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Voir la version complète : The Scientific Method for Researching Truth - al-Imam Muhammad Said Ramadhan al-Bouti



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18/09/2018, 19h30
اَلحَمدُلِلهِ رَبِ العَلَمِينَ ؕ وَالصَّلَوةُ وَ السَّلَامُ عَلَى سَيِـّـدِ المُرسَلِين
اَمَّا بَعدُ فَاَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيطَنِ الرَّجِيمِ
بِسمِ اللهِ الرَّحمَنِ الرَّحِيم


السلام عليكم ورحمة الله تعالى وبركاته

Asalamu 3alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh







*






The Scientific Method for Researching Truth



Imam al-Bouti


rahimahullah



*








The translation of Chapter 1 of Imam Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti's theology text

Kubra al-Yaqiniyyaat al-Kawniyyah (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1428/2008)






https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BnmbgCesYQw/W1yUoqPCuUI/AAAAAAAABRg/2zpzobLCQvgyU60OjqEKsztXb2vgqNS1QCLcBGAs/s400/%25D9%2585%25D9%2583%25D8%25AA%25D8%25A8%25D8%25A9 %2B%25D8%25A7%25D9%2584%25D8%25A7%25D8%25B2%25D9%2 587%25D8%25B1.jpg

The Library at al-Azhar, Cairo












The
Scientific Method for Researching Truth


According to Muslim Scholars and
Others

Introduction



If realising
the truth as it actually is is science, as they say, then the method that is
used to achieve this realisation should–without a doubt–also be scientific,
i.e. the method that is used should be none other than a series of true
realisations in and of themselves that remove the veil from the reality that is
being sought.



This is
because science is not the product of anything but another science like it.
Conjecture can never arrive at knowledge, and if this were not the case then
two conjectural premises could bring about a definitive result, and this is
clearly impossible.



Therefore,
everyone who searches for the truth must use a scientific method that is not
corrupted by whims and fancies. He must cling to this method and not deviate
from it in any way.



This is a
clear axiom that nobody can dispute.



However, it
is very likely that we can ask: to what extent do Islamic thought and Western
thought apply this axiom and pay attention to it?



Maybe the
word “objective research” is a quick answer, a well-known and widespread phrase
that is commonly associated, amongst some people, with the research of
orientalists, so does it answer this question?



It seems
that relying on this “objective research” alone to arrive at a judgement is a
way to truth that is tumultuous and not scientific. There is no doubt that it
causes us to deviate from the truth while at the same time deluding us into
thinking that we have actually found it.



It would be
good for us to look for the answer to this question by looking at the actual
path that is taken by both Muslim and Western scholars to arrive at some truth,
whether it is evaluative (as they say) or historical.



We
must–before anything else–establish a truth that has importance in this regard,
and it is that the primary factor in subjugating Islamic thought to an exact
and scientific method of research, as we will see, is nothing other than the
religion. If it were not for their religious belief, Muslims would not burden
themselves with the difficulty of such a method that requires time and effort
and does not bring about any specific material gain, and then ardently cling to
it until becomes something normal for all of them, as they encounter it and
study it together.



This
religious objective is exemplified in many passages in the Book of Allah the
Exalted, one of them being His saying, Glorified and Majestic: “And do not
concern yourself with anything that you have no knowledge of. Indeed the ears,
the eyes and the hearts will all be brought to account.” [Al-Isrāʾ 17:36].
This saying of His, Glorified and Majestic, is a rebuke of people who have
plunged their intellects into the obscurities of whims and conjectures which,
by their very nature, cover the truth and do not reveal it.



“For
most of them follow nothing but conjecture: conjecture can never be a substitute
for truth. Verily, Allah has full knowledge of all that they do.” [Yūnus 10:36]



You can see
how embodied in this motive is the prohibition against adopting any idea, even
the religion itself, from being the outcome of anything other than a path established
by an intellect that readily accepts definitive proofs that by their nature
reveal the truth that is sought.



It is because
of this that the scholars of tawhid
have stipulated as a condition for a believer’s faith that it be based solely
on knowledge-based proof and not suspicious facts resulting from merely
following someone else.



This is
because scientific truth–in the ruling of the religion[1]–is the
summit of all intellectually sacred things, as are its sources. It is that
which thought must turn to in humility and revolve around. Is there a stronger
evidence in this regard than the fact that the religion itself is not satisfied
with its existence and its sanctity being based on anything other than
knowledge and its proofs, and it is not pleased to take a judge for itself from
anywhere else?



All of this
means that Islam grants a religious quality to searching for the truth with
only the two lights of knowledge and the intellect. If a non-Muslim, by his
nature, engages in this because of his love for research, then indeed the
Muslim is motivated to do research because he feels that it is an obligation that
he is rewarded for doing and punished for not doing.



And this is
how Islamic thought found itself in front of a religious duty, and it is the necessity
of searching for the truth, whether it is by way of transmission or by way of
claims. It is self-evident that fulfilling this duty will require the laying
down of a method of research. It is obvious that as long as the objective is
sound and intact and only the intellect can judge regarding it, the method of
attaining the objective will also be sound and intact, being governed only by
the intellect.



But despite
that we are not writing this study so that we can rush and make a judgement
that the scientific method that the Muslims have is sound and intact and is
only governed by the intellect. Our only intention is to study this method and
we will make a decision regarding it afterwards.



The
Method of Research according to Muslim Scholars:



The scientific
method of research according to Muslim scholars can be summarized in the great
and glorious maxim that no-one else has anything that compares to it, and it is
their statement:



If you
are transmitting then [you need to] authenticate it, and if you are claiming
[something then you need] evidence.



This means
that the topic of research must either be a piece of information that has been
transmitted or a claim that has been made. As for that which may be a
transmitted piece of information, research into it must be restricted to
verifying the relationship between it and its source. Otherwise the door is
open for speculation, confusion and doubt. If speculation is eliminated and the
veil is lifted then the result of the transmitted information is a specific
scientific truth, on the condition that it possesses decisive evidence.



As for that
which is merely a claim, research into it must be directed towards scientific
evidences that agree with it and which by their nature will reveal the extent
to which this claim is true.



For every
type of claim there is a type of scientific evidence that suits it and cannot
be substituted for anything else. Claims that are related to the nature of
material things and their essence can only be connected to scientific proofs
that are tangible and experiential. Claims that are connected to things like
logic and numbers can only be accepted alongside established and sound proofs.
Claims that are connected to civil rights and affairs can only be of benefit if
they are accompanied by clear proofs upon which there is agreement that they
are necessarily applicable. In this way a claim does not become an established
scientific truth unless it is presented with the appropriate evidence. Evidence
that may back up the claim does not have any scientific value unless there is
conformity between them in terms of nature and type.



Bearing
that in mind, what, then, is the scientific method that the scholars of Islam
have laid down in order to verify the relationship between the piece of information
and its source and to verify the scientific value of a claim according to what
we have just mentioned?



The path
that is taken to verify a piece of information:



In this
path a number of specific techniques have emerged that cannot be found in history
outside of the Islamic library, and they are: ḥadīth terminology (muṣṭalaḥ al-ḥadīth), authentification
and classification (al-jarḥ wa al-taʿdīl) and the biographies of men (tarājum
al-rijāl), and these three techniques intersect in order to lay down an
exact standard for distinguishing a true piece of information from what is
otherwise, and the difference between a rigorously authentic piece of
information that brings about conjecture and that which brings about certainty.



