Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله


Advanced Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by InfiniteAscension

  1. السلام عليكم According to the Aristotelian tradition, the human soul is the principle of life for the human body, without which it would be just a material entity that is lifeless, like a rock. The fact that this material entity possesses certain faculties and capacities, namely that of self-nourishment, locomotion and intellection means that it possesses something beyond just the material makeup. Aristotle actually designated a vegetative soul for all plants, which grants it the ability for self-nourishment and growth, an animal soul for animals which alongside self-nourishment and growth, grants them the ability to have sensory perception and locomotion. These souls are what grant life to plants and animals. The soul is not to be understand here as some sort of ghostly creature or like a cartesian entity that exists in a material entity, but rather these souls are the formal parts of the material entity. In a human however, the soul is also capable of one more capacity, and that is the capacity to be rational and to think etc. This grants it a unique distinction compared to the former aforementioned souls in that the ability to think is not something material, because the act of thinking cannot be material. This means that unlike the former souls, the human soul cannot be accounted for in material terms, for there is a faculty that acts wholly immaterially. This also means that the human soul can survive the death of the material body. This is a rough summary to the understanding of the soul Islamic Philosophers have, following on from the Aristotelian tradition. The second question that is raised is the relationship between the soul and the body. The typical answer is that it is an extremely close relationship, not like a dualism whereby we cannot understand why a soul and a body would randomly join each other, but rather that the soul and the body form one substance together. Because of that reason, the body has a direct impact on the soul, and even provides it the sensory experiences which are later abstracted and used in a rational process. The soul however, can survive the death of the body, because it is not strictly material as mentioned before. There are of course discussions on these details, but this is a rough outline of the philosophical approach towards the soul in Islamic philosophy.
  2. 'You should learn every-thing, as well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth, as the opinions of mortals, which comprise no genuine conviction..' Fragments of Parmenides
  3. المتنبي وهو يرثي صاحبه إِنّي لَأَعلَمُ وَاللَبيبُ خَبيرُ" "أَنَّ الحَياةَ وَإِن حَرَصتَ غُرورُ وَرَأَيتُ كُلًّا ما يُعَلِّلُ نَفسَهُ" "بِتَعِلَّةٍ وَإِلى الفَناءِ يَصيرُ أَمُجاوِرَ الديماسِ رَهنَ قَرارَةٍ" "فيها الضِياءُ بِوَجهِهِ وَالنورُ ما كُنتُ أَحسَبُ قَبلَ دَفنِكَ في الثَرى" "أَنَّ الكَواكِبَ في التُرابِ تَغورُ ما كُنتُ آمُلُ قَبلَ نَعشِكَ أَن أَرى" "رَضوى عَلى أَيدي الرِجالِ تَسيرُ خَرَجوا بِهِ وَلِكُلِّ باكٍ خَلفَهُ" "صَعَقاتُ موسى يَومَ دُكَّ الطورُ وَالشَمسُ في كَبِدِ السَماءِ مَريضَةٌ" "وَالأَرضُ واجِفَةٌ تَكادُ تَمورُ وَحَفيفُ أَجنِحَةِ المَلائِكِ حَولَهُ" "وَعُيونُ أَهلِ اللاذِقِيَّةِ صورُ حَتّى أَتَوا جَدَثًا كَأَنَّ ضَريحَهُ" "في قَلبِ كُلِّ مُوَحِّدٍ مَحفورُ بِمُزَوَّدٍ كَفَنَ البِلى مِن مُلكِهِ" "مُغفٍ وَإِثمِدُ عَينِهِ الكافورُ فيهِ الفَصاحَةُ وَالسَماحَةُ وَالتُقى" "وَالبَأسُ أَجمَعُ وَالحِجى وَالخَيرُ كَفَلَ الثَناءُ لَهُ بِرَدِّ حَياتِهِ" "لَمّا انطَوى فَكَأَنَّهُ مَنشورُ وَكَأَنَّما عيسى ابنُ مَريَمَ ذِكرُهُ" "وَكَأَنَّ عازَرَ شَخصُهُ المَقبورُ
  4. Nail on head.. Feser articulates what many of us struggle to articulate. He remains one of my favourite modern day thinkers for his ability to elucidate and defend traditional ideas with expert clarity and precision.
