Dr. AbdulBasit Zafar's Presentation at the Conference
02 December 2023
Dr. AbdulBasit Zafar's Presentation at the Conference

For those interested, the videos and abstracts of the English session of the conference are uploaded:

*Presentation Title: Revisiting Iqbal’s Jâvidnâma as a Shared Space of Pilgrimage

*Presenter: AbdulBasit Zafar (Research Fellow in Comparative Theology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)

Presentation Video


The practice of pilgrimage has been deeply ingrained in human cultures across the globe. It has been prevalent in the Semitic traditions in the forms of rituals, remembrance, and sanctification. Pilgrimage in Muslim tradition could be understood in three fundamental concepts. For one, pilgrimage is the obligatory visit to the sacred sanctuary in Mecca and the circumambulation of the Kaaba during the hajj. The second concept pertains to the act of visiting shrines or remnants associated with saints and imams, while the third discourse involves embarking on an introspective journey as portrayed in hagiographic literature, i.e., Ibn ʿArabī, ʿAṭṭār of Nishapur. The phenomenon of embarking on an introspective exploration is frequently observed within the realms of Sufi and Shia discourses. This paper examines the subsequent phase of these journeys, as portrayed by Mohammed Iqbal (1877-1938). In the Book of Eternity, namely Jâvidnâma, he records his metaphysical journey as he explores different celestial realms such as the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Ultimately, he surpasses the limitations of these celestial spheres and achieves a state of closeness to the divine being. Within the framework of Muslim pilgrimage tradition, spiritual stations (aflâk/maqâmât) are perceived as domains of shared inhabitations, wherein the journeyer ultimately encounters the intersection of yearning, the individual who yearns, and the desired entity. It mentions Iqbal’s pilgrimage alongside his source of inspiration and his spiritual mentor, Jalâluddin Rumi (1207-1273). It is worth noting that the individuals Iqbal encountered during his expedition were not exclusively chosen from the Abrahamic lineage of prophets. Therefore, approaching it from an inclusive perspective would facilitate the cultivation of a collective understanding of shared spaces in his pilgrimage. The objective of this paper is to revisit Iqbâl's Jâvidnâma, (The Book of Eternity) using the provided framework.