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Islamic Intellectualism by Murad Wilfried Hofmann Noter : -----

#1 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Desaxee Icône

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11-mai 03

Posté 10 décembre 2003 - 06:09

It is risky enough to predict the future, never mind to do so without first looking at the past. It is from the patterns and lessons of history, that we can form assumptions about the future. This being so, several valuable deductions can be made from Islamic history.

First Thesis:

Islamic history has always had an intellectual component. In the Qur'an, Allah (subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) instructs people to observe, ponder, reflect, and use rationality to understand the world and their position in it. The Qur’an is the only “holy” script that makes such an appeal, and consequently, from its inception, Islam has been a rational religion par excellence.

Second Thesis:

Islam, from the beginning, encouraged and demanded intellectual activity and training. Islam is a religion, not a philosophy, and Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was a Messenger, not a theology professor.

Nevertheless, Islam demanded and demands intellectual activities. Early on, these activities mainly took the form of collecting, scrutinizing, and systematizing the Revelation and the prophetic tradition, the Sunnah. In this context, Hasan al Basri, Malik b. Anas, Ibn Ishaq, al-Bukhari, at-Tabari and others developed historiography, linguistics and jurisprudence to unprecedented levels.

In the Islamic civilizations of Damascus, Baghdad, Lahore, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, al-Fustat, Kairouan, and Fez, Muslims became the custodians of the Greek intellectual miracle. Furthermore, they developed and innovated the classical heritage, ultimately producing their own unique, intellectual tradition. The European intellectual exploits of the Renaissance would have been unthinkable without Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, al-Biruni, al-Khawarizmi, ar-Razi, lbn al-Haytham, Ibn Battuta and Ibn Khaldun.

It would be a mistake to claim that people like Ibn Hanbal, al-Ash‘ari, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taymiyya were not intellectual because they arrived at orthodox conclusions and opinions. Ibn Hanbal did try to protect Muslim doctrine from Greek philosophy. Al-Ash‘ari, through his radical critic of epistemology, did deny the feasibility of metaphysical deductions. Ibn Hazm did reject the utility of qiyas and tafsir in certain situations. Ibn Tayrniyya did abhor that Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism had gained a foothold within Islam via Sufi circles. Nevertheless, they all employed intellectual analyses to arrive at their conclusions and opinions, thus perpetuating the intellectual tradition of Islam.

Western Orientalists are wrong to insinuate that Islam ever was monolithic. Rather, it was pluralistic in practice and intellectual thought. Except for tawhid and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad, almost everything, including the modalities of the other four pillars of faith, was open to discussion. Within Islamic Jurisprudence, half a dozen schools of law (madhahib) not only developed, but, also, as in Makkah, taught simultaneously, an intellectual feat unknown to any other system of law.

The notion of taqlid --in and of itself not at all irrational--did considerable damage by stifling innovation even outside of ‘aqida, ‘ibada and mu‘amalat . Nevertheless, during the reign of taqlid , the Muslim world never stopped developing intellectually as exemplified by Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Sirhindi, Shah Waliullah, and Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab.

In philosophy, intellectual battles were fierce. This is clear when one reads al-Ghazali’s devastating critique of philosophy (At-Tahafut al-Falsafiya ) and the equally opinionated reply by Ibn Rushd (At-Tahafut at-Tahafut ). How refreshing and how reassuring that diversity of opinion, as our Prophet put it, can be a blessing. Needless to say, if Ibn Rushd lived and wrote today, some contemporary Muslim fanatic would probably stifle his views in the name of Allah.

Third Thesis:
Lack of pluralism means decadence. Islam has always been pluralistic. The conflicts between A‘isha and ‘Ali, Mu‘awiyya and ‘Ali, and ‘Ali and the Kharijiyya were not only intense, but bloody. So were the conflicts between ‘Ummayds and ‘Abbasides, the Mutazila and Ash‘ariyya, Sunnis and Shi‘is, ‘Ibadi and ‘Alawi Muslims, not to mention the bloody suppression of Sufi extremism in the case of al-Hallaj. These attempts to make Islam monolithic resulted not only in the destruction of much intellectual pluralism; they, also, ushered in a phase of decadence from which we have only recently begun to awake.

