The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by M. Iqbal

The Reconstruction of the Religious Thought in Islam

By, Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

The book starts with the most penetrating questions and yet they're not: very penetrating to a deeply reflecting mind, but not to an unconscious one. For instance, he starts the first lecture, or chapter, of the book by expressing his own deep philosophical perplexing queries: "What is the character and general structure of the universe in which we live? Is there a permanent element in the constitution of this universe? How are we related?" The book is immensely philosophical, and is an effort to address these philosophical questions from the viewpoint of religion Islam and its authentic classical sources, primarily Qur'an and Prophetic traditions of the Prophet of Islam (P.B.U.H.). 

I have found it to be a very resourceful book, not limiting itself to a particular domain of knowledge. For instance, this book points to the origins of philosophy of atomism based on Qur'anic injunctions in Islam - a subject very pertinent to physics and chemistry science students. (You can read an extract from the book here on atomism by a Muslim school of thought.) The book heavily relies and takes constant inspiration from the Holy Qur'an and Hadith of Prophet, and as well from the classical and contemporary Muslim metaphysical sources. It seems as if the writer wants to shed off the treasures of Islam to the whole world, so as to enlighten it.

 Nevertheless, this book has one great flaw. It never reaches down to the level of "layman's" understanding. Perhaps, that has been the reason why it remains a neglected piece of work in Muslim world today. That is, although it wishes to communicate a profound understanding of religious message to humankind, it does not wish to bend its lofty manner of expression by resorting to plain language. Another reason of its being neglected by Muslims may lie in its excessive use of the language of modern Western philosophy in conveying the meaning of the religious text. This particular aspect of this work has been criticized vehemently by relatively traditionalist scholars, who seek to reform Muslim societies in the exact spirit of Prophet's days and first Islamic century.

 What I have said till now may be very inaccurate, but this is what I've been able to appraise. Here, I do not feel shame to mention that I have miserably failed to fully grasp an understanding of the complexity of this work. However, it certainly has enlightened my thinking in many ways. Its certain passages opened up new worlds of understanding to me that I wish to share here. You may find one passage quite thought-provoking, while the other groundbreaking, and some simply beautiful and a few other as revolutionary.

 Although this book takes inspirations from Western philosophy and sciences, it very much deserves critical criticism with liberal spirits from Muslim quarters. However, it should be noted that in Muslim academic circles across the globe, this book has received a wide range of audience. It has been well criticized with differing perspectives, and the numbers of critical works on it are increasing day-by-day. It is only that common people with no background in philosophy are very much unfamiliar with this work and that, as I said, maybe an internal flaw of this work.

 I have posted a few extracts from this book on the following topics that I have found thought-provoking and exotic for any conscious reader, in the comment section:

 1. about the cognitive element of mystical experience(s)

 2. about the notion of matter

 3. about Ijtihad

 4. Explanation of a beautiful verse of Urfi

 5. about the knowledge of heart.

(See the comments section.)

11 did criticisms:

M. Umer Toor said...

1. The Cognitive Element in the Mystical Experience(s):

"Since the quality of mystic experience is to be directly experienced, it is obvious that it cannot be communicated. Mystic states are more like feeling than thought. The interpretation which the mystic or the prophet puts on the content of his religious consciousness can be conveyed to others in the form of propositions, but the content itself cannot be so transmitted. Thus in the following verses of the Qur’an it is the psychology and not the content of the experience that is given:

‘It is not for man that God should speak to him, but by vision or from behind a veil; or He sendeth a messenger to reveal by His permission what He will: for He is Exalted, Wise’ (42:51).

