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Full text of Benedict XVI's speech

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Below is the text of the Pope's late whole speach regarding his comment on Islam at Regensburg University..I am translating later that porting that relate to Islam

 

حديث بابا الفاتيكان امام اكاديميه المنطق في جامعه برلين

ادناه ترجمه للمقاطع التي تتعلق بالموضوع المتعلق بالاسلام والذي اثار اهتماما واستنكارا لدى الكثير من المسلمين اللذين ربما لم يطلعوا على فحوى الحديث

 

Full text of Benedict XVI's speech in Germany

Text, provided by Vatican, includes comments on Islam

MSNBC News Services

Updated: 6:43 a.m. PT Sept 15, 2006

The following is the full text of the speech given by Benedict XVI's at the University of Regensburg, Germany, on Sept. 12.

 

Your Eminences, Your Magnificences, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is a moving experience for me to be back again in the university and to be able once again to give a lecture at this podium. I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. That was in 1959, in the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors. The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves. We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas - something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned - the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason - this reality became a lived experience. The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the "whole" of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole. This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: it had two faculties devoted to something that did not exist: God. That even in the face of such radical scepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: this, within the university as a whole, was accepted without question.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

 

In the seventh conversation (*4V8,>4H - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (F×< 8`(T) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".

 

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

 

At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: "In the beginning was the 8`(@H". This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, F×< 8`(T, with logos. Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" (cf. Acts 16:6-10) - this vision can be interpreted as a "distillation" of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry

In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and simply declares "I am", already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates' attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy. Within the Old Testament, the process which started at the burning bush came to new maturity at the time of the Exile, when the God of Israel, an Israel now deprived of its land and worship, was proclaimed as the God of heaven and earth and described in a simple formula which echoes the words uttered at the burning bush: "I am". This new understanding of God is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands (cf. Ps 115). Thus, despite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature. Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria - the Septuagint - is more than a simple (and in that sense really less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity. A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act "with logos" is contrary to God's nature.

 

In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which, in its later developments, led to the claim that we can only know God's voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which - as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated - unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, "transcends" knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul - "8@(46¬ 8"JD,\"", worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1).

 

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history - it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

 

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenization of Christianity - a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the programme of dehellenization: although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

 

Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

 

The liberal theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this programme was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal's distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In my inaugural lecture at Bonn in 1959, I tried to address the issue, and I do not intend to repeat here what I said on that occasion, but I would like to describe at least briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenization. Harnack's central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to

 

his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization: this simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favour of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. Fundamentally, Harnack's goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ's divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament, as he saw it, restored to theology its place within the university: theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university. Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant's "Critiques", but in the meantime further radicalized by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology. On the one hand it presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently: this basic premise is, so to speak, the Platonic element in the modern understanding of nature. On the other hand, there is nature's capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield ultimate certainty. The weight between the two poles can, depending on the circumstances, shift from one side to the other. As strongly positivistic a thinker as J. Monod has declared himself a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.

 

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

I will return to this problem later. In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology's claim to be "scientific" would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: if science as a whole is this and this alone, then it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by "science", so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective "conscience" becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

 

Before I draw the conclusions to which all this has been leading, I must briefly refer to the third stage of dehellenization, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed. True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

 

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: we are all grateful for the marvellous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is - as you yourself mentioned, Magnificent Rector - the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which belongs to the essential decisions of the Christian spirit. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application. While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

 

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought - to philosophy and theology.

 

For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding. Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: "It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being - but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss". The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur - this is the programme with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. "Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God", said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.

 

***

 

NOTE FROM VATICAN:

 

The Holy Father intends to supply a subsequent version of this text, complete with footnotes. The present text must therefore be considered provisional

.

 

From

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14848884

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Translating that parts that are related to his remarks on Islam

ادناه ترجمه لمقطع حديث بابا الفاتيكان امام اكاديميه المنطق في جامعه برلين

المقطع يتعلق بالجزء الذي تناول فيه حديثه عن الاسلام والذي اثار ضجه كبرى . الترجمه غرضها معرفه تفاصيل الحديث وكما جاء على لسانه وليس على لسان وكالات الاخبار

البابا في البدايه تطرق الى تجربته كمدرس في الجامعه ذاتها و مقولات بعض الاكاديمين النافيه لوجود الله . ثم استطرق

 

 

هذ التناغم المطلق على مستوى المنطق العقلي , لم يعكره شئ. حتى عندما انبرى احد الزملاءلينبه ان هناك قضيه غير مناسبه في جامعتنا :فالجامعه لديها قسمان متخصصان بشئ بينما ليس لهذا الشئ من وجود: الله. فحتى مع مثل هذا النقد الثوري فانه يبقى ضروريا وعقلانيا ان نناقش المسأله اللاهيه من خلال المنطق وان نفعل ذلك من خلال محتوى التراث الديني المسيحي: هذا كان مقبولا في الجامعه على العموم في حينها وبدون تحفظ

ا

تذكرت ذلك مؤخرا عندما قرأت ما نقله البروفسور ثيودور خوري عن جزء من حوار جرى ربما في 1391 في القصر الشتوي في انقرا بين الامبراطور البيزنطي مانويل الثاني باليوكوس وفيلسوف فارسي حول المسيحيه والاسلام وحقيقه كل منهم. المفروض ان الامبراطور شخصيا كان المحاور خلال حصار القسطنطينيه بين 1394 1402 وهذا ربما يفسر لماذا كان حديثه اكثر تفصيلا من محدثه الفارسي

 

الحديث تناول بتوسع قضيه هيكليه الاعتقاد في الكتاب المقدس والقران و تناول بصوره خاصه التصورات عن الخالق و كذلك الانسان من خلال مراجعه العلاقه بين الكتب الثلاثه , العهد القديم والجديد والقرأن. انه ليس من رغبتي ان اناقش هنا هذا السؤال : اريد ان اتطرق الى نقطه واحده - النقطه فقط وليس الحديث عن الحوار والذي , من منطق مساله الايمان و المنطق اجده مثيرا للاهتمام ويمكن ان يصلح كنقطه بدايه لعوده اخرى حول الموضوع

 

في المحاوره السابعه التي نقلها بروفسر خوري , لمس الامبراطور موضوع الحرب المقدسه. الامبراطور كان كما يبدوا ملما بالسوره 2 -256 :

 

" لا اكراه في الدين "

.

طبقا لما يقوله المختصون , هذه السوره القرأنيه هي من سور المرحله الاولى للاسلام " سوره مكيه" عندما لم يكن لمحمد القوه وكان مهددا

طبعا كان الامبراطور عارفا بالاسس , التي تطورت وسجلت فيما يتعلق بالحرب المقدسه. من دون الخوض بالتفاصيل , مثل المعامله التميزيه لاصحاب الكتاب عن المشركين, وقد اضهر لمحدثه تاكيدا واضحا على السؤال الاساسي حول العلاقه بين الدين والعنف بصوره عامه قائلا

ا :

"راجع ما ماجاء به محمد من تعاليم جديده وسترى كل ماهو غير انساني و مكروه, مثل اوامره بنشر ديانته بالسيف"

بعد ان وضح الامبراطور افكاره بتشدد, تطرق باسهاب الى شرح لماذا يعتقد ان هذا المبدأ المتمثل بنشر المعتقد بالسيف هو امر غير عقلاني. فالعنف لايتناسب مع طبيعه الخالق وطبيعه النفس الانسانيه, " الخالق " كما قال ,"لن يكون مسرورا بالدماء تسيل وان اي تصرف لاعقلاني هو امر لايتماشى مع طبيعه الرب". المعتقد يولد مع النفس البشريه وليس مع الجسد. من يقود الناس الى الدين عليه ان يعرف كيف يتكلم بشكل جيد و يكون صاحب منطق, من دون عنف او تهديد.. لكي نقنع الروح المنطقيه, لن يكون هناك حاجه للسلاح من اي نوع او اي تهديد شخصي من اي نوع.."

 

المعنى الواضح من هذا الاعتراض على الاجبار في نشر الدين هو مايلي: عدم اتباع المنطق هو امر مخالف لطبيعه الخالق. الكاتب برفسور خوري لاحظ ايظا : بالنسبه للامبراطور , كبيزنطي تربى في ضل الفلسفه الاغريقيه, هذا امر مفهوم. ولكن بالنسبه الى التعاليم الاسلاميه , الخالق هو مطلق الوجود و الاستطاعه.ان ارادته غير محدده باي من مما نتصوره كبشر من حدود, حتى تلك التي يفرضها المنطق العقلي. وهنا استذكر البروفسور خوري عملا للكاتب الفرنسي المسلم ارنالدس , الذي اشار الى ان ابن حزم ذهب اكثر من ذلك ليقول ان الله غير محدد حتى يما يقوله , وليس هناك ما يفرض عليه ان يقول لنا الحقيقه. فاذا كانت هي مشيئه الله , فاننا يمكن ان نكون مجبورين حتى على عباده الاوثان..

