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Allama Iqbal, a genuine poet or preacher? – by Muhammad Asghar Butt


Allama Iqbal is neither a genuine poet nor a genuine philosopher but a genuine preacher of the Muslim World.

Definition of a poet: A writer of poems.

Definition of a poem: “A piece of creative writing in verse, esp one expressing deep feelings or noble thoughts in beautiful language, written with the intention of communicating an experience”. ( Oxford Learner’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary). The stress is on‘ creative.’

A poet is an artist who creates something new with the help of words and phrases.

Before commenting further on Iqbal’s poetry, it is well advised to see the true nature of poetry and other forms of art.

It is an admitted fact that all great literature should be essentially based upon ethical views. But at the same time it is also true that the artist should not be deliberately didactic or blatantly ethical. Further to elucidate : the cult of art for art’s sake cannot hold water. The purpose of art is aesthetic, but the effect is moral in the true sense. Although literature does no aim at making us moral, it profoundly influences our moral nature because it quickens our capacity to realize the hopes and sorrows of our fellowmen as intimately and poignantly as we do our own. By sharpening our finer sensibilities it changes the entire orientation and character of our lives. The imaginative, emotional and moral aspects of our life are closely connected not only with one another, but with our ways of reflecting upon life. Our self ought to be an integrated whole.

The renovating power of literature lies in its being able to move and transform our entire nature. The literature of the highest order frees us from torpor and hardened prejudices, rouses our finer emotions and sensibilities, and dilates our imagination by endowing us with the power of getting beneath the skin of others. The moral needs not be a life limited by codes or conduct. It is a life that creates its code of conduct as it moves towards progress and perfection.

The end of poetic art is not to preach but to give aesthetic pleasure. There is the other side of the picture of art which is based upon the concept of morality. We do not mean a system of metaphysics. In the artist’s region, we find no doctrine or injunction. Art helps us with motives, not by indoctrination. The artist conveys the tone and philosophy of our life rather than the systematic logic contained in the book of philosophy. He does not preach directly. He does not argue and discuss; he simply reveals the facts and exalts them by his magnetic ego. Further morality in art is different from dogmatic religion. In dogmatic religion all questions are directly answered and all doubts are endeavoured to be removed. The term morality in art does not connote didacticism, a teacher, a preacher, in the real sense orf the word. In fact he is a creator, revealer and an exhibitor. He has the creative bent of mind which can approach truth through its joy, in creative effort. In other words, the artist does not force the reader to particular dogmas. The reader may accept his cult by the spell of his personality which indirectly convey the deepest and profoundest thought of humanity. But the artist is not like an escapist to shirk humanity He repeats, arranges and he clarifies the lessons of life. He disengages us from our experiences and show us the rich realities . of life to lead us to the path of eternity.

According to Stevenson, a piece of art is “ not as we can see it for ourselves but with a singular change—that monstrous consuming ego of ours, being, for the none, struck out” In other words, the artist’s morality is not ready made. Chesterton feels that the bad fable has a moral, while the good fable is moral. In this manner, we can differentiate between Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Pope’s Essays on Man. While the former is moral, the latter has a moral. It is now quite apparent that morality in art does not imply a systematised metaphysics or logic of dogmatic religion or didactism. Hence morality in art means an insight into the reality, into the mystery of life and into the divine essence. And in this sense that all great art is moral and all great artists are moralists. And in this sense that Goethe, Shakespeare, Homer, Dante, Milton, Virgil, Wordsworth, Keats, Tolstoy are moralists. Iqbal does not come up to this standard because he sings the virtues of and excellences of a certain faith, creed with the dearth of the deepest and profoundest though of humanity.

In the vision of the above cited discussion I do believe that Allama Iqbal is a tremendous genius of his time. He has deep understanding of Eastern and Western knowledge. Perhaps he is the solitary example of his time in which a Muslim scholar have Eastern and Western knowledge and used it successfully.

