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Reliable Narrations: Intellect and Knowledge

Islamic Salvation

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:bismillah:

 

A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. 

Download PDFhttps://www.scribd.com/document/361632457/Book-of-Intellect-and-Knowledge-Mu-jam-1-1

This is an UNSECURED version to aid copy and paste.

 

Preamble

The first book of the first volume is the book of Intellect and Knowledge. Some short words on the Islamic conception of both is in order.

Aql is the vehicle through which the initial queries about the reality of life and nature of the world is made. It is also an essential component towards the Ma’rifa [recognition] of Allah. Thus it becomes the preliminary ‘inner prophet’ which can lead to ‘outward’ guidance and consequently obedience of Allah. It has been attributed to al-Sadiq that he said when asked to define Aql:

ما عبد به الرحمن واكتسب به الجنان

That by which the Rahman [Most Merciful] is worshipped and by which the Gardens are acquired[1]

Aql is what will be held accountable. The more perfect the Aql of the one doing the deed the more complete it becomes and vice versa. The messenger of Allah is supposed to have said:

إذا رأيتم الرجل كثير الصلاة كثير الصيام فلا تباهوا به حتى تنظروا كيف عقله؟

If you see a man who prays a lot and fasts a lot then do not be overly impressed with him until you observe how his Aql is[2]

Knowledge and its pursuit has been given such importance in Islam that a Western Scholar like Rosenthal could speak of the ‘Empire of Reason’. Knowledge is of many types, but the one which has been obligated is acquiring the knowledge which will make one succeed in this world and hereafter i.e. knowledge of the creator and one’s obligations towards Him.

It is not enough to gain knowledge in theoretical terms, in fact the very definition of knowledge is the one which is put into practise. This is best summed up in a narration attributed to the Commander of the Faithful:

حسبك من العلم أن تخشى الله، وحسبك من الجهل أن تعجب بعلمك

It is enough to be considered knowledge that you be in awe of Allah, and it is enough to be considered ignorance that you feel proud with that which you know[3]

 

[1] al-Kafi: 1/11

[2] al-Kafi: 1/26

[3] Amali of al-Tusi: 1/62



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Salaam Aleikum Brother and may Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى accept your dua's and prayers and bless you.

I came to following hadith:

It was said: What is in it O Commander of the Faithful? He said: »In it are the hands of the oath-breakers1«2

If I understand in this hadith it is talking about the oath breakers of Scholars, Politics, Qurra etc. But what about the regular people of oath breakers. What is considered to be an oath and what is considered to be the breaking of the oath of regular people? Is promising something then come to the point that he can't keep the promise is as oath breaking?

Edited by Dhulfikar

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Wa Alaykum Salam. Jazakalla for your Dua. 

After listing the five groups of people whom the mill-stone will grind, the Commander of the Faithful speaks of a City in which will be the hands of oath-breakers.

You know that the prophet had predicted that Ali will have to fight three groups of people after him, including the Nakithin [oath-breakers]. This was realized in the Battle of Basra against Aisha, Talha and Zubayr [the last two having given him the pledge of allegiance and then reneged on it]. This tallies with the hands of these individuals being found in that city [because Bay'a is given by the hand].

This being the case, I think the primary meaning of oath-breakers in the Hadith should be those individuals who make a pact with someone [especially the pledge of allegiance to a leader] and then break it treachery.

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Salam:

Brother Islamic Salvation:

Can you please explain and share with us the hadith that relate to this ayat? (2:78) 

 

:bismillah:

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

 

