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NURSI’S IDEAS ON SCIENCE DEVELOPMENT IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES. Muhammad Sirozi International Symposium on Social Harmony and Peace: Said Nursi on Muslim Revivalism, Education, and World Peace Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta Ciputat, July 23, 2009. WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT SCIENCES?.

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nursi s ideas on science development in muslim countries
NURSI’S IDEAS ON SCIENCE DEVELOPMENT IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES

Muhammad Sirozi

International Symposium on Social Harmony and Peace:

Said Nursi on Muslim Revivalism, Education, and World Peace

Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta

Ciputat, July 23, 2009

why should we care about sciences
WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT SCIENCES?

“For sure, at the end of time, mankind will pour into science and technology. It will obtain all its power from science. Power and dominion will pass to the hand of science” (Nursi 1977, p. 275).

brief history of achievement in science by george starton 2002
BRIEF HISTORY OF ACHIEVEMENT IN SCIENCEBY GEORGE STARTON 2002
  • 450-400 B.C., THE AGE OF PLATO.
  • 500-450 B.C., THE AGE OF ARISTOTLE.
  • 600 A.D. TO 700 A.D. THE AGE OF THE CHINESE CENTURY OF HSIIN TSANG AND I CHING.
  • 700 A.D. TO 1100 A.D. (350 YEARS), THE AGES OF JABIR, KHAWARIZMI, RAZI, MASUDI, WAFA, BIRUNI AND AVICENNA, IBN AL HAITHAM AND OMAR KHAYAM (ARABS, TURKS, AFGHANS AND PERSIAN) MEN BELONGING TO THE CULTURE OF ISLAM.
  • AFTER 1100, THE FIRST WESTERN NAMES APPEARED: GERARD OF CREMONA, ROGER BACON, SHARING HONOURS WITH IBN RUSHD, MUSA BIN MAIMOUN, TUSI, AND IBN NAFIS, THE MAN WHO ANTICIPATED HARVEY’S THEORY OF CIRCULATION OF BLOOD.
  • AFTER 1350 A.D. THE DEVELOPING WORLD LOSES OUT EXCEPT FOR THE OCCASIONAL FLASH OF SCIENTIFIC WORK.
  • AFTER 1720, MICHAEL THE SCOT TURNED FULL CIRCLE OF SCIENCE TO THE WEST.
slide4
700 A.D. TO 1100 A.D. (350 YEARS), THE AGES OF JABIR, KHAWARIZMI, RAZI, MASUDI, WAFA, BIRUNI AND AVICENNA, IBN AL HAITHAM AND OMAR KHAYAM (ARABS, TURKS, AFGHANS AND PERSIAN) MEN BELONGING TO THE CULTURE OF ISLAM.
top best ten countries in ict
TOP BEST TEN COUNTRIES IN ICT

Singapore

Ireland

Switzerland

United States

Netherlands

Canada

Denmark

Sweden

Austria

Finland (Foreign Policy 2006, p. 52).