 

في هذا المجال , وفيما يتعلق بفهمنا للخالق وبالتالي ما يتعلق ياسلوب الطقوس الدينيه, نحن نواجه معضله لايمكن تجاوزها. هل ان مخالفه الافعال غير المنطقيه لطبيعه الخالق هو شئ من الفلسفه الاغريقيه , ام انها امر صحيح دائما؟

 

انا ارى ان هناك الكثير من التقارب بين النضره الاغريقيه والفهم المسيحي للخالق

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لم اشأ التعليق على ماصرح به الحبر الاعظم من اراء الا بعد ان اقرأ الخطاب كاملا ومن مصدر موثوق. لذا فاني ساحاول التعليق على هذه النسخه الموثقه اعلاه من قبل الفاتيكان للخطاب بترجمته الانكليزيه

 

لقد صدمت حقيقه بطبيعه الفهم المحدود للاسلام من قبل رجل افنى حياته في دراسه الاديان السماويه . اذا كان لهذا من معنى فانه يوضح الكم الهائل في تخلف من يتصدون لنشر تعاليم الاسلام عن الوصول الى الاخرين

 

نعم ان ماقاله الحبر الاعظم فيه الكثير من الصحه فيما يتعلق بنظريه اسلاميه شائعه حول الجهاد يتبناها بعض المسلمين ولكنه لم يستعرض اراء كل الفقهاء والفلاسفه الاسلاميين بل كان ينطلق مما يعتقده بعض المتشددين انه الاسلام وهو امر لم يكن حريا به فقد كان وبما يتمتع به من رصيد عالمي, فرصه كي يوضح طبيعه الاختلاف في تلك النظره الى الاسلام

 

اعتقد ان سماحه الحبر الاعظم لديه الكثير كي يدركه ويتعلمه عن القرأن وليس عن الاسلام فقط. وهناك فرق كبير . الاسلام هو ما يعتقده المسلمين , كل حسب مبدئه ومعتقده. اما القران فهو نسخه واحده تتداول بين ايدينا

كنت اتمنى من رجل عظيم وصل الى هذا الشرف الكبير ان يكون اكثر اطلاعا وحذرا في طرح الافكار على عواهنها بطريقه تذكرنا بمهرجي الفضائيات العربيه من انصاف المتعلمين لا ان يوظف منبره المحترم للترويج لافكار المتشددين من المسلمين او المتعصبين من المستشرقين واضهار افكارهم وأرائهم حول الاسلام على انه الحقيقه النهائيه والحكم الاكيد

 

ان اختزاله الحقائق بطريقه تبدوا وكانها ذات طابع استشراقي تبشيري ضيق هو امر مؤسف حقا.. لقد كان عليه ان يطلع مستمعيه على الخطاب و النظريه الاسلاميه المتداوله من مختلف جوانبها لا ان يحصر نفسه في نظريه الجبر المشهوره عند ابن حزم الاندلسي, فهناك من فند هذه النظريه وسخفها من علماء المسلمين وهناك من جعل العدل من صفات الخالق من اصحاب المذاهب و هناك المئات من الدلائل القرانيه على كمال الله المنطقي عند المسلمين وما عليك ياسياده الحبر الا تتذكر " ان الله جميل يحب الجمال" بالمعتقد الاسلامي العام

 

 

انا اعتقد ان خطاب البابا يصلح ان يكون فرصه عظيمه للباحثين الاسلامين والدعاه الحقيقين كي يزيلوا عن هذا الدين كل تلك الغمه والظلمه التي فرضها اصحاب الفكر المنحرف من دعاه الارهاب والتشدد والذين ولاسباب معروفه ومؤسفه , تصدروا ا خط الدعوه الاسلاميه . عليهم ان يوضحوا معالم هذا الرساله المحمديه بصيغها الانسانيه المنفتحه بعيدا عن الانغلاق .

 

في ما يتعلق بالافكار التي تطرق لها سماحته لا يسعنى الا ان نتذكر ان اكثر المسلمين اليوم هم من بلدان لم يصلها سيف الفتوحات الاموي او العباسي او العثماني. بينما اغلب الكاثوليك اليوم هم من بلاد كانت تحت سيف الملوك والاباطره المباركين كاثوليكيا. فهل في هذا من معنى يتطابق مع ما ذهب اليه البابا. ان من يقرأ التاريخ سيجد ان المجازر التي ارتكبت باسم نشر المسيحبه لاتقل وحشبه عن تلك التي ارتكبت باسم الاسلام فهل كانت كل تلك الافعال الشنيعه التي ارتكبت باسم ومباركه الكنيسه الكاثوليكيه مرضاه للرب

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Above is the link to the whole text of the Pop late speach regarding his comment on Islam at Berlin University..I am translating later that porting that relate to Islam

 

حديث بابا الفاتيكان امام اكاديميه المنطق في جامعه برلين

ادناه ترجمه للمقاطع التي تتعلق بالموضوع المتعلق بالاسلام والذي اثار اهتماما واستنكارا لدى الكثير من المسلمين اللذين ربما لم يطلعوا على فحوى الحديث

 

Dear Salim :

I do not have a strong reaction to the quote. If the Popoe spoke of christianity as being more groudned in Greek thought than Islam, then he only read the Italian translation and not he oiriginal manuscripts by Aviciennna and Averoes among others who are Muslim writers who grounded Islam in aristotalian thought centuries before that was done for christianity. In fact if one reads Lock and other Christian writers you will notice that they plajuized muslim ideas about the intergration of Greek thought in. TH is is a book I have wanted to write for a while, but I don't have time for it. I do not think it is a secret. If you examin the fact the Ibn Seena and Ibn Rushed's names were altered to sound less Arab you will understand that the prejudice again Arab's and Muslims is deeply rooted and will not allow anyone to give them credit for the eovlution of christianity in the more rational direction.

I will make two more posts you guys can forward it to the Vatican if you would like one original philsophical discussion in modern terms. The other is an hisotrical exploration of Islamic and its realtion to Greek philosophy.

 

 

PHILOSOPHY AND ISLAM

 

Philosophy is concerned with the fundamental questions about nature and reality. Al-Kindi called philosophy the most exalted science, since it dealt with issues which are universal. Al-Kindi (Alkindus, 800 – 873 CE) is recognized as the first Arab or Muslim philosopher. He defines philosophy as the love of wisdom, from the greek words philo (friend) and sophia (wisdom). (Kindi 18-19)

Ibn Rushd (Averroes) goes a step further and states that the Quran makes the study of philosophy obligatory upon all believers. Ibn Rushd (Averroes, 1128 – 1198 CE) is considered a major Aristotelian Muslim and Spanish philosopher. He states that philosophy is nothing more than the study of beings and reflection upon them. The Quran encourages mankind to “Reflect, you have vision.” At another place it states, “have they not studied the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever things God has created?” Here God is urging the readers to study the world and how and why objects and beings exist. Ibn Rushd concludes that God requires man to try to obtain demonstrative knowledge of His existence. But prior to having demonstrative knowledge, Man must be able to have dialectical, theoritical and logical knowledge. That is for man to learn he must know the basis of reasoning. Hence, philosophy is not only necessary but also commanded by the divine. (Ibn Rusd 44-46)

Al-Ghazzali finds serious problems with the philosophers of his era. He writes, “they have abandoned all the religious duties of Islam imposes on its followers.” He thinks that the kind of reasoning used by philosophers would never result in the proof of the existence of God. Al-Ghazzali (Algazel, 1058 – 1111 CE) was an extremely influential orthodox Muslim thinker who rebuffed many of the claims of the ‘philosphers’ who claimed they could proof God by reason alone.

Ibn Rushd admits that philosophy may have its harms as a discipline, but these harms are no greater than those resulting from the study of medicine or law. Since, the study of philosophy is commanded by God Himself, it is obligatory, although it is possible to misuse the science for other purposes. (Ibn Rushd 47). As Al-Kindi and most

Muslim philosophers agree philosophy cannot reach as far as revealation can. Hence, the basis of our actions should be based upon Islam, whereas philosophy ought to be considered as an independent discipline. It should also be noted that the thrust of Ghazzali’s argument is not against philosophy, but rather its use. His main concern is that the philosophers are drawing conclusions from their ‘arguments’ that are not valid.

Muhammad Iqbal sees no contradiction between faith and reason. Iqbal (1877-1938 CE) in this century is considered the poet-philosopher of Islam, his works have been extremely influential in the revival of Islamic thought. He was born in (what is now) Pakistan but studied in Britian and Germany, thus providing insight into both philosophical traditions. He thinks that both thought and intuition arise from the same source and don’t oppose each other, but rather are complimentary. Reason aims at understanding the physical world and existence, whereas religious experience aims at transcending this world and achieving the knowledge of the ultimate. Iqbal then thinks that it is necessary for Muslims to engage themselves in the study and science of philosophy in order to redefine Islamic culture, which is now confronted with a more advanced western civilization. If Muslim thinkers fail in this challenge, then Muslim thought may be absorbed by Western philosophy, as the two cultures begin to integrate further.

This debate is not uniquely Islamic, similar debates have persisted in Christian thought as well. While religious tensions in Europe were hindering analytical thought, it was flourishing in Muslim lands. As the Churches influenced decreased a more dynamic movement emerged in Europe brining with it a whole new worldview moving towards reason and away from dogma. Today many Christian theologians also use philosophy to justify their positions, as is similar among certain Muslim groups. The irritating problem, however, is to uphold the conclusion of these theists on purely philosophical grounds, in the face of a challenge from radical skepticism.

Philosophy aside, Muslims also need to know what the Qur'anic position on the problem of evil is. Of course the Qur'anic text does not explicitly deal with philosophical questions, but it is quite easy to interpret the sacred text to support a limited role for reason. The verses which probably contain the closest parallel to our discussion are in Surah 2 (given below). They occur before the sin of Adam and the expulsion from the Garden, in the form of a dialogue between God and the angels.

And when thy Lord said to the angels,

'I am setting in the earth a viceroy.'

They said 'What, wilt Thou set therein one

who will do corruption there, and shed blood,

while We proclaim Thy praise and call Thee Holy?'

He said, 'Assuredly I know

that you know not.'

