Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I shall refer to the “forecasts” about the next twenty years posted earlier in this newsletter. Needless to say, they are not “visions” (I consider myself to be a very unlikely candidate to any such power) but are based on my reading of history – and reading of history is all that I’ve been doing for several years now:
  • 2008-10: Disenchantment with the West
  • 2010-16: Isolation (and possibly a conflict)
  • 2017-26: Crisis of federation
  • 2026-27: Emergence of inherent unity
By “crisis of federation” I imply possibility of two things. Firstly, it seems likely that the issue of Taliban may suddenly be over for Pakistan around that time. Secondly, what we need to watch out is that this change doesn’t come in a package with break-up of Pakistan, especially the loss of Balochistan and NWFP. Such a thing, if it happens, can cause unnecessary loss of life and property – I say “unnecessary” because it is SELF-EVIDENT that even if (God forbid) Pakistan breaks up around that time, the four provinces will be reunited c.2027.

That final emergence of inherent unity 18 years from now is an INEVITABLE. I hope to be able to explain my reasoning in more detail soon, but what is more urgent and important is that whatever happens until then is in our own hands. We need to understand those factors of our society which are shaping history and which are unknown to the so-called academia and the so-called social scientist.

We need to ACCEPT; accept our mistakes as well as achievements, and that is not the same thing as accepting mistakes we didn’t commit and boasting about stuff that is the opposite of achievement. That is what we have been doing most of the time since 1953.

As suggested in the previous post, the idea of Pakistan was consensus-seeking, and consensus was needed because the collective ego – “the spirit of all human beings” – was not just a philosophical notion to our founding fathers but was something to be achieved in real. What is this collective ego and how do we achieve it? To understand that, we need to revisit four Sufi stories in the light of Iqbal’s thought:

  1. Conference of the Birds
  2. Arabian Nights
  3. Layla Majnun
  4. The Tale of Four Dervishes


  1. This is all new to me yet since we in America must need learn many things in order to challenge our needfully dissolving empire before it continues more harm in Afghanistan/Pakistan - I want to learn my little part.

    So while I haven't yet read the assignment for this day (& wish to do so soon), these items struck me & I would appreciate some commentary.

    Here is the source:

    Definition of Religion: In his address to the inhabitants of the frontier areas, Iqbal defines Religion in terms of Selfhood and the principle of ‘TawÁâd’. The awakening and integration of the individual and the collective ego is essential for advancement in the spiritual or the temporal sphere. Iqbal preached his familiar message with renewed vigourچیست دیں؟ دریافتں اسرار خویشزندگی مرگ است بے یدار خویشبرگ و ساز کائنات از وحدت استاندریں عالم حیات از وحدت استThe Perfect Man & Destroyer and Creator - Iqbal describes his Perfect Man as both destroyer and creator–he destroys old evils and creates new ideals. He is the heir of the prophets–demolishing an old world to build a new one. Very often the idol-breaking Perfect Man is symbolized by Abraham–the builder of the champion of God’s Oneness against the polytheistic customs of his father ÿzar. ...

    From Iqbal’s lines, we can perceive his reasons for liking the Afghans and their country �they are vigorous and virile people, and become almost a pilgrimage from which Poet derives spiritual sustenance.

    So how would you advise the people in the West, Muslims and others, who want to be in harmony with Igbal goals - both respect and peace, both the individual devotion of God - The Ultimate and the Collective Ego of the higher "Man" under God...even if our nations of habitat are not doing so?

  2. Connie, thanks for bringing that up. There are widespread misconceptions about Iqbal's message, and in vain did he try to clarify in his own lifetime. Violence has no place in modern world, according to him, except where it has to be used in order to block a physical attack. He didn't admire Afghans just because they were virile, etc, but on the contrary because he believed that the consultative nature of their power structure offered them a natural capability for democracy :) (He dedicated his second volume, A MESSAGE FROM THE EAST, to Amir Amanullah who was renowned for introducing modern reforms in Afghanistan). Iqbal never used the word "Super Man" for his ideal: his ideal, as he clearly stated at all times, was "a spiritual democracy".