  5. (salam) To suggest that the dispute between Lady Fatimah and Abu Bakr was one where both sides were defending their version of the truth, with both being correct acccording to their view is highly inaccurate. We cannot approach history with preconceived beliefs and thus interpret any historical incidence in light of such beliefs. So we cannot assume that they must be both be true - given a preconceived notion that both are highly righteous characters - and therefore any dispute between them must be well-intentioned. This is quite a dogmatic position and does not really fit into a highly complex historical picture after the Prophet, which saw the disputes arise at an alarming rate which suggests desires, whims, hypocrisy and other spiritual deficiencies all played a role in such conflicts, as is natural in human history. We have several issues with the reasoning that Abu Bakr provided regarding the taking of the land of Fadak from Lady Fatimah. The first issue: This narration which he claims to have heard from the Prophet (s) is only narrated by him. How can it be possible that something quite important and significant such as this can only be heard by one companion and no body else. This is notwithstanding the fact that the Quran and other narrations from the sunnah indicate the exact opposite of what Abu Bakr had claimed to have heard. In light of this, such reasoning does seem quite hollow with deeper reasons for refusing to return the land a more likely option. The second issue: How is it possible that Lady Fatimah and Imam Ali were not aware of this?! Surely as they are some of the closest people to the Prophet, and the land is directly related to them, the issue of ownership after this would have been clarified to them. Is it possible they were ignorant of such an important ruling!? Or is it possible they were aware of such a ruling and decided to be greedy and still seek ownership of what rightfully belonged to muslims?! The third issue: If it was the case that both were well-intentioned, this does not explain the reason why Lady Fatimah refuses to speak to them until she passes away. Where are the traits of forgiveness and mercy to those who do wrong, never mind those who intend to do good but may be mistaken!? The fourth issue: Why is it, that as per authentic narrations, the first two caliphs intended to attack the house of Lady Fatimah, if the inhabitants did not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr and give him ba'yah. These are all indicators that the dispute over Fadak was symbolic of a far greater dispute, one that was to split to the muslim ummah for centuries to come. It was not merely over a piece of land, but over the legitimacy of he who claimed successor-ship of the Prophet. How is it possible that Lady Fatimah disputes with the legitimate successor of the Prophet (s) when he has provided his ruling over such an issue?! Is it not the trait of true believer to submit to such truth!? The fifth issue: It is obvious to anyone who has read the story of Fadak throughout the Islamic Period that later Caliphs, in the Ummayad dynasty and Abbasid Dynasty endeavoured to return the land of Fadak to descendants of Lady Fatimah, only for others to later retake it. This clearly shows that the ruling powers did not view this land as belonging to the muslims, but rather a private ownership that belonged to the holy family and should have been never been taken from them. We cannot interpret history so naively just to to save people we hold dearly. Rather we must look at a holistic picture of events and grant them the most logical and reasonable explanations in light of a number of indicators, far from our emotion and desires. And God knows best.
  6. A few pictures taken from a recent trip to Barcelona. Inside the Sagrada Familia, a famous church built by Antoni Gaudi. It is incredibly beautiful and one feels completely at peace there.
