World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective
|Title||World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective|
|Author(s)||Abdullah, Muhammad, Ghulam Ali Buriro, Rizwan Aftab|
|Keywords||World, View, Philosophical, Theological, Perspective|
|Chicago 16th||Abdullah, Muhammad, Ghulam Ali Buriro, Rizwan Aftab. "World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective." Grassroots 53, no. 2 (2019).|
|APA 6th||Abdullah, M., Buriro, G. A., Aftab, R. (2019). World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective. Grassroots, 53(2).|
|MHRA||Abdullah, Muhammad, Ghulam Ali Buriro, Rizwan Aftab. 2019. 'World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective', Grassroots, 53.|
|MLA||Abdullah, Muhammad, Ghulam Ali Buriro, Rizwan Aftab. "World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective." Grassroots 53.2 (2019). Print.|
|Harvard||ABDULLAH, M., BURIRO, G. A., AFTAB, R. 2019. World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective. Grassroots, 53.|
The world of today has emerged as a global village with diversity of culture, faith, religion, ideology and belief. The difference of point of view and intolerance are still left to be taken into account by the intellectuals of the world seriously with other multiple universal problems. In the present scenario, there is a need to rationalize the human existence on the face of Earth in terms of the sole objectives of human life. This study is an attempt to present a world view to the humanity through a philosophical and theological approach. Multiple questions have been raised and then answered with reference to Islamic religious philosophy of human life. It is an attempt to strengthen harmony among the world citizens.
Since the times immemorial, life on the face of Earth has proven to be quite uncertain in multiple socio-economic domains. Different personalities have assigned different values to philosophy of life. The objective orientation of human life has also been considerably multifaceted. The element of idiosyncratic orientation has been significantly dominant in philosophical, social, ideological and religious domains of humanity. Beside this all uncertainty, the existence of the universe and human beings on the face of earth has proven to be logical, scientific and systematic. Even the biological system of human body is absolutely scientific and unquestionably wonderful. It appeals to human mind logically and convincingly.
A keen insight into indigenous as well as international affairs supports the reality that all activities (concrete, abstract, natural or artificial) on the face of Earth are taking place in well planned and systematic patterns. Some are comprehensible to human beings and some non-comprehensible. The researchers fall in the web of feelings and observations when they look into their surroundings. It appears that every activity is being carried out systematically. A little is being controlled by human wisdom in different manifestations and the most destined by divine intelligence. The feelings and experiences are the same for both natural and unnatural phenomena. For example: Sun is rising and setting regularly without making any delay, the meal which is eaten by the human beings is cooked by someone, the clothes which they wear are fabricated and sewn by someone, the houses in which they live are constructed by someone, everything used in the construction is made or manufactured by someone, if they do not clean my teeth they remain dirty, if they do not wash their bodies these remain unclean. And a number of things like this are constantly and consistently appealing for considerate and solemn considerations about the world.
These somber deliberations definitely lead to multiple queries in the human mind about the world and it may be quite natural because the human beings at individual as well as communal level are equipped with limited information to encompass this crucial phenomenon holistically. Speculations at various levels of human understanding in this regard may have positive or negative impact on the society. Therefore, guidance in the form of relatively appropriate and convincing answers may be extremely significant for safety of human mind from distortion of thoughts and beguilement of faiths. The question and queries in the human mind may be noticed in abundance depending on circumstantial or situational diversity of social life and multidimensional approach of human intellect. However, these queries may be reflected into following questions in general:
- If everything is managed/manufactured or organized by someone then who is managing this universe?
- Who is the creator or manufacturer of this world?
- Who created the human beings?
- Why were human beings created?
- What is the purpose of the creation of humanity?
- What is the concept of life and death?
- Do we have a choice for death or life?
- Who controls the affairs of life?
And there may be a number of other questions. But it’s worth mentioning that it is enormously demanding for the humanity to be on the same pitch in terms of general perceptions in this regard. Difference of opinion in this perspective may not be eliminated but efforts must be put in for creating harmony among human societies all over the world as much as possible. The peace and comfort may prevail in the world if we respect the opinions of each other and come to common terms through mutual dialogue. We need to create space for each other and must be ready to accept if some arguments appeal us logically because this life on the face of Earth is merely a trial of humanity which demands faithful recognition of true God and dominance of righteous deeds in human behavior.
