Before I begin, I just want to mention a great post I read recently over at Tazaqqa’s blog – a favorite of mine – called “Revealed scriptures vs divine inspiration”… a must-read! I reach different conclusions than she, but I still found the post very moving.
“The truth is that as long as one has not distinguished between religion and people’s understanding of it, one will be incapable of finding an adequate answer to these intriguing questions. Yes, it is true that sacred scriptures are (in the judgment of followers) flawless; however, it is just as true that human beings’ understanding of religion is flawed. Religion is sacred and heavenly, but the understanding of religion is human and earthly… Religion has not faltered in articulating its objectives and its explanations of good and evil; the defect is in human beings’ understanding of religion’s intents. Religion is in no need of reconstruction and completion. Religious knowledge and insight that is human and incomplete, however, is in constant need of reconstruction. Religion is free from cultures and unblemished by the artifacts of human minds, but religious knowledge is, without a shadow of a doubt, subject to such influences… It is up to God to reveal a religion, but up to us to understand and realize it. It is at this point that religious knowledge is born, entirely human and subject to all the dictates of human knowledge.”
“… I always follow a single motto. It is rather easy to state but hard to practice. I believe that truths everywhere are compatible; no truth clashes with any other truth. They are all the inhabitants of the same mansion and stars in the same constellation. One truth in one corner of the world has to be harmonious and compatible with all truths elsewhere, or else it is not truth. That is why I have never tired of my search for truth in other arenas of intellect and opinion. This truthfulness of the world is a blessing indeed, because it instigates constant search and engenders a healthy pluralism.”