Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Indeed the first practical step that Islam took towards the realization of a final combination of humanity was to call upon peoples possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combine. The Quran declares, “O people of the Book! Come let us join together on the ‘word’ (Unity of God), that is common to us all.” The wars of Islam and Christianity, and, later, European aggression in its various forms, could not allow the infinite meaning of this verse to work itself out in the world of Islam. Today it is being gradually being realized in the countries of Islam in the shape of what is called Muslim Nationalism.
The conclusive remarks
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Islam and Ahmedism (1935)
During the nineteenth century were born Syed Ahmad Khan in India, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani in Afghanistan and Mufti Alam Jan in Russia… It is not possible here to give a detailed account of the transformation which these reformers brought about in the world of Muslim thought and feeling. One thing, however, is clear. They prepared to a great extent the ground for another set of men, i.e. Zaghlul Pasha, Mustafa Kamal and Raza Shah. The reformers interpreted, argued and explained but the set of men who came after them, although inferior in academic learning, were men who, relying on their healthy instincts, had the courage to rush into sun-lit space and do, even by force, what the new conditions of life demanded. Such men are liable to make mistakes; but the history of nations shows that even their mistakes have sometimes borne good fruit. In them it is not logic but life that struggles restless to solve its own problems. It may be pointed out here that Syed Ahrnad Khan, Syed Jamal-ud-Din Afghani and hundreds of the latter’s disciples in Muslim countries were not Westernized Muslims. They were men who had sat on their knees before the mullas of the old school and had breathed the very intellectual and spiritual atmosphere which they later sought to reconstruct. Pressure of modern ideas may be admitted; hut the history thus briefly indicated above clearly shows that the upheaval which has come to Turkey and which is likely, sooner or later, to come to other Muslim countries, is almost wholly determined by the forces within. It is only the superficial observer of the modern world of Islam who thinks that the present crisis in the world of Islam is wholly due to the working of alien forces.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930-34)
The idealism of Europe never became a living factor in her life, and the result is a perverted ego seeking itself through mutually intolerant democracies whose sole function is to exploit the poor in the interest of the rich. Believe me,
Muslim Democracy (1917)
The Democracy of Europe—overshadowed by socialistic agitation and anarchical fear originated mainly in the economic regeneration of European societies. Nietzsche, however, abhors this “rule of the herd” and, hopeless of the plebeian, he bases all higher culture on the cultivation and growth of an Aristocracy of Supermen. But is the plebeian so absolutely hopeless? The Democracy of Islam did not grow out of the extension of economic opportunity, it is a spiritual principle based on the assumption that every human being is a centre of latent power, the possibilities of which can be developed by cultivating a certain type of character. Out of the plebeian material Islam has formed men of the noblest type of life and power. Is not, then, the Democracy of early Islam an experimental refutation of the ideas of Nietzsche?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Islam As A Moral and Political Ideal (1909)
Democracy, then, is the most important aspect of Islam regarded as a political ideal. It must however be confessed that the Muslims, with their ideal of individual freedom, could do nothing for the political improvement of Asia. Their democracy lasted only thirty years and disappeared with their political expansion. Though the principle of election was not quite original in Asia (since the ancient Parthian Government was based on the same principle), yet somehow or other it was not suited to the nations of Asia in the early days of Islam… England, in fact, is doing one of our own great duties, which unfavourable circumstances did not permit us to perform. It is not the number of Muhammeadans which it protects, but the spirit of the British Empire that makes it the greatest Muhammadan Empire in the world.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Political Thought in Islam (1908)
In theory all Muslims, men and women, possess the right of election. There is no property qualification. In practice, however, women and slaves did not exercise this right. Some of the early lawyers seem to have recognized the danger of mass-elections as they endeavor to show that the right of election resides only in the tribe of the Prophet. Whether the seclusion of women grew up in order to make women incapable of exercising a right which in theory could not be denied to them, I cannot say.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Review on SOIS workshop: “What is Literature?” held on Saturday, 9th October 2010 at i2L Academy, PECHS, Karachi.
The weekend again had some new and unique things to know and think about literature, as this workshop was an effort to know the concept of literature and role of writers and poets in building a nation according to Iqbal.
Some excerpts from Asrar-o-Rumooz were read and then the participants were invited to revisit their own concepts of literature in the light of Iqbal’s views about good and bad literature. It was surprisingly observed that most of the qualities that were described as “bad” by the participants turned out to be the qualities of “good” literature according to Iqbal.
For Iqbal the literature should not slavishly imitate the existing realities but should be idealistic. Writers can address the existing issues and their solutions through characters that should become ideals for the readers, so that readers learn to apply the same approach in their lives. Also, writers and poets are responsible to guide the readers towards the positive side of the world, and to describe and show beauty, love, desire and the quest for glory. Literature should have vision and inspiration that could lead the reader towards character development and could unfold the layers of thinking in their mind.
Later, the literature of Pakistan since Iqbal was revisited in the light of the seven stages of Pakistan’s history and the ideals commonly sought by the nation, to see which writers and poets have influenced the masses most during various periods of our history.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Let's see how Iqbal, Waheed Murad, Goethe and Ibne-Safi look the History and what relationship of History can we found with our lives through their legendary works.
At the beginning of the session, we discussed that What is History for different ideologies and during this Sir Khurram mentioned that many people have considered history as "The story of the Soul", after which we had a brain-storming session in which participants discussed about the current problems of Pakistan. There were many but finally it was decided with consensus that there is only one problem that is related to history and that is "Identity Crisis".
In the next part of the session, I had to present a poem by Tasleem Faazli which was from the movie "Hero" and the song was picturized on Waheed Murad and Babrah Shareef with the lyrics
Mil gaye tum to ik yehi ghum hai (After finding you there is only one grief)
Pyar ziada hai zindagi kum hai (Love is more and life is less)
Since, through these workshops we are trying to discover the realities of
1. (1887-1906) Seek consensus: Our present journey started on December 27, 1886, when Muslim representatives from all over the sub-continent gathered at Aligarh and agreed to take all collective decisions with “consensus.” Mohammedan Educational Conference took this message to the masses and twenty years later a remarkable “consensus” was achieved when the community rose above sectarianism to form a common political party.
2. (1907-1926) Think long-term: All-India Muslim League, formed by consensus of the community, demanded separate electorates which were achieved twenty years later when the masses participated in general elections with great enthusiasm, casting votes according to separate electorates.
3. (1927-1946) Rise above yourself: Results of Election 1926 displayed unrestrained egoism: no single political party had been able to gain significance among Muslims. Iqbal showed that ego can only be perfected by achieving “a real collective ego”, and that requires selflessness. The biggest display of selflessness in recorded history was seen twenty years later when millions of Muslims from minority provinces voted for the creation of a country they were not destined to live in.
4. (1947-1966) Respect the law: The birth of
5. (1967-1986) Unite organically: Results of Election 1970 called upon the nation to urgently discover a deeper source of Unity, since no political party had gained significance in both wings of the country. Leaders failed and the country broke into two but “Unity” remained a dominant ideal in one form or another throughout the next twenty years.
6. (1987-2006) Learn through experience: Before the “Unity” dreamed by some visionaries could become a reality, the nation had to undergo a stage where it could act and feel as if it was other than itself.
7. (2007-2026) Accept: The Lawyers’ Movement of 2007 was unique because the masses led their “leaders” rather than the other way round, and achieved stated goals without using violence. Can the same spirit be displaced while coping with other crises that seem to be awaiting us? The future of the people of