Sunday, 16 September 2012

Science and Religion: Introduction and the Influence of Western Science

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

This is modern, haha
Reference Preface

My little room is quite dusty, maybe I need to do some cleaning chores. Was so busy with thesis refining until forgotten to check my room cleanliness. I've been reading to some Islamic books while doing researches for my thesis including of the Sharia. In relation to what had recently happened, I would just post the translation of this message from a humble ulama from Indonesia, Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah. In European continent and some parts of United States, the divinity sciences has been separated with the earthly ones but in Eastern world it is on the other hand different. We're not as extremist as some Europeans or those who think that they would be advanced if they put themselves in certain group or way of thinking because of the inferiority complex that they are facing. 

It's not Muslims or anyone to be blamed for their inferiority complex. It's their own fallacy and failure to know their self. This literature is not of mine, I'm just translating it roughly into English and adapting it so the ulama's message would reach the world. The source is from the magazine known as "Panji Masyarakat" or "Banner of the Society" around 1959-1961 published in Jakarta, Indonesia. I checked the stats and many people are reading the post about the absurd movie so I decided to play the responsibility as an unanimous person among world community to cure the situation around the world by propagating our ulamas' teachings and views from South East Asia. Thanks for spending some time at this humble site. Brothers and sisters around the world may use the source for research and the translator is me. Just put unanimous translator at your literature since this is polluted with my commentary, hehe. However, please don't forget to mention the real writer which is Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah as all credits only belong to the real writer. Hope it is useful to see how Muslim view the Life. I guess there should also be in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Urdu and Chinese translations for this.


In the history of man-kind, there are various waves that influencing his or her life. At certain point of life, he's influenced by the poetry. At some points of life, philosophy is influencing him. In the other point of life, religion and faith influencing him. The development of thought also going through stages as such; poetry, philosophy, religion and sciences. 

Before the era of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the Greeks were influenced by the poetry especially those of Homerus. The Arab society in Arabian Peninsula during the age of spirituality ignorance were also influenced with the wave of poetry as such they also organized annual competitions in term of poetry. For the Malay nations, they were in fact influenced by poetry known as pantun, syair, gurindam and etc. Whatever being seen by a Malay since the wind blows, sea waves swashing about the beaches, mountains scratching the sky and other natural phenomenon were made parts of their poems. 

The Middle Ages were known as the era of religious wave whether in Europe or Western world or in the Eastern world which also includes Muslims, Jews, Oriental Christians, Hindus and other religious groups. Then, there were the era known as the era of science and technology in the 19th century. It is the time where the so-called "framed technology science" in its wave influencing people around the world.    

In the ancient time before the globalization of the world; The wave of the "science" is like the fire burning inside the bushes. There are countries or nations who are still influenced by the poetry, while other neighboring nations for example are influenced by the philosophy. In the same time, there are also those who are influenced by the religion. Since 19th century, the result of the science which researching the physical realm becomes more advanced. The relation of those who stays far away from the other could be closer. The world seems boundless with the development of communication technology such as radio, television, internet, youtube, blogs, websites, and others. So, the wave of "physical science and knowledge" that has influenced Europe since Renaissance period and 19th century is also covering the whole globe where the internet and other means of communication could reach the land.

Influence of Western Style Science

The influence of "physical and materialistic science" has covered the Western world namely Europe. The influence of religion decreases. It is still there just the influence is not as intense as in the Middle Ages. People are searching and desire for something which is "concrete". They do not prefer the "abstract" anymore. This wave is also reaching the Eastern world in Asia and other continents such as in Africa and America. The people who are influenced by this wave in Asia, Africa and America were influenced not due to their advancement in knowledge, but is because they are merely copycats. What kind of persons are these copycats? As what I understood, they are those who takes others style and the reason they do it is just to look good and they wanted to look as good as Europeans. This has to do with the self-confidence as they think they are ugly if they copy others style. These obnoxious individuals are also in academics field today or at least trying to claim academician title for themselves. Ibnu Khaldun who were a famous Muslim sociologist has said: "Loser nations would be addicted to imitate those who wins". This is what happened for e.g in the production of a cheap movie does not matter if the producer is of any faith, belief or ideology.

