This introductory chapter highlights Muhammad Iqbal's paradoxical extraordinary uniqueness as both a poet and philosopher. The ability to communicate both logical and symbolic concepts, even those that shy away from logical assertion, is exceptional in its own right. Yet to also inspire and energise millions, places him in an exclusive position within human history. The chapter also looks at Iqbal's most significant intellectual contributions to humanity, notably his concept of khudi (selfhood), ijtihad (independent reasoning), mysticism, and a commitment to a religion that empowers believers. From these, one can still see how Iqbal becomes a renewed source of inspiration for those today torn between tradition and modernity, between their own culture and Westernisation.
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