Muhammad Iqbal on Muslim Orthodoxy and Transgression: A Response to Nehru, by Teena Purohit
Teena Purohit, “Muhammad Iqbal on Muslim Orthodoxy and Transgression: A Response to Nehru”, ReOrient, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Autumn 2015), pp. 78-92.
Abstract: In 1934, Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) wrote “Qadianis and Orthodox Muslims” in which he made the case that Ahmadis ought to declare themselves a separate community from Indian Muslims. One year later, Nehru responded to Iqbal through a series of pieces in the Modern Review of Calcutta, calling into question Iqbal’s presuppositions about religion. Iqbal thereafter responded with “Islam and Ahmadism” in 1935, in which he formulated an extensive position about religious orthodoxy and to which the denouncement of Ahmadis as heretics of Islam was central. This essay explores Iqbal’s positions on Muslim unity, religious orthodoxy, and the question of Muslim leadership. In particular, it focuses on how minority Muslim communities (Ahmadis and Ismailis) are fundamental to the arguments through which Iqbal defends his position on religious orthodoxy.
Keywords: Ahmadiyya, Muhammad Iqbal, Muslim minority, Heresy, Ismailism, Magianism, Aga Khan III