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While Iqbal tends to talk kkhudi that ideal personality as if it were a single male individual, this is most likely a rhetorical device to emphasize the unique individuality of the ideal human being. Who is this khalifahthis fullest manifestation of the highest of human potentialities?
While it is true that as a species humanity has not yet reached that exalted stage of spiritual evolution, it is also true there have been many persons in history who did achieve that status ssrar an individual level.
Indeed, it is the very goal for which God has created the human being in the first place; it is the telos for the entire evolutionary process—not only of life in the narrow sense of the word but of the entire cosmos. The attainment of divine vicegerency is exactly why we are here; it is the meaning of existence. He is the completest Khhudi, the goal of humanity, the acme of life both in mind and body; in him the discord of our mental life becomes a harmony.
The highest power is ,hudi in him with the highest knowledge.
Asrar-e Khudi | Ahmed Afzaal
In his life thought and action, instinct and reason become one. He is the last fruit of the tree of humanity, and all the trial of a painful evolution are justified because he is to come at the end.
He is the real ruler of mankind; his kingdom is the kingdom of God on earth. Out of the richness of his nature he lavishes the wealth of life on others, and brings them nearer and nearer to himself.
The more we advance in evolution, the nearer we get to him. In approaching him we are raising ourselves in the scale of life. The development of humanity both in mind and body is a condition precedent to his birth.
For the present he is a mere ideal; but the evolution of humanity is tending towards the production asrqr an ideal race of more or less unique individuals who will become his fitting parents. This is almost a poetic description for what are supposed to be real, actual human beings. Aarar quality number 1 seems like another way of expressing the same idea.
For Iqbal, the normal human condition is marked by a state of disharmony. This disharmony exists within each individual, and so it inevitably manifests in ,hudi life as well. Disharmony arar gives birth to disharmony without; and disharmony without precludes or obstructs our urdy to progress towards achieving a state of harmony within. Only few individuals are able to transcend this state of inner discord at any given time; most of us, on the other hand, tend to be imbalanced or asymmetrical in most areas of our lives.
And we suffer the consequences. If asrarr person is routinely torn between the opposing demands of mind and body, reason and instinct, thought and action, much energy will be spent on managing this civil sarar, while only a small amount will be left for pursuing specific objectives.
Add to this the missing ingredient of a common goal—a single piece of music plus a conductor—and the result could be a highly moving performance by what is now an orchestra.
What does this mean for the evolution of personality?
Nothing in human nature is evil or unnecessary; as such, nothing needs to be suppressed, removed, or disowned. Everything has its place and its assigned role. Integration among the diverse, and diverging, forces of human personality requires a unifying element. This brings us back to what Iqbal said earlier in the same text, i. The only thing that can potentially harmonize the normally opposing and conflicting forces of personality is their agreement to love a single ideal. An ideal that is itself inconsistent will not bring the desired inner harmony; it will ultimately give rise to even greater fragmentation.
The only ideal whose love can bring about the ultimate integration of personality is God. As far as creatures are concerned, including human beings, God is the only source for peace and perfection; any peace that we may find in the world—or any perfection, for that matter—is only a dim reflection of the divine attribute expressed in the divine name al-Salam. Thus the Kingdom of God on earth means the democracy of more or less unique individuals, presided over by the most unique individual possible on this earth.
Nietzsche had a glimpse of this ideal race, but his atheism and aristocratic prejudices marred his whole conception. Given that he wrote the summary of Asrar-e Khudi primarily for the benefit of Prof. In other words, human beings must learn to discern the divine tendency within the structure of reality that is pointing towards a particular kind of personality and a particular kind of society; and they must strive, with Godto realize this telos first within their own being and subsequently in the form of a concrete society.
Only after achieving a state of peace in their own souls would they be able to achieve it in the world.
If Iqbal is not contradicting himself, then I believe he is saying the following: Once humanity actually becomes what it has always meant to be—divine vicegerent—then there will remain no real difference between human will and divine will. For instance, I have khuid much more aware of the significance of believing in an afterlife. Among the three Western monotheisms, Islam certainly has the most to say about the continuity of human existence after death.
Similarly, while Christianity affirmed belief in an afterlife, Jesus himself appears not to have said a whole lot about it—that is, if we go by the gospel reports. A culture that is unable to see any humanly relevant prospects khudii life beyond death is likely to take a pessimistic view of the world—a pessimism that can easily degenerate into outright nihilism. Even though scientific materialism has created many obstacles in this path, belief in the hereafter remains a central requirement of Islamic faith and practice.
