Prof. Bakhtiar Hussain Siddiqui


1.      Importance of Thinking in Life

 1.1     "All Civilization", says F. Schuon, "have decayed, only they have decayed n different way; the decay of the East is passive and that of the West is active. The fault of the East in decay is that no longer thinks; the West in decay thinks too much and thinks wrongly. The East is sleeping over truths; the West lives in error."[1] One thing is clear from this quotation that it is thinking and thinking alone that presides over the destines of nations, with right thinking leading to their all around development and progress and wrong thinking or lack of thinking to their active or passive decay, respectively. As a man, it is thinking that makes man a man, and likewise nation a nation; and it is philosophy that we look for consistent and coherent thinking, without which our thinking any field of inquiry, be it science or religion - the realm of facts or values - would make no sense. Religion on less than science, as we shall see later, stands "in need of rational foundation of its ultimate principle" and this rational foundation is provided to them by philosophy, the art the thinking through.


1.2     The singular importance of philosophy in the life of a nation demanded that adequate arrangement should have been made in Pakistan at the college and university level for the teaching of this subject. But one is painted to point out that, contrary to the expectation, philosophy is, at present, being taught half-heartedly at the intermediate and degree level in a negligible few colleges in the country. The Islamia University, Bahawalpur, Bahauddin Zakariya University and International Islamic University, Islamabad and Azad Kashmir University, Muzaffarabad, have no departments of philosophy for good. The Baluchistan University, Quetta, opened the department of Philosophy only last year. This indifferent attitude both of the people and the Government towards Philosophy is largely responsible for the lack of critical and creative thinking in every department of life in this country. The sooner we make amends for our fault, the better it is for us. After all man is what he thinks, not what he eats, and his thinking, to be critical and creative, must be clear, consistent and coherent, and not con-fused, muddled and full of contradictions. It is consistent thinking that lies at the root of all innovations which make lie worth while in this world of wind and water.

ندرت فکر و عمل سے معجزات زندگی
ندرت فکر و عمل سے سنگ خارا لعل و نایاب[2]


(What is innovative thinking and action? A propensity for revolution. What is innovative thinking and action? The youthful vigour of a nation. All miracles of life flow from innovations in thought and deed. It is innovative thinking and action that turns rough stone into a pure ruby).

1.1             Having made clear the impact of innovative thinking on the development of the culture of a nation, I shall now turn to two basic questions: first, what do we understand by philosophy? Secondly, what is the relevance of philosophy to religion? Do philosophy and religion mutually exclude each other? Or is there a possibility of a philosophy of religion like the philosophy of science? Without answering these basic questions we cannot em-bark upon the task of evaluating philosophical activity in Pakistan.


2.       What is Philosophy

2.1     I want to make it clear at the very outset that there is no such thing as Philosophy in the sense of a fixed subject-matter or finished product. There is only philosophizing, the conscious intellectual activity whereby men perpetually endeavour, in the light of available knowledge, to establish their lives in some satisfying and meaningful relation to the universe in which they find themselves. This search for the meaning of life is a native demand of human nature, a demand which, in view of the ever-increasing extension in the frontiers of knowledge, can never be wholly or finally met with. It requires a constant broadening of our outlook in order to make room for new facts that are ever coming to light in the fields of religion, art, morality and specially in the realm of social, physical and biological sciences. Each single development in the realm of knowledge obliges the philosopher to interpret afresh to whole range of human experience and re-examine his answer to the all important question of the wisdom or meaning of life. This dependence of philosophic thinking on the progress make in the realm of knowledge goes a long way to show that there is no such thing as philosophy; there is only philosophising or its product, philosophies, the various ways of looking at the world, different principles of interpreting our experience and thus of establishing meaningful relation to the universe we live in.


2.2     But what do philosophers do in their philosophising? The basic aim of alI philosophising is to bring things together in thought and try to understand them in their broadest relation-ships. It studies each object in its internal unity and also in its relations to other objects, which finally and leads to a consideration of that object in its cosmic setting. In its just analysis, philosophising thus purports to be a conscious reflection upon the world as a whole, particularly with regard to its meaning, purpose and value for human existence.


2.3     Apart from speculative synthesis, philosophising aims at critical analysis as well. Preoccupation with wholes is exposed to the danger of becoming careless and uncritical of the parts that make those wholes, and so philosophising needs, for its process of thinking in terms of wholes, in order to be able to see more clearly the parts that may have been obscured or distorted from the perspective of the whole. Historically speaking, the analytic function of philosophising took birth in the reflective criticism of the moral and religious beliefs of a people, to which now has been added the examination of the nature, method and functions of scientific inquiry in all its details. It goes without saying that the examination of the key concepts of science, viz., matter, energy force, time place, cause, law evolution etc., and the clarification of the fundamental concepts of religion and viz., existence of God, freedom of will, immortality of soul, good, evil. right, wrong, punishment, reward etc., is the greatest service of philosophising to science, morality and religion.

2.4     Thus philosophising is a combination of two cooperative processes: it is an organisation of ideas, concepts and beliefs into a consistent whole; it is also an examination of these ideas, concepts and beliefs for determining just what they are and what they imply in themselves. It is both an analytic and a synthetic process, though the two processes do not always go together. Some thinkers aim simply at synthesis; others at analysis. Some periods of synthesis; other specially those of analysis. Bosanouet saw the essence of philosophising "in the connected vision of the totality of things". But much of the emphasis of the present-day philosophising is on analysis alone. Logical positivists, for instance, hold that the meaning of ideas and the range of their applicability depend entirely on the way they are arrived at, and since language is vehicle of ideas, its analysis, they maintain, contributes much to our understanding of how we think about the things that we find in our experience. Just as speculative synthesis finds its culmination in Hegelianism, turning metaphysics into a fool-proof system, so critical analysis reaches its highest in Loigcal Positivism, ruling out the possibility of speculative metaphysics altogether.

