Remembering Iqbal and his message of change

Posted on November 9, 2007
Filed Under >Raza Rumi, People, Poetry, Politics
Total Views: 28508


Raza Rumi

God, You created the night, I made the lamp
You created the earth, I made earthen pot out of it
It is me who created the mirror out of stone
It is me who made elixir out of poison

Today Pakistan celebrates Allama Iqbal’s birth anniversary with the usual lip-service. The key messages of Iqbal seem to have been lost in the maze of officialdom. This is further exacerbated by the hijacking of Islam and politics by vested interests, not to mention the recent events that have shook us all. Iqbal opposed exploitation, Mullahism, emphasised the principle of movement in Islamic thought; and highlighted “Ijtehad” (re-interpretation) of Islamic teachings through a modern parliamentary framework. Alas, all of that is nearly forgotten.
For instance he was clear about the layers of exploitation:

The world does not like tricks and
Of science and wit nor, their contests
This age does not like ancient thoughts,
From core of hearts their show detests.

O wise economist, the books you write
Are quite devoid of useful aim:
They have twisted lines with orders strange
No warmth for labour, though they claim.

The idol houses of the West,
Their schools and churches wide
The ravage caused for, greed of wealth
Their wily wit attempts to hide

The questions that Iqbal raises in his poetry are universal and deal with the larger issues of Man’s relationship with God and the Universe. This is why his poetry does not address any particular group, but the entire Muslim Ummah. He has inspired Muslims with the realization of life and urged them for self-reform and self-actualization by searching for their khudi or self.

After centuries of stagnation, Iqbal was a voice for reformation within Islam. Shah Walliullah had tried to open the debate but Iqbal represented the twentieth century consciousness of modern Muslims. Iqbal is therefore known across the Muslim world, widely read and quoted. Pity that in the homeland that he dreamt of talking of ijtehad threatens many a fatwa mongers. In Zarb-e-Kalim, he sings:

Your prayer cannot change the Order of the Universe,
But it is possible that praying will alter your being;
If there is a revolution in your inner Self
It will not be strange, then, if the whole world changes too

In the famous series of lectures – The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam – Iqbal held:

“….but since things have changed and the world of Islam is to-day confronted and affected by new forces set free by the extraordinary development of human thought in all its directions, I see no reason why this attitude (finality of legal schools) should be maintained any longer. Did the founders of our schools ever claim finality for their reasoning and interpretations? Never. …The teaching of the Qur’an that life is a process of progressive creation necessitates that each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessor, should be permitted to solve its own problems.”

Maulana Rumi and Iqbal communicated a shared message: de’dan day’gar amuz, shan’idan day’gar amuz (learn to see and think in a new way). As Suroosh Irfani writes eloquently, this

“message sums up an outlook of life as a forward assimilative movement, even as one remains rooted in an Islamic heritage. Indeed, the message arose in a historical context when old certainties were crumbling and the new were struggling to be born: Rumi lived at a time when the Muslim world was traumatised by Mongol invasions, while Iqbal’s was a time of awakening of the colonised masses that eventually led to the independence of India and Pakistan.”

What Pakistan appears today is not the dream that Iqbal articulated for a separate homeland for Muslims of India. The extremists waving their flags on government buildings and propagating a version of Islam that Iqbal resisted, while the peaceful activists are behind bars. I digress: The vision of the Quaid for a modern, democratic Pakistan where rule of law was to prevail has also been undermined. Somehow, I have been thinking of Habib Jalib – wish he was alive today – here are a few verses by him from a poem entitled Youm-i-Iqbal:

Log uthte hain jab tere ghareebon ko jagane
Sab shehar ke zardar pahunch jaate hain thane
Kehte hain yeh daulat hamein bakhshi hai khuda ne
Farsudah bahane wahi afsaane purane
Ai shair-e mashriq! Yehi jhute yehi bad zaat
Peete hain laoo banda-e mazdoor ka din raat

When we arise to wake the poor, the have nots
A beeline to the police station they make, these wealthy sots
They say that God this wealth to them allots
Oh these trite excuses, oh these dusty plots
Night and day the working men’s blood they suck, o poet of the East
These congenital liars, with the vileness of a beast

(Translated by fowpe sharma and Urdu transliteration by Hasan Abdullah)

It is time to reclaim Iqbal and save him from the clutches of forces that have been attempting to maintain the status quo; and promote obscurantism. His vision starts from the self and then reaches for the society and the Universe.


1. A Reader’s Words
2. Allama Iqbal dot com
3. Farzana Hassan
4. Revolutionary Democracy
5. Title Photo by Abro

Related ATP Post: Owning Mohammad Iqbal

59 Comments on “Remembering Iqbal and his message of change”

  1. Sada says:
    November 9th, 2007 11:14 pm

    Well, remembering Iqbal in the times of crisis is bit relieving as Iqbal always raises hopes and show some light at the end of tunnel. No doubt that Iqbal has discussed the idea of dynamic ijtihad in the context of modern nation state and ancillary to this debate he has also highlighted the role of parliament in Ijtihad and reconstruction. But, we all know by this Iqbal never meant a rubber stamped Parliament which readily endorses every attempt to humiliate human respect and dignity and by that I mean

  2. temporal says:
    November 9th, 2007 11:19 pm


    your lament is misplaced!

