Al-Attas’s View on the Importance of Man in Our Understanding of the Cosmos

Khayrurrijal, Attaqwa College, Pondok Pesantren At-Taqwa


This article affirms man’s special position and existence as the most established point of departure in the realm of creation to comprehend both God’s existence and the cosmos. By means of the method of tafsīr-taʾwīl and muḥkamāt-mutashābihāt appropriated by al-Attas as a way of understanding the cosmos, it is argued that man proceeds to understand the different degrees of existence through his understanding of metaphors and man as a metaphorical concept. Man, then, is able to recognise a higher degree of existence that is the cause of his own existence, which is God’s existence. Furthermore, with knowledge and its transmissions through various chains of authority of knowledge, man accepts the validity of true report (khabar ṣādiq) which is especially true with regard to the reality and the truth of God’s Revelation.


Man; tafsīr-taʾwīl; metaphor; cosmos; God’s existence; the Revelation; Origin; Purpose; khabar ṣādiq; book

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