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Amina Saeed BSS-5 Philosophy of Social Sciences Submitted to Dr.

Huma Haque Q- What is the relationship between a philosopher and a prophet? Relate the answer to the philosophy of Socrates.

To know the relationship between a philosopher and a prophet, we need to have a proper understanding of both philosophy (and what philosophers preach) and our prophets. Philosophy is a set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning a study or an aspect of it. The word "philosophy" comes from the Ancient Greek (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom". Philosophical knowledge teaches us to be rational and critical. It teaches us logic and epistemology. . Through times, philosophers seek answers for question such as, what is the meaning and purpose of life? How do we know what we know? Does God exist? What does it mean to possess consciousness? And, what is the value of morals? A philosopher uses the philosophical method to answer such questions. The philosopher starts questioning his beliefs for validity and from his doubt, questions emerge. The questions are reduced to the most accurate answer. He builds an argument to support his answer. After critique and rebuttals form other philosophers he makes an attempt to prove his beliefs rationally and discover the ultimate truth. This method is known as the Dialectical method. Now to understand Prophets, we need to know the basic meaning of a being a Prophet. A Prophet is person who is an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. For Muslims Prophets have great importance as they brought the religion forward telling people right from wrong. In religion, a Prophet is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or divine. These individuals deliver the knowledge of God to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy. Claims of prophets have existed in many cultures through history, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, in Ancient Greece, Zoroaster, and many others. Traditionally, prophets are regarded as having a role in society that promotes change due to their messages and actions. Prophets in Islam come with the same message, The Oneness of the Divine Creator and worshiping of that One God but each prophet added new aspects to religion.

Prophet have something miraculous in them with the help of which they preach the truth. The common characteristics and qualities of prophets are as follows: 1. Sidq (Loyalty): All prophets tell the truth about the news that they receive from Allah. Telling lies is impossible for them. 2. Amanah (Trust): Prophets are reliable and trustworthy people regarding fulfilling the duties that Allah gave them. Breach of trust is impossible for them. 3. Tabligh (Conveying): Prophets convey the orders that are revealed to them by Allah to their nations exactly, without missing or adding anything. It is not in question for them to hide the news or to change it. Kitman, that is, the property of hiding the news is not present in prophets. 4. Fatanah (Intelligence): Prophets have a superior mind and intelligence, a strong memory, a superior logic and ability of persuasion. Prophets have nothing to do with qualities like madness, heedlessness and ignorance. 5. Ismah (Innocence): Prophets are free from all kinds of sins, whether secret or open, faults, bad deeds, and acts that are not suitable for prophets. People should not even think that prophets could commit sins. 6. Mujiza (miracle): Allah gave all of His prophets the quality to produce some extraordinary things or events in order to enable them to prove that they are right and to cope with the objections and the obstinacy of the deniers. They are called miracles. Miracles are supernatural events. They are supernatural events that take place based on the power of Allah not prophets; for instance, the parting of the Red Sea by Hazrat Musa (Moses)...Author: Mehmet Dikmen )


Now to study the relationship, we need to pin down the similarities and differences between a prophet and a philosopher. Both Prophet and a philosopher are wise people, they come with a message. They want to spread goodness. They want justice and courage to prevail in the society. Both want to bring a change in a society by eliminating the evil and unjust practices and bringing people towards the ultimate truth.

Both religion and philosophy deal with problems like: What is good? What does it mean to live a good life? What is the nature of reality? Why are we here and what should we be doing? How should we treat each other? What is really most important in life? Prophets represent a religion. Philosophy and religion can be interrelated. Both deal with human life, human mind, its existence on the universe, and the meaning of life. Both are fundamentally based on opinion and cannot be wholly proven. A difference between the two can be the emphasis on the use of reason and critical thinking. Prophets make use of reason but the rely on faith more and they are just a medium through which God sends His messages to people which sometimes leaves no space for reason whereas Philosophers lay great emphasis on logic and reason. Philosophers never claim their philosophies to be revelations from a God. Instead, they base their philosophies on rational arguments. Prophets are often involved in miraculous events.[For example, Hazrat Musa (R.A) divided the river Nile into two, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) divided the moon into two, Hazrat Isa (Jesus) was born out of a virgin]. Miracles is not an attribute of Philosophers.
Another difference is that philosophers try to find answers from things we have visual evidence of whereas Prophets ask people to worship and believe in one God whose physical characteristics cannot be seen by one that is not enlightened. Philosophy is used to find answers from things we are able to see, and accept. Religion is based on worshipping or believing in a god whose physical characteristics cannot necessarily be seen by one that is not enlightened.

Socrates: A prophet or a philosopher?

Around 124,000 prophets are known to have been sent to the world, but we know only of 25. Having no historical or religious evidence of the rest we can state that a philosopher can be a prophet. To reach to a conclusion I used the dialectical method and did an unstructured interview. Name of the person Interviewed: Mariam Gul Age: 20-25 When questioned about her views on this topic she said: Mariam Gul I think that a philosopher might be a prophet. History has not given us evidence about the other 100,000 prophets thus we can say that a philosopher can be a prophet. Both are full of wisdom and their words have a reason. Those were uncivilized

