Presentation on theme: "Prof. Julkipli Wadi University of the Philippines - Diliman Institute of Islamic Studies."— Presentation transcript:
Prof. Julkipli Wadi University of the Philippines - Diliman Institute of Islamic Studies
In the eyes of Said Nursi, the modern world isn’t as pretty: men have turned back from God and their belief weak if not in shamble and their self-confidence shattered. As religions lost the power of their attraction, men are inevitably led to worship entities reified by science and philosophy that are only capable in increasing doubt and uncertainty.
Man’s quest for social order and justice is becoming more far fetched. And it smacks more an irony because while modern man with his attendant philosophy and ideology convinced him to be modern and civilized, the promoter and harbinger of peace, justice and equality, on the contrary, the world he lives in is becoming more remiss with those ideals day by day.
The idea of justice as a system of order or the process of dispensing rules or law for the maintenance of such order is viewed by Said Nursi not simply from certain level say a societal level but from a comprehensive perspective embracing various spheres (e.g., cosmic, world, nature, social, personal) wherein the notion and principles of justice permeate in. It means Said Nursi based his explanation as part of his over-all framework and thought system or fundamental assumption where the notion of justice is intrinsically part of.
Said Nursi anchors his thought system on the concept of Divine Unity or Tauhid, which embraced the whole gamut of being and non-being and such other entities and relationship including the relationship between God and creation as well as man. Accordingly, out of love and mercy, God in his essential unity makes creation and imbues it with His Attributes (e.g., Mercy, Knowledge) like a mirror that receives light from the sun. As creation (makhluq) manifests God’s attributes as a universal entity of manifestation, it is thus created in perfect order while being imbued with the balance of justice (mizan) that make creation works and sustains itself.
“God Most Gracious It is He Who has Taught the Qur’an. He has created man; He has taught him speech (An Intelligence). The sun and the moon Follow courses (exactly) Computed; And the herbs and the trees – Both (alike) bow in adoration.
And the Firmament has He Raised high, and He has set up The Balance (of Justice), In order that ye may Not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice And fall not short In the balance. It is He Who has Spread out the earth For (His) creatures: Therein is fruit And date-palms, producing Spathes (enclosing dates);
Also corn, with (its) Leaves and stalk for fodder, And sweet-smelling plants. Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? He created man From sounding clay Like unto pottery, And He created Jinns From fire free of smoke: Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny?
He is Lord Of the two Easts And the Lord Of the two Wests: Then which of the favours O the Lord will ye deny? He has let free The two bodies Of flowing water, Meeting together: Between them is a Barrier Which they do not transgress: Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny?
Out of them come Pearls and Coral: Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? And His are the Ships Sailing smoothly through the seas, Lofty as mountains: Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? All that is on earth Will perish: But will abide (forever) The Face of thy Lord, - Full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.
Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? Of Him seeks (its need) Every creature in the heavens And on earth: Every day in (new) Splendour Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? Soon shall We Settle your affairs, Of both ye worlds! Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny?
O ye assembly of Jinns And men! If it be Ye can passs beyond The zones of the heavens And the earth, pass ye! Not without authority Shall ye be able to pass! Then which of the favours Of your Lord will ye deny? (55: 1-14)”
Creation infused with balance and justice is perfect, and hence, it is in order; it is because creation follows the Divine Pattern (fitrah) – a pattern resembling the handiwork of the Artist who loves to behold his artwork and, in turn, who loves to be known by his creation. A Hadith Qudsi says: “I was hidden a treasure, I deserve to be known.”
Justice permeates in every form of creation as there is an endless bestowal of manifestations and the consequent recognition by creation of God. Again, in Suratu l-Hadid, the Qur’an says: “Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, - let it declare the Praises and Glory of God: For He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (57: 1).
If there is a seeming happenstance of disorder and turbulence in creation according to man’s perception and experience, which man could possibly interpret as expressing injustice and disarray and such other occurrences that do not merit his likes and appreciation, in truth, such happenstance is nothing but expression and inner workings of the Divine Names (asma’) which are responsible in the continuing movement, changes and renewal of creation in every moment. Suratu l-Rahman says: Every day in (new) Splendour doth He (shine)! (55: 29). When people cannot fully accept this explanation, it is because they are divided into two: they are people of belief and unbelief.
Unlike creation as a general entity of Divine manifestation but whose function is to engage in perpetual praise and obedience to the Creator, man however as a locus of Divine manifestation exists with two possibilities. It means man strides between the Creator as the Necessary Being (wajibu l-wujud) and non- existence, making him the possessor of potentiality that he (man) alone has by virtue of being the recipient of the Divine Breath. Suratu s-Sajdah says: “But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit.” (32: 9). Yet, man is also created from a quintessence of clay (Al-Mu’minun (23: 12).
Man is a recipient of trust (amanah) having pre-existentially recognized the Lord in the Primal Covenant known as the alast. Suratu l-A’raf “When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your Lord? – they said: Yea! We do testify. (7: 172). Man is also empowered to reign in creation by virtue of being the appointed God’s steward on earth (khalifah).
Being the receptacle of God’s Attributes man is honored as recipient of Divine Qualities including the attribute of justice, excellence, perfection and other forms of virtue. The full expression of such virtue (khulq azeem) is given to Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Al-Qalam, 68: 4 says: “and thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.” Thus, recognizing His Creator is the pinnacle of justice man can do and; in inversely, denying Him or recognizing other being other than God would be the height of injustice any man can commit.
And when man disrespects creation as manifestation of God’s truth and dishonors his fellow human being as recipients of God’s manifestation, man commits another grave act of injustice akin to committing injustice against the whole of humankind.
“Friend! One time, a questioner asked: Since “truth will prevail” is the truth, why have the infidels prevailed over the Muslims, and force over right? I replied: consider these four points and your difficulty will be resolved. The first point is this. It is not necessary that every means of every truth is right is true. Similarly, not every means of every falsehood has to be false. This result emerges: a means, which is false prevails over a true means. In which case, a truth is overcome by falsehood. It occurs temporarily and indirectly; not essentially or permanently. However, finally, it is always still the truth’s. Force possesses a truth, there is an underlying meaning in its creation. The second point is this: While it is all attributes of all Muslim are Muslim, outwardly it is not always true.”
Said Nursi underscores the presence of a higher truth that determines the over all outcome of any acts or events, allowing men therefore to broaden the canvass of their appreciation of things happening to them that they seemingly do not like; and conversely, to temper their joy and merry- making to things that they seemingly like and desire. Muslims have to always rest their trust and reliance on God in both prosperity and adversity, in good or bad time, since any mundane calculation of which is always temporary since the determination of absolute justice lies in God.
The prevalence of injustice in the world as a sign of man turning away from God, man’s contempt against creation and dishonor against fellow human. The medicine to solve it is belief in God, respect for creation and love for fellow human being.