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TASAWWUR ISLAMIModerator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ghazali Basri17th & 19 March 2011THE CONCEPT:Tasawwur (Ar.) World-view (Eng.) Weltanschauung (German)
WHAT CONSTITUTES TASAWWUR ISLAMI?Perceptions on ISLAM in its totality:The notion of the religion (al-din al-Islam) as compared with (cf) other religions.The notion of the Creator (Khaliq)The notion of the created (makhluq): the entire universe: planets, human beings, animal and vegetal kingdom.
ISLAM AS AL-DINi-God-given/sent religion or revealed religion (cf: other revealed and non-revealed religions).ii- The essence of Islam is Tawhid: Oneness of God has been taught to human kind since prophet Adam alaihissalam.iii- Revelation (wahy) in the form of knowledge (mushaf/books) sent down to prophets (God-chosen amongst men).
ISLAM AS AL-DIN- ContIslam acknowledges the previous/past sacred books such as Zabur, Taurat, Injil.Al-Quran is the final-encompassing the teachings of the previous books. Al-Quran is not only holy but the word of God (Allah).The revelation of the Quran implies the role of the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him)
ISLAM AS AL-DIN -Cont.The Holy Quran: i) sent-down in Arabic language; verbatim in nature , covering all aspects of human endeavors both in theories and practices; ii) prescribing God-man/nature relationship and man-man/nature relationship; and iii) the preserving of the balance worldly needs and the hereafter needs.
ISLAM AS AL-DIN Cont.Islam in essence is both transcendent and rationalistic.i-Transcendent refers to the nature of God and God-given values distinct from all forms of immanentism.ii- Rationalistic: even in matters of faith (credo), Islam rejects blind submission. Thus what constitutes iman (faith) comprises of 3: belief in ones soul, utters by ones tongue (mind) and manifests in action. The quranic verse: Chp 2 verse 256 explains.iii- Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life (nizam al-hayat).
God (Allah)God is the Creator, The Provider and Sustainer.His Oneness implies that all ethical values derived from Him and to Him all creatures submit willlingly (tawan eg. Human beings/jinn) or unwillingly (karhan eg. The planets & non human).His Omnipresence (existence) Omnipotence (qudrah) and Omniscience (iradah) encompasses the hidden and the tangible.
God (Allah). Cont.How would Muslims understand their God?i-do reflect upon Allahs creation, but do not reflect upon Allahs essence (zatillah)- the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).ii- God is transcendent, but He is near to us as close as our jugular vein (QS50:16).iii- through His signs (ayat): two types of ayat; one is that the Quran (that we read) and second is the universe (that we see). Both portend to His existence.
God (Allah)- ContThe concept of Tawhid rejects pantheistic understanding of deity as in Hinduism, anthropormorphic deity as in Judaism and incarnational theology as in Christinity.His justice & mercy is universal encompassing all His creations couched in the concept rahman and rahim.His power/Command to create is unconditioned as explained: He says : (Kun fayakun -Be! And it is!) QS36:82).
KNOWLEDGE (AL-ILM)Knowledge is the basis of understanding Islam. Knowledge comes first in the whole creation as explained in QS55:1-3 (al-Rhman, allama al-Quran, khalaqa al-insan).The first word/verse sent down to human kind is about knowledge (QS96:1-5).Al-Quran is the source of all knowledge. Thus all knowledge belongs to God.We do not creat knowledge but we discover it.
ISLAMIC EPISTEM0LOGY (Theory of Knowledge)Islamic epistemology provides principles in the following aspects:i- definition of knowledge (ilm) andtypes of knowledge, ii- hierarchy of knowledge, iii- acquisition of knowledge and, application of knowledge.
Islamic Epistemology- Conti- Definition: the arrival of meaning to ones soul; types of knowledge: a) given or revealed, b) acquired or sought.Given or revealed such as the holy Quran and the Hadith. It is also called a priori knowledge.Acquired knowledge that are sought, learned, discovered through human faculties- thus, it is empirical in nature.
- Islamic Epistemology- ContHierarchy of Knowledge : positioning types of knowledge according to its degree of certainty.at 100% certainty: al-Quran & al-Hadith < 100%: ilm kasyaf/laduni
Heirarchy cont.In no way that the lower can nullify the facts/data of the 100% certainty; eg acquired knowledge to nullify the revealed (wahy).In all situation, all types of knowledge (acquired) complement, enrich the revealed knowledge. Thus we have the concept of integrated knowledge (Tauhidic). Tauhidic rejects the concept of dichotomy and dualism.
