Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani
The Intellect is a Deceptive Faculty
In these times great emphasis is being laid on the Intellectual Faculty (or Rationalism) and it is said that every decision should be taken after considering the pros and cons of every problem in the light of Rationalism. However, this Rationalism does not possess a set formula or fixed principles to provide universal truths, acceptable to all men, to serve as an infallible standard to judge what is right and what is wrong, what is to be adopted, and what is to be rejected. If we leave this decision to the dictates of Intellect we are liable to commit devastating faults. Just turn the pages of history to find out for yourself how grievously and fatally the faculty of Intellect has misguided humanity into destruction and deluge. I cite below a few instances from the pages of history.
The abominable opinion of the leader of Batiniyyah and Qaramita
About eight hundred years ago a sect sprang up in the Islamic World under the name of the “Batini” or the “Qaramitia” sect. Ubaiduallah Bin Hasan Qirwani was one of its renowned leaders. He wrote an interesting letter to his followers about how they should lead their lives. He writes:
“The People have in their households a beautiful and well-behaved girl in the person of a sister who is well acquainted with the temperament and psychology of her brother, but this fool gives her hand in marriage to a stranger, without knowing whether or not the couple would pull on with each other peacefully and willingly. As for himself, he brings a wife who is much inferior to his sister in beauty, behavior, adaptability, and considerateness”.
“I fail to understand why one should hand over the wealth of one’s own household to a stranger and bring to one’s own household a girl who cannot provide her mate with the desired peace and comfort. This is sheer folly. This is against wisdom. I, therefore, advise my followers to shun this folly and preserve the wealth of their household in its Original place”. (Al-farq lil-Baghdadie, p.297 and Bayanul-mazahib al-Batinya, lil Dalimi p.81)
At another place the same Ubaidullah Bin Hasan Qirwani conveys the following message to his followers on the basis of wisdom:
“When a sister can prepare food for her brother to satisfy his hunger, wash his clothes, arrange his bedding, and provide him with other comforts why can she not satisfy his sexual urge also? This is indeed against Wisdom”(ibid)
Is intellect the last standard? which intellect should discriminate good from the bad?
As has been stated above, no doctrine of the Quran and Hadith is against commonsense, But we find that the intellectual level of every person is different from the other. So, which of them should discriminate good from the bad? If the decision of the matters of the world and lawmaking is done by unchecked reasoning which is free from all kinds of religious restrictions, the world would face anarchy leading to total destruction of humanity.
The reason is that if the human mind is freed from all sorts of limitations and restrictions, it would also be unable to prove those moral realities that even a child of noble character recognizes.
For instance, having illicit relations with one’s real sister is such a repulsive crime that no religion or people would tolerate it so much so that even the worst of the apostates regarded it as deplorable. But if you set to prove this act to be unlawful on the basis .of free and unchecked reasoning, it would not be possible to do so. On the basis of pure intellectual reasoning the question that whenever a sister does everything to give comfort to her brother, including cooking meals for him, preparing his bed, sewing his clothes, nursing him in sickness she is looked upon with praise and honor in the society. But if the same sister offers herself to her brother to satisfy his sexual lust, she receives the curses and abuses of the whole world.
If the matter is left to be decided on the basis of pure and unchecked mental reasoning she can rightly ask why sexual comfort is denied to her brother when he can receive other comforts from her? Within the limitations of moral and social values, this question appears to be alarming, rather repulsive but a mind that does not bind itself to any limitations cannot be satisfied simply by telling it that this act is morally very repulsive.
Preservation of genealogy offers no intellectual argument
The question is what is wrong about it purely from an intellectual point of view? You may say that it might lead to the problem of racial intermixing. But in the modern days of birth control, this problem would not arise. and supposedly racial intermixing does occur you have to prove on purely intellectual grounds that this is a bad thing. A free thinker may say that there is nothing against racial intermixing and it is only a religious and moral taboo.
