Emerging from darkness: Ghazzalis impact on the western philosophers

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Glory be to God! Although all the beings in the universe from the smallest particles to the sun show that the Creator has choice, each with its own appointed individuality, order, wisdom, and measure, this blind philosophy refused to see it.


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Furthermore, by attributing effects to causes, philosophy has given Nature the power to create. Now I shall attempt to analyze and discuss each of these statements of Ustad about philosophy and philosophers:. Bediuzzaman's statements that the foundations of philosophy are "baseless and rotten. I have at once to say that the basis of philosophy is not the 'I' or ego; its basis is reason, mind, reasoning, thinking, logic, and the criticism based on these.

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Anyway no one could live without these. But there are different ways of using the reason. There are also millions of people who misuse their reasons and have no connection whatsoever with philosophy, and may not even like it. There may be philosophers who have taken the ego as the basis of philosophy. However, Ustad differentiates between two 'I's or egos; he classifies one as "the key to the Divine Names," and the other as "the seed of a terrible tree of Zaqqum.

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In his own words: "From the time of Adam until now, the 'I' has been the seed of a terrible tree of Zaqqum and at the same time, of a luminous tree of Tuba, which shoot out branches around the world of mankind. When its nature is known, the 'I', that strange riddle, that amazing talisman, is disclosed, and it also discloses the talisman of the universe and the treasures of the Necessary World. But the 'I' is also an extremely complicated riddle and a talisman that is difficult to solve. According to the above, the thing called the ego is a trust given to man by God, it is an obscure riddle, the true meaning of which if known will solve the Divine mysteries of the universe.

If this key to the doors of the world is used correctly "the attributes of dominicality and functions of Divinity" will be revealed.

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It has therefore to be "a unit of measurement," but does not have to have actual existence, "Rather, like hypothetical lines in geometry, a unit of measurement may be formed by hypothesis and supposition. It is not necessary for its actual existence to be established by concrete knowledge and proofs. How is it that although a mysterious key given by God as trust with no actual existence, the ego can overstep the bounds?

If noted carefully, Ustad is discussing the imaginary extension opening onto the world of a totally psychological element.

Synonyms and antonyms of ibn-Rushd in the English dictionary of synonyms

How is it possible for this psychological element to be the basis of philosophy? But if a philosopher takes the manifestation of attributes concealed within the ego as a potentiality as the subject of thought and study, then a metaphysical ontology theory of existence , an epistemology, emerges, which is not something very different to what Ustad has himself done. In which case it is possible to practise philosophy by opposing it and criticizing philosophers.

Just as the famous physicist and mystic Pascal said: "To mock philosophy is philosophy," hinting that those who think deeply and logically cannot be saved from philosophy.

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Like Ghazzali, who while attacking philosophers, put forward his ideas like a philosopher since he had studied them for three years, and is now remembered among the great philosophers. His friend Abu Bakr al-Jassas said: "Our master Ghazzali plunged into philosophy and never again emerged. In fact, philosophy does not consist of the ideas of either Plato, or Aristotle, or Kant, or Hegel, nor of the systems of Ibn Sina or Farabi, nor of the criticisms of Ghazzali, or Kant, or Comte.

It is perhaps all of these, and perhaps none of them. If none of these philosophers had lived, there still would have been philosophy. Just as philosophy existed before them. Continuing his analysis of the ego, Ustad thinks: "An endless light without darkness may not be known or perceived. But if a line of real or imaginary darkness is drawn, then it becomes known. Just as a perpetual light may not be perceived without darkness.

Ustad here thinks like the philosophers who explain the coming into existence of things through the clash or combining of opposites. He continues:. Thus, since they have no true end or limit, a hypothetical or imaginary limit has to be drawn. It is the 'I' ego that does this. It imagines in itself a fictitious dominicality, ownership, power, and knowledge: it draws a line.

By doing this it places an imaginary limit on the all-encompassing attributes, saying, 'Up to here, mine, after that, His;' it makes a division. With the tiny units of measurement in itself, it slowly understands the true nature of the attributes. While continuing with this elucidation, he portrays it in a slightly different way, saying:. It is a conscious strand from the thick rope of the human being, a fine thread from the raiment of the essence of humanity, it is an alif from the book of the character of mankind, and it has has two faces. According to these definitions, the 'I' or ego is a mirror of the World of Similitudes, that is, Plato's World of Ideas, an instrument of discovery, a conscious strand that has no meaning in itself, a fine thread, or an alif.

If the ego is a reflector of the Divine beings in the world of Plato's ideas similitudes , how can it be conscious?


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And if it is an instrument, it again surely cannot be conscious. And if it is an alif of no content indicative meaning - m? In which case, how can it be "an tool of discovery"? It is not clear. Especially if it is a hypothetical line, how can it lead man astray? It does not appear to be possible to understand and comment on this analysis of the 'I' of Ustad with a bird's eye view.

On the contrary, such a view takes one to an interpretation which opens the door to the justified questions examples of which we gave above. For this reason, to take this analysis further it will be necessary to establish clearly with free thought what is meant by a hypothetical line, significative meaning, tool or instrument, and conscious. And this is possible only through the use of the reason and an investigative view; and these should not be the cause of fear but should be encouraged. Ustad states that this alif has two faces: "The first of these faces looks towards good and existence.

With this face it is capable of only receiving favour; it accepts what is given, itself it cannot create. This face is not active, it does not have the ability to create. Its other face looks towards evil and goes to non-existence. That face is active, it has the power to act. Immediately following this explanation, Ustad describes a further characteristic of the ego: "Furthermore, the real nature of the 'I' is indicative; it shows the meaning of things other than itself. Its dominicality is imaginary. Its existence is so weak and insubstantial that in itself it cannot bear or support anything at all.


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  • If, as in Ustad's explanation, the ego is turned to good with its face that looks to existence, it should be active. Otherwise, it would give the effulgence it receives to man and would not urge him to good. Indeed, he could not know God. Here, objection could be made with the verse, " Whatever good happens to you is from God, but whatever evil befalls you is from yourself. For this reason, its face that looks to good should also be active. If, in its aspect that looks to evil the ego cannot bear and sustain anything because of its weakness, it should not be active.

    Because it cannot sustain anything, and if it cannot sustain anything, it means it cannot be effective.

    maisonducalvet.com/conocer-personas-villasana-de-mena.php It is clear that this analysis too is not a simple matter that can be grasped at a glance. On the contrary, the analysis conceals within itself an aspect that appears to be a paradox. And this paradox can be removed only by studying the matter together with the question of 'acquisition,' which Ustad deals with in his Treatise On Divine Determining Kader Risalesi. Ustad's method of explanation here is basically a slightly more complex form of Ghazzali's method in Mizan al-'Amal.