A piece of
information reaches the level of rigorously authentic (ṣiḥah) when it is
firmly established, by way of exact analysis and research, that the chain of
transmission is joined from the one who carries the piece of information all
the way back to its source, and this transmission is accurate and just
throughout such that there is no anomaly in its content and no defect in its
narration. If the piece of information does not reach this level, because a
ring in the chain of transmission is missing because we do not know who he is, or
there is lack of confidence in his uprightness, or a lack of certainty
regarding his memorisation and his precision, or the actual text that is being
transmitted does not agree with what has been generally accepted, then it is
not rigorously authentic.



But the
rigorously authentic, in and of itself, has ascending levels, starting from
strong probability to certain realization. If the chain of transmission that
carries all the essentials of rigorous authenticity is comprised of single
narrators who transmitted the information between themselves, then it is
inevitable that it will be conjectural information according to the intellect.
If the rings in the chain of transmission are comprised of two or three
narrators then it is still conjectural information but it is stronger than the
first example while remaining less than certain.



If each
chain becomes chains, i.e. groups of narrators, then the intellect is satisfied
that no lie has been made, and at that point the narrated information acquires
the attribute of certainty, and it is what is called mass-transmitted (mutawātir)
information.[2]



As for
rigorously authentic information that is conjectural, the Islamic ruling does
not consider it in matters of creed, because conjecture is of no benefit in
this matter. The Qurʾān has prohibited (in the field of studying creed) the
following of conjecture. This is as you have seen. However, it is considered in
the scope of practical laws, to affirm mass-transmitted information and
decisive evidence based on the fact that the Muslim–with regards to scientific
conduct–is legally obligated to depend on the rigorously authentic that is
conjectural. This is because it is valid for legal rulings to be based on
rigorously authentic aḥādīth even if they are from a single chain of
transmission (āḥād), and this is caution and prudence in the matter.



As for the
rigorously authentic that is certain, what is called mass-transmitted
information, it alone is what is considered when establishing the creed and
indisputable established concepts. This means that man is not obliged to
believe in something transmitted unless it is based on mass-transmitted proof.
If the evidence is from a single chain of transmission then certainty in it
depends on one’s own personal satisfaction and contentment.



You may ask
me: How does the researcher know the conditions for a piece of information to
be rigorously authentic? We have made it obligatory that he hears the chain of
transmission, but how can he know about the contact that these narrators had with
one another when they are all reliable, trustworthy and precise?



The answer:
indeed both sciences of authentification and classification and the biographies
of men have facilitated the path of this study and made easy the examination of
the position that should be adopted.



In our
Islamic library, there are several works that present details about the men
whose names are found in any of the chains of transmission that we have. You can stop and look at the biography of
whomever you wish in order to classify and authenticate him and determine the
age in which he lived, and thereby you will know his contemporaries whom he may
have come into contact with. What is
strange is that those imams who concentrated on the gathering of the
biographies of men–and they are trustworthy imams, and each one of them is considered
to be an authority in this regard–were not worried, whilst looking for the
truth and respecting the scientific standard, that any corruption would tarnish
it, such that they put the points on their letters to provide a very exact
description of each person regardless of whether they would conclude that such
a person was unreliable and to be avoided or he was to be trusted and relied
upon.



And so
forth, for in our Islamic library there are dictionaries of a different kind
that have been compiled... dictionaries that accurately describe individuals
and men; from then you can learn about what is false and not connected to the
subject with the same ease that allows you to learn the accurate definition of
a word and its explanation in the known dictionaries and lexicons of language.



As we have
in our library a specific discipline that has been compiled in this regard, and
it is what is called the discipline of ḥadīth terminology, and this technique
includes all the various essentials for substantiating transmissions and pieces
of information in accordance with a unique scientific method.



This is a brief
summary of the scientific path that the scholars of Islam possess for
substantiating transmissions and pieces of information, and there is no desire
in these brief words to go into further detail and explanation, but whoever
wishes to go further must apply himself to the techniques that we have pointed
to in order to find the amazing, inimitable effort that was expended for the
sake of extracting the scientific value from the transmitted “word”.



The path
taken in order to substantiate claims:



This path
differs, as we have said, according to how claims differ, and thus that which
is connected to some material existence is dealt with by way of analysis and
modification. It is inevitable that one rely on evidences and proofs from the
five senses, i.e. on that which is called in modern parlance “experience and
observation”. Therefore, it is the natural means of arriving at certainty in
these kinds of matters.



Islam does
not hesitate to adopt anything that has been definitely established by this
means.



As for the
opposite side, indeed science cannot present to us, even today, any scientific
reality that contravenes any particular of Islamic theology.



Furthermore,
nothing in the Book or the Sunnah has made us legally responsible for any
clear, specific information connected to the material things in existence
around us. Rather, the Book and the Sunnah have given us expressions that
indicate them and prompt us to think about them and reflect on them, more so
than giving us information about them, and this is by relying on the means and
apparatuses that Allah has provided man with and which are the natural tool for
removing the veil of ignorance from every material reality in existence.



This is the
secret behind the Qurʾān not going into great detail with regards to the
scientific laws that are connected to that which is tangible and observable. If
the Qurʾān had done that, it would have thus become obligatory upon people to
believe in these details, and that in turn would have burdened human minds with
having to adopt scientific realities without arriving at them by way of the
proofs that are harmonious with them, i.e. experience and observation. The
Qurʾān has not burdened anyone with this task, and this is in order to honour
the intellect and give it the freedom to use its natural method of unveiling
tangible realities.



This is
why, in these matters, you find the Qurʾān doing no more than pushing those
endowed with intellect towards exploring and investigating by using their
scientific, unveiling means. As for what it contains by way of information
about the unseen, it has undoubtedly gone into great detail, because there is
absolutely no way for experience and observation to arrive at that information.
The only way to arrive at certainty in these matters is through Allah’s Book,
Mighty and Majestic is He, or the mass-transmitted Sunnah.



This is the
case for claims that are connected to tangible matters.



As for
claims that are connected to the unseen and are not subject to any of the
outward senses, there is that which you find in the Book or the mass-transmitted
Sunnah by way of a clear text and there is that for which you do not find in
either of them any clear account.



As for that
which is found in clear texts, this comes within the scope of indisputable
established concepts.



The path of
certainty is either by way of the transmission of the Book or the transmission
of the Sunnah, going back to the certainty of a mass-transmitted piece of
information, which we have already discussed. Thus, the Qurʾān is the words
that were revealed to Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, and
they have come to us by way of mass transmission. Thus, there is absolutely no
doubt that its words are Qurʾānic, and like the Qurʾān the same goes for the
Sunnah if it has reached us by way of mass-transmission.



As for the
veracity of what the Qurʾān itself contains, regardless of whether it is Qurʾān
and has reached us from the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon
him, with certainty, that is another scientific matter that falls under the
second category of claims connected to abstract issues or unseen matters. Know
that the underlying cause of that goes back to verifying the phenomenon of
revelation in the lifetime of the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be
upon him, and verifying the matter therein, which is based on proofs of
certainty that rely on full examination and clear necessity, as we will show
later in our study.



In other
words, the decisive and established texts in the Book give us certainty
regarding their contents, and this is after passing two stages of
investigation: the first stage is verifying the chain of transmission of the
Qurʾān from our master Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him,
to us. The second stage is verifying his, may Allah’s blessings and peace be
upon him, informing that the Qurʾān is from Allah.



