The Final Combination
He based the concept of his dreamland on a verse from the Holy Quran that is very well-known but few have pondered over its infinite meanings.
Indeed the first practical step that Islam took towards the realization of a final combination of humanity was to call upon peoples possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combine. The Quran declares, “O people of the Book! Come let us join together on the ‘word’ (Unity of God), that is common to us all.”
By leaders I mean men who, by Divine gift or experience, possess a keen perception of the spirit and destiny of Islam, along with an equally keen perception of the trend of modern history. Such men are really the driving forces of a people, but they are God’s gift and cannot be made to order.
The second evil from which the Muslims of India are suffering is that the community is fast losing what is called the herd-instinct. This makes it possible for individuals and groups to start independent careers without contributing to the general thought and activity of the community.
Herd-instinct is different from herd-mentality, which is blind acceptance of the lowest common denominator of one’s society. Herd-instinct is just the opposite: it is the ability to survive together and grow together by discovering the highest common factor.
- Quran asked the people of the Book to join the Muslims in this manner but was it an invitation that fell on deaf ears or is it a purpose of Islam that shall get itself fulfilled inevitably?
- Many since then have claimed to be familiar with the spirit of Islam. Why is it important to be aware of its destiny as well?
- Ironically, none of the intellectuals, politicians, religious scholars or educationists that came after Iqbal even repeated the phrase “herd-instinct” let alone bothering to nurture it. Does it show that they lacked this particular instinct?
A major purpose of Iqbal’s ideal state turns out to be a union of religions.