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  1. UMSL philosophers win nearly $1 million grant from John Templeton Foundation JAN/22/2019 | POSTED BY STEVE WALENTIK Philosophy Professors Jon McGinnis and Billy Dunaway won a nearly $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to examine the writings of medieval Islamic thinkers for answers to questions of contemporary philosophy of religion. (Photos by August Jennewein) What started as a conversation over beers at a local tavern has led, more than a year later, to $1.1 million in research funding for two members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Professor Jon McGinnis and Assistant Professor Billy Dunaway concocted their idea to bring together medieval Islamic philosophy and apply it to contemporary questions about the epistemology of religion, and they secured a grant of $933,000 from the John Templeton Foundation plus additional funding from UMSL to support the project, entitled “The Christian West and Islamic East: Theology, Science, and Knowledge.” “We’re going to start looking at figures who never were translated or even known in the Latin tradition, and yet who are still dealing with the same sorts of problems and questions,” McGinnis said. “What can we know? What is the relationship between science and the claims of religion? If there is a God, what is God’s relation to creation?” These are questions that contemporary philosophers of religion continue to explore, but existing discussions don’t draw on the writings of medieval Islamic thinkers. “Their answers to those questions haven’t been explored,” McGinnis said. “They’re the ones that Templeton is interested in. The Arabs were interested in them, and their arguments are highly sophisticated and really good.” McGinnis and Dunaway hope the grant will help them bring more attention to this area of study and help inspire more study from younger scholars in the early stages of their careers. “We want to involve older scholars, but a lot of times older scholars have their research program set and that’s what they do,” Dunaway said. “The whole point of this is it’s something slightly different than what’s being done already.” They plan to invite academics from different regions of the world, including the Middle East, to conferences or workshops each of the next three summers. They will be opportunities for individuals to present their work but also to become more familiar with texts to which they otherwise might never be exposed. The plan is to hold the first two workshops at UMSL, but the 2021 event will take place at the University of Oxford in England. “Given the current political climate, bringing folks from the Middle East over here may be more difficult,” McGinnis said. “It’s just a fact. So Templeton said, ‘We’ve got these contacts in Oxford …’ And we’re like, ‘Oxford? We’d love to be in Oxford.’” With the grant, McGinnis and Dunaway also plan to award research stipends to promising young scholars. They hope to fund at least one master’s student in the Department of Philosophy to serve as a research assistant. They also plan to bring a visiting scholar in Islamic philosophy to the UMSL campus in 2020. They hope that individual will deliver a public lecture, just one of the events they intend to hold to involve the public. McGinnis and Dunaway want the project to help generate scholarly articles, presentations, an edited volume and a special journal issue that examines the contributions the Islamic tradition can make to contemporary debates. McGinnis, who chairs the Department of Philosophy, has spent much of his career researching medieval Islamic thinkers, an area of study that also includes some Christian and Jewish philosophers writing at the time in Arabic. His interest developed during his time studying classical philosophy as a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. He noticed much work being done on the writings of Greek and Latin philosophers. But a gap existed in between them. “What was happening is as classicists were working, they were coming up against this wall that was the Arabic language,” McGinnis said. He received a fellowship to learn Arabic and spent time studying in Egypt. It has paid dividends throughout his career since, helping him gain access to ideas from prominent thinkers such as Avicenna, Averroes and Moses Maimonides, who remain largely overlooked in the English-speaking world. Dunaway’s work has been centered more on ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and went on to work as a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford under John Hawthorne, a noted epistemologist who also works in the philosophy of religion. McGinnis has served as one of Dunaway’s mentors since Dunaway came to UMSL four years ago, and they meet regularly – occasionally off campus at Three Kings Public House in the Delmar Loop. “In good philosophical fashion, we were sitting over a beer discussing his paper, which was drawing on the Medieval Latin philosopher Duns Scotus,” McGinnis said. “I said, ‘Oh, these Muslim guys I read are kind of interested in a similar problem and have similar but slightly different answers.’” The more they talked, they realized the potential of bringing these two disciplines together, and Dunaway knew from his time with Hawthorne that there was a chance the Templeton Foundation might fund just such a project. They’re both elated that instinct was correct, that their formal proposal was accepted and they’re beginning the work. “It’s a lot of fostering more intellectual engagement by getting people with the different norms and expectations of different intellectual communities together,” Dunaway said. “The hope is that after the project is done people continue with the connections they’ve made and there’s more engagement and diversity in the intellectual environment.” https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/2019/01/22/mcginnis-dunaway-templeton/
  2. Basically my questions goes like these, If a person oppresses themselves, does that make them an oppressor or the oppressed? Seems paradoxical IMHO if I were to accept the former because if I were to focus solely on the situation of this scenario at face value, it seems to be the person is coming across as the oppressed. So, how is it possible for them to be the oppressor while at the same time be oppressed by themselves? Could it be the person might be doing the Art of Inner Jihad (Self Struggle) where they're fighting the Animalistic Evil Tyrant Side of 'Self' from within that wants to possess them to embrace indulging in forbidden acts against Humanity regardless of their beliefs? If so, then who are we to truly label such people who are struggling with themselves as oppressors? Shouldn't we give them therapy to overcome their self-oppression.