At the same time I painfully admit philosophy, science and poetic art demand free inquiry, independent from all sorts of prejudices of faiths, convictions, creeds likes and dislikes. Free and unbiased investigation in search of truth whether it is physical or psychological is considered a pre-requisite, and without it, any struggle to find truth, in the language of science and philosophy is false and therefore unreliable. Though it is painful, yet it is factual that if Iqbal’s works is fathomed on this yardstick, he is neither a poet nor a thinker because both poetry and philosophy require free flight, not tinged and hued with personal trends.

Of course Iqbal has written beautiful musical compositions in Urdu and Persion. His supporters feel anguished to find him on most occasions landed in the quicksand of a certain faith and past conventions and traditions. He has blind faith and ruthless devotion to some thoughts founded on myths and wonders quite against physical and psychological truths discovered recently by the great figures in the domain of science, philosophy and humanities. He was born a muslim, remained a Muslim throughout his life and died a muslim, though like Milton in his famous book “Paradise Lost” sometimes he strayed from his favourite trodden path:

Let us examine Iqbal’s own thought about Islam and Communism:

“ The author of Das Kapital ( Karl Narx ) who belonged to the Jewish race, was a Gabriel-less prophet. The falsehood of his writings is mixed with an element of truth. He possessed the heart of a believer and the head of an infidel. Since the Western nations are devoid of spiritualism, they are searching for their souls in their stomachs. But they would borrow its tint, hue and colour from the stomach. Communism is concerned with nothing except the body because the false prophet of this creed has founded it on the equality of stomachs. Equality can only be founded on fraternity and fraternity lies in the heart, not in the stomach. Similarly, Imperialism devotes itself exclusively to fattening the flesh. Its dark breast, too, is devoid of heart. Like a bee it sucks the juice of flowers, leaving all its petals apparently gay. Although the scent and play of colour continues to evoke the bird’s plaintive song, it is merely in appearance; the essence is taken away and only the shell is left behind. Hence both these organisations of human life are incomplete and insufficient. Both are inimical to the soul, both deny God and deceive Man. Communism thrives on class hatred and destruction whereas the aim of Imperialism is to extort money from the oppressed. Both these systems are two slabs of stone between which Man is ground like a piece of glass. Communism destroys knowledge, religion and art. Both these orders take their roots from materialism. They strive to brighten the body and darken the soul. But the aim of human life is not only to eat, drink and die like animals; it is to ‘ have and build’ i, e, to love God and to construct the world in accordance with HIS Injunctions.”

Iqbal in favour of his faith is deadly against the communism and capitalism. Iqbal advanced again and again the same viewpoint in a different way in his presidential address to the All India Muslim Conference Session held at Lahore on 2nd March, 1932. He says,:

“ The people of Asia are bound to rise against the acquisitive economy which the West has developed and imposed on the nations of the East. Asia cannot comprehend modern Western capitalism with its undisciplined individualism. The Faith which you represent recognises the worth of the individual and disciplines him to give away his all to the service of God and Man. Its possibilities are not yet exhausted. It can still create a new world where the social rank of Man is not determined by the caste or colour or the amount of dividend he earns, but by the kind of life he lives; where the poor tax the rich, where human society is founded not on the equality of stomach, but on the equality of spirits, where an untouchable can marry the daughter of a king, where private ownership is trust, and where capital cannot be allowed to accumulate so as to dominate the real producer of wealth”.

Sometimes he praised the author of Das Kapital ( Karl Marx) with glorious words “ a Gabriel-less prophet,” and on the other occasions he condemned his dialectic interpretation of history wrong and Satanic. In the preface of his famous book, “ The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”,  he asserts,

“ It must, however, be remembered that there is no such thing as FINALITY in philosophical thinking. As knowledge advances and fresh avenues of thought are opened, other views, and probably sounder views than those set fourth in these lectures are possible. Our duty is carefully to watch the progress of human thought, and to maintain an independent critical attitude towards.”

“Iqbal is of the opinion that the object of the Quran is the implementation of a balanced social order based on fundamental human rights which ensures that no one can exploit another. It is precisely for this reason he rejects both Capitalism and Communism as extremist viewpoints and endeavours to achieve the ideals of equality, brotherhood and justice, through the Quranic social order i.e., Iqtisad (moderation) of the Welfare State of the Middle Class”. ( Javid Iqbal’s Ideology of Pakistan).

