Friday, June 29, 2012

Modern Turkey

Ataturk (1881-1938)

"Hundreds of books and articles have been written on Turkey and modern Islam... however, ...not one of these writers understands the nature of the effect or of the cause that has brought about that effect. The upheaval which has come to Turkey and which is likely, sooner or later, to come to other Muslim countries, is almost wholly determined by the forces within. It is only the superficial observer of the modern world of Islam who thinks that the present crisis in the world of Islam is wholly due to the working of alien forces.
"Has then the world of Islam outside India, especially Turkey abandoned Islam? Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru thinks that Turkey has ceased to be a Muslim country. He does not seem to realise that the question whether a person or a community has ceased to be a member of Islam is, from the Muslim point of view, a purely legal question and must be decided in view of the structural principles of Islam. As long as a person is loyal to the two basic principles of Islam, i.e., the Unity of God and Finality of the Holy Prophet, not even the strictest mullah can turn him outside the pale of Islam even though his interpretations of the law or of the text of the Quran are believed to be erroneous."
Iqbal, 'Islam and Ahmadism' (1936)

 Video: Film about the life of Ataturk


  1. I am struck at how contemporary Iqbal sounds, as often.

    The reminder that so often our failings are failings from "within" is wisdom for us all.

    Finally, how crucial to point out the role of the teacher.

  2. Thanks for this.There are so many things unknown to us.It certainly helps a great deal when we can rely on the teachings of Iqbal.I think to make an unnecessary comment as Nehru made is unbecoming for a man who was the prime minister of India.
    I certainly am glad we have such a great person to lead us even though he is not with us physically but to have him spiritually is a blessing for not only Pakistan but the whole Muslim world!

  3. Greetings,

    Thank you for this post. I very much like it.

    I very much like when the *essentials* of a path are emphasized, with cultural accretions and ritual accourterments put in their rightful place as, perhaps, useful though not essential, and possibly even entirely specious.

    All good wishes,