is this innovation?"
He replied, "This is no innovation; it is better than you know (how to do); for people have become numerous, and I want my voice to reach them."
AbU Sa'id said, "By Allah! you absolutely do not bring
something better than I know; and, by Allah! I sill not wor337
ship behind you today."
He disapproved of that in him, because the Messenger of Allah used to lean on a bow or a cane during the discourse at the time of the feast and the worship for rain--not on
338 a platform.
In a well known tradition (this appears), "That man is rejected who introduces into our religion what is not a part of it", while (we read) in another tradition, "May the combined curse of Allah, the angels, and man be on anyone who deceives my people."
Somebody inquired, "0 Messenger of Allah, what is (the meaning of) 'deceive your people'?"
"For one to introduce an innovation which he instigates c
people to do", he replied; ad he said, "Verily Allah has
an angel who announces every day, "Anyone who transgresses the usage of the Messenger of Allah will not receive his intercession."
The relation of one who commits a crime against religion by innovating something which transgresses usage to one who actually commits a sin is the same as that of one who disobeys the king by overturning his kingdom to one
who transgresses his command about a definite service. Sometimes that is forgiven him; but as for overturning the kingdom, that is not (forgiven).
One of the learned said, "To be silent about that which the Fathers discussed is rudeness, while to discuss that on which the Fathers were silent is assumption."
Another person said, "Truth is heavy. One who goes beyond it is wrong, while one who falls short in it is weak, and one who stands with it is satisfied."
The Apostle of Allah said, "Your responsibility is to
take the middle road to which one who is high returns and 4o to which one who is following along is lifted up.'
Ibn 'Abbas said, "Error has some sweetness in the hearts
of its people."
Allah said, "Leave those who made a sport and a pastime
of their religion" (6:69); and "One whose deeds are so a
dorned to him that he sees them good---"(35:9) All that
has originated since the time of the companions which goes beyond the bounds of necessity is sport and pastime.
It is quoted that Iblis (may Allah curse him) sent out his soldiers in the time of the companions, andthey returned
to him tired out. So he demanded, "What's wrong?"
"We have never seen anybody like these (people)", they replied. "We have had no success from them, while they have worn us out."
He said, "You cannot prevail against them. They have made their prophet their master and seen the revelation of their Lord, but after them there will come a people from whom you will receive your dues."
So when the followers came, he (again) sent his army abroad, and they returned to him disheartened and said, "We have never seen anyone stranger than c.hese (people). We succeed in finding sins In them. Then at the end of the day, they begin to seek forgiveness; and Allah exchanges their
evil (deeds) for good."
And he said, "You will never receive anything from these (people) because of the soundness of their belief in Allah's
unity and because they follow their prophet's usage, but after them there will come a people with whom your eyes will be refreshed. You will disport with them and lead them as
you wish with the reins of their passions. If they seek for
givenese, they will not be forgiven. They will not repent, and Allah will exchange their good for evil 11
He said, "After the first(Muslim) century there came a people among whom he sent lusts and to whom he made innovation attractive. They found it sweet and they took it as a religion and did not seek 'forgiveness from Allah for it
nor repent about it. 1~lo the enemies had authority over them 342 and led them where they wished."
If you should ask, "From where did the person who told this know what Iblls said, when he neither saw Iblie nor spoke to him about that?" you should know that the lords of the hearts reveal heavenly secrets (aerdr al-malakut) sometimes by way of inspiration (al-ilham) by what is suggested to them in the manner of something coming to them from a place which they know not, and sometimes on the way of true revelation (al-ru'ya al-VadiQah), and sometimes in the state of wakefulness on the way of revealing ideas by seeing the likenesses just as in sleep. This is the highest stage, and
# reading al-Qut fa tubdal.hasanatuhum saya'.t
it is one of the high prophetic stages, just as revelation is one of the forty-six parts of prophecy.
Then beware that your portion of this knowledge be to disapprove what exceeds your limit, for in it islthe destruction of the learned who pretend to thoroughly understand and who assert that they have mastered the intellectual sciences. For ignorance is better than intellignece which leads to a denial of such matters of the saints of Allah. He who denies that to the saints is required to deny the prophets, and he is entirely outside (the bounds) of religion.
One of the gnostics (al-'Arifln) said, "Verily the Substitues have withdrawn to the ends of the earth and become concealed from the eyes of the public, because they are unable to look at the learned of the time, for they consider (the learned) as being ignorant of Allah, while among themselves and among the ignorant they are (considered) learned."
Sahal al-Tustarl said, "Truly the greatest disobedience is to be ignorant of one's ignorance, and to consider the
masses and listen to the words of the heedless (is easier on the Abdal). It is not necessary to listen to the speech of every learned person who delves deeply into the present world, rather it is necessary to suspect everything he says, for every man delves deeply into what he likes and rejects what
is not agreeable to the object of his love."
