Please enlighten me about the whole story

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Bohra spring
Posts: 1241
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:37 am

Re: Please enlighten me about the whole story

#61

Unread post by Bohra spring » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:52 pm

Biradar I was answering your statement where you said SMB was and a great intellectual and contributed to advances in community affairs. I countered by asking who other than his followers recognize these achievements

Obviously none, so you could say it is hearsay to claim his greatness as it is only from a single perspective

Would I be wrong to say that thousands consider him to have taken the community backwards or another thousands to feel they have gone astray , while thousands feel they are prevented from making progress ?



Biradar
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#62

Unread post by Biradar » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:22 pm

porus wrote:Ismaili metaphysics was invented and developed by great scholars of the Fatimid era, notably Sijistani and Kirmani. Further development during satr was done by the 2nd Dai, Sayedna Ibrahim, who altered some of the earlier metaphysical doctrines and added his own ideas. Since then, there has been hardly any development of Ismaili metaphysics. All subsequent Duaat have only regurgitated the earlier metaphysics.
There is a reason for later duaat's having "only regurgitated" earlier metaphysics. Perhaps not valid, but nonetheless: the first period of the concealment of the Imams was short. The second period of concealment was also anticipated to be short. Thats why we see the "new" developments of the second da'i Sayedna Ibrahim. By the time of the 19th da'i, Sayedna Idris such a long time had passed that the duaat no longer thought themselves of having any authority to challenge existing metaphysics, handed on to them from the time when the Imam was present or was just recently absent. At that time there was a effective "freeze" of the inherited doctrine and has remained so since then.

In a recent article Mazoon saheb's daughter has said that about 40% of the work by S. Taher Saifuddin was not original, but collation of existing material. The remaining was original in the sense of commentary and prefaces. Of course, his poetry was original. Collation and commenting on existing material does constitute scholarship but not of the highest sort. Merely having a sound grasp of Arabic is not enough to be called a scholar. He was a poet, no doubt, but his real contribution was to building an administrative machinery which consolidated the community into a coherent whole. That might not have been such a good idea, but that was nonetheless his doing. Also, S. Insaf has explicitly said that he does not believe that S. Taher Saifuddin wrote "Ya Sayeda Shohadai".

I think this, to me, shows a certain fear and hesitation among the progressive. It seems that progressives are afraid that if the Sayedna was a scholar then it would be harder to justify their cause. So they take all opportunity to show that he is not. My feeling is that it does not matter. Even if he was a great scholar with tremendous accolades from everyone, it would still not make his abuse of power and control over the community correct or justified.

One might see cynical motives in the rebuilding projects carried out by the Sayedna, but this is not a trivial or an undertaking which one should dismiss. Yes, there are unscrupulous people making huge sums of money off these, but then ordinary bohras do benefit. For example, many bohras now visit Yemen, Karbala and Egypt without much trouble.



pheonix
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:32 am

#63

Unread post by pheonix » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:24 am

porus wrote:Biradar,

Ismaili metaphysics was invented and developed by great scholars of the Fatimid era, notably Sijistani and Kirmani. Further development during satr was done by the 2nd Dai, Sayedna Ibrahim, who altered some of the earlier metaphysical doctrines and added his own ideas.
Your first statement "invented and developed" makes everything else in your post irrelevant. You are welcome to have your views(without any proof) but this is not the bohra view. These great scholars did not invent the metaphysics, they just penned what was already present. There is no question of any advancement or additions as the metaphysics is complete. Syedna Taher Saifuddin, just reworded or translated it for a different audience. Syedna's way and Kirmani's way are two different ways of saying the same thing, and neither of them invented the thing.



porus
Posts: 3594
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 5:01 am

#64

Unread post by porus » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:31 am

pheonix wrote:
porus wrote:Biradar,

Ismaili metaphysics was invented and developed by great scholars of the Fatimid era, notably Sijistani and Kirmani. Further development during satr was done by the 2nd Dai, Sayedna Ibrahim, who altered some of the earlier metaphysical doctrines and added his own ideas.
These great scholars did not invent the metaphysics, they just penned what was already present.
Strictly, that is not incorrect. The Ismaili metaphysics has it roots in the writings of the Greek philosophers Plato and Plotinus which is now known as Neo-Platonism. Thus, it can be said to have been invented by Plato and further developed by Plotinus.

Neo-Platonism is widespread in Christian, Jewish and Muslim metaphysics. It was already present in the writings of great Muslim philosophers like al-Kindi and al-Gazali before it was described in its earlier phase in Rasaa'il Ikhwan as-Safa. Its specific Ismaili character was fully developed by Farabi and given its present form by Sijistani and Kirmani.



