Central to Iqbal's philosophy is the concept of Khudi. In his Asrar-i-khudi (The Secrets of the Self), Iqbal tries to awaken the Muslim Ummah encouraging them through Islamic tropes to empower and raise themselves to new heights. Iqbal builds on the Quranic emphasis on the individuality and uniqueness of man as being chosen by God to be his vice-regent on earth. For Iqbal the ego / self is free and in interaction with nature. Each situation offers opportunities for dynamic creative unfolding; the directive purpose being unification with the Ultimate Ego - God. Iqbal despaired of the degrading type of fatalism that had prevailed in the Muslim world, and could be argued to still predominate today. In his Reconstruction of Religious thought in Islam Iqbal discusses at length the importance of self knowledge, personal effort, freedom of the ego and Taqdir (destiny) and reconciles these through a vital conception of life, in which man‟s potential surpasses the limits he sets him / herself. In this talk Rabia Malik will reflect on the key concepts elucidated by Iqbal that are necessary for unlocking the potential for Khudi and consider how relevant Iqbal‟s empowering message of self realization and dignity still is for Muslims today, as well as, its impediments.

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