Muslim decadence, also, resulted from other causes, including the cultural devastations wrought by the Mongol onslaught and the Catholic Reconquista in Spain. Political and economic insecurity drove Muslims underground intellectually. Religion was privatized, popularized, and made rigid in the most marginal details. In this way, Islam managed to survive both Western and Soviet colonization. This is the good news. The bad news, however, is that in this defensive mode Islam became politically irrelevant and almost Talmudic in its over-legalization. In the process, Sufism, too, degenerated into a folksy sort of Islam whose original spiritualism was ritualized.

Another contributing factor to Islamic decadence was political oppression. Despotism, and the suppression of religious critique by despotic rulers, became and remained the rule in the Islamic world. By developing their own administrative penal law (at ta’zir ), the rulers emancipated themselves, not only from their ‘ulama , but also from the shari’ah itself. Censorship turned into dependency until finally, in the 2Oth century, the ‘ulama were rejected by the Islamic movements of the youth.

This being the past what is the present?

For the first time ever, the contemporary world has been culturally colonized by a single civilization, the Occident. This process, under way since the late Renaissance, found its intellectual bearings in the European Enlightenment, also known as Project Modernity. Having origins in Europe and perpetuation in America, Occidental thought, technology, products and mores dominate the globe. The world has come to use one language, English. Neither Greek, Latin nor Arabic ever came close to this feat.

Since superior civilizations always spread, this is not wholly peculiar, except in scope. What is peculiar, devastatingly so, is that the Occidental ideology, the first ideology based primarily on atheistic assumptions, is becoming global as well. Kant's critique of metaphysics and his dismantling of the proofs of God, Marx’s defamation of religion as “opiate for the people," and the ruthless Social-Darwinism propagated by Nietzsche are now common currency, as has been proven by the disasters of WWI, Stalinism, the Holocaust, WWII, Maoism, and ethnic cleansing.
The modern scene is, however, also characterized by post-Newtonian Physics, ushered in by Planck, Einstein, Hahn, and Heisenberg; new mathematics, ushered in by Frege; new microbiology and medicine; and new communications technology.


This being the present, what is the future of Islam in the 21st century?

First Assumption:

Given the communications revolution, Islam, always intended to be universal, will become universal.

Second Assumption:
English will become Islam’s main language for da’wah .

Third Assumption:
Muslim scholarship will move west. Scientists always seek environments conducive to their research, and this gives an enormous advantage to places where academic freedom is guaranteed and where one is not persecuted for publishing unwelcome views. There has already been an exodus of qualified Muslim scientists to Europe, the U.S. and Canada. In 1999, the first Nobel Prize in natural sciences conferred on a Sunni Muslim, was given to an Egyptian working in Germany and the U.S.

Fourth Assumption:
Lay intellectuals will become increasingly important. In the past, the corruptibility of some ‘ulama and their marriage with governments lead to the prominence of lay reformers. Al-Afghani, Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Muhammad Asad, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, Abul-Ala Maududi, Abbas Madani and other leaders of Islamic movements were not products of traditional ‘ulama training. This trend is bound to grow, restoring to Islam the ideal of a religion free from sacramental clergy and an institutionalized “church.”

Fifth Assumption:
Muslims will produce “Occidentalists.” In the time of the Prophet, Muslims had access to Jews and Christians, and knowledge about other monotheistic religions was locally available. Later this changed, and the Occident and Orient grew apart. Christian Orientalists, ever since John of Damascus, started to defame Islam. Muslims lacked Christian specialists until the 20th century when Christians started to convert to Islam in large numbers.

Sixth Assumption:

Muslims will tackle the Sunnah issue. Muslims obviously don't have a Qur'an problem, but they do have a Sunnah problem. Goldziher, Margoliuth and Schacht were not justified in being sweepingly skeptical, but they were, also, not entirely wrong in asserting that parts of the body of ahadith are questionable. Dr. Fazlur Rahman, in his book Islamic Methodology in History, identified a major cause of this when he pointed out that from the time of al-Shafi‘i, Muslims felt obliged to project the entire living Sunnah back to the Prophet. Equipped with new methodologies for historical critique, including computer-based linguistic analysis, 21st century Muslim intellectuals should be able to reestablish maximum authenticity for most of the Sunnah.

