dr taha
دراسات عن طه

The question of “Moral Enlightenment” in the thought of Taha AbdulRahman

الخميس 21 سبتمبر 2017

By: Mountassir Hamada

Translated by: Rana Khaled


The talk about the question of enlightenment in the thought of Taha Abdul Rahman, is closer to the risk taking into account the nature of criticisms issued in the right of many of his work related to philosophy ,logic and ethics, it even came to exclude the classification of his work in the section of philosophy and logic, or reduce what is issued in the section of ” Islamic Dawah/invocation ,”and other value judgments that have affected our deliberative domain, with complex causes, including what is ideological ( rational) and what is psychological.

It is clear that the totality of these conclusions is far from going into the scientific criticism required in the entirety of what has been issued, and the statement of that from the identification of at least two:

1-The reduction of the intellectual journey of Taha Abdel Rahman in the issuance of judgments value does not benefit the need for criticism, as much as uncovering the “corruption of the logic” of criticism, according to the expression of rationalists ,but the promotion of value judgments do not even reach the minimum of criticism, namely ideological criticism, eliminating the cognitive criticism;

2-The promotion of value judgments does not prevent attention to the origin in critique practice, whether in Islamic trading or Western and non-Islamic trading in general, including responsible interaction with the famous effect that “every one of his words is given”.

By stating this we consider that the recent writings of Taha Abdul Rahman, specifically since 2012, with his book “Spirit of Religion”, require several methodology and science that is not easy for the reader / recipient where he finds a list of conceptual keys that are full of them. The reader may barely devote himself to contemplating a business, where he takes note of issuing a new version .This is what I have seen since the “Spirit of Religion” to the “Question of Violence” in which the author works to dismantle the speech of “violent extremism”, or religious extremism in the Islamic movement specifically.

This article aims to the initial contribution at shedding the light on some aspects of enlightenment in the thought of Taha Abdul Rahman, and we refer to it as “moral enlightenment” because he is the pioneer of moral philosophy in our deliberative field.

Since we are talking about a wide list of works, about twenty-five issues, since the publication of his book “Religious Action and the Renewal of the Reason” (published in 1987), till his most recent dialogue work (Question of Violence, 2017), we will limit ourselves to presenting some models of enlightenment obsession in the work of Taha Abdel Rahman.

The enlightenment keys of Taha Abdul Rahman:

In most of the deliberative areas, especially Western and Islamic, the concept of Enlightenment [Lumières in French or Enlightenment in English ] refers to a new explanation or interpretation of sacred religious texts, or to the “renewal of religious discourse” as promoted in our deliberative area, so ,we will stop at a theoretical key related to the question of enlightenment for Taha Abdel Rahman which is associated with the religious discourse, as stated in the “credit theory”, or say “credit philosophy.”

Theorization of the credit philosophy, was preceded by the work on some answers to the famous question known by the Western deliberative councils in the establishment of the prelude to Western modernity and the emergence of lights era which is : “What are the lights?”, in the words of Emmanuel Kant,

in his responsible critical interaction with a question of a Christian cleric, Johann Frederick Zollner.

Since the publication of the article “What are the Lights ?,” and the philosophical pens, from various fields of deliberation, write answers, from several references.

In his book “The Arab Right in Philosophical Difference,” Taha Abdul Rahman worked on a question similar to Kant’s question, the “Arab question” in general, or what he called the “responsible question.” In this context, he considered that “the origin of philosophy is not the questioning as it was known but the responsibility; and the first thing that this original responsibility requires in particular is the philosopher listening to the questions that are addressed to him, and to identify the source, and to work on the answer to them ;without this first responsibility assigned to him, his continuous question wouldn’t have its privacy and usefulness .”

In response to the necessity of “Arab / Islamic” responsible question “as an answer from the answers that interact with the question Kant mentioned above, came the first features of the” Islamic answer “of Taha Abdul Rahman, in the general introduction to his book” The Islamic Right in the Intellectual  Difference . He believes that the term “Islamic answer” in the book “Islamic Right in Intellectual Difference” corresponds to the term “Arab question” in his book “The Arab Right in Philosophical Difference”,and that the approach of this answer will be of the kind of approach to that question, ie, a philosophy of contemplation ,stopping at the special features of the soul that characterize the Islamic answer, or say the characteristics of distinguishing this answer. He summarized it then in two fundamental principles: “One is the principle of different verses, represented by the difference of the universal verses; the second principle of the difference of people, represented by the principle of different nations.”

