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Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani

Systematic Thought Theory in Islam

 

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· Translated and Edited By Amir Abbas Salehi

 

 I just want to present a rational image of Islam based on a special theory that I introduced it more than twenty years ago. This approach, as we think, can be a better way for understanding Islam and for answering different questions in different fields about Islam. I ‘ve called this theory systematic thought theory in Islam and during these twenty years I ‘ve tried to implement this theory in different fields such as economics, politics, art, bioethics, and other different fields such as managements and there were some special courses and some special researches in different centers inside and outside Iran based on this theory and some theses in PH.D and master degree have been written based on this theory in different field such as economics, politics and also  management. And some of national researches in Iran have been done based on this theory, such as one research about the management of Imam Khomeini which has been done based on this theory, something about fifteen years ago.

 

 This theory, just as a glance, says that in each field of human issues you can find different sets of Islamic ideas and notions that these ideas are related in a special system to each other. The main elements of Islamic idea in each field, I have differentiated them into four categories; Philosophy, Ethics, Doctrine and System and based on them there is also a Legal System which is the implementation of Doctrine and System in the legal atmosphere. Based on this theory, as I said, in each field, for example in the field of economics, we will find Philosophy, Ethics, Doctrine and System and Legal System for Islam. And these issues are all universal, means that it is not related to a special condition, to a special piece of land, or part of time. And also there are some other issues in Islam that are related to the condition that Islam is implemented. For example at the time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) he has implemented these notions in his own era based on the characteristics which were existing at that time.

 

Based on this idea there are two parts that are related to the conditions that we are living it, we have called them mechanism and conditional legal system. Therefore based on this theory in each field if you refer to Islam you will find two kinds of elements first of all, universal and conditional and if you refer to universal elements you will find that there is some philosophical issues, some ethical issues, doctrine and system that I will explain them and a legal system which is the result of doctrine and system. When it is implemented in a special situation and special condition then there are mechanism and conditional legal system. For example if we refer to the field of economy we will find these issues; Philosophy of Islamic economy, Ethics of Islamic economy and System of Islamic economy and for the special circumstances we will find the Mechanism of Islamic economy and the conditional legal system of Islamic economy.

I just explain the idea in short style and as concise as possible that of we refer to the religion we expect that the idea of the religion, its values and concepts, and of course Islam as the final religion as the last divine religion, we expect that all the elements of these religions should be universal and should not restricted to a special condition and special circumstances.

 

Therefore one of the foundations is that the Islamic concepts that are not restricted to special temporal or spatial circumstances. We expect that they are all universal and unchangeable. There is a question that when these ideas that are universal and, in the main core of them, unchangeable, were implemented at the time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) or at the time of infallibles, is there any issue that has had some results on them when they were implemented on a special condition that these conditions have done something that the implementation of these ideas has been a special image at that time and a special result at that time? Did they consider the temporal and spatial circumstances in applying these concepts?

For example in the field of economy, we believe that the ideas of economy that have been presented by Islam were all universal and unchangeable Because Islam has come to guide the people throughout the history. It is not special for a piece of land or a special area or special period of time. But when the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was implementing the economical ideas and concepts of Islam have the characteristics and features particular to the Arabian Peninsula been observed in that structure that he himself has implemented this structure at his time? We believe in this theory that there is no doubt that they have been observed. The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has observed all the circumstances and conditions that were existing at his own time in the field of economy and when he implemented the concepts in these circumstances he implemented them based on these special conditions that were existing on that time. Therefore when we refer to this system and this system has been studied for example in some special studies about the system of economy at the time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) when we refer to this system we will find that this system is for a special circumstances, it is for a special condition. It is for a simple economy at that time, but the notions and conditions that have been implemented at that time, these notions which have been derived from Islam, they are not related to these special conditions, they are not restricted only in this period of time, or in this piece of land; they can be implemented in other situations, such as our own situations, which is more complicated than that time and we cannot compare this economic system now with the economic system at the time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh); therefore when we refer to the Islamic literature and sources such as Quran and Sunnah we will have in our mind that even if concepts of Islam are universal, even if the values of Islam are universal, when they were implemented at that time, when they were presented at that in an special period of time and special piece of land, the situation and circumstances which  existed have had their own impression on these concepts and on these ideas and this special circumstances have been observed by Allah in Quran and by infallibles in Sunnah and therefore when we refer to Islam we should differentiate between the universal elements and the conditional elements, they are mixed with each other inside our Islamic sources, inside Quran and Sunnah.