It would most probably go in favor of humanity as a whole along with personal satisfaction in life if we try to find out the answers of these questions for an unambiguous and clear view of the world. Clarity of concepts may remove uncertainties as well as ambiguities from human mind and have positive impact on human social behavior subsequently. We think that one should feel himself or herself guilty if he or she is still very much confused in this scientific age where access to knowledge is comparatively easier. In the following lines we will discuss our own point of view about the world or world view. We will discuss in detail, what the world view is and how it was formed in a philosophical and religious perspective.
WHAT IS A WORLD VIEW?
Let’s address this question first of all. People in the past as well as in the present have tried their level best to understand the world in their specific contexts. As a result, different points of view have emerged in this regard. Philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Fancis Bacon, Alfarabi, Alberooni etc. have given their own point of view to the world. At the other end Messengers of Allah Almighty have also conveyed the message of Allah to the people of the world revealed to them in this regard. Based upon above mentioned arguments it may be considered that principally, there are two points of view in this world. One is guided by Allah Almighty, attributed as the Creator of this universe through His message to the whole of the humanity from Adam (May Allah Almighty Shower His blessings upon him!) to the Day of Judgment (doomsday). It may be carefully named as Islam or Islamic world view. The word Islam is from Arabic root word salama which means peace and peace not for a single person, family, society or community but also peace for the whole of humanity. This is the revealed religion. It was started to be revealed to Hazart Adam (May Allah Almighty Shower His blessings upon him!) and in the context, it could be justified to say that Adam (May Allah Almighty Shower His blessings upon him!) was the first Muslim and Messenger of God. Islamic teachings in terms of the patterns of Muslim behavior were revealed to Hazart Adam (May Allah Almighty Shower His blessings upon him!) the very first time. Allah Almighty sent almost one hundred and 24 thousand prophets (Al-Behaqui) before Hazart Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to different nations or groups in different regions of the world. The last and the final message was revealed to Hazart Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last and final Messenger of Allah Almighty. It is well known historical fact supported by teachings of the Holy Quran that the messages sent to people of this world through Prophets except the last message were manipulated and changed by the human beings for their own interests and material gains. It is because Allah Almighty did not guarantee for the purity of those messages after the death of the respective Prophets. But the followers of the last Prophet (peace be upon him) are very lucky in this regard that Allah revealed one very important verse in His last message i.e. the Holy Quran (5:3):
“Forbidden to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked, and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars. And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you this is sinful conduct. Today, those who are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [you’re ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion. As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity and not by an inclination to sinning - behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace” (Asad, 2007).
This verse of the Holy Quran presents the final verdict on what is lawful and what is unlawful for the believers which may/might be contradictory to the prevalent traditional or religious definitions of lawful and unlawful in different non-Muslim communities of world in general or Arab in particular. Therefore, it was reiterated that this decision was final as teachings of Islamic religion had been finalized and completed on the last and final Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The same has been highlighted in the above referred translation.
In another verse of the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty said that we would protect the message (Islam) from every kind of impurities (corruption) (Quran, 15:9):
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (Yusuf, 2004). It means that this last and final message will remain pure forever. It is highly significant because Satanic designs are also functional to mitigate or confuse the worth of revelation especially in terms of its truthfulness and applicability for indefinite time period. It is the reasons that in certain quarters of humanity and Muslim community even the authenticity of Islamic teachings is being questioned directly or indirectly. Although, directives or instructions are crystal clear by Allah Almighty but still there are certain contradictions in believes and ideas of those people who claim themselves the followers of the revelation. They are categorized in the following:
Judaism: The followers of this religion are called Jews. They are of the point of view that Judaism is the true religion. They are not convinced to follow any other religion except Judaism. They do not believe in other revealed religions like Christianity and Islam. Although, this claim is contradictory to their fundamental and original teachings but they are not motivated to deviate from their fundamental claim. Moses (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) is the Prophet of this religion. They believe in Allah but consider Uzair (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) as the son of Allah, which is principally contradictory and dichotomous to the fundamental teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Christianity: The followers of this religion believe that Christ (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) is the true Prophet of Allah. Therefore, they consider that there is no prophet after Christ (may Allah’s blessings be upon him). They believe in trinity which is very complicated belief. In the present time we find different versions of the Bible and in fact, it has become almost impossible to locate or find the actual teachings of Christ (may Allah be pleased with him). A lot of disagreements exist even among the religious scholars (priests) in this regard.
