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Expound Iqbal’s Vision for the Rise of Muslims in South Asia in the Era of Colonialism.

Iqbal's Vision for the Rise of Muslims in South Asia by Dr. Shumaila Parveen

CSS Solved Political Science 2023 Past Paper | Iqbal’s Vision for the Rise of Muslims in South Asia

The following question is attempted by Miss Dr. Shumaila Parween, the top scorer in CSS Political Science papers. Moreover, the answer is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

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Question breakdown

In this question, the examiner inquired about Iqbal’s vision’s enormous impact on the rise of Muslims in South Asia, particularly on the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent, which was necessary for better responding to the interrogation of Indian Muslims at that time. You must first write an introduction, then the conditions prevailing at that time, Iqbal’s vision and its impact on the Indian Muslim rise, and finally, a conclusion.

                                                                       Outline

1-Introduction

2-A summary of Iqbal’s life and his vision

3-A cursory glance at the condition of the Muslims in South Asia during the era of colonialism 

4-Expounding Iqbal Vision for the Rise of Muslims in South Asia

  • Iqbal and Pakistan Movement
  • Awakening political activism among the Muslims
  • Inculcating the concept of a discrete nation 
  • Iqbal and the construction of self-actualization in the Muslims

5-Denounment of the vision of Iqbal on the Muslims of South Asia

  • The transformation of direction and vision towards Pakistan
  • Clarity of the political attitude of the Muslim 

6-Critical analysis

7-Conclusion

                                                         Answer to the question

Introduction

Iqbal was the proponent of Muslim nationhood during British colonialism. His poetry and political philosophy worked as animated impulse to the Muslim culture and ideal, devising the movement towards a separate homeland. Iqbal primarily opines the rise of the Muslim nation of South Asia got momentum during his stay in England, understanding the decline of Muslim identity, culture, and religion. Owing to the mutiny of 1857, British imperialism in India subjugated all the civil and administrative aspects of the Muslims of India, depriving them of their due rights. In the meantime, the colonial government sufficiently promoted and favored the Hindu community, which further oppressed the Muslim community. This grim and dilapidated condition compelled Iqbal to reconstruct his vision from united Hindustan to Muslim nationalism. Thus, Iqbal gave a composite idea of preserving the Muslim identity of South Asian Muslims. Collaborating with the Muslim League, redirecting Muslim’s struggle toward a separate homeland, and presenting the Muslims’ strains and needs before the English parliament, Iqbal greatly inspired Muslims to rise again and preserve their religion, identity, culture, and literature.   

A summary of Iqbal’s life and his political philosophy

Iqbal, born and raised in Sialkot, India, was a revolutionary thinker, a distinguished poet, and a great scholar. Most importantly, Iqbal had a visionary disposition. After receiving his early education from Sialkot, he enrolled at Government College University to hold his BA and MA degrees. Later, in 1905, he departed to Europe, first in England and then in Germany, attaining his barrister certificate from Lincoln’s Inn. That was a crucial period as Iqbal realized England’s truly educated and open society. He thoughtfully compared England’s political and civil life to the Indian subcontinent. It dawned on him the reality of the Muslim nation in India, the way both the colonial regime of Britain and the Hindu community oppressed its rights, religious freedom, and cultural values. Consequently, Iqbal became a stern advocator of Muslim nationalism; he cooperated with the Muslim League and adopted several esteemed positions. In addition, he was elected to the Punjab Legislative Council in 1927 and became a close ally of Quaid e Azam. Delivering his visionary speech during the annual session of the Muslim League in 1930, Iqbal transmitted the idea of two nations, Muslim nationalism, and the formation of a separate native land.

