Afzali

Advanced Members
  • Content count

    95
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Afzali

  • Rank
    Member

Previous Fields

  • Religion
    Shia
  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

654 profile views
  1. Don’t worry! Don’t worry; you can remember the above-mentioned truths through studying them objectively making use of standard tools and academic methodologies, without creating a situation of civil war with everyone killing everyone. How many good books have we written about the issues you have raised, shedding light on the dark sides of the matter? How many scholarly articles have written thus far clearing the ambiguities such historical issues usually face? I suppose if one has time, energy and other necessary prerequisites one should no doubt launch an extensive academic research bringing to light many of the things hitherto unknown. I think the advantage of such scholarly activities are much more than the advantage of a superficial sermon or say a hate speech. Sincere advocates of Islam must capitalize on things that will serve Islam not only in the short run but also in the long run. By doing so, many existing concerns will be removed.
  2. Subjectivity is not equal to meaningfulness The point you have mentioned here implies that you are knowingly or unknowingly getting along with positivists. Positivists are of the view that it is only the empirical statements that are meaningful, because they can be verified on empirical grounds. According to them if a statement can be verified or falsified on empirical grounds it is meaningful; otherwise it is meaningless. For example if it is said that it is raining outside, it is a meaningful statement for we can check its accuracy on the basis of experiments, but if it is said that ‘soul exists’, it is according to them meaningless, for there is no way to find out whether or not it is true. The fact of the matter is however that positivists are not so much right. To give a counter example, we can ask the positivists who emphasize on experiment, whether their own theory of meaning is empirical. Can we prove empirically that every meaningful statement must be verifiable on empirical grounds? Additionally, there are certain axioms such as the principle of none-contradiction that cannot be proven on empirical grounds. Thus we cannot restrict meaningfulness to the propositions that are empirical. None empirical statements can also be true, given the fact that sometimes they serve as the bases of empirical facts. Based on such analysis, religious truths even if not empirical can be meaningful. Moreover, there are some religious truths that can be verified on empirical bases as well.
  3. The point you have mentioned here implies that you are knowingly or unknowingly getting along with positivists. Positivists are of the view that it is only the empirical statements that are meaningful, because they can be verified on empirical grounds. According to them if a statement can be verified or falsified on empirical grounds it is meaningful; otherwise it is meaningless. For example if it is said that it is raining outside, it is a meaningful statement for we can check its accuracy on the basis of experiments, but if it is said that ‘soul exists’, it is according to them meaningless, for there is no way to find out whether or not it is true. The fact of the matter is however that positivists are not so much right. To give a counter example, we can ask the positivists who emphasize on experiment, whether their own theory of meaning is empirical. Can we prove empirically that every meaningful statement must be verifiable on empirical grounds? Additionally, there are certain axioms such as the principle of none-contradiction that cannot be proven on empirical grounds. Thus we cannot restrict meaningfulness to the propositions that are empirical. None empirical statements can also be true, given the fact that sometimes they serve as the bases of empirical facts. Based on such analysis, religious truths even if not empirical can be meaningful. Moreover, there are some religious truths that can be verified on empirical bases as well.
  4. The question of the meaning and purpose of life has been an important topic throughout human history. Man has always been in search of a logical answer to the question of philosophy and purpose of life, being the biggest question of his life. To answer the question, philosophers have, however, put forth different interpretations of the meaning and purpose of life. Some of these interpretations are materialist whereas others are illusions. Some philosophers are however nihilists, rejecting thus all things as meaningless. On the other hand, some philosophers believe that it is the belief in God that gives meaning to life, the belief that is practically realized through servitude to God. According to Islamic philosophy if human life is detached from belief in God it will end up in nihilism. Though most materialists do not accept this fact, not showing anything abnormal in their lives, there are however materialists who really realize how life is meaningless when there is no religious impetus behind it. That is the reason the rate of suicide is so high among those who do not consider any value for religious matters.
  5. Being a philosopher of later periods of Islamic philosophy, Agha Ali Hakim Zinoozi studies bodily resurrection from a philosophical perspective but with a theological concern. Taking the Sadrian philosophical principles into account, he gives a new version of bodily resurrection, completely different from that of Mulla Sadra. Based on Mulla Sadra’s opinion bodily resurrection does not lead to the popular metempsychosis for there is no elemental body soul may unite with, preparing thus the ground for metempsychosis. This is while according to Agha Ali, the elemental body develops until it reaches the stage where it joins the soul and thus it does not sound reasonable to assume something like metempsychosis. Despite this, it however seems that Agha Ali does not agree with such an implication, for elemental body develops through undergoing substantial movement reaching finally a stage where soul joins it. This is not called metempsychosis, for metempsychosis occurs only when soul returns to an elemental and this-worldly body. In bodily resurrection happens no such an event.