The incommunicability of mystic experience is due to the fact that it is essentially a matter of inarticulate feeling, untouched by discursive intellect. It must, however, be noted that mystic feeling, like all feeling, has a cognitive element also; and it is, I believe, because of this cognitive element that it lends itself to the form of idea. In fact, it is the nature of feeling to seek expression in thought. It would seem that the two - feeling and idea - are the non-temporal and temporal aspects of the same unit of inner experience. But on this point I cannot do better than quote Professor Hocking who has made a remarkably keen study of feeling in justification of an intellectual view of the content of religious consciousness:

"What is that other-than-feeling in which feeling may end? I answer, consciousness of an object. Feeling is instability of an entire conscious self: and that which will restore the stability of this self lies not within its own border but beyond it. Feeling is outward-pushing, as idea is outward-reporting: and no feeling is so blind as to have no idea of its own object. As a feeling possesses the mind, there also possesses the mind, as an integral part of that feeling, some idea of the kind of thing which will bring it to rest. A feeling without a direction is as impossible as an activity without a direction: and a direction implies some objective. There are vague states of consciousness in which we seem to be wholly without direction; but in such cases it is remarkable that feeling is likewise in abeyance. For example, I may be dazed by a blow, neither realizing what has happened nor suffering any pain, and yet quite conscious that something has occurred: the experience waits an instant in the vestibule of consciousness, not as feeling but purely as fact, until idea has touched it and defined a course of response. At that same moment, it is felt as painful. If we are right, feeling is quite as much an objective consciousness as is idea: it refers always to something beyond the present self and has no existence save in directing the self toward that object in whose presence its own career must end!"

2. Notion of Matter in the Light of Modern Physics:

"[T]he concept of matter has received the greatest blow from the hand of Einstein - another eminent physicist, whose discoveries have laid the foundation of a far-reaching revolution in the entire domain of human thought. ‘The theory of Relativity by merging time into spacetime’, says Mr. Russell,

‘has damaged the traditional notion of substance more than all the arguments of the philosophers. Matter, for common sense, is something which persists in time and moves in space. But for modern relativity-physics this view is no longer tenable. A piece of matter has become not a persistent thing with varying states, but a system of inter-related events. The old solidity is gone, and with it the characteristics that to the materialist made matter seem more real than fleeting thoughts.’"

3. The Principle of Ijtihad in Islam:

"The word [ijtihad]literally means to exert. In the terminology of Islamic law it means to exert with a view to form an independent judgement on a legal question. The idea, I believe, has its origin in a well-known verse of the Qur’an - ‘And to those who exert We show Our path’. We find it more definitely adumbrated in a tradition of the Holy Prophet. When Mu‘adh was appointed ruler of Yemen, the Prophet is reported to have asked him as to how he would decide matters coming up before him. ‘I will judge matters according to the Book of God,’ said Mu‘adh. ‘But if the Book of God contains nothing to guide you?’ ‘Then I will act on the precedents of the Prophet of God.’ ‘But if the precedents fail?’ ‘Then I will exert to form my own judgement.’ The student of the history of Islam, however, is well aware that with the political expansion of Islam systematic legal thought became an absolute necessity, and our early doctors of law, both of Arabian and non-Arabian descent, worked ceaselessly until all the accumulated wealth of legal thought found a final expression in our recognized schools of Law. These schools of Law recognize three degrees of Ijtia«d: (1) complete authority in legislation which is practically confined to be founders of the schools, (2) relative authority which is to be exercised within the limits of a particular school, and (3) special authority which relates to the determining of the law applicable to a particular case left undetermined by the founders. In this paper I am concerned with the first degree of Ijtihad only, i.e. complete authority in legislation. The theoretical possibility of this degree of Ijtihad is admitted by the Sunni`s, but in practice it has always been denied ever since the establishment of the schools, inasmuch as the idea of complete Ijtihad is hedged round by conditions which are well-nigh impossible of realization in a single individual. Such an attitude seems exceedingly strange in a system of law based mainly on the groundwork provided by the Qur’an which embodies an essentially dynamic outlook on life."

4. Explanation of a verse by 'Urfi (poet):

"Life is only a series of acts of attention, and an act of attention is inexplicable without reference to a purpose, conscious or unconscious. Even our acts of perception are determined by our immediate interests and purposes. The Persian poet ‘Urfâ’ has given a beautiful expression to this aspect of human perception. He says:

‘If your heart is not deceived by the mirage, be not proud of the sharpness of your understanding;
for your freedom from this optical illusion is due to your imperfect thirst.’

