Reconstructing Science with a Focus on Divine Will and Oneness

Reconstructing Science with a Focus on Divine Will and Oneness
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Question: What factors contribute to Muslims’ capacity to keep pace with contemporary knowledge, research, and intellectual advancements, thereby bridging the gap that has persisted for centuries?

Answer: Historically, dedication has been underscored through various avenues. Particularly, it’s been suggested that the achievements of those committed to faith and the service of the Qur’an are rooted in this sentiment. Certain sociologists analyzing the Hizmet movement have also attributed its vigor to dedication. Dedication involves one’s unwavering commitment to a specific objective, fostering intense concentration. Such individuals consistently ponder their aspirations, shaping plans for realization during every moment, including prayer. While it’s deemed inappropriate to entertain extraneous thoughts during prayer, individuals deeply immersed in realizing an ideal may find their minds preoccupied with it, occasionally disrupting their prayers and sparking alternative insights. This phenomenon is reminiscent of a lapse, an oversight among the spiritually mature. Whereas individuals typically err during prayer by dwelling on familial, domestic, or occupational concerns, some may falter due to contemplation of profound ideas.

The Essence of Dedication and Commitment

In the realm of knowledge and contemplation discussed in the question, the capacity to reach a certain horizon fundamentally hinges on the spirit of commitment. Truly, commitment possesses a distinct potency unmatched by other attributes. An individual who wholeheartedly dedicates themselves to knowledge, incessantly pursues it, is consumed by the quest for truth, and immerses themselves in research with unwavering focus, swiftly traverses vast distances, attains horizons beyond others’ reach, uncovers truths previously hidden, and savors pleasures previously unimagined. The Divine also bestows favor upon such a spirit of commitment. Those who engage with lofty pursuits and exert themselves for them are not abandoned by God; rather, they are taken by the hand and guided to their aspirations. When they encounter obstacles, they are granted enchanted keys with which they can unlock even the most stubborn barriers.

In essence, intention and purpose are paramount in the pursuit of knowledge. Regrettably, many in our era fail to see broadly or contemplate grandly because they aspire to attain certain positions in governance and politics, or because they are entangled in worldly interests and gains. The lenses through which they view the world narrow their perspectives and confine their movements. Even individuals of exceptional talent, driven by ambitions of success, career advancement, and professional attainment, and orienting all their plans and strategies around these pursuits, fail to grasp the broader vistas they ought to perceive. It is those committed to the rejuvenation of humanity and the instigation of a new awakening who will chart entirely novel horizons in the realm of knowledge and contribute meaningfully to humanity’s progress.

Passion for Truth

At the heart of knowledge and inquiry resides a profound passion for truth. Those enamored with truth yearn to discover it, attain it, and unveil its mysteries. Consider the truth of humanity, existence, and life—are our interpretations accurate? Does our understanding of existence truly lead us to the ultimate Truth? Just as we meticulously dissect a book, can we also decipher the universe’s pages and grasp their essence? To achieve this, an intense love, fervor, and longing for exploration, reading, and contemplation are indispensable.

In Western scientific circles, albeit to a relative extent, there was a period characterized by a fervent love for truth and a dedication to research. It was this passion that led many individuals to devote their lives to the pursuit of knowledge, delving into the mysteries of the universe. They uncovered profound truths about the cosmos and living organisms, as evidenced by various documentaries. Today’s advancements in Western science and technology are propelled by this ardor for truth, knowledge, and research. However, constrained by positivist and naturalist perspectives, they often failed to grasp the deeper meanings and essence of phenomena. Their exploration of existence was confined to its material aspect, preventing them from connecting with the transcendent and reaching the Divine Essence.

Similarly, Muslims also embarked on the quest for knowledge with fervent love during the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, yielding significant intellectual achievements. However, over subsequent centuries, this “centripetal force” gradually waned.

The Transgression of Subjugation and Its Atonement

Undoubtedly, there are current ripples in this domain. Recently, we’ve observed the individual triumphs of some acquaintances. However, the grounds they tread in their research are not aligned with their intellectual realms. While they may engage in studies and research endeavors to fathom nature’s essence and exert effort, the foundation laid by others on materialism and naturalism makes it exceedingly challenging for them to transcend dualism and reach the Ultimate Truth through the culture propagated by prevailing sciences. Indeed, many diverse minds are rocked and even shattered by materialist currents. Hence, a more fundamental approach to this issue is imperative.

Without establishing the foundational principles for your research, without crafting your own laboratories and research hubs from inception to fruition, and without delving into the positive sciences to understand the laws of creation comprehensively, you cannot attain the desired outcomes in this field. Your endeavors will merely amount to patching up a tear. Consequently, grasping the intricate relationship between Allah, existence, and humanity, as well as comprehending the connection between the laws of creation and the sublime Divine law, necessitates a more fundamental perspective.

In today’s world, nations advancing in knowledge and material prosperity wield dominance and hegemony over us. In many aspects, we gaze into their eyes, seek assistance from them, and even exist in dependence upon them. Yet, the Quran unequivocally states that God is displeased with this state of affairs.[1] Bediuzzaman also questions, “Why should progress be universal for all but regression be reserved solely for us?” Progress hinges on emancipating ourselves from the shackles of imposed enslavement and attaining complete independence. In essence, we must absolve ourselves from the transgression of living under hegemony, a sin we’ve perpetuated for four centuries. Its atonement can only be achieved by promptly establishing our own research centers, educating capable individuals to operate within these domains, and advancing intellectually and materially. Otherwise, until we rouse ourselves from slumber and stand tall, we shall persist in this transgression.

Inspiring Interest in Your Principles

It’s essential to remember that interpreting the Qur’an and deciphering the universe’s code accurately, reinvigorating knowledge of the Divine laws of creation and His legislative commands, will alter others’ perceptions of us. Radiating brilliance in knowledge, ideas, arts, literature, and civilization will undoubtedly shift the perception of the religion and values we represent. It’s challenging to convey anything to those who regard us with condescension based on their knowledge, achievements, horizons, educational institutions, technologies, and powers. Those whom we emulate, who serve as models with their achievements, may show little interest in us or our values. Even representing celestial and transcendent values may not resonate with them. If you send students to the West for higher education, have them pursue doctoral and post-doctoral studies there, and find solace in this, it’s time to reassess your stance.

To make an impact on the world, you must not only lack criticized aspects but also be admired in every aspect. This necessitates adept representation of universal human values while simultaneously captivating attention with your scientific knowledge and intellectual breadth. This will initiate a flow of ideas toward your domain. People will be intrigued by the enigma within you and aspire to possess your values. History is replete with examples of this. Until the day you tilt the current balances in your favor, someone will continue to look down on you, thus neglecting the values you uphold.

Indeed, everything necessary to instill a fervent dedication to knowledge, research, and truth in today’s world must be undertaken. If we desire the emergence of individuals passionate about knowledge and truth, those with ample resources should create conducive environments and opportunities for researchers and academics to thrive. It’s crucial to recognize that this endeavor is not without its challenges initially. It takes time to rehabilitate individuals and acclimatize them to this pursuit. Acknowledging that knowledge gravitates toward appreciation, dormant potentials should be identified and steered towards knowledge. Their appetite should be whetted with enticing incentives in the pursuit of knowledge and truth, and their enthusiasm ignited. Once they embark on the journey of discovery and experience its pleasures, they will naturally propel it forward. However, it’s imperative to remember that this process will take considerable time, and patience must be exercised from the outset.◄

[1]  For more, see Surah an-Nisa (4:141).