Friday, June 22, 2012

Preface from the 'Tragedy of Iqbal's Philosophy'

In a thoroughly researched book written by Dr. Saluddin Darwaish, the author tries to criticise Dr. Iqbal's spiritual framework from a modernist (materialist) perspective. 

Dr. Darwaish  titles his book 'Fikr-e-Iqbal ka Almiya' [Tragedy of Iqbal's Philosophy]. The book is pertinent for our time as Iqbal's poetry has become a catch phrase for denouncing all aspects of modern progress and development. Furthermore, all school of political and religious thoughts - i.e. socialists, Islamists, capitalist, all sectarian schools and  nationalist - overly quote Iqbal's poetry to find support for their individual thought paradigm.

The author aptly and unequivocally writes that Iqbal has excessively criticised materialism in all its form. The poet doesn't take into account the positive aspects of the modern West, which has changed everyday life. From aeroplanes to cars, and from computers to mobile phones, all these developments are outcomes of material progress. Iqbal's spiritual paradigm cannot create such a world; hence, Iqbal's goal to achieve Western progress through spiritual development is near to impossible. This is the fundamental tragedy in Iqbal's thought.

What follows is a translation from the preface written by the author. The title is 'Chand Baatain' (Few Words):

From the Mullas who sits on the pulpit to enlightened democratic intellectuals, and from moderate thinkers to Marxist revolutionaries; the thought that amazed me the most was, even with all ideological differences between these schools of thought, how do they simultaneously cite Iqbal? How is Iqbal expectable for all of them? I always believed either Iqbal's thought had some universality that magnetized conflicting schools of thought towards a single philosophical centre or that they one-sidedly cited Iqbal's philosophy to find support for their personal ideological frameworks. When I started my work on Materialism, Iqbal's spiritual philosophy always attracted me. Therefore, between 2004 and 2006, whenever I got time, I indulged in reading Iqbal's poetry and lectures. During this period, I made notes (from Iqbal's work) with the idea of trying to connect Iqbal's poetry with his prose. When I saw some signs of success in my effort, I thought of doing a comparative analysis (of Iqbal) from my materialistic perspective in the light of the problems of modern civilization and its solution. I decided to write openly on Iqbal. In 2006, I wrote a dissertation on Iqbal's Urdu poetry.

The completion of this dissertation allowed me to atriculate that — specifically speaking  the Enlightened, Moderate, Democratic, Progressive and Materialistic communists use Iqbal's poetry for the advertisement of their specific ideologies. They do not have a full grasp on Iqbal's philosophical paradigm. What else can we call this attitude except a spiritual self-delusion of the aforementioned materialists?

The second important source of Iqbal's philosophy is his 'Madaras' Lectures'. They were compiled in a book form and titled 'The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam'. Criticism on this work required extreme delicacy. After reading all criticism and research work on this subject, a big problem for me was that the book  Iqbal's philosophical thoughts   was analysed as a religious script. On the other hand, Iqbal himself writes in the  preface to this book that all subjects presented in here are completely open to criticism and objection. In reality, it is Iqbal's preface, which has allowed me to criticise these lectures with complete freedom. 

.......... (Acknowledgement to Halq-e-Arbab-e-Zook, Manzar Naqvi and Dr. Roosh Nadeem)

This book isn't written for condemning Iqbal; rather it is an attempt to appreciate him. If any aspect of admonition is somewhere visible, ignore it as stylistic weakness. It is Iqbal who has provided me the courage to dissent, not the imitators of Iqbal [i].

Dr. Saluddin Darwaish.

[i] imitators of Iqbal : people who blindly follow Iqbal, and cannot listen any criticism on his thoughts.

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