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Christopher Hitchens Has Died

Posted 25 December 2011 - 05:15 PM (#61) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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Some incoherent thoughts from what I remember fromthe last few days (mainly on Islamic intellectual history).

My replies will be in red in between yours – some incoherentcomments of my own perchance; the incoherence of the incoherence! ;-)

SS you mentioned how you preferred the spiritual path of Islam as expressed inal-Ghazali and Ghawth al-Azam etc., over the strictly "rational" orphilosophical but you also seem to objurgate Imam al-Ghazali's attack onphilosophy, that "hindered the progress of rational thought"? Youcan't have it both ways brother.

You misunderstood me my brother. What I said wasthat the spiritual aspect of Islam which produces saints is the main reason Iam still a Muslim and I gave examples of individual saints whose extraordinarylives are ‘proof’ for me in the truth of Islam - people such as Hallaj andGhazali and Ghawth al Azam etc. At the same time I think that the Ummah wouldhave been in a much better situation overall if we had followed the rationalismof people like Avicenna as I believe it would have led to Muslims having theirown Enlightenment and technological revolution and not left us in the technologicalbackwaters we find ourselves in. I do not think it is possible to sensibly argue that the Sunni orthodox position which was eventually adopted i.e. Ashari’sm is not anti-rational with the emphasis on naql (transmitted texts) rather than aql (intellect). Maturidism is slightly more rational but not enough to be termed a rational philosophical basis.

What seems to have happened is that Muslimsoverwhelmingly preferred and accepted the experiential-spiritual path over theHellenic-Greek influenced philosophical way.
You are right there and I think it was a mistake inthe intellectual history of our Ummah. I think that the experiential-spiritual path is abeautiful one but any spiritual experience is, by definition, purely personaland hence cannot benefit the Ummah as a whole; at the same time I am glad thatsome people have always followed this elite path as it has kept thespirituality alive without which any religion is just an empty shell of meaninglessrituals. However I have to confess that the Sufism we have now is just an emptyshell without the kernel and most of us if we are honest will admit that we nolonger have Sufis of the calibre of those I mentioned above. By taking theanti-rational path we have reached a situation where materially we are dependent on the West for any technology andspiritually we are bereft with a solidified and corrupt system of piri-muridiwhich makes a mockery of the essence of Sufism as you describe it and asfollowed by Ghazali for example. If we had followed the Hellenic-Greek influencedphilosophical way I am sure we would have ended up by developing our owndemocratic system with an Islamic flavour but which would have been secular.

It's no wonder why the name of these great Sufiswere celebrated all over the Muslim world while names such as Avicenna andAverroes became extremely popular in the Western world. The inverse is ofcourse true where the names of great Sufi sages were unheard of for centuriesin the Western world while the rational philosophers were forgotten in theMuslim world.
A tragedy.
It's about preferred paths (or perhaps moreaccurately that the views of the philosophers were considered dangerous), andmost took the same one that you took.


Yes, they were dangerous for themullahs who wanted to control free thinking although it has to be added that what the IslamicPeripatetic philosophers were trying to do was to synthesise Islamic teachingswith rationalism and not to reject them. An important point we must not over look.

That's not to say Imam al-Ghazzali killed off all philosophical influence inIslam, far from it as firstly his own works are evident of a high mastery in philosophy(we know that he studied philosophy to great depths and before refuting thephilosophers in the Incoherence he wrote Maqasid al-Falasifawhich was an accurate exposition of the views of the philosophers) and the factthe Avicennian philosophical though forever changed the writing of Islamic ofscholastic theology (see Wisnovsky's writing on Avicenna for more on this).

Yes that is the irony. The man who first came upwith the argument of the Necessarily Existent (wajib al wujud) which was usedby subsequent Islamic thinkers is himself considered a kafir! That the argumentis itself flawed and circular is something mentioned below. It was, in effect,a pre-emption of the First Cause argument.


You must also note that as well as conceptually, philosophical enquirygeographically shifted towards the East and took shape in Ishraqi philosophy,with exponents such as as Suhrawardi and Sadra (please provide a reference fortakfir of Mulla Sadra). Not to mention the philosophical mystical reality expressed by Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn Arabi.


Yes, you’re right. Why is that? The ‘East’ here youmean is basically Persia and the Ishraqi philosophy and especially Suhrawardi(not to be confused with the founder of the Suhrawardia order) and Sadr al DinShirazi (Mullah Sadra) is essentially a Shi’ite philosophical tradition. Forhistorical reasons the Shia adopted a more rationalistic approach to theologythan the Sunnis. What I’ve read seems to indicate the Mullah Sadra might haveeven been an Ismaili or a Qarmatian and therefore, according to Sunniorthodoxy, outside the pale. Besides, how many of our ulema even study him and his works?

By the way there is nothing wrong in declaring people as heterodox or even apostates when it is justified (and deliberated with utmost caution), it'snecessary to have this in the religious system otherwise you have no way ofpreserving the Deen.
Again you are right in theory but youknow that the reality has been that people have been declaring each otherheretix and apostates whilst holding their own group or sect or point of viewto be the only correct one. So when people like Avicenna are considered kafirswhy do Muslims still roll them out whenever a discussion of Islamic scientiststakes place? In our own time we see mullahs apostasising each other and anyonewho doesn’t agree with them in toto and it is not a new phenomenon. A cursory glance at our theological history will show that each group considered others wrong!The Hanbalis blamed the Asharites; the Asharites blamed the Mutazilites; theMutazilites blamed the Hanbalites etc. etc. to our own time.



Regarding purely rational arguments for the existence of God, it was Muslim scholars that mainly developed the arguments in the Middle Ages and they wereappropriated by the mutakallimun.

Again partially correct. A lot of the arguments such as the one by IbnSina – which was original—was then used later byscholars who considered Ibn Sina himself non-Muslim!
Yes they have their criticisms but many have beenrefined since where in today's age they are proving to be quite forcefulagainst atheists. Others combine different proofs such as the cosmological andontological. My own view is that they have tremendous use and benefit but ourbelief in God does not ultimately rest on these rational proofs. They can,nevertheless, play a substantial role in our understanding of God.


