Understanding Of Iqbal / Thoughts Of Iqbal

Understandind Of Iqbal
Iqbal has been acclaimed as the national poet of Pakistan. This, I take it, means that what he wrote voices certain deeply felt sentiments shared by the entire Pakistani nation. These sentiments appear to me to be of three kinds.
First, his poetry. Poetry gives large number of people in Pakistan as aesthetic satisfaction which they fail to derive from any other source. His eminence as a poet fills up consequently with a sense of
national pride. 
                                   
                                                             A Thinker

Secondly, Iqbal is admired as the exponent of metaphysics based on Islam. People recognise in him a thinker whose revaluation of Islamic thought  has given the Muslim Community a new sense  of purpose in life. The success wit which he used his poetry as vehicle of his metaphysics adds to his feeling of admiration for him. Finally, independently of his poetry and his meta physics, Iqbal is honoured and remembered gratefully who propounded the idea of Pakistan in a form intelligible to the common man.
 It is difficult for us who are so close to him in time to disentangle the three sentiments of which i have spoken. Each of them helps sustain and strengthen the other. Posterity may judge him someone differently but we do not have the sense of  perspective which would enable us to asses Iqbal as a poet  or a thinker or a political philosopher  alone independently of other aspects of hi work.
Iqbal, it seems to me, occupies in the world of modern Islam the kind of position assigned to Dante in the history of medieval Christianity. Iqbal provides a poetic interpretation  of Islam as understood today, particularly in the Sub-continent of I India and Pakistan.
            

                                                                A Philosopher
Iqbal was also a philosopher and political thinker in form the point of view of his poetry only an accident. But it is an accident which gives us, the Pakistanis, additional cause for gratitude to him. I am not a Philosopher my self and do not consider myself  competent to express judgement on the purely  technical aspects of his work as a philosopher.

His "Reconstruction of Religious thought in Islam" seems, however, to me to be the only work which a Muslim intellectual of our time can read with satisfaction. For here alone is an attempt by an eminent thinker to explain Islam in term of modern thought.
As we are all aware, no religion can command the assent of enlightened men and women in any age unless it can be proved and seen to have some validity in the light of contemporary philosophy. Iqbal appears to have been the only Muslim of our times who not only understood the implications of this problem, but who attempted a solution.
The "Reconstruction of Religious Thought In Islam" is bound to survive a  germinal work which will colour the thinking of the entire generation of the present day Muslims.
 This is not to say that Iqbal Ideas are universally accepted. I can imagine people disagreeing  which certain aspects of his political and religious thought. No one in philosophy can be expected either to be absolutely right or to be absolutely acceptable.
                                                         
                                    Anticipation

It is quite likely that as our society grows it will demand the right to examine each problem afresh. Iqbal's true greatness from this point of view lies in the fact that he has able to anticipate the lines on which Muslim society was destined to develop in modern times.

Finally, as a Pakistani citizen i have reason to be grateful to Iqbal as the man  who gave us the idea and vision of Pakistan. The idea could have come from a statesman or a political philosopher only, but Iqbal who was simultaneously a poet, a philosopher and a political thinker, was able to invest it with prestige that it would initially have lacked  without its background.
He, therefore, lives in our history as the real father of Pakistani nationalism and the tributes paid to him each year are only an expression of the nation,s gratitude to the man who gave it a new sense of purpose and destiny.

5 comments

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