Islam’s Account of Man: A Short Sketch

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَـٰكُمْ عَبَثًۭا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ

Deemed ye then that We had created you for naught, and that ye would not be returned unto Us?

[Surah Al-Mu’minun: 115] Translation: Muhammad William Marmaduke Pickthall

The Noble Qur’an uses the terms In-saan [انسان] and bash’ar [بشر] to refer to a human being [man and woman].

They are often used interchangeably but they, nevertheless, have differences.

Bash’ar is a more empirical description. It is concerned with the outward appearance. It is the superficial and material account of a human being.

Now, as far as In-saan is concerned, it signifies a more profound and higher state.

The word shares its roots with the word Nisyaan [نسيان] which means forgetfulness and amnesia.

It is said that In-saan is a being who is in a state of forgetfulness with regards to its purpose.

So, when a Bash’ar is aware of his/her lack of knowledge and forgetfulness and strives to overcome it, he/she attains the rank of In-saan.

The Self is called Nafs (نفس).

It has three categories:

Nafs Ammarrah [نفس أمارة] : The part of self that entices Man to follow his lust and baser instincts.

Nafs Luvammah [نفس  اللوامة] : The part of self that admonishes Man to review, repent, and mend his ways.

Nafs Mutma’innah [نفس المطمئنة] : The highest level of self whose bearer finds satisfaction and bliss in absolute submission to the Ultimate Reality [الحق].

The primordial condition on which every human being is born is called Fitrah [فطرة]. It is a kind of operating system, a software which in its uncorrupted and undefiled form helps Man to establish a connection with Allah Almighty.

As Rumi says,

Or (suppose that) a mother cries to her suckling babe, “Come, I am mother: hark, my child!”—

Will the babe say?—“O mother, bring the proof (of it), so that I may take comfort in thy milk.”

When in the heart of any community there is savour (spiritual perception) from God, the face and voice of the prophet are (as) an evidentiary miracle.

When the prophet utters a cry from without, the soul of the community falls to worship within,

Because never in the world will the soul’s ear have heard from any one a cry of the same kind as his.

That stranger (the soul), by immediate perception of the strange (wondrous) voice, has heard from God’s tongue (the words), “Verily I am near.

The Sheer Modernism of Perennialism

“The Perennialists claim to be saving religion from the onslaught of modernity, but by adopting a pluralist epistemology, and especially one that is applied to the truths at the core of a given religion, they are sacrificing its most essential element: sacrality; for if religion is deprived of its exclusive claim to absolute truth, then it is deprived of its sacrality and sacrosanctity and can no longer claim to be sacred. This, of course, is precisely the loss that the Perennialists claim to be avoiding. Ultimately, the whole movement is a modernist reaction which is supposedly against modernity. Again, you can’t make this stuff up!”

Arash Najaf-Zadeh (The European New Right – A Shi’a Response: A Radical Critique of Alexander Dugin, E. Michael Jones, and Alain de Benoist, pg. 131)

Arguments for Ethnonationalism: Some Observations – Part – I

A few days ago, as I was going through my Telegram feed, I saw an essay on the wall of Imperium Press. It was titled, In Defence of Ethnonationalism, which was written by Victor Van Brandt.

It begins with an etymological description of the word ‘nation’ and how a people precede a state not vice versa, and, therefore, “one cannot define the nation by reference to the state”, which is a valid point.

It then lists four arguments in support of ethnonationalism.

They are:

The argument from particularism

The pragmatic argument

The argument from fairness

The argument from diversity

Let us analyze each one separately.

“Argument from Particularism”

In the “argument from particularism”, the author describes nation as an “extended kinship group”. And since we prioritize our family and its interests over others, the same can be said in the context of a nation.

The subtext is “evolutionary” that sees Man as a descendent of ape-like ancestors whose behavior should be studied within the parameters of empirical sciences.

To quote from the essay:

One sees that in nature, animals keep to their own kind. They move together in groups based on their shared characteristics and look after their own group. Humans are in physical terms really just a very intelligent species of primate, and the same basic principles and laws apply to them as to every other animal.

Now, here is a problem.

