Whether a religious person or not, everyone faces the question of God through his/her life one way or the other. This question has captured human imagination in various ways all through history. It has given rise to a wide range of feelings, emotions, rituals, practices, thoughts, and religions. Those who embrace the idea of God as well as the skeptics who deny the existence of such a Being will do themselves a great favor if they consciously review and analyze their beliefs regarding God. The belief in God and His Names and Attributes are the bedrock of Islamic teachings too. In fact, as Muslim scholars have pointed out, no other religious, theological, or philosophical notion even approaches the fundamental significance of the question of God in Islam, even the second most important Islamic belief, i.e. Ma’aad (The Resurrection) is understood in light of the question of Mabda (The Beginning).
This course is designed for such a purpose. It evaluates some of the prevailing rational arguments concerning God and his attributes, discusses mystical and personal experiences of God in the context of Islamic sources (The Holy Quran, Nahjul Balagha, and Ahadith of Massumin –A.S.), Islamic Irfan (mysticism) as formulated in the tradition of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, i.e. Wahdat-e Shakhsi-e Wojud. Given the highly abstract nature of the topics, students are encouraged to actively participate in class discussions and raise their questions and views so that we could all benefit from them.
Here are some of the main topics discussed throughout the course:
- The Significance of the Belief in God in the Holy Quran and Islamic Traditions.
- Knowing God: How can we know God and What Sense?
- God’s Attribute and Names.
- What is Meant by the Concept of God?
- Various Approaches for Knowing God
- Monotheism (Tawhid) in Islam and its Various Kinds
- Proofs of the Existence of God
- On Causality
- On Manifestation
- Reasoning of Saddiqin on God
- Being and Identity
- Unity of Being: The Principle of Uniformity
- The Question of the One (Tawhid) vs. the Many (Diversity of the Creatures)
- Temporal beings and their Nominalism
- God in Himself vs. God’s Names and Attributes
- How can One Attain Genuine Knowledge of God?
- Teacher: Sayyed Mohamed Soleiman-Panah
- Eligibility: The course is open to Muslims ages 18 and over
- Location: Computer Room, Az-Zahraa Islamic Center.
- Schedule: Eight sessions from Saturday April 9th to Saturday May 28th, 2005 (both dates inclusive) from 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM.
- Donations: A nominal fees of $60.00
- Flyer in PDF