Mullah Nasirudeen the wisest of fools and the most foolish of the wise, known by many names in many lands, keeper of a secret treasure that is there in plane sight for those with eyes to see it and ears to hear it.
Mullah Nasirudeen the wisest of fools and the most foolish of the wise, known by many names in many lands, keeper of a secret treasure that is there in plane sight for those with eyes to see it and ears to hear it.
All over the world Sufis are remembering God, some formally, some informally, some soberly, some exuberantly, some publicly and some in private.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, humanitarian, reformist and exemplar of spirituality and agape…
‘Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah is composed of three groups (theologically)
The Athariyyah and their Imam is Ahmad ibn Hanbal (ra).
The Asha’riyyah and their Imam is Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’ari (ra).
The Maaturidiyyah and their Imam is Abu Mansoor Al-Maaturidi (ra).’
(Imam Saffirini al-Hanbali as-Sufi (ra)
Ahlus Sunnah. This is a broad straight path upon which there are different legitimate thoughts over which God knows best. Ahlus Sunnah is the group who are the real authentic Muslims, they follow the whole teaching of Islam as passed through authorized chains of transmission, originating with God, via Angel Gabriel and Muhammad (saws) and they follow the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (The Holy Book and the Way of the Prophet (saws). The people of the majority stay with the Orthodox believing mainstream and follow the way upon which the great figures of Islam were on, such as…
Ahlus Sunnah is the group of the vast majority of the historical and the modern Muslims, be they Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi or Hanbali in their school of the understanding of Divine Law. Most famous modern scholars are from Ahlus Sunnah, most modern Muslim groups represent Ahlus Sunnah and most Mosques are run by Ahlus Sunnah.
Some inspiring modern Sunni Figures
Those who cause trouble between real Muslims should beware of the following…
…you will not enter Paradise until you submit, and you will not submit until you love one another;
greet each other with peace and you will love one another;
and beware of hatred, for it is the razor;
It doesn’t shaves hair, it shaves away the religion.
(Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 260)
Not Ahlus Sunnah but Muslim?
There are some Muslims who are not Sunnis but are essentially like Sunnis in nearly all respects. These include the moderates amongst the Zaydis and other Shiah who neither curse the blessed companions nor go to other extremes, the moderates amongst the Ibadites who avoid extremes in their religion and some other Muslims who are not Sunnis but are essentially like them. God knows best about them.
Harmful and Misguided Groups
Confused and misguided ‘Muslim’ groups are a very small minority of the people claiming to be Muslims and it is best to stay well away from them, they include the following sects;
Wise Muslims avoid these groups and stay with the believers whose religion resembles that of the Prophet (saws) and his blessed Companions (ra).
The works of the following writers are either partly or fully misleading and harmful according to the views of Ahlus Sunnah and they cannot be considered true Islamic reference points…
Allah knows who are the rightly guided claimants to Islam and who are the self deluded ones. Allah knows who are his favoured Muslims, who are the Muslims who are only struggling at the spiritual level and who are the hypocrites who pretend to be Muslims but only seek to harm Islam and the Muslims. We do not normally know this for sure with the people we may meet who call themselves Muslims, but we do know that if we stick to the majority group (Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaat) and follow its true learned scholars then we will avoid (God willing) the pitfals that many a piteous soul has fallen into.
Some complex issues are mentioned above. Sheikh Uthman dan Fodio (ra) explained that simple Muslims need need not be so much concerned with the complex issues of faith that may be beyond their understanding, rather they should adhere to the basic pillars of Islamic of faith (and they should adhere to sound scholars if they have access to them).
Q. What links these key figures of modern scientific-intellectual thought?
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Arthur Compton (1892 – 1962)
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Ernst Haeckel (1834 –1919)
Erwin Schrödinger (1887 –1961)
Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Francis Collins (Born 1950)
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Gottfried Leibniz (1646 –1716)
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Guglielmo Marconi (1874 –1937)
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
James Clerk Maxwell (1831 –1879)
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
John Eccles (1903 – 1997)
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Max Planck (1858-1947)
Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Robert A. Millikan (1868 – 1953)
Robert Boyle (1791-1867)
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976)
William Harvey (1578 –1657)
William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)
A. They all believed in God
Men can be strange creatures. Although it has been the case that since the European “Enlightenment Era” some misguided people started to misuse the terms and ideas of Newtonian science to support their atheistic view of the world Newton himself was a believer in the One God. He himself saw his discoveries as discovering the evidence of God’s beautiful work in nature. Historically materialistic ideas have been spread by various groups. Ironically these included certain ominous but influential secret brotherhoods who worked to spread Atheism through societies, whilst all along their own masters were and are involved in Baal worship.
