Man and Islam: “The free man and freedom of man” By: Dr. Ali Shariati, – Ladies and Gentlemen: Tonight, as long as time permits, I would like to. Ali Shariati Mazinani was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist who focused on the . The civilized man could talk on himself more that universe and the new . Ali Khamenei knew Shariati as a pioneer of Islamic teaching according to the. Man and Islam by Ali Shariati, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Man and Islam : Ali Shariati :

Iranian Personalities Man and Islam: Ali Shariati, – L adies and Gentlemen: Tonight, as long as time permits, I would like to investigate the following questions: Does Shariqti recognize man as a helpless creature whose ultimate goal and ideal is to stand powerless in front of God?

Does Islam recognize humanness as a nobility? Is helplessness in man a pre-requisite of belief in Islam, or on the contrary, is belief in Islam enough to bestow originality upon man and a respect for his virtues?

The issue of man is an extremely important one. Today’s civilization has based its religion upon humanism; that is, the originality and worship of man.

Dr. Ali Shariati: Man and Islam: “The free man and freedom of man”

It is assumed that various religions in the past shattered man’s personality, and forced him to sacrifice himself for his gods, admit his powerlessness, and forced him to ask favors from them through prayer, supplication and begging.

Humanism is a post-renaissance religion which set itself across the providential orders and those religions which were based upon the supernatural and the unseen, which aimed to bestow nobility upon man.

The roots of humanism go back to Athens, and as a universal religion it has become the foundation of today’s Western culture.

As a matter of fact humanism is a reaction against the scholastic creed and Christianity of the Middle Ages. In order to find out how man was interpreted in various religions of the past, or to understand the role islak humanism in religions, one should study the philosophy of creation. Since I do not have time to survey all the Eastern and Western religions relative to the philosophy of man’s creation, I will only emphasize the philosophy of man’s creation in Islam and the religions of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus of which Islam is a sequel and culmination.

How does Islam interpret and recognize the creation of man? Is it possible to realize man’s position from the quality of his creation narrated in the Qur’an or the sayings of prophet Mohammad PBUH? By investigating the quality of Adam’s creation, which stands as the symbol of man in the Qur’an, we can infer the kind of status he islamm in the sight of God in Islam, as well as in other religions.

As a preface I should say that the language of religions, especially the Semitic ones, whose prophets we believe in, are all symbolic. This is the finest language accessible to man and it is superior to expository language which is lucid and straightforward. An shariatu language may be more suited and simpler to utilize in instruction, but it is not lasting. Annd Badawi, the contemporary Egyptian philosopher, states that: A school or a religion which expresses all its facts and connotations in direct, clear-cut, and one-dimensional sentences will not last long, since it is addressing diverse individuals from all walks of life.

Further, these people include various strata and classes who vary in thinking, viewpoint, and outlook. And so, a language which is selected for a religion must be multi layered and multi-dimensional so that each generation sharizti decipher one layer and each group can understand one dimension at a time. This is why all the literary symbolic works are immortal. Hafiz’s poems are everlasting due to the fact that the more we read them, depending upon our tastes, the more new areas we can infer and discover.


But such is not true for the History of Bayhaghi or Golestan of Saadi, their meanings are relatively obvious. We enjoy their dialects, shariai from a spiritual point of view most of their contents are obsolete. But Hafiz’s words, being multi-dimensional and symbolic, allow each one of us, depending on our tastes abd mentality, to infer a new meaning ilsam a new andd from them. And since religions were brought for various types of peoples and generations, it was necessary that they contained symbolic languages.

Most of the meanings existing in religions were not clear at the time they emerged. However, since such meanings had to be explained to people, they had to be in plain language so the oslam could comprehend ehariati.

On the other islaam, if the concepts were plain enough, such religions would contain no new meanings. This is why languages were symbolic so that future generations, relative to their mental and scientific maturity, could discover new meanings and concepts.

Man and Islam

This is why in European literature symbol- ism is the finest style. Thus, the story of Adam’s creation was told in symbolic language so that now, after iskam centuries in the midst of scientific progress in all areas, it remains worthy of study. Even the Post-Renaissance European humanism has not been able to bestow such an exalting sanctity upon man.

God, being the greatest and most exalting from a faithful Muslim point of view, addresses the angels to introduce His vicegerent. Thus, with this providential mxn the mission of man on earth is clarified. That is, man’s mission on earth is to fulfill God’s creative work in the universe.

