From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJawdat Said
: جودت سعيد
) (born 1931) is an Islamic scholar, who belongs to the School of the famous Islamic thinkers professor Malek Bennabi
and Muhammad Iqbal
Said was born in the village of Bir Ajam in the governorate of Quneitra in the Golan Heights in Syria. He completed his primary education in the city of Quneitra, then his father sent him to continue his studies in Egypt (Al Azhar) in 1946, where he complete the secondary studies. He studied in the Faculty of Arabic Language, and got a degree in Arabic language.
On 1956 he encountered Professor Malek Bennabi in the last stages of his presence in Egypt through the book ((rebirth)). He immediately felt that Malik has something different, soon he had the opportunity to meeting him personally before leaving Egypt for good.
Said left Cairo for Saudi Arabia, where he lived almost a year, during which the birth of the United Arab Republic by the union between Syria and Egypt came into existence. Said then returned to Syria (known then as the Northern Region of the United Arab Republic) to complete military service; while he was in the army, the separation of the union took place. While everyone complied with the orders given by commanders in the military, he clearly opposed to participate in any military actions against the "Union", leading officials to prompt him to the detention under office arrest, and did not leave until after the end of the matter.
He finished military service and was appointed to be a teacher at Damascus high schools of Arabic language. No sooner had he started, he was arrested for his intellectual activity. Despite repeated arrests and the issuance of decisions to move him to schools in various regions across Syria, he did not leave the field of teaching until a decision was made to discharge him from his work in the late 1960s.
After the 1973 war, the city of Quneitra and some villages of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights were liberated. Among the liberated villages after being occupied for almost 6 years, was Ber Ajam. Now that he was unemployed, Said decided to return to settle there and restore the house with his family. Said lives there still, working in beekeeping, agriculture, and keeping up with the intellectual activities, and abreast of developments and discussions in the Arab, Islamic, and global arena.
 His works and writings
 Religion and Law, 2001 (In English and Arabic)
From the introduction of the book:
"We live in a world in which four fifths of its population live in frustration while the other fifth lives in fear. The United Nations, our world's "figleaf," does not hide the shame of humanity but rather scandalizes humanity's malaise. It is troubling that the League of Nations and the United Nations were born after two world wars. Humanity's unity should come as a natural birth and not as the result of a cesarean section, i.e., through violent global wars. This is reminiscent of the ages of epidemics. Then, because of ignorance about the causes behind these illnesses, plagues swept through communities, leaving millions of dead behind. Yet, after technology made it possible for us to see smaller forms of life and medicine brought us a better understanding of germs, communities became better equipped to halt disease and heal the sufferers.
If a country now is devastated by an epidemic, we blame it on the lack of sufficient hygiene. So too, the wars that erupt here and there are caused by ignorance of the intellectual organisms that infect communities with hate and influence people to commit atrocities. In today's world, relying on science, we concern ourselves with preventing germ warfare while sheltering the intellectual viruses that destroy us: our intellectual foods are still polluted. We cannot afford to continue to be confused or ignorant about these invasive germs".
 The Doctrine of the First Son of Adam , 1964 (in Arabic)
Through this book (The Doctrine of the First Son of Adam or The Problem of Violence in The Islamic Action), Said presented his idea of the non-violence in the Islamic Action, he explained the story of the Son of Adam mentioned in the Koran. The story says that the two sons of presented a sacrifice (to Allah): it was accepted from one, but not from the other. The latter said: "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely," said the former, "Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous.  "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.  "For me, I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine, for thou wilt be among the Companions of the Fire, and that is the reward of those who do wrong."
The book appeared in the mid-1960s, before the emergence of the (Ikhwan) trend in Syria and the incidents of violence and widespread arrests among activists. Some believe that Said's experience in Egypt, recognizing that what has been between the Authority and the Muslim Brotherhood there is expected to be repeated in Syria. Jawdat's first book appeared only after he was arrested for the first time on a background of his intellectual activity. After the experience of detention, he felt that it was necessary to write down some of the ideas he had in mind, especially those related to nonviolence.
