The Relationship of Revelation & Intellect (1)


Throughout the history, whenever a group wants to penetrate its own views into God’s religion, they propagated the significance of intellect and said that since the traditional creed do not conform to the intellect, we should transform the creed to make it compatible with intellect. By the term ‘intellect’, they meant the theories prevailing in their age.

Mu’tazilah [a group of Muslim scholars that tried to make reconciliation between Greek philosophy and Islam] did the same job after being intellectually defeated by the Greek philosophy. They emphasized that the intellect is more important than the God’s Prophet. As a result of that it became an easy job to amend the religion according to their views. Therefore, based on their special version of ‘justice’ and ‘monotheism’, the Mu’tazilah refuted the concepts of the heaven’s bridge, divine covenant and Mi’raj and rejected all the Prophet’s sayings about these concepts.

Right Position of the ‘Intellect’

Various verses of the Holy Quran appeal the human intellect to ponder into the diverse signs on God available in entire universe. At one place, their attention is drawn towards the movement of winds. On other places they are asked to wonder about the sun, moon, stars, lunar cycles and climatic changes. Some verses describe various steps in growth of plants whereas some other verses focus on creation of and the benefits drawn from animals. The Quran asks us o ponder into the signs of God available in the universe as well as in  human body itself…. The benefits of using human intellect include the following:

The first benefit of pondering into the signs of God is that a person may take the advantage of using these blessings of the Almighty God in his/her favor after knowing the detailed characteristics of these things. Allah, the Almighty says in the Quran:

سَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ.

We have put everything of heavens and the earth under your control. (Luqman 31:20)

It means that everything in this universe can be exploited by human intellect. Now taking advantage of this fact is in human hands. It can be done only by using the intellect.

[Second benefit is] that when a person concentrates in exploring the universe, it confirms the existence and extraordinary planning of its Creator. That person says without any hesitation:

رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلاً.

O our Lord! You have not created this universe useless. (Aal Imran 3:191)

Intellect and the Guidance towards the Right Path

In order to explain the above benefit, we just present an incident happened with Inayat Ullah Khan Mashraqi during his student life in England. He describes:

In 1909, there was a heavy rain on a Sunday. I went out for something. I saw that the famous astronomer Professor James Jeans was going towards the Church having the Holy Bible in his underarm. I saluted him. He said, “What do you want?” I asked, “Two things, first one of them is that you have kept the umbrella in your underarm and there is a heavy rain.” He smiled and opened the umbrella. Then I asked, “A famous scientist like you is going to Church for prayer!” He said, “Come to my home in evening for a tea party.”

I reached at his home at 4:00pm. Exactly at 4:00pm Lady James came out and said, “Sir James is waiting for you.” I went inside. Tea pots were lying on a small table. The professor was thinking deeply. He said, “What was your question?” And then started without waiting for my response. He explained the creation of heavenly bodies, their astonishing system, long distances, complex orbits, gravitational forces and movement of their light.

His explanation was so impressive that my heart started shaking on the greatness of the Almighty Allah. He, himself was so affected by the details that his hair were erected, eyes were full of the feelings of God’s fear and amazement. His hands were trembling and his sound was shivering.

He said, “O Inayatullah Khan! When I look at the creative force of God, my whole body starts shaking with His fear. When I surrender myself to the Lord in the Church and say, ‘You are great, my Lord!’ Each particle of my personality goes along with me. I feel a lot of satisfaction and happiness. I enjoy the worship 1000 times more than other people. Now tell Inayatullah Khan! Whether you understand why I go to the Church?”

Inayatullah Mashriqi says that the speech of Professor James created a storm in his mind. He said, “Sir! I am really impressed with your inspiring explanation. I recall a verse from the Holy Quran. If you allow, I want to present it.” He said, “Why not?” I recited the following verse.

و مِنْ الْجِبَالِ جُدَدٌ بِيضٌ وَحُمْرٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ۔ وَمِنْ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَابِّ وَالأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَلِكَ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ.

Similarly, in the mountains there are streaks of various shades including white, red, jet-black rocks. Likewise men, beasts and cattle have their different colors. In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah. (Fatir 35:27-28)

When Professor James heard this verse, he immediately reacted, “What? Only the knowledgeable people fear God!!! Wonderful!!! Amazing!!! I have concluded it after a continuous study of 50 years. Who has told this to Muhammad? Does the Quran contain this? If it is fact then write my declaration that the Quran is a divine book. Muhammad was not formally educated. It was not possible for him to learn this reality without any education. No doubt, God has told him. Very amazing! Very interesting!!!

(Religion & the Challenge of Modern Knowledge by Waheed ud Din Khan)

We can get these results only after pondering into the universe. The Quran has invited everybody to think about it. Now consider another incident.

Intellect and deviation from the Right Path

Sir Charles Darwin (1808-1882) was the first Western scholar who presented the “Evolution Theory” of human creation. He says that about two billion years ago, moss was developed on a water body situated near the beach. In this moss, a movement was developed which was the first life on the planet. From this tiny cell, various forms of plants formed. Then animals formed from these plants and at the last stage, human being created from the progeny of a monkey.

We do not comment on the truth of Darwin Theory at this point. The point we want to emphasize is that due to this theory, Darwin who was a theist, became an atheist…. We conclude the following from the two events mentioned above:

  • If the intellect follows the God’s revelation, it results in an extraordinarily strong faith in the Creator of this universe.
  • If the intellect ignores the God’s revelation, it diverts a person from the right path.