Working on the characteristics of the first principle led to the separation of the royal view (a purely materialistic view that takes from the abstract mind) and the royalist view; while the second principle led to the separation between cooperative work and acquainting work.

In the most important abstracts of the general introduction to the book “The Islamic Right to Intellectual Differences,” Taha Abdul Rahman concluded that the “spirit of the Islamic answer” mentioned above is composed of two main pillars: one is “the privacy of faith”, and branching on the principle of the royal consideration that requires managing the various cosmic verses; which inherits the most comprehensive Muslim faith; and the second corner,” the moral privacy” ,and branching on the principle of the acquainting work which requires dealing with different people and different nations, which inherits the most complete Muslim creation.

The enlightenment features of Taha Abdul Rahman, based on moral authority, or “moral enlightenment”, have sprung up on several scientific projects, and we will stop at the most recent of these projects, and it is about the “Credit Theory.”

Taha Abdul Rahman worked on this theory about 16 years ago, in 2000, the year in which he issued his book “The Question of Ethics”. It is no coincidence that the moral concern is uncommonly present in the contents of the “credit theory”,yet the first features of the theory was not clear except with the beginning of 2012 with the publication of his book “The Spirit of Religion”, followed by a series of books, stopping at stations, at other landmarks, “The Delusions of Dahranism” [2014] and “Postmodernism” [2016] until early 2017, where there will be issued the trilogy “Religion of Modesty”,

within its subtitle in which the author announces the thread of this theory: “From order jurisprudence to credit jurisprudence”, a knowledge thread or “episteme” that will often disturb the term “the question of violence” as “the traditional model of understanding religion.” This model is only the current “dominant order” jurisprudence in the Islamic world, from Casablanca to Jakarta. It is the space of jurisprudence prevalent among Muslim minorities outside the Islamic sphere of deliberation.

The trilogy of “Religion of Modesty” is distributed in a first book, a detailed description of the “credit theory”, entitled “Credentials of Credit Consideration”. (284 pages), then two applied books, the first of which addresses the moral challenges of the media and communication revolution (383 pages) followed by a book entitled “The Spirit of the Veil”. (Cited in 183 pages).

In a preliminary transcript of this tripartite version, we have identified the most important “direct stakeholders” of this trinity, in two categories: jurists and philosophers.

-The jurists of our deliberative field, namely jurists who win the order doctrine, because the jurisprudence contained in the trilogy, (in its theoretical form in particular), provide theoretical keys to overcome many of the defects that affected the performance of the jurisprudential mind prevailing in our deliberative area;

Philosophers of our deliberative domain, specifically the philosophers who win the abstract mind, because the jurisprudence of the trilogy (in its practical application in particular) provides theoretical keys to overcome many of the faults that pervaded the prevailing fake philosophy in our deliberative domain. “

Applied models of “Moral Enlightenment”

We are interested in stopping at two examples of the “moral enlightenment” of Taha Abdul Rahman, through at least two works, the second book of “The Religion of Modesty”, and his last book, “The Question of Violence.”

If the exploratory situation with the first book of the trilogy of “Religion of Modesty” is dominated by theorizing, it is relatively different with the second and third book, where the work on practical applications, by stopping at the moral challenges of the revolution of information and communication in the second book,and stopping at the question of the veil in the third.

Thus, the obsession with the dismantling of concepts and phenomena of wandering, espionage and disclosure, is the second part orbit of the trilogy, with the allocation of full chapters of the interaction nature of the order jurist and credit jurist with these lesions .In total, the second part is divided into three sections, divided into nine chapters, each section includes a chapter in which the author reviews the author reading of the philosophers of the Western deliberative field of these lesions features ,

This chapter (section I, II or III, chapter I, IV and VII) follows the interaction parameters of the order jurist with this scourge (in chapters 2, 5 and 8) and the subsequent chapter devoted to review the parameters of the credit jurist interaction with the same lesion in(the third,sixth and ninth chapter).

