Islam: The Religion of Reason and Nature

Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khn

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Islam: The Religion of Reason and Nature

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Several themes resonate in this selection. Ahmad Khan regards Muslim thought in his time as out of step with what he calls a new wisdom and philosophy, which he characterizes as scientific and based on the empirical method. Neither deductive reasoning, often based on analogy, nor, worse still, mere assertion of truth, suffices to convince the doubter. The prescription is clear: the ulema (clergy) should embrace inductive reasoning. In short, he calls for a new theology, just as the early Muslims articulated a new theology in their time. As with the earlier reformers, Tahtawi, Afghani and Abduh, Ahmad Khan blames the Muslim clergy for failing to adapt to the requirements of the modern age, and in particular the frameworks of scientific, empirical knowledge. He has no doubt that, once these frameworks are put to use, the Islamic verities will be upheld. Finally, the author maintains that the principles of Islam are in full accord with human nature. As God created the human being, and He created Islam, it is inconceivable that He created the one while ensuring that it did not conform to the other.

Chapter.  1433 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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