( 2013). Iqbal’s theory of personality : a contrastive analysis with freud. Iqbal, Muhammad. (1983).The secrets of the self (Asrar-i-Khudi). (Renold A. Nicholson, Trans.). Lahore: SH. Muhammad Ashraf. Iqbal, Muhammad, & Saiyidain, K. G. (1995). Iqbal’s poetry. Patna: Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library. Saiyidain, KG. (1977). Iqbal’s educational philosophy. Lahore: SH Muhammad Ashraf. Iqbal, Muhammad. (1996). The reconstruction of religious thought in Islam, Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture Munawwar, Muhammad. (1985). Iqbal and Quranic wisdom. (2nd .edn.) Lahore: Iqbal Academy Pakistan. Iqbal, Muhammad, Sir. (1953). The mysteries of selflessness: A philosophical poem (Rumuz-e-Bekhudi). (A.J. Arberry, Trans.). London: John Murray. Beg, Abdulla Anwar. (1961). The poet of the east: Life and work of Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Lahore: Khawar Pub. Cooperative Society. Nadwi, Syed Abul Hasan Ali. (1979). Glory of Iqbal (Trans. Mohammad Asif Kidwai).Lucknow: Islamic Research and Publications.
  50. 50. Syukran Jazilan Terima Kasih Thank You 50

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