F AITH & R EASON. Present by: Ahmad Y. Samantho, Supriyatno & Zulfikar ICAS Jakarta, 2004. Faith and Reason :. Faith and Reason in Modern Western Civilization Faith and Reason in The Islamic World Islamic Concept of Knowledge. Faith and Reason in Modern Western Civilization.
Ahmad Y. Samantho, Supriyatno & Zulfikar
ICAS Jakarta, 2004
The Islamic World
Philosophical discussion of the relation between modern science and religion has tended to focus on Christianity, because of its dominance in the West. The relations between science and Christianity have been too complex to be described by the ‘warfare’ model popularized by A.D. White (1896) and J.W. Draper (1874). An adequate account of the past two centuries requires a distinction between
conservative and liberal positions.
Conservative Christians tend to see theology and science as partially intersecting bodies of knowledge. God is revealed in ‘two books’: the Bible and nature. Ideally, science and theology ought to present a single, consistent account of reality; but in fact there have been instances where the results of science have apparently contradicted scripture, in particular with regard to the age of the universe and the origin of the human species.
Liberals tend to see science and religion as complementary but non-interacting, as having concerns so different as to make conflict impossible. This approach can be traced to Immanuel Kant, who distinguished sharply between pure reason (science) and practical reason (morality). More recent versions contrast science, which deals with the what and how of the natural world, and religion, which deals with meaning, or contrast science and religion as employing distinct languages. However, since the 1960s a growing number of scholars with liberal theological leanings have taken an interest in science and have denied that the two disciplines can be isolated from one another. Topics within science that offer fruitful points for dialogue with theology include Big-Bang cosmology and its possible implications for the doctrine of creation, the ‘fine-tuning’ of the cosmological constants and the possible implications of this for design arguments, and evolution and genetics, with their implications for a new understanding of the human individual
Perhaps of greater import are the indirect relations between science and theology. Newtonian physics fostered an understanding of the natural world as strictly determined by natural laws; this in turn had serious consequences for understanding divine action and human freedom. Twentieth-century developments such as quantum physics and chaos theory call for a revised view of causation. Advances in the philosophy of science in the second half of the twentieth century provide a much more sophisticated account of knowledge than was available earlier, and this has important implications for methods of argument in theology.
Faith and Reason in The Islamic World
Islam is a rational religion.
Its’ fundamental faith of God (Allah SWT) must be develop and relies on by intellectual consciousness, ilm (knowledge & sciences) and pure reason argumentation, not by doctrines and dogmatic beliefs (taqlid).
So, faith and reason
both are had closely and intimate relationships.
The first commandment in the first revealed verse of al Qur’an is the instruction to READ:
“Read in the name of your Lord Who Created.
He created man from a clot.
Read and your Lord is Most Honorable,
Who taught (to write) with the pen,
Taught man what he knew not.”
It is a preliminary activity of intellectual reasoning towards knowing the Existence of God and true Faith of God.
“We will soon show them Our sign in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient as regards your Lord that He is a witness over all things?”
(QS. Fushshilat, 41: 53)
“And he taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angles; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right. They said: Glory be to Thee! We have no knowledgebut that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.”
(QS Al Baqoroh, 2: 31-32)
“…Those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”
(QS. Al Father, 35 : 28)
And (as for) these examples, We set them fort for men, and none understand them but the learned.”
(QS Al Ankabut, 29: 43)
“What ! he who is obedient during hours of the night, postrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike”? Only the men of understanding are mindful.”
( QS Az Zumar, 39: 9 )
“Surely in the creation of heavens and earth, and in changes between day and night,
There are signs for who has intellect,
they who remembering (Dzikir) Allah with standing, sitting, or liing down, and thinking (reasoning/Fikr) about creation the heavens dan the earth, (so they can say:) ‘Oh My Lord, You do not create this meaningless….”
(QS Ali Imran, 3:190-191)
Islam is the path of "knowledge." No other religion or ideology has so much emphasized the importance of 'ilm. In the Qur'an the word 'alim has occurred in 140 places, while al-'ilm in 27. In all, the total number of verses in which 'ilm or its derivatives and associated words are used is 704. It is important to note that pen and book are essential to the acquisition of knowledge. The Islamic revelation started with the word iqra' ('read!' or 'recite!').
In the Islamic world, gnosis (ma'rifah) is differentiated from knowledge in the sense of acquisition of information through logical processes. In the non-Islamic world dominated by the Greek tradition, hikmah (wisdom) is considered higher than knowledge. But in Islam 'ilm is not mere knowledge. It is synonymous with gnosis (ma'rifah). Knowledge is considered to be derived from two sources: 'aql and 'ilmhuduri (in the sense of unmediated and direct knowledge acquired through mystic experience).
It is important to note that there is much emphasis on the exercise of the intellect in the Qur'an and the traditions, particularly in the matter of ijtihad.
Exercise of the intellect ('aql) is of significance in the entire Islamic literature, which played an important role in the development of all kinds of knowledge, scientific or otherwise, in the Muslim world. In the twentieth century, the Indian Muslim thinker, Iqbal in his Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, pointed out that ijtihad was a dynamic principle in the body of Islam. He claims that much before Francis Bacon the principles of scientific induction were emphasized by the Qur'an, which highlights the importance of observation and experimentation in arriving at certain conclusions
Ma'rifah is ultimate knowledge and it springs from the knowledge of the self (Man 'arafa nafsahu fa qad 'arafa Rabbbahu, 'One who realizes one's own self realizes his Lord'). This process also includes the knowledge of the phenomenal world. Therefore, wisdom and knowledge, which are regarded as two different things in the non-Muslim world, are one and the same in the Islamic perspective.
In Islam 'ilm is not confined to the acquisition of knowledge only, but also embraces socio-political and moral aspects. Knowledge is not mere information; it requires the believers to act upon their beliefs and commit themselves to the goals, which Islam aims at attaining.
In brief, it may be justifiably claimed that the Islamic theory of knowledge was responsible for blossoming of a culture of free inquiry and rational scientific thinking that also encompassed the spheres of both theory and practice.***