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Old 09-04-2008, 10:22 AM   #1
Al-Madini
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

As-Salmu Alikum

I was hoping that Sheikh Yasir or someone else can shed some light on the following questions I have.

I was thinking about the Ghazali paradox (how do I know that my faith is correct) and was not sure how the methodology employed by Al-Ghazali solves the paradox. Ghazali and other Ashaiera said that the first obligation upon a rational individual is to ask if a God exists, and how do we know that He exists. However the answer to these questions doesnít prove that Islam is the true religion, since most of mankind inherently or through logical proofs believes in the existence of a God.

One of my friends informed me that the Ashaira follow this up with proving that Prophet SAW is the true prophet and this serves as a proof for the truthfulness of Islam. However if one was to believe in a religion solely based on the prophet, then we canít deny Christianity or Judaism, since we believe Moosa and Isaa AS to be true, and their truthfulness too can be proven.

The only solution I could think of was to prove the truthfulness of the scripture. This is quite easy, since the books of other major religions have been tampered. By believing in the scripture, one believes in God and believes that Prophet SAW is His prophet, and subsequently believes in everything else. And even with this I am not fully satisfied, since some logical mania may raise another question: What if the scripture is true, yet the one conveying the message is not truthful? In this case one would need to prove both the scripture and the prophethood simultaneously, to prove Islam is the truth.

My questions:
-How is the paradox actually solved (from the Ashariee perspective, not Ahlus Sunnah)?

-Did the Ashairah delve into proving the truthfulness of the scriptures?

-And if proving the scriptures is the simplest way to prove both the existence of a God and the truthfulness of Prophet SAW, why did the Ashairah not given it higher precedence?
JazakAllahu Khairan.

As-Salmu Alikum.
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Last edited by Al-Madini; 09-08-2008 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:21 AM   #2
ayunas
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

wa alaikum assalaam. First off, I think the understanding of the paradox is incorrect to begin with. The PARADOX the asharia fell into is: "To become a muslim, you must become a kafir" This is the implication of the asharia position of rationally justifying your religion, or in other words, to start from scratch with no religious affiliation. This paradox was not addressed by the ashaairah. Rather, it was ahl as sunnah that pointed out this paradox. And clearly, there is NO way to solve this paradox without the affirmation of the Fitrah. Because of the Fitrah, we know Islam is the correct religion, it can't be proven through intellect alone.

I think the other two questions don't need addressing once this important point is understood. Sheikh Yasir, correct whatever I said incorrect.

-Amir
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:36 AM   #3
Al-Madini
Ummat Muhammad
 
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayunas
wa alaikum assalaam. First off, I think the understanding of the paradox is incorrect to begin with. The PARADOX the asharia fell into is: "To become a muslim, you must become a kafir" This is the implication of the asharia position of rationally justifying your religion, or in other words, to start from scratch with no religious affiliation. This paradox was not addressed by the ashaairah. Rather, it was ahl as sunnah that pointed out this paradox. And clearly, there is NO way to solve this paradox without the affirmation of the Fitrah. Because of the Fitrah, we know Islam is the correct religion, it can't be proven through intellect alone.

I think the other two questions don't need addressing once this important point is understood. Sheikh Yasir, correct whatever I said incorrect.

-Amir
The skepticism employed by the Ashaira implies that one needs to become Kaffir, in order to become Muslim. And I agree this is part of the paradox (I unofficially dubbed it the Ghazali paradox). However, remember that the initial reason, due to which the Ashaira delved into the two questions regarding does a God exist and how do you know He exists, was because of their doubt regarding their own faith (or lack of certainty), which led to the paradox being created. However my question was more related to how this doubt, for the Ashaira, is settled by proving the Rubobiya of Allah SWT?
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Last edited by Al-Madini; 09-05-2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
Abu Ammaar
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

Salaam Alaikum

Generally speaking, the people of kalaam deployed the following 'logical' path in reaching their goal:

1) Discuss the types of knowledge and how one goes about acquiring it (remember the question on our exam...?).

2) Discuss whether proving Allah's existence is obligatory via Scripture or Religious texts (difference between Asharis and Maturidis).

3) Prove that the world around us is created (through the 'Proof from Accidents', which I've discussed in detail in some articles).

4) Prove, based on (3), there is a Creator.

5) Prove, based on an evidence called dalil al-tamanu' (which I have discussed in another paper which I haven't posted online yet) that this Creator is One, and not a plural entity.