A cursory glance at the condition of the Muslims in South Asia during the era of colonialism 

The second half of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century was an era of deprivation for the Muslims of South Asia, particularly of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. The mutiny of 1857, although it was the joint endeavour of all native creeds and religious communities, the Muslims were the sole contender of Britain’s oppressions. The Hindus, Sikhs, Jatts, and Marathas entirely refused to take any responsibility for being partakers in the war of 1857. As a result, the Muslims had to bear all the consequences of their failed effort to regain political and economic authority and independence from the colonial rheostat. In the series of backlashes, the political positions were taken away from Muslims, they were removed from administrative services, the official patronage of religious seminaries stopped, and the official language of India altered, which unemployed the whole of Indians. However, the non-Muslim communities of India, except Muslims, quickly adapted to new education, political, and civil schemes that the British government introduced. In consequence, Muslims plunged into humiliation. The colonial government significantly suppressed their religious life, social status, legislative rights, and economic freedom.

Expounding Iqbal Vision for the Rise of Muslims in South Asia

  • Iqbal and Pakistan Movement

After returning from Europe, Iqbal entirely devoted himself to the Muslim cause. Iqbal started thinking of new opportunities and conditions that work for the salvation of the Muslims of South Asia, especially of the Indian subcontinent, under British colonialism. He deemed that the British concept of colonial government would not serve the Muslims, who had an entirely aloof idea of government and social life. Furthermore, the salvation of the Muslims would not be attained under Hindu raj. Owing to the crisis relationships between the Hindus and the Muslims, the continuous refusal of the Indian National Congress to accept the separate identity of Muslims, and the oppressed policies of the colonial government, Dr. Alama Muhammad Iqbal gave the vision of a separate Muslim homeland. In the presidential address of the 25th session of the All-India Muslim League in Allahabad on 30 December 1930, Alama Iqbal presented his vision of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. He envisioned that the Muslim-majority areas of the West and North of India, generally consisting of Punjab, Sindh, Kashmir, North West Frontier Province, and Baluchistan, could transform into a separate state of Muslim. Iqbal presented his vision for a separate homeland in the following words:

I realized that the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh, and Baluchistan incorporation into a solitary government is necessary, whether it would be a self-rule within the British realm or without the British Empire, it seems to me the creation of a merged Northwest Indian Muslim country to be the final destination of the Muslims.”

  • Inculcating the concept of a discrete nation 

Likewise, Iqbal also assumed numerous roles in the Muslim League, advocating for the rights of Muslims and their separate electorate. In 1927, Allama Muhammad Iqbal was elected as a member of the Punjab Legislative Council, and he fairly stood with the Quaid e Azam constitutional proposal that advocated for the rights of Muslims and political influence in coalition with the Indian National Congress. In analogue, Iqbal deemed it necessary to not only unite the Muslims under one stance but also unite the fractions in the Muslim League’s members, denouncing leadership that promotes feudal culture and politics based on cultural identities. Iqbal viewed the Islamic system of government, Islamic economic system, and religious civil code as the only routes of the Muslims’ salvation from the brutal rule of colonialism. Iqbal signified the vision that Muslim unity under one flag is necessary to act as a nation. Thus, by promoting Islamic nationalism and disapproving of feudal political leadership, Iqbal proposed a single nation with only one identity based on Islam. 

  • Awakening political activism among the Muslims

Later on, Iqbal travelled to Europe and West Asia to harvest the political and ethical support for the Muslims of India and the agenda of the Muslim League. He presided over the Second Round Table Conference in 1932. Iqbal meticulously scrutinized the British Empire’s proposed governmental structure. He refused to accept any proposal to transfer power without giving the considered anatomy to the Muslim-majority provinces of India. The primary vision of Iqbal was to provide the Muslims with enough freedom in the legislative assembly to influence legislature-making and be the active political entity in India’s government, proposing policies that benefit the Muslims and vetoing any plan that weakens the socio-political and religious life of the Indian Muslims. 