If the
second stage is verified in light of the principles that we shall mention shortly,
then the texts of the Book become a source of permanent certainty. This is the
meaning of what we said before: (As for that which is found in clear texts, this
comes within the scope of indisputable established concepts.)



After that
there is no difference between the intellect having a means of digesting and
understanding these unseen matters in its own way and not having those means,
just like those unseen matters that we only know about because we have been
veraciously informed of them, such as the establishment of the Hour, the gathering
of the bodies, and the existence of Paradise, the Fire and the Angels. It is
sufficient for these things to be realised with certainty by the fact that they
have been informed of and dealt with by a clear text from the Book of Allah or
a mass-transmitted ḥadīth from the Sunnah.



Despite the
nature of the Qurʾān in this regard, it still presses us to reflect and
investigate everything that it informs us of and have certainty in it, namely
those unseen matters that the human intellect can go around and sense the
reality thereof, such as the existence of Allah, Mighty and Majestic, the
occurrence of that which is possible,[3] certain
things being made the means for other things,[4] and
similar matters.



The scholars
of scholastic theology (ʿilm al-kalām) have gone deep into researching
these matters by way of merely the intellect and speculation, without placing
veracious information as an intermediary between them on the one hand and the
intellect and speculation on the other. They have not done so because it is the
only means but rather for the sake of opening another path of research towards
certainty alongside the path of veracious information.



Thus,
Islamic thought arrives at faith in Allah’s existence and His oneness, along
with that which follows from it, by travelling along two paths, both of which
are an exact and scientific method without any defect:



The first
path begins with the stage of researching the phenomenon of revelation, and
once that has been passed, one moves on to the stage of researching the
veracity of what has been transmitted and the essentials of certainty being
abundantly present therein. Once that has been passed, one can be certain of
the matter and its veracity because of the veracity of its preliminary matters.




As for the
second path, it is shorter. One researches the matter based on guidance from
nothing but thinking and rational proofs, without moving too far away from
prophecy and its reality and the Qurʾān and its veracity.



In the end,
both paths lead the researcher to the truth. Indeed, they eventually meet and
strengthen one another.



As for
that which is not mentioned by a certain, mass-transmitted piece of
information, without any clear or obvious text, then the means of knowing the truth therein are
restricted to rational investigation alone, which is realised by way of two
paths:



The
First Path: To follow what is called dalālat al-iltizām[5]




This means
to find a direct connection between two things, such that when you think about one
of them you imagine the other.



This can
only be done after thorough examination, which is to study all the various
states and circumstances in which these two things exist, and thus one finds
that they are always connected to each other.

talib abdALLAH
18/09/2018, 19h33
For
example, if someone’s body has considerably weakened it is assumed[6] that
they are ill. If a town has a minaret it is assumed that its people are
Muslims. The sound of the siren that is specific to fire trucks makes one
assume that there is a fire. If a man is seen in the street in a drunken state
it is assumed that he drank some intoxicant.



The
indicator in all of these examples is not the cause of what is being indicated,
such that we can say that the fact of something indicating something else is
one thing causing the other. Therefore, having a weak body is not the cause of
the illness. A minaret is not the cause of people in a town being Muslim.
Hearing a siren is not the cause of a fire, and a man being in a drunken state
is not a cause of him having drunk an intoxicant.



While you
may witness the indicator in each of these examples, you do not see or witness
that which is being indicated, such that you can say that the proof is seeing
and observation. Rather, it is something hidden from your observation and your
perception.



Therefore,
how do these things indicate what they indicate, and how can we believe in them
without seeing them?



Indeed the
way of the indicator is known because the indicator is always connected to that
which it indicates, and this is repeated continuously and is proven by
examination. Thus, out of this permanent association, an effective link of
indication is formed between them.



The way to
benefit from this proof is to reflect on some phenomenon that you witness in
front of you. If you see–by way of examination–that this phenomenon
necessitates a specific reality, then it is natural, in the balance of the
intellect, to believe in it, even though you do not find it appearing in front
of you. Indeed a person who sees an ambulance racing with an unceasing siren
will not doubt that there is a sick person who is suffering in a
life-threatening situation, even though he cannot see him. Indeed, perhaps he is
not aware of the reality of the ambulance passing in front of him to the extent
that he would be aware of the state of the patient, which rapidly comes to
mind.



When one of
them presents a claim to you, very often you are able, with the means of
circumstantial evidence, to determine whether it is true or false. That is done
by way of looking for the necessary consequences of this claim. If you see
these necessary consequences in front of you then that is proof of the veracity
of the claim. If they are not there or it is the opposite, then that is proof
of the falsehood of the claim.



Thus, if a
man who lives in the suburbs of a town tells you that all its inhabitants are
Muslims, it is not possible for you to believe what he is saying if you
contemplate and find nothing above its buildings but crosses on churches,
despite the fact that you have not met any of its people and you have not
discovered what their theology or religion is by way of experience and
observation. If someone claims to you that the source of thought and intellect
in man is his feeling the need for food, you cannot believe his claim if you
reflect on all other animals that share with man the feeling of needing food
but do not, as a result, possess thought and intellect.



The
Types of Circumstantial Evidence:



Circumstantial
evidence does not always lead to certainty, as the matter is dependent on how
clear the connection is between the two things and to what extent further proof
is needed. This is why the scholars have divided circumstantial evidence into
three types, ascending in strength from the lowest to the highest:



The first
is called al-luzūm ghayr al-bayyin,[7] which is
to state definitively that there is a connection in the matter based on an
additional proof, such as the evidence for the corners of a triangle having at
least two angles. The intellect does not automatically come to this conclusion
for every triangle unless it has come across another proof that affirms it,
such as imagining a circle and knowing its degrees. Thus, this evidence alone
is not considered a proof because it, in and of itself, needs other proofs and
evidence to indicate it. However, it is considered partial proof, which is
completed by being supplemented with other proofs.



The second
is called al-luzūm al-bayyin bil-maʿnā al-ʿamm,[8] which is
to realise the connection between two things by imagining both of them and
investigating the matter for a long time, such as the evidence for something
being merely possible based on the fact that it is ḥādith[9], or
Allah existing by necessity based on the fact that He is qadīm.[10] Indeed,
you would not understand the connection between things that are possible and
the attribute of temporary existence unless you had carefully studied the
meaning of possibility[11] and
realised that it is anything that is not impossible for the intellect to
imagine not existing, and it has been preferred to and preferred to be contingent.
Then you will have carefully studied the meaning of temporary existence and
imagined the connection between it and everything that is possible, which, by
definition, exists because of something else affecting it.



However, in
any case, you still need to imagine another proof (as is the case with an
unclear connection) in order to establish this connection.



The third
is al-luzūm al-bayyin bil-maʿnā al-khāṣ,[12] which
means that imagining the connection alone is sufficient for imagining the
connection and making an apodictic judgment, such as the ambulance indicating
the patient in the previous example, or groaning in pain indicating an illness
in natural cases, or an utterance coming from someone in the dark indicating
the presence of a living being in rational cases. Indeed, the strength of the
connection between each of these matters makes the intellect imagine the
illness by merely imagining the groaning, and imagine the living being by
merely hearing the utterance coming from the dark without needing to reflect on
the connection between the two.



This third
type is the strongest of them in terms of indicating and in terms of the
strength of the proof, followed by the second type. As for the third type, it is an unclear
connection and cannot be considered as independent proof. Rather, it can only
be considered proof when there is an additional proof that reveals the veracity
of the connection, as we have mentioned.



