Project Reports

SESSION THREE : Report of Allama Muhammad Iqbal Conference

MUSLIM Institute organized “Allama Muhammad Iqbal Conference” on Thursday November 8, 2018 at National Library, Islamabad. Third session “Iqbal’s Teaching for Spiritual Edification and Character Building”, was chaired by Prof. Dr. Marcia Hermansen (Director, Islamic World Studies Program, Loyola University Chicago, USA). Prof. Dr. Suheyl Umar and Mr. Shoaib Afridi addressed the session. Mr. Ahmad Al-Qadri (Research Associate, MUSLIM Institute) moderated the proceedings of third session. Researchers, scholars, students, university professors, lawyers, journalists, social activists and people from different walks of life participated in the conference.

Participant view during the third session of conference.

Brief Summary of the remarks shared by speakers in second session is as under:

Importance of Brahimi Nazar for Character Building
Mr. Shoaib Afridi

Author of the book “Khutbat-e-Iqbal: Chand Fikri Aur Tafheemi Masa’il”

Iqbal’s fundamental beliefs are not merely based upon rationality rather they are based upon morality and creativity. His aesthetic and symbolic standards are dynamic. For a thinker like Iqbal, the building of a metaphor is not less than a secret. In order to explore an experience, he uses symbolic diversity. Abrahamic affiliation plays central role in the character building of an individual. Iqbal’s ideal human being carries two peculiar characteristics. One is to break the idols and the second is faith. A society needs such people whose training is followed by Abrahamic philosophy which enables them to think beyond conventional parameters. The west is thinking about educational paradigm shift. We should also revisit our old concepts. Scientific revolution has not only influenced humans intellectually but has also changed his social pattern. Technology has changed our views and values. By keeping in view this whole scenario, Iqbal says in one of his poems;

?? ?? ? ????? ??????? ?? ? ????? ??
??? ??? ????? ??? ?? ?????? ???????

Tyrants and flames once more on Abraham’s race have glared:
For whom this new ordeal, or by whose hand prepared?:

Iqbal’s ideal man stands firm regarding the fulfilment of his social and economic responsibilities. Because his spiritual lineage is Abrahamic which gives him strength to break the idols and to create a new world. In the process of completion of Iqbal’s ideal man, one stage is the birth of this Abrahamic characteristics in him which is very difficult to attain. For its attainment, purification of self is inevitable. In fact, this was the method adopted by Iqbal himself.


Iqbal’s Approach Towards Science and Metaphysics
Prof. Dr. Suheyl Umar

Former Director, Iqbal Academy of Pakistan, Lahore

Iqbal criticized the Newtonian view of reality in 1929 in these words, “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”. Quantum mechanics suggested that the universe is not built out of atoms or any other absolute or indivisible particles but rather is a complex kind of interaction between energetic processes arising from the pure potentiality. It is in the Quranic Term stated as: ???? ????? i.e. The hidden potentiality.

It seems science and religion both have entered into a healthy relationship mutually based on a wise division of labor between science and religion. David Bohm provides us of one such model i.e. ‘reality with physical and metaphysical aspects’. David Bohm was a theorist who greatly impacted the scientific world view while opening new stars that forwarded towards viable model for connection between science and religion. Bohm argued that reality is interrelated and there is a facet of realty that science cannot see.

Iqbal said: the universe, composed of inter-relational events, is a more like cosmetic interference pattern. The similarity between Bohm’s view and certain traditional metaphysical doctrines suggests that science is bringing metaphysics out of mothballs. Bohm suggested Quantum theory must be incomplete in certain aspect. Similarly, Iqbal in 1929 said that instantaneous communication in the realm of metaphysics is somehow possible. Because now speed is altogether gone as the ideas of Bohm were that there is ‘implicate order’ of wholeness which is unobservable and cannot be measured while the observable ‘explicate order’ of reality arises out of implicate order of reality.

Stage and hall view in third session of conference.


Stage view in third session of conference.

Remarks by the Chair
Prof. Dr. Marcia Hermansen

Director, Islamic World Studies Program, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Title of this session was ‘Iqbal’s teachings for spiritual education and character building’. Reality, as was mentioned, is an ocean. The commander, the qalander and the ‘But Shikani’ are very deep things. So, breakings of the idols would be related to a sort of paradigm shift. The paradigm shift in the modern science is the challenge that science itself is not perhaps as material and fixed as we would think. But even the scientists are thinking within the ideal frames with limited envisioning of what is true. But scientific attitude is now aware that it has to be transcended ultimately.


Interactive Session


Participant asking questions during the third session of conference.

Brief summary of the various answers by the panellists in response to the questions of participants are as under:

An argument raised in the theory of evolution is that consciousness is an element of matter. But modern research negates this notion. Today a new interpretation of consciousness, matter and life has emerged which satisfies one intellectually. Criticism done by Iqbal in 1930 over Einstein’s scientific theory has proven right today that what the mistake was done by science. However, science itself negated scientism.

In West David Bohm was taken very seriously. That person can’t be ignored who can add two new things, and can give interpretation and framework of the Quantum theory. His interpretation can answer one’s many thoughtful questions. Once in a gathering of scientists and religious leaders one scientist admitted that our clinical research has brought us to this conclusion that there is an obstinate finger pointing towards something beyond time and space matrix. Some scientists believe that there also exists another reality which can’t be proved in laboratory. In 1930 Allama Iqbal pointed out that what Einstein is saying is not the ultimate truth because until and unless one doesn’t believe that reality has physical and a metaphysics aspect every theory is incomplete. That ultimate reality which we are calling metaphysical has no two words explanation even in the eastern traditions.

When man starts journey of looking into thyself, he has to go through a difficult process which should be under someone’s guidance or by the nature itself. Faith is one of the most powerful driver which enables man in attaining the truth.

Participant view during the third session of conference.


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