Author: Habibuddin Ahmed
Habibuddin Ahmed was born in Hyderabad, India into a family of scholars, had his basic education in engineering from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, did his Ph.d in engineering mechanics from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Later in life he developed affinity for an academic life, worked on an extensive translation project, from Persian into English, for 17 years, then worked in Islamic Philosophy and Islamic History.
THE BOOK SUMMARY:
The book on "The Nature of Time and Consciousness in Islam" is a unique work by the author in the history of Islamic Thought. The solution on the problem of origin of Time and Space is successfully addressed through systematic approach to understanding Divine Nature.
A chapter on Divine Nature is the key to undertaking this monumental task of understanding the nature of time. The author believes that it is relevant to develop inner-self and the consciousness of a person to achieve closeness to Reality. The chapter on Divine Nature follows a systematic approach to understanding the Realm of Eternity, the Realm of Omnipotence, Realm of Sovereignty, and Realm of Perpetuity, which unfold true nature of the origin of time. Almost every chapter in the book opens new doors of opportunities for Islamic studies researchers, new challenges, and new way of thinking in Islam
The final chapter on Tahdhib al-Insân takes the developing of consciousness leading to reforming individuals and community. The author goes through a study of various ancient scholars throughout his work, while maintaining creativity and originality in his work of developing new concepts.
The book also carries numerous definitions of Time with extensive synthesis of essences and existences in various domains of Time addressed in the literature by well-known ancient, medieval, and modern scholars such as Ibn Sînâ, Shaykh al-Ishrâq Shihâb al-Dîn al-Suhrawardî (Ishrâqî School), Fakhr al-Dîn al-Râzî, Shaykh Tâj al-Dîn Ushnôhî, Ibn al-FâriÌ, Khwâjah MuÍammad Pârsâ, Khwâjah MaÍbûb-i-Ilâhî Dihlawî, ‘Alâ’ al-Dawlah Simnânî, ‘Azîz al-Dîn Nasafî, ‘Abd al-RaÍmân Asfarâ’inî, AfÌal al-Dîn Kâshânî, Mîr Dâmâd, Sadr al-Dîn Shîrâzî (or Mullâ Sadrâ), Mohammed Iqbal, Alfred North Whitehead, Henry Bergson, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche and many others. An analysis of these works aided by author’s concept development brings out new results unknown before in the literature.
A PUBLICATION REVIEW:
The theorists might be trying to encapsulate the essence of Time, or they might be presenting before their addresses various aspects of Time that they were able to perceive, or they might be admitting by way of implication the limitations of human perceptions. It is, however, neither kinematics of Newton, nor the four dimensional Space-Time manifold and the Mach’s principle of Einstein, nor the A series and the B series of McTaggart that has compelled Habibuddin Ahmed to undertake this stupendous task of investigating the views and ideas of Muslim scholarship on Time.
Habibuddin Ahmed is objective, incisive and methodical throughout the book. He first evolves a philosophy that he calls a Guided Philosophy (dealing with the subject of essences and existences), builds the foundation with the help of Qur’ân and ×adîth distinguishing carefully between the explicit and the inexplicit verses and then moves over to the evolving of concepts in a bold yet restrained manner.
By Dr. Shahid Ali Abbasi, Chairman, Islamic Studies Department, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.
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