The poet means to say that if you had a vehement desire for drink, the sands of the desert would have given you the impression of a lake. Your freedom from the illusion is due to the absence of a keen desire for water. You have perceived the thing as it is because you were not interested in perceiving it as it is not. Thus ends and purposes, whether they exist as conscious or subconscious tendencies, form the warp and woof of our conscious experience. And the notion of purpose cannot be understood except in reference to the future. The past, no doubt, abides and operates in the present; but this operation of the past in the present is not the whole of consciousness. The element of purpose discloses a kind of forward look in consciousness. Purposes not only colour our present states of consciousness, but also reveal its future direction. In fact, they constitute the forward push of our life, and thus in a way anticipate and influence the states that are yet to be. To be determined by an end is to be determined by what ought to be. Thus past and future both operate in the present state of consciousness, and the future is not wholly undetermined as Bergson’s analysis of our conscious experience shows. A state of attentive consciousness involves both memory and imagination as operating factors. On the analogy of our conscious experience, therefore, Reality is not a blind vital impulse wholly unilluminated by idea. Its nature is through and through teleological."

5. The Knowledge of Heart:

"The Qur’an, recognizing that the empirical attitude is an indispensable stage in the spiritual life of humanity, attaches equal importance to all the regions of human experience as yielding knowledge of the Ultimate Reality which reveals its symbols both within and without. One indirect way of establishing connexions with the reality that confronts us is reflective observation and control of its symbols as they reveal themselves to sense-perception; the other way is direct association with that reality as it reveals itself within. The naturalism of the Qur’an is only a recognition of the fact that man is related to nature, and this relation, in view of its possibility as a means of controlling her forces, must be exploited not in the interest of unrighteous desire for domination, but in the nobler interest of a free upward movement of spiritual life. In the interests of securing a complete vision of Reality, therefore, sense-perception must be supplemented by the perception of what the Qur’an describes as Fu’ad or Qalb, i.e. heart:

‘God hath made everything which He hath created most good; and began the creation of man with clay; then ordained his progeny from germs of life, from sorry water; then shaped him, and breathed of His spirit unto him, and gave you hearing and seeing and heart: what little thanks do ye return?’ (32:7-9).

The ‘heart’ is a kind of inner intuition or insight which, in the beautiful words of Rëmâ, feeds on the rays of the sun and brings us into contact with aspects of Reality other than those open to sense-perception. It is, according to the Qur’an, something which ‘sees’, and its reports, if properly interpreted, are never false. We must not, however, regard it as a mysterious special faculty; it is rather a mode of dealing with Reality in which sensation, in the physiological sense of the word, does not play any part. Yet the vista of experience thus opened to us is as real and concrete as any other experience. To describe it as psychic, mystical, or super-natural does not detract from its value as experience. To the primitive man all experience was super-natural. Prompted by the immediate necessities of life he was driven to interpret his experience, and out of this interpretation gradually emerged ‘Nature’ in our sense of the word. The total-Reality, which enters our awareness and appears on interpretation as an empirical fact, has other ways of invading our consciousness and offers further opportunities of interpretation. The revealed and mystic literature of mankind bears ample testimony to the fact that religious experience has been too enduring and dominant in the history of mankind to be rejected as mere illusion. There seems to be no reason, then, to accept the normal level of human experience as fact and reject its other levels as mystical and emotional. The fact of religious experience are facts among other facts of human experience and, in the capacity of yielding knowledge by interpretation, one fact is as good as another. Nor is there anything irreverent in critically examining this region of human experience. The Prophet of Islam was the first critical observer of psychic phenomena. Bukha`ri`and other traditionists have given us a full account of his observation of the psychic Jewish youth, Ibn Sayyad, whose ecstatic moods attracted the Prophet’s notice. He tested him, questioned him, and examined him in his various moods. Once he hid himself behind the stem of a tree to listen to his mutterings. The boy’s mother, however, warned him of the approach of the Prophet. Thereupon the boy immediately shook off his mood and the Prophet remarked: ‘If she had let him alone the thing would have been cleared up.’"