Said distinguishes between the Islamic Jihad in the phase of building the(state), and Jihad after that. This was in response to some rejection raised on the idea claiming that non-violence contradicts with jihad (in the sense of fighting), It is proven that the Prophet (Mohammed) had exercised during his time. Jihad at a the phase of building the state or good governance should use nonviolent jihad. Access to power and rule by force and sword is not acceptable in Islam at all. A change that happens by force dose not change the society in deed, but Hercules comes and Hercules goes, Therefore, Prophet (Mohammed) prevented his followers from defending themselves while they were in Mecca, but permitted them to fight only after an adult community in the city of Medina was established without violence, but by persuading the public, When the adult community (or the Democratic in modern terms) is built it becomes his duty to stand by the oppressed and defend its peace
 Until they change what is in themselves, 1972 (in Arabic)
Said makes of the Quranic verse (God does not change a people until they change what is in themselves) a title and a starting point, to prove that in order to solve a problem or change a situation, the priority of change starts from ourselves.
Said argues that the law in this verse, is general and applies to all human beings, and not especially Muslims, and that it is a social Law not individual law, and that it contains two phases of change: A change done by God and a change by people. The First change is a result of the second, God will not change until the people change first.
The writer concludes his book by saying:
"there are many simple Quranic facts we hear but not understand! How many of the disasters arise from this neglect and inattention! How many hundreds of thousands of young people are disappointed, or lose confidence in the seriousness of religious subjects, when they are exposed to the truth, because they live an illusion! It is a problem of a society, the problem of a lost generation replete with illusions."
 Work Is Ability and will (in Arabic)
The writer says that if a firm will for work met with a complete capability and the presence of suitable conditions and the absence of impediments, then the action is compulsory.
Muslims have all the will and the physical capability which can solve their problems and to participate to influence events in the world and face the colonial and intellectual invasion, but he adds that the real destitution is in their understanding of the laws of changing themselves and their communities, as they usually claim their rights, rather than performing their duties, and are concerned with having a state rather than the establishing the society, they adopt the pattern of violence and coercion not the scientific method and persuasion...
 Read! and your Lord is Most generous, 1987 (in Arabic)
The Rush to condemn "Science" or "knowledge" (which was the original title to this book) holds a great loss, the writer says, because nothing can save us other than "knowledge". What we condemned is either Science (Knowledge) so that we must accept or ignorance so we reject.
The writer states and responds in his book to some common sayings and writings of some Muslims which suggest that "science is unable to solve problems". And that there is something else out there that we should depend on to work out our problems.
 Be as Adam's son, 1996 (in Arabic)
Said discussed nearly all the main topics of his world, he talks in this book about Nonviolence, History, Language, Quran, Science and Knowledge, Knowledge and Power, the prophetic concept to change, Jihad, the two ways to read Quran, Arnold J. Toynbee and the system of civilization, Foucault and History, Truth falsehood and consequences, the deference between the European Union and the United Nations, the difference between the sick and the sickness, UN and Veto.
 External links
Islam als gewaltlose Religion Der in der westlichen Welt wenig beachtete Denker Jawdat Said propagiert seit 40 Jahren einen gewaltlosen Islam. Seine Bücher werden von islamischen Aktivisten in der arabischen Welt viel gelesen und diskutiert. Bashar Humeid stellt ihn vor. | Bild:
Die Menschen sollen Wissen auf der Erde und nicht in den Versen des Korans suchen, fordert Jawdat Said |
Das 1966 erschienene Buch "Die Schule von Adams erstem Sohn: Das Problem der Gewalt in der islamischen Welt" ist das erste ausformulierte Konzept für Gewaltlosigkeit in der modernen islamischen Bewegung. Das Buch ist bis heute auf dem islamischen Buchmarkt erhältlich- mittelerweile in der fünften Auflage.
Geschrieben hatte es der 1931 in Syrien geborene Jawdat Said, der in seiner frühen Jugend nach Ägypten ging, um an der Azhar-Universität ein Studium der arabischen Sprache zu absolvieren. Dort engagierte er sich im ägyptischen Kulturleben. Außerdem stand er der islamischen Bewegung jener Zeit nahe.