Seventh Assumption:
If the Sunnah challenge is met, Muslim intellectuals will develop convincing models, ones that include human and women’s rights, for an Islamic State and economy. Since Prophet Muhammad dictated the Constitution of Madinah, Muslims rarely had to make an intellectual effort to cope with issues of state and government. Al-Mawardi and Nizam al-Mulk are cases in point. Today's intellectuals face a different challenge. They must develop, from scratch, the theoretical bases of an Islamic “democracy,” i.e. a state that is neither a theocracy in the Shi‘i sense, a monarchy, or a community without shari’ah. They must tackle the challenge of integrating Western notions of human rights into the framework of Islamic jurisprudence. Part of this challenge involves restoration of women’s rights worldwide and reinterpretation of Qur’an 4:3, 4:34, and 2:228.

Eighth Assumption:
Muslim intellectuals will develop guidance for Muslim dhimmi. The presence of millions of Muslims in non-Muslim countries is a new problem in Islamic history. Only India, under British rule, experienced a problem of this magnitude. These Muslims need to know how to behave under non-Muslim law, especially on issues of marriage, divorce, inheritance, burial, halal slaughtering and riba . We need nothing less than a madhhab for dhimmi Muslims.

Ninth Assumption:

Western intellectual Muslims will develop new modes of da’wah. For 200 years, the Muslim world has experienced the military, industrial and commercial consequences of the Age of Reason, without understanding Western rationalism, scientism, and progressiveness. Today, due to colonial education and Muslim immigration to the West, we have a growing number of Muslim intellectuals who can understand Western ideology on its own ground and by its own rules. These intellectuals are equipped to dismantle the fundamental delusions of Enlightenment rationalism and its over-confidence in the rationality, maturity, and independence of man. In other words, through understanding the Western ideology, they can dethrone “sovereign” man and reinstall faith in God in full accordance with the foundational assumptions of modern philosophy and science. Muslim intellectuals must start from Descartes, Kant, Hume and Comte, but avoid arriving at Marx, Darwin, Freud and Nietzsche. Their task is to reground faith by pointing out the irrationality of atheism; the ambivalence of agnosticism; and the probability and plausibility of the existence of God, i.e. the rationality of faith.

Tenth Assumption:
Muslim intellectuals will stop acting apologetically. This necessarily presupposes the existence of, and in turn will produce, Muslim intellectuals who are assertive and proactive, rather than apologetic and reactive.

Eleventh Assumption:

Muslim intellectuals need to be intellectuals. Muslim intellectuals have a very special role to play, but this does not mean they all must become activists. On the contrary! It would be a major contribution toward the expansion of Islam if a Muslim intellectual did no more than quietly demonstrate that one can be a successful academic and, simultaneously, a convinced and practicing Muslim. The importance of this is witnessed by a common reaction that myself and other Muslim reverts receive: "How can one of us, obviously well educated and not stupid, opt for that religion!”

Twelfth Assumption:
Islam will become the dominant religion of the 21st century. If my first eleven assumptions are correct, my final assumption is that, Allah willing, thanks to the impact of Muslim intellectuals, Islam may well become the dominant religion of the 21st century, at least in North America and parts of Europe, with enormous repercussions for the rest of the globe.



http://world.mediamo...view/full/2077/
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#2 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Walane Icône

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11-mai 03

Posté 13 décembre 2003 - 01:16

DEFENDING THE RELIGION

CLARITY [al-Istiqaamah] Source :TROID Publications

Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said:

