Monday, January 25, 2010

Suffah Study Circle 5

Muhammad Saifulakhir

In the fifth meeting of Suffah, we discussed the issue of Christianity failing to Christianize Greek philosophy properly, allowing the process of secularization. Western Christianity is actually ‘patched up’ by different elements; it came under the sway of Roman influences, and gradually embraced Aristotelian philosophy and Worldview. One of the salient features of this worldview is the disenchantment of nature, making objects of nature into a mere “thing” of no sacred or symbolic meaning. This means that the study of nature is only restricted to natural laws and mechanisms.

We also grappled with the issue of a revealed religion. The revealed religion as we have understood it, is a religion that is revealed though His appointed messengers. Hence, other revealed religions according to the Western criterion, with exceptional of Islam, are not really revealed religion. It is because they have undergone certain fundamental changes in the hands of irresponsible men who try to “develop” or “evolve” the religion to suit the times.

Islam is a complete and perfect religion in its adequacy for mankind from the very beginning. It does not need to further “develop” or “evolve”. Islam, is always relevant, adequate, “modern or “new” and is always ahead of time because it transcends history.

Islam has already been made complete and perfect during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who interpreted it in life and whose sacred law he patterned in his teaching, his thought and saying and model actions. His companion, questioned him urgently on every conceivable and actual problem of daily life and right conduct, thought and action and guidance that summarize the needs of mankind. His teachings are answers would suffice for mankind of all ages and generation to come.

Furthermore, when the Islamic world met Greek Philosophy, Islam was able to Islamize those ideas through the intellectual efforts of the Sufis and the Mutakallimun. Through deep research and contemplation, they were able to isolate elements in Greek Philosophy that were not in line with the Islamic Creed and accept those that were seen as beneficial to the faith. This development formed a new science known as Kalam or Speculative Theology.

There is no need to make every value in Islam subjective and open to interpretation to suit the spirit of the times; the religion of Islam has its own absolute vision of God, of the Universe, of Reality, of Man and etc.

In conclusion, Islam is different from Christianity. It does not have to go through the process of development. Islam, being the final revelation is complete and perfect; it does not come under the sway of any foreign influence and is always relevant from the very beginning and for the future.

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