to science or not to science?

Discussion in 'Bickering' started by Unbeknown, Oct 12, 2013.

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  1. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    at 5 mins Lennox says:

    "Whether we like it or not, science is an immense cultural authority in our society today."

    boy am I glad that it's not in OUR society!

    if you are uninterested in what the 'greatest minds of the day' are discussing about, like how they have stumbled upon a fantastic fairy-tale of 'multi-verses' coming spontaneously into existence out of 'nothing', then your Imaan is pretty much safe from assaults from that direction.

    As an added benefit, you won't have to bother about refuting nonsense if you don't give it a ear because your nafs can't get you to do that.

    While are bodies are being bombed to smithereens every day, our imaan is safe from skhukook. So if you're offering us science as "the" solution to all our problems, we have just one thing to say: thanks, but no thanks.

  2. MHQadri

    MHQadri Active Member

    There is a nice book written by Late Dr Muhammad Haroon (Raza Academy): The Limits of Science.
  3. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

  4. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    the gifts of secular and logical thinking, an inquisitive mind, a thirst to know how the world goes:

    Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims 'like the walking dead'

    Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway's report contains images viewers may find extremely distressing.

    thankfully, the sufiya, ulama-ar-rabbani and the ahlullah have never tainted their lives with such 'enlightened' pursuits.
  5. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    congratulations to all science-loving muslims. We can now see for ourselves that scientific progress, devoid of any religious interference, is the only way to help Islam and muslims.

    Advanced technology has once again helped kill hundreds of muslims in Syria through the proverbial click of a button. just imagine where would we be today if not for those talented inquisitive minds that answered their inner callings to explore and understand nature and found such wonderful uses for metals and minerals. Perhaps we are finally moving towards reclaiming our lost supremacy that marked the heyday of The Golden Age of Islamic civilization.

    Imagine if we can achieve such stunning success with so few a scientists and PhD.s among our ranks, how will that day look when one in every three muslim will be a research scholar/scientist? that day is not far if we promote secular education with full might and sidetrack madaris and ilm-e-deen even more. then and only then we shall finally be able to have a Damascus in every muslim nation.

    Disturbing, gruesome scenes:

  6. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

  7. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    so i think:

    1. if one has not acquired fardh-ilm and started acting on it in the sense that he has purified his heart of all base qualities and succeeded in filling it with taqwa and hubb-al-rasul and made his iman iron-strong, then he had better not bother about learning about the higher truths of life - in the light of science, i.e if he really cares for his akhira.

    2. apart from those branches that are practical and beneficial to the masses such as medicine, computer skills and perhaps general science, a pious muslim should never aspire to make ground-breaking inventions especially in any of the frontier technologies such as nano-electronics or robotics or aeronautics etc. in short any that can have a potential military application - because these will eventually be used to oppress the muslims and even the non-muslim populations through the western imperialist regimes or their puppets in the islamic world. In the process of satisfying your curiosity or your thirst for fame, glory and riches you will destroy your akhira or establish a means of azab-e-jariah for yourself.

    3. don't trust your nafs. look at the 'muslim-scientists' or 'intellectuals' down the ages past and of present and ask yourself- why do you think you will fare better?
    what do others think?


  8. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    relevant passages:

    That said, the field has advanced far enough to convincingly demonstrate that Arabic civilization contributed much more to the development of science than the passive transmission to the West of ancient thought and of inventions originating elsewhere (such as the numeral system from India and papermaking from China). For one thing, the scholarly revival in Abbasid Baghdad (751-1258) that resulted in the translation of almost all the scientific works of the classical Greeks into Arabic is nothing to scoff at. But beyond their translations of (and commentaries upon) the ancients, Arabic thinkers made original contributions, both through writing and methodical experimentation, in such fields as philosophy, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, geography, physics, optics, and mathematics.

    Perhaps the most oft-repeated claim about the Golden Age is that Muslims invented algebra. This claim is largely true: initially inspired by Greek and Indian works, the Persian al-Khwarizmi (died 850) wrote a book from whose title we get the term algebra.

    The Golden Age also saw advances in medicine. One of the most famous thinkers in the history of Arabic science, and considered among the greatest of all medieval physicians, was Rhazes (also known as al-Razi). Rhazes provides a clear instance of a thinker explicitly questioning, and empirically testing, the widely-accepted theories of an ancient giant, while making original contributions to a field.

    Breakthroughs in medicine continued with the physician and philosopher Avicenna (also known as Ibn-Sina; died 1037), whom some consider the most important physician since Hippocrates. He authored the Canon of Medicine, a multi-volume medical survey that became the authoritative reference book for doctors in the region, and — once translated into Latin — a staple in the West for six centuries.