this is from tafsir as Safi (can you please translate?)
قال عليه السلام: قال رجل للصادق عليه السلام فإذا كان هؤلاء العوام من اليهود لا يعرفون الكتاب الا بما يسمعونه من علمائهم لا سبيل لهم إلى غيره فكيف ذمّهم بتقليدهم و القبول من علمائهم و هل عوام اليهود الا كعوامنا يقلّدون علمائهم فان لم يجز لأولئك القبول من علمائهم لم يجز لهؤلاء القبول من علمائهم فقال عليه السلام بين عوامنا و علمائنا و بين عوام اليهود و علمائهم فرق من جهة و تسوية من جهة أما من حيث استووا فان اللَّه قد ذمّ عوامنا بتقليدهم علماءهم كما قد ذمّ عوامهم و أمّا من حيث افترقوا فلا، قال بيّن لي ذلك يا بن رسول اللَّه قال إنّ عوام اليهود كانوا قد عرفوا علمائهم بالكذب الصريح و بأكل الحرام و الرّشا و بتغيير الأحكام عن واجبها بالشفاعات و العنايات و المصانعات «1» و عرفوهم بالتعصب الشديد الذي يفارقون به أديانهم و إنهم إذا تعصبوا أزالوا حقوق من تعصبوا عليه و اعطوا ما لا يستحقه من تعصبوا له من اموال غيرهم و ظلموهم من أجلهم و عرفوهم يقارفون المحرّمات و اضطروا بمعارف قلوبهم إلى أن من فعل ما يفعلونه فهو فاسق لا يجوز ان يصدق على اللَّه و لا على الوسائط بين الخلق و بين اللَّه فلذلك ذمّهم لما قلّدوا من قد عرفوا و من قد علموا أنّه لا يجوز قبول خبره و لا تصديقه في حكايته و لا العمل بما يؤديه إليهم عمّن لم يشاهدوه و وجب عليهم النظر بأنفسهم في أمر رسول اللَّه صلّى اللَّه عليه و آله إذ كانت دلائله أوضح من أن يخفى و أشهر من أن لا يظهر لهم و كذلك عوام أمّتنا إذا عرفوا من فقهائهم الفسق الظاهر و العصبيّة الشديدة و التّكالب «2» على حطام الدنيا و حرامها و إهلاك من يتعصبون عليه و إن كان لإصلاح أمره مستحقاً و بالترفق بالبر و الإحسان على من تعصبوا له و إن كان للاذلال و الإهانة مستحقاً فمن قلّد من عوامنا مثل هؤلاء الفقهاء فهم مثل اليهود الذين ذمّهم اللَّه بالتقليد لفسقه فقهائهم فأما من كان من الفقهاء صائناً لنفسه حافظاً لدينه مخالفاً على هواه مطيعاً لأمر مولاه فللعوام أن يقلّدوه، و ذلك لا يكون الا بعض فقهاء الشيعة لا جميعهم فان من يركب من القبائح و الفواحش مراكب فسقة فقهاء العامّة فلا تقبلوا منهم عنا شيئاً و لا كرامة لهم.

Any further material from Nur thaqalyn, Qummi, majma al bayan etc???

Thanks,

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Reference to Note # 2 in the OP.

"...until you observe how his Aql is."

This I challenge for two reasons. 1] l do not know the Arabic etymology of Aql but the Wikipedia source says this word is from the heathen pagan Greek nous -knowledge.  So is a pagan idea  a source of  lsIamic knowledge?

And to continue with this religious objection, does this pronouncement not contradict Ayat 73:20? Where it is revealed that we recite what is 'easy' for us? Where salah and zakah are our focus?

2] And l also have a secular objection. Ask this question: lf aql is so valued then what hope do the mentally retarded have?

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 1:10 AM, La fata illa Ali said:

... this ayat? (2:78) 

The key word is amaniyya -wishful thinking.

The people being criticized are criticized for their 'wishing' alone because they too lazy to learn and -as unbelievers- are unconcerned with their individual fates on the Last Day.

Not criticized is illiteracy. Was not Muhammad-s.a.w.s. also illiterate ?

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7 hours ago, hasanhh said:

Reference to Note # 2 in the OP.

"...until you observe how his Aql is."

This I challenge for two reasons. 1] l do not know the Arabic etymology of Aql but the Wikipedia source says this word is from the heathen pagan Greek nous -knowledge.  So is a pagan idea  a source of  lsIamic knowledge?

A perfect equivalence in English for the Islamic conception of Aql is difficult to find.

The narrations that speak of Aql, notwithstanding the ones with a mystical bent which treat it as a ‘being’ in some cosmological sense, all indicate that it is above mere intellect in the sense of cleverness. Aql does not just mean mere function of ratiocination. These narrations expect every possessor of Aql to follow the way of Allah (i.e. Islam) which is the logical thing to do i.e. the one who disobeys Allah then his Aql has not been perfected. 

