Postmodernism And Modernity

It Is About Weakening Foundational Sources

Modernism a.

NB: We use the terms modernism and modernity interchangeably. What is here defined as modern, is that which is cut off from the Divine, the Transcendent, or the 'Supernatural', or anything absolute and permanent, consequently opposing "the immutable principles" made known to man through revelation in their most universal sense.

Modernism is thus contrasted with tradition (ad-dīn ), which it denies and ignores; the former including all that is merely human and now increasingly subhuman, the latter including the truths and principles of divine order revealed or unveiled to mankind.

Postmodernism is then a further deviation as it 'deconstructed' modernism itself: The aim is to get rid of earlier modernist ideals such as the positive role of reason, or of a shared understanding of what is good and true. fn1

A rejection of reason as a universal concept, a rejection of the sovereign autonomous individual, which was the paradigm of modernity.
Stacks Image 448

Postmodernism

Instead postmodernism has ”an emphasis upon anarchic collective, anonymous experience. Collage, diversity, the mystically unrepresentable, Dionysian passion are the foci of attention. Most importantly we see the dissolution of distinctions, the merging of subject and object, self and other. fn2

This is a sarcastic playful parody of Western modernity and the 'John Wayne' individual and a radical, anarchist rejection of all attempts to define, reify or re-present the human subject.”
 The Electronic Labyrinth

Even the merging of truth and falsehood, as there is no more objective reference to Truth.
This emphasis upon ”anarchic collective, anonymous experience” has been immensely reinforced by the anonymity and virtuality of the internet innovation.
Stacks Image 451

So Truth Is Meaningless?

For many of our fellow citizens truth seems to mean less if anything at all, especially when this truth is in conflict with preconceived opinions. This trend is supported and reinforced by certain members of the power-elites.

Helen Pluckrose writes: ”The cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism with its irrational and identitarian characteristics have broken the bounds of academia and gained great cultural and ever more political power in western society.

Postmodernism threatens to return us to an irrational and tribal post-modern culture.

As one of its proponents (M. F.) asserted: ”It is meaningless to speak in the name of, or against, Reason, Truth, or Knowledge.”

Postmodernism draws on earlier philosophical ideas for its anti-realism and rejection of the concept of the unified and coherent individual.

It even attacks modern science and its goal of attaining objective knowledge about a reality which exists independently of human perceptions.

We see in postmodernism an explicit epistemic relativity (belief in personal or culturally specific truths or facts) and the advocacy of privileging “lived experience” over empirical evidence.”
 How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, H Pluckrose

Postmodernity (or postmodernism) is really about weakening foundational sources, attacking traditions that have traditionally been like security blankets for people [□ comment: that have traditionally been beacons of light in an otherwise world of darkness] and it prides itself on that in the name of like "a post Hellenistic" kind of white supremacy complete like "barbarianism".

So it careens into traditions [bends, tilts, turns on its side] in the name of "reason" - in the name of "rational" [or: rationality], it tries to undermine people's traditions, because postmodernism finds power in chaos, because there is now no interpretive source, so then it's just a free-for-all and that free-for-all is its authority, it's very dangerous.
 Postmodernism Sh Suhaib Webb: On Religious Revival and Stagnation

A Tribal Postmodern Culture?

Modernity (or modernism) and especially postmodernism are cultural, sociological and epistemological developments which inform the political discourse and the orientation of the ruling elites and influence the mentality of the general public.

We need to understand the consistent ideas at the root of postmodernism if we wish to counter those ideas, because they are false ideas, without foundation.

This is especially important for people of monotheism and servants of God - Allah, otherwise this irrational social justice activism will usher us into a new kind of tribal postmodern culture.
 On René Guénon’s Critique of Modernity, Excerpts, okn

Modernism b.

The very meaning of modernity (or modernism) is to dismiss the divine revelations and their guidance, living without the wisdom of the prophets and saints is not ’progress’, but a great loss. - To focus exclusively on the ever changing worldly situation, on the 'becoming', while ignoring transcendence and the eternal is one sure way to destruction. One aspect of this decadence is that sinister subhuman influences will emerge unhindered over time.
 Antitradition And Countertradition

Although modernity and postmodernism are originally Western European paradigms, they have today spread more or less over the whole world.
 Modernism And Postmodern Thought

Stacks Image 326

Modernism c.

In modernism it is claimed that empirical phenomenae are everything there is and its science superior to any other science. This philosophy is called positivism, it rejects metaphysics, as it posits that the goal of knowledge is simply to describe the phenomena that can be observed and measured and nothing beyond that.
 More on Metaphysics

But modernity not only rejected tradition - including faith in the Supernatural - in God - it also ”prioritized individualism, freedom and formal equality; and the belief in an inevitable social, scientific and technological progress. Part of this materialistic progress was urbanization and secularization, the nation-state, representative democracy, and public education.”

So the essence of modernity (and postmodernity) is that they reject the noble truths which until recently were held by every religion (in one form or other) in the history of mankind. In Islam, which will reign until the Last Times, these truths are summerised by three principles:

Tawhīd (the unity of Allah تَوحيد ), prophecy (nubuwwah نُبوة ), and the return (return to God - al-ma´ād مَعَاد ).
Although Islam has the clearest and most stringent expression of the Oneness of the Divine, the older religions have some traces of it left.

Muslims recognize that wisdom and guidance are a gift and a mercy from Allah and they know that humanity cannot find permanent felicity (sa´ādah ) on their own terms without His Will and Knowledge.

image
008_PY-Steve-Johnson
 

Postmodernism

… a far too low ambition!