The
Second Path: Analogy (qiyās)



What is
meant here is not the logical analogy that is adopted from Greek philosophy, which
is based on propositions and perceptual forms, but rather the meaning of
analogy according to the scholars of uṣūl al-fiqh[13]
and the scholars of uṣūl al-dīn (al-mutakallimīn)[14] after
they took inspiration from the Book of Allah, Mighty and Majestic.



This is a
method that can be summarised as extracting a cause (ʿillah) for
something or its reason (sabab), then to look for what might resemble it
from amongst unknown matters until the researcher is certain that both the
known and the unknown share one cause, and thus an analogy is made from the
former and its ruling that is taken from the effect of that cause is applied to
the latter.



The concept
of analogy is based on two principles, both of which are intellectually
accepted truths that require no proof.



The first
principle is the law of causation, i.e. everything caused has a cause and every
effect has something that influenced it.



The second
principle is the law of harmony and order in the world, i.e. the minor, partial
manifestations of the universe, even though they are of different shapes, are
connected by comprehensive reasons which by their nature establish harmony and
symmetry between all of them, and no matter how closely you examine the natures
of these reasons you will see, eventually, that they are combined in the
smallest number of causes and reasons.



Analogy is
only based on these two principles, as well, by means of investigation (istiqrāʾ) as it is that which informs the researcher of
the reality of the reason. Then it is that which, by means of itself, realises
the established, comprehensive relationships between things that are outwardly
dispersed or different, and this is how we notice that thorough investigation
is an indispensable condition for the two proofs: circumstantial and analogy.



The method
of investigation here is that you follow the particulars of what you claim is
the reason behind a specific matter, and that you find that it is not separate
from the production of what it causes.



This is
done by contemplating the relationship between the cause and the thing caused,
for you will see therein the phenomenon of conformity and reflection, i.e. every
time the cause is found the thing caused is found, and every time the cause is
absent the thing caused is absent. Then you look further into the cause and you
find that it influences the caused thing with indisputable proof, as this
conformity or reflection between the two could merely be due to coincidence or
some other factor.



This is how
you know that the condition of analogy here (i.e. in building one’s theology
and indisputable matters) is that the cause influence the thing caused,[15] that it
conforms and reflects and that it clearly does not change with time or place.



If the
cause does not meet the level of this condition, such as the influence therein
not being obvious and there only being some apparent agreement with the thing
causes, then this is a presumptive analogy (qiyās ẓannī), which is not accepted in
theological or intellectual judgments. It can only be accepted in practical,
legal issues. To establish the decisive evidence that presumptive evidences
suffice for worship and rulings of the Revealed Law, as we have mentioned
above, it suffices in the analogy of practical rulings of the Revealed Law that
the cause not change with time or place and that it conform and reflect, but it
is not stipulated that it influence. Rather, it is sufficient for there to be
agreement in the personal reasoning (ijtihād) of the researcher in order to build the
ruling on top of it. Thus, analogy in practical legalities of the Revealed Law
actually differs greatly from the nature of analogy and its conditions in
theological matters.



An example
of this would be to see houses or tents from afar in which people live, for
that would make you certain of the existence of water in that place.



The path to
certainty therein is that you would call to mind, by quickly glancing at every
other place you know in which people live, and see that one of the most
important reasons behind a place being suitable for people to inhabit it is the
availability of water. This notion does not change under any circumstances, as
you notice the influence of the cause (sabab), which is the water, upon
the thing caused, which is subsistence and the feasibility of life.



At that
point, you can draw an analogous conclusion from those other places and apply
it to this place that appears before you at a distance and decisively affirm
the existence of water therein even though you have not seen it with your own
eyes.



If this same
example were reversed, such that you saw a small amount of water from a
distance and then understood from that that people were living there, it would
be merely conjecture with no possibility of being elevated to the level of
certainty.



This is
because the causality of water for human life is an established fact based on
the evidence of influence, for water must be present wherever people are
present. As for the causality of water for the existence of people around it,
this is merely something appropriate and in conformity.[16]



Another
example of this is everything that possesses the appearance of being made and
planned being proof of someone making it and planning it. It is a necessity
that the thing caused not be separated from its cause.



From here
you know that Muslim scholars only pursue the method of investigation when they
come across anything that cannot be subject to experience and observation, and
in the shadow of this method they gather together both circumstantial evidence
and analogy. As you can see, it is as remote as possibly can be from the
metaphysical conclusions and abstract contemplations that Greek philosophy
delved into ever so deeply.

Indeed,
anyone who reflects on the Islamic method of research knows that the scholars
of Islam cannot establish any rational or creedal ruling unless it is upon the
foundations of reality, in which all the elements of certainty are gathered.

As for
those other realities that remain hidden behind the veil of doubts and have not
been grasped except by the hand of speculative deduction, such as those that
have emerged in the course of historical studies or discovered relics or
ancient fossils–for Islamic history does not know of some fact of certainty
that was established upon them or that they were ever adopted as proof of
criticism, demonstration (istidlāl) or the building of an idea. Rather, they have
remained as disconnected research and doubt around which every possibility
revolves, and a path that calls for the connecting of the various strands of
information using correct, investigative research.



***



This has
been a very quick summary of the scientific method of research according to the
Muslims. We have taken it from what is found in their researches, not from
abstract theories that are contained in their libraries. After that, we want to
ask about the method of research according to others, according to the scholars
of the West, such as the thinkers and the orientalists, those who have
broadcast and spread the word “objectivity” around their researches. Indeed,
this is the foundation that pushed us to write this introduction.



There is no
doubt that it has been made clear to the reader, by looking at the first
section of this discussion, that I am not seeking to studying both methods of
research, the Islamic and the Western, in an analytical fashion that would make
it subject to an exposition of different schools of thought that may exist therein,
or historical phases or a critique of the theories themselves. Rather, what I
intend is to clarify two facts.



The
first: explain the
extent to which Islamic thought relies on the pure objective methods in its
researches, and then explain the extent to which Western thought enjoys its share–more
or less–of the same.



The
second: the extent
to which there could be cohesion and concomitance between the methods of
research (in that they are specific, intellectual studies and conventions) and
between the various scientific methods, according to both Muslims and others,
i.e. the extent of the share that these methods possess of reality and correct
scientific application.



We–for the
sake of elucidating this fact–do not want to derive the scientific method of
research according to Muslim scholars from anything apart from that which is
found in their own researches, not so that in the end we can merely know that
there is an independent discipline in the Islamic library connected to the
method of research, but rather with that–and this is what is most important in
this discussion–we can know the extent to which this method is applied to the
Islamic sciences themselves.

talib abdALLAH
18/09/2018, 19h34
The
Method of Research According to Westerners:



We will
conclude this discussion of ours by following the same path that we started out
on, and thus we ask:



What is the
scientific method that Western thought follows in all the various sciences that
it comes across?



There is no
escape from going back and dividing the subject of science, whatever its type,
into two sides: a report that needs to be verified and a claim whose veracity
needs to be ascertained.



We will
start with the first of them and say:



The
method of testing transmissions and reports:



We do not
need to exert much thought in reflecting on the answer, for the reality is that
the Western method is devoid, until now, of any objective standard for
verifying anything connected to narrations and transmissions.



