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Muhammad Iqbal

Essays on the Reconstruction of Modern Muslim Thought

Edited by Chad Hillier, Basit Koshul

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Examines the ideas central to Muhammad Iqbal’s thought and life: religion, science, metaphysics and nationalism

There are few moments in human history where the forces of religion, culture and politics converge to produce some of the most significant philosophical ideas in the world. India in the early 20th century saw one of these moments with the rise of activist-thinkers like Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi, individuals who not only liberated human lives but their minds as well. One of most influential members of that group was the poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal. Commonly known as the 'spiritual father of Pakistan', the philosophical and political ideas of Iqbal not only shaped the face of Indian Muslim nationalism but also the direction of modernist reformist Islam around the world.

New developments in research on Iqbal’s thought are collected here, coming from a range of prominent and emerging voices from political science, philosophy and religious studies. They offer new and novel examinations of the ideas that lie at the heart of Iqbal’s own thought: religion, science, metaphysics, nationalism and religious identity. Readers will (re)discover many new connections between the 'Sage of the Ummah' and the greatest thinkers and ideas of European and Islamic philosophies.

Key Features

  • Responds to the renewed interest in Iqbal by developing new interpretations and understandings
  • Provides an examination of ideas central to Iqbal's thought including the connection between religious belief and modern knowledge, the expression of Islamic belief through modern concepts, the political dimension of Muslim identity
  • Explores the links between Iqbal and other European philosophers who were his contemporaries including Bergson, Pierce, and Whitehead


  • Riffat Hassan, University of Louisville
  • Ebrahim Moosa, University of Notre Dame
  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University
  • Basit Bilal Koshul, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
  • Richard Gilmore, Concordia College
  • Sajjad Rizvi, University of Exeter
  • Christopher Scott McClure, Harvard University
  • H. C. Hillier, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Dayne E. Nix, Naval War College


1 Introduction, Riffat Hassan
2 The Human Person in Iqbal’s Thought, Ebrahim Moosa
3 Achieving Humanity: Convergence between Henri Bergson and Muhammad Iqbal, Souleymane Bachir Diagne
4 The Contemporary Relevance of Muhammad Iqbal, Basit Bilal Koshul
5 Pragmatism and Islam in Peirce and Iqbal: The Metaphysics of Emergent Mind, Richard Gilmore
6 Between Hegel and Rumi: Iqbal’s Contrapuntal Encounters with the Islamic Philosophical Traditions, Sajjad Rizvi
7 Reconstructing Islam in a Post-metaphysical Age: Muhammad Iqbal’s Interpretation of Immortality, Christopher Scott McClure
8 Iqbal, Bergson and the Reconstruction of the Divine Nexus in Political Thought, H. C. Hillier
9 Muhammad Iqbal: Restoring Muslim Dignity through Poetry, Philosophy and Religious Political Action, Dayne E. Nix

About the Author

H. C. Hillier is a Lecturer in the Department of Society, Culture and Environment at Wilfrid Laurier University. A graduate of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, he specializes in global cultures, religions and political philosophy. He has published in the Journal of Islamic Law & Culture and Journal of Islamic Philosophy, and is the co-author of the forthcoming Introduction to Islamic Thought (Wipf & Stock, 2015).

Dr. Basit Bilal Koshul is Associate Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He received his first PhD from Drew University in 2003 specializing in the Sociology of Religion and a second PhD from the University of Virginia in Religious Studies. His areas of research include the sociology of religion, philosophy of science and religion and modernity—especially from the perspective of Max Weber, Charles Peirce and Muhammad Iqbal.


This wide-ranging volume is a timely intervention in studies of Iqbal, as well as in the intellectual history of modern Islam and its interaction with Western thought and philosophy. It places Iqbal in multiple philosophical and historical contexts, and though admiring in tone, it illuminates the complexity of his work and many aspects of his contemporary relevance with care.

- Javed Majeed, Professor of Comparative Literature and English, King’s College London

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