Jaspers on Mohammad’s personality and the resulting dilemmas…


Abstract
In this article the main idea is to engage with Jaspers’ view on ProphetMohammad and analyze his judgment on Prophet Mohammad and find outon what grounds Jaspers ruled out Prophet’s civilizational role. Because, innutshell, Jaspers thinks there are four primordial personalities who are themain constitutive figures in our contemporary civilizations. These fourparadigmatic individuals are Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Socrates. Theimplication of this view is that apart from these four abovementionedpersonalities who happen to be instrumental in the birth of four grand livingcivilizations in the world others are either insigni ficant interms of paradigmaticality or need to merge with one of these livingtraditions which are the only authentic ones. Although he may not becharged on what his view may imply nevertheless this is what could beinferred and as a matter of fact what he speci fically says about ProphetMohammad makes us to believe that this inference could not be farfetched.On the contrary, it is what one could conclude from his explicit statement inregard to Prophet Mohammad and additionally following Jaspers’ reading ofparadigm and paradigmatic personalities could assist us in finding theimbedded reasons for the complex engagement of European elites towardsIslam and Western intellectuals’ approach vis-à-vis Muslims. The elites inEurope and America who have influencing roles on political discourses andsocial policies do endorse the view that Islam lacks any civic framework andMuslims cannot contribute to civilized life brought by modernity. The reasonis not accidental but inherent in what constitutes Islam, namely the‘Prophetic Experience’ of Mohammad who is the key man within Islamictradition. Once it is proved, as it has been claimed by Jaspers, that he lacksthe paradigmatic role then it is very easy to discredit Muslims of any claimto heirs for a unique tradition that is the base of any living tradition such asthe ones Jaspers relat e, namely Christian, Buddhist, Chinese and SecularEurope. Finally our reading of Jaspers may shed some light on theimpracticality of Multiculturalism of some British sociologists who areinattentive to philosophical and even theological or historical aspects of the debates on Islam in West thatwrongly has been constructed as debat es on Islam and West
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