أخبار عاجلة

Reason, Science and Religion: The Unbreakable Bond

The Authenticated Text

In the name of Allah the most the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions

Reason, Science and Religion: The Unbreakable Bond* 

 

                            By:                                   

Mohammed Ibn Alhassan Alhagwy Althaaleby Alfasy

Muhammad Al-Hawji, the humble to his Lord, said: I was asked a question stating:

[Is religion superior over reason and science as adopted by the others, the non-Muslims? Or are reason and science superior over religion; supporting At-Tahsin and At-Taqbih Al-‘Aqliyyan (mind’s recognition of improvement and uglification), a principle adopted by Mutazilites?

We are confused about fundamentals and branches of the purified Islamic Shariah. Some of them denote that the Muhammadian** Legislation is based on the first source, while others denote that it is based on the second source. I need an answer, may Allah reward you].

I was asked for an answer to this question last year. In fact, I had answered this question during a lecture, which I introduced its conclusion, at Meknes in Dhul Qe’dah, the sacred month, 1354 H.

The content of this lecture was published in eighty pages. In response to the demand of others, I felt the responsibility to offer a summary, here, with few additions and omissions and by using a different style.

I believe that this issue is among the most significant religious and social issues. In addition, it is among the dilemmas which all Muslims worldwide are facing. Through this issue, one of the problems of the contemporary civilization can be solved.

I reflected on some published articles in Islamic magazines and journals in the east and west, which confusingly wonder: How does Islam suffer weakness, and becomes inferior and witnesses a total new stage of degradation which no nation witnessed ever even the weakest nation of Israelites; after being embraced by many people and spreading all over the affluent countries from the far east to the far west, through Asia, Africa and others, till reaching four hundred million followers? The excuse of the Israelites was that they are minority and diaspora. On the other hand, Muslim nation is the contrary, so it has no excuse. Yet, Israelites, nowadays, are seeking to be the conquerors and invaders of its sacred lands.

Many writers of such articles declare or refer to the fact that the main reason for that is following a religion which contradicts reason and science. One of those who declared this is the author of a book entitled Mustafa Kamal[1] who doubts the pillars of religion and even all religions and criticized its fundamentals, by claiming that they are irrational and even contradicting reason and science, and its branches by claiming that it is against the nation’s interest, progress and development. He claims that it adheres to the Bedouin Arab traditions and mentality which are incompatible with a sophisticated Muslim nation. They fabricated a religion which agrees with their corrupt tendency, according to his description, and benefits generated from the desert, savage lifestyle, and obliged each person embracing their religion, willingly or unwillingly from nations of old civilizations, to follow such system.

He also doubts all the Prophecies. Thus, he believes that any nation seeking renaissance should neglect religion and the Arab mentality especially the eastern one.

He believes that the real civilization is an integrated unit.

For him, civilization is manifested by the European mentality and western civilization. Thus, it should be taken as a whole including its beliefs and traditions, whether correct or deviated. It should be followed blindly; leading the nation to abandon the religion. He added many other doubts which the junior learners can realize its deviation only through their primary knowledge and necessary sciences.

None of Muslim scholars commented on his words and refuted his argument despite being among the pressing duties!

Indeed, there are two significant topics which no one can refute or clear the claimed irrelevant doubts except who is well acquainted with the Islamic Shariah.

The First topic

It is the claim that the Islamic Shariah does not serve the nation’s interest and is not valid for all Islamic nations with different regions, environments, traditions and ideas. I have thoroughly discussed this issue before in my book entitled Al-Fikr As-Samy Fe Tareekh Al-Fiqh Al-Islamy (The Sublime Thought in the History of Islamic Jurisprudence) through some chapters, especially,

First part:

  • The third introduction at the preface
  • A topic on the origin of Qiyas (deductive analogy) and the secrets of legislation
  • The revelation date of some Rulings such as polygamy and divorce.

Second part:

  • The Biography of Aby Hanifah
  • The fundamentals of Hanafi school

Third Part:

  • A topic on Ijtihad (independent reasoning) and Taqleed (imitation), and also through my book entitled Ta’lim Al-Fatayat Laa Sfoor Al-Mar’ah[2] (Supporting girls’ education not women’s immodesty).

In general, this topic is a comment on his claim that it is forbidden to translate the Quran into the languages of the new Muslim converts, although they are obliged to follow Its Teachings! Yet, this is irrational! I issued a verdict, in this regard, in 1350 H published in Mijallet Al-Maghreb Al-Arbiah in Ribat (1352 H), refuting his idea and emphasizing that Great Quran translation is permissible, yet, it is a collective obligation. The three mentioned writings are sufficient in refuting him even before hearing about him.

The Second Topic

It is the claim that Shariah is against reason and science and that it is obligating people to believe in what is irrational and do what is against the modern contemporary science. This issue is among the most difficult issues. I did not find someone who dedicated a book discussing its branches and fundamentals and setting a clear evidence to support his refutation against the atheists and clearing their doubts against Islam. I believe that Muslim scholars should turn their attentions towards this issue and dedicate an evidence-based writing to clear all the clouds of doubts and illusions facing the minds of the nation and the new generation. Therefore, I intend, through this lecture, to set evidences solving this problem and defending Islam against this defamation.

Perhaps if you reflect on the proofs and evidences I am going to mention in refuting this doubt, depending on a clear undoubtful proof, you may realize that there is neither single belief nor single branch in Islam which depend on what is against reason or science. Yet, you will meet forty-three undoubtful proofs and evidences emphasizing the opposite and proving that Islam is necessarily a religion of reason and science; a religion aiming to free the thought from the chains of imitation without violating any principle of the sound scientific principles set by scientific examination.

Thus, you will realize that the author of the book Mustafa Kamal knows nothing about Islam and is not able to enjoy its sweetness and realize its true essence. He just imitated the anti-Islam thoughts of priests and atheists, although he rejects and criticizes imitation!

NB:

Before answering the question, it is important to define some terms mentioned in the question,

  • Religion
  • Reason
  • Science,

to avoid generalization and to offer a relevant answer.

Religion

The term religion does not refer to what is mentioned in the Hadith collected by AL-Bukhari: “This is Jibril (peace be upon Him), he came to teach you your religion[3].

Yet, the term refers to the fundamentals of the religion: Quran, Sunnah and Ijma’ (consensus), its definitive significations. If one of the religious fundamentals sets a definitive signification contradicting reason, being definitive or scientific, the tangible evidence and scientific examination is the way to prove its authenticity and certainty.

This is what should be intended by the question for who wants to harmonize between religion and philosophy: Is religion superior over reason or science? are bothsuperior over religion; leading to a contradiction between two definitive?!

Obviously, the legitimate evidence derived from the Quran or Sunnah is not regarded as a definitive except if it is Mutawater (transmitted in a successive chain of narration by a group of narrators from another group whereby it is impossible that they all colluded to fabricate it, due to its large number, from the beginning of the chain of narration to its end). In addition, the text should have explicit signification with no other meanings except the intended. Ijma’ should be explicit and transmitted to us also in a successive chain of narration.

On the other hand, if the report is singularly transmitted[4] (narrated by one person or more but with no successive chain of narration) 1, or if it is only transmitted in a successive chain of narration but not definitive or with no declared Ijma’, it is regarded as probable. Thus, it could not refute the proved definitive or what is observed by the tangible scientific examination. If it contradicts one of them, it is agreed that if the harmony could not be achieved, the definitive is superior over the probable. The probable is interpreted to its compatible, because the definitive is the superior over the probable, as agreed by all Muslim scholars. For example, the Quran forbids following the guess which contradicts certainty. Allah Almighty says: “They follow but a guess, and verily, guess is no substitute for the truth.” (An-Najm (The Star): 28), and He Almighty says: “and that you should say against Allah what you know not.” (Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 169).

Mu’tazilites and many of Asharites claim that the Revelation-based proofs (Dalil Sam’i) from the Quran and Sunnah are not definitive because they depend on:

  • Linguistics such as synonyms,
  • Grammar such as compound words and these sciences are authenticated through Arab’s singularly transmission and grammatical measurements which are probable.
  • The certainty of not transmitting those terms with the same connotation known at the Prophetic era to deliver the intended message,
  • no common things,
  • No metaphor,
  • No specialization,
  • No abrogation,
  • No Taqdeem and Ta’kheer, as what is not definitely negated is probable.
  • The case in which there is no contradictory Transmission-based proof
  • And reason,

If any, the definitive absolutely is superior over the probable.