The criticisms are such that they have rendered all of these alleged proofs invalid. Both the ontological and the cosmological arguments have beenshown to be wrong by later European philosophers as they either contradictthemselves or are circular and self-referential. It was not until the 19thcentury that logicians and mathematicians such as Bertrand Russell,Wittgenstein, Hardy, Hilbert and others and especially Kurt Goedel showed thatany completeny flawless self-referential logical system cannot exist (see hisIncompleteness Theorem). This however takes us into the realms of set theoryand mathematical (symbolic) logic which is different from Aristotelianlogic (much more robust). Herein liesanother gripe: our education system for training our mullahs doesn’t tacklethese latest philosophical developments and stops at the mediaeval times. Sincethen human philosophy has grown by leaps and bounds and yet our ulema are stuckwith Peripatetism and, at most, Ishraqi thinking. Here is Iqbal:

Quote

Duringthe last five hundred years religious thought in Islam has been practicallystationary. There was a time when European thought received inspiration fromthe world of Islam. The most remarkable phenomenon of modern history, however,is the enormous rapidity with which the world of Islam is spiritually movingtowards the West. There is nothing wrong in this movement, for Europeanculture, on its intellectual side, is only a further development of some of themost important phases of the culture of Islam. Our only fear is that thedazzling exterior of European culture may arrest our movement and we may failto reach the true inwardness of that culture. During all the centuries of ourintellectual stupor Europe has been seriously thinking on the great problems inwhich the philosophers and scientists of Islam were so keenly interested. Sincethe Middle Ages, when the schools of Muslim theology were completed, infiniteadvance has taken place in the domain of human thought and experience. Theextension of man’s power over Nature has given him a new faith and a freshsense of superiority over the forces that constitute his environment. Newpoints of view have been suggested, old problems have been re-stated in thelight of fresh experience, and new problems have arisen. It seems as if theintellect of man is outgrowing its own most fundamental categories– time,space, and causality. With the advance of scientific thought even our conceptof intelligibility is undergoing a change. The theory of Einstein has brought a new vision of theuniverse and suggests new ways of looking at the problems common to bothreligion and philosophy. No wonder then that the younger generation of Islam inAsia and Africa demand a fresh orientation of their faith. With the reawakeningof Islam, therefore, it is necessary to examine, in an independent spirit, whatEurope has thought and how far the conclusions reached by her can help us inthe revision and, if necessary, reconstruction, of theological thought in Islam.”(Iqbal, Reconstruction, Chapter 1)

However I agree with you when you say that our belief in God does notrest on these proofs. As I will show presently these proofs are in effectflawed and that is all Hitchens too says. There IS no rational proof of God’sexistence (which is not to say we shouldn’t believe in Him but to argue it isrational is not true. As A.C, Clarke it is better to be irrational and happythan rational and unhappy but that is not what we are discussing here.)

Oh and Iqbal, a philosopher par excellence, was also critical of the influenceof Greek philosopher in Islam. This is what he says:


Quote


Yet the same Iqbal says,

Quote

“The cosmological argument views the world as a finite effect, and passing through a series of dependent sequences, related as causes and effects, stops at an uncaused first cause, because of the unthinkability of an infinite regress. It is, however, obvious that a finite effect can give only a finite cause, or at most an infinite series of such causes. To finish the series at a certain point, and to elevate one member of the series to the dignity of an uncaused first cause, is to set at naught the very law of causation on which the whole argument proceeds. Further, the first cause reached by the argument necessarily excludes its effect. And this means that the effect, constituting a limit to its own cause, reduces it to something finite. Again, the cause reached by the argument cannot be regarded as a necessary being for the obvious reason that in the relation of cause and effect the two terms of the relation are equally necessary to each other. Nor is the necessity of existence identical with the conceptual necessity of causation which is the utmost that this argument can prove. The argument really tries to reach the infinite by merely negating the finite. But the infinite reached by contradicting the finite is a false infinite, which neither explains itself nor the finite which is thus made to stand in opposition to the infinite. The true infinite does not exclude the finite; it embraces the finite without effacing its finitude, and explains and justifies its being. Logically speaking, then, the movement from the finite to the infinite as embodied in the cosmological argument is quite illegitimate; and the argument fails in toto. The teleological argument is no better. It scrutinizes the effect with a view to discover the character of its cause. From the traces of foresight, purpose, and adaptation in nature, it infers the existence of a self-conscious being of infinite intelligence and power. At best, it gives, us a skilful external contriver working on a pre-existing dead and intractable material the elements of which are, by their own nature, incapable of orderly structures and combinations. The argument gives us a contriver only and not a creator; and even if we suppose him to be also the creator of his material, it does no credit to his wisdom to create his own difficulties by first creating intractable material, and then overcoming its resistance by the application of methods alien to its original nature. The designer regarded as external to his material must always remain limited by his material, and hence a finite designer whose limited resources compel him to overcome his difficulties after the fashion of a human mechanician. The truth is that the analogy on which the argument proceeds is of no value at all. There is really no analogy between the work of the human artificer and the phenomena of Nature. The human artificer cannot work out his plan except by selecting and isolating his materials from their natural relations and situations. Nature, however, constitutes a system of wholly interdependent members; her processes present no analogy to the architect’s work which, depending on a progressive isolation and integration of its material, can offer no resemblance to the evolution of organic wholes in Nature. The ontological argument which has been presented in various forms by various thinkers has always appealed most to the speculative mind. The Cartesian form of the argument runs thus:To say that an attribute is contained in the nature or in the concept of a thing is the same as to say that the attribute is true of this thing and that it may be affirmed to be in it. But necessary existence is contained in the nature or the concept of God. Hence it may be with truth affirmed that necessary existence is in God, or that God exists.Descartes supplements this argument by another. We have the idea of a perfect being in our mind. What is the source of the idea? It cannot come from Nature, for Nature exhibits nothing but change. It cannot create the idea of a perfect being. Therefore, corresponding to the idea in our mind, there must be an objective counterpart which is the cause of the idea of a perfect being in our mind. This argument is somewhat of the nature of the cosmological argument which I have already criticized. But whatever may be the form of the argument, it is clear that the conception of existence is no proof of objective existence. As in Kant’s criticism of this argument the notion of three hundred dollars in my mind cannot prove that I have them in my pocket. All that the argument proves is that the idea of a perfect being includes the idea of his existence. Between the idea of a perfect being in my mind and the objective reality of that being there is a gulf which cannot be bridged over by a transcendental act of thought. The argument, as stated, is in fact a petitio principii: for it takes for granted the very point in question, i.e. the transition from the logical to the real. I hope I have made it clear to you that the ontological and the teleological arguments, as ordinarily stated, carry us nowhere.” (ibid.; Chapter 2)
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On Iqbal and Ataturk (both died in the same year incidentally): he may haveadmired the modernisation which he saw in the early years of the revolutionarymovement but this is before the secularisation of society which is completelyantithetical to Iqbal's view of state and society with regards to which he sayson many occasions that Islam is a complete way of life and the shari'a lawcovers both the public and private realms of life, and knows no divide betweenthe spiritual and the temporal.
Yes, Iqbal believed in ‘Shariah’ but notas you and I (the orthodox) see it. Brother, Iqbal wanted to go much furtherthan just admiring Ataturk. He had active plans to write a rational tafsir ofthe Koran and he wanted to reinterpret Sharia in light of modern learning andthat was what he was working towards. His Reconstruction was a first step towardsthat. This is not me talking. You can read any biography or academic on Iqbal.Anne-Marie Schimmel is one.