    The key messages of Iqbal seem to have been lost in the maze of officialdom.

    i agree the message IS lost…but come to think of it we seem to have excelled at losing messages

    we have (seemingly) lost the message of Allah, his prophet (saw), his companions, hussain………iqbal comes way down this list just before jinnah’s aug 11 speech to the CA.

    pardon me for being cynical…but there is only one person whose message we have learned and re learned – hazrat nachiavelli rehmatullahalaiheh

  3. temporal says:
    November 9th, 2007 11:21 pm



  4. whole LOTA love says:
    November 10th, 2007 12:29 am

    iqbal didnt like western democracy, was against the capitalist society, seemed close to socialist ideas, but was definitely a MUSLIM, but then Islam’s economic system is closed to the Capitalist form rather than socialism. He was against MULLAISM (as you wrote), so it means he didnt want this country to be a THEOCRATIC state.

    So what kind of system he wanted to have in this country????
    Its like he was confused on this issue too as he was about the division of India, he was in favour of united india, didnt endorse Sir syed’s TWO NATIONS THEORY in his early political career until he had a LEGENDARY VISION.

    wish he had lived a bit more longer to have another VISION about the form of government for his proposed state, he would definitely have enlightened his friend Jinnah about it.

    Thing that was concluded by Al beruni in his book KITAB-ul-hind back in 1o20AD, by Sir Syed in 19th century, it took him all his life to comprehend i.e Hindu and muslims are different nations in all aspects.

    In ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’ he wrote, “In all manners and usage they differ from us to such a degree as to frighten their children with us, with our dress, and our ways and customs. They declare us to be the devil’s breed, and our doings as the very opposite of all that is good and proper”. Al-Biruni, to many, is the real founder of the two-nation theory in South Asia.

    Iqbal was like Dr. Frankenstein who created a monster and didnt know how to deal with it and we call Iqbal A VISIONARY, huh!

  5. Zainab Shah says:
    November 10th, 2007 12:55 am

    These are difficult times especially for those who have already lived through Zia ul Haq’s time…deeply disturbing. And Sir, you have managed to explain the dilemma very accurately… we are missing the key instrument in any revolution… Strong, influential, honest leadership. The ‘walwala’, ‘the josh’ that was the motivation behind many a revolutions in the history of the world, that is still the essence of poetry of some of the greatest names of the sub-continent like Iqbal and Faiz among many others… that magic is missing. We are protesting for the sake of expressing ourselves not to break the chains of captivity. We come out in small groups and get arrested or beaten and that is the beginning and the end of the saga that was the protest. We publicize our protest before hand so that the police know where to show up. In the time of Zia ul Haq, the protests were arranged quietly but the protest itself may not have been quiet though. We are not united in actions, we all have aligned ourselves with small groups but the magic that we heard about as children regarding the Pakistan movement or the incredible power that was promised to the people by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto… ahh those speeches and that energy that the crowd brought to the congregation of the working class people. The need of the hour is for one leader to bring us all together so that we are not lost and we protest together, hand in hand, following someone who we actually believe, not those who have already let us down in the past, whom we found to be working for their personal gain. As stated in the beginning, these are troubled times …
    I apologize if it seems like I am pointing fingers, I am simply sharing my observation.

    God Bless us all

  6. MB says:
    November 10th, 2007 1:09 am

    Thanks GOD , Iqbal isn’t among us. . . Not my words

  7. anjaan says:
    November 10th, 2007 1:29 am

    This site is starting to disappoint a lot these days. What is with the doom and gloom?

    The place seems to have filled chock-a-block with wannabe revolutionaries. Go fly a kite instead, people. Pakistan is fine as it is, Mush has been very good for Pakistan’s stability, economy and also religious moderation. Just because you want to be “armchair revolutionaries”, you’re ruining the site, ruining the days of so many Pakistanis, especially students. Mushy needs the emergency to tackle the resurgent Taliban who are now as close as Swat. So either be patriotic or stfu with your useless rhetoric.

  8. Ibrahim says:
    November 10th, 2007 2:00 am


    I will read the whole post later but I ask Raza Rumi sahib to explain to us how “ijtehad” means “RE”-interpretation?! This is gross mis-translation. What a shame. On top of that, re-interpretation is based on “a modern parliamentary framework.” If you wish, we can try to completely analyze the word ijtehad and see what it really means! We can start with the three-letter root word from which ijtehad comes and do the whole morphology on it and see what it really means both linguistically and in technical terms.