2.5     Philosophical thinking may be analytic or synthetic, but in either of its two forms it is essentially a pursuit of meaning. We discover the meaning of a thing when we see it in its parts is isolation from each other and also in its relations with other things which finally leads to a consideration of it in its cosmic setting. Thus if we do not stop short at some point, the search for meaning inevitably results in the attempt to find is ultimate and final in life the attempt to find out what is ultimate and final in life and to understand other things in terms of their relations with this or these ultimates. Each system of philosophy is, in this sense, but a theory concerning ultimates. Democritus for instance, posited "atoms moving in space" as the ultimate reality. Liebniz identified it with the "windowless (spiritual) monads" arranged in a hierarchical order, with God, the supreme monad, at the top. To Hegel, the world is the expression of a Universal Mind. To Iqbal, it is the creation ex nihilo, of a self-existing God. All philosophising thus "is a search for meaning within the framework of ultimates", be they atoms, monads or God.


2.6     The pursuit of meaning is what gives philosophising "a working basis as well as an ultimate aim". The question of meaning is one that is of special interest to the thinking individual himself. "Philosophical inquiry", says Philip Wheelwright, "may be directed towards anything whatever, but its aim will always be to behold and understand the object of inquiry in its whole character and in relation to man's most enduring and most deep-seated interests".[3] In contrast to science which refuses to regard our own desires, tastes and interests as affording a key to understanding the world. Philosophising tends to fall in line with aesthetic arts and religion. But whereas aesthetic arts and religion are discoveries of what existence means to feeling and imagination in the one case and to personal encounter in the other, philosophising is a discovery of what existence means to thought. It seeks neither appreciation nor encounter, but understanding. Its working tools are concepts, the truth of which is assessed in terms of the logical standards of consistency, necessity and universality.


3.       What is Islamic Philosophy

3.1     The question of the meaning of life, though basic to philosophical inquiry, is not peculiar to it. It shares it in common with religion which also provides us with answers to the questions of the role of man in the universe and the meaning of human existence. But whereas religious answers are directly revealed by God to the prophets, the philosophical one's rest on no authority save that of human reason and logic. The sole aim of religion is to give its followers a sense of peace and harmony by postulating a universe in which the individual has purpose and value. It does practically on the emotional level what philosophizing seeks to do theoretically on the intellectual plane. Since the urge for inner peace and security is as natural a drive in man as the desire for intellectual satisfaction, he needs both religion and philosophising for the balanced growth and development of his personality. In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan we obviously need not more philosophizing, but Islamic philosophising which is the very hope and aspiration of the people of this country.

3.2     Islamic philosophy is the philosophy of Islam, the sum total of the basic ideas, beliefs and values Islam stands for. It is an attempt to interpret the metaphysical vision of the Quran in the idiom and diction of philosophy through a peculiar method of philosophy of religion. It is an endeavour to understand things divine in terms human.[4] This philosophical exercise is not one that can be performed once for all, but a perpetual exercise that has to be made afresh in every age in the light of new developments and challenges in philosophy and other domains of human knowledge. Islamic philosophy, and for that matter the philosophy of any other religion, cannot afford to be static. It must keep pace with time in order to have a meaningful existence and thus to be communicative to the people of every age. It has always to be a contemporary philosophy; if it is not, it would not only lose its vigour but also its hold.


4.       Possibility of Philosophy of Religion.

4.1     Islamic philosophy is a species of philosophy of religion. But is it "possible to apply the purely rational method of philosophy to religion", inquires Iqbal. "The spirit of philosophy", he goes on, "is one of free inquiry. It suspects all authority. Its function is to trace the uncritical assumptions of human thought to their hiding places, and in this pursuit it may finally end in denial or a frank admission of the incapacity of pure reason to reach the ultimate reality. The essence of religion, on the other hand, is faith, and faith, like the bird, sees its 'trackless way' unattended by intellect which, in the words of the great mystic poet of Islam,[5] "only waylays the living heart of man and robs it of the invisible of life that lies within ". Yet it cannot denied that faith is more than mere feeling. It has something of cognitive content, and the existence of rival parties -- scholastics and mystics -- in the history of religion shows that idea is a vital element in religion. Apart from this, religion on its doctrinal side, as defined by Professor Whitehead, is a "system of general truths which have the effect of transforming character when they are sincerely held and vividly apprehended".[6] Now, since the transformation and guidance of man's inner and outer life is the essential aim of religion, it is obvious that the general truths which it embodies must not remain unsettled. No one would hazard action on the basic of a doubtful principle of conduct. Indeed, in view of its function, religion stands in greater need of a rational foundation of its ultimate principles than even the dogmas of science. Science may ignore a rational metaphysics; indeed, it has ignored it so far. religion can hardly afford to ignore the search for a reconciliation of the oppositions- of experience and a justification of the environment in which humanity finds itself. That is why Professor Whitehead has actually remarked that the ages of faith are the ages of rationalism".[7] But to rationalies faith is not to admit the superiority of philosophy over religion. Philosophy, no doubt has jurisdiction to judge religion, but what is to be judged is of such a nature that it will not submit to the jurisdiction of philosophy except on its own terms. While sitting in judgment on religion, philosophy cannot give religion an inferior place among its data. Religion is not a departmental affair; it is neither mere thought, nor mere feeling, nor mere action; it is an expression of the whole man. Thus, in the evaluation of religion, philosophy must recognize the central position of religion and has no other alternative but to admit it as something focal in the process of creative synthesis. Nor is there any reason to suppose that thought and intuition are essentially opposed to each other. They spring up from the same root and complement each other. The one grasps reality piecemeal, the other grasps it in its wholeness. The one fixes its gaze on the eternal, the other on the temporal aspect of reality ....Both are in need of each other for mutual rejuvenation. Both seek visions of the same Reality which reveals itself to them in accordance with their function in life. In fact, intuition, as Bergson[8] rightly says, is only a higher kind of intellect".[9]


