By Tahir Iqbal
Islam is the religion of very nature of a human being and it has its own way to demonstrate the metaphysical realities and the transcendental truths. It speaks through the language of faith; rather, one can find its essence only by putting it into practice. Mere polemical discourse is not going to tell us about its celestial aura. Our classical ‘Mutakalimeen’ (scholastic theologians) have tried to demonstrate it on rational grounds and used both, intellect as well as Text to refute the false allegations of opponents. The Ilm al-Kalam (scholastic theology) emerged as a science to provide the rational proofs and establish the doctrines of Islam and metaphysical realities rationally. Its purpose was to provide the intelligible arguments in support of faith and not to make it more complicated and entangled. There were a number of gargantuan minds like Imam Ashari and Imam Abu Mansur Maturidi who engaged in the scholastic theology and contributed elephantine amounts towards demonstrating the transcendental truths and endeavored to establish the religion of Islam based on Aql(intellect)and Naql (Text). Even our great Muslim philosophers have done the same and tried to safeguard the religion from the onslaught of Greek philosophy. We must appreciate their work as they have done a great service in the intellectual history of Islam. But , unfortunately , nowadays , our intellectuals and religious thinkers instead of providing the solutions to modern intellectual problems are making things more worse and complicated for the common masses. In the name of intellectualism , they make a smorgasbord of various things which are neither religious nor philosophical and have no guidance/relevance for a common Muslim. The Western philosophies and the secular ideas have crept into our being. We have got so much entangled in materialism that we hardly think out of it. The Quranic revelation was the best solution for the spiritual as well as intellectual disease of a modern man. The religious thinkers and intellectuals should address this basic problem instead of creating an intellectual fuss in a society, already, confused and oppressed. I am not against any healthy intellectual debate and I know that our Islamic history is replete with these kinds of dialogue and it was our legacy as we have between Imam Ghazzali, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushud but what I believe is that our best minds/Intellectuals and religious thinkers should focus more on the fundamental issues of this wretched/oppressed nation ‘Kashmir’. It would be better for them to channelize their potential for honing the common people towards betterment and unification against the common problems of spiritual nature and intellectual pandemonium rather than making them more confused and depressed. The religious imbroglio is destruction and working together on common problems is a blessing to get emancipation.
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