{Surah 2 (al-Baqara), verse 28}

While the above talks only of moral evil (corruption and bloodshed), the fact is that this particular verse raises the question of evil and deals with it in an exceptionally direct manner. The answer given, significantly, is not an exercise of metaphysical sophistication. It is essentially just the assertion that God's knowledge is greater than ours, with the implication that humans cannot fully understand the divine will. This practically admits to non-rationalism. And once we admit to a non-rational framework, neither moral nor natural evil remains problematic. The non-rational solution to the problem of evil is simply to assert that evil ultimately allows a greater good, and that the human tool of logical understanding cannot explain this fact of reality. It hinges upon the incapability of comprehending absolute/divine truths on the part of the non-divine, which is at the core of the Qur'anic response above.

Although rationalist Qur'anic interpreters would disagree with the above interpretation, the fact is that it is quite in keeping with other vague Qur'anic positions on metaphysical problems. The fact is that the Qur'an does not seem primarily interested in discussing philosophy, but in showing people how to live. It is only by realizing this that we can understand the core of the Qur'anic teaching. For while evil and suffering are a logical problem for believers, they present an existential difficulty which applies to non-believers as well. The problem of evil is really only the monotheist version of a basic question which people face; namely, how does one live when life contains such cruelty and unhappiness? The only means available is hoping that happiness is within reach and goodness is still possible. In the monotheist context, this hope crystallizes as faith in God, a divine-centered morality and a sense of ultimate purpose. For non-monotheists, it simply remains a more diffuse optimism. Unfortunately this basic commonality is often overlooked, in no small part due to the antagonism which is commonplace between religious and irreligious people and their beliefs. Of modern philosophers, Soren Kierkegaard was one of the few to acknowledge the religious "leap of faith" as a fundamentally existentialist phenomenon.

 

 

 

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

 

The cosmological argument was first introduced by Aristotle and later refined in western Europe by the celebrated Christian theologian, Thomas Aquinas (d.1274 CE). In the Islamic tradition, it was adopted by Al-Kindi, and Ibn Rushd (Averroes). The argument has several forms, the basic first-cause argument runs as follows.

Every event must have a cause, and each cause must in turn have its own cause, and so forth. Hence, there must either be an infinite regress of causes or there must be a starting point or first cause. Aquinas and Al-Kindi reject the notion of an infinite regress and insist that there must be a first cause, and the first cause must be God, the only uncaused being.

Another form of this argument is based on the concept of a prime-mover. This is the Aristotelian form of the argument also propounded by Averroes. The premise being that, every motion must be caused by another motion, and the earlier motion must in turn be a result of another motion and so on. The conclusion thus follows that there must be an initial prime-mover, a mover that could cause motion without any other mover.

Two kinds of Islamic perspectives maybe considered with regard to the cosmological argument. An positive Aristotelian response strongly supporting the argument and a negative response which is quite critical of it. Among the Aristotelian thinkers are Al-Kindi, and Averroes. Al-Ghazzali and Iqbal maybe seen as being in opposition to this sort of an argument.

Al-Kindi is one of the many major and first Islamic philosophers who attempt to introduce an argument for the existence of God based upon purely empirical premises. In fact, his chief contribution is the cosmological argument (dalil al-huduth) for the existence of God, in his On First Philosophy. (Nasr 168) He presents four different versions of this argument, all are variation of the cosmological argument which require a cause.

One of the arguments revolves around the principle of determination (tarjjih), that is prior to the existence of the universe it was equally likely for it to exist or not to exist. The fact that it exists, implies that it required a determining principle which would cause its existence to prevail over non-existence. This principle of determination is God. (Kindi 58) This is similar to Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason (Russell 568) (Cassierer 73) Leibniz argues that everything in the world is contingent that it may or may not have existed. Something will not exist unless there is a reason for its existence. This rests on his premise that the actual world is the best possible world, as such we can account for everything in it as being there for a specific reason. But the universe as a whole, requires a further reason for existence, and that reason for Liebniz is God. It should be noted that Liebniz’ theory of the best possible world is flawed. We can conceive of a better world than any possible ‘best’ world that can be created. An additional unit of pleasure or goodness can be added to it to make it better. Therefore, it seems implausible to think that a ‘best possible world’ could ever exist.

There are difficulties with this kind of an account of the universe. It seems to lead to the conclusion that all truths are necessary. That is, if everything exists because the reasons for its existence supercede the reasons for it non-existence, then it will necessarily exist. Everything and anything with a sufficient reason to exist will exist. Therefore, the universe and everything in it, must necessarily exist. Since, the superiority of its potential existence over its non-existence provides the required determining principle (of Kindi) or sufficient reason (of Liebniz), for it to exist. It appears now that the bringing into being of the universe is not contingent upon the will of God, rather it is something that is as necessary as the existence of God Himself. This seems implausible. In response Liebniz argues that its existence is only theoretically necessary and God may or may not implement it. However, if God is all good, He would clearly be obliged to bring into being the best possible world. (Sosa 515).

A second argument of his draws its inspiration from Islamic and Aristotelian sciences. He argues that only God is indivisible, and everything other than God is in some way composite or multiple. Kindi describes his concept of God,

He has no matter, no form, no quantity, no quality, no relation; nor is He qualified by any of the remaining categories (al-maqulat). He has no genus, no differentia, no species, no proprium, no accident. He is immutable… He is, therefore, absolute oneness, nothing but oneness (wahdah). Everything else must be multiple. (Sharif 429)

This for Kindi was a crucial distinction upon which he rested some of his main arguments for God’s existence. In Kindi’s theory only God’s oneness is necessary whereas that of all others is contingent upon God. Hence all other beings single or multiple must emanate from the ultimate essential being. In addition this first being must be uncaused, since it is the cause of everything else. (Fakhry 78)

The material world cannot exist ad infinitum because of the impossibility of an actual infinite (a concept borrowed from Aristotle). The material world can also not be eo ipso eternal, because of the impossibility of an infinite duration of time, since the existence of time is contingent upon the existence of bodies and motion, which have been shown to be finite. As such the world requires a creator, or rather a generator (mudhith) in Kindi’s scheme, who could generate the world ex nihilo. (Fakhry 74-79)

The other arguments he presents are similar versions of the first cause argument, and hence are subject to the same criticisms that apply to any cosmological argument. These criticisms come not only from western scholars but also Islamic ones. Ghazzali is unconvinced by the first-cause arguments of Kindi. In response to them he writes,

According to the hypothesis under consideration, it has been established that all the beings in the world have a cause. Now, let the cause itself have a cause, and the cause of the cause have yet another cause, and so on ad infinitum. It does not behoove you to say that an infinite regress of causes is impossible. (Tahafut 90-91)

Ghazzali thought that it is at least theoretically possible for there to be an infinite regress, and that there is nothing that necessitates a first-cause simply by pure deductive reason. He thus undermines one of the essential premises of the first-cause argument.

Muhammad Iqbal also rejects the argument stating, “Logically speaking, then, the movement from the finite to the infinite as embodied in the cosmological argument is quite illegitimate; and the argument fails in toto.” For Iqbal the concept of the first uncaused cause is absurd, he continues:

It is, however, obvious that a finite effect can give only a finite cause, or at most an infinite series of such causes. To finish the series at a certain point, and to elevate one member of the series to the dignity of an un-caused first cause, is to set at naught the very law of causation on which the whole argument proceeds.

It is for these reasons that modern philosophers almost unanimously reject the cosmological argument as a legitimate proof for the existence of God. Kant for example also rejects any cosmological proof on the grounds that it is nothing more than an ontological proof in disguise. He argued that any necessary object’s essence must involve existence, hence reason alone can define such a being, and the argument becomes quite similar to the ontological one in form, devoid of any empirical premises.

Al-Kindi’s argument has been taken up by some contemporary western philosophers and dubbed the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Kalam being the Islamic science of dialectical reasoning. Among its chief proponents today is Dr. William Craig. (Ramey). It proposes to show, contrary to what Ghazzali thought, that the universe must have necessarily had a beginning. A contrast is drawn between two concepts, the “potential infinite” and an “actual infinite.” A potential infinite is a concept of an infinite series, to which more things can be added. For example, there maybe and infinite number of integers, however in any one set there will be a finite number of them. An “actual infinite” would be a set which would contain all possible integers. This would be impossible, since there are an infinite number of integers. Once a set is defined, another integer can always be found to add to it. They can never actually exist. Ramey qoutes a famous mathematician David Hilbert:

… the actual infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought—a remarkable harmony between being and thought…

This forms an essential part of the argument, it demonstrates that an infinite regress could not exist, and that the universe can not possibly be actually infinite, in and of itself. The argument goes on to show that if the universe could not be actually infinite or eternal, given the principle of causality, it must have a first-cause or creator, which is God.

Now, it maybe argued, that if an actual infinite cannot exist, then how can God exist? Since the concept of God, is one of an uncaused and infinite being. Al-Kindi’s answer is quite interesting. He states that it is not fair to ask this question of God, since God is not an “actual infinite.” God is not a set or collection of things, He is one. God is an absolute unity, and hence on Al-Kindi’s scheme God should not be thought of as an ‘infinite’ (Fakhry 77). It is not clear, however, if the Kalam argument successfully shows the impossiblitiy of an infinite, a common response (which is also offered by Avicenna) has been to point out that there is no problem imagining an infinite that begins at the present and continues into the future, so it follows that it is entirely conceivable for the same infinity to continue in the past as well. (Sharif 503).