Iqbal Cyber Library: Asrar-e-Khudi
Take away any one of these beliefs, and the entire edifice of Islamic metaphysics will fall apart! For Iqbal, the affirmation of khudi is directly linked to the possibility of its immortality.
But if khudi is real, and if we can strengthen its integrity by undertaking appropriate actions, then we can at least hope to attain everlasting life.
This necessarily entails the continuation of personal identity. Whatever else it might bring, death does not erase our unique individuality. A living heart is always restless, even in the adrar. From a certain perspective, these are merely two phases of the same journey that together constitute the career of rudu. Whatever is achieved by khudi in this-life prepares it for the next phase of inn career that lies beyond death.
This is what he writes:. In another part of the poem I have hinted at the general principles of Muslim ethics and have tried to reveal their meaning in f with the idea of personality. The Ego in its movement towards uniqueness has to pass through three stages: Or they try to figure out whether God prohibits certain acts because they are bad, or they are bad because God prohibits them.
According to him, the sole purpose of ethics should be the training and education of khudi. The purpose of earthly life is found in the opportunities that it provides for the growth of khudi. Obstacles, problems, and frustrations are part of this educational process. Every time a new difficulty arises, one can be sure that the class is in session!
Because it takes you to where you really want to go. Do it for your own sake.
For Iqbal, the path of self-growth begins as soon as one submit oneself sarar the discipline of the divine law. Adopting such a discipline forces one into an increasingly acute self-awareness.
Indeed, that awareness is the self. Beyond the valley of self-control is the mountain of vicegerency; or, to use another metaphor, the promised land of vicegerency. There are, of course, degrees of vicegerency, which means that the doors of kudi are always open, even for vicegerents. This divine vicegerency, niyabat-e-Alahi is the third and last stage of human development on earth. I am going to place in the earth a vicegerent. The implications of this single word, khalifahare immense and far-ranging.
I will attempt ln understand these characteristics in my next post. Finally, Iqbal turns to practical ethics. There is nothing more important than strengthening the ego, which is precisely what allows asdar to achieve genuine freedom as well as immortality.
Moral virtues and vices are to be distinguished on the standard of whether they support and fortify the ego or whether they cause it to dissolve and disintegrate. On that standard, the highest moral virtue is loveand the worst possible vice is begging. The Ego is fortified by love ishq. This word is used in a very wide sense and means the desire to assimilate, to absorb. Its highest form is the creation of values and ideals and the endeavour to realise them.
Love individualises the lover as well as the beloved. The effort to realise the most unique individuality individualises the seeker and implies the individuality of the sought, for nothing else would satisfy the nature of the seeker.
Thus, in order to fortify the Ego uru should cultivate love, i. The lesson of assimilative action is given by the life of the Prophet, at least to a Muhammadan. The beloved is usually an idealized value, such as beauty, power, generosity, and life; or it may be a person, in whom the desired value is perceived to be present to such an extent that the difference between the essence and the attribute becomes irrelevant for the lover. In the second stage, the lover ardently desire and actively seek the beloved, i.
This union can take one of two forms. This scenario may be imagined as a simple equation, i. As we have seen, Iqbal has nothing but disapproval for this kind of union, even if—or, rather, particularly if—the beloved happens to be God.
In the third stage, the lover succeed in actually assimilating the idealized value within themselves.
Clearly, at this stage neither the lover nor the beloved remains exactly as they were before the union. If this is the case of a human being seeking to absorb divine attributes within herself or himself, both the individual asrag God are transformed as a result of this encounter. Specifically, they both become even more uniquely themselves. I doubt if this can be mathematically represented!
Iqbal seems to be saying that the seeker, in this case a human being, is motivated in his or her love by a natural inclination, an innate desire of sorts.
The beloved that all of us are programmed to seek is a reflection of our own self, or, to be accurate, we are a reflection of the beloved that we are seeking to absorb. It is khusi finite ego that is desperately seeking the infinite ego, for nothing else would satisfy its yearning for a beloved.
Since we value nothing more than our own uniqueness and individuality, we cannot be satisfied by a beloved who is anything less than absolutely unique. All asdar at finding that one perfect beloved must end in disappointment and disillusionment; unless, of course, we are able to figure out exactly who it is that we truly need to love.
Heartbreaks khufi good for the soulbecause they are like the rungs of a ladder.