From Where Shall We Learn Our Religion?

Imam-i Rabbani 'rahmatullahi aleyh' was specialized in the scientific knowledge of his time, too. In the two hundred and sixty-sixth letter of the first volume of his book Maktubat, he writes, "My son Muhammad Ma'thum has recently completed reading the book Sharh-i Mawaqif. During his lessons, he has well understood the errors and the defects of the Greek philosophers. He has learned many facts. " This is a scientific book and has been taught until recently in the high (university) division of Islamic madrasas.

Mawaqif was written by Qadi 'Adud and this, (that is, the book mentioned above by Imam-i-Rabbani), is the revision of it by Sayyed Sharif Ali Jurjani [740-816 A. H. (1336-1413 A. D. )]. A great Arabic work of about a thousand pages, it explains all the scientific knowledge of that time. The book is divided into six parts, each of which contains different sections. In the second paragraph of the third chapter of the first section of the fourth part, it proves that the earth is spherical, and in the sixth paragraph, it proves that it rotates from west to east. It also gives valuable information about atoms, various states of matter, forces and psychological events.

Europeans have derived most of their scientific knowledge and its basis from Islamic books. While Europeans assumed that the earth was flat like a tray surrounded by a wall, Muslims had known that the earth was spherical and was rotating. This fact is written in detail in the books Sharh-i Mawaqif and Ma'rifatnama. They measured the length of the meridian in the open plain of Sinjar between Musul and Diyar-i Bekr, finding the result as it is found today.

Nur-ud-din Batruji, who passed away in 581 [1185 A. D. ], was a professor of astronomy at the Islamic University of Andalusia. He wrote today's astronomy in his book Alhayat. When Galileo, Copernicus and Newton said that the earth rotated after learning this fact from Islamic books, they were deemed guilty for their words. Galileo was judged and imprisoned by priests. Until the Tanzimat [reforms of Abdulmajid in 1839], scientific lessons had been taught in madrasas. Enlightened men of religion had been educated. They had been leading the world. When scientific lessons were abrogated, explorations and inventions stopped. The West began to gain on the East.

Today, we will learn our religion from the books of those great savants. Religious knowledge can be learned from the Ahl-i Sunnat [1] savants or from their books. It cannot be acquired through kashf [2] or inspiration. He who reads their books will both learn knowledge, and his heart will be purified.

[1] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[2] kashf: revelation.