«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

The problem of religion and faith in Abay’s work

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The greatest value of modern Kazakh society is not only the freedom of conscience, but also tolerance, which became the basis for interfaith harmony. Mentality of the whole nation, which established tolerance for people of other faiths, formed under the influence of spiritual culture, the center of which is the man, his life, interests and needs. In the religious philosophy the thinking about the man, his spirit and authentic existence focused on the faith.

The belief on it considered as a special problem and is linked not only with the spiritual world of man, but with the problem of freedom arising in tense situations of choice. An example of a philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of faith is Abay reflections. This analysis allows his religious beliefs say that it can rightly be called the spiritual mentor of the Kazakh people, Religious meditation Abay distinguished by the depth of penetration into the essence of faith, its close connection with the person’s daily life.

His thoughts on religion, faith, morality had a tremendous impact on the spiritual aspect of future generations. Abay’s existential sound of beliefs about God, faith, the person and manifested in an effort to understand their thinking not only by reason, but by analyzing the feelings, emotions. In consideration of the faith he comes from introspection, self-knowledge of religious beliefs, feelings and experiences. For him it is important that we think about God, feel and experience.

In his discussion he was not from God to man, and vice versa, from man to God. This approach is characteristic of S. Kierkegaard, L.Tolstoy and F. Dostoevsky.

Thus, the concept of God they fill human content and show that God — not prohibitive reality standing on the other side of human existence, and is directly related to a person’s life, that God is the most important part of his soul.

Repeatedly, they emphasize that thoughtful insight into the nature of God and faith leads to a revision of the man throughout his life, his views and the official dogma. Faith does not seem to them as self-evident phenomenon of man’s spiritual life. The understanding of it organically includes experience, accompanied by disagreement and even conflict with conventional religious beliefs.

In the soul of the philosopher belief involves with doubts that gave his work a special strain of thought. In view of all this, his thoughts become existential sound and because the life and work of the Kazakh poet are of interest in light of the analysis of the problems of religion and belief existential philosophy.

Abay clearly showed that religion is not something external to the person, but it becomes the internal contents of his inner world. He always felt keenly distrust conventional religious beliefs, church sermons, in his soul lived questioned the faith preached by priests and considered it too far from the interests of the common man.
Abay his entire adult life strongly defended faith based on a clear understanding of the meaning of religious doctrine.
Abay in his religious quest based on the fact that true faith does not need external support. He was convinced that the church and its ministers deliberately distort the doctrine of God, denying the decisive significance for human rite. Abay as L. Tolstoy practically reduced religion to faith. For him, religion is a purely spiritual phenomenon, the core of which stands the faith and understanding of the meaning of human life, its mission in the world.

Faith has a direct relationship to the person. It gives the answer to the question: how and why a person lives? In contrast, Abay acknowledged the existence of God the creator, but the essence of God sees not in the act of creation, and in accordance with its love, mercy, and justice in people’s lives. For Abay God’s manifestations are in spirituality of human life and between human relations charity, humanity and justice.

True faith is that religious faith, which defines the moral content of a person’s life. Man considers it in three aspects: first, faith establishes the relation of man to God and the world, finite to the infinite, the eternal transient; secondly, faith establishes the meaning of human life, and third, faith establishes the meaning of human in the world. Faith is not something beyond human experience, located on the other side of the world, is the ability of the human soul to understand its mission in the world, to see the meaning of his life.
Faith must be consistent with life, consistent with its requirements. True faith requires of man is that due to its spirituality, requires him to a meaningful life. Abay believed that religion and faith are not the same. Religion is the fruit of the clergy, using the ignorance of man.

Religious inculcates fanaticism and blind faith. True faith is a person’s ability to understand the real nature of God, aware of their place in the world. True faith is iman, illuminated by the light of mind and opposes the false belief. Abay wrote: «There is a twofold path of beliefs. Some receive faith, convinced of its necessity and justice, they strengthen their confidence by reasonable arguments.

This faith we call iman». / 1 / Further, it highlights the traditional belief that a person is formed under the influence of education, traditions, reading books and mullahs’ words. And since this belief consists in the human soul is not a result of independent thinking, and as a result of assimilation ready truths, then this faith requires from man hardness, fortitude to withstand the temptations and seductions, requires enormous human effort and mental maturity of his inner freedom.

It is internally recognized need of the human soul, has nothing to do with the blind worship of Allah. Abay believed that faith is necessary to the person, and not to God: «God is great and he will not suffer from your unbelief. If you claim that your faith requires to yourself, well, then it means you are believer. But if faith is for the sake of faith then there is no benefit of it for you». / 2 / Abay rejected utilitarian and pragmatic attitude to faith, the believer treats God as a merchant, who appeared for a long time: «This is all I have, if you want — take it, if do not want to then how I I’ll get you the cattle out of the ground». / 3 / True faith claims goodness, mercy, justice in the relations between people and not only an understanding of the essence of the divine spirit.
True faith is the basis of a virtuous life and it is its value and significance. Abay put content of human life in direct dependence on faith. All trials and tribulations, pain and suffering person, he explains the lack of faith or its falsity. Faith makes a man’s life full, happy, joyful, as it is consistent with the meaning of life. It gives him confidence, helps to overcome the dichotomy, anxiety soul. Peace of mind, harmony of soul, impossible without faith.

