Sacred Web 46

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Sacred Web 46

Sacred Web 46


Charlie Hebdo Redux: Islam and Free Speech

By M. Ali Lakhani
The recent attacks in France by Islamist extremists after a teacher showed his students the infamous ‘Prophet Cartoons’ which had provoked the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, and the reactions of the Muslim ‘street’ to the State’s responses in their wake, have reignited the debate over Muslim and secular liberal values.This essay examines the issue from the perspective of the metaphysics of freedom, focusing on its ‘natural’ limits, and it argues that the dignity on which freedom is based must be recognised as underpinning not only traditional but also secular conceptions of freedom.      Read more...



Covid-19: The Science of Bodies or the Science of Religions?
By Noraini M. Noor
In this article, the author uses the context of the Covid‐19 pandemic to contrast the secular medical model of disease with the traditional view of Islam.The former prevalent view considers Covid‐19 as a virus and therefore treatment is symptomatic, while a proven safe vaccine has yet to be developed.The latter religious or theological view sees the Divine as the Source of every existence, including diseases. To understand the actions of individuals and societies, the outbursts of interpretation as to why the disease has occurred as well as the strategies taken, the author’s starting point is how man and disease are understood within these two perspectives, going back to their respective origins. This is followed by contrasting ‘curing’ and ‘healing,’ responses from the two perspectives, and why Covid‐19 from the Islamic tradition can be considered as rahma and hikma.     Read more...

Nature and Gnosis: The Tawhidic Theosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr
By Jerome Klotz
The focus of this study is the unitive element in the writings of Seyyed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933). Jerome Klotz summarizes this as follows: the substance of nature can only be known in light of Divine Wisdom, and that, because the light of Divine Wisdom is the substance of nature and indeed of all knowledge. The study examines Nasr’s theosophy—grounded in the Sacred—which has a ‘root’ (revelation and intellection), ‘fruit’ (Absolute Reality and relative manifestation), and ‘taste’ (theophany and beatitude), and concludes by reflecting on its implications for contemporary thought and life.     Read more...

Islam and the Density of Man
By Mohammed Rustom
In view of the rift between traditional and modernist philosophies, the author, in the classical Sufi tradition of teaching through poetry, has penned a 28‐line poem titled ‘Islam and the Density of Man’, and has offered a metaphysical explication of it, presenting insights into the nature of Nature in an attempt to bridge that rift.     Read more...


Special Section on Darwinism

Darwinism: A Critique
By M. Ali Lakhani
Touted as ‘the single best idea that anyone has ever had’, Charles Darwin’s idea — that living organisms have originated and evolved from a common biological ancestor by a mechanism of natural selection acted on by random mutations – has a reputation of being scientifically sound and is regarded as unassailable. This essay aims to debunk that assumption, using arguments against macro‐evolution, from the standpoints of both science and metaphysics.     Read more...

Modern Biology as a Cultural Expression
By Fatos A. Kopliku
This essay traces the materialistic premises of scientism, particularly as expressed in the ideology of Darwinism, and how they took cultural expression in the West as the fruit and expression of a worldview where the role of the Divine had been gradually diluted to the point that the only ‘real’ things became random material forces.The author traces these developments and argues that this idea precipitated in a civilization that had become oversaturated with materialism, the latter being a consequence of the gradual loss of metaphysical transparency in the West.     Read more...

The Metaphysical Concept of Evolution
By Wynand de Beer
This essay, which examines certain metaphysical premises of evolution, comprises the introductory chapter of the author’s book From Logos to Bios. Evolutionary Theory in Light of Plato, Aristotle & Neoplatonism (New York: Angelico Press, 2018), with slight modifications. The author contrasts the transformist understandings of ‘species’ and ‘evolution’ with those of traditional metaphysics.     Read more...


In Memoriam

Laleh Bakhtiar (1938-2020)
Tributes by:
Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
Robert D. Crane


Book Reviews

Travelling Home: Essays on Islam in Europe by Abdal Hakim Murad
Reviewed by M. Ali Lakhani

The Struggle for a Human Future: 5G, Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things by Jeremy Naydler
Reviewed by M. Ali Lakhani

Dismantling Freud: Fake Therapy and the Psychoanalytic Worldview by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
Reviewed by Brian Welter

The Perennial Psychology by David C. Doel
Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos

Quranic Psychology of the Self: A Textbook on Islamic Moral Psychology by Laleh Bakhtiar, Introduction by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos

Philosophy of Science in the Light of Perennial Wisdom by Mahmoud Bina and Alireza K. Ziarani
Reviewed by Mehrdad Mahmoudi Zarandi

Annotations: Philosophical, Religious, Cultural, Historical / The Early British Perennialist Authors compiled by William Stoddart
Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos



A selection of poems in the Octagon and Octahedron Form
by Michael Bradburn-Ruster

On Far Horizons: Seven Poems
by Barry McDonald

A Poem for the Nativity
by Jerome Klotz