Resolution Methods for Privation & Adversity

Part 14: The economic factors for generating, sustaining and developing wealth to fight poverty (10) (Stimulating wealth flow)
(Based on the thoughts & theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murtadha Al-Shirazai)
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
The flow of wealth and funds will result in active and healthy economy, where citizens have access to funds for consumption, transactions are facilitated and inflation is contained and reduced. However, accumulation of wealth and funds, will freeze and prevent them from a healthy flow in the markets, which will also prevent the creation and flow of new wealth and fund generation methods. Therefore, the Islamic system has discouraged accumulation of wealth and the 34th verse of Quran’s 9th chapter indicates: “and those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, give them tidings of a painful punishment”. (Note: the phrase way of Allah would not necessary hold a religious aspect, as other verses of the Holy Quran and traditions of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household, indicate that any action, deed, statement and effort which would benefit the people is considered an action in the way of Allah.)
The prohibition of accumulation in this verse is not bound to gold and silver, but since those two items are the most notable and known examples their names are mentioned. Presently, states around the world have maintained a continuous policy of wealth accumulation under the name of (RESERVE) or (Emergency fund). Unfortunately, billions or hundreds of billions in dollars and precious metals are stashed in reserves and funds, where the entire management process of these funds are granted to administrational bureaucrats.
Nevertheless, the methodology of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) shows that funds received from taxation or other sources were granted to the masses immediately, as Imam Ali never left any funds in the state treasury at the end of the day. This methodology and policy of Imam Ali would assure that all the funds and wealth of a nation is directed to the masses, including the lower class. Therefore, poverty and privation is minimized vastly, flow of wealth leads to stronger economy and this trend would ultimately benefit the state and its citizens on all levels and aspects. In general, once the consumption ability of the masses is increased, the investment opportunities are available in a broader range, infrastructures, cultivation, manufacturing and mining are sought to be excellent opportunities for wealth growth. Nonetheless, this strong and healthy economy would translate into an ability to pay more taxes, which will also end up in the hands of people in different shapes, services and plans.
Therefore, pouring the reserve funds into the hands of the masses would create and enormous direct and indirect ability to diminish poverty and privation, which would lead to a stronger state and public. This method would also increase the gross domestic production, which is the real reserve fund and power that could support and sustain any currency regardless of the size of an economy.
According to some historians and researchers, the necessity of stimulating flow of wealth and funds was among the primary reasons behind the Prophet Mohammad’s decision to change the goods exchange methods to currency and monetary system. The system considered gold and silver as standard for exchange, comparison and equivalency, where the worth of the currency was set. Therefore, for instance 1 Dinar was equivalent 4.6 g of gold and other measurement.
The shift to this system enabled the consumers to explore various options for trade transactions, as transportation and other related aspects to any trader deal were facilitated. Therefore, exchanging a good for another was not the method to conduct a transaction, which also prevented some goods being kept aside until expire, because the goods exchange method made them unpopular.

