What went wrong: How Islam lost its lead XXIV paces You need one handful of seed for every square pace. How many handfuls of seed should you plant in this field? CDLVI 24 X 19 456 XIX paces There are no elephants in New York. Effective isn’t it?
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How Islam lost its lead
You need one handful of seed for every square pace. How many handfuls of seed should you plant in this field?
Effective isn’t it?
The White family has four children, Sarah, Jana, Miriam, and Hugh. Sarah is 10 years older than Hugh. The older two children are two years apart, and the younger two children are two years apart. The combined age of the children is 88 years. How old is Hugh?
In the eleventh century, Islam led the West in every cultural area.
Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ta’us Ahmed al-Tusi al-Shafi’I
The Proof of Islam
The Ornament of the Faith
The Renewer of Religion
“If there had been a prophet after Mohammed,
al-Ghazali would have been the man.”
Father was a dervish.
As a boy his goal was to be rich and famous.
As a student he disliked his teachers and began to doubt whether they knew anything.
He didn’t “Get IT” so he sold out and rejoined the academic world where he did become rich and famous.
He was appointed chair of theology department at NizamiyaUniversity in Baghdad at age 34 but still did not believe Muslim theology.
Taught larger and larger classes and became a consultant to the government in religious and political affairs (like Henry Kissinger).
He could not get over his doubts. His mind told him what he believed just was not true.
On the one hand he had everything this world can offer: fame, fortune, and power.
On the other he knew he was living a lie and was afraid of going to Hell.
He was convinced that the Sufis were right, but how could he give up everything to be right with God?
He wrestled with his conscience for 6 months: during that time he could not eat, his stomach ceased to work, and he finally lost the ability to talk.
Not being able to talk made it easy for him to resign his post. He set up a trust fund for his
family, gave away all his other money, and set out on a journey to find God.
He wandered all over the Muslim world, under-going rigorous ascetic discipline and performing religious exercises.
At the end of 11 years he returned to his home village and said he had “Gotten IT.”
During his time of solitary wandering there had been revealed to him “things innumerable and unfathomable.”
He wrote his main works and taught until his death.
Tahafut al-Falasifah Destruction of the Philosophers
Matters of physics and metaphysics cannot be proved or disproved so reasoning about them is a waste of time.
You can not trust your senses to tell you the truth about anything.
We have no sense experience of the metaphysical world
Our sense experience of the physical world is often wrong.
Reason is also untrustworthy.
The philosophers use reason to prove the world is eternal, so they say there is no evidence for a creator God.
The philosophers reason from cause to effect, but there is no reason to believe any two events are causally related. (David Hume figured this out about 800 years later. It is the post hoc prompter hoc fallacy.)
The philosophers reason that God can have no knowledge of any particular thing, but God knows everything.
Since one cannot trust the senses nor can one trust reason, trust the Qu’ran and think about it alone.
Not only is reason worthless in science and theology, it is also valueless in ethics. The good person will spontaneously know what is good, so any choice one has to think about is a bad choice.
Mysticism is a path to true enlightenment, and its goal is the dissolution of the self in the Oneness of God.
Since God revealed the truth to Mohammed, other cultures have little to offer.
All of Greek literature goes into Arabic
Since 1000 as much literature has gone into Arabic as goes in Spanish in one year.
More literature is translated for 250,000 speakers of Islandic each year than for 800 million speakers of Arabic.
The few constantly repeated narratives are borrowed from the Bible.
There are no sustained arguments like the Pauline epistles.
As Christians we must treasure the reason God gave us, and use it in physics and metaphysics.