Published on 22 Muharram 1425/ 14th March 2004.
Perfection of AQL
Excerpt 2 of
by Dr.Kalbe Sadiq
- reasoning - intellect - The teachings of Islam pay utmost
importance to the use of AQL, constantly reason things out
always make rational decisions while emotional decisions have no
place in Islam. It is emotional decisions that bring about
downfall of individuals and eventually of nations. Imam Ali
('a) said that "I can tolerate all kinds of people except
the following two:
Shariah encourages us to develop our AQL (thinking ) study
science, modern technology gain all the knowledge and advance with
the progress of time, but also struggle against decomposition
and deviance of time.Islam
is a religion which encourages its followers to be in a state
of constant growth and development, but within the framework
Disciplined Insect World
is not the only living creature who lives a gregarious life.
Many animals, especially insects, have a social life. They
follow a series of fixed rules and a wise, disciplined mode of
life. The principles of mutual help, division of labour,
production and distribution, command and obedience, order and
compliance are in force in their social groups.
and some ants and termites have a civilization, discipline and
organisation which human beings, who consider themselves the
noblest of creatures would take centuries to catch up with but
civilization, unlike human civilizations, did not pass
through eras such as the primitive hunter gatherer period, the
stone age, the iron age, the nuclear age etc. They attained
the same civilization and organisation that they at present
have on the day they were brought into existence on this
earth, and no change has occurred in their condition. It is
only the human being, whose life, according to the Qur'an "and the man was created
from zero and progresses forward.
animals, the exigencies of the times are always the same, and
do not effect their lives. Science does not make new
discoveries for them every day, and does not upset the pattern
of their lives because they live by instinct and not by
on the other hand, is different. His social life is always
subject to change and transformation. The secret of man
being the noblest of creatures also lies in this. He is
created with the state and capacity of not having to stand in
need of the direct guidance and protection of nature nor of
that mysterious power called instinct. He lives by intellect
and not by instinct.
(human being ) possesses Aql (reasoning) and Ruh (spirit).
Because Insaan (human being) is in a continuous state of
change either progressing or regressing or both. Aql (reasoning) is the power by which man obtains knowledge and
Ruh (spirit) is where your consciousness lies. Without the
Ruh (spirit) and only by using the AQL, the state of man would be
what it is in most of the western world. Moving in an
accelerated speed it is the Ruh (spirit) that is the brake to
keep man in check.
of the characteristics of human beings is their tendency to go
to extremes. If a man has moderate views, he tries to separate
changes of the first kind from changes of the second kind. He
tries to move forward in time with the power of knowledge,
initiative, endeavour and hard work. He tries to adapt himself
to manifestations of progress simultaneously checking the
mistaken directions taken in his times and refuses to conform
this is not always the case. There are two dangerous diseases
that always threaten man. They are:
former results in stagnation, stopping, and no progress
whereas the latter results in backsliding and taking the wrong
conventional, inflexible person hates everything new and
considers change and progress to be a corruption and
deviation. Whereas the naïve person considers each and every
new thing as "progress" and an extension of
knowledge and learning.
idea that Islam cannot change with the times arises from the
rigidity of one group and the ignorance of another.
Khomeini r.a. has warned us about resisting change. For
unchanging needs Islam has unchanging laws, and for changing
needs it takes a changing and variable position.
as the roads of progress and development are open for human
beings, so also are the roads of corruption and deterioration
not closed to them. Just as man makes new discoveries in
every age for the benefit of humanity under the influence of
his scientific, moral, aesthetic and religious inclinations,
so is he also under the influence of his ego, ambition,
sensuality and greed for wealth and exploitation.
human being has to be constantly alert that just as there is a
possibility for development there is the possibility for
decline and if he/she is going through life in an aware
conscious manner then they will not be like a little twig
flowing with the current but will be like a strong ship with
built in radars and devices which immediately alert them of
possible dangers in their path.
requires that its followers should always be in a state of
growth, development, progress but within its framework. Islam
is against both inflexible conservatism and ignorant naivety.
should move forward according to the times but fight against
being led astray by time.
many non-Muslim scholars and writers have studied the social
and civil laws of Islam and have found these to be highly
progressive. Says Bernard Shaw:
"I have always had the
greatest respect for the religion of Mohamed because of
its extraordinary quality of staying lively. In my opinion,
Islam is the only religion which has the ability to harmonize
and exert its control over differing circumstances and
changing ways of life, and to confront the diversities of the
is a dynamic religion, but what is it that gives Islam its
Islam has not meddled with the outward pattern and form of
life, which is dependant upon the standard of human knowledge.