    You can quote Iqbal and Rumi and Jalab and I will quote a person against whom you can put millions of Iqbals and Rumis but still will fail to tip the scale against his favor. Imam Shafi’ said: “People did not become ignorant nor differed except after their abandonment of the Arabic language and their inclination to the language of Aristoteles!” And, both of these characteristics are present here: Mistranslation of the Arabic word and use of bogus logic in matters of Islam. The message of Iqbal is truly lost on many people, including you. Look at Iqbal’s actions and see if he truly wanted what you are preaching.

    More to come later, inshaAllah. Please stop writing such posts…it has become childish, really, unless you’re also after sensationalism!

  9. Ahsan says:
    November 10th, 2007 2:54 am

    To learn more about Iqbal read the following:

  10. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 10th, 2007 4:18 am

    Reza Rumi,
    I thought nobody would think about Iqbal today,

    There is no second to Iqbal, you try to put others next
    to him , they will look like Lilliputians immitators.
    Iqbal’s unique works were hyjacked by revolutionaries
    who fraudulantly distorted it and “mis-interpreted” into
    their theories for Political gains and targets.


    Yes, the Greek language not only created confusions when
    translated by Arabs, but also when translated into other
    Indo-European languages like Latin, Germanic, or Celtic
    and particularly religious works translated in or from
    Greek turned into a disaster, catastrophy.
    When Greek mythology was translated by Arabs, the
    Europeans benefited entirely, but Arabs inherited so many
    confusions and creation of sects within Islam, like
    Muttaziala, Kharijite, Qadaria, etc etc..


    Pls. Say ” Hazrat Machiavelli La’anatullah-e-alKizab “

  11. November 10th, 2007 4:59 am

    Once again a well written and thought provoking article at ATP.

    I agree with the author that our so called religeous scholars have always resisted Ijtehad which I assume is root of our many problems. We have paid a very high price of neglecting Ijtehad.

  12. Adam Insaan says:
    November 10th, 2007 5:00 am

    Salam-Alaiquum , brothers and sisters inside PAKistan as well overseas.

    Shykriya Rumi for this post, As Ibrahaim, I will comment it later after reading it throughly.

    For now : Ibrahim@

    What disturbs me with the current ruler-regime/Generals, (in this context post-reading Your comment )
    is that they do seem to look` upto` the life and philosophy implemented by Mr. Cemal Ata T

  13. Samad says:
    November 10th, 2007 6:28 am

    This is one of the best pieces I have read about Iqbal; not because it is erudite but it is exactly the opposite. It makes two direct points- how the establishment has usurped the message of Iqbal and how the muslim orthodoxy has resisted ijtehad. These are the two messages that hold much relevance to our current state of affairs.

    About the comment made by Ibrahim: all I can say is that the earlier interpretations of the Quran completed centuries ago require re-interpretation and that is what Iqbal asked for and stressed in his lectures and poetry. We need to move beyond technicalities. I am no Islamic scholar but I know that a lot of things taught as “Islamic” are human interpretations. And a progressive and dynamic religion like Islam cannot be a hostage to centuries old interpretations.

  14. Jamal Qidwai says:
    November 10th, 2007 7:05 am

    Khud hi ko kar buland itna keh har faisley say pehlay,
    Chief justice tujh say khud poochay, bata teri raza kia hai!

  15. D_a_n says:
    November 10th, 2007 7:09 am

    Excellent post Raza….

    the points raised about Ijtehad are very true…and I supposed hit home for me more as I see our current religious chaos as a direct result of the ‘Islamic Clergy’ opposing it tooth and nail…


    your kidding right??? have you ever even read Iqbal? I have Arab friends who know more about Iqbals message than you…pity for that…

  16. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 10th, 2007 8:03 am

    Samad Saheb,

    As you said you are not Islamic scholar, but the
    impression i get from you is that Islam needs revision
    or re-interpretation so that it becomes ‘progressive’
    and “dynamic”, and that ” Iqbal” wished or
    wanted that way, I would humbly suggest you to
    please refer :

    Sura 3 ayat 7 of Al Quran.

    1.5 Billion Muslims and same amount of
    interpretations ? its suspicious ?

    Iqbal never ever wanted Islam to be “progressive”
    style Leninist, marxist, Maoist, or even socialist,

    Mazdoor Kisaan and Musaawat is not at all
    an invention or monopoly of leftists.

    You can, very easily, seperate the “human interpretations”
    from the Quranics and Prophetics.

    Even many “experts” of Iqbal have very corrupt
    interpretations, they call themselves ” Iqbalists”.

  17. JMA says:
    November 10th, 2007 8:46 am

    Although I am never in favour of military rule but I do agree with anjaan that the general has done some good for the country as opposed to the thugs and thieves (BB and Sharif), obviously now the human greed came into play and the matter of so called “kursi”that no one wants to leave. Atleast Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had a vision for the people of Pakistan and the whole muslim world but Miss Bhutto is a total disgrace to Pakistan and to her fathers good name….and Lets make sure that she never return to the power….