  7. Finished reading this a week ago: It is not often that I read novels anymore, and my infrequent foray in to the fictional world always leaves me questioning my limited fictional readings. In truth, a fictional piece can uncover many facets about reality like a philosophical or scientific work, and sometimes in even more subtler and accurate ways, for the author is not bound by the rigidity of terms and arguments, and can draw on the depths of human experience, from the beginning of civilization till today. I decided to read this book on a mere fancy, unaware of what the book was about, nor whom the author really was and his background. All I had known was that the book was considered an all time great and was heavily praised by many people. Orwell's 1984 is a startling insight into the dynamics, thought process and structure of a society whereby an elite power is in complete control. It may be argued quite strongly, that we today witness many of the elements described in the book, to varying degrees, and that for any power to reside permanently, it must exert the different ways described in the book. The book describes a man - Winston Smith - who lives in a society controlled by a few powerful elite who dictate absolutely everything that goes on: history is radically rewritten to suit their agenda, the food is rationed, the economy is manipulated and most incredibly the language is distorted and reduced so that the number of concepts that one can think of is limited. Winston Smith's job is to meticulously re write any pieces produced in the past which do not conform to the party's goals. History, thus has no objective reality but fluctuates according to interests. Worse still, party members are taught to exercise 'doublethink' where they consciously forget the real event and then forget the very act of forgetting! This is an incredible tactic employed by powers, whereby the lie is told so convincingly such that even those who are aware of it begin to forget its falsity. Perhaps the most fascinating element of this incredible work is the author's depiction of the 'proles' - i.e the working class - in that they are the protagonist's main hope but in reality they are too powerless to revolt. The party employs a wide variety of the methods to keep them perpetually distracted; they distribute music and pornographic material amongst other content to keep the lowest class in a lull where they are not even remotely aware of the injustices committed against them. This seemed like a chilling prophecy by Orwell, given how large these particular industries are in today's world and the power they exert. This book had many other gems like the role of war in maintaining the elite's power, the distribution of classes and wealth, the reason behind scarce resources, the power of the mind etc. To delve into these would render this review far too long than it already is. This book, being both entertaining and astute is a worthy read. I have very little idea yet what inspired such a work and the author's political and social background, but the power of this novel resonated within me and I feel compelled to read it again sometime in the future. I am also very excited to read his other works when possible.
  8. (salam) The question itself is fallacious. It is akin to asking how does existence exist or why is whiteness white. Fallacious though it may be, it still requires answering. Philosophers - contrary to some false conceptions - do NOT state that all things must have a cause. If we accept that premise, we must also accept that God has a cause, for we cannot grant exceptions to a universal. Rather, they say all contingent things must have a cause. By contingent, I mean things for which existence is not necessary, i.e there is nothing by virtue of their essence that dictates they must exist, much like you and me. And it is impossible for the real instrumental cause of this contingent to also be contingent (for a plurality of reasons that I won't mention here) and as such the only cause of their existence must be NECESSARY. A necessary being is one whom their very being is sufficient for them to exist, without requiring an external cause. They conclude that this necessary being is God. As such, God does not require anything outside of Himself to exist, His very essence means that He exists and cannot be non-existence. God thus, does not require a creator for He is not a contingent, and all contingent things require creation.
  9. (Salam) When the term dha'if is used, it does not mean false content (generally speaking), nor does it even necessarily mean that there is a liar in the chain. Secondly, it does not also mean that the hadith was definitely not narrated. It means that the wathaqa of narrators in the the khabar cannot be determined or that they are weakened. Based on this, the common opinion of the ulama' is that the hadith loses its hujjiya - i.e we are not compelled to believe or act upon it nor will be punished for not doing so and we will have a legitimate reason with God. This does not necessarily entail that the content is untrue - the very least it means we cannot ascertain that the infallible actually said this, so we do not have to act upon it. Your misunderstanding rests upon the false premise that weakness necessarily means a lie or false content. One needs to be very careful with technical terms as they are the key to every science and without which one does not truly understand the topics they delve in. This does not mean we have to throw the dha'if hadith away. There may be many instances where we can act upon it based on the determined principles in diraya and usool al fiqh, like amal al ashaab (the early ulama acting upon the narration) or other principles that need to be discussed elsewhere. But, there very basic principle is that a dha'if khabar - if we are looking at sanad alone here - is not hujja for us. We may have extraneous reasons to act upon it, but the foundation principle is that we are not compelled to do so. As for your point about a sahih hadith not necessarily being true, then this is correct. But once again, the term sahih here tells us that the chain of narrators have been authenticated, but this does not mean we cannot reject the khabar if it were obviously contradictory to the quran, other confirmed sunnah or for other reasons. You seem slightly shocked, but these are things discussed by the ulama' in books concerning the science of hadith.
