'IDEALS AND REALITIES OF ISLAM' - Syed Hossain Nasr M.A. Phd: from Harvard
Books by the same author :
An introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines - Cambridge Harvard University Press.
Man & Nature - Unwin Paperbacks 1976
Science and Civilization in Islam - Harvard University Press.
Religion itself is derived from the word religio which means to bind. It is that which binds men to truth. (my comments - the truth is the presence of Imam (s.a.) and his vicegerent the Dai-ul-Mutlaq.)
The essence of Religion is to propagate a doctrine and employ a method to distinguish between real and what appears real and attaching oneself to the Real. Allah is Absolute. Man is relative. Man is relative who stands before Allah the Absolute.
Man cannot uplift himself spritually. He must be awaked from the dream of negligence by one who is already awake.
The cardinal sin in Islam is forgetfulness (gahfil) (My comments - so every Moharram the Dai gives nida to the mumineen to assemble in the name of Imam Husain (s.a.) by so doing he removes our forgetfulness and makes us realize our status, our goad in life, our striving and salvation.)
According to Islamic perspective Allah did not send different truths thru his many prophets, but different expressions and forms of the same fundamental truth of Unity.
Pen (qalam) which symbolizes the Universal Intellect.
Guarded tablet (al-lawh al Mahfuz) the symbol of substantial, material and passive pole of cosmic manifestation.
Tawil - symbolic and hermeneutic interpretation.
Tafsir - explanation of the external aspects of the Quran. Everything has an interior (batin) and an exterior (zahir) and tawil is to go from the zahir to the batin.
The Quran contains four things :
'ibarah' the announced expression
'ishara' the allusion
'lataif' the hidden meaning related to the suppressible words
'haqaiq' the spiritual truth
From the Islamic point of view, the question of equality of men and women is meaningless.It is like discussing the equality of rose and jasmine. Man and woman are not the same.Islam envisages their roles in society not as competing but complimentary. Each has certain duties and functions in accordance with his or her nature and constitution.
According to Isma'ili doctrine, the first being in the created order is the First Intellect or Universal Intellect, which is identified with Divine Word. It is the reality that at once veils and reveals the Supreme Name - Allah.
From the highest spiritual reality, which has its own limit (hadd) there comes into being the Second Intellect and from the Second Intellect the Third Intellect, whioch is identified as the Spiritual Adam (Adam-I-Ruhani)