From here, the relationship between the revelation and the intellect becomes clear. It is a ground reality that human intellect is limited whereas this universe is unlimited. It is not possible for the intellect to know the absolute realities of this universe. The intellect is like an eye whereas the revelation is the outer light in presence of which the intellect can finds its path.

The revelation is another name of Divine Knowledge and Wisdom. Who knows the universe better than its Creator? Therefore, the intellect, which will try to find its way without the light provided by the Creator, will always be diverted. The history of our so-called intellectuals proves this fact.

(Excertps from the “Aaina-e-Perveziat” of Abdul Rahman Kilani, Translation: Mubashir Nazir, Review: Mohammed Umar Khan)

Think about it!

  • What is the lesson from the stories of Sir James Jeans and Charles Darwin?
  • What role the intellect plays in becoming God-oriented?

Please send your answers through email to post your comments on this web page.

About Mubashir Nazir

A researcher and writer on religious, ethical and social issues.
This entry was posted in Islam, Personality Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Relationship of Revelation & Intellect (1)

  1. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi says:

    Radhasoami Faith View of Modus Operandi of Creation of Universe

    Part – I

    There is cosmological evidence for God and the Universe existed before Big Bang please.
    Stephen Hawking writes in The Grand Design, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” Hawking said the Big Bang was merely the consequence of the law of gravity. In A Brief History of Time, Hawking had suggested that the idea of God or a divine being was not necessarily incompatible with a scientific understanding of the Universe.
    Although Hawking is very close to Truth yet he is not perfect in his views while discarding the role of divine being. I consider the role of eternal gravity uppermost but I strongly differ with Hawking on the role of divine being. I consider Divine Ordainment is the cause of Creation of Universe.
    Now I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in Jeth Mahina (name of Hindi moth) in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound (this was the first Big Bang). It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.
    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multi verse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.
    I would like to add further that sound energy and gravitational force current are non polar entity and electromagnetic force is bi-polar. Hence spiritual polarization, if occurred, is occurred in the region of Sat Lok and region below to it only.
    Infinite expanse of gravitational force field is the region of dark energy.

    In Bible it is written that in the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God; and the Word was God.
    According to Radhasoami Faith “Shabd (Word) is the beginning and end of all. The three loks (worlds) and the fourth Lok, all have been created by Shabd.” (Sar Bachan Poetry)

    Part-II

    Here the true Jaman (coagulant) was given. The spirituality coagulated as it were, and Surats (spirit entities), among themselves, brought the creation into being. Thereafter, another Jaman (coagulant) was given. Regions from Agam Lok (Inaccessible Region) to Sat Lok (True Region) were created during the first creational process. That creation is true. That region is eternal. There is no trace of evil and suffering. This was the creation for many Yugas and ages. Then there appeared a dark coloured current
    That current appeared like a dark coloured stone set in a white one and was absorbed in the Darshan of True Being. Then there appeared two Kalas i.e. currents (viz. Niranjan and Jyoti) and they together evolved the creation of five Tattwas (elements) four Khans (species, categories of life) and three Gunas (qualities). The three Gunas (qualities) brought about the expansion and proliferation . They created Rishis and Munis (sages and holy men), gods and godly human beings and demons. Egotism then increased much. Niranjan separated himself from the rest, putting the burden of looking after the creation on them. Nobody could know of Niranjan. Even the Vedas referred to Him as Neti Neti (Not this, Not this). They did not get Darshan (Vision) of Niranjan. They made conjectures. Then how can anybody have knowledge of Sat Purush (True Being), Source of Niranjan and all that exists.
    Scientifically here Jyoti represent three Fundamental Forces of Quantum Mechanics i.e. electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. NIRANJAN is the fourth Fundamental Force i.e. Gravitation Force. Scientific explanation follows in support of my views.

    Part-III

    Einstein struggled and failed to formulate this theory, but it has already been shown that at high enough energies electromagnetism and the weak force are the same force known as the electroweak force. It is theorized that if energies are increased even further and neutrinos acquire mass, which has now been fully documented, all the known forces will reduce to the same force thus providing the basis for the Grand Unified Theory. This high energy level existed only during the very early expansion of the Universe known as the Planck Epoch which existed up to 10 to the negative 43rd seconds after the Big Bang where the four fundamental forces – electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force and gravitation – all had the same strength. After that point the energy level decreased and gravity separated from the other 3 fundamental forces and with condensation of elementary particles (quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons) into matter formed the so-called Standard Model of today’s Universe. (Source: Comments by William H. Depperman posted at blog http://factoidz.com/scientific-laws-that-explain-the-origins-of-the-universe)

  2. Pingback: Consider the Mu’tazilah | the arabophile

  3. Khanum says:

    “O Inayatullah Khan! When I look at the creative force of God, my whole body starts shaking with His fear. When I surrender myself to the Lord in the Church and say, ‘You are great, my Lord!’ Each particle of my personality goes along with me. I feel a lot of satisfaction and happiness. I enjoy the worship 1000 times more than other people. Now tell Inayatullah Khan! Whether you understand why I go to the Church?”

    Allah is great !! Allah o Akbar!

    I agree 100% with the verse in the quran given after this paragraph. I came across astronomy and had the chance to study it/ Subhan Allah! i was just speeechless and blown away by Allah’s artwork!!!! the nebulaes the stars the sun the moon…..and humans!!

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