Allama Iqbal on Ibn Taymiyah, Shah Wali ullah and Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab

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Allama Iqbal on Ibn Taymiyah, Shah Wali ullah and Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab.
  • 1. Iqbal on Ibn Taymiyyah.
a) He wrote, 
 
It was Ishraqâ and Ibn Taimâyyah who undertook a systematic refutation of Greek Logic. Abë Bakr Razâ was perhaps the first to criticize Aristotle’s first figure,and in our own times his objection, conceived in a thoroughly inductive spirit, has been reformulated by John Stuart Mill. Ibn Àazm, in his ‘Scope of Logic’, emphasizes sense‐perception as a source of knowledge; and Ibn Taimâyyah in his ‘Refutation of Logic’, shows that induction is the only form of reliable argument. Thus arose the method of observation and experiment.
[The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal page 88]
 
b) Iqbal also said:
 
The tendency to over‐organization by a false reverence of the past, as manifested in the legists of Islam in the thirteenth century and later, was contrary to the inner impulse of Islam, and consequently invoked the powerful reaction of Ibn Taimâyyah, ONE OF THE MOST INDEFATIGABLE WRITERS AND PREACHERS OF ISLAM, who was born in 1263, five years after the destruction of Baghdad. Ibn Taimâyyah was brought up in Hanbalite tradition. Claiming freedom of Ijtihad for himself he rose in revolt against the finality of the schools, and went back to first principles in order to make a fresh start. [The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal page 108-109]
 
c) He said:
 
"But the spirit of ibn Taimiyya’s teaching found a fuller expression in a movement of immense potentialities which arose in the eighteenth century from the sands of Najd, described by MacDonald as the “cleanest spot in the decadent world of Islam.” It is really the first throb of life in modern Islam. To the inspiration of this movement are traceable, directly or indirectly, nearly all the great modern movements of Muslim Asia and Africa, e.g. the Sennusi movement, the Pan-Islamic movement and the Babi movement, which is only a Persian reflex of Arabian Protestantism. [The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal page 109]
  • 2. Iqbal on Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab.
 
a) Iqbal said:
 
THE GREAT PURITAN REFORMER Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahab, who was born in 1700. studied in Medina, travelled in Persia, and finally succeeded in spreading the fire of his restless soul throughout the whole world of Islam. He was similar in spirit to Ghazz«lâ’s disciple, Muhammad Ibn Tëmart ‐ the Berber puritan reformer of Islam who appeared amidst the decay of Muslim Spain, and gave her a fresh inspiration.
 We are, however, not concerned with the political career of this movement which was terminated by the armies of Mohammad Ali Pasha. The essential thing to note is the spirit of freedom manifested in it: though inwardly this movement, too, is conservative in its own fashion. While it rises in revolt against the finality of schools, and vigorously asserts the right of private judgement, its vision of the past is wholly uncritical, and in matters of law IT MAINLY FALLS BACK ON THE TRADITIONS OF THE PROPHET". 
[The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal page 109]
  • 3. Iqbal on Shah Wali Ullah dehalwi, who was sword against shirk in Indo-Pak.
a) It is mentioned in the notes of  his book "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Allama Iqbal page 129, note no. 47 :
 
"It is to be noted that Allama Iqbal was always keen to seek and study the works of Sha`h Walâ Allah, whom he considered to be ‘the first Muslim who felt the urge of a new spirit in him’ (Lecture IV, p. 78).. In his letter dated 23 September 1936 to Maulavi Ahmad Rid« Bijnàrâ, Allama reports that he had not received his copies of Sh«h WalâAll«h’s Al‐Khair al‐Kathâr and Tafhâm«t supposed to have been dispatched to him through some dealer in Lahore. He also expresses in this letter his keen desire to have the services on suitable terms of some competent Muslim
scholar, well‐versed in Islamic jurisprudence and very well‐read in the works of Sh«h Walâ Allah. (end quote)
  • 4. Allama Iqbal on Sufis.
a) He said:
 
Sufi o Barhman me kya farq raha baqi
(What is the difference between a sufi and a Brahmin)
 
Wo but ki karay puja ye karay puja mazarun ki
(He worship the Idol and this one worship the shrines)
 
Buton se tum ko umeedien, khuda se na umeedi
(You have a hope from the idols and not from the God)
 
Mujhay bata to sahi aur kaafari kya hai.
(Tell me what else is a disbelief)
 
Then he prayed
 
Ata kar day inheen Ya Rabb Bisarat bhi baseerat bhi
(O Sustainer, give them the eyes and insight.)
 