SINCERITY OF INTENTIONS

By: Zeinab Alsheraa
During ethical dilemmas the issue of whether something is morally principled can be determined by the ends justifying the means or the idea that “it is the thought that counts.” In all cases, the purpose and intentions are always taken to consideration. Then comes the issue of whether the intention is justifiable or sincere. Without a sincere intention, all actions then become invalid, especially towards God, since it is the pillar of worship and the prerequisite of an action to be accepted.
Types of Intentions
There are three types of intentions that engulf the basic motives of people. They are the underlying reasoning behind any action—for nothing is done simply just because.
1- For Self
This is the merchant of intentions, when actions are calculated specifically to see what outcome would provide the most benefits to oneselves. This is the idea that ‘if I help this person today, then tomorrow they may help me when I am in need.’ People will perform a task if they are bargained a benefit from it. This may be a direct benefit, such as a favor owed, or indirect such as self image. Someone may act in accordance to what will give off a desired appearance towards oneself. For example, a person may help in a nursery to give off an image that they are gentle and loving. Their overall purpose is their self image and pride, despite their actions.
2- For Others
These intentions are to please others. This is where people crave the approval and attention from others, desiring likes on their Facebook posts. This builds upon the idea of seeking validation from others and attempting to please society by “fitting into” its social constructs.
3- For God
This contains the truest form of sincerity. The intention for God can be broken down into a summary by Imam Ali, “a group of people worship God out of desire for reward; this is the worship of traders. Another group worships God out of fear; this is the worship of slaves. Yet another group worships God out of gratitude; this is the worship of free men.”
How to be Sincere
Doing good actions
The more right one does, the closer they will be to God. When one is closer to God then they will be more sincere and will be led to a more sincere path, for a line in the Quran reads “As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways” (29:69).
Attaining knowledge
One must first be educated and informed about their actions. They must need to know what their actions will result of so one can be guided by the true faith. Knowing right and wrong and the outcomes of certain decisions, one would be compelled to have a more integral action.
Having honesty
This is where one must admit if an action they have performed is not as it appears to be. If one assumes that another has done a righteous action when they really have not, they must answer truthfully, to leave room for sincerity with their honesty.
Being aware
The clearest way to have sincerity is to be aware of what can affect your sincerity. Three things have the most prominent way of affecting one’s intention:
1- When you known when others are watching
Knowing that someone else is observing you can turn your purpose towards pleasing/impressing that person instead of God. The best way to avoid this is to simply perform certain actions away from the public view.
2- When you want to gain something out of it
This again is being a bargainer, only doing an action in order to attain a result. One should prioritize and not guarantee themselves anything but the pleasure of God from any deed carried out.
3- Self Satisfaction from the action
This is one to be wary of since it is about pride. One might have done something and believed it to be for the sake of Allah but then afterward they feel prideful of their action and carry enigma that they are better than others. This foils any intention a person may have had if their intention in the beginning does not match their motive at the end. The best way to avoid this is to remain humble and not expect any outcome or credit.
Sincerity is a result of certainty. The lack of sincerity and the suffering ostentation relate to the wavering faith of a person. There is a distinction between the awareness of faith and the certainty of it and the latter completes the circle of a believer’s faith by validating their intentions.

