The idea of Self

AlamaIqbal_09dMany philosophers or saints seek annihilation of self. Whether they are Roman Cynics or Muslim saints (followers of Wahdat ul Wajood). Whether they are followers of Saint Francis or those of Lao Tsu, all of these knowledgeable people made effort to annihilate their own self, which Iqbal calls “khudi”. However, Iqbal a great Eastern philosopher and poet did not aim to destroy the self instead he emphasized upon its strengthening.  He focused upon Rumi’s active Sufism. Iqbal calling the Muslim youth as “Shaaheen” showed them the way to strengthen their self (Khudi). For Iqbal, strengthening of Khudi is the only way to understand nature, connect with divine and know the ultimate truth. Iqbal understood that Khudi can take the Muslim nation to the peak of success once again because the great fathers of Islamic ummah were those of strong khudi. Iqbal, while discussing the secrets of self, take a religio-spiritual line and sheds light on the immense power of the self. The self (khudi) distinguishes man from animal and takes him to the divine route of love (ishq). Thats one’s self which shows human the right path taking him or her closest to the Ultimate Truth. Self is a vital entity which provides knowledge, an integral element to seek salvation, and fulfills the purpose of man’s life.

The Self of a human is able to see the world through an eye of intellect and see the unseen, hear the untold. Human’s success, according to Iqbal, lies in his or her ability to strengthen self and embark on the journey of Love. This journey contains many stages and tests human’s abilities. However, once a person reaches the pinnacle of this journey through self-control, love and knowledge he is able to know himself. Knowing oneself leads to knowing God.  Thus, the journey of self reaches to the knowledge of God, the Ultimate Reality.



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