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Reason and Revelation
Author/Source:   Posted by: admin
Hits: 2588 Rating: 10 (2 votes) Comments: 1 Added On: Thursday, November 30, 2006 Rate this article

It is generally believed in our religious circles that the teachings and directives of Islam only appeal to our emotions and sentiments; they do not address our intellect and as such they have to be accepted and obeyed without being inquisitive into the logic and philosophy behind them. The Asharites, the largest school of Muslim dialectics, also hold this view.


This view seems to contradict the Qur’an. The Qur’an explicitly states that all Islamic beliefs and directives have sound reasons behind their inception. Consequently, whenever the Qur’an urges man to accept certain dogmas, it cites arguments to substantiate its claims. It warns those who evade and ignore its call to use their faculty of reasoning instead of being slaves to emotions like hate and prejudice. In fact, a little deliberation shows that the Qur’an wants us to obey certain religious commandments precisely because the Almighty has blessed us with the faculty of reasoning. Thus, a perfectly healthy person who is mentally insane has been relieved from all religious responsibilities in Islam. In spite of being fit in all other respects, he has not been asked to say his prayer or fast, nor is he liable to punishment for any crime he commits.


An important point which must be understood in this regard is that we are required to accept certain realities without observing them because their existence can be logically deduced. For example, we are not able to see God, the Day of Judgment too is as yet concealed from our eyes, nor have we witnessed Gabriel revealing the Divine Message to the Prophet (sws). Yet, we believe in all these because present in the Qur’an, in our own intuition and in the various phenomenon of nature are signs which testify that these realities are rationally proven facts. It is highly irrational on the part of man to demand a visual display of realities which, though unseen, can be understood rationally. It is his misfortune that on the one hand when he delves deep in the domains of science, he accepts certain realities which cannot be observed but the existence of which can be proven by other means, and on the other hand, he adopts a completely different attitude when he comes across certain metaphysical realities of life.


In other words, some realities upon which the Qur’an asks us to believe are certainly beyond the perception of senses but not beyond the perception of reason. Just as footsteps on sand testify beyond doubt that someone has traveled past, likewise writ large on every matter of this universe is that someone has just gone past and left an indelible expression of his own existence.


Comments
simam7f42 Totally agree with the writer's comment on the modern so-called progressive view points held against religion as a whole.
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