A second observation is necessary for the second book’s reader which, despite its application to the practical aspect, also included some of the relevant theories related to the challenges mentioned above, which are related to the digital revolution in general ;this observation that the contemporary digital actor, whatever its reference, whether in our deliberative or other deliberative areas, is concerned with contemplating the second book contents for several considerations ,and the most important of which is that it depends on the definition and detail with the jurisprudence of Western symbols addressed to these challenges before, especially the European and American symbols, and also addresses what is expected to be issued by the jurisprudential, or let’s say conceptual device prevailing in our deliberation Islamic field ,both in religious institutions and other religious actors. He also adds some applications of “credit theory” and its interaction with these challenges. Here, in case of the second book, this digital actor will find two options:

-Either the interaction in the post-reading phase, with these challenges, as if nothing was, that is, it essentially reads the work; therefore, the work will be classified within the rest of the “language additions” previously edited, without any qualitative addition as required;

- Or this digital actor will be interested in a complete review of how he interacted with the digital revolution, including today’s interaction with social networking sites that establish what we call “voluntary digital bondage.”

So, we begin with the scourge of wandering [the axis of the first chapter of the second book], where Taha Abdul Rahman considered that contemporary civilization, since one of its faces is the civilization of consideration, has moved contemporary man from the position of the beholder to the position of the spectator .Viewing here is a relationship to look at the image or the screen is unprecedented, as the spectator took images and a way to plead in his relationship with himself and his relationship to the world and to the others ,even if it is nothing but images, and nothing within it and nothing but with them; but made the visual property of his eye coupled with the characteristic of touch, adding images on the color of tangible things, and established with them the relationship of ownership, which is originally, with its photographers,”The second chapter For the parameters of dealing credit jurisprudence with the scourge of viewing; while Chapter III reviewed the parameters of credit jurisprudence treatment with the same scourge.

We examine the same dilemmas with the scourge of espionage, [the focus of the fourth chapter of the second book] where the author considered that the phenomenon of espionage, which is one of the most outrageous moral challenges facing modern man ,characterizes by the lack of control (especially, the monitoring of the scientifikc institution and the economic institution and the security establishment and the military establishment) , as well as characterized by having sub-influence (three levels: panty, skin and subcutaneous); influence to private life;(Across three levels: espionage surrounding the individual, espionage surrounding the community and espionagej around the world); and the desire to control everything (a control divided into four sections: the control of scientific espionage, the control of economic espionage, the control of security espionage, and of personal espionage). After that, chapter 5 dealt with how to deal with espionage by means of order doctrine. Taha concluded that “the role entrusted to the order jurist is not to issue rulings on every issue, whoever wants to do it and who wants to reject it, because the collection of this feeling is sufficient to occupy the charge of the taxpayer and discharge his debt “;while chapter 6 dealt with how to deal with espionage through the doctrine of credit. Taha concluded that the path taken by the credit jurisprudence in dealing with the scourge of espionage is a conscientious and existential way that requires establishing a direct relationship with the spies.It also requires that the observation of his external behavior should go beyond addressing the psychological lesions that have caused the deviation of this behavior.

As for the scourge of revelation that was caused by information and communication technologies [the focus of Chapter VII of the second book], the author of “Religion of Modesty” sees that the revelation dominated the contemporary life in a tyrannical way ;the individual does not find it necessary to reveal everything about himself ,whether he is asked to do so or not; and the group does not hesitate to reveal one another; not only this revelation that deals with some aspects of private life, but may deal more specifically in the depths of the human being must hide or conceal ;where the discovery became the best way to come into existence, and then chapter VIII dealt with how to address the disclosure through the order doctrine  ; while chapter IX dealt with how to address the disclosure through credit doctrine.

The limited Traditional jurisprudence  

We are interested in stopping at only one indicative model, relating to the limited knowledge horizon of traditional jurisprudence, or the “traditional model of understanding religion” in dealing with valuable and ethical challenges facing the contemporary human being with the digital revolution. Taha Abdul Rahman mentioned this model in one part of the accompanying corpus, on the sidelines of the work of the jurist’s treatise with the revelation challenge . “The jurists did not seem to care about contemporary revelation as a whole phenomenon ,but As partial phenomena, though what is applicable on the part of judgment might fundamentally be applicable on all. Even this part in which they were concerned, their attention was focused on its totality, risky, rather than on one of its components, simply, because they were devoted for disclosing individuals and not communities.

Their concern was focused on disclosing woman, and even this specific concern in woman did not include enough concern for her psychological or mental disclosure but basically focused on her sensorial disclosure.

It is clear that the second book of “religion of modesty” trilogy resembles an applicable exercise of some first book’s trilogy contents “religion of modesty”. It is also clear that order jurist may reject on knowledge ceiling of credit theory is practically difficult to be attributed to the performance of religious actors by religious institution’s actors.