Whereas it can be said that animals “do move together in groups based on their shared characteristics and look after their own group”, they do not do this under some order of morality and ethics.

Besides, intra-group infanticide and killings are regular occurrences within the animal kingdom.

The exigencies of leading a pack often result in ruthless massacres of potential rivals irrespective of their age and stature.

A lion does not think twice before attacking a little cub.

Would a particular human ethnic group benefit if it adopts such savage in-group competition where heads of families clash violently among themselves? They would extinct themselves with their own hands.

It is the moral and ethical framework that governs the parameters of human relationships.

Why should a son/daughter listen to his/her father/mother?

Why should he/she respect his/her elders?

Why should a man look after his children?

Why should a mother take care of her newborn?

Why should she not abandon her offspring?

Why should she not have the right to kill them?

Why should I show kindness to those younger than me?

Why should I be gentle towards my co-ethnics?

&,

Why should I be respectful towards other ethnicities/races?

In essence, a moral argument for ethnonationalism can only be raised on moral and ethical foundations, which I do not think the “evolutionary” perspective can provide.

(To be continued)

Christianity and Paganism(s) & Their Structural Weaknesses

Following is the comment I posted on Counter-Currents under the title Christianity is a Vast Reservoir of Potential White Allies:

Both Christianity and Paganism(s) have serious structural deficiencies. They can’t challenge let alone overturn the totalitarian marketization of the society.

They do not have a comprehensive way of life. They are made to adjust themselves to the prevailing or developing value system.

The erroneous splitting of the social existence into “secular” and “godly” sectors leaves the latter part at the mercy of the former.

It happened to Pagan traditions when they came into contact with Christianity. The erstwhile pagan royalty and nobility switched towards the new system and overcame the pagan masses and their traditions by granting Christianity a privileged status in society.

This favored status persisted as long as the “secular” world was suffering from administrative weaknesses.

However, once the “secular” domain regained its strength, it outmuscled Christianity socially as well as ideologically.

Now, the “secular” bureaucratic state machinery negotiates from the position of strength. It behaves condescendingly.

Liberal ontology is abominable but formidable.

P.S.: Today, Hinduism too is suffering the same fate Christianity suffered in Europe. The “Hindu revival” (Hindutva) under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the market regimentalization of the Hindu portion of the society, which is a corporate-driven effort to decimate the rural strongholds (a potential threat to the liberal urban value system) and force the rural man to migrate towards the big commercial centers in search of “jobs”. His ancestral land will be used to “industrialize” India.

The Sanctity of Lunar cycles in Islam and Pagan Germania

Tacitus writes in chapter 11 of his Germania, and it is a fascinating observation:

“About minor matters the chiefs deliberate, about the more important the whole tribe. Yet even when the final decision rests with the people, the affair is always thoroughly discussed by the chiefs. They assemble, except in the case of a sudden emergency, on certain fixed days, either at new or at full moon; for this they consider the most auspicious season for the transaction of business. Instead of reckoning by days as we do, they reckon by nights, and in this manner fix both their ordinary and their legal appointments. Night they regard as bringing on day.”

Islam too recognizes not the solar but lunar cycles as the primary source for temporal management for Man. The waxing moon, the full moon, and the waning moon, carry deep signification.

The month can be either 29 or 30 days long. A lunar period runs from sunset to sunset. The date changes as the Sun sets.

The ambiguity at the end of the month is deliberate and when we combine this feature with the fact that the lunar months float throughout the seasons, we find with ourselves a way to frustrate the totalitarian imposition of fixed time, which has been one of the most glaring characteristics of the marketization of human societies.

And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf.

Surah Ya Seen Verse 39

Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain.

Surah Muzzammil, Verse 6.

