The End of Islamic Philosophy

Jay Stone writes in his review of Arabia 3D in the Ottawa Citizen (October 2010) that the Canadian IMAX production "is a dazzling voyage of discovery that aims to clear up misconceptions.”

No it won't. It will only add to the confusion and be a propaganda bonanza for Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi skewed version of early Islamic history.

When you eliminate Islam’s military conquests, the period of time in which Muslims, converts for the most part, made substantial scientific contributions during the so-called extremely bloody “golden period” was extremely short.

Between the 8th and 10th century there emerged an Islamic school of thought largely influenced by Plato and Aristotle which became known as Mu’tazilism or Philosophy of Rationalism or simply Islamic Philosophy.

Mu'tazilites argued that verses of the Koran should not be taken literally and that human reason was more reliable than scriptures.

The caliphs of the time tolerated this philosophy (some actively supported it) and this made it possible for Muslim scholars (Arab and others who became Muslims as Islam spread by the force of arms throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Persia) to make substantial contributions to astronomy, medicine and mathematics.

This period of intense scientific inquiry ended somewhat abruptly and with a vengeance towards the end of the 10th century when The Book of Hadith (the more than ten thousand authenticated sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) was closed and orthodoxy reasserted itself in the form of a comprehensive Islamic Theology which completely smothered Islamic philosophy and ended, once and for all, any substantial innovation as demanded by a saying of the Prophet.

Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire. Imam Muslim

This return to orthodoxy not only re-affirmed the supremacy of scriptures, including that the Koran was the literal Word of God, but that the example and the sayings of the Prophet, together with the Koran, were all a believer needed to know to lead a good, god-fearing life.

Bernard Payeur