Br. Syed Faaqer Ali
California (USA)When Almighty Allah created reason, He tested it. He ordered it to come forward and it came forward. Then he ordered it to go back and it went back. On this Allah said: I swear on my Power and Majesty that no creation of Mine is dearer to Me than you are, and I have only made you perfect in those whom I love.
Jibrael came to Adam. And informed him, “ O Adam, I have been ordered to let you choose one out of three things. Therefore choose one and leave the other two.” Adam asked, “ What are the three things? He replied, Reason, modesty and religion (din). Then Adam said, “ I choose reason.” So Jibrael ordered modesty and religion to withdraw and leave reason but they said, “O Jibrael, we both have been instructed by Allah to remain with reason wherever it may be.”
Almighty Allah has endowed upon mankind nothing better than reason.
“Reason is that by which Allah is worshipped and a place in Paradise earned.”(Imam Sadiq A.S.)
“All the worshippers taken together cannot reach that height of excellence in their devotion to Allah as the man of reason does.”
“The slumber of the man of reason is better than the waking hours of the ignorant.”(Holy Prophet S.A.)
“He gives the wisdom to whomsoever He will, and whoso is given the wisdom, has been given much good; yet none remembers but men possessed of minds (reason).” (Al-Baqarah, 2:269)
“And those firmly rooted in knowledge say: ‘we believe in it; all is from our Lord; yet none remembers, but men possessed of minds.”(Al-Imran. 3:190)
“What, is he who knows what is sent down to thee from thy Lord is the truth, like him who is blind (ignorant). Only men possessed of minds will remember.”(Ar-Ra’d, 13:19)
Allah has deputed the prophets and Imams as His messengers to make the people wise and mindful of Allah. The more they accept and believe in these messengers the greater is their God-consciousness. The wisest among men is he who knows about Godliness most. And he who is the most perfect in his reasoning enjoys the highest status among men, in this life and the life hereafter.
Almighty Allah has sent No Prophet Nor Messenger (Imam) without first perfecting his reason. And his reason stands superior to all the reasons of (the people of) his society and his community.
(Our Apostle the Holy Prophet Muhammad S.A.)
“A book (Qu’ran) We have sent down to thee, blessed, that men possessed of minds may ponder its signs and so remember.”
Almighty Allah has said in His Book: “ Surely in that there is a reminder to him who has a heart (heart meaning reason) or he gives ear and is a witness.”(Qaf, 50:37)
The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad the prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) stated, “Don’t pride on a person performing too many prayers and observing too many fasts until and unless you determine what degree of Reason he possesses.”
Allah the Almighty never guides the inside of the reason, except what comes out of it through deeds and the words.
Hazrat Ali (A.S), Amir al-mu’minin the first Imam (p.b.u.h.)
The chief of the believers, used to say, “ Of all the observance and devotions offered to Allah the best one is of and by (the people of) reason. Reason of a person does not reach perfection unless it possesses these specific characteristics.
1. It gives immunity against disbelief and evil.
2. Virtue and true guidance is expected to flow from such a man (of reason).
3. He expends his superfluous wealth in good deeds.
4. He protects himself from irresponsible gossips.
5. His share in the worldly life amounts to what in needed for his subsistence.
6. He is never fed up with knowledge throughout his life.
7. Humiliation is pursuit of (belief, obedience and favor of) Allah is dearer to him than any honor in pursuit of things other than Allah.
8. Humility is dearer to him than any dignity.
9. He regards the little good of others to him as much and the good from him to others as little.
10. He regards all the people as better than himself and regards himself in the heart for his heart as of little consequence.
This is the climax.”
Hazrat Ali (A.S) the first Imam (p.b.u.h.) also used to say, “The signs of a man with reason, one is that he has got three characteristics:
1. He replies only when he is questioned.
2. Speaks when all others fail.
3. Advises what is suitable for the good of a person.
One who has none of these three said qualities is unintelligent or stupid.”
He than said, “ No one should preside over a meeting except when he possesses either all the three or at least one of the above qualities. If a person without having the three or at least any one of the three said qualities presides over a meeting then he is just stupid.”
Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (A.S.) the fourth Imam (p.b.u.h.)
Imam Zainulabideen (p.b.u.h.) has said, “Being in the company of the virtuous people is a source of good. And to associate with the learned (being in their presence and inquiring with them) improves our reason and understanding.”
The righteous fourth Imam also said, “The man of reason does not speak in the presence of a person who he fears will falsify his statement. Never does he asks for anything from a person who he fears will refuse it. Never does a man of reason make a promise which he things he cannot fulfill. Never does he entertain any hope for a thing, which he fears he will be reprimanded for and never does he take any initiative in a task in which, he fears, he will fail because of his disability.”
Imam Sadiq (A.S) Abu Abdillah the sixth Imam (p.b.u.h.)
Abu Abdillah once observed, “Recognize Reason and its paraphernalia, and also recognize Ignorance and its paraphernalia, if you do so, you will receive guidance.”
Imam Sadiq then went on to explain how reason was created by Allah and How He commanded it to go back and forth and Allah said afterwards, “ I have created you in all your glory and bestowed upon you the honor and preferences over all of My creatures.” Afterwards Almighty Allah created Ignorance out of the dark and saltiest ocean and ordered it to go back (to life in this world). Ignorance did accordingly. Then God ordered it to come to Him (life hereafter). Ignorance did not obey the command. Therefore, God addressed it thus: “ You are conceited,” and then God cursed it.
Afterwards Allah bestowed seventy-five armies on Reason. When Ignorance observed how God has honored Reason and how God bestowed upon it, the armies, feeling of hostility sprang in them, and Ignorance addressed Allah, O my Lord! “Reason is a creation as I am, you have created it, honored it, and also strengthened it with the armies of capabilities, and I am exactly the opposite of it. I have not been strengthened (to compete with it). Hence bestow upon me the armies (capabilities) as you have done on Reason.” The Almighty God accepted its request and said, “Should you defy My orders again I shall dismiss you and your allies from My clemency.” Ignorance said, “I accept (the condition).” The Almighty God bestowed upon it seventy-five forces.
Good as the wazir (aide) of Reason is the opposite of Evil, which in its turn, is the wazir of Ignorance.
Faith and belief opposite of Disbelief;
Conformation opposite of denial; Hope,
opposite of Frustration;
Justice opposite of Oppression;
Divine Pleasure opposite of displeasure;
Gratefulness opposite of Ungratefulness;
Optimism (in respect of all good in this life and the life hereafter) opposite of Pessimism;
Complete Reliance on Allah opposite of is Lust greed (which is the result of distrust in God);
Kind heartedness opposite of Hard heartedness; Mercifulness opposite of Indignation;
Knowledge opposite of Ignorance;
Wisdom opposite of Stupidity;
Chastity opposite of Shamelessness;
Renunciation (from what God has declared of which is Shamelessness;
Renunciation (from what God has declared to be unlawful) opposite of Temptation;
Friendliness and Sociability, opposite of Reserve and Hostility (which doesn’t enable a man to adjust himself to the society);
Divine Fear opposite of Audacity; Humility, opposite of Arrogance;
Carefulness opposite of Hastiness;
Forbearance, opposite of Insolence and shallowness of mind;
Silence opposite of Loquacious;
Resignation to God opposite of Conceit and Defiance;
Acceptance opposite of Skepticism;
Patience opposite of Impatience and Restlessness;
Forgiveness opposite of Vengeance; .
Contentment opposite of Discontent; Remembrance (of God and the life hereafter) opposite of Forgetfulness and Indifference; Awareness (in mind) opposite of Oblivion; Sympathy (with others), opposite of Estrangement and Alienation; Contentment opposite of Greed; Consolation, opposite of Forbiddance; Amity, opposite of Enmity; Fidelity, opposite of Treachery; Obedience (to God and His prophets), opposite of Defiance and Disobedience; Submission, opposite of Domination; Safety and Security, opposite of Calamity and Peril; Love, opposite of Hatred and detestation; Truthfulness, opposite of Falsehood; Right, opposite of Wrong; Discharge of Trust, opposite of Defalcation; Sincerity (purity of motives) , opposite of Hypocrisy (mixed motives); Courage, opposite of Cowardice; Understanding , opposite of Stupidity; Knowledge (of God and His Religion), opposite of denial.
