An Excellent article by Justin Parrott:
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Knowledge of God’s existence is often taken for granted by believers. The authentic religious experience—affirmed again and again in a Muslim’s daily life—makes faith in God feel so natural as to be assumed. But belief in God and the quest for existential truth is not an easy prospect for many people, especially in a social environment in which faith is derided as superstition, wishful thinking, or even as a dangerous fantasy.
In the Islamic tradition, the case for God’s existence is solid in terms of its rational foundations as well as the purpose, meaning, comfort, and guidance that it gives to our lives. The Quran inspires conviction by appealing to the aspects of the inner life of human beings, namely, to the heart and the mind. Intuition and experience work in tandem with logic and reason to arrive at a state of certainty in faith.
“Eurocentrism cannot be found amongst the ancient Greeks or Romans, who did not identify with each other or with the tribes of Western Europe. Romans thought Germanic and Celtic tribespeople were barbaric and inferior, owning them as slaves in Rome and depicting them as savages in art…
…After the fall of Rome, in one of the most remarkable cases of Stockholm syndrome in history, the conquered identified themselves with their conquerors and adopted Roman [and later Greek] history and identity as their own to make claims to power and lineage.”
More Info > Thinking Past Eurocentrism.
This video is a ‘trailer of sorts’ outlining what the course at Cambridge Islamic Network Worldwide covers delivered by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi.
My paraphrase of his introductory words with embedded thoughts of my own:
People cannot challenge anything if they are not trained to argue, to debate, to think and so to understand. Muslims (who are all supposed to be practitioners of Islam) – and only if they possess the ability – must understand their own heritage that is available ‘out there’ – to grasp the depth and nuances already contained within that heritage in order to assertively, intelligently, eloquently, morally (not defensively) address the modern challenges of today.
We need to know what Muslim scholars have already done. People mention Bukhari – but what has he done? We must understand how sophisticated these thinkers were/are. So let us refrain from ascribing to our superficial understanding/notions. We must at least help each other to understand what we already have prior to our attempts to produce something of this calibre, which is a certain necessity.
Students will analyse the following texts: Continue reading
To the question ‘why?’ we might answer with ‘because’ – that is to say, ‘just because’ or ‘it is just so’. Such an answer – if the ‘why?’ question was indeed a deeper philosophical/ existential/ scientific/ religious question – could be regarded as loaded with the atheist’s inference – that ‘life just simply “is”’; that it might have ‘come from nothing’ – and there’s nothing unusual about that.
But… Continue reading
By Professor K. Y. Blankinship
This video was brought to my attention from Paul Williams’ post on Biblical Scholarship and was referenced in a hyperlink at the bottom of that post.