Middle East Conudrum

It was after a thirty year war that continental Europe came on to the negotiation table to sign a truce. The Peace of Westphalia resulted in two major developments: first, the nation sate system; second, freedom of religion. The turbulent region of Middle East is devastated by the ravages of ethnic, sectarian and political problems. Moreover the regional and international proxy wars have exacerbated the crisis. Enter ISIS, a so called terrorist sate, has taken hold of the key strategic locations of the Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, tight grip of the Arab dictators on their countries is loosening which has resulted in one of the most brutal dictatorial regimes in the region. All these factors demand a political solution to a growing human crisis in Near East Firstly, the sectarian conflict in Iraq has worsened since the US led invasion of Iraq. The shiittes, though majority have mostly been living under the Sunnite minority in Iraq. The Baath part of saddam Hussain was a military junta which ruled the country before 2003. Alienating the Sunnite population, the Iraqi government paved the way for violent revolt of Sunnite and in some cases the former Baath party workers. Al-Qaida used this confusion to its own advantage by making a foot base first in syria and then in Iraq.
The curious mix of ethnic and sectarian violence has added fuel to already burning middle east. Belonging to a minority ,the partisan government of Asad family belongs to alwi branch of Shiite tree ; whereas, the former Baat part was a Sunnite led military junta, former ruling over Sunnite majority whereas latter ruling over a Shiite majority. The situation changed , however, after the American invasion on Iraq. The military elements , of former Baath party , now the self prescribed warriors of Islam , led a successful revolt against Iraqi government.With their allies gone, Iraqi government was unable to check the isis advance. The Syrian government was soon threatened by the bold projections of isis into its own territories. Rather to pacify its population, the Bashar ul asad used force onits own population. To support its arab ally, Iranian government started supporting his regime .

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia have extended its support to Syrian rebels; whereas, the iranian government has given arms to Iraqi Shia militias. Further, the regional and international proxies on both sides have failed to deliver a negotiated settlement. The old cold war politics has come to its play. Putin has not only delivered material support to Syrian regime but also provided military personnel to defend the incumbent president. On the other hand, the iraqu government has been supported by the American and NATO alliance on its fight against isis.To this mix the entry Ethnic Kurds ,though snit, but fighting purely on national terms have evoked a Turkish response. With problem of its own Kurdish elements, the Turkish military has a launched a offense to not only stop isis but also to deny the kurds a defacto state in Iraq and Syria. This jungle of warlordism requires taming.

To borrow a liberal metaphor, the jungle needs to be turned into a zoo. How can we achieve a peace in middle east because what happens to Iraq happens to arab world and what happens to Arab world happens to all of Islamic world. We need to use the auspices of both regional and international organizations, both humanitarian and political , to broker a peace deal. The totalitarian regimes need to give into democratic aspirations of their people but only through a peaceful transitions. International community needs to play a constructive not a destructive role in this affair. The regional players should respect the territorial integrity of sovereign states. What middle east needs is another Westphalia.

The Class Groupings

The English poet John Donne aptly writes in a famous poem “Meditation XVII,

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

We all have been involved in some sort of grouping in our classes.I would like to say that the grouping is pretty simple i have classified them into some sort common groups that exist in school college and universities.

B & G Group

(2,3)(3,2)(1,2)(2,1)(4,2)(2,4)(4,3)(3,4)(5,2)(5,3)(3,5)(2,5)………. and so on .The most prevalent and accepted sort of co-gendered grouping .Usually the boys and girls have also their respective all boys and all girls group too .

 All Boys Club

In All Boys School/College this is the only group that exists. But in Co-ed this is usually the mischievous , blunt and awkward in front opposite sex srt of group .

Girls Power

In All Girls School/College this is the only group that exists.But in Co-ed this is usually dominant group in female majority college.

College Sweethearts

These love birds are found in every class. The live ,eat ,study and even sleep together sometimes.

Religious Fanatics

” The World is Doomed and only We Can Save You .” That is the popular slogan for the people who are looking for the converts and believe this to be sacred duty to save their fellow students from the eternal fire

Player’s

Always looking for a pray just like another predator .They can be further classified into successful ones who have class , style and looks  and the other desperate ones who always seem desperate.

Yeah I am pretty and I know it

There are always a few hotties who are really pretty and treat themselves as the self proclaimed queen and princess

Geek Club

The most popular species for teacher and parents .They are found from pre-school to universities throughout the world .

Big Brother Syndrome

There is always a boy who is more happy to help others then to help himself . They are to be differentiated from Alpha males as they do not try to dominate but to help the group. Sometimes the boys are unable to adjust in the boys club due to their pacifist nature join a girls group to feel safe and protected

Matriarch

Usually brave , outspoken and adventurous girl takes the lead of her group . But the most interesting thing happens when you see a single girl amongst all boys group.She is matriarch /gf/lady/guardian of the group.

Feel free to share your own grouping ….

