Revelation and Reason in Islam

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Revelation and Reason in Islam
Revelation and Reason.jpg
AuthorArthur John Arberry

The book Revelation and Reason in Islam focuses on the way of resolving the conflict within Islam between reason and revelation.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Arthur John Arberry (1905-1969) was a British orientalist, scholar, translator, editor, and author who wrote, translated, or edited about 90 books on Persian- and Arab-language subjects. He specialized in Sufi studies, but is also known for his excellent translation of the Koran. AJ Arberry attended Cambridge University, where he studied Persian and Arabic with R. A. Nicholson, an experience which he considered the turning point of his life. After graduation, Arberry worked in Cairo as head of the classics department at Cairo University. During the war years, he worked at various posts in London to support the war effort with his linguistic skills. In 1944 Arberry was appointed to the chair of Persian at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, and then two years later to the chair of Arabic. In 1947 Arberry returned to Cambridge as the Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic. Professor AJ Arberry remained there till his death in 1969.

About the book[edit | edit source]

This book published in Routledge; 1st edition (December 26, 2007), has 128 pages and best sellers rank of 15,039,701 in Books.

Arberry’s book tries to solve one of the most famous and profound topics in the history of human thought. This is, the problem of the relationship between revelation and reason is indeed

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

Chapter I[edit | edit source]

This chapter examines the relationship between revelation and reason. The beginning of this story, at all events in the west, is with the Greeks. Plato, who was pre-eminently a political philosopher, found it necessary to assume the existence of a divine lawgiver. The author believes that the true nature of the conflict or concord between reason and revelation will not be seized by those who confine their curiosity to its manifestation in Christianity alone, or in Judaism alone, or in Islam alone. He merely tries to call attention to a few aspects of the problem as it happened in Islam. In Islam a claim is made for a revelation in the Koran similar at first sight to that found in the Bible, and Mohammed is regarded by his followers with a veneration greater than that paid by Jews or Christians to any prophet and so far as Islam is concerned, the doctrine of a general and a special revelation is fully justified by reference to the Koran.

Chapter II[edit | edit source]

The author in this chapter explains the meaning of truth in this way:

The truth was to restate accurately what Plato, Aristotle and the other Greek sages had labored to elucidate, and thereafter 'to complete what the ancients have not fully expressed, according to the usage of our language and the custom of our times, so far as we are able.

Then tries to reconcile revelation with reason according to Greek philosophy. He does this directing towards interpreting in Moslem terms Plato's Republic and Laws and Aristotle's Ethics and Politics.

Chapter III[edit | edit source]

The author in this part examines al-Ghazali’s opinion about Incoherence that are firmly contrary to the beliefs of all Moslems. Al-Ghazali sets it up on the following lines:

'To refute their denial of the resurrection of the body and the return of the soul to its physical frame, the existence of a physical hell, the existence of paradise and the houris, and the rest of what mankind has been promised, together with their assertion that all that is mere parables coined for the common people and intended to connote a spiritual reward and retribution, these being higher in rank than the corporeal.

Chapter IV[edit | edit source]

After considering how theology, philosophy and infallible authority endeavored variously to resolve, the author examines the conflict within Islam between reason and revelation. It is a fourth way by which the earnest believer might hope to reach his journey's end, the way of spiritual discipline and, if might be, personal communion with the Creator.

Source[edit | edit source]