  3. Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him). Holy Quran. 12:106 One of the main purposes of the Holy Month of Ramadan, and especially the later part of Ramadan, which includes the three Laylat Al Qadrs (Nights of Power) is to purge our hearts and our souls of Shirk. Shirk are those things which we worship besides Allah(s.w.a) and those things which we believe have power that is independent of Allah(s.w.a). In the ancient times, people used to make statues of wood and stone and worship these and ascribe power to these and this is what is commonly known as Shirk or Polytheism. Many people, and even many muslims believe that the verses in the Quran that talk of the mushrikeen (or polytheists) only refer to certain very specific groups, such as the inhabitants of Mecca before the rise of Islam, or some of the modern groups in places such as India or parts of Africa who make figures out of wood or stone and worship them. In fact, as the above verse says, most people (unfortunately this also includes most muslims) 'do not worship Allah(s.w.a) without ascribing partners to Him'. In other words, the verse above is saying that most people worship Allah(s.w.a), i.e. they do not deny the existence of Allah(s.w.a) and they do not deny that Allah(s.w.a) is the source of Creation, or that He(s.w.a) is All Powerful, Mericiful, Just, etc. This includes most people, including most non muslims, because all religions have a concept of Allah(s.w.a), i.e. 'The God' in English, The Father in Christianity, Brahma in Hinduism. But at the same time, these same people ascribe power, glory, and they worship (meaning they follow these things wholly with their time and attention and obey them always) things besides Allah(s.w.a). From a religious perspective, the main difference between Islam and other religions, is that other religions include Shirk in the theology of the religion itself, for example the idea of Trinity in Christianity, or the idea of Krishna and Shiva in Hinduism (i.e. entities which are powerful in themselves and act independently of each other and which people worship) whereas in Islam, there is not concept of Shirk withing the theology of the religion. At the same time, it does not mean that there are not muslims, i.e. people who follow the religion of Islam, who do not include Shirk in their life vis a via concepts and practices which are outside of the religion. In this breif article, I would like to identify three classes or groups of Shirk in the modern world. There is actually more than three, including idols made of stone and wood which people still worship, but as these are not very common nowdays compared to the other three, I don't see the need to spend time on them and there is no controversy, at least amoung muslims, that these are obviously Shirk. The three classes or group are 1) The Taghut(no Good word to word English Translation) 2) The Asnab (Idols, false Objects of Worship) 3) Hawa (vain Desires) 1. The Taghut لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىَ لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ Holy Quran 2:256 THERE SHALL BE no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the taghut and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing. اللّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّوُرِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ Holy Quran 2:257 God is the wali of those who have faith, taking them out of deep darkness into the light - whereas the wali of those who reject truth are the taghut, they take them out of the light into darkness : it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide. The Taghut are sentient beings, i.e they are being who are alive with free will, such as jinn or human beings. These beings call people to worship them, i.e. to obey and follow them besides Allah(s.w.a). They call people to do things which are against the religion of Islam and against Haqq (justice and right actions). When the people follow them and act against the religion and Haqq as a result of following these people, they commit Shirk, though they may repent afterward and may be considered muslim for purposes of fiqh, but while they are obeying the taghut when they ask them to act in opposition to the commands of Allah(s.w.a), they are in fact mushrik at that point. There are basically two main group of Taghut in modern times. First, secular leaders which don't even pretend to call people to worship God. Second, religious leaders who may call people to worship God when it is in their interest to do so, but also call people to act outside of the religion at times when it will benefit them (these leaders) personally or their group, party, or family to the detriment of others. As for the secular leaders, these probably obvious to most people and there are many of them. A few are Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton ,Teresa May, Angela Merkel, etc, etc. These are non muslims and they don't even pretend to follow the Haqq of Allah(s.w.a). The other group is more tricky and controversial amoung the muslims and I am not going to mention names here, but if you follow an alim or a religious leader, and this leader calls you to do something that is obviously not part of the religion or against the teaching of Imams of Ahl Al Bayt(a.s), then this leader is in fact, Taghut. You need to acknowledge that and stop following this leader, otherwise you will be counted not amoung the followers of Muhammad and Ahl Muhammad(a.s), but you will be counted amoung the followers of Taghut on the Day of Judgement. Allah(s.w.a) judges you by your actions and what is in your heart, rathers than by your ethnic background, family name, what kind of food you eat