Musalmaan aa kay lut`tay hain sawad e khanqahi par.
(The Muslims are  looted at the shrines).
 
[Poetry by Iqbal, Taken from Aqaid e Baatilah ka radd Shaykh Rehmatullah rabbani Qadhi wa fadhil Madina wa Riyad university, page 96]
  • 5. The conclusion by Shaykh Jamal ad-din Zarabozo
 
a) He said:
 
In addition, Muhammad al-Saeed Jamaal-al-Deen wrote an article  in which he tried to show the influence of ibn Abdul-Wahhaab on Muhammad Iqbal. He says that there is no doubt that Iqbal admired ibn Abdul-Wahhaab and his reform efforts. In fact, Iqbal describes ibn Abdul-Wahhaab as, “The great puritan reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab.” Jamaal-al-Deen then goes on to quote al-Nadwi, as quoted above, that it was very difficult at that time for anyone to openly say that he is a “Wahhabi.” He then goes on to argue that Iqbal’s concepts of monotheism and shirk were very close to those of ibn Abdul-Wahhaab. He then states, “We cannot say with certainty, even giving all of the evidence we presented, that the thoughts and goals were one between the call of the Shaikh [ibn Abdul-Wahhaab] and the methodology of Iqbal.” He says that he cannot make that conclusion because the path of ibn Abdul-Wahhaab was not something new and both of them drew from the same sources. But then he concludes that “we cannot say, at the same time, that he was not directly influenced by the movement of [ibn Abdul-Wahhaab].”Al-Zuhaili also includes Iqbaal as having similar thoughts to the “Wahhabis”.
 
It is true that Muhammad Iqbal had some thoughts in agreement with ibn Abdul-Wahhaab and that he also admired ibn Taimiyyah. However, to go from that to insist that ibn AbdulWahhaab had a great influence on Iqbal’s thinking seems a bit farfetched—and it is similar to the claim that ibn Abdul-Wahhaab greatly influenced Muhammad Abduh or Jamaal al-Deen al-Afghani. Just because an idea or two are in common does not necessarily mean that there is a true influence. One need only read the entire portion that Iqbal wrote about ibn Abdul-Wahhaab to see that he did not truly capture the meaning of ibn Abdul-Wahhaab’s reform. It is true that he admired ibn Abdul-Wahhaab but to admire someone while not truly understanding what the person stood for would probably preclude any true influence. As noted earlier, ibn Abdul-Wahhaab was not about “change” or “reform for the sake of reform,” he was about bringing Islam back to what Islam was and is supposed to be—the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (the he presented the quote of Iqbal mentioned above)
 
This passage probably does not need much comment to show that, at the very least, Iqbal did not understand ibn Abdul-Wahhaab’s message: the only true Islam is that of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Thus, admiration may be one thing— even disbelievers admire ibn Abdul Wahhaab—but it seems very difficult to argue that ibn Abdul-Wahhaab influenced Iqbal when this is the only passage in which Iqbal directly touches upon ibn AbdulWahhaab. Allah knows best.
 
[The Life, Teachings and Influence of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab 182-183]
  • 6. Iqbal ob Ahmad Raza Brailwi.
On the other hand brailwis attributed to Iqbal that He said regarding Ahmad Raza Brailwi:
 
With all this, by nature he was hot tempered, and if this was not in the way, then Shah Ahmed Raza would have been the Imam Abu hanifa of his age." (Risala Arafat, published in Lahore in 1970)
 
Allahu Alam, whether He said that regarding Ahmad Raza or not, but in his own handwritings he praised Ibn Taymiyah, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and Shah Wali ullah.
 
In short, Many believe that Iqbal had influence of Ibn Abdul Wahhab. Whereas other said, he did have thoughts like Ibn Abdul wahhab but it is hard to say that he was influenced totally by this movement.

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