Ta'abbud

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From wikishia

Taʿabbud (Arabic: التَّعَبُّد) (servitude) is a religious term signifying the complete submission of believers to God's commands, even without full comprehension of the reasons behind those commands. Acts of worship performed with servitude serve as tests by which true believers are discerned.

Ta'abbud, concerning religious rulings, is acknowledged across various religions and denominations. Indeed, the concept of servitude is integral to the essence of religion itself. However, Muslim scholars emphasize that the lack of explicit reasons behind certain rulings does not imply their absence. In his work 'Ilal al-shara'i' (Reasons for Sharia laws), al-Shaykh al-Saduq compiles hadiths that shed light on the rationales behind Sharia rulings. Within jurisprudential deductions, ta'abbud is regarded as a guiding principle.

The relationship between intellection (ta'aqqul) and servitude (ta'abbud) represents a significant aspect of the relationship between science and religion. Muslim scholars assert that ta'abbud does not entail the suppression of rationality, as the fundamental tenets of religion are understood through reasoning and intellectual inquiry.

Some jurists maintain that within religion, the domain of ta'abbud primarily pertains to acts of worship and may not extend to transactions. Consequently, they derive the criteria for rulings regarding transactions from hadiths.

Significance of Ta'abbud in Islamic Issues

Ta'abbud is both a jurisprudential and ethical concept, denoting the absolute submission of believers to God's commands. This notion suggests that believers adhere to divine directives even in the absence of a full understanding of their rationales and reasons.[1] It is asserted that Sharia and the foundational principles of religion cannot be fully grasped without ta'abbud. Therefore, servitude and monotheism are seen as inherently intertwined.[2] Servitude and submission to God[3] are considered the quintessential spirit and essence of Islam, and indeed religiosity.[4]

Ta'abbud, concerning jurisprudential rulings, finds acceptance across all Islamic denominations.[5] To transcend the bounds of servitude is tantamount to dismantling religion itself.[6] Ta'abbud is founded on two core principles: insight, which entails faith in the wisdom underlying divine commands, and passion, which involves love and devotion toward the Deity.[7] Every monotheistic thinker is compelled to embrace servitude, placing universal divine reason above individual reasoning.[8]

Philosophy of Ta'abbud

The fact that the reasons behind religious rulings are not explicitly stated does not imply their absence.[9] Like other divine religions, Islam entails rulings whose rationales may not be immediately apparent to humans.[10] Believers accept and adhere to these rulings out of servitude toward God.[11] Acts of worship performed without full comprehension of their rationales serve as tests to distinguish true believers.[12]

Muhammad Taqi Ja'fari, a Shiite philosopher and theologian, contends that there exists a coherent rationale behind the rulings pertaining to acts of worship, while those concerning transactions and other non-worshipful acts can be understood through common sense. [13]However, contrary to this perspective, some scholars assert that many Islamic doctrines must be embraced solely through servitude, as the wisdoms and rationales behind them remain beyond human understanding.[14]

In his book 'Ilal al-shara'i', al-Shaykh al-Saduq offers explanations for the rationales behind jurisprudential rulings.[15]

Servitude and Rationality

According to Muslim scholars, the concept of servitude as integral to religion is inherently rooted in rationality. This is because imitation in Islamic rulings is grounded in intellectual inquiry.[16] Therefore, servitude does not entail a suppression of rationality, as the fundamental aspects of religion, such as doctrinal beliefs, are grounded in reasoning and intellectual reflection.[17] Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i, a Shiite philosopher and Quranic exegete, argues that followers of certain religions introduce irrational doctrines into their faiths and justify them by claiming that some aspects of servitude are logically impossible. Tabataba'i finds this assertion contradictory. How can one establish the truth of a religion through reason and yet that religion includes concepts that are refuted by reason?[18]

The dilemma of rationality versus servitude represents a significant aspect of the relationship between reason and revelation, or science and religion.[19] Some researchers advocate for adopting rationality in understanding and servitude in action.[20] Consequently, they argue that the principles of religious beliefs should be accepted through reasoning rather than servitude.[21] Additionally, some scholars contend that the differing perspectives on rationality and servitude were a primary factor contributing to the emergence of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence.[22]

Ta'abbud and Deduction of Sharia Rulings

Ta'abbud (servitude), in contrast to ta'aqqul (rationality or intellection), serves as a guiding principle in jurisprudential deductions.[23] The delineation of the boundaries between rationality and servitude is deemed a significant issue in Sharia rulings.[24] Some jurists assert that the domain of servitude in religion encompasses acts of worship but does not extend to transactions. [25]Consequently, when dealing with transactions, jurists must derive criteria from hadiths.[26] Amid Zanjani contends that in Shiite jurisprudence, the conflict between servitude and rationality is reconciled. Shiite jurists confine servitude to textual (mansus) rulings—those supported by explicit texts from the Quran or hadiths—and limit the scope of rationality to non-textual and governmental rulings.[27]

The Views of Intellectualists and Their Critiques

One of the primary concerns among intellectuals regarding religion is often framed as the tension between rationality and servitude.[28] It is suggested that the rejection of servitude was a central achievement of modernity.[29]

Some researchers propose that intellectualists often find themselves oscillating between religion and modernity, resulting in contradictions.[30] Muhammad Taqi Ja'fari suggests that because they have contrasted servitude to rationality, intellectualists have come to perceive a conflict between religion and rational thought.[31]