Example: Postmodernist Art A. Warhol
Nothing really seems to matter - as long as your desires are served.

Stacks Image 458
Stacks Image 464

The Problem With Postmoderist Ideology

How did it happen our societies deviated from the Divine Truth and degenerated in so many ways? Which were the forces behind it and what was their intention? And which are the destructive forces today?

Teaching the dīn of Islam has to go hand-in-hand with accurate information about the character of this individualistic, postmodern ideology in the present-day world. This ideology is neither part of Christianity, Judaim, Hinduism, Buddhism nor Islam, as it is against any universal truthsfn3, instead it is from the abject Evil and one of the signs of the Last Times, which we are in.

When we know about the roots of this deviation (for example Sura 23-74), we can stop it at the beginning within ourselves (Sura 13-11) or at least alleviate it (Sura 3-104, 3-110 - under certain conditions ). In any case it is a lesson for the Muslim Ummah and a warning non-Muslims!

Postmodernism has no ”absolutes of any kind and there are no universal truths nor universal criteria for beauty and nor are there universal principles of the GOOD.”
[Reduction of Intellect to Reason]

 Related

  Muslims intellectuals have a big task ahead of them. They need to understand what postmodernism is, what its implications are for Muslims and non-Muslims, if they really want to be able to correctly recognize its challenges, especially for the muminūn.
Notes 2 on Postmodernism

  A Definition of Modernism And Postmodernism
Modernism And Postmodern Thought

  Extremism in society comes from extremism within the souls of men and women that comprise that society. Once in the soul the Center is lost, all of the elements of the soul turn to the periphery, towards the extreme.
Extremism In The Modern World

  The so-called Renaissance, which follows the Middle Ages “was in reality not a rebirth but the death of many things,” so much so that in respect of the medieval mind modernity is “unable to understand its intellectuality.”
On René Guénon's Critique of Modernity

  "In any case, what Westeners call civilization, the others would call barbarity, because it is precisely lacking in the essential, that is to say a principle of a higher order." René Guénon, East And West, 1924
Antitradition And Countertradition

  "But most extraordinary of all is perhaps the claim to set up this abnormal civilization as the very type of all civilization, to regard it as Civilization with a capital letter, and even as the only one which deserves the name.
Quotations from René Guénon

  What has been the quest of typical modern man?
The Nature Of Sacred Knowledge

  What was the modern outlook as a consequence bound to reject?
Crisis Of The Modern World; René Guénon / 'Abd al-Wâhid Yahya > modern

  A rigorously objective refutation of modernist doctrines of Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud and Marx, as seen from the perspective of the Unchanging Tradition.
Tradition Betrayed

Stacks Image 432

In Search for Knowledge

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise.” Abu Huraira (ra)

This is a knowledge about what is real and true, about what is permanent and everlasting, it is a life-giving knowledge. It is the knowledge of God and the way to live as a true servant (´abd ).

In premodern times, the search for knowledge was always about oneself in relation to God, not isolated from Him.

Man and woman need to redirect their lives toward Allah through studying the Divine Speech and pondering over the revelation and by acting in accordance with it.

The Veils From God.

The Divine Being is not veiled from man, but man is veiled from God and it is for him to transcend this veil with a special knowledge of Allah (maghrîfah ). Our intellect God-given, its ultimate object is Allah Himself.
 Man Is Veiled From God - Allah, S H Nasr

Ibn ´Arabi On True Knowledge

Sound knowledge is not given by reflection, nor by what the rational thinkers establish by means of their reflective powers. Sound knowledge is only that which God throws into the heart of the knower. It is a divine light for which God singles out any of His servants whom He will, whether angel, messenger, prophet, friend, or person of faith. He who has no unveiling has no knowledge (man lā kashf lahu lā ´ilm lahu ).
 Ibn ´Arabi On True Knowledge

"Renaissance" and the "Enlightenment"

The so-called Renaissance, which follows the Middle Ages “was in reality not a rebirth but the death of many things,” so much so that in respect of the medieval mind modernity is “unable to understand its intellectuality.”
 On René Guénon's Critique of Modernity

With the advent of the Renaissance and the "Enlightenment" period and the centuries thereafter, some of the European elites were convinced that they could evolve and improve their lives with help of human reason alone and turning their back to the divine guidance (of Christianity). An extreme reaction to problems in Western society and religion.

The Reduction of Intellect to Reason

 One aspect is the reduction of intellect to reason the relationship between reason and revelation is that between a window and light. Revelation is light and reason (´aql ) is like a window in a house. The bigger and cleaner the window is the more light one will receive. If the window is small, dirty or obstructed naturally one will get very little benefit from the light of revelation.
 Individuality and the Reduction of Intellect to Reason

The Proposition of Tradition

The main idea of tradition is that truth and authenticity must be rooted in the Divine origin, and further that the keys to this truth are found in what has been transmitted from the wisdom of the past, all the way back to the prophets and messengers of God (peace be upon them all).

Nonetheless, tradition must be like a living tree; that is, it is not enough to have roots in the past if the tree has died along the way.

Tradition - as it is defined here - has nothing to do with people's manners and customs of the past, but is *revealed * tradition, meaning the wisdom and principles of the divine order revealed to mankind since ancient times.

The similitude of our tradition is a tree, rooted in primordiality, growing in the Now, providing the shade of peace and bliss and branching out toward the heavens!

Stacks Image 330

Gargantuan African Baobab tree - over 2000 years old


Shorturl of this page: http://bit.ly/_pmod


Update Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with new pages & blogposts at Living Islam - Islamic Tradition.