The opinion and advice in connexion with the Communism and Capitalism is visible in the following extract from his famous lecture he delivered in his address to All Indian Muslim Conference.

“The Faith which you represent recognises the worth of the individual and disciplines him to give away his all to the service of God and Man. Its possibilities are not yet exhausted. It can still create a new world where the social rank of Man is not determined by the caste or colour or the amount of dividend he earns, but by the kind of life he lives; where the poor tax the rich, where human society is founded not on the equality of stomach, but on the equality of spirits, where an untouchable can marry the daughter of a king, where private ownership is trust, and where capital cannot be allowed to accumulate so as to dominate the real producer of wealth”.

But one may asks : Who does not know that according to Shari’at the rights of a Christian subject are other than those of a Muslim, or those of a slave other than those of a free man, that women as witnesses must be two instead of one man etc”. ( Annemarie Schimmel).

A slave can be bought and sold like cattle. A slave woman can be legally sexually intercoursed, and her children as the result of this legal sexual encroachment have no rights of inheritance from their so called father side. How beautifully Shakespeare has explained his viewpoint through the mouth of Shylock in the famous tragic-comedy,” The Merchant of Venice” .

“ What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them: shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
Be made soft as yours, and let their plates
Be season’d with such viands ? You will answer,
The slaves are ours: so do I answer you.” {Macbeth – Shylock}

Iqbal’s prescription for all the troubles of the Muslim world:

In his Rubaiyat, Iqbal gives a very simple prescription for all the predicaments of the Muslims . The original Rubayat is in Persion. Here under is its English rendering to understand the true significance of the poem.

“ Faith is like Abraham at the stake to be
Self honouring and God drunk, is faith Hear me
You whom this age’s way so captivate!
To have o faith is worse than slavery.
Music of strange lands with Islam’s fire blends,
On which the nation’s harmony depends
Empty of concord is the soul of Europe,
Whose civilization to no Makkah bends.
Love’s madness has departed: in
The Muslim’s veins the blood runs thin,
Ranks broken, hearts perplexed, prayers cold,
No feeling deeper than the skin.

Main idea of the Rubaiyat

In this modern age of fascination, faith strong like that of Hazrat Abraham (A.S.) is required. Though he was thrown in the fire by his opponents he was saved by his faith in God. Muslim harmony depends upon true faith in Islam. The Europeans are devoid of it and are suffering and fighting with one another. People have become materialistic and in pursuit of music and madness for modern civilization they have become slavish to the Europeans who are devoid of spiritual faith. The Muslims have departed from the true spirit of Islam. The lack of love for humanity has made the efforts of the Muslims fruitless.

There is no doubt we find some examples when some noble Muslims freed their Slaves. History witness that our Holy Prophet and his companions were very liberal in emancipating their slaves.

In India we find that in KHANDAN-E-GULAMAN rulers, there are some good examples of marrying a slave with the daughter of the king. But these are examples of good characters. We at the same time cannot deny that Islam allows to have slaves and keeps and has made it an article of our faith. It is a mockery in modern civilization where everyone is sounding slogans of human rights and emancipation of women from the hegemony of men in the society.

Contradictions in Iqbal’s thoughts

It is strange that Allama Iqbal gives more emphasis on the dynamic nature and character of the universe, and firmly denies that there is stagnation in the march of time. Every thing of this world is in progression towards from better to the best and nature abhors vacuum. He therefore believes in the theory of evolution in all aspects of life. We find such expression in his works. To quote him here: “ It must, however, be remembered that there is no such thing as finality in philosophical thinking. As knowledge advances and fresh avenues of thought are opened, other views, and probably sounder views than those set fourth in these lecturers.” ( Preface of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam).

But it is sorrowful to say that he more firmly believes and contradicts his own viewpoint about the nature and character of the nature when he believes and professes strongly that Quranic Injunctions contain finality and there is no accommodation and provision for improvement and amendment. They are for all times and ages irrespective to the time and space.

In his famous book ‘The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’, Iqbal has prescribed an antidote for all ills of the Muslim world. He has named it “spiritual democracy”. There are social democracy, political democracy, guided democracy, and he has engineered an other form of democracy unknown so far to the world. He says,

“ Let the Musalman of to day appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles, and evolve out of the hitherto partially revealed purpose of Islam, that spiritual democracy which is the ultimate aim of Islam.”

