Intellectual Observation - Relativity of Truth: Fictitious, False & Contradicts Religion’s Certainties
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Intellectual Observation - Relativity of Truth: Fictitious, False & Contradicts Religion’s Certainties
It is imperative first and foremost to perceive that the notion of relativism and what emanates from it, such as the concept of “differing perspectives”, is one of the foundations and springboards of the modern reading of Islam which aims to fluidise and subvert Islam, and condition it according to reality. It is also imperative to perceive that this philosophy is closely knit with the political context and the American campaign against Islam and Muslims to distort their identity, modify their religion, efface the boundaries between Islam and Kufr and secularise the mentality of the Muslims, alienating them from their religion and the source of their valour which exhorts them to liberate themselves from cultural and military colonialism while motivating them to seize the initiative, lead the world with guidance and make the Shari'ah of Allah sovereign instead of the elitist manmade sovereignty imposed by corrupt doctrines and wanton states.
The Shari'ah-approved notion of “differing perspectives”, which the preachers of declined values and the champions of reconciliation with Islam’s enemies and congruence with secularism have been attempting to harness and propagate, is restricted to what revelation has brought. Hence, if the text is lucid and conclusive, there should be no Ijtihad or differing opinions; whereas if the text or its ratio legis, i.e., its manat, is doubtful, it is permitted to have various opinions within the probable denotations of the ratio legis and the text, for if the opinion is based on a text, everything it indicates is deemed to be Shari'ah-based. Therefore, even if the understanding of scholars is human, the opinion deduced from the text with their understanding is a Shari'ah-based opinion and it would be prohibited to reject it without a valid argument or under the pretext of being a human understanding. There is a difference between initiating the Shari'ah rule and understanding the text and deducing the rule of Allah from it. For instance, when Allah says: “or you have touched women, and cannot find water, find clean sand,” [an-Nisa-43], this is an initiation of the rule, whereas the saying of al-Shafi’ that touching with the palm of the hand nullifies one’s wudu (ablution), and the saying of Abu Hanifah that it does not nullify it, these are understandings of what the discourse may denote; it is a deduction of the rule of Allah from the text and not an initiation of the rule of “touching”. The understanding of al-Shafi’ and Abu Hanifah cannot be described as the rule of Allah , because the rule of Allah is what the text indicates in a conclusive manner, and the fact that the text carries more than one potential meaning, this does not negate the reality that what Abu Hanifah and al-Shafi’ deduced are Shari'ah rules obtained from the text according to the denotation of the expression “you have touched”, which is open to to more than one understanding. And those who reject such opinions under the pretext they are obtained from the understandings of humans, they are in fact forestalling the implementing of Shari'ah; it is imperative to take the rules from humans who must be qualified to understand and deduce them, be it from a Sahabi, a Tabi’i (successor) or those who came after them, and be it from al-Shafi’, Abu Hanifah or others.
Understanding the texts does not require a prophet or an angel; it rather requires knowledge in the sciences of language and Shari'ah. Those who interpret the texts according to their opinions rather than according to the Shari'ah facts of the Qur’an and the established facts of the Arabic language, since Allah says “We have revealed it an Arabic Quran” [Yusuf- 2], they have then innovated in the language and in religion, because religion is taken from revelation rather than reason, and because language is an issue of a set of expressions whose denotations must not be changed; these have to be taken by way of transmission from those whose statements are an authority in the foundation of the language, such as the pure Arabs, i.e., the Qahtani, or the Arabised Arabs i.e., the Adnanites, up until the fourth century of hijra before the tongue was distorted. It would be wrong for reason and experiment to determine its denotations, since it is an issue of terminology and fixed expressions. Imam Fakhreddin al-Razi wrote: “the way to cognising the language is but through sheer transmission, as is the case with most of the linguistic aspects, or through the deduction of reason from transmission. For instance, if it is transmitted to us that a defined plural includes exception, and that exception means excluding what the expression encompasses, we can then deduce through these two transmissions that the plural forms denote generality. However, this is not within the scope of sheer reason.”