Perhaps a better word would be ‘consciousness’ with its evocation of self-awareness of who we are and what Allah wants from us. In this context, it is easy to understand why the merit of one who performs Salat for example, with an understanding of what it is and why he is doing it, will have a greater reward than the one who is doing it out of mere habit and without such an understanding.

7 hours ago, hasanhh said:

And to continue with this religious objection, does this pronouncement not contradict Ayat 73:20? Where it is revealed that we recite what is 'easy' for us? Where salah and zakah are our focus?

That verse has to do with lightening the burden for those who were keeping the night vigil prayer. It asks them to recite, as much of the Qur'an as they could without over-taxing themselves. It does not have to do with those deficient in Aql.

7 hours ago, hasanhh said:

2] And l also have a secular objection. Ask this question: lf aql is so valued then what hope do the mentally retarded have?

The Pen has been lifted for those who are mentally retarded. Each soul will be judged according to its capacity.

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2 hours ago, Islamic Salvation said:

A perfect equivalence in English for the Islamic conception of Aql is difficult to find.

The narrations that speak of Aql, notwithstanding the ones with a mystical bent which treat it as a ‘being’ in some cosmological sense, all indicate that it is above mere intellect in the sense of cleverness. Aql does not just mean mere function of ratiocination. These narrations expect every possessor of Aql to follow the way of Allah (i.e. Islam) which is the logical thing to do i.e. the one who disobeys Allah then his Aql has not been perfected. 

Perhaps a better word would be ‘consciousness’ with its evocation of self-awareness of who we are and what Allah wants from us. In this context, it is easy to understand why the merit of one who performs Salat for example, with an understanding of what it is and why he is doing it, will have a greater reward than the one who is doing it out of mere habit and without such an understanding.

That verse has to do with lightening the burden for those who were keeping the night vigil prayer. It asks them to recite, as much of the Qur'an as they could without over-taxing themselves. It does not have to do with those deficient in Aql.

The Pen has been lifted for those who are mentally retarded. Each soul will be judged according to its capacity.

We had nous in school.

The Ayat reveals "sometimes ... stand-up ... 2/3rds ... " with other people included. This addresses the anxiousness believers have -inshallah- and not a "lightening of the burden".

From a commentary l found,  http://www.islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php?sura=73&verse=20 , this Ayat was revealed in two sections at different times.

Back to aql.  ls it not revealed that Allah-s.w.t. knows what we disclose and not disclose?  lf we do not have the ability to disclose our inmost, is it now a subject of "capacity"?  Surah 17:25 

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On 10/23/2017 at 8:10 AM, La fata illa Ali said:

Salam:

Brother Islamic Salvation:

Can you please explain and share with us the hadith that relate to this ayat? (2:78) 

 

:bismillah:

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

 

this is from tafsir as Safi (can you please translate?) Any further material from Nur thaqalyn, Qummi, majma al bayan etc???

Thanks,

Wa Alaykum Salam. 

What you have quoted from Tafsir al-Safi goes back to Tafsir al-Askari [a Tafsir which claims to originate from the Eleventh Imam].

This is the translation:

قال رجل للصادق عليه السلام فإذا كان هؤلاء العوام من اليهود لا يعرفون الكتاب الا بما يسمعونه من علمائهم لا سبيل لهم إلى غيره فكيف ذمّهم بتقليدهم و القبول من علمائهم و هل عوام اليهود الا كعوامنا يقلّدون علمائهم فان لم يجز لأولئك القبول من علمائهم لم يجز لهؤلاء القبول من علمائهم فقال عليه السلام بين عوامنا و علمائنا و بين عوام اليهود و علمائهم فرق من جهة و تسوية من جهة أما من حيث استووا فان اللَّه قد ذمّ عوامنا بتقليدهم علماءهم كما قد ذمّ عوامهم و أمّا من حيث افترقوا فلا،

A man said to al-Sadiq عليه السلام: If the common people among the Jews did not have any other way to obtain knowledge of the Book except through what they heard from their scholars - then why did He blame them for their following of the scholars and acceptance from them?

