Archive for July, 2017

Does Islam support pantheism?

July 16, 2017

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Does chapter (Q, 57:3) prove that Islam supports pantheism? It is said by the proponents of Pantheism, that everything that exists is Allah (in the image of Allah) and will eventually return to Allah. Is it the correct interpretation of the verse? 

There are a variety of definitions of pantheism. Some consider it a theological and philosophical position concerning Allah (SWT). However, that statement “that everything that exists is Allah” is not only incorrect but misleading.

As a religious position, some describe pantheism as the polar opposite of atheism (Ilhad). From this standpoint, pantheism (or incarnation) is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, Immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either mode of God, or identical with Him (Huma ost/Hulul—they are us or incarnate). In either case, It is considered “Shirk-fi-Zat” [assosation of non-gods with God or transfiguring of God into things or mythical concepts]

Some hold that pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Universe (in the sense of the totality of all existence) and God are identical (implying a denial of the personality and transcendence of God).

Here are various translations of the verse quoted above.

Asad: He is the First and the Last, 1 and the Outward as well as the Inward: 2 and He has full knowledge of everything.

Malik: He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent, and He has the knowledge of all things.

Pickthall: He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward, and He is Knower of all things.

Yusuf Ali: He is the First and the Last the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. 5276

Explanation of # 5276—-Allah is Evident in so far as there is ample evidence of His existence and providence all around us. On the other hand, Allah is hidden in so far as intellect cannot grasp His essence nor can He be seen in the present world. The following tradition in Sahih Muslim is also significant for an understanding of this verse. The Prophet (PBUH) said: (H) “Thou art the First, so that there was nothing before Thee; and Thou art the Last, so that there is nothing after Thee; and Thou art Evident, (or Ascendant) so that there is nothing above Thee, and Thou art the Hidden, the Knower of hidden things, so that there is nothing hidden from Thee.”

Here is something to be noticed that in any of the translation of the Qura’anic text there is nothing even faintly hinting that “Anything (created) is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God” Which has categorically been declared in (Q, 112:4) “There is nothing like Him”

The negation of Pantheism could best be presented by quoting none other than–Abu ‘l Hasan Ali b. Uthman b. Ali Al-Ghaznawi Al Jullabi  Al Hujwiri–{Lahore Fame, Data Gunj Baksh}.

Although he was Sunni/Hanifite, Al Hujwiri reconciled his theology with an advanced type of Sufiism; in which the notion of “annihilation–FANA” holds a dominant place, he scarcely went to such an extreme length which would have justified he being called a pantheist. He strenuously resisted the doctrine that human personality can be merged and extinguished in the being of God. He rather denounced it as heretical.

He compared the annihilation to that of burning by fire; which transmutes the quality of all things burnt to its own quality but leaves their essence unchanged.

He also concurred with his Spiritual-director, Al-Khuttali that the term “sobriety” should be adopted instead of intoxication in the Sufi parlance.

He also emphatically warned his followers/readers that no Sufi, not even those who have attained the highest degrees of Holiness, are exempt from the obligations of obeying the religious law (Sharia’a).

He defended Al Hallaj’s utterances by saying that they are pantheistic only in appearance yet condemning his doctrine as unsound.

He was clearly anxious to present Sufism as the true representation of Islam by paying homage to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).                                                                   [Excerpts are reproduced, with slight editing, from his book Kashf Al-Mahjub]


This verse quoted above, however, does not in any form or shape subscribe to the man-made, philosophical or theosophical, construct.

Purely Philosophical position; denial of the existence of God, is simply beyond the realm of any rational argument.


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