He possessed the capabilities of a poet, and his great part of the prose is poetic prose. When he felt that there is no cogent reason to convince his reader for the arguments given in the need of renaissance of Islam, he took poet flight. We see this flight in these lines :

“ The essence of religion, on the other hand, is faith; and faith, like the bird, sees its ‘ trackless way’ unattended by intellect which, in the world of the great mystic poet of Islam, only waylays the living heart of man and robs it of the invisible wealth of life that lies within. How this prose is poetic in the true meaning of poetry!”

In view of the above discussion, I do believe that Allama Iqbal is a tremendous genius of his time. He has deep understanding of Eastern and Western knowledge. Perhaps he is the solitary example of his time in which a Muslim scholar have Easter and Western knowledge and used it efficiently. At the same time I painfully admit that as I understand him, he has entangled himself badly in the religious dogmas, and no doubt used his great intellect and knowledge to prove that his creed is universal and in this way fought against dynamism of time in the blind enthusiasm to launch a renaissance of Islam. He forgot that an idea once dies never gets life, and a new idea more better takes its place. This is the lesson of history.

It can therefore be concluded that either I (a Lilliputian) could not understand Iqbal (a Brobdingnagian) or he is confused, vague and indefinite, rather self-contradictory. He ignored the ground realities in his enthusiasm to prove the validity and worth of his creed for today’s world.

Mr. Muhammad Asghar Butt is a  retired principal of the Government Degree College of Commerce, Sialkot and a veteran writer and scholar.

About the author

Junaid Qaiser

25 Comments

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  • Although the article is against my personal beliefs or what I have been taught since my childhood, I must admit it is a very interesting read. Well done, Professor Butt.

  • I just want to shed some light on one point which seems to be the basis of Iqbal’s confusion in this article. As the auther said that Iqbal on one hand believes in a dynamic universe and evolution of human thoughts and yet believes in finality of Quran. Firstly, we should not forget that Quran is not a human thought. God’s attribute are dynamic but His essence is invariable. Just like force of gravity can create new stars and planets in the universe but the law of gravity never changes. This is how it is described in the Quran ‘kulla yaumin hua fe shaan’. But regarding the principles it says’ La tabdila kalimatilla’. This what Iqbal meant. Iqbal has not given a new idea of revival of Islam but simply porgressed it with the advancing knowledge whitout chanching its priciples. Hence calling it a dead idea is absurd. Iqbal not only gave the idea of an Islamic state but he also preseted the charater of the citizen of that state and set down a methodology to develope his charater. Unfortunately we never adopted that methodology and were consequently were able to produce that charater in the nation. We were sabotaged by mullah and ended up in a very grotesque form of Islam.

  • All in all Iqbal was an idiot. If it wasn’t for him we would still be a part of India, living in a secular country, able to live our lives freely without the mullah brigade.

  • پاکستان کا خواب دیکھنے والے عالم اسلام کے عظیم فلسفی شاعر حضرت علامہ اقبال کے خلاف لکھتے ہو

    تم لوگ ملک دشمن ہو دین دشمن ہو

  • @asghar butt
    Although your article will require a comprehensive rebuttal despite being a very original thought on Iqbal. I have not seen many people writing about Iqbal with originality. However at this time , I would like say what I wrote sometimes back in response to completely opposite of what you had said.
    داتا دربار سے قوالی سن کر ، شاہی محلہ سے رات گئے ایک دلربا طوائف سے میر کی غزل سن کر گھر واپس جاتے ہوے بادشاہی مسجد میں چار رکعت فجر ادا کر کے ، گلی کے نکڑ پر جان کے میخانے سے ولایتی شراب کی بوتل لے کر گھر آنے والے اقبال کو آج کل کی نوجوان نسل کے لئے سمجھنا بہت مشکل ہے. مغرب میں رہنے والی ایک ایسی نسل جو توماٹو کیچپ کے اجزاے ترکیبی کو بھی غور سے پڑھتی ہے کے کہیں اس میں بھی کچھ حرام نہ ہو. انکی سمجھ میں یہ آنا بہت مشکل ہے کے تاریخ میں بہت سے اچھے “مسلمان” یہ کیوں نہیں جانتے تھے کے شراب صرف زانی اور بدمعاش لوگ پیتے ہیں .
    اوریا مقبول اور اس جیسے خبیث نسل کے وہ لوگ جنھوں نے پاکستان کی ایک پوری نسل کو شدّت پسندی اور نفرت کے دریا میں ڈبو دیا آج بھی اسی غلط فہمی میں مبتلا ہیں کے وہ تاریخ کو مسخ کر سکتے ہیں

