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Understanding Iqbal: An Introduction

Iqbal has left a remarkable influence on the thinkers after his lifetime. Research is still conducted today based on his works. There is no doubt that there are difficulties in understanding Iqbal.

There are thirteen works of Iqbal of which seven and half are in Persian and the remaining in Urdu. The former is hard for people to grasp due to the language barrier. His Urdu too is Persianized.

Reasons for his popularity

1. The imageries in his poems are unique and creative.
2. His poetry is conceived on a philosophical basis.

3 creative elements in his works:

1. The influence of Holy Quran
2. The love for Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam
3. The passion for the Muslim millet

On pondering about the political and moral decay of Muslim community, he concluded that they should be made aware about their own identity. Iqbal’s famous Persian collection, Asrar-e-Khudi, or Secret of the Selves is based on this theme. For a layman reader, the work is about personality development. Khudi is taken in a mystical sense: to create or ingrain in one’s self the qualities of God.

Development of the Self is not possible until one lives among the society. Isolation is not conductive for growth. A seed can grow only when it is placed in the soil. A system or discipline is required for the molding of the self. This is the theme of Rumuz-e-Bekhudi. Iqbal has summarized this concept of community life in the light of Sura Ikhlas.