How great minds think alike and have humility to acknowledge each other.
After the century has passed, I think if we have to determine the most important thinker, public intellectual, philosopher and poet the world of Islam has produced, and make reading him essential part of curriculum, we should have no difficulty in naming Iqbal. If we are asked to name two thinkers who may be counted amongst the most influential, most informed, most daring, most passionately concerned about Muslim decline, also most powerful writers writing great poetry and prose respectively and who can help us steer past the challenges of new century and who have creatively appropriated Islamic tradition, there is hardly any difficulty in naming Iqbal and Shariati. If Sunni and Shia approaches to Islam are providential interpretations that are required for a comprehensive expression of Divine Message as argued by another great philosopher Syed Hussain Nasr, we find in Iqbal and Shariati together providential spokespersons for two approaches, united at deeper mystical and metaphysical plane. Reading them coupled with Nasr’s more metaphysical and mystical works and something from Fazlur Rahman and Arkoun means one reads almost everything important on Islam vis-a-vis Modernity.For those who ask why talk so much about Iqbal let me state the case for Iqbal as made by Ali Shariati.