Further, is it not the case that the common people among the Jews are like our common people for they [our common people] too follow their scholars, so if it is not permitted for them [the Jews] to accept from their scholars then is it not also impermissible for these [our common people] to accept what their scholars say?

He عليه السلام said: Between our common people and our scholars and the laity among the Jews and their scholars there is a difference in one aspect and similarity in another aspect. As far as the similar aspect is concerned then just as Allah censured our common people for the blind following of their scholars He did the same in censuring their common people, but as for the divergent aspect then No [he did not censure it].

  قال بيّن لي ذلك يا بن رسول اللَّه قال إنّ عوام اليهود كانوا قد عرفوا علمائهم بالكذب الصريح و بأكل الحرام و الرّشا و بتغيير الأحكام عن واجبها بالشفاعات و العنايات و المصانعات و عرفوهم بالتعصب الشديد الذي يفارقون به أديانهم و إنهم إذا تعصبوا أزالوا حقوق من تعصبوا عليه و اعطوا ما لا يستحقه من تعصبوا له من اموال غيرهم و ظلموهم من أجلهم و عرفوهم يقارفون المحرّمات و اضطروا بمعارف قلوبهم إلى أن من فعل ما يفعلونه فهو فاسق لا يجوز ان يصدق على اللَّه و لا على الوسائط بين الخلق و بين اللَّه فلذلك ذمّهم لما قلّدوا من قد عرفوا و من قد علموا أنّه لا يجوز قبول خبره و لا تصديقه في حكايته و لا العمل بما يؤديه إليهم

The Narrator said: Explain it for me O the son of the messenger of Allah.

He عليه السلام said: the common people among the Jews knew that their scholars used to lie outright, eat the forbidden wealth, were corrupt, changed the laws from what they should be based on intercession, favours and bribes. They also knew that their scholars were excessively partisan, that they used to split up their religion because of this rivalry and used to trample the rights of those they were against and give those they are partial towards what they do not deserve of the wealth of others, they used to oppress them [the enemies of their allies] to please their biases. They knew them to perpetrate the forbidden. They [the common people] knew it in their hearts [had intrinsic knowledge] that the one who does what they used to do is a Fasiq, and it is not acceptable to consider them truthful in what they attribute to Allah or to the intermediaries between the creation and Allah. That is why He censured them when they followed those they knew for a fact it was forbidden to accept their reports or consider them truthful in what they say, or to act based on what they instruct.

  وكذلك عوام امتنا إذا عرفوا من فقهائهم الفسق الظاهر ، والعصبية الشديدة والتكالب على حطام الدنيا وحرامها ، وإهلاك من يتعصبون عليه إن كان لاصلاح أمره مستحقا ، وبالترفق بالبر والاحسان على من تعصبوا له ، وإن كان للاذلال والاهانة مستحقا فمن قلّد من عوامنا مثل هؤلاء الفقهاء، فهم مثل اليهود الذين ذمّهم الله تعالى بالتقليد لفسقة فقهائهم

Likewise, the laity of our community, if they recognize signs of clear-cut Fisq from their scholars, extreme partisanship, their turning towards amassing the wealth of this world and its prohibited items, destroying the affair of the one they are biased against even though extending assistance to him is what is appropriate,  showing compassion, good-will and charity to the one they are biased towards even thought humiliating and chastising them is the appropriate response - then the one among our common people who follows such Fuqaha are like the Jews and those who are censured by Allah the Elevated because of their following of corrupt scholars.

فأما من كان من الفقهاء صائناً لنفسه، حافظاً لدينه، مخالفاً لهواه، مطيعاً لأمر مولاه، فللعوام أن يقلدوه. وذلك لا يكون إلاّ بعض فقهاء الشيعة، لا جميعهم فان من يركب من القبائح و الفواحش مراكب فسقة فقهاء العامّة فلا تقبلوا منهم عنا شيئاً و لا كرامة لهم.