There is
what they call the retrieval method (al-minhaj al-istirdādī) or the method of anticipation, the
first pillar of which is whatever the researcher may possess by way of depth of
perception, precision of sentiment (wijdān) and broadness of imagination. The tools that
the researcher uses, his perception, his sentiment and his imagination, and
everything he may come across by way of relics, events and documents; the
manner of research is for the researcher to focus on the relics or events that
he has gathered in front of him and impose his perception, sentiment and
imagination upon them in order to derive on the back of that whatever puts him
at ease by way of principles, judgments and factual findings.[17]



It is–as
you can see–a method that in the end, regardless of how many tools and
documents are gathered, only has one path, which is the path of speculative
derivation, or indeed purely unseen. Derivation that is stripped of experience
and observation, thorough investigation and true narration is nothing but a
synonym for fancy and doubt or weak, unstable conjecture. That is with the
exception of relying on historical documents that contain evidence of
certainty, in consideration of what is between them and their source by of a
relationship of cause and thing caused, or something necessitating and
something being necessitated.



Let the
researcher ask: what has prevented Western thought, until today, from adopting
a scientific method with regards to verifying transmissions, despite that
importance of the matter and despite the fact that it constitutes half the
distance towards verifying many various scientific issues.



The answer
is that being concerned with verifying transmissions and reports demands
arduous and strenuous effort for there being, outwardly, any material return.
To exert such effort cannot be unless there is a motive behind it that is
stronger than the intensity of the effort that is to be exerted.



The motive
exists in abundance with Muslim scholars, while not a speck of it exists in
others. Muslim scholars believe in the existence of Allah, Mighty and Majestic,
and in the Prophethood of Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
and that they are legally responsible for basing their lives upon the way that
has been explained to them in Allah’s Book and His Messenger’s Sunnah.
Thus, there is no doubt that they are legally responsible for knowing that the
Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has left behind, by way of
teachings and instructions. They must strive to their utmost to ensure that the
factual certainty that is attached to his life, his biography and his statements
is not mixed with anything that would discredit it, such as guesses, lies and
inventions.



This is how
their certainty made them arrive at this arduous, accurate method that they
have laid down as a standard for the veracity of every narration and date, and
it was an obligation upon them not to underestimate the huge burdens they were
responsible for bearing in applying this method. If it were not for this
certainty and this motive, you would not have seen a single scholar of ḥadīth travelling hundreds of miles, far
from his homeland, in hard, difficult conditions for nothing other than meeting
a Shaykh who can narrate a ḥadīth from the Messenger of Allah, may
Allah bless him and grant him peace. The one coming to him may already know it
and have memorised it but he wants to take it from him as well and ask his
permission to narrate it from him so that he can possess more paths of the ḥadīth and know all the chains of
transmission that it has.



It is very
easy for you to read the chain of transmission of any ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allah, may
Allah bless him and grant him peace, in a book such as Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and you are reclining on your couch
or sitting behind your desk, but what is important is that the illustration of
that amazing effort that was generously expended in order to get just those two
lines of a chain of transmission, which is of almost no importance today, is
made clear.



This is
about the motive that has pushed Muslim scholars to establish a comprehensive
method for verifying narrations. What could possibly make this motive push
others to do the same? There is absolutely nothing, as long as the effort that
should be expended in order to acquire it is far greater than the material gain
or even the knowledge that is sought.



At this
juncture, you will notice that many scientific subjects have been treated by both
Islamic and Western thought by way of inquiry using two differing paths in
which discussion and criticism are of no benefit. This is because, for Muslims,
the method of verifying narrations is one of the sources of expounding them,
while for others the opposite method for doing so is nothing more than
deduction.



As an
example of this, let us look at the phenomenon of revelation in the life of the
Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

The method
that Muslim scholars have followed in this matter is the following:



First of
all, there is the verification of the narration and accuracy of the wording and
the chain of transmission. All Muslim scholars have reached the conclusion that
the ḥadīth of revelation is authentic (ṣaḥīḥ) and has come through so many
various paths that it has surpassed the threshold of mutawātir[18] maʿnawī.[19]



The second
is thorough investigation, which has placed them in front of both
circumstantial evidence and analogy of the first[20] (and
the reader should not wait for me to explain this method that the scholars
followed in this regard here, for that will inevitably drag us in another
chapter that we are not concerned with right now).[21]



The
conclusion that Islamic thought arrived at was: conviction that revelation is
him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, receiving an essential,
independent reality that is outside of his being and his internal feelings and
far removed from anything he has acquired or his intellectual or scientific
demeanour.



As for the
method that Westerners have followed regarding the same, it is as follows:



The first
step is to take the word “revelation” (waḥī) and consider it a relic or vague
event that history has left behind.



Secondly,
using guesswork and estimation to derive whatever anticipation, sentiment and
imagination can comprehend from this word.




After that,
the conclusion that they have arrived at with regard to revelation is that they
have differed and split up into different schools. There are those amongst them
who have concluded that revelation is nothing more than an internal, mental
exercise or type of psychical inspiration. Then there are those who claim that
it is a spiritual illumination that has come by way of gradual unveiling. And
then there are those who have found nothing wrong in affirming that revelation
is nothing more than epileptic fits that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah
bless him and grant him peace, was afflicted with from time to time.



There is no
expectation that these people and the thinkers of Islam will come together on
one path of understanding this matter, because these people have eliminated
from their consideration the matter of narrations and reports and their
scientific value, whether negative or positive. In other words, they have
deemed it permissible for themselves to ignore authentic, mutawātir narrations just as they have, at the same
time, deemed it permissible to invent an explanation that is not supported by
any report or authentic narration.



Likewise,
they absolutely do not adhere to the method of investigation and what is
established by the law of circumstantial evidence and analogy of the first. This
has allowed them to imagine that Muḥammad, peace and blessings be upon
him, from the moment in which he received revelation, had a personality that
completely contradicted the personality he had beforehand, and indeed
contradicted the ongoing events of his life. It has allowed them to make him,
peace and blessings be upon him, the greatest liar in the sight of Allah after
he was by far the most trustworthy and honest of people. They have made him the
greatest actor, deceiver and charlatan, who feigned fear and the yellowing of
his face in front of Khadījah because of something he had seen of
revelation while at the same time he actually did nothing more than apply
himself to mere internal thoughts and inspirations.



***



The
method of testing scientific claims:



After the
above, let us move to the other side of the scientific topic and ask: what is
the scientific method that follows verification with regards to a claim from
amongst all other claims or a hypothesis from amongst all other hypotheses that
scholars of the West come across?



We say: As
for those hypotheses that are connected to the natural sciences, Europe has
been able, since the age of the Renaissance, to contrive a method for itself,
based on experience and observation, that possesses in abundance all the
elements of perplexity and precision, and it is not just this. Rather, European
thought has been able to use the tales of unveilings and invention as a means
of supporting scientific experience, backing it up and benefitting immensely
from it.[22]



There is no
benefit in you saying, as some are pleased to do so, that Europe only inherited
this method from us, we the Muslim, during the Middle Ages and its well-known
historical events. Therefore, the reality is that Europe, to the extent that it
is rich today with this inheritance, we are thoroughly impoverished in terms of
the glory we once had in days gone by…and therefore we must, as Arabs, or
Muslims, open our eyes properly and look at the clear reality, which is:



History,
always, only belongs to the time period in which it was born. It does not
bequeath glory or decline but only bequeaths one thing, which is the lesson.



However,
Europe, to the extent that it has developed in the field of natural sciences
and its methods, has gone backwards in the field of other indisputable, fixed
notions, such as that which falls under the category of abstract and unseen matters.



