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Islamic Perception &

Philosophies
Muhammad Al-Amrani

Islamic Perception and Philosophies

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... and do not follow the errant views of
people who have gone astray aforetime, and have led
many astray, and are still straying from the right path.{5}

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this Quran leads the way to all that is most upright and gives the
believers who do good deeds the glad tiding that theirs will be a great reward
hilosophy1 is stagnant, cold, dry and addresses one faculty of the human whole namely his mind and
that explains why it did not have much usefulness for mankind and as William Durant2 predicted in
his "Mansions of Philosophy," it is in its way to death in half a century. It became atheistic, nihilistic3
and exhausted and no longer attractive save to the enslaved in the world who believe in nothingness and
seek somethingness to satiate the hunger for their Maker. Yet some of the defeated thinkers in the Islamic
world who are parasites on the 18th and 19-century intellectual table of the West continue to philosophize

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1

Islam advises its followers not to venture and delve into two subjects: nature of Allah (SW), and nature of predestination inasmuch as those are beyond the reach of human perception: And do not pursue anything of which you have no knowledge,
verily, hearing and sight and heart - all of them - will be called to account for it, [17: 36] and venturing into them will often
lead to mere guesswork and anthropomorphic metaphysical extrapolation and empty speculations. Metaphysical philosophy has
failed to find the True One, First Cause, Unmoved Mover, or Allah (SW) and the philosophy of epistemology ended in a maze
of controversies and conflicts. Some of the issues discussed by philosophy are the relation of faith to reason, the existence and
unity of Allah (SW), the object of theology and metaphysics, the problems of knowledge, of universals, and of individuation. For
more, see if you wish Abbas al-Aqad "Allah" and Sayyid Qutb's "Pillars of Islamic Perception."

Philosophy has gone to the ashcan of history but some, like atheist Julian Huxley who advised mankind to contemplate science to
satiate their zeal for Allah (SW), William Durant suggested the pleasures of philosophy in place of religion. In his Religion
Without Revelation, Julian Huxley, suggested that humans could find an outlet for their religious zeal in contemplation of their
own destiny, rather than in theistic creeds. Note how he was made General Director of UNESCO despite his blemeshous and
heretical remarks. But it is the age of dwarfs, and the UN with its various organizations are mere tools in the hands of a gang of
capitalists and atheists to woo the masses away from their Maker. Durant is a staunch atheist and an open antagonist of religion
especially if that religion is Islam! Muslim so-called thinkers, continues to copy-cat western philosophies as they are prone to
imitate anything western even if it has to do with their faith but it is that terrible feeling of spiritual and intellectual defeat! As the
Apostle of Allah (SW) said: You shall follow the ways of those before you step by step. [Buckahri].

Nihilism is defined as a belief in the nonexistence of truth. The philosophy of nihilism has found its place in modern western
literature, and art movements such as surrealism, cubism and Dadaism embrace it openly. In music it has taken the form of punk
rock whose chaotic song patterns and morbid or obscene lyrics depict lifes meaninglessness and amorality. Because the 'cursed'
west no longer believe in anything, they propaganda machine has spread the false notion that nihilism is compatible with scientific
objectivism and an alternative to the so-called mythos of religion and supernaturalism, and led many to believe that philosophical
nihilism represents an intellectual advancement. Notice how Arabic music for instance is slowly becoming nihilistic!

often in a mere-show to appear versed, cultured, and sophisticated in this age of dwarfs and the subject is
taught in universities and colleges across the Muslim world. Scanning the history and writings of
philosophy, and comparing its thoughts, views and perceptions to those of the Quran, one cannot but be
amazed: how could such nonsense, incondonite jumble come from a philosopher!? But when one recalls that
all they had and have in their disposal is but that little brain which is bound by time and space and that they
thrusted themselves in spheres beyond the realm of human perception and imaginary, such amazement fades
away.1 Of the four branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics, we will
concern ourselves with its metaphysics and epistemology as it is the subject pertinent to scope of this book
and will start with a brief discussion of the history of western metaphysics and its influence on Islamic
philosophy and will show the Islamic perception then move on to epistemology.
Plato said Allah (SW) is transcendent, the highest and most perfect being and one who uses eternal forms, or
archetypes, to fashion a universe that is eternal and uncreated. The order and purpose he gives the universe is
limited by the imperfections inherent in material. Flaws are therefore real and exist in the universe; they are
not merely higher divine purposes misunderstood by humans. Allah (SW) is not the author of everything
because some things are evil. We can infer that Allah (SW) is the author of the punishments of the wicked
because those punishments benefit the wicked. Allah (SW), being good, is also unchangeable since any
change would be for the worse. For Plato, this does not mean that Allah (SW) is the ground of moral
goodness; rather, whatever is good is good in an itself. Allah (SW) must be a first cause and a self-moved
mover otherwise there will be an infinite regress to causes of causes. Plato is not committed to monotheism,
but suggests for example that since planetary motion is uniform and circular, and since such motion is the
motion of reason, then a planet must be driven by a rational soul. These souls that drive the planets could be
called gods.(1) Where does Plato get this concept of Allah (SW)? Nothing but mere speculations. The
Qur'an says that Allah (SW) created the universe out of nothing, ex nihilo not as Plato claimed it was
uncreated. Aristotle held that Allah (SW) was the Unmoved Mover. He said that Allah (SW), being perfect,
didnt move, but attracted other things to Himself. For Aristotle the cosmos was itself eternal, because
otherwise the Unmoved Mover would have had to create something and to create something would have
been to acknowledge that something was lacking, but perfection would not lack anything. And Aristotle said,
the Unmoved Mover could only think about itself. Why? Because for perfection to think about anything other
than perfection would be an imperfection. Allah (SW), for Aristotle, was Pure Thought Thinking About Pure
Thought. Islam flatly rejects such notion and the Qur'an is clear that Allah (SW) created the universe with
His own will, His creation never ceases and is running the entire world including man's life and not as
Aristotle claimed He is not concerned about it. For Neo-Platonics, championed by Plotinus, Allah (SW) is
the source of the universe, which is the inevitable overflow of divinity. In that overflow, the universe comes
out of Allah (SW) (ex deo) in a timeless process. It does not come by creation because that would entail
1

