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Spiritual side dominant or material side? a refutation of this idea

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    Spiritual side dominant or material side? a refutation of this idea

    Aristotle is the origin for this idea not Islam.

    When Muslims translated his books as well as other books in order to refute them some Muslims adopted his ideas and also passed these ideas onto the christians.

    Aristotle claimed that since God is good and God is pure and immaterial to be immaterial was good.

    He said that humans have two sides the intellect soul and the animalistic(material) soul. When the intellectual soul is dominant man is good. When the animalistic soul is dominant then man is bad.

    However he was wrong.

    Spirit, Spirituality and Spiritual aspect

    If we study the nature of the universe man and life we can see that they are only material and not spirit.

    By material it is meant the comprehended tangible thing.

    By spirit it is meant the realisation of the relationship with Allah(swt) and not the 'secret of life'.

    The human is not composed of matter and spirit , spirit being the realisation of the relationship with Allah(swt) and not the secret of life. The human is material.

    Spirit is an external attribute. A Kafir cannot have this attribute since they don't recognise their relationship with Allah(swt). So a Muslim has spirit.

    The reason why spirit has no relation with the secret of life is because an animal has the secret of life even though it has no spirituality or spiritual aspect.

    Nobody claims that an animal has a material side and a spiritual side although they would claim humans do on the basis of having the secret of life.

    Although the Universe, man and life are material and not spirit, they do have a spiritual aspect in them which is that they are created by Allah(swt). The universe is material and being created by Allah(swt) is the spiritual aspect which man realises. Thus the spiritual aspect does not arise from the universe man and life themselves but from them being created by Allah(swt). This relationship is the 'spiritual aspect'.

    The name of spirit and its meaning came about when people who believe in the existence of God frequently used the word spirit, spirituality and the spiritual aspect to mean the signs of the unseen or the thing which cannot exist save by Allah. These terms were used by them in an ambiguous, unspecified and obscure way.

    Due to this ambiguity their conception of these terms was confused. To some of them it became mixed with the secret of life. So they came to the conclusion that man is composed of material and spirit. Moreover due to this ambiguity, the psychological tranquility became called spirituality.

    The individual would then say about himself that he felt a remarkable spirituality or that a certain person has a great spirituality. Also due to its ambiguity a person would enter a place and feel a delightful ease he would describe the place as having a spiritual aspect or spirituality. Some people would starve themselves, torment and weaken their bodies claiming that they are trying to strengthen their spirit. All this because of the ambiguous meaning of spirit, spirituality and the spiritual aspect.

    So some Muslims incorrectly reached the conclusion that Man was composed of material and spirit and that actions for which the reward will be seen in the akhirah were related to the spirit and actions whose results were to be seen in this life as material. They applied aristotle's idea and began saying when the spiritual side of man is dominant then he is good and if the material side of man is dominant then he is bad. The deen and dunya concept arose from this that a businessman was looked down upon because he worked for dunya i.e. material side whereas the Prophet(saw) said that the honest trader will be resurrected with the Prophets. Anyone who dedicated his life to sitting inside a mosque or to the 'deen' was considered good. The ideal for these Muslims became sitting on some mountain top away from society to focus 100 percent on their so called spiritual side.

    Now I would believe that they were sincere but they did not realise how this would affect us in the long term. Some people such as Jamal ud Deen Al-Afghani and Sir Syed ahmed Khan took this idea to the extreme as saying politics is not part of Islam because it was related to the dunya i.e the material side. They began to neglect rules relating to the 'dunya'. So rules on companies, contracts, ruling, economics, judiciary were neglected to be learnt or taught.

    So what kind of Muslims does this idea produce? The ones who do absolutely nothing. It produces ideas such as individualism and secularism i.e. separation of Islam from daily life. The ones who do not work to change the state of affairs of the Muslims.

    They claim that working solely on the non-existent spiritual side will somehow stop the raping of our sisters, the murder of our brothers and this will somehow magically reestablish the Islamic state.

    This is the type of Muslims that the kuffar feel no threat from and these are the type of Muslims we should not aspire to become.


    #2
    Dear Scarface bhai,

    When articles are copy-pasted, they are not read by the masses here. So, its always a good idea to share your own view about a good topic/article you have come across and give the link to the original article as refrence!

    Sorry if you have written the above yourself.
    I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    - Robert McCloskey

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by scarface:
      He said that humans have two sides the intellect soul and the animalistic(material) soul. When the intellectual soul is dominant man is good. When the animalistic soul is dominant then man is bad.

      However he was wrong.
      Is this your opinion? I don't agree with Aristotle conclusion but I don't think you can unequivocally claim he is wrong. Its subjective.


      If we study the nature of the universe, man, and life we can see that they are only material and not spirit.

      By material it is meant the comprehended tangible thing.
      I disagree. I don't believe that life is a tangible thing.
      By spirit it is meant the realisation of the relationship with Allah(swt) and not the 'secret of life'.
      You can't just start defining things to suit u. Spirit is the intangible part of a human being not a realization. Most people equate spirit to the soul. Perhaps you're talking about spirituality as the connection b/w God & person.
      The human is not composed of matter and spirit , spirit being the realisation of the relationship with Allah(swt) and not the secret of life. The human is material.
      You're looking at what someone's thoughts & writings and applying your definitions for their words. If you define spirit...