  18. November 10th, 2007 9:27 am

    Raza Bhai,

    Excellent post as usual, I recall that the Allama never smiled in any of his portraits because he said he could not do so as he never felt joy because his people were in chains of poverty and injustice. Today we are in the same predicament, when will we as a nation rise together and create a Pakistan we can be proud of, one that lives and breathes the Allama

  19. November 10th, 2007 9:27 am

    Utho! meri duniya keh ghareebon ko jagaa do
    kaakh-e-umraa key dar-e-deewar hila do

  20. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 10th, 2007 10:23 am

    Pak tea House

    Its not only between rich and poor you can
    go further pls.

    Jis khait say dehqa’n ko muyassar na ho rozi
    us khet kay har khosha-e-gandum ko jala

    @ Wasim Arif/other Pakistan

    you have ruined the sher and en plus its irrelevant.

  21. November 10th, 2007 11:04 am

    Rafay Saheb:
    That was a great verse – but your comment was a little unclear – were you saying that mere awareness raising was not enough – a revolution should be in order?

  22. Ahsan says:
    November 10th, 2007 11:09 am

    In Pakistan we have three national heros. All three are great persons. One is the Great Leader, the second is the great Allama and the third is the great Scientist. The first created Pakistan as it was envisioned by the second, while the third has given to Pakistan an eternal life with his Atom Bomb.

    These three are perfect men without any fault. For this reason we are told only their public lives and public achievements. From this point Raza Rumi has done a very good job in the presentation of Allama Iqbal. In this effort he does not hesitate even to shrink the universe to suit his requerement when he writes:

    “The questions that Iqbal raises in his poetry are universal and deal with the larger issues of Man

  23. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 10th, 2007 11:23 am

    All commentators,

    No need to interpret what I am going to offer you
    from only Iqbal :

    Mera tareeq, Ameeri nahein faqeeri hay
    Khudi na baich, Ghareebi mein Naam paidah kar

    Tu reh-navard-e-shauq hay, manzil na kar qoboul
    Laila bhi humneshain ho to mohmil na kar qoboul

    Aiy jou-e-abb, barh kay ho, darya-e-tund-o-taiz
    Sahel tujhay atta ho to sahel na kar qoboul

    A propos,

    Iqbal has written an illuminating Qita under the
    title of “Azadi-e-fikr ” (Freedom of Thought). It says

    Freedom of thought for them is ruinous,
    Who do not posses a disciplined mind;
    If mind is immature, freedom of thought,
    Is the way to make a man beast.

    some more to come later

  24. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 10th, 2007 11:37 am

    Pak tea house,

    yes, unless, the rights are not established,

    unless the rozi (earning bread) is not guaranteed
    you can burn down the pastures which
    can not assure you the bread even though
    you (Dehqan) are toiling it.

    @ missed ” do ” in the end of jala do

  25. November 10th, 2007 12:29 pm

    Rafay Saab,

    Im confused ?, why is quoting the Allama on the hollowness of me and you as Muslims irrelevant?

    Also if I quoted the sher incorrectly I apologise but please be helpful and correct it bhai!



  26. Raza Rumi says:
    November 10th, 2007 12:30 pm


    I respect your views and the right to differ and even trash my views here-

    The ijtihad that A. Iqbal was asking for implied the re-opening of the doors of ijtihad which our orthodoxy holds that have been closed since the four schools documented their respective interpretations nearly 8 centuries ago.

    ijtihad is the central to Iqbal’s vision. He opined that Muslim laws could be modified from time to time under the core principles of Islam, which are universal for all times. And, the modern parliament can facilitate that. This was the essence of his lecture that I quoted in the post.

    Ijma: Since Quran, Hadith and Qiyas (legal syllogism) constitute Islamic knowledge, Iqbal recommends Ijma as another valid source in Islam. However, he interprets ijma as the parliamentary process. He held that national development and state-policies are entrusted to the parliament (subject to the presence of a good number of qualified religious scholars).

    Private life: this post was not about how Iqbal’s personal life – that may have its role in his intellectual and poetic development and is a separate subject in itself.

    All I am saying is that Iqbal’s vision had some fundamental calls for change: transformation of Muslims’ condition across the globe and in particular India, infusing modernity in the way Islamic laws had been settled centuries ago, a strong emphasis on social justice and above all an inner transformation of the muslim ‘self’ that had suffered a long spell of orthodoxy and colonialism.

    Ahsan: thanks for pointing out the apparent contradicitions in the text.While the themes of Iqbal’s poetry are universal, his primary audience – poetic works and prose – is the Ummah!

  27. November 10th, 2007 12:33 pm

    Ibrahim Bhai,

    I really disagree with your diatribe against Raza’s post especially given YOU HAVE NOT READ IT!!!!!

    I need not quarrel with you for it will achieve nothing, you can laud Imam Shafi alone and I and others can do likewise for Iqbal and Rumi but you talk of childish behaviour, how can you criticise the points without reading the post. Come on bhai, be fair to Raza and to others.



  28. Raza Rumi says:
    November 10th, 2007 12:58 pm

    Dear Wasim Arif- thanks for the defence (!) but I think it is important that there is disagreement and debate – a thousand flowers must bloom, always.

