Tarbiyat-e-Khudi: A Model of Self-Development from Poems of Muhammad Iqbal in Asrar-i-Khudi
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Iqbal, tarbiyat-e-khudi, self-development, Obedience (Ita’at), Self-Control (Zabt-e-Nafs), Divine Vicegerency (Neyabat-e-Ilaahi)


One of the dilemmas of post-modern thought is the reductionistic approach to human ontology. This is further disparaged by the post-colonial mindset that has developed in the Indian subcontinent. Iqbal attempted to challenge these views by developing the concept of Khudi and presented a model of self-development (Tarbiyat-e-Khudi) in his work, Asrar-i-Khudi. Khudi can be defined as a life force, innate within the human existence, striving towards the achievement of its primordial goal of reuniting with its Ultimate Creator. It is cultivated through self-sufficiency, self-respect, self-confidence, self-preservation, even self-assertion in the cause of truth, justice, duty, and morality. In this model of self-development, Iqbal proposed a three-stage spiritual development process: Obedience (Ita’at), Self-Control (Zabt-e-Nafs), and Divine Vicegerency (Neyabat-e-Ilaahi). This article makes a humble attempt at conceptualizing this model from a psychological lens with the intention of making it more applicable, accessible, and understandable.

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