  6. Importance of this worldly life You might have heard the name of Sayyid Jamal al-Din Husayni, a well-known revivalist and modernist who spent his life traveling from country to country meeting with important Muslim personalities, delivering public speeches and giving awareness to people. When he traveled to Europe he found out how deep was the gap between colonized countries and the colonizers, with the former living from hand to mouth and the latter leading a luxurious life. When he came back he began a campaign to show to Muslims, among other things, the importance of mundane life. He said that Muslims needed to acquire Western science and technology if they wanted to get rid of their sorry situation. I suppose Sayyid was right when he laid his hand on Muslim backwardness. If we do not change our approach towards this worldly life and improve our living conditions our religiosity will be soon or late affected. Religious practices and acts depend on a healthy physique and a healthy physique depends among other things on adequate livelihood. If you do not have enough to live a dignified life you will not be able to have a healthy physique and when you do not have a healthy physique you will not be able to do your religious duties. Thus if you are concerned about your religious duties you must be concerned about your mundane life. That is the reason why Sufis being indifferent towards mundane life lived a parasitical life - a life that is not worth living.
  7. Nurturing Children The question of the education or nurturing of our children is a separate issue different from the issue of preaching. Once we reach a consensus in regard with the issue of preaching or dealing with other communities we can easily deal with the question of raising and nurturing our children. When we talk of red lines we talk of other communities. When dealing with other communities we do not have any choice other than paying respect to each other's red lines. The consideration of red lines is not only favorable but also necessary, for without the realization of this principle we will not be able to survive not to speak of attaining improvement or development. If we always pull the trigger of civil war we should make sure that it will end up in the destruction of all. That is why it is a must to respect others and have an inclusivist approach. Thus the question of inter-faith dialogue is an urgent need. As to the question of raising children we can be a little bit flexible here. Others are also flexible. You can teach your children the values you desire provided the values you teach them do not negatively affect their social lives. Thus we need to draw a line of difference between what is called a public life and what is deemed as private one. By doing so, we solve the problem that is so bothering.
  8. Interaction between Science and Philosophy It is true that philosophy and science are different but this does not mean that there is no relation between the two. As a matter of fact, there is a close relation between science and philosophy. Philosophy helps science through proving its axioms and science helps philosophy through providing it with new problems. To take any step forward, science depends on the principle of causality, but this principle is dealt with in philosophy. Philosophy shows that nothing occurs accidentally in this world; whatever occurs, occurs within the framework of the law of causality. So philosophy is very helpful to science. As to science, it is also helpful to philosophy. Science lays emphasis as an example on brain saying that brain is responsible for anything we do. This creates a question for philosophy. The philosophy that allocates a special space for soul, must come forth and show its role in human life, a role that must be different from that of the brain. The interaction between the two leads to progress. The scientific laws called 'mujarrabat' is of great help for philosophical argumentation. That is why we are of the view that there is no enmity between science and philosophy; instead there is interaction between the two.
  9. Science and Philosophy Science and philosophy are not the same thing. In distant past, natural science was considered as part of philosophy, but as human beings evolved and science advanced, science was separated from philosophy. Today science and philosophy are two different disciplines dealing with different sets of problems and using different methodologies. Science is mainly based on observation and experiments whereas philosophy relies on arguments and conceptual analysis. They are different from each other but they are not the enemy of each other. If we want to reduce science to philosophy or vice versa, we will definitely regress. Since we do not intend to go back to the Stone Age we must not try to reduce them to each other. In the past, they were dealing with them as the same subject, because at that time they were new-born, having no definite nature or clear definition, but today due the advancements in each field, they are no longer reducible to each other.
  10. Darwin's theory of evolution is not proven yet! Science is not in conflict with religion, but Darwin's theory of evolution is not a scientific proven theory. It is a hypothesis. It still needs to be proven. In addition, it has to be pinpointed that even if it is supposedly proven it will not be in contradiction with religious texts, because there is not consensus among the interpreters in regard with the origin of human creation. If all scholars were of the view that man is directly created from mud then there would be a possibility for conflict between the two. But since the scholars are not unanimous in this regard and since there are varied interpretations therefore we cannot claim that the religious truth is clear here and this religious truth being very clear is not harmony with evolution that is likewise clear. But since we face ambiguity on both sides we cannot assuredly say that there is a conflict. What is a matter of certainty is that a crystal clear truth of religion is not in conflict with a crystal clear truth of science.