times. He was a thinker , he came up with reasons for things he could not understand. Both Prophets and Philosophers want to see improvement in society and want the good to prevail. They were Kind people But we cant say for sure shot that that philosophers were prophets but research on this topic can help us get to the answer. Some people even say that Krishna (Hindu God) might have been a prophet. As he was wise and asked his followers to be virtues, But then again we cant make a sweeping statement unless you have adequate proof Q.What are the differences you see b/w the both? Mariam Prophets always came with a miracle inside them. They could be in contact with the super natural whereas Philosophers were normal intellectual persons Q/ how do you define Ultimate Truth? Mariam I believe in one God, that is the ultimate truth but I think the re are more important things in life like improving yourself, getting rid of your defeats, finding goodness. We can apply these things not just by saying God is one. A person who doesnt believe in God can be more ethical than us. never know. Finding God within yourself is a very personel matter Q/ It is said we find peace in prayers. For Socrates, peace is found when you think rationally and get to the ultimate truth. What do you think? Mariam I think Praying 5 times a day is just an exercise. When you can be close to God in your heart. You can talk to Him whenever you want. Using your brain to make the right decisions will make us think rationally. Q/ Any Critique on Socrates which can proof he was not a prophet? Mariam A prophet treats everyone equally whereas Socrates never mentioned women. He totally neglected women and the hardships they had to face at that time. All prophets spoke in favour of women and raised the standard of women. By not mentioning women in his work he is only portraying half the truth. Prophets also talked about treating animals with kindness. Socrates only focused on men. Q/ Do you want to change your stance now about a philosopher being a prophet? Mariam, Yes, A prophet of God cannot just ignore women like that. Id like to change my view on this topic now. A prophet of God deal with all problems in a society with all perspectives. Q/ His philosophies might have been for both men and women we never know as he never wrote down his work?

Mariam, I remember some quote of Socrates demeaning the role of women Woman once made equal to man becomes his superior Socrates It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable." -Socrates Q/ Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) raised the status of women for sure but there were many prophets before him who worked on different stuff like adultry ,theft etc. There is still a possibility that Socrates was Prophet as his time period was 399 B.C i.e a long time before the arrival of our last Prophet (P.B.U.H)..? Mariam, Every Prophet added a new string of thought to a society, made improvisations. It might have been that Socrates was the start of rational thinking. Maybe he wanted to eliminate the unjustice in society first. Every change needs time to occur and everything cannot be all changed at once.

Q/ Why do you think all Prophets of Islam were men and not women? Islam also in a way neglected women in this case. Whereas we do have female philosophers. Mariam, Women have been given a lot of freedom and justice in Islam. But I cannot say for sure if the version of religion we are studying is accurate or not. It can be that the men in society manipulated the interpretations and made the script look baised. It is also said that women have been created from the ribs of man which I find to be very inferior. All the women in Islam were wives or daughters; non were leaders. Women are sexualized and subordinated to the date. Q/ what about the quality of Fatanah (Intelligence). Prophets have a superior mind and intelligence, a strong memory, a superior logic and ability of persuasion and some of these qualities are also found in Philosophers?

Mariam, The concept of Ijma and Fatana can be used to do consensus. Religion can be interpreted differently. It is for us to use our brain and think rationally like philosophers to understand religion truly. Q/ We are coming back to the same question again and again? Is a philosopher also a prophet? Mariam,Does it even matter? Whats really important id to apply the wisdom of philosophy to ourselves. The essence of religion and philosophy is Goodness. We need to work on being good humans. Discovering ourselves and not hurting others. Both Philosophers and Prophets did the same. We need to focus on improving ourselves.

The discussion between Mariam and I led us both to an opinion of what is really important. I had different views from other interviews which I would like to share aswell. (Questioned a friend about her views on the relationship between a prophet and a philosopher Name#2: Khaula Abbasi Answer: The similarity between the two is that a philosopher can be considered a prophet and a prophet can have a philosophy. Like how some people consider Socrates to be a prophet. Philosophy is in itself, in my opinion is a set of ethics a collection of aesthetics, metaphysical knowledge and ontological notions. It is very similar to religious values and norms. thus, a philosopher and a prophet can be one of the same thing. They are both 'messengers'. The difference can be that a Prophets claim that their knowledge is 'divine' and cannot be challenged must not be supported by philosophy. Their knowledge is 'transcendental' and of a superior sort. Whereas, A philosophers philosophies are highly contested and the trends in knowledge keeps on changing with time. Discussion with a friend : Bilal Ahmed Age: 25-30 Conclusion of the Discussion: Before making a comparison and determining a relationship between a prophet and a philosopher it is important to understand that a true comparison is never possible when we compare two objects, beings or aspects that belong to a different realm or have a different level. A Prophet; for those who have faith, is a human being who is chosen by God to deliver a specific message to humanity. Therefore when it comes to the intellect, action and attributes of a Prophet, it is God who maintains guides and inspires them all. Another major significance of a prophet over the rest of the humanity is that they have knowledge of the unseen. They are divinely inspired and know what the rest of humans dont know. Prophets have the knowledge to questions which are relevant to human beings such as: What is the purpose of life? Is there a life after death? How did the universe come into existence? A human being whos abilities are limited and whos intellect is also limited cannot answer these questions on his or her own. A human being is a created being, it didnt create itself. Therefore the answer to its existence m ust also

come from its creator. This is where the prophets play the role of being messengers of God who is conveying important messages to humans. On the other hand philosophers are human beings who use their intellect to think, reflect and come up with reasons to establish conclusions on various topics. The key difference between a philosopher and a prophet is that a philosopher relies on his intellect to come up with a solution whereas a prophet relies on God to provide a conclusion. A philosopher therefore could sometimes be accurate in his or her conclusions and sometimes be wrong. From the relationship between a prophet and a philosopher there is one similarity that can be drawn. Both of them are involved in making people think and reflect. Both of them inspire people to think about questions. The topic of discussion is mostly about aspects that are abstract. In conclusion, there is a fundamental difference between a philosopher and a prophet. A philosopher is a human with an intellect and is limited in his or her scope of thinking, reason and drawing conclusions. Where as a prophets scope of thinking, his intellect, reason and mind are not limited as they are being inspired by the creator of intellect and human being himself.

Reference list ( author: Author: Mehmet Dikmen ( Author: Austin Cline,)