  10. (salam) You should be more calm in your discussions, particularly when you do not have the requisite knowledge of the specified topic. In Ilm al-Diraya, a hadith that is mursal (disconnected) is considered to be dha'if because there is no way to know the authenticity of the missing persons. When it is said it is dha'if, it does not mean that the hadith was definitely not said by the the infallible; rather that we have no way of ascertaining its authenticity and therefore it is NOT hujja. Pick up any diraya book from the Shia or the Sunnis and look under the classifications for dha'if and you will see this mentioned. It is neither irrational nor is it jumping to quick conclusions.
  11. (wasalam) Whilst it is undoubtedly vital not to neglect shi'ah sources, it is also very worthwhile to have your beliefs corroborated by sources in other schools of thought. The certainty one achieves in a particular topic when it has been mentioned in sources of different schools of thought is greater and this of course has many reasons that are discussed in usul al fiqh and ilm al diraya and in particular the works of al shaheed al sadr. As regards to the question whether the belief in the Imams results in some form of circular logic; namely we believe the in the Imams as a result of the hadiths, and we believe in those hadiths because of the Imams, then this only stands if indeed we believe in the hadiths that present the idea of 12 Imams from the Imams themselves. This, in my limited understanding, does not occur nor have scholars (in my limited readings) use such reasoning to prove the shi'ite creed on imamate and succession. It is only once we ascertain in some way that Imamate has been declared by the Prophet (s) can we then present the sayings of the Imams as proof for us. As for the issue of shias having mutawaatir ahadith on the occasion of Ghadeer, we can say two things: Firstly, the condition of the occurrence of tawatur does not necessitate it being present in a shi'i books specifically, or sunni books specifically. The standard definition for tawatur (ignoring the detailed discussions in this regard) is that a hadith is considered mutawaatir if it is narrated by a number such that it is impossible that they have all colluded on a lie and by virtue of such a condition, it grants us certainty that the hadith is true. This number is not stagnant; i.e in one hadith it may require a large number before we are sure there is no collusion on a lie, whilst in another hadith we may only require a smaller number. So if any narration is present regarding ghadeer in a shi'i book, it is added henceforth to the narrations narrated in sunni books, to strengthen the tawatur that has occurred. As such, narrations in this regard are not looked at in isolation as to whether it is a sunni narrating it or a shi'i narrating it. Rather the unity of the subject means that all narrations are gathered and we try to observe whether tawatur has been reached or not. Secondly, the issue of ghadeer khum has been narrated about in shia'h books too but as mentioned before, the importance is to the truth of a narration or in this case - its ability to help us ascertain tawatur - and not necessarily its presence in a particular school of thought's books. I do think StrugglingforLight raises a very important point. The Quran must give the overall view of such important beliefs and then it is for the Prophet (s) to show the manifestations of particular verses. The most famous example of such a case comes in ayat al-tathir, whereby the Prophet (s) gathers them under his cloak and says "These are my ahlul-bayt" which is a clear designation as to whom that part of the verse intends. This was also an extremely important act as it has been argued that the context of the verses clearly intend the wives of the Prophet (s) and from the actions of the Prophet we can know that they were clearly not intended.
  12. (salam) This book is extremely overpriced and I think only really useful if the Arabic is used alongside the text and there is a teacher for the book or for those who are extremely well versed in this field.
