Date :Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 | Time : 16:11 |ID: 241681 | Print

Fatimah is Fatimah: How is Fatimah (S.A.) a symbol of ‘Islamic thought’? (Part 3)

SHAFAQNA- Fatimah is Fatimah is a Compilation of lectures given by Dr Shariati about the life of Fatimah Zahra (SA), the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH) and how she is a manifestation and a symbol of the way and an essential direction of ‘Islamic thought’ .

Who Is the Contemporary Woman Serving Oneself vs. Serving Others

In the 15th and 16th centuries (following the Renaissance and the passing away of customs and ancient religion) the thought of Descartes and the logic of analytical science replaced natural sensitivities and religious feelings. According to Durkheim, individual autonomy in one’s dealings with one’s society (family, tribe or country) and serving oneself as an independent entity replaced the unity of society and the serving of others. Utility replaces values. Realism replaces idealism. Instincts replace spiritual efforts. Welfare and the problems of life replace the search for perfection, consciousness of God and self-sufficiency. Intelligent logic is consciously chosen to substitute for the sacred and spiritual which, through an unacceptable materialist analysis are related to a kind of eternal pleasure.

Finally, known phenomena, capable of analysis and synthesis, are considered to be relative and materialistic. They form the people, life, culture, all of the dimensions of the earth, the elements of society and the unlimited attractions of the new spirit. They replace the essence of inspiration and the composite truths which are above one’s individual will. They do away with anything which is only understood by the supra-intellectual (spiritual faculty) that is, everything which is beyond logical science, such as the eternal, hidden Platonic dimensions. The roots of these dimensions exist in the depths of being.

Since the beginning of humanity, they have poked their heads through. They are enigmatic attractions from another world. They are from the essence of fate. They are absolute Their source is divine destiny. Alas, nature has replaced metaphysics; science has replaced inspiration; pleasure has replaced chastity; happiness has replaced perfection; and tranquillity has replaced piety. As Francis Bacon said, power has replaced Truth.”

This spiritual and intellectual change in the deep evolution of human values has changed the main direction of culture, knowledge and feelings. New means of earning a livelihood, new view of love and the relationship between men and women, the place of women in society and their relationship to men have had revolutionary effects upon the roots of the fabric of our life, literature, art and sensitivities.

All things are analyzed according to the science and positivist vision of Descartes. This includes the sacred and ethical principles always viewed as values above human knowledge that is, divine virtues. These are now analyzed as material things. Among these values are women and love, which had previously existed together in a halo of sanctity. They were hidden in the imagination, spirit, and inspiration where they remained untouched. Now they place them upon the blackboard and the billboard. One of the people responsible for this is Claude Bernard who saw human beings as corpses without a spirit. Freud considered the spirit to be a sick animal. For the bourgeoisie, life is money. The result is what we see now.

Opposed to these were the Christian priests. Next to their laboratories were churches. They had nothing to offer other than ‘excommunication’. They were club wielders whom no one feared. Compared to materialists who at least reasoned and gave examples, they simply cried out, ‘Religion is dying!’ They issued unreasonable cannon laws. They constantly threw the fire of hell into the faces of their parishioners but to no avail. A woman, as far as her life was concerned, was part of a family. Even though she had no independent human personality, at least she could easily be dissolved in the family, which was one spirit. Little by little she became economically independent. She began working outside of the home. With industrialization in full swing, with daily progress and improvement in social occupations, women went to work.

From society’s point of view, economic independence has also made her socially independent. Thereafter she found individual existence beside her husband and children. Today, before marriage and setting up a household, she has individual independence. Because she has developed intellectually and logically, this has of itself altered her relationship with others (her lover, her father and her family). Family life is no longer based on sensitive feelings or intuitive attractions or deep, unconscious, spiritual efforts but, rather, upon the linear principles of intellectual accounting and detailed calculation.

She has been freed from many social, family and religious chains through her accountant’s vision of the situation. She is now capable of seeing reality, of being able to analyze and intellectualize, of seeking herself, of finding her own interests and individual profits and spending for herself. She authentically seeks pleasure, encounters things, and looks for tranquillity, intelligence and happiness. At the same time, however, many of her deep feelings have been taken away from her. Her hereditary feelings, which are other than the intellectual, have been removed. Her humanness has suffered (and has left her lonely). But it has made her independent.

Durkheim has shown that in the past, the social spirit of command responsibility was strong. Whenever economics and individuality grew individuals lost family roots, sensitivities, traditional ideas and spirit. They became autonomous. This independence gave them multiple possibilities. The very fact that an eighteen year old girl can very easily get her own apartment and live alone without any supervision is one of them. A woman is allowed many freedoms in her home for economic reasons. Whenever she becomes angry over life, she can flee from her situation, as she has individual rights.

In her view, bearing the sorrow of another does not fit with a healthy intelligence; therefore, whenever she must make a sacrifice, or give in abundance, she closes her eyes. For peace of mind, pleasure, freedom, and for anything which affects her own well-being, she opens her eyes. This is because things like loyalty, sacrifice, generosity, gratitude, and love are all spiritual and ethical things. They are not capable of intellectual and logical demonstration.

