IQBAL ON DEMOCRACY
Dr. Sultan Khan
Democracy is a word that comes from two Greek roots. Demos, the populace and the Kratia the Rule, taken together, rule by the people, hence democracy in this sense means government by the mass of the people as distinguished from those with special rank or status. The Greeks used the term to describe the government of Athens, and other Greek city states, that flourished in the fifth century B.C.
Democracy is the government by the people. All the competent adults participate in all decisions of government. Elections are insituted in which the people vote on questions of policy and for persons to represent them on an Assembly (legislature) that determines policy on day to day issues. In the case of Parliamentary democracy, this Assembly in turn appoints a cabinet and a leader (P.M.) to carry out the policies determined. In the case of congressional democracy, the leader is elected separately and then appoints the executive committee with the advice and consent of the legislative committee.
Beginning with the reborn of democracy in late 18th century, its debates boiled down in to three basic schools of thought i.e. ideological, classical and empirical or pragmatic. The ideological school, which usually overlaps with liberalism in its ideological sense, emphasized on the questions of justice, equality, liberty and whether or not the mass of the people actually participated in the decisions of the government. The classical school did deny the contention of ideological school, but contended that the ideals would tend to be natural outcome or result of certain institutions and procedure. They believe that democracy provides mechanism through which the decisions were made by the poeple and ideological characteristics would then follow naturally. The empirical school defined democracy in pragmatic terms as a form of government, in which individuals acquire power to decide on policy issues by means of periodic competitive struggle for the people vote.
Both etymology and history suggest that primary meaning of ‘democracy’ relates to a form of government. According to the classical tradition it is government by the many, as contrasted with government by one or few.
Heroditus, a renowned political philosopher, defined democracy as “the rule of many as also as a society in which equality before law” prevails and where the holder of Political Office is answerable to what he does. Lord Bryce accepts the definition of Heroditus and says that “democracy devotes that the form of government in which the ruling power of the state is largely vested in the member of community as a whole”. He adds, this means in communities, which act by voting, that rule belongs to the majority, as no other method has been found for determining peaceably and legally, what is to be declared the will of the community, which is not unanimous?
The Oxford Dictionary defines democracy as a government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole and is exercised either directly by them---or by officers elected by them. In modern use often more vaguely denoting a social state in which all have equal rights without hereditary or arbitrary differences of rank of privilege.
Democracy signifies “a government in which majority of whole nation or community partake of the sovereign power.” It is also used to signify “a government, in which either a majority or a large portion of the people have by means of the right of election, an influence on the appointment of the members of the supreme power”.
Democracy, today is, a political system, which supplies regular constitutional opportunities for changing the government officials a social mechanism, which permit: the largest possible part of the population to influence major: decisions by choosing among contenders for political office.
Bettelheim has also defined democracy as Characteristic of democratic ideology is its affirmation of the social importance of the principle of liberty and equality, the participation of whole population (or a large part of it) ii important social decisions, free access of all members o society to seat at public offices and the availability to al members of society (or fairly large portion of them) of the means necessary to their full physical and intellectual developments.’’
The mere consent of the people is not sufficient ti make a government democratic. The people ought to be their own “watch dogs”. The consent of the people must be real, active and effective in order to make it a genuine democracy. Eternal vigilance is the very life of democracy, if democracy can really claim in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, “to be “a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Government is of course always o the people, but it needs to be government by the people where the will of the people remain supreme in all questions of social direction and policy of government.
Corry and Abraham have explained democracy in these words: “From the view point of popular understanding the word “democracy” provides a fascinating paradox. Few terms so ideally and favorably used by the people of free world and at the same time mean so many different thing to them. Lip-service to the democracy is almost universal even when, it is being misunderstood and often betrayed in practice.
Prof. Laski, an eminent political thinker, has also gave his views about democracy, No definition of democracy can adequately compromise the vast history, which the concept connotes. To some, it is a form of a government, to other, it is a way of social life. Men have found its essence in the character of electorate the relation between the government and people, the absence of wide economic differences between citizens the refusal to recognise privilages built on birth or wealth, race or creed. Inevitably, it has changed its substance in terms of time and place.
In short, the essence of democracy can be summerised by paying that a democratic state is based on the will of the people, which operates through an electoral machinery, run by the continuous interaction and free play of informed and enlightened public opinion. It is an effort to reconcile freedom with the requirements of law and its enforcement or a political method by which citizens are provided with an opportunity to participate through debate and discussion in an attempt to arrive at certain agreements, by which the common good of the community can be ensured.
Keeping in view, the above definitions and explanations of democracy many questions arise in a mind, and many clarifications are needed for the criteria of democracy. Whether elections are tree and held frequently and periodically and electors and electorates are freely allowed to participate? Whether such elections provides an effective choice and majority vote against the government, leads to a change? Whether elected bodies have the rights of legislation, taxation and budgeting effectively? If the answer of all these questions is “yes” then we can say that the democracy is operating properly.