  13. (salam) Awesome work brother. This book has been taught by الشيخ عبد الله الدقاق in 51 lessons and the audio can be found online for anyone interested. Hope you continue the great work translating it.
  14. (salam) This is simply your understanding of the matter and not wholly reflective of the narrations. You would do well to see the series of durus kharij that I posted by Sayed Kamal al Haidary which systematically expound on what is the status of those who do not believe in wilayah. The narrations certainly do not say that their love is empty words so it is on your understanding that it is so, but not the Imams. Of course, everyone seems to purport their views as facts though I doubt the substance they base it on. Your argument is also quite amusing. It simply misses the point! It is on your conviction that they are being denied their rights. On a standard Sunni viewpoint, their rights are not being denied. Your evidence may lead you to a conclusion of the events, and theirs may lead them to another conclusion. It is stated that people with convictions are exempt from punishment, provided one does not doubt subsequently doubt his convictions and then does not seek further enlightenment. A plethora of notable scholars have mentioned this preceding point. It is not for you, in any case, to announce whether someone's love is worthless or not and to do so is highly arrogant. Present your arguments about Imamate and leave judging sincerity and worthiness of love and intention to God. Remember to not condemn or dismiss others if they arrive at a different conclusion. It is not as black and white as you purport it.
  15. (salam) I find it abhorrent that we can dismiss the love of others for the AhlulBayt simply because they do not adhere to the same ideology as us. From their perception and understanding of history - which is very murky, difficult and often confusing - they arrive at different conclusions to the ones that we arrive at. This does not give us a claim to dismiss their love as worthless or hypocritical and certainly this is not what the Imams did. Convictions are an extremely profound thing to both understand and overcome. When almost all our Sunni brothers (the few exceptions are not worth mentioning) love the AhlulBayt - and this is undoubtedly genuine and real love - given their understanding of historical events and narrations, we must welcome that love and come to a common word between us. The conception that their love is false or without any value is categorically untrue - in fact it will take them to heaven, if their deeds are good, as stated by various narrations.
  16. (salam) The created manifests itself in a certain time, though the act itself is eternally in the present, or as they said transcendent to time. So the big bang (assuming this was how this material world was created) manifested itself 13.8 Billion years ago, just like your creation was manifested 25 years ago. The act to create the big bang and you was altogether outside of time. There is no issue with the use of the term created. It represents things from our viewpoint. It is also used in the Quran many a time. Say, ‘It is He who created you, and made for you hearing, eyesight, and hearts. Little do you thank.’ Say, ‘It is He who created you on the earth, and toward Him you will be mustered.’ (67:23-24) Indeed We created man from the drop of a mixed fluid so that We may test him.So We made him endowed with hearing and sight.(76:2)
  17. (salam) The argument presented in the OP is philosophically untenable, with some inherent contradictions and there are many counter examples that can be presented which cannot be dismissed so easily. It does not present God in a classical theistic light, and more towards the modern conception of God. It attempts to arbitrarily present God as free to do as wish because of His greater right and all our perceived notions fall into the sphere of subjectivity. To delve in to the problem of evil would take a very long time, so I would like to recommend a really good work in this regard. The book is called 'The Reality of God and The Problem of Evil' by Brian Davies. Before dealing with the problem of evil, one must first understand what God is; rather I should say one needs to understand what God is not. Only then, should attempt to deal with the nature of the problem of evil.
  18. (salam) (salam) Yes, his website is www.alhaydari.com/ though it is not in English.
