Perennial Philosophy and Islam

Discussion in 'Islam' started by Ahanu, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    The Perennial Studies Foundation on Youtube has been posting interesting videos from renowned Muslim speakers such as Dr. Nasr and Dr. Dagli. There are some very good arguments against religious exclusivism here. Also, Dr. Nasr traces the origins of the perennial philosophy to Islam.
    Question and Answer Session -Day 1


    The Quran and The Perennial Philosophy by Caner Dagli



    Religion, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Sufism and Art--An Introduction (Part 1) by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Oh, good to see!

    I know of the works of Dr Nasr through my studies of the Perennial Tradition. Dr Nasr was profoundly influenced by Fritjof Schuon and – I would imagine but am not sure – by René Guenon.
     
  3. Friend

    Friend In the Name of God

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    This philosophy is far away from the fundamental approach of Islam . You can't put it in the list of thoughts and ideas of Islam .
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    my way or the hiway? the fundamentalists have only recently garnered the spotlight for Islam.... and it doesn't appear to be going well.
     
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  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Why?
     
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  6. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    The Arabic word for fundamentalist is usuli, meaning "one who relies on the fundamentals or basics." Do fundamentalists rely on the fundamentals or basics? Aren't they better described as purists or puritan? Vocabulary.com describes purist quite well: "To be a purist is to be a kind of perfectionist — a baking purist might feel that cookies made without a certain brand of chocolate chips are vastly inferior, for example." So it is with religious purists. In the Muslim purist mindset other sects are inferior and deserve to be wiped off the face of the Earth because they contaminate their view of truth.
     
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like many of the Muslim voices on this forum, I wonder if it is ingrained in the religion itself or if it is just place/time of Islam. The same could be said about much of Christianity at times and places, but not necessarily always true today in my experience. Thomas here being a good example.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Interesting.

    I was lucky enough to catch two lectures by Martin Lings, another Traditionalist and Sufi.

    While at Oxford he discovered René Guénon (French metaphysician, Hindu scholar and Muslim convert) and Frithjof Schuon (German metaphysician). In 1938, Lings went to Basle to make Schuon's acquaintance. A year later he went to Cairo and was one of the two men to convince Guénon that Buddhism was not a 'Hindu heresy'. He lived in Cairo for over a decade, converting to Islam.

    He returned to the UK and did PhD, his doctoral thesis a well-received book on Algerian Sufi Ahmad al-Alawi. Lings worked at the British Museum and later the British Library, overseeing eastern manuscripts and other textual works as Keeper of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts.

    He is most well known for a biography biography of Muhammad (PBUH), written in 1983, which earned him acclaim in the Muslim world and prizes from the governments of Pakistan and Egypt. His work was hailed as the "best biography of the prophet in English" at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad.
     
  9. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator Admin

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    And that's going on my reading list. Thanks.
     
  10. farhan

    farhan Active Member

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    The foundational metanarrative of Islam is the perenniality of Divine guidance to mankind. From that perspective, every guidance send to mankind was from the same God and had the same postulates. But with the passage of time, people keep changing God's command to suit their whims and shortcomings.

    From what I have read, their philosophy isnt far away from the fundamental approach of Islam. But then I havent read everything.

    Lings, Eaton etc are always a pleasant read. Give you food for thought. Nasr is usually way too convulated and dry for my taste.
     
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  11. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    I would like to read the works of this Fritjof Schuon fellow. Any recommendations?
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Ahanu —

    I found this link to writings. I always recommend the Perennialists, but I think they are an acquired taste.
     
  13. Ahmad232

    Ahmad232 Member

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    perrenialism is completely rejected in Islam:

    1. The Universality of Religions and Finality of Islam.

    Allah sent mankind and jinn His prophetic messengers (upon whom be peace), who were trustworthy, intelligent, truthful, and fully conveyed their messages. He protected them from sin, and from every physical trait unbecoming to them, though as human beings, they ate, drank, slept, and married. They were the best of all created beings; and the highest of them was him whom Allah chose to be the final seal of prophethood, our prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

    Though the Sacred Law of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) superseded all previously valid religious laws, it was identical with them in beliefs, such as tawhid or "oneness of God", and so on, a fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) emphasized by saying, "Let none of you say I am superior to [the prophet] Jonah," (Bukhari, 4.193: 3412), for the illumination of Jonah's tawhid (upon him be peace)--under the darkness of the storm, the darkness of the sea, and the darkness of the belly of the fish--was not less than the illumination of the Prophet's tawhid at the zenith of his success as the spiritual leader of all Arabia (Allah bless him and give him peace). The light of their message was one, in which sense the Qur'an says, "We do not differentiate between any of His messengers" (Qur'an 2:285), showing that previous religions were the same in beliefs, and though differing in provisions of works, and now abrogated by the final religion, were valid in their own times.

    As for today, only Islam is valid or acceptable now that Allah has sent it to all men, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said,

    "By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell" (al-Baghawi: Sharh al-sunna 1.104).

    This hadith was also reported by Muslim in his Sahih by `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf, and others. It is a rigorously authenticated (sahih) evidence that clarifies the word of Allah in surat Al 'Imran

    "Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted from him, and shall be of those who have truly failed in the next life"
    (Qur'an 3:85) and many other verses and hadiths.