Lastly, it can also be said that the democracy is based on a belief in the value of individual human being and a further criterion is, therefore, the extent to which certain basic rights are guaranteed to every citizen. These are, the security against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment; freedom of speech, of press and of assembly, freedom of petition and of association; freedom of movement; freedom of religion and of teaching. As a corollary, democracy is held to require the establishment of an independent judiciary, and courts of an independent judiciary, to which every one have access.
The spirit of democracy had become a sort of faith for Europeans during the 19th century, but with the turn of 20th century, a scepticism arose in respect of suitability of democracy, and as to whether it could meet the challenge of modern times. Epithets like “cult of incompetence” and “internal infant” became common to scholarly and political debate of the day. It was severely criticized for its show and cumbersome procedures and its inability to meet emergencies. Iqbal also entered in the debate and showed his disliking against the democracy, as his outlook was based on Quranic teachings; which are against the western democracy and its basic principles.
DEMOCRACY V/S ISLAM
The Western democracy is based on the belief in value of individuals and their participation in the working of governmental machinery. It guarantees certain basic rights to the individuals; the freedom of speech, opinion, assembly, association, movement, religion and security against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. Historically speaking all the democratic ideals were derived from the principles of Islam and first Islamic state of Madina.
The first Islamic state was founded by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and cemented by his four right-guided successors. Many democratic ideals and institutions were established in the Islamic state. The election of head of state, the shura, the provision of equal justice to all citizens, and the promotion of individual and public welfare, were the examples of democratic ideals in the first Islamic state.
The Prophet of Islam died without providing for an immediate succession to the office of his vicegerent. The election of Abu Bakr, as Caliph, has obviously introduced for the first time in the world history the “popular factor”, in the selection of chief executive of the state. Later on the ‘principle of election’ was followed by the other Right guided caliphs. To describe the election the Islamic Holy constitution uses the word Shura, or the right of Muslims to participate in the choice of their leader.
The primary purposes of the first Islamic state were the ensurance of freedom from outside invasion, the provision of justice equality, liberty, and personal as well as material security for its people. These goals were the subject matter of the ‘Declaration of Madina” the first written constitution of first Islamic state attained the highest degree or order consistent with the liberty and equality of individuals and groups, in Islamic society.
The major aim of the Islamic state was to fuse all existing divergences into one homogenous nation, and the promotion of individual interest and the public welfare. The same version was declared in the Holy Quran for many times.
The first Islamic state also proposed a comprehensive law for the guidance of the human beings. This law, actually and dominantly, has been controlling and guiding the civilized life on the earth, since its birth. This rule of Law, is known in the western world, as supremacy of Law.
The Islamic state also granted many other rights along with the freedom of speech to its subjects. A Bedouin, in Friday-congregation, stands and asks the second caliph for the clothings, he wore. The caliph politely satisfied him, by addressing his son, to give the answer. The modern world does not experience such a freedom and liberty. Here, I like to revise my stand that all the democratic ideals were derived, from the principles of Islam and the first Islamic state, headed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The following lines are reserved for the comparative study of the ideals of Islam and the basic principles of democracy. Again coming towards democracy, there is no consensus on the exact meaning of democracy, as a political system, and no one can adopt a single definition for reference, but the term stands for the some principles; a recognition of value of individual irrespective of race, creed and quality; acceptance of law, which regulates all social and political relationships the equality of all citizens, regardless of their racial, ethnic and class distinction; justifiability of state decisions on the bases of popular consent of people and a high degree of tolerance.
Islam contains many basic principles; which are prerequisites for democracy. To start with the Quranic verse which declares:
“And seek, in what ever God has bestowed upon you, the next world, but do not forget you participation and share in this world, and be nice as God has been kind to you, and never seek doing corruption in the earth verily God does not love corruptors”.
The Holy Quran again declare as under:‑
“God commands you to render back trusts to those who deserve them. And when you judge or rule the people, you should judge or rule with justice. Verily how excellent is the teaching, which has given to you, for God is He, Who hears and sees all things. O! you, who believe, obey God and obey the Prophet (PBUH) and those charged with authority among you, if you differ in any thing (if any dispute arises among you on any matter) refer it to God and His Prophet. If you believe in God and the Last Day, that is the best and the most suitable for final reckoning.”
In the above mentioned verses of the Holy Quran, the basic principles of an Islamic state are laid down, to be followed by the Believers. All these principles are compatible with principles of western democracy.
The concept of equality in Islam is comparable with the concept of modern democracy. The Islamic equality means all individuals (Insan) are equal irrespective of believe, race, creed, nationality and political standing. The only valid ground, on which an individual may be superior to another is his fear of God or piety (Taqwa).
It is true that in Islam all men are equal as member of ummah, bound together in community by ties, not of kinship or race but of religious acknowledgement of one God and apostolic mission of His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). There is, of course, differentiation of functions of individual in society but before God all are equal without reference to rank class or race. The only nobility in Islam is that of pious and Godly (Quran).
The Islamic state would grant equal freedom of conscience to all citizens and respect their mode of life, if they do not violate the fundamentals of social justice. This shows that the concept of equality in Islam is more comprehensive than in western democracy.