Philosophy of life by an ordinary man

Every man was once a student and every student once  had to go through the ordeal to prepare for SAT to get into a professional college.After college one has to give GMAT or GRE to get into post grad and  PhD and so on.Ahh life is a constant marathon!!!

And when you one gets out of the college one has to look for a job , again not an easy job.After getting a job the next thing to do is to get a better job and so on.

And then the next task is to look for a romantic partner if one is not already with  one’s college sweetheart which is rare and often is of fleeting nature.aha Luck comes in handy.Some cultures have the trial period which comes in the form of girlfriend/boyfriend and gives you  the option to choose your partner by hit and trial method and in some you have mostly pre-decided mate for life .

And then the children give birth to them educate and raise them and then let them go to do all of this all over again. ahh the circle of life!!!!

get old , be miserable and then die . What about afterlife ???

disclaimer : the blog is not …….

Asked But Never Answered

A few questions

Is there a God? What is God? Where is God? Why there is a God why is he/she/it so interested in us? If he has sent his gospel s in this world then which one is true? Why do so many religions claim that only they and they alone have the sole claim on God? Are we our own God why is he so interested in us? If God is all powerful and all doing, is He then responsible for all the bad things that happen to us?

What is the purpose of our life or is it just meaningless?

What is more important destination or goal or journey towards that goal?

How to define happiness? Can happiness be bought? Is happiness only related to materialistic things?

What is success? Is it happiness? Is it contentment with your life or it is some goal then why the standards for success tend to be different for every one of us

What is contentment?

Are we selfless, self-centered or both?

Do humans change? Does our nature change? If we change then what changes us is it due to experience or time?

Do we have a soul? Do we have the capacity to do good and evil?

Are we capable of forgiveness?

What is love and hate? is this just simple liking or disliking for someone ?Do we like someone just for their physical appearance then why do we like or dislike some people for apparently no reason at all

Do we have a free will or our fates are predestined. Can we be our own Gods?

What is the difference between being stubborn and determined?

What is the scope of our knowledge and rationality? Is our rationality prone to our senses? Is knowledge limitless? Can someone encompass all the knowledge in the world?

Are we alone in this universe? Do we just have to discover others? If we are actually alone then what aren’t we insignificant in this gigantic cosmos?

What would happen after we die would it would be just like all the religions have told us or are we are going to be null and void and there would be nothing that would remain of us , if that’s the case then what is the purpose of doing good in the life?

What is good and evil why is it so differently defined in every culture? Is it part of culture or just something that’s bigger of us? Why do we allow and admire universally called evil such as killing sometimes allowed and sometimes not

How do see ourselves do we have our own standard are we tend to judge ourselves according to other peoples criteria?

What is truth? Is there only one true or are there many? Can we call some truths universal? Can there be a partial truth? Can divine truth be called final truth or do we have to judge everything our rationality to be described as ultimate truth? Can few things be both true and false?

Evolution of Arabic philosophical tradition from religious theological ( kalam ) to neo- platonic school of thought. ( falsafa ).

Islam as a religion emphasizes on the importance of thinking and rationality. It also became the basis Islamic thought and philosophy in Middle East ,Persia and Muslim Spain. Muslim thought has a very pleasant blend of eastern and western philosophy .It first started as the translation movement and then the  theological disputes based on deep philosophical interpretation of religious text paved the way for Neo Platonic school of thought in medieval Islamic philosophy.

Islamic philosophy is not confined to either to one topic ,time or place. Islamic philosophy is used as a very broad generic term.

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/intro-islamic-world

Origins of Muslim Philosophy

Firstly early Muslim tried to rationalize their religion because they feel the pressure from both the inner circle of believers who questioned various aspects of divine religion and on the other hand by the Jews and Christians who probed Islamic religious teachings and were needed to be answered. Later on Greek and on the lesser extent Indian and Persian philosophical concepts were fused into Muslim theoretical ideas.

Kalam or Religious Theology

Religion was on the central stage for medieval Islamic thinkers which became the basis of Al kalam that is actually the process to rationalize religion with the use of logic and dialectic reasoning.

Mutazilites

the first group of theologians to use this approach were Mutazilites

Unity and justice were the main focal point of mutaziltes as they used to titled themselves as the ahl at tauhid wa,l adl the forbearers of unity and justice

According to Abu al-Hudhayl the mutazilites (Arabic: المعتزلة‎) doctrine included five basic principles.