  19. (salam) I just wanted to add that this 'acquired' knowledge is one of the most important preparatory grounds for iman to be induced in to the heart. Actually, this is a noble Quranic principle, which requests everyone to bring forth their proof if they are truthful! Why is that? Because, it is usually the case, that in the face of evidence and knowledge, man will begin to believe. It does not induce iman in such a causal way that it would be known as "il-la tam-meh" in philosophy. i.e a complete cause, but it is perhaps one of the strongest and most important grounds which serves as an incomplete cause. This also explains the Quran's vehement criticism of those who reject whilst having full certitude and knowledge of something. In 27:14 Allah [swt] says: They impugned them —though they were convinced in their hearts - وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنْفُسُهُمْ This is why we have also been strongly recommended to seek knowledge. The idea being that, man will usually submit to the knowledge he has been presented with and thus believe. As for the video in the OP, it is a terrible way to present the Cosmological argument - which is a very good argument if presented correctly - and many objections could be raised against the argument as shown in the video. In fact, disproving infinite regression (for a series of causes per accidens) often bypasses the actual argument and is unnecessary. Aquinas in his version does not even think it is philosophically possible to prove/disprove whether a regress happens or not and regardless of this issue, in the HERE and NOW, an unmoved mover can proven via the cosmological argument. Similarly, Ibn Sina working on the supposition that an infinite series of contingents exist, still proves the need for a Necessary Existent.
  20. (salam) The dichotomy is false. There is a third option; namely that God is goodness. Hence God loves goodness because it is His very Essence.
  21. (salam) I have not cited my opinion on the matter so its theoritically possible that we even agree in this regard. That is, however besides the point. Secondly, there is no doubt you have some basis for your belief. Indeed, any belief is generally grounded in something. That I do not dispute. That you have a clear and coherent methodology, that you've seen my all the narrations and so on and forth I am very skeptical about. This is not to slight you. This is a very intricate and detailed topic and and one is most definitely excused for not knowing enough about it. However, giving opinions in this regard without being able to critically answer the questions I posed is not right. You are more than welcome to prove me wrong in this regard and provide your answers. Also, not having read the scholarly works in this regard and then making some sweeping statements is abhorrent too. It is akin to an atheist who dismisses theistic arguments without having read any works of the likes of Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Leibniz, Anselm, Descartes etc. It is not about your conclusion my dear brother! It's whether you have legitimate grounds for reaching there or not. Considering how detailed and long this topic is, I have more than reasonable grounds for supposing that you do not have, especially considering several of the statements you made. In any case, I agree that these differences of opinion should not create disunity amongst us. We are all brothers of the same faith and God's creation, so it is tolerance and mercy that should dictate our actions. That is all I will say on this matter. Insha'Allah what I have said actually provides a basis for understanding rather than enmity. (wasalam)
  22. (salam) The point is not to take blindly their interpretations, but to consider first their interpretations before giving your opinion on the issue, regardless if you acknowledge its fallibility. I am almost certain that you have not seen ALL the narrations in this regard (I doubt even half to be quite frank), are unaware of their authenticity, their agree-ability to the Quran or otherwise so on and so forth. To then cite your opinion in this regard is what is abhorrent. I was going to link you to those who cite different and OPPOSING opinions in this regard. Secondly, this notion of taqlid in articles faith being haraam is completely wrong and misunderstood. Taqlid that does not give yield certainty in matters of faith is haram, not wider than that! However, if it were to lead you to certainty in that article of faith, then this taqlid is most certainly not haram, as the likes of Sayed al-Khoei and others have mentioned. In any case, this is wholly irrelevant to this current discussion. Thirdly, it is not that you have to study 50 years in hawza to form an opinion. The problem is you have absolutely no methodology in forming your opinion on this specific issue. It is hence, nothing more than what we say tafsir bil rai', one that is devoid of any coherent methodology and certainly any value. You may say you have a critical methodology that led you to this conclusion. This, however, would be a very unlikely and untenable claim to make. What narrations did you look at? On what basis did you accept a narration? On what basis did you reject a narration? What did you do when two narrations seemingly conflicted? What role did the Quran play in your understanding of the narrations? What role did your understanding of Islamic history play? All these questions are very critical and if you are unable to provide detailed and strong explanations, your conclusion - REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT IS - is simply speculative and worthless.
  • Create New...