Khuram said...

One way to think of reality is to sense it in the beauty of expression. In the complexity. That is is more complex so it ought to be real. Complexity make things mysterious. Since it is a mystery then so what if I do not understand? No one can understand mystery. Therefore it is real. Because it is wonderful.

M. Umer Toor said...

Conclusion: I am the one beautiful.

Thanks for reading.
And Welcome to my blog!

Humble Regards.

Shaheryar Ali said...

Great post, i am impressed by your inquisitive mind and your study of such a complex book of Dr Iqbal at such an age.
What i like to elaborate is the context and contextuality of the book.
Islam's encounter with modernity came through colonialism.People like Dr Iqbal were fascinated by modernism and Europe itself at the same time they were conscious about the dangers it posed to their faith. Not to their religion as many would say. The religion which existed at that time was considered as one of the causes of muslim subjugation by these men. Iqbal is critical of this religion and also the other trend which is blind following of Europe which Iqbal saw not as "modernization" but a blind copying, a sort of caricature where one hates his own self as "backward". Iqbal belongs to the line of European philosopher who made a "radical break" from German Ideology esp Hegel and Kant. This is the "Anti-rational" turn of western philosophy.Neitchze was Iqbal's main philosophical inspiration,so "Reconstruction" basically is an attempt to "re shape" thoughts. Religious thought. That is the stage before "theory making". The contemporary religious thought which led to Sharia and Fikkah is being destroyed by Iqbal and "new ways of thinking" are being proposed.Than only than Islam will be known.What now exist is an Arab imperialist construct adulterated by Persian metaphysics.
So reconstruction is a critique of all existing trends in Islamic thought. You can see through it that none is given a clean bill not even Ghezali. With anti rationalist philosophers they are talking about "things to come". or "eternal return as new". Islam for Iqbal is a "concept to come". Koran not yet discovered , Sharia and Fikkah human constructs based of false thought . Later Ali Shariati will take this concept further and call it "Religion of Falsehood".
Tasawuff,Tamadun,Shariat Kalam
Buttan e Ajam ke pujari Tamam

[Saqi nama Iqbal]
Cycle is "Destruction -Deconstruction-Reconstruction]
In Europe this trend developed into Existentialism,phenomenoogy,Post structuralism. Iqbal didnt left a school in Muslim world which was obsessed with Rationalism and Logic due to Colonialism. Rationalism and Logic are not good tools to study Iqbal

M. Umer Toor said...

Dear Shahreyar Ali,

thanks for the appreciation, although it is difficult for me to accept them - for rediscovery, reconstruction... :)

i am penning down your thorough and insightful remarks about this work on my copy of Reconstruction. and i'd like to thank you for this asset.

A few things I wish to clarify to myself from you:

If Nietzsche is Iqbal's ideal and Insan e kamil is ideal man, than why Iqbal is refuting Nietzsche's influence on this specific theory in a letter to some person?

Why rationalism to be rejected, not for Iqbal, but for the sake of practical reason? Does pure reason doesn't exist? Is it foolish to think of 'independent thinking', which claim to be free of any presuppositions?

if islam is the "religion of the straight path (al-sirat al-mustaqim)" and that "The truth has come and falsehood has perished" (17:81), isn't there any totality in the orthopraxy, than to suggest sacred tradition as falsehood? Yet principle of ijtihad is very valid to my mind despite the validity of sacred tradition of past.

Shaheryar Ali said...