Schon damals warnte Said vor den negativen Folgen der Gewalt durch die islamische Bewegung in Ägypten und schrieb sein Buch als direkte Reaktion auf die Schriften von Sayyid Qutb (gest. 1966), der als Vater des militanten Islam gilt.
Auch andere Denker der islamischen Szene wandten sich damals gegen Qutb, so etwa Hasan al-Hudaybi, der oberste geistige Führer der ägyptischen Muslimbrüder.
Zu Beginn der 1980er Jahre begannen sich die Muslimbrüder in Syrien - trotz Saids Warnungen - gegen die Regierung von Hafez al-Asad aufzulehnen. Die Revolte wurde jedoch blutig niedergeschlagen und endete 1982 mit einem Massaker in der Stadt Hama.
Nach dieser Niederlage setzte man sich innerhalb der Bewegung intensiv mit dem Gedanken der Demilitarisierung auseinander. Zu jener Zeit gewannen die Schriften Jawdat Saids in den Kreisen der islamischen Aktivisten zunehmend an Popularität.Das Konzept der Gewaltlosigkeit bei Said
In der Einleitung seines Buches "Die Schule von Adams erstem Sohn" stellt sich Jawdat Said in die Tradition islamischer Reform-Schriftsteller wie Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi (gest. 1902) und Muhammad Iqbal (gest. 1938), der mystische Dichter und Philosph aus Indien.
Said schreibt auch dem algerischen Schriftsteller Malik bin-Nabi (gest. 1973) und seinem Buch "Die Bedingungen des Aufschwungs" eine besondere Rolle zu.
Das gemeinsame Merkmal dieser Denker ist die Betonung auf Reformen innerhalb der islamischen Gesellschaften. Sie sehen die Probleme ihrer Gesellschaften eher als Folge einer internen Fehlentwicklung und weniger als Resultat der kolonialistischen Intervention.
Saids Werke über Gewaltlosigkeit sind Teil einer Reihe, die persönliche und gesellschaftliche Probleme behandeln und die Funktion eines Wegweisers für islamische Aktivisten haben. Sie sprechen in erster Linie die islamische Jugend an und präsentieren ihnen einen islamischen Lebensweg ohne Gewalt.Gewaltlosigkeit als Gebot Gottes
Diesen Weg sieht Said im Koran begründet. In Sure 5, Vers 27–31 wird beschrieben, wie der "gottesfürchtige Abel" es sogar vermied, sich gegen seinen Bruder zu verteidigen, obwohl Kain ihn letztlich ermordete.
Said sieht es als eine Herausforderung für den Menschen, so zu reagieren, "wie Adams erster Sohn, der sich nicht gegen den Angriff seines Bruders verteidigte". Die Gewaltlosigkeit von Adams Sohn stellt für ihn "eine für die ganze Menschheit nachahmenswerte Position dar, deren Nachahmung zu Gottes Geboten gehört".
Zudem führt Said die Geschichten der verschiedenen Propheten im Koran an und zeigt, dass der einzige Vorwurf, mit dem sie sich konfrontiert sahen, ihr Glaube an den einen Schöpfer war. Keiner von ihnen hatte jedoch versucht, seine Ideen gewaltsam zu verbreiten.
Darin sieht Said ein deutliches Indiz dafür, dass die Gewaltausübung nicht mit dem Kern des koranischen Glaubens vereinbar ist.
Doch wie erklärt Said die anderen koranischen Verse, die zum Kampf aufrufen?Unterschiedliche Koraninterpretationen
Nach Said stellt der Koran zwei Bedingungen für einen legitmen Krieg. Erstens darf Krieg nur ausgerufen werden, wenn der Gegner den koranischen Grundsatzt "Kein Zwang in der Religion", das heißt "die Meinungsfreiheit" missachtet.
Zweistens muss der Staat, der den Krieg ausruft, diesen Grundsatz selbst achten.
In seinem Buch "Lies! Denn dein Herr ist der Allgütige" von 1988 entwickelt Said einen wichtigen Ansatz für die Interpretation des Korans und untermauert damit sein Konzept für einen gewaltlosen Islam.