Islamic instructions are concerned with the spirit, meaning
and aim of life and the best course that man should follow to
attain that final aim and this Islam has kept under its own
authority. Furthermore, by encouraging the factors which
develop culture and civilization, that is science, labour,
piety, determination, courage and perseverance, Islam has
itself guaranteed the fundamental practical ground plan for
the development of civilization.
The ways and means of life in every age depend upon the level
of information and knowledge of man. As knowledge increases
the more the means of life are perfected.
Islam, no one single means, and no one particular external or
material form can be found that has an aspect of
"holiness" in it, so that a Muslim be constrained to
retain that means or form for ever.
did not specify that tailoring, weaving, agriculture,
transport, war or any other activity be carried out using such
and such means, so that when that means became obsolete there
would arise a conflict between science and the dictates of
Islam. Neither has Islam given any special instructions
regarding material used to make shoes or clothes, or
determined that a building should be made of stone or steel.
This is one of the reasons why this religion easily conforms
The other peculiarity that gives Islam its dynamism is that it
has ordained permanent laws for permanent human requirements,
as for varying human needs, Islam has a changing attitude it
has linked the varying conditions with invariable and stable
principles. These invariable principles create particular
auxiliary laws for each changing condition. For example:
Holy Qur'an says:
"And prepare against them whatever force
Apart from this there are ahadith where the
Prophet says that you and your sons should be proficient in
the art of horse riding and archery. It is quite evident that
the origin and the basis of this is the principle
"and prepare against them whatever force you can".
This means that the arrow, the sword, the spear, the bow the
horse are not fundamental in themselves in the eyes of Islam:
the basic point is to be strong, that Muslims in every period
should do their utmost to strengthen themselves with regard to
military and defence forces against the enemy. The necessity
of strength against the enemy is a permanent law which
originates from a permanent and constant necessity.
the requirement of proficiency in archery and horse riding is
a manifestation of a changing necessity linked to time, and it
changes according to the times.
example is that Imam Ali ('a) in the latter years of his life
did not dye his hair and beard. Some persons commented that
the Prophet ('s) had commanded the Muslims to dye their hair
and beard. Imam Ali ('a) explained to them that when the
Prophet ('s) gave these instructions the Muslims were few in
number, and amongst them were a number of old people who used
to take part in battles. The object of the command was to
prevent the enemy from being bold in spirit. But in the
time of Imam Ali ('a). Islam had spread throughout the land, it
was no longer necessary to carry out this practice. People
were free to dye or not dye their hair.
did not lay down whether food should be taken with the hand or
with a spoon but it dictated that cleanliness be maintained.
Another aspect which provides Islam with the possibility of
adapting to the requirements of the times, is the rationality
of this religion.
Another consideration which has given this religion the
property of mobility and adaptability is the fact that there
are a series of principles and laws incorporated into Islam
whose function is to control and harmonise the other laws i.e.
they have the right of "veto" example the principle
of la haraj (no blame) and la darar (no harm). JUSTICE will
is said that Allah (swt) presented Prophet Adam ('a) with "Deen",
"Haya" (modesty), and "Aql" and asked him to chose one. Adam
other two followed the AQL and came to him and said that
wherever the AQL goes we go with it.
requires us to work towards the perfection of AQL.
The perfection of
spirit (ruh) and the
of body meaning keeping yourself fit and healthy.
wants us to constantly use our AQL that is why Islam has
prohibited alcohol as it suspends the AQL even though