  29. Adnan says:
    November 10th, 2007 1:18 pm

    they call themselves

  30. Ibrahim says:
    November 10th, 2007 5:42 pm


    Rafay: Imam Shafi meant Greek logic really and not literally the Greek language when he said ‘Aristoteles’, as you pointed out. Yes, Mutaliziah fitnah was a direct result of injecting Greek logic in the matters of Islam.

    Samad: Tell us one thing: Are the laws of Islam today hostage to the sunnah (actions) of Rasoolullah (saw)? Authentic Quranic tafaseer are explained this way: An ayah is first explained from another ayah from Quran, then ahadeeth, then ijmaa’ of shahbah, salaf, etc.? Now, tell us where are the “interpretations” of the authors authentic tafaseer.

    Raza Sahib: I specifically asked you how you ended up translating “ijtehad” as RE-interpretation! You failed to answer this. I’m not asking when the door of ijtehad was closed and who closed it, and what Iqbal had to say for it. If ijtehad doesn’t mean RE-interpretation, would you care to update your post and make that clear in future comments?

    Re-opening door of ijtehad doesn’t mean re-interpretation. I think it’s a simple enough concept to understand. Yes, Iqbal called for it. But, so did scholars of Islam starting from ibn Taymiyyah to many today. However, your concept of re-opening ijtehad is re-interpretation based upon ‘modern parliamentary framework’, which is not what Iqbal is saying. What these personalties mean is doing ijtehad within a strict limit of shariah and applying the concept of what is known as Maqasid ash-shariah (the goals of shariah) in fiqh. Ijtehad is based on Quran, Sunnah, ijmaa’ and then qiyaas and not some modern platform.

    Also, you are incorrect in making a general statement of using ijtehad in all matters of Islam. Please know that ijtehad IS NOT allowed in matters of clear injections (muhkamaat) because there is no need, of course! This includes the five pillars, hadd punishments in general, etc. Please bring me one authenic source (not the run of the mill, igornat progressives), even Iqbal, where this concept is challeneged. Yes, rules that are affected by culture/time/circumstances can be changed from time and place but that changed has to be based on Quran and Sunnah and done by mujtahids and not on some modern theory and by laypersons like politicians, “intellectuals”, and what have you Would it be appropriate to ask a group of medical doctors, who in their own right are learned people, to design an airplane? Then, how come some learned intellectuals in a parlimentary settings be allowed to derive injunctions from Quran and Sunnah, etc. Does usul (principles [of jurisprudence]) mean nothing to people? Or you think any learned person automatically knows all what’s written in Quran and Sunnah and usul that Quran and Sunnah champion.

    If what you say about Iqbal’s interpretation of ijma’ being parlimentary-based, then he is sorely wrong. This concept of ijma’ is of course not new. Imam Sahfi’ in his book al-Umm talks about ijmaa’ and how the permissibility of ijmaa’ can be found in al-Quran. Here is the issue: You are championing changing the rulings in Islam from one time to another based on “core principles of Islam”, right? But, you have demonstrated that in fact you are advocating for changes in the core principle of Islam! How? You are suggesting, based on how you interpret Iqbal, that consensus of modern parlimentary body can be taken as ijmaa’ in shariah/fiqh! However, the core principle is that ijmaa of sahabah, then the rest of salaf is looked at first and finally the sound/authentic scholars to come to a conclusion. In fact, Imam Malik was so strict that he would only accept the ijmaa’ of the learned of ahl al-Madinah in matters of difference of opinions because he believed what learned people of ahl al-Madinah did can be considered to be closest to what Rasoolullah (saw) did. Now, please do compare the ijmaa principle of these imams and what you are talking about. To me, it is clear that a fundamental shift is being advocated in the core principles, like ijmaa’ here, unbounded use of qiyaas and then the worst of all hadith rejectors (no Sunnah!). The fact is to reach to vague, liberal rulings or to outlandishly change rulings in Islam one is forced to change the principles because otherwise it’s not possible, walhamdulillah.

    Opening the door of ijtehad means tackling issues like IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) birth, fiqh al-aqaliyaat (minority fiqh, for today we see an unprecedent situation where a large Muslims communities live in non-Muslim lands), and how DNA tests are to be judged in cases of hadd, etc, etc. On the other hands, there are completely illetrate intellectuals who want to do fake ijtehad to re-interpret shariah laws rather than knowing where exactly ijtehad is needed.

    Lastly, with all due respect, you are saying much more than just propagating Iqbal’s call for ‘change’. Social justice, self-transformation through Islam are achieved on matters that are settled and have clear injunctions and do not need ijtehad. They only need to be preached and reintroduced! Allahu Alam

  31. Talawat Bokhari says:
    November 10th, 2007 6:11 pm

    Thare is one famous stanza of Iqbal’s poetry:
    “Deen-e-Mullah fi-sabilillah fassaad”

    I tried to trace out this stanza from the ‘Kuliyaat-Kakaam-e-Iqbal’ but could not find it.