As for the notion of “differing perspectives” in secularism and liberal democracy, it is unrestricted despite claims otherwise, because it is built on “relative truth”, freedom, and human centrality, which necessitates the centrality of the other. This is because secularism and liberal democracy are philosophically built on “natural law”, i.e., on human centrality, in determining interests and passing judgement on actions and things as being pleasant or repugnant.
Human centrality necessitates the centrality of the other by virtue of equality, which theoretically, gives the other opinion some consideration, irrespective of soundness and error. The origin of this narrative is Sophistic philosophy and its pioneer is Protagoras. Sophistry overlays the truth with falsehood, raises suspicions in Muslims about their religion, equates Islam with distorted and false religions, leads to fragmenting society and endorses pluralism, compromise and pragmatism, and turns Islam into just another option; and this is what the modernists and the hardcore sophists who believe in hylotheism have adopted.
The centrality of the other leads inevitably towards compromise, i.e., “concession”, which Aristotle refers to as the golden mean between the two parties and involves the stakeholders conceding part of their stance to reach an agreement between them. Accordingly, some philosophers derived the Social Contract, which involves the transferring of right to a mutually recognised authority according to Hobbes or conceding to the general will according to Rousseau. In this sense, centrality is shifted from revelation to the individual, the state and the masses who consequently become sovereign.
In fact, the notion of compromise does not tally with doctrinal and moral issues because morals are indivisible and doctrines are built on certitude in either negating or ascertaining, and there is no middle-of-the-road between them. This is also contrary to Islam which attributes determining the interests and passing judgement on actions and things without seeking expediency for itself, and gives centrality to Shari’ah, i.e., revelation.
Relativism, or “cognitive relativity”, invites on itself a falsehood involving inconsistency and conflict of opposites. It has several schools of thought, such as those who embrace the fact that there is no truth, and those who judge the truth as being multiple; and this is false because truth is conformity to reality, i.e., the conformity of the thought to reality, which to Muslims is one and the same. This is because reality outside the mind is one and if the truth were diverse, it would then be plausible to have a unity of opposites, which is rationally impossible.
The issue of relativism in respect of truth or in respect of ethics is philosophical; its function is to cause controversy, confusion, and incapacitation, and turn thoughts into riddles and mysteries. Cognitive relativity claims that scientific facts, ethical values, legislative principles, and social and political systems, are all prone to variation and change according to time and place, and thus, what was true yesterday could today or tomorrow turn false. The purpose behind this claim, which was borrowed from sophistic philosophy in ancient times and from the European secularist culture that challenges religion in recent times, is to justify the historicism of knowledge, and confine the Islamic Shari'ah to the era of revelation and sever its links to the present by relying on sophistry, dialectical argument and experimental science, such as quantum mechanics to justify the unity of opposites.
The sophistic philosophy that produced relativism was refuted by Socrates and the scholars of Islam, but was resuscitated by the Europeans who harnessed it in their struggle against the church and religious thought with the aim of destroying them. It is based on the uncertainty principle and according to the theorist of sophists, Protagoras, it departs from the notion alleging that man is the criterion of all things. In other words, man determines the intellectual and legislative facts, as well as the values, and he reserves the right to amend or annul them, that things do not have one single truth in themselves and the truth of things is determined according to how each individual views it and believes it to be. If he were to judge the existence or the absence of a thing, then his judgement would be related to him rather than to the thing itself; and thus, the world would be sempiternal for those who believe in its sempiternity, and created for those who believe it was created, which implies that passing judgement on the one single thing may differ from one person to another, i.e., the truth is what falls under one’s direct senses rather than the senses of another individual. Consequently, the truth become relative and changes according to the change of individuals, place and time. This is precisely why they do not give weight to reports, heritage, and previous opinions, and do not give the understandings of scholars any consideration. The truth of the matter is that they do not distinguish between passing judgement on the existence of the thing, and passing judgement on its essence or quality; whereas in fact, that which is related to the existence of the thing, as is the case in doctrinal issues, these are conclusive thoughts and established truths; and that which is related to passing judgement on the reality of the thing or its quality, as is the case in Shari'ah rules, these are doubtful and relative thoughts, but nevertheless they remain sound until proved otherwise.
