Two Schools of Historical Interpretation.

Discussion in 'Tarikh' started by Misbah al-Hidaya, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. Misbah al-Hidaya

    Misbah al-Hidaya Active Member

    dear brother, below is an explanation of each sentence in the first post...please forgive my IT skills...

    “The focus of Tarikh can be either of being or becoming”
    the study of history into being or becoming simply means that when tarikh is reporting ‘as it was’ then it is history of being which is analogous to rest as opposed to motion; which on the other hand is ‘becoming’…so when history deals with transformation and gradual changes i.e. from one stage to another then it is tarikh of becoming and when it deals with just a state of affair as it was then it is history of being….these divisions of history emanate from our philosophical ideas about ‘asalat al-wujud’…….

    “but its unqualified definition could be an account of that which occured in the past.”
    Now, apart from the two prongs of historical investigation , mentioned earlier, antecedently, we need to define what history is in the first place but given the traditional, scientific, philosophical etc claims of the definition of history therefore we only at this stage required a stipulative definition; to which all schools are in agreement at a general level…also ‘unqualified’ because a definition of something in mantiq means that it must have both genus(jins) and differentia(fasl) for it to count as jami/mani definition so we just presented a general idea in its place….

    “the big issue is not the report itself but rather an interpretation of that report.”

    Here the real idea behind the thread is introduced…our concern is not about the authenticity or reliability of a historical document but rather the theory of its interpretation…how and on what basis and what principles, can we claim to interpret the past…..

    “”we have two diametrically opposed interpretative frameworks, namely, causation and chance..””

    now, finally, dear brother, we have reached the point of the whole point of our intended discussion and everything discussed previously was just a process of elimination about any other worry that may have hindered our quest. So we have reached the two theories of interpretation of history, namely, causation and chance…about chance we have already given some genuine examples so we just need to elucidate here about the idea of causation in historical interpretation….the question is ‘does causation govern history?’..if it does then occurrence of every incident should be ‘inevitable’ and this means that some kind of determinism governs history? If this is not the case then there is no universality, which means there are no laws that govern history….either way, whether it is chance or causation, praise or blame cannot be meted out because there is no responsibility…….simply, if there was one question in all our discussion then that question is ‘does history have laws?
  2. i may be wrong but i get a feeling that mr. misbah is quoting from a speech he herard, perhaps translating it...
    i am glad i am not the only one who couldnt make head or tail of his sentences!
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    yeah, true. if only edison* had failed in his attempts to make a sustaining light bulb, we would not have a projectors for moving pictures; and if not for those films, no television; and if not for tv the idea of projecting text/images on a tv-like screen (as in a CRT) from machines that were meant for serious business. if it was not serious business, we would not have the PC; and if there wasn't the PC, we would not have PC-DOS. If it was not PC-DOS, we would not have MS-DOS, and without MS-DOS bill gates would probably be another nasseri. and without bill gates what would be microsoft? and if it was not for microsoft products we would probably remain computer illiterates.

    [there is another side story of how the world might have been different if cp/m inventor kildall could have snapped the deal but 'his flying' lost him the deal; or else the wright brothers would be responsible for the changing face of computing... ]

    therefore microsoft is crucial to our story. if it was not for microsoft (mis)appropriating apple's ideas, apple would be there on the top 30 years earlier. but since microsoft was ruining everybody else, and apple was a victim, steve jobs turned to the then pepsi ceo to help apple. but then, et-tu-brute sculley sacked jobs who kept to his obsession to create a different machine called NeXT; it was this NeXT that would revolutinize the world.

    because, it was the NeXT workstation on which tim berners-lee created the first browser and webserver. if it wasn't for the www, there would not be so many sites popping up hashing and rehashing the clutter. if it was not for that clutter, we would not have search engines; and if search engines were smarter, sergey and larry would probably not think of a search engine project for their phd dissertation; what would the world look like if sergey/larry chose to solve the riemann hypothesis instead?

    but again chance strikes - and google is invented. and if it were not for google, where would people like you and i find the material (so easily) to argue about anything and everything?

    so the reason why we are able to argue and articulate today is because edison perfected the bulb.

    chance has it's chance.

    * my apologies for joining the random dots even if they don't seem to be aligned by light years; if you have read karen armstrong's 'history of god' you will see how it is done. or more recently, contributions on forum recently.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  4. abu nibras

    abu nibras Staff Member

    i apologize if you are hurt, but do you think you conveyed some point by your first post. i was unable to get it and I guess that was what sidi abu Hasan was saying in his typical way.

    also the incidents you described seem more strange than random.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  5. Misbah al-Hidaya

    Misbah al-Hidaya Active Member

    the end of the Omayyad dynasty was quite random; the last king marwan bin mohammed was in the battlefield, fighting the Abbasid army and although his forces were in a strong postion but unfortunately he had to answer the call of nature and went aside behind the rocks to urinate..whilst in the act an enemy soldier saw him and killed him, as a consequence Omayyads lost a dynasty....this gave rise to an arabic proverb 'dhahabat al-daula bi baula' a dynasty was swept away with urine....another instance of chance/random/coincidence was Antony in the battle of Actium and how the crux of the nose of cleopatra changed the direction of history quite 'randomly'.......when beyazid the Ottoman sultan was about to invade central Europe with an undefeatable army but the onslaught of gout deterred him from it and hence central europe was spared by an act of chance......or when in 1920 king alexander died from a bite of pet monkey, and this random accident touched off a train of events that a quarter of million people died as a result of a monkey's bite......or when Trotsky was shooting ducks and contracted fever which kept him away from a critical point in power struggle with Stalin in 1923 and by chance it changed the direction of history randomly.......
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  6. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    random sentence generator?
  7. Misbah al-Hidaya

    Misbah al-Hidaya Active Member

    The focus of Tarikh can be either of being or becoming but its unqualified definition could be an account of that which occured in the past....the big issue is not the report itself but rather an interpretation of that report. we have two diametrically opposed interpretative frameworks, namely, causation and either karbala , for instance, was an act of causation or an act of chance.....either way praise or blame cannot be meted out....

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