nursi s ideas on science development
NURSI’S IDEAS ON SCIENCE DEVELOPMENT
  • Refer to the Qur’an
  • Remain Hopefull
  • Be Original, Be Islamic
  • Rely on Reason and Proof
  • Place Science on Divine Names
  • Explore Prophets’ Miracles
  • Place Science as a Subset of Religion
  • Be Culturally Bond
  • Develop Good Civilization for Bases
refer to the qur an
Refer to the Qur’an
  • There are two major sources of Islamic sciences: the nature and the Qur’an.
  • Qur’an must be taken as a spurce of science development.
  • “Most of the Qur’an’s verses are keys to a treasury of perfections and guides to a store of knowledge” (Nursi 1998, p. 272).
  • The verses of the Qur’an “indicate in allusive fashion the important of man’s arts and sciences, and urge him towards them” (Nursi 1998, p. 273).
remain hopefull
Remain Hopefull
  • “Why should the world be the world of progress for everyone, and the world of decline only for us [Muslims]?” (Nursi 1960, p. 71).
  • “And you are making a grievous error if you suppose in despair and hopelessness that the world is the world of progress for everyone and the Europeans, but the world of decline only for the unhappy people of Islam” (Nursi 1960, p. 80).
be original be islamic
Be Original, Be Islamic
  • Muslims are not to be preoccupied or being “fallen into the swamp of scholastic thought” (Nursi 1960, p. 523).
  • Islam is “the lord and guide of knowledge, and the chief and father of all the true sciences” (Nursi 1977, p. 18).
rely on reason and proof
Rely on Reason and Proof
  • What continually makes Islam manifest and makes it develop in relation to the advancement of thought is its being founded on reality, relying on proof, being in agreement with reason, established on reality, and being in conformity with the principles of wisdom, which are bound to one another from pre-eternity to post-eternity (Nursi 1977, p. 35).
  • We Muslims, who are students of the Qur'an, follow proof. We approach the truths of belief through reason, thought, and our hearts. We do not abandon proof for blind imitation of the clergy like some followers of other religions (Nursi 1960, p. 77).
  • Thus, in the future when reason, science, and technology prevail, the Qur'an will surely then rule, which relies on reasoned proofs and makes the reason confirm its pronouncements (Nursi 1960, p. 77).
place science on divine names
Place Science on Divine Names
  • “Being based on God’s name,sciences may contain true wisdom. Otherwise, they are either transformed into superstition, or become nonsense, or open up the way to misguidance like Naturalist philosophy” (Nursi 1998, p. 271).
  • “If man relies on Almighty God, and asks it of him with the tongue of his innate capacity, … and … conforms to His laws of wisdom in the universe, the world may become like a town for him” (Nursi 1998, p. 265).
explore prophets miracles
Explore Prophets’ Miracles
  • The miracles of the Prophets are the sources of scientific guidance and inspirations. “Most craftsmen have a prophet as the patron of their craft” (Nursi 1998, p. 262).
  • Prophets’ miracles are “the final limit of man’s science and industry” (Nursi 1998, p. 162).
  • The miracles indicate five scientific guidances: (1) a wonder of human art or craft, (2) spiritual base as well as index of sciences and branches of knowledge, (3) encouragement to achieve similar things and to imitate them, (4) spiritual and moral as well as material attainments, (5) the urgency of scientific attainments.
  • Prophets’ miracles encourage, motivate, guide, and direct scientific endeavors.
the miracles of the prophets
THE MIRACLES OF THE PROPHETS:
  • Adam (PUH) inspires science for names (Qur’an, 2: 31), (2).
  • Noah (PUH) inspires science for the creation of ship (sailors).
  • Joseph (PUH) inspires science for the clock (watch makers).
  • Idris (PUH) inspires science for tailors.
  • Solomon (PUH) inspires science for air transportation (Qur’an, 34: 12) and subjugating evipirits (Qur’an, 21: 82)..
  • Moses (PUH) inspires science for clean water exploration (Qur’an, 2: 60).
  • Jesus (PUH) inspires science for (medicine) healing spiritual ills and physical sicknesses (Qur’an, 3: 49).
  • David (PUH) inspires science for iron technology (Qur’an, 34: 10) and science for decision making (Qur’an, 38: 20).
  • Muhammad (PUH) inspires science for rhetoric and linguistic.
  • Moses predicts the development of modern drilling techniques to dig out such indispensable substances of modern industry as oil, mineral water, and natural gas (Muzaffar Iqbal 2002, p. 5).
  • David (PUH) becomes a sign of the future significance of iron and steel for modern industry (Muzaffar Iqbal 2002, p. 5).
place science as a subset of religion
Place Science as a Subset of Religion
  • Muslims must look at science as a subset of religion.
  • Religion is a majestic river, and the science is a tributary to the river (Nursi 1998, p. 262).
  • Science and human knowledge in general is legitimate, noble, and acceptable to Islamic teachings if it is subordinated to Divine Wisdom.
be specialized
Be Specialized
  • “One individual cannot be proficient and a specialist in many sciences…to attempt all is to abandon all” (Nursi 1977, p. 24).
be culturally bond
Be Culturally Bond
  • “In acquiring civilization we have to follow the Japanese, for together with taking from Europe the virtues of civilization, they preserved their national customs, which are the means by which every people is perpetuated” (Nursi 1978, p. 62).
  • “The Japanese are taking science and technology without leaving national customs and practices” (Nursi 1978, p. 262).
develop good civilization
Develop Good Civilization
  • “Through the endeavors of science, what will prevail entirely in the present and totally in the future, is truth instead of force, proof instead of sophistry, and reason instead of nature” (Nursi 1977, p. 32).
  • “Yes, just in former times Islam’s progress was obtained through weapons and the sword, by smashing the enemy’s bigotry, destroying their obstinacy, and repulsing their aggression” (Nursi 1960, p. 79).
  • “In the future,the immaterial swords of true civilization and material progress and truth and justice will defeat and rout the enemy in place of weapons and the sword” (Nursi 1960, p. 79).
concluding remarks
Concluding Remarks
  • Nursi introduces approach and method appropriate to the level of understanding of the present century and to the need of Muslim countries.
  • Nursi’s approach is unique, combining theistic and rationalistic styles.
  • Nursi’s approach needs to be understood within the context of its social, political, and historical setting.
  • Nursi’s ideas seem to be inspired by a need to reform Muslims’ perspective on science development in the light of the threat of bigotry, secularization, and westernization at local, national, and international level.
  • Nursi’s discussion of science development seems to have been characterized by his educational, religious, political, and social experiences in Turkey before, during, and after the first World War.
slide21
Muslims’ approach to science must be at variance in many respects with those of their counterparts in Western countries.
  • Islamic approach of science development will enrich and strengthen scientists’ faith, not to weaken it.
  • The secret of progress in science development in Muslim countries is not to lie only in political will and financial strength, but also in the level of self-sacrifice among Muslims, that is their sincerity to hold the society’s interests above personal interests.
slide22
The progress of science development in Muslim countries depends on the commitment of Muslim scientists to expend all their efforts and energy for their countries.
  • This unselfish manner is is the fine characteristics that made Muslims reached the superiority of science development for nearly four centuries in the middle age.
  • It is this fine characteristics that have been taken over by the Europeans, so that they can undergo scientific revolution and rule world science.
  • It is the dismissal of this fine characteristics and the spread of immorality that made Muslims lose their control over science and being excluded in the development of modern science.
slide23
Muslim scholars and reformers are to preach the full message of the Qur’an, that Muslims must not neglect science.
  • Muslims must reoccupy the intellectual mainstream and regain their ideological, social and political superiority by being well acquired with sciences.
  • Muslim rulers, scientists, and artists need to integrate their vision, raise their spirit of freedom, and unite their efforts for science development.
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