Tawhid and Shari’ah: A Transdisciplinary Methodological Enquiry

Tawhid and Shari'ah
  • Book Title:
 Tawhid And Shariah
  • Book Author:
Masudul Alam Choudhury
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Tawhid and Shari’ah – Book Sample

Preface – Tawhid and Shari’ah

The shari’ah scholars and their schools (sects = madhabs) and human mis-interpretation of Tawhid as the LAW have a disabling mental construct and worldview that are always expected to arise from the Qur’an and the sunnah and the intellectual and applied discourse by the learned and all participants.

 Shari’ah scholars, sects (madhabs), and their protégé in present times understand by Tawhid just its cast of belief that is impersonal in nature, not having any social implications except for the hidden individuation of Tawhid in self.

 Hence, Tawhid as the essential law of ‘everything’ in its conceptual and applied implications has never occurred to the Muslim mind over all times. Even when Ghazali referred to the emanation of the purpose and objective of the shari’ah, this was in terms of his explanation of the dynamics of Tawhid as consciousness (taqwa and tawakkil) (Karim, n.d.).

But this primordial ontological premise of Islamic mono-theistic worldview in the scheme and order of ‘everything’ was never invoked to explain the unfathomed capability. That is to interrelate the organic monotheistic unity of knowledge with the generality and particularities of the world-system along with all the ensuing details.

 Muslim scholars along with their sects and humanly concocted interpretations of worldly events in the light of Tawhid have failed grossly in carrying forth the Tawhidi origin of maqasid al-shari’ah thought as it appealed to Ghazali. Yet this appeal was never formalized into conceptual and applied perspec-tive by latter days’ Muslims. The clamour around shari’ah in respect of the worldly matters (muamalat) now remains an empty secular pursuit of mind xii PREFACE

and matter of a disengaged Muslim society—not a truly Qur’anic one. The present work is thereby a serious critique of the school of shari’ah in the face of the indelible Tawhid as law in respect of its methodological worldview of unity of knowledge (monotheism) as the primal ontology of ‘everything’ that thereby emanates.

Reflecting on the Field of Islamic economics and Finance as It has evolved

In the field of Islamic economics and finance and social ordering, it has now been 19 years since the birth of the unique educational institution of postgraduate programme in Islamic Economics and Finance (IEF) now with the Faculty of Economics of Trisakti University, Jakarta, Indonesia. This institution (see online https://www.ief-trisakti.ac.id/) was estab-lished by its academic founders, late Professor Dr Sofyan Syafri Harahap, Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economics, Trisakti University, and Professor Dr Masudul Alam Choudhury, author of this book.

The specific objective behind this great educational project was to derive, develop, and apply the methodology of Tawhid (monotheism as law) as in the Qur’an and the sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad) towards establishing the methodological foundation of Islamic Economics and Finance. Such an erudite venture was absent among Muslims for a long time now.

This book is a manifestation of the depth and highly analytical nature of the study of Tawhid as the primal ontological law of monotheism that is followed in IEF. It takes a deeply Qur’anic exegesis, philosophical, and specialized socio-scientific inquiry in deriving, developing, and empirically applying the imminent Qur’anic methodology of unity of knowledge and its consequential unified world-system in extensive diversity, by generality and particulars.

The approach of the study, while being of Qur’anic ontological origin, is also of a comparative nature based on critical thinking. Educational fac-ulty, advanced scholarly students, and the global academic forum are being educated substantively in Tawhidi methodological worldview. The emer-gent approach is formalized in and by the modelling of the theory that is referred to in this book as Tawhidi String Relation (TSR).

The comprehensive moral and material, with abstraction and empirical inclusiveness of the nature of Tawhidi methodology of the worldview of Qur’anic monotheism and the unified world-system by way of organic unity of knowledge, is explained by the three substantive parts.

