Why do we need revelation when we have human reasoning?

January 24th, 2005 by admin

Human knowledge is limited. There are many things that human beings cannot know or understand because they are beyond the range of human perception. When a television manufacturer produces a TV set it is considered essential, for him to provide a manual for its operation. Likewise we would expect that the maker of man should provide him with an operational manual for his life.

Man is continuously learning from experience. His knowledge is never complete. For example there are unforeseen repercussions experienced from pollution – damaging the ozone layer and giving rise to global warming with its hazardous effects on humans, sea creatures and the rise in sea level, not to talk of the collapsing moral and social fabric of families and societies, with the consequent social and psychological problems.

People are coming to realise the destructive effects of tobacco, of the interest-based economy as a cause of inflation and of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and its devastating effects on the lives of ordinary people in developing countries.
Human beings are intelligent but the history of human thought and scientific theory is uttered with abandoned theories and mistaken ideas. Some people rely on their subjective experience (as in Transcendental Meditation). Such experiences cannot however be objectively verified, and have no authority.

It is only with the aid of revelation ascertained that we have reliable knowledge of the unknown (ghayb), the truth about the Creator/Ultimate Cause, of ultimate questions (about the purpose of creation, about the Hereafter and so on) and of eternal or absolute moral values and standards of right and wrong, of reality and absolute truths. Revelation moreover provides humanity with a common source of values and thereby enhances their unity, mutual co-operation and peaceful co-existence.

Though human reasoning is not perfect, it is still a very useful tool. It can help in verifying the authenticity or source of scripture (ie. Is it from a Prophet or God or not?), the meaning of and contemplation over me wisdom behind revelation, and the application of revelation to daily life.

The claim that there are no absolute truths is logically problematic as one may ask whether that assertion is itself an absolute truth! If there were no absolute truths, how could we accept any conclusion from an accountant, physicist, geographer, mathematician, computer programmer, etc. ? What type of social or legal order would we have if all truths were relative, and nothing is really wrong or right? When is the fact mat “justice is right”, a relative truth? When is it a relative truth to say that raping a young child (or anyone) is a wrong thing to do? … Or that such issues should be debatable?

Some assert that Islamic guidance goes too far in covering all aspects of life. This is however necessary in view of the many aspects and needs of human beings on earth. Th traveller with a more detailed map is more certain of reaching his destination than the one with only a sketch map, or the traveller without a map at all. The details serve to remove doubts (Q20: 123 – 124).

The principles of Shari’ah (usul ul-fiqh) and me scope for guided reasoning (ijtihad) by able scholars make the guidance of Islam dynamic and able to effectively respond to societal changes.

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The young marriage of Aishah (RA)

January 20th, 2005 by admin

Some individuals try to accuse the Prophet of being a child molester, albeit in politically correct terms, due to the fact that `Âishah(R) was betrothed (zawaj) at the age of 6 years old and the marriage was consummated (nikâh) a few years after the marriage at 9 years old when she was in full puberty. The lapse of time between the zawaj and nikâh of `Âishah(R) clearly shows that her parents were waiting for her to reach puberty before her marriage was consummated.

It is also a known fact that young marriages at puberty is common in the Semitic culture. The significance of menstruation that anyone with the slightest familiarity with physiology will tell you is that it is a sign that the girl is being Read the rest of this entry »

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IIS Women’s Wing Event

January 10th, 2005 by admin

IIS Women’s Wing will be inviting a speaker representative from St. Xavier’s Church on the topic of “Introduction to the Bible”. Entrance fee is a small bottle of mineral water as a small donation for this event.

Objectives of the talk:

1. Maintain genuine ongoing interfaith dialogue and ties.

2. To raise what Muslims consider to be discrepancies and contradictions in the Bible.

3. To give the Christians an opportunity to clarify points regarding the history and compilation of the Bible and hence establish and maintain relevant dialogue on the topic at hand.

4. An exchange programme between IIS and Christian churches/organisations on promoting each others’ faith.

Details for this event is as follows.

Date: 29th January, 2005
Time: 3pm – 6pm
Venue: Dewan Amal, IIS. 1-5-2 Prima Peninsula, Jalan Setiawangsa 11, Taman Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur.

Admission is open to all brothers and sisters.

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