4.2     Religion, as we have seen above, is an expression of the whole man, of the totality of his being. It embraces all the three aspects of his consciousness -- thought, feeling and action. Seen in this context, philosophy of religion is a necessary adjunct of faith. It is a handmaid of religion, but as philosophising it nevertheless depends on nothing save human reason and logic, owing all its truth to the self-evidence of its principles and the accuracy of its deductions.

4.3     The positive function of Islamic philosophy in the modern world is to reconstruct the metaphysical vision of the Quran in the grammer of contemporary philosophy. Iqbal was the first Muslim in the Indian subcontinent who felt the need of this reconstruction and wrote the famous The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, published by the Oxford University Press, London, 1934. This book now needs to be modified, refined and elaborated at certain places. It even needs to be supplemented and revised at places. Besides, no attempt has been made in it to meet the challenges of dialectical material-ism, logical positivism and atheistic existentialism -- the negative function which any contemporary Islamic philosophy can hardly ignore to perform. "The fault of the East in decay is that it no longer thinks". It is because of this miserable lack of thinking that no lower of wisdom in Pakistan has so far cared to construct afresh the metaphysical vision of the Quran in terms of contemporary philosophy, to supplement and revise Iqbal's Reconstruction and to examine and evaluate dialectical materialism, logical positivism and atheistic existentialism from the metaphysical and axiological standpoint of the Quran. It will not be expecting too much of the International Islamic University Islamabad, to take the much needed lead in the matter and make necessary arrangements for perpetual reconstruction of Islamic philosophy in terms of contemporary philosophy. The only not-able work done by a Pakistani scholar, Professor M. Saeed Sheikh, is the critical and annotated edition of Iqbal's Reconstruction -- the only book on Islamic philosophy --published by the Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore, 1986. One cannot help congratulating him for doing this painstaking and laborious job. It may open new avenues of research in Iqbal's thought.


5.       What is Muslim Philosophy

5.1     Islamic Philosophy is the Philosophy of Islam. It is both Philosophy and Islam, because revelation in Islam though "above any reasoning, is not above reason. Nor is reason above revelation".[10] Muslim Philosophy, on the contrary, may be Islamic philosophy, but it may as well be merely a Muslim's intellectual involvement in philosophy as such. In the latter case, it may be mere "logomachic dialectic" of the Mutakallimun (scholastics), or "merely as series of Islamic footnotes to the metaphysics" of any great Greek thinker; or a simple attempt to reconcile philosophy with religion; or a mere defense of religion, providing a rational justification for the dogmas of Islam. Taken in any one of these senses, Muslim philosophy is a "hybrid freak" and as such it is neither Muslim nor philosophy"[11]. It is not possible to philosophise Islam or to Islamicise philosophy. Hence the invectives of Imam Ghazali, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Taimmiyya and the Hanbalites as a class against the Muslim philosophers and their votaries. Ghazali's Tahafut al-Falasafa is not actually an invective against philosophy as such, for it is itself a masterpiece of high philosophical thinking and logical soundness, but against Muslim philosophy which, being a curious mixture of philosophy and religion, is neither philosophy nor religion.


5.2     Yet Muslim philosophy is an integral part of the culture of Muslim community. It played a vital role not only in the cultural development of Muslims in the Middle Ages, but exercised a tremendous influence on the growth and development of Jewish and Christian thought on the one hand, and the intellectual rebirth of Europe on tie other. The credit of all this goes specially to lbn Rush. (Averroes) who ruled the medieval European mind for nearly three centuries under the wave of Averroism. "Life", says Iqbal' "moves with the weight of its past on its back.... No people can afford to reject past entirely; for it is their past that has made their personal identity".[12] This accounts for the renewed interest in Muslim Philosophy in Pakistan.


5.3     It was but the importance of Muslim philosophy in the cultural development of Muslim community that prompted the publication of A History of Muslim Philosophy, Otto Harrassowitz, Weisbaden (West Germany), 1963-65, a monumental work in two volumes. The project was undertaken at the instance of the Government of Pakistan by Prof. M.M.Sharif, of which he was Editor-Secretary. Prof. Sharif worked assidously in planning the whole scheme, in selecting contributors from all over the world for different topics and in editing the whole material to fit in into his general theory of History -- that culture has many cycles of life instead of just one life-cycle, one period of blossoming and one of decline. The book is significant in many ways. It is written under the able guidance of eminent scholar from an objective standpoint, distortion and is, there-fore, free from the drawbacks of partiality and distortion of facts which mar the writings of many an Orientalists. Not only is it based on primary sources, but it also makes room for short accounts of disciplines other than philosophy alongwith modern renaissance in the Muslim Lands.