and where you were born. 2) The Asnab (Idols) The Asnab, as opposed to the Taghut, are things which are not alive and are false, but people ascribe things to them, such as life, power, etc. The Holy Quran describes the idols as such وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ لاَ يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ أَمْواتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاء وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ Holy Quran 16:20-21 Now those things that some people invoke beside God cannot create anything, since they themselves are but created. They are dead, not living, and they do not [even] know when they will be raised from the dead! These are things which people ascribe life, consciousness, value, power, etc to but in fact they do not have any of these things. In the old days, people used to make statues out of wood and stone and bow before them. This form of idol worship has fallen out of fashion but there are still many things which people ascribe these things to. Here are a few Money Money is only paper and ink or bits and bytes stored in a computer. These things have no life, consciousness, power, etc, but people ascribe these to them. Most people in the world today would violate any and all parts of their religion if the amount of wealth they would get in return is a sufficient amount for them (i.e. people today are mostly bought and sold for money). The main goal in most peoples life is to gather as much money as possible and they will do anything to get it. This is worship, the textbook definition, when you are constantly thinking about something and will follow it in any direction. When it goes one way, you go that way, when it changes directions, you change directions with it. When it calls you, you always respond. This is a place in the heart that is only for Allah(s.w.a) but unfortunately most people fill this space with other things. Money is the modern form of Laat and Uzza', i.e. the most popular form of idol worship. That is not to say that there is no value in gaining money and in fact it is essential for survival. But it is only valuable in that it allows you to continue living and sustain yourself and your family so that you can worship and obey Allah(s.w.a). It is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Beyond a means of survival, it has no value. The rest of the value of that people ascribe to it is making it into an Asnab(Idol). Position Most people spend their life seeking a degree, a title, a position of leadership within an organization, etc. They exert great effort, step on the necks of people, lie, backbite, defame innocent people, basically do everything under the sun to climb over people in a never ending quest to grab a spot or a place that they feel will give them a sense of honor and respect, then at the end of the day, they call themselves followers of the religion of Islam. This is something that, unfortunately, is extremely common in our communities. Because these people have a certain last name or come from a certain lineage, they are excused and glorified, and many people follow them. The act of seeking this position by acting contrary to the clear ordinances of Islam is the act of making this position into an Asnab. Although this position in itself has not life(it is amwat, as the Quran says), it is ascribed value by false thinking and Shirk. That is not to say that everyone who seeks a degree or position of leadership is doing Shirk, but when you put yourself in a position where you are constantly disobeying Allah(s.w.a) and going against the clear ordinances of Islam in order to attain that degree or that position, then you have made that position into an Asnab Hawa (vain desires) أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ 45:23 HAST THOU ever considered [the kind of man] who makes his own desires his deity, and whom God has [thereupon] let go astray, knowing [that his mind is closed to all guidance], [24] and whose hearing and heart He has sealed, and upon whose sight He has placed a veil? Who, then, could guide him after God [has abandoned him]? Will you not, then, be reminded ? This verse describes those people who insist on following an idea and sometimes attributing it to Islam, even after clear arguments have come to them from Quran and Hadith that their idea is false, yet they continue to follow it. So the idea itself is false, it has not life, it is amwat, as Quran states, yet because of their vain desires they attribute truth and life to it. There are so many example of this on ShiaChat, of people who present a wrong idea, it is thoroughly and totally debunked based on clear evidence from Quran and Hadith, yet they continue to follow it and accept it. These people have made this idea into an Asnab, and they are worshiping it besides Allah(s.w.a). It sometimes gets to a point where they leave the religion of Islam officially as a result of following this idea. May Allah(s.w.a) protect all of us during this Holy Month of Ramadan from succumbing to this fate, and may He(s.w.a) give us the Baseerat(far sightedness) and Hikmat(wisdom) to be able to avoid all the levels and forms of Shirk and attain an elevated status and place us in the company of Muhammad wa Ahl Muhammad(a.s)
  4. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم A friend of mine sent my third post in the proof for the existence of God series to a mutual friend who is a PhD student in physics. Let’s call him Muhammad. He made a comment in response: Muhammad: I decided to send him a full length reply because I intended on posting it here, as this objection is no doubt common amongst the scientifically minded.... Click here to continue reading.