Now dont you deserve yet more appreciation for coming up with such important questions.
Lets start with "rationalism" and "Reason". First of all make one thing clear, with these terms you are dealing with things which are "constructions". In western metaphysics the "Reason" has a specific meaning and place. It came out to be a self-legitimizer.Independent reason especially with dawn of modernity became a judge in all matters. With the Nietzsche and others reason is not what it claims but like many others a "way of thinking".These philosophers are not much impressed by the claims rationalists make. Instead they put forward different "ways of thinking". What was called "independent reason" on which Catholic Church has based all its faith for 3000 years uprooted it from Europe in few decades.This was the observation Iqbal had in front of him. This is the reason Iqbal choose Nietzsche . A man of superior intellect he knew that all attempts to legitimize Islam on base of reason will be futile and may result in its destruction like that of Christianity in Europe. So he adopted the philosophy which for the first time put "the judge" itself on trial. "Passion" not reason form the bases of Iqbal's philosophical cosmos. Just like Nietzche .
Khrid bani he zaman o makan ki zannari
Na he zama'n na he maka'n La Ilaha illaah.
"khrid" or wisdom or "reason" is idolatry.

Now if you recall reconstruction, Iqbal is very honest. Base of knowledge is "doubt" and that of religion is "faith".
He states that application of "rational philosophy" to religion is not a good idea, because "reason" is not good enough to understand "reality".

Now the scientists,modernists rationalists dont agree they see reason as supreme. even modern theologians who will say God can be proved by philosophy and science. Zakir Naik keep proving Koran from science. This strategy is bound to fail Allama knew so he reversed the argument. "What is reason to judge religion, it cant, its too limited for that"
He was very bold , in reconstruction he accepts that all 3 proofs of God's existence in philosophy are faulty.
Whilst rationalist will draw the conclusion that "Hence God doesnt exist" Iqbal say "hence reason n philosophy and science are faulty"

I am writing a post for my blog. il leave it here, will add more tomorrow and than will move to next questions.
and you can call me Shery

Shaheryar Ali said...

Sorry for the break i was really upset over Swat and Sharia law. Kher.
Why Rationalism to be rejected i think last commented it.Now why Iqbal's view. If you notice one thing about "reconstruction". You will notice one think "anxiety". You and me are not generation of modernity. Rather we are people of post modern age. Its routine and it suck. Iqbal, Afgani etc were children of modernism. It was such a big thing suddenly from camels , planes were flying. It seemed humans have finally conquered universe and all this happened when humans defyed religion. especially the law based religion, the Church.So Iqbal was anxious that with modernism , even faith may go. The last chapter of this book is called "Is Religion possible"?. A person like Iqbal who is revered as a saint of a sort is asking such question. It shows his doubt.Today's young modern muslims dont ask this question. BCZ time has passed and modernism isnt much a threat. But Iqbal asked this question because in Iqbal's time in philosophical and scientific world religion was just a myth. no one believed it.
For believers, Iqbal thought its important to distance religion from logic, senses and rationality [all there of which will always put doubts on faith". And Iqbal gives one one "validator" of faith. The highly personalized spiritual experience. One which cant be seen, recorded or tested. So Iqbal in reconstruction is making religion "personalized" thus opening Muslim world to a world of secular nation states but keeping the faith intact at the level of the person.
In Europe where religion was institutionalized in form of an organization of "priests" called church. Which when defeated by modernism resulted in defeat of faith as well. Iqbal and other muslim modernists built a discourse which envisioned "Islam" as totally in opposition to that of its organized form, ie Mullah. Iqbal and others were severely anti clerical . So Iqbal wrote about lack of "church" in Islam and also lack of concept of Mullah or Priest. Like he showed there was no "Molana" in time of Muhammed and Caliphs.Thus performing essentially modern task of breaking the grip of Priests on society. By doing so Allama was gaining all good things from west but in his view leaving "atheism" aside.
In reconstruction Iqbal supports Mustafa Kemal Pasha. his secular republic which was severely anti Islam but he calls in completely in accordance with Islamic spirit.