These are ten probabilities which negate the irrevocability of the Revelation-based proofs.

In fact, Revelation-based proofs may be irrevocable when attached with tangible or successfully transmitted testimonies negating all these illusion probabilities. For example, we understand the meaning of the term “earth”, “heaven” and other similar terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.

Doubting this fact by depending on such probabilities is a sophistry leading to doubting all sciences, the philosophical and others, invalidating the signification of the science of history and antiquities and stone inscriptions, invalidating contracts and provisions and many of man-made sciences. If science followed these illusions, probabilities and doubts, man-made sciences would not be developed and the universe would never reach such level of observation.

Moreover, we know that Allah Almighty condemns those who depend on guess in understanding doctrines and stresses this idea through the Quran. He obliged us to believe in what is proved in the Quran; proving that It is definitive not probable. In conclusion, revelation-based proof could be definitive while these doubts emerged from a naïve philosophy.

Reason and Science

Reason intended in the question does not refer to its hidden essence that helps human to be conscious and deduce the unknown from the known. Yet, it refers to the issues and rulings which are proved by reason-based evidences to be definitive and undoubtful. It is whether being known by innate feelings alone, such as believing that one is half two and the impossibility of meeting two contradictories, or by depending on the sense, experiment or tradition proved by science, examination or observation which is irrevocable regardless the changes of ages and conditions; so that the specialists support by definitive scientific examination that there is no doubt or changes in its definitive signification. This is the intended meaning of reason and science in the question.

To prove a definitive signification, it is not sufficient for one of the philosophers, from the earlier Greeks, Indians and Muslims, or the contemporary Europeans or Americans, to establish a reason-based theory or a scientific theory proving that it is definitive. Then, it is studied by his disciples and spread worldwide fascinated with the fame of its author. Then, he applies it on many minor details, and it is adopted by a group of people till it becomes an absolute knowledge[5]. In fact, this is not the path towards certainty. Yet, its path is through a scientific examination to reach a definitive conclusion which is unchangeable regardless time or place and is applied on all minor details with no irregularities.

 Every human is subject to error. We still witness every day reformations of errors in the principles of great philosophers who claimed to be set depending on observation by a group of earlier and modern scholars regarding astronomy and stars and their images and sizes and the number of the revolving stars and the mechanism of its revolution, its dimensions, the mechanism of its motion, and even the nature of medicines and medical treatments and other observables. In addition, although undoubtful tangible proofs show the spherical shape of the earth, some scholars, for a long time, believed it to be flat. Thus, we are pushed to doubt each reason-based principle and each evidence; we should not accept anything as absolute unless it is proved by technical examination and observation. In addition, after reaching a worldwide consensus that earth is revolving around the sun, now, another opinion appeared in America stating that it (the earth) is stationary. If it is supported by proofs, the principles of the science of astronomy will witness a third revolution.

Indeed, Muslims were the first to discuss and refute the great philosophers and succeeded in finding and correcting their errors, because the Quran and religion forbid imitation. Thus, they were bold to draw a constructive criticism and to have a moral courage.

Witnessing the European technical examination with its machines, perfect productions, inventions, stunning discoveries and transportation means, the idea of Islam has been supported and its principles have become more accurate and precise.

Reflecting on the issue of the question: Can we determine the superiority or inferiority of the Quran, soundly transmitted Sunnah or Ijmaa’, if any of them reaches an undoubtful definitive signification contradicts what is concluded by a reason-based proof, definitive or scientific, supported by examination and observation?

On the other hand, if none of the two contradictories do not reach a definitive conclusion, but are probable, there is certainly no contradiction. The definitive is always the superior, while the probable is changeable, or determined if it is mentioned in Shariah, or neglected if it based on reason or sense. That’s because the definitive proof cannot be refuted by a correct proof as well as a probable one. In fact, reaching a harmony between the definitive and the probable is not accepted by the sane. If the balance weighs a definitive proof and a probable one, the load is pulled in the side of the probable. If not, it will end up with a meaningless conclusion, invalid or changeable.

The objective: My Answer to the Question

Although according to the few texts of Islamic Shariah, its fundamentals and branches, I concluded that none of them are based on the first part or the second part of the question.

I did not reflect on a doctrine that contradicts the reason-based evidences or the modern science theories depending on correct observation and experiment.

However, a dedicated researcher can observe a doctrine which is supported by definitive reason-based evidences, or a doctrine not supported by evidences such as hearing, sight and utterance; thus with no contradiction to neither reason nor science. In addition, this is similar for the branches of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), as explained in details later.

If there is a harmony between the reason-based definitive matters and the religion-based definitive matters with no contradictions, there is no room for the claim stating that: religion is superior over reason, or reason is superior over religion. Superiority means Tarjeeh (outweighing) when there is a contradiction, and, it was concluded that there is no contradiction, paradox, or conflict but an agreement and harmony.

Its evidence

You can understand from the previously mentioned that it was concluded, in this regard, that there is no contradiction between two definitive proofs. For example, it is impossible to find a contradiction between an absolute definitive reason-based proof and a scientific proof supported by a scientific examination and a definitive religion-based proof also, because there is one truth. The truth should be on this side or the other. It is impossible to assume that there is a contradiction between both definitive proofs. It is impossible, as we searched for it but in vain.

If one of them is probable, outweighing between them is not reasonable, according to authenticators from Muslim scholars as previously mentioned, as the contradiction between two definitive proofs is impossible.

Az-Zarkashi said through his book AlBaḥr AlMuḥeet: “It has been agreed that the contradiction between two definitive proofs is impossible, whether being two reason-based or transmission-based proofs.” That’s because the definitive is not regarded as definitive unless it is true, and the truth never contradicts another truth, but agrees with it and supports it.

If their contradiction is impossible, outweighing between them is futile, and yet, impossible too. Through his book Jam’ Al-Jawame’, Taj Ad-Deen As-Sobky said: “There is no outweighing between definitive proofs to avoid contradiction.” Saif Ad-Deen Al-Amidi also said: “Outweighing is applied between two contradictories, and this is unimaginable in the case of the definitive, because it can be contradicted only by another definitive or probable.

The first is impossible, because it will be obligatory to follow both of them. It is a kind of combining between two contradictories by affirmation or refraining from following both of them. It is also a kind of combining between two contradictories by negation or following one instead of the other. In fact, there is no priority in the case of evenness.

The second is its contradiction with the probable is impossible too, because the probable cannot be superior over the definitive. Thus, it is impossible to apply Tarjeeh in the presence of the definitive. How could it be, while definitive proof never contradicts a correct proof? So, the only solution, for this, is the probable ways.”

A Summarized Answer

Briefly, religion, reason and science are not enemies or conflicting parties, but supporting brothers. Reason is one of the fundamentals of the religion, while science is one of its complements. Both of them are necessary, and all of them support each other. In addition, reason and science cannot stand without religion in any situation. For the reason, religion guides and clarifies the hidden. Religion also is the core of all sciences, especially the literary, as the religion has been paving the way towards its fundamentals and branches[6].

Religion paves the way towards good morals, refines man and turns him from the world of savagery to the world of humanity, mercy, tenderness and civilized life. Religions were sent to achieve the absolute goodness for human beings. They refined the savages, guided people towards the ways of survival and the way of meeting and its etiquettes. Religions are the only way to improve the society. Without them, people would be like predators following their innate nature in fighting for survival, competing, exaggerating in self-esteem, yielding to the temptations of lusts and their passion for world control.

Religions cooled down many of the flames of this innate lust and greed and guided the society to its best which believes in the accountability before Allah in the hereafter where every person shall be paid what he earned. By their guidance, human society becomes civilized by being a humanitarian society full of mercy, compassion, cooperation, discipline, cleanness, health and excellence after being a society full of competition, hostility and conflict.

Islam, in particular, is the religion which guides to the higher noble principles such as tolerance among genders and sects, helping the oppressed unhappy person, aiding the weak, supporting the oppressed and fulfilling pledges. In addition, it forbids all kinds of hostility and totally forbids injustice and obliged each individual and each group to follow justice. I think that there is no religion that follow its way in asserting justice and totally rejects injustice to the extent that Allah have prohibited Himself injustice[7] and assigned the Prophet (ﷺ) to apply justice by himself and mutual consultation which is the principle of democracy. Furthermore, it forbids the unlimited permissibility which leads to a total destruction. It also forbids adultery and polyandry. It also estimates personal property to prevent the conflict between evil persons. It appreciates genealogy and prevents abortion without a legal reason. It imposes inheritance among legally close relatives and spouses.