Biradar
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#65

Unread post by Biradar » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:25 pm

One major problem with modern bohras is that they want to believe something just because it is doctrinally correct or stated to be so by the clergy. They are not ready to study the reality of the matter and despite all evidence to the contrary will not change their position.

The Ismaili metaphysical doctrine has undergone tremendous development. It is not simply a penning of existing ideas. Many of these ideas were developed based on neoplatonic doctrines and were given an Islamic/Ismaili flavor. To say that they did not actually "invent" is a major insult to the authors of the great works of the Fatimid and post-Fatimid era.

Great philosophers like Kirmani not only wrote and developed new ideas but also tried to settle the disputes between other philosopher like Nasafi and Sijistani. To say that the ideas have always existed, just because it is the bohra "position" is not correct. One needs to confront reality and accept it despite all the pressure to be doctrinally correct. Porus is right about the development stages of the philosophical doctrine. After the 19th da'i's compendium on haqaaiq there is little or nothing that is original, and neither it is likely to be.

The Indian duaat struggled a for a long time with hostile Sunni rulers and were also very poor. In this situation maintaining the community was a greater and more important task than composing original philosophical treatises. When the persecution lessened the recent dauaat, specially the last two, were focused on consolidating their political power and accumulating obscene amounts of wealth. The time for original philosophical thought among the bohras is gone.



pheonix
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:32 am

#66

Unread post by pheonix » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:40 am

Biradar wrote:One major problem with modern bohras is that they want to believe something just because it is doctrinally correct or stated to be so by the clergy. They are not ready to study the reality of the matter and despite all evidence to the contrary will not change their position.

The Ismaili metaphysical doctrine has undergone tremendous development. It is not simply a penning of existing ideas. Many of these ideas were developed based on neoplatonic doctrines and were given an Islamic/Ismaili flavor. To say that they did not actually "invent" is a major insult to the authors of the great works of the Fatimid and post-Fatimid era.

Great philosophers like Kirmani not only wrote and developed new ideas but also tried to settle the disputes between other philosopher like Nasafi and Sijistani. To say that the ideas have always existed, just because it is the bohra "position" is not correct. One needs to confront reality and accept it despite all the pressure to be doctrinally correct. Porus is right about the development stages of the philosophical doctrine. After the 19th da'i's compendium on haqaaiq there is little or nothing that is original, and neither it is likely to be.

The Indian duaat struggled a for a long time with hostile Sunni rulers and were also very poor. In this situation maintaining the community was a greater and more important task than composing original philosophical treatises. When the persecution lessened the recent dauaat, specially the last two, were focused on consolidating their political power and accumulating obscene amounts of wealth. The time for original philosophical thought among the bohras is gone.
It is just a matter of perspective as none of the historical positions can either be proved by me or you or anyone.
According to the bohra perspective, what you call neo-platonism is just a bastardized version of the metaphysics of Plato (which Plato didn't invent by the way) which was exactly the same as penned down by Maulana Hamidudddin. All these ideas survived(neoplatonism) because they have some semblance of truth in it, but are not the whole truth. There is the truth, and then there are versions of understanding it, according to abilities of the person understanding it. The Republic is how Plato understood it and Ikhwan-nus-Safa is how Kirmani did. If you think that Kirmani invented these ideas, then he is no better than someone like Tolkien inventing some fantasy. Now this is the bohra view, you are free to have your views but don't present it as the Dawoodi bohra position.

P.S. I am not a very good writer so apologies for the disjointed and choppy nature of the post.



progticide
Posts: 469
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:30 am

#67

Unread post by progticide » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:06 am

Biradar wrote:After the 19th da'i's compendium on haqaaiq there is little or nothing that is original, and neither it is likely to be.

The Indian duaat struggled a for a long time with hostile Sunni rulers and were also very poor. In this situation maintaining the community was a greater and more important task than composing original philosophical treatises.
Ignorance or oblivion should not be projected as conviction.

You are ignorant about the contributions of the last few Duats and therefore you make it look like they have no knowledge to contribute to the philosophical growth. The reason for your misgivings is simple as below:

