Monday, 26 November 2018

G. A. Parwez: No Such Thing as Human Nature

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على نبينا محمد
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
Continuing from the previous post, I exposed G. A. Parwez’s denial of the human conscience. This in fact stems from his metaphysical libertarianism by which Parwez boldly asserts that humans do not possess a fitra at all:
انسان کی فطرت کوئی نہیں
“The truth is that there is no such thing as ‘man’s nature’ in the sense in which the word is usually used...According to the view set forth in the Qur’an, man is born neither good nor bad, but with the power and freedom to become either.” (Islam Kia Hey? p.44):

The faulty premise upon which Parwez has built his sand castle is his own false definition of fitra:
فطرت ہوتی ہی غیر متبدّل ہے
“Fitra is unalterable”
According to Parwez, since fitra is necessarily something that cannot be changed, if humans were created with a fitra it would logically necessitate that they have no free will. Of course, the truth is that fitra can indeed be corrupted and is corrupted, as the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:
لَيْسَ مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ إِلاَّ عَلَى هَذِهِ الْفِطْرَةِ حَتَّى يُعَبِّرَ عَنْهُ لِسَانُهُ
“None is born except upon this Fitra until he is able to express himself with his tongue.”
(Sahih Muslim)

Meaning, once a child is able to express himself in a human language and comprehensible speech he enters a phase of life when his fitra may become quickly corrupted. The fact that humans are created upon the fitra is affirmed in the Book of Allah:

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّـهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
So set your face to the upright Religion. (It is) the nature (made by) Allah upon which He has created humanity
(Sura 30:30)

The plain meaning of the Ayah is that it is in man’s fitra, or innate disposition, to be upon the upright Religion, meaning the worship of Allah alone. Of course, Parwez had no other recourse except to distort the plain and clear, established meaning of the Ayah in order to add another crutch to his woefully un-Qur’anic conception of the human condition. It is noteworthy that this Ayah is not speaking about inherent human physical limitations in which he is similar to animals, but the fact that mankind is created upon the innate disposition to direct their faces to the upright Religion, i.e., the worship of Allah alone which is the ultimate goodness. Parwez correctly refutes the Christian metaphysical doctrine of original sin, which necessitates an innate evil nature for every human, but errs severely when he denies the fact that humans are created with a good nature:
انسانی فطرت کے متعلق یہی غلط تصوّر تھا جس سے ایک گروہ نے یہ کہہ دیا کہ بدی انسان کی فطرت میں داخل ہے۔ یہ عقیدہ کہ ہر انسانی بچّہ گناہگار پیدا ہوتا ہے اسی غلط تصوّر کی تخلیق ہے۔ دوسری طرف متفادل طبقہ ہے جس کا نظریہ یہ ہے کہ انسان فطرتا نیک واقع ہوا ہے۔ یہ دونوں تصوّر باطل ہیں۔ انسان نہ فطرتا نیک ہے نہ بد۔

“Concerning ‘human’ nature, a certain group said, because of this wrong idea, that evil is part of man’s nature. This doctrine that every human child is born in sin is a creation of this wrong idea. On the other side, the opposing group’s view is that man is naturally good. Both of these ideas are false. Man is neither naturally good nor bad.”
To deny man’s innate goodness is clearly a position that contravenes the teachings of the holy Qur’an. Those who hold such a debased view of the human condition must be asked why Allah Most High ordered even the Angels to prostrate before Adam, and why Iblis “fell from grace” on account of his refusal to acknowledge the superiority of man.

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