The Meaning of Tawheed Revisited in the light of Compatibilist Epistemologies

by Malick Elias

In my last article I had put forward a dialectic which shows that at a deeper level revelation and reason are but from one and the same source albeit they manifest differently in the minds of their recipients. At the base of the revelation-reason dialectic a Compatibilist position was implied.

Compatibilism, in philosophy disputes that there is any incompatibility between determinism (Jibr) and free will (Qadr). These conclusions also imply a Monistic way of looking at the world, where only one concrete object and by extension ‘one reality’ exists. These conclusions ultimately evokes questions surrounding how I define Islamic Monotheism or Tawheed and to the extent that both Monism broadly speaking  and Monotheism are the same. Why are these questions important? Firstly, because the history of the philosophy of science can be defined as a search for the meaning of God, the nature of His being and reality of His existence in the world.  Secondly, if my first assumption is correct then, Monotheists which have largely focused upon deconstructing the metaphysics surrounding God and Monist which as a movement has largely been preoccupied with philosophical and scientific explanations of ontological or object reality can both compliment each other and provide for Muslim intellectual scholarship the tools to redefine or sharpen their ontological argument. Lastly, ‘religious monism’ because of it emphasis upon progressing the ontological argument has given rise to other emerging faith-ways such as pantheism and panentheism. These new-age faith-ways are inheriting the consciousness of a generation of children of Monotheists by offering alternative perspectives on ‘reality’ often masked in liberal political and scientific discourses and or appeals to spiritualism and naturism and Muslim intellectual scholarship have to rise to the challenge of understanding these forces and the threats they pose to Islamic Monotheism.
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Why Tawheed is about Humanity and Social Justice

‘And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.’ 2:163 (Translation from Sahih International)

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