Islam forbids intoxicants and usury and sets limitation in enjoying lusts and competition to avoid reaching to the level of harming others stating that: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm”[8]. It also makes alms an obligation and gives the weak the right to have portion from the money of the capitalists. It lightens the humanitarian vice and paves the way towards self-purification, forbidding evil actions and respecting rights.

Islam, in particular, helps people escape from the materialistic approach and its worship above Allah. It encourages friendship and compassion, as it is a religion of love and mercy, not a materialistic religion. In fact, human’s society would be facing corruption only due to materialism and denying accountability before Allah. If there are no (Divine) legislations, destruction will prevail, and such civilization and global system established on morals could not be achieved. Furthermore, legislations paved the way towards the principles of mathematics, natural, literary, moral, social, medical and healthcare sciences, productions and crafts and trade and construction.

They are the legislations which showed how to preserve health and one’s life and obliged retaliation and capital punishments and established the whole system.

In general, religions enlighten the minds. In fact, the whole world owes to religions and is in dire need for religion more than his need for science. If the world follows religion neglecting those natural and mechanical sciences, which obsessed mankind till inventing these ruthless and relentless weapons of mass destruction, encouraging hostility for occupation and invasion and worshiping materialistic approach, it would have been in a better situation than nowadays. It will be exempted from what was witnessed after the greatest war such as anxiety, disorder, greed, and threat among countries and the superiority of the stronger.

To be honest, we declare: if the whole world practiced religion abandoning science, it would suffer from stagnation, and it would go against the Divine law observed in astronomy and what the religion urged about science. It would not also reach such civilized level in construction, relationship, discovery and invention, which have some advantages, such as the medical inventions, transportations and controlling the earthly laws, security and order, intensifying the control of rights, the improvement of agriculture, industry and arts as well as electrical and steam inventions and others. In fact, both reason and science complete what the religion initiates.

The world without religion is like a car without brakes, it arrives faster but by imposing a great danger.

This is the current situation. Most of the countries around the world rejected and abandoned the true religion. The world has become secularist; rejecting all religions, worshipping the shinning golden. Thus, it moves with no brakes, its destination towards destruction is inevitable if it stayed with no change.

They reap what they sow! Allah punished them for rejecting the Divine legislations, as they reject the public international law too. Consequently, the world is living in an endless darkness and is expecting the blast of the volcano every single minute.

This is what this experiment ended to, reason and science with no religion. The best for human in this life if he wants to enjoy life is: to set an inevitable limitation to curb the freedom of reason and science by a religion which based on the feelings of love towards mankind and compassion and kindness. It is a religion which urges to be honorable with your partner and kind to your neighbor and which gives an asylum to the weak to avoid the power of the stronger. A religion which urges to be just with all people in truth: “and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice.” (Al-Ma’idah (The Table): 8), to be just with both the enemy and the friend. It is a religion which calls for the fulfillment of commitments; urging all countries around the world to respect the international law only if it based on equality, mutual interest, fulfilled pledges and independent justice.

The Religion forbids all evil deeds and all kinds of oppression that Islamic law prohibits. It enjoins justice, excellence and helping kith and kin. The world could not be successful without practicing religion and benefiting from the positive side of reason and science abiding by religious limits.

In conclusion, if you realize that reason, religion and science are true siblings and that the first is originated from the second and the second is originated from the third,

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This is the first proof supporting the idea that their contradiction and conflict is irrational. We will give you other proofs, fundamental and subsidiary, in this regard, by presenting proofs from the fundamentals of religion, then the fundamentals of Fiqh, and finally the Fiqh.

The science of fundamentals of religion

 

 

 

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Islam is the religion of innate nature as mentioned in the Quran: “So set you (O Muhammad ) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq–illah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.” (Ar-Roum: (The Romans) 30).

Ibn Jazy Al-Andalusi commented in his exegesis: It means that the nature which is created by Allah. The intended meaning is the religion of Islam, as Allah created mankind to accept it by their sound reasons. Yet, the disbeliever is the one who is deviated from his innate nature[9], as stated by the Prophet (ﷺ): “No babe is born but upon Fitrah (Islam). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian.”[10]

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Islam aims to free humanitarian intellect to be able to reflect on the universe of Allah to deduce the unknown from the known and discover the ambiguous.

Islam does not prevent the intellect from demonstrating its skills and searching for the means of mankind progress. Allah has created for him all what is in the heavens and the earth to enjoy and reflect on the wonders of creation. Allah says: “Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth…” (Al-Aa’raf (The Heights):185), and: “Do they not think deeply…” (A-Roum (The Romans): 8), and: “…there are Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs) for the people who understand.” (Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder): 4) as well as other Quranic Verses. If religion contradicts and restricts reason; by clipping its wings, it will never be granted such great freedom in reflecting on the universe, not the Owner nor His Attributes. In fact, he is not entitled to precede his nature as follows.

If we state that religion is superior over reason or science, we will combine between two contradictories. It is as if we invite him to think, and then when thinking and concluding, we reject his thoughts. What a paradox!

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After studying Islamic doctrines which is the most significant thing in the Islamic legislation, we will find no single doctrine which contradicts reason or science. It is divided into three sections:

  • A doctrine which is only proved by reason and definitive evidence which is: Allah’s Existence. Sunni scholars agreed that reason[11] is the only way to prove it, not the transmitted texts, because it is the backbone of every doctrine. It is the first thing that every seeker should be well acquainted with before proving the prophet hood and miracles. It is meaningless to prove the existence of the Sender depending on supporting evidence from the appointed messenger’s sayings. The sincerity of a messenger is proved after proving the miracle which should be sent as a challenge. For example, a messenger should say: I am the messenger of Allah and this miracle is my proof. That’s why proving the existence of Allah should come first before the miracle which, in itself, is a reason-based proof also or a natural proof according to many opinions.

It is a doctrine based on pure reason-based evidence. The Quran supports this in the verse: “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth” (Ar-Rum (The Romans): 22) and other Quranic Verses. Ali (May Allah ennoble his face) was asked: “Did you come to know Allah through Muhammad, or you come to know Muhammad through Allah?” He replied: “If I came to know Allah through Muhammad, I would never truly believe in Him[12].”

  • and a doctrine which is proved by both reason-based evidence and transmission-based evidence, such as proving that He Almighty is Self-sufficient and that there is nothing like unto Him.
  • and a doctrine which is proved by a transmission-based evidence such as hearing, sighting and utterances. Yet, the reason-based evidence does not support or contradict it, but accepts it, even after failing to support it with evidence found before legislation.

We do not follow the fourth section adopted by others which is a doctrine proved by religion but cannot be reasonably accepted. Islam condemns those who adopt and support such section. Islam refutes this section and shows the deformity of obliging the reason to believe in what is refuted by its own evidences. Therefore, Quran condemns those who adopt paganism, Divine Incarnation and union and trinity doctrine and asserts their invalidity depending on rational proofs.

Therefore, reason becomes the greatest pillar of all creeds, what it proves should be followed, and what it rejects should be regarded as impossible, and what it permits is permissible.

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In addition, Quran depends on reason-based evidences to prove the doctrines supported by Revelation-based proofs. Allah Almighty says: “Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily both would have been ruined” (Al-Anbyaa’ (The Prophets): 22). This is a rational evidence that proves the Oneness of Allah Almighty. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) depends on this also in his proof, as Allah Almighty says: “Thus did we show Ibrahim (Abraham) the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “I like not those that set (76). When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: ‘Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people’ (77). When he saw the sun rising up, he said: ‘This is my lord. This is greater.’ But when it set, he said: ‘O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.’ (78) (Al-An’am (The Cattle): 75-78), and “And that was Our Argument which We gave Ibrahim (Abraham) against his people…” “(Al-An’am (The Cattle): 83), so He calls it an “Argument” supporting the truth while it is a pure reason-based proof.