    ———————————————-
    اقبال بھی اقبال سے آگاہ نہیں ہے
    کچھ اس میں تمسخر واللہ نہیں ہے

  • Very well written article. I will give marks to Iqbal for language but for matter or content he has nothing much to offer. In short he was a biased genius poet.

  • Iqbal studied in Germany and copied Nietzshe’s superman, made him recite kalima and ‘invented’ Mard-e-Momin. Both are redundent. A Q Khan the new ‘father of nation’ also copied technology from Holland.

  • Professor Muhammad Asghar Butt’s comment received via email:

    I venture to respond the comments of Mr. Naeem Iqbal on my article “ Iqbal is neither a genuine a poet nor a thinker; he is a genuine a preacher:

    I must confess my mistake that I should have told earlier that my article is for the rational readers and not for the mystics.

    There are two schools of thought. One school of thought has scientific approach to life : the followers of this school of thought give the whole significance to the objectivity and do not allow passions, emotion, likes, dislikes and prejudice in their judgement. They only believe in cause and effect. Every happening must be supported with physical evidence to establish its validity. They may be defined as “ rationalists”.

    “ Man is rational animal, and to have blind faith in any thing itself exiles him from the species of human beings” [ W.K.Clifford]

    The other school of thought strongly believe in the supernaturalism : we may say that blind belief is the foster child of supera naturalism. They believe in 6th sense. Their perception is hued and soaked in the emotions, prejudice and other so many susceptibilities. They have subject approach to life and see with the eyes of their ancestors.

    They look down on the ‘intellect and wisdom.

    “ The essence of religion is, faith; and faith, like the bird, seeks its ‘trackless way unattended by intellect which in the words of the mystic poet of Islam, only waylays the living heart of man and robes of the invisible wealth of life that lies within”.{ Iqbal}.

    Chung Tzu makes fund of wisdom and intellect : “ We should not appreciate a dog because he barks well, and we should not admire a man for his wisdom because he talks well.”

    Fortunately or unfortunately I belong to the first school of thought believing in the significance of raison de’tre in the age of science. I am sorry I cannot agree with Mr. Naeem Iqbal.

    Your sincerely,

    Muhammad Asghar Butt

  • جب بھی کبھی سیاست میں مذہب کی بات ہوتی ہے
    اس بحث پر مولوی آخری مہر لگاتے ہیں اور بات ختم ہو جاتی ہے وہ مہر ” جدا ہو دین سیاست سے تو بن جاتی ہے جنگیزی ”

    مجھے اس بات پر بحث نہیں کرنی پر کہنا یہ ہے کہ علامہ اقبال کی بات سیاسی مولوی ایسے لیتے ہیں جیسے کسی پیغمبر کا فرمان یا قرآن کی کوئی آیات ہو جس کے بعد کسی چوں چران کی گنجائش نہ ہو اور دین کو علامہ اقبال کے فلسفے پرثابت
    کیا جائے

  • اگر علامہ کا فلسفہ سری دنیا کے مسلمانوں کے لیہ ایک وطن کا تھا تو علامہ صرف ہندوستان کے مسلمانوں کے لیہ ایک وطن پر کیسے راضی ہو گئے ؟ ،علامہ اقبال نے کیوں ساری دنیا کے مسلمانوں کے لیہ الگ وطن کی جدوجہد نہیں کی ؟ اور اگر مسلمانوں کا وطن بن بھی گیا تو اس میں ارب مسلمانوں یا انڈونسیہ کے مسلمانوں کو بھی بلانا چا ہے تھا
    ایک طرف علامہ مسلمانوں کا ایک وطن کہ رہے ہیں اور دوسری طرف ہندوستان کو اپنا وطن کہ رہے ہیں ” سارے جہاں سے اچھا ہندوستان ہمارا
    یہ ترانہ آج بھی ہندو ،مسلم ،سکھ سب ہی گاتے ہیں ،اس میں علامہ اقبال ہندوستان کو اپنا وطن کہ رہے ہیں اور کہ رہے ہیں

