Nietzsche & Iqbal: Ubermensch and Khudi

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This means that individuals may act differently when part of a group. This is not unique to Nietzsche’s philosophy. Islam emphasizes the importance of individuals taking responsibility for their own actions and the dangers of following a group or leader without using reason and critical thinking.

Islam encourages individuals to think and reflect on the teachings of the Quran, and to make decisions based on their own understanding of the teachings, rather than blindly following the beliefs or actions of a group. The Quran also encourages Muslims to seek knowledge and use reason and logic when making decisions.

Additionally, Islam encourages the concept of accountability, where every individual is held responsible for their own actions and will be judged by God accordingly. This idea of accountability is also be related to Nietzsche’s quote, as it would be a deterrent to falling into the group’s irrationality, rather than doing what is right and just.

In conclusion, the quote is related to Islamic philosophy and reasoning and does touch on some of the themes that are present in Islamic thought, such as the importance of personal responsibility, rational thinking, and accountability.

Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle, Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai.” – Muhammad Iqbal

This quote is in Urdu, it translates to “Raise your self-awareness to such a level that before every destiny, God asks you, what is your wish?” This quote is one of the most famous quotes of Allama Iqbal and is often considered one of his most powerful and inspiring statements.

The main themes of the philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal include:

  1. Self-awareness and self-realization: Iqbal emphasizes the importance of developing a strong sense of self and understanding one’s own identity and purpose in life.
  2. Spirituality and religion: Iqbal’s philosophy is deeply rooted in Islamic spirituality and he believed that true religion is not just about following rituals, but about developing a personal relationship with God.
  3. Nationalism and self-determination: Iqbal was a strong advocate for the rights of Muslim nations and believed that they should have the right to determine their own political and economic destinies.
  4. Progress and modernization: Iqbal believed that the Islamic world should embrace progress and modernization while still maintaining its traditional values and culture.
  5. Education and knowledge: Iqbal believed that education is the key to personal and national development and that it is essential for individuals and societies to continue seeking knowledge and understanding throughout their lives.
  6. The role of the individual in society: Iqbal believed that individuals have a vital role to play in shaping society and that they should strive to become leaders and agents of change.

Muhammad Iqbal primarily wrote in Urdu and Persian, the two languages he was most proficient along with English. While some of his works have been translated into English, not all of them have been. Additionally, the nuances and subtleties of his philosophy may not always be fully captured in translation, which can make it difficult for non-native speakers to fully understand his ideas. Furthermore, Iqbal’s poetry, which contains much of his philosophy, is particularly difficult to translate because it relies heavily on the use of imagery and metaphor, which can be lost in translation.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Iqbal’s work is not widely studied or taught in English-speaking countries, and thus there is less of an incentive to translate his work.

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends” – Friedrich Nietzsche

A person who is wise and enlightened should be able to have a balanced and nuanced perspective, to be able to see the good and bad in both friends and enemies. He must be able to love his enemies in the sense that he can understand and empathize with their points of view, even if he disagrees with them. And he should also be able to hate his friends in the sense that he should be able to criticize and correct them when they are in the wrong, rather than accepting everything they say or do.

In Islamic reasoning, Nietzsche’s philosophy can be read as the idea of being able to have a balanced and nuanced perspective. Islam encourages Muslims to be fair and, to judge others based on their actions and not their identity, it also encourages Muslims to be merciful and compassionate towards others, and to avoid hating or loving someone based on their status or position.

Also, Islam encourages Muslims to be critical, and to use reason and logic when judging the actions of others, whether they are friends or enemies. Muslims should always seek the truth, and not be swayed by emotions or biases. In Islamic thought, fairness, justice, and the importance of being critical and unbiased in one’s judgement is promoted.

Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher of the late 19th century, had a unique perspective on religion and morality. The following quotes by Nietzsche resonate with Islamic philosophy:

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” This quote may be related to the Islamic concept of personal responsibility and accountability, where each individual is responsible for their own actions and will be judged by God accordingly.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” This quote may be related to the Islamic concept of having a strong belief in the afterlife and the ultimate goal of seeking God’s pleasure, which gives Muslims a sense of purpose and motivation to endure difficulties in this life.

“Man is the cruelest animal.” This quote may be related to the Islamic teachings that urge Muslims to be kind and compassionate towards others, and to avoid causing harm or injustice.