It was
incumbent upon their scholars and thinkers, in view of these fixed notions, to
travel one of two paths:



Either firmly
closing the door of research and reflection between themselves and these
matters and regarding what they have acquired from the other, material sciences
as freeing them of the need to spend any intellectual effort in anything
besides them:

Or approach
them with a method of objectivity and pure scientific examination, as they cannot
turn away from them.



However,
the reality is that they did not do this or that but rather they were happy to adopt
a method of studying them and researching them that could, in the very least,
be described as strange and curious.



They
started their research with the premise of whatever theories and postulates in
their minds pleased them; everything was according to what was appealing and
according to the inspiration of the environment, the society and the study in
whose shadow they grew up in. Then they were pleased to extract suitable,
inferred evidences for what they had already presumed and relied upon just as
they were pleased, as an equivalent, to declare false the evidences that defy
what they rely upon, with no motive other than the desire to do so.



In order
not to wrong the minority of researchers who have turned away from their
desires and allowed their thoughts to receive a portion of free, pure research,
we should say that this description applies to the mentality that is found in
the majority of Western thinkers, and in the majority of scientific issues that
have the same, abovementioned imprint.



There is no
doubt that one of the clearest repercussions of this reality and most obvious
of its illustrated indications is those schools of thought that have emerged
claiming that theology can follow psychical desire and be subject to it.



Thus, it
suffices you, in order for you to believe in something with firm conviction,
that your desire direct itself towards that and that you feel the need for it.
At the same time, your desire or your need will not be able to extract the
evidence for you that follows the other according to what you prefer to believe
in.



At the
forefront of those who have adopted this method and means of research is the
famous American thinker William James and his famous book Pragmatism is
one of the most important sources which explain this method and advocate it.



The strangest
manifestation of this method, which has attracted a large group of Western
researchers, materialises as James divides the necessary intellectual
tendencies into two: living and dead, and he explains the dead tendency as
being that which the researcher has no inclination towards, and he strikes an
example of this tendency: if it is said to someone, ‘Be a Sufi’, or ‘Be a
Muslim’, as opposed to being told, ‘Be a Christian’ or ‘Be an agnostic’; the
first half of the research has already been judged as false because the
tendency towards it is absent and the desire is to turn away from it.[23]



There is no
doubt that this method, which is advocated by others besides William James, has
been opposed (from the theoretical standpoint) by several others. However, the
factual evidences of the various researches articulates, even with regards to
these opponents, the very same method and it calls out with a raised voice that
theology, whether positive or negative, must be based on a large portion of
mere desire, if we do not say desire alone. This means that it is folly for you
to look for any semblance of objectivity in their researches, except for a rare
minority from amongst them, and especially because the path of inference–which
is the sole path for their verifications in this domain–is extremely malleable
as it responds to every desire and tendency.



What James
and other Western thinkers have in common is that they create the fabric of
religious belief in their thoughts from the fibres of the various worldly
interests that exist, which people long for in their lives and livelihoods.
There is no doubt that it is not their religious doctrines that emanate from
their thoughts and intellects and into their lives but the other way around:
they emanate from the actuality of their lives and daily affairs and into their
thoughts and intellects.



Look at how
the British thinker Bentham illustrates this method with the clearest
illustration. He says,



‘Religion
must be in accordance with what benefit requires. The influence that religion has
is based on punishment and reward, and thus its punishment must be directed at
those actions that only harm the social condition, while its reward should be
restricted to actions that benefit. The only way for governance to be in
accordance with religion is to look at it from the angle of political good for
the nation only. Anything besides that should not be looked at.’[24]



When they
found that the nature of the intellect differs completely from this method in
research and examination, and they saw that abandoning the intellect’s bridle,
letting it think about unseen and abstract matters as it wants, would lead to
many of their intellectual principles and rules, which they had established
upon this method, falling into ruin, they could not be bothered to establish
another intellectual school based on scorning the intellect and denying its
proofs and evidences, and warn one another about the dangers of the intellect
to religion (i.e. to the religion that they understand according to their
method that we have clarified) using the slogan: ‘Saving Religion from the
Intellect.”



You know
that the course of this strange path, just as it requires from them not to look
at the pure intellect, for the sake of conscripting general intellectual values
behind the various interests and benefits that they had agreed upon, also
requires the denial of every other understanding of these values and doctrines
that does not agree with their interests, regardless of their connection to the
intellect and regardless of how self-evident and obvious they are.



Because of
this you find them–at a time in which they are shackling their intellects for
fear of the dangers they would pose to the doctrines they have established in
compliance with certain circumstances in their lives–swooping down and
attacking our doctrines, which have been established, as you have seen, in
compliance with the rule of the pure intellect in accordance with its sound
scientific method: and that is by their claim, in which they know are lying, of
free thinking and intellect and not being guided except by science! In other
words, this attack is masked in the mask of rational, free research yet it is
nothing but in compliance with the same method that they have adhered to, which
is that any doctrine that does not agree with their various interests,
inclinations and hopes deserves to be fought again, regardless of its proofs
and sources.



By my
reckoning, all I am obliged to do is place before the reader several examples
most of which share in affirming two specific matters: the path of pure
inference that is free of any checking or investigation, and the effect of the
desire to defend against a specific trend and build one’s theology on its
foundations.



1- Von Kramer and
Goldziher relate that people researched a strange matter, which was: do
non-Arab men marry Arab women in Paradise? This was because of their desire to
establish that the Islamic Conquests bore the hidden objective of Arab
dominance.[25]



There is no doubt that whoever reads this text will imagine that a
great mass of people researched this topic and that those who researched it
were jurists (fuqahāʾ) as it is something that concerns jurists before anyone else.



However, if you go back to the source of the story and its chain
of transmission and reality you will know that the “people” who looked into the
topic of non-Arabs marrying Arab women in Paradise were actually one Bedouin
who had come from the desert. Al-Aṣmaʿī heard him saying to someone else,
‘Do you think these non-Arabs will marry our women in Paradise?’ He replied, ‘I
think so, and righteous action is by Allah.’ It is a story that has been
related by al-Mubrad in al-Kāmil and he declares its certainty weak.[26]



So contemplate on how a report that had been cut off from its
source was put forward and presented in a general way, and forced to speak,
against its will, and testify to what the pure, scientific, objective
researcher wanted!



2- In the book The
Philosophy of Religious Thought between Islam and Christianity by Louis
Ghardiah and G. Qanwātī,[27] it is
mentioned that ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān approached the Qurʾān during his caliphate and divided
it into chapters (sūr) and verses (āyāt) and he arranged the chapters according to
length, starting with the longest and then the next longest and so forth. (v.1
p.42)



So contemplate, first of all, on the method followed in order to
established this claim or hypothesis and you will know that the method is
absent from its foundations. The authors have just put this claim in front of
us so that we close our eyes and accept it as it is, forgetting the statement
of the poet:



Claims, if you do not establish clear proofs

Upon
them, they will give rises to pleas

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18/09/2018, 19h34
From what investigative, or demonstrative or inferential, source
was it established that ʿUthmān was the one who divided the Qurʾān into chapters and verses, that he
deliberately arranged them according to his own desire and that he arranged
them starting with the longest of them, knowing that he was the one who decided
that this one should be long and this one should be short?



