Breadcrumbs

Is It Permissible To Philosophize In Islam? (Part 2)


During the era of Harun Rashid, the fifth Abbasid Khalifa, an institution called "Darulhikma" was founded in Baghdad. This institution was a large translation centre. Not only in Baghdad, but also in Damascus, Harram, and Antiochia (Antakya) were such centers of science founded. In these offices the works written in Greek and Latin were translated as well as the books written in the Indian and Persian languages. In fact, the real Renaissance (returning to ancient valuable works) started first in the city of Baghdad. For the first time, the works of Plato, Porphyrios, Aristotle were translated into the Arabic language. These works were examined carefully by Islamic scholars (rahimahumullahu ta'ala). They concluded that some of the opinions of the Greek and Latin philosophers were correct, but most of them were defective. They were contrary to "Muhkam ayats [1], hadiths [2], logic and wisdom." It was discovered that they were ignorant of most scientific and religious facts, and that they made the most mistakes in the areas which could not be understood through wisdom. Real Islamic scholars, for example Imam-i Ghazali and Imam-i Rabbani (rahimahumullahu ta'ala) saw that these philosophers did not believe in the most important fundamentals related to faith; consequently, Muslim scholars reported in detail the wrong beliefs that they held and which caused them to be disbelievers. There is detailed information on this matter in a book called Almunkizu Aniddalal written by Imam-i Ghazali. While Islamic scholars were explaining the "mutashabih" ayats (verses) and hadiths, they followed (depended) only on ijtihads given by the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and his Sahaba (companions). They rejected the ancient philosophers' opinions that were contrary to Islam; thereby they protected Islam from being corrupted as Christianity had been. But, ignorant religious men gave themselves up to such philosophers thinking that their every word was true. Thus, a corrupt creed was formed in Islam called "Mu'tazila." Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) revealed that seventy-two corrupt creeds would appear in Islam. Some philosophers, inspired by Greek, Indian, Persian and Latin philosophies, such as Ibni Sina, Farabi, Ibni Tufayl, Ibni Rushd, and Ibni Bace appeared. They deviated in some matters from the true way of the Qur'an al-karim. Ibni Khaldun divided Islamic knowledge into two parts, namely, "Ulum-i Nakliyya" [Tafsir, qiraat, hadith, Fiqh, Faraiz, Kalam, Tasavvuf] and Ulum-i akliyya [Logic, Physics, Nature, Chemistry, Maths, Geometry, Measurement, Munazara, Astronomy]. The first group is called "Religious Knowledge." A few of the branches in the second group, which can be understood by experimentation, are called "Scientific knowledge."

[1] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.
[2] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).