    Will you kindly refer me to the poem which contains this stanza? I suspect it was deliberately omitted from the Kulyaat printed by the official Services Club which I am referring to.

  32. November 10th, 2007 6:24 pm


    The aeroplane example doesnt fly quite literally with me. Let me ask a simple question, are you saying Ijtihad has to come from the Mullah or their like or not?.



  33. Adam Insaan says:
    November 10th, 2007 6:49 pm

    Well, a rather interesting academic discussion is going on.
    Thank You all for enlightening me. Although, am I then a
    enlightened moderate….?!?!?! – just getting in the rhetoric

    Have anybody read ,apropos, the discussion that is going on ;
    The book of Tariq Ramadan, (grandson of Hassan al-Banna)
    I think the name of the book is :
    something like “To bee a European Muslim”
    It created quite some fuoror

  34. Ibrahim says:
    November 10th, 2007 9:45 pm


    Is it extremely clear?! Of course, ijtehad mustcome from scholars, the muftis, the mujtahids. And, if you think they are also “Mullah”, as in most of the moulvis in your neighborhood mosques, then that is a mistake on your part.

    I ask again: Do usul (principles of jurisprudence) mean anything to people? Wihtout ever undertaking a rigorous course of study in Islamic sciences can you ever sincerely believe that you have even an atom’s worth of ability to derive rulings. Can a lawyer without any study of law be trusted? Can a lawyer be trusted when he doesn’t even know the language of the constitution/law books he is supposed to use? And, I hope you know that jurisprudence means Islamic LAW!

  35. Watan Aziz says:
    November 10th, 2007 10:36 pm

    Sharia, fiqh, ijtehad, ijma are so fundamental to our body of thinking that you would believe that right after the concept of

  36. Adnan says:
    November 11th, 2007 2:30 am

    Wasim Arif, bhai kaise beytukay sawal kartay ho?

    If someone tells me that software methodologies must be defined by Doodhwala of my area then I would certainly feel sympathy for that poor chap.

    Our liberals want to use Ijtehad in same manner like Christians of old times used the “tool” to alter their Bible. Cunning attempt that’s all I can say.

  37. Adnan says:
    November 11th, 2007 2:32 am

    Ayan Harsi Ali, Asra Nomani,Irshan Manji are IDEAL Ijtehadists for our enlightened class- LOL

  38. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 11th, 2007 2:51 am

    Talawat Bokhari,

    “Deen-e-mullah, fi-sabilillah fassad ”

    If my memory is good, this verse has its lineage to
    Karl Marx, or a slogan of Communist Party of
    Pakistan satelite of PPP.

  39. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 11th, 2007 3:26 am



    I thought, perhaps I went too far with my terminology
    of Iqbalist, now you come with Ijtihadists, thats good
    too. Well, have been thinking about ‘Iqbalians’, but its
    too soft !!

    Watan Aziz,

    Very long “Sharia” to arrive at the destination slipped
    out of our hands following all those piously misguided,
    ignorant thekedar who have, very wrongly, passed over
    their’profession’ to the present day piously, rightly
    mis-guided, correctly- ignorant, secular-leftist ‘ advisors’.
    ( replacing ‘thekedar’).

    Blind Taqleed, can only be convinced to mentaly blinds.

  40. D_a_n says:
    November 11th, 2007 7:17 am

    @ Adnan…

    Ayan Harsi Ali, Asra Nomani,Irshan Manji…these people that you peak off…I have followed them well…so my question to you is…what in the world do you find common between Ijtehad…and what they actually advocate…

    I maybe wrong…but it seems to me that you wilfully confuse Ijtehad..a valid tool at the disposal or Muslims to further their understanding of a constant religious Idea in a life which is always in flux….with ‘doctoring’ of religion…
    it may shock you..but most of us are not up at night thinking how best we can mould our religion to our own mindsets but just the opposite…
    maybe it is you who…infact is looking at it in that manner….

    I would put before you a question if you will be kind enough to answer it…

    would you prefer a structured way through which Muslims understand their religion in times of social and moral changes…..and be guided by a layered process which has at its heart consensus and legitimacy….

    or do you prefer every man with a beard pronouncing Fatwas to his liking…ala the proverbial ‘daidh eenth kee masjid’….

    I know I would prefer the former.

  41. November 11th, 2007 11:55 am

    Watan Aziz:
    “Our biggest problem is that these piously misguided and ignorant

  42. Raza Rumi says:
    November 11th, 2007 12:52 pm

    Ibrahim Sb:
    thanks for your elaborate comments. If ijtihad is not interpretation then what else is it. Whilst you ask me the meaning, would you please cite ONE definition that sums it up – there are just too many nuances of the concept depending how you approach it. I take your point that re-interpretation perhaps is misleading but the idea was that the earlier interpretations (whom you rely heavily in your comment) need to be examined afresh. And, there is nothing DIVINE about them. They were human jurists – and the jurists/scholars of today can re-interpret it.