Setting standards to facilitate final decisions – part 1

(Who to believe when everyone claims to be right?)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Whether deciding about a political candidate, a theory or even personal and private matters, the process of making the final decision is hard and sometimes painful on many aspects. All sides claim to be on the right side, support the right cause, committed to the right approach and finally their statements and actions are RIGHT. Well, according to freedom of speech and personal liberties making such claims is absolutely fine, legal and socially acceptable according to many contemporary social and political behaviors. However, the issue of being morally, politically and socially acceptable is not as important as being able to make a decision that is right based on all principles and standards.
Watching a campaign commercial on TV or an election debate, hearing about an ideology or a theory is similar to a battle, where each side is trying to persuade as many followers to assert its prevalence. Therefore, the necessity to develop a set of standards and principles would prevent from thinking that everyone is right or all sides are equally correct, since correctness and righteousness is proportionate. Unfortunately, the hermeneutical perception of individuals about right and wrong has transformed into personal presumptions and comprehensions of life experiences instead of cognitive, academic, logical and sane sets of rules, principle and standards.
Danger of standards plurality
The deliberate trends to keep all powers only affiliated with human mind might seem a noble cause, yet it can be dangerous if the following notions are taken into consideration.
The ability to create resources and primary records for investigation is not in human’s hand, therefore, the methodology to investigate and dissect the resources and records must be presented and delivered by the creator. The methodology for investigation and dissection will be apprehensible by human minds, since the primary process of finding the resources requires intellect and cognition on many levels. Therefore, a primary non-human made sets of principles and standards for dissection and investigation are necessary to prevent wrong judgements and un-academic presumptions. In addition, the presence of such existing sets of principles and standards would mean the ultimate role of intellect and free mind will be put into test, which is making decision based on correct findings and perfect trails of investigation. Otherwise, if none is offered to humanity, the notion of accepting consequences and punishment is ethically unacceptable and unworthy.
The absence of clear sets of principles and standards to identify and outline right from wrong and correctness from corruption and evil can be due to several factors. The primary factor is human mind itself, since its capabilities are still limited regardless of its advancement and superb analytical powers. The idea of creating standards out of nullity is beyond the comprehension of human intellect and capability, since analyzing the correctness, effectuality and performance level of those sets must have be subjected to a methodology of investigation. Nevertheless, this process is an everlasting circle with no clear result with an assured notion of wasting time and effort.
Basing the development of standards and principles on life experiences, primitive human findings, manmade resources and even semi-cognitive presumptions will not surpass the reality of being ANALYSIS. The best capability of human intellect, is ability to comprehend and analyze information to develop a final decision, which makes intellect in needs of primary information and resources that can’t be man-made.
Human experience and understanding of his/her surrounding is bound to observation and direct interaction. Observation is inadequate since humans are unable to apprehend the past and future, and each observation holds a certain past and an unknown future. In addition, the surrounding facts of each observation are not always evident and clear, as many facts are possible to be hidden unless revealed through narration or future discovery. Therefore, any standard or principle based on observation is bound and limited to momentary findings by observation. In addition, the problem that lays within direct interaction is due to human’s tendency and behavior, which is bound to be either reactionary or pre-emptive. Although both of these behaviors can be based on analytical investigation or cognition, yet the result and consequence is temporal and provisional. Direct interaction and its findings are effected by past experiences, presumptions and the transitory encounter, which can vary from pleasant to violent or acceptable to irreceivable. Therefore, why should any sets of principles and standards created by such emotions and experiences be binding and used as a methodology to judge and determine good to evil?
To be continued

Fatima bint Muhammad… The role model of women

By: Moujtaba Alkhalidi

fatima3
    First and foremost, Fatima bint Muhammad is the embodiment of Surah 24 Verse 31 which states ~
      ” And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, brothers, parents etc…, And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed”.
      If you want to know the true meaning of the hijab in the Quran, look at Fatima bint Muhammad, because of the fact she is the walking Quran. Pure characteristics implemented in her, preserving her chastity, lowering her gaze, covering her adornments. Furthermore, she isn’t just the role model for women in Islam, but for all of humanity. She teaches women to speak against injustice, being humble to your spouse, altruism, and truly fearing Allah.
      Moreover, Prophet Muhammad said: ”The best women in the entire world are four: Maryam, Asiya the wife of Pharaoh, Khadijah, and Fatima daughter of Muhammad.” The reason being is because of the fact Fatima bint Muhammad is the true interpretation of Islam, she teaches humanity through her actions and the definition of true love.
      On the same token, if every female individual followed Fatima bint Muhammad as she is suppose to be followed, there would be no oppression for women, equality would be applied to all females, and empowerment would be taken in place.
      In addition, if everyone implemented Fatima bint Muhammad in their lives, men would not be looking at women as an object of desire, they would be respecting them as a human being.Also, Fatima bint Muhammad was not only the best female individual to walk on earth, but the best mother. She raised her children like no mother has ever raised her children before. Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein were role models for all Shia men and women, she raised them in a way where their actions spoke louder than their words. They sacrificed everything for Islam, went through trails and tribulations to protect the message of their mother. Shia men all around the world look up to these Imams and thousands die towards the way of Allah for Islam just by simply following the teachings of her children and how she raised their attitudes to be towards the religion of Islam. Modern day women should act upon her actions so that they can have there children have her children’s actions.
      If every Muslim women followed Fatima bint Muhammad then many problematic issues would be resolved with ease. She teaches women how to be a perfect wife, mother, and daughter. The fact that Fatima bint Muhammad embodies the Quran, following her as a role model would be no difference than the Quran because both are corresponding.
      More importantly, Fatima delivers rationality, philosophically, and intellectually. If you follow Fatima bint Muhammad, doing some actions that may be makrooh (hated) wouldn’t be put in consideration because of the fact you’ve reached a high state of belief that this situation is considered pointless and rather low to think about.
      Above all, Fatima’s philosophy, and way of life is phenomenal, if Muslim women applied this to their lives all their issues would be resolved. Considering this, Fatima would control her anger, love her enemies, and put herself before others. Now a days, Muslim individuals are too overwhelmed with jealousy, envy and greed. If one lady witnessed her friend wearing a certain type of jewelry, they would run to their spouse and start asking for the same or better type of jewelry, this may in many times cause a bad relationship in the family, a husband may not have enough money to afford that jewelry for his wife and it may cause him to go burrow money and this puts the husband in a bad situation.
      Even more, rationality is a fundamental to women. Thinking objectively rather than subjectively is vital and essential for women to act upon, rather than being effected by their personal feelings. All in all, Fatima bint Muhammad is the best individual to ever walk on the face of this earth. Simply following her is equivalent to following the Quran. She is the embodiment of the Quran, and implementing her in your lives puts your life at ease. She covers every aspect of life, to logic, mindset, emotions, intellect, philosophy, so on and so forth. Following Fatima bint Muhammad is obeying Allah’s commands. World problems will be solved and women will be empowered.