 We tried in this theory to differentiate between these elements to reach to a clear image about the Islamic concepts in different fields. Of course some of the Islamic scholars they have done, in previous, some important researches in this field such as Martyred Sadr in his noble book our economy he has tried to show some aspects of the Islamic economic system. We have tried to improve this study and to reach to a better understanding about the idea of Islam in different field. Because in my point of view what he has done is restricted only in one part, for example Islamic system, and he hasn’t reach to a complete image about the Islamic system; because at his time the idea of a complete system was not so much clear and this theory is trying to give a clear image about the idea of Islamic system and trying to implement this theory in different fields such as economy and to show the result of this theory in different fields. Based on this theory, as I said, when we refer to a special field such as economy, Islam has two different kinds of elements, some which are the main concepts and values in Islam are the main elements, they are not related to a special circumstances, they are not for a special field of land or part of time and the other, are conditional elements which are related to a special circumstances that Islam has implemented on that time and conditions.

 

 The first elements which are the main elements, as I said can be differentiated in these five categories that I mentioned; Philosophy, Doctrine, Ethics, System and   Legal system. But when we say Philosophy, we don’t mean the metaphysics. When we say Philosophy we mean philosophy in special field; for example philosophy in economic field. It is a special idea about philosophy; it is a special image about philosophy. For example, this example was first mentioned by Martyred Sadr in his book “our economy” , that in our theology, the issue of providing God, the mankind with means of subsistence has been discussed the issue of Razaghiat , that this issue has been discussed in our Islamic literature, in theology, in mysticism they have discussed this issue. But when we refer to this issue that God is providing for the mankind with the means of subsistence then it means that if there is a person, someone is living, and then there are natural sources for him enough to help him in his life and this simple idea is one of the philosophical issues in the field of Islamic economy, and it is totally against, for example, the Malthus Theory. You may have heard about the Malthus Theory in economy. He says in one of his sayings in an essay on the principle of population, which has been wrote in 18th century, he says the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in earth to produce subsistence for man and therefore he believes that we will face the problem of subsistence for the mankind as much as we go further in the history Because the number of population is growing much faster than the natural resources. This idea which is really a philosophical idea about the facts that exist around us has a special impression on the economic system that we will make based on this idea. If we accept the Malthus theory the results will be totally different from when we accept the Islamic theory which says that God will provide all the subsistence for man and each body who is living on this earth. Of course this is only one simple issue in the field of philosophy of Islamic economy and if we refer to Islamic sources we will find many issues in different fields about God, universe and mankind which are related to the economy and in this field we can present the idea of course, you know there is a term in economics that they talk about the economic human that they discuss about human from a special point of view. We have explained in this theory that Islam has a special image about the economic human. When we talk about Ethics in this theory we don’t mean the Islamic Ethic that is usually discussed in ethical books and morality. We mean the elements of ethics which are related to a special field; e.g. economy. I have just mentioned an example here. Consider the issue of contentment is an element (that has been Ghnaa’a) that has been discussed in Islamic ethics as a moral excellence for mankind, but the idea of contentment, namely, somebody satisfied and pleased with what he has, he accepts what he has, has its special impression on economy that we derive from Islamic sources. I have explained that if we accept this idea then it will have impression on all the aspects of economy. Because when we accept that man has the capacity to be pleased and satisfied with what he has, then the system from that you will derive  is totally different from , for example, Capitalistic system which is based on notion totally against these notions, namely against the notion  of Ghanaa’a and contentment. In the systematic thought theory in Islam we have explained the idea of Doctrine and we have shown that Doctrine in each field of human life consists of two parts. First part is the basis we call it, accepted Islamic issues in one field and the second part goes to prospective which should be reached. I have shown what Martyred Sadr has done in his book, our economy, is restricted to this special issue, he has just presented the Doctrine of Islamic economy, he didn’t discuss about issue of Philosophy, or