The word Scientology is composed of Latin, scio, which means knowing in the fullest meaning of the word, and Greek logy, which means study of or knowledge. Literally, this means knowing how to know. Scientology takes great care in knowing and it has as a purpose to know in a very truthful sense.
For Islam, “knowledge is the highest aim.” Islamic prophecy respects knowledge. In one of the hadiths (a collective body of traditions relating to Mohammed and his companions) it is said, “I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is the Gate for this.” Another hadith states, “Go to China for knowledge!” At that time, China was such a remote place that it would have been considered the end of the world, yet this is where one was commanded to go to pursue knowledge. For Islam, the pursuit of knowledge is a very high ideal.
In this way Islam has the greatest respect for knowledge. A person who has knowledge is called in Islam, Ulama. Ulama derives from ilm which means knowledge. One can see that Scientology and Islam can be aiming in the same direction and thus they could have aspects in common.
This writer has been on pilgrimage to Mecca twice and is recognized as a leader in the Islamic world. Additionally, this writer has also recently studied the Scientology religion and traveled to its world headquarters, which is referred to as Mecca in its own terms, and has been surprised at some of the similarities.
Mr. Hubbard traveled in Asia for much of his teens. There he pondered the misery of Asia, wondering why it existed. From the beginning he was interested in researching the origins of man, and it was to become his life’s work, which culminated in the birth of Scientology.
According to the video Introduction to Scientology (which is a recorded interview of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, in 1966), Mr. Hubbard traveled in Asia for much of his teens. There he pondered the misery of Asia, wondering why it existed. From the beginning he was interested in researching the origins of man, and it was to become his life’s work, which culminated in the birth of Scientology.
Mr. Hubbard first saw that though man had different cultures, races and so forth, there must be a common denominator, and if it could be found, then man could be elevated. Mr. Hubbard found that common denominator, and it was—Survive!
Why was the discovery of survive so important? If you look up the word survive in a dictionary, it is defined as “to keep living, being kept alive, even after others or other things are dead.” However, this is not enough to fully explain the term. What Mr. Hubbard found was man’s common denominator and this was to become one of the fundamentals of Scientology.
In same video interview, Mr. Hubbard answered the question about a next life, saying that man can survive even after death, and thus there is a next life. So the term survive does not only pertain to this life but rather to eternity.
In the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, survival is explained as: 1. is a condition susceptible to non-survival. If one is “surviving,” one is at the same moment admitting that one can cease to survive. Otherwise, one would never strive to survive. 2. survival might be defined as an impulse to persist through time, in space, as matter and energy. 3. survival is understood to be the basic single thrust of life through time and space, energy and matter. Survival is subdivided into eight dynamics (or urges to survive).
How does this compare to Islam? “What man is created for and living for” is explained in one Arabic word, qiyama. The Quran is not necessarily translated correctly from the Arabic, and this word has not been correctly translated into the English.
Qiyama (noun) is derived from qom or qama. This qom or qama has many different meanings such as: rise up, stand up, look back, attack, live with honor, rise from death, reverse, rise, depart, position, take rest, start, implement, support, and take responsibility. Bearing this in mind, as an overall concept, the meaning of qiyama in the Quran and survival in Scientology could well be stating the same thing.
Neither philosophy would have any argument with the fact that man is trying to survive and that man is trying his best to survive in the universe around him.