In another words, when he (Ibrahim) reflected on the stars movement, he found that they are revolving in a perfect flawless order in favor of the creatures. He believed that this is impossible to happen haphazardly or by an irrational unwise nature. It is impossible except by the Strong and Dominant; who controls the universe alone, and the Wise and the All-Knowing. I swear this is the most powerful, irrefutable and undoubtful proof which every person with sane mind should accept. It is the most significant evidence for a Muslim to prove the Existence, Oneness and Wisdom of Allah. This is my conclusion, despite my limited knowledge in explaining the Verse, it is sufficient more than what is said by many of exegetists and theologists such as Al-Fakhr Ar-Razy and others who depended on reasoning to prove the issue of change of Huduth (temporally origin)[13].

For more explanation, these great worlds and higher and lower bodies in which our solar system is found, with its earth, moon, sun, revolving stars and others, for it, is just a grain of sand from the Egyptian lands as stated by some contemporary astrologers. All of them are worlds with an incredibly organized system that fascinates the mind. The minds are also fascinated with the formation of one human or animal body which is just an atom among the atoms of our world.

Are these organized haphazardly? Are all of these organized by a nature with no mind or realization? Absolutely no, it is the Work of the Mighty and the All-Knowing and the Organization of the Strong, the Dominant and the All-Knowing; Whose Knowledge is beyond imagination, and the All-Wise. Indeed, the creature proves the existence of its Creator.

One day, I contemplated a mosquito and how it carries a soul inside its tiny body. How it includes hearing, smelling, tasting and sense that help it to search for food, protection against harm. How it attacks human who is hundred times greater, making him his prey and nutrition. Defending himself, it realizes his strength and then runs away protecting itself from his attack. Sometimes, it becomes the stronger to extent that it kills him while he is helpless, even if he is a Mutazilite claiming that he is the one who controls his own actions!

Is there a wise creature in this world that can create such miniature creature? No, and if any, people will worship him besides Allah. Although the great Wisdom and Power of Allah, some are misguided, and so deny His Existence, Oneness, Divinity, Knowledge or other Attributes.

تَدُلُّ عَلى أَنَّهُ واحِدُ

وَفي كُلِّ شَيءٍ لَهُ آيَةٌ

ومن عجب أن الظهور خفاء

English Translation:

Everything indicates a sign                                proving that He is One.

Who wonders that invisibility is a kind of manifestation.

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Quran paves the way towards reason-based deduction and scientific conclusions and uses them as proofs, so how can it deny or contradict them? “…there are Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs) for the people who understand.” (Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder): 4). It has been agreed upon that limiting the ruling to a certain description is a kind of causality. Similarly, Allah Almighty says ” …And none receive admonition except men of understanding.” (Aal-I’mran (Family of I’mran): 7), and “….but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.).” (Al-A’nkabout (The spider): 43).

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For example, Quran proves resurrection depending on reason-based proofs, as Allah Almighty says: “To transfigure you and create you in (forms) that you know not. (61) And indeed, you have already known the first form of creation (i.e. the creation of Adam), why then do you not remember or take heed? (62) ” (AL-Waqi’ah (The Event): (61- 62).

This deduction sets an analogy between resurrection and the first form of creation from nothing depending on deductive analogy which is a reason-based proof.

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Quran also support his proof by the punishment and reward in the hereafter, “Did you think that We had created you without any purpose, and that you would not be brought back to Us? (Al-Mu’minun (The Believers): 115). This is a reason-based deduction. This means that if there is no punishment and reward in the hereafter despite the presence of the deservers in the earthly life, and Allah have prohibited Himself and His servants injustice, Allah will be creating them for no purpose, and He is far above futility.

-9-

Allah Almighty says: “And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allah, any other ilah (god), of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely! Al-Kafirun (the disbelievers in Allah and in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters, etc.) will not be successful.” (Al-Mu’minun (The Believers): 117). This Verse shows that Divinity should be supported by evidence which is rational and not transmitted. That is because the transmitted is not argumentative for an opponent who does not believe in Transmission-based proofs.

Is it reasonable that Quran uses reason-based arguments and at the same time denies reason? This is impossible! Who wrongly thinks that this is the reality of religion or Quran adopts a misinterpreted premises.

-10-

Studying the Quranic arguments against pre-Islamic sects from the paganists, the Christians and others, we found out that all of them are rational or tangible. We depend on this to prove that the Quranic principle regards what is recognized by reason, science and sense has a definitive signification. Being one of its fundamentals, how could it be against reason and science?!

-11-

Among the Islamic principles is the duty of reason protection. Thus, any intoxicants are prohibited. Some scholars also mention that all creeds agreed on this prohibition.

It obligates reason protection, so how not to regard what is proved by reason as having a definitive signification, although reason is sought for its conclusions?

-12-

Al-Baydawi said: “A (True) argument is not proved by the absolute Transmitted. It should be reflected by an image and a matter. In fact, its image and matter is rational that has nothing to do with the transmitted proof. Thus, the absolute transmitted proof is useless (in this case).”

If each argument depends on the reason, how could the religion deny the definitive reason-based proofs which depend on many arguments?

-13-

In fact, contemporary philosophers established their philosophy depending on eight fundamentals. Reflecting on those fundamentals, we found that Quran is their source.

  • Truth is not various and not limited to a certain age: According to the Quran, “…So after the truth, what else can there be except the misguidance?” (Yunus (Jonah): 32)
  • Facts are like a wide sea which man reaches just a part of it: According to the Quran, “… And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” (Al-Israa’ (The Journey by Night): 85), “So I swear by whatsoever you see (38). And by whatsoever you see not (39).” (Al-Haqah (The Inevitable): 38-39), “And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom.” (Yusuf (Joseph): 105), “And none can know the soldiers of your Lord but He.” (Al-Muddather (The one Enveloped): 31).

All these Verses show the greatness of existence in a way greater than the depiction of other religions. They reflect the importance of understanding this greatness and benefiting from it by discovery and invention with no boundaries.

  • Knowledge is the capital of human life: so it should be developed. According to the Quran, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.'” (Ta-Ha: 114).
  • Human, in his innate nature, is capable to benefit from nature: so he should exert his utmost effort in achieving prosperity and amenity. According to the Quran, “And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.” (Al-Jathyiah (The Kneeling): 13), and “O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet.” (Al- Inshiqaq (The Splitting Asunder): 6).
  • The power of Knowledge is incomparable with any power and weapon: It is more powerful than any weapon. Thus, a learner who applies his knowledge beats the learner who fails to apply his knowledge. According to the Quran, “And say (O Muhammad) ‘Do deeds!'” (At-Tawbah: The Repentance: 105), and “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” (Az-Zumar (The Groups): 9).
  • Nature is the practical Scripture: a guidance towards observed facts. According to the Quran, “Travel in the land and see…” (Al-Ankabut (The Spider): 20), and “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth.'” (Yunus (Jonah): 101).
  • Human was only led astray by following imagination: and judging all things depending on conjecture without verification. According to the Quran, “And most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Certainly, conjecture can be of no avail against the truth. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” (Yunus (Jonah): 36), and “And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.” (Al-Ana’am (The Cattle): 116), and “Nay! They say: ‘We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we guide ourselves by their footsteps.'” (Az-Zukhruf (The Gold Adornment): 22).
  • Any thought, even said by a great man, should be subjected to an inspected scientific criticism and tangible experiment: What is agreed with the reality is regarded as knowledge, while what is not verified is regarded as conjectures or illusions. According to the Quran, “Say (O Muhammad ): ‘Produce your proof if you are truthful.'” (Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 111). “And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge…” (Al-Israa’ (The Journey by Night: 36). Among its objectives, Quran condemns imitation and calls for examination and criticism and reflecting on facts while clearing the clouds of illusions.

Thus, you should conclude that all these contemporary philosophical principles are derived from the Quran. So, how to declare that religion is against them?

-14-

Islam never obliges you to believe in what is against your sense or belief. Its doctrines are accepted and easy to understand, as they do not include a mystery, a symbol or delusion like what is found in the doctrines of other creeds. Its doctrine is crystal clear as this religion is the religion of the illiterate, contrary to other religions.

For example, the paganist creates, by his own hands, a statue made of stone or sweet to worship. Then, he asks it to bring him goodness and protect him from evil! After that, he eats the sweet and destroys the stone. All his doctrines are unexplainable mysteries and symbols.