Likewise, if by democracy is meant a system of government which is opposite to dictatorship. Islam can be compatible with democracy, because there is no room in Islam, for tyranny or arbitrary rule by one man or a group of men. Islam does not recognise monarchical government and it strucks at the root of feudalism by prohibition of primogeniture, which creates and preserves feudal estates.
The Islamic state follows a body of regulations i.e. Sharia, drawn from Quran and tradition Sunnah. Thus the function of Islamic state is reduced to a mere sub-servience to, and a smooth enforcement of, The Divine orders. A state in this sense is transformed into a political organisation that represents the will of God Almighty alone and of no other worldly authority irrespective of its influence of any nature. In this regard, Islam satisfies another prerequisite of democracy, which is rule of law, as any kind “of prerogative to the ruler is denied and both ruler and ruled are required to obey the laws of “Sharia”.
Islam can pass yet another moral test of democracy, when it is said that all the decisions in Islamic state is made with wishes of the ruled. This requirement is met by the principle of “Shura” (consultation) and “Ijma” (consensus); which are drawn from both “Quran” and “Sunnah”. In enumerating the qualities of a good Muslim the Holy Quran mentions consultation on the same footing as compliance with God’s order; saying the prayer and payment of alms-tax. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his four pious caliphs also made consultation, on the important issues, with the mass of the people.
If the democracy means the election of head of state or head of executive for a fixed term, whereafter a new election is to be organized. The Islamic state organises the same and gives the individuals the chance to participate in the choice of their leadership. Similarly, it gives majority, the right to remove the head from the post as the contract of appointment is revocable. None of the four Right-guided caliphs came to power through intimidation or coercion, but they assumed the office through the free choice of the majority of ummah.
There is a wide scope of legislation in the western democracy, while in Islam, essentials of legislation shall be derived from the basic principles of Quran and the practice followed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH): Otherwise almost the entire field of legislation shall be left unhampered, to be moulded as circumstances demand by men of knowledge, who know and can evaluate the actualities of a situation. This mode of legislation is popularly known as Ijtihad (systematic reasoning) and Ijma (consensus), but the revelation and the Holy Prophet’s traditions always play the decisive role. The Muslims are entitled to make laws which are of public interest, keeping in view the fact that such laws do not conflict with basic laws of Sharia. Islam, again can complete the western democracy, in this aspect.
On the other hand, Islamic democracy remains different from western democracy in some important aspects. In Islam Sovereignty really and ultimately vests in God, where as representatively and manipulatively vests in His Holy Prophet (PBUH), and rules of Sharia act as eternal moral forces to keep the Believers on the right path; while in democracy, sovereignty rests with the masses and they play the absolute role in the political affairs of the country.
Islamic state is an ideological state. It is the creation of an ideal and is sustained by a steady and sincere adherence to the dictates of the ideals. The Islamic state has to play two-fold role. It creates relation of man to God, and relation of man to men or humanity. While the western democratic state has no such ideals, having no goal of the welfare of whole human-beings.
In western democracy elections are held on the basis of adult franchise irrespective of all conditions and pre requisites. Therefore, it is possible that undesirable and incompetent people are elected to various public offices, who are unable to run the affairs to the state. Islam imposed certain restrictions on suitability of the persons who are candidates for different offices of the state. Islam also prevents any individual from nominating himself for the state office or asking to be nominated in any official position. Islam has not barred any citizen for casting vote on the basis of literacy or illiteracy or sex. This has been explained in the sunnah verse:
Abu Musa one of the Prophet’s companions said, “I entered the Prophet’s house with men of my clan; both of them asked the Prophet, saying: 0, Messenger of God, would you please appoint us in one of the public offices, which God has put in your hands? The Prophet (PUBH) said, “We, by God’s name, do not appoint to the public offices (in our state) those who ask for them, nor any one, who is covetous for such a thing.”
There is clear distinction between the Islamic system of Shura and the defective and imbalanced system of western democracy. Islam has imposed four conditions for the candidature of Shura. He should possess a firm and profound belief in tenents of Islam. He should possess integrity of character. He should have reasonable knowledge and necessary understanding of the job and responsibility, which is being entrusted to him. He should have not only a good intellectual personality but an impressive physical personality. The rules of western democracy are insensitive to these aesthetic considerations.
The member of Islamic Majlis-e-Shura always speaks and acts on behalf of entire Muslim Nation. He plays dual role performing the dual responsibility. His dual responsibility makes representation more difficult than in western democracy. He has the responsibility to his electorate to present and to look after their interests in accordance to the Holy Islamic constitution. His second burden is as a representative of a government office, which acts for the Islamic nation as a whole Simply, he is responsible to his electorates as well as to the “Divine Law” or the will of Allah Almightly, While in western democracy, the member of Assembly or Congress or Parliament has single responsibility, which is to electorates only.
IQBAL ON DIFFERENT BASIC PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY
i) Sovereignty of People:
Iqbal criticizes western principles of democracy in the strongest possible terms. In his opinion, the west, by evolving perverted democratic principles has unchained a monster, therefore a barren land is better than the garden of west. Iqbal has opposed the western democracy as it is a methodology rather than an ideology or philosophy. The methodology should be treated as methodology and not as ideology. Iqbal believes, as it is not qualitative and the decisions made on the basis of quantity are not correct. Iqbal criticises the aspect of “sovereignty of people” of the western democracy; which rests with the masses, who have no capacity and capability of the same.