    اے آب رود گنگا، وہ دن ہيں ياد تجھ کو؟

    اترا ترے کنارے جب کارواں ہمارا

    مذہب نہيں سکھاتا آپس ميں بير رکھنا

    ہندی ہيں ہم وطن ہے ہندوستاں ہمارا

    ———————

    سارے جہاں سے اچھا ہندوستاں ہمارا

    ہم بلبليں ہيں اس کی، يہ گلستاں ہمارا

    غربت ميں ہوں اگر ہم، رہتا ہے دل وطن ميں

    سمجھو وہيں ہميں بھی، دل ہو جہاں ہمارا

    پربت وہ سب سے اونچا، ہمسايہ آسماں کا

    وہ سنتری ہمارا، وہ پاسباں ہمارا

    گودی ميں کھيلتی ہيں اس کي ہزاروں ندياں

    گلشن ہے جن کے دم سے رشک جاناں ہمارا

    اے آب رود گنگا، وہ دن ہيں ياد تجھ کو؟

    اترا ترے کنارے جب کارواں ہمارا

    مذہب نہيں سکھاتا آپس ميں بير رکھنا

    ہندی ہيں ہم وطن ہے ہندوستاں ہمارا

    يونان و مصر و روما سب مٹ گئے جہاں سے

    اب تک مگر ہے باقی نام و نشاں ہمارا

    کچھ بات ہے کہ ہستی مٹتی نہيں ہماری

    صديوں رہا ہے دشمن دور زماں ہمارا

    اقبال! کوئي محرم اپنا نہيں جہاں ميں

    معلوم کيا کسی کو درد نہاں ہمارا

  • خودی کو کر بلند اتنا کے ہر تقدیر سے پہلے
    خدا بندے سے خود پوچھے بتا تیری رضا کیا ہے

    کیا یہ اسلام کا فلسفہ ہے ؟ اگر ہے تو کس قرآن اور حدیث سے ثابت ہوتا ہے ؟ ایمان بندے میں عاجزی لاتا ہے اور تقدیر پر راضی رہنے کا حکم دیتا ہے ،یہ کون سی خودی ہے جو تقیر پر حاوی ہوتی ہے اور خدا بندے سے اس کی رضا پوچھتا ہے
    شاید یہ خودی ابلیسس میں پیدا ہو گئی تھی جس کے بعد اس نے انسان کو سجدہ کرنے سے انکار کیا اور خدا نے اس کی رضا پوچھی اور قیامت تک کے لیہ اس کو ڈھیل دے دی ،جسے قرآن نے کہا ،اور اس نے تکبر کیا اور کافروں میں سے ہو گیا

  • “Maira Watan wohi hay Maira Wataan wohi hay ”

    Here Allama Iqbal pointing “Hindositan ” his watan

    —-

    “Cheen-o-Arab Hamara Hindositan Hamara Muslim hay ham watan ahy sara jahan hamaray ”

    Here he says that All muslims hve one “watan ”

    ———————————

    In taza Khudaoon main bara sab say watan hay
    Jo pairahan iska hay mazhab ka kafan hay

    Now Watan is against Islam and form of worship .

    ————

    Saray jahan say acha Hindositan hamara ,Ham bulbulain hain is ki yeh gulsitan hamara

    Here he include all people with difference race and religion as hindositani

  • Iqbal was a pseudo-philosopher who “studied” Omar Khayyam and Jalaluddin Rumi’s philosophies and pretended to “understand” them. What he understood were words, but not their true meanings. The biggest folly was when his pseudo-philosophy got mixed with politics. Thankfully, greats like Rumi and Omar Khayyam managed to stay out of politics in their times. Iqbal found a very convenient and opportunistic vehicle in a frustrated Jinnah (who had admittedly been mistreated by Indian National Congress apparatus along with many others: Subhash Chandra Bose, Vithalbhai Patel, only for serving selfish ambitions of one family – Motilal & Jawahar Nehru).