The answer of free intellect about shame
One might say that this is an extreme degree of shamelessness. But pure and free intellect would say that these concepts of modesty and shamelessness have been invented by religion morals or society. From the intellectual point of view, it is strange that if a woman marries a stranger and submits herself to him she is considered modest, but if she submits herself to a person with whom she has spent her childhood and youth, she would be charged with obscenity?
The answer of free intellect against nature
You might say that human nature is against this act, .but a free mind would say that there is no intellectual argument for it to be unnatural. In fact, this appears unnatural because society has condemned it for many centuries. If these social bonds are broken and purely intellectual thought is applied there would be nothing bad in it. In short, if you want to solve this problem on purely intellectual grounds, it will never be solved.
And this is not just a hypothesis. Nowadays this free-thinking has already raised several such questions. In the olden days also whenever anybody tried to solve social problems through pure intellect and free-thinking he got lost in the labyrinth of intellectual questions and answers. A study of the Batiniyyah sect is a living example. A famous leader of this sect ‘Ubaidullah bin Al-Hasan Al-Qirwani has written in his book’ As-Siysat wal-balagh-ul-Akid wan Namus al-A’zam:
“Who can be more surprising than those people who claim to possess intellect yet they act foolishly. They have a beautiful sister or daughter but hold it unlawful for themselves to have sex with her and hand her over to a stranger. If these fools had used their intelligence they would have realized that they themselves more deserved their sister or daughter than a stranger did. In fact, the reason for ignorant behavior is that their teachers and guides have prohibited them the pleasures of this world.” (Al-Faraq Bayanal Firaq, Abdul Qahir al-Baghdadi, P29)
This is not immoral from the Intellectual point of view
No matter how many curses you may hurl on this base and repulsive idea, yet you will not be able to give a convincing argument to refute it purely on the basis of intellect. The fact is that all those intellectuals of the world who plead for free-thinking even together cannot give a satisfactory intellectual argument against this view.
Distortion of Batiniyyah in the rules of the Qur’an
The disgusting fact here is that this ‘Ubaidullah Qirwani was not an open rejector of the Quran, but like others of the Batiniyyah, he used to interpret it on the basis of unchecked free thinking. And he claimed that the obvious meanings of the Quran are not the intended meanings but it is all allegoric and metaphoric expressions or parables.
Free intellect and adultery
Likewise. it would not be possible to prohibit sexual abuse through pure intellectual reasoning because reason cannot answer the question of what is wrong with sex with the mutual consent of man and woman? It is on this argument that mutually agreed fornication is not unlawful in Western Laws. Rather, Quite recently the British Parliament legalized voluntary homosexuality and the members applauded the legislation! The reason for this law-making again was that on the basis of pure intellect there was nothing wrong in this act.
This is not surprising because it is an essential attribute of man-made laws that they have always failed to guide man to peace and tranquility. The reason is obvious: the intellectual level of everyone is different from every other. Even if a general trend of a time may unite the people of that time to realize the good or bad of any act, the mental caliber of another time may form a different opinion for the same act, because intellect has no way to determine values.
The result of freedom from Divine Revelation
In short, if intellect is allowed a free hand by setting aside the guidance of Divine Revelation, there will be no basis left for discriminating good from bad or vice versa. It will have mankind in such a dark abyss of aberrance and foolishness where even a tiny ray of reform or guidance could not enter. The reason is that human intellect without the guidance of Divine Revelation (Wahy), although regarded as “Free and independent”, yet becomes a slave to man’s sensual desires which is the worst form of mental servitude. Those who claim to follow pure intellect and reason in everything are actually suffering from the highest degree of self-deception. Those who openly admit that their intellect is not independent but a slave of their sensual desires are more courageous and truthful.
In short, Islam is not based on an intellect that is a slave to caprices but on the intellect that is bound by guidance from Allah and is aware of the limitations of its activity. And this is what forms a balanced mind.
Derived from: Uloom ul Quran & Islahi Khutbat, Vol 1, By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
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