In one of his poems, under the caption Jumhurriat in Payam-i-Mushriq. Iqbal says that you seek the treasures of our alien philosophy from the common, poor of mind and low grade people, as the crawling ants on the ground, can not attain the heights of wisdom of Hazrat Sulayman (The Prophet of God). You should avoid democracy and become within the bond of perfect man (the Holy Prophet), as two hundred donkeys can not have combined the brain of a man.
Explaining the quantitative aspect of the western democracy, Iqbal adds, a European gentleman has disclosed this secret, that men of wisdom do not disclose what they have in their mind; and democracy is a kind of government, in which individuals are counted and not weighed.
Iqbal believes that a common man has not wisdom, as well as his own opinion, but he is generally influenced by the opinion of capitalists and industrialists, through the propaganda tactics. Thus the other’s opinion was imposed on a common man, as such he is exploited in democracy; likewise, he is exploited in dictatorship, monarchy, aristocracy and fascism. Therefore, in Iqbal’s views, there is no difference between democracy and other forms of government. In Bang-i-Dara, he points out that western democratic institutions are old wines in new bottles, which contain no tunes other then the imperial one. It is the demon of despotism, dancing in the garb of democracy; and you think it is a fairy of freedom.
Iqbal adds that the common people hope that they will enjoy their rights and privileges in democracy; but they can not enjoy their rights in this system, as the so-called law-making assemblies, rights and duties are only narcotics, Debates in the parliaments and assemblies are nothing, but warfare of capitalists to make more money. You have taken this mirage of color and smell for a garden, I am so, sorry for you, as you have understood the cage, as your nest, due to your foolishness.
Iqbal is not all alone in criticism of western democracy, but many European political philosophers i.e. Laski, Spengler, Steandal, and Nietzsche, also joined his hands. - These philosophers were against the western democracy due to the persecution and harassment of the common man, by the capitalists.
Secularism is another basic characteristic of the western democracy; due to which Iqbal hates the democracy. The secularism means the separation of religion from politics. In other words, the religion has no public status, but has been reduced to a private affair.
According to Iqbal, the politics, in which religion is made a separate and private entity, is a defective one, and it is shame for humanity. The nations, which believe in secularism can not exist longer. Iqbal firmly persuaded that in the name of secular democracy, thousand of atrocities have been committed in the world. In the hands of infidels, this method perpetuates infidelity and has failed to mitigate the miseries and black spots of the world. In this regard, Iqbal reports the “Satan” as saying: “There is no need of my presence in the world as there are enough devils in the shape of politicians in western democracy”.
Iqbal again, condemns the western democracy, which is divorced from religion. According to him, the secular politics and democracy is pestered with many ills, and it evolved itself as unchained monster, as the state has been separated from church.
Iqbal further says that the western democracy is not only irreligious and faithless, but it is wrought by the capitalists for their own sinister designs. God has created one devil, while Europe has created numberless devils in the shape of democrates.
Activities, which destroyed the social life of the human-beings. According to Iqbal, the unemployment, immorality, alcoholism and poverty are the great victories of the western civilization.
Iqbal has severely criticized the western democracy as it is based on the liberalism. The complete liberty of thoughts, led the thoughtless populace, to the destruction. If thinking is misguided, the freedom of thought can easily transformed a human being into a beast.
In Bal-i-Jibrael, Iqbal explains the concept, in detail and says; If individuals of a nation, have unlimited liberty and freedom of thought that can prove dangerous for the nation. He adds that man’s God-given liberty of thought has illuminated the world, but the unrestricted freedom of thought is an annovation of the Devil.
Iqbal has faith that the western democracy and civilization can not save the Islamic world. It neither can solve their problems nor can give them a new start in life. How the western civilization can save the others? When it has been died in itself. According to Iqbal these facts should be revealed to those, who have shut their eyes in following the western civilization.
Moreover, it was the fear of the adverse effects of western liberalism, which compelled Iqbal to give a warning to the Muslims. he has the belief that indiscriminate importance of liberal ideas could be ruinous to the stability of the Muslim faith. It could sow seeds of discord and hate and thus deprive the community of its basic unity, which is so vital to the Islamic ideology. He explained this point of view in one of his lecture in the following words.
We heartily welcome the liberal movement in Modern Islam; but it must also admitted that the appearance of liberal ideas in Islam constitutes also the most critical moment in the history of Islam. Liberalism has tendency to act as a free of disintegration Further our religious and political reforms in their zeal for liberalism may over step the proper limit of reform in the absence of a check on their youthful fervour.
Iqbal has the faith that western democracy and ‘Satan’ are closely related with each others, having the same designs. He explains the western democracy in the words of ‘Satan’. We have camouflaged the kingship, as democracy, and the man became aware of this fact. Therefore, the western democracy is as hateful as the old kingship.