    Of course, Iqbal’s views are open to debate and you are at liberty to disagree on them.
    I know religion is a sensitive subject and therefore I apologise if your sensibilities were offended.
    And, please also note that as a believer I know rather well that core principles cannot change – what can however includes quite a lot including many of the so called Islamic laws in Pakistan!

    and , about inner transformation etc.:

    “God does not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves”; (Sura 13, Aya 11)

    D_a_n: thanks for your comment. I prefer the “former” too.

  43. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 11th, 2007 3:15 pm

    Dear commentators,

    We have taken Iqbal to a long long way, away
    from the point, whereas it is quite simple, he
    wanted to get rid of colonialism, re-establishing
    muslim identity, and bringing back muslim’s role
    in the society. (atleast) Has anyone got any grain of
    doubt about it ??

    We can discuss for an eternity about his mystic
    Kalam, and his other numerous qualitatives,

  44. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 11th, 2007 3:32 pm

    Including myself,

    Iqbal bara updeshak hay,
    mann baton mein moh layta hay

    Guftaar ka ye Ghazi to banaa,
    Kirdaar ka Ghazi ban na saka.

    One more, very deep ! on colonialism

    Mullah ko jo hay hind mein, sajday ki ijazat
    Nada’n ye samjta hay keh Islam hay Azaad

  45. Talawat Bokhari says:
    November 11th, 2007 7:53 pm

    Iqbal was a great charlatan. He sang:

    “Hindi hein ham watan he Hindostan hamaara”

    and also:

    “Muslim hein ham watan he saara jahaan hamaara”

    He became ‘Sir’ at the threshold of the British imperialism and sang the songs of independence.

    Moulana Zafar Ali had rightly said about him:

    “Turkon ne shujahat se Samarna ko kia sar
    (aur) Angrez ki dehleez pih sar (Sir) ho geya Iqbal”

    He talked of two nations, by which he perhaps meant Hindies and Kashmiries as he could never envision any Paky nation.

    Allah ne to pak dharti banai aur usko masjid qarar dia magar ham ne uske ek hisse ko Pak nam de kar napak kar dia jahaan insan apne buniadi haqooq se bhi mehroom kar dia gia. What a shame!

  46. D_a_n says:
    November 12th, 2007 1:56 am

    @ Talawat Bokhari…

    your post…has not contributed to the ongoing discussion in anyway but you have just tried to barge in with a ‘provocative’ statement….

    and by the fact that you use the word ‘Paky’ shows that you are not a self respecting Pakistani…and feel no shame in using an openly racist term akin to calling a black man a ‘nigger’ to describe your own identity…

    I would advise you not to use this word on this forum..maybe its something that you just picked up…but I suggest you try to be on the receiving end of this slur and then come back and try and use it…

    And Also, your last paragraph….so you are laying our collective failure as Pakistani’s at Iqbals feet?
    how can any sane man do that? why stop at Iqbal….why not blame Jinnah as well then….
    that is…Talawat Sb…borderline drivel….

  47. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 12th, 2007 8:08 am

    Raza Rumi,

    To all commentators

    Iqbal’s memorial day and the current negative,
    worrysome events in Pakistan oblige me to share
    with you all some tears, those, which I could’nt hold.

  48. Talawat Bokhari says:
    November 12th, 2007 6:13 pm

    Iqbal’s best stanza in my view is:

    “Deen-e-Mullah fi sabeelillah fassaad”

    But I dont find it in the ‘Kuliyaate Iqbal’ published by the official Services Club.

    Will some body kindly refer me to the context, the relevant poem by Iqbal?

  49. Talawat Bokhari says:
    November 12th, 2007 6:48 pm


    I am sorry dear D_A_N that you got offended. Here it would perhaps be relevant to quote Iqbal himself:

    “Sach keh doon aey brehman gar too bura nah maane
    Tere sanam kade ke but ho gaey puraane”
    ( I may tell the truth if you idol (Iqbal?) worshiper don’t mind that the idols of your worship house have become obsolete)

    Can you please tell me for what services Iqbal was knighted by the ‘Farangies’?

    If you consider it a slur to be called ‘Paky’ what, in your view, should be the name to be given to the nation whose struggle for self-determination resulted in the establishment of the Federation of Pakistan?

  50. November 13th, 2007 1:46 am


    My Reply to Wasim Arif is applicable to everyone who has been favoring about modern Ijetahdists.

    Offcourse I have no issue if you are trust in Doodh Wala ;)

  51. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 13th, 2007 4:43 am

    Talawat Bokhari,

    Iqbal was knighted because, for “Frangies ” there was
    no other choice but to render respect to a muslim who
    acheived such hights of sagesse and nobility in jura and
    philosophy and other expertises. Do you know Syed Ahmed
    Khan was also decorated by “Sir”.

    Although in the past these colonials had mutilated the
    names of muslims savants like Ibn-Rush, was changed
    into Avoreos, etc.