Resolution Methods for Privation & Adversity Based on the thoughts & theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murtadha Al-Shirazi

Part 11: The economic factors for generating, sustaining and developing wealth to fight poverty (7) (Social Symbiosis)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi
Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) have asserted the pillars of social symbiosis and solidarity, which have been introduced by Islam on various levels, and this notion is considered among the primary methods to fight poverty, and social instability. The holy Prophet of Islam states in a narration: “He doesn’t believe and follow me, he who sleeps full while his neighbor starves”.
Defining social symbiosis and solidarity according to Islamic principles can be summarized as following: Members of a society are collectively responsible for guarding and protecting the public and private interests, and prevent all damages and harms (materialistic & non-materialistic), where each individual feels that he/she has a social obligation toward society. This feeling will also include the obligation toward the needy and deprived ones, where members of a society will protect this group and prevent any harm that might occur to them. Islamic social solidarity and symbiosis is defined in the narration of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H): “The example of believers in their harmony, mercy and sympathy among each other and for each other is like a single body, as if a body part becomes ill, rest of the body will suffer and feel the pain as well”.
The late Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Al-Shirazi mentions the following about this topic in his jurisprudence encyclopedia: “This topic is either ethical, where absolute belief and submission is the goal, or it is jurisprudential, where it is accompanied with necessity. For instance, during a starvation (famine) year an individual is permitted take what he/she needs as necessary and if repayment is not possible the public treasury is his/her guarantor”.
The 2nd verse of Quran’s 5th chapter states: “and cooperate in righteousness and piety”, and an example for righteousness has been presented by the Quran as well, where the 14th, 15th and 16th verses of Quran’s 90th chapter state: “or feeding on a day of severe hunger. An orphan of near relationship. Or a needy person in misery”.
Islamic law has legislated the financial obligation of a husband toward his spouse’s expenditures and needs, and the financial obligation of a father toward his children as far as they are unable to provide for themselves. In addition, Islamic law has even legislated the financial obligation of a son toward his parents, as far as they are not able to provide for themselves, and all of these legislations are different methods to contain poverty on all sides and levels, since parents, spouses and children form majority of a society.