    One of the earliest such polymaths was al-Farabi (also known as Alpharabius, died ca. 950), a Baghdadi thinker who, in addition to his prolific writing on many aspects of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, also wrote on physics, psychology, alchemy, cosmology, music, and much else.

    Another great polymath was al-Biruni (died 1048), who wrote 146 treatises totaling 13,000 pages in virtually every scientific field.

    Another of the most brilliant minds of the Golden Age was the physicist and geometrician Alhazen (also known as Ibn al-Haytham; died 1040). Although his greatest legacy is in optics — he showed the flaws in the theory of extramission, which held that our eyes emit energy that makes it possible for us to see — he also did work in astronomy, mathematics, and engineering. And perhaps the most renowned scholar of the late Golden Age was Averroës (also known as Ibn Rushd; died 1198), a philosopher, theologian, physician, and jurist best known for his commentaries on Aristotle. The 20,000 pages he wrote over his lifetime included works in philosophy, medicine, biology, physics, and astronomy.

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    To understand this anti-rationalist movement, we once again turn our gaze back to the time of the Abbasid caliph al-Mamun. Al-Mamun picked up the pro-science torch lit by the second caliph, al-Mansur, and ran with it. He responded to a crisis of legitimacy by attempting to undermine traditionalist religious scholars while actively sponsoring a doctrine called Mu’tazilism that was deeply influenced by Greek rationalism, particularly Aristotelianism. To this end, he imposed an inquisition, under which those who refused to profess their allegiance to Mu’tazilism were punished by flogging, imprisonment, or beheading. But the caliphs who followed al-Mamun upheld the doctrine with less fervor, and within a few decades, adherence to it became a punishable offense. The backlash against Mu’tazilism was tremendously successful: by 885, a half century after al-Mamun’s death, it even became a crime to copy books of philosophy. The beginning of the de-Hellenization of Arabic high culture was underway. By the twelfth or thirteenth century, the influence of Mu’tazilism was nearly completely marginalized.

    In its place arose the anti-rationalist Ash’ari school whose increasing dominance is linked to the decline of Arabic science. With the rise of the Ash’arites, the ethos in the Islamic world was increasingly opposed to original scholarship and any scientific inquiry that did not directly aid in religious regulation of private and public life. While the Mu’tazilites had contended that the Koran was created and so God’s purpose for man must be interpreted through reason, the Ash’arites believed the Koran to be coeval with God — and therefore unchallengeable. At the heart of Ash’ari metaphysics is the idea of occasionalism, a doctrine that denies natural causality. Put simply, it suggests natural necessity cannot exist because God’s will is completely free. Ash’arites believed that God is the only cause, so that the world is a series of discrete physical events each willed by God.

    As Maimonides described it in The Guide for the Perplexed, this view sees natural things that appear to be permanent as merely following habit. Heat follows fire and hunger follows lack of food as a matter of habit, not necessity, “just as the king generally rides on horseback through the streets of the city, and is never found departing from this habit; but reason does not find it impossible that he should walk on foot through the place.” According to the occasionalist view, tomorrow coldness might follow fire, and satiety might follow lack of food. God wills every single atomic event and God’s will is not bound up with reason. This amounts to a denial of the coherence and comprehensibility of the natural world. In his controversial 2006 University of Regensburg address, Pope Benedict XVI described this idea by quoting the philosopher Ibn Hazm (died 1064) as saying, “Were it God’s will, we would even have to practice idolatry.” It is not difficult to see how this doctrine could lead to dogma and eventually to the end of free inquiry in science and philosophy.

    Such inquiry was tolerated, and sometimes promoted by individuals, but it was never “officially institutionalized and sanctioned by the intellectual elite of Islam.” This meant that when intellectual discoveries were made, they were not picked up and carried by students, and did not influence later thinkers in Muslim communities. No one paid much attention to the work of Averroës after he was driven out of Spain to Morocco, for instance — that is, until Europeans rediscovered his work. Perhaps the lack of institutional support for science allowed Arabic thinkers (such as al-Farabi) to be bolder than their European counterparts. But it also meant that many Arabic thinkers relied on the patronage of friendly rulers and ephemeral conditions.

    As science in the Arabic world declined and retrogressed, Europe hungrily absorbed and translated classical and scientific works, mainly through cultural centers in Spain. By 1200, Oxford and Paris had curricula that included works of Arabic science. Works by Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, and Galen, along with commentaries by Avicenna and Averroës, were all translated into Latin. Not only were these works taught openly, but they were formally incorporated into the program of study of universities. Meanwhile, in the Islamic world, the dissolution of the Golden Age was well underway.