In addition, the Buddhist and yet the Christian are obliged by the church to adopt the doctrine of trinity or Divine Incarnation and Union without any supporting evidence. Yet, the Christian is obliged by the church to eat bread believing that it is the flesh of Jesus Christ who was ascended into heaven centuries ago, although it is prohibited to eat human’s meat. He is also obliged to drink a cup of wine thinking that it is the blood of Jesus Christ also. However, he baked this bread and squeezed this wine by his own hand!

In addition, it obliged him to believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. However, they believe that he is a born human who eats and drinks and inclines for human needs, and that he was created after being nothing. They believe that his mother is Mary and he is the Son of Allah (Allah is exalted above this).

In general, it obliged him to believe in the impossible contradictories with no doubt. Is this possible…?

On the other hand, the Muslim is exempted from carrying these burdens. Asharites believe that it is obligatory to negate a direction for Allah. Thus, a close-minded person is not capable to understand such doctrine as he believes that Allah occupies a particular place. This person is excused by his ignorance like the story of the woman who was asked by the Prophet (ﷺ): “Where is Allah?” She replied: “(Allah is) in the heaven”. Then, the Prophet (ﷺ) confirmed that she is a believer, according to a Hadith mentioned in the Sahihain, Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

-15-

The objective of Islamic doctrines is Allah’s Transcendence from any attribute that is unsuitable for Divinity without denying any attribute (Ta’teel); by believing in the attributes of Allah mentioned in the Transmitted Texts and accepted by the reason.

Furthermore, we found Verses which refer to the doctrine of Transcendence (Tanzih) among which are “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Al-Ikhlas (The Sincerity): 4), “…There is nothing like unto Him….” (Ash-Shora (The Consultation): 11), “…and they will never compass anything of His Knowledge.” (TA-HA: 110), “….Do you know of any who is similar to Him” (Maryam (Mary): 65). However, there are more Verses which refer to the doctrine of Immanence (Tashbih)[14], such as “The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)” (TA-HA: 5), “They fear their Lord above them…” (An-Nahl (The Bees): 50), “….And He is with you….” (Al-Hadid (The Iron): 4), “Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you…” (Al-Mulk (The Dominion): 16), “And construct the ship under Our Eyes…” (Hud: 37), “…..to one whom I have created with Both My Hands….”(SAAD: 75), “…and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand…” (Az-Zumar (The Groups): 67) and other Verses.

When there is a contradiction between the Transmission-based evidences, scholars resorted to the reason; setting it as a judge. Reflecting on the evidences of the doctrine of Immanence, they found a contradiction also. For example, what refers to Allah as being “Above” the creation is contradicted by what refers to the Divine Care or the Existence at the front line. The interpretation accepted for the texts stating Direction is also accepted for the texts manifesting the senses as all of them are like Immanence[15]. Thus, what is interpreted to be negating His Transcendence is rejected, while what asserts His Transcendence is reasonably accepted[16].

Indeed, it is irrational that Allah, Who created the world, time, place, celestial bodies and its beams, Who is Eternally Preexistent; Exist in the past (Azali) and in the future (Abadi), Who is Self-Sufficient, He neither begets nor is Born , is described with something opposite like the Immanence representing the Huduth (The process of coming into being and existence) and neediness. If this is accepted, the Verses of Transcendence will be superior over the Verses of Immanence, obligating us not to believe in what is explicitly mentioned through the Verses of Immanence.

It is your choice. You can adopt the path of Tafweed, which believes that Allah is the One who knows the intended meaning, or the path of Ta’weel, which is offering an adequate interpretation. In fact, reason is neutral in this regard. According to theologists, the reason-based evidences are superior according to the status of Arab’s situations, because reason-based evidences are definitive[17], while the situations are probable. That is why the Verses of Immanence have no explicit signification, as it is a status which can accept be interpreted because of its probable signification. As previously mentioned, all people of enlightened minds agree that definitive is superior over probable.

-16-

The Quran and Sunnah include Verses and Hadiths indicating the fundamentals of some absolute rational sciences; philosophical, natural, geometrical, and astronomical and other sciences, which guide to the facts of universe, nature roles and human life duties and others. They really inspire the observer and grasp the attention of the thinker, such as:

  • Verse “And We send the winds fertilizing.….” (Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract): 22) that depicts the plant pollination process. Arabs were informed about this from the Quran a few ten centuries ago, while the natural sciences have discovered it recently.
  • Verse: “Depart you to a shadow (of Hell-fire smoke ascending) in three columns.” (Al-Mursalat (Those Sent Forth): 30) refers to a geometrical theory.
  • Verse: “Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created….” (Al-Aa’raf (The Heights): 185) refers to the importance of benefiting from the science of natural philosophy.
  • Verse: “Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day….” (Aa Imran (The Family of Imran): 190) encourages the study of the science of astronomy and modification.
  • Verse “Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding. (Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 164) encourages to reflect on the marine sciences and the climate phenomena, and zoology and botany and other sciences.
  • In addition, Allah Almighty says: “And Allah has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth” (Nuh (Noah): 17). He Almighty also says: “And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth) (12) Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman) (13). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators. (14)” (Al-Mu’minun (The Believers: 12-14). Both Verses shows the first stages of man’s creation and his creation inside the womb; from an inanimate to a plant to an animal till being a human, “So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.” This Verse also reflects lessons from anatomy and other sciences.
  • Verse: “Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful (i.e. Able to do all things).” (Ar-Rum (The Romans): 54) organizes his lifecycle after being born till his death.
  • Verse: “….in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you….” (Al-Hashr (The Exile):7) sets some rules of the science of political economics.

By reading different Quranic exegesis and knowing what Muslim scholars accepted from them, as we could not cover them thoroughly herein, you will find that all these Verses and others show the importance of the rational sciences and its usage in understanding life and as a supporting evidence for the creeds fundamentals. All these prove that religion estimates and adopts reason and science, and why not? Quran says: “….and he, to whom Hikmah (wisdom) is granted, is indeed granted abundant good….” (Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 269). We should reflect on the definition of the original Arabic style and firmly follow the facts; avoiding indulging in imagination. We should also believe that Allah may inspire the contemporaries in their Quranic reflection by guiding them to understand what the earlier could not reach.

-17-

Our scholars added some rational sciences to the religious one such as mathematics, geometry, countries planning, lands surveying, political and non-political economics, medicine and pharmaceutics, astronomy and modification as well as all beneficial for our life and essential for our spiritual and materialistic life. For example, Mathematics becomes a part of the science of Al-Farae’d (law of inheritances) which is described as the half of the science of religion. Quran also estimates its value, as “… and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning…” (Al-Israa’ (The Journey by Night): 12). The one who are not well acquainted with mathematics will fail in dividing inheritance and distributing a just share to all the due parties. The one who is not well acquainted with survey and geometry is not qualified to be a distributer or a taxes scribe. No one is qualified but a doctor to set a diagnosis, cure a wound, do bloodletting and other procedures.

In fact, every science, which has something to do with the religious legislations or any religious matters, becomes an essential part of the religious sciences. In fact, means have the same ruling of its objective. This is to the extent that their study becomes among the worshipping acts. Being a mean to an objective, it takes the ruling of this objective; being a collective obligation, individual obligation or recommended[18].

Most of the rational sciences are included among the religious sciences. So, how could religion be against science? Or how dare a Muslim who is well acquainted with these sciences, which are among religious obligation, deny this fact? It was named as modern sciences as a kind of tolerance because most of them were invented during the pre-Islamic period. It is better to use the term of modern sciences to describe what the Europeans and Americans invented after their late renaissance.

Like nations preceded them, Islam invented before them, and Greece and others also during the pre-Islamic period have inventions which were adopted, refined and developed by Islam.

Rational sciences are a public property for all nations. Every nation exerted its utmost effort to achieve this result. Well, Muslims, especially Arabs, were more interested in the literal and mathematical sciences to promote mankind and save them from the darkness of ignorance, deviated behaviors, illusions and deceptions which hinder them from progress.

On the other hand, Europe was interested in natural and mechanical sciences and other similar sciences. It achieved great contributions in this field although most of them lead to mankind devastation and inhumanity.

However, sciences founded by Islam, such as literal and mathematical sciences, paved the way towards this and preserve its treasure.

Islam prepared the land and implemented plantation operation, while the other watered and reaped the plant. Thus, all what has been added by Europe and others should be studied. If not, we will neglect one of the religious duties.