      Spirit is an external attribute. A Kafir cannot have this attribute since they don't recognise their relationship with Allah(swt). So a Muslim has spirit.
      My dear friend, do not get confused by the word "kafir". Muslims are not the only ones who have "spirit" Many religions including Christianity, Judism, among others recognize the relationship with God (swt) and are able to attain that connection with God.

      Although the Universe, man and life are material and not spirit, they do have a spiritual aspect in them which is that they are created by Allah(swt). The universe is material and being created by Allah(swt) is the spiritual aspect which man realises. Thus the spiritual aspect does not arise from the universe man and life themselves but from them being created by Allah(swt). This relationship is the 'spiritual aspect'.

      The name of spirit and its meaning came about when people who believe in the existence of God frequently used the word spirit, spirituality and the spiritual aspect to mean the signs of the unseen or the thing which cannot exist save by Allah. These terms were used by them in an ambiguous, unspecified and obscure way.

      Due to this ambiguity their conception of these terms was confused. To some of them it became mixed with the secret of life. So they came to the conclusion that man is composed of material and spirit. Moreover due to this ambiguity, the psychological tranquility became called spirituality.

      The individual would then say about himself that he felt a remarkable spirituality or that a certain person has a great spirituality. Also due to its ambiguity a person would enter a place and feel a delightful ease he would describe the place as having a spiritual aspect or spirituality. Some people would starve themselves, torment and weaken their bodies claiming that they are trying to strengthen their spirit. All this because of the ambiguous meaning of spirit, spirituality and the spiritual aspect.
      Hmmmm, interesting... I don't agree with this.

      So some Muslims incorrectly reached the conclusion that Man was composed of material and spirit and that actions for which the reward will be seen in the akhirah were related to the spirit and actions whose results were to be seen in this life as material. They applied aristotle's idea and began saying when the spiritual side of man is dominant then he is good and if the material side of man is dominant then he is bad. The deen and dunya concept arose from this that a businessman was looked down upon because he worked for dunya i.e. material side whereas the Prophet(saw) said that the honest trader will be resurrected with the Prophets. Anyone who dedicated his life to sitting inside a mosque or to the 'deen' was considered good. The ideal for these Muslims became sitting on some mountain top away from society to focus 100 percent on their so called spiritual side.
      I agree that good & bad cannot be separated so easily and life cannot be devoted exclusively to either deen or duniya.

      [qutote]Now I would believe that they were sincere but they did not realise how this would affect us in the long term. Some people such as Jamal ud Deen Al-Afghani and Sir Syed ahmed Khan took this idea to the extreme as saying politics is not part of Islam because it was related to the dunya i.e the material side. They began to neglect rules relating to the 'dunya'. So rules on companies, contracts, ruling, economics, judiciary were neglected to be learnt or taught.

      So what kind of Muslims does this idea produce? The ones who do absolutely nothing. It produces ideas such as individualism and secularism i.e. separation of Islam from daily life. The ones who do not work to change the state of affairs of the Muslims.

      They claim that working solely on the non-existent spiritual side will somehow stop the raping of our sisters, the murder of our brothers and this will somehow magically reestablish the Islamic state.
      [/quote]

      quite judgemental aren't u. Yes, I agree that working solely on achieving the spiritual will not get rid of societal maladies.
      This is the type of Muslims that the kuffar feel no threat from and these are the type of Muslims we should not aspire to become.
      agreed.

      Thanks for sharing your essay, although I don't agree with it all.

      Comment


        #4
        ahmadjee,

        Apology accepted

        I tried to be as brief as I could but this is such a huge topic and a very dangerous concept that Muslims hold. It leads to secularism.

        Muni,

        Thanks for replying. You've made some good points but you didn't really follow up on the parts you disagree with.

        Life is tangible because the daily routines such as buying, selling etc are all tangible.

        One of the problems is the fact that spirit, spirituality are used in an ambiguous manner. So Sheikh Taqi gave these terms definite meanings.

        Spirit: The realisation of the relationship with Allah(swt)

        Spiritual Aspect: This is the attribute of all things that a human realises. The fact that all things are created by a Creator.

        Spirituality: When the mind comprehends the spiritual aspect of all things it then feels an appreciation of the might of the Creator and will fear and venerate Him. This feeling is the spirituality.

        The words are not as important as the meanings that have been assigned to them. As you can see the definitions are in no way connected to the 'secret of life'.

        Do you have any definitions of these words which are widely accepted? I don't think you'll find anything because these words are used very loosely.

        I don't understand how you agreed with man and universe being material yet you are saying that humans have a spiritual side.

        My stance is that spirit, spirituality, and the spiritual aspect are not in any way connected to the 'secret of life' and there is no spiritual side or a material side to humans. Based on the fact that a dog has the secret of life but a dog is not seen to have a spiritual side and a material side.


        Comment

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