Gradually the materialists managed to wrestle control of the European academic establishment (and subsequently re-writing history in their mould) and once this happened it is a sad reality that, especially in the sciences, European and American academics who are aware of God have had to hide their true beliefs to one degree or another to avoid hurting their careers and reputations.
Indeed the modern Western academic establishment has sometimes been compared to the Christian Church that dominated Europe’s though for so long with an iron fist and a girdle around the mind. Yet many important physicists, cosmologists and other scientists have continued on despite the fact that they were believers in God and they are often the one’s who have read God’s Signs through the Book of Nature.
For a long time people started to wrongly imagine that the cosmos functioned in a simple clockwork-like manner. Such ideas developed out of observations of apparent causation as did the idea that the universe can be simply understood through scientific means once all the laws, variables and phenomena had been scientifically recorded and studied. Yet as we have moved forwards in time the first part of this idea crumbled. New ways of observing things showed the universe to be far more complex and interesting than was first thought.
The wise people had always realized that the universe is alive, bursting with spirit, full of meaning and that God is the cause of causes and not just as the ‘primary cause’ (as in Plato), but rather He is also as the Sustainer of the entire system. These people have rejected the veil of materialist delusion and have sought to restore the Light of the Creator to the global intellectual consciousness, from Jean Jacques Rousseau and Goethe onwards many thinkers, started to express their intuitive awareness and experience of the immanent Divine.
They saw the harmful nature if the Mechanistic cult, which blinded men’s eyes to humanity, decency and intuitively recognized truths and they saw how it was spreading darkness over the world. The English natural philosopher Thomas Carlyle had long ago reminded the European thinkers of the limits of science and of the value of the wonderful phenomena of intuitive insight (which studies would one day demonstrate was the true provider of the great scientific studies – as opposed to the conscious faculties of reason). Carlyle also pointed out that the scientists had gone nowhere beyond where the normal folk had done apart from;
A few handbreadths deeper than we see
Into the Deep that is infinite
Without bottom as without shore
In this warning he was reminding the people that although we may find scientific causes through observation and experiment, that they too invariably have causes themselves and that finding the cause of causes can be a very long journey. Wise spiritually developed people can tell you that the Ultimate cause of causes is none other than God, and during the 20th century many physicists would come to this understanding through no other influence than their study of nature itself.
By the beginning of the 20th century CE various scientists had successfully challenged and slain simple mechanistic materialist misconceptions by revealing that the universe is far more mysterious than had once been thought. Scientists began to discover that what had once been recorded as supposed physical causes of particular events were actually mere superficial understandings of events that still defied explanation.
New study of the forces of the electro-magnetic spectrum would reveal the complete inadequacy of simple mechanistic ‘clockwork’ views physics to describe the activities of many forces and particles and the 20th century physicist Albert Einstein (who although generally against established religion was a strong believer in God seeing our Creator in Spinozan terms) would move beyond the Newtonian world view through his experimentally demonstrable theory and special theory of relativity. They would show that the simple mechanical world view was completely inadequate to describe the reality of ‘space-time’, whilst new understandings of particle physics would go even further towards disproving the simplistic mechanical view of the Universe that had been so popular with the Atheists.
Scientists like Max Planck who studied the world of physical forces, particles and processes at the most minute level (Quantum Physics) would open up a new world of understanding and they and their heirs would discover that sub-atomic particles behaved in ways that defied mechanical explanation and further that they existed on a physical level which functioned quite differently from the common physics of material objects that had been developing through history. They recorded things that overthrew old assumptions about the laws of nature, such as things that could only be described as existing simultaneously as an electro-magnetic wave and as a particle with mass and velocity at the same time. They also recorded how the mere act of human observation had effects upon the quantum realm (something which is inexplicable using an old fashioned mechanistic view of the Universe). Planck himself was a believer in God and promoted the idea that He is everywhere present, our powerful and benevolent Creator.
Some observers would say that the new understanding of relativity and quantum physics would reveal that we humans could only observe certain external manifestations of reality. The supporters of the mechanistic world view had believed that the essence of the cosmos had been understandable through simple scientific observations, but the more scientists had studied the Universe, the more they had found the causes of the causes of the causes and the more they came to realize that apparent simplicity had masked enormous complexity. They realized that they had never developed real understanding of the essence of physical reality, but rather they had only made mathematical models that were good at describing how those things behaved.