Contemporary supporters of this argument have reformulated the first-cause argument to take away the difficulty of explaining why an infinite regress would be impossible. Hicks explains, “they interpret the endless series that it excludes, not as a regress of events back in time, but as an endless and therefore eternally inconclusive regress of explanations.” Thus a move is made from an infinite regress of events to an infinite regress of explanations. That is, if events can be explained with reference to other events there must be an ultimate reality of self-explanatory events behind this complex that would make the collective set comprehendible. Hence, no longer is a creator being sought, rather given the creation an ultimate reality is being sought which would explain, or make sense of, the complex and plethora of phenomena in the world. Even here, the non-theistic skeptic will ask what reason do we have to think that the universe is not simply an “unintelligible brute fact”? (Hick 21).

 

 

TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

 

The version of the argument from design is best known in contemporary philosophy as presented by William Paley (1805) in his Natural Theology. He presents us with an analogy of a watch. Suppose that while walking in a deserted remote location one comes across a watch. Upon examining this device one may ask themselves how did this object come into existence. Surely it could not be by pure chance, it is composed of intricate and complex internal design. We are likely to think that it was a product of an intelligent designer. I.e. there must be a watchmaker. In the same way Paley argues that the universe is much more complex and manifestly designed. The extraordinary design is evident from planets and galaxies at the cosmic level to human cells and atoms at the quantum level. Therefore this world must have an intelligent creator.

This form of the argument can be seen as an inference to the best explanation. That is given the remarkable phenomena of the universe, the best possible explanation for this, must be the existence of God. Elliot Sober explains this in terms of the Likelihood Principle, which he defines as: (Sober 31-33)

O strongly favors H1 over H2 if and only if H1 assigns to O a probability that is much bigger than the probability that H2 assigns to O.

Here O is an observation, and H is a hypothesis. The likelihood may be mathematically written as: [P (O/H)]. The probability of the observation given the hypothesis. The principle in probability theory form would state that:

O strongly favors H1 over H2 if and only if P(O/H1) >> P(O/H2).

This Sober makes clear is not to be confused with the Probability Principle which states can be written as [P (H/O)]. These are two importantly distinct principles, Sober gives an example of the observation (O) that while sitting in a cabin one hears rumblings in the attic. On the basis of this one forms the hypothesis (H) that there are gremblins in the attic and they are bowling. Now it is clear that the P (O/H) is very high, that is, if there were gremblin’s bowling (H) the likelihood of the rumbling noice (O) would be quite high. But P (H/O) in this case is very low. Since given the rumbling noise (O), the probability of the explanation being bowling gremblins (H) is small. “The gremblin hypothesis has a high likelihood but a low probability given the noises we hear.” (Sober 32). The likelihood principle a much better way to understand the inference to the best explanation, since in the case of God a hypothesis is being formed on the basis of observations, in the teleological sense.

Paley, according to Sober, is attempting to apply the likelihood principle to the watch example. That is given that the watch is intricate and well-designed for time-keeping (O), the inference that it was designed by an intelligent creator (H1) is higher than the conclusion that it came into being via random natural processes. Symbolically written it would state: P(O/H1) >> P(O/H2).

Paley next argues that if one accepts the above reasoning one is then obliged to accept the reasoning he gives for the universe as a whole. which is as follows:

O: The world is intricate and well-designed for the purpose of supporting life.

H1: The world is the product of an intelligent designer.

H2: The world is the product of random physical processes.

Given the above, Again Paley’s claim would be that: P(O/H1) >> P(O/H2). Both of the above are inferences to the best explanation on the basis of the likelihood principle outlined earlier. (Sober 33).

Sober later rejects the notion presented by Paley, and argues that the likelihood of an evolutionary hypothesis supersedes the likelihood of a creationist hypothesis.

Al-Kindi also attempts to make reference to the teleological proof (dalil al-‘indyah) for the existence of God. As he argues that “the orderly and wonderful phenomena of nature could not be purposeless and accidental” (Kindi 61) This is consistent with the Quranic verse “Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!” (Yusuf Ali, Quran 21:16) The teleological argument analyses the material world and infers from it an Artificer or a creator, a self-conscious being of unlimited intelligence and power, who created this extremely complex world for a purpose and that creator is God. Muhammad Iqbal once again criticizes this argument in the following terms:

At best, it [teleological proof] gives us a skillful external contriver working on a pre-existing dead and intractable material the elements of which are, by their own nature, incapable of orderly structures and combinations. The argument gives us a contriver only and not a creator; and even if we suppose him to be also the creator of his material, it does no credit to his wisdom to create his own difficulties by first creating intractable material, and then overcoming its resistance by the application of methods alien to its original nature. The designer regarded as external to his material must always remain limited by his material and hence a finite designer... (Iqbal 24)

Iqbal is pointing out that any argument from design rests on the extraordinary complexity and almost perfect arrangement of the universe, so as to compel the observer to infer that there must be an intelligent designer. This is consistent with the watchmaker example presented by Paley. The two cases, the watch and the universe, are however, different. Unlike the case of the watch, where its builder put the complex machine together given pre-existing material, the universe and its material itself created by God also. That is, there is no point in finding it extra-ordinary that God would be able to organize pre-existing “intractable” material in such an elegant fashion. The only reason we would have of thinking so, would be if it was a difficult task to design the universe. But then why would God, first create a difficult task for Himself and then go on resolve the difficulty by arranging into a sophisticated pattern? In addition, God would be limited in what He could create by this pre-existing material. This, to Iqbal, does not seem consistent with the Islamic concept of an omnipotent God. Iqbal writes, perhaps in response to Paley, “There is really no analogy between the work of the human artificer and the phenomena of Nature.” (Iqbal 24)

Bertnard Russell joins in this criticism, commenting on the teleological explanation he professes,

But if a man is so obstinately teleological as to continue to ask what purpose is served by the creator, it becomes obvious that his question is impious. It is, moreover, unmeaning, since, to make it significant, we should have to suppose the Creator created by some super-Creator whose purposes He served. (Russell 85)

Both Iqbal and Russell point out that it is inappropriate for a person who believes in God to put forth an argument for His existence on teleological grounds.

The British philosopher David Hume also rejected the teleological argument, for different reasons. For him the argument from the best explanation is an inductive argument, and

Hume had argued that inductive knowledge and causation is not possible.

Hume rejected all theological works and claimed that they fail certain philosophical tests. He contended that metaphysical knowledge was not possible by either abstract or experimental reasoning. The problem of induction argues that it is impossible to make a justified inference from the observed to the unobserved. This is applicable to all such inferences. An example of such an inference is the following: we observe that “the sun rises everyday and has risen everyday for over several thousand years” on the basis of this observation we make an inference that: “Hence that the sun will rise tomorrow”. Hume claims that we are not at all justified in such an assumption. He asks what makes such an inference justifiable?

Hume recognizes that we spontaneously make such an inference and that perhaps we have no control over it. But he is asking what is our justification for this supposed causal relationship? He asserts where is the causal glue that links the rising of the sun yesterday to the rising of the sun tomorrow?

The only argument that can be made in support of it is that “Nature is uniform”. I.e. Nature has been uniform and will remain uniform thus we are justified in making inferences to unobserved events on the basis of what we have been observing. However, it must be noted that this argument in itself is an inductive one and begs the question.

This is similar to the argument for the existence of God from induction, since the argument is being made that we can use empirical/inductive proofs, i.e. we can make inferences based upon what we observe (empirical) to the unobserved (God, Metaphysical). Hume denies that any such inference is at all logically justifiable.

Bertnard Russell in response to this attitude states,

“It is therefore important to discover whether there is any answer to Hume within the framework of a philosophy that is wholly or mainly empirical. If not, there is no intellectual difference between sanity and insanity.... This is a desperate point of view, and it must be hoped that there is some way of escaping from it.” (Russell 646)

Most Muslim philosophers have attempted to get around this vexatious problem by simply recognizing the Quranic emphasis on the uniformity of nature, accepting it as such and thus avoiding this problem. The above problem of induction gave rise to modern skepticism and remains a fascinating unsolved puzzle.

 

 

KANT’S CRITIQUE OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE

 

Kant raises a powerful objection to any theory that claims to grasp knowledge of God. He claims that in terms of knowledge there can be no jumpt from the physical to the metaphsycial. Kant distinguishes between noumanal and phenomenal objects. The noumena are objects that lie beyond all possible experience, and the phenomena are the ones we directly experience. Hence, for him the metaphysical is the noumenal realm. He argues that there can be no possible relation between two realms that have no connection between them. How can we prove that a certain noumanal object exists from phenomenal premises? He asks. Ernst Cassirer, in his book Kant’s Life and Thought, comments:

It is especially discordant for Kant on the one hand to consign reason in its determination of actuality completely to the data of experience, and on the other to entrust to it the power of bringing us to unconditional certainty regarding an infinite being lying beyond all possibility of experience. (Cassirer 76)

Although he does not deny that there are metaphysical objects (In fact he argues for their existence from practical reason), he rejects this particular avenue for arriving at what he calls synthetic and a priori objects.

Iqbal responds to Kants criticism of metaphysical existence from empirical experience as follows, “Kant’s verdict can be accepted only if we start with the assumption that all experience other than the normal level of experience is impossible. The only question, therefore, is whether the normal level is the only level of knowledge-yielding experience.” He will argue, as we will see later, that there are other levels of experience that can bear knowledge as well.

 

 

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

 

The modern form of the ontological argument in modern western philosophy was made famous by Anselm and Descartes. The argument rests on the premise that existence is a predicate that a being could have or lack. A summary of Anselm’s argument is as follows:

P1) God is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.

P2) A being than which nothing greater can be conceived to exist in our thought.