Imam Ali Ibn Al Hussain, Zainul Abedeen (a.s) – A Brief Biographical & Historical Overview

The Shi’ite Imam, Ali Ibn Al Hussain Zainul Abedeen (a.s) was born on 5th Shabaan (year 38 of Hijra) to Imam Hussain (a.s), the third Shi’ite Imam and Shahr Bano, the daughter of King Yazdjerd III who was the last Sasanid persian emperor. Imam Zainul Abedeen’s (a.s) first two years of infancy were spent in the lap of his grandfather, Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s) and the following twelve years were spent with his uncle, Imam Hasan (a.s). In 60 Hijri, his father, Imam Hussain (a.s) left Medina for Mecca in order to carry out the journey to Karbala. And, Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) accompanied his father for this journey. In Karbala, all male children of Imam Ali (a.s) and Hussain (a.s) were martyred with the exception of Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) who survived the massacre due to not being able to participate in the holy war (jihad) as a result of being ill. Imammate had to continue and so, on 10th Muharram (61 Hijri), he became the fourth Imam.

The brutality of the oppressive Ummayad ruler, Yazid had Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) being taken as captive and brought to Kufa, and then Damascus in chains along with other Karbala survivors. It is worth looking into the dialogue between the Imam (a.s) and Yazid post-Karbala tragedy. When Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) faced Yazid in his court, Yazid insulted him by saying that the Imam’s father, Hussain (a.s) had wasted his life by refusing to pledge allegiance to Yazid. However, despite being ill and confronting this manner of humiliation by the Ummayad ruler, the Imam (a.s) replied that his father’s sacrifice in Karbala was for the sake of saving the religion of Islam. To this, Yazid wondered how Islam had been saved and once the time for prayer had set in, the Adhan came and a Muezzin called out from the minaret (mosque tower), “I bear witness that Muhammad (s) is the Messenger of Allah.” The Imam (a.s) then said to Yazid, “This is the way Islam was saved.” Yazid ordered his swordsmen to murder the young Imam (a.s), however he was saved again by the intervention of his aunt, Zainab (a.s). Yazid’s cruelty did not stop here however and the Imam (a.s) along with his family (a.s) was imprisoned thereafter for a year. Consequently, the Imam (a.s) spent his first year of Imammate in a prison where he was cut off from the followers of his father and unable to carry out his religious affairs.

Holy Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s) lived for thirty-four years after the martyrdom of his father, Hussain (a.s). And throughout his life, he established a meritorious status, which was true of a divine infallible. Most of his time was spent praying and supplicating to God and for this reason, he acquired the title of ‘Sajjad’ (Worshipper of Allah). These prayers and supplications were later compiled into a book by his companions, which was named ‘Al Saheefa el Sajjadiya.’ During the reign of the Ummayad ruler, Quranic teachings and those taught by the Prophet’s (s) family (a.s) were not allowed. Therefore, via supplications, the followers of Imam (a.s) learned about the relationship between God and His people. Enhancement of knowledge about God cannot occur in ordinary language but in the language of prayer, man is able to relate himself to his Creator in humility.

Imam Zainul Abeeden’s (a.s) spent his entire life helping people of Medina. He was witnessed stepping out into the night with a sack of bread to feed the hungry. Those people never found out the identity of their helper until after the Imam (a.s) passed away. His account for pilgrimages in the holy city of Mecca is admirable as well for all believers. In his lifetime, he performed thirty pilgrimages after the Karbala event, sometimes on a camel’s back and other times, solely on foot. In addition, his life after the massacres in Karbala was spent in grief. He was seen weeping and crying for the atrocities that had been committed to his family members. In fact, it is said that sometimes when he would fill a glass with water to drink, the water would soil with his tears so much that he was unable to drink it. When people asked him why he wept profusely, the Imam (a.s) replied that the Ahlul-bayt (a.s) have got martyrdom in their inheritance.

The Imam (a.s) and his aunt, Zainab (a.s) held gatherings (Majlis) in the city of Medina to spread awareness among the people about the tragedies that took place in Karbala. This method threatened the Ummayad’s cruel regime as people became more aware of Yazid’s heinous acts and the message of Imam’s (a.s) father, Hussain (a.s). And so, the Imam suffered a death via poisoning and passed away on 25th of Muharram (95 Hijri).