Abay Kunanbayev emphasized high destiny faith in the moral life. Its absence or misunderstanding is the main source of evil and suffering and believes that it is necessary that faith, which claims the benefit and good. Abay same thought is expressed in the «Book of Words»: «A reasonable person should know the duty of the believer — do good.
Right deed cannot be afraid to test by the mind… What worth the goodness without faith». / 4 / Faith is the source of goodness and justice, it opens the way to a man’s heart, says humanity. Belief in God approves mundane and everyday life of humanity, which should become the norm of human relations. «Starting humanity — love and justice. They are present in all and allow all „or“ Without justice there is no faith, no humanity»- writes Abay. / 5 / What makes a person, against their own interests to act morally? Abay convinced that only by faith in the absolute value is the basis of good and virtuous life.

However, he repeatedly says that faith itself does not guarantee approval of morality. Goodness is approved by own spiritual efforts of the man himself. And here it is here necessary belief in the absolute necessity of following virtues. It is a difficult path, followed by doubts, seeking spiritual foundations of life and those who live in the soul of the true faith will pass. But «to preserve his iman, you must have a brave heart, strong will and self-reliance» — wrote Abay. / 6 / The origins of that nourish faith lie in the soul of man himself. Abay emphasized: «faith cannot occur by itself, it is born of justice and good manners». / 7 / Next, Abay indicated that only fervent prayers and strict religious observance of the true faith is not enough.

Faith appears only when a person is constantly working on his spiritual world: «Whoever is careless and does not keep him in discipline, cannot sympathize, he cannot be considered as believer. Without frugality and attention to keep iman -faith is impossible». / 8 / Abay was well aware that pursuing virtue requires a person of rare courage, spiritual intransigence, involves a choice between good and evil, benefit and love, accompanied by doubts and worries.

And the only reliable support of person is faith that helps him to distinguish good from evil, truth from delusion, and to overcome the temptation with dignity. Thus, faith is not indifferent to human life, its troubles and problems and people\s suffering. Chaos and confusion of life, its senselessness and absurdity, disaster and evil can be overcome by the man’s faith, which gives it firmness and courage, confidence in their abilities and powers. Ibrahim Altynsarin in his didactic creations also touched upon the topic of faith, same as great Abay.

As an instructive example, he showed Job’s devotion to his God. Faith and beliefs are not built in the calculation, says Ibrahim. Job loves God, not because he made his life happy. Welfare of Job based on faith in the justice and wisdom of God, the fact that Job himself honest, blameless and righteous. And in a situation of severe trials, Job kept devotion to God, despite all the hardships of life. That’s what faith means for the true believer. What support it can become for man.

Abay’s religious quests were directed not only to search for the true faith, but also the approval of the reasonableness of a person’s life. For them, true faith always consistent with the min’s demands.

In religious and philosophical thought of the past faith and reason is often contrasted or faith took precedence over mind, which used to play a supporting role. Faith considered inconceivable to the mind, it saw something unexplainable. In Kierkegaard’s teaching faith is revealed as something paradoxical.

He uses myth about Abraham to emphasize «what paradox is faith, which can turn murder into a sacred and charitable act, paradox of which again returns to Isaac Abraham, a paradox which not subject to any thinking, because faith begins precisely where stopped thinking». / 9 / Leo Tolstoy and Abay considered faith inseparable from the mind.

Faith, as the mind, is an integral part of the human soul, therefore they are interrelated. Faith shows the boundary of the mind, but such an interface, which is set by the mind. Thus faith is not associated with some unfathomable mysteries or miracles implausible. Faith is essential to justify the meaning of life, selflessness, and universality of kindness, mercy and justice, as for their approval only mind is not enough.

Connection between faith and mind is that these problems are posed by the mind: «Faith gives the answers for those questions that the mind cannot, these questions are unavoidable». / 10 Faith to him verifies honesty of mind. He is aware that he will not know more than what can be known. In contrast to L. Tolstoy, Abay separate religion and faith from each other. For him, religion is the expression of human ignorance, without knowing and willing of how to use your own mind. True faith — it mainly is conscious belief, and «religion arises where once stood the mind». / 11 / Faith requires a reasonable approach to life, understanding and appreciation of its meaning. Otherwise, according to his view, it will turn into blind faith and fanaticism.
So, Abay’s philosophical meditations feature about faith and religion finds itself in what he considers God not in the ontological sense, but refracts it through man’s subjective world. He examined the specificity and uniqueness of religious ideas of man and sees the essence of faith in its manifestation in the moral consciousness of man that affects the everyday lives of all humans.

Such an approach to the creation of this philosopher can reveal the originality and novelty of his religious teachings. In addition, it should be noted that his views on religion is not only because that Abay influenced by Leo Tolstoy and other philosophers. Abay in his thoughts distinguished himself as an independent and original thinker. This is an example of the logic of the development of philosophical ideas inevitably leads commonality and harmony of studies.


K. Nauanova, Ph. D., Associate Professor at West Kazakhstan State University (WKSU) named after M. Utemisov

1. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.26
2. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.62
3. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.29
4. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.47
5. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.68
6. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.26
7. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.67
8. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words." A., 1992, p.25
9. S. Kierkegaard, «Fear and Trembling». / / S. Kierkegaard, «Fear and Trembling», Moscow, 1993, p.52
10. Tolstoy «Reading circle." / / L. Tolstoy «Reading circle», Moscow, 1991, vol.2, p.182
11. Abay «Book of Words» / / Abay «Book of Words» A., 1992, p.47

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