  5. Sallam, Peace and blessings on all. I will keep inquiry short as I am actually looking for some way to have the valuable books that I have be translated and published in Urdu. The books include the works of, Ibn Sina, Al-Biruni, Mulla Sadra, Farabi and Allama Nawabakhti. So, if anyone have any information regarding how this can be done please do share your valuable thoughts. JazakAllah
  6. how can god transcend time. Time is defined as: The indefinite progress of existence and events in the past, present and whole. Since god exists does that not mean that time exists as well since time is the progress of existence and since God exists, progress of time also takes place. Furthermore, God bringing time into existence require time. It requires the sucession of two events. God existing along with no time and then bringing time into existence again implies the existence of time. God existing in no time and then bringing time into existence implies time existing. Especially the words and then signify that god bought time into existence within the framework of a bigger concept of time. Can you help me understand how God transcends time Finally if God does not transcend time does that not imply that there wete an infinite number of events and hence and infinite regression can happen.
  7. Salamu Alaykum. Does anyone know if this Hadith is Authentic or weak? Our master Imam al-Askari (peace be upon him) has also been reported to have said to Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari: “O Abu Hashim! There will come a time where people’s faces are laughing and joyous [while] their hearts are dark and indeterminate. The Sunnah amongst them is innovation and the innovation is Sunnah. The believer amongst them is demeaned and the evil one venerated. Their rulers are oppressive and their scholars through the doors of darkness proceed.Their wealthy pillage the provision of their poor. Their young precede their old, and every ignorant to them is an authority, and every assignee to them is poor. They do not differentiate between the sincere and the doubtful, nor do they know the sheep from wolves. Their scholars are the most evil of God’s creation on the face of earth, because they incline towards Philosophy and Sufism. By Allah! They are of the enemies and people of distortion. They exaggerate in their love for our opponents and they misguide our Shi’a and Followers.” (Safinatul Bihar, By al-Muhadith al-Qummi, vol. 2, p. 58)
  8. I like to solicit your constructive comments on the following Idea. Science has penetrated our lives and how important it has become. To the extent that some are using as a the only tool to understand the Higher realities and shunning philosophy/religion. Are we been misled here, by the glamour and newnes of something that we have just started to discover. Are we worshiping Science as new God. When man discovered fire, it was a new discovery, probably started worshiping it. Creation of the Universe(as we know of it), is been described as something out of nothing, our out of a singularity, or a single dot that contained all that we see today, and the process is described as a random process which took place over billions of years and different processed Evolved and formed new elements and stars and galaxies and basically, environment based evolution. Random, with no DNA/Map that it followed. How is it different from these processes> Potential or every thing/building blocks on everything/ existed in the following processes. Process: A fertilized human egg to full grown Human. Process: A seed to full grown giant Sequoia tree Process: Singularity to Current Universe What Science describes with much fanfare and dramatization (if you watch any Bigbang Video) Imagine a video describing the the initial stages of a fertilized human egg and all stages/periods with the development it goes(all subsystems and processes) through till it reach adulthood(full complete body). Or a growth of a Sequoia Tree seed, all steps till its a Giant Tree. We know that all the different stages of development, have a guide and its the DNA, same is true for a Sequoia Tree, it follows a map. Similarly, if you substitute the scientific terminology and fanfare with simple periods of stages and describe each stages from Singularity to what we know of the universe. Its has followed a map, its systems are growing according to a pre defined system(at a Macro level).