  • Iqbal and the construction of self-actualization in the Muslims

Additionally, the literary work of Allama Muhammad Iqbal introduced the spirit of Islam to the Muslim youth. By presenting examples of the Muslim ancestors’ bravery, truthfulness, devotion, simplicity, and honesty, they reached the zenith of spiritual glory, worldly benefit, and sovereignty. For instance, in Asrar-e-khudi, Iqbal presented the utmost characteristics of human beings to ignite the divine spark in the Muslims, compelling them to adopt the Islamic concept of life and society. Likewise, in his poetic collection, Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Iqbal emphasized the crucial rule of selflessness to benefit the nation. To conclude, self-construction and self-actualization are the necessary pillars for the development of human character. In addition, nationhood and national interests dominate over personal interests and agendas. In consequence, the literary efforts of Allama Iqbal revitalized the lost essence of the personalities of the Muslims of South Asia, especially the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, realizing the Muslims of India that through unity, they can curate their idea of Muslim nationalism.

Denouncement of the vision of Iqbal on the Muslims of South Asia

  • Reviving the nation-transformation of direction and vision 

Iqbal conveyed the message of Muslim empowerment; he profoundly mapped the significant reasons for the decline of Islamic ideology and Muslims’ fall at political, societal, and civil levels in the Indian subcontinent in his poetic endeavours. In analogue, Iqbal also presented the salient characteristics of human personality, and adopting them could help harvest the long-vanished glory of Muslims. Iqbal knew that Islam, being a comprehensive encryption of life, presents a separate culture, religion, economic, political, and civic code to the Muslims, which contrasts with other religious and social identities and makes them a separate nation. By igniting the “Tehreek e Pakistan” movement and spiritual awakening in the Muslims of South Asia, Iqbal visualized the two-nation theory that laid the foundation of Pakistan.  

  • Inspire the idea of separate homeland-clarity of political endeavours

Moreover, Iqbal clearly understood that the Muslims’ civilization, rituals, lifestyle, and interactions were different from those of other civilizations and religions, and they could not reconcile anymore or be guided and represented by a single leader or political faction. Thus, Iqbal vision of the establishment of a separate state redirected the Muslims’ struggles towards a single point: the formation of Pakistan and the division of India. Further, the failure of the round table conference and Iqbal’s disappointment in the policies of the colonial government and Hindu leadership showed him the dire consequences of Muslims in their hands. Hence, Iqbal provided unparalleled support to the Quaid’s strife for the constitutional rights of the Muslims of India and their political standings and asked the Muslims to unite under the patron ship of Quaid-e-Azam, a leader with profound vision and extraordinary wisdom whose honesty towards the Muslims of India was par excellence

Critical Analysis

Critically analyzing the vision of Iqbal in the rise of Muslims of South Asia, particularly the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, Iqbal gave colossal services to the Muslims. Although his initial thoughts promoted a single nationality, which he delivered through his poetic work, “Saray Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara,” his political concepts had altered entirely after his arrival from England. Iqbal’s vision was based on Islam, Muslim nationalism, the Islamic socio-political system, and the separate Muslim civilization, which compelled Iqbal to redevise his Political struggles solely for the Muslims, mainly Indian Muslims of the subcontinent. Moreover, in the literary work, Allama Muhammad Iqbal gave a thorough vision of the causes of Muslims’ rise and fall, along with presenting the essence of Islam that is necessary to revise the escalation of the Muslims in the civil, economic, and political realms of the world and of the Indian subcontinent.   

Conclusion

To summarise the narration mentioned above, Iqbal, through his literary efforts, political affiliation, and religious wisdom, comprehensively served the Muslims of South Asia. The grim condition of the Muslims in the hands of the Hindu community and the colonial government, congested the religious freedom, legal liberties and rights, and political uplift of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent evoked anguish in the heart of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. In his efforts to restabilize the socio-political and religious life of the Muslims, Iqbal promoted the idea of a separate Muslim identity based on Islam.  He represented his vision of a separate homeland in the northern regions of India and called it the sole salvation for the Muslims and their religious identity. Furthermore, Iqbal stern behaviour towards the colonial policies and Hindu leadership was in the utmost favour of Muslims, proving his assumptions that Hindus and English management cannot defend the socio-political rights of the Muslims of the subcontinent. Eventually, the profound vision of Iqbal not only revitalized the spirit of Islam in Muslims but also provided a direction to the decades-long struggle of the Muslims to preserve their religion, culture, and civilization.

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