Reason and Logic (Part-2)

If we draw the lesson from the Qur’an that if the relation between intellect and belief is inversely proportional, meaning, belief entails gain in sacred intellect, and disbelief brings down the curse of its loss, except for its profane version, then, what does the loss of intellect on the part of today’s Muslims imply?

In a previous issue (Dec. 2018) we have pointed out that the world is largely lived in, and ruled, by those who have reason and logic missing in their mental make-up. To ascertain the fact, one hasn’t have to go too far. A look at the leading articles of the dailies is enough to spin one’s head and convince him that frustration is the major benefit of the reads. This is truer of the West now, than the East, but least true of the Middle-east. The reason for the Middle-east for escape from this ordeal of losing one’s intellect of functioning normally is the influence of the Qur’an.

The Qur’an dauntlessly and most emphatically (some fifteen times) maintains about the non-Muslim minds: “They are a people who do not reason out (59-14),” and (twice), “They are dumb, deaf and blind (2: 18).”

Sane minds, of the East and the West, have always known that there seems to be some intellectual problem with the Western minds. We have earlier given the example of their blind support of Israel. No amount of hatred for Islam and Arabs justifies their(present) ten million dollar per day aid to Israel, while ignoring, year after, decades after decades, for full fifty years, the plight of their own people’s homelessness. Seventy years ago, Rene Guenon wrote in his short but monumental work East and West:

“The modern world has precisely reversed the natural relations between the different orders of things: once again, it is depreciation of the intellectual order (and even absence of pure intellectuality), and exaggeration of the material and the sentimental orders, which all go together to make Western civilization of today an anomaly, not to say monstrosity.” (p. 24)

While Muslims point their accusing finger at their enemies, they do not seem to look at themselves, to discover how widely and deeply neglect of reason and logic is prevalent among themselves. All the deviations of the major and minor sects that have appeared among them, over the past centuries, are reappearing among them: The first to adopt weird beliefs were the Khawarij. Some of them thought they understood Islam better than `Ali ibn abi Talib. They split into various sub-sects, with a few sects changing their doctrines by 180 degrees to declare `Ali (ra) a manifestation of God. The `Alawids and Nusayris (of present-day Syrian regime) have inherited this belief. Some of the Shi`a also share these beliefs.

While the religion of the Sunnis starts with the birth of their Prophet (on whom be peace), the Shi`a religion starts with his death. While Sunni religion’s basis is spiritual, the Shi`ah religion’s basis is political. While the essence of mainstream Muslim belief is: Laa-ilaaha illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah (There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah); the Shi`ah belief is: Laa-ilaaha illa Allah, `Aliyun Wasiyullah (There is no god but Allah, and `Ali is the legatee of Allah). While the birth of the Prophet is a matter of celebration for the Sunnis, it is a day of grief for the Shi`ah, because `Ali (ra) was denied succession after his death.

The partisans of `Ali (the Shi`a) believe that the Prophet appointed him his successor following the Farewell Pilgrimage, at a place called Ghadir Khumma few miles off Makkah. They consider this a divinely inspired designation that includes the descendants of `Ali(ra).

True, some of `Ali’s assistants to Yemen and back had complained of his harshness, and that the Prophet warned them at Ghadir Khumm not to hold any grudge against `Ali(ra), but not a word did he speak about `Ali’s succession.

Assuming the claim as true, one may ask some questions:

  1. What was the need for the Prophet to choose a water hole to declare `Ali (ra) his Khalifah? If it was a matter of such importance that decided whether one enters Paradise or Hellfire, why did he not do it publicly at Madinah? After all, he lived for three more months after Hajj.
  1. If it was to be the prime doctrine of Islam, why did the Prophet keep it secret throughout his mission of 23 years, to speak of it at an unknown place, before an audience of a few?
  1. If it is an integral part of Muslim faith, why did Allah (swt) not mention it in the Qur’an?
  1. If succession to the Prophet was a spiritual issue, and not political, as the Sunnis declare, why did the Prophet insist on Abu Bakr (ra) to lead in Prayers, while he himself lay in bed sick, few days before death?
  1. If `Ali (ra) had been nominated by the Prophet to succeed him, but Abu Bakr (ra) was chosen unanimously, and then `Umar(ra), and then `Uthman(ra), why did `Ali (ra) hide the succession event all his life, before and after he was chosen the fourth caliph?
  1. If he feared differences and divisions arising among the Muslim community, as the Shi`ah claim, the question is NOT why did he not claim Khilafah. The question is: why did he not inform the Muslim community of his nomination after the Prophet.
  1. If `Ali (ra) decided to forego his right of Khilafah, because, as the Shi`ah claim, he feared dissensions and differences dividing the community, what do the Shi`ah not follow him, but have cut themselves off the community?
  1. The Shi`ah believe that, after `Ali (ra), the Imams were: Hassan, Hussein, etc., all in all twelve (the twelfth has disappeared). The question is, if the Imamate (invented by the Shi`ah) is a religious office (and not political as Sunnis maintain), and the highest in rank, even higher than the Prophets of the past as they claim, then why did Hussein (ra) abdicate the Khilafah after assuming it for six months?

