Easy Nash: “Creation” in the Ismaili Lexicon @NVelshi

By Easy Nash

My rebooted Blog(Part 2), resumed in late 2018/early 2019(ie a few short weeks ago), began with a comparison between 2 similarly-sounding quotes uttered by Mawlana Hazar Imam which nevertheless have 1 critical difference, as follows:

A thousand years ago, my forefathers, the Fatimid imam-caliphs of Egypt, founded al-Azhar University and the Academy of Knowledge in Cairo. In the Islamic tradition, they viewed the discovery of knowledge as a way to understand, so as to serve better God’s creation, to apply knowledge and reason to build society and shape human aspirations(Aga Khan IV, Speech, 25th June 2004, Matola, Mozambique)

Education has been important to my family for a long time. My forefathers founded al-Azhar University in Cairo some 1000 years ago, at the time of the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt. Discovery of knowledge was seen by those founders as an embodiment of religious faith, and faith as reinforced by knowledge of workings of the Creator’s physical world. The form of universities has changed over those 1000 years, but that reciprocity between faith and knowledge remains a source of strength(Aga Khan IV, 27th May 1994, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.)

The critical difference between the above 2 excerpts should be transparent to any Science aficionado: while excerpt number 1 emphasizes the practical applications which come from the discovery of new scientific knowledge, ie, using the fruits of those scientific discoveries for the practical benefit of humanity and society, excerpt number 2 describes the one step that must logically precede any talk of practical benefits for humanity and society and that is to actually make the basic scientific discovery of new knowledge as it pertains to answering 2 very fundamental questions: 1) What is the universe made up of and 2) How does the universe operate? To put it more succinctly excerpt number 1 relates to the practical benefits of applied science whereas excerpt number 2 relates to pure basic science!

Read more at the source


Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

2 thoughts

  1. The full meaning of the word “Creation” in the Ismaili Tariqah is strongly hinted at by this Hadith: “The First And Only Thing Created By God Was The Intellect(Aql)”(Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH and his descendants). Everything else in Creation is merely an emanation from Intellect:
    1)In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God: Aga Khan IV(2008)
    2)The Qur’an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God’s creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
    3)The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
    4)This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
    5)Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God’s creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
    6)The Holy Qu’ran’s encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
    7)The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)

    “……a true understanding of God must also take account of His creation. Such a synthesis is crucial to how the human intellect eventually relates to creation and how it ultimately becomes the instrument for penetrating through history the mystery of the unknowable God implied in the formulation of tawhid.”(Dr Azim Nanji, Dean of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1998)



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