سراج سراج - The Muslim Mind on Trial

At present, we are faced with the same question and the same challenge, though with a large difference: In their encounter with Greek philosophy, Eastern religions, Indian sciences, Persian Chosroeism and Roman Caesarism, the Muslims were the strong ones. Today, we are outweighed and in a weak condition.

The current challenge tells us this: We cannot survive, in a world of fierce competition and hegemonic superpowers, without development, technology, financial resources, military power, political stability, social harmony, combined efforts and mobilization. None of that can be achieved without rationalizing thought and politics. In other words, there is no way out except by rejecting Islam, and by adopting the materialist religion and the system of secular democracy that casts religion into the far corner.

Our purpose from the beginning has been to follow the secular argument, in order to refute the “modernist” claims. We wish to prove that the rule based on shûrâ and the religious mind, learning without impediments from the Book of God and the wisdom of the world, can alone insure life, strength, development, growth and unity for Muslims.

In the first era and over many centuries, the philosophizers among Muslims strove to integrate religion into philosophy and philosophy into religion. From al-Kindi, al-Farabi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) to Ibn Tufail and Ibn Rushd (Averroës), the philosophizing motto was: “Directing the Law toward wisdom.” Such was the formula of their integrative secularism. Today, the secularism of our contemporaries is separatist, in that it wants religion to be confined to the private sphere, while the public sphere is left to politics.

All roads lead to secularism!

For their part, the Islamic jurists used to insist that the Islamic sources of legislation, the Qur’an and the sunna, were not in conflict with what is comprehended by means of reasoning.

From the free-will Mu’tazilites, who disputed the Illuminist philosophy and Greek logic, to Ibn Taimiya, who disputed the Mu’tazilites and all the sects—passing by al-Ghazali, who fought the esotericists—the Muslim scholars endeavored to present Islam as it originally was: a perfect religion that appoints the mind as a servant of Revelation.

Imam al-Ghazali (may God bestow His mercy upon him) represents the open mind that seeks perfection and knocks at every door, wherever it thinks to find a lamp by which it will be illumined.

Armed with his Legistic weapon, he argued with philosophers and demonstrated their absurdity. That was considered an offense, for which our present philosophers will not forgive him. They consider him a model of

The Muslim Mind on Trial