Your response to KTL about African scholarship for example is totally informedand seems to reflect a certain Western view of the Islamic intellectualtradition, perhaps even quite Orientalist in that sense. The works of Islamicscholars from all over the Muslim world were not mere imitation but were themost original and important works in many fields of knowledge. The Islamicworld produced the best jurists in the whole world, for example. Just becauseyou work within a framework it does not mean you are simply imitating.

Canyou or someone else give me examples of these original works? I admitted that within the framework of fiqh or ‘adab’ (belles lettres) they might well havebeen original but nothing in the hard sciences which are the philosophicalbasis for the West’s renaissance.

This brings me on to your point on taqlid, mentioned in another thread. Again,it's a very Western slant on taqlid reflected by Western scholars on Islamiclaw such as Schacht as well as modernists on the other side of the discussionwho believe that progress is only possible without taqlid. What they havefailed to understand is that there are different types of ijtihad and ijtihadcan and did take place within a mazhab (the categories of mujtahid fi'l mazhab,mujtahid fi'l masail and so on). Qiyas is completely ignored. Proof of thepudding is that muqallid fuqaha for centuries provided answers to many newproblems facing Muslims of the day.

Hogwash!Just because it is said by an Orientalist doesn’t mean it isn’t true though mybrother! We can see the evidence all around us. I am aware of the differenttypes of ijtihad you mention but once you set up boundaries within yoursolutions MUST lie you immediately limit human creativity and thought which isthe whole point of my argument. Thank you for, in effect, admitting it! Theanswers provided by the fuqaha are often detrimental and don’t serve thecommunity and they certainly prevent Muslims from innovating technologically. Ihave myself read fatwas which say that, for example, organ transplants areforbidden, television is forbidden, blood transfusion is forbidden and thescholars of yesteryear held within the limits of the founders of their madhhab(the mujtahid fil madhab) that, for example, that the printing press was haramtoo! See the problem brother? If even USING these is forbidden by their qiyaswhat of inventing these technologies? What is the ruling fornanotechnology, genetic engineering, cloning, artificial intelligence, virtualreality systems?

More recent scholarship is now demonstrating this through a study of classical fatawa and fiqh works. Dynamism and progress can exist within the framework ofadhering to a mazhab. In any case, it is much more robust and even safer toremain within and build upon established schools instead of having afree-for-all in matters pertaining to law. Can you provide an example of a modernist ghayr muqallid faqih who can match the standard of a muqallid faqih?


See my above comments. At mostthis dynamism and progress will be severely curtailed. And can you point to anexample of this progress within the last 500 years? The problem is with fiqh asit currently stands today and not with ghair muqallid vs muqallid. As anexample of a deep thinker though I could mention Tariq Ramadan.

It does, unfortunately, seem to me that you have been inflicted by the projectof Oreintalism or at least that there is a certain type of Western thinking andliterature that has absorbed you; a kind of perception that the Muslim world isinherently inferior to the West.

Notinherently, but in practise. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We livein a world completely created by the West. This was the reason for my original rant.

As I mentioned, freedom is very subjective and it can be strongly argued thatpeople in Western-capitalist societies are least free.

Ihave not seen any convincing argument of that. Some freedoms are objectivelytrue or not. You either have the freedom to think and write what you want oryou don’t to take one example. Or to dress how you want or you don’t. Youcannot subjectify that.
You replied by citing the Taliban and other other examples. The first thing to noteis that the Taliban would not claim to be giving their subjects freedom anyway.Secondly, it's a fallacy to cite an adulterated and aberrant form of Islamicl egal practice and make that representative of every Muslim who aspires to livein an Islamic society, magnifying the 1% as the media loves to do is a simpleway to smear.
Ihear this from Muslims all the time but the reality is that all the Talibanwere in effect doing was applying Hanafi fiqh literally. Yes we might havetheological differences with them but in terms of fiqh their isn’t significantdifference between any of the schools including the Jafari and Zaydi. Can youplease give me an example from Islamic history which is ‘not adulterated’?Hitchens saw through this doublespeak because he was bright enough to read theoriginal fiqh books etc.
Thirdly(or perhaps linked to the second point), we are talking about ideals and youcan clearly see Western-secularist ideals being fulfilled in secularistsocieties, of which there is not much comparison in the Muslim world yet.
Whenwill we have the ideal Muslim society brother? Islam is also for this world andnot only for the next one! Don’t you see that in a secular society everyone isfree to practise their religion or not if they want whereas in a religion basedsociety all those not of that religion will be discriminated against. I also disagreethat Western society is yet ideal but we are certainly progressing towardsthat. Name any society in history of the Islamic world which has been ascivilised as, say, Sweden is today.
Yourpost seems to suggest everything is good in the West and bad in the Muslimworld, some points have already been mentioned by others but just one examplefrom an infinite number of others is the complete break down of the family inthe West (not just nuclear family).
I did not say that but I agree with you that the West also has its negatives –for example the hypercapitalism in places like the US which leads to 1% controllingmost of the wealth and in the East (not just in Muslim countries) the familysystem and structure is much more successful. China and India –both non Muslimmajority countries have a good family system too. Yet it is not completely true to say that inthe West the family system is completely broken. Many middle class and abovefamilies are still very much functional. Also economic liberation of women doesdo that to the ‘traditional family’; is it entirely a bad thing? Apart fromthis though what else does the East have as a virtue which the West does not orwhich vice does the West have which the Muslim world does NOT have? However people vote with their feet and you can see the traffic is only one way and itisn’t towards Dar al Islam!
Noticehow your message does not cite say Turkey, Malaysia or Indonesia as examples of Muslim countries.
Ipreviously mentioned Turkey as an example of a successful Muslim country butthe reason for that is it is officially a secular country and Shariah has no sayin the running of the country. They are very pious and practising Sunnis butthey keep religion a private thing. By quoting Turkey as an example you haveproven my point for me!
Atthe same time you could mention the Summer 2011 riots and looting that happenedacross the UK and the abhorrent behaviour that many (especially toffs) wereshocked to see. The behaviour probably shocked many in the Muslim world too.