the issue of Ethics or even the issue of System, he didn’t discuss about them. He has discussed only the Doctrine, and of course in this field his work is very noble and it is very important, maybe the most important research that has been done on this field is his book. And in my book I have tried to improve his idea and complete his idea based on Systematic Thought Theory. Based on this theory in each field, for example in the field of economy there are some basis and elements that Islam accepts in this field and there are some goals that we should reach them. For example the principle of ownership, the principle of differentiation in ownership, the principle of economic freedom, these are some of the bases that have been accepted in the doctrine of Islamic economy. For example the principle of ownership has been rejected by some ideas in the economics. For example  some of economic thinkers and scholars they have rejected the idea of ownership and some of them have said that the ownership is just like thieving  and stealing somebody’s belonging  or for example the principle of differentiation of ownership have not be accepted in some theories. For example in Islam the private ownership has been accepted beside the governmental ownership. While in some theories in economy they reject, for example, the private ownership, in socialistic systems, or governmental ownership, for example in some capitalistic systems. Or about the principle of economic freedom; some of economic theories reject the idea of economic freedom. But Islam has accepted these principles and the idea of freedom, as Martyred Sadr has explained it in his book. Of course, these are some of the items of Islamic economy not all of them. I have as well as him completed the Doctrine and the System of Islamic economy. In the field of goals they think that we should reach to them, as for example Martyred Sadr has explained that the elimination of poverty is one of the goals of Islamic society and Doctrine of Islamic economy or the modification of wealth in society is another goal of the Doctrine of Islamic society and as he said the economic justice is based on these two elements. The first one is the elimination of poverty and the second one is the modification of wealth and the Islamic society is trying to reach to this point that all of the people in the society they reach over the line of poverty, in our term now, then we can eliminate the poverty from the society and at the same time the idea of differences between people in the wealth has been accepted in the Islamic economy but the differences between them should be in a rational level, we call it, and this is the modification of wealth in the society. Then we have explained, in Systematic Thought theory, that Islam after introducing a philosophy on the field of economy and ethics in the field of economy and doctrine in the field of economy, Islam has also introduced a system based on the basis of the doctrine for reaching the goals of the doctrine and I have shown them in this diagram that the system based on the basis to reach the goals and this system has been introduced by Islam. It is not something that we want to make it; we just derive it out of Islamic sources and this system a set of related institutions, they make a system, this system is based on a basis that has been introduced, for example, in the doctrine of Islamic economy. This system is supposed to reach the goals of the doctrine of the Islamic economy. For example the institution of Loan which is the institution of helping the others, but in this kind of helping, you will gain the profit of this help, you pay for somebody as a loan and you will get it back without any profit or any usury, because in the Islamic system, we know that Islamic system is based on usury rejecting and usury deleting of the system, because the idea of usury (reebaa) has been rejected in Islam. If we implement this system we will be able to reach the goals of the doctrine which I explained them; the elimination of the poverty and modification of the wealth. These elements (Philosophy, Doctrine, Ethics and System), as I mentioned they are all universal elements and not related to a special circumstances or a special conditions, but when we want to implement these systems in a special circumstances and condition, for example, now in Iran, or Hejaz at the time of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh), then the condition will have its impression on this system, the system will be implemented in a special mechanism and therefore in this theory the mechanism is actually the manifestation of  the system in a special circumstance. In specific condition the manifestation of this system will be special mechanism. The issue that I mentioned in the beginning of my lecture that for example if we refer to the economic system at the time of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) that system was implemented on that circumstances which were existing at that time and therefore there are issues that were related to special condition that were existing at that time. Islam has introduced issues which were not related to a period of time or piece of land, when it is implemented in a special condition, for example now or at time of Prophet Mohammad, then the impression of the condition will make it in a special form that we call it Mechanism.