P3) Either a being than which nothing greater can be conceived exists in thought alone and not in reality or a being than which nothing greater can be conceived exists both in thought and in reality.

P4) If the greatest conceivable being existed in thought alone we could think of

another being existing in both thought and reality.

P4) Existing in thought and reality is greater than existing in thought alone.

C) Therefore: A being than which nothing greater can be conceived (God) exists in thought and in reality.

Simply by pure reason, without any reference to the world, Anselm argues for God. A key feature of this these kind of arguments is that they try to show not only that God exists, but that he necessarily exists. That is, He cannot, not exist. The existence of God is an essential feature of its being just like the angles of a triangle always add up to 180 degrees. It would be impossible to think of God without it existing. Descartes writes,

From the fact that I cannot think of a mountain without a valley, it does not follow that a mountain and a valley exist anywhere, but simply that a mountain and a valley, whether they exist or not are mutually inseparable. But from the fact that I cannot think of God except as existing, it follows that existence is inseparable from God.

Hence, the very essence of God, to even make the concept of God intelligible it must exist. This argument has been widely criticized.

Kant criticized the argument from two perspectives. First he points out that, although, the concept that all three sides of the triangle add up to 180 is an analytical concept, there is still nothing that shows that it must exist. Similarly the idea that existence analytically belongs to the concept of God is an illegitimate inference. He writes,

To posit a triangle, and yet to reject its three angles, is self-contradictory; but there is no self-contradiction in rejecting the triangle together with its three angles. The same holds true of the concept of an absolutely necessary being. (Kant 3:4)

Secondly, he rejects Descartes argument on the grounds that existence is not a predicate that can be added or taken away from a concept. That is, existence is not like any of the other properties that are associated with ‘things.’ To say that something exists, is simply to say that the concept is instantiated in the world. He claims this on the basis of his distinction between analytic and synthetic statements.

An analytic statement is one of the kind, “all bachelors are unmarried males,” or “the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180.” In these statements the predicates, “unmarried males” or “sum of angles is 180” does not add any new information to the concept of “bachelors” or “triangle.” Analytic statements are true by virtue of their meaning alone.

A synthetic statement is something that adds more information about the object in question. For example, “all ravens are black,” is synthetic. The predicate “are black” tells us more information about the subject “ravens.” Kant’s claim is that statements of the sort, “X exists” are analytic. It does not add anything additional to the concept. Hence the inference that existing in reality is greater than existence in thought alone is false. The reductio ad absurdum from pure thought to God, of Anselm and Descartes thus fails according to Kant.

The closest form of parallel thought to this can be found in the thought of Avicenna (981 – 1037 CE). He also shared Descartes methodological doubt and proposed a somewhat similar ontological argument for the existence of God. (Shiekh 77). Avicenna also propounded that God is a necessary being, however, his argument unlike Descartes is not a purely rational one. Avicenna believed that we possess a direct intuitive apprehension of the reality and existence of this necessary being. He believed that it would be impossible to think concretely without the existence of such a being. Averroes, however, insists that there can be no rational proof for God’s existence and it can only be grasped via the medium of intuition.

The God that Avicenna argues for is a Necessary Being. A being that necessarily exists, and everything else besides it is contingent and depends upon it for its existence. God has no other essence besides his existence. His essence (mahiyah: quidditas), just is His existence. Since, God is the only being in which the essence and existence are to be found together, the essence of all other beings precedes their existence. Thus He is absolutely simple, and no has no further attributes. (Sharif 501)

In his book al-Shifa Avicenna explains that since the Necessary Being has no genus or differentia it is both indefinable and indemonstrable. As such “neither its being or its actions can be an object of discursive thought, since it is without cause, quality, position or time.” (Fakhry 153-154) All other entities do not exist necessarily or essentially, rather they are merely contingent beings (per accidens). The characteristics of God offered by Avicenna drew major criticisms from the contemporary Muslim orthodoxy, who found his definition incompatible with Islamic doctrine. “not a particle remains hidden from God in the heavens or on the earth.” (Quran) How can God be omniscient if He has no attributes. He does try to explain, however, how his description would be compatible with God having knowledge of the world. In knowing Himself, God is capable of knowing everything that emanated from Him. Since God does not have sense-perceptual knowledge He cannot know the particulars, but rather only the essences or universal principles. But according to Avicenna this does not exclude him knowing the specifics of any given event. Knowing all the antecedents and consequences in the causal chain, allows God to place the event temporally and differentiate it from all other events. Hence, his theory does not preclude God’s knowledge of the specifics. Al-Ghazzali was not satisfied with this account and criticized Avvicenna stating that the theory being presented would not allow for change in divine knowledge with the introduction of the time factor. (Sharif 502)

Another important characteristic of Avicenna’s ontology was the fact that he believed that the universe is eternal. This was another belief, which was not acceptable to the Islamic orthodoxy. He thought the creative ability of God was linked to His intellectual nature and thus flowed eternally of rational necessity from Him. Although the universe exists as an independent body, its existence is still contingent upon God. God and the world are different, but the existence of the world depends upon God. This can be seen as refinement, or rather ‘islamization’ of the Aristotelian view that God and the universe were two distinct beings which did not interact with each other.

 

 

PROBLEM OF EVIL

 

 

One of the major arguments proposed against the existence of God in contemporary western philosophy is the problem of evil. It is based upon the inability to reconcile the magnitude of evil in the world with the all-loving nature of God. John Hick describes the problem from the perspective of its proponent, “If God is perfectly loving, God must wish to abolish all evil; and if God is all-powerful, God must be able to abolish all evil. But evil exists; therefore God cannot be both omnipotent and perfectly loving.” This thus causes difficulty for the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God who possess both qualities of being all-loving and omnipotent. David Hume is a proponent of this view and argues that the sheer amount of evil, which may outweigh the good, in the world makes dubious that a deity exists. (Pojman 167).

The main response to this kind of an argument is known as the free-will defense. It is based on the premise that for God to create self-directly and independent agents like humans, he had to grant a certain amount of freedom to them, and this freedom would inevitably result in human-to-human evil. It has been proposed that there need not be a contradiction between God creating morally free agents and making it the case that all their actions turn out to be good. But it can be argued that in that case, are the beings really as free as humans? If all our actions were predestined in this way, there would be a sense in which we would not be free and only an allusion be created thereof. Although God could have created beings of this sort, they would have amounted to mere puppets and not vibrant beings as envisioned by God. (Hick 39-41)

THE FREE WILL DEFENSE

The primary difficulty with the problem of evil is resolving the apparent conflict between the reality of evil in the world and the claim that God is:

1) Omniscient -- All knowing

2) Omnipotent – All powerful and

3) Wholly Good

One version of the free will defense is to compare the current state of the world

with a world in which all actions were good and no evil was possible. It is important here to point out that the good that is being referred to is ‘moral good.’ That is, it is good that is a result of the conscious actions of people. This is distinct from ‘natural good’ or ‘natural evil’ which maybe result from non-human causes. The free will defense (FWD) theorist points out that in order for man to be in a position to do ‘moral good’ he must be ‘significantly free.’ That is, he must be in a position to make a choice between making a morally good or evil action. Given that in the current world (World-1) human agents are given this freedom, a certain level of moral evil is unavoidable. This world would still be more preferable to a possible World-2 in which there were no free actions (thus no freedom) but all actions performed were entirely good.

A critic of this defense will point out that if God is all-powerful (omnipotent) then it ought to be in His capacity to create a World-3 in which humans had freedom, yet all their actions turned out to be good. Thus their actions would be predetermined to be good, yet they would still have the free option of choosing between morally good or bad actions. The agent would have the freedom to chose any action they like, it would just be that whatever choice they made it would turn out to be good. This would entirely be within God’s power since He is omnipotent and is only limited by logical impossibilities.

The challenge for the FWD theorist is to show that Freedom and Causal Determinism are both mutually inconsistent. It can’t both be the case that humans are free agents, and that their actions are causally predetermined. (Pojman 203)

The crucial question is, can God can create any world?, Alvin Plantinga attempts to answer this question. First, he points out that Leibniz was mistaken in thinking that God would have to, and thus did, create the best possible world. Plantinga argues that there can be no such thing as the best possible world, since to any world one more unit of pleasure or goodness can be added to make it even better. Thus it seems implausible to think of the best possible world as existing. This then is one instance when God cannot create any world. Secondly, he argues that God cannot create a world in which Man is both significantly free, yet his actions are already determined. His proof on this premise has to do with a thought experiment. We can imagine a case in the present world in which we know given certain conditions person A would hypothetically engage in a morally evil action. It would no be impossible for God to create a world that were almost identical the present world, except that the person would then not engage in the evil. Since, to do so would deny him the freedom of individuality and his personality. That is, for God to ensure that he not engage in the evil would deny his freedom. The only other solution is for God to not create the world at all. He argues that for any world God could create, which included freedom, there is at least one action on which Man would go wrong, or else he could not create any world at all. This phenomenon he calls transworld depravity. Therefore, for God to create a world in which humans had moral freedom, the existence of both Good and Evil is necessary. (Platinga 211).

ISLAMIC REACTION TO THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

 

Islamic philosophers of the middle ages did not address this problem in any direct fashion. This maybe because in the context of Muslim thought, the existence of God was a prerequisite. In fact, the aim of the philosophers was to prove the existence of God using Aristotelian logic. So we do not find Muslim philosophers arguing against the existence of God, on the contrary they are attempting to justify the qualities of God from a philosophical perspective.

