A Separate Muslim State in the Subcontinent

Muhammad Iqbl

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
A Separate Muslim State in the Subcontinent

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No other single person has captured the minds and imaginations of Muslims in India-Pakistan as has Iqbl. After an early classical Islamic education, he studied at Cambridge and Munich, earning a doctorate in philosophy as well as a law degree. Conversant with Western philosophical and scientific thought, Iqbl advocated a fundamental rethinking of Islamic thought as reflected in his The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. A prolific author, his poetry and prose touched every area of Muslim lifereligion, politics, and society.

Iqbal here highlights a theme implicit in Hasan al-Banns The New Renaissance and explicitly stated in Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzazs lecture, Islam and Arab Nationalism, namely, that Islam is both a religion and a social order (islam din wa dunya/dawlah). Europeans ended a long struggle between religion and state by making religion a private affair, but Islam is a public system of beliefs and practices that affects the economy, government, social relations, and the major institutions of life, including education, law, and political parties. Writing in the pre-partition era, and mindful of the understanding that Islam is both a religion and a social order, Iqbal holds that the Muslims of the subcontinent require their own state. Yet, actual social relations among the Muslims of the subcontinent at that time seem to Iqbal to reinforce divisions, mutual suspicion, and rivalries among them, rather than harmony. Despite these signs, Iqbal expresses hope that a large-hearted patriotism can unite them.

Chapter.  1498 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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