"All praise is due to Allaah who, in every age and interval between the Prophets, raises up a group from the people of knowledge, who call the misguided to guidance, patiently bearing ill-treatment and harm. With the Book of Allaah they give life to the dead and with the Light of Allaah they give sight to the blind. How many a person killed by Iblees (the Devil) they have revived. How beautiful their effect has been upon the people, and how vile the people have been towards them. They expel from the Book of Allaah the alterations of those going beyond bounds, the false claims of the liars and the false interpretations of the ignorant-ones – those who uphold the banner of innovation and let loose the trials and discords; who upon the Book, oppose the Book and agree upon opposing the Book. They speak about Allaah and his Book without knowledge, argue about what is ambiguous in the Book, and deceive the ignorant ones with such ambiguities . We seek refuge in Allaah from the trials of the misguided ones." [1]

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

"When some people said to Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied:

"If I were to remain silent, how would the ignorant masses know the truth from falsehood?"

Those who introduce heretical writings which oppose the Qur`aan and Sunnah and those who innovate in matters of worship, then it is obligatory that they be exposed and that the Muslims be warned against them – by unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars. In fact, when Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked about a man who fasted, prayed and secluded himself in the mosque for worship; if he was dearer to him than a person who spoke against the people of innovation (Ahlul-Bid’ah), he replied:

"When he fasts and prays and secludes himself, then he does so for the benefit of his own self. However, when he speaks out against the innovators, he does so for the benefit of the Muslims in general, and this is more virtuous."

So it is clear that openly opposing the innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of jihaad (struggle) in the path of Allaah. Since purifying the Religion of Allaah and defending it from their attacks is a collective obligation – as is agreed upon by the scholars. For if Allaah did not raise up some people to oppose the innovators, then the Religion would suffer harm, corruption and deviation. Indeed this type of corruption is even greater than the corruption resulting from the corruption of the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. Since when the unbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts, nor their Religion, except after some time. Whereas the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very beginning." [2]
UNITING THE RANKS UPON THE TRUTH

Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz (d.1420H) – rahimahullaah – said:

"There is no doubt that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to unify their ranks and to unite their word upon truth and to cooperate in goodness and piety against the enemies of Islaam – as Allaah the Most Perfect ordered them with His statement:

"And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allaah and do not become divided." [Soorah Aali-‘Imraan 3:102]

And likewise, Allaah has warned the Muslims against splitting-up, as occurs in His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

"And do not be like those who differed and split-up after the clear evidences came to them." [Soorah Aali-‘Imraan 3:105].

However, the order to unify the Muslims and to unite their word upon the truth and to hold fast to the rope of Allaah, does not necessitate that they should not censure wrong beliefs and practices – whether from the Soofees or from other than them. Rather what the order to hold fast to the rope of Allaah necessitates is: to order the good, forbid the evil and also to clarify the truth – with clear Sharee’ah evidences – to whomsoever is misguided or has a mistaken opinion, until they unite upon the truth and turn away from that which opposes it. All of this is included in His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

"And help you one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression." [Sooratul Maa`idah 5:2]

And His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

"Let there arise from amongst you a group of people calling all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, they are the ones who shall be successful." [Soorah Aali-‘Imraan 3:110]

And when the people of truth withold from clarifying the mistakes of those who have erred or are mistaken, then they will not have achieved what Allaah ordered them with, as regards calling to goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil. So the person in error will remain upon his error, and the person acting in opposition of the truth will remain upon his opposition. And this is contrary to what Allaah – the Most perfect – prescribed, with regards to sincere advice, cooperation upon goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil – and Allaah alone is the One who grants success." [3]

Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz was asked about the correctness of the statement: "We should unite upon that which we agree, and excuse each other for that in which we disagree." The Shaykh commented:

"Yes! It is obligatory to cooperate in that which we agree, by aiding the truth, calling to it and warning against that which Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have prohibited. As for excusing each other for that in which we differ - then this is not to be taken in an absolute sense, but rather in a general one. Thus if the difference involves a particular issue of ijtihaad (independent reasoning) wherein the proofs are deep and detailed – then it is obligatory not to censure or reproach one another. However, if it opposes a clear text of the Book and the Sunnah, then it is obligatory to correct the one who has opposed the clear texts, but with wisdom, beautiful admonition, and debating in the best possible manner, acting upon the statement of Allaah the Exalted:

