Friday, January 1, 2010

It make me think!



Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas


Birds have been flying for more than 50,000 years I think. We don’t know. And yet they know their places. They know themselves. I mean the eagle does not fly at the level of the sparrow. It does not make a mess also down there, it is always up at the top.

The dialogue starts.

Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

(Arabic) … Sayyid Naqib al Attas, first of all, I would just like to say that, I have benefited immensely from your work, I’ve read all of the published work that I have that you’ve done. If you could perhaps really summarize what you think what is the essential crisis taking place right now in the Muslim word?


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

I said it is the lost of adab, but of course the word adab that I’m using, I think I have understood it according to what I understand to be perhaps the very early meaning of that word.

Adab is a reflection of wisdom, because this comes from the knowledge of the Prophet.

It is not something you get from universities or even from knowledge. Because people sometimes have knowledge but have no adab.

But therefore this adab the way I have understood it and define it is, it is acting in conformity with justice. Yes, but I’m talking about the main justice as the virtue actually. The final virtue. The culmination of all virtues.

Already the Quran said: “Innallaha ya’murukum an tu’adulamanaat ila ahliha, wa idza hakamtum bainannas an tahkumu bi ‘adl”. There are four terms already that are very important. First of all, amar. It is a command. It is a command. The command meaning something to do with commands and prohibitions. When you talk of command, you speak of law. Because people are not living in a state of nature.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

I mean, law can only happen when people have commands and prohibitions.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

And they submit to it.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

I won’t go into the details of that.

The second word is ahl. The ahli. Obviously it refers to people who are experts, who are authorities and the Quran mention ulul ‘ilm, ulul absar, ulul albab. These are the people who are in authority and of course those set in authority above you could mean also, em, just governments as well, isn’t it?


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

And then you have hakam. That’s where the wisdom comes in. Because this is from hikmah isn’t it?


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

Wa idza hakamtum bainannas an tahkumu bi ‘adl. So, this hakam. This wisdom. What is this wisdom really? The way I have understood, because I have contemplated on this thing.

Wisdom is the knowledge that tells you about the proper places of everything.

Of course all prophets have wisdom. The Quran said they are given the kitab wal hikmah. And some who are not prophets also were given wisdom. The Quran says isn’t it that Allah subhanallahu wa ta’ala gave wisdom to whom so ever He pleases. And those who are given that is given the very great good. The Quran mentioned Luqman being given wisdom and I supposed myself that some of these ancient philosophers, they were not Muslims but they were given wisdom. Because wisdom you have what are some, I talked about the theoretical, I talked about the practical wisdom, I think in their case, their theory and the practice deals mainly with the world of empirical things like Aristotle so on.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

They are dealing mainly with things, obviously through wisdom. They elaborated and classified logic, knowledge. All these things must come from wisdom. From Allah subhanallahu wa ta’ala. Although maybe they themselves did not realized that. They think it’s coming from their own minds.

You speak about logic, you speak about genus, difference, species. Now, why of course they observe. They can say that there are all kinds of things in this world. There are things that grow, there things but then that cannot move like plants and so on. There things that also grow but they can move, animals and so on. And then from there gradually you have genus, species, difference, isn’t it?


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

So all these is part of wisdom obviously.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

(Interrupts)


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

Yes, and that’s what I said. The knowledge of the proper places of things. That means, everything has got a proper place. That also is from the Quran. The Quran says about this thing, that there is maqama ma’lum.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Wa minna illa lahu maqama ma’lum.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

The Quran said Allah subhanallahu wa ta’ala created bil haq. Haq means, of course in English, very difficult. I always say reality and truth. Or true, real. Because that’s what haq is. It’s not just truth. It’s also real. That means what we are saying that this, the quality of truth is a reality also. Is not just …


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

(Interrupts)


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

Truth is just not propositional. It’s not property of sentences.


Syaikh Hamza Yusof Hanson

Yes.


Sayyid Muhammad Naqib Al ‘Attas

But we are saying this ontological also. That things are already established in reality. And they have proper places. You see, and therefore, wisdom is knowing how to deal with these things, to put them in the proper places, in our minds. And, this adab is conformity with that knowledge.

When you conform to the proper places of things, then that action that you do, that is what adab is about. So, and if for example you do that, then the conditions that results from that is justice. The word adl. Therefore justice is a condition of things being in their proper places. Now that’s is what is loss in the Muslims.

2 comments:

Hamra said...

Salam Ziarah Hani. Syeikh got his point right. That is the major thing what makes us, Muslims at the bottom. Kita dlm kefakiran adab. Sdgkn adab tu la yg boleh menarik org kpd peribadi Muslim yg diajar Islam.

Islam bkn pd Muslim. *blinking eyes*

Nazril said...

Assalamualaikum,

Pandangan Sayyid Naquib menunjukkan pemikirannya yang hebat. Hafizahullah wa ra'ahu.

Baru perasan comment tentang posting ana. bukan sengaja bagi panjang lebar, tapi nak bagitau yang suatu hukum-hukum yg digunakan para ulama bukan semudah yg di sangka.

Semoga Allah Taala menjadikan kita sentiasa berada di dalam jalanNya yang benar.