Iqbal's Spiritual Democracy and Habermas's Deliberative Democracy: A Comparative Study

Keywords: civilizational dialogue, deliberative democracy, Habermas, Iqbal, non-western democracy


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The current study is written in the context of the civilizational dialogue between the West and the Muslim world with reference to Jürgen Habermas and Muhammad Iqbal's political views. It explores the congruence and contrasts between Habermas's discourse theory of democracy or deliberative democracy and Iqbal's theory of spiritual democracy. This research strives to find out the extent to which the core values of Habermas's theory and that of Iqbal’s are compatible. For Habermas, the core values of social order are liberty and equality, whereas Iqbal upholds liberty, equality, and solidarity. It has been investigated whether they both mean the same phenomena by the same terms or not. For Habermas and Iqbal, democracy is the best form of government but neither one is satisfied with the existing democratic practices. In principle, they accept democracy as the best political system. The research paper also sheds light on the historical and cultural influences that have shaped the political ideologies of both Habermas and Iqbal, considering the impact of Western Enlightenment ideals on Habermas and the role of Islamic jurisprudence and spirituality in shaping Iqbal's democratic theory. Through critical analysis, this study aims to deepen the understanding of complexities inherent in the dialogue between Western and Muslim civilizations and offers insights into potential avenues for collaboration in political theory and practice.


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How to Cite
Shahzad, Asad, and Irfan Muhammad. 2024. “Iqbal’s Spiritual Democracy and Habermas’s Deliberative Democracy: A Comparative Study”. Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization 14 (1), 137-52.