The Tragedy of Humanism – Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

Posted on October 11, 2010 by


Sayyid Muhammad al-Naquib bin Ali al-Attas (born September 5, 1931) is a prominent contemporary Muslim philosopher and thinker from Malaysia. He is the author of twenty-seven authoritative works on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, particularly on Sufism, cosmology, metaphysics, philosophy and Malay language and literature. (Source)

The Tragedy of Humanism

By Sayyid Naquib al-Attas

“Humanistic philosophy and the gradual process of secularization together with the rise of secular philosophy and science, made tragedy, instead of religion, the exaltation of man. Fear must be purged not by faith in God, but by the banishment of God from the realm of creation; self pity must be purged not by remembrance of God, but by pride in humanity and defiant acceptance of the human predicament. The causal factor in tragedy is no longer the old Greek Fate nor the God of religion, but social and individual conflicts, biological heredity, the psychology of the unconscious, defeat by frustration, man confronted by the mystery of the universe, the eternal quest of man, and the absurdity of life. Freedom of the will becomes a firm belief because it helps in the perpetual struggle against obstacles that prevent from reaching the goal. But the goal is evershifting. Can Sisyphus ever be happy in having eternally to push the stone up the hill where at the top it is destined to roll down again?”

(p 100-101 of “Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam” by Sayyid Naquib al-Attas)

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