Bertrand Russell said in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, The Point of philosophy is to start with something as to seem
not worth stating and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. Nietzsche said philosophers are not honest
enough in their work, although they make a lot of virtuous noise when the problem of truthfulness is touched even remotely. They
all pose as if they had discovered and reached their real opinions through the self-development of a cold, pure, divinely
unconcerned dialectic, while at bottom it is an assumption, a hunch, indeed a kind of inspiration most often a desire of the heart
that has been filtered and made abstract that they defend with reasons they have sought after the fact, and Francis Bacon said
philosophy contributes nothing, but is merely an echo of nature. Imam al-Ghazali dismissed philosophy as nonsense in his
book Tahafett al-Philasaphah, or "The Incoherence of Philosophers," saying because the mind and senses are subject to error,
truth must come by divine grace." Tertullia said "Jerusalem could have nothing to do with Athens."

consciousness and will, which Plotinus claimed would limit Allah (SW). The first emanation out of Allah
(SW) (nous) is the highest, successive emanations being less and less real. Finally, evil is matter with no
form at all, and as such has no positive existence. Allah (SW) is an impersonal It who can be described only
in terms of what he is not. This negative way of describing Allah (SW) (the via negativa) survived well into
the middle ages. Though Allah (SW) is beyond description, Plotinus asserted a number of things, such as that
virtue and truth inhere in Allah (SW). Because for Plotinus Allah (SW) cannot be reached intellectually,
union with the divine is ecstatic and mystical. Where did Plotinus come up with the notion that creation
would entail conscious and will which in turn would limit Allah (SW)? From no where but mind
speculations. The Qur'an is clear that Allah (SW) creates what He wants when He wants how wants and His
Will is not limited nor bound by anything. Influenced by this speculation and not by the Islamic perception,
al-Farabi held that universals are in things and have no existence apart from particulars. Objects are
contingent in that they may or may not exist; they do not have to exist. Therefore there must be something
that has to exist-that exists necessarily to ground the existence of all other contingent things. This being is
Allah (SW). The world evolves by emanation, and matter is a phase of that process. The potential in matter is
made actual, and over time Allah (SW) brings out its form. Thought is one emanation from Allah (SW), and
through it knowledge arises in humans. The actualized human intellect becomes an immortal substance. Ibn
Sina, or Avicenna as he is known in the west was influenced by Platonic thoughts and distinguished between
Allah (SW) as the one necessary being and all other things, which are contingent. The world is an emanation
from Allah (SW) as the outworking of his self-knowledge. As such it is eternal and necessary. Allah (SW)
must be eternal and simple, existing without multiplicity. In their essence, things do not contain anything that
accounts for their existence. They are hierarchically arranged such that the existence of each thing is
accounted for by something ontologically higher. At the top is the one being whose existence is necessary.
From contingent things we come to know universals, whereas Allah (SW) knows universals prior to their
existence in things. As apparent, Ibn Sina was not influenced by the Islamic perception and his views are
vehemently rejected by Islam. The world exists by the will of Allah (SW) alone and not as he and Plautinus
claimed and it is not autonomous but in utter submission to its Creator. Ibn Rushd1 or Averroes as he is
1

The history of Islamic philosophy is complex but in general, it started with the translations, though incomplete, of the work of
Plato and Aristotle. Below is a brief history of so-called Islamic philosophy which is alien to the Islamic concepts and perceptions.
Al-Kindi was the first Muslim to translate the work of Greek philosophies but it has been shown through his writings of Plato and
Aristotle, that he was technically weak and was not fully familiar with their writings. This might be due to the fact that what
arrived at his hand of Hellenistic authors were fragments and the complete work. He improved the Arabic translation of the
Theology of Aristotle but made only a selective and circumspect use of it. He was particularly concerned with the relation
between corporeal things, which are changeable, in constant flux, infinite, and as such unknowable, on the one hand, and the
permanent world of forms (spiritual or secondary substances), which are not subject to flux yet to which man has no access except
through things of the senses. He insisted that a purely human knowledge of all things is possible, through the use of various
scientific devices, learning such things as mathematics and logic, and assimilating the contributions of earlier thinkers. The
existence of a supernatural way to this knowledge in which all these requirements can be dispensed with was acknowledged by
al-Kind: Allah (SW) may choose to impart it to his prophets by cleansing and illuminating their souls and by giving them his aid,
right guidance, and inspiration; and they, in turn, communicate it to ordinary men in an admirably clear, concise, and
comprehensible style. This is the prophets divine knowledge, characterized by a special mode of access and style of exposition.
In principle, however, this very same knowledge is accessible to man without divine aid, even though human knowledge may
lack the completeness and consummate logic of the prophets divine message. Reflection on the two kinds of knowledge the
human knowledge bequeathed by the ancients and the revealed knowledge expressed in the Qur'an led al-Kind to pose a number
of themes that became central to Islamic philosophy: the rationalmetaphorical exegesis of the Qur'an and the hadith; the
identification of Allah (SW) with the first being and the first cause; creation as the giving of being and as a kind of causation