Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2013

Axiology of Islam

Patrick Laude
Pages 119-140

Acceptance as a Door of Mercy
Riḍā in Islamic Spirituality

There is no religion that does not start from the premise that “something is rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark,” to make use of Hamlet’s suggestive expression: mankind has lost its connection with the principle of its being and disharmony has ensued. This state of affairs, that religion claims to remedy, may be deemed to result from a sense of radical “otherness” symbolized, in the Abrahamic traditions, by the loss of the blissful unity and proximity of terrestrial paradise. In this paper we propose to show that the Islamic concept of ridā, particularly as it has been conceptualized and practiced in Sufism, is none other than both the means and the end of this re-connection with God and human beings as acceptance of “otherness.” The Quranic idea of Divine ridwān provides both the transcendent model and the infinite counterpart of this human virtue of acceptance.