Running Header: QUESTION 1 AND 2 MEDIEVAL PERSPECTIVES 1
The existence of the universe is based onspecific doctrines put forward by the Wise Being, who controls thetruth. Human beings derive their knowledge by paying allegiance tothe Wise Being and gaining from the well of wisdom provided by him.This Wise Being is the source of all truth and is God. God providesHis divine wisdom to people so that they can make their lives onearth better. The truth depicts the end point of every aspect ofhuman life and earthly undertakings. According to Aquinas philosophy,this end is the one that is regarded as good.
Taking the examples of the medical field, shipbuilding field and military field, the arts involved reflect on therelationship between the final end product and the determinantsleading to that product. Health is the final product of medical artand it is the best part that has to be achieved. The determinants ofthis end product are the medical practitioners like chemists and thevarious medical and treatment modalities used to achieve the healthof a human being. In ship navigation, shipbuilding is the determinantof the smoothest navigation. In military art, weapons of wardetermine the efficiency and strength of the army and hence itssuccess in the battlefield. All these end products should be good andthe people behind such results are the master artisans.
With this notion about the philosophy of theend being good, God takes the centre stage as the wise. He is thefirst mover or author of all good creations seen around us. It isthrough seeking his divine knowledge that humans get a chance toenjoy the fruits of the wisdom provided by God. According to theChristian gospel by John (18:37), it is lamented that Jesus was bornand came to this world so that he can give testimony to the truth.The truth in this aspect is the one that has reference to theoriginal truth, which is from the wise one who is the Almighty God.
The truth should have a concurrent falsehoodthat it tries to overrule or avert. For example, the art of medicineseeks to establish health and counter the illnesses affecting people.Saint Aquinas seeks to implore our understanding of the contrariesthat relate to the truth and falsehood. By referencing the statement,“My mouth shall meditate truth and my lips will hate impiety”, hesheds light on the need to uphold the truth and disqualify thefalsehood. This is seen also when Christian Jews refuted the Gentileswith their Mohammed and pagan doctrines. Human beings should,therefore, pursue and seek the divine wisdom which is noble, usefuland joyful. This truth brings man closer to the likeness of thewisest who is God.
Teleological study of the world is philosophyand this is supported by the law which is the holy book of Quran. Thelaw entails summoning the reflection of human beings and theirpursuit of knowledge. It evokes the need to combine intellectualreasoning as well as the legal reasoning to gain textual authorityover the study of human beings. The holy Quran gives evidence of thesupport and authority given by God the Exalted, to the people topursue studies relating to their totality as humans and religion.
This obligatory authority given to the peoplein their pursuit of knowledge and wisdom of God should followspecific rules that the Law agrees with. The Quran requires thatthose seeking to study the law should use the most perfect kind ofreasoning through examination and demonstration. To achieve such astudy, philosophical concepts should be incorporated fully in orderto achieve facts on the religious concepts (Islam) under study. Onekey philosophical concept a religious thinker should have is theknowledge of logic. This logic must be learned from ancient masterswho have written or proposed religious matters regardless of theirreligious inclination, that is, either Muslims or other religions.
Philosophical concepts of validity should alsobe incorporated in order to understand religion better. Fallaciousreasoning should be avoided to achieve the intended understanding ofGod. To have excellent knowledge of this validity, concepts ofphilosophical reasoning parts should be well known, that is, thepremises and the syllogisms. Inference is another tool that religiousthinkers should keep on track and consideration. The study should beable to infer from original works done before the study. If no suchworks exist then, the religious thinker should start from scratch.
The original works written or proposed byearlier masters of art or religion should be followed using bothnatural intelligence and religious integrity and moral virtue. Suchworks should never be ignored, but instead put into critical thinkingto criticize, adapt or add to the proposed work. Religious thinkersshould also restrain from bad organization of their study,passion-directed study, and deficiency in natural capacity andfailure to get a teacher to guide them through the study.
The law has, therefore, given Muslims a way totruth suitable to God’s nature through demonstrative, dialecticaland rhetorical methods. These methods are embedded in philosophy. Thelaw therefore commands philosophy as well as religion. This issupported by the teachings of God the Exalted in the Holy Quran (XVI,125), “Summon to the way of your Lord by wisdom and by goodpreaching and debate with them, in the most effective manner.”