What Is The Status Of Reason & Intellect In Islam?

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Let’s face it – Muslims (and other people) are confused: Can I use my brain – isn’t Quran and hadith a substitute for thinking for oneself?

The fact of the matter is that even if you follow Islam ‘blindly’ it was YOU who independently, using your brain, thinking for yourself, decided to do that…

The brain…there’s no way out of using it, no matter how much you cry ‘Quran and Sunnah’ you are still using it…Or what is your proof for following the Quran IN THE FIRST PLACE!?!

Or will you say ‘I follow the Quran because…the Quran says so?’ What if a Christian makes the same argument about the Bible, will you say it is legitimate?

Islam and the Quran have lauded the intellect and reasoning, and demanded it’s practically unconditional use in matters of religion – and in the introduction to a new series of lectures, Sheikh Atabek Nasafi brilliantly explains how and why.

In short, if you are unwilling to use your brain it may be that even God won’t help you…

Sheikh Atabek Shukrov Nasafi is a noted scholar and specialist in Islamic aqeeda and theological sciences. Undertaking his religious studies at first in secret in Uzbekistan while it was part of the USSR, he has gone on to have an eclectic and comprehensive Islamic education all over the Muslim world.

Already a scholar when he arrived in the Middle East, he studied in Damascus under such luminaries as Mhmd Adnan Darwish, graduating finally from Al Azhar but only after having studied both in Medina and the wider region, for example under Sh. Uthaymeen (and numerous others).

He is currently based in the Northwest of England where he is the founder of the Avicenna Academy.



24 thoughts on “What Is The Status Of Reason & Intellect In Islam?

  1. The salafi influence really is spreading in Islam and downplaying reason/revelation. I had a bizarre conversation with some fellow Muslims at my university (I’m in Canada BTW) today. First of all they said people like Ibn Sina, Ibn Rush, Muatazilla were heretics who had beliefs outside of Islam, and praised Ibn Taymiyyah for “refuting them”. Then what’s even more bafflings is when I argued that God cannot have a body as it’s incoherent they said HE CAN have a body as God can do anything. I said this makes no sense as this means He could do contradictions such as making a stone which He cannot lift, they said “it doesn’t have to make sense and don’t try to apply your reason to God as you can’t understand HIM. This is why people like Ibn Sina went astray and they were like those in the Quran who tried to talk about God without any knowledge”. They said philosophy is manmade and therefore its ideas cannot apply to God which is why it is pointless to use it to talk about Him.Then they said we should only listen to what the Prophet (PBUH) said about God, and anything else such as trying to use philosophical ideas to understand him implies the Prophet(PBUH) didn’t complete the revelation as he didn’t explain said concepts. Wow. So Ibn Taymiyyah with his defense of the Satanic Verses, God swinging on a rope(they said he said God couldn’t) is a better Muslim over people like Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, etc.

    • I find it very interesting that you are talking about this topic as if there are only Salafis on the one side and the Muslim Aristotelian philosopher / Mutazilah on the other. There is also the Ashari and Maruridi view. By doing that you are supporting the plot that is destroying Islam. This is what I call the dualism of Salafism and liberalism (modernism because being a Mutazili/Aristotelian today means being a liberal Muslim). If someone wants to be a traditional non-liberal Muslim he will have to become a Salafi. If someone does not want to be a Salafi being a liberal Muslim is the only option according to the plotted narrative.

  2. Though I will admit there is a worry I have. It won’t stop me from speaking up but I do admit I am kind of afraid of being ostracized by them or Isolated for arguing against them on this point.

    • Why are you afraid of them? Are they providing you education, sex or money? I think not.

      Why do you want to be friends with losers and dumb people, many of whom will be a security threat and cock block you? Fear is based on loss – what is it that you fear losing by not being their friend? Shouldn’t you WANT them to ostracise you?

      If God can do ANYTHING, then he can split into 10,000 + like in Hinduism and become a man and die on the cross. So they don’t even believe what they say.

      My advice: ignore these people, read some books and find a girlfriend. Stop wasting your youth with bottom-feeding freaks – you will never get it back and then will regret it.

  3. Yeah, you’re right, I should cut my losses. I remember they said this gem to “defend” their position: God COULD do things such as have a body. What’s worse is that they said he could have a body OUTSIDE of time and space( “yeah but logic doesn’t apply to God, etc), but from the Quran and Hadith we know He won’t. What do you even say to something like this? I mean that the POSSIBILITY God can do contradictions is all it takes makes the notion of God completely incoherent. Even Dawkins recognizes this. Salafis have less logic than Dawkins.

    Also I was wondering if you’ve heard of Seekers Hub which is an Islamic organization based in Canada.

