Allama Iqbal’s Political philosophy
Political philosophy is akin to conceptual bedrocks, which lead the basics of states affairs, including the government, laws, legislature, and judicial matters. In Iqbal’s poetry, the formulation of laws in the light of Islamic philosophy can be noticed. Still, one of his magnum opus, ‘The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam,’ provides a comprehensive outlook regarding Islamic philosophy. The fundamental and centerpiece of his concern are to revamp Islam in the modern age. He was convinced that only Islamic polity has all those credentials required to manage state affairs and curb exploitation in the world. Iqbal opposed the stationary condition of Islamic law as it has not advanced for the last five hundred years. He contends that the progress of humanity is improbable without advancements and changes. He criticizes the pace through which Muslims are embarking on the journey to emulate the West. He believed that ‘the younger generation in Asia and Africa are looking for a fresh orientation of Islam that’s why it is the need of the hour to examine the European thought and deduce how far the European thought can help us revive the Islamic values.’
Iqbal believes in a ‘spiritual democracy’ in which laws will be established in the sight of Islamic procedure. The religious foundation is a prerequisite in establishing the state as he says, “segregation of religion from politics culminates in tyranny”. It is a dire need for a spiritual interpretation of the universe. The actual objective of the Muslim social order is to preserve the piety of the person and create opportunities for his spiritual progress. The crux of criticism on western democracy lies in the materialistic ends and inadequate ethic and spiritual concerns. Iqbal has regard for classless and divine democracy in which people from all strata of society take advantage, and influential people do not have superiority. Some of the important points of Iqbal’s concept of ‘Spiritual Democracy’ are following,
- Iqbal presents “Tawheed” as a central principle to the establishment of an Islamic state. This state will be free of any discrimination based on religion, color, geography, and language. “Tawheed” is the only binding force among Muslims.
- People have the prerogative to elect their representatives, but both (electors and elected) must work within the boundaries chalked out by Allah’s law.
- The state will be the trust of Allah.
- Islamic consultative assembly must be put in place to monitor the laws and policies following Islamic Law.
- Parliamentarians are responsible for observing divine law and considering the option of ‘Ijtihad’ for accommodating change following the modern age.
- The whole Muslim World must implement spiritual democracy to attain peace and prosperity.
- Iqbal discourages the concentration of wealth in a few hands. He emphasizes the need for an Islamic economic system to ensure equal distribution of resources and acquire economic uplift.
- He rejected the rule of kingship and feudalism.
Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal targeted two main western concepts. First was Western democracy, and the second was Nationalism. He criticized Western democracy owing to its importance to ‘numbers of people instead of people’s abilities. He contended that Islam bestows us with the social and political system, and it gives a true way to achieve dignity and identity. He maintained that the western democratic system did not apply to the Subcontinent due to the existence of two different nations. He indicated that democracy does not mean to imitate the structure of the West, but it should be a government in which humanity and kindness can flourish.
As far as Nationalism is concerned, Iqbal vehemently opposed territorial and geographical nationality. He was of the view that territorial Nationalism can lead Muslims astray. Some of the important points of Iqbal’s idea of Nationalism are following,
- Faith and culture have significant importance for a nation’s building.
- A criterion of land to be a nation is not enough.
- A nation devoid of spiritual basis will be transformed into communalism.
- Usually, nationalists apply artificial means to attain solidarity and unity, but faith can be a more viable source of bonding.
- Brotherhood and unity can be achieved by keeping faith in “Tawheed” and taking Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a sole guide.
- Islamic universalism can be gained through Muslim Nationalism.
Unfortunately, people and students of the modern age show a strange dissatisfaction with the Islamic System. Many of us think that all those who talk about the Islamic system either are intellectually crippled or impractical. I think what we think results from our failure to understand Islam and our inability to make Islam a priority. Islamic system demands commitment and a shift in political preferences for taking roots. Iqbal’s approach to the Islamic system reflects that Islam is a complete code of life.
Wali Ejaz Nekokara is a graduate of the school of politics and international relations. He takes an interest in exploring Islam, the social issues of Pakistan, and World Politics. He is an admirer of Allama Iqbal. Currently working as an independent researcher and freelance contributor.