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Islamic Ideology ( 27 Jan 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Dialectical Approach in the Study of the Holy Quran

By Qazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

27 January 2016

“In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful”

§  “And He has indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonitions?”[54:17,32,40]

§  We have explained in detail in this Quran’s for the benefit of mankind ,every kind of similitude: but man is, in most things , contentious.[18:54]

§  “Allah has revealed (from time to time)the most beautiful message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself,(yet) repeating its teaching in various aspects: the skins of those who fear  their Lord tremble in threat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah. Such is the Guidance of Allah; He Guides therewith whom He Pleases,------”[39:23]

§  “Is one whose heart Allah has opened to Islam, so that he has received light from Allah, (No better than one hard hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against   the remembrance of Allah! They are manifestly wandering (in error)[ Verse:39:22]

§  “And say: Truth has (now) arrived, False-hood perished: For Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”`[17:81]

§   And We send down ( stage by stage) in the Qur’an  that  which is a Healing and a mercy to those who believe: To the unjust it causes Nothing but loss after loss” [17:82]

§  O Mankind! There has come to you an admonition from your Lord and a Healing for the (diseases) in your hearts, and for those who believe, a Guidance and a Mercy .[ Sura Yunus Verse 10: 57]

§  -------- We made the Quran a Light, wherewith We guide such of our servants as We will; and verily you dost guide (men) to the straight way.”[42:52]

§  Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His Servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures---------”[Sura Furqaan Verse 25:1]

§  High above all is Allah, the King, the Truth! Be not in haste with the Quran before its revelation is completed, but say, “O my Lord increase me in the Knowledge.”[Sura Ta-Haa: 20:114

§  It is He Who created the Heavens and the earth with Truth: the Day He saith, “Be, “behold! It is. His word is the Truth…….”[Sura: Al-An’aam Verse 6:73]


The verses selected in the table above, all describe Holy Quran’s Identity, its greatness, characteristics and its role as the Book of Revelation for divine guidance to Humanity. The Holy Quran is the Light that illumines the path of mankind straight to the Mercy of Allah.  At the very outset of the Sura Ar-Rahman, Verses 55:1-2Allah has clearly and unequivocally  declared that the revelation of the Holy Qur’an is  the greatest mercy for  Mankind. But at the present stage of the world History,  the Muslim Community is  far away from Quranic guidance in   individual as well as in collective life and hence they hardly can claim to be worthy of this divine blessing. The most vital question that confronts the Muslim community to-day is how to creatively study and access the enlightened and merciful kingdom of the Holy Quran.

The Holy Quran has ascribed about 100 beautiful names uniquely befitting for the exalted status of Allah (SWT) and   a good number of attributes to the Holy Quran itself. To avail the best utility of divine guidance, the holy Quran needs to be studied and understood in terms of such attributes as problem solving tools in worldly life. The most essential Quranic attributes of vital practical importance for the Muslim Community are summarized below.

Al Haqq- The Truth(17:81),Al-Noor- The Light,[42:52]Al Furqan –The Discriminator,[ Al-Furqaan 25:1],Al Bayan -The Explanation, Al Burhan-The Argument, Al Huda -The Guide, Al Hukm-The Judgment of divine Authority(13:37)Al Rahma-The Mercy((17:82),’Al-Rooh - The Essence (42:52),Al-Shifa’, -That which heals(10:57, 17:82), Musaddiq-That Confirms Truth of previous revelations.(6:92)

All these Attributes are connected with an inner thread of Harmony. Allah (SWT), an Eternal Entity is the Truth. Whatever He says is the Truth. Quran is the Saying of Allah and hence it is the Truth [Sura: Al-An’aam Verse 6:73] .  The holy Quran receives light directly from Allah, the Eternal Source of light sublime and reflects this divine light to enlighten human hearts.This divine light is the motive force behind Quran’s Role as Discriminator.

As discriminator  between the  Truth and falsehood, light and darkness,  Knowledge and Ignorance,  Vice and Virtue,  Morality and Immorality, the Holy Quran  inheres  two  apparently  contradictory, but essentially complimentary  trends of human thought upheld  by conceivable and inconceivable divine signs

(Ayat-e-Muhkammat and Ayat-e- Mutashabihat) [ Sura Al-e- Imran Verse 3:7].