So here we come to religion of falsehood. The religion of Mullah is not Islam. Rather Islam is in Koran. Not in text of Koran but rather in its "Laws of dynamics" one which gives a merd e monin authority to do divine deeds, his hands becomes hands of god and his words become Koran. The allogeries of radical muslims saiths at odds with Mullahs provide Iqbal with his historical legitimization of his thesis. Those understood real Koran. Neither those kings n mullahs who killed n tortured them knew real islam, nor the followers of these saints knew who misunderstood the saints and confused their teachings with Pantheism. Reconstruction has a debate on Yazeed Batasami , how his saying which was in line on Koran about Time and God but how due to limited knowledge of that era it led to false ideology of pantheism .Iqbal says that its all due to "limits" of human mind. Rationalism.
Its the human mind which creates the dichotomy of the "creator" and "creation".From God's side there is no difference, he says in reconstruction. When higher experience of a mystics or a scientists feels the "unity". His utterances escape human minds which than fails to understand "unity" and instead make it "Pantheistic" where every thing becomes "God" as well.
Human mind creates categories of Time and Space and sees it separate from "cosmological Unity" this creates again problem of "infinite time" or "created time", arguments on boths sides have consequences on faith. Infact Space, Time etc are "creative energy" of God. Human way of understanding it. [Thus Iqbal is logically saying what "dheria" use to say keh time is immortal but Iqbal escapes the crisis of faith by categorizing time and space as "mental constructs" of God's divine creative energy.]Einstein had recently given his theory and Iqbal has read it. With it Iqbal saw similarity between radical mystic ideas of time n space, With relativity "Time" was denied the absolute status, thus old Islamic prejudice again "deheriat" became irrelevant, on the same time it helped merge space and time in what we now call "Space-time continuum" and continuously growing Universe, one which is still in making.This all was not in line with any rational interpretation of Koran which spoke of "creation fixed in time" Kun fa ya koon. Thus Koran has to read with some lens and like all modernists Marx, Darwin, Freud, Iqbal discovered the "Laws" "Kornic law of dynamics" Using Neitchze's anti rational method and passion, Einstein's theory, Bergson's radical new understanding of time [more metaphysical] Iqbal "True" meaning of Koran.

Shaheryar Ali said...

Now Nietzsche, I never said he is Iqbal's ideal.He was his philosophical inspiration of you can Iqbal is a "Nietzchen" .
In philosophy, every philosopher takes "metaphysical structure' from some earlier philosopher.He than transforms it, changes it and gives a new philosophy. Like Marx was Hegalian but he is 180 opposite to Hegel. Hegel and Idealist Marx a Materialist. But he is Hegelian. Because Marx has same "plane" as Hegel.
So same is Nietzsche and Allama. Iqbal way of doing philosophy is taken from Nietzsche but he makes his metaphysics different from Nietzsche. Difference is slight though and mainly on issues of "believing" Iqbal was believer, his master was not.

Shaheryar Ali said...

On Tradition
Islam or Religion in view of Iqbal is the "revealed truth".God, Prophet hood and Koran.
The Islam which got implemented is the "human" and "social expression" of the "real" faith which is like all real things a "Metaphysical Idea".
Great men have been constantly trying to implement the real Islam. Most of religion has resulted in tyranny n oppression. This was not Islam rather it was the false religion of King,Mullah and Pir.
This in Iqbal'v view is the real cause of Muslim failure

Baqi na rahi teri wu Aina zameeri
Ae Kushta e Sultani, o Mullai o Peeri
[O muslim you are no longr clear headed you who is a victim of Sultani Mullah and Pir]

Real Islam is a quest which started with Adam a quest to achieve "divine status" at social level its a struggle for liberation, equality, elimination of injustice, so it become essentially a "humanist project"
Iqbal's Islam is "Human-centric" not "Allah-centric".