If that is the best you can do brother I rest my case! Riots never happen in theMuslim world? Pakistan anyone? Bahrain?! Thecause for these was probably as David Starkey said and the Government is toblame for being a government for the rich by the rich and the bankers. I am abig critic of the Tories and would like to make Britain more socialist like Germany,Scandinavia et al. In those countries we don’t get these riots! It certainly wasn't because of the secularism of the West!

I better stop before I start boring people...

Thankyou for giving me the opportunity to air these views. You are also moreWesternised than you care to admit. In many Islamic countries I reckonyanabi.com might be banned!


"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:44 PM (#62) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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awaiting a reply insha Allah from brother QJ.
"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:12 PM (#63) User is offline   Qadri-Jilani 

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As much as I'd like to keep the discussion going, and as tempting as it is, it's not really possible for me to do so right now as I'm really tied up for a couple of weeks, unfortunately. Furthermore, it could go on forever and there is no quick answer, nor will we able to solve all the issues in this one thread (the debate has raged for about two centuries). I am, however, quite critical of the mentality you have adopted which seems to be quite one-sided in praise of all things Western. I know it's something a lot of people go through living in the progressive West (and seeing some of the evil things that happen in our countries) but it is essentially quite shallow and an over-simplification of the problem (my one or two examples were just to highlight this and not a comprehensive comparison) and wholesale adoption of Western ideas will lead (and in a way is leading) to a catastrophe. In no way at all do I think everything in the West is bad either (and yes, I am "Western" in many ways although I aspire to a much higher category of identity), I just cited an an example or so to show how the generalisations in your posts are dangerous and unhelpful for understanding the situation. A nuanced approach is needed. We need to critically engage with Western civilisation, and develop our own superior model (I'm not saying anything too different from Allama Iqbal here).

Let's take a look at this passage from Nasr (from his "Reflections on Islam and Modern Thought"):

Quote

The whole discussion is also paralyzed by a psychological sense of inferiority by many Muslims no longer rooted in their own tradition, Muslims who have a sense of enfeeblement before the challenges of various modern philosophies. This state of affairs in turn prevents most modernized Muslims from making a critical appraisal of the situation from the authentic Islamic intellectual point of view and of stating the truth irrespective of whether it is fashionable and acceptable to current opinion or not...The question of principles and in fact the truth itself is hardly ever taken into consideration when modernism is discussed. One hardly ever asks whether this or that idea or form or institution conform to some aspect of the truth. The only question is whether it is modern (and now for some, postmodern), or not. The lack of clarity, precision, and sharpness of both mental and artistic contours which characterizes the modern world itself, seems to plague the contemporary Muslim's understanding of modernism whether he or she wishes to adopt its tenets or even react against it. The influence of modernism seems to have dimmed that lucidity and blurred that crystalline transparency that distinguish traditional Islam in both its intellectual and artistic manifestations."


We must not break our connection to our traditional past. Yes we need more people to respond to modernism (like Nasr (barring some of the reservations) and we can benefit from non-Muslims alike in many respects) and we also need to keep the tradition alive and this is where our classical Ulama play a major role--a direct response to the latest arguments is not always necessary here but the fact that they are a symbol of the salaf keeps the tradition alive (I'm not referring to the shallow attention-seeking ignorant mullas from back home who with their throat-ripping sermons are only good at causing strife and insulting/swearing at other Sunnis--I don't mind if their visa applications are rejected either and their freedom curtailed!).

Brother MGS makes an excellent point which is what I planned to say also. Essentially, what it's about for most of us is the beuaty of Islam. For someone like Hitchens (I haven't forgot the thread is about him!) and other atheists (or skeptics!) an orderly society is possible without religion, let's take that for granted for a moment (even though I don't accept it). We as Muslims do not look at this as our goal but we strive for perfection and only through Islam is human perfection possible. It's through the love of Allah and His Messenger we seek to achieve this. The lived sunnah, in all its inward and outward forms is what creates the perfect human being and that is our role model. The non-believer is deprived of this therefore cannot attain perfection. It's what gives me most solace, the most inner-peace that I have is him (peace be upon him), the perfect, as my role model and someone I keep in my heart as my guide throughout life. Working for his (peace be upon him) mission brings value to my life. A prayer that can often alleviate the internal crisis and bring meaning to the question of our being on earth is to pray that everything we do and work for, is for the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him and his family).

This beauty in Islam is what it's about it. This beautiful and wonderful experience cannot be bettered or replaced by anything else for us. This is what I meant by the experiential-spiritual having preference and preponderance over this strictly rational.

Here I widen the scope of the experiential-spiritual path (vis-à-vis your post) where it need not be envisaged as an esoteric path, but simply that the culmination of the journey is Huzur Ghawth al-Azam, Shaykh al-Akbar, al-Hallaj, Mevlana Rumi and so on. We can all begin by experiencing some of the beauty of Islam and to see this in practice you can speak to a new covert to Islam for example (I know a few from atheist and Christian backgrounds who discovered the beauty) with the aim to feel and experience the full beauty at some point in the future, this is what the salik in tasawwuf aspires to do.

This is not to say that philosophers were not spiritual or were not bothered about the beauty of the deen. To quote Nasr again: All Islamic philosophers have lived and breathed in a universe dominated by the reality of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam. Nearly all of them have lived according to Islamic Law or the Shari ah and have prayed in the direction of Makkah every day of their adult life. Ibn Sina would go to a mosque and pray when confronted with a difficult problem, and Ibn Rushd was the chief qadi or judge of Cordova (Spanish Cordoba) which means that he was himself the embodiment of the authority of Islamic Law even if he were to be seen later by many in Europe as the arch-rationalist and the very symbol of the rebellion of reason against faith. The very presence of the Qur'an and the advent of its revelation was to transform radically the universe in which and about which Islamic philosophers were to philosophize, leading to a specific kind of philosophy which can be justly called "prophetic philosophy".