Sources:

http://www.al-islam.org/story-of-the-holy-kaaba-and-its-people-shabbar/fourth-imam-ali-ibn-al-husayn-zainul-abedeen

http://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=2726

 

Intellectual Dispossession (Tajrid)

A cognitive necessity to deliver principles and ideology

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

Intellectual dialogue and scholarly deliberations require certain sets of rules and guidelines to qualify them as academic sources and information, which can be used for referential works and methods.  Bibliography, citation, glossary, writing style and structural foundation are among the necessities that an academic piece should consist of. However, the most important principle in academia, scholarly sources and researches is the notion of dispossession or debarment, which basically means observing and dissecting matters from above or outside. Although this notion might never be directly told or taught in academic institutions, the mutual understanding among all scholars has asserted and affirmed this principle as a basis for all academic works. Therefore, any individual who is observing or dissecting a certain ideology, group, information and sources, should study them without any pre-existing views or opinions.

Shia educational and intellectual circles are considered among the best, when it comes to intellectual dispossession regarding theological, jurisprudential, historical, traditional and social principles. Nonetheless, dispossession (Tajrid) is considered a separate science and knowledge when it comes to Islamic religious and educational extraction methods. Dispossession is used in theological sources and researches, as many Shia scholars use this methods to discuss the necessary existence or the divine higher entity or Prophecy and Imamate necessity for the universe. The jurisprudential aspect of dispossession is viewed in the extraction methods, which are derived and conducted through a very precise and detailed process. Even historical sources are dissected in a way that assures the observers are neutral and don’t enforce their experiences, grievances, opinions, views and personal judgements upon the sources and references.

Therefore, the actual implementation of this approach is witnesses in matters that help Muslims defend their Islamic principles and beliefs in a way that is acceptable and tolerated by outsiders. For instance, if a non-Muslim asks a Muslim: How can you approve the Quran has not been altered or fabricated, the answer cannot be within or from the Quran, as the non-Muslims doesn’t even believe the Quran and Islam in the first place. Therefore, Muslims are obligated to develop intellectual and logical methods that are universally accepted and utilized to prove the completeness and un-altered nature of the Quran. The same notion can be applied for prophecy¸ Imamate, judgement day and other principles that might not be accepted by non-Muslims or even by some Muslims as well.

Reviewing Hermeneutic – Part 11

Relativity of Truth, Knowledge & Texts

(Based on the thoughts and theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murteza Al-Shirazi)
Hussein Al-Rumaithi – Part 11 (Approach in the term ‘Language’ and its science)

 

What is ‘Language’? What is its duties? And what is the origin of language? The detailed answer, analogy and implications of these notions would require a separate book, but this text will only shed quick light upon them, to establish the foundation of our intended argument.

Language in lexicons and linguistics

Language has been specified through several definitions:

  1. The spoken and written statements of humans. Therefore, language is whatever humans express and articulate about their needs and desires, which makes this definition as one of the narrow ones available.

According to a more detailed definition: Language is any pattern that is based on signs and symbols, which have elemental duties with infinite numbers. These signs and symbols are able to compose and generate notifications (statements & informative terms) in an infinite quantity. In addition, these notifications are used in manifesting conditions, delivering thoughts and forming perceptions according to the principles of figurative pattern or the mainstream indications. This definition is among the comprehensive ones available for language.

  1. Language is a communication system, like the traffic lights and Native Indians smoke signals. Therefore, language includes the notion of ‘body language’ as well, such as facial impressions, visual blinks, hand motions and others movements.