"Muhammed" a Man is the Ideal not God who is a sort of "jealous lover".
Iqbal in his "deconstructive" attempts on Islam reversed the "Polarites" of God/Human construction of Metaphysics which in all religions [established] traced to Greeks.Iqbal finds it "false" so he reverses the polarities which "deconstructs" Islam [of falsehood] essentially opening up a way to humanist true Islam

1 Islam of Falsehood says: Allah is supreme being, Man is only a toy of a sort in his hand. "taqdeer ka gulam". Allah is not answerable to anyone. "be-niyaz" doesnt care.
2.Islam of truth

Khudi ku kur buland itna keh hur taqdeer se pehle
Khuda bande se khud poche, bata teri Raza kiya he

"Raza e Ilahii" is not the only thing, "Raza e Inasani" is equally supreme but it has to be achieved through "human ego" which also becomes title of a lecture of Reconstruction. "Immortality of Human ego". Again a deconstructive title , Islam of falsehood states only Allah is immortal. Due to his anti rational analysis Iqbal envisions man has part "divine" with his "special reading" of Koran finds support in terms like "My spirit" in Adam.
3. Islam of Falsehood says Adam was pushed from heaven bcz he sinned. Adam is shown to regret
4.Islam of truth , Allama reverses the polarities its Allah who regrets and misses adam

Baag e bahist se mughe izen e saffar diya tha kiyo
Kar e Jahan daraz he ub mera Intazar Kur

5.Islam of falsehood sees creation a task worthy of God. he is the creator
6.Islam of truth, human is a creator too. Allama says
Tu shab afridi mun chirag afridi
O God you created Night and I created Candel
You created poison and I created Medicine
the dialogue continues
7. Islam of falsehood states text of Koran is real Koran
8.Islam of truth states other wise
Ishiq Khuda ka rasool, Ishiq Khuda ki kitab

Reality always lies beyond appearance
Iqbal reversal of polarities is long, he completely deconstructs the Islam to expose its real essence.

esp imp is deconstruction of "Khuda"/"abad"
Iqbal considers "abdiat" equal but rather superior category

Muqam e abdiyat de kur na loo'n shan e khudawandi

"the abad" of Muhammed in "shahadat" is more imp in Iqba's view.
All discourse is based on metaphysical assumptions, which one other follower of Nietzsche , Derrida explained as "binary oppositions" dualities in which one is considered superior and other inferior right from start of civilization, and at "pre-thinking levels" these prejudice influence our thought n language. no matter how enlightened it is. In such text exposing these "binary oppositions" like "Presence/Absence,Light/Darkness, God/Human,White/Black, Man/Woman" [ist of this is superior and other is inferior in all existing discourse] is called deconstruction. Than by reversing the polarities,making inferior , superior, real freedom comes.
This is Derrida's deconstruction. As Iqbal belonged to same tradition his thinking was working on same line though he was before Derrida so didnt achieved this particular philosophy completely but it was what he was doing at a primitive level. This is the real meaning of Iqbal's most profound and even more profoundly misunderstood and misquoted verse of Iqbal

"Quat e Ishiq se hur Pasat ku bala kur de
Deher mein Ism e Muhammed se Ujala kur de"

read this verse in line of my discussion of "Khuda/Abad" polarity,in Kalam e shahadat and reversing of polarities and verse of masjid e qartaba "Ishiq khuda ka rasool" you will feel like first time the words of Iqbal verse made sense, esp use of "Pasat" and "bala". superior n inferior, upper n lower,

This is "Merd e momin" the "human-centric Islam" which allma thinks is true Koranic Islam.But remember reading of Koran is not literal or analytical, its too is anti rational ,literary, allegorical with a lens of Nietzsche and Bergson
Shariati will call it as "Koranic Mysticism" and will elaborate Allma's view of "Adam" or Man as a "dialectical combination of Divine and Matter", spirit n clay and . struggle of religion against religion one of falsehood and other of truth equality an humanism and justice

i hope i answered all n added some food for thought

Asif said...

Can you please tell me where can you find this book? I looked for it in many bookstores but none had it.

M. Umer Toor said...

@ Asif,

Where do you live?
If you live in Lahore. It is easily available at 'Ferozesons', both on Mall Road and Qaddafi Stadium.

If you live outside the Lahore, please send me you home-address here:

Humble regards.

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