Saving Ourselves from Skepticism
Fatwa No: 396568

Question

How can we save ourselves from skepticism , that is to doubt many true and real things ? Please answer this question in detail, and refute some of their arguments , because this philosophy is dangerous, and made many people go crazy . Also mention how Satan played with the intellect of such peoples!

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The doctrine of skepticism that you referred to in the question, by which some philosophers were well-known, is a false doctrine as it contradicts the Sharee'ah, reason, and the Fitrah (the natural predisposition upon which Allah created mankind). Many former and late philosophers refuted this doctrine and clarified that it is false and full of contradictions.

The book entitled: Nathariyyatul-Ma’rifah baynal-Qur’aan wal-Falsafah (The Theory of Knowledge between the Quran and Philosophy), authored by Dr. Rajeh Abdul-Hameed Al-Kurdi, to refute this doctrine of skepticism, reads:

"The skeptics were focused to refute the fact that senses are the only source of knowledge and that they are the basis of intuitiveness. Plato responded to them saying that it is not correct to rely on the errors of the senses in refuting science because they (senses) can be corrected, whether this is by using another sense or by experimentation with reason and proof. It is also very possible to correct the errors of the senses and distinguish between the senses of each person by a sound rational approach that examines the truth. The results that the different senses provide may differ but not contradictory, while the skeptics claim that they are contradictory.

-Difference of opinion is possible, but the agreement of the people on basic things of intuitiveness, reasonable hypothesizes, and principles is not impossible, such as agreeing on moral virtues and mathematical realities.

-There are issues that become clear in mind as soon as they are conceived without proof. They are primary and absolute intuitive issues; who does not believe that the whole is bigger than the part? Who would ask for this to be proven?

As regards absolute skepticism that totally denies the possibility of identifying the truth, then Dr. Kurdi refuted this by the following:

-If the skeptic wants to prove his dogma and to demonstrate that what he says is correct, then this requires of him to confess that he can know something for certain, and this contradicts his claim that there is no certainty.

-The skeptic either knows that it is must to doubt everything, which means that he knows with certainty that he should doubt everything. This implies that he knows for certain that one should not be doubtful of everything. Or that he knows for certain that his doctrine is only preponderant (and not certain) and he has something that something proving to him that it is the preponderant doctrine. Or that he admits that he neither has a certain knowledge nor a preponderant knowledge (to act upon), and then he does not adopt skepticism as a doctrine and confesses to his inability.

-The doubt (skepticism) itself includes three kinds of intuitiveness which the mind itself refuses to doubt, namely: the existence of the thinker entity, the entity of the skeptic person himself, as he knows for certain that he exists and thinks, and (knows) that contradiction is not possible because he knows what is skepticism and what is knowledge, what is ignorance, what is certainty, and what is the human being...etc. Therefore, he admits that certainty is different than doubt and that it is not possible at all to combine between affirmation and denial at the same time, and admits that reason is adequate to know the truth, so he relies on his mind in presenting his doctrine." [End of quote -Abridged]

Whoever holds fast to the religion of Allah and follows the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) becomes safe from skepticism, confusion (uncertainty) and doubts (misconceptions) that spoil the religion as well as the worldly life. Allah Says (what means): {O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.} [Quran 10:57]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the interpretation of the above verse: {…and healing for what is in the breasts}; meaning from misconceptions and doubts.”

As for the one who turns away from the Quran and the Sunnah, then he is prey to Satan who spoils his heart and mind, and makes him fall into such misguidance – we seek refuge in Allah from this.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 376504, 349423, 283369, 88276, and 33718.

Allah knows best.

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