The danger that was perceived was not so much as how you said it; the problem for the orthodox theologians was the conclusions that resulted from the peripatetic philosophical method such as denial of God's knowledge of particulars, the eternity of the world which they saw as contradicting the Holy Qur'an (by the way Mulla Sadra is taught in Dars-e-Nizami studied by Sunnis! I agree the Islamic educational curriculum needs to be updated as debates about philosophy of religion (and science and religion also now) have moved on very significantly. I am strong believer of keeping the classics but additions need to be made in order to equip the Islamic scholar to take on the challenges of the modern world; if some changes are made now or if Muslims scholars also study such subjects in Western institutions then I don't see why newer developments in fields of knowledge cannot be incorporated in to the madrasa system in the next few decades).

I do agree about the somewhat hypocritical stance of Muslims in appealing to these thinkers when lauding the achievements of "Muslims" in front of Muslims but to their own masses would them kafir. I think a more nuanced approach is required in how we look at our intellectual heritage (it's not ours if they are kafir) and some things we should just look at as historical developments, and show without bias the views of either side while justifying the concerns of the theologians (so we don't do the takfir ourselves and can still cite the good they did).

I also think the downfall of "pure" philosophy (even though it continued in Persia, as well as manifesting is theology and sufism) does not explain scientific stagnation. Without peripatetic philosophy there is no reason why scientific development could not continue, and in reality it did continue for some centuries. They are two separate things in my opinion (with some overlap of course and it was the philosopher-polymaths who played a large role in the scientific golden age, although all were not philosophers). There is absolutely no excuse for failings in this area and traditionalists would agree just as much as liberal-modernist Muslims here. This is a failing that must be addressed with utmost urgency but it does not mean that it is only possible in a Western-emulated society. We have done it in the past and it is being done today in some places (even modernists like Afghani, Abduh and Rida said there is contradiction between Islam and science but in fact that science was part of Islam and better suited to Islam than any other civilisation). Turkey has actually moved away from the hyper-secularist society it once was and the West are actually calling the ruling government an Islamist party!

I have to shoot now but I'll leave you with a verse from Allama Iqbal to sum up my take on this:


Apni millat par qiyas aqwam-e-maghrib sei na kar,
khaas hei tarkeeb mein qawm-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi

Maslak-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat

jarahat al-sinani laha'l-tiyamu ma yaltamu jarahat al-lisani
ei biradar chu 'aqibat khakast, khaak shawesh az ankei khaak shawee
apni millat par qiyas aqwam-e-maghrib sei na kar, khas hei tarkeeb mein qawm-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:53 PM (#64) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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QJ,
Salam az man.
I generally agree with the gist and contents of your last post. I think we have more in common than you realise. Our goal is the same just the methodology is different.
Also, I would not accept I am in an inferiority complex vis-a-vis the West but just a realistic! I would say you are looking at the microcosmic level whereas I am more
concerned with the macrocosm.

We can both agree that the Saints like Ibn Arabi represent the true beauty of Islam. I think the main difference is I think at a state level politics and religion should
be separated and you don't. My hypothesis is based on a neutral study of history and facts on the ground; yours seems to be more idealistic of a mythical 'perfect Islamic (future) State'.

I leave you with Iqbal again:

Islam kay daaman mein do hii tau gohar hain
Aik zarb e Yadullahi aik sajdah e Shabbiri!

I think we both can agree on this!
It has been an interesting discussion which I've enjoyed.
"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:22 PM (#65) User is offline   Qadri-Jilani 

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salam az man neez wa umeedaaram keh shumaa ba khoobast

Just a couple of points on Muslims being so behind technologically in many parts of the Islamic world. I asked one of my teachers (who is from near the tribal areas of Pakistan) about this and he seemed just as concerned as a modernist-liberal person, and this Shaykh I can tell you is VERY traditional. He used a really good phrase to describe the situation which escapes me right now, of which the explanation was that Muslims have only become good for eating and have no interest in sewing the seeds. Too damn lazy and waiting for someone else to come alone and do the work. We talked about the example of oil. The Arabs could have dug the oil wells themselves and put the infrastructure in place but were too lazy to do it and instead waited for foreigners to come along and do the digging. Their only concern was that they could eat from it personally (and of course live lavishly) but had no concern to make it a long-term investment for the benefit of their country, their people and the Muslims at large. It has instead been handed over to the West who are exploiting it and benefiting their economies with it, on their terms. It's downright laziness and disinterest in anything important and meaningful, it's all about how we can live to the fullest for the present day. They have been duped by the West (perhaps that's too strong as I'd call them plain stupid and ignorant). The oil example is symbolic of much of what's happened in the last century or so.

This is coupled by a deliberate strategy of the West to strangle all development (technological, political etc.,) in the Muslim world. There is quite a bit on this but take this from Noam Chomsky for example:

The US and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by US polling agencies. Though barely reported, they are certainly known to planners. They reveal that by overwhelming majorities, Arabs regard the US and Israel as the major threats they face: the US is so regarded by 90 per cent of Egyptians, in the region generally by over 75 per cent. Some Arabs regard Iran as a threat: 10 per cent. Opposition to US policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons - in Egypt, 80 per cent. Other figures are similar. If public opinion were to influence policy, the US not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of global dominance.

The invisible hand of power

Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists. In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm. The evidence is overwhelming that democracy is supported insofar as it contributes to social and economic objectives, a conclusion reluctantly conceded by the more serious scholarship.

Elite contempt for democracy was revealed dramatically in the reaction to the WikiLeaks exposures. Those that received most attention, with euphoric commentary, were cables reporting that Arabs support the US stand on Iran. The reference was to the ruling dictators. The attitudes of the public were unmentioned. The guiding principle was articulated clearly by Carnegie Endowment Middle East specialist Marwan Muasher, formerly a high official of the Jordanian government: "There is nothing wrong, everything is under control." In short, if the dictators support us, what else could matter?

The Muasher doctrine is rational and venerable. To mention just one case that is highly relevant today, in internal discussion in 1958, president Eisenhower expressed concern about "the campaign of hatred" against us in the Arab world, not by governments, but by the people. The National Security Council (NSC) explained that there is a perception in the Arab world that the US supports dictatorships and blocks democracy and development so as to ensure control over the resources of the region. Furthermore, the perception is basically accurate, the NSC concluded, and that is what we should be doing, relying on the Muasher doctrine. Pentagon studies conducted after 9/11 confirmed that the same holds today.

It is normal for the victors to consign history to the trash can, and for victims to take it seriously. Perhaps a few brief observations on this important matter may be useful. Today is not the first occasion when Egypt and the US are facing similar problems, and moving in opposite directions. That was also true in the early nineteenth century.

