The Iqbalian Thought

Prof. Syed Vahiduddin presents Iqbal from a fresh perspective


Prof Syed Vahiduddin in his book Tafakur-i-Iqbal (Reflections of Iqbal) has called Iqbal philosopher dialectician (falsafi mutakallim) in contradiction to AkbarAbadi's term dialectician Sufi (mutakallim falsafi /Sufi) or Philosopher. He has
succeeded in deciphering Iqbal as a philosopher dialectician to a
greater extent.
Akbarabadi has defended Iqbal's lectures from the point of view of Islam but in throwing light on the lectures of Iqbal from a philosophical point of view the credit goes to Prof. Syed Vahiduddin.  Prof Vahid being conversant with the western philosophy is also an expert of German and French languages. He was involved deeply in the nuances of mysticism besides being a man of letters. Likely he was able to perform this task successfully. Iqbal's works being replete with the subtleties of philosophy, mysticism, literature and aesthetics. In spite of being an ardent devotee of Iqbal, Vahiduddin has examined the lectures of Iqbal critically. I do agree with Prof. Vahid that most of the books written on Iqbal are emotional and unbalanced. Being emotionally linked with Iqbal most of the authors have not adapted critical approach. This emotional attachment with Iqbal is because of two reasons:- (a)  The impact of Iqbal's poetry on the Muslims and (b) Their bewilderment caused by "the birth of a sagacious personage" like Iqbal after many centuries. They began to call him a super human. They may be justified in this regard to some extent.
Prof. Vahid has written that Iqbal has discussed some metaphysical problems successfully but inconclusively. It is this inconclusiveness, nevertheless, which has created a history of philosophy. Akbarabadi has attributed these painful problems abounding in Iqbal's philosophy due to the Mutashabiat (verses of similitude) but Prof. Vahiduddin has called them merely the problems of philosophy like Ibn Rushd.(One is reminded here about a conspicuous title of one of the small treatises of Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy.)  Which can be interpreted but there can be no explanations in them like the Muhkam (categorical) verses of the Qur'an. To him the problems highlighted by Iqbal like time and space, the proofs for the existence of God, immorality of ego are debatable and Iqbal has done a remarkable work in this regard but as a Muslim thinker he has given a jolt to the Muslim thought for the first time and has expressed his ideas in a foreign language.
Prof. Syed Vahiduddin has interpreted Iqbal's views boldly in a novel manner. Iqbal had discussed these problems in light of philosophy and modern sciences; which none of his predecessors had done. According to Prof. Vahid all the three kinds of sciences pertaining to religion, philosophy and aesthetics are penetrated in Iqbal. Therefore sometimes he surpasses in philosophy and sometimes in aesthetics or
vice versa. Although he had maintained distance between aesthetics and religion, where there seems to be always a tussle. Iqbal could be easily compared with Kant who in his book the Critique of Practical Reason, had discussed  religious problems  like the existence  of God , the  resurrection  of soul and freedom of will etc as the
postulates of morality.
To professor Vahid  the purpose of Iqbal was not to defend the varieties of Islam  as it had been the case with the dialecticians who fought against the Greek philosophy  or irreligious  thinking. His aim was rather to make the spirit of  Islam  intelligible  and mould the external varieties  of Islam  in accordance with the modern needs.  He expressed his ideas in the langua Franca of the West. He did not fall back upon the dialectics and disputes of the past. He always embraced the voice of dissent.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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