Iqbal advises the Muslims to avoid the western democracy, as it is religiouless and faithless, He adds that the religion is the thing; which provides the atmosphere of love, with each other, sacrifices for others and welfare for poors and have notes; therefore you should follow religion, instead of secular western democracy. This is the right path, which is the path of modernization and development. Therefore, Iqbal invites all the Muslims of the world to adopt this right path, leaving the western politics, as your country and wealth are depending upon it. As he says in the following couplet.
The sovereignty of people and the divorce of religion from politics resulted in the too much liberalism, which is the basic principle of western democracy. This individual liberty led in many unethical and inhuman acts. The young generation involves itself in the sexual and such other
Capitalism is another characteristic of western democracy, which means that all sources of income of state, are in the hands of individuals. Individuals are independent in earning money and having unlimite property, using what so ever means, they like. In simple words, capitalism is a decentralization of wealth an exploitation of it, by the capitalists. Iqbal has felt this situation, and has been deeply influenced by the miserablw condition of the poors and workers; which was stigma for humanity and the fact made him critical of the relationship of capital and labour, and capitalism and democracy. Iqbal wrote several poems on the subject, which manifest concern and anxiety of million of workers and labourers. In hi poem Khizr-i-Rah, he presents the picture of the miserable conditions of the workers and labourers. He says that the. have been victimized by the deceitful capitalists for the last many centuries. Their hard earned wages are distributed among them by the capitalists, as if they are alms. The, capitalists have been victorious but to their deceitful tactics; while the workers have been ruined completely due to their simplicity. Iqbal advises the workers, to realise the situation of the world, which has been changed in their favour, a new era has been started both in East and West.
Another fact which pains Iqbal is that the industrialists are leading luxurious life at the cost of workers. He says, that the industrialists do not know the name of “labour and work”, but they are luxuriating because they are owner of the industries. He gives initiative to workers according to God’s order “The man receives for what he struggles”. He adds that why capitalists enjoy at the cost of workers?
In Payam-i-Mushriq, Iqbal also conveyed this message to the working class and points out that the riches are garbed in the costly cloths; while the workers have to wear the tattered rages. The riches are becoming healthy by the blood of poors and their wealth is the product of the sweat of workers.
Iqbal, being a Muslim, could not approve the capitalism and the capital gained by the capitalists, because Islam is the greatest opponent of the social and economic evils, which stem from capitalism. Therefore, he hates democracy; which is based on capitalism.
Iqbal was aware of the backwardness and bankruptcy of the peasants also, as the workers were victims of industrialist and capitalist, like was the peasants were living a helpless life under the faudalism. He believes that faudalism is equivalent to capitalism. Iqbal, in a poem entitled, Punjab Kai Dehkan Sai, has expressed his idea on the subject. He addresses the peasants and says that what is the secret of your life? that you have been leading a helpless life for centuries, and spark of life has been quenched in it; Now the dawn is near at hand, the time to rise.
In another poem Iqbal forcefully directs poors to shake the domination of aristocratic masters, as if a peasant, who can not get his due share or earning from the field, he has the right to burn it down. Likewise, if masses have no share in government, they must destroy it.
Iqbal in a poem entitled Lenin Khuda Kai ‘Hazur Main provides a vivid picture of capitalist society. According to him, in beauty of architecture, cleanliness and rush of people, the banks have super passed the churches. Unemployment, immorality, drinking and poverty are the great triumphs of the western civilization. O! God, you are just and all powerful; then why? the life of workers is extremely miserable. He also prays to bring to end the lust of the capitalists and industrialists, as the whole world is waiting for this.
Iqbal was keen interested in the betterment of the workers and he was convinced that a political system based on justice and corruption would disappear with the realisation that there is something higher in human value than the naked lust for political and material gains. As such the Muslims must lend their maximum support to every effort, which is directed towards the betterment of the working class. In his another poem, Iqbal points out that the old traditional politics has become disgraceful and the world is sick of monarchs and aristocrates. The age of capitalism is near to an end like a jugler, whose play is off.
The fifth important principle of westren democracy is nationalism; which means a condition of mind, feelings or sentiments of a group of people living in a well defined geographic area; speaking a common language, possessing a literatue in which their aspirations are expressed, attached to common traditions and customs, venerating their own heroes, and some cases having the same religion. Thus the bases of western nationalism are; Geography, race, language, traditions, customs, common ideals etc. The western nationalism evolved itself as a code of life for European; which opened the way of hostility to others and prepared nations for territorial expansion. In this method, the nationalism proves itself fatal to the interests of humanity and becomes a source of endless conflict and aggression.
Keeping in view, the characteristics of nationalism, Iqbal condemns the nationalism as well as the western democracy. Iqbal expresses his hate for nationalism, as it is against the spirit of Islam. He further says that Islam and nationalism can not go hand in hand. He elaborates the concepts, that the attachment to a place leads to ruin and live like a fish in ocean, free from all attachments.
Migration from homeland, is a ‘sunnah’ of the Holy prophet (PBUH); and be a witness to the truth of the prophethood.
Iqbal again condemns the concept of territorial nationalism. He says that nationalism is a devil of the present time, nationalism and the religion are against each other and these can not go together. In the view point of politicians, nationalism is different thing from the practice of the Holy prophet.
