Having shared an overview of the first lecture in Muhammad Iqbal’s major work, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, I would now try to summarize the contents of that lecture.
Summarizing is a useful learning activity because it forces the reader to differentiate between what’s central and what’s peripheral in a given text. It requires the reader to notice and describe the most important features of the text, to identify and present its main claims and key ideas; this necessitates focusing on the big picture while ignoring the details. A summary, in other words, is about seeing the broad contours of a forest; to do that, the reader must resist the temptation to study all the leaves on every branch of every tree. To produce a good summary, the reader has to make decisions about what counts as major ideas in a given text and what counts as minor details. This, in turn, involves interpretation. As a result, some degree of paraphrasing is also inevitable in a summary.Read More