Affability and Toleration (which leads to the keeping of secrets of others), opposite of which is Exposure and Betrayal; Soundness and, good faith for others behind their back, opposite of which is Cunning and Double-talk. Covering the secrets (of others), the opposite of which is the neglect of prayers; Observance of Fast, the opposite of which is Gluttony; Struggle (in propagating truth), the opposite of which is withdrawal from it. Performance of Pilgrimage at Mecca, which means the observance of God before creation (i.e. not to worship any one except Allah), the opposite of which is Violation of that Pledge; Concealing the tales of others, the opposite of which is tale-bearing; Doing good to Parents, the opposite of which is disobeying and disregarding their rights; Reality as against display; Good as against being bad; Self-concealment and Self-restraint (in respect of one’s capabilities) as against self-adornment and self-aggrandizement; Guarding the secret of religion from the enemies to save life as a measure of strategy as against its senseless disclosure involving loss of prestige and life; Doing justice as against partiality; Organization in human society (i.e. cordiality of social relations) as against iniquity and injustice; Purity and refinement as against impurity and coarseness; Modesty as against immodesty; Moderation as against extravagance; Cheerfulness and freshness of heart as against fatigue and depression; Facility as against adversity; Blessing and enrichment as against wretchedness and eradication; Safety and Good Health as against calamity and affliction; Steadfastness as against garrulity; Wisdom as against worldly possessions; Prestige and reverence as against lowness and lightness; Happiness and felicity as against unhappiness and miser; Repentance (i.e. asking God for forgiveness) as against deception and guile over one’s sins; Preservation (of one’s capabilities possessions) as against negligence and carelessness; Prayerfulness to God as against turning away from Him; Liveliness with briskness as against dullness wit sloth; Delightfulness as against sadness; Friendship, intimacy and union against separation and disunion; Generosity as against miserliness.
mam Sadiq (A.S.) as saying, “The reasoning capacity is the chief pillar of human existence. It is the fountain spring of wisdom, comprehension, memory and knowledge. Man is perfected through Reason and it is this, a significant guide, a discriminator and a key to every success. When Reason secures the approval of Divine Light it earns (perfection in) knowledge, memory, wisdom, level headiness and God mindedness. It is through Reason one understands how, why and where. It is through Reason one knows who guides him and who misguides him. Having known all this he comes to realize what source of life he should adopt, whom he should meet and whom he should not. He becomes pure and sincere in his concept of Unit of God and also in his acceptance, and belief, and untimely in His obedience and submission to Him. When he has reached this stage, he has redressed every loss. He has acquired every gain he can secure. He quickly comprehends where he stands, and what is what, which, and why he has been sent here in this worldly life, where he is brought from and where he has to return. All this can be secured with the assistance of Reason.”
Imam Ali ar-Raza (A.S) the eighth Imam (p.b.u.h.)
Imam Raza (A.S.) said. “ Reason and Intellect is a free gift of Allah, but education and culture are a difficult acquisition. One who takes pains in their acquisition acquires them. And one takes pains in acquiring intellect promotes nothing but his own ignorance.”
At the time when Imam al-Mahdi (A.S.) the twelfth Imam will make an appearance to the world, Almighty Allah will put His blessed Hand over the heads of the people and they will be completely restored and their comprehension will be brought to perfection.
“No wealth is so prolific as that of Reason. No destitution is worse than stupidity. In nothing does success surpass so much as in obtaining councils, from the people of REASON AND KNOWLEDGE.”
Peace And The Mercy Of God Be Upon Muhammad And His Descendants.
*Part of sermon from Nahjul Balagha
Qur’an Mir S.V. Ahmed Ali & M. Shakir & Al Kafi *