Farhan Shah

Towards an Islamic Process Philosophy. Muhammad Iqbal`s ideas as a springboard to organic humanism


This thesis sets out to examine, through a process perspective, (a perspective emphasising the categories of process over static being, interdependence over independence, freedom and creativity over determinism, panentheistic concept of God over pantheistic or classical theistic concepts of the Divine) Muhammad Iqbal`s reconstructed version of Islam, especially related to his concept of khalifa as God`s co-worker in the spatio-temporal order. Furthermore, in this thesis, I also intend to undertake an intra-Islamic and interreligious discussion and examination connected to the development of a perspective called organic humanism, which includes, among other things, three dimensions related to human dignity, human rights and corresponding duties and ecological/environmental consciousness. My proposed research questions are: (1) How does Iqbal`s reconstructed concept of Islam furnish a basis for a humanistic Islam, which sees, among other things, human dignity as intrinsic, and human rights intimately related to human duties? (2) How can the philosophical-theological implications of Iqbal`s concept of God, dynamism and khalifa as God`s co-worker be a starting point for articulations of ecological-consciousness or eco-theology/philosophy in the Christian process tradition and in the modern Muslim thought?

As will be seen, there will be offered perspectives which paves the way for a position generative of viewing dignity as a rooted property in the human person; that human rights will not be seen as disconnected, but rather intimately related to human responsibility; and, that a relational paradigm that urges human agents, both within the Christian process tradition and in modern Islamic philosophical-theological thought, to respect and respond to nonhuman societies in non-instrumentalised ways. These dimensions will be included in the constructive term organic humanism. It is also hoped that such an undertaking may, at least, be helpful towards a deeper appreciation of the humanistic and ecological potential of Islam, and also to enrich the interreligious dialogue by recognising or discovering (unsuspected) mutual harmonies, showing that the kinship between Christians whose faith is influenced and articulated by the process tradition and Muslims who are deeply influenced by Iqbal is indeed close. In that way, we might learn from one another and bond with one another, in the hope for a more organic and holistic approach to the world, even when projections of present directions and trends appear to lead to destruction of the planet earth and its denizens.

Contact information

Farhan Shah.


Associate professor Safet Bektovic.


Doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Theology.


Published Feb. 9, 2018 1:09 PM - Last modified Feb. 9, 2018 1:18 PM