People of faith – ie religious people should study Friedrich Nietzsche because his ideas and writings offer a unique perspective on religion, morality, and human nature that can deepen their understanding of their own beliefs and practices.

Nietzsche’s critiques of traditional religion and morality help religious people to question their own beliefs and practices and to see them in a new light. This leads to a deeper understanding and appreciation of their own faith.
Nietzsche’s ideas on the nature of God, the self, and the world can provide religious people with a new perspective on their beliefs and can help them to see the connections between their own faith and other worldviews.

Nietzsche’s emphasis on self-overcoming, self-creation, and the will to power provide religious people with valuable insights into the human condition and can help them to see the potential for growth and development in themselves and others.

Nietzsche’s writings can also challenge religious people to think critically about their beliefs and practices and to question their own assumptions and biases. Nietzsche’s ideas may not directly be aligned with traditional religious beliefs and practices, but studying his work provides a way to challenge one’s own beliefs and to think critically and deeply about their own religion and other beliefs.

Friedrich Nietzsche can help religious people to gain a deeper understanding of their own beliefs, to question their own assumptions, and to develop critical thinking skills, which can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful religious experience.

Here is a summary of some of Friedrich Nietzsche’s best-known books:

Thus Spoke Zarathustra” (1883-1885) is one of Nietzsche’s most famous books. It is a philosophical novel that presents a new understanding of morality and religion and is considered one of his most profound works. It is a dense and challenging read, but it is also very rewarding. It presents the character of Zarathustra, who descends from his mountain home and teaches the people about the concept of the “superman” (Ubermensch), and the rejection of traditional morality and religion.

Beyond Good and Evil” (1886) is a collection of Nietzsche’s thoughts on morality and religion. He argues that traditional morality is based on the idea of good and evil, but that this concept is limiting, and that people should instead strive for self-overcoming and self-creation. He also critiques traditional religion, and the idea that morality is based on the idea of God.

The Genealogy of Morals” (1887) is a critique of traditional morality and its origins. Nietzsche argues that traditional morality, particularly Christian morality, is based on the idea of good and evil, and that it is a form of slave morality that is used to justify the status quo. He also argues that traditional morality is a product of the will to power and that it has been used to justify the oppression of the weak by the strong.

Reading the work of Friedrich Nietzsche will not automatically make you an “Ubermensch” (superman), as the concept of the Ubermensch is a complex and multi-faceted idea that is central to Nietzsche’s philosophy and is open to different interpretations. The concept of the Ubermensch is a goal for human potential, a person who has overcome their limitations and has developed their strength, rather than blindly following tradition or external authority.

Reading Nietzsche’s work will provide you with insights into his ideas and perspectives, but it is important to remember that these are his ideas and perspectives, not necessarily the final word on the subject.

It is also important to remember that, as an individual, you are responsible for your own personal development and growth, reading Nietzsche’s work can be inspiring and thought-provoking, but it is not a magic solution to becoming an Ubermensch, it’s a long-term process that requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and continuous self-improvement.

“My ancestors were Brahmins. They spent their lives in search of god. I am spending my life in search of man.”
― Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Allama Iqbal, the philosopher, poet, and politician from British India, developed the concept of “Khudi” (self) in his poetry and philosophical writings. The concept of Khudi is closely related to the idea of self-assertion, self-knowledge, and self-realization. It emphasizes the importance of individual self-development, self-awareness, and self-reliance.

Khudi is also closely related to the idea of self-overcoming and self-creation, which are central to Nietzsche’s concept of the Ubermensch. Both Khudi and Ubermensch stress the importance of self-development, self-awareness, and self-reliance. They also call for individuals to reject traditional morality and to create their own values and morality.

Allama Iqbal’s concept of Khudi and Nietzsche’s concept of the Ubermensch, both stress the importance of self-development, self-awareness, self-reliance and the rejection of traditional morality and values. Both concepts are about self-overcoming and self-creation, and advocate for individuals to create their own values and morality.

In summary, reading Nietzsche’s work can provide you with valuable insights into his ideas and perspectives, but it is not a guarantee that you will become an Ubermensch and overcome your lesser self. The idea of becoming an Ubermensch is a long-term process that requires continuous self-improvement and self-awareness – something with Islam and most of this world’s religions teach.

Mohammed Abbasi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s