-18-

Scholars who are more acquainted with the religious sciences are Muslim philosophers who are interested in the rational sciences and have great contributions in this field such as Abi Yusuf Yaqob Al-Kanadi, the greatest philosopher among Arabs and Muslims, then Al-Ghazali, Ar-Razzi, Sa’d Ad-Deen At-Taftzani, Ibn Rushd Al-Hafeed and many others.

The reason of the appearance of Al-Ashari[19] and his big number of followers is his acquaintance with philosophy on which he depended to refute the fundamentals of I’tezal (Mutazilites school of thought). If religion does not estimate the value of reason and its sciences, the greatest specialist in both of them will not be the greatest specialist in it.

Muslims did not turn away from rational sciences even those inherited from the defeated nations like the Persians, Indians, romans, Greeks. They studied each inherited philosophy and then refined it. They are the one to revive the Greek philosophy centuries after being neglected. They also published it in Europe itself. Without their contribution, it would be lost and if so, Europe would never achieve its renaissance unless centuries after our time.

The religion of Islam does not reject philosophy, which is real, beneficial and apart from illusions. It does not refrain anyone after being a specialist in religious sciences from its study. Indeed, philosophy is prohibited for the one who is not acquainted with the science of religion and whose innate intelligence is weak. This is because who thoroughly study it without fulfilling these two conditions will cause a severe deviation and lead himself towards explicit disbelief. This is because his mind will be full of the deviated doubts while being ignorant of the religion of Islam. Thus, he will wrongly believe that they contradict each other. In addition, its study is futile and corruption for the one who has weak intelligence.

A religiously ignorant person turning his interest towards philosophy is the reason behind the claim of some westernized that the religion of Islam contradicts reason and science. He will depend on this collapsed foundation to conclude that: Religion hinders Islamic progress.

Similarly, the author of the book Mustafa Kamal committed the same fault. The fault is judging something great without having a complete vision. It is also a corrupted deduction depending on the religion of paganism.

Islam is the religion of science and the backbone of reason and the religion of progress. A religion which is not based on distorted superstitions, a religion which is found in the explicit Quranic Verses and authenticated explicit Sunnah.

-19-

The earlier stage of Islam, at the best centuries and during the era of Al-Mansour Al-A’basy, witnessed the translation of Greek writings and others in the field of rational sciences in the presence of senior scholars. The consensus view did not reject this or declare that it contradicts religion. This proves that they believed that religion does contradict neither reason nor science.

Some argue that it is the reason behind the immergence of the Mutazilites and other sects. However, it is not necessary that each permissible action is away from evil, as the point is the superiority of the interest over the evil. The only reason for this division is because of the ignorant scholars. It was said that: “If the ignorant kept silence, division would be less”.

In addition, they translated the sciences of other earlier scholars and also translated their religion to the others. For example, they translated the Quran and other books. Without translation, these nations would not embrace Islam and this religion would not be established deeply in their hearts.

In fact, Islam adopted the sciences of other nations and exerted its utmost effort in this field, as it does contradict neither reason nor science in any way.

You can grasp, through this, the significance of reason and its sciences according to the perspective of the Islam, the true religion, and senior Muslim scholars. It also refutes its enemies’ claims stating that it hinders the Islamic progress; despite they believe that when Muslims were true believers, they were the most knowledgeable and civilized people in the whole world.

The Science of Usul Al-Fiqh (Fundamentals of Islamic Jurisprudence)

 -20-

According to the norm of the Usul, The Baraa’ah Asliyyah (Original Non-liability) is not determined by Ijthad (independent reasoning), as it is a reason-based proof. The revelation-based proofs alone determine the obligatory, while the original non-liability negates it if the Mujtahid fails to find an authenticated text proving the obligatory. In fact, the person is originally not obliged (to fulfill religious obligations and financial duties until there is an evidence), as reason-based proof has a value in the Islamic Shariah.

-21-

One of the estimated specifications in the science of Usul Al-Fiqh is the reason. Abu Hamed Al-Isfereānī said: “No difference between scholars in the permissibility of reason-based specification.” Ar-Razi said: “There is an inevitable specification (Darory). In the Wording of Allah Almighty: ‘Allah is the Creator of all things…’ (Az-Zumar (The Groups): 62), it is surely that He did not create Himself.”

There is an speculative specification (Nadhary) such as in the Wording of Allah Almighty: “…And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah…” (Ale-Imran (The Family of Imran): 97). Specifying the boy and the insane is due to their immaturity. Other different views are irregular, as the difference is verbal and can be known from the books of Usul.

Furthermore, it is obvious that specifying the general with one of the specifications means to negate the contradiction between a text including a general word (A’am) such as: “…then kill the Mushrikun…” (At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 5) and another text including a specific word (Khaas) such as “…and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood money – Diya) must be paid…” (An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 92).

In addition to the Verse: “…..until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 29), as we negate the contradiction by the last two Verses. It is a combination between two proofs altogether regarding them as equal. If we accepted one of them, the other will be disapproved without any argument. Ibn Al-Hajib in Al-Muntaha said that specifying a proof with another proof does not mean accepting one and neglecting the other, but it is a kind of mutual harmonization and application.

This emphasizes what we previously mentioned that the reason-based evidence, according to Muslim scholars, has a value like transmission-based evidence and none of them contradicts the other.

22

According to them, sense is from the specification tools as in the Wordings of Allah Almighty: “Destroying everything by the Command of its Lord!….” (Al-Ahqaf (The Curved Sand-Hills): 25). The general meaning shows that the wind sent from Allah to punish the people of A’ad destroyed the surrounding lands and the whole earth. By sense, this punishment was specified to be sent to the disbelievers among the people of A’ad only. It is obvious that sense is among the tools of reason, but it is lower than reason-based proofs.

Logicians believe that the absolutes are superior over what can be observed by senses, as the power of reason is stronger than the power of sense. Sense has its own errs, while reason-based specification is more accurate. If they contradict each other, reason has the superiority over sense. The eighteenth-century philosophers believed that sense is superior over reason. They said: each rational case which is not supported by a tangible examination is deemed just as probable. In this regard, they depend on the school of skepticism and questioning. However, the contemporary philosophers adopted the view of the logicians which states that the power of reason is stronger than the sense.

-23-

The certified scholars around Muslim territories, like the four scholars and the first generation of companions and their successors except those who adopt irregular views, agreed upon the Qiyas Fiqhi (deductive analogy) with its conditions articulated in Al-Usul. They also agreed that it is from the legal evidences and that Qiyas is a rational proof depends on a transmitted source. The Prophet (ﷺ) and the Quran guide us towards it, as mentioned in the book of Al-Fikr As-Samy in the section of Qiyas and other sections.

-24-

Furthermore, the four scholars agreed that Qiyas is among the specification tools, as Ibn Al-Hajeb mentioned in his book Al-Muntaha.

-25-

 Scholars reached a consensus in determining the intended meaning through Qiyas if it is explicit and understood from the text. They said: It is acceptable to regard it specification and addition tool, as in the Prophetic Saying: Let the judge not pass a judgment when he is angry.”[20]

They consider the intended meaning here is the disturbance. Thus, they prohibited the judgment in the presence of any kind of disturbances such as anger and others, while they permit it in the presence of what does not cause disturbance. This is an example of the reason-based interpretation. There are many researches and virtual discussions by Aby Issac As-Shatibi which cannot be covered thoroughly herein.

At the beginning of the tenth introduction of the first volume in his book Al-Muwafaqat (Eng.: Reconciliation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Law), he states the possibility of the agreement between reason and the Transmitted in the legal issues given that the reason is not the superior but it follows the Transmitted. However, his opinion is regarding the branches. Adding to this, it is necessary to clarify that it is impossible to be achieved between a definitive and probable, as the definitive has the upper hand as mentioned before.

26

Legal theorists (Usulists) asserted that doubting what is proved by reason to be definitive is like doubting the authenticity of the Transmitted, because the Transmitted is derived from the reason as mentioned before, as the Transmitted is a miracle which is rational. Doubting the source as a kind of correction is like doubting both of them. Thus, it is necessary to depend on the undoubtedly reason-based proofs and interpret the text adequately in consideration with eloquence, language and Usul if it is not definitive in signification and narration. On the other hand, it is impossible to have two contradictory definitive proofs. For example, if the Transmitted is general, its significance for some of its parts is probable as prescribed in Usul. Thus, the general can be specified by reason which is definitive. In case of the absolute, it is limited.

