Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Iqbal on the Idea of Finality of Prophethood

In Anti Ahmadiies on June 26, 2010 at 9:06 am

In recent past we are continuously observing a false & baseless propaganda against  Great Islamic Scholar & poet Allama Iqbal about his associations with false prophet of Quadian. Brother “Waqar Ahmad Cheema” wrote an excellent piece on this topic at his blog. His article is just like a slap on Liberal / Ahmadi lobby wicked face

One of greatest Muslim philosophers and ideologues of all times, Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, gave special attention to the idea Finality of Prophethood (Khatam Al-Nubuwwah) and at length wrote about its significance in the House of Islam.

Here are some quotes from him;

“I want rather to fix your gaze on some of the ruling concepts of the culture of Islam in order to gain an insight into the process of ideation that underlies them, and thus to catch a glimpse of the soul that found expression through them. Before, however, I proceed to do so it is necessary to understand the cultural value of a great idea in Islam – I mean the finality of the institution of prophethood…

The birth of Islam, as I hope to be able presently to prove to your satisfaction, is the birth of inductive intellect. In Islam prophecy reaches its perfection in discovering the need of its own abolition. This involves the keen perception that life cannot for ever be kept in leading strings; that, in order to achieve full self-consciousness, man must finally be thrown back on his own resources. The abolition of priesthood and hereditary kingship in Islam, the constant appeal to reason and experience in the Qur’an, and the emphasis that it lays on Nature and History as sources of human knowledge, are all different aspects of the same idea of finality…

The intellectual value of the idea is that it tends to create an independent critical attitude towards mystic experience by generating the belief that all personal authority, claiming a supernatural origin, has come to an end in the history of man. This kind of belief is a psychological force which inhibits the growth of such authority. The function of the idea is to open up fresh vistas of knowledge in the domain of man’s inner experience. Just as the first half of the formula of Islam has created and fostered the spirit of a critical observation of man’s outer experience by divesting the forces of nature of that Divine character with which earlier cultures had clothed them. Mystic experience, then, however unusual and abnormal, must now be regarded by a Muslim as a perfectly natural experience, open to critical scrutiny like other aspects of human experience.”

(The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Lecture V: The Spirit of Muslim Culture)

At another place he further says;

“The cultural value of the idea of Finality in Islam I have fully explained elsewhere. Its meaning is simple: No spiritual surrender to any human being after Muhammad who emancipated his followers by giving them a law which is realizable as arising from the very core of human conscience. Theologically the doctrine is that: The Socio-political organization called “Islam” is perfect and eternal. No revelation the denial of which entails heresy is possible after Muhammad. He who claims such a revelation is a traitor to Islam.

And he does not stop here rather he goes on to answer some of the fundamental arguments of the Ahmadiyya. He says;

“Since the Qadianis believe the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement to be the bearer of such a revelation, they declare that the entire world of Islam is infidel. The founder‘s own argument, quite worthy of a mediaeval theologian, is that the spirituality of the Holy Prophet of Islam must be regarded as imperfect if it is not creative of another Prophet. He claims his own Prophethood to be an evidence of the Prophet-rearing power of the spirituality of the Holy Prophet of Islam. But if you further ask him whether the spirituality of Muhammad is capable of rearing more prophets than one, his answer is “No”. This virtually, amounts to saying: “Muhammad is not the last Prophet; I am the last.” Far from understanding the cultural value of the Islamic idea of finality in the history of mankind generally and of Asia especially, he thinks that finality in the sense that no follower of Muhammad can ever reach the status of Prophethood is a mark of imperfection in Muhammad‘s Prophethood. As I read the psychology of his mind he, in the interest of his own claim to Prophethood, avails himself of what he describes as the creative spirituality of the Holy Prophet of Islam and at the same time deprives the Holy Prophet of his ‘finality’ by limiting the creative capacity of his spirituality to the rearing of only one prophet, i.e., the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement. In this way does the new prophet quietly steal away the ‘finality’ of one whom he claims to be his spiritual progenitor.

He claims to be a ‘buruz’ of the Holy Prophet of Islam insinuating thereby that, being a ‘buruz‘ of him his ‘finality‘ is virtually the ‘finality‘ of Muhammad; and that this view of the matter, therefore, does not violate the ‘finality‘ of the Holy Prophet. In identifying the two finalities, his own and that of the Holy Prophet, he conveniently loses sight of the temporal meaning of the idea of Finality. It is, however, obvious that the word ‘buruz‘ in the sense even of complete likeness, cannot help him at all; for the ‘buruz‘ must always remain the other of its original. Only in the sense of reincarnation a ‘buruz‘ becomes identical with the original. Thus if we take the word ‘buruz‘ to mean ‘like in spiritual qualities’ the argument remains ineffective; if, on the other hand, we take it to mean reincarnation of the original in the Aryan sense of the word, the argument becomes plausible; but its author turns out to be only a Magian in disguise.”

(Islam and Ahmadism, p.8 pub. Da’wah Academy IIUI, Islamabad)

And it is precisely the same Magian spirit which Iqbal like his great predecessor, Ibn Khaldun, considered to be against the spirit of the Muslim culture. In his lectures he says;

“I have already indicated the direction in which the student of Islam should seek the cultural meaning of the doctrine of finality in Islam. It may further be regarded as a psychological cure for the Magian attitude of constant expectation which tends to give a false view of history. Ibn Khaldun, seeing the spirit of his own view of history, has fully criticized and, I believe, finally demolished the alleged revelational basis in Islam of an idea similar, at least in its psychological effects, to the original Magian idea which had reappeared in Islam under the pressure of Magian thought.”

(The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Lecture V: The Spirit of Muslim Culture)

And the importance and vitality of the same idea of ‘finality’ he beautifully sums up in a single poetic verse;

لا نبی بعدی احسان خداست      پردہ ناموس دین مصطفیٰ است

‘No Prophet after me’ is of God’s grace,

And veil the modest beauty of the Faith

Source : http://thecult.info/blog/2010/06/21/iqbal-on-the-idea-of-finality-of-prophethood/

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  1. Your title read likes Brother Waqar Ahmed Cheema is doing false & baseless propaganda against Great Islamic Scholar & poet Allama Iqbal.
    Please consider re-wording it so that it is clear Brother Waqar Ahmed Cheema is refuting the propaganda.

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