From Islam to Secular Humanism: A Philosophical Journey

From Islam to Secular Humanism: A Philosophical Journey

From Islam to Secular Humanism: A Philosophical Journey

From Islam to Secular Humanism: A Philosophical Journey

Excerpt

Dear Sohail,

How wonderfully you have shared your spiritual journey with youthful readers and particularly with your nephew Zeeshan—and hopefully with many older readers. You shared the importance of “the trail of the heart” and the family tradition of choosing “the non-traditional path.” This has personal meaning to me, for in my life I have also made the searching my primary aim.

When I was a youth in China, about age 16, the famous British Sinologist Joseph Needham was invited to speak at the university in Chengdu on the 400th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus. It’s interesting as I look back, to realize how deeply I was influenced by his words. He started off similarly to your journey, although in his case his orientation was High Anglicanism. As he delved into science and particularly the physics of matter and energy, his belief in God dissolved, and became quite meaningless and irrelevant. But within the formation and structure of matter he began to perceive a continuous pattern or process, which saw parts forming ever more complex structures. I cannot convey the details but he traced the formation of matter from the big bang through all the stages up to molecules, living cells, more and more complex life forms, right up to the 70 to 100 trillion celled . . .

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