Another jurist, belongs to order jurisprudence field, may also reject, because he has passive sensitivity towards philosophic saying. A third jurist from same jurisprudence field may reject concerning the abstractive standing which distinguishes credit theory. Presently, the privilege of second book allocated for reviewing some comparisons, in assessment and evaluation for jurisprudence interaction landmarks, order and credit with media and communication challenges stops at concrete not abstract features, however, it is features in which humanity altogether passes, within our Islamic trading domain, even the general entrance to credit theory in first book, its author thinks that the theory is directed to contemporary human being, being the mental ethical example which dominates hearts and governs the minds of Muslims and occidentals (1).

TAHA ABDELRAHMAN did not prevent that we are not in need of order jurisprudence, with the intent to devastate or dissemble it, but allegation that this jurisprudence because practically unable to deal with moral challenges relating to digital revolution.

One of the major aspects of such inability is talent in the position of jurisprudential corpus towards moral question, because it underrates morals, while fundamentalists view good morals as one of the additional luxuries which any society can renounce without the least blame on its individuals. This null, as well, because religion was imposed originally to correct human behavior properly (2).

Accordingly, order jurist will face a scientific and moral obstacle while interacting with renewal \ enlightment obsession which we think that it distinguishes “credit theory”, but dealing with this religious persistence as void and consequently adopting the rule “how many demands were satisfied by leaving them”, and how many demands left though we heard about them”. But working on theory parameters in a way leading to quit traditional models for understanding religion, which is similar to MOHAMED ARKON’S expression “dogmatic fence”.

This is exactly what one of Moroccan religious institution member calls for lately in Moroccan deliberative domain (3).




We come to another applicable example from enlightment obsession in “credit theory” which we think that it may help religious institutions in the field of disassembly of extremism violence discovers and moving to some contents of violence question book. (4)

We think that contents of first section of this work which is allocated for disassembly of violence discourse is rare among issued disassembly readings of the phenomena, including the studies submitted by a lot of thinkers and researchers, including what is issued by local and regional religious institutions, which shoulder relative responsibility in spreading and extension of violence discourse due several considerations, mainly its work which is limited in teaching very narrow cognitive jurisprudence domain, which un-intentionally feeds violence discourse so long it is unable to give proper interpretation for the said jurisprudential and cognitive discourse.

Since fighting Islamic (jihadist) phenomena was emerged from currents of “religious vigilance” (5), or Islamic wakefulness, according to RADWAN ASSEID expression. TAHA ABDELRAHMAN has stopped at “Islamic wakefulness conception, where he warned from the results of violence- in one of his reference works which is classified under “religious work and renewal of mind” which was published in 1978 which includes critical hints to “Islamic Wakefulness” concept due to “the errors it commits on account of being hasty for obtaining power”. TAHA adds, this “wakefulness” was full of errors leading some of its members to commit violence (6).

Splitting between order jurisprudence and credit jurisprudence authorizer its holder to deal with scholars, deficit simply because he has no relation with the said deficit, but it is due to their insistence to deal with the violent with traditional model of religion understanding where thereupon he feels no difference between himself and them in that understanding, till he becomes aware of what they say and interpret, thinking that they have no merit more than him, till he will be convinced with their opinions and adopts their advices (7).

This traditional model of understanding religion, according to TAHA ABDELRAHMAN is what he defines in credit theory parameters, calling it “order jurisprudence” or “order model in its traditional image” being the model presenting interest in order parameter in its legal side rather than its moral side instead of other reformation factors contained in religious texts (8).

Thus, for more details in order jurisprudence consequences which our Islamic religious deliberative domain contains, TAHA ABDELRAHMAN considered what happened to order model is that servity in using it continued for a long time even after expiry of the reasons behind adopting such reasons, but still talking about these reasons as if they are still existing among people in order to continue grasping and imposing order severity on them, and the individual became practicing illusionary severity till the matter changed from devoting himself for correcting works to be concerned in forms, phenomena and components which are useless (9).

In this context, the meaning is clear wither the matter deals with Islamic kinetic currents or religious institutions.

Not only for this has TAHA ABDELRAHMAN blamed violent religious actor (or the Jihadist, the more circulated research expression), but also for the over-ignorance represented in his belief that his power giving him the legitimacy is derived from his violence. This belief is void because there are inlets for change and reform other than power inlet like social inlet, by which he can obtain the power he needs for legitimacy (10). Moreover, he is to be blamed, because he adopted corrupted belief, to the effect that, the change which he seeks is similar to the change which the regime is doing. The outlaw should pass through deep-rooted change, the matter which will give him power and deprive him of violence tincture. The deep-rooted change is the one which renews man’s morals, while the change which the regime conducts is superficial.