As for us, what we know according to the authentic, established
narration of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
and from ʿUthmān himself, is that the matter of verses and
their arrangement and chapters and their division and arrangement, all of it
goes back to at-tawqīf,[28]
which no one, not even the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant
him peace, has a hand in. Our proof for this is what al-Bukhārī has related with his own chain of
transmission on the authority of Ibn Zubayr, who said, ‘I said to ʿUthmān, “This verse, “Those who die
leaving wives behind” until His statement: “without them having to leave
their homes.” [al-Baqarah 2:240] has been abrogated by the other verse, so
why do you write it?” He replied, “O my cousin, I do not change anything from
its place.”’ And there is what al-Qurṭubī and others have related with an
authentic chain of transmission on the authority of Sulaymān ibn Bilāl, who said, ‘I heard Rabīʿah being asked, “Why do al-Baqarah
and Āl
ʿImrān
come first when some eighty chapters were revealed before them while both of
them were revealed in Madīnah?” Rabīʿah replied, “They come first, and
the Qurʾān
has only been compiled according to the One Who compiled it.”’[29]



3- Now you have
this example:



The orientalist Gibb, in his work “The Structure of Religious
Thought in Islam”,[30] says
that Islam came to give a religious character to that ancient Arab “animism”,
which had been weaved by the customs and the environment, after Muḥammad, peace and blessings be upon
him, had been unable to get rid of it. And he continued to affirm that–with odd
and strange seriousness–using a method that was based on his deep penetration
into inference, or indeed pure guesswork in most cases.



But all of the above is of the utmost simplicity compared to what
follows:



Gibb says in the introduction to this book of his, ‘…’ Then he
quotes his book Ḥujjat Allāhi al-Bālighah. This is the established, literal text, in
quotation marks, which I am transmitting to the noble reader:



‘Indeed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was
sent with a mission that contained a second mission. The first was to the
children of Ismāʿīl…this mission necessitated that the
contents of his Revealed Law be rites and practices of worship and types of
usefulness that they were familiar with, as the Revealed Law was only to
rectify what they already had, not burden them with something they had absolutely
no knowledge of.’



We say: There is no doubt that Gibb did not come across this
expression alone in the book without looking at anything that came before it or
after it. That would be impossible, as the expression is embedded in a long
discussion that surrounds it from all sides. Here we find–unfortunately–the
most serious kind of treachery in research and quotation, which is that he
deliberately distorted what was being said and made the speaker responsible for
what he was not responsible for, and tried to make him say what he was innocent
of.



What is amazing is that if we were to go back and look in the
books of those who came before us for a comprehensive refutation of Gibb’s
fantasies which he has put forward in this book of his, we would not find a
refutation more profound and more comprehensive than what is found in the book
of Shah Walī
Allah ad-Dahlawī, in his book Ḥujjat Allāhi al-Bālighah, on the same page from which Gibb plucked out
this text in order for it to corroborate what he was saying. It is as if Allah,
Mighty and Majestic, inspired him[31] to cut
the means of whoever would come after him and load his speech with that which
he never intended and make him say what he never could have said. Here is what
he said:



‘Know that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was sent
with the Ismāʿīlī Ḥanafiyyah[32] in
order to straighten its crookedness, remove its distortions and spread its
light. This is the Exalted’s statement: “the religion of your forefather Ibrāhīm” [al-Ḥajj 22:78] As that was the case, it
was necessary for the foundations of that religion to be intact and its
practices established. This meant that the Prophet was sent to a people who
still had the remnants of rightly guided Sunnah,[33] and
thus there was no point in changing it or altering it. Rather, the obligation
was to affirm it because it was more malleable to their souls and a firmer
proof against them. The children of Ismāʿīl inherited the way of their father
Ismāʿīl and they were upon that Revealed
Law until ʿAmr ibn Luḥayy came into existence and inserted things
into it according to his corrupt opinion, and thus he went astray and led
others astray. He introduced the worship of idols and new, unbound practices.
There was the nullification of the religion and the mixing of the correct with
the corrupt, and they were overwhelmed by ignorance, idolatry and disbelief.
Allah then sent our master, Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
to straighten their crookedness and rectify their corruption. He, may Allah
bless him and grant him peace, looked at their law and whatever corresponded
with the way of Ismāʿīl, peace be upon him, and the rites
of Allah, he commanded that it remain, and whatever was a distortion or
corruption or from the rites of idol worship and disbelief, he nullified it and
recorded its nullification.’[34]



One thing that cannot be doubted is that Gibb knew about this text
that follows those sentences that we quoted from him, and it is, as you can
see, nothing but an elaboration and explanation of its contents, as anyone who
reflects knows. Thus, how can it be possible to ignore it and pay no attention
to it, or indeed not be content with that alone until claiming that in affirming
his ideas he was relying on al-Dahlawī, on this man who utterly pulverised
these fantasies, as you can see?



Thus, this is the reality of the scientific method that is
followed by most Westerners when they enter into a scientific discussion with
others, or when they want to establish some hypothesis or fact, or when they
try to extract some knowledge or grasp some certainty from a text or document
in history: the path of inference first,[35] then
subject the research to nothing but will and desire second, then deliberately
distort transmissions and text third.



When we know
these realities, and some of its many examples, we have no choice but to thank
a researcher like ʿAbdur Raḥmān Badawī when he warns us–in immersed,
exalted purity–after his discussion on the retrieval method of Westerners
against explaining any historical text in other than the language of the age in
which it was written, against ignoring the context and what precedes it, and
against speculating in understanding an indication or expression according to
other than what the context of the entire expression leads to.



However,
what is amazing about his statement is that these pieces of advice are directed
at Muslim scholars, those to whom the graciousness of drawing attention to this
precision and trust goes back to, and to whom goes back the graciousness of
applying it in the most comprehensive of ways, without directing any of it at
these Westerners whom he is excessively impressed by and speaks at great length
about their methods, unfortunate examples of which we have just shown. Instead
of doing that, he directed it at Muslim scholars, imagining one of them
stealing a Qurʾānic verse or Prophetic ḥadīth –as they say–in order to support
contemporary statements that have no connection to them whatsoever apart from
the literal wording.



I was
hoping from ʿAbdur Raḥmān Badawī–and he ignored what these people did
with their method of research–that he would mention to us one example of a
researcher from amongst the Muslim scholars (from amongst those who do not
imitate their rulers in following their retrieval and anticipation method) who
quoted a text and distorted it, or started deriving significant scientific
facts with ropes of inference strengthened by guesswork and estimation.



Thus, it is
for you, after fully understanding everything we have mentioned, to be
completely amazed at those who call religious facts which Muslim researchers have
arrived at by way of their scientific method that we have clarified “dogma” and
those who hold them “dogmatists”. Then they look at what the philosophers of
the West imagine, and those who have deviated from religion, and call it
“science” and call the proponents of this imagining “scientists”! In other
words, religion, as Gibb understands it with his non-existent method, which we
have seen, is science, and his way of thinking is scientific. As for religion,
as understood by Muslim scholars in the accordance with the scientific method
that we have illustrated, it is pure dogma, and their way of thinking is just a
dogmatic exercise!



Thus, O
intelligent reader, be an honest, objective researcher, and call this group of
people (whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, Muslims or non-Muslims) whatever
pure, scientific investigation shows them to be.



The
chief factor behind the failure of Westerners’ research methods



And despite
that, let me speak to you about the deep reason for this strange phenomenon in
these people:



Westerners,
in terms of their stance towards the Christian religion, fall into two
categories: those who profess it, submit to it and believe in all of its
contents and rulings and those who disavow it, do not submit to it and are not
lead to following it and professing it.