-27-

Many senior scholars consider the inseparability (At-Talazum) between two rulings is among the legal proofs,

-28-

They also considered the negation (At-Tanafy) between two rulings,

-29-

They also considered Al-Maslahah Al-Mursalah (the unrestricted public interest),

-30-

They also considered Sadd Al-Dhara’i (blocking the evil means).

-31-

Some scholars also considered the Istiḥsan (preferential reasoning) among them,

-32-

They also considered Al-Istisḥab (presumption of continuity).

-33-

They also consider that certainty is never annulled by doubt.

Although all these proofs depend mainly on reason, they consider them legal proofs.

Translated by:

Rehab Jamal Bakri

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* محمد بن الحسن الحجوي الثعالبي الفاسي (2005). التعاضد المتين بين العقل والعلم والدين/ تحقيق محمد بن عزوز. ط. 1. بيروت: دار ابن حزم للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع. ص ص. 23- 64.

**  This term is not accurate as all the Islamic Shariah is derived form a Divine Revelation sent by Allah Almighty to his Messenger, Muhammad ( (ﷺwho is honest and” Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. “. Thus, it is better to say The Islamic legislation instead to avoid any misunderstanding. – A note by the Translator-

[1] I did not read this book exactly, but a book entitled Mu’delat Al-Madanyah (The Problems of Civilization) by Ismael Madhar- published in Egypt, mentioning at its end his harsh doubts without any refutation. Yet, it seems that he accepts them. – The Author-

[2] Praise be to Allah, I have successfully authenticated this book, then it was published by Dar Ibn Hazm (1425 H/ 2004).

[3] Collected by Al-Bukhari in -2- The book of Faith (Kitab-u-El-Eman) 37- Chapter: The question of Jibril to the Prophet (ﷺ) about faith and Islam.

Collected by Muslim in The book of Faith (Kitab-u-El-Eman)- Chapter: Faith, its definition and features- 1/26

[4] Singularly Transmitted Hadith (Aahad) is not definitive even if it is agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. It is agreed upon that it is probable.

Ibn Salah, Ibn Hajar and others believed that it is definitive because it is consensually agreed to accept them. This is an unacceptable proof as if there is a consensus it is regarded as tacit consensus (Ijma’ Skoty) which is not definitive.

In addition, this consensus is about its general meaning only due to its contradiction. Being accepted is not what they meant, as they said: “A singularly transmitted report is definitive if its authenticity is proved. yet, most scholars believe that a singularly transmitted report has no definitive signification even if its authenticity is proved, contrary to As-Sobky. In fact, it is accepted as a theoretical knowledge for some scholars despites its inadequacy, because it is impossible for one person to wrongly transmit, forget or forge. Who believes it to be definitive does not differentiate between a singularly transmitted report and the Mutawater. According to this view, the Verse of Stoning will be regarded as correct as Mutawater, and the abrogation will be applied by a singularly transmitted report like the Mutawater, and praying with irregular Quranic recitation styles will be correct!

In general, according to An-Nawawi, it has no definitive signification, contrary to Ibn Hajar. In addition, the claimed consensus is not correct. -The Author-

 

[5] Like when Darwin set his hypothesis stating that human beings are descended from apes, his disciples adopted his idea and believed it to be real. They intended, through it, to demolish the pillars of religions despite being only a mere hypothesis with no studied proof.

(Another example is denying what is beyond the sense. Materialists deeply believed in this theory and regarded it as definitive. Then, definitive proofs show the reality of the soul and observe its effects and prove what is beyond the matter by some skillful scholars; leading to its refutation. Materialists were not aware of the current reality which can curb their eagerness. This reality is that science whatever its strength, soundness and maturity could not state that it reaches the exact truth or the reality which has no defects or errors. In fact, the errors in the minds of seniors and experienced scholars are bigger than those who are less than them). (AH- The Author)

[6] Shaykh Al-Islam Mustafa Sabry in his masterpiece Mawqef Al-Aql wa Al-I’lm wa Al-A’alam mn Rab Al-A’alameen wa I’badehe Al-Murasaleen: [Eng: The Stance of Reason, Science and the World about the Lord of the Two Worlds and His Sent Servants] (2/71-73), summarizes the stances of his contemporary scholars about reason, science and religion stating:

“In fact, those who do not estimate religion as due adopt opinions with various degrees regarding their false claim. Some of them wrongly claim that religious principles of any religion depend on the submission to what is prescribed in the Heavenly Scriptures without authenticating its principles. They also claim that they (religious principles) contradict reason and science. This group, among which are Mr. Farah Anton and Mr. Fareed Wajdy Bek (we previously quoted their sayings in this regard), commit a double error. The second group admits that reason supports the core of the religion, while science contradicts it. Science, for them, is the modern science which depends on experiment and observation…They may call this so-called science which contradict the cores of the religion, the proven science. They do not regard the science of Divine philosophy, known in Islam as theology, among the proven sciences even if its principles depend on definitive rational proofs, because the amateurs of the modern science do not regard definitive reason-based proofs as certain. In fact, they regard experiment as the only scientific tool; belittling the reason-based deduction.

Both the founder of the Academic Journal and the editor-in-chief, Noor Al-Islam and Majalat Al-Azhar respectively, can be among the second group also after reflecting on the last saying among their doubts. Throughout this book, our discussion aims to refute the claims of the second group, because they seem to be true despite of its deviation, and because its danger impact on the contemporary learners is stronger. On the other hand, refuting the claims of the first group does not need more effort, because of their apparent ignorance of the stance of religion about reason and science and the stance of western philosophers about these three things. It is obvious that when religion rivals claimed that religion contradicting reason and science, they mean by science the modern proved science. They adopt a scientific view by affirming that the authenticated science for them is the modern science. They followed this limitation when they found that reason is useless in their war against religion and so do the old science based on the absolute reason…This means that scholars of religion do not rely on the reason-based proof. You can notice that Muslim theologists and others prove the issue of the Existence of Allah depending on reason-based evidences. When their opponents, the religion rivals, notice that, they neglect reason and rely only on the modern science based on tangible experiment. Therefore, using both reason and modern science in their war against religion shows the fallacy and apparent contradiction of the first group.

[7] This is mentioned in a Qudsi Hadith narrated by Muslim. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (ﷺ) saying among what he narrated from Allah, the Most High that He has said, “O MY slaves, I have made oppression unlawful for myself and I have made it unlawful among you, so do not oppress one another.” The Hadith.

[8] This principle is the wordings of a Hasan (Fine) Prophetic Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and others with a chain of transmission related to Aby Sa’id al-Khudri, Ibn A’bas, U’badah ibn As-Samet (May Allah be pleased with them all), as well as Malek in Al-Mutaa’ as a Hadith Mursal narrated by successors.

The term Reciprocating harm is opposite to benefit. That what also is mentioned by Al-Johary. The second word asserts the first. Yet, it has been agreed that they differ from each other. Thus, interpreting the intended meaning of the word as foundation is preferred over assertion. There is a disagreement regarding the difference mentioned by Ibn Hajar al haythamy in (Commentary of the Fourty Hadith of Al Nawawi) at the top of which: the first word harming ( (ضررmeans: to harm the other without reason, while the second word reciprocating harm (ضرار) means: to harm the other to attack him but without a revenge or supporting the truth. This is what is meant by (ضرار) in Arabic.

This principle is general except for the harm which is legally-allowed like Legal retribution (Qasas), capital punishments (Hudud) and the rest of penalties and discretionary punishments (Ta’zir), because harm avoidance is preferred over benefit accruement, as it is prescribed, from the first place, to avoid harm too.

(search for what is deduced from this principle in Fiqh among the rulings prescribed for harm avoidance through the book of Sharh Al-Qawaid Al-Fiqhiyyah written by Ahmad ibn Muhammad Az-Zarqa, a senior Fiqh scholar in Levant (May Allah Almighty grant him mercy), see page 166 and the next page.

