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The Monopoly of the Truth

Truth is not the monopoly of and cannot be monopolized by a particular individual, group, nation, race, etc. Truth has many facets and names as mentioned in the Glossary of God’s All Beautiful Names (1). Out of all these names, the four stand out: Justice, Freedom, Compassion, and Knowledge (2).

The ways that lead to truth are not the Truth itself. In the history of humankind, there were, there are, and there will be many ways that lead to truth. They can be represented on the diagram as the multitude of arrows that point to the same circle that contains Justice, Freedom, Compassion, and Knowledge. All people who follow these ways want the same things and aim for the same goals: Justice, Freedom, Compassion, and Knowledge. So, all religious and ethical systems, all ‘-ism’s, all ideologies have a common goal and same essence – they all want their followers to achieve Justice, Freedom, Compassion, and Knowledge. Whether they have the principles to achieve it is the question of another essay.

There might be many ways to reach the truth, and that is not the problem. The problem is that some people claimed in the past, claim in the present, and will claim in the future that they have the monopoly of the truth and that their way is the only truth and other ways do not lead to the truth. Those who claim the monopoly of the truth see themselves better than others. However, the Glorious Qur’an quotes two individuals who claimed ‘betterness’: “I am better than he,” “I am better than him,” “am I not better than this man” (3)

One of them is Iblis, and the second one is Pharaoh. From this, we can conclude that those who want to monopolize the truth have the same traits as Iblis and Pharaoh, and they travel the same way as Iblis and Pharaoh. The claims of the Iblis and Pharaoh are mentioned in 7:12, 38:76, and 43:52. Claims of betterness are not the way of betterment. The claim of betterness does not imply progress and process, while betterment is the process and progress. The Muslims deceived themselves for five hundred years with the claims of betterness, meanwhile abandoning the process of betterment. These five hundred years of self-defeat and self-deception left indelible marks on the mentality and mindset of Muslim people; their mentality and mindset mutated and regressed. Instead of the intake of the ‘new and fresh blood’ in the form of the new and fresh ideas and opinions, the last five hundred years are characterized by cognitive incest and intellectual inbreeding that gave birth to the mistakes of culture and errors of society such as ISIS and similar lowly mutants. This cognitive incest and intellectual inbreeding produced a closed mentality instead of an open mentality; they raised people with fixed mindsets instead of flexible mindsets (4).

Claims of betterness are not the way of betterment. Claims of betterness are the way of Iblis and Pharaoh. Therefore, Muslims are not better than Christians. Muslims are not better than Judaists. Muslims are not better than atheists. Muslims are not better than materialists. Muslims are not better than Hindus. Muslims are not better than Buddhists. Muslims are not better than any group of people in the world.

The criticisms of the Muslims are well-deserved and have a sound evidential base. Despite these criticisms, Muslims want to find respite in the claim of betterness and monopoly of the truth. They want to be like the ostrich in the Fourteenth Word (5). However, closing eyes to the sun does not extinguish the sun; closing eyes to the objective truths does not negate them. The monopoly of the truth is not the way that leads to happiness. Journey to the truth and into the truth is the way because this journey never ends. And the claim of the monopoly of the truth is the End.

O Freer of captives (6). Free and liberate my mind and mentality. Never let me claim the monopoly of truth, never let me claim the betterness. Always lead me on the journey of betterment. You are my refuge in misfortune, my hope in disaster, my friend in desolation, my companion in loneliness, my benefactor and beneficent friend, dispeller of my cares, my succourer in need, my stronghold in my plight, my helper in time of fear, and my guide in time of confusion (7)

-İman isteyen münafık



(1), (3), (8), (9) Ünal, The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English.

(2) İman isteyen münafık, “Justice, Freedom, Compassion, Knowledge.”

(4) Dweck, Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential.

(5) Nursi, The Words: On the Nature and Purposes of Man, Life, and All Things.

(6), (7) Cevsen.de, “Jawshan | Arabic-English (7).”


References

Cevsen.de. “Jawshan | Arabic-English (7).” Accessed February 8, 2021.

http://www.cevsen.de/jawshan-arabic-english-7/.

———. “Jawshan | Arabic-English (11).” Accessed February 8, 2021.

http://www.cevsen.de/jawshan-arabic-english-11/.

Dweck, Carol S. Dweck. Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential, 2006.

İman isteyen münafık. “Justice, Freedom, Compassion, Knowledge,” January 29, 2021.

https://www.munferit.net/2021/01/justice-freedom-compassion-knowledge.html.

Nursi, Said Bediuzzaman. The Words: On the Nature and Purposes of Man, Life, and All Things.

Translated by Şükran Vahide. Vol. 1. Risale-i Nur Collection. Nuruosmaniye Cad.,

Sorkun Han 28/2, Cağaloğlu, Istanbul, Turkey. Tel: 0212 527 10 10 Fax: 0212 527 82 31:

Sözler Publications A. S., 2008. http://www.sozler.com.tr.

Ünal, Ali. The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English, n.d. www.mquran.org

www.theholybook.org.

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3 Yorumlar

  1. I agree to some extent. But I would like to see how you combine the following phrase in 3:19 with atheists and others:

    "Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam."

    YanıtlayınSil
    Yanıtlar
    1. Hello Sir/Madam.

      First of all, that phrase is only part of 3:19.

      Second, instead of taking out the phrases out of context, we can try to look at verses holistically. This means, instead of looking at one verse we can look at group of verses. When we read preceeding verse 3:18, it tells about existence of God and seekers of knowledge. Therefore, with the atheists and others there have to be dialogue and discussion on the basis of knowledge (science). Then when we read next verse 3:20, it says "what rests with you is only to convey the Message fully." What I understand from it is that carefully listening the point of view of people and clearly expaining own point of view is the way of civilized interaction. Using violence to prove own point of view is acceptance of intellectual weakness and logical frailty of own proofs. Nursi writes about it in 25th word, where he explains that polytheists were forced to use violence because they became intellectually bankrupt in front of Quran. Therefore, the terrorist groups that use violence are stabbing the Quran in the back because their violence implies intellectual bankruptcy of Quran, which is not the case.

      Third, the translation of Quran by Ali Unal was mentioned in the References. Ali Unal explains these verses 3:18 and 3:19 in detail, so you refer there.

      Finally, as I have written "muslims are not better than atheists", and I do not have problems with atheists who obey the laws of the country and rules of civilized discourse.

      Kind regards.

      Sil
    2. This verse 3:19 may seem to be exclusive in its wording. However, when we revise the definition of Islam it becomes inclusive.

      In this article and in "justice, freedom, compassion, knowledge" article on this blog I defined Islam as general principles of justice, freedom, compassion, knowledge. I do not see Islam as the historical precedents lived by Muslims. Principles are primary and precedents are secondary. Nursi in his 25th word writes that precedents and persons mentioned in Quran point to general and universal principles (inductive reasoning).

      When I define Islam as universal principles of justice, freedom, compassion, knowledge (JFCK), then all people including atheists are included in this definition. Because all people want JFCK, they just journey to them from different starting points. All religions, ethics systems, philosophies, political systems, etc. target JFCK.

      You also can refer to two other articles on this blog:
      1. Justice, freedom, compassion, knowledge.
      2. Writing is living.

      Sil