Iqbal believes that nationalism is the main hurdle in the establishment of Muslim universalism or Muslim Ummah. Iqbal wrote a letter to prof. Nichlson in which he said: Nationalism is a belief based on race and colour, which is hostile to the world and humanity. The people who love the humanity, should start a war against the annovation of ‘Satan’.
Iqbal has the faith that the nationalism has many demerits and disadvantages and the nationalism preaches for the hostility and aggression in the world; which results” in the distranquillity. He adds that all the antions of the world are at war for territory and trade, due to nationalism. Moreover, nationalism is the cause for unethical politics and destruction of the weeks.
In an article, Iqbal again condemns nationalism and exposes the designs of the western world against the Muslims. He says:
“Very early from the writings of European scholars, I had come know that the basic scheme of western Imperialism was to dismember the unity of Muslim World by popularising territorial nationalism among its various components.”
Iqbal believes that by the concept of territorial nationalism, imperialism arises and the birth of imperialism results in the world wars. Numberless people lose their lives and billion dollars money is spent in the wars; which could be utilized for the welfare of humanity.
vi) Party System
The Party system is another corner stone of the philosophy of western’ democracy. According to the system, like minded people come together, with the objective to be victorious at national polls, to get the political power of the state. This grouping of the people constitutes the political party. The party system is considered a part and parcel of western democracy.
In the western democracy, whole nation is divided in to two parties i.e. rulers and ruled, mainly due to the existence of political parties. The ruling group tries to stick with the power. While the opponent group tries to oust and replace the ruling group; which results in conflict and tussle. The conflict and tussle further divide the nation in the two warring parties or groups.
Party discipline is another phenomenon, which restricts the individual’s liberty, and the choice of the leadership. One has to cast vote in favour of the candidate nominated by one’s party, like wise one can not differ the policy of the party.
Whenever, such a party comes in power, it rules according to party discipline, ignoring the wishes of the people; which results in the dictatorship of the party. Thus, under the party system and legislative regimentation, the ideals of democracy have been considerably damaged. Individual responsibility converts into collective responsibility.
Iqbal opposes democracy for the reasons also and says, that there is no difference between democracy and dictatorship. The dictator, the monarch, and the aristocrate guise themselves in the shape of democrates. Thus the democracy, dictatorship and kingship are the same thing. He points out in Bang-i-Dara that the westren democracy is the old wine in new bottle, which contains no tunes other than imperial one. It is devil of despotims, dancing in the shape of democracy and you take it as a fairy of freedom.
Iqbal very rightly says that democracy, being a methodology, is in it self neither good nor bad. The democracy usually operates through party system; which makes democracy a bad one. Iqbal believes that ‘Democracy has a tendency to foster the spirit of legality. It is not in itself bad; but unfortunately it tends to displace the purely moral stand point and make the illegal and wrong identical in meaning. Iqbal adds, whether democracy is good or bad? But you do not know about the new methodologies of the world.
According to Iqbal, the politicians, who come in power through party system, never allow the people, to share the power, with them like the kings. Thus the politicians and kings are defacto rulers of the world.
Iqbal analyses his discussion on the western democracy in these words:
“The idealism of Europe never becomes a living factor in the life and the result is perverted ego seeking itself through mutually intolerate democracies, whose sole function is to exploit the poor in the interest of rich”.
Iqbal concludes the discussion and says that on the surface, western democracy appears radiant but its inside is darker than the despotism of Changiz Khan.
IQBAL’S CONCEPT OF POLITY
Iqbal was deeply convinced by Khilafat and wanted to see it in force. In one of his couplet he says that the age of Khilafat i.e. polity is near to hand and all the signs of the governments other than polity should be abolished.
Iqbal also calls polity by the name of spiritual democracy. He has derived the idea of polity from the fallible like other Muslims and subject to the same impersonal authority of Divine Law.
5. Although, the caliph is head of state and he can be directly sued in the ordinary law courts.
6. The caliph can indicate his successor, but the nomination is not valid without confirmation by the people.
7. The electors have rights to demand the deposition of the caliph or dismissal of his officials if their behavour is in contravention to the Laws of Sharia”.
Iqbal describes his concept of polity or spiritual democracy, with qualitative approach. Which is possible only in a society, practicing Islamic principles. Such a system Iqbal calls the Kingdom of God on the earth. In a letter to R.A. Nicholson, he writes:
“The Kingdom of God on earth means the democracy or more or less unique individuals, presided over by the most unique individuals, possible on the earth”87]
Iqbal throws further light on the God’s kingdom on earth:
“It is here and now that men and women must learn to live justly, decently, sincerely; It is here that they must ceaselessly cultivate their manifold inner powers and try to control the tremendous forces of Nature: It is here that they must learn to utilise them not for domination, but for service nor for repression and destruction but for creation and enrichment; it is here that by. devotion to the highest ideals, they can become co-partners in God’s creative activity and can help in establishment of God’s kingdom on earth”.
Iqbal also explains the Islamic institution of election i.e. election of unique individual or ideal person as caliph by quoting the words of Hazrat Umar, the second Caliph.