The questions are many, and all answers expose abandoning of reason and logic. But the worst is Shi`ah’s claim that except for those who supported `Ali (ra) in his effort to assert his Imamate, the rest of the Companions, including the first three Caliphs, turned hypocrites. They had all concealed their hypocrisy from the Prophet until his death. This is their answer to the question: “How could major Companions allow others to usurp `Ali’s right?” Their answer directly implies that the Messenger was a failed Prophet. He was not aware that, over 23 years, he was dealing with hypocrites or would-be hypocrites.

Turning to the Sunnis, one feels disheartened looking at their present situation vis-à-vis reason and logic. It has reached such proportions now that if, on the part of the deviated sects, the loss of reason was in religious matters, among the majority of common Muslims, especially of the sub-continent, it seems they have lost reason even in worldly matters. They employ fuzzy, if not crooked logic, conduct deals that defy common sense, and dispense with social situations as if the world is run by lunatics. Examples can be given in millions. Students refuse to take up legal courses because they say the profession is infested by liars, they refuse police jobs because they cannot do morning exercises, they open their shops on Fridays only after the Jumu`ah Prayer, maintaining that Surahal-Jumu`ahpromises sustenance after the Prayer. They invest in Ponzi schemes that start with 20% profit every month, refusing to listen to advice that thousands of businesses pay back at best 2-3% profit, how could this scheme distribute 20%? After a few months’ payment, the thugs disappear with crores. Citing the example of a scrap-collector in Malaysia, who came back to India, started a small business and is now a millionaire, they believe success in business hinges not on hard work and honesty, but simply is a matter of it clicking-off. When warned that an investment of three million was not enough against ten million required, for a business he is starting, the answer you get is: “God is Great! We have trust in Him.” He loses his three million, but does not gain the lesson of Sunan al-Ilaahiyyah.

In religious affairs, it is still worse. After insects fell in some numbers in Madinah (an annual affair), Whatsapp messages were: “Insects rain down in Madinah, a sure sign of the Day of Judgment. I have done my duty by warning you.” In Madinah again: some rains fall, and little grass grows on mountains, Whatsapp messages say: “The Prophet’s prediction has come true that near the Hour, Arab land will become green.”

You suggest to a Muslim that he may read the Qur’an with translation. His answer? “Reading the Qur’an with meaning entails greater responsibility on Judgment Day (so, let me not attempt it).”

In written paper, a student is asked to name the Prophet’s place of birth. His answer: “Makkah-Madinah.”

It is not possible to arrive at an un-doubtable date of the Prophet’s birth because there were no calendars then. [It was `Umar (ra) who introduced the Islamic-Hijri calendar]. The 12th of Shawwal is only a guess. But a multitude decides (not to live by his teaching, but) to celebrate. What do they do after the decision? Beat drums and take out a mile-long procession in every city. Non-Muslims rightly refer to their processions as a nuisance.

Sufi Thanwi writes that it is pointless seeking the Waseelah of the dead, even if assumed that he was a holy man, “because if he is in Paradise, he would be busy enjoying himself, but if not forgiven, he could be undergoing punishment.” Has this kind of clear-headedness any effect on those thousands who ask Allah (swt) by his Waseelah at his grave?

It is proven that the Prophet never conducted congregational Du`a after any Salah anytime in his life. So, what does the sub-continent Ummah do? They regularly conduct Du`a, after every congregational Salah, in every mosque. In fact, in some mosques they do it thrice: one immediately after the Prayer, another after the Sunan, and a third in the verandah of the mosque!

If we draw the lesson from the Qur’an that if the relation between intellect and belief is inversely proportional, meaning, belief entails gain in sacred intellect, and disbelief brings down the curse of its loss, except for its profane version, then, what does the loss of intellect on the part of today’s Muslims imply?