The Muslim philosophers did, however, tackle a different but somewhat similar issue concerning the unity of God. The central problem facing them was how to reconcile the absolute unity and perfection of God with the fact that there exists in the world such great amounts of imperfections. If God is all perfect and the world is a result of divine will, we are then faced with the problem of duality between God and His will. Yet it is this very difference (i.e. the imperfection of the world) that sets it apart from God (who is perfect). How is this consistent with the absolute unity (tawhid) of God which is so central to Islamic doctrine? This issue had been one of the major issues of Muslim thought, and was a subject of great debate between Al-Ghazzali, and other neo-platonic Muslim thinkers. (Landau 17)

It is, however, difficult to find any direct analogue to the problem of evil in medieval Islamic philosophy. However, some positions held by early Muslim thinkers maybe relevant to the free will defense. Early Muslim Aristotelian thinkers like Ibn Sina held that God is a necessary being, who had no other attributes besides His existence, and that all other beings emanated from the divine by necessity. Despite holding this position, they attempted to reconcile it with Islamic doctrines. Ghazzali points out that this is not possible. That is, to say that whatever proceeds from God does so by necessity denies God agency, i.e. it denies Him Free Will. If God has no will, since he has no attributes, then God has no free choice to decide which world to create. It seems that Ghazzali’s criticism can be equally applied to advocate of the problem of evil who states that God by necessity must always in a way that will ensure that its consequences are wholly good. This would then break down the dilemma posed by trying to reconcile the divine attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, wholly goodness versus the reality of evil in the world. Since, now God would not be obliged to abide by the condition of wholly goodness. (Ghazzali 63)

Another stream of thought in Islam, advocated by Ghazzali, Ibn Arabi, Al-Attas and Islamic mystical traditions, is to argue that the only true way to grasp the ultimate reality, and thus resolve this problem is through a “direct awareness of Reality,” unencumbered by intellectual interference (Laudau 20). This aspect will be discussed at length in the Arguments from Religious Experience section.

The lack of intense debate on the problem of evil maybe because the problem was not formulated at the time, or that Muslim thinkers were preoccupied by other issues. In modern times, the 20th century Islamic philosopher Muhammad Iqbal does attempt to address this problem.

He suggests that Goodness would not be possible without the resistance of evil. The evil in the world is meant to be overcome. Whoever asks why must there be evil when God can remove it is missing the point. Iqbal insists that without evil there could be no moral or spiritual development. He sites a simile used by Kant in which he refers to birds who resent the resistance of air, yet it is the very air that allows them to fly high, they would be unable to do so in a vacuum. Likewise, a certain amount of evil is necessary for the inner growth of humans, so that they may be able to overcome it. (Sharif 1628) As the Quran states, “And for trial will We test you with evil and with Good (21:35).

Iqbal could here be subject to criticism, since he has ignored the victims of evil. What about those people who suffered so the rest of mankind could build itself? Iqbal’s answer here would be consistent with his philosophy of self. Like Nietzche, Iqbal believed that ultimately the self, the individual is the only thing of utmost importance. That is we have no concrete knowledge of the external world and factors therein. What we can be sure of is only ourselves, hence, we must view happenings to beings other than ourselves only in the capacity in which they help to build ourselves. The fact that the suffering of an innocent victim serves to bolster our personality is sufficient. The independent suffering of the external individual cannot be verified.

Nietzche has criticized Christian theology for placing mankind in a state of guilt for the original sin, Iqbal had pointed out that this concept of original sin is absent in Islam, and that the Quran encouraged a positive self image of the self or man. Many modern Christian theologians also adopt this view.

 

 

ARGUMENTS FROM RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

 

 

There have been arguments presented for the existence of God which are non-analytical, and do not rely an purely logical or empirical premises. There is a strong strand within classical Islamic philosophy, beginning with Al-Ghazzali, to strongly put forth this view, and at the same time deny the legitimacy of the purely theoretical arguments for God’s existence. Muhammad Iqbal will also defend this view, however, he attempts to provide reconciliatory possibilities of reason with religious experience in concert with his organic world-view.

The principles for an Islamic epistemology are laid out in the Quran as it defines three avenues for knowledge (Wan Daud 65). These are namely,

1. Certainty by Sense-Perception (ain al-yaqin) or empirically derived knowledge

2. Cognitive Certainty (ilm al-yaqin) or knowledge by pure reason

3. Absolute Experienced Certainty (haqq al-yaqin) or knowledge by intuition.

These are sometimes called modes of knowledge. A Muslim Sufi (mystic)

philosopher explains,

“The sensory mode is experienced through we eat and smell, the cognitive is through knowledge, whether self-evident or acquired, while the intuitive is similarly divided: It can either be self-evident or acquired. However, he who has access to intuitive, which is to say divine knowledge, knows instinctively what other must acquire through the exercise of their cognitive faculties.” (Awliya 160-161)

It is this last form of knowledge, the intuitive, that the arguments from religious experience aim at. There is some disagreement on the significance of intuitive knowledge and even if it is necessary, is it sufficient for an Islamic epistemology of metaphysics? Ghazzali argues in the affirmative, however modern philosophers Iqbal and Al-Attas assert that intuitive knowledge must work in concert with other ‘modes’ of knowledge as well.

 

 

AL-GHAZZALI

The first major critic of philosophy in the Islamic tradition was Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad al-Ghazzali (1058-1111 CE). Ghazzali felt that no formulation of an epistemology based on human reason could possibly account reasonably for the metaphysical existence of God.

He was an influential Islamic scholar and became interested in philosophy after studying various quarreling Muslim intellectual movements. He then decided to embark on a project to determine, what is certain knowledge? And is it possible by humans? (Fakhry 218, Sheikh 85, Sharif 583)

To accomplish his goal Ghazzali, much like Descartes, engages in a methodological doubt. Unlike Descartes, however, Ghazzali reaches a much more radical conclusion about our ability to have “certain knowledge.” He begins by defining what he means by “certain knowledge,” He writes:

“The search after truth being the aim which I propose to myself, I ought in the first place to ascertain what are the bases of certitude. In the second place I ought to recognize that certitude is the clear and complete knowledge of things, such knowledge as leave no room for doubt, nor any possibility of error.” (Sharif 588)

Thus, the kind of knowledge Ghazzali is seeking is such that the object of knowledge is known in a manner which precludes all possibilities of doubt. (Fakhry 218)

There are only two sources of knowledge that are available to us, and those according to Ghazzali are: sense-perception, and pure reason. He writes:

We cannot hope to find truth except in matters which carry their evidence in themselves, i.e. in sense-perception and necessary principles of thought; we must, therefore first of all establish these two on a firm basis.” (Sharif 589)

As a first step he concludes that the only knowledge that could qualify as “certain” would be of the kind that would fit the above description, i.e. knowledge of sense-perception or self-evident or necessary truths. (Freedom and Fulfillment-Ghazzali)

Next Ghazzali examines the extent of knowledge allowed via these avenues. He quickly realizes that sense-perception cannot be a source of certain knowledge since it is often not trustworthy. For example, he observes shadows appear to be stationary, whereas they move, and planets appear to be coin-sized whereas astronomical evidence points to the contrary.

Having discarded knowledge of the senses, Ghazzali now moves towards knowledge of necessary truths. He thinks that this is not a credible source of knowledge either. If he could not trust one kind of knowledge, why should he trust the other? He thought he had no reason to prefer one over the other. (Fakhry 219). One of the issues that made him doubt the utility of necessary principles were questions such as, is 10 more than 3? Can something be and not be at the same time? Can something be both necessary and impossible? He thought reason alone, could not provide a satisfactory answer to these questions. (Sharif 589) Hence, making an analogy between the two, Ghazzali denies knowledge of necessary proposition as well. (Fakhry 219). His argument here is quite controversial, and Iqbal strongly criticizes Ghazzali on this count.

Ghazzali is now in a position where he has convinced himself, that the only two avenues of knowledge open to him are not reliable. He is confused and considers the possibility that life could be a dream. He was in a state of continuos doubt and unable to ground anything in truth and existence, he suffered from this like a real sickness. Until he realized a, “light which God infused into his heart, which is the key to most species of knowledge.” (Fakhry 219) This he considers similar to how the Prophet Muhammad (saw) describes it, “the dilation of the heart, whereby it becomes prone to the reception of Islam.” He, therefore was able to transcend everyday experience and realize the ultimate reality via a spiritual experience. What Ghazzali is suggesting is a, “possibility of a form of apprehension higher than rational apprehension, that is, apprehension as the mystic’s inspiration or the prophet’s revelation.” (Sharif 590) This new form of knowledge is what he calls intuition. It is distinct from knowledge by the senses or the intellect, in that in intuitive knowledge is only possible via divine facilitation.

Ghazzali and Descartes both agree that knowledge by sense-perception is unreliable, but Ghazzali makes the further claim that knowledge by pure theoretical reason alone is also unreliable. Descartes, on the other hand, had built his entire epistemology on the basis of the viability of knowledge by pure reason.

 

 

IQBAL’S CRITIQUE OF GHAZZALI

 

 

 

Muhammad Iqbal is also critical of Ghazzali’s characterization of knowledge. He thought that Ghazzali was mistaken in giving up reason and thought and embracing mystic experience as the only exclusive way the totally infinite could be revealed to an individual. Iqbal writes:

“He failed to see that thought and intuition are organically related and that thought must necessarily simulate finitude and inconclusiveness because of its alliance with serial time. The idea that thought is essentially finite, and for

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Not to beat a dea horse:

I have one other thing to say in a different vain. The question of whether violence is acceptable to spread religion is a pre god one. It is a question of moral philosophy whether the ends are justified by the means. In other words one should hev resolved this question before blieveing in god. In other words, while religion does play a roles in setting up axioms and gives answeres to grey areas in both metaphysics and law, the question he is presenting is pre religion. So in a sense this is a very important and general question ebing aske answered in a narrow way. While trying to address it from this aristotalian may be appropriate for a secular philosopher, I do not know how appropriate it is from the Pope. Were we to proceed in the aristotalian vain, then what is the use of a divine message? Because the Jewish tradition of the Medrash and the Figh is not availble in the christian tradition, you see this need to use Greek tradition bare of what otherwise would be an enriching set of axioms a religious tradition affords.

