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  1. A small collection of 82 reliable narrations concerning Intellect and Knowledge translated into English with annotated footnotes. Download PDF: https://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
  2. Is there books/literature about Aql development in human since birth ? Is there books/literature about Aql development in Ahlul Bayt a.s. since birth ?
  3. I was listening to a lecture by a Shia Scholar and he said that there is a non Shia Mazhab in Islam which says that we should not use our Aql or engage in philosophical debates, they see Philosophy as an invader and a threat to their beliefs. Can some one tell me which Mazhab or school of thought this is? and why do they believe in such a thing?
  4. Ibrahim Ali

    Your Thoughts?

    "The world did not exist from eternity. It has come into existence after not being. Everything in it comes into existence, and then perishes, and it is obvious that this principle of transitoriness applies to the world as a whole. One has to seek for the cause of these changes, and, ultimately, for the primal cause of existence of world. It is impossible to think that certain portion of the world is quiescent, and is the source of the movement and of the changes in the other portion, because if the world is ultimately one, there cannot exist such a duality. Going up the chain of causation, one comes to a transcendent cause, the Primal Actor (Faa'il), whose production (Maf'ul) the world is. He is the one who has brought it into existence, while the world is something that has been brought into being. No names, i.e. attributes, can be associated with Him. A name indicates some peculiarity by which one thing in its class differs from similar things. He, being beyond comparison, and transcending human comprehension, cannot possess any such peculiarities. Negation of properties, which some people ascribe to the Creator, is a correct form of belief, because their recognition clashes with the idea of absolute unity of His nature. Properties can be either external, as in physical bodies (colour, weight etc.), or internal, as knowledge, or ignorance, etc. The nature of Creator does not permit application of idea of anything internal or external to it. His real properties, which He may possess, are beyond our comprehension. We can only postulate some of His abstract properties such as His being eternal, etc. The proper form of the principle of tawheed is the negation of all attributes, or properties which the human mind attributes to the things created. Allah Himself proofs to mankind about Himself. His recognition forms the substance of the faith of all reasonable creatures. Proofs of His existence are laid in the innate religious instinct or sense, contained in the prototypal nature (fitrat) of the man. His miracles which He works are veils (hijaab) between the Creator and the created. There is no religiousness without the search for knowledge. The visible world comes from the source (mabda') endowed with perceptible properties, sifaat . Allah, as shown above, is beyond human comprehension, and His real attributes or properties cannot be comprehended by the human mind or senses. Thus there must be an intermediary entity, brought into existence by Allah, that is, the first of created things, through which the perceptible and conceivable properties are introduced into the world. This is a great benefit bestowed by Allah upon mankind, who otherwise would not be able to understand the world around them. This first source,mabda', is the initiator of the world. This principle is that which came into existence first, and which occupies the highest position in the scale of creations. The evolution of the world received its relative reality (haqq) from the existence of mabda'. It is the limit of the possible intellectual ascension of the creations. This would not have been possible if this mabda' were not a creature (mawjood); but while being the first creation, it has direct touch with Absolute Reality. And it cannot also be really the first mawjood unless it is one, and thus perfect in nature, as the first immediate cause (‘illat) of the created world. In this quality, the mawjood must be permanent and unchangeable, must be omniscient, omnipotent and possessing all the perfect attributes. The principle attribute or quality (sifat) of this principle(mawjood) is life (hayaat), which is fundamental. Life is the center; all other qualities originate, or radiate from it. All things follow it in existence through the existence of Life. The Primal Source (mabda') of the world is infinite, but has a beginning in time. It is only one, has no rival, and is unchangeable. It acts in accordance with the principles of logic. It is perfect in its nature, and comes short of Divinity only in its being dependent for its existence on its Creator. This is the only imperfection which it possesses. Its substance is simple, free from plurality. Its properties (sifaat) become apparent only by comparison with something that is not itself. There cannot be two primal sources; if they were, there would be a split and no balance in the world. There can be only one initial source, endowed with perfect attributes, free from imperfections in all that reached it from the Creator (maajid) , who is the only source of being, One after whom nothing can be imagined. This Primal Source of the universe is what the Rasulullah (SAWS) in his revelation symbolically calls the Qalam, or the Heavenly Pen. The Primal Entity (mawjood) is not self-existing, and depends for its existence on the Most High. It is, in philosophy, called the Primal Conscious Principle. It cannot be recognized by the intellect, but can be perceived by intuition (zameer), and not by pondering over it." [Taaj ul 'Aqaaid, from Alavi Bohras site] I'm not trying to get into discussion of Bohras in and of themselves, just interested in how these concepts relate to the cosmology and metaphysics of our own tradition. Masalama, Ibrahim
  5. (a discussion following commentary on verse 15 of Surah Al Ma'ida) No doubt, man's is a life of reflection that requires perception and discernment; we call it faculty of thought. So the life is built on thought. It follows that the more correct and comprehensive the thought is, the more appropriate and sound the life will be. Whatever system a man follows and whichever path he treads upon, his good life is linked to, and bound with, proper thought; as much share it takes from that thought, that much uprightness it enjoys. Allah has repeatedly described it in His Great Book in different ways and various styles: Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth? (6:122). Say: "Are those who know and those who do not know alike?" (39:9). Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees (58:11)....therefore give good news to My servants, those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it, those are they whom Allah has guided and those it is who are the men of understanding (39:17-18). There are many such verses, which there is no need to quote here. Nobody has any doubt how Qur'an invites people to the correct thinking and exhorts them to proceed on the path of knowledge. Also the Qur'an reminds the readers that what it guides to is n way from among the ways of thinking. Allah says: Surely this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright (17:9); i.e. the religion, custom, or path that is most upright. In any case, it is the path of life and its uprightness depends on the uprightness of the way of thinking, as Allah has said: indeed, there has come to you a light and a clear Book from Allah; with it Allah guides him who follows His pleasure into the ways of peace and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His permission and guides them to the straight path (5:15-16). The straight path is that clear path which is free from contradiction and conflicts, i.e. neither it goes against the truth which one seeks nor its various sections point to different directions. Allah, in His Mighty Book, has not pin-pointed the correct and upright thought to which He calls His servants; He has left it to the common sense of the people, expecting them to use their natural reasoning power and the perception engrained in their minds. If you minutely study the Divine Book and meditate upon its verses, you will probably find over three hundred verses which invite people to contemplate, remember or ponder; or they teach the Prophet (s.a.w.) an argument to prove a truth or negate a falsity; as for example: Say: 'Who then could control anything as against Allah if He wished to destroy the Messiah son of Mary and his mother..." (5:17). Of the same genre are those verses which describe the arguments and proofs used by His prophets and beloved ones like Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and other great prophets, in addition to Luqman (Lokman) and the believer from the family of Fir'awn (Pharaoh) and others, peace of Allah be on them all. For example: Their Messengers said: "Is there (any) doubt about Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?" (14:10). And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: "O my son! Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity" (31:13). And a believing man of Fir'awn's people who hid his faith said: 'What! Will you slay a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah,' and indeed he has brought to you clear arguments from your Lord?" (40:28). Also, He quotes the magicians of Pharaoh as saying: They said: "We do not prefer you to what has come to us of clear arguments and to He Who made us, therefore decide what you are going to decide; you can only decide about this world's life; surely we believe in our Lord..." (20:72-73). Allah has not ordered His servants even in a single verse of His Book that they should blindly believe in Him, or in things sent by Him; or that they should tread on a path without thinking. He has often hinted to the reasons because of which He has laid down certain regulations and commandments (where a man has no way of knowing their detailed causes) describing some things which could be used as arguments; as He says: …surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest... (29:45). O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard yourselves (against evil) (2:183). Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you so that He may complete His favor on you, that you may be grateful (5:6). There are many other verses of similar nature. This thoughtful perception, i.e. the way of correct thinking which the Qur'an exhorts the human beings to use, on which it has based its call to truth, good or benefit or restrains from falsity, evil or harm - it is that perception which we know and recognize with our nature, which doesn't change or alter, and about which no man disputes with others. If there appears some dispute or discord about it then it is like a dispute in self-evident principles; it happens only when one or the both parties do not understand the true meaning of I lit* subject matter because of some miscomprehension. You may ask what is this path, which we are supposed to know by our nature. There is no doubt that there are some solid realities which independently exist and do not depend on our actions, like the realities of the genesis of the world and its end or mathematical, physical or other such principles. When we want to understand these matters we refer to basic principles, which are self-evident and are not subject to any doubt. Also, we take help from other principles, which are intrinsically attached to those self-evident principles. Then we arrange them in a particular way until we get the desired result. For example we say: A is B, and every B is C; therefore A is C. Or, as we say: If A is B, then C is D; and if C is D, then G is H. Therefore if A is B then G is H. Or, as we say: If A is B, then C is D; and if C is D, then G is H. But A is not H. Therefore G is not H. These patterns of logic and the principle matters described above are self-evident truths and no man of normal wisdom can have any doubt about them. If anybody doubts them, then it indicates some defect in his power of understanding, because of which it has failed to grasp these clear matters, as is generally seen about those who express doubts about self-evident truths. If we look at the doubts or uncertainties expressed against this logical way of thinking, we will see that when they want to reach at a result in their claims and objectives they too use the same principles laid down in the logic in its form, pattern and material; if we analyze their speech to the elementary premises used in them, they will turn into logical forms and principles. If somebody changes those premises or the forms in a way that according to logical principles would not lead to any result, the whole speech would become devoid of meaning and you will see that they would not like it. This is a clear proof that these people according to their human nature do accept the correctness of these logical principles, they submit to it and use it; they refute it with their tongues but in their inner selves they believe in it.
  6. (salam) (bismillah) To prove this fact that there is hell of difference between Qiyas and Aql. I welcome my Usooli as well as Akhhbari brothers to come forward and prove their view point. Qiyas is totally haram in both schools of thoughts while Aql is source of law for Usoolis while Akhbaris consider it interference in the Shariah. The purpose of this thread is two fold. 1. What is difference between Qiyas and Aql? Are they the same? 2. If they are different then Is Aql source of law as Usoolis claim or it amounts to interference in Shariah? DEFINITION OF "QIYAS" (ANALOGY): In its literal meaning, the word "Qiyas" means measuring or estimating one thing in terms of another. It also applies to making two things equal, that is, comparing. This comparison may be physical or rational. In the technical sense, as defined by the jurists, it applies to "the assignment of the "hukm" of an existing case found in the texts of the Quran, the Sunnah, or ijma to a new case whose hukm is not found in these sources on the basis of a common underlying attibute called "illah" of the hukm ELEMENTS OF QIYAS: The definition of Qiyas shows that it has five ingredients or elements. 1. "Maqis alayh" (asl): This is the root case or even the base or the case upon which the analogy has been constructed. 2. "Hukm al-asl" The "Hukm" of the "Maqis alayh" is called "Hukm al-asl" 3. "illah" It means the underlying cause which is determined by the jurist that has led to the "hukm" 4. "Maqis" it means the case for which analogy (Qiyas) is constructed. 5. "Hukm al-far" The "hukm" that has been established for the new case is called "Hukm al-far"
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