Islam: The followers of this religion believe that Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the last Prophet of Allah Almighty. There is no Prophet after him and Quran is the last and final message of Allah Almighty to the whole of humanity. They are in possession of the point of view that Islam as religion was started to be revealed on Hazrat Adam (may Allah’s blessings be upon him), Judaism and Christianity are its different and earlier versions, and Islam is the final version which is the only option for the Muslims or humanity as whole to be followed. They observe great respect and honor for all the Prophets including Moses and Jesus (may Allah’s blessings be upon them), and at the same time also believe that after the final revelation that is the Holy Quran the earlier revelations (Bible and Taurat) are no more valid to be followed by the Muslims in accordance with the true teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Therefore, we may conclude that the followers of revealed guidance that is Jews, Christians and Muslims unanimously believe in the existence of Allah Almighty (God).
The second point of view is maintained by those scholars and philosophers or other people who do not abide by the teaching of revelations. They are secular in their beliefs and apply secular approach to religious affairs of human life. They do not follow any religion strictly. They have their own point of view about the world which is based upon their speculations, intellect, rational or intelligence. Therefore, primarily we can divide the human population of world on the face of Earth into the following two categories with respect to systems of belief:
(a) Theists/Theism, (b) Antitheists/Antitheism
Theists: Theists are those people among human population of the world who believe in Allah/God as the only/sole creator of the universe (Horper, 2014) and they are further divided into the following categories.
Monotheists: Monotheists are those who believe in one Allah as Muslims. They claim that Allah Almighty is the sole creator of this universe, He is the only Cherisher. He is the one and only on absolute terms and there is nothing like him. He is the only supreme commander of this universe. Jews or Christians are also considered as monotheists although there are certain issues in their belief which are very much serious. Jews consider Hazrat Uzair and Christians consider Hazrat Christ as son of God. Christians also strongly believe and propagate the concept of trinity. All these beliefs with respect to Judaism and Christianity challenge the oneness of God/Allah Almighty on absolute terms which is not acceptable to monotheists.
Polytheists: Polytheists are those who believe in more than one God that is Hindus, who believe in Hinduism and own the concept of multiple gods or Gods. They associate different supreme authorities to different gods and goddesses. Even some creatures are also given the status gods and goddesses.
Antitheists / Antitheism: Antitheists are those who do not believe in Allah. They have their own point of view of the world i.e. Communists.
Secular: This is the category of those people who do not restrict themselves to any religion. They can be born Christians, Jews or Muslims but they are not practicing believers of the religion. Somehow or the other all the people of the world fall within two categories either they believe or do not believe in Allah.
SUGGESTED WORLD VIEW
Researchers are monotheists. It is because, they believe in one God. They believe that there is no God but Allah. He is absolute and eternal. Neither He is a father of someone nor son. There is nothing like him. These concepts have been perceived from the Holy Quran (Abdullah & Ahghar, 2018):
“Say: 'He is God, One,
God, the Everlasting Refuge,
who has not begotten, and has not been begotten,
and equal to Him is not any one” (Arberry, 1982).
Now the question arises why are we satisfied as a monotheist. Have we got the answers of all the questions which come to our mind? Following is the discussion in this regard:
The very first question which comes in our mind is who are you? When we think about this question, we find that we are human beings because the people of this world call/take us under this category and it is also supported by revelations.
Quran (4913), “O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware” (Asad, 2007).
People also say that human beings are the best of creatures/creations and the same is supported by revelations as well and consensus in this regard already exists or may be developed on the face of Earth. The second question which comes in my mind is relevant to our creation and it may be formed as who is your creator? We find the answer of this question in the Holy Quran that Allah Almighty has created us. The Quranic verse states that Allah Almighty has created the human beings and Jins for his worship (51:56).
“I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me” (Arberry, 1982).
There is consensus among the followers of revealed religions in this perspective but non-revealed religions do or may contradict it in accordance with their belief system or personal opinion. However, it may be concluded that the creator of this diverse and multifaceted universe is actually the creator of the master piece (human being) in this world. The third question is why were we created or what is purpose of our lives? We find the answer of this question in Holy Quran. Allah Almighty has created this human being for his worship (51:56) as referred above. Allah created death and life to find out or examine or witness that who among the people do good deeds:
Quran (57:2) “He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving” (Yusuf, 2004).
