Social Scientist. v 8, no. 92 (March 1980) p. 52.


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NOTE

Iqhal^s ^Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam^: A Critical Appraisal

IQBAL, the poet-philosopher of the Indian subcontinent, was not a poet in the classical sense. "The comparatively small number of poetical symbols he used, and the untiring repetition of one and the same basic idea throughout a period of nearly 30 years, further, the complete absence of any personal allusion to erotic subjects, make him indeed more an exponent of prophetical thought than a poet in the classical sense. Whilst even the poetry of Mau-lana Rumi is filled with the intense glow of his personal attachment to his spiritual beloved Shamsaddin, and later Husamaddin Chelebi, Iqbal is concerned only with his doctrine of Self and his Strife for the new life of Islam in India.551

Moreover, Iqbal was opposed to the fine arts, poetry in particular, being used for purposes other than life building: "All human art must be subordinated to this final purpose (life), and the value of everything must be determined in reference to its life yielding capacity. The highest art is that which awakens our dormant will force to enable us to face the trials of life successfully. All those sciences and arts which bring drowsiness and make us shut our <.ycs to reality around, on the mastery of which alone life depends, is a message of decay and death. Art is that which awakens and breathes life into us, not the one which makes us drowsy. The dogma of art for art's sake is a clever invention of decadence to cheat us out of life and power.553

In this paper we are not concerned with IqbaFs poetry as such. Iqbal used both poetry and prose to convey his ideas and ideals. Also, much has been written about his poetry and poetic art. Iqbal, as we know, was deeply concerned with the fate of the Muslims in the modern world. He was pained to see Muslims caught in a deep crisis all over the worlds Their religion, as he saw it, was encumbered with unlslamic dogmas under the alien influences through medieval ages. Mysticism, with its elaborate



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