  9. Salam, Here's a fantastic article/manifesto for a post-materialist sciences. http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307(14)00116-5/fulltext Read it carefully. Some of the scientific findings do not easily fit with Shia ideology or Islam. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
  10. https://newhumanist.org.uk/5128/the-legacy-of-islamic-philosophy Good read!
  11. Which Hawza city (Qom, Najaf, etc.) is best for learning Irfan? Which specific program do you recommend? Are these degrees connected to Academic degrees like Masters and PhD. I want to go to Hawza and focus primarily on the science of Irfan. I know it will take many years to master. I want to focus on theoretical and eventually practical Irfan.
  12. Another version of the Proof of the Sincere given by Sadr al-Muta’alihin occurs in his commentary on the passage from the Qur’an: “Allah witnesses that there is no god but He” (3:17). Mulla Sadra writes: Know that the greatest of proofs and firmest of ways, the brightest path, the most noble and most secure is reasoning to the essence (dhat) of a thing by its essence (dhat). And that which is the most manifest of things is the nature of absolute existence (al-wujud al-mutlaq) in so far as it is absolute, and it is the Truth (haqiqah) of the Necessary Itself, the Exalted, and there is nothing except the First Truth (al-Haqq al-Awwal) which is the Truth (haqiqah) of existence itself, for whatever is other than It is either a whatness (mahiyyah), or an imperfect existence mixed with imperfection, or impotence and nothingness. There is nothing among them to be an instance of the meaning of existence by its essence (dhat). The Necessary Existent is pure existence than which nothing is more complete [more properly an instance of existence]. It has no limit [or definition] and has no end and it is not mixed with any other thing, whether a universality or specificity, nor [is It mixed with] one attribute in contrast to another besides existence. So we say: If there were not a Truth of Existence in existence, there would not be anything in existence, for whatever is other than the Truth of Existence is either a whatness (mahiyyah), and it is obvious that in respect to its essence (dhat) it would be other than existent, or it is an imperfect and incomplete existence, so there would be no alternative but to require composition and specification at a determined level and specific limit of all existence. Then a cause would be needed to complete its existence, and that which limits by a specific limit and brings it from potentiality to actuality and from contingency to necessity, for everything whose truth is not the truth of existence will not in its essence require existence, and neither will its ipseity require a specific limit of existence. So it will need something to dominate and limit it to benefit it with a determinate level. And that is the preponderant that is prior in existence to all, with a priority in simplicity over the composed, over the imperfect, the rich over the poor, and the gracious over the graced. So the Truth of the First Truth is the proof of its essence (dhat) and is the proof of all things. As is said by God: “Is it not sufficient for your Lord that He is a witness over all things?” (41:53) So this is the way of the Sincere, those who rely upon Him by Himself and who reason from Him to Him and who witness by His existence to other things, not by the existence of things to Him.[1] Here again, we find elements drawn from the Muslim peripatetics and from the ‘urafa. The passage begins with an affirmation of the Sufi claim that the sole reality is God, identified with absolute existence: “there is nothing except the First Truth (al-Haqq al-awwal) which is the Truth (haqiqah) of existence itself”. In order to prove that absolute existence must be God, i.e., the Necessary Existent, it is argued that no other candidate is independent, not whatness, not existence mixed with imperfection, and certainly not impotence and nothingness. So, if there is a God, it must be pure absolute existence, and if it can be shown that this Truth of Existence itself exists, is instantiated, this will amount to a proof of the existence of God. The next move is typical of the ‘urafa. It is claimed that if there were no Necessary Existent, no Truth of Existence, then there would be nothing at all. At this point, however, Sadra ceases to follow the line of the Sufis and takes a more peripatetic form of reasoning, claiming that the Truth of Existence is needed by all other existents as a cause. Whatness by itself cannot be responsible for existence, for if we consider merely the properties exhibited by reality, it will be a contingent fact that they are instantiated. If someone claims that there is no pure existence but only mixed imperfect existences, Sadra replies that they rely upon pure existence in two respects. First, the imperfect existent will require a cause, since no imperfect being in and of itself can be responsible for its own existence; and second, a cause is needed for the imperfect to determine its level of limited actuality, for the imperfect will not be able to determine a specific level or grade of being for itself on its own, but needs to be dominated from above, as it were. As in the statement in the Asfar, we find reference to the Sufi theme of the unity of existence, but this comes to be explicated in terms of the major principles of Sadra’s own transcendental philosophy: the fundamentality of existence and the gradedness of existence. Necessary and contingent are defined in terms of causal dependence, as in Ibn Sina, and the ultimate cause is then shown to be the Truth of existence. There is also a discussion of the Proof of the Sincere in the Epilogue to his Kitab al-masha’ir.