Evolution and Human Beings

Topics: Evolution, Early Islamic philosophy, Muhammad Iqbal Pages: 6 (2062 words) Published: January 17, 2013
Allama Muhammad Iqbal is one of the most outstanding poet-philosophers of the Indian sub-continent belonging to the modern period. His intellectual genius has reigned supreme in the arena of Islamic philosophy during the twentieth century and is likely to direct and influence the Islamic Intellectual tradition in the twenty first century as well. His sublime poetry and philosophy inspired millions of Muslims to wake up to the reality of the times and forge a destiny for themselves.  Iqbal explained evolution on the basis of his religious knowledge as well as his experiences in the western society. One of the facets of Iqbal’s genius is the fluidity with which he displays his in-depth knowledge and critical analysis of both Islamic and Western philosophies, theories and concepts. He compared the Quranic concepts of evolution with the western ones. Then, he gave his own concept of evolution. Allama Iqbal’s Concepts of Evolution:

Allama Iqbal is against the concept of a fixed and static universe. He consistently upholds that existence reveals itself in constant change. If there is anything which is constant, it is the change itself. According to him, God‘s creative activity is ever-continuing and He is constantly sustaining this universe. God is not only the cause but also the reason of the universe. He believed that the Ultimate Ego was Allah, who, though transcendent in His essence, was intimately connected to human beings through His amr.  For Iqbal amr stood for the creative power and will of God. He gave the concept of ‘egos’. At the lowest level egos are unconscious, in the higher order of being, they become conscious. Egos achieve utmost consciousness and finally become self-consciousness in human beings, the highest being in nature and the vicegerent of God. Man is the only being awarded with moral freedom and responsibility. Using his freedom of choice with responsibility, humans approach closer and closer the excellence that is divine. Being conscious of one’s real self i.e self realization is the goal of moral actions. Self, according to him, is of two kinds. The efficient self which actually operates and has dealings with others in spatio-temporal world. The appreciative self which is the real ‘I-amness’ and is divine in nature. It is the self which has to be recognized to have a new and different perspective about the world. The process of evolution and self-realization is not aimless. Iqbal believes that it is purely purposive in nature. However, there is no pre-determined single purpose towards which evolution moves. Rather, fresh goals ever continue to be created during the evolutionary course. Obedience, self-discipline and vicegernce of God are three degrees of development of self in man by passing through which he attain the ideal of a perfect manhood. Analysis:

This theory explains evolution in a very unique way. Being a muslim, i find no fault in this theory as it explains everything very clearly and its evidence can also be found in the Quranic verses. The way he has explained everything in the islamic context makes it very difficult to contradict with this theory. Following is the elaboration and analysis of this evolutionary theory on the basis of Iqbal’s explanation, in my own words. Concept of Change:

As he was of the opinion that the universe is not static, this is true. We can also find it in the verses of Surah Yaseen. God has talked about the way sun, moon, stars and all the planets keep moving all day and night long. Physicists have also proved that things which appear to be solid and motionless are also in constant state of motion. Their particles also vibrate in a specific manner but we can not sense or feel it. Evolution itself is a process which denotes change. There are hundreds and millions of processes which are occurring in the universe in a continuous manner. So, Iqbal’s idea of an ever-changing universe is true. Concept of Evolution:

His answer to the question “how did man...
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