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Moderator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ghazali Basri

& 19 March 2011
Tasawwur (Ar.) World-view (Eng.)
Weltanschauung (German)

Perceptions on ISLAM in its totality:
The notion of the religion (al-din al-Islam)
as compared with (cf) other religions.
The notion of the Creator (Khaliq)
The notion of the created (makhluq): the
entire universe: planets, human beings,
animal and vegetal kingdom.

i-God-given/sent religion or revealed religion (cf:
other revealed and non-revealed religions).
ii- The essence of Islam is Tawhid: Oneness of
God has been taught to human kind since
prophet Adam alaihissalam.
iii- Revelation (wahy) in the form of knowledge
(mushaf/books) sent down to prophets (God-
chosen amongst men).

Islam acknowledges the previous/past sacred
books such as Zabur, Taurat, Injil.
Al-Quran is the final-encompassing the
teachings of the previous books. Al-Quran is
not only holy but the word of God (Allah).
The revelation of the Quran implies the role of
the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him)

The Holy Quran: i) sent-down in Arabic
language; verbatim in nature , covering all
aspects of human endeavors both in theories
and practices; ii) prescribing God-man/nature
relationship and man-man/nature
relationship; and iii) the preserving of the
balance worldly needs and the hereafter

Islam in essence is both transcendent and rationalistic.
i-Transcendent refers to the nature of God and God-given
values distinct from all forms of immanentism.
ii- Rationalistic: even in matters of faith (credo), Islam
rejects blind submission. Thus what constitutes iman
(faith) comprises of 3: belief in ones soul, utters by
ones tongue (mind) and manifests in action. The
quranic verse: Chp 2 verse 256 explains.
iii- Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life (nizam
God (Allah)
God is the Creator, The Provider and Sustainer.
His Oneness implies that all ethical values
derived from Him and to Him all creatures
submit willlingly (tawan eg. Human beings/jinn) or
unwillingly (karhan eg. The planets & non human).
His Omnipresence (existence) Omnipotence
(qudrah) and Omniscience (iradah)
encompasses the hidden and the tangible.

God (Allah). Cont.
How would Muslims understand their God?
i-do reflect upon Allahs creation, but do not reflect
upon Allahs essence (zatillah)- the sayings of
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
ii- God is transcendent, but He is near to us as close
as our jugular vein (QS50:16).
iii- through His signs (ayat): two types of ayat; one
is that the Quran (that we read) and second is
the universe (that we see). Both portend to His
God (Allah)- Cont
The concept of Tawhid rejects pantheistic understanding
of deity as in Hinduism, anthropormorphic deity as in
Judaism and incarnational theology as in Christinity.
His justice & mercy is universal encompassing all His
creations couched in the concept rahman and rahim.
His power/Command to create is unconditioned as
explained: He says : (Kun fayakun -Be! And it is!)

Knowledge is the basis of understanding
Islam. Knowledge comes first in the whole
creation as explained in QS55:1-3 (al-Rhman,
allama al-Quran, khalaqa al-insan).
The first word/verse sent down to human kind
is about knowledge (QS96:1-5).
Al-Quran is the source of all knowledge. Thus
all knowledge belongs to God.
We do not creat knowledge but we discover it.
Islamic epistemology provides principles in the
following aspects:
i- definition of knowledge (ilm) and
types of knowledge, ii- hierarchy of knowledge,
iii- acquisition of knowledge and, application
of knowledge.
Islamic Epistemology- Cont
i- Definition: the arrival of meaning to ones
soul; types of knowledge: a) given or revealed,
b) acquired or sought.
Given or revealed such as the holy Quran and
the Hadith. It is also called a priori knowledge.
Acquired knowledge that are sought,
learned, discovered through human faculties-
thus, it is empirical in nature.
Islamic Epistemology- Cont
Hierarchy of Knowledge : positioning types of
knowledge according to its degree of
at 100% certainty: al-Quran & al-Hadith
< 100%: ilm kasyaf/laduni
<< 100%: philosophy, teosophy
<<<100%: intelletual knowledge
<<<<100%: sensory knowledge

Heirarchy cont.
In no way that the lower can nullify the
facts/data of the 100% certainty; eg acquired
knowledge to nullify the revealed (wahy).
In all situation, all types of knowledge
(acquired) complement, enrich the revealed
knowledge. Thus we have the concept of
integrated knowledge (Tauhidic). Tauhidic
rejects the concept of dichotomy and dualism.
Acquisition & Application of Knowledge:
Fard ain precedes fard kifayah.
Aspects of fard ain: on faith, ibadah, akhlaq.
Aspects of fard kifayah: on social, political and
economic matters.
Application of knowledge: incumbent (wajib) upon
the learned/knowledgble to teach the ignorant.
Knowledge ought to bring benefit to the well-
being of this worldly life and the life hereafter.
Universe: the planets & earth
The whole universe (to include the earth we
live in) belongs to God and to Him they
worship (QS21:19). Thus nature (the universe)
willingly submit to Gods pattern
The earth that we live in is part of the
universe. It is endowed with sacred values-to
live in and to benefit from is religious