5.4     The monumental work, to say the least, meets the long standing need of the academic community in general and that of the researchers in Muslim thought in particular. Justice demands that a brief outline of its contents should be given here to have an idea of the range of topics discussed in it. The plan of the work is as follows:



a)     Pre-Islamic Philosophical Thought: Indian, Chinese Iranian, Greek, Alexandrio-Syriac and Arabian Thought before Islam.

b)    Fundamental Teachings of the Qur'an: Philosophical, Ethical, Economic and Political Teachings of the Qur'an.

c)     Theologico-Philosophical Movements: Mutazilism, Ash'arism, Tahawism, Mathurdism, Zahirism and

Ikhawan al-Safa.

d)    The Sufis: Doctrines, Sufis before al-Hallaj, al-Hallaj, Abdul Qadir Jilani, Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi, Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi Maqtul, Ibn Arabi.

e)     The Philosophers: Al-Kindi, Zakariya Razi, Al-Farabi, Miskawaih, Ibn Sina, Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Rushd, Nasir al-Din Tusi.

f)      The Middle Roaders: Al-Ghazali, Fakhr al-Din Razi.

g)     Political Thinkers: Political Thought in Early Islam, Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, Al-Farabi, Al-Mawardi, Political Theory of the Shi'ites, Nizam al-Mulk Tusi, Al-Ghazali.



a)     Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258.

b)    Theologica-Philosophical Thought: Ibn Taimiyyah.

c)     The Sufis: Jalal al-Din Rumi, Mahmud Shabistri Al-Eli, Jami, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhandi.

d)    The Philosophers: Jalal al-Din Dawwani, Ibn Khaldun.

e)     The Middle Roaders: The School of Ispahan, Sadr al-Din Shirati (Mulla Sadra)

f)  Political Thought: Ibn Khaldun.

g)     Language and Literature: Arabic, Persian and Turkish Language and Literature.

h)    Fine Arts: Architecture, Painting, Music and Minor Arts.

i)       Social Studies: Historiography and Jurisprudence.

j)       The Sciences: Geography, Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Minerology, Chemistry, Natural History and Medicine.

k)     Influence of Muslim Thought: Influence on the West Influence on the East.

l)        The Dark Age: Decline in the Muslim World, The Silver Lining- Development of Urdu Language, Grammar and Literature.

m)  Renaissance in the Near and Middle East: Renaissance in Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa, Jamal al-Din Afghani, Renaissance in Egypt, Turkey, Iran.

n)    Renaissance in South and South-East Asia: Renaissance in Indo-Pakistan -- Shah Wali Allah Dehlawi, Sir Sayyid Ahmad and Iqbal. Renaissance in Indonesia.


5.5     Of the fifty six contributors to the monumental work, more than half are Pakistanis. The names of twenty five of them alongwith the titles of the articles they contributed are given below to have an idea of the research talent available in the country.










Greek Thought





Philosophical Teachings of










Philosophical Influence on





the West, from Descartes to Kant.








Abul Ala


Economic and Political





Teachings of the Qur'an.





Political Thought in Early










Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf.



Abdul Hamid


Renaissance in Indo‑










Shah Wall Allah Dehlawi.





Renaissance in Arabia,





Yemen, Iraq, Syria and





Lebanon : Muhammad bin





Abd-al Wahab and His








Dr. Abdul


Renaissance in Indo-Pakistan -





Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan as a





Politician, Historian and








Dr. Abdul Khaliq


Al-Ghazali -- Ethics.



Abdul Shahkoor


Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate.





Renaissance in Iran.



Bashir Ahmad


Ethical Teachings of the










Sufis Before al-Hallaj.





Abdul Qadir Jilani and Shahab





al-Din Suhrawardi.





Mahmud Shabistri al-Jili and










Renaissance in Indo-Pakistan -





Sir Sayyed Ahmad Khan as a





Religio- Philosophical Thinker.





Pre-Islamic Indian Thought.



Abdul Qadir


Alexandrio-Syriac Thought.




Influence of the Muslim Thought





on the East.





Decline in Muslim World.





Ibn Tufail.





Nasir al-Din Dawwani.





Jalal al-Din Dawwani.

























Early Sufis -- Doctrines.










Ibn Bajjah.



Hasan al-


Al-Farabi as a Political










Jalal-al-Din Rumi.





Renaissance in Indo-Pakistan


















Syed Abid


Political Theory of th



Ali Abid







Nizam al-Mulk Tusi.








Dr. Ishtiaq





Husain Qureshi.










Sheikh Inayatullah


Pre-Islamic Arabic








Dr. Fazlur


Ibn Sina.








Muhammad Farman

Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi.



Sheikh Abdur


Renaissance in Indonesia.








M.Abdul Hye




















Serajul Haque


Ibn Taimiyya.



5.6     All these article have been critically edited by Professor M.M.Sharif to fit in into his general theory of History that culture has many cycles of life instead of just one life-cycle. The modern renaissance in Muslim countries, to which 216 pages have been devoted in the book, lends support to his view. The book, however, suffers from one serious defect. It is a product of the labour of fifty six scholars, spread all over the world, working in isolation from each other. Each of these scholars has written on the topic assigned to him from a certain point of view which is, more often than not, different from that of others, and so the book lacks, at places, both unity of thought and continuity in treatment. It appears to be an aggregate, not organic whole.


5.7     But in spite of all this, A History of Muslim Philosophy has filled a long-felt gap in the education of our youth. Prior to its publication, they largely depended upon T.J. De. Boeji's The History of Philosophy in Islam, London, 1903, De Lacy O'Leary's Arabic Thought and its place in History, London, 1910 and Richard Walzar's Creek into Arabic, Essays in Islamic Philosophy, Oxford, 1962, for studying Muslim Philosophy at the Master's level which, imperceptibly enough, disposed them unfavourably towards their intellectual past. Partiality and distortion of facts mar the writings of the Orientalists. A History of Muslim Philosophy effectively counteracts the unwholesome influence of their prejudiced writings. But the monumental work is voluminous, running into 1700 pages in two volumes and costs Rs. 1000/-. To make it easily accessible to student community, it is desirable and necessary that an abridged edition of the book may be published as early as possible. We may entirely exclude Section I (Pre-Islamic Philosophical Thought) Section V (Other Disciplines) and Section VII (The Dark Age) from this edition. The Government of Pakistan may be requested to provide funds to the President (Dr. Wahid Ali Farooqi, Head, Department of Philosophy, Sind University, Hyderabad), Pakistan Philosophical Congress for meeting the expenditure to be incurred on the publication of the abridged edition.


