Tag: Freedom

  • The Secrets of the Self (4)

    Finally, Iqbal turns to practical ethics. We have already seen that the summum bonum for Iqbal is the integrity of khudi. There is nothing more important than strengthening the ego, which is precisely what allows it to achieve genuine freedom as well as immortality. Moral virtues and vices are to be distinguished on the standard […]

  • The Secrets of the Self (3)

    When Asrar-e Khudi was first published in 1915, the immediate reception among Indian Muslims was lukewarm, with some strongly negative reactions coming from the established circles of religious authority. Overall, the message of this poem was seen either as too difficult or as deeply offensive; Asrar-e Khudi was either not understood at all, or it was […]

  • Freedom and Submission

    We may disagree about God’s prescriptive commands, about what God wants us to do in a particular situation, but we cannot disagree concerning God’s creative commands. Unlike the former, which we generally encounter through words and thoughts, the latter are manifested in the stark purity of our everyday experiences . . . so long as we […]

  • To React is Human; to Respond, Divine

    A reaction may be defined as the execution of a template without any conscious intention or deliberate thought. As biological and social beings, we carry within ourselves a wide range of readily available templates, or patterns of action, each of which is a small program that triggers a particular action whenever a particular stimulus appears. Many […]

  • An Ocean without Shore

    In a previous post (“Excuse me, are you Homo duplex?”) I made an attempt to understand what Iqbal means when he distinguishes between the “appreciative self” and the “efficient self.”  I am now going to make a second attempt at clarifying those concepts. The context of Iqbal’s discussion is the nature of time and the associated […]

  • Freedom and Responsibility

    According to a frequently quoted hadith, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “actions depend on intentions.”  The subsequent wording of this hadith clarifies that what is being asserted is that the rewards for righteous actions are in direct proportion to the motivating intention behind them.  In the […]

  • Freedom

    Freedom of will and action, of choice, is real but precarious.  I do have the freedom to choose what I will feel on a given day or in a given moment, how I will experience the objective situations that present themselves to me, how (and whether) I will react and respond to them.  Yet, this […]