Ismaël Omarjee, Doctor of history and philosophy of science
The “original Islam” as reiterated by Farid Gabteni, i.e. untarnished Islam, represents a very important topic. Here are a few reflections aimed at trying to define the nature and scope thereof.
Principles of the religion
A few decades ago, Mohammad Iqbal, Muslim philosopher, proposed to “rebuild the religious thought of Islam”, “redesign the entire system of Islam without breaking away from the past”, in order to free the religion from the archaisms and anachronisms that mask its reality, its grandeur, with a view to reconstructing the religion in its true form.
In the context of his reflections on the foundations and fundamental principles of Islamic thought, drawing on its Quranic source, Farid Gabteni now proposes not to rebuild the religious thought of Islam, but to fully revert back to Islam’s message of truth and peace, to the essential, universal and thus fully topical principles, defining this religion of the past and the present, the future and beyond. The following verse of Quran illustrates this approach: “O you who have ensured (believed)! Access the peace sufficiently, and do not follow the footsteps of the devil; he is certainly for you an explicit aggressor” (Chapter 2, verse 208) .
Far from representing a return to the past, a form of backwards thinking and immobilism, the reference to the original message signifies a return to the enlightening, purifying and peaceful essence of the revealed message, to the spirit thereof through words, a source of elevation and profound thought, that serves to demonstrate the irreducibility of the religious process, of religion. The revelation represented an important founding moment, the incarnation of the dynamic of development and enrichment of thought and history.
As a religion that worships a Single God with no associate(s) and as reiterated in the Quran by God in the address to humanity, Islam was the religion of Abraham, the common reference of the three major contemporary religions based on monotheism. This worship is practised in the search for the True, the Perfect, the Most High. It therefore represents a source of accomplishment and elevation of man, of humanity.
The aforementioned first Islamic principle, which is well-known and recognised, is the recognition of a single God with no associate(s). From the time of the revelation to Mohammed, the birth of Islam served to definitively anchor, on a world scale, the resurgence of a pure, integral and exclusive monotheism in the history of humanity. This first principle, through which Muslims declare their faith and belief in the First, He who founded his life and work, is a key part of a fundamental approach of knowledge according to reason, the knowledge of the Creator and creation, of the Creator through creation and creation by the Creator, following the example of the Abrahamic approach and in accordance with the first Quranic order: “Read By the Name of Your Master, The One Who Created” (Chapter 96, verse 1). It is through the search for truth, the observation of nature and reasoning that Abraham eventually recognised an all-powerful Creator and testified to this, states the Quran. A foundation, an essential pillar of Islam, of Islamic life. A true Muslim therefore rationally and naturally worships the Only God.
The idea of a single, transcendent God remains and shall remain an unsurpassable, timeless and essential idea, decreed by the religion of truth. It spans the history of thought, maintaining its dynamic and defining its horizon. The ultimate philosophical-religious idea, The One, is confirmed as an idea that is both perfectly rational and supreme.
Another consubstantial principle of Islam, relating to the order of reason and directly linked to the first, is charity – the act of recognition with regard to the supreme Benefactor, exercised with regard to his creation. The Quranic leitmotiv, pronounced from the beginning to the end of the sacred text, is not subject to any ambiguity: faith is, by nature, inseparable from good, fair and useful work.
The principle of charity is conveyed, for example, in terms of non-destruction, non-alteration, non-degradation, non-denaturation of the creation, i.e. work to restore, preserve and complete this creation, in any area that requires this.
The broad fields of science, technology, the powers granted by this expertise and the consequences thereof on the biosphere represent an important area of human responsibility regarding the urgent application of this principle. The responsibility of the believer is engaged before the Creator and his creation. Generally, men have their responsibility engaged in the face of humanity and history.
The work of the believer
In contrast with those who betray Islam by their actions or words, by appropriating the message and twisting it, many players align themselves with the religion, taking inspiration from its fundamental principles and acting in complete sincerity. These are total, sincere and loyal Muslims, distanced from any dogmatism and injurious extremism that is damaging to Islam. Farid Gabteni’s work encourages these Muslims. They live and bring to life the original Islam, the Islam of light, the Islam of peace and unity, the Islam of generosity and kindness, the Islam of fairness and wisdom, of justice and moderation. These Muslims are scouts, fully exercising their humanity for the benefit of humanity.
Through its fundamental and timeless principles, Islam reiterates and takes the creature to divine universal order, to the nature of nature, to its own nature, its original condition. The religion is destined to create a dynamic and a civilisation of knowledge and recognition. It contributed and continues to contribute, by nature, to great history, to human civilisation.
The unity of Muslims, including Sunnis and Shi`ites and, beyond this, the unity of believers and all humanity, requires us to return to the original and universal message of God.
The work of Farid Gabteni finally makes it possible to explore and reflect on numerous topics – fundamental topics, crucial topics. It offers the perspectives of a humanist, a key player and expert in the topic of Islam, through a rich experience and in-depth reflection. The result is a broader vision of Islam, distanced from the usual clichés and prejudices that originate both within and outside of “Islam”, an informed and well thought-out introduction to the reading of the Quran. Let us reiterate that his work through which he demonstrates a mathematical order and therefore the living and topical nature of the Quranic text, also contributes to this reading. Through this, the metaphysics of monotheism are appreciated according to the terms of an exact science. Indeed, on this occasion, Farid Gabteni spreads the monotheist idea of an organisation of reality, from the original to the current, from nature to culture, from study to discovery, otherwise known as a supreme organiser. All this helps to make the book, which has been carefully shaped and shared by the author, a defining moment in religious history.
In addition, this work helps to break down the barriers constructed on the foundations of ignorance and violence, and helps to build a bridge between men, men of knowledge, of peace, based on the mutual values of human beings and supported by the idea that there is a divine order to respect and perpetuate on a human scale. Above all, it is turning to God, Unaltered, man’s choice of the divine, the best expression of man, eminently human, which will enable the numerous present and potential alterations and evils to be reduced or repaired, in order to create a better situation, from both an individual and global point of view, due to an interdependent world. The evils and dangers, products of history, that we currently face shall only be the result of a process that moves away from this approach, which is, by nature, eminently protective and charitable, as it enlightens mankind.
In conclusion, the work of Farid Gabteni represents an essential contribution in the present context, which is marked by a strong and urgent need for man to show humanity in terms of conscience and wisdom.
official website of the Society for the Preservation and the Dissemination of Farid Gabteni’s Work