[2] Here it is first admitted that there are many paths toward God, but that the strongest and most noble is that in which He alone can be the middle term of the argument, and that this direct route is that of the Prophets and of the Sincere. The discussion is punctuated with passages from the Qur’an, including those mentioned regarding the Proof of the Sincere by Ibn Sina. Those who take the route of the Sincere first consider the reality or Truth of existence, haqiqat al-wujud, and understand that this is the principle or origin (‘asl) of each thing, and that this is the Necessary Existent. Contingency, need and privation do not attach to existence because of its haqiqah, but because of flaws and privations external to this original haqiqah. This realization is said to give rise to an understanding of the unity of the Divine Attributes, and then from the Attributes to the qualities of His states and their effects. Then it is confessed that the sun of haqiqah arises from ‘irfan (gnosis), by which it is known that existence is a simple haqiqah, without genus, difference, definition, description or proof. The differences among the particular instances of reality are attributed to differences in grade of perfection, causal priority and independence. Pure existence is identified with infinite intensity of being, ultimate perfection. All other existences are of various degrees of imperfect existence. It is denied that deficiency in existence is implied by the Truth of Existence itself, because deficiency is a privation lacking positive ontological status. Rather, limitation and imperfection are a by-product of creation, since the effect is necessarily inferior to its cause. In his al-Hikmat al-arshiyah we find yet another statement of the Proof of the Sincere by Sadr al-Muta’alihin.[3] This work opens with the definition of the Truth of Existence as pure being without the admixture of generality or particularity, limits, whatness, imperfection or privation. This pure being is identified with God, the Necessary Existent, and it is argued that if the Truth of existence did not exist, nothing would exist. This is taken to establish the existence of the Truth of existence. In order to show that the Truth of Existence possesses necessary existence, it is argued that everything which exists imperfectly depends on being while pure being itself depends on nothing. The imperfect is that which results from the mixture or composition of being with some whatness or particularity. That which is mixed is posterior to and dependent on its simple elements. The element of whatness is really a privation or limitation of being without any independent reality of its own, so the imperfect is totally dependent on the perfect. Mixed being is dependent on the Truth of existence which itself is without need of anything. This statement is followed by another argument which is similar to that given by such ‘urafa as Ibn Turkah and al-Jami, to the effect that true predication presumes being: For to affirm any concept of something and to predicate it of that thing—whether (the concept be) a whatness or some other attribute, and whether it be affirmed or denied of something—always presupposes the being of that thing. Our discussion always comes back to Being: either there is an infinite regression (of predications and subjects) or one arrives in the end at an Absolute Being, unmixed with anything else.[4] The philosophical theology which finds expression here is far from any sort of pantheistic identification of the world or nature with God, but rather is an attempt to strike a balance between extreme immanence and extreme transcendence while retaining both. The pantheistic tendency sacrifices transcendence for the sake of immanence while more traditional theologies do the reverse. In Sadr al-Muta’alihin, divine immanence is maintained by identifying the deity with existence, while transcendence is maintained by insisting that what is meant here is not the imperfect world, but absolutely pure existence. The synthesis discovered by Mulla Sadra has inspired and continues to inspire numerous commentaries and elaborations on the themes of his philosophy. [1]Sadr al-Din Shirazi, Asrar al-ayat, ed. Muhammad Khajavi (Tehran: Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1981), pp. 25-26. [2]Translated by Parviz Morewedge as The Metaphysics of Mulla Sadra (New York: The Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science, 1992). [3]Translated as The Wisdom of the Throne by James Winston Morris (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981). [4]Ibid., p. 96. Can someone explain this argument to me in simpler words. It seems really hard to grasp