 What we witnessed at time of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) it is the manifestation of that Islamic system in a special circumstances, situations, conditions, that existed at the time of Prophet (pbuh). And the last part in this theory is the legal system which is maybe the most visible part of Islam. When we refer to the Islamic sources maybe the most visible part is this part, the legal system, because the result of all of these issues; Philosophy, Ethics, Doctrine and System in the ordinary life and daily life is the legal system that is for controlling the relationship between people with each other, with the natural sources, with God. It is the result of all these issues. When there is a special legal issue, all of these issues in the life , it is this issue that we can witness it in the field of legal system, a legal issue, something that it is as command that says you should do this or you should not do this. This is the result of all the issues that I explained; the result of Philosophy, Ethics, Doctrine and System that Islam has introduced in the, for example, field of economy. When we refer to the Islamic economy, there is a very complete legal system on this field. This legal system has been discussed in our Feghhi(jurisprudential) books in the name of Makaaseb; they have discussed this issue in detail. But this issue that has been discussed in Makaaseb in this part of Feghh, this is in fact the legal system of Islam in the field of economy that is based on the Islamic system, Islamic Doctrine, Islamic Ethics, Islamic Philosophy in the field of economy.

Therefore I have shown in this short description that the Islamic system in fact consists of these issues; Philosophy, Ethics, Doctrine, System, Mechanism and the result of all are legal issues. Legal issues, as I said, it is the visible part of Islam that when we refer to the Sonnah and Quran we can find them. For example, it says “ God has prohibited usury” you cannot gain money through this process, but this idea, the elimination of usury, is of course an idea that has been accepted in economic system of Islamic. And this idea is based on a Doctrine, it is based in some basis to reach some goals and this Doctrine is based on a special Ethics and this Ethics is based on a special Philosophy and these issues are all related to each other. Now if I come back to the first step, I would like to say that if we refer to Islam we will find that all the ideas that have been presented by Islam are really rational ideas. They are well related to each other in a well rational system. All the issues have some relationships with the others. Some of them are the result of the others and some other are the preliminary steps for the others. They are all related to each other and when  we refer to Islamic ideology we should have in our mind that these issues that have been explained in different fields they are all related to each other and if we want to derive out, for example, the idea of Islam in the field of economics we should pay attention that in this field, there are some philosophical issues, some ethical issues, some issues that are related to the doctrine of Islam in this field, some issues that are related to the system of Islam in this field and at the same time we should have in our mind that if these issues are universal but they implemented in a special condition and circumstances and therefore there are some issues in Islam, Quran and Sonnah, that they are related to these special conditions that these ideas have been implemented in these field and when we refer to Islam, when we have this  theory as guide theory in our mind then we will be able to differentiate between different elements in Islam and at the same time we will be able to relate these different issues to each other in a very rational system and then we will be able to reach to a deep image of Islam in different fields; for example in the field of economy. This the idea of systematic thought theory in Islam and, as I mentioned, we have tried to implement it into different fields and to show the result of this theory in different fields and in my point of view this theory can be the guide theory for deriving out the idea of Islamic humanities, the idea of Islamic solutions for our contemporary world.


 



. This special image has been introduced by one of my students in his PH.D thesis with the name of Islamic economic human and the image of human in Islamic economy and this book has been printed some years ago. He has discussed the issue and he has tried to derive all the issues which are related to mankind and related to the field of economy in the Islamic literature and sources.

.I explained this idea in my book which I have written something about 15 years ago, about the Doctrine and System in Islamic economy.

. I have explained the Islamic economic system at the last chapter of my book I have explained this system and I have tried to show that this system is based on the basis in the doctrine that I mentioned some of its elements.

 


15:19 - 04/10/2015    /    number : 65477    /    Show Count : 303



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