This book is based upon a detailed and critical examination of Iqbal’s concept of God as expounded in Chapter II of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. His concept of God is a finite (panentheistic) one and is based largely upon Iqbal’s reading of Western philosophy (Hegel, Whitehead and Bergson). Iqbal draws extravagant metaphysical conclusions from his reading of these Western thinkers; he then relates these philosophical theses to the Quran and the tradition of Muslim thought.
Iqbal’s finite (panentheistic) deity is very close to the (pantheistic) Sufi concept of God. However, Iqbal manages to ignore the whole tradition of tafsir (exegesis) and kalam (theology). Additionally, his finite deity cannot be reconciled with the Quranic doctrine of God.
A similar conclusion is reached following an examination of the Sufi teaching as expounded by Isa Nuruddin (Fritjhof Schuon) and Abubakr Sirajuddin (Martin Lings).This conclusion leads to contemporary discussions of mysticism.
Finally, an attempt is made to go beyond Iqbal and to specify the precise logical peculiarity of ’the problem of God’.
Introduction and summary
Part I Iqbal and the western tradition
1.: The arguments for the existence of God
5.: Conclusions and critique
Part II Iqbal and the Muslim tradition
6.: Iqbal and Quran
7.: Muslim theism: the classical formulation of the orthodox doctrine by al-Ghazali and Abul-Kalam Azad
8.: Muslim panentheism: the modernist ’reconstruction’ of the Quranic doctrine
by Muhammad Iqbal
9.: Muslim pantheism: the contemporary exposition of the Sufi doctrine by
Isa Nuruddin (Schuon) and Abubakr Sirajuddin (Lings)
10.: Mystical experience and interpretation
Part III Beyond Iqbal: the nature of the problem of God
11.: The logic of the infinite
12.: The nature of our knowledge of God