  13. Salam az man! I know I'm not the first Muslim to have these thoughts but in this thread I'd like to explore in depth the reasons why the Islamic world as a whole, whether Sunni, Shia or Wahabi, Sufi or non-Sufi, is so far the Western or developed countries of the world by almost every possible measure of success. When did this rot set in if you consider that at one time the Muslim world were world-leaders in almost every measure of success -- albeit many centuries ago now! So what and when did it all go wrong? Please don't let this become a thread about sectarianism, Sunni vs. Shia etc. unless you feel it is really relevant to the topic! Also can we please avoid the typically bland Muslim answers to this question, "We're not good Muslims anymore -- when we become good Muslims again Allah will grant us victory!" I do think that the fact we've been divided internally for so long is one reason for our lack of success. Isn't it interesting that the most developed Muslim countries with the highest quality of life such as Turkey and Malaysia are also the most secular? Some say it was, in the Sunni world at least, when we closed the doors of ijtihad in the 12th century. Others go back further and say that it was with the rejection of rationalism and the Mutazilites that this problem first started... Also is it a coincidence that almost all of the famous "Muslim" scientists we are so proud of such as Ibn Sina, al Farabi, Ibn Rushd, mathematicians like Khayyam, etc. were considered heretics in their own time by most of the orthodox? I think all this is related. These are just some areas of possible discussion.
  14. Logic is the assessment of fallacy in thoughts concerning subjects. Then, who wants to be knowledgeable at the school of human thought, first of all should learn logic. Comprehend what Aristotle and other philosophers specified as a logic, after that enter in a scientific/philosophical issues. It is the false way produced by humans and it won’t work on religious topics. Because the source of each way is different from each other. The method of knowing/worshiping must be defined by God for it to be approved and accepted by him. Is it even possible that our creator would not guide us on how to know/worship him? He has sent prophets and ahlulbayt to teach us how to recognize facts. This all suggests that we can’t move as we please and by our false thoughts. We don’t need to learn philosophy or mysticism to understand the true way because it was not the way prophets taught. They have not come to be just for educated people. God has certainly defined the path. This path is engraved in knowing the chosen ones and to surrender to them. One that claims to be a worshipper of God but does not accept the path defined by Him is, in essence, denying God.
  15. Hope you are all well. Hopefully someone can shed light on this topic that I have found elsewhere which I myself would like an answer on too, using Hadith or Quranic verses. My questions are: Why create us to worship him if he doesn't need our worship Why create us to worship him if he doesn't want our worship Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't want to give us your mercy Why create us to give us him mercy, if he doesn't need to give us your mercy That looks like 4 questions, doesn't it? But they all boil down to a single question which is this: Why do anything if you have no wants or needs. According to quran.com/35/15, Allah has no wants or needs, so that means that Allah did not want to give us his mercy and Allah did not have the need to give us his mercy, i.e. if you don't want to do something, why do it? Please note that many who have attempted to answer this question have focused on the "need" part but have neglected the issue of "wanting". Any input would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  16. I would like to know what is definition of morality in Islam. Instead of pure personal views, I would like that everyone shares those Ahadis from Imams a.s which deal specifically with this topic so that one can develop a definition of morality after going through (understanding, analyzing, reflecting upon) those Ahadis. I would also like that the contributors while sharing Ahadis, quote references of those Ahadis. One can also quote sayings of our great scholars but only with reference please. My purpose is to understand how the understanding of 'morality' in Islam is different (if so) from that of what western thinkers have developed over the course of centuries.
  17. Salam, Imam Ali says in the first sermon of Nahj al-Balagha that God doesn't have any attributes. Imam Reza reiterates this in Sheikh Saduq's al-Tawhid. Shia Islamic scholars have interpreted this as meaning that all the traditional attributes of God (e.g. omniscience, omnipotence, etc.) are identical with God and are not distinct or "accidental properties" of God. But this creates the problem of mercy and freedom. If mercy is an essential property of God, and not an "accidental property," then that means God must be merciful (or else He wouldn't be God anymore). This seems to contradict with the Shia Islamic traditions which say that God "chose" mercy for Himself (i.e. He could have not been merciful, but He chose to be merciful). This also makes the whole concept of thanking God meaningless, because he had to be merciful to us all the time because reality couldn't have been otherwise (he's a Necessary Being, couldn't have not existed, and couldn't have not been merciful). Why thank God for being merciful to us when things simply could not have been otherwise? It was not possible for God to have not been merciful to us, so why should we thank him for being merciful to us? Unless there is a rational way to solve this problem, this problem demonstrates that the whole concept of a merciful, free, and "worthy of being grateful to" God is incoherent. And hence the Islamic concept of God is logically incoherent and should not be believed in.