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البابا " يأسف بشده" من انه تسبب في ايذاء مشاعر المسلمين

الفاتيكان لم يصل الى حد تقديم الاعتذار عن الملاحظات التي صرح بها بنيدكت خلال جولته

Pope 'sincerely regrets' he offended Muslims

Vatican stops short of apologizing for remarks Benedict made during trip

 

 

Updated: 9:39 a.m. PT Sept 16, 2006

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI “sincerely regrets” that Muslims have been offended by some of his words in a recent speech in Germany, the Vatican said Saturday — stopping short of issuing an apology the Islamic world has demanded.

 

The new Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the pope’s position on Islam is unmistakably in line with Vatican teaching that the church regards Muslims with “esteem.”

 

Thus, the pope “sincerely regrets that certain passages of his address could have sounded offensive to the sensitivities of the Muslim faithful and should have been interpreted in a manner that in no way corresponds to his intentions,” Bertone said in a statement.

 

 

“Indeed it was he who, before the religious fervor of Muslim believers, warned secularized Western culture to guard against ‘the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom,”’ Bertone said, citing words from another speech that Benedict gave during the German trip.

 

“In reiterating his respect and esteem for those who profess Islam, he hopes that they will be helped to understand the correct meaning of his words,” the cardinal said.

 

 

The words, in a speech Benedict gave to university professors earlier in the week during a pilgrimage to his homeland, angered many in the Islamic world and raised doubts over whether a planned trip to predominantly Muslim Turkey in late November would go ahead.

 

Muslim leaders have been unappeased by previous overtures by Vatican officials and have demanded the pope apologize for his remarks on Islam and jihad, or holy war. The Vatican has said that Benedict only meant to emphasize the incompatibility between faith and war.

 

Pope called Islam 'evil and inhuman'

Benedict on Tuesday cited an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam’s founder as “evil and inhuman” — comments some experts took as a signal the Vatican was staking a more demanding stance for its dealings with the Muslim world.

 

When giving the speech, the pope stressed that he was quoting the words of a Byzantine emperor and did not comment directly on the “evil and inhuman” assessment.

 

Bertone, referring Saturday to the emperor’s “opinion,” said “the Holy Father did not mean, nor does he mean, to make that opinion his own in any way.”

 

The cardinal pointed out that the pope was speaking in an academic setting and suggested that a “complete and attentive reading” of the entire text would make clear the pope’s reflections about the relationship between religion and violence in general.

 

He said the pope’s speech ended with “clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence, from whatever side it may come.”

 

Bertone also cited other recent statements by the pope which he said makes “unequivocally” clear the pope’s work in favor of intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

 

He noted that during Benedict’s pilgrimage to Germany last year, shortly after being elected pope, the pontiff called for both Christians and Muslims to walk down the “paths of reconciliation and learn to life with respect for each other’s identity.”

 

In a recent message to mark the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s interreligious prayer gathering in Assisi, Italy, Benedict stressed that violence should not be attributed to religion in itself but to “cultural limitations” over time.

 

Pope to appear in public Sunday

The pope’s first public appearance to the general public since his return from Germany is set for Sunday, when he is to greet the faithful at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence in the Alban Hills near Rome.

 

The rage unleashed by Benedict’s comments stirred fears of anti-Western protests like those that followed the publication in a Danish newspaper of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

 

Two churches in the West Bank were hit by firebombs Saturday, and a group claiming responsibility said it was protesting Benedict’s words.

 

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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شكرا للدكتور على ملاحظاته القيمه والتي عودنا على ما تحويه من عمق في الاستعراض

 

رده الفعل الغاضبه لشريحه كبيره من المسلمين كانت متوقعه ولكني اريد هنا ان اؤشر الى ملاحظه من خلال تساؤل

 

هل كانت الغضبه بسبب اتهام الرساله المحمديه بكونها قامت على السيف ام ان الغضبه كانت لانه اعتبر مثل هذا الامر, في حاله كون الاتهام مقبولا, شنيعا و غير متناسب مع طبيعه الخالق

 

المسألتين مختلفتين

 

انا افهم ان اغلب المسلمين استفزوا من الاشاره الاولى لانهم يؤمنون ان الاسلام الذي يعتقدونه قام وسيقوم على العقل و الادراك وان السيف انما استخدم اما للدفاع او من قبل اللذين تسلطوا على رقاب المسلمين انفسهم ليبرروا اطماعهم وحبهم للسيطره. المشكله التي استصعبت فهما هي في رده فعل ذلك البعض الذي يؤمن اصلا بما قاله البابا و الذي لم يكن سوى ليردد صدى افكارهم في ملاحظاته.. عجبت لماذا استفزوا.. اليس علم السعوديون هو شعار لاالله الا الله وتحته السيف؟ فلماذا يغضب علمائها؟ او اليست افكار ابن حزم في مساله " الانسان مخير ام مجبر" هي اساس معتقداتهم ؟ لماذا ينتفض الظواهري وهو يعرف ان عقيدته في الاسلام هي الارهاب و القتل, قتل المسلمين قبل الاخرين. اسئله لم ارى لها جواب وانا ارى كل تلك الجموع الغاضبه يمتلئ قلبها حزنا وهي ترى معتقداتها تهان ولكن ربما كان عليها اولا ان تتسائل عن من اعطى الاخرين فرصه اهانه تلك الرساله الانسانيه التي تحدث بها محمد, رساله" من دخل بيت ابو سفيان فهو أمن" تلك الرساله التي عفت حتى عن من اكل اكباد احباب رسول الله عند مقدرته من دون اجبارهم على اعتناق الاسلام . فاين السيف في اجبار الناس على الاسلام. ربما استخدم ذلك السيف لاحقا ولكن السؤال هل كان سيفا محمديا ام من سيوف الغدر بمحمد وبال محمد وبصحابته المنتجبين..

انضر الى الرابط

http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2006/9/177267.htm

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اولا لا بد من تقديم الشكر لنشر الخطاب كاملا ومن ثم ترجمة النص المتعلق بالرسالة المحمدية، فوسائل الاعلام كثيرا ما تبالغ او تحرف الاخبار، ولا يصلنا الخبر الا من خلال وسيلة الاعلام التي تعرضه لنا بالشكل الذي تريد، واتفق تماما مع سالم في رده الواضح والمنطقي، خاصة في ان البابا رجل مثقف ومطلع على الدين الاسلامي فلماذا يأخذ بطرف واحد ويترك الاطراف الاخرى ، لماذا يعتبر نظرية ابن حزم دون غيره ويعتبرها بانها الاسلام، وهو يعرف ان الاسلاام مذاهب واراء ، وحتى يصل اختلاف الاراء الى حد التصادم؟

السؤال هو لماذا يصرح البابا بهذا في وقت حرج جدا تمر بنه العلاقات بين العرب والمسلمين مع الغرب؟ وهو اعرف من غيره بان المجتمعات العربية ولااسلامية الان في حالة هياج فلماذا يصرح الان بالذات بمثل هذه التصريحات التي لا تنفع الحوار الاسلامي المسيحي، ولا تنفع حل المشاكل القائمة بالطرق السلمية، وانما ستعقد العلاقة بين الطرفين

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قد تثير موجه الغضب التي تسود الشارع الاسلامي بعض الملاحظات ولو انها لم تكن لتثير اي استغراب

فما صرح به البابا لم يكن شئ جديد فلطالما طرح المستشرقون ما هو اكبر من ذلك ومنهم رجال دين كاثليك. من هذه الملاحظات:

 

هل فعلا ان المسلمين على اختلاف مذاهبهم ونحلهم لا يؤمنون بشرعيه استخدام العنف في نشر الدعوه. واذا كانوا يؤمنون بذلك فلماذا الغضب عندما يذكرهم احد بذلك. اما اذا كانوا لايؤمنون , فماذا نسمي الغزوات والفتوحات التي شارك فيها اغلب المسلمين الاوائل الذين نجلهم ونعظم افعالهم

 

 

هل كان البابا منصفا في توضيح راي الاسلام بمفهوم الجهاد عندما اسشهد بشتائم وافكار امبراطور بيزنطي كان في حرب مع المسلمين وبراي امام سلفي يعتبر من اكثر ائمه السلفيه تشددا ومن مؤسسي المذهب الظواهري الذي تبرأ منه اصحاب المذاهب الرئيسيه الى درجه تركوه يموت وحيدا بعد حرق كتبه في الاندلس . هل طرح البابا كل الاراء المتعلقه بذلك المفهوم ام تحيز الى الفكر السلفي ليعتبره ممثلا شرعيا وحيدا للاسلام. هل يجوز لنا ان نعتبر هذه المحاوله جزء من مخطط لدعم ذلك الفكر ؟ ان ماطرحه سماحه البابا لايكاد ان يكون اكثر من قرائه للفكر المتشدد الذي ينطلق منه مروجوا الارهاب اليوم ومن ثم تعميمه كصفه شرعيه ولو من خلال نقده بالشتم على عموم الدين وهو امر الذي لايليق بمنطق العالم المتبحر حتى ولو على سبيل الاستشهاد

 

 

يبقى تساؤل البابا مطروحا وبحاجه الى جواب اسلامي واضح: هل يشرع الاسلام نشر الدين ولو باستعمال العنف ولن نقول السيف لانه اصبح من اسلحه الماضي

وهل هناك تناقض بين الطبيعه اللالهيه وارتكاب الفضائع باسم الدين ولو لغايه نشره . وهل الله جلت قدرته عادلا ام انه فوق معاني الاعراف البشريه كما يقول الشيخ الظواهري ابن حزم الاندلسي وليس حفيد ارائه ايمن الظواهري

 

لنفكر في هذه التساؤلات و لنحاول تحديد معاني كلام الحبر الاعظم قبل ان ننقده فقط

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Indeed the Pope was raising a very interesting points.