5.8     A year before the publication of A History of Muslim Philosophy appeared, M. Saeed Sheikh's Studies in Muslim Philosophy, Lahore, 1962. It gives a short but lucid account of medieval -- Muslim Philosophy. The real value of the book lies in the footnotes rather than in the text of the book. The book suffers from an error of omission. Miskawaih (d.1030) is the founder of philosophical ethics in Islam and a metaphysician if no mean repute, besides being a historian of high calibre, but no mention is made of him in it. Modernists, like Shah Wall Allah, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Iqbal, Jamal al-Din Afghani, M. Abduh and Zia Gokalp should also have found place in it.


5.9     The main hurdle in making Urdu the medium of instruction at the graduate and post-graduate levels is the non-availability of books in Urdu. Dr. Abdul Khaliq and Yusuf Shaidae's Muslim Falsafa, Lahore, 1981 is a notable attempt to make good this deficiency. It is also confined to the history of medieval Muslim thought, but it fails not to devote a ten-page chapter to Miskawaih's metaphysics and ethics. It is written in chaste Urdu in terms of the inner intensity of Islam and not in terms of the modern theory of historical causation.


5.10   It will be sheer injustice if mention is not made here of M. Saeed Sheikh's A Dictionary of Muslim Philosophy, Lahore, 1981. The short book is an attempt to define and explain the major technical terms used by medieval Muslim philosophers in logic, metaphysics, psychology and other allied disciplines. Arranged according to Arabic alphabet, all terms have been transliterated into English. The work is the first of its kind in English. The Arabic equivalent of philosophy is hikmat. Various kinds of hikmat have been thoroughly explained at pages 46-47 of the book, but now-here it seems to explain the Qur'anic meaning of hikmat alongwith the meaning, if any, philosophers attach to it without which it is difficult to comprehend the very meaning of Muslim philosophy.


5.11   One of the neglected areas awaiting research is the development of modern Muslim thought in the Indian sub-continent. Qazi Javed is so far the only researcher who has cared to explore the field. His Barri-Saghir men Muslim Fikr ka Irtiqa, Lahore 1986, and Sir Sayyed se Iqbal tak, Lahore 1986, are the two notable works in the field. He has systematically dealt with the thought of Shaikh Sharfuddin, S.Muhammad Jaunpuri, Sheikh Abdul Haq, Muhaddis Dehlawi and Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi in the third chapter of the first book. The second book is a critical analysis of the religious thought of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Maulwi Chiragh Ali, S. Ameer Ali, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Obaidullah Sindhi, Abul Kalam Azad and Iqbal, under the fascinating captions of " Period of Passive Adaptability", Logical Consequence of Devising a New Science of divinity, Emergence of a Moderate Escapism, the Influence of Colonial rule on Religion", Revolutionary Interpretation of Religion in Romantic Strain, Outpourings of a Rebellious Love for Islam and the Creation of a New Type of Staunch Faith," respectively. The name of Shah Waliullah is conspicuous by its omission in both the books. Needless to say, more intensive and comprehensive research is required in the field under reference.


5.12   All these researches have been done with a marked emphasis on the inner catholicity and dynamism of Islam to which Iqbal was the first to draw our attention in his Development of Metaphysics in Persia, London, 1908,. It has become quite a fashion among the modern orientialists, he warns us, to trace the chain of influences. Such a method of research is, indeed, of great historical value, provided we remember all the time that the human mind possesses an abiding individuality of its own and may create out of itself truths which may have been anticipated by other minds centuries ago. "No idea can seize a people's soul, unless in some sense it is the people's own. External influences may wake it up from its deep unconscious slumber, but they cannot create it out of nothing".[13] It is the ignorance of this aspect of cultural influence that accounts for the repeated assertions of the Orientalists that medieval Muslim philosophy offers a little beyond a restatement and often a misstatement of Greek philosophy or it is a sterile hybrid denied the capacity to produce a characteristic thought of its own, as suggested by Richard Walzar's misleading title of the book Greek into Arabic-Essays on Islamic Philosophy, Oxford, 1962.

6.       Books on Individual thinkers.

6.1     Some notable work was done by the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent on Miskawaih (d.1030), Al-Ghazali (d.1111), Rumi (d.1270) and Iqbal (d.1938) before the establishment of Pakistan. It is good to be acquainted with their work in order to maintain a liaison with our intellectual past. The list of the same is as under:



Khawaja Abdul Hamid:

Metaphysics of Ibn Miskawaih.



Some Fundamental Aspects of

Imam Ghazali's Thought.



The Ethical Philosophy of Al‑ Ghazali, Volume I-IV


Sd.Nawab All

Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Al- Ghazali.


Khalifa Abdul Hakim:

Metaphysics of Rumi.


Dr. Ishrat Hussain:

Metaphysics of Iqbal.


Bashir Ahmad Dar.

A Study in Iqbal's Philosophy.


K.G. Sayydain:

Iqbal's Educational Philosophy.


Abdul Vahid:

Iqbal His Art and Thought.


Yusuf Husain Khan:

Ruh-i-Iqbal (Urdu).


