Muslim Scholars Hatred Towards Philosophy

Posted: September 22, 2008 by millatibraheem in Current Affairs, Laa ilaha illAllaah, Rebuttals

Muslim Scholars Hatred Towards Philosophy

Muslim scholars resisted the trend towards mixing matters of ‘Aqeedah – belief – with philosophy and ‘ilm al-kalaam, which was started by those who were known as the “philosophers of Islaam,” such as Ibn Seena (Avicenna), and they fought those who were influenced by these philosophies.

The great scholars were of two types: one group was composed of those who noted the danger of this idea from the start and resisted this trend from the outset, such as Imam Ahmad and Imam ash- Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him). Shaafa’i said: “My ruling concerning the scholars of ‘ilm al kalaam (philosophy) is that they should be beaten with palm-branches and shoes, and paraded before the tribes and clans, and it should be announced that this is the punishment of those who forsake the Qur’aan and Sunnah and turn to ‘ilm al-kalaam.”

The other group is composed of scholars who followed in the footsteps of the philosophers and were exhausted by their methods, but they did not realize what was happening until the sunset of their years, when they were filled with regret at the time when it was too late. They were left with nothing but grief and sorrow, and could do no more than ask Allaah for forgiveness and warn those who came after them against following the mistaken path that they trod. Among this group was Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ar-Raazi, who said in his book Aqsaam al-Ladhdhaat {Ibn al-Qayyim, As-Sawaa’iq al- Mursalah, Pp. 7; Ar-Raazi, I’tiqaadaat firaq al-Muslimeen, Pp. 23}:
“The most that reason can achieve is a dead end, and the ultimate result of people’s striving is misguidance. Our souls are alienated in our bodies, and all that we get from this world is harm and annoyance. We have not gained anything from our lifelong search apart from a collection of what the philosophers said. How often have we seen men and nations, but they have all vanished quickly and disappeared. How many mountains have men climbed, but the men have gone and the mountains remain.”

Ar-Raazi said:
“I examined the various kalaami and philosophical schools of thought, and I realized that they have nothing to offer to one who is sick, and they cannot quench a man’s thirst (for knowledge).” He came back to the Qur’aanic methodology, and gave an example of the Qur’aanic methodology concerning divine attributes: “I saw that the best way is the way of the Qur’aan. Read where it confirms the attributes of Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala):

“The Beneficent (Allaah) Who established Himself on the throne in a manner that suits His Majesty” {Qur’aan 20:5}

“…Good words ascend to Him…” {Qur’aan 35:10}

And read where it denies things with regard to His attributes:

“…There is no one like Him…” {Qur’aan 42:11}

“…While they do not encompass any knowledge about Him.” {Qur’aan 20:110}

Then he said: “Whoever goes through the same experience as I have will know what I know.” {Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah, al-Fatwa al-Hamawiyah al-Kubra, Pp. 7.}

Ash-Shahrastaani said the same thing, noting that after spending a long time studying with the philosophers and scholars of ‘ilm al-kalaam, he found nothing but confusion and regret, as he says{Ash-Sharastaani, Nihaayat al-Iqdaam fi ‘Ilm al-Kalaam, Pp. 3.}:
“All my life, I went around all the schools of philosophy, studying all of those schools. And I never saw anything but people resting their chins on their hands or gnashing their teeth in regret.”

Al-Juwayni, one of the most prominent students of Islaamic philosophy (‘ilm al-kalaam), warned against studying this: “O’ my friends, do not study ‘ilm al-kalaam. Had I known what ‘ilm al-kalaam would do to me, I would not have studied it.” {Majmoo’ al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah; see Al-Fatwa al-Hamawiyah al-Kubra, Pp. 7.}

When he was dying, he said in regret and sorrow: “I threw myself into a vast ocean, and forsook the people of Islaam and their knowledge. I indulged in that which they had warned me against and now if Allaah does not shower me with His mercy, then woe to Ibn al-Juwayni. ‘Here I am, dying on the the ‘aqeedah of my mother,’ or he said, ‘on the ‘aqeedah of old women (i.e., simple ‘aqeedah).'”

Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali (may Allaah have mercy on him) was one of those who spent a long time examining and studying ‘ilm al-kalaam, moving from one group to another, until at the end of his life he was hesitant and confused about philosophical matters. He wrote a book entitled Iljaam al- ‘Awaam ‘an ‘Ilm al-Kalaam (Preventing the masses from studying ‘Ilm al-Kalaam – Islaamic Philosophy i.e., Scholasticism). He regarded it as haraam to study philosophy except in certain circumstances: “The truth is that ‘Ilm al-kalaam is haraam except for two types of people.”

At the end of his life, he turned away from the study of ‘Ilm al-kalaam and turned to the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhe wa sallam), and he died with a copy of Saheeh al-Bukhari on his chest.
Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari grew up as a Mu’tazili, and remained such for forty years, then he turned his back on that and stated clearly that the Mu’tazilah were misguided, and he refuted them in unequivocal terms. {See our book, Mu’taqad al-Imam Abi’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari wa Manhajuhu.}

Later there emerged a group which followed the correct methodology, but they studied the work of the philosophers in order to know its weak points and refute them according to the Qur’aanic methodology.

They fought them with their own weapon, pointing out what was wrong with it. The leader and standard-bearer of this group was Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him).

=End=
Source: {Islaamic Creed Series – Vol 1. – Belief in Allaah In the Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah by Shaykh ‘Umar S. al-Ashqar, Pages 81-84.}

And also in page 85, Shaykh ‘Umar al-Ashqar says:

“Professor Ahmad Ameen (may Allaah have mercy on him) made a comparison between man of philosophy and man of ‘aqeedah, and the respective effect on life.

“There is a great difference between holding an opinion and believing in something. If you have an opinion, it simply becomes a part of the information that you have retained; but if you believe in it, it flows with your blood and sinks deep into your heart and mind.”

The philosopher who has an opinion and an idea says, “I think that this is correct but in reality it may be wrong; this is what the evidence points to today, but tomorrow the evidence may point to the opposite; I may be wrong about this or I may be right.”

But the one who follows ‘aqeedah – creed – is definite and certain; he has no doubts and does not engage in speculation.”{Islaamic Creed Series – Vol 1. – Belief in Allaah in the Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah by Shaykh ‘Umar S. al-Ashqar, Page 85.}

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