Monday, October 18, 2010

Democracy according to Iqbal (II)

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.


  1. ya democratic rules shuold be according to the needs of the country.. just copy pasting them isnt gud enuff

  2. Bea, thank you so much for reading it. I think at this stage I would not be able to elaborate is very much, so I am copy posting it in order to understand it too in a more profound way. I will add my conclusive comments with the last excerpt.

  3. It occured in the second half of the 19th and 20th Century when the Turk nationalists were agitating for the curtailment of arbitrary powers of the Ottoman Caliph and the establishment of a democratic order in Turkey.

    It was during those years that Jamal-ud-Din Afghani had advanced the idea of Constitutional Caliphate for the retention of symbolic unity of the Muslim worl, under the protective wings of the Ottoman Caliphate.

    But the Sheikh-ul-Islam delievred a fatwa in Istanbul to the effect that under the Quran, obedience to those who command authority, was obligatory to all Muslims. Therefore those who wanted to curtail powers of Caliph was infidels and traitors.

    The conservative fatwa eventually led to abolition of the Caliphate and closure of the office of Sheikh-ul-Islam at the hands of Turk nationalists in 1942.

    According to new Turkish Ijtihad all powers of the Caliph stood transfered to the lected National Assembly of Turkey, and as a result the Muslim world broke up into numerous independent or semi-independent nation-states.

  4. I think, now the purpose of posting just the excerpt is being fulfilled. Thinking, thank you so much for sharing your opinions.