As for
those amongst them who profess it, they are unable to digest the doctrines of
their religion and all of its elements by way of science and the intellect (as
the intellect and science clearly defy many of its requirements, reconciliation
and interpretation are not possible) but they have also found that their
natural, human disposition, urges them to find a religion to adhere to and an
object of worship to be subject to, and they have become certain that many
moral values have no guarantee of being realised without the guarantee of
religion and its control over the soul. Thus, they have come to find themselves
between two matters, there is no third in front of them that is true to their
environment: either they reject this false religion or they reject sound
intellect, but they have preferred the second over the first and rejected sound
intellect without rejecting the false religion. Thus, they truly are
dogmatists.



As for
those amongst them who do not profess it, they have preferred rejecting the
false religion over rejecting sound intellect, but they have sufficed with the
requirements of sound intellect by denying the religion that they have and
interpreting it according to what they imagine and what they think, without
looking at the true religion whose principles and rulings in totality both the
intellect and science submit to. They have been barred from that by other
feelings, and they are the feelings of European, subjective partisanship and
the constant fear that the Muslims will return once again to dominating the
world, as they were back in the day. Thus, these people have been called
secularists.



Then you
know that amongst Arabs and Muslims there are individuals whom you consider to be
people who articulate, comprehend and speak, but in reality they are nothing
but pale shadows that stretch and move with the movements of Europe, the
thoughts of Europe and the philosophy of Europe.



These
people are of the opinion that religion in Europe has two explanations, a
positive explanation which in reality is purely a dogmatic explanation and a
negative explanation which, as they call it over there, is a purely scientific
explanation. They brought these two explanations from over there and imposed
them on the religion of Islam here, for nothing other than to complete the
shadow and have blind imitation reinforced from all sides.



This, then,
is the deep reason for this strange phenomenon in these people.



This
category of people does not concern us at all after the intelligent,
reflective, free person knows, from everything we have clarified in this
introduction, that Islam does not mean those religious beliefs that Europe
holds in defiance of the intellect, and that Islam, in all its principles and
doctrines, stands upon an exact, honest, scientific method that is only drawn
by the hand of the intellect alone, without partisanship or desire to believe
something or blind imitation and following having any sway.



***







[1] What we mean by ‘religion’ here is
specifically Islam, and it is known that there are massive differences between
Islam and other religions in this regard.



[2] (tn): i.e. it impossible that all
of these people could have conspired to lie



[3] (tn): e.g. floods, storms etc.



[4] (tn): e.g. rain being the means of
crops growing, etc.



[5] (tn): i.e. circumstantial evidence



[6] (tn): or it is an indication



[7] (tn): i.e. an unclear connection



[8] (tn): i.e. a clear connection in
the general sense



[9] (tn): i.e. existing only temporarily
as opposed to eternally



[10] (tn): i.e. pre-eternal



[11] (tn): Ar. imkān



[12] (tn): i.e. a clear connection in a
specific sense



[13] (tn): i.e. jurisprudence



[14] (tn): i.e. the scholars of theology
and especially kalām, or dialectical theology.



[15] What we mean by influence is that
that causation between the cause and the thing caused is established by proof,
such as rain causing vegetation and fire causing burning, irrespective of
researching the reality of this causation and analysing it in the light of
faith in the Real Causer (al-Musabbib al-Ḥaqīqī), Mighty and Majestic, and the
place for research is in analysing that, and discussing the law of causation in
the universe, while I will return to in its proper place in this book.



[16] (tn): in other words, the existence
of water in a given location only allows for the possibility of people living
there, it does not necessitate such



[17] See p.200 and onwards of Manāhij al-Baʿth al-ʿIlmī by ʿAbdur Raḥmān Badawī



[18] (tn): i.e. it has been transmitted
for so many sources such that it would be impossible for all of them to have
conspired to lie



[19] (tn): i.e. in meaning, as opposed
to exact wording (lafẓī)



[20] (tn): i.e. attaching the second
event, which has no textual ruling, to the first event, does have a textual ruling,
because the two events are the same in terms of the cause (ʿillah) of
the ruling



[21] In this book, this will be
discussed in the section on Prophecy, starting on p.144



[22] The experiential [(tn): or
experimental] method can only be relied on in the natural sciences, since it is
from the very nature of these sciences that they cannot be grasped with
certainty unless it is by way of beginning with subject matters that are found
in external experience and are far removed from inspiration of the mind or cogitation. Then they impose themselves upon it according
to what observation and experience indicate, and after that the duty of the
mind is merely to expound upon it and analyse it.

Furthermore,
some imbeciles, who have not realised that there are differences in the natures
of the various sciences, persist–relying on the experiential method–in not
having faith in the Creator, Mighty and Majestic, as long as that cannot be
established by the experiential method. These miserable people are under the
delusion that when Europe got trains moving due to its natural sciences and got
electricity working and launched rockets using experiential studies, this
proved that all universal realities should be transformed into natural sciences
and thus be subjected to experience and observation, and if not then the ruling
of a judge in the court cannot be accepted, nor can a law in psychology. These people have no readiness to imagine any
reality that is from the events of the past or the apprehensions of the future,
because all of that is nothing more than the fruits of investigation or
inference or analogy. As long as all of that is far removed from experience and
observation then it is nonsense. It has no existence.

There
is no doubt that this kind of thinking is in greater need of discussion and
negotiation.



[23] See The Will to Believe by
William James [(tn): http://educ.jmu.edu//~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html,
accessed 7 June, 2016



[24] (tn): This is most likely
paraphrased from An Introduction to The Principles and Morals of Legislation
by Jeremy Bentham. Please see http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/bentham-an-introduction-to-the-principles-of-morals-and-legislation
(accessed 7 June, 2016)



[25] Refer to La Domination Arabe by
Van Vloten [tn: https://archive.org/details/syada_arabya]
and what Kramer and Goldziher have written on the same topic.



[26] Refer to al-Kāmil by al-Mubrad, v.2 in the section on clients of
the Arabs



[27] (tn): http://www.islameyat.com/post_details.php?id=1517&cat=23&scat=151&
(accessed on 8 June, 2016) This book was translated into Arabic from a language
other than English. The Arabic title is Falsafah al-Fikr al-Dīnī bayna al-Islām wa al-Masīḥiyyah



[28] (tn): i.e. they are as Allah has commanded,
there is no room for ijtihād, or personal reasoning



[29] In this book, The Philosophy of
Religious Thought, there is a great deal of scum, which both authors used
liberally in the inferential path first and in the desire to arrive at a
specific conclusion second. Maybe we will get the opportunity, from this scum,
to show the thing that increases in exposing the value of “pragmatism” and
“objectivity” according to these researchers.



[30] (tn): which is a chapter in his
book Studies on the Civilisation of Islam (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1982)



[31] (tn): i.e. ad-Dahlawī



[32] (tn): i.e. rejecting idol-worship
and adhering to the true religion



[33] (tn): i.e. customary practice, and
in this context meaning a source of legislation



[34] See Ḥujjat Allāhi al-Bālighah by ad-Dahlawī (1/97, 98 and 99) and the work “The
Structure of Religious Thought in Islam” by the English Orientalist Gibb. (tn):
The Arabic translation of Gibb’s work, by
Dr ʿĀdil al-ʿIwwā, is called Bunyat al-Fikr al-Dīnī
fi al-Islām (University of Damascus Press, 1959) and the quote is found
on p.58.



[35] (tn): i.e. draw a conclusion first







Posted by



Mahdi Lock

talib abdALLAH
18/09/2018, 19h37
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talib abdALLAH
20/12/2018, 21h58
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talib abdALLAH
18/07/2019, 18h40
As-salam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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