Acquisition & Application of Knowledge:Fard ain precedes fard kifayah.Aspects of fard ain: on faith, ibadah, akhlaq.Aspects of fard kifayah: on social, political and economic matters.Application of knowledge: incumbent (wajib) upon the learned/knowledgble to teach the ignorant. Knowledge ought to bring benefit to the well-being of this worldly life and the life hereafter.
Universe: the planets & earthThe whole universe (to include the earth we live in) belongs to God and to Him they worship (QS21:19). Thus nature (the universe) willingly submit to Gods pattern (sunnatullah).The earth that we live in is part of the universe. It is endowed with sacred values-to live in and to benefit from is religious obligation.
The Earth-cont.All things/nature (living and non-living) on or in this earth are sacred, therefore disenchantment of them is contrary to Islamic values.Indiscriminate destruction of nature will result calamities to human kind (QS30:31).This earthly/worldly life is a necessity for the hereafter life. Therefore ascetic life is rejected.
The earthly life- cont.This earth is a farm (mazraa) for mankind to sow plants to be harvested in the hereafter.What is earthly/worldly is not disconnected with the heavenly and the life hereafter, rather they are one: the earthly: near/now as opposed to the later/ultimate ie the hereafter.Muslims always implore Allah to grant them well-being in this world and well-being in hereafter.
MANOf all Gods creations, man is the best (with perfected nature, QS95:4). Free from any form of bondage as in Christianity or in Hinduism.Man is entrusted in undertaking the trust of of khalifah (QS2:30), and to steer this world (QS33:72) while others are not willing.As khalifah, man has enormous potentials in shaping the world.
Man- cont.Only by realizing the status of abd will ensure the safety of mans stewardship on this earth.Moral freedom and responsibility: i) to believe or to disbelieve does so of his own accord (QS18:29), ii) God does not require (impose) of any person except that he is capable (QS23:62), iii) God does not change of any person/group until they change/transform their own selves.
Man-cont.Accountibility:i- do not ask any one to bear the burden of another (QS17:15), ii- what ever man has earned he will certainly be given (QS10:44, 53:40) iii) God wronged them not, but they wronged themselves (QS3:117).Ethical striving: i- He may test you which of you is best in deed (QS67:2).
Man-cont.Man is vulnerable to risks and tribulation but will be salvaged if : i) By al-asr, verily man is in loss except those who have attained faith and do righteous deeds.. (QS103:1-3); ii) We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-Sabirun (QS2:155).
Characteristics (khasais) of Tasawwur IslamiAltogether nine (not exhaustive) as opined by Sayyid Qutb:i-al-ijabiyyah (world-affirmative), ii- al-ijtimaiy (societistic), iii- al-wasatiyyah (golden mean), iv- al-tawazun (balanced), v- al-thabat (absolute, permenance), vi- al-taghayyur (impermenance, changes), vii-al-rabbaniyyah (God fearing, peity) , viii- al-tawhid (integration) , ix-al-shumul (comprehensive).
Characteristics- cont.Al-ijabiyyah: world affirmative refers to the notion of usefulness, meaningfullness of this world -worldly life. God creates this world not in vain (batila QS3:191) but for good purpose. All acts/deeds as long as that are not in contradiction with sharia, will be considered amal soleh/righteous deeds. It implies inclusivity and positive attitude towards life.
Characteristics-cont.Al-ijtimaiyy (societistic/ummatic) gives an idea that every human is a constituent of the universal ummah-procreating from the sama fore-father/mother (Adam and Eve), regardless religious profession, thus Islam respects the integrity of a human being (QS17:70).AS the muslim ummah (substructure) fits into the universal ummah (superstructure): overlaps and complementary.
Characteristics- cont.Al-wasatiyyah: the median- between the two extremes/cotinuum. Ummatan wasata (QS2:143) rendered as just, impartiality. Wasatiyyah provides an upright way/approach to solving human problems based on the principles of maqasid al-shariah. It provides an alternative to all systems that are not beneficial.
Characteristics- cont.Al-Tawazun: gives the meaning of a balanced situation, refers to harmonising the needs of two entities; eg. The physical need and spiritual need ought to be balanced; in preserving the in-born (fitrah) qualities of man with the pattern of Allah (sunnatullah), thus also the keeping the balance between the animal, vegetal, cosmological and the humans (QS55:7-9).
Characteristics - contAl-Thabat: permenance or absolute. It refers to sharia laws (the hadd), eg. What is haram/forbidden, it remains so until yaumul-qiyamah. This provides credibility (thiqah) to Islam in preserving its pristine cre