Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Religion and Science

 There are sometimes situations in life when there is a difficulty if you do some thing and there is difficulty when you do not do it. Indulging in philosophy is one of them. Even if it is philosophy of science. It remains true even if you are talking on the topic of religion and science. Make your decision before you read the following post further. It is merely the table of content of a famous book by a famous caliph of Hazrat Thanwi (RA).

 Religion and Science (Mazhab Aur Science)
A discussion on mutual relationship and influence of scholasticism and science from a fresh angle and  establishment of  of Qur’anic facts in the light of philosophy and modern science. 

Maulana Abdul Bari Nadwi
Academy Research and Publications, Lucknow
Formerly professor of Modern Philsophy Usmania University, Hyderabad

1. Preface Material (Brief introduction of author, preface, forward by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi , (1970 AC), forward by author, forward by Doctor Mohammed Raziuddin Siddiqui (1970 AC) (Vice Chancellor, Peshawar University))2. Position of Man (or self recognition)
2(a). Awareness of Unseen
2(b) Types of Unseen
2(c) Depth of Hear only Unseen
2(d) Punishment of Fergetting  God-Forgetting Self
3. Visible Falsehood or Riddle of Matter and Materialism
3(a) Reverse Logic
3(b) Forward logic
4. Science and Philosophy
Summary of the Discussion
5.Sciecne and Religion
5(a) Some Additional and Further Puzzles of Matter
6. Character of Intellectual Creation and Relation of Intellect and Creation
7. Index (Prepared by Ghayasuddin Nadwi)

(Typesetting : Hallmark hand composing by Zahir Ahmed Kakorvi)

It is nearly impossible that a philosophic perspective of science will be in consonance with the perspective held by scientists. If these two are the same thing then why do you need any philosophical perspective?
But lots of opaqueness has been caused in the past by philosophical activities and the air must be cleared. That is the task taken up by Hazrat Maulana Abdul Bari Nadwi (RA) in this book. Just to give a flavour of the type of things that occupy the pages of this book here  is a partial list of the words occuring in the Latin script in the original Urdu book. Alpha and procima (centaury), Andromeda,  billions (of galaxies), body and mind, beta, cosmological creation,  constellation, Cygnus, curved coordinates, counter example, deterministic, disembodied, man the unknown electron, Eddington, emptiness, electric changes,epistemological, extragalactic, expansion,  four dimensional vector, finite, forms, geodesic, higher animal, hypothesis.

The prototype of Science is Physics. Physics is all about empirical reality of inanimate world. Previous statement itself will create two major philosophical problems with the modern practitioners of Physics. In that community empirical knowledge is the sum total of knowledge and reality. To think beyond that is a travesty of truth. Ergo, Physics is the reality, not the empirical reality. Secondly the majority of Science community will insist that there is no additional scientific thing to learn when you pass from inanimate world to animate world. Hence specification of inanimate world in connection is an over specification.

And thus, in the beginning itself we end up in two fissures that can not be patched up. What could be the way out? Look for common grounds of agreement while, at the same time, holding our respective positions. That is what we shall adopt for the time being.

Coming back to Physics connection. So if you want to talk about science then we should begin with Physics. The freshest of it. That is what is happening in the present book as can be seen from the terminology presented above.

But what is the use of talking Physics from the perspective of a non-practitioner? You, anyway, will not reach the real point.

There is a point. You may not reach the real Physical perspective but you do have chance to approach the public perspective of Physics in particular and Science in general. Indeed that is the matter that has to be addressed. To bring public perspective of Science in general and Physics in particular is as much a western concern as it is ours. Indeed it is much more of a western concern than a Muslim or Islamic concern. The unfortunate reason is the fact that in the field of Science Muslims at present are not the equal term participants, let alone the matters of leadership. This is a different problem and we shall not amplify about that here.

One doable thing can be to take up issues with public perspective of science if it is not in consonance with the teachings of Islam, the Islamic perspective. This is the burden of the present book. The book is an old one and established one and does not need our recommendation. But if we want to participate in the task of explaining Science to Muslims, masses or elite, and Islam to the world then it is a significant milestone that can be taken as a point of departure.

To give another perspective here is the Back Matter of the book.

When the spell of the worshipers of materialism and atheism that was established by the materialists
and atheists on the basis of Science broke then for those who pondered over the reality of world new lines opened up-even if on the basis of the dictum: could not be firm on atheism so resigned to faith. And it became impossible not to accept the existence of universal mind. Hazrat Maulana Abdul Bari Nadawi have described this in enough detail in his book (Religion and science). For those people who have been,overwhelmed by the recent extra ordinary progress of science and technology, suffering from weakening of faith, for them it has made available a means  to achieve firm belief and a wherewithal for deliverance in the hereafter. There is no doubt in this that it is an  important and appreciable accomplishment of Hazrat Maulana.

(From the forward by Doctor Mohammed Raziuddin Siddiqui)