On account of that Allah said, "Do not obey him whose heart we have made heedless about mentionting us and who follows his own inclinations and whose affair is unbridled" (18:27)..
The disobedient masses are more fortunate in respect
to their condition than those who are ignorant of the way of religion and who believe that they are learned; because a disobedient common person confesses his shortcomings and seeks forgiveness and repents, while this ignorant person who thinks that he is learned, though what he is engaged in are the sciences which are his means of access to the present world instead of traveling the way of religion, does not repent nor seek forgiveness; but he continues on (his way) to death.
Except for those whom Allah fortifies, this dominates. the greater part of people, and hope of correcting them is cut off. The safest (course) for the possessor of religion is the precaution of withdrawal and separation from them, just as you will see in the book of "Withdrawal", if Allah wills.
For that reason Yusuf Bin Asbat wrote to Hadh%fah al
Mar'ashi, "What is your opinion of one who remains (and) finds no one to remember Allah with him but a sinner or one
whose participation in remembering (Allah) would be a dieo
bedience? That is, that he does not its (that is, dhikr) 344
And he was right. For really, association with people does not isolate one from calumny or hearing calumny, nor does it silence what is forbidden. The best of his circumstances is,i o make his knowledge useful or to gain benefit.
If this poor fellow should stop to think, he would know that his benefit is not free from the blemishes of hypocrisy and the quest of accumulating (wealth) and of leadership. He would know that the beneficiary really wants to make that an instrument for the quest of the present world and a means to reach evil. Andhe would be helping him to do that and be a support and a helper and one who facilitates his means as he who sells a sword to a highwayman.
Knowledge is like a sword, and its suitability for good resembles a sword's suitability for a raid. For that reason one is not permitted to sell to anyone who he knows, by the nature of his circumstances, wants to use it in highway robbery.
These are twelve signs of the other-worldly divines, each one of which comprises a group of character traits of the learned Fathers. Then be one of two (kinds of) men:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
# SMZ omits, "that his benefit and leadership"
either one to whom these qualities are ascribed or one who confesses and acknowledges his shortcomings. Beware of being the third (i.e. one who disavows), for you confuse or confound yourself in that you exchange your religion for the
instrument of the present world and cause the conduct of the to
frivolousAresemble that of the learned who are firmly-ground
ed; and by your ignorance and denial you will be affiliated with the group who are hopelessly perishing.
We seek refuge with Allah from the deceit of the Shaitan wherein lies the destruction of the public, and we ask Allah to include us in those whom the life of the present world does not delude and whom delusion does not cheat of Allah.
PART SEVEN CONCERNS INTELLIGENCE, ITS NOBILITY,
ITS VERACITY, AND ITS DIVISIONS
A. An Exposition of the Nobility of Intelligence
You should know that this is somethingwhich does not need painstaking endeavor to make it obvious, especially since the nobility of knowledge has been shown beforehand, and intelligence is the source, the place of rising, and the foundation of knowledge; and knowledge has the same relation to it as fruit to a tree, light to the sun, and sight to the eye.
How does one not honor what is'a means of access to happiness in the present world and the next abode, or how does he doubt it, while in spite of his incomplete discrimination even the greatest beast in respect to body, the fiercest in respect to savagery, and the strongest in respect to attack stands in awe of intelligence. When he sees the form of a man, he stands in awe of him and fears him on account of his perception of (man's) mastery over him on account of his specialization in mastering tricks.
For that reason the Prophet said, "Among his people an elder is like the Prophet among his nation."
That is not on account of the abundance of his wealth nor the size of his body nor any excess in strength, but on account of his excess experience which is the fruit of his mind. Therefore you see the Turks, the Kurds, the uncultured Arabs, and the rest of mankind, in spite of their close relationship to the rank of beasts, respect the elder (shaikh) by nature.
For that reason, (at the time) when many of the rebels planned to kill the Messenger of Allah and when their eyes. fell on him and they were anointed with his splendid whiteness, they feared him; and the light of prophecy which was wont to sparkle on his countenance appeared to them, even though it were an inner something in himself as the intellect is.
The nobility of intelligence is understood by necessity, and our object is to bring (to your attention) some mention of its nobility which are found in the traditions and eviden
Allah has named it "li ht" in His saying, "Allah is the
light of the heavens and the earth. His light is like a
wall niche for a lamp" (24:35)
He named the knowledge from which benefit is received
"spirit" and "inspiration", and "life", and He said, "Thus by our command have we sent a spirit to you with a revelation" (42:52)
Allah said, "Or one who was dead and whom we have made alive, and for whom we have made a light with which he walks among men---" (6:122). Where He mentions "light" and "darkness" He means "knowledge" and "ignorance", as in His saying, He brings them out of darkness into light" (2:258).
