sphere: Iran Experience”.
Venue : Hall of Postgraduate Program IAIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya
Date : 1 June 2010
Speaker : Prof. Dr. Sayed Ahmad Fazeli (Islamic College Jakarta, Director).
The discussion of Islamic philosophy is inseparable from its relationship with Western philosophy in the context of ideology. If philosophy in the West is closely associated with Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, philosophy in Islam is deeply rooted from pristine values that sanctify human’s life in its utmost place. Husserl writes a paper in a journal called Kenzo in Japan that attracts wider audience in this country. In the last part of his paper he asserts that the West is not only separated by geographical location but also by ideological thread. More interestingly, he regards Japan as a part of the West since its subscription to modern values and modernity in general.
The development of philosophy in the West that gave birth the age of Renaissance has a lot to do with the creation of moral decadence that characterizes modernity. The Renaissance is the hallmark of modernity and the development of science and technology in the West. The invention of weapon, gun powder, nuclear power, and the like is among parts of moral decadence that is obvious in today’s life. It is a matter of fact that it is mostly used for the purpose of human domination over the others as we have been witnessing in the global political stage.
The absence of pristine values behind the development of philosophy in the West is undeniably a crucial factor that has deteriorated the condition of human civilization as a whole. As a result, the area of philosophy and science is commonly regarded as a morally neutral arena where religious values cannot claim their involvement. This is exactly the departing point on which Western philosophy is erected and developed further. As we have witnessed together from the history of human civilization, the scientists cannot manage the destructive effects of science and philosophy in so far as it is deployed for the sake of human domination over the others.
Different from philosophy developed in the West, philosophy in Islam wishes to accentuate different thing that places human sanctity above all things. This is precisely the salient value embedded in Islamic philosophy that differs from that of philosophy as developed in the West. This value must be upheld if Muslims wish to reach their glory as happened in the past.
As the mother of all sciences, philosophy has crucial role in the making and development of human civilization. It serves as the cradle of civilization in the history of human’s life. It comprises both physical and metaphysical dimension of civilization. It is a long-term human investment that will determine the longevity and glory of a particular civilization. It is the philosophy, and not the physical or applied sciences, that matters for all civilizations. The case of Iran serves a very good example of the significance of philosophy in the making of the Iranian civilization.