The weakness of religious influence and the shining of "physical and materialistic science" in the European continent was the reasonable result of the "science" which has risen since it was in 17th century. Researches, analysis, empiricism, continuation between these possibilities to those possibilities, interrelating the reasons and impacts, fallacies in theories and experiments being developed time by time that brings to the preferable or satisfying results were generically made up as "science". These were made structures for scientific opinions, belief and arguments. This is what many of us even in our country understood as "science". Those who rejected this nowadays being cast out of the system and left aside just like what happened to myself or perhaps many other "madrasah" oriented young people : ) 

After this development in Europe, most of them believed that it is not favorable to merely following what has been inherited to them by their ancestors. The quotes inherited from Socrates, Plato or Aristotle could not be accepted before being experimented or tested. This also includes the words of divine scriptures and orders from the Church must undergo the experiment and researches in laboratory.   

Through these ways, they had produced not only hundreds but thousands new opinions to be practiced and enjoyed in their daily life. These opinions and arguments become the structure for "modern" Europe today and it also amazes those loser individuals who can't produced their own or even comparable science of their own. When looking at the concrete results of their inventions, some people takes their hats off the Europeans' science and they become less respective to religion and its sciences become sunken under the Europeans' materialistic sciences. Faith in the God and His messengers and chosen sages only promising the hereafter paradise in form of uncertain prophecies. While Western sciences has produced paradise in the current life. Radio, TV entertainments, phones, cars, planes, electricity, air conditioner and many more has turned the attention of man-kind from the Heaven to the Earth. People are giving their attention to the "science and technology" and not to hermits, monks, religious teachers or ascetics anymore. They believe and paying attention to the life which is now. The hereafter and resurrection are something which never been experienced by them and could not concretely being seen with man-kind physical eyes.

When the time passing, people becoming more excited to drag even metaphysical stuffs into their so-called "science". Although religious knowledge or science is not their specific field and task but they still to make it "scientific" according to their way. The hereafter matters according to them has no "scientific" proves. Paradise and hell-torments are persuasion and threats only for those who still has no knowledge, ignorant, marginalized and no scholar.

More shattering the faith of these people toward religion is after the rise of Nicholas Copernicus study about the solar system. Before this, Europeans have a belief which could not be contested that the Earth is the center of the Universe. While the Sun, the Moon and stars were circulating around the Earth. Stars were created for the benefit of man-kind and Earth is for the human's interest. The whole universe was under the rule of human and man-kind were the most noble beings in the whole system. Copernicus had strongly demolished this belief system through his studies and research questions. He said that the Earth is like a tiny particle of dust among zillions of stars in the universe. The Earth circulating around the Sun and not otherwise. Other than that, there are many other stars which is more huge as compared to the Earth. Man-kind are nothing to be compared to other realms which are wider and huge. My comment about astrology studies in Europe, the primitive Chaldean of Babylon in the early Mesopotamian civilizations and ancient Yemeni Arabs who revered the Sun and stars had already know about this though they were not baptized into Christianity or any other "celestial" religion nor living in Renaissance age of Europe. Even this knowledge were wide spread as far as to Indus civilization as we could see in the Navagraham system of Hindus' astrology. After reviewing the studies of Copernicus, Roman Catholic Christian clerics in the 14th C Europe were so furious. They were furious as the authority of humanity were lowered.