 These are the Qur’anic exegesis on the study of ontology as the philosophical socio- scientific origin of Being and Becoming of Reality. Next follows the inquiry of the Qur’anic ontological foundation by the epistemology of derivation of knowledge and its nature and concrescence. Ontology and epistemology are followed by the study of phenomenology as the epistemic integration in reference to Qur’anic exegesis of emergent ideas in their generality and particulars.

This integrative inquiry results in the pertinence of appro-priate methods of analysis. Methodology thus leads into method of advanced analytical study and empirical application in a vast area of socio- scientific inquiry. TSR is thus rendered as the methodology combined with methods of advanced study of the theory of everything in the socio- scientific domain.

the ontological context of Tawhid as law

This work along with many other ones by the author, while being derived from the ontological foundation of the Qur’anic worldview further explained by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (sunnah) and dis-cussed by the learned ones in the Qur’an and sunnah (ululalbab), is a subtle extension of the meaning of Tawhid as a methodological worldview to ‘everything’. The concept of ‘everything’ bears the meaning of univer-sality and uniqueness of the generality and particulars of the world-system. The Qur’an refers to such a holistic domain as a’lameen.

Its relational characteristics of systems, cybernetics, and analytical dynamics in the framework of complementary relationship between variables, all of the endogenous type, are described in the profundity of organic interrelations. The Qur’an refers to this property of the consciously evolutionary learn-ing nature of the world-system in all its manifestations as both—organic interrelations between all things as created by divine ordainment (azwa-jakullaha), and the reoriginative phenomenon of evolutionary learning into the ever new and discoverable reality (khalq in-jadid).

The meaning of Tawhid is thereby much beyond, and is subtle and richer than the mere traditional understanding, that is, of Tawhid al- Rububiyya (creatorship by Allah’s sole Lordship as absolute and all- knowing) and of Tawhid al-Uluhiyyah (Allah being the sole owner of His attributes referred to as Sifat, and the beatific names referred to as Asma). The conveying of Tawhid in the framework of its methodological


worldview treats all of the above divine properties as perfection that resides solely with Allah alone. They can only be invoked but cannot be compre-hended in the worldly construction of the theory of evolutionary learning in unity of knowledge (divine oneness of knowledge). The principle of oneness as unity of knowledge and its worshipping form in terms of the unity of the world-system indeed are derived from the primal ontological basis of the Qur’an. The Qur’an (6:101) refers to this foundation of the theory of ‘everything’ as ‘primal origin’: “To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: How can He have a son when He hath no consort? He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things.”

From the above discussion we conclude that the inalienable perfection of Tawhid cannot be used for any form of worldly being, for Allah has no exactness and similarity, no variability, and no corporeality. These other-wise are signs of deficiency, whereas Allah is not deficient. He is All- Knowing and All-Hearing. Therefore, the primal origin of Tawhid in the Qur’an, and transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad through his teach-ings and traditions, and further on explained by discursive function of the learned ones (ululamr), can only be used as ontological beginning to establish the nature of methodology of the Tawhidi worldview by unity of knowledge. Indeed, as pointed out by Morrow and Vittor (2009, p. 48): “Although Tawhid is typically translated as ‘oneness’, the term derives from the Arabic root wahada which means ‘to unite, to join, to combine, and to gather.’ Although Allah is absolutely and utterly One, and Islam adheres to the strictest and purest form of monotheism possible, Tawhid literally means ‘unity’ which means ‘to bring together’.”

The Tawhidi methodological worldview and thereby TSR that ema-nates in ‘everything’ is a theory of Tawhidi unity of knowledge and its embedding in the order and scheme of the world-system, known and unknown with potentiality.

 TSR is a methodological way of explaining the derivation and functioning of the theory based on divine Oneness as explained by the derived theory of unity of knowledge in terms of abstraction, consciousness, and application. The Qur’an explains all these functions of knowledge in socio-scientific inquiry and discovery in the midst of organic relations. Such complementarities explain inter-variables relation-ship in unity of knowledge. It is a property that prevails in the formalism of both knowledge (truth) and ‘de-knowledge’ (falsehood by its own sys-tem of relations, ikhwatul-shaiatin).

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