The Earth-cont.
All things/nature (living and non-living) on or
in this earth are sacred, therefore
disenchantment of them is contrary to Islamic
Indiscriminate destruction of nature will result
calamities to human kind (QS30:31).
This earthly/worldly life is a necessity for the
hereafter life. Therefore ascetic life is rejected.
The earthly life- cont.
This earth is a farm (mazraa) for mankind to
sow plants to be harvested in the hereafter.
What is earthly/worldly is not disconnected
with the heavenly and the life hereafter,
rather they are one: the earthly: near/now as
opposed to the later/ultimate ie the hereafter.
Muslims always implore Allah to grant them
well-being in this world and well-being in
Of all Gods creations, man is the best (with
perfected nature, QS95:4). Free from any form
of bondage as in Christianity or in Hinduism.
Man is entrusted in undertaking the trust of of
khalifah (QS2:30), and to steer this world
(QS33:72) while others are not willing.
As khalifah, man has enormous potentials in
shaping the world.

Man- cont.
Only by realizing the status of abd will ensure
the safety of mans stewardship on this earth.
Moral freedom and responsibility: i) to believe
or to disbelieve does so of his own accord
(QS18:29), ii) God does not require (impose)
of any person except that he is capable
(QS23:62), iii) God does not change of any
person/group until they change/transform
their own selves.

i- do not ask any one to bear the burden of
another (QS17:15), ii- what ever man has
earned he will certainly be given (QS10:44,
53:40) iii) God wronged them not, but they
wronged themselves (QS3:117).
Ethical striving: i- He may test you which of you
is best in deed (QS67:2).
Man is vulnerable to risks and tribulation but
will be salvaged if : i) By al-asr, verily man is
in loss except those who have attained faith
and do righteous deeds.. (QS103:1-3); ii) We
shall test you with something of fear, hunger,
loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad
tidings to as-Sabirun (QS2:155).
Characteristics (khasais) of
Tasawwur Islami
Altogether nine (not exhaustive) as opined by
Sayyid Qutb:
i-al-ijabiyyah (world-affirmative), ii- al-
ijtimaiy (societistic), iii- al-wasatiyyah (golden
mean), iv- al-tawazun (balanced), v- al-thabat
(absolute, permenance), vi- al-taghayyur
(impermenance, changes), vii-al-rabbaniyyah
(God fearing, peity) , viii- al-tawhid
(integration) , ix-al-shumul (comprehensive).
Characteristics- cont.
Al-ijabiyyah: world affirmative refers to the
notion of usefulness, meaningfullness of this
world -worldly life. God creates this world not
in vain (batila QS3:191) but for good purpose.
All acts/deeds as long as that are not in
contradiction with sharia, will be considered
amal soleh/righteous deeds. It implies
inclusivity and positive attitude towards life.
Al-ijtimaiyy (societistic/ummatic) gives an
idea that every human is a constituent of the
universal ummah-procreating from the sama
fore-father/mother (Adam and Eve),
regardless religious profession, thus Islam
respects the integrity of a human being
AS the muslim ummah (substructure) fits into
the universal ummah (superstructure):
overlaps and complementary.

Characteristics- cont.
Al-wasatiyyah: the median- between the two
extremes/cotinuum. Ummatan wasata
(QS2:143) rendered as just, impartiality.
Wasatiyyah provides an upright
way/approach to solving human problems
based on the principles of maqasid al-
shariah. It provides an alternative to all
systems that are not beneficial.
Characteristics- cont.
Al-Tawazun: gives the meaning of a balanced
situation, refers to harmonising the needs of
two entities; eg. The physical need and
spiritual need ought to be balanced; in
preserving the in-born (fitrah) qualities of man
with the pattern of Allah (sunnatullah), thus
also the keeping the balance between the
animal, vegetal, cosmological and the humans
Characteristics - cont
Al-Thabat: permenance or absolute. It refers
to sharia laws (the hadd), eg. What is
haram/forbidden, it remains so until yaumul-
qiyamah. This provides credibility (thiqah) to
Islam in preserving its pristine creed and
Al-Taghayyur: an opposite of thabat-there are
laws/values that change in accordance with
arising needs of a people. These laws fall in
the category of ijtihadiy.
Characteristics- cont.
Al-Rabbaniyyah: also termed as ubudiyyah. It
refers to an act of full submission to the
decree of Allah, (in most acts of worships)
prescribed in Quran/explicated in the Hadith.
Eg., an act of abolution (wudhu), cleansing
the najs mughallazah, etc.
Being a rabbani one is close to Allah.
Characteristics- cont.
Al-Tawhid: referring to the notion of wholistic,
integrated and comprehensive in approach.
Islam teaches that no aspect of human being
is left unattended when come to providing
education, training, skill acquisition. Thus, we
have Tawhidic paradigm in the approach of
any development: whether human or material
development. Tawhidic paradigm outplace
compartmentalization & dichotomy approach.
Chharacteristics- cont.
Al-Shumul: means comprehenssive. This
complements all other characteristics that
been mentioned. It also explains the nature of
Islam that provides all and every aspect of
human needs: from the minute private life till
the national, international cooperation. Eg. its
value system: wajib-haram, sunat-makruh and
mubah. All acts will fall into one of the above.
The same goes to the Islamic laws.