They came to realize that science may not necessarily provide any of the ultimate answers that they had hoped for. From now on many top physicists would realize and assert the truth that their science could only give the human race a partial understanding of reality. The reality of the new developments in physics would be summed up by the Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944 CE), a great English astronomer, when he declared that the stuff of the world is mind stuff. Similarly Sir James Jeans (1877-1946 CE), the great English physicist and mathematician, came to the conclusion that the universe is a universe of thought. He would be one of many physicists who read the signs of God in physics and he went on through a strong process of scientific deduction and declared that as the Universe is a Universe of thought then its creation must have been an act of thought. Like many other deep thinkers he went onto to conclude that the evidence points towards the fact that the universe has been created by a conscious designer.
Philosophical systems are merely methods of thought and science is simply the applied of use methodical observation, clear measurement and mathematical and rational analysis allied to the idea that if we observe something happen every time we measure it – then people call it a ‘law of physics’, and the foolish amongst them imagine that it is immutable principle that will always happen given the same circumstances. Yet such a basis of understanding can never provide ultimate knowledge as it is based upon an un-provable hypothesis.
Quite simply, how can anyone know that the next time they measure what they thought was a ‘law’ they will not find that it changed. Without making an infinite number of measurements they cannot be sure that the next measurement will not disprove their entire understanding of the so called ‘laws of nature’ and how can a race of finite beings stuck in time make an infinite number of measurements?
Quite simply, science can never tell us anything with certainty as from our mortal position within the universe, unless we know everything about the ‘laws of nature’ we can not be sure that any of them are correct – as missing information could destroy our whole basis of understanding – and the system of science is incapable of ever providing certainty that we do know everything.
Quite simply, science is useful in many ways but when people imagine it is a tool for ultimate understanding they are building a house of cards or a house built upon sand, as unless you know everything you cannot be sure you know anything and as the former is clearly impossible for us limited created beings who live in the world so is the latter.
Looking for ultimate answers in science is rather like the parable where Mullah Nasruddin lost his ring down in the dimly lit cellar of his home. Realizing that there was little chance of finding it in the dark he went into the street and started looking for the ring there. A passer by asked him what he was looking for, to which he replied that he had lost his ring in his basement.
The bemused stranger asked him why he was not looking in the basement where he lost it to which the Mullah replied that there was no chance of finding it in that darkness therefore e he was looking where could see it if it was there.
Those who turn philosophy and science into religions that replace Revealed religion should be aware that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of philosophy or scientific experiments.
Furthermore there is no evidence to show that existence may be truly understood by those within it and no reason to assume that such evidence will be forthcoming. In fact gaining such an understanding is an impossibility of sorts because when you exist within the laws of physics (as a part of the universe) you can never really be sure you know anything until you are sure you know everything.
You are like a fish in a pond who is unable to see out, only able to speculate about the the nature of the pond from within, not able to look at it from without because, you are destined, in life to remain within. The cosmos is your pond, in truth the Earth is your pond and all you can do is speculate until your Creator lets you swim out of that pond into the wide reality of the hereafter.
Science can never really give ultimate answers and as a scientist you can never be sure that your conclusions and basic premises are true because they may always be proved incorrect by new unknown information, as it arises. And the secret of unknown information is that you never know when it will arise or whether it exists or not.
At the same time the nature of the world is such that you can never be sure that you know everything, because laws of nature and facts of reality may remain secret from us. This can happen due to their existence and general effects not being within the possible scope of scientific inquiry because they are undetectable and immeasurable to us, and thus our presumptions always has the possibility of being illusory and/or incomplete. therefore e with intellectual pursuits such as the philosophy and science of the experimental approach you can never be sure you know anything at all.
There are however other ways and means of coming to a true understanding of the world, but they are opened to some and closed to others, as God wills it. Through special ways Divinely illuminated souls become aware of the great Creator who Muslims call ALLAH.
These ways include visions, dreams, intuitions, the call of the Blessed Prophets (may God bless him and give him peace) and the Divine Signs that can be perceived by the illuminated souls in the natural world. The world and cosmos is a Book that is full of the signs of God for those who have eyes.
Human beings who take a truly rational approach, who observe and think will arrive at the twin peaks of truth – Monotheism and knowing the need to submit to their Creator. Only through a proper understanding of the Divine Scriptures that God sent through His Messengers (may God bless him and give him peace) can human beings reach the greatest understanding of the truth. This is because Islam is the truth and Islam is the wisdom.
Those unfortunate people whose souls are shaped in the pattern of the accursed Satan tend to greatly over estimate their own intelligence and their ability to understand the world and this often leads to their creation of misguided philosophies and ‘sciences’ that claim to have all the answers, when in fact they are merely the self-justifications of hell bound ones who turn away the orphans and refuse to bow down to their Creator.