Of these, M. Umaruddin's The Ethical Philosophy of Al-Ghazali, Dr. Khawaja Abdul Hakim's Metaphysics of Rumi and Dr.Yusuf Husain's Ruh-i-Iqbal stand above the rest. The first of these outstanding work is a lucid account of Al-Ghazali's ethical thought and that of the diseases of the heart and their cures; the second is the study of the best achievements of philosophical and religious life in Islam; the third is a brilliant exposition of the uniqueness of the individual in spite of his being a wave in the ocean of society.


6.2     The pre-independence scholarly interest in Miskawaih, Ghazali and Iqbal unfolded itself in new dimensions in the cultural miliue of Pakistan. To begin with Miskawaih, B.H. Siddiqui contributed seven research articles on his Life and Works, Ethical Philosophy, Spiritual Therapy, Training of Children, Metaphysics, Purposes of Historiography and Psychology to the Journal of the Regional Cultural Institute (Tehran), Iqbal (Lahore) The Muslim World (U.S.A) and the World of Philosophy, a Sharif Presentation Volume. These are yet to be published in book form.


6.3     Next to Miskawaih comes Al-Ghazali, "The Proof of Islam". The English translation of Ibn Rushd's Tahfut al-Tahafut, Oxford, 1954, by S. Von den Bergh inspired Sabih Ahmad Kamali to render Al-Ghazali's Tahafut al-Falasafa into English, Lahore, 1958, obviously to facilitate an impartial view of the controversy between the two philosophers. This was followed by Maulana M. Hanif Nadwi's Afkar-i-Ghazali, Lahore, 1956, Sarguzasht-i-Ghazali (Urdu translation of Al-Minqad), Lahore, 1959, and Talimat-i-Ghazali, Lahore, 1986, besides Afkar-i-Ibn Khaldun, Lahore, 1962 and Aqliat-i-Ibn Taimiyya, Lahore, 1986. Steeped in Eastern Lore, Maulana Nadwi is a painstaking researcher of repute, but his arabicised Urdu sometimes stands between him and his reader.


6.4     Iqbal is the hot favourite of Pakistani scholars. The market is almost flooded with books, good as well as bad, on his philosophical, ethical, mystical, poetical, political and religious thought, not to speak of the translations of his works into the regional languages of the country and the compilations of his letters, speeches, addresses etc. etc. A select list of the books is as follow.




Dr. Abu Saeed Nuruddin

Lslami Tasawwuf aur Iqbal



Saeed Ahmed Rafiq:

Iqbal Ica Nazariya-i‑ Akhlaq.



Dr. Jamila Khatoon:

The Place of God, Man and Universe in the Philosophical System of Iqbal.







Dr. Asif Iqbal:

Some Aspects of Iqbal's Thought.



Dr. M. Ma'ruf (ed):

Contributions to Iqbal's




Dr. M. Ma'ruf:

Iqbal's Philosophy of Religion.



Dr. Kh. A. Hakim:



Prof. M. Munawwar:

Iqbal, Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan.



Prof. M. Munawwar:

Iqbal and Quranic Wisdom.



Prof. M. Munawwar:

Dimensions of Iqbal.



Md. Usman:

Asrar our Ramuz per ek Nazar.



pr. Perveen Shaukat:

The Political Philosophy of Iqbal.



Bashir Ahmad Dar:

Iqbal and Post Kantian Voluntarism




Dr. Nuruddin, indeed, had done full justice both the Sufism and Iqbal in his Island Tasawwuf aur Iqbal. The ethical thought of Iqbal was badly in need of systematization which has meticulously been done by Prof. S.A. Rafiq in his Iqbal ka Nazariay-i-Akhlaq. Philosophy is philosophy and religion is religion and never the two can meet. Prof. Jamila's doctoral thesis, The Place of God, Man and Universe in the Philosophical System of Iqbal is unmistakably an admirable attempt to provide a middle term between philosophy and religion. Prof. Asif Iqbal's some Aspects of Iqbal's Thought is a collection of his articles on Iqbal under four heads -- philosophy of Religion, Culture and Art, Quaid-i-Azam's Influence on Iqbal's Political Thought and Pakistan, A Dream and a Reality -- published from time to time in the Pakistan Times, and made available in book form without any tall claim whatever. The faculty members of the Department of Philosophy, Government College, Lahore, celebrated the birth Centenary of Iqbal in 1977 by writing paper on different aspects of Iqbal's thought. Prof. M. Maruf has edited and published these papers under the title, some Contributions to Iqbal's Thought. His own book, Iqbal's Philosophy of Religion, is brilliant exposition of Iqbal's contention that "faith is more than mere feeling", that it definitely has "a cognitive content" and that "idea is a vital element in religion". A really systematic study of Iqbal's religion-philosophical thought is Kh. A. Hakim's Fikr-i-Iqbal. The whole book make a refreshing reading. The three books of Prof. M. Munawwar -- Iqbal, Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan, Iqbal and Qur'anic Wisdom and Dimension of Iqbal -- are collections of stimulating articles, addresses and essays on different aspects of Iqbal's thought. An ardent admirer of Iqbal as he is, I can do no more here than to quote A. K. Brohi's pithy remark: "What Plato was to Socrates, Munawwar is to Iqbal". Asrar aur Ramuz per ek Nazar, is like other works of Prof. Usman a profound study and not a cursory glance over Iqbal's concept of self and society. A more or less neglected field of study was the political thought of Mama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of Pakistan. Dr. Perveen Shaukat's Political Philosophy of Iqbal has, theoretically, made good this deficiency, but practically speaking, it leaves much to be desired, specially the chapters on Ijtehad and Nationalism need some further elaboration and even enrichment. B.A. Dar's Iqbal and Post-Kantian Voluntarism is a bold attempts to the light of Fichte's concept of Ego, Nietzsche's theory , of Will-to-power and Bergson's view of intuition as a higher kind of intellect.