As for the one among the Fuqaha who protects his soul, preserves his religion, opposes his caprice [desires], and obeys the command of his Master then it is upon the laity to follow him. There are only some of the Fuqaha of the Shia who are like this, not all. As for those who perpetrate the despicable and abominable acts the way the `Amma [proto-Sunni] scholars do then do not not accept from them about us anything and they are not to be honoured.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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      If tolerance is not natural to us, but rather "homophily" (the preference of those with similar characteristics: race, socio-economical class, ideology, etc.), then tolerance is a trait that we can only develop through education, and only if we find it any useful or right.
      In the Qur'an it was already pointed that we were created in different groups:
      "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another." (Surat al Hujurat)
      So I can just expect that for an early Arabic society this indeed meant a call for tolerance for a religion that was going to spread across many nations. It was useful. However, nowaday, this is not what we, as individuals, face. Living in a globalized world, being connected by the Internet and its very own culture, tolerance seems less and less necessary and useful. Ideologies and groups compete between each other, and a call for tolerance is against the efforts to reinforce that feeling of group. It isn't useful for many. Not to mention that tolerance is a highly difficult trait to acquire, as it requires great efforts of empathy. Ask yourselves to which point can you accept the different? And I don't mean their mere existence, most don't care about that. I mean tolerating someone different that is part of your life, in some way or another. We have always been taught to be tolerant when it has been useful, but not because it is good, because it is morally right. Because it is not among the interest of any group of influence. Groups, as the master of history and sociology of the Muslim world once said, Ibn Khaldun, have only one goal: power.
      That's why, even revolutions, that are supposed to be the fight for ideas, end up in some sort of fascism and/or dictatorship. Even when the people that lead them truly wanted free elections (modern history is full of examples of this, it is something we can't avoid). They are still necessary, though, for the progress of ideas.
      What happens, however, in our societies? In the West, tolerance has been imposed as something useful, but racism, mysogyny, LGBTphobia, etc. are still realities that many people even hate to discuss (many people attack feminism, for instance). In the Muslim world, tolerance died centuries ago, and an enormous amount of groups appeared. We are still reinforcing through our culture this intolerance, based on unreasonable discrimination: country of origin, skin color, studies, amount of money, gender, sexuality, beliefs, family/tribe name, etc. You can realize this inability to accept the different for instance in the topic of marriage, at what type of characteristic will people, parents, or ourselves if we have sons or daughters to marry, will look at. And it's not always the obvious (like don’t be racist). It is usually ideological. We can't accept other mentalities because we weren't taught about that, because the group we belong to doesn't want that.
      Tolerance isn't only about accepting black people, or trans people, or seeing women as equals. People will probably try to appear as tolerant in that sense, because it is useful for them. However, as a moral trait, these people are not genuinely tolerant, but conveniently civilized. Real tolerance is being able to respect others by their opinion, beliefs, lifestyle, and of course, biological circumstances. Accept them as long as you are not tolerating the intolerant.
      This conflict is paradoxical, and it is a well known paradox in social sciences (originally proposed by Karl Popper). The problem with tolerating the intolerant, as I said at the start of this entry, is precisely how fast and easily their intolerance spreads (because it is natural). As individuals and iA as free thinkers, we should fight to develop tolerance within ourselves and condemn intolerance even when it is present in those people who are part of "our" group (be it our racial "group", ideological, whatever). Intolerance isn't a joke, it's a social human and moral issue of high importance, and has always shaped our destiny.
      Thus, I can only advise my readers to dedicate some time to observe that aspect of their hearts, if they behaved in a tolerant manner, identify our errors, ask for forgiveness to the Most Merciful, and ask him to guide us and make us more aware of being tolerant when we are, again, tested in life. Remember to ask Him to guide me as well, iA.
    • By 3wliya_maryam in deep poetry
         1
      Please let me help you 
      Let me help you get this through 
      We share the same blood
      And I want you to be loved
       
      Look I know that you're depressed
      And I know that you're in distress
       
      But I wish you could open up
      Instead of always shutting up
      You choose to conceal yourself 
      And I still don't know why 
      sometimes I hate myself 
      For even having to try 
      To make you fess up 
       
      I know you don't want my help 
      Maybe I do suck at giving advice 
      But why should I leave you to silently yelp
      When I'm here for you, but you're just like ice
       
      I am always contemplating
      And always wondering
      Whether I've done more than enough 
       
      I want to be there for you
      But you keep pushing me away
      So I chose to do the same
       
      Please let me help you 
      Let me help you get this through
      We share the same blood
      And I want you to be loved.
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