Science and philosophy are good for providing the human race with useful ways of thinking, vacuum cleaners and televisions, but they cannot show the way to either ultimate truth or wisdom. Many people spend their lives searching here and there amongst the sciences, the ‘ologies’ and the ‘isms’, but they never achieve satisfaction, because all those they seek knowledge from are devoid of understanding themselves.
People who look towards the place where the sweetest perfume originates are looking to ALLAH. They strive to let go of all the distractions, because they originate in ignorance. The best people in the world in the world have always been those who truly listened to ALLAH’s Messengers (peace and blessings upon them) and followed their guidance.
This is true in the present just as much as it was in the past. No matter how much a person tries to make their own system of goodness it will fail unless they have the Mercy and Guidance of ALLAH. God had the Mercy upon the people of the men and jinn to send them down the last Revelation of Islam through the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace).
The best and only guide towards Ultimate Truth is God and the way to reach God (SWT’s) guidance is through the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace), the true hearted and genuine Scholars of Islam and the friends of ALLAH. These are the helpers who may assist the layman in their understanding of ultimate things.
Scientific ‘truth’ is also very useful for the understanding of the physical world and it is developed through experimentation and the application of the scientific method, however scientific ‘truth’ is limited to that which can be deduced by the study of that limited part of space-time that humans have access to (it cannot reach into the Ghaib or come to an understanding of the Merciful and All Powerful God the Creator who is far beyond human understanding).
Although we may say ‘scientific truth’ what we really mean is ‘scientifically deduced theoretical conclusions that are supported by the repeated application of the scientific method to a particular physical phenomenon’ it is not ‘Truth’ in an ultimate sense, rather it is far inferior to Ultimate or Divine Truth, which is revealed through Revelation and which the believers are given innumerable undeniable and miraculous Signs of ALLAH.
During the 20th Century CE…
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s (ra) teachings became a beacon guiding us to the reality that only by living in the natural way that God the Merciful and Compassionate has taught humankind, can humans have any real well being. He explained how Muslims may live and interact with the modern world and effectively illuminated a path that weak Muslims and non-Muslims may take towards gaining true Wisdom. Have you ever looked at the Risale e Noor?
The primacy of Revelation versus the primacy of Philosophy was one of the great struggles of the history has been that of the conflict of the primacy of revelation with that of philosophy.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (ra) was at one time one of those who thought that philosophy and rational inquiry and understandings of religion were more than they were, yet eventually he burst out of that box and he knew, like Imam al Ghazali (ra) before him, that philosophy and rational inquiry are the products of men – limited as they are – and they can only be servants to something higher, a higher understanding that comes through the understanding of the Revelation, moving thus from philosophy to REALITY. He warned that those who stay trapped in the philosophers’ world-view were like those unhappy souls trapped in a dark pipe of their own making who die of suffocation before they get to their goal.
The Egoistic mind always tends to leans towards the cynical worship of the self and to perceive the ‘mind’ as being the ultimate arbiter of truth appeals to them. The wise, however, are aware of the reality of the truth revelation not just through intellect, or feeling, but also by intuition and the Mercy of ALLAH. God created humankind, the Angels, the jinn, the animals, nature, the world, the cosmos, the universe, the multiverse Paradise and Hell, and probably many other things and places that we do not know of and will never know of. He existed before all else and will exist after all else. One of the basic faults of philosophy is that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of philosophy.
Nikolaus von Cusa, was an interesting man. In his 1440 CE De docta ignorantia, he pointed out that human reasoning may never completely comprehend truth – although the more we study things the closer we may (it seems) approach truth.
Later Michel Eyquem de Montaigne noted back in 1569 CE that until something is found of which we are completely certain we can be certain of nothing. In terms of physics it still has not and thus he is correct in his statement, yet in terms of the soul we can be certain of God because we know Him by many means.
If we think about it we can see that one of the basic faults of science is that there is simply no known law of existence that states that humankind may come to know all about existence through the intellectual endeavour of science. There is no true evidence to show that existence may be truly understood by those within it and no reason to assume that such evidence will be forthcoming. In fact such evidence is an impossibility of sorts. This is because when you exist within the laws of physics (as a part of the universe) you can never really be sure you know anything until you are sure you know everything. You are like a fish in a pond who is unable to see out, only able to speculate about the pond from within, not able to look at it from without because it remains within.
The cosmos is your pond, in truth the earth is your pond and all you can do is speculate. You are like a fish who tries to know and understand the whole world from their view in a pond, they have only been allowed to see a tiny fraction of reality and beyond that they have to be careful not to enter into speculative flights of fancy and pyramids of self delusion. As an observer from ‘within the pond’ you can never be sure that your conclusions and basic premises are true because they may always be proved incorrect by new unknown information, as it arises. And the secret of unknown information is that you never know when it will arise or whether it exists or not.