Economic historians have argued that Egypt was well-placed to undertake rapid economic development at the same time that the US was. Both had rich agriculture, including cotton, the fuel of the early industrial revolution - though unlike Egypt, the US had to develop cotton production and a work force by conquest, extermination, and slavery, with consequences that are evident right now in the reservations for the survivors and the prisons that have rapidly expanded since the Reagan years to house the superfluous population left by deindustrialisation.

One fundamental difference was that the US had gained independence and was therefore free to ignore the prescriptions of economic theory, delivered at the time by Adam Smith in terms rather like those preached to developing societies today. Smith urged the liberated colonies to produce primary products for export and to import superior British manufactures, and certainly not to attempt to monopolise crucial goods, particularly cotton. Any other path, Smith warned, "would retard instead of accelerating the further increase in the value of their annual produce, and would obstruct instead of promoting the progress of their country towards real wealth and greatness."

Having gained their independence, the colonies were free to ignore his advice and to follow England's course of independent state-guided development, with high tariffs to protect industry from British exports, first textiles, later steel and others, and to adopt numerous other devices to accelerate industrial development. The independent Republic also sought to gain a monopoly of cotton so as to "place all other nations at our feet," particularly the British enemy, as the Jacksonian presidents announced when conquering Texas and half of Mexico.

For Egypt, a comparable course was barred by British power. Lord Palmerston declared that "no ideas of fairness [toward Egypt] ought to stand in the way of such great and paramount interests" of Britain as preserving its economic and political hegemony, expressing his "hate" for the "ignorant barbarian" Muhammed Ali who dared to seek an independent course, and deploying Britain's fleet and financial power to terminate Egypt's quest for independence and economic development.

After World War II, when the US displaced Britain as global hegemon, Washington adopted the same stand, making it clear that the US would provide no aid to Egypt unless it adhered to the standard rules for the weak - which the US continued to violate, imposing high tariffs to bar Egyptian cotton and causing a debilitating dollar shortage. The usual interpretation of market principles.

It is small wonder that the "campaign of hatred" against the US that concerned Eisenhower was based on the recognition that the US supports dictators and blocks democracy and development, as do its allies.

In Adam Smith's defence, it should be added that he recognised what would happen if Britain followed the rules of sound economics, now called "neoliberalism." He warned that if British manufacturers, merchants, and investors turned abroad, they might profit but England would suffer. But he felt that they would be guided by a home bias, so as if by an invisible hand England would be spared the ravages of economic rationality.

The passage is hard to miss. It is the one occurrence of the famous phrase "invisible hand" in The Wealth of Nations. The other leading founder of classical economics, David Ricardo, drew similar conclusions, hoping that home bias would lead men of property to "be satisfied with the low rate of profits in their own country, rather than seek a more advantageous employment for their wealth in foreign nations," feelings that, he added, "I should be sorry to see weakened." Their predictions aside, the instincts of the classical economists were sound.

http://www.aljazeera...4364490977.html (a good read if you have the time).

The problem is on two levels but both are related because it's the West that installs such puppets through whom they are able to stifle any growth and development.

The aim of the West, as Edward Said puts it, was to make the Muslims feel inferior and shown them as uncivilised. This is then used to justify the subjugation of their people and the exploitation of their resources. We must never, ever submit to this.

Maslak-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat

jarahat al-sinani laha'l-tiyamu ma yaltamu jarahat al-lisani
ei biradar chu 'aqibat khakast, khaak shawesh az ankei khaak shawee
apni millat par qiyas aqwam-e-maghrib sei na kar, khas hei tarkeeb mein qawm-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:40 PM (#66) User is offline   Qadri-Jilani 

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A point on critical thinking I must add (considering I did not respond to it). Let's take the very recent example of of the debate of tafdil (superiority among the Sahaba). Mufakkir-e-Islam Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani researched the matter thoroughly and found that this was not a definitive matter , i.e. we cannot say with absolutely certainty that any companion is greatest among all including Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq. A furore was created by the mulla establishment who could not tolerate that a view was being expressed different to what they had *heard*. What he was saying was not radical at all because every single reference cited was from a Sunni source. It turns out that they were mistaken in not understanding the Sunni tradition but Mufakkir-e-Islam was being blamed for their ignorance! None have been able to engage with the topic intellectually (mainly because they do not have the ability to do so) but instead have resulted to insults, ridiculing and name-calling (he's a Shia!). Entire forums opened up to target one individual, other forums taking it as their dominant daily theme. Jalsas being organised an individual speeches aimed at bringing the personality down (all having failed in the end alhamdulillah as Allah is the best of planners).

It's opened my eyes up and the eyes of many into the mulla mentality and the unfortunate blindness that inflicts so many of the dumb "hardcores" - a complete inability to weigh up an argument, and that too on the basis of our OWN tradition! SS forget talking about anything outside of the tradition.

Maslak-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat

jarahat al-sinani laha'l-tiyamu ma yaltamu jarahat al-lisani
ei biradar chu 'aqibat khakast, khaak shawesh az ankei khaak shawee
apni millat par qiyas aqwam-e-maghrib sei na kar, khas hei tarkeeb mein qawm-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:35 PM (#67) User is offline   Mudassar-Rana 

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Adam Smith on the "mythical" "utopian" "unrealistic" "all-conquering" Caliphate:

...the empire of the Caliphs seems to have been the first state under which the world enjoyed that degree of tranquility which the cultivation of the sciences requires. It was under the protection of those generous and magnificent princes, that the ancient philosophy and astronomy of the Greeks were restored and established in the East; that tranquility, which their mild, just and religious government diffused over their vast empire, revived the curiosity of mankind, to inquire into the connecting principles of nature." *

* Adam Smith, ‘History of Astronomy’, The Essays of Adam Smith (London, 1869), p. 353
my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me.” [Ahmad, Musnad]

Jaag Muslmaan Jaag Muslmaan ... kitna naacho gai ghairon ki dhun par?Jis ummat mein rab ne sher paida kiye aaj wohi gheedar ka libaas apna muqaddar samjh bethi
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:51 PM (#68) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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Again nothing much for me to disagree with. What you're saying is that the US (and other imperial powers before them, notably the UK) deliberately keeps other countries from becoming true democracies
in the Muslim world because they know that in any such democracy the majority of people would vote for people or principles which are detrimental to US national interests. Nothing novel about that.
EVERY nation looks after its own interests as much as possible. Why cannot Muslims? One reason is that the leadership up to now have been puppets of the Western powers, hand-picked, to put US interests first!
But the ultimate fault lies with us as a Nation for allowing ourselves to become so weak that we are able to be manipulated like this. This is what my initial point was and it boils down to economic weakness and
military weakness and coupled with internal corruption and oppression leads to the state our countries are in. Yet I think we should not blame the USA primarily--it is OUR responsibility to improve our own countries.
The Arab Spring and the Iranian Revolution are proof we can make change happen. I find it ironic that people give so much credit to the USA--yes they are a hyperpower and control much of world trade and
enforce their interests via military global dominance but they are certainly not omnipotent. Their power is waning. China and India have shown how to rise up. If they can do it, why not Pakistan and other
Muslim countries? We just need to modernise our modus operandi and our thought -- yes, some people should always be scholars and some should become Sufi saints but there is too much religion
in our countries or at least too much lip-service paid to it.

