VALUES AND ETHICS
Today, it is possible to talk about a crisis of meaning experienced by humanity on a global scale as a consequence of a crisis of morality that it gave birth to. The biggest cause of the moral crisis is the debate about the value that makes a behaviour moral and the source of that value or values. Losing the hierarchy of values has brought about mistakes as big as losing the values themselves. It is graver to observe the displacement of the values; the good is considered as the bad, the bad is considered as the good; the beautiful and the ugly, the benefit and the harm, the virtuous and the fallacy all replace each other. Unfortunately, the Ummah of a prophet who was sent to complete the epitome of morality (mekârim-i ahlak) has also received its share of this crisis of meaning and morality today.
The attempt to engage in immoral behaviour from religious sources, the isolation of Islamic jurisprudence from morality, the demotion of worship from moral purposes to apprearances and the failure of contemporary religiosity to produce a morality has been the greatest challenge and the biggest misfortune for the community of believers.
Aesthetics, which is a part and complement of morality, is also one of the issues we do not address from an Islamic perspective. In fact, while truth leads people to justice, goodness leads to morality; beauty leads to aesthetics. Aesthetic is a meaning that we reveal by crossing the border of language and texts. The great meaning expressed by Islam cannot be confined to a language, a culture, or a text. For it is an timeless and eternal truth. This meaning and truth appeal not only to the eye, but also to the soul. The name of this meaning that appeals to the soul is called jamal. The expressions of this meaning are not just calligraphy, tazhip, architecture, literary works; it is a whole realm of being, and this whole realm of being is the manifestations of the title of Allah's jamal. Jamal is the main subject of aesthetics in Islam. In Islam, not only from faith to morality, from morality to aesthetics; sometimes you can ascend from aesthetics to a common morality and from morality to faith.
Also in Islam, aesthetics is a science that deals with the relationship of beauty with sacred and love. It is not confined to a particular time, place, and culture. The aesthetic is to grasp not only the meaning of creation, but also its beauty; to read the afakî and enfüsî verses correctly. It is to look at the sky not only as the sky, but as the root and the source. It is to see stars not only as celestial objects, but as the ornaments of the realm.
The concept of seeing Kethrat( the plenty ) in Wahdat ( the one) and finding wahdat in kethret as the philosophy of life of the tawhid belief is best expressed in forms of art. In this respect, aesthetics teaches us to read art as a reminder of the attributes of Allah’s jamal.
Aesthetic is a science that nurtures emotions; it is not a pleasure or desire taken from beautiful objects, it is a spirit of decency. However, while in the Islamic jurisprudential tradition, aesthetics and beauty were mentioned among daruriyyat, hajiyyat, tahsiniyyat classification as a part of the third category, it is not acceptable to consider aesthetics in between mandub(preferred) and mustahab(desired,). In fact, tahsiniyyat is the complement of hajiyyat and zaruriyyat. Based in the principle of “a wajip (compulsory) is a wajip if only it is complemented by something”, it is imperative to read and understand the principle of tahsiniyyat as a crucial matter of usûl.
The Islamic Institute of Thought wants to give a body to the understanding of morality and wisdom by re-addressing the moral and practical dimensions, which is the most fundamental indicator of the unity of science and practice, based on the idea that a knowledge produced far from morality, a view devoid of morality and aesthetics cannot bring hope and peace to humanity. For this reason, IDE ascribes special importance to the subjects of value, morality, and aesthetics, and prioritizes these issues both in its research and seminar programs.