Said hebt hervor, dass die verschiedenen Interpretationen des koranischen Textes schon für die frühen Nachfolger des Propheten Mohammad eine Herausforderung darstellten.
Er zitiert eine Aussage des vierten Kalifen, Ali ibn Abi Talib, der im Streit mit seinen Gegnern (den Kharidschiten) forderte, die Texte außer Acht zu lassen, da jede Gruppe ihre eigene Sichtweise habe. Um zu einem Ergebnis zu kommen, sollten vielmehr praktische Aspekte diskutiert werden.
Said folgert daraus, dass der Koran die Menschen auffordere, Wissen auf der Erde und nicht in den Texten des Korans zu suchen. Der Aufruf zur "Wanderung auf Erden" wird im Koran dreizehnmal wiederholt. Said folgert daraus, dass es Teil der Offenbarung sei, nach Erkenntnissen über die Welt, ihre Geschichte und ihre Gesellschaften zu suchen. Darin liegt für ihn die "tiefe Bedeutung des Wunders des Korans".Neue Koraninterpretation
Gepaart wird die Aufforderung zu "wandern" mit der zu lesen. Denn "Lies!" ist das erste Wort, das dem Propheten Muhammad offenbart wurde. Said interpretiert dies als eine Aufforderung dazu, die Geschichte der menschlichen Erfahrungen kennen zu lernen, denn diese sei hauptsächlich durch Lesen zugänglich.
Sich auf Ansätze aus der islamischen Tradition stützend, ebnet Said damit einer neuen Koraninterpretation den Weg, die nicht mehr die Analyse des koranischen Textes, sondern die menschliche Erfahrung in den Vordergrund stellt.
Saids Interpretationen wurden deshalb von konservativen Denkern scharf attakiert. Einer von ihnen, Adel al-Tal, beschuldigte Said in einem 1995 verfassten Buch, er sei ein "materialistischer Denker mit islamischem Deckmantel".Auseinandersetzung zwischen Wissenschaft und Gewalt
Doch bis heute bleibt Said dem koranischen Text treu. Er zitiert häufig aus dem Koran, um sein Konzept der Gewaltlosigkeit zu untermauern.
Am häufigsten erwähnt er Sure 2, Vers 30-33, in der die Engel gegen die Entscheidung Gottes protestieren, auf Erden einen Nachfolger einzusetzen. Ihr Argument: Dieser werde nur Unheil stiften und Blut vergießen. Als Anwort lehrt Gott Adam "alle Dinge samt ihren Namen".
Said versteht diese Stelle als eine symbolische Auseinandersetzung zwischen Wissenschaft und Gewalt. In der Sprache des koranischen Verses bedeutet das, eine Auseinandersetzung zwischen "Namen" und "dem Unheilstiften und Blutvergießen".
Der Mensch, so folgert Said, solle und könne mit der ihm von Gott gegebenen Vernunft den Frieden auf Erden vollbringen.Bashar Humeid
© Qantara.de 2006Jawdat Said
Islam as a Violence-Free Religion
Philosopher Jawdat Said, little known in the West, has been propagating a vision of Islam free of violence for the past 40 years. His books have been widely read and discussed by Islamic activists in the Arab world. A profile by Bashar Humeid
Jawdat Said challenges people to search for knowledge on earth, and not in the verses of the Koran | Published in 1966, the book "The Doctrine of the First Son of Adam: The Problem of Violence in the Islamic World" was the first publication in the modern Islamic movement to present a concept of non-violence. Now in its fifth edition, the book is still available today.
It was written by Jawdat Said, born in Syria in 1931, who moved to Egypt at a young age to study the Arabic language at Azhar University. While there, he took an active part in the cultural life of Egypt. He was also closely connected to the Islamic movement of that period.
Even then, Said warned against the negative effects of the violence being carried out by the Islamic movement in Egypt, and wrote his book as a direct response to the writings of Sayyid Qutb, who died in 1966 and is considered the father of militant Islam.
Other intellectuals of the Islamic world also turned against Qutb at the time, including for example Hasan al-Hudaybi, the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
In the early 1980s, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria began – in spite of Said's warnings – to rebel against the government of Hafez al-Asad. However, the revolt was put down with much bloodshed, and ended in 1982 with a massacre in the city of Hama.