  18. https://www.al-islam.org/discursive-theology-volume-1-dr-ali-rabbani-gulpaygani/lesson-6-argument-contingency Can someone explain this to me in a laymen fashion. How does the second law of thermodynamics prove god
  19. Man loves eternal life, this is a basic need of human. anthropological research shows that the any need and desire in human being there is a response to it in reality .For example, human feels hunger and thirst and the need to breathe, in out of the human being food and world and air is prepared to provide his needs.Man loves eternal life and hates death.And this feeling is based on human nature .God created the human desire for survival and eternity,we know Allah never does work in vain because He is generous and ALL-Wise so is far from useless things.So it is necessary eternal life and the Hereafter exist to provide this basic human need. In Islamic theology and philosophy of Kant's philosophy is argued for eternal life after death and its relationship with the desire for immortality and eternity .
  20. The fine tuning argument calls our attention to the fact that the laws, initial conditions and constants of physics are precisely set to allow the existence of conscious life in this universe, and had they been even slightly different then no life would be possible. It is argued that this is evidence of theism, or that theism is the best explanation for this data, as we wouldn't expect it if atheism was true. I want to call your attention to a new development of the fine tuning argument advanced by philosopher Robin Collins (who has a postgrad physics background). This is the fine tuning of the universe for discoverability Not only is the universe fine tuned for conscious life, but it is also additionally fine tuned to allow this conscious life to develop civilisations and to discover the inner workings of the universe. The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability Robin Collins http://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/Fine-tuning/Greer-Heard%20Forum%20paper%20draft%20for%20posting.pdf One example he gives is the fine structure constant. He points out that if it had been slightly larger then all fires would have gone out, and had it been slightly smaller, then light microscopes allowing us to see the smallest cells wouldn't have been possible.
  21. http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-131-10-apologists-mistakes-trinity/ ^part 1 by a Christian Philosopher
  22. The central paradigm of contemporary psychology and neuroscience is that the mind = the brain. This is taken for granted, but why believe it? The main reason that is given is that changes in the brain seem to correlate with changes in the mind,e.g. put someone in an fMRI scanner and ask them to think about certain things, and parts of the brain 'light up' on the fMRI image. Damage to the brain can cause damage to the mind, e.g. multiple strokes can lead to vascular dementia involving memory loss and personality changes. All this shows an intimate correlation between the brain and the mind, so the mind must be nothing over and above the brain. The fallacy of this argument is that correlation entails identity: If two things occur together then they must be identical. This is wrong. If two things occur together, then they are linked, but not necessarily identical. For example, take a radio. Electrical activity in the circuit board correlates with the sound produced, and if you make changes to the circuit board you also change the sound, but we dont say that the sound is = the electrical activity or the circuit board. Nor is the sound completely explained by the electrical activity, as this would exclude the radio presenter from the explanation when he is the actual cause of the sound. Of course this doesnt prove that the mind is other than the brain, only that the main reason for thinking they are identical is flawed. Here are some other bad reasons for thinking they are identical: http://www.unc.edu/~ujanel/GIVING%20DUALISM.pdf The paper is written by an atheist philosopher.
  23. https://www.quora.com/profile/Abbas-Naderi/all_posts "If we look around us, everything is possible-to-exist (and can exist as well as can not-exist). If everything was so, there wouldn't be anything existing at start, and nothing would follow. So there should be some must-exist to have created all of this." Can someone explain in depth (using easy language and examples) what this post is trying to say
  24. Asalamualaikum, I heard that there is a verse in the quran where certain people are given the qadr of Allah. Before it use to be Rasullulah, but because there is no prophet then there must be an infallible guide to recieve the qadr of Allah in present day. Therefore there must always be a hujja on this earth. Does anyone know the reference to this verse? Also can one provide an article on the verses alluding to ALL 12 imams. Not just Imam Ali(as) or Imam Mahdi(as)
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