“Although Abu Bakr’s
immediate election from the point of view of the need of the time and the
consequences was extremely appropriate and opportune, this method of
election can not be decreed to be established principle in the religion of
Islam that election,
which is based on a partial
He further, explains that, “The electorates by casting their votes or united and independent act of electing best political government in a determinate and reliable person, whom they consider worthy of ‘trust’.
Iqbal in his book entitled, “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”, has explained the term Ijtihad (re-orientation, in which law can be effected by the Believers).
Iqbal says that “according to spirit of Islam, ‘Imamat’ can be vested in body of persons or elected assembly. The Republican form of government is not only thoroughly consistent with spirit of Islam, but it has also become a necessity in view of the new forces, that are set free in the world of Islam.” By it means, that the political sovereignty is vested in Muslim individual, and Imamat is an elected institution.
Iqbal considers that liberty and equality are important principles of the Muslim polity. He makes an exposition in this regard, as under:
“The basis of Islamic polity in eyes of Law of religion is absolute and uncontained freedom in fact the act of election is a kind of contract between the caliph and Muslim. Muslim reign of the Holy Prophet and his four Right-guided successors. This was the period in Islamic history, when the polity was actually practiced. Therefore, Iqbal advises the Muslims to come in bond of the Holy Prophet and to submit to him.
Iqbal has formed a system of government from the period enlisting these qualities; the truthfulness, the justice, the bravery, and freedom from privileges and prerogatives. He says:
Iqbal further elaborating the system, enlisted additional principles of polity; which are reproduced below:-
1. Election is the only way to express the will of the people, and partial expression of people will is considered null and void.
2. De facto political sovereignty resides with the people.
3. The Muslim commonwealth is based on the absolute equality of all Muslims.
4. The caliph is not necessarily the high priest of Islam. He is not the representative of God on earth. He is populace, according to which the caliph is duty round to perform particular functions for which he is to be held entirely responsible. He adds that all the Muslims have absolute equal rights and uncontained freedom in the Muslim State. Moreover the caliph is not above the Muslim populace, but he is responsible for the duties and’ functions assigned to him, if he fails to perform his duties he is removable by the people. If caliph does not rule according to Sharia his right to rule is forfeited, and his electorates can demand for his dismissal or his officials accordingly.
Iqbal’s concept of ‘self involves a plea for respect for one-self and respect for one’s fellowmen too. The concept has constructed a society which is not compatible in the world. The society has evolved a political system and is well known as polity.
As discussed above, Iqbal is deeply convinced by ‘polity’. He presents it as an ideal government. In Armughan-i-Hijaz, he says, that Khilafat is the ideal of the Muslims and any system which has monarchical attributes is undesirable for them. Monarchy or democracy is nothing but deceit and treachery, while Khilafat is a protection of the will of God. But Iqbal is aware of the fact that this ideal did not last for a long time in Islamic history. Under the Umayyads, Abba sides and Ottomans the Khilafat became hereditary monarchy. It lost its original purpose and massage which had been conveyed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) for the emancipation of mankind.
Thus, according to Iqbal ‘polity’ is rooted deeply in Quran and Sunnah and is completely different from the democracy of the west. He had an abiding interest in the growth and development of the human personality, which thrive and prosper only in an atmosphere where there is no fear except God. He desired that permanent spiritual values should form the cornerstone of every political system, whether it is Presidential or Parliamentary. In Pakistan, we can also implement the concept of Iqbal’s ‘polity’. by establishing Imamat based on the principles of Sharia; making head of state or executive responsible to the people as well as God; electing pious, trustworthy, and faithfully individuals to the assemblies who are mainly responsible to establish kingdom of God in the earth; protecting the rights of masses; declaring judiciary independent and making caliph sueable in the ordinary court of law and making electorate independent, so that they can demand the dismissal of caliph, if he does not perform in accordance with the Sharia.
 Milton C, Cumming Jr. and Devid Wise; Democracy Under Pressure (H.B 1977) p 16.
 Roger Hillsman; To Govern America - p. 21. (Harper & Row Publication 1979).
 Ibid. p.
 Ibid. p.30
 J. Roland Pennock; Democratic Political Theory (Princeton 1979) P. 3
 Herodotus; History of Persian War (New York 1942) p. 252
 Bryce J. Modern Democracies Vol. I p. 20.
 Oxford: (Clarendon Press 1961).
 George Cornewell Lewis; Remarks on the Use and Abuse of some Pol. terms. (Columbia 1970) P. 84.
 Seymour M. Lipset; Political Man. p. 27 (Garden City N.Y. 1960).
 Charles Bettelheim; Democracy in the World of Tensions. (Chicago 1951) p. 3.
 Corry and Abraham: “Elements of Democratic Govt.” (New York 1958) p.
 Encyclopedia of Social Sciences Vol. II. p. 76.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; The Political Philosophy of Iqbal, (Lahore 1978) p. 2G0.
 Prof. Muhammad Manawwar; Demensions of Iqbal, (Lahore) p. 39.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; Op. Cit., p. 26.