Science and technology and critical thinking are the keys. Our societies are asleep; we are like coma patients and we need shock therapy to wake us up. Sadly the ulema are just
not up to it as they are part of the status quo and their education does not equip them to deal with these problems. We need to a fresh start. The syllabuses in the madrassahs are
from the 17th century and are stuck in that time frame and bare no resemblance to the modern world. We need a group of progressive Sunni Muslims to sit down and completely rewrite
the syllabus for training mullahs. Education theory has progressed unimaginably since the 1700s and yet we are still producing mullahs who learn by rote 17th century texts. Subhan Allah.
As a whole our societies need to change their education systems to make them more modern and relevant and we need to have one education system per country.

The goal should be a United States of Islam comprised of a group of independent but Islamic orientated liberal democracres modelled on the EU. Don't wait for help from the Ghayb!
Do it ourselves. With the internet and mobile communications technology it is a great opportunity. Those mullahs who resist change should be politely told to tend their gardens!
"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:53 PM (#69) User is offline   qadrimuslim 

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This is a very interesting and intelligent thread. I must admit I have not read it all, but its true, What have Muslims achieved in the last 100 years?

In my view, Muslims are stuck in a state of instability. The state of decay of the last Muslim empires was exploited by those in the industrial race. We have had nothing but colonialism, civil war, disunity, nationalism and sectarianism tear us apart. Thus we are still in a state of decline and instability. Progress is difficult in times like these.

Many Muslims who recognise the turmoil and corruption of the times we live in turn to a cleaner {spiritual) way of life, looking towards the Sufiyya to achieve a purer state of belief than just being another lemming in this temporal life.
This is just a point for brother SS to bear in mind. We should thank Allah swt that we have this traditional and spiritual path still available to us. The Mashaikh you mention knew full well of the dunya-dilemma and did this work a thousand years ago.

Imam Ghazali (RA)'s rejection of the purely rational approach may be looked at critically, but his aim was to save the iman of the Muslim, which is proven by his epic works on Tassuwuf. He alone cannot be blamed if generations later, people decided to scrap a whole ideology on his advice.

If and when we find ourselves in a state of stability, economic and social, you will see Muslims developing their own technologies and expanding our theological and philosophical thinking - unless as some Ulama suggest, these are the end times and Muslims are not supposed to advance any further.

"The Sufi Must Submit to the Faqih" - Shaykh Ahmad Zurruq (RA)

Wa-la Ghalib Il-Allah "There is no Conqueror but Allah"
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:25 PM (#70) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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MR

It is easy to pick one quote from any random person to praise anyone in history or to damn them; however I admitted in the very beginning of my posts that for a time when rationalism was tolerated and we had intelligent leaders
the Caliphate was at the forefront of human civilisation in Baghdad and in Andalusia. But it was short lived. The WHY was what I have been trying to explore...
"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:28 PM (#71) User is offline   Mudassar-Rana 

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View Postsunniskeptic, on 28 December 2011 - 06:51 PM, said:

Again nothing much for me to disagree with. What you're saying is that the US (and other imperial powers before them, notably the UK) deliberately keeps other countries from becoming true democracies
in the Muslim world because they know that in any such democracy the majority of people would vote for people or principles which are detrimental to US national interests. Nothing novel about that.
EVERY nation looks after its own interests as much as possible. Why cannot Muslims? One reason is that the leadership up to now have been puppets of the Western powers, hand-picked, to put US interests first!
But the ultimate fault lies with us as a Nation for allowing ourselves to become so weak that we are able to be manipulated like this. This is what my initial point was and it boils down to economic weakness and
military weakness and coupled with internal corruption and oppression leads to the state our countries are in. Yet I think we should not blame the USA primarily--it is OUR responsibility to improve our own countries.
The Arab Spring and the Iranian Revolution are proof we can make change happen. I find it ironic that people give so much credit to the USA--yes they are a hyperpower and control much of world trade and
enforce their interests via military global dominance but they are certainly not omnipotent. Their power is waning. China and India have shown how to rise up. If they can do it, why not Pakistan and other
Muslim countries? We just need to modernise our modus operandi and our thought -- yes, some people should always be scholars and some should become Sufi saints but there is too much religion
in our countries or at least too much lip-service paid to it.

Science and technology and critical thinking are the keys. Our societies are asleep; we are like coma patients and we need shock therapy to wake us up. Sadly the ulema are just
not up to it as they are part of the status quo and their education does not equip them to deal with these problems. We need to a fresh start. The syllabuses in the madrassahs are
from the 17th century and are stuck in that time frame and bare no resemblance to the modern world. We need a group of progressive Sunni Muslims to sit down and completely rewrite
the syllabus for training mullahs. Education theory has progressed unimaginably since the 1700s and yet we are still producing mullahs who learn by rote 17th century texts. Subhan Allah.
As a whole our societies need to change their education systems to make them more modern and relevant and we need to have one education system per country.

The goal should be a United States of Islam comprised of a group of independent but Islamic orientated liberal democracres modelled on the EU. Don't wait for help from the Ghayb!
Do it ourselves. With the internet and mobile communications technology it is a great opportunity. Those mullahs who resist change should be politely told to tend their gardens!