Muhammad said, "0 people, understand your Lord and enjoin one another with intelligence, and you will know what you were ordered to do and what you were forbidden from. You should know that it (intelligence) assists you with your Lord. You should know that the intelligent person, though
he be ugly in looks, contemptible in rank, low in degree, and ragged in appearance is he who obeys Allah; and that the ignorant person; though he be good looking, great in rank, honorable in degree, beautiful in appearance, and an eloquent speaker is he who disobeys Allah. Monkeys and pigs are more
intelligent in Allah's sight than one who disobeys Him. Do not be deluded by the people of the present world magnifying you, for they are those who are misled."
The Messenger of Allah said, "The first thing that Allah created was intelligence. He said to it, "Approach', and it approached. Then he said to it, 'Retreat' and it retired.
Then Allah said, '3y my honor and my majesty, I have not created any creature more honorable to me than you. By you Itake; by you I give; by you I reward; and by you I punish."
If you should ask, "If this intelligence is an accident Card), how was it created before bodies; and if it is sub
stance ( awhar), how can it be a substance existing by itself and not retire (to a distance)?" you should know that this is mystic. knowledge, and it is not suitable to mention it with practical knowledge, while our present purpose is the mention of practical knowledge.
On the authority of Anas (fla'ud Bin al- Muhabbar said), "In the presence of the Prophet some people praised a man to such an extent that they exaggerated. So he asked, 'How
Is the man's Intelligence?'
"They replied, 'We are telling you about his zeal in worship and different kinds of good, and you ask us about his mind!'
"He said, 'Truly the most foolish person who succeeds
in spite of his ignorance is greater than an ungodly person. In the future worshippers will be raised to stages near their Lord according to the amount of their intelligence."'
(Then there is this) on the authority of 'Umar who said, "The Messenger of Allah said, 'A man gains nothing like the excellence of intelligence which directs its possessor to the
way of salvation and averts him from death, and a worshipper's
faith is not perfected nor does his religion become upright until his intelligence is made perfect."'
"Verily by his good character man attains to the rank
of one who fasts and spends the night in worship"; said the
Prophet., "and good character is not perfected in a man until his mind is made perfect. Then his faith is perfected, and he obeys his Master and disobeys his enemy, Iblis."
(There is also this) on the authority of Abu Sa'id alKhadra who said, "The Messenger of Allah said, "Everything has a support.(da'Amah). A believer's support is his intelligence, and his worship will be in proportion to the amount of his intelligence. Have you not heard the saying of the transgressor (al-fair) in the Fire: 'Had we listened or acted intelligently, we should not have been among the peowhose portion is the Fire (ashab al-nar)?'"
(The following comes) on the authority of 'Umar who said, 347
to Tamim al-Dar!, "What is nobility in you?"
"Intelligence", he replied.
'Umar said, "You are right. I asked the Messenger of Allah, and he said what you did. Then he added, 'I asked
Jibra'il what nobility is and he said, 'Intelligence'."
On the.authority of al-Bar&' Bin '&z•ab (this is related,
"He said, "Problems increased one day on the Messenger of
Allah, and he said, '0 people, everything has a vehicle (rnatiyah); and man's vehicle is his intelligence. The best one among you in respect to demonstrative proof and knowledge of proof (ma'rifatan bi 'l-huiiah) is that one who is most excellent in respect to intelligence."
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (we have the following
tradition). He said, "When the Messenger of Allah returned from the Battle of Uhud he heard people saying, 'So-and-so
is braver than so-and-so' and 'So-and-so (was tested in that which so-and-so was not tested in)' and the like, So the Messenger of Allah stated, 'As for this, you have no knowledge about it.' They said, 'And how is that, 0 essenger of Allah?' and he replied, 'Verily they waged war according to the measure of intelligence which Allah meted out to them, and their victory and their intention were according to the measure of their intelligence. Those of their number who attained success had varying.degrees of attainment. So on the day of judgment, their rank will be apportioned according to the measure of their intention and their intelligence."
(Another tradition comes) on the authority of al-Bares' Ibn 'Azab who said, "The angels very dilligently obeyed Allah with intelligence, while the believers of the sons of Adam were dilligent according to the measure of their intelligence. Those who were most industrious in respect to obedience were
were their greatest ones in respect to intelligence."
And on the authority of 'Aishah (comes this tradition).
She said, "I asked the Lfessenger of Allah in what people differ in superiority in the present world."
"He replied, 'In intelligence.'
I inquired, "Are they not rewarded according to their deeds?"
"He answered, '0 'A'ishah, do they do anything except according to the amount of intelligence which He gave them? Their deeds are according to the amount of intelligence which
He gave them, and they are rewarded according to the amount which they do.'"