However, psychologists have expanded the definition of language and launched it upon a set of signs that used for expressing thoughts. Therefore, this definition is divided into:

  • Standard language (signals, motions, classical sounds and physical symptoms)
  • Statuary language (agreed upon symbols and signs used in algebra, chemistry or musical notes)
  • Declarative or conversational language (this language combines the standard and statuary definitions, which is not derived from revelations, stimulations or instinct nor collusion or invention. This type of language is resulted from a gradual evolvement that led the standard signs to useful terms and phrases. The different types of this language are:
  • Sensing communication method for individuals with impaired vision or zero vision.
  • Visual language method for surdimutism cases. (Deaf & mutes)
  • Hearing language, which is regular talking method.
  1. In addition, the definition of language can be used for various communication systems among different species on this planet, which includes: humans, animals, insects and plant. For instance: the circular movements of an ant, which according to the form of movement and circulation speed can be used to identify location of flowers precisely.
  2. Language is known as, any signal pattern can be used as a communication and interaction methods between individuals, and on a wider platform in can include animalistic language or language of the colors. Therefore, this definition will include a generalization that covers languages used by animals and nature.

The Holy Quran has addressed the notion of animal language through the following verses:

  • Chapter 27, verse 16: “O’ people, we have been taught the language of birds”.
  • Chapter 27, verse 18: “an ant said”.
  • Chapter 27, verse 22: “I have encompassed (in knowledge) that which you have not encompassed”.

In addition, there are numerous narrations about phrases used by animals and their language, as the Holy Quran in 44th verse of chapter 17 states: “and there is not a thing except that is exalts (Allah) by his praise”. Therefore, all of the above verses certify the notion about a unified language for all animals, as apparently what is sought from exaltation is not only constitutive exaltation. This is said due to the fact that all matters in their existence or attributes exalt the almighty from any diminution or deficiency, as Allah states in the 11th verse of chapter 41: “They said, we have come willingly”.

Reviewing Hermeneutic (Part 9)

Relativity of Truth, Knowledge & Texts

(Based on the thoughts and theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murteza Al-Shirazi)
By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi – Part 9 (Hermeneutic conception & its perceptions)

 

Hermeneutics is an infinitive noun in ancient Latin, which is derived from the verb ‘hermeneu’ in that language, which is still being used in contemporary Latin terminology as well. The definition of this term is, define or illustrate, and its mythical roots is found in the Hellenic culture, which is derived from the name of one the twelve Gods named Hermes, who was a messenger for the Gods and helped people’s soul in crossing to the other side.

This term has been defined as ‘art of interpretation’ or ‘interpretation of texts and provisions’, ‘science or art of illustration’, ‘illustration theory’, ‘interpretation theory’, ‘illustrative’ and other definition. Nevertheless, the different between interpretation and illustration is very wide, as the terminology subject is different both linguistically and conventionally. Therefore, theologians, scholars and linguistic experts have expressed this notion and in addition, the difference between science and art used in the definition approach is evident as well.

In addition, some scholars have expressed the necessity to keep the term ‘hermeneutic’ without definition and only Arabizing it would be sufficient, since it is conclusive of all indications about conducts, illustrative methods, definition and interpretation, comprehension and application. Therefore, Hermeneutics including all of its ideological schools, has adopted complex, interdependent, opposite and even contradicting definitions, which will be addressed and covered in this research.

The roots of Hermeneutics

Historians have differed in rooting this term, as some have dated it back to the efforts of ancient Athenians during the era of classical Greece to extract the definition of Homer’s epics, which were obscure according to human comprehension. Therefore, this notion is compatible with ‘Illustration’, even though an expert illustrator is needed.

In addition, other historians have dated the concept to Alexandria, which was brought back during the renaissance, to achieve prosperity during the age of Enlightenment and Romanticism.

According to other researchers, the roots of this term is solely religious, due to the necessity to interpret the Bible, which was incomprehensible directly. Therefore, we witness the wide spread Hermeneutics has known was during the prosperous period of Protestant rise during the renaissance. This definition is compatible with ‘illustration’ as well, but in one of its most strange forms. Nonetheless, the root of this term has started in the form of theological studies that addresses the illustration of the Bible in a symbolical and mythical, which is far from the intended interpretation of the terms, as it is the direct linguistic and textual definition.