1. The philosophical works and haqaiq literature of the fatimid/yemeni period that is available in public domain is largely upto the time of 19th Dai when the seat of dawat was in yemen. The period upto this time and until the dawat shifted to India was of great upheavel and had seen major schisms in the Egyptian and Yemeni Ismaili fold which resulted in these works being available to a large section of the Ismaili community (including those like Nizaris who had nothing to do with the new Tayyabi community yet they continued to obtain, preserve and study the Ismaili Tayyabi works).
2. Once the seat of dawat shifted to India, the Arab Ismailis had little means to obtain the new literature and works produced by the Indian Duats and this resulted in almost total restriction on the growth of their philosophical learning of the Ismaili Tayyabi literature post 23rd Dai in Yemen. Now only the select few associated with the Indian Tayyabi fold had access to the literary wealth. This is where your ignorance lies, because you too have very little access to the literary works of the Indian Duats which managed to remain largely secure and restricted for deemed audience only. However, you have made your ignorance to look like fact. But just because you are blind does not mean there is no Sun in the sky above.
3. Also, during the Indian phase of the dawat, the knowledge of Arabic was limited among the few who chose to study this language. Language also proved to be a major factor in preventing the proliferation and divulgence of literature that was not meant for ordinary learning by masses. This resulted in effectively guarding the secretive works against the outside audience, causing relative ignorance among the adversaries about the esoteric works of the Indian Ismaili Tayyabis.
4. Compared to the Fatimid and Yemeni period of Dawat, the Indian era of dawat has seen less devastating schisms, and the last almost 400 years have been relatively peaceful thereby preventing any deliberate or accidental exposure of the esoteric works of the Indian Duats.

So just because some people did not get the opportunity to lay their hands on the Indian works of Ismaili Tayyabi Dawoodi Bohra Duat, they decided to label their ignorance and failure as rather lack of knowledge of the Indian Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra Duat.



Humsafar
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

#68

Unread post by Humsafar » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:04 am

Pesticide,
In your long itemized post you've practically said nothing of value. You're at pains to emphasise that Inidian duats have contributed greatly to Bohra metaphysics and philosophy but say nothing as to what it is. Of course, like a true brainwashed abde you claim that all that is secret and esoteric not for the common masses. If that is the case then please tell us what is the use of those great metaphysical advances, how has it benefitted the community. But we must be naive to ask such stupid questions, how can esoteric knowledge benefit the community - by its very nature and purpose it is contradiction in terms. Secret knowledge is supposed to benefit only those who closely guard that knowledge: the likes of you and your masters. Do you realise that behind closed doors and in your closed minds this secret knowledge is going putrid, its beginning to smell due to lack of fresh air, and it is also becoming hot, and you and your cohorts are full of it. This secret knowledge being exchanged between the select few is becoming as incestuous as the relationships among the royal family. The whole thing reeks of illegitimacy, and we are tired of holding our noses. You and your master may want to guard this knowledge with your lives, but we know what this great metaphysics of Indian duats have taught the "royal family': to screw Bohras out their minds and money. And we know what this great metaphysics of Indian duats have taught shameless abdes like you: to defend that screwing as a good thing.



Biradar
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#69

Unread post by Biradar » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:03 pm

progticide wrote: Ignorance or oblivion should not be projected as conviction.
Actually, this is not a matter of ignorance. All the major works, even of the last few duaats has been catalogued carefully. Besides the same-old works from the past there is very little of originality. Of course, as I said, poetry and prayers have been written. Not philosophical material. Perhaps you should not project your ignorance of everything besides the travel plans of the da'i and his children as conviction.



kimanumanu
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:16 pm

#70

Unread post by kimanumanu » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:44 pm

Thanks to anajmi for pointing to this thread. Why are these type of civil discussions not happening any more? If ever there is a relevant time to have these it is now when there are so many members of the community who are confused or lost and are seeking some direction or meaning.



Biradar
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#71

Unread post by Biradar » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:48 pm

kimanumanu wrote:Thanks to anajmi for pointing to this thread. Why are these type of civil discussions not happening any more? If ever there is a relevant time to have these it is now when there are so many members of the community who are confused or lost and are seeking some direction or meaning.
I think you know very little of the history of this board. I have been here for a very long time, perviously under another nym. The discussions here were never civil. The difference was that the people participating usually were not delicate snowflakes. More importantly, they were not intellectual light-weights like most left here now. For example: Anajmi and I are arguing about the meaning of some verses in the "Doctrines" board. Has anyone else besides the two of us and Humsafar contributed anything useful? In the past, there would be at least half a dozen people all arguing, sometimes acrimoniously.

What I suggest to you is: learn something about Islam and try and come prepared for a discussion and don't be too sensitive. Don't take things too personally. Anajmi and I always argue, but there are no hard feelings (I think!). Honestly, I prefer his company as he has something intelligent to say and does not simply run away when the going gets tough.



anajmi
Posts: 13399
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

#72

Unread post by anajmi » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:00 pm

You are right. No hard feelings. Whatever information I have gathered over the years has been because of people like Biradar and others. For example, I went back and bought the book he suggested. Most of the times to prove myself right but at the same time I started learning about Islam and Quran.