“Sacrifice your life so that others may live,” or “bear sorrow so that others may have peace,” are transactions which do not pay off, no matter how you account for them. Then who can answer her question, “Why should I sacrifice myself for he who needs me? Why should I remain loyal to him? Why should I remain with this ugly, weak man because of a promise, an agreement, made when he was handsome, strong, and the only creature around at that time? I bore him patiently. Why should I now close my eyes to the handsome, strong man who is available and who understands my spirit and my goals?”

Sartre presents an example. A woman is the wife of a man who has no attractive qualities. In comparison to him, there is an attractive man who loves her. The intelligent way is clear. Both men need her. One needs her as a wife, the other as a lover. The woman does not need the first man but rather the second.

By remaining loyal to her husband, two needs are sacrificed (those of herself and her lover) and one is satisfied (that of her husband). In fleeing from him and letting him go, two needs are satisfied and one is sacrificed. The duty of this woman is clear. Her intelligence makes the decision a clear mathematical formula. The reason behind why a woman would sacrifice two needs for one is not simply an intellectual, logical Cartesian or Freudian one. An intelligent woman thinks and acts logically. Economic freedom and social rights present her with the possibility of doing it. She does it.

Children come into the world. A child restricts the freedom of its mother and father. Intelligence cannot accept the fact that the peace of mind and freedom of two people be sacrificed for one person. They either do not bring children into the world or they leave them with a nurse or in an institution. Among all of these illogical feelings and ethical and traditional bounds, there is a conscience, a spirit which a woman holds onto. She issued unreasonable cannon laws. They constantly threw the fire of hell into the faces of their parishioners but to no avail. A woman, as far as her life was concerned, was part of a family.

Even though she had no independent human personality, at least she could easily be dissolved in the family, which was one spirit. Little by little she became economically independent. She began working outside of the home. With industrialization in full swing, with daily progress and improvement in social occupations, women went to work. From society’s point of view, economic independence has also made her socially independent. Thereafter she found individual existence beside her husband and children. Today, before marriage and setting up a household, she has individual independence. Because she has developed intellectually and logically, this has of itself altered her relationship with others (her lover, her father and her family).

Family life is no longer based on sensitive feelings or intuitive attractions or deep, unconscious, spiritual efforts but, rather, upon the linear principles of intellectual accounting and detailed calculation. She has been freed from many social, family and religious chains through her accountant s vision of the situation. She is now capable of seeing reality, of being able to analyze and intellectualize, of seeking herself, of finding her own interests and individual profits and spending for herself. She authentically seeks pleasure, encounters things, and looks for tranquillity, intelligence and happiness. At the same time, however, many of her deep feelings have been taken away from her. Her hereditary feelings which are other than the intellectual, have been removed. Her humanness has suffered (and has left her lonely). But it has made her independent.

Durkheim has shown that in the past, the social spirit of command responsibility was strong. Whenever economics and individuality grew individuals lost family roots, sensitivities, traditional ideas and spirit. They became autonomous. This independence gave them multiple possibilities. The very fact that an eighteen year old girl can very easily get her own apartment and live alone without any supervision is one of them. A woman is allowed many freedoms in her home for economic reasons. Whenever she becomes angry over life, she can flee from her situation, as she has individual rights.

In her view, bearing the sorrow of another does not fit with a healthy intelligence; therefore, whenever she must make a sacrifice, or give in abundance, she closes her eyes. For peace of mind, pleasure, freedom, and for anything which affects her own wellbeing, she opens her eyes. This is because things like loyalty, sacrifice, generosity, gratitude, and love are all spiritual and ethical things. They are not capable of intellectual and logical demonstration.

“Sacrifice your life so that others may live,” or “bear sorrow so that others may have peace,” are transactions which do not pay off, no matter how you account for them. Then who can answer her question, 11Vhy should I sacrifice myself for he who needs me? Why should I remain loyal to him? Why should I remain with this ugly, weak man because of a promise, an agreement, made when he was handsome, strong, and the only creature around at that time? I bore him patiently. Why should I now close my eyes to the handsome, strong man who is available and who understands my spirit and my goals?”

Sartre presents an example. A woman is the wife of a man who has no attractive qualities. In comparison to him, there is an attractive man who loves her. The intelligent way is clear. Both men need her. One needs her as a wife, the other as a lover. The woman does not need the first man but rather the second.

By remaining loyal to her husband, two needs are sacrificed (those of herself and her lover) and one is satisfied (that of her husband). In fleeing from him and letting him go, two needs are satisfied and one is sacrificed. The duty of this woman is clear. Her intelligence makes the decision a clear mathematical formula. The reason behind why a woman would sacrifice two needs for one is not simply an intellectual, logical Cartesian or Freudian one. An intelligent woman thinks and acts logically. Economic freedom and social rights present her with the possibility of doing it. She does it.

Children come into the world. A child restricts the freedom of its mother and father. Intelligence cannot accept the fact that the peace of mind and freedom of two people be sacrificed for one person. They either do not bring children into the world or they leave them with a nurse or in an institution. Among all of these illogical feelings and ethical and traditional bounds, there is a conscience, a spirit which a woman holds onto. She finds it by immersing herself into the fabric of the spiritual depths of her family.

There are a hundred irrational, impractical rationalizations which encourage her to choose forgiveness, suffering, sacrifice for her husband and children, home, family, and the sensitive values of life which had been disconnected. Because of economic and social independence, she had developed an individual spirit and independence instead of gaining a social spirit through which the individual is dissolved.

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