Therefore, the purpose of inventing hermeneutics with this meaning, in accordance with the view of researchers and analyzers, would be: detouring around the exoticism of Bible in its current copy among us, which compiles a decent amount illogical and irrational concepts. This notion is done through: interpreting each mythological text as not consistent with the literal meanings of the terms. The intended interpretation derived using hermeneutics would be compatible with logic and science, but it was articulated through a symbolic terminology. Therefore, any interpretation presented by any interpreter would twist the text to deliver a comprehensible definition, even if it contains mythical indications.

Others have presented an opposite interpretation for hermeneutics by saying: Hermeneutics is an ancient term, which began to be used among theological research firms, to outline a set of principles and provisions that an interpreter must abide by to understand the texts of the holy book.

Regardless of the early stages and launch of hermeneutics, it was later generalized to become an art or a science that addresses different texts, whether religious, historic or scientific. In addition, the generalization of hermeneutics has included interpretation of codes, references, signs, and all aspect of life, such as: this colour represents what, and this statue represents what. To expand the notion, hermeneutic has been used to even interpret events and facts, like, this movement or action reveals these rationales and results, and interpretation of these entire aspects is hermeneutics.

In addition, hermeneutical methods are not exclusive to linguistic hermeneutics, as many additions have been done, such as: psychological hermeneutics, philosophical hermeneutics, historical hermeneutics and many other types. Therefore, we find that the term hermeneutics is specialized through numerous transformations, and has evolved from limited indications to wide range of indications.    

Reviewing Hermeneutic – Part 8 (Definitive Approach in Knowledge)

Relativity of Truth, Knowledge & Texts

(Based on the thoughts and theories of Ayatollah Sayed Murteza Al-Shirazi)

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

 

What does knowledge mean?

The subject of knowledge is a very lengthy topic, but to simplify this notion, it is said: knowledge is, research and observation based on method for a purpose. Therefore, knowledge is apprehension of a matter or an object based on its existence and attributes, as it is defined as the determined:

  • Knowledge defined as action, where beneficial knowledge will not linger from action.
  • It might also be defined as retribution or compensation.
  • However, the real meaning of knowledge is apprehension, and this definition is affiliated to determined cognition. Nonetheless, knowledge is used for inclusive or composite apprehension, and cognition is designated for simple and partial apprehension.

The notable aspects of this interpretation are:

  • It is a distinctive itemization, as not all researches that lack methodology and purpose are not knowledge.
  • Knowledge is the result of research and observation, as it is not the research itself. Research, observation and study are the reason for knowledge.
  • Knowledge is reflection of the determined and not the definition. The determined by essence, which is the impression of intellect is knowledge, but it is not the desired notion at this point.
  • Knowledge is the adequate of beneficial action, and it is not the beneficial action itself.
  • Knowledge of compensation at retribution is a confirmation of knowledge only.

In addition, another source has stated that knowledge is cognition, as both are defined with the same approach, since both of them are preceded by ignorance and unawareness.

However, apparently being preceded by ignorance and unawareness is circumstantial and not a constitutive or a provision and condition. Therefore, both (Knowledge & Cognition) are applied on matters that are not preceded by ignorance and unawareness like the ALMIGHTY, as he is entitled to have the most general and inclusive definition of these notions.

Nevertheless, it would have been a priority to bring the definition of knowledge for cognition, as they both share the purpose of revealing the TRUTH. In addition, the following principle has been streamed in this research:

  • Circumstance, preposition and genitive if gathered will divaricate, and if they divaricate they will assimilate.

Therefore, upon mentioning cognition by itself, or knowledge by itself, we shall need the other one. However, once they are assimilated, the purpose of cognition is what is obtained from non-academic approaches and methods, or what is affiliated with metaphysics.