For the first time i find myself agreeing! However the last line again shows your own fight between traditional islam and secularism. A United States of Islam erm - is a caliphate? Comprising a group of indpendent but islamic orientate liberal democracies modelled on the EU erm is different wilayahs with their own governors! Erm islamic orientated v liberal democracies. Herein lies the problem. I dont have a problem with liberalism if by it you mean a state of mercy or dmocracy if by it you mean electing your officials. but liberal democracies in the contemporary context are fraugt with their own problems not least economic and social. And the comparison with the EU at a time when the British are planning for military fallout from the Euro is a bit unfortunate.
my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me.” [Ahmad, Musnad]

Jaag Muslmaan Jaag Muslmaan ... kitna naacho gai ghairon ki dhun par?Jis ummat mein rab ne sher paida kiye aaj wohi gheedar ka libaas apna muqaddar samjh bethi
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:39 PM (#72) User is offline   qadrimuslim 

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View PostQadri-Jilani, on 28 December 2011 - 04:40 PM, said:

A point on critical thinking I must add (considering I did not respond to it). Let's take the very recent example of of the debate of tafdil (superiority among the Sahaba). Mufakkir-e-Islam Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani researched the matter thoroughly and found that this was not a definitive matter , i.e. we cannot say with absolutely certainty that any companion is greatest among all including Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq. A furore was created by the mulla establishment who could not tolerate that a view was being expressed different to what they had *heard*. What he was saying was not radical at all because every single reference cited was from a Sunni source. It turns out that they were mistaken in not understanding the Sunni tradition but Mufakkir-e-Islam was being blamed for their ignorance! None have been able to engage with the topic intellectually (mainly because they do not have the ability to do so) but instead have resulted to insults, ridiculing and name-calling (he's a Shia!). Entire forums opened up to target one individual, other forums taking it as their dominant daily theme. Jalsas being organised an individual speeches aimed at bringing the personality down (all having failed in the end alhamdulillah as Allah is the best of planners).

It's opened my eyes up and the eyes of many into the mulla mentality and the unfortunate blindness that inflicts so many of the dumb "hardcores" - a complete inability to weigh up an argument, and that too on the basis of our OWN tradition! SS forget talking about anything outside of the tradition.



I would hesitate to call them the "mulla establishment" because they are quite small in number among Sunnis, unless you mean the Wahabi Mullah establishment which is much firmly established. "Mullah Mafia" is more fitting. The same Mafia that do takfir of other Muslims and try to scare the average Muslim from thinking outside of the box that has been forced down their throat. I agree with SS that we have an institutional deficiency in that graduates of madrassas do not have the capacity to lead Muslims forward.

The other problem has already been identified. Our people cannot stomach any type of critical thinking. These days we even have people passing internet fatwas on someone who rejects a sahih hadith to be a Kafir!
Sayyidi Mufakkir e Islam, as a "thinker", opened the box discussing opinions of various Imams and Ulama in a critical light even though he accepts and reveres them highly. As we know, some of the Mafia could not stomach it and slander the Sayyid. This shows how intolerant some sections of our community have become. Some of whom even believe it is kufr to disagree with Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza (RA) on even the smallest issue!

Thank Allah that majority of Muslims can see things for what they are and respect real Islamic scholarship as a dying form which is slowly being destroyed by the Mullah mafia, Sunni and Wahabi.

I disagree with SS that we should copy the EU model because the glove that fits Europe might not fit Muslims. We could build on our own customs and replicate a successful Muslim system. The western system has failed in Muslim countries; take Pakistan as an example.


"The Sufi Must Submit to the Faqih" - Shaykh Ahmad Zurruq (RA)

Wa-la Ghalib Il-Allah "There is no Conqueror but Allah"
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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:32 PM (#73) User is offline   Know-the-Ledge 

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Flying visit. From my cursory glance, this looks very intersting. Posting to bring it up and making finding it easier.
I.Will.Back
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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:21 AM (#74) User is offline   Qadri-Jilani 

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SS: One issue is the blatant injustice and unfairness of Western powers but the other is the outright hypocrisy and lies told that it is all in the interest of their people, to give them what we have in at home in the West. Most people at home actually believe it and they have no idea what is actually happening and often can't see beyond what is told to them. I don't really blame them because it's due to the lack of critical reporting and analysis on our news channels. Have you ever seen Noam Chomsky featured on a matter concerning foreign affairs? They deliberately want to keep people busy in other matters (such as shopping or watching TV) and for them not to be give thought to (let alone meddle in) the affairs of the establishment.

A more technical point on the takfir of the philosophers. If there is any room for ta'wil (interpretation) then one cannot make takfir. After Ibn Rushd wrote the "Incoherence of the Incoherence" in which he clarified the positions of the philosophers it might change the dynamics of iman-kufr due to the ta'wil. I would not say I'm qualified to make a judgement here but one does not find a counter refutation of Ibn Rushd or any clear fatwas stating that it's still kufr despite the interpretations of Ibn Rushd. Not attempting to take sides but as a suggestion it might be a good idea to simply stay silent on the issue as that's what is incumbent upon us in matters of even slight uncertainty.

Of course this will make no sense to you if you are from the blanket takfiri camp who like to brandish their takfiri swords and brand large swaths of the ummah as kafir because it pleases their egos (sarei shia kafir, sarei wahabi kafir, sarei falsafi kafir!)

Maslak-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat

jarahat al-sinani laha'l-tiyamu ma yaltamu jarahat al-lisani
ei biradar chu 'aqibat khakast, khaak shawesh az ankei khaak shawee
apni millat par qiyas aqwam-e-maghrib sei na kar, khas hei tarkeeb mein qawm-e-Rasool-e-Hashmi
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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:21 PM (#75) User is offline   naqshbandihaqqani 

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@QJ's last post: I am no longer interested in the kufr pronouncements which the ulema have habitually done on one another let alone on those with slightly different points of view. Unlessit is absolutely clear like in the case of Qadianis I think it is better to say nothing...or hold one's tongue.

I have no illusions that the maulvis -- of any sect and type (its not fair you highlighting just one individual --albeit implicitly!) -- cannot exist without calling each other deviant/bidati/kafir...it is a matter
of their bread and butter! If I'm honest I have to say I've lost all my respect for contemporary ulema in particular and ulema in general (with rare exceptions) and now no longer care what they say on XYZ.

Iqbal summed up their plight long ago:

Argument and disputation is this pious man's trade!To bring disunity to the nation and the people is his workRegarding your point about most people in the 'West' being ignorant of what is really going on I agree to an extent but (1) it is changing rapidly due to modern communicationstechnology and the internet/social networking sites like twitter/facebook...witness the marches against Iraq War etc. (2) At the risk of sounding elitist--the common man in all countriesare sheep and dumb.

"My intercession is for my sinful followers" - hadith of Sayyidina Rasool Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
Shay'an Lillah Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir! (q)
"Ana'l Haqq!" - Husayn ibn Mansoor al Hallaj (q)
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