Some researchers contend that servitude and the acceptance of mysteries within religion are grounded in rationality. This is because religion is intricately linked to the unseen realm and the domain of secrets, with prophets serving as messengers to guide humans towards salvation through knowledge of this hidden world. Furthermore, the decision to accept the words of prophets for the sake of salvation can be viewed as a rational choice akin to referencing an expert.[32] Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi maintains that the intellectual approach to matters of servitude marked the onset of deviations within certain political factions that purport to adhere to Islam.[33]

Monographs

The following are some of the books written on ta'abbud or servitude:

Ta'abbud wa ta'aqqul dar fiqh Islami (Servitude and rationality in Islamic jurisprudence) by Muhammad Taqi Ja'fari: This book was published 1373 Sh by the Congress for Honoring Shaykh Ansari in Qom.[34]

Ta'abbud wa 'aqlaniyyat (Servitude and rationality) by Muhammad Ja'fari: This book was published in 1402 Sh by Kanun Andisha Jawan in 168 pages.[35] It includes discussions of the nature of servitude, its various dimensions, as well as the relationship between servitude and rationality.[36]

Notes

  1. Muzaffar, Uṣūl al-fiqh, vol. 1, p. 66.
  2. ʿAmīd Zanjānī, Dānishnāma-yi Fiqh-i siyāsī, vol. 1, p. 201.
  3. Miṣbāḥ Yazdī, Bar dargāh-i dūst, p. 85.
  4. Imāmī, Rūshanfikrān-i dīnī wa mudirnīzāsīyūn-i fiqh, p. 219.
  5. Qānit, Taʿabbud wa taʿaqqul dar aḥkām-i sharʿī az dīdgāh-i madhāhib-i Islāmī, p. 42.
  6. Miṣbāḥ Yazdī, Bar dargāh-i dūst, p. 94.
  7. Akbarī, Aḥkām-i āmūzishī-yi dukhtarān, p. 22-23.
  8. ʿAmīd Zanjānī, Dānishnāma-yi Fiqh-i siyāsī, vol. 1, p. 201.
  9. Jaʿfarī, Jāygāh-i taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar Maʿārif-i Islāmī, p. 81- 82.
  10. Miṣbāḥ Yazdī, Bar dargāh-i dūst, p. 85.
  11. Riḍāyī Iṣfahānī, Mabāḥith-i Iʿtiqādī, p. 98.
  12. Riḍāyī Iṣfahānī, Mabāḥith-i Iʿtiqādī, p. 99.
  13. Jaʿfarī, Jāygāh-i taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar Maʿārif-i Islāmī, p. 81- 82.
  14. Jaʿfarī, Jāygāh-i taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar Maʿārif-i Islāmī, p. 69.
  15. Jaʿfarī, Jāygāh-i taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar Maʿārif-i Islāmī, p. 81- 82.
  16. Gharawīyān, Mīzgird-i jāygāh-i ʿaql dar dīn, p. 14.
  17. Jaʿfarī, Masʾala-yi taʿabbud wa chālish-hā-yi ʿaqlānī-yi farārū, p. 106.
  18. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, p. 323- 324.
  19. Luṭfī, Taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar aḥkām-i sharʿī, p. 328.
  20. Luṭfī, Taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar aḥkām-i sharʿī, p. 340.
  21. Muṭahharī, Majmūʿa-yi āthār, vol. 3, p. 59.
  22. Imāmī, Jidāl-i taʿabbud wa taʿaqqul dar fahm-i Shariʿat (1), p. 190.
  23. ʿAmīd Zanjānī, Dānishnāma-yi Fiqh-i siyāsī, vol. 1, p. 201.
  24. Luṭfī, Taʿaqqul wa taʿabbud dar aḥkām-i sharʿī, p. 325.
  25. Maʿrifat, Iqtirāḥ, p. 26; Qānit, Taʿabbud wa taʿaqqul dar aḥkām-i sharʿī az dīdgāh-i madhāhib-i Islāmī, p. 42.
  26. Maʿrifat, Iqtirāḥ, p. 27.
  27. ʿAmīd Zanjānī, Dānishnāma-yi Fiqh-i siyāsī, vol. 1, p. 571.
  28. Imāmī, Rūshanfikrān-i dīnī wa mudirnīzāsīyūn-i fiqh, p. 233.
  29. Imāmī, Rūshanfikrān-i dīnī wa mudirnīzāsīyūn-i fiqh, p. 213.
  30. Imāmī, Rūshanfikrān-i dīnī wa mudirnīzāsīyūn-i fiqh, p. 215.
  31. Jaʿfarī, Masʾala-yi taʿabbud wa chālish-hā-yi ʿaqlānī-yi farārū, p. 102.
  32. Imāmī, Rūshanfikrān-i dīnī wa mudirnīzāsīyūn-i fiqh, p. 233.
  33. Miṣbāḥ Yazdī, Bar dargāh-i dūst, p. 85.
  34. Jaʿfarī, Taʿabbud wa taʿaqqul dar fiqh-i Islāmī.
  35. Jaʿfarī, Taʿabbud wa ʿaqlānīyat.
  36. Jaʿfarī, Taʿabbud wa ʿaqlānīyat.

References

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