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Dhul Hijjah 19 Wednesday Hijrah 1440
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

Introduction

This long article is a part of Martyr Murtada Mutahhari’s book Ashna’i ba ‘ulum-e Islami (An Introduction to the Islamic Sciences).

The book consists of seven parts:

  1. Logic;

  2. Philosophy;

  3. al-kalam (Muslim scholastic philosophy);

  4. ‘irfan (Islamic mysticism);

  5. usul-e fiqh (the principles of jurisprudence);

  6. fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence);

  7. hikmat-e ‘amali’ (practical philosophy or practical morality).

All the seven parts together serve both as a comprehensive survey of the fundamentals of different branches of Islamic sciences and a general and comprehensive perspective for the proper understanding of the basic teachings of Islam along with the main points of difference among various sects of Muslims. This work of Martyr Mutahhari is the best introduction to Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence. From this view, Ashna’i ba ‘ulum-e Islami deserves to be prescribed as the basic text for all the students of Islamic studies. It is also very useful for non-specialists who wish to acquaint themselves with Islam. All the introductory books written so far are either by the Orientalists and are naturally biased and fail to give true picture of the development of different Islamic sciences or are written by Muslim scholars who consciously or unknowingly incorporate in the body of books certain misleading notions propagated by the Western scholars of Islam about Muslirn philosophy and its various branches. It also can be said with some justification that no other available introductory text in this field covers all Muslim sects and their specific views. Martyr Murtada Mutahhari’s exposition and evaluation of various theories is objective and unbiased, which is the most essential condition for a book to be prescribed as an introductory text.

{In this part, dealing with ‘ilm al-kalam; the author has discussed the main doctrines of kalam and their subsequent modifications with special reference to Mu’tazilah, Asha’irah and Shi’ah schools of kalam. But he has not ignored other schools and has referred to their relevant doctrines wherever it was necessary for the full understanding of the problem under discussion}.

‘Ilm al-kalam is one of the Islamic sciences. It discusses the fundamental Islamic beliefs and doctrines which are necessary for a Muslim to believe in. It explains them, argues about them, and defends them.

The scholars of Islam divide Islamic teachings into three parts:

  1. Doctrines ‘aqa’id): These constitute the issues which must be understood and believed in, such as, the Unity of God, the Divine Attributes, universal and restricted prophethood, etc. However, there are certain differences between Muslim sects as to what constitutes the basic articles of faith (usul al-Din) in which belief is necessary.

  2. Morals (akhlaq): These relate to the commands and teachings relating to the spiritual and moral characteristics of human beings, such as, justice, God-fearing (taqwa), courage, chastity, wisdom, endurance, loyalty, truthfulness, trustworthiness, etc., and prescribe ‘how’ a human being should be.

  3. The Law (ahkam): Here the issues relating to practice and the correct manner of performing acts, such as, prayers (salat), fasting (sawm), hajj, jihad, al- ‘amr bil ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar, buying, renting, marriage, divorce, division of inheritance and so on, are discussed.

The science which deals with the first of the above-mentioned is ‘ilm al-kalam. The study of the second is ‘ilm al-‘akhlaq (ethics). The study of the third is called ‘ilm al-fiqh (the science of jurisprudence). That which is subjected to division in this classification is the corpus of Islamic teachings; that is, those things which constitute the content of Islam. It does not include all those Islamic studies which form the preliminaries for the study of Islamic teachings, such as, literature, logic, and occasionally philosophy.

Secondly, in this classification the criterion behind division is the relationship of Islamic teachings to the human being: those things which relate to human reason and intellect are called ‘aqa’id; things which relate to human qualities are called akhlaq; and those things which relate to human action and practice are included in fiqh.

As I shall discuss in my lectures on ‘ilm al-fiqh, although fiqh is a single discipline from the viewpoint of its subject, it consists of numerous disciplines from other viewpoints.

In any case, ‘ilm al-kalam is the study of Islamic doctrines and beliefs. in the past, it was also called “usul al-Din” or “‘Ilm al-tawhid wa al-sifat”.

 

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