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Ruling on the study of philosophy

Published: 27/08/2011 11:05:00 AM GMT
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Is philosophy a prohibited science in Islamic Law? Is it true that Abû Hanîfah said that if you see a philosopher, you should beat him?

Answered by

the Scientific Research Committee -

Dear questioner:

Al-Salâm `Alaykum wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakâtuh.

The philosophy being referred to by Abû Hanîfah is the study of Metaphisics and Scholastic Theology that contain many false ideas about Allah. Such academic pursuits are discouraged in Islam, because they are generally fruitless intellectual excursions into matters that the human mind cannot comprehend, matters that we can only know about by way of direct revelation from Allah.

However, philosophy as the term is used today is a very broad field covering the study of knowledge in general. The ruling on studying philosophy depends on whether it poses a threat to a person’s Islamic faith or not.

Some aspects of what comes under the banner of “philosophy” today are quite beneficial. For example, a proper understanding of modern science and its inherent limitations cannot be had without studying the philosophy of science. Other topics in philosophy are contrary to Islam, but may be studied by competent Islamic scholars in order to refute the falsehood they contain. Other branches of philosophy have within them useful elements as well as false ones and need to be studied and corrected by competent Muslim scholars.

Source: Islam Today

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