[9] Indeed, human, by nature, acknowledges Allah Almighty, a fact which is supported by many proofs too. Yet, this innate nature may be affected by factors manipulating the awareness of some people. For the sake of awakening, an acquired effort is necessary to unveil all these foggy clouds. Dr. Abdel-Majeed Omar An-Najjar said: “Many testimonies prove that believing in Allah is an innate nature embedded in human like other innate natures which do not doubt his origin of existence, even if he is deviated from this nature by his utterances or behavior. This is because human, by nature, is created from certain necessary features which are reflected in his body structure and moods featuring his physical identity. Similarly, according to his sentimental nature, he has feelings and emotions which never change. In addition, he, through his psychological nature, acknowledges a set of truths at top of which is the acknowledgment of Allah Almighty. It seems that these truths are depicted inside the soul reflecting the origin of its existence. This is according to what is transmitted through generations about the human characters and traits. In fact, each individual carries inside his cells, since the beginning of his creation, his lifelong inherited traits. If we search for testimonies for this innate nature guiding to Allah, we will find it clear by analyzing the psychological and social side of human during his long history as well as the Revelation Texts which support the conclusion of this analysis.” (Al-Īmān billāh wa Atharuhu fī Al-ḥayāh (Faith in Allah and its impact on life) 34-35.

[10] Related by Al-Bukhari (2/118), (6/143)- 125- (8/153), and Muslim (8/53), and Abu Dawood (4714), At-Tirmidhī (2138), and An-Nasā’ī (4/58), and Malik (995), and Al-Ḥumaydī (1111), and Ahmad (2/253), 410, 481.

[11] The rest of Asharites, Maturidis and Mutazilites, ibn Rushd and the rest of Muslim philosophers adopt this opinion too. In a nutshell, it claims that the way to the acknowledgement of Allah Almighty is only by reason-based deduction. All factors which deviates the innate nature can be refuted by reflecting on the signs of the universe and the soul. Through this refutation, the instinct faith explicitly appears, and the meditator can regain his awareness. The supporters of this view depend on two principle ideas:

First, the Noble Quran guides people to Allah through inviting them to reflect on the souls and horizons. It criticizes the horrible action of the one who is careless about Allah’s acknowledgment by showing the severe punishment he will face, as Allah will abandon him.

Second, reason is embedded in human nature and all people have the same minimum level by which they are capable to deduce the hidden cause from the obvious result. Whatever the difference in measuring reason capability to realize the truth, it has been agreed upon that this is the level of realization depending on cause. This is what is explained by the Quranic Order inviting all people to reflect. If all people are not qualified to do this with the same level, the Quran will never generalize its discourse.

Deductive reasoning refers to the compound reasoning characterized by defending, confirmation and explanation adopted by the specialists from scholars and researchers.

However, the intended reasoning is that simple reasoning which depends on the tangibles concluded directly from its obvious effects. Each one of them leading to Allah’s Acknowledgement, according to the ability of the thinker, is sufficient and deemed to be a kind of reasoning. Al- Jerjany mentioned this: “In fact, the acknowledgement (Allah’s acknowledgement through reasoning) is divided into two categories. The first is obligatory for the faithful populace, while the other is a collective obligatory for scholars of all ages). (Sharḥ Al-Mawaqef 1/114).

Similarly, Ibn Rushd said, through supporting the way of reasoning regarding the two arguments of Providence and Invention: “Those two ways are absolutely the way of specialists who are scholars. For people, they differ between information through details. On other words, they prove the Divine Care and Invention depending on the first realization based on sense. On the other hand, scholars depend on sense-based realization as well as evidence-based realization.” (Manahej Al-Adelah: 155).

Therefore, the way of reasoning leading to Allah is available for all people despite their different abilities in deductive reasoning.

[12] Hal Ar-Rumūz by Al-Ezz ibn Abdel Salam.

[13] It is obvious that sunrise and sunset is originated from the earth movement, so it never changes even in the case of its eclipse, according to the common opinion nowadays. It is not accepted to interpret the argument of Ibrahim, the Prophet of Allah, as an idea which is changeable after the Quran describes it as “Hujjah”, a conclusive argument. Quran should not be interpreted except by eternal meanings. Ibrahim never thought of the divinity of the sun or the star to say that he proved its temporal origin. Yet, his rhetorical question shows the true doctrine to his people depending on an obvious proof. -The Author-.

[14] This is contrary to the declaration of Ibn Khaldoun in his Al Muqademah stating that the Verses of Transcendence is more. -The Author-.

[15] Through this, you can understand the fault of Ibn Al-Qayyim in his book I’lam Al- Muwaqqi’in (3/370). Thus, you realize also the fault of Adh-Dhahabī in his book Al-U’lu (The Transcendence). I suggest you read them. -The Author-.

[16] I mean the physical direction. – The Author-.

[17] Through this answer, you will understand how to refute the opposite view of Adh-Dhahabī in his book Al-U’lu which I suggest you to read. – The Author-.

[18] See the sayings of the commentators of the book Khalil when talking about studying the religious sciences as a kind of Jihad. See also Ihiaa’, the book of Al-Ghazali, and others.

[19] Being among the Mutazilites, Al-Ashari believed that reason is able to reveal and realize the truth. When the reason fails to understand some religious issues, he believed that reason is a tool of understanding but is not authorized to reach the Divine facts. Thus, he accepted the Sunni’s views and called for the importance of being restricted to the Texts. He announced that the ability of reason is limited, opposing the Mutazilites and their fundamentals. For him, reason serves the Shariah.

He was well acquainted with other sects and divisions, and he chose what he believed to be consistent with Sunnah and Quran. He believed that the representatives of different school of thoughts “do not differ regarding the fundamentals, but their differences are in the branches”. Thus, he adopted views of different sources and founded a moderate school of thought belonging to all sects.

He followed the technique of theologists, which depends mainly on rational measurements in refuting and discussing his rivals. Yet, Mutazilites rejected all Hadiths and totally refrained from following them. Thus, some verifiers declared that they are not regarded among theologists. Al-Ashari declared the authenticity of many of them and argued with his rivals discussing twenty-four issues most of them about the Divinity.

-His Status and Influence:

While having many rivals and assigned opponents reflects his status, Al-Ashari was opposed by many thinkers, but he succeeded in refuting them. The innovators constructed plots against him, but he refuted their innovations. He revived the Sunnah by his successive triumphs.

Abu Bakr As-Sayrafi said: “The Mutazilites were prominent and used to hold their heads up high until Al-Ashari detained them back to a corner and halted their efforts.” Ibn A’saker quoted Aby Al-Qasem Al-Qushayri saying: “Hadith Scholars agreed that Al-Ashari was among the seniors of Hadith Scholars and he followed their school of thought. He adopted the same view of Sunnis regarding the fundamentals of beliefs (Usul Ad-Dianat) and refuted the opponents among the deviated innovators. He strongly opposed Mutazilites, Rawafeḍ and innovators among people of the Qibla (Ahl ul-Qibla) and apostates. Whoever dares to defame, attack or insult him has meant all Sunnis.”

Due to his high status and deep influence, school of thoughts adopted his views. Each school of thought regarded him the founder of their views, such as the Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools.

The huge number of his pupils and disciples show his high significance. The most famous of them are Abu Al-Hassan Al-Bahlī, Al-Baqillanī, Aj-Jurjanī, Al-Qushayrī, Al- Juwaynī (The Imam of Harameen) and Al-Ghazzali who are Persians. All of them are among senior thinkers and scholars who followed his footsteps, refuted his rivals and spread his teachings. His school of thought was widely spread after his death around Iraq and Syria.

The year of 1060 Hijri witnessed a great war against him from his opponents who blindly believed in imitation (Taqlid). They regard him as a disbeliever and urged Ṭughril Bey, the Sultan of Great Seljuk, to oppress the Asharites with the help of his minister Emad Al-Malek Al-Kandari who is Hanafi. Thus, insulting and attacking the Asharites was a part of Friday before the Sermon.

Yet, after this short-term oppression, there is relief. After the death of the Sultan, his son Alp Arslan was his successor. Nedham Al-Malek was assigned as the minister after Al-Kandari, and he banned these insults and honored the scholars of Asharites and included them among the scholars at the royal court. He also built for them mosques, schools and an Academic college in Baghdad.

[20] related by Al-Bukhari in the book of Judgments (Al-Ahkam)- Chapter: Can a judge give a judgement in an angry mood? (7158).

It is also related by Muslim in the book of Judicial Decisions (Al-Aqdiyyah) – Chapter: It is not desirable to give judgment in a fit of rage (1717).

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