The change which renews the legitimacy of citizenship (11)

Islamist actors who targeted mosques and workship houses, they were exposed to many critical hints in “violence question: book, namely, the fighting Islamic actor who blasts himself in mosques, is not violating mosque holiness only, (not marvel for self-proving by this violation), but it represents a challenge for God’s identity, because there is no place in which man can admit God’s goodness and oneness, other than mosques, and no place other than mosques may witness self-denial. Thus, the violent, with his extreme ignorance, wants them to look for him as one killer instead of looking for God’s oneness (12)

As for credit alternative, which distinguishes work, based upon “credit jurisprudence” referential (from honesty and not from orders, as the case in order jurisprudence), it is not more than shifting from “violence morals” to “friendliness morals” and from “psychological morals” to “spiritual morals”, or as we carefully read, the change requiring dealing wisely with the violent, to change his humanity or his moral identity, and not a change for his political citizenship.

The change wishes to draw the violent out of violence morals to friendliness morals, based on the fact that violence is a bundle of psychological morals, and he should be displaced which is a bundle of spiritual morals (13)

Theoretically only, “violence question” book contains a set of theoretical keys for disassembly and devastation of violent extremism discourse” but practically, such work requires prior stopping on a distance from order jurisprudence (14), the traditional model for religion understanding.

It is clear that taking this distance is a work requiring considerable moral bravery.

These are some indications relating to enlightment parameters in TAHA ABDELRAHMAN though through stopping at the theoretical keys included in his scientific project, under the title, “credit philosophy”, hoping to have more definitions and details in other keys parameters.


1 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN, modesty religion (first book) previous reference, page 15

2 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN, modesty religion (second book) previous reference, page 194.

3 On the margin of lecture delivered by TAHA ABDELRAHMAN on Thursday, 20 March 2017 in OSOUL ADDIN Faculty/ TETWAN University in the subject “divine orders and moral philosophy” MOHAMED AL-FAKIR ATAMSAMANY, dean of the faculty, invited scholars and legitimate science dealers to benefit from “modesty religion” trilogy to participate in correcting concepts and beliefs.

4 Theoretically only, “violence question” book contains a set of theoretical keys for disassembly and devastation of violent extremism discourse” but practically, such work requires prior stopping on a distance from order jurisprudence, the traditional model for religion understanding.

It is clear that taking this distance is a work requiring considerable moral bravery.

These are some indications relating to enlightment parameters in TAHA ABDELRAHMAN though through stopping at the theoretical keys included in his scientific project, under the title, “credit philosophy”, hoping to have more definitions and details in other keys parameters.

5 “Religious wakefulness” term is the term which TAHA ABDELRAHMAN” gave for the Islamic movement (both political and Jihadist trends) considering this “religious wakefulness”, though it expands everywhere and its impact on people, lacks cognitive support based upon mental conditions and modern scientific parameters. Consequently, it lacks compact methodology, or apparent scientific theory, or established philosophical stipulations, see TAHA ABDELRAHMAN; religious work and renewal of mind. Arab cultured center- Beirut- Casablanca, third edition page 2000.

6 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN: religious work and renewal of mind, previous reference, page 32.

7 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN: violence question, previous reference, page 69.

8 The one who wishes more details for differences between the two jurisprudences has no outlet other than carefully consulting part one of “religion of modesty” book

9 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN, “violence question”, previous reference, page 70

10 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN; violence question” previous reference, page 119

11 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN: “violence question”, previous reference, page 120

12 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN: “violence question”, previous reference, page 130

13 TAHA ABDELRAHMAN, “violence question”, previous reference, page 151

14 During the period 25-27 April, 2017, FAS City hosted a conference concerning over-extremisms and criminal terrorism; a study in security concepts and Moroccan experience – ROWD of participants – scholars, lawmen and experts in addition to those concerned in extremis from different Moroccan universities, civil society institutions and Arabic and western research centers. The conference was the first test around interaction of actors in research work with the theoretical keys included in “violence question” book, taking in consideration that most of participants in conference work appreciate “order jurisprudence” (traditional model for understanding religion) as a relevant reference. Consequently, we expect active interaction with conceptual challenges relating to violent extremism feature.