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The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam, by Allama Muhammad Iqbal,Published By Adam Publishers, India

  • The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam
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The Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam
Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Paperback 247 pages
Edited and Annotated By M Saeed Sheiykh
Published By Adam Publishers, India

This is a good and innovative book that will be of interest to most modern day educated Muslims who are fed up with the dogmatic outlook of their religion.
Non-Muslims will not find it interesting because it is primarily written by a Muslim for his fellow Muslims.
The main messages of the book are the following:
First, this universe is dynamic and so is God. He is the Creator and is constantly busy in creation.
Second, God has given man complete freedom of choice and man is not restricted by his destiny.
Third, Muslims have made a big mistake by discontinuing the evolution of Islamic law and by confining themselves to four major (Sunni) schools of law. Since the world is constantly changing, we need constant evolution of Islamic law to keep pace with the world. Modern democracy can go a long way in achieving this goal and the concept of 'caliphate' can be replaced by the concept of 'republic'.
Fourth, mystic religious experience is not only possible but is the only way to find the Ultimate Reality.
At times the author is lost in philosophical jargon and makes a simple point look very complicated. Most of the big talk in the book is based on mere theory (or whim).

Nonetheless, the book offers some food for thought and courageously challenges the status quo. No wonder then that according to Wikipedia this book is banned in Saudi Arabia.

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is a compilation of lectures delivered by Muhammad Iqbal on Islamic philosophy; it was published in 1930. These lectures were delivered by Iqbal in Madras, Hyderabad, and Aligarh. The last chapter, "Is Religion Possible", was added to the book from the 1934 Oxford Edition onwards.

In Reconstruction, Iqbal called for a re-examination of the intellectual foundations of Islamic philosophy. The book is a major work of modern Islamic thought. It calls for a radical reinterpretation of the Islamic thought, pointing out that the classical schools of Islamic thought were merely human constructions developed in the middle ages. Iqbal considers the abolition of the Islamic caliphate was legitimate and argues that democratic government is now a necessity. He also calls for reform regarding the rights of women and criminal penalties, such as the hudood laws. It was a major influence on Iranian sociologist Ali Shariati and other contemporary Muslim reformers, including Tariq Ramadan

Table of Contents
Editor's Introduction
Knowledge and Religious Experience
The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience
The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer
The Human Ego - His Freedom and Immortality
The Spirit of Muslim Culture
The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam
Is Religion Possible?
From the Editor's Introduction
In the present edition of Allama Iqbal's Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, an attempt has been made at providing references to many authors cited in it and, more particularly, to the passages quoted from their works. The titles of these works have not always been given by the Allama and, in a few cases, even the names of the authors have to be worked out from some such general descriptions about them as `the great mystic poet of Islam', 'a modern historian of civilization', and the like.

Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) was a distinguished poet, philosopher and statesman of South Asia. His ideas played a vital role in the movement to establish Pakistan, where he is revered as the country's spiritual founder.

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