Principles of Religious Pluralism
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Muslim. I am not of the East, nor of the West, not of the land, nor of the sea…One I seek, one I know, One I see, one I call. He is the first, He is the Last, He is the outward, and He is the inward.
2. Literature Review
3. Research Methodology
4.1. Principles of Religious Pluralism
4.1.1. An Exposition of Perennialists’ Metaphysical Principles: Metaphysical Oneness and Relative Absolutism
Metaphysics, because it opens out a limitless vista of possibilities, must take care never to lose sight of the inexpressible, which indeed constitutes its very essence.(Ibid)
4.1.2. Esoterism and Exoterism as Keys to Formal Diversity and Transcendent Unity
It is some of the time affirmed that all religions are similarly valid. Be that as it may, this would appear to be just messy deduction, since the different religions hold perspectives on reality which are forcefully unique if not conflicting.
Exoterism consists in identifying transcendent realities with dogmatic forms, and if need be, with the historical facts of a given revelation, whereas esoterism refers in a more or less direct manner to these same realities.
The color of the water is the color of the vessel containing it Or, if a more abstract formulation be preferred, this from Aquinas: The thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower.
The rainbow owes its excellence to the diversity of its shades and hues. Similarly, we consider the voices of different devotees that ascent up from all pieces of the earth as an orchestra of gestures of recognition tending to God, who alone can be Unique.(Bâ 2007)
4.1.3. Metaphysical Oneness and the Relative Absolute
“Our starting point is the acknowledgement of the fact that there are diverse religions which exclude each other. This could mean that one religion is right and that all others are false; it could mean also that all are false. In reality, it means that all are right, not in their dogmatic exclusivism, but in their unanimous inner signification, which coincide with pure metaphysics or, in other terms, with the Philosophia Perennis.”
“Surely, those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians—whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, and acts righteously, shall have no fear, nor shall such people grieve.”1(Al Qur’ān, 5:69)
The solidarity of religions is to be discovered as a matter of first importance right now is without a moment’s delay Truth and Reality and the origin of Revelations and of all Truth. When the sufi claims that the doctrine of unity is unique (al-tawhidu wahid), they are asserting this fundamental but often forgotten principle. Only at the level of Absolute are the teachings of the religions the same… The different religions are like so many languages speaking of that unique Truth… Yet, because each religion comes from Truth… and reduced to insignificance in the name of some kind of abstract universality.
4.1.4. Authority and the Universality of Tradition
“We have sent down to you the Book with truth, confirming the Book before it, and a protector for it. So, judge between them according to what Allah has sent down, and do not follow their desires against the truth that has come to you. For each of you We have made a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made a single community of people, but (He did not), so that He may test you in what He has given to you. Strive, then, to excel each other in good deeds. To Allah is the return for all of you. Then Allah shall tell you about that in which you disputed.”(Al Qur’ān, 5:48)
4.2. An Evaluation of Perennialist Principles of Religious Pluralism
4.2.1. Evaluation of Metaphysical Oneness and the Relative Absolute
“Surely, disbelievers are those who say, “Allah is the third of the three” while there is no god but One God. If they do not desist from what they say, a painful punishment shall certainly befall such disbelievers.”(Al Qur’ān 5:73)
4.2.2. Glitches with Esoterism and Exoterism and the Universality of Tradition
The Perennialist account cannot offer any solution to the doctrinal and ethnical conflicts of Religions, since it wants to hold as true every sacred formulation of Tradition. If every traditional doctrine of a given religion is venerated, how could the Perennial philosophy possibly reconcile the resultant conflict?
4.3. Qur’ānic Principles of Religious Pluralism
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Aware.”(Al Qur’ān 49:13)
“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.”(Al Qur’ān 17:70)
“Allah does not forbid you as regards those who did not fight you on account of faith, and did not expel you from your homes, that you do good to them, and deal justly with them. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.”“Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion—[forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”(Al Qur’ān 60:8–9)
“There is no compulsion in Faith. The correct way has become distinct from the erroneous. Now, whoever rejects the Tāghūt (the Rebel, the Satan) and believes in Allah has a firm grasp on the strongest ring that never breaks. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”(Al Qur’ān 2:256)
- All of the significant religions have a divine source;
- Exclusively, they are equivalent, but they are exoterically unique;
- Traces of original perennial wisdom are found in the roots of every religious tradition, and perennial wisdom can accommodate the diversity of religions in order to unite multicultural and multi-religious societies.
“Instead, We launch the truth against falsehood, which gets it smashed, and in no time it is gone. Alas to you for what you describe!”(Al Qur’ān 21:18)
“Say, “O people of the Book, come to a word common between us and between you, that we worship none but Allah, that we associate nothing with Him and that some of us do not take others as Lords instead of Allah.” Then, should they turn back, say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”(Al Qur’ān 3:64)
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For the translation of Quranic verses see Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, The meaning of the Noble Quran. Karachi: Maktaba Ma’ariful Quran.
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Bano, N.; Ahmad, H.; Hassan, J.; Razaq, R. Principles of Religious Pluralism. Religions 2023, 14, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010020
Bano N, Ahmad H, Hassan J, Razaq R. Principles of Religious Pluralism. Religions. 2023; 14(1):20. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010020Chicago/Turabian Style
Bano, Neelam, Humaira Ahmad, Javaria Hassan, and Rafia Razaq. 2023. "Principles of Religious Pluralism" Religions 14, no. 1: 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010020