Islam & ‘Sankhya’- An Indian Philosophy

Some people tend to fuse the alien philosophies with Islam either deliberately or unconsciously due to lack of knowledge of Islam.   One such effort is to fuse “SAMKHYA PHILOSOPHY”, the philosophy by a 6th century BC Indian philosopher ‘Kapil’ with Islam by focusing on the ‘Individual Self’ and emphasize ‘Inner Self Actualization’ [also found in derivative philosophy of Yoga]. Though it appears to be interesting, due to an effort to make it acceptable to the common Muslims with a tint of Islam, in reality it is far from truth. It is trendy to label the various philosophies and products with Islam and Islamic symbols, to tone down the resistance and to make them acceptable for the simple innocent Muslims, i.e. Islamic Socialism, Makkah Cola, Medina Cloth House, Iqra School etc. These things may have nothing to do with Islam, but brand names are merely used as a market promotion tactics.

It must be kept in view that Islam is a complete Din available to humanity in the form of guidelines provided in Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]. Muslims do not require support form human philosophies in the matters of faith [Eyman]. Any such effort may lead the simple people astray as Allah says:

“…This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion AL-ISLAM….(Self surrender unto Allah)” (Qur’an;5:3)

“Surely, the true religion in Allah’s sight is Islam” (Qur’an;3:19) and

“Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” (Qur’an;3:85).

Introduction to Samkhya Philosophy:

Samkhya, also Sankhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: sāṃkhya – ‘enumeration’) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.

Samkhya was one of the six orthodox systems (astika, those systems that recognize vedic authority) of Hindu philosophy. The major text of this Vedic school is the extant Samkhya Karika, written by Ishvara Krishna, circa 200 CE. This text (in karika 70) identifies Sankhya as a Tantra and its philosophy was one of the main influences both on the rise of the Tantras as a body of literature, as well as Tantra sadhana. There are no purely Sankhya schools existing today in Hinduism, but its influence is felt in the Yoga and Vedanta schools.

Samkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist.]Samkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha(consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced, not unlike the res cogens and res extensa of René Descartes. Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. On the other hand, Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.

There are differences between Sankhya and Western forms of dualism. In the West, the fundamental distinction is between mind and body. In Samkhya, however, it is between the self (as Purusha) and matter (Prakriti). More at Wikipedia >>>

Attached is  an extract on “The Sankhya Philosophyfrom the Urdu translation of book ‘The Great Transformation’ by renowned British scholar Kern Armstrong. The reader has to make use of his/ her intellect to distinguish the false from truth:

“.. Truth has (now) arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”(Qur’an;17:81).

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