The Truth, The Finality of Islam and Pluralism

q45-21 One of the reoccurring questions I receive from Muslims is how to reconcile the finality of Islam, its take on The Truth, and how such a firm stance might be perceived in a society which, at least on the surface level, prides itself on pluralism. In essence, many Muslims have felt pressure to cede ground on the maxim that Islam is the final revelation to mankind. The following is from a conversation I had some years ago, redacted for brevity sake here:

The Truth (incidentally, one of God’s Divine Attributes according to Islam) does not become more or less apparent; it has no variance. It simply is The Truth. What changes is our faculty to comprehend and observe The Truth. This faculty can increase as well as decrease. Likewise, in comparison to mathematical truths, they are equally made no more, or no less, true through our varying efforts to understand them. If one is unable to comprehend a mathematical truth, the problem cannot be assumed to lay in the falsity or improbability of said (mathematical) truth, but rather has an equal probability that it may be our faculty and capacity to comprehend, observe, and articulate said mathematical) truths. In other words, the falsification (i.e., the variance) lies at the feet of the observer and not upon the doorstep of The Truth.

In relation to this, for one who has observed The Truth, it may seldom prove fruitful to convince another about The Truth, for conviction cannot be the stowed from any mortal hand to an equally mortal breast. What is left is only an obligation to inform one’s subject that there is The Truth. From here, one’s obligation shifts from informing the other to placing one’s thoughts and actions in conformity with The Truth.

3 Replies to “The Truth, The Finality of Islam and Pluralism”

  1. Thank you Marc. Nice food for thought.
    Making the distinction between knowing or proving the “existence” of The Truth and defining “what The Truth is” is important. By definition “The Truth” cannot be defined, since any definition puts boundaries around the thing that is being defined. Since, again by definition, “The Truth” is absolute, we cannot define it. The thing that we see as The Truth is, actually manifestation of The Truth on me, thus it is a truth relative to me.
    So, while trying to convey the message of Islam to someone else, I need to know that in theory, I can prove that The Truth exists (based on the observation of the manifest world that I experience), however the message that I try to transfer to another person through my language and what not will be a manifestation of The truth, which is, by definition, called a truth, i.e. something relative to me.
    Making the distinction between The Truth vs truth is important — I think (i.e. this is not The Truth, but manifestation of The Truth which I find to be true :)).

  2. Asawrwb Bro. This is Hassan Abdullah and I really really loved the direct and clear way you dealt with this issue. I also have a burning question that I would really love to get some response and feedback from others about the tarbiyah issue of “Being a Shepherd”. We know that the Prophet (saws) siad that “Everyone of us is a “Shepherd”; and everyone of us will be asked about our flock(s).” Also, wee know that the Prophet (saws) said “ALL of the (approximately 124,000) Prophets were “Shepherds” and that He (saws) was also a shepherd for the people of Makkah (in His younger years before prophet-hood). So, my question that I am asking for anyone to help me with is: “As I have never seen another job description label like the “Shepherd” directly from the Prophet which no one disputes that Allah (swt) will take every single one of us to severe account about on the Day of Judgment, then what are the “Duties of a Training Shepherd of Children” most especially in Islam. If anybody knows where or who to go to in finding out exactly what the “job description duties” are for this position, I would be most grateful. It is the birthright of every single child to be given the comprehensive competency training in all of the ilm (knowledge) and amal (actions) they need at the start of their life-test at puberty and our burning obligation to provide them this training. We all know that puberty is when all humans become accountable for all of their actions from then on until their death. If someone has a serious test coming up, then don’t they have the right to properly trained in all of the foundation knowledge and actions they’ll need before the test begins. I believe we must all seek out the answer to this question about the “job specs” of a Training Shepherd over Children in Islam for our protection from the Hell Fire regarding the rearing of our children.

  3. Just a quick additional note. I believe that, as Muslim, I must be a proactive part of the solution and not just a questioning outsider. So, I want to share that I have struggled with this question for many years and I found 13 Common Critical Duties of All Training Shepherds over Children. But the danger is that I am not a scholar. So, I invite any and all who are interested to thoroughly examine them (and Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saws) know best). They are: .

    1) Teach them knowledge and understanding, 2) Model correct practice of knowledge, 3) Guide them in knowledge and practice, 4) Check their knowledge and practice, 5) Encourage/Inspire them to greater knowledge and practice, 6) Remind them of knowledge and practice, 7) Support/Protect their knowledge and practice, 8) Evaluate their knowledge and practice, 9) Warn them about the consequences of lacking correct knowledge and practice, 10) Reinforce their knowledge and practice, 11) Correct their knowledge and practice, 12) Approve their knowledge and practice, 13) Reward/Award/Certify their progress/achievements in knowledge and practice.

    Sincerely, Your Brother-in-Islam seeking feedback and comments from any and all who wished to respond (negative or positive. Thank you and jazakumullahul khair (smile)

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