At the same time the nature of the world is such that you can never be sure that you know everything, because laws of nature and facts of reality may remain secret from us, due to their existence and general effects not being within the possible scope of scientific inquiry (i.e. undetectable and immeasurable to us), and thus our presumptions always has the possibility of being illusory and/or incomplete. therefore e with intellectual pursuits such as the philosophy and science of the experimental approach you can never be sure you know anything at all.
Yet the words of the Messengers of God are the protected words of truthful ones from a truthful and all knowing being, God the One True God , who sees and hears and knows all. Who created and shaped and sustains the world, and it is a thing totally easy for Him.
Sir James Jeans (1877-1946 CE), was a great English physicist and mathematician. Although not a ‘Muslim’, he was one of many physicists who were able to see the signs of God in physics. After a careful process of scientific deduction he declared that as the Universe is a Universe of thought then its creation must have been an act of thought and he concluded that the evidence suggested that the Universe had been created by a ‘great Architect’.
Abdur Raheem Nelson
Anti Relious Bias in Modern Academia Promotes Atheism
Prof. George Yancey is a sociologist at the University of North Texas. He is the author of a number of works, most interestingly ‘Compromising Scholarship Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education’ in which he systematically explores the reality of social bias against religious conservatives in American higher education. The work systematically demonstrates the reality of this social bias through quantitative and qualitative analysis of the views and attitudes of American academia in various fields.
Prof. Yancey demonstrates how politically and religiously conservative academics (therefore the ideas they hold) face various different types of exclusion or marginalization in American universities.
This threatens the free exchange of ideas in the academic discourse and the reader can imagine how this situation strengthens the grip of the liberal atheists (who dominate US academia) upon society as a whole, with each generation of young educated people being placed under the tutelage of people of a particular worldview, one which most of them will come to adopt, thinking that it is the only norm for an educated person because other voices have been stifled and excluded.
The book is written about the American situation, but its findings also reflect the situation in Europe (indeed in Europe we may find this pro-liberal pro-atheist anti-conservative anti-religious bias is even worse)
“Groundbreaking. This research brilliantly unmasks the subtle social, philosophical, and ideological forces behind the exclusion of conservatives and their viewpoints from the academic enterprise.”
—Louis Bolce, Associate Professor of Political Science at Baruch College, City University of New York
An extremely brief synopsis on … Signs on the Horizons, Meetings with Men of Knowledge and Illumination by Michael Sugich
I read this lovely book today. It is a fascinating memoir of an American convert to Sufi Islam and of the Sufi Saints whom he has known. These include many famous and less famous well loved figures who are sadly no longer with us.
The book covers his experiences over several decades living in the Middle East and in the West and his experiences of figures ranging from Sheikh Muhammad Alawi Maliki to the famous elder of British reverts Gai Eaton and even on to Michael Sugich’s lifelike dream connections with Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Habib (may Allah bless them).
Especially moving was Sugich’s description of his love for and connection to Sayyid Omar Abdullah, who was a true Sufi alongside his other roles as African educationalist and Ambassador Extraordinaire of the Commoros Islands. His stories of Sayyid Omar Abdullah (may Allah bless him) describe the life and ways of a special man who was a true exemplar of genuine Islam.
The back cover blurb ends with the sentence ‘It is a spellbinding memorial told with eloquence, empathy, self-effacing humor, insight and love.’ which is a pretty good description of this well recommended work. A book which I have placed high in my bookcase alongside my very favourite volumes.
Yahya Parkinson (lived 1874-1918 CE (ra) was a notable British Muslim of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. A Scotsman (of Irish ancestry) he was a poet, a writer, a critic, a newspaper editor and for much of his life a wool spinner. Born in Kilwinning in Ayrshire, his first given name was John and it was this name he kept. When he returned to Islam (became a Muslim) around the turn of the century, he Arabised his name to Yahya (the way of saying John in Arabic). Although generally a resident of Scotland, Yahya Parkinson was a figure associated the the British Muslim community in Liverpool and the Woking Muslim Mission in Surrey. He became popular in intellectual British Muslim circles and among the English speaking Muslim intellectuals of British India. An impressive author, who wrote on various subjects (including Islamic Chivalry and Imam Al Ghazali (ra), his writing and poetry were featured in several English language Muslim periodicals of the era. He was well missed when he passed away (whist still only in his early middle age) in the year 1918 CE.