Following this defeat, the movement began seriously entertaining the idea of demilitarization. At the time, the writings of Jawdat Said became increasingly popular in Islamic activist circles.
Said's concept of non-violence
In the introduction to his book "The Doctrine of the First Son of Adam," Jawdat Said places himself in the tradition of Islamic reformers such as Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi (who died in 1902) and Muhammad Iqbal (who died in 1938), the mystic poet and philosopher from India.
Said also stressed the importance of the Algerian writer Malik bin-Nabi (who died in 1973) and his book, "The Conditions of Renaissance."
What these philosophers have in common is an emphasis on reformation within Islamic societies. They see the problems in their societies as the result more of unfortunate internal developments than of colonial intervention.
Said's works about non-violence are part of a series of writings that deal with personal and societal problems, and that serve as a guidepost for Islamic activists. They primarily address Islamic youth, and present an Islamic way of life that eschews violence.
Non-violence as a divine commandment
Said sees this approach as grounded in the Koran. In Sure 5, verses 27–31, one can read how the "God-fearing Abel" even declined to defend himself against his brother, although in the end, Cain murdered him.
Said sees this is a quest of mankind, to react "like Adam's firstborn son, who did not defend himself against the attacks of his brother." The non-violence exhibited by Adam's son represents, in Said's view, "a position to be aspired to by all mankind, and adhering to it is one of God's commandments."
In addition, Said refers to the stories of the various different prophets in the Koran and points out that the only charges they were accused of was their belief in the one God of creation. None of them, however, attempted to spread his ideas by means of violence.
Said sees this is a clear indication that the practice of violence is incompatible with the core faith of the Koran. But how does Said explain the other verses of Koran that call the faithful to battle?
Different interpretations of the Koran
According to Said's view, the Koran specifies two prerequisites for a legitimate war. First, war may only be declared if the opponent defies the fundamental Koranic principle of "no coercion of religion," i.e. if the enemy violates the principle of "freedom of opinion."
Second, the nation that declares war must itself adhere to this principle.
In his 1988 book "Read! For The Lord Your God is Benevolent," Said supports his view of an Islam free of violence by developing an important approach to the interpretation of the Koran.
Said points out that the various different interpretations of the text of the Koran presented a challenge even for the early followers of the Prophet Mohammad.
He quotes the fourth Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who in a disagreement with his opponents (the Kharijites) demanded disregarding the texts because each group had its own way of interpreting them. Instead, practical aspects should be discussed in an effort to reach a satisfying conclusion.
Said concludes from this that the Koran challenges people to search for truth in the real world and not in the texts of the Koran. The call to "wander the earth" is repeated 13 times in the Koran. Said thus concludes that this is a part of the divine revelation: to search for knowledge about the world, its history and its societies. Therein lies for him the "profound meaning and wonder of the Koran."
New interpretations of the Koran
The demand to "wander" is coupled with the demand to read. After all, "Read!" is the first word that was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Said interprets this as a call to become familiar with the history of the human experience, which is primarily accessible through reading.
Supporting his view with approaches from the Islamic tradition, Said thus paves the way for a new interpretation of the Koran that no longer emphasizes the analysis of the sacred texts but rather places human experience in the forefront.
For this reason, Said's interpretations were sharply attacked by conservative thinkers. One of them, Adel al-Tal, wrote a book in 1995 in which he accused Said of being a "materialist in an Islamic disguise."
Conflict between science and violence
But to this day, Said has remained true to the text of the Koran. He quotes the Koran often to support his view of non-violence.
The passage he quotes most often is Sure 2, verses 30-33, in which the angels protest God's decision to put a successor on earth. Their argument: This representative will do nothing but create trouble and spill blood. In response, God teaches Adam "all things and their names."
Said understands this passage as a symbolic dispute between science and violence. In the language of the verses of the Koran, this means a dispute between "naming names" and "creating trouble and spilling blood."
Mankind, Said concludes, should and can use its God-given ability to reason to achieve peace on earth.
© Qantara.de 2006
Translated from the German by Mark Rossman