(This is related ) on the authority of Ibn 'Abbae who said, "The Messenger of Allah said, 'Everything has an instrument and a tool, and the believer's instrument is his intelligence. Everything has a vehicle, and man's vehicle is his intelligence. Everything has a support, and the support of religion is intelligence. Every people has an objective, and the worshippers' objective is intelligence. Every people has a motive, and the worshipper's motive is intelligence. Every merchant has merchandise, and the merchandise of the dilligent is intelligence. Every household has a manager, and the manager of the veracious". household is in
telligence. Every ruin has an edifice, and the edifice of
the next abode is intelligence. Every man has posterity
by which he is related and remembered, and the posterity of the veracious by which they are related and remembered is intelligence. Every journey has a camp, and the camp of the believers is intelligence."
The Prophet said, "The believer most loved by Allah is one who labors at obedience of Allah and advises His worshippers. His mind is made perfect and he advises himself. He sees clearly and acts according to it all the days of his life. He is successful and he causes others to succeed."
"That one of you who is most perfect in respect to his intellect", said Muhammad, "is that one of you whose fear of Allah is strongest and who is the very best one of you in respect to observing what He commanded you to do and forbade you from, even if he is the least of you in respect to obeying willingly."
B. An Exposition of the Veracity and Divisions o€ Intelligence
You should know that people disagree concerning the definition of al-'aql and its veracity. Most of them neglect the fact that this name is ascribed to various ideas. So this became a cause of their disagreement, while the veillifting truth about it is th,.t al-'aql is a name which is as-
cribed jointly to four (different) ideas, just as the word al-'ain, for example, is ascribed to numerous ideas, and other words which follow this course. So it is not neces
sary for one to seek one definition for all its divisions, but to single out each division in explaining it.
l. ,The first is that quality by which man is differentiated from the rest of the animals and by which he is prepared to receive the speculative sciences and to manage the hidden reflective arts.
It is what al-Harith Bin 'Asad al-Muhasibi meant concerning the description of intelligence, when he said that it. is an instinct (gharizah) by which (one) is prepared to
understand the speculative sciences, just as if it were a
li ht cast into the heart by which one is prepared to understand things. One who denies this is not impartial, and he rejects intelligence to plain axiomatic knowledge (al-'ulum al-darur!yah). Both one who is heedless of knowledge and one who is asleep are called "intelligent beings" in regard to the existence of this instinct in both of them, in spite of the absence of knowledge.
Just as life is an instinct by which the body is prepared to make voluntary movements and arrive at sensual perceptions, so in like manner intelligence is an instinct by which some of the animals are prepared for speculative knowledge. If
it is permissible to make a comparison between Oman and a donkey concerning instinct and sensual perception, then someone says, "There is no difference between the two except that Allah, by authority to introduce a custom, creates knowledge in man, and does not create it in the donkey and beasts (in general)", then it would be permissible to make a comparison between the donkey and the mineral kingdom (i.e. inanimate substances) concerning life.
Somebody would say, "The only difference is that Allah
creates specialized movements in the donkey by authority to
introduce a custom; and, if the donkey is decreed to be an inanimate dead substance, then it is necessary to say that Allah is capable of creating every movement that is seen in it according to the arrangement which is seen."
Just as it is necessary for one to say, "His differentiation from the mineral kingdom in respect to movement is only by an instinct peculiar to him which is expressed by the word 'life' (al-haiyah), so the difference between man and beast concerning understanding speculative knowledge is by
an innate disposition which is expressed by the word 'intelligence' (al-'aql); and it is like a mirror which is differentiated from other bodies in respect to reflecting pictures and colors by a quality peculiar to itself which is lustre or polish.
In like manner the eye is different from the forehead in qualities and form by which it is prepared for vision.. The relation of this innate disposition (gharizah) to knowledge is like,Jt,he relation of the eye to vision (al-ru',yah).
The relation of the Qur'an and the divine law to this innate disposition in respect to Its-leading to the disclosal of their knowledge is like the relation of sunlight to sight (al-ba sr). So it is necessary for you to understand the innate disposition in this manner.
2. The second (meaning of al-'aql) is the knowledge which comes into existence in the essence of a child (dhat al-t~ifl) which distinguishes between the possibility of the possible and the impossibility of the absurd, such as the knowledge that two is greater than one and that one person cannot be in two places at one time.
This is what one of the scholastic theologians meant concerning the description of tntelligonoe.F,,-when!he:--said that it is axiomatic-knowledge like the knowledge of the possibility of what is possible and the impossibility of what is absurd. This also is true in itself, because this knowledge exists, and it is obvious that it is called intelligence. The fallacy is that this innate disposition is denied and someone says, "Only thl"b knowledge exists."