6.4     With Ijethad as the principle of movement, Iqbal has laid over-much emphasis on the reconstruction of theological and legal thought in Islam. Dr. Yusuf Guraya is at one with Iqbal on this point. In his Islamic Jurisprudence in the Modem World, published by Sheikh M. Ashraf, Lahore, 1988, he has highlighted the need of Ijtehad in the modern age and laid down rules for the exercise of it therein. Needless to say, it is in this direction that Iqbal's thought needs to be studied, elaborated and even examined and criticised, where necessary, in the wider interests of both Islam and Pakistan.

6.5 "The task before the modern Muslim:, say Iqbal, "is to rethink the whole system of Islam without completely breaking with the past. Perhaps the first Muslim who felt the urge of a new spirit in him was Shah Wali Allah (d. 1763) of Delhi".[14] The suggestions aroused renewed interest in the philosophical, sociological, political and economic thought of Shah Wall Allah both in the pre-independence and post-independence period. Two societies Shah Wall Allah Academy, Hyderabad, -- Shah Wali Allah Society, Lahore - sprang up in its wake. Several of his works were translated from Arabic into Urdu. M. Sarwar the translater of Ham'at and Fuyuz al-Harmayan, published a selection of his works under the title, Armughan-i-Shah Wali Allah, Lahore, 1971. Below is given a list of the books published on various aspects of his thought in Urdu:



Bashir Ahmad:

Shah Wall Allah Dehlawi



our unka Falsafa-i‑





Manazir Ahsan Gilani:

Hazrat Shah Wall Allah.


Obaidullah Sindhi:

Shah Wall Allah our unka





Obaidullah Sindhi:

Shah Wali Allah our unki



Siyasi Tehrik.


Shamsur Rahman

Shah Wali Allah ka



'Inmrani Nazriya'


Qazi Javed:

Afkar-i-Shah WaliAllah.


The last book, Afkar-i-Shah Wali Allah, Lahore, 1986, is refreshing both in content and style. Qazi Javed, its author, has split it into six chapters -- Historical Background, The Experiences of a Pious Life, Challenge and Prompt Response, Search for a Middle Course, Quest for a Philosophical Basis and About the Enterprise that Failed. The rest of the books sometimes lack in communication because of the language they are couched in. Mention may also be made here of Athar Abbas Rizvi's Shah Wall Allah and His Times, Ma'ruf Publishing House, Canberra (Australia), 1980, a veritable guide to understanding Shah Wali Allah's political sociological, economic, religious and educational thought in correct perspective.


6.6     Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind (d. 1624) was "a great religious genius of the seventeenth century". His "fearless analytical criticism of contemporary sufism resulted in the development of a new technique. All the various systems of sufi technique in India came from Central Asia and Arabia; his is the only technique which crossed the Indian border and is still a living force in the Punjab, Afghanistan and Asiatic Russia".[15] But in spite of all this, no work seems to have been done in Pakistan on the sufi technique of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi. Burhan Ahmad Farqui's Mujaddid's Conception of Tawhid, Lahore, 1940 is so far the only hook on the subject and that too was written before the establishment of Pakistan. Short accounts of it do occur in Professor Sharif's (ed) A History of Muslim Philosophy and Qazi Javed's Barr-i-Saghir men Muslim Fikr ka Irtiqa, but they can hardly be said to have done justice to it.


7.       Books on Islamic and Muslim Educational Thought

7.1     Education is the religion of the modern world. It is the life-giving principle of national power. Nearly all Muslim thinkers, specially Miskawaih, Ghazali, Zarnuji,[16] Ibn Khaldun, J'afar al-Bubkani, Shah Wall Allah, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Iqbal have given serious thought to education, both to its content and method. The development of curriculum, generally known as the classification of sciences, Islamic as well as Greek, has been a favourite subject of all Muslim thinkers right from Al-Kindi to J'afar al-Bubkani, whose Hasil al-Nahj, written in 1551, has been edited by Dr. N.A. Baloch and published by the University of Sind, Hyderabad in 1969. But despite the singular contribution of Muslims to education,[17] history of educational thought in the Muslim world finds no place,[18] even under the head, "Other Disciplines", in Professor Sharif s A History of Muslim Philosophy, referred to above. However, some books have indeed be written by Pakistani scholars on education in Pakistan and specially on the educational thought of Iqbal and Muslim thinkers. A list of the same is as under:



"Fazulr Rahman:

New Education in Making in

Pakistan, London, 1948. Education in Pakistan,



Ishtiaq Husain





Karachi, 1975.



Khalid Yar Khan:

Tarikh-i-Ta'lirn, Lahore,







S. Sajjad Rizvi:

Islamic philosophy of




Education Lahore, 1986.



Ch. Abdul Ghafoor:

Some Aspects of Islamic




Education, Lahore, 1966.




Mian M. Tufail:

Iqbal's Philosophy and




Education, Lahore. 1966.



Mahmud Ahmad Khan:

Iqbal our Masla-i-Talim




Lahore, 1978



Mahmud Ahmad

Iqbal ka falsafa-i-Ta




Karachi, 1960.



Mahmud Ahmad

Iqbal ke Talimi Nazriyat,




Karachi, 1965.



Dr. Shafiq Ali Khan:

Ghazali's Philosophy of




Education, Hyderabad,







Bakhtiar Husain

Iqbal Bahaisiat Mufakkir-i‑




T'alim, Lahore, 1983.



Bakhtiar Husain

Musalmanun ki Talimi




Fikr ka




Irtiqa' Lahore, 1983.