  11. The Splitting of the Moon The splitting of the moon (Arabic: انشقاق القمر‎‎) was a miracle attributed to Prophet Muhammad. It is derived from the Quranic verses 54:1-2, and mentioned by Muslim traditions such as the Asbab al-nuzul (context of revelation). Most Muslim commentators interpret the event as a literal split in the moon, while some others identify it as an event that will happen on judgement day. Additionally, let's suppose it has happened in the literal sense of the term, who says it breaks natural laws? If you mean, by natural law, the law of causality, the law of causality says that every effect has a cause, but as to the nature of cause it is silent. This law cannot tell us that the cause needs to be physical. If the law does not have such a requirement then we can say that it is not in contradiction with the splitting of the moon in case it literally happened.
  12. No Real Conflict between Religion and Science There is no real conflict between religion and science on the one hand and religion and reason on the other. The reason is clear; the author of nature is the same as the author of revelation. If the law of nature contradicts the law of revelation it will imply that one and the same thing contradicts its own self. We cannot accept contradictory statement from a normal politician let alone God who is absolutely wise, knowledgeable and powerful. When a normal person cannot contradict himself how can God contradict Himself? But there are however some cases where it is alleged that natural laws are not in harmony with divine laws. For example, it is claimed that Darwin's theory of evolution is not in line with divine words. In response to such controversial cases, it has to be pointed out that as we alluded the indisputable natural laws are not in conflict with indisputable divine laws. But if you find controversial natural and divine laws conflicting with each other it will not harm our principle of non-contradiction, for we said that the indisputables are not in conflict but as far as the disputables are concerned they might be seemingly in conflict but if they are given a second though they will also get along with each other.
  13. Adherence to Reason is Equal to Adherence to Revelation You make a lot of investigation before you find a good physician, but once you find the physician you are looking for you will, if wise enough, submit yourself to your physician listening to his advice and putting into practice his words one by one. If you happen to disobey your physician after making so much investigation you should not doubt that your behavior is not in accordant with what is called as normal. Thus wisdom requires us in such situations to be submissive not showing the slightest sign of disobedience. Same is the case with theism. Once you completed your investigations and came up with the conclusion that a particular religion or a set of values is right, then wisdom and reason require you to pay heed to the requirements of your findings. When your reason tells after completing its search that x is a divine prophet who must be obeyed, then you need to obey him. This is the direct implication of the dictate of your reason. If you do not obey him you reject the dictate of your reason. Reason has guided us putting our hands in the hand of Islam. Now it is our duty to follow Islamic directions and rules no matter whatever they are. If you violate Islamic laws knowing that they are Islamic laws founded on concrete basis, we must be certain that we are violating the laws and directives of our reason. Strict adherence to the commandment of reason is tantamount here to strict adherence to religious rulings.
  14. Reason as a Helpful Tool! This verse shows that reason is the key to almost everything. Without relying on the power of reason you can hardly take any step forward. The issue of the relationship between wisdom and reason might be a matter of controversy, with some claiming they are the same and others saying they are different from each other. Whether they are different from or the same with each other, the fact of the matter is that even understanding of and appreciating the value of wisdom depends on the capacity of reason and understanding. If one is deprived of this God-given gift, one will not be able to realize the value of anything including wisdom. He who is in possession of reason can understand what wisdom is and what its requirements are. That is the reason why the Holy Quran time and again refers us to our reason, using different techniques to awaken our reason. Once your reason is awakened it will serve you as a torch showing you the right directions. If one moves without being helped by the light of reason one will soon fall in the pitfalls he does not see due to the prevailing of darkness. Passion is an arch enemy of reason. If passion prevails reason will retreat. One should try to bring his reason to power, making one's passion a subservient to it. It may not be done easily, but if it is done with divine assistance it will be of great help to the person who witnesses this development in oneself.
  15. You appreciate Quranic innovation in the light reason rays! When you study the Quranic verses reflectively and deeply you come across numerous bewildering facts. The Holy Quran is not a scientific book. Yet its opinion regarding the origin of life, the creation of Adam, the fact that all living things are masculine and feminine etc. are extremely surprising for those who impartially study this divine book. When reason studies all this plus with the situation in which the Quran was revealed, it makes sure that Quran is not the product of human mind; instead it is a divine book revealing the truths to a people who were far behind understanding such facts, let alone presenting such theories. You can make such good conclusions only by dint of your reason. If you dismantle reason not allowing it to interfere with the job of understanding religion or looking at it as a potential enemy you will not have any achievement in this regard. So reason has always to be there for without it nothing will function properly.