Translations: William Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall

Ghazal by Hafez e Shirazi

غلامِ نرگسِ مستِ تو تاجدارانند

خرابِ بادهٔ لعلِ تو هوشیارانند

تو را صبا و مرا آبِ دیده شد غَمّاز

و گر نه عاشق و معشوق رازدارانند

ز زیرِ زلفِ دوتا چون گذر کُنی بِنْگر

که از یَمین و یَسارت چه سوگوارانند

گذار کن چو صبا بر بنفشه زار و ببین

که از تَطاوُلِ زلفت چه بی‌قرارانند

نصیبِ ماست بهشت ای خداشناس برو

که مُستَحَقِّ کرامت گناهکارانند

نه من بر آن گُلِ عارض غزل سُرایم و بس

که عَندَلیبِ تو از هر طرف هزارانند

تو دستگیر شو ای خضرِ  پی خجسته که من

پیاده می‌روم و هَمرَهان سوارانند

بیا به میکده و چهره ارغوانی کن

مرو به صومعه کآنجا سیاه کارانند

خلاصِ حافظ از آن زلفِ تابدار مباد

که بستگانِ کمندِ تو رستگارانند

What is the Western Conception of Man?

How does the West define Man?

Is there really a Western conception of Man?

Or

Are there multiple Western conceptions of Man?

Which is the correct one?

What are the criteria to judge a pronouncement correct or false in this regard?

Should we go to the psychological realm to quench our thirst or does philosophy contain all that we require to deal with this issue?

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.

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What does it say about a tradition/school of thought that is yet to provide a solid answer to the aforementioned problem?

What is the worth of the rest of the corpus if it has been failing to address this absolutely fundamental issue?

Think.

Ghazal by Abdul Qadir Bedil Dehlvi

چه دارد این صفات حاجت آیات

به جز ورد دعای حضرت ذات

غنا و فقرهستی لا والاست

گدایی نفی و شاهنشاهی اثبات

فسون ظاهر و مظهر مخوانید

خیال است این چه تمثال و چه مرآت

جهان گل کردهٔ یکتایی اوست

ندارد شخص تنها جز خیالات

نباشد مهر اگر صبح تبسم

که خندد جز عدم بر روی ذرات

مه وسال وشب وروزت مجازیست

حقیقت نه زمان دارد نه ساعات

نشاط و رنج ما تبدیل اوضاع

بلند وپست ما تغییر حالات

همین غیب و شهادت فرق دارد

معانی در دل و برلب عبارات

فروغی بسته بر مرآت اعیان

چراغان شبستان محالات

نه او را جزتقدس میل آثار

نه ما را غیر معدومی علامات

تو و غافل ز من‌، افسوس‌، افسوس

من و دور از درت‌، هیهات‌، هیهات

زبان شرم اگر باشد به کامت

خموشی نیست بیدل جز مناجات

Revelation (Waḥy) and Philosophy

Philosophy is the quicksilver that revelation was sent down from on high to preclude humanity from having to touch, for touch it enough and we will surely become “as mad as a hatter”.

“A coherent philosophical footing” is an oxymoron that is bested only by the term “philosophical faith”. Philosophy is for those who have failed to attain the certainty of faith. And so the solution is to recognize the need for a stability whose only basis can be revealed knowledge concerning the world beyond the ken of human perception.

Arash Najaf-Zadeh (The European New Right – A Shi’a Response: A Radical Critique of Alexander Dugin, E. Michael Jones, and Alain de Benoist, pgs. 60-1)

“Writing”: The ‘Appearance of Wisdom, Not True Wisdom’

I heard, then, that at Naucratis, in Egypt, was one of the ancient gods of that country, the one whose sacred bird is called the ibis, and the name of the god himself was Theuth. He it was who invented numbers and arithmetic and geometry and astronomy, also draughts and dice, and, most important of all, letters. Now the king of all Egypt at that time was the god Thamus, who lived in the great city of the upper region, which the Greeks call the Egyptian Thebes, and they call the god himself Ammon. To him came Theuth to show his inventions, saying that they ought to be imparted to the other Egyptians. But Thamus asked what use there was in each, and as Theuth enumerated their uses, expressed praise or blame, according as he approved or disapproved. The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat ; but when they came to the letters, ” This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories ; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.” But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another ; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding ; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.

Socrates [Phaedrus, 561-3, Plato: Euthyphro Apology Crito Phaedo Phaedrus, Translated by Harold North Flower, Harvard University Press]