The issue of relativism is deliberately evoked by the liberal modernists and secularists, and the deniers of the Sunnah in an attempt to induce Muslims into questioning their religion and to dismantle their certitude as part of a dubious campaign tightly linked to the plots of the enemies of Islam and the Muslims. This campaign is designed to place the Muslims before an evil duplicity: either they remove the boundaries between Islam and Kufr, open the floodgates for abusing the religion of Allah and conditioning it with modern European culture, abandon their animosity towards the colonialist Kuffar and criminalise those who resist the regimes affiliated to them; or remain behind the times, regress and disintegrate according to their allegations.
The Muslims who reiterate the opinions of the modernists on relativism and what it involves in terms of denotations that places the truth in other than Islam on an equal footing with Islam and casts doubt on the truth of Islam, are being driven towards Kufr; Allah says:
“We have sent you with the truth—bringing good news, and giving warnings. You will not be questioned about the inmates of Hell.” [al-Baqarah-119];
“But your people rejected it, though it is the truth. Say, “I am not responsible for you.” [al-An’am-66];
“It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth.” [at-Tawbah-33];
“Say, “O people, the truth has come to you from your Lord.” [Yunus-108];
“What is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth.” [ar-Ra’d-1];
“And say: The truth is from your Lord.” [al-Kahf-29];
“What We inspired in you, of the Book, is the truth.” [Fatir-31]
Based on the aforementioned in terms of elucidating the fallacy of relativism and its contradiction with the certainties of religion, it would be possible to refer to the abundant books of the Islamic library, and to the documented sound studies that convey the responses of the scholars to the philosophers and the deviant sects. The Muslim scholars refute the claims of the champions of relativism. For instance, Ibnu Hazm wrote in his book titled Kitab al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa-al-Ahwa' wa-al-Nihal (The Book of Decisive Judgement on Creeds, Desires, and Sects), describing those who champion relativism such as the sophistic sect of al-Indiyah with “The thing does not become true according to he who believes it to be true, and it does become false according to he who believes it to be false. Rather, the things become true by being firmly in existence, irrespective of whether it is believed to be true or false. If it were other than this, it would be existent and non-existent at the same time, which would indeed be implausible.”
Ibnul Jawzi for his part wrote in his book titled Talbis Ibliss, (The Ruses of Satan)on page 41: “Those are of the sophists’ type; if it is said to them: is your statement sound? They would say it is sound to us and false for our opponents. Upon which we said: your claim suggesting that your statement is sound is refuted, and your acknowledgement that your school of thought is false according to your opponents constitutes an argument against yourself. He who testifies that his statement is false from one aspect has in fact spared his opponent of the burden of proving the falsehood of his school of thought.”
Moreover, Ibnu Qudamah wrote: “How could sempiternity and creation of the world, the believing and denying of the Messenger, the existence of the thing and its nonexistence, be true? These are subjective matters which do not follow the belief, but rather the belief follows them.
Ibnu Taymiyah for his part wrote: “It is related that some sophists have made all the doctrines the influencing elements in the beliefs and have not established any fixed truths for the things; sometimes the belief conforms to it and at other times, contradicts it. In fact, they have attributed the truth to everything in which the believer has believed and made the truths subordinates of the beliefs. Such a statement in its generality and non-restrictiveness cannot be attributed to someone with a sound mind.”
Hence, what some people say regarding relativism leads to refuting the truths of Islam and the firmly established ayat of the noble Qur’an.
12 Ramadhan 1442h
24 April 2021