VS Naipaul, Islam and Quran 14:4

The divisive struggle between local traditional identity and universal spiritual identity in the Indian sub-continent will pave the way for modern secular imperial globalization so intra-subcontinental harmony is important. His critique about the effect of Islam on native cultural identity is based on ambivalent attitude in Islam to native Arab culture which has given rise to secular Arab nationalism in modern times and Hindu nationalism has many alliances with it because pious Muslim identity is seen as a threat to Hindu nationalism. For example, in Islam there is an ambivalence about the poetic tradition which is the literary basis of the musical tradition. Quran critcizes poets for lack of objectivity in seeking truth. Even western Kierkegaard commented on it that he identified himself more with poetry than Prophetic truth. But there are Prophetic aphorisms about wise forms of poetry which is of course exception rather than rule. Quality reduces quantity. So, the goal of these commandments is to evolve a higher ethical and more objective form of poetry which fulfills both intellectual and psychological needs of humanity. Iqbal tried to achieve that but of course he is not a personality of consensus. So, what is needed is more objective and philosophical form of literature in the sub-continent. Or at least modern forms of Sufi poetry and music, liked by many Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims alike, show that there are Muslims who feel the need to address the native cultural identity. But it also needs intellectual underpinning to make it a part of public Indian discourse. Quran 14:4 is an important verse which tells the faithful to keep in mind the psychological and linguistic background of the intended audience.





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