 

Away from the public reactions and personal opinions , we need to give these remarks serious attention .

Having such remarks brought by a non Muslim, dosen't change the reality that such concerns are very valid ..

 

I fully agree with a ponit raised by Salim on the above posting, questioning Muslims of why they react so angrly

Is it beacuase they don't believe in such accusation of Islamic legitimacy of using violent means to spread Islam

Or, they just don't agree to call such legitimacy, if any, a non human and barbaric?

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النص الكامل للرد البابوي

 

 

 

 

مقتطفات رئيسية من خطاب البابا

 

 

 

هل تعكس تعليقات البابا تحولا إزاء الإسلام؟

اجراءات امنية مشددة قبيل قداس للبابا

الفاتيكان يجدد الحظر على رسامة قساوسة مثليين

البابا بينيديكت دعا الله "أن لا يصبح البابا"

البابا الجديد يشارك في قداس اليوم

من كراكوف إلى الفاتيكان

البابا والشرق الأوسط: علاقة حذرة

 

 

النص الكامل للرد البابوي

 

البابا يأسف لردود الفعل الغاضبة

عين الكاردينال بيرتوني مؤخرا في منصب وزير خارجية الفاتيكان

السبت 16 أيلول 2006 تصريح أمين سر دولة حاضرة الفاتيكان الكردينال تارشيزيو بيرتوني حول ردود فعل الجهات الإسلامية حيال بعض المقتطفات من خطاب البابا في جامعة ريغينسبورغ.

أمام ردود فعل جهات إسلامية حيال بعض المقتطفات من خطاب البابا بندكتس السادس عشر في جامعة ريغينسبورغ والإيضاحات التي قدمها مدير دار الصحافة التابعة للكرسي الرسولي، أود أن أضيف ما يلي:

 

ـ إن موقف البابا حيال الإسلام يتمثل بدون أي التباس في الوثيقة المجمعية "في عصرنا": وثيقة Nostra Aetate (التي تناولت علاقة الكنيسة بالأديان غير المسيحية تحت عنوان "في زماننا" وأقرت إثر مجمع الفاتيكان الثاني في 28 أكتوبر/تشرين الأول 1965):

 

وتنظر الكنيسة بعين الاعتبار أيضا إلى المسلمين الذين يعبدون الإله الواحد القيوم الرحيم الضابط الكل خالق السماء والأرض المكلم البشر. ويجتهدون في أن يخضعوا بكليتهم حتى لأوامر الله الخفية كما يخضع له إبراهيم الذي يُسند إليه بطيبة خاطر الإيمان الإسلامي. ولأنهم يجلون يسوع كنبي وإن لم يعترفوا به كإله ويكرمون مريم أمه العذراء كما أنهم يدعونها أحيانا بتقوى. وعلاوة على ذلك إنهم ينتظرون يوم الدين عندما يثيب الله كل البشر القائمين من الموت. ويعتبرون أيضا الحياة الأخلاقية ويؤدون العبادة لله لا سيما بالصلاة والزكاة والصوم.

 

ولا التباس في موقف البابا من أجل الحوار الديني والثقافي المشترك. خلال لقائه مع ممثلي بعض الجاليات الإسلامية في كولونيا في 20 أغسطس 2005 قال إن الحوار بين المسيحيين والمسلمين يجب ألا يتحول إلى خيار موسمي؛ وأضاف أن خبرات الماضي يجب أن تساعدنا على تحاشي ارتكاب الأخطاء نفسها. نريد البحث عن دروب المصالحة والعيش ضمن احترام هوية الآخر. ـ في ما يتعلق برأي الإمبراطور البيزنطي مانويل باليولوغوس الثاني، الذي أشار إليه البابا في خطابه في ريغينسبورغ، فإن الأب الأقدس لم يشأ ولا يريد بشكل مطلق تبنيه لكنه استخدمه فقط، في إطار أكاديمي ووفقا لقراءة يقظة وكاملة للنص، كي يقوم ببعض

 

أرني ما الجديد الذي جاء به محمد وعندها لن تجد إلا ما هو شرير ولاإنساني، مثل أمره نشر الدين الذي نادى به بالسيف

 

رأي الإمبراطور البيزنطي مانويل باليولوغوس الثاني، الذي أشار إليه البابا في خطابه

 

 

مقتطفات رئيسية من الخطاب

التأملات حول موضوع العلاقة بين الدين والعنف بشكل عام والوصول في نهاية المطاف إلى رفض جذري وواضح للتعليل الديني للعنف من أي جهة أتى. تجدر الإشارة في هذا السياق إلى ما قاله مؤخرا البابا بندكتس السادس عشر في خطابه لمناسبة الذكرى العشرين للقاء الصلاة ما بين الأديان الذي شاءه السعيد الذكر البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني في أسيزي في أكتوبر 1986:"... لا يمكن نسب مظاهر العنف إلى الدين إنما إلى الحدود الثقافية التي يعيش وينمو فيها مع مرور الزمن... في الواقع، إن جميع التقاليد الدينية الكبرى تحتوي على شهادات عن الصلة الحميمة بين العلاقة مع الله وأخلاقية المحبة.

 

ـ وبالتالي إن الأب الأقدس يأسف أشد الأسف أن تكون بعض مقتطفات خطابه قد بدت مهينة لمشاعر المؤمنين المسلمين وفُسرت بطريقة مخالفة لمقاصده. ومن جهة أخرى، فإن البابا، أمام حماسة المشاعر الدينية للمسلمين، حذر الثقافة الغربية المعلمنة كي تتحاشى احتقار الله والاستخفاف به والذي يعتبر الاستهزاء بالمقدسات حقا في الحرية.

 

ـ إن البابا، إذ يؤكد احترامه وتقديره للمؤمنين المسلمين، يأمل بأن يتفهموا كلماته بمعناها الصحيح كي تتقوى، بعد تخطي هذه الفترة غير السهلة، الشهادة للإله الواحد القيوم الرحيم الضابط الكل خالق السماء والأرض المكلم البشر، والتعاون المشترك من أجل صيانة وتعزيز العدالة الاجتماعية والخيور الأخلاقية والسلام والحرية.

 

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The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al Qaeda in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West. The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.

 

The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."

 

Alqaeda is helping the accusation toward Islam by the Beazent Impror ! If you are doing all that, then why you are angry with the Pope? At least, He is promoting your point of view toward Islam as the only Islam.. What better previlage he can offer to help you ?

 

 

From

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/09/18...m.ap/index.html

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While I think the reaction ot the Pope's message is perhaps a bit much, it is fine rto protest in a civili manner that he did not say this is the Empor'rs idea and the Islam and Mohamad is no such thing, I think that some Moslems do not even know how to protest in a civlized manner. Take for example the church fire bombing in Palestine. How will expect a person will react when you protest being called evil by firbombing a house of worhsip like a church. I know the perpetraters of these attack are so far behind mentally that my comment here will never reach them. However, the bacwardness of some Moslems stands out and there needs to be a way to stop them. The Irony escapes them when they protest a par tof a speech about the use of violence by fire bombings. I mean, get a clue.

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Below is interesting reply by the Assembly of Muslim Jurist of America.. Please visit the link below and scroll through the pages of the reply

 

 

 

http://www.amjaonline.com/arabic/article.a...=167&prodid=405

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

بيان من مجمع فقهاء الشريعة بأمريكا

 

حول تصريحات بابا الفاتيكان المسيئة للإسلام والمسلمين

 

يتابع مجمع فقهاء الشريعة بأمريكا ببالغ الأسف والإنكار ما أدلى به البابا بنديكت السادس عشر رأس الكنيسة الكاثوليكية على مستوى العالم من تصريحات مسيئة للإسلام والمسلمين في محاضرته بجامعة ريجنسبرج، وهي تصريحات تنم عن ذهول أو جحود لأبسط الحقائق الإسلامية، الأمر الذي لا يليق برجل في مثل سنه ومكانته اللاهوتية، فهو الذي شارف الثمانين من عمره، وأنفق حياته بأسرها في الدراسات اللاهوتية، وتبوأ منصب الأستاذية بالجامعة، وأسس بها علم الأديان، وتدرج في المناصب اللاهوتية حتى تبوأ منصب البابوية منذ ما يزيد على عام!

 

ورغم كل مشاعر الغضب والاستياء التي تجتاح العالم الإسلامي عامة وتجتاح مشاعر أعضاء المجمع وخبرائه خاصة بمناسبة هذه التصريحات الفجة إلا أننا سننطلق من أدب الإسلام في مجادلة المخالفين، ونستصحب قوله تعالى في محكم آياته: { ولا تجادلوا أهل الكتاب إلا بالتي هي أحسن}، وسنتوجه بكلمة هادئة إلى البابا بنديكيت السادس عشر وإلى العالم من ورائه راجين أن يكون فيها إقامة للحجة وتبرئة للذمة!

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