The fourth question is what are the good deeds? Islam further clarify that good deeds are those which are carried out in the obedience of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Quran (4:59) “O you who have attained to faith! Pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle and unto those from among you who have been entrusted with authority; and if you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God and the Apostle, if you [truly] believe in God and the Last Day. This is the best [for you], and best in the end” (Asad, 2007).
To further emphasize this concept of good deeds there is a saying of the Holy Prophet Hazart Muhammad (Peace be upon him) which means that who so ever does the actions or performs the deeds contrary to the instructions of Allah Almighty and his prophet will get no reward (Al-Bukhari, 49:861) & (Al-Muslim. 18:4266).
The fifth question which comes to our mind is relevant to the life hereafter. What will happen after death? The religion of Islam has answered this question in great detail. Just after death the trial of human being ends and he or she enters into the world of consequences. These may be in the form of reward or punishment. And it totally depends upon the individual’s performance during the period of trial and subsequent blessings of Allah Almighty. The blessing of Allah, however, stands supreme. Reward will be given in the form of paradise and punishment in the form of hell.
Here lies the justification for those who are poor. Who do not avail the luxurious facilities of the world but are pious and honest. The reward in the hereafter is not on the basis of the quantity of deeds. It is on the basis of quality of deeds. Quality is based upon intention and purity or sincerity of deeds. Therefore, one does not need to run after the wealth or money for good intention. It is the matter of heart, mind and faith. Every human being is gifted with these blessings by Allah Almighty. The trial of a poor man in this world lies in the poverty and the trial of a rich man lies in the richness. Every human being is under trial in a particular context. The ultimate objective or purpose of this life is good deeds and achievement of God’s pleasure.
In the light of the above mentioned facts, we can conclude that nothing has been created purposeless or meaningless in this world. It is very much possible that human being does understand something and does not understand many things due to his or her intellectual or educational limitations since the time of Hazrat Adam (may Allah Almighty Shower His blessings upon him). After all, “error is human” and it is universally experienced and recognized. Complacency or oversight by a human being is very much possible. Human judgment always owns certain limitations. It is subjective to family culture, religious faith, social interaction, real performance (personal role) in the society, personal objectives, and education. Observations on a particular phenomenon may differ up to greater extent among the people of the same social, cultural and educational background. For example, one thousand people may have one thousand different opinions reflecting a variety of idiosyncrasies. Although, diversity contains its own beauty but here it is referred as change in human behavior and difference of observations/judgments based upon above mentioned multiple reasons.
It might be a grave mistake if somebody thinks or considers that the purpose or objective of the creation of something can be understood without consulting the creator of that thing. Same is the case of a human being. If a human being considers that he or she can understand the purpose of his or her creation without consulting his or her Creator, he or she commits a grave and serious mistake. We as human beings need to consult our Creator to understand the purpose of our creation. We are supposed to follow the instructions revealed by our Creator. The revelation is the knowledge which contains the satisfaction of those who are unbiased and inclined to believe or accept, who are in search of true path and righteous deeds. The researchers consider that our world view must conform to the world view of the final revelation i.e. the Holy Quran. After all, a human being can not challenge the knowledge of Creator or God or Allah due to certain and absolute human limitations. So, our salvation lies in the obedience of Allah and His Messenger. Although, human being has the right to think and act freely but the exercise of free will is not without consequences of choice.
Abdullah, M. & Asghar, J. (2018). Study of Pragmatic Losses in the English Translations of Surah Ikhlas: A Comparative Pragma Linguistic Analysis. Research Journal of Al-Basirah (Vol.6, Issue 2), National University of Modern Language (NUML), Islamabad.
Al-Hadith, Al-Bukhari (49:861), Al-Muslim (18:4266).
Al-Quran, Al-Maidah (5) verse (3).
Asad, M. (2007). The message of the Quran. www.islamicbulletin.org
Al-Quran, Al-Hijar (15:9).
Al-Quran, Al-Ikhlas (112:1-4).
Al-Quran, Al-Hujrat (49:13).
Al-Quran, Al-Zariyat (51:56).
Al-Quran, Al-Zariyat (51:56).
Al-Quran, Al-Mulk (67:2).
Al-Quran, Al-Nisa (4:59).
Arberry, A. J. (1982). ‘The Koran Interpreted’. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Horper, D. (2014). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved January 22, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com
Yusuf, A.A. (2004). The Holy Quran, Dawah Academy, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.