    That Islam is the only remaining valid or acceptable religion is necessarily known as part of our religion, and to believe anything other than this is unbelief (kufr) that places a person outside of Islam, as Imam Nawawi notes: "Someone who does not believe that whoever follows another religion besides Islam is an unbeliever (like Christians), or doubts that such a person is an unbeliever, or considers their sect to be valid, is himself an unbeliever (kafir) even if he manifests Islam and believes in it" (Rawda al-talibin, 10.70).

    This is not only the position of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence represented by Nawawi, but is also the recorded position of all three other Sunni schools: Hanafi (Ibn 'Abidin: Radd al-muhtar 3.287), Maliki (al-Dardir: al-Sharh al-saghir, 4.435), and Hanbali (al-Bahuti: Kashshaf al-qina', 6.170). Those who know fiqh literature will note that each of these works is the foremost fatwa resource in its school. The scholars of Sacred Law are unanimous about the abrogation of all other religions by Islam because it is the position of Islam itself.

    It only remains for the sincere Muslim to submit to, in which connection Ibn al-`Arabi has said: "Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the pure Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud" (al-Burhani: al-Hall al-sadid, 32).

    Traditional Islam certainly does not accept the suggestion that

    "it is true that many Muslims believe that the universality of guidance pertains only to pre-Qur'anic times, but others disagree; there is no 'orthodox' interpretation here that Muslims must accept" (Religious Diversity, 124).

    Orthodoxy exists, it is unanimously agreed upon by the scholars of Muslims, and we have conveyed in Nawawi's words above that to believe anything else is unbelief. As for "others disagree," it is true, but is something that has waited for fourteen centuries of Islamic scholarship down to the present century to be first promulgated in Cairo in the 1930s by the French convert to Islam Rene Gunon, and later by his student Frithjof Schuon and writers under him. Who else said it before? And if no one did, and everyone else considers it kufr, on what basis should it be accepted?

    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/amat.htm

    so there you have it guys!!!!!

    interfaith for us is making peace with other faiths; not accepting their validity!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    It's interesting that Guénon believed Buddhism to be a Hindu heresy until Martin Lings and Marco Pallis spoke to him at length about the nature of the tradition. But then Guénon's thoughts were shaped by his Hindu instructors ...

    Both Guénon and Schuon became Sufi shiekhs. While Guénon went east and settled in Cairo, a devout Muslim who's neighbours had no idea of who he was, Schuon went West to America, founded a following there which eventually foundered amid a welter of accusations of sexual improprieties ... which is tragic if it is true ...

    Every Tradition necessarily declares Itself, and only Itself, as the Way, because that is only being true to itself, in that it reflects the Absolute. There is no such thing as a 'relative religion'.

    The human margin is how man acknowledge God and his love neighbour, even when his neighbour does not appear to love his God.

    I quite agree, although this does rub up against contemporary sentimental western notions of egalitarianism.

    What is indisputable among perennialists is that whilst all authentic religions (Guénon was scathing in his critique of such movements as Anthroposophy and Theosophy, for example, and no perennialist endorses them) are revelations from the One Source of All, there is no meta-religion that combines them all, and furthermore the idea of picking this-and-that from here-and-there as a 'way' is an equal if not a greater fallacy.

    For the Perennialist the only way is to embrace a Tradition whole heartedly.
     
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  15. HakimPtsid

    HakimPtsid Member

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    From Fundimentalism, sure, it's written into the dogma.
    But from the Islam of the Ahl Bayt - absolutely not!!

    If you understand the Tawid, then Perennialism will make complete sense (within it's logically determined infrastructure though), in fact, truly comprehending the Tawid
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  16. DustyFeet

    DustyFeet New Member

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    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but, can u help me with comprehending "the Tawid". I read Ahmad232's explanation, but. It went over my head...
     
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  17. HakimPtsid

    HakimPtsid Member

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    Tawid: The absolute, transcendent oneness of G-d, above and unlike any of it's creation, non-deity (or anti-deity) anti-anthropomorphic, a God of perfect unity.
     
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  18. SufiPhilosophy

    SufiPhilosophy Evolution by mutation has never been observed

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    We are allowed to believe we are right, please don't presume to deny us this basic right, or if you do, deny it to yourself in the same breath and so nullify your own words.

    Orthodox Islam forbids sectarianism in its hadith.

    The Qur'an forbids religious reform.

    Don't like? Fine but that is our religion. If you will never be happy with it, then why pretend to debate it?
     
  19. SufiPhilosophy

    SufiPhilosophy Evolution by mutation has never been observed

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    We are allowed to believe we are right, please don't presume to deny us this basic right, or if you do, deny it to yourself in the same breath and so nullify your own words.

    Orthodox Islam forbids sectarianism in its hadith and also in the Qur'an itself.

    [ Quotes:

    It was narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).”

    Quran 3:103 And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. ]

    The Qur'an forbids religious reform. [Quote: a possible translation of Quran 2:11]

    Don't like? Fine but that is our religion. If you will never be happy with it, then why pretend to debate it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  20. SufiPhilosophy

    SufiPhilosophy Evolution by mutation has never been observed

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    Sorry, back to the topic: may l ask what is meant by perennial philosophy? Could you furnish examples?
     

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