1The doctrine of unity or tauhid التوحيد

Asharites were the firm believers of the unity of god the so thought divine attributes such as ‘powerful’ (qadir), ‘knowing’ (‘alim), ‘creating’ (kjaliq), ‘nourishing’ (raziq), etc. as mentioned in Quran should be taken in metaphorical sense. So they absolutely denied the anthropomorphism nature of divine attributes

In response to this Sunni proposed that these ‘entities’ called sifat are at the same time neither identical to God nor other than Him

2The principle of adl العدل or justcie Predestination and free will

They were of the opinions that god has given human free will and for evil deeds they are to be blame for their actions not god

3The doctrine of al waad wal waid , الوعد و الوعيد  promise of paradise

They also belived that it is the necessity of human to be promised something good like jannah or paradise and for the sinners a plce of eternal daamnation hell

4The doctrine of amr bil mahrooh wa nahi anil munkir الأمر بالمعروف و النهي عن المنكر

Mutazilites were of the view that it is their responsibility to advocate the good and forbid from evil

5The doctrine of al-manzila bayn al manzilataynالمنزلة بين المنزلتين

 or the doctrine of intermediary position

Mutazilites believe that a Muslim sinner has intermediary position he can neither be called an infidel or a believer if he commits a sin he holds an intermediary position between these two

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/mutazilites

The Reactionary Approach , Asharism

The second most influential school of thought in earlier religious tradition was Asharism it was founded by al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (d. 324 AH / 936 AD). The disciples of the school are known as Ash’arites

The doctrine of bi la kayf or unquestioning conformism

They believe that tjere is limit to human rationalistic approach and it does not provide us with all necessary answeres so we have to ultimatly rely on divine truth which is the final and absolute truth.

Asharites were strong believers of atomism are the everlasting material other than that everything happened for just an instant, as every event that happened is directly commanded by God Himself they believed in constant divine intervention in worldly affairs

Asharites were also the strong adherents of Occasionalism.

The doctrine of predestination

They believe that everything is predestined and we humans are mere the agents to perform it

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/asharism

Translation movement

To make Arabic capable enough to express ideas of philosophy and contemporary sciences, around a whole century from 750 to 850 was dedicated to translation under the direct patronage of early Abbasid dynasty. It was mainly influenced by Greek philosophical tradition and a on a lesser extent by Persian and Indian traditions have also share in intellectual beginning of Islamic philosophical thought.

Translation happened in two ways first the Greek classics were translated from Syriac to Arabic and secondly the direct translation of Greek text into Arabic.

Translation was done in two ways as first new words were coined to express purely new ideas developed by Arabic thinkers and secondly Greek terms were arabisised e.g, jumatryia (geometry), falsafha(philosophy), iksir (elixir) , urghun(organ) , and jughrafyia (geometry).

Bayt al Hikma was commissioned by the official decree of the medieval Abbasid dynasty to translate the great works of Greek philosophers into Arabic language.

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/translation-movement

  Arabic philosophy

Arabic philosophy was coined by the combined efforts put forth by Muslim , Jews Christian and atheist philosophers of arab descent e.g,

  • Al-Kindi (d. 866): first Arab/Muslim philosopher; philosophy as “the search for truth” (talab al-haqq)
  • Al-Farabi (d. 950): elaborates Islamic Neo-Platonism;)

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/al-kindi

Persianized  Islamic  Philosophy

Ibn Sina/Avicenna (d. 1037): fully developed an elaborate and complete system of philosophy .

Avicenna’s philosophy, like that of his predecessors among the Arabians, is Aristoteleanism mingled with Neo-Platonism, an elucidation of Aristotle’s teaching in the light of the Commentaries of his own.

Avicenna worked on

the doctrine of being

the body mind relationship

theory of knowledge

doctrine of prophecy god and the world

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/avicenna-soul

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/avicenna-soul

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/avicenna-metaphysics

http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/avicenna-life-works

Islamic philosophy in West

Islamic Spain produced many scholars like ibn hazm, Averroes

Ibn Rushd/Averroes represents full synthesis of Aristotelian thought and Islam Averroes openly admitted his inability to hold on philosophic grounds the doctrine of individual immortality, being content to maintain it as a religious tenet. Averroes’ greatest influence was as a commentator

Logic

Logic was considered as he philosopher’s tool kit in medieval Islamic philosophy and Avicenna and Ibn Hazm were the followers of the Aristotelian logic in Kalam but the use of logic in theological studies was successfully integrated by Al Ghazali .

End of Rationalist Thought Al Ghazali

Alghazali is traditionally believed to have refuted the popular philosophical beliefs in his famous book the incoherence of philosophers in which he gives three major contradiction of the philosophers to common in reference to common orthodox Islamic belief.

His objections on philosophers

the denial of resurrection of human’s bodily form

notion of eternal universe

and god knows only particulars

and due to these allegations he called philosophers  as  the heretics. He is also credited with converging the traditional Kalam with the new vibrant Sufi theology (mysticism).

 

Contemporary Islamic philosophy

Contemporary Islamic philosophy is more centered on political and theological aspects of philosophy.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, founder of Islamist political thought in the 20th century, was also the the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami a political organization. Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was a famous teacher of the philosophical school of Hikmat-ul-Mutaliya. So the ideals of new Islamic Republic of Iran have also their roots in islamic philosophy.