Sunday, 24 March 2013

Rationality and Revelation

Rationality & Revelation:
The continued Search for Meaning.

This argument continues on from "the Perfection of Faith". In that I concentrated on the words of RasulAllah (saw), that he said on several occasions over the Farewell Pilgrimage, "Those that are present relay the message (of what I have said) to those that are absent, perchance they may better understand it."
(http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=202238659&blogID=334457745&Mytoken=4064C4C2-C238-49A3-872A5A25A4A17F8718631711: the Perfection of Faith and the Search for Meaning (a previous blog)).


I believe that these words are pivotal for how we should approach that Message (the Wahiy and the Hikmah).

Classically it is argued that RasulAllah's (saw) life (his words and his deeds) are sufficient explanation for the message contained in the Qur'an. And rightly so, however does not the life of RasulAllah (saw) itself require an understanding?

In our daily lives we continually weigh arguments, opportunities, threats and a myriad of other things using the rules of rationality. And it is Rationality that asks of us disinterestedness, objectivity and the indiscriminate application of rules of thought.

When we translate this into the language of religion, is this not "Thou shalt not lie"? And as Muslims are we not to be continually aware of the hazards of hypocrisy, whose cornerstone is deception? And even more, self-deception?

When you observe the behaviour, or thought patterns, of those who strive not for objectivity and most especially of those who do not apply the same rules of thought to others as they do for themselves, then the descriptions contained in S. Baqara become clear. Such people loose the ability for self examination and reflection, and believe that the good is only for and from them. And they become blind to the realities of this world and loose their objectivity.

And so when we try to understand the religion, the book and the hikmah (which is the wisdom of how RasulAllah (saw) understood it), why should we not apply the rules of rationality?

At it's most basic it is a method that lends coherence, a means of interpretation and clarification that can help us in the application of all that has come down to us.

And so it is that Rationality is but a tool with which we might better understand. And the foremost way it can do this is by relating what we know of our lives with what we can come to know through the study of the most abundant of lives.

The life of Muhammad (saw), proof of God (most high), who forever will be blessed.

All glory and praises belong to Allah (t'ala) who sent Muhammad (saw) with the truth; as a witness and as a beacon of light.

Your brother, Shafi
1st posted MySpace 8th August 2008.


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