Islamic philosophy  

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"Of the "four branches" of philosophy (geometry and mathematics, logic, theology, and natural sciences), some of the natural sciences "go against shari’ah, Islam and truth" and except for medicine, "there is no need for the study of nature". --Al-Ghazali, The Revival of Religious Sciences, quoted in IslamQA[1]

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Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between philosophy (reason) and the religious teachings of Islam (faith).

Opposition to philosophy

Some Muslims oppose the idea of philosophy as un-Islamic. The popular Salafist website IslamQA.info (supervised by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid of Saudi Arabia) declares philosophy to be an "alien entity":

The terminology of Islamic philosophy did not emerge as a branch of knowledge that is taught in the curriculum of Islamic studies until it was introduced by Shaykh Mustafa ‘Abd al-Razzaaq – the Shaykh of al-Azhar – as a reaction to western attacks on Islam based on the idea that Islam has no philosophy. But the fact of the matter is that philosophy is an alien entity in the body of Islam.

The fatwa claims that "the majority of fuqaha’ [experts in fiqh] have stated that it is haraam to study philosophy, and lists some of these:

  • Ibn Nujaym (Hanafi) writing in al-Ashbaah wa’l-Nazaa’im;
  • al-Dardeer (Maaliki) said in al-Sharh al-Kabeer;
  • Al-Dasooqi in his Haashiyah (2/174);
  • Zakariya al-Ansaari (Shaafa’i) in Asna al-Mataalib (4/182);
  • al-Bahooti (Hanbali) said in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (3/34);

IslamQA quotes Al-Ghazali who declares that of the "four branches" of philosophy (geometry and mathematics, logic, theology, and natural sciences), some of the natural sciences "go against shari’ah, Islam and truth", and that except for medicine, "there is no need for the study of nature".

Maani’ Hammad al-Juhani, (a member of the Consultative Council and General Director, World Assembly of Muslim Youth) is quoted as declaring that because philosophy does not follow the moral guidelines of the Sunnah, "philosophy, as defined by the philosophers, is one of the most dangerous falsehoods and most vicious in fighting faith and religion on the basis of logic, which it is very easy to use to confuse people in the name of reason, interpretation and metaphor that distort the religious texts".

Ibn Abi al-Izz, a commentator on al-Tahhaawiyyah, condemns philosophers as the ones who "most deny the Last Day and its events. In their view Paradise and Hell are no more than parables for the masses to understand, but they have no reality beyond people’s minds."

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Islamic philosophy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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