The holy Quran inspires scientific research, and science in course of its development deepens man’s understanding of the Holy Quran. Relation between the two is very much logical and reciprocal.

The Holy Quran constitutes a Bridge of Divine Light that connects both physical and spiritual domains of the objective reality. It reveals to mankind spiritual unity between man and the universe, between Seen and Unseen and in the final analysis between Relative and Ultimate Truth.  Allah (SWT) has kept two most authentic Books of Revelation open for Mankind – one, the Revealed Scriptures - in our case it is the Holy Quran, and the other is the Universe with all its Creations- man, nature and society and everything that exists between the heaven and the earth. All Verses (Signs) of the Holy Quran and all natural laws (discovered or undiscovered) that regulate the physical Universe, collectively lead towards understanding of spiritual unity between Relative and Absolute Truth. 

Scientific knowledge including natural and social sciences  is the Instrument of understanding comprehensible physical realities while Spiritual Knowledge is Instrumental for understanding apparently incomprehensible  unseen  realities and understanding the Truth as  Unity between the Two. All religions based on their respective   historical stage of development have tried to harmonize this polemics through their respective Books of Revelation. The Holy Quran has done it through integration of comprehensible and incomprehensible verses. Unknown regime of divinely enforced no-fly zone for scientific knowledge constitutes the Aerospace of Spiritual Flights.

The  universe  with all its dialectical diversities  - life and death ,creation and destruction, coming into being and going out of being, is the manifestation of ‘Eternal Reality’ revealing itself  step by step as  ‘Relative Truths’  subject to limitation in  ‘Time and Space’.

The Holy Quran is a vast unfathomable ocean that abounds with the treasures of scientific and spiritual knowledge effectively harmonizing different philosophical trends running side by side with an apparently invisible line of demarcation.

In this connection the following two verses are very much relevant that may be taken up for discussion.

“It is He Who has let free two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is not to be passed.” [Verse: 25:53]

 “He has let free the two seas meeting together. Between them is a Barrier which they cannot transgress.” [Verse 55: 19-20]

Do the above Verses refer only to a Geo-graphical reality of Marine Ecosystem or besides reference to a natural law; they have some other deeper meaning encompassing dialectics of comprehensible and incomprehensible aspects of physical and spiritual realities? Most of the Interpreters one way or the other focus principally on the First option. But as I think, it is certainly not a simple statement on a physical phenomenon. The whole process of Divine Creation as expounded in the Holy Quran, manifests itself in unity of opposites running simultaneously but with a clear distinction between the two. The whole Universe stands on the fulcrum of Divine Balance. The Holy Quran bears witness and proclaims the Unity of Allah as the Sustainer and sole Authority of Universal Governance. He is one and Unique. But regulatory instruments of Divine Governance pursue a Dialectical process of enforcement of Natural Laws for Universal Governance   encompassing both subjective and objective world as a whole. The divine beauty and orderliness of the Physical Universe  that  have perplexed and amazed  many leading Scientific geniuses of the modern era including Albert Einstein , logically demands and necessitates its extension  also in the Spiritual Universe. From the stand point of faith and scientific observation we can hope for existence of a ‘Divine Order’ in apparently prevailing ‘Disorder ‘of the Spiritual Universe.

The intellectual Horizon of the Muslim Community is now mystified with a misleading and blurred image of passive morality. Hoping for Spiritual Salvation in isolation from Realities of worldly life, is a hope against hope essentially discouraged by the Holy Quran. Forgetful of the revolutionary essence of Islam and our duties and responsibilities as Allah’s Representative on earth, we keep on salivating for ‘Hurs’ and amenities of the Paradise leaving the world in the hands of the evil forces on earth.

We recite the Holy Quran, but this recitation does not penetrate our hearts. We do not study and assimilate it for applying its principles in our worldly lives. We study simply in the vain hope for paradise and ‘Hurs’ therein. We must study the holy Quran to guide our life on earth as part of our divine covenant and shape our life in the image of Quranic principles.

According to a Muslim Sufi: “No understanding of the Holy Quran is Possible until it is actually revealed to the believer, just as it was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh). Unless the Book’s each Verse and part, be revealed unto your heart, interpreters though much profound, its subtle points cannot expound.”