  • @Prof Butt comments
    I am glad that you have clarifed that you criticism on Iqbal is from an atheist point of view. I would however, like to sum this up by saying that Gnosis if God is of two kinds, one is through reason and other is through ‘Heart’ (Qalb i.e mysticism).
    Gnosis of God has always been a matter of controversy. If a believer is asked ‘how does he believes in God’, the common answer is,” Because of the existence and system of life and the universe, how could all this has come to existence by itself, so there is some power which has created it and that is God”.

    Whereas the atheist views that this is just the limitation of our knowledge about the creation of the universe and life, and instead of surrendering our mental faculties to ‘belief in God’ we should rather keep fighting with this challenge.

    So the existence of the universe is as much a disproof of God as much it is a proof. So long as the atheist or agnostic has no solid proof about the origin and creation of life and universe, believer has every right to believe in God. And, this debate about being or not being of God remains perpetually unresolved.
    Whereas science is maverick in its character and is open for men of faith and and atheists alike. Ironically the limits scince has reached so far have ended up in the form of a faith the from of ‘String theory'(which you can neither prove nor disprove) and is already running out of its tether. Therefore you can harness the nature through development in science and technology whichever school of thought you come from and inturn use it for the betterment of humanity but using it to disprove faith or God wll be utterly erranous.

  • Professor Muhammad Asghar Butt’s comment received via email:

    I do not have Mr. Naeem Iqbal E-mail address, therefore I am obliged to ask you kindly get the response of Mr. Naeem of the folowing:
    Man is a rational animal, is true statement or it is wrong expressions of the characteristics of man.
    If it is true proposition then the under given statement is also true.

    “ Man is rational animal, and to have blind faith in any thing itself exiles him from the species of human beings [ W. K .Clifford ]

    Yours sincerely,

    Muhammad Asghar Butt

  • Thanks for your reply again. Man is a rational animal in the sense that it recognises everything in relation to other things. His appreciation and perception is relative so generally he wants a rational proof of existence and explanation of phenomenon in relation to other things. Having said that, man also possess senses which perceive things that are not measureable by physical parameters and phenomenon not explained by mathematical laws. For example when you look at a flower it gives you sense of beauty, which is subtle and not tangible. Now if someone who doesn’t have any aesthetic sense, is unable to appreciate the beauty of the flower; to him existence of flower is mere collection of petals and colours and as its beauty cannot be measured or proved by physical parameters it does not exist. To this person the beauty of the flower is a blind faith. In fact paradoxically he lacks aesthetic to discern the beauty of flower and is himself blind to it. Now of course the person who can see the beauty of the flower is exiled from being rational animal in the eyes of the person with no aesthetic sense.
    The other example I can give is of a person who is colour blind to him red colour does not exist and there is no way one can prove or explain that red colour does exist and what does it look like in reality. To this person the existence of red colour is a blind faith and anyone who believes in existence of red colour is excluded from human species. Now if someone claims that he can perceive and discern the existence of God in the creation just like you can discern the beauty of the flower or red colour, you can call his faith a blind faith if you yourself cannot see it. Apparently, it is right to exile him from the category of rational animal and accuse him of having a blind faith just because he can perceive what you cannot and there is no way that he can prove or explain it to you because you lack that ability and due to the subtle nature of the phenomenon that it cannot be encompassed by physical parameters. Just like the behaviour of electrons in quantum theory or existence of strings in string theory. I would say that the statement quoted by you is not wrong but a limited expression of the characteristics of man.
    My email is naeem214@hotmail.co.uk

  • its a great and amaizing that i m writting of iqbal. i m nothing to write him anything, cause he is a sun, means in the whole world there arent anyone great author, but allama iqbal is the real muslim auther.

