Saturday, 7 July 2012

Islamic Philosophy- Crucible of Faith and Thought

A scholastic development of the distant past, persisting in a perennial and cosmopolitan endeavor. Driven in both form and velocity by the preponderance of the Arab element in a cohesive and seamless fashion while manifesting the finer rudiments of faith and thought in a crucible of diversity. Forged by the successive stances of the theologians, grammarians, metaphysicians and a panoply of intellectual trailblazers of every colour and aptitude, it has pushed the philosophical envelope further than ever. Commended for its radically insightful and inquisitive paradigm and critiqued as a respected body of thought, it has proved to be a matrix of wisdom and the embodiment of a grand world-view. Islamic philosophy is nothing short of rich and archetypal, the cascade of unparalleled intellectual progress as manifested by the Arab civilisation and governed by the immutable law of the Quranic scripture. Early developments foresaw the ascent of Kalam or scholastic theology that exhibited a strong association with Hellenic philosophical canons. But it was the added innovation in the faculties of Tasfir or exegesis, Fiq or Jurisprudence and much judicial decree that ordained an Islamic tradition of thought, its scripture as its pivot and its thinkers as its timeless vicegerents. Adding to this explosion of enlightenment, this 'philosophical renaissance', was the advent of metaphysics and the mystical yearning for truth and a connectivity with the divine. What is most conspicuous is both a successive and eclectic body of tradition, centered on an ever sprawling scholastic and intellectual theme. Inherently, Islamic philosophy exhibits the paradigm of a crucible; but unlike the quintessential unity of heterogeneous concepts, the crucible of Islamic philosophy proves the unity of homogeneous ideas. A melting pot where faith and thought are amalgamated and are contemplative to one another; where faith is conducive to thought and thought is conducive to faith. And at the nucleus of such a universal endeavour, were the thinkers that weaved a fine tapestry of philosophical inquisition, strung upon treatise after treatise the spirit of rationality and the nature of thought itself. It was the incubation of insight by Al-Kindi that revived the epistemic nature of knowledge and the philosophical basis to rationality and wisdom, the probing works of Al-Farabi that unveiled the teleological first cause and the neoplatonic stance of theology, the mystic exploits of Rumi that founded the ever transcendent school of mysticism, the sheer refinement of occasionalism by Al-Ghazali that revamped the conception of cause and effect. What is inherent remains the culmination of this intellectual crucible of faith and thought, the thinkers and logicians that sought the crux of knowing via the first intellect and furnished the philosophical realm with prowess and mastery. Islamic philosophy surpasses that of the blind and destitute of light, deploying a clear thinking oasis and ordaining the purity of reason and the stature of the intellect. It remains the unparalleled universal and cosmopolitan vision that defines and signifies the Islamic civilisation, people and its noble ethos...

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