6) Based on logic and rationality, affirm His seven (or, for Maturidis, eight) eternal Attributes, which can be proved from the intellect alone.

7) Based on logic and the 'Proof from Accidents', negate any attributes above and beyond these seven, ESPECIALLY those that would somehow contradict the 'Proof from Accidents'.

[Note, these points typically take up over 80 % of Asharit textbooks; there is no mention whatsover of the rights Allah has over us, of the concept of uloohiyyah to Allah alone, etc.]

8) Mention that the sending of prophets, since not a logical impossibility, makes it a logical possibility.

9) Proving that a miracle is the defining characeteristic of a prophet, and then defining a miracle. Again, all of this discussion has no need of Quran/Sunnah, as it is all 'rational'.

10) Applying the aforementioned conclusions to the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, hence confirming his prophethood.

11) Once his nubuwah is confirmed, since the Day of Judgment, barzakh, Heaven, Hell, etc. is not impossible (hence possible), then if a prophet informs us about it, we must believe in it. Included in this for the Asharites is seeing Allah (al-Ru`yah) whereas the Mutaziletes deny it.

[this last section is typicaly the only section that quotes, to a certain extent, Quran/Sunnah, since it is permissible to use these texts where logic and reason play no role].

If you look at the classical textbooks of the Asharites, in particular those of al-Juwayni (d 478) and al-Baghdadi (d. 436?), you will see this methodology exemplified par excellence. Later Asharites, in particular al-Razi (d 606), delved even more into philosophy, and the topics discussed there are much more relevant to Ibn Sina and Aristotle than to the average Muslim.

Yasir
 
Old 09-08-2008, 12:54 AM   #5
Al-Madini
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

As Salmu Alikum Sheikh Yaser,

JazakAllahu Khairan for the post.

It took me sometime to understand the framework used by the Ashaierah. SubhanAllah, this shows how superior the methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah is.

Up to point 7, the framework only delves into proving God and His attributes. 8-11 highlight the importance of proving the Prophet Hood. However canít a Non-Muslim, perhaps an orthodox Jew, use this very framework to prove that Judaism is a true religion? They will reach similar conclusion as the Ashaeria for up to 7. And they could use 8-11, to prove the Prophet Hood of Moosa AS. So how does their own framework give them certainty and clear the initial doubts that they had (I understand that the methodology employed by the Ahlus Sunnah, with the fitrah at the crux, gives us full Yaqeen that Islam is the truth).

Hope to hear from you soon.

As Salmu Alikum
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Last edited by Al-Madini; 09-08-2008 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
mnvk
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al-Madini
Up to point 7, the framework only delves into proving God and His attributes. 8-11 highlight the importance of proving the Prophet Hood. However canít a Non-Muslim, perhaps an orthodox Jew, use this very framework to prove that Judaism is a true religion? They will reach similar conclusion as the Ashaeria for up to 7. And they could use 8-11, to prove the Prophet Hood of Moosa AS. So how does their own framework give them certainty and clear the initial doubts that they had
Because this framework would prove the prophethood of Muhammad saws in number 10, and therefore they would be obliged to believe in him. Muslims already follow Prophet Moosa, but Jews do not follow Prophet Muhammad nor believe in him. Establishing that Muhammad saws is a prophet means that they must believe in him.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
Abu Ammaar
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al-Atharee
Because this framework would prove the prophethood of Muhammad saws in number 10, and therefore they would be obliged to believe in him. Muslims already follow Prophet Moosa, but Jews do not follow Prophet Muhammad nor believe in him. Establishing that Muhammad saws is a prophet means that they must believe in him.
Yes, exactly. By establishing the risaalah of our prophet, we would then be obliged to believe that he is the final and last prophet, as he informed us. Hence that would supersede the belief in the previous prophets.

Yasir
 
Old 09-23-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
Mobeen Vaid
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Re: Questions regarding the Ghazali Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu Ammaar
7) Based on logic and the 'Proof from Accidents', negate any attributes above and beyond these seven, ESPECIALLY those that would somehow contradict the 'Proof from Accidents'.

[Note, these points typically take up over 80 % of Asharit textbooks; there is no mention whatsover of the rights Allah has over us, of the concept of uloohiyyah to Allah alone, etc.]
jazak Allah khayr Shaykh Yasir for the comprehensive responses.

Question/Clarification on number 7:
by 'negate', do we mean that they rejected the attributes outright? I always thought that the Asha'irah made ta'weel on these attributes to reconcile their intellectual framework with the attributes of Allah (i.e. Hand of Allah = Power, etc.).
 
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