"And help you one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and transgression." [Sooratul Maa`idah 5:2]

And His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

"The Believers – men and women – are protectors to each other, they order the good and forbid the evil…" [Sooratut-Tawbah 9:71]

And the statement of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic:

"Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition, and argue with them in ways that are better." [Sooratun-Nahl 16:125]

And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whosoever sees an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do this, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do this, then with his heart. And that is the weakest of eemaan (faith)." [4]

And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whosoever directs a person to do good, will have a reward similar to the one who does that good." [5]

And the aayaat and ahaadeeth with this meaning are plenty." [6]

Footnotes:

[1] ar-Radd ‘alal Jahmiyyah waz-Zanaadiqah (p. 2) of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.

[2] Majmoo’ul Fataawaa (28/231-232).

[3] Tanbeehaat fir-Radd ‘alaa man Ta`wwalis Sifaat (p. 31-32).

[4] Related by Muslim (2/21), from Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu).

[5] Related by Muslim (13/38), from Aboo Mas’ood al-Ansaaree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu)

[6] Tanbeehaat fir-Radd ‘alaa man Ta`awwalis Sifaat (p. 14-15).
Disclaimer:
The message on this post reflects solely the opinions of the author who accept no responsibilities for any physical, emotional, moral, material or pyscholigical damage.

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God grant me the courage to change the things that I can control, the serenity to accept the things that I cannot control, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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#3 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Vanilla Icône

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14-mai 03

Posté 13 décembre 2003 - 07:12

Salam aleikoum Walane,

masha Allahhhhhh =D> =D> =D>

alors la , tu assures....continue ds cette vois bro :)

que Dieu recompense l effort de ses Sheikhs (amin)...ils sont trop terribleeeee
:(( :((

dommage k il y en a plus des Savants qui ont leur mm niveau de nos jours. :(

ps: insha Allah essaie lire ''al aqidati wassitiya''.(la croyance du juste milieu).de Ibn Taymiyya..il est trop terrible(parait), je viens de le commencer aussi ;) ci diliciouuu lol

Ce message a été modifié par Vanilla - 13 décembre 2003 - 07:17 .

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#4 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Desaxee Icône

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11-mai 03

Posté 16 décembre 2003 - 07:07

To Walane,

si tu es sur de ce que tu crois pourquoi as-tu peur des "innovators".? ;)
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#5 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Walane Icône

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11-mai 03

Posté 16 décembre 2003 - 07:53

Desaxee,

Islam is not about selfishness, it's not personal! it's about the Ouma submitting itself to ONE GOD (ALLAH).

So, even if I was the most respected scholar/sheikh, with the stongest Iman (and sure of my self and what I am doing) I will be affraid and concerned about deviation from Real Islamic practices.

It's everyone's duty to protect the DIN and the Ouma. This is very important specially for the new converts!

Wouldn't you stop me if I was misled and heading to a danger?
Disclaimer:
The message on this post reflects solely the opinions of the author who accept no responsibilities for any physical, emotional, moral, material or pyscholigical damage.

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God grant me the courage to change the things that I can control, the serenity to accept the things that I cannot control, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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#6 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Nomad Icône

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29-juillet 03

Posté 22 décembre 2003 - 11:39

I certainly would...
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#7 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Nomad Icône

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29-juillet 03

Posté 22 décembre 2003 - 11:40

So help me GOD
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#8 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Bache Icône

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26-décembre 03

Icône du message  Posté 28 décembre 2003 - 03:04

To Walane,

Dear Sheikh, I think the innovators (bidah fi dinn) are those who add something in the religion which is not part of it...but that interrpertation, I guss no one is claiming to add anything to the religion...what we need is annovators who can come out a beeter way to understand and apply the whole principles of islam....how to apply the teaching of islam and comming up with new institutions...in fact we institutionalize the teaching of islam....
you can say everything is in quran and suunah, but i can change you and others to came up with clear and comprehensive theory and practices of politic, economic, sociall wellfare...ect....
we need to articale and postulate the assumptions and theories to develop and safe guide our relogion

with Peace and Progress
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