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Revisit Causality in Muslim Theological and Philosophical Works and Malay Muslim Thoughts of Causality

Ibrahim Abu Bakar

Abstract


ABSTRACT: Historically, the Muslims in the early part of the eighth century AD (Anno Domini) are said to have denied causality and they maintained that God does not act through causality. “Causality” describes the relationship between cause and effect, and causality relates effects to their causes. It is interesting to note here that Professor Harry Austryn Wolfson from Harvard University discusses causality as understood and presented by Muslim theologians and philosophers. Muslim theologian and philosopher, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (died 1111 AD), is said to have denied causality, and the Ash`arite theologians have agreed with him. On the contrary, Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd or Averroes (died 1198 AD) is said to have affirmed causality, and the Mu`tazilite theologians also uphold causality. This paper explains causality in Muslim theological and philosophical works as well as to describe the theological and philosophical outlooks of Malay Muslims in relation to causality. To describe their thoughts of causality, this paper refers to the contents of the Malay Muslim theological works called the “Jawi books” since they have been written in the Malay-Jawi scripts. Five of them are referred in this paper. It seems that the Malay Muslims are not in favor of causality in their theological and philosophical outlooks.

KEY WORD: Muslim theologians and philosophers, thoughts of causality, Malay Muslims, and Malay-Jawi scripts.

IKHTISAR: Dari sudut sejarah, Muslim pada awal abad kelapan Masihi dikatakan menafikan kausaliti dan mereka menyatakan bahawa Tuhan tidak beraksi melalui kausaliti. “Kausaliti” menjelaskan hubungan di antara sebab dan akibat, dan kausaliti menghubungkan akibat-akibat atau kesan-kesan kepada sebab-sebabnya. Suatu yang menarik perhatian di sini bahawa Profesor Harry Austryn Wolfson dari Universiti Harvard membincangkan kausaliti sebagaimana difahami dan dikemukakan oleh ahl-ahli teologi dan falsafah Muslim. Ahli teologi dan falsafah Muslim, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (wafat 1111 M), dikatakan menafikan kausaliti, dan ahli-ahli teologi Asha’ari telah bersetuju dengan beliau. Tetapi sebaliknya, ahli falsafah Muslim Ibn Rushd atau Averroes (wafat 1198 M) dikatakan mengesahkan kausaliti, dan ahli-ahli teologi Muktazilah mempertahankan kausaliti. Kertas ini menjelaskan kausaliti dalam karya-karya teologi dan falsafah Muslim dan juga menjelaskan pandangan teologi Melayu Muslim dalam hubungan dengan kausaliti. Untuk menjelaskan pemikiran mereka terhadap kausaliti, kertas ini merujuk kepada karya-karya teologi Melayu Muslim yang dipanggil “Kitab-kitab Jawi” kerana ditulis dalam tulisan Melayu-Jawi. Lima karya Melayu-Jawi dirujuk dalam kertas ini. Kelihatannya Muslim Melayu tidak memihak kepada kausaliti dalam pandangan falsafah dan teologi mereka.

KATA KUNCI: Ahli teologi dan falsafah Muslim, pemikiran kausaliti, Muslim Melayu, dan tulisan Melayu-Jawi.

About the Author: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Abu Bakar is a Lecturer at the Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies UKM (National University of Malaysia), 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. He can be reached at: abi@ukm.my

How to cite this article? Bakar, Ibrahim Abu. (2012). “Revisit Causality in Muslim Theological and Philosophical Works and Malay Muslim Thoughts of Causality” in SOSIOHUMANIKA: Jurnal Pendidikan Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan, Vol.5, No.2 [November], pp.153-164. Bandung, Indonesia: Minda Masagi Press owned by ASPENSI, ISSN 1979-0112.

Chronicle of article: Accepted (September 9, 2012); Revised (October 10, 2012); and Published (November 20, 2012).


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SOSIOHUMANIKA: Jurnal Pendidikan Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan is published by Minda Masagi Press. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0.