After Copernicus, there was Charles Darwin who had introduced the Theory of Evolution. He theorized that beings were created according to well-arranged stages and it took millions of years for being evolve from the imperfect ones to the more perfect ones. Beings evolved from the lowest to intermediate ones and later reaching human form stage. Beings started to evolve from microorganism, plants, insects to animals. The highest of animals' advancement was when they evolved to be primates or apes. From primates, the beings starting to evolve to be human in its form. My personal comment about this naturalist theory, it is choppy. It is still a "theory" to also be considered as a belief or creed and could be developed or repaired if other better arguments could come up to counter this existing theory. I was once bounded to Buddhism belief and practices before Allah moved my heart to return to my ancestral religion, Islam. I believed in reincarnation of beings in the different physical forms such as insects, animals, human, angels or demon. Gautama Buddha has taught this thousands of years earlier than Copernicus and I think Gautama Buddha was more sophisticated and clear in his view or "theories" about "beings" as compared to Darwin as he's not only talking about the physical beings but also without leaving behind metaphysical stuffs. According to Buddhism and Hinduism theories of acts' law, beings regardless animals, angels, demons or man-kind are subjects to the fruits of their acts and thoughts. However the form which is auspicious to achieve 'peaceful blast' according to Buddhism is in human-form and it is the most difficult form to be achieved since it took thousands of years to be incarnated as human.

The portal which was opened by Copernicus was extended in its opening with Darwin who over lays a further views about the universe. Europeans began to experience changing in their world view and the way they look at human-being becomes different as before. Their pure and innocent views about the universe were transformed to mechanical views as they learned about the theories and findings such as proposed by Darwin and Copernicus. Their view is now about the survival is the fittest. Those who are weak will eventually be eliminated. It further leads them to the belief that the Universe has no Creator. Universe is creating itself and thus it leads to Atheism. The Europeans were not inventing anything new. They were just repeating the same thing which happens thousand years before them in many parts of the Earth. In the age of spiritual ignorance, the polytheist Arabs in the Holy City, Mecca were oppressing those who were weak. Those who were unfortunate were enslaved by those who are more strong. Women were looked down like a toy to be used as what happened in sex-maniac movies in nowadays Western style movies. Women also looked them selves as sex-slaves to men. Nowadays, this kind of view is still in existence be they in secular or religious society. There is no difference at all, just the grouping and classification of their groups is different : )

Church organizations in Europe at that time became more enraged. The view that most of man-kind have now to be classified as modern is opposing to the view that human are noble beings that they hold for so long. After astrology and natural theory studies, there were studies on geology in Europe. They researched the Earth and its contents. The inquired on how the Earth tried to be separated from the Sun. Then they researched the beings known as the biology. They researched the beginning on how the beings started to develop. Then, other researches developed out of the one existed. All of these inquiries had also affected the view of people about religion and affected the influence of religious leaders. These researches in Europe had also influenced how they interpret the meanings of the Bible at least for those who still wanted to have faith in the God.   

Out of the Context

Last night I went out with a friend to Setapak. We talked until 3:00 in the morning and I get some ideas about life-planning after this. I also asked him few questions about LGBT groups which is now a hot stuff in our country and he has few LGBT friends and acquaintance. I just feel not comfortable to judge others and before making up my mind I would make all sorts of inquiries. So, I always ask people who know more about the issue or at least asking them to show me the place where I can get the needed information. It is important for sharia students as contemporary issues are among the problem of ummat. That is why I was late in updating this post though I am excited to check this work.

Thankful to Allah he does not forget me though he is busy with his newly found job. We just went to Japanese restaurant but I can't have seafood. So I just ordered green tea and non-vegetarian Soba noodle. It is also not recommended to take meat but it comes with package so I just accept it. Well, it was his treat so again I'm thankful and not wasting it. As long as he does not say that it is a kind of alms giving I'll accept it. These weeks to come is actually our high holy days so there are limits to everything. We share some points of holy days with the Jews especially those related to Yawm al-Qiyamat (the Resurrection Day). This is not a binding law for other Muslim brothers and sisters but only to us as we have to accept the life of poor ascetics and praying for other brothers and sisters well-being. Insha Allah if He gives me the opportunity I would update the post about this ulama's view on the science and religion. I'm going to make some milk for my father. Poor he is, he still can't swallow anything. Brothers and sisters, please take good care of your health. It's vital for us to perform worship to Allah...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!   

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