Islamic Philosophy

Islam and Progressiveness of Time

Mortiza Motahhari, a Shia philosopher and scholar, gives an interesting distinction between how Islam and time are not contradictory forces, but even are complementary. He suggests the assumption that Islam, like Christianity and other ancient religions, is an archaic object that cannot evolve since it is by its religious nature, an ideology sent by God, and its transformation would mean changing God’s prescription, is wrong. A worse mistake would be to compare this un-evolving religion with time and its progressive nature. Therefore, by making such a comparison, the inevitable deduction would be that religion (Islam in this essay) is not compatible with the progressive time, because they are by nature contradictory.

However, the assumption and the comparison is wrongly designed. Motahhari explains that time and religion are two different concepts. Time, due to its progressive nature, is assumed to make whatever inside it grow old, but this is a wrong assumption, since time’s progressiveness only affects materials by causing them to get old. Nevertheless facts and innate truths are unchangeable through time. The fact that there is a gravitation force does not change overtime (unless some other materialistic change would affect the condition of earth).

Religious and Islamic concepts are those facts that do not change by the progressive force of time (or even the will of history). Islam introduces itself as the straight path. It can be imagined as such a path, surrounded by all kinds of houses and signposts. Although, the houses and signposts change as one advances through this path (through time), but the path remains there to be passed through. Therefore, comparing the evolving nature of time, with the static nature of religion is in essence wrong, since it is the means to move through time. 

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