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Preface: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal


By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

The Qur’an is a book which emphasizes ‘deed’ rather than ‘idea’. There are, however, men to whom it is not possible organically to assimilate an alien universe by re-living, as a vital process, that special type of inner experience on which religious faith ultimately rests. Moreover, the modern man, by developing habits of concrete thought - habits which Islam itself fostered at least in the earlier stages of its cultural career - has rendered himself less capable of that experience which he further suspects because of its liability to illusion. The more genuine schools of Sufism have, no doubt, done good work in shaping and directing the evolution of religious experience in Islam; but their latter-day representatives, owing to their ignorance of the modern mind, have become absolutely incapable of receiving any fresh inspiration from modern thought and experience. They are perpetuating methods which were created for generations possessing a cultural outlook differing, in important respects, from our own. ‘Your creation and resurrection,’ says the Qur’an, ‘are like the creation and resurrection of a single soul.’ A living experience of the kind of biological unity, embodied in this verse, requires today a method physiologically less violent and psychologically more suitable to a concrete type of mind. In the absence of such a method the demand for a scientific form of religious knowledge is only natural. In these Lectures, which were undertaken at the request of the Madras Muslim Association and delivered at Madras, Hyderabad, and Aligarh, I have tried to meet, even though partially, this urgent demand by attempting to reconstruct Muslim religious philosophy with due regard to the philosophical traditions of Islam and the more recent developments in the various domains of human knowledge. And the present moment is quite favourable for such an undertaking. Classical Physics has learned to criticize its own foundations. As a result of this criticism the kind of materialism, which it originally necessitated, is rapidly disappearing; and the day is not far off when Religion and Science may discover hitherto unsuspected mutual harmonies. It must, however, be remembered that there is no such thing as finality in philosophical thinking. As knowledge advances and fresh avenues of thought are opened, other views, and probably sounder views than those set forth in these Lectures, are possible. Our duty is carefully to watch the progress of human thought, and to maintain an independent critical attitude towards it.


M. I.



Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Culture

6th Floor, Academy Block, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex,

Off Egerton Road, Lahore. Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Tel: (92-42) 6314510 Fax: (92-42) 6314496



Supervision: Mr. Shahid Rafi

Design and Contents by: Muhammad Suheyl Umar

Maintained by: Muhammad Numan Chishti

Assist by: Muhammad Irfan Tariq

Last Updated on September 18, 2007


Lecture 1: Knowledge and Religious Experience

Lecture 2: The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience

Lecture 3: The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer

Lecture 4: The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality–-his-freedom-and-immortality-by-dr-muhammad-iqbal/d/217