  • This article by Muhammad Asghar Butt is a welcome critical appraisal of the total output of Allama Iqbal who was an intelligent and well-educated Muslim with mystical leanings in his undestanding of the world and man’s place in it.

    Those who know Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian poetry acknowledge him as a great poet. Perhaps, second only to Ghalib but who nonetheless has left a deep imprint on the generations of Urdu- and Persian-speaking people. The majesty of his language and his forceful expression inspire us. But the philosophical legacy of Iqbal is a different matter. He has left no philosophical works as such. His book ‘The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam’ hardly falls in the category of a book on philosophy. It is at the most a mystical (sufiana) interpretation of religious experience and discussion about God, etc. Iqbal was an intelligent man, but he was a believer and his outlook always remained that of a Muslim believer. But the task of philosophy is is not to sustain the holy mantras of any religious tradition but to offer critical analysis of the fundamental philosophical issues that have concerned great thinkers over the centuries. Iqbal on this score has nothing to offer and he has contributed nothing worthwhile. But we should not expect that a great poet should also have been equally a great philosopher.

  • The author of this article states: “Allama Iqbal is neither a genuine poet nor a genuine philosopher but a genuine preacher of the Muslim World.”

    Interesting take overall, but I have a problem with even the latter characterization: “a genuine preacher of the Muslim World.”

    But first, I will say that the word “genuine” must first be defined by the author, and unless I missed it, he hasn’t defined what it means. So I am only going to use the dictionary meaning for my comment here: “possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic;” I would like to see the author first define the word “genuine” and then demonstrate his claim not in his article. Below I demonstrate my claim — that Iqbal was NOT “a genuine preacher of the Muslim World.”. As per the dictionary meaning, he appears to have been a counterfiet — a khota sikkah. But I will use the same disclaimer as the author in good conscience “that either I (a Lilliputian) could not understand Iqbal (a Brobdingnagian) or he is” a superman.

    Here is my article where that examination is made and logical conclusion is reached:

    Allama Iqbal – marde-momin or superman?

    http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2012/12/allama-iqbal-marde-momin-or-superman.html

    Pointing out any glaring error of logic or fact, and any analysis error, perception bias, twisted conclusion not borne by facts and analysis, all welcome.

    Most people who have read that analysis however failed to offer any of these as the basis for their discontent, and in fact, have had a knee jerk reaction gratuitously extoling Iqbal’s virtues instead. Therefore, I will also hasten to borrow the good professor’s statement up front (but not his other proclamations on reason which to my mind only culminates in the superman — and this has been demonstrated in the article analyzing the impact of Nietzsche’s philosophy to the first order: Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement! tinyurl.com/morality-ubermensch ):

    ” my article is for the rational readers and not for the mystics.”

    Thank you.

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
    California, United States,
    humanbeingsfirst@gmail.com

  • We should be very careful while talking about our heroes. They are not like our petty politicians about whom you are allowed to expect and say any negative thing. First study Iqbal and his references from authentic resources, then say about him.

    Some people quote poem of Iqbal “Sub say acha hindustan hamara” but they forget that this poem was said by iqbal when he was in evolution stage of his life like Quai-e-Azam. At that time he was in favor of a united india ruled by Muslims as was the condition of Hindustan before invasion of british. Later on when he realised and his imagination further developed he became against united India. Same was situation of Quaid-e-Azam. So if someone describes it as “both of our ideological and state founders were in favor of united India”, then there will be no foolish person than him. Study books of Pir Mehr Ali biographies, how much dear was Iqbal to Prophet (p.b.u.h). For God’s sake, stop propaganda against your ideological father, Allama Iqbal. General Ayub during his meeting said to Nehru to give him some political advice. Nehru said “Your every politician should be hafiz of Allama Iqbal”. Whole Iranian revolution’s inspiration was poetry of Iqbal. Whole tajik revolution was based on just one line of poetry of Iqbal. Hindus, germans, iranians, tajiks respect Iqbal more than us…………….Is ghar ko aag lag gae is ghar k charagh say…no doubt there is a lobby in pakistan who wants to defame our ideological fathers so that we may hate them and ultimately either join india or become secular. This was also prediction of Quaid-e-Azam in an interview with AFP after creation of Pakistan…..

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