 Abdul Rehman Abdul Kurdi: The Islamic State, (New York 1984) P. 63
 Ibid: P. 64.
 Rosenthal E. I.J: Political Thought in Medieval Islam, (Cambridge 1958) P.21
 Quamar-ud-Din Khan; The Political Thought of Ibn Taymiyah, (Lahore 1983) p. 99
 Hamid Enayat; Modern Islamic Political Thought. (London 1982) p. 12G
 Al-Quran 28:77.
 Al-Quran 4: 58-59.
 Young T. Cuyler; “Shariah and Democracy”. P. 64 in International Islamic Colloquium Paper Lahore (1961).
 Khalifa Abdul Hakim; Islamic Ideology (Lahore 1980) p. 242.
 Ibid. p. 237.
 Prof. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri; Quranic Basis of Constitutional theory, (Lahore) P. 14.
 Hamid Enayat: Op, Cit., p: 128
 Ibid P. 129.
 Hakim Mohammad Said (Ed.): The Islamic Concept of State, (Karachi 1983) p. 15
 Ibid p. 33
 Khalifa Abdul Hakim. Op, Cit., p. 242
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; Op, Cit; p. 262.
 Prof. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri; Op. Cit., p. 27.
 Hakim Muhammad Said (Ed.); Op. Cit., p. 94.
 Abdul Rehman Abdul Kurdi; Op Cit., p. 17.
 Muslim, Imarah; 14.
 Prof. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri; Op. Cit; p. 20-21.
 Abdul Rehman Abdul Kurdi; Op, Cit., pp. 80-81.
 Dr. Waheed qureshi; Selection from Iqbal Review. (ahore 1983) P 216
 Iqbal : Payam-i-Mushraq, P. 135
 Iqbal; Zarib-i-Kalim, P.150
 Iqbal; Banmg-i-Dara, P. 296.
 Dr. Waheed Qureshi; Op.Cit; P. 218
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael:, P. 215
 Zarb-i-Kalim; P. 154
 Ibid. P. 144.
 Iqbal; Armughan-i-Hijaz (Urdu) P.7.
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael. P.146.
 Iqbal; Zarb-i-Kalim, ; P. 74.
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael. P. 222.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; Op. Cit; P.220.
 Iqbal; The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam; (Lahore 1959) PP. 162-63. Also quoted by Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; ) Op. Cit. P. 220.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; Op. Cit. P. 241.
 Iqbal; Bang-i-Dara; PP. 297-98.
 Iqbal; Payam-i-Mushriq, P. 257.
 Bashir Ahmad Dar; Iqbal’s Philosphy of Society; (Lahore) P. 22.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali; Op.Cit. P. 243
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael, P. 204
 Ibid; P. 149
 Ibid; P. 146-47.
 Dr. Parveen Shaukat ALi; Op. Cit. P. 244.
 Bashir Ahmed Dar; Op. Cit; P. 34
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael, P. 167
 Louis L. Suyder; Global Mini-Nationalism, (Autonomy or Independence) (London 1982) Intro: P. XV
 Iqbal; Bang-i-Dara, P. 174.
 Mian Mohammad Afzal; Iqbal and Global Politics, (Urdu) (Lahore 1978) P.54.
 Iqbal; Bang-i-Dara. P. 174.
 S.A.V. Moeeni; Maqalat-i-lqbal (Urdu) (Lahore 1963) P. 222.
 Dr. S. M. Minhajuddin;Afqar-o-Taswarat-i-lqbal;(Mulatan 1985) P. 217.
 Already referred.
 Dr. Javid Iqbal (Ed) Stray Reflections (Lahore) P. 120
 Iqbal; Armughan-i-Hjaz, P. 216.
 Iqbal; Zarb-i-Kalim, P. 145.
 Ibid P. 141.
 Ibid P. 142.
 Iqbal; The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (Lahore 1959) P. 179.
 Iqbal; Armughan-i-Hijaz, P. 210.
 Iqbal; Bal-i-Jibrael, p. 110.
 Iqbal; Bang-i-Dara, p. 223.
 Iqbal; Bang-i-Dara, p. 226.
 S.A. Vahid; Thought and Reflections of lqbal: (Lahore) pp. 58-66; also quoted by Dr. Parveen Shaukat Ali, op. cit.
 A.J. Arberry Eng. Tr. Javid Hama, Intro. p. 11.
 Prof. Muhammad Munawwar; Dimensions of lqbal, (Lahore 1986) p. 182.
 Iqbal; Khilafat-i-Islamia; Also quoted by S. Hasan Ahmad; lqbal; his Political Ideas at Crossroad. (Aligarh 1979) p. 21.
 Iqbal; The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam edited by Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, (Lahore 1986_) p. 124.
 Ibid. p. 125.
 S. Hassan Ahmad; lqbal: His Political Ideqs at Crossroads; (Aligarh 1979) p. 22.
 Prof. Muhammad Munawwar; op. cit., p. 53.
 Hafeez Malik; Iqbal, (Golumbia University 1971) p. 181.
 Iqbal; Armughan-i-Hijaz, P. 126.