Lecture 5: The Spirit of Muslim Culture

Lecture 6: The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam




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  1. Islam is not about a thought of x,y,z in our age but code of peace of mind for all x pledged to divinely chosen at the seat of prophet Mohammad SUH and HP in the light of verse 4:59. I am calling for end of Wahabism, 12erism for knowing the chain of Fatimid KHALIFATULLAH in order to pledge allegiance to 49th Imam and Fatimid Khalifatullah. This is most important for all saluting divinely chosen in history. Salaat is about saluting the divinely chosen. This needs to be learnt by all since, we did not have knowledge about this being in Sunni or 12er Shia social background but we assuredly have the faith of Imam Mahdi coming. Now, this is the faith which is false since Imam Mahdi has been around and now,we have 20 million pledged to Imam Mahdi and Fatimid KHALIFATULLAH .There are some calling some Fasiq /bhangee with zero knowledge on the pledge of allegiance for the divinely chosen at the seat of prophet Mohammad salutations to him and his posterity decreed kauthar in sura kauthar at the seat of prophet Abraham referred as Brahmma here in Sanskrit texts. Fasiq/bhangee after s/he broke the pledge of allegiance to Fatimid Khalifatullah Padma Vibhushan kareem Shah Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV at the seat of prophet Mohammad salutations to him and his posterity decreed kauthar in sura kauthar. Updating knowledge on the Fatimid Khalifatullah Padma Vibhushan kareem Shah Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV at the seat of prophet Mohammad salutations to him and his posterity decreed kauthar in sura kauthar at the seat of prophet Abraham referred as Brahmma here in Sanskrit texts is the common task for all souls saluting prophet Abraham referred as Brahmma here in Sanskrit texts saluted by all from masajids and halls of prayers globally along with sanatan Dharmies saluting avatars decreed noorun ala noor in verse 24 : 35. Dropping the Duryodhanvaad of the blasphemers of prophet Abraham referred as Brahmma here in Sanskrit texts saluted by all saluting avatars decreed noorun ala noor in verse 24 : 35 -Sambhavani Yuge Yuge, please learn the meaning of the word Sampada and share the name of the divinely chosen at the seat of prophet Abraham referred as Brahmma here in Sanskrit texts saluted by all saluting Adam AS, the first Muslim Khalifatullah referred in verse 3 : 33, 34. Eliminating Duryodhanvaad and Yazeedidiyat of the murderers of Rakbar Khan is most important for securing sanatan Islamic Bharat singing sanatan Islamic national anthem with jaikara for Adhinayak, dispenser of human destiny in verse 17 : 71.
    So many delude thinking themselves to have guaranteed entry in heaven/Suwarg for the souls without pledging allegiance to divinely chosen for which there is a clear command 'ASOLOKA RABBI FADKHULA FI EBAADI WAD KHULU Jannati'. In the light of verses which I have shared and earlier enunciated by Lord Krishna in SAMBHAVANI YUGE YUGE declaration which I refer as Kurushetra Declaration, it is the person of divinely chosen which is present as SAGUNA/Samit for the obedience of Nirguna (refer to theory of Guna by Kapila Rishi) which is present and here, we need to get all posterity of prophet Abraham SUH and HP referred as Brahmma united in salutations to begin with in order to secure bloodless transition to post oil age renewable energy powered urban and rural habitats. Cheers!
    By Muhammad Mukhtar Alam 20/08/2018 12:21:42
  2. Reconstruction of relegious thought in islam is probably most difficult book to understand. I found the book amazing and frighteningly difficult and deeply understandable book. I wish that had I met Iqbal in his life I would have asked my queries. i find no one who has good understanding of Iqbal thoughts. To accompany a high flying crane one has to fly at a near altitude, but in this business oriented world it is impossible to find anyone flying even near Iqbal. May Allah bless the last Muslim Philospher - Muhammad Iqbal. 
    By Dr.Muhammad Athar 17/04/2015 12:24:46
  3. dear bbrothers,we should know the difference between philosopher Iqbal and poet Iqbal. philosopher Iqbal says-"My feeling, hates and loves, judgements and resolutions are exclucively mine so much and so that God Himself cannot feel, judge and choose for me when more than one course of actions are open to me. (The Recontruction of Religious Thought in Islam P. 100) PL. think over it., M.I. Foujdar Udaipur
    By Mohammad Ishaque Foujadar 13/01/2013 22:04:13
  4. dear brother......

    plz study about islam from the authentic refferances

    then u can understand the proper stand of islam in all matters .may god bless u

    By saifudheen kunju
  5. Dear Sir

    Islam surely is a fast growing religion, each conver must have some personal appeal to justify his/her conversion , They all can be different reasons but the bottom line remains Islam as a religion and belief system is growing.

    But what I want to raise here is as follows...

    Islam emphasizes the absoluteness of Allah and characteristically/ catagorically treats Allah as a separate entity from every being ( including the believer in question). This is in contrast to the most eastern philosophy of Buddhism/ Spiritualism/ yogism etc. where the self is supreme..

    In short the journey towards God is carried inwards in eastern philosophy whereas it appears not so ( if not totally externally directed) in Islamic thought. There is nothing like NIRVANA here.

    Consequently the thrust of Islam appears to be primarily on ACTION than Mental state.

    Islam as we all know has many sects and each appears taking different routes to salvation. We got SUFIS who believe in Mental & Spiritual path on one extreme and we have SALAFIS ( WAHABIS) who are just opposite in their belief and practice, for later it is all action which becomes important, there is no reverance attached to Mystery, legend, and Mental state, which all constitute one or the other form of SHIRK or TAGHOOT  .  Naturally Such ideology has no place for any Spiritual leader ( a CLASSICAL GURU IN TERMS OF SPIRITUALITY as concieved by Sufis, Shias ( in form of Imam), or even Eastern Philosophies

    KABIR * ( Poet) thinks no salvation is possible without  a SAT GURU, so think Sikhs, Indians, Chinese,

    Ultimately this guru is not supposed to be worshipped, but without this channel one can not discover God. In a way GURU is like a GATE between the Person and God.  ( A concept still prevalant amongst BAHAIS.. where they call their founder BAHAULLAH " THE BAAB" ( or the gate)

    I remember one famous Hadith from Prophet " ANA MADINATUL ILME WA ALI UN BABUHA "

    I'm the city of knowledge and ALI is the GATE ( does this indicate anything of that sort? if yes then I'm sorry to say that the present face of Islam is entirely different than it was ought to be).

    If we have to find a God outside ourselves then the current Islamic face with all it's DAAWA ( invitaion to faith or Conversion) are probably justified, but if the Target is deep within oneself and self realization is the ultimate goal ( NirVana) then probably nothing is needed..

    By sarkar