Bakhtiar Husain

Education: An Islamic




Perspective, Islamabad,







The basic theme of F. Rahman's New Education in Making in Pakistan is that education in Pakistan should have a religious basis. "I attach the highest importance" he says,"to the spiritual element (in education) for its neglect, which has characterised modern education, has had disastrous consequences, and the experience of two world wars as also the vast technological inventions of recent years, fraught as they are with incalculable possibilities of destruction, have brought home to us the realisation that unless the moral or spiritual growth of man keeps pace with the growth of science, he is doomed to utter extinction. It is surely a profoundly disturbing thought that every step forward in the domain of knowledge should be attended not with diminution but with an increase in barbarism and fright-fulness, so that the pursuit of knowledge becomes as self-defeating process. To arrest this process, to purge man's mind of barbarism and turn them to humanitarian purposes is the great task our education must attempt if we are to help mankind survive. The provision of instruction in the fundamentals of religion in school is, therefore, a paramount necessity, for without religious insight we cannot hope to build up character or lay foundations for an adequate philosophy of life".[19] Education is always for a purpose. The sole purpose of education is to make man a man and to achieve this end his education must be grounded and rooted in the teachings of religion. This is the jist of F. Rahman's historic address to the First Education Conference held at Karachi in November 1947. But neither the Conference nor Government of Pakistan pushed the matter any further. Thus despite all the F. Rahman said, "education", in the words of Dr. I.H. Qureshi, "continued to be aimless in Pakistan".[20] This is the sum and substance of his Education in Pakistan. There is no book worth the name on the history of educational ideas in Urdu. Khalid Yar Khan's Tarikh-i-Talim is an exception to it. It is a selective study of educational ideas of ancient, medieval and modern thinkers. Reflections of al-Ghazali and Ibn Khaldun also find place in it. S.S. Rizvi's Islamic Philosophy of Education fills a long-felt gap, but only two small chapters out of six -- "Muslim Educational Thought in the Past". (pp.97-107) and "Islamic Philosophy of Education (pp. 109-130) -- deal with the subject, Some Aspects of Islamic Education is the only book by a Pakistani scholar, Ch. A. Ghafoor, on the subject of English, containing authentic information about the method of teaching and curriculum of Muslim Education in the Middle Ages. Mian M. Tufail's Iqbal's Philosophy and Education is more about Iqbal's philosophical than his education thought. To M. Ahmad Khan goes the credit of making available at one place to researches the scattered material on Iqbal's educational thought, alongwith an informative chapter on secularism, in his voluminous (running into 600 pages) Iqbal aur Masla-i-Talim. M.A. Siddiqui's Iqbal ka Falsafa-i-Talim? reveals more his enthusiasm for Iqbal than his comprehension of Iqbal's educational thought, specially with reference to Plato and Spinoza's views on the subject. His second book, Iqbal ke Talimi Nazariyat, is, as he himself admits, a free translation in Urdu of K.G. Sayydain's Iqbal's Educational Philosophy. From Iqbal to Ghazali the way is from modernity to tradition, of which Dr. Shafiq's Ghazali's Philosophy of Education, is by all mean, a good exposition. I read and evaluated all these books for the good of this august audience. I shall now request the august audience to read and evaluate B.H. Siddiqui's Iqbal Bahaisiat Mufakkir-i-Talim, Musalmanun ki Talimi Fikr ka Irtiqa and Education, An Islamic Perspective for the good of this not too learned a speaker.


Notes and References


[1] F. Schuon; Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts, London, 1954, p.22.

[2] M. Iqbal: Kulliyat-i-Iqbal, Urdu, Bal-i-Jibreel Lahore, 1981, pp. 150-151.

[3] P. Wheelright: The Way of Philosophy, New York, 1960 p. 18.

[4] Proceedings of the Pakistan Philosophical Congress, 1964, M. Saeed's Article on Re-orientation of Muslim Philosophy, pp. 159-161.

[5] The reference is to Fariduddin Attar's verse in Mantiq al Tair, pp. 243, V.S,

لیک آں علم جدل چوں راہ زند
بیشتر بر مردم آ گہ زند



[6] A.N. Whitehead: Religion in the Making, New York, 1926, P.

[7] Ibid., p.73.

[8] H.L.Bergson: Creative Evolution, London, 1911. pp. 187-88.

[9] M. Saeed Sheikh (ed): Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Lahore, 1986, pp. 1-2.

[10] A.J. Arberry: Revelation and Reason In Islam, London, 1957, p.34.

[11] Proceedings of the Pakistan Philosophical Congress, 1964, p.160.

[12] Iqbal: Op.Cit., p. 167.

[13] Iqbal: Development of Metaphysics in Persia, London, 1908, p. 97.

[14] Iqbal: Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, p. 78.

[15] Ibid, p. 152.

[16] Burhanuddin Zarnuji: Talim al-Muta'allim, tariq al-Taallum written in 1203, had been rendered into English by G. E. Von Grunebaum and T.M.Abel, New York, 1947.

[17] See K.A. Tota's Contribution of the Arabs to Education, New York, 1926.

[18] A. Shalaby: History of Muslim Education, Beirut, 1934 had made good this deficiency. Some other books on the subject by non-Pakistani scholars are:

A.S. Tritton: Materials on Muslim Education in the Middle Ages. London,1957.

B.Dodge: Muslim Education in Medieval Times, Washington, 1962.

S.S. Nadvi: Islamic Nizam-i-Talim, Azamgarh, 1938. Mansur Ahmad Qureshi: Some Aspects of Muslim Education, Baroda (India) 1970, also Universal Books, Lahore, 1983.

[19] Fazlur Rahman: New Education in Making in Pakistan, London, 1948, pp.6-7.

[20] Dr. I.H. Qureshi: Education in Pakistan, Karachi, 1975, p. 49.