    And yet intellectual progress and cultural openness were once encouraged among many Arabic societies. So to the extent that appeals to the salutary classical attitude can be found in the Islamic tradition, the fanatical false nostalgia might be tamed. Some reformers already point out that many medieval Muslims embraced reason and other ideas that presaged modernity, and that doing so is not impious and does not mean simply giving up eternal rewards for materialistic ones. On an intellectual level, this effort could be deepened by challenging the Ash’ari orthodoxy that has dominated Sunni Islam for a thousand years — that is, by asking whether al-Ghazali and his Ash’arite followers really understood nature, theology, and philosophy better than the Mu’tazilites.

    There is a more fundamental reason, however, why it may not make much sense to urge the Muslim world to restore those parts of its past that valued rational and open inquiry: namely, a return to the Mu’tazilites may not be enough. Even the most rationalist schools in Islam did not categorically argue for the primacy of reason. As Ali A. Allawi argues in The Crisis of Islamic Civilization (2009), “None of the free-thinking schools in classical Islam — such as the Mu’tazila — could ever entertain the idea of breaking the God-Man relationship and the validity of revelation, in spite of their espousal of a rationalist philosophy.” Indeed, in 1889 the Hungarian scholar Ignaz Goldziher noted in his essay “The Attitude of Orthodox Islam Toward the ‘Ancient Sciences’” that it was not only Ash’arite but Mu’tazilite circles that “produced numerous polemical treatises against Aristotelian philosophy in general and against logic in particular.” Even before al-Ghazali’s attack on the Mu’tazilites, engaging in Greek philosophy was not exactly a safe task outside of auspicious but rather ephemeral conditions.

    Muslims have responded in different ways to the claim that their religion has never produced an Enlightenment. Ziauddin Sardar has criticised it in the New Statesman on two grounds. On the one hand, "It assumes that 'Islam' and 'Enlightenment' have nothing to do with each other - as if the European Enlightenment emerged out of nothing, without appropriating Islamic thought and learning."

    The second position is that, although the Enlightenment represented progress for the West, it was a means of oppressing the Muslim world. A Hussain asks, "Given that our people have been victims of these developments, then why should we appreciate them?" It is also true that both the Islamic world and Muslims in the West have suffered and continue to suffer from imperialism and racism.

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    There is nothing inherently stagnant about Islamic societies, but they stand as the best example of how ruling classes are consciously able to use state power, the "superstructure", to prevent new and threatening classes from forming, with all that implies about the thwarting of intellectual developments.
    The example of China also tends to support the view that the key issue is not religion but the nature of the economy and the "corresponding form of the state". … … … … … … … .. In China, as in the House of Islam, the state acted to control the spread of dangerous thoughts. But China was not an Islamic country - the similarities lie not in religion, but in economy and state, and it was these that led them to a common fate.

    In 1959 one Afghan intellectual, Najim oud-Din Bammat wrote, "Islam today has to go through a number of revolutions at once: a religious revolution like the Reformation; an intellectual and moral revolution like the 18th century Enlightenment; an economic and social revolution like the European industrial revolution of the 19th century." History, however, does not do repeats. Leon Trotsky's theories of uneven and combined development and permanent revolution argue that these revolutions do not have to follow each other, but can interlock and be compressed in time. Christian Europe, after all, was incomparably less developed than Arab or Persian civilisation in the 10th or 11th centuries. But its very backwardness allowed it to incubate a far higher form of class society - capitalism - and hence to "catch up and overtake" its former superiors and in the process fragment, occupy and destroy them.

    the atlantis article also quotes 'Pakistani physicist' Pervez Hoodbhoy - who is in fact a 'Perverted Hoodlum' of a murid of Sayyad ahmed khan and claims that the correct way to understand the Quran is to allegorically interpret all verses that speak of miracles, so that we don't go against science!

    see for yourself:
  9. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator


    two articles:



    few observations:

    1. Some 'muslim-scientists', mostly mu'atazilites, have been atleast partly responsible for the european-enlightenment.

    2. I don't know of any science-infatuated muslim, past or present, who has remained true to his deen- for example, you can't pick one famous muslim scientist who simultaneously qualifies as an 'aashiq-e-rasul'.

    3. While many a pious muslims were busy guarding/defending the islamic doctrines and fiqh for posterity, facilitating and guiding the masses to live a deeply God-fearing life and traversing stages of wilayah, these so called scientists were busy making discoveries and inventions (some of which were undeniably of great practical use and benefit but ) many of which would come back to haunt, centuries later, the very people they sought to benefit.

    4. though the realms of religion and science or free-inquiry are theoretically not at loggerheads, their co-existence has never transpired and perhaps is destined to never transpire. Thus we see that in the process of nurturing the spirit of free-inquiry the west forsook its religiosity and the reverse happened in the islamic world.

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