The almost forgotten radical message of Iqbal

Yesterday was the Iqbal day- year after year it has become just another empty ritual. High sounding speeches and statements, visits to Iqbal’s tomb in the spectacular Hazoori Baagh and negligible focus on his message and vision.

In essence, Iqbal argued for the reformation of the Muslims and the Islam and was perhaps the boldest of voices in our times.

The stature of his poetry needs no introduction or tribute – it is universal, profound and truly original.

My post entitled Remembering Iqbal’s message for change was posted at Pakistaniat and later picked up by the blog Light Within. I am reproducing excerpts here:

Iqbal opposed exploitation, Mullahism, emphasised the principle of movement in Islamic thought; and highlighted ‘Ijtehad’ (re-interpretation) of Islamic teachings through a modern parliamentary framework. Alas, all of that is nearly forgotten.

In the famous series of lectures ‘The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’ Iqbal held:

“but since things have changed and the world of Islam is to-day confronted and affected by new forces set free by the extraordinary development of human thought in all its directions, I see no reason why this attitude (finality of legal schools) should be maintained any longer. Did the founders of our schools ever claim finality for their reasoning and interpretations? Never. The teaching of the Quran that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessor, should be permitted to solve its own problems.”

Read the full post and comments here

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