Therefore, man’s first superiority is that he represents God on earth. The angels objected, “Do you want to create a revengeful and vindictive creature to commit crime and bloodshed on earth again? And this is the point which symbols, loaded with profound anthropological connotations, come into being. Since God wants to create a vicegerent for Himself on earth, He must, as a rule, choose the most valuable and sacred material.

Yet He selects the basest matter. In the Qur’an there are three references relative to the material that man was made of: Finally, the Lord breathed His spirit into the dry mud and man came into being. In the human tongue God is the most sacred and exalted being, while mud stands as a symbol of the meanest and the basest thing. And the spirit of God is the most sacred, exalting, and the noblest “part” of His being.

Accordingly, in creating man, God did not use His “breath, “blood,” or “flesh”; rather He blew His own Soul into man. God is the most sublime being and His spirit is the finest entity for which man can possibly have an epithet in his language. Thus, man who was formed from mud and God’s spirit is a two- dimensional being.

For unlike all other beings which are one dimensional, man is two-dimensional; one dimension tends towards mud, lowliness, sedimentation, and stagnation while the other aspires to the loftiest imaginable point possible.

On the Sociology of Islam: Lectures

So man is composed of two contradictions-mud and God’s spirit. Thus man’s significance and grandeur lie in the fact that he possesses two poles mud and the spirit of the Lord. It is up to man to choose where to go, towards mud or providence.

And as long as sli has not selected either of the poles as his fate, struggle will perpetually rage within him. Once man was created, God taught him uslam names. It is not yet clear xhariati these names were, but every commentator has said something that leaves no doubt msn God was talking about education and instruction. In any case, when the creation of man ended, God taught sharati the names. Man became a possessor of names. At this point the angels protested: Why should he have superiority over us?


Bow down to man. This is what humanism is all about. Do you see the extent of man’s grandeur? So lofty is his position that the angels, in spite of their natural and racial superiority light vs mudadored Adam.

How- ever, since the angels protested, the Lord, in order to test them, asked them to recite the names but they could not answer. In this test the angels were defeated and the superiority and virtue of Adam was established. Superiority depends upon knowledge of the names.

Man knows things which angels do not know.

This is indicative of the fact that nobility depends upon knowledge and intelligence rather than upon racial superiority. Another issue is the woman who is believed to have been created from Adam’s rib.

This is the result of a wrong translation of the Arabic word ‘rib’ into Persian. In Arabic and Hebrew ‘rib’ has an additional meaning which is ‘nature. By and by they evolved and came to resemble each other. So they are thought of as two different races. Mind you that even those philosophers and scientists who believe that Adam and Eve are of the same race have always despised the female’s nature.

However, the position of the Qur’an aoi that man and woman are of the same nature. Another surprising point in man’s creation in the Qur’an is that God calls upon the whole creation-skies, seas, plants, mountains, animals and so ad informs them: This is indicative of the fact that man possesses another virtue; that is, his acceptance of a trust that ilam else refused.

This means that man is a representative of God in the universe as well as His trustee. As to what the ‘trust’ is, everyone mentions something. Mawlavi believes that it is will and choice. The only superiority that man has over all other beings in the universe is his will. He is the only being that can act contrary to his nature, while no animal or plant is capable of doing so.

It is impossible to find an animal which can fast for two days. And no plant has ever committed suicide due to grief or has done a great service. Man is the only one who rebels against his physical, spiritual, and material needs, and turns his back against goodness and virtue.

Further, he is free shaiati behave irrationally, to be bad or good, to be mudlike or Divine. The point is that possession of “will” is the greatest characteristic of man and it throws light upon the kinship between man and God. Is it not true that God breathed His spirit into man and appointed him as His trustee?

Then man is a vicegerent and “relative” of God on earth and the spirit of both quench their thirst from the same fountain of virtue-possession of will. God, the only being in the universe who possesses an absolute will and can do whatever He wishes, even to work contrary to the laws of nature, breathed His spirit in man.

And so, man is capable of working like God not on par with Him, only resembling Goduslam acting against the physiological laws of his own nature. Therefore, what can be inferred from man’s nature and the philosophy of creation are as follows: Not only are all men equal, they are brothers. The disparity between equality and brotherhood is quite obvious; jslam is a legal term while brotherhood is an announcement of the identical nature of all men who have, despite their colors, emerged from a single source.

Contrary to all the past philosophies, male and female are of the same nature, and were created simultaneously by God.