In discussing the intricate and somewhat complex relationship between Shiʻism and Sufism, both in principle and essence or in their metahistorical reality as well as in time and history, we need hardly concern ourselves with the too often repeated criticism made by certain orientalists who would doubt the Islamic and Quranic character of both Shiʻism and Sufism. Basing themselves on an a priori assumption that Islam is not a revelation and, even if a religion, is only a simple ‘religion of (...) the sword’ for a simple desert people, such would-be critics brush aside as un-Islamic all that speaks of gnosis and esotericism, pointing to the lack of historical texts in the early period as proof of their thesis, as if the non-existent in itself could disprove the existence of something which may have existed without leaving a written trace for us to dissect and analyse today. The reality of Shiʻism and Sufism as integral aspects of the Islamic revelation is too blinding to be neglected or brushed aside by any would-be historical argument. The fruit is there to prove that the tree has its roots in a soil that nourishes it. And the spiritual fruit can only be borne by a tree whose roots are sunk in a revealed truth. To deny this most evident of truths would be as if we were to doubt the Christian sanctity of a St Francis of Assisi because the historical records of the first years of the Apostolic succession are not clear. What the presence of St Francis proves is in reality the opposite fact, namely, that the Apostolic succession must be real even if no historical records are at hand. The same holds true mutatis mutandis for Shiʻism and Sufism. In this paper in any case we will begin by taking for granted the Islamic character of Shiʻism and Sufism and upon this basis delve into their relationship. In fact Shiʻism and Sufism are both, in different ways and on different levels, intrinsic aspects of Islamic orthodoxy, this term being taken not only in its theological sense but in its universal sense as tradition and universal truth contained within a revealed form. (shrink)
Accession Number: ATLA0001712108; Hosting Book Page Citation: p 71-86.; Language(s): English; General Note: Bibliography: p 86.; Rev from an article in The Islamic quarterly.; Issued by ATLA: 20130825; Publication Type: Essay.
The current ecological crisis is a matter of urgent global concern, with solutions being sought on many fronts. In this book, Seyyed HosseinNasr argues that the devastation of our world has been exacerbated, if not actually caused, by the reductionist view of nature that has been advanced by modern secular science. What is needed, he believes, is the recovery of the truth to which the great, enduring religions all attest; namely that nature is sacred. Nasr traces (...) the historical process through which Western civilization moved away from the idea of nature as sacred and embraced a world view which sees humans as alienated from nature and nature itself as a machine to be dominated and manipulated by humans. His goal is to negate the totalitarian claims of modern science and to re-open the way to the religious view of the order of nature, developed over centuries in the cosmologies and sacred sciences of the great traditions. Each tradition, Nasr shows, has a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning the order of nature. The resuscitation of this knowledge, he argues, would allow religions all over the globe to enrich each other and cooperate to heal the wounds inflicted upon the Earth. (shrink)
Knowledge and its desacralization --What is tradition? -- The rediscovery of the sacred : the revival of tradition -- Scientia sacra -- Man, pontifical and Promethean -- The cosmos as theophany -- Eternity and the temporal order -- Traditional art as fountain of knowledge and grace -- Principal knowledge and the multiplicity of sacred forms -- Knowledge of the sacred as deliverance.
The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed HosseinNasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. (...) On a broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (shrink)
Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy. This is volume challenges this belief. The Routledge History of Philosophy is made up entirely of essays by a distinguished list of writers. They provide detailed discussions of the most important thinkers and the key concepts in Islamic philosophy, from earliest times to the present day. Fifty authors from over sixteen countries have contributed to this volume. Each Together the (...) authors represent a wide variety of views. It includes analysis of Arabic, Persian, Indian, Jewish, Turkish and South East Asian Philosophy, together with extensive discussion of relevant areas of Greek and Western philosophy. An important but so far little understood philosophical tradition is clearly and thoroughly explored in this volume. Islamic philosophy is viewed as a continuing and lively philosophical activity, one which is just as capable of asking relevant questions today as it was in the past. (shrink)
Mulla?adra is one of the most prominent figures of post-Avicennan Islamic philosophy and among the most important philosophers of Safavid Persia. He was a prolific writer whose work advanced the fields of intellectual and religious science in Islamic philosophy, but arguably his most important contribution to Islamic philosophy is in the study of existence and its application to such areas as cosmology, epistemology, psychology, and eschatology.?adra represents a paradigm shift from the Aristotelian metaphysics of fixed substances, which had dominated Islamic (...) philosophy, to an analysis of existence as the ultimate ground and dynamic source of things. He posits that all beings derive their reality and truth from their _wujud _and that a proper philosophical analysis must therefore start and eventually end with it. The present work’s focus on?adra’s gradational ontology provides a strong foundation for the reader to understand?adra’s other works and later texts by other philosophers working in the same field. This edition contains parallel English-Arabic texts and a new translation by preeminent scholar of Islamic philosophy Seyyed HosseinNasr. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the best known contemporary Muslim scholars writing in English covers many facets of Islamic life and thought. The author has brought together studies dealing with the practical as well as intellectual aspects of Islam in both their historical and contemporary reality. The contemporary significance of themes such as religion and secularism, the meaning of freedom, and the tradition of Islamic science and philosophy is given particular attention.
Originally published 1987. The first part of the volume is concerned with "The Roots of the Islamic Tradition and Spirituality". These are seen to include the Qu’ran as the central theophany of Islam, the Prophet who received the word of God and made it known to mankind and the rites of Islam. The second part examines the divisions of the Islamic community with their distinctive pieties and emphases: Sunnism and Shi’ism and female spirituality. Part III is devoted to Sufism – (...) its nature and origin, its early development, its various spiritual practices and its science of the soul. (shrink)