    Andhi Taqleed,
    Iqbal said,

    Taqleed ki rawish say to behtar hay khudkushi

    Rastah bhi doondh, khizr ka saudah bhi chaurh day.

  52. Raza Rumi says:
    November 13th, 2007 7:27 am

    Talawat Bokhari:

    the context of the verse is:

    qoum kia cheez hay qoumo ke imammat kia hay
    is ko kia janay ye bechara do rakaat ka immam
    bayan may nukta tawheed aa to sakta hay
    teray dimagh may but khana ho to kia kahiye
    deen-e- kafir fikr-wo-tadbeer-e- jihad
    deen mullah fee-sabeellillah fasaad

    I think the use of term Paki/Paky is reflective of the racist stereotyping that is all pervasive now – therefore it is no longer a benign ‘national’ identity. We ought to refrain from using it lest we give in to overt racism.

    Rafay: you are absolutely right about Iqbal’s key message. About your tears – I think we all have some on that….

    Adnan bhai: there is nothing modern or conventional about Ijtehad – Islam is a dynamic, living religion for all times to come and Allah has shown the path to his followers ony if institutionalized monopolies were to let Muslims think for themselves..

    Let it be clear that there is no “clergy” in Islam and no room for theocratic hierarchies! The reality alas is otherwise.

  53. November 13th, 2007 8:20 am

    Raza, are you really not understanding or just trying to play? There was nothing between lines you can figure out?

    For you, even Meera can advise you religious matter on request. :-)

    Offcourse same “No Clergy excuse” become a reason to reject Hadiths and companions.

    As far as clergy is concerned, reality is different. How can we reject the faith that Shiaiites always follow some Ayatullah while Agha Khanis follow their Cleric Agha Khan and Bohri follows Burhanuddin?

    Can we talk about realities Raza? :)

  54. November 13th, 2007 8:36 am

    By your definition, Muhammad(SAW) shouldn’t have been sent on earth. Why did Allah make such efforts when He could just leave a Copy of Quran on some top of mount so that everyone could Interpretate himself? Why Allah had to send so many Prophets on earth?

  55. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 13th, 2007 5:52 pm

    Raza Rumi,

    I must say that the photos (two poses) with design
    and colours the most beautifull photos of The Shair-e-
    Mashriq. Chapeau !

  56. November 14th, 2007 4:25 am
  57. sifi says:
    April 7th, 2008 4:37 pm

    wel i was just goin thru d blog…..the sher above zahid peene de masjid main beth kar was not by iqbal….it was by ghalib…..i think mr wasim got it wrong….in fact 2 this sher allama iqbal replyd wid a beautiful sher.wel m not here 2 pinpoint…..was just 2 curious 2 know….as i think dats true….anyone plz can mail me at

  58. Lutf says:
    November 8th, 2009 4:41 pm

    جون نے اپنے بالوں کی لٹ پیچھے کرتے ہوئے کہا مثلاً ڈاکٹر اقبال کا ہیرو بیک وقت اورنگ زیب بھی ہے اور سرمد بھی۔ ایک ہی شاعر بیک وقت قاتل اور مقتول دونوں کو بلند کردار کہہ رہا ہے۔۔ مسولینی میں عظیم انسان کی کون سی خوبیاں تھیں؟ وہ ڈاکٹر اقبال کا ہیرو کیسے ہوگیا ؟ برٹش امپائر کے شہنشاہ کے سامنے اقبال نے سرِ تسلیم کیسے خم کردیا؟ کیا عظیم شاعر کا یہی کردار ہوتا ہے کہ وہ ہر طبقے کے لوگوں کو خوش کرنے کی کوشش کرے؟ اور شاہین ایک ایسا خونخوار طائر ہے جس میں رحم کا جذبہ ہرگز نہیں ہوتا۔ کیا اقبال نے شاہین کو علامت بنا کر انسان کو خونخوار بننے کی تعلیم نہیں دی ؟؟

  59. Watan Aziz says:
    November 8th, 2010 10:28 pm

    First, perhaps the the finest lectures (book) given (written) by man in the last 1,000 years, is the masterpiece “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”. You really have to roll back to ibnRushd to get another masterful stoke. And then you have to roll back to Imam Ali, to get a purpose.

    The titles of these lectures are themselves are amazing:
    -Knowledge and Religious Experience
    -The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience
    -The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer
    -The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality
    -The Spirit of Muslim Culture
    -The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam
    -Is Religion Possible?

    And, if anyone wants to get the sense of a Muslim experience, go figure these lectures.

    Any serious discussion of sharia (yes, with a small ‘s’, the big ‘S’ is only one, the Qur’an) cannot take place in absence of these lectures of the Great Allama.

    Simply put, ‘Great Allama is amazing’!

    Which begs the question to all those who like to quote all sorts of terminology and the science of terminology, and the masters of terminology, where do you find guidance about those and them in the Qur’an?

    And if you answer has anything to do with citation of ‘namaz’, please save your breath and keystrokes, I am not wasting my time over childlike answers!

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)