    • Unreservedly, especially his opus ‘Reasoning With God’.

      I don’t know about ‘Seekers Hub’. I had a look at their website, seemed okay I but couldn’t really get too much of an idea. They seem to avoid controversial things, which won’t work nowadays. In general you should be very careful of any organisation, especially if you can’t think for yourself (= 99% of people today). Most people involved in organisations are out for cash and sex. Fact. Or they are failed or wannabee actors and attention seekers. Or they suck at everything secular and this is their hook to get cash and girls. Same goes for almost every well known scholar or speaker I have personally come across. Majority of people involved from Uni Islamic society on up are like that and it is impossible to have a whole organisation made up only of non-ass-holes. Reason is simple: when non-Muslims want to do something sexual for example, they just go and do it. Muslims don’t have the ability nor the confidence to do that, so they bring their perversions into religious stuff. That’s general about organisations, not just these guys. As long as you are aware of that, you can benefit by taking the useful and discarding the unhelpful stuff, as Bruce Lee said. But to do that you need a brain.

      At the same time, there is no harm in engaging with them as long as you don’t become a cult like devotee.

  4. Well I know what I’m going to be reading in the summer. I’ve started watching some of his lectures and read a few of his articles. I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first as he was part of a book about progressive Muslims who I’m not really sure about too as a group overall as some support homosexual practices in Islam, but that’s beside the point. Much but what he does say makes sense to me. I was wondering what do you think of his position on the Hijab from stuff like this: https://www.searchforbeauty.org/2016/01/02/fatwa-on-hijab-the-hair-covering-of-women/ and his overall approach/credentials with regards to Islamic jurisprudence, etc. I know A LOT of people might just write him off for challenging the status quo and saying he’s in the minority for certain issues which discourages me a little as often the majority is hard to push back against. But the majority isn’t always right of course.

  5. I think that whoever denies that you are a moron is categorically an apostate from the human race.

    But apart from that, can you show us some proof of what you mean by ‘hijaab’ and then how this is ‘categorically compulsory’ with reference to Al Fadl’s article (*which you haven’t read, as evidenced by your banal outburst)?

    • I did not read the article indeed. I just made a general statement regarding this issue. The statement is independent of someones opinion. So I am not saying anything against Fadl since I do not know his opinion.

      • I am not discussing clear issues. Hijab is a clear issue. Therefore I only wanted to say what will the consequence be if someone denies the apparent and obvious meaning of hijab.
        The Qur’an is there since about 1400 years. Women have existed for even longer. Everything that had to be said about this topic has already been said long time ago.

    • I keep trying to make a comment regarding your comment on downloading stuff on your “Hadith” post, but it won’t show up. If it’s okay I’ll just try to say what I was saying here.

      According to this Shayk (https://www.lamppostproductions.com/downloading-material-online-halal-haram-shaykh-abdullah-ali/) making a copy or downloading a copy isn’t tantamous to stealing nor personal rights violations as long as it is for one’s personal benefit. I guess this would apply to streaming as well given it’s not illegal in many countries in fact. There is the issue of where one is downloading from as sites may be hosting them illegally and whether or not downloading is promoting this stuff, but given the question asked concerned downloading, I think the Shayk’s answer took this into consideration with his answers.

    • By bringing a proof I am getting into a discussion. But I am not going to discuss well established facts. If you have an alternative theory you will have to bring the proofs. Not me!

      • Since you clearly refuse to even engage honestly on this topic, it’s best if you just go away.

        On another note how do you guys not feel discouraged by the abdundance of Salafism? I mean I went to a mosque last Friday and the Imam mentioned he and 13 other Imams from the area when to get training in the UK on Dawah from IERA, which was really disheartening. The other guy I mentioned in my post about “Kaafir” mentioned he was taking a class which taught him about the use of “Kaafir” which I highly suspect is Salafi orientated. My worst fear is caving into the pressure and giving up hope when I hear all this Salafi stuff widespread. Luckily I know a few guys at my UNI who have either experimented with Salafism and hate the movement as well(one guy refuted the idea that the Mutazilla were heretics for using philosophy/reason as he pointed out all Muslims schools of thought used reason to analyse Islamic concepts) , or are skeptical of it/more intellectually open-minded, so all is not lost.

  6. “since when is declaring people apostates so common among IERA people ”

    Why are you so eager to defend the IERA ? The fact that you came up with this shows that you deserve to join them if you haven’t already, as Capricorn Sonic said.

    • The fact that you called me Molestor without any context reveals an unhealthy fixation indeed.
      People here are exposing, not “hating” IERA you liar.

      “I do not hate them (IERA)”

      Now we’re making progress! Soon, you’ll admit that you like them just a little bit …

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