The approach towards study of the Holy Quran should be qualitatively different from the approach needed to study man-made books on Science and Philosophy, Art and Literature.

The Study of Holy Quran needs integration of head and heart, emotion and intellect, knowledge and faith. Faith is the entry point for getting access to the Truth upheld by the holy Quran. The Holy Quran should be studied with specific objective to transform the world, human life and society.

So far as the study approach for the Holy Quran is concerned leading Islamic Scholars have diversified opinions.  

Maulana Yusuf Abdulla Ali says: “Indeed every religious book-has to be read, not only with the tongue, voice and eyes, but with the best light that our intellect can supply and even more, with the truest and purest light which our hearts and conscience can give us. ------ It is in this spirit that I would have my readers approach the Quran. The holy Quran is a divine instrument of ‘Spiritual Awakening. Physical Torment and adversities must precede the “process of Awakening.’------- How much greater is the joy and sense of wonder and miracle when Quran opens our “Spiritual Eyes! Read, study, and digest the Holy Book. Read slowly, and let it sink in your heart and soul.”

 Syed Qutb Shaheed says: 

“Strength of Islam lies principally in its compatibility with Fundamental Laws of Nature. Allah keeps the door of His Mercy wide open for those who study the Quran earnestly to understand its meaning and take pains to translate it in real life. This will enable him to grasp the essence and come closer to the Ruh/ Soul of the Holy Quran. ----------Under the Shade of the Holy Quran I have been passing a life so profoundly peaceful, secure and serene that I couldn’t even dream of before. In every horizon all over the world I could feel and observe the charismatic presence of the Almighty and diverse manifestations of Divine Attributes in our life.”

[Excerpt from Fi-Jilalil -Qura’n]”

The Quranic Approach conforms perfectly to dialectical logic inherent in the law of nature as instrument of Divine Governance. Dialectical Elements of Divine creation expounded in the holy Quran need to be analyzed for a thorough understanding of the Quranic principles and its application in worldly life.

The 21st Century now sees a grave danger looming large over Islam. The greatest threat that Islam now faces comes from two fronts.

The First Vulnerable Front is the Ideological Front. An all-out initiative for sterilizing the revolutionary essence of Islam is going on throughout the world. Distortion and fabrication of Basic Quranic Principles by so-called Islamic thinkers and Muslim Intellectuals trained by various Western Intelligence Agencies in the name of reform and reconstruction has now assumed an alarming scale. This aims at casting doubts and confusion on fundamental principles of Islam and creating disunity and rifts within the Muslim Community.

The Second Front is the Politico-Cultural and Economic Front. In this context the Western strategy is to destabilize the resourceful geo-politically vulnerable Muslim States through instigating sectarian conflicts and creating a false image of Islam through promotion of terrorism by their trained paid agents in the name of Jihad.

The Western Countries have intensified their attacks on Islam on both these fronts. They have consciously ‘separated politics from the path of righteousness and truth’ (Imam Khomeini’s Address to the Youth of Europe and North America) to stage- manage terrorist activities and prepare ground for direct aggression against target countries of their vital strategic interest. But how can we Muslims defend our life and faith from such an all out onslaught? Have a firm grip on the Rope of Allah and His Prophet- says the Holy Quran. The Invincible Ideological Weapon that is in our hands is the Holy Quran. We must respond to the Call of the Holy Quran: “Therefore, listen not to the unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness with the Quran.”[25:52]

Understanding their sinister design and unmasking their ideological and political agents within their ranks to foster Muslim Unity, is the duty and prime responsibility of the Political Leaders of the Muslim Countries, Islamic thinkers and Philosophers of the present era.

We, as members of the Muslim community must turn our eyes from Heaven to the earth and see our own image in the Mirror of the Holy Quran. The history of Islamic civilization, its evolution, rise and fall should be studied in relation to Quranic Principles and subsequent events, to devise the strategy for future. The Light of the Holy Quran must be focused on Contemporary History to resolve its inherent dialectics from Quranic point of View. Let us go through the Qur’anic Verse: 39:22once again and pray to Allah, “O Lord! Have mercy on us and open our hearts to Islam so that we might receive light from You, Ameen”

Engineer by profession Kazi Wadud Nawaz is a Development Consultant in Khulna, Bangladesh.