Weekly reflections: Imperatives of reasoning and revelation
By Dr. Abdul Saboor
The world today is confronting crises of many natures each of which is directly or indirectly associated to some crisis in human mind. Part of the problem lies in the fact that construction of human mind has not been aligned to the process of true reasoning. The mind has been academically trained in the way of thinking superficially without taking care of natural laws. The violation of universal truths means that the mind is working against the Divine Wisdom which is adding more adversity in the problem rather than its solution.
There has been a long philosophical debate in intellectual circles on the imperatives of connectivity between reasoning and revelation. It is argued that the boundaries of reasoning are touching to the extent of revelation. Some advocate that the in-depth understanding of revelation is only possible through the quantum of reasoning. Still others believe that the very fabric of reasoning is not being appropriately utilized for addressing the issues and challenges of contemporary world. All such imperatives need to be thrashed out for making the running debate simpler for learners, scholars and thinkers.
Reasoning is deep thinking which is activated through an appropriate mobilization of human mind. This is a kind of skill that can be gained through continuous struggle of capitalizing human brain in the right and bright directions. This effort only works well when a standard relationship across physical body, mind and spirit is maintained. In most of the intellectual discussions, spirit or soul is ignored either consciously or unconsciously. Resultantly, the focus of reasoning is diverted towards problems rather than their solution. We have hundred reasons of an issue but hardly a single viable solution to address it. And we innocently ignore the very reason of our own self in the cause of the problem.
Divine knowledge is revealed explicitly the depth and width of which is unlimited. Its application is made functional as per experience of a particular situation that may vary from time to time. Reasoning is meant for how that Divine Knowledge may be used for a particular purpose. The full meanings of revelation (revealed knowledge or divine knowledge) cannot be comprehended until the potential of reasoning is fully captured and truly capitalized. There are dynamic imperatives of divine knowledge with multilayered wisdom necessary for all the ages of humanity as complete code of life. As far as the worldly knowledge is progressed with the sophisticated mobilization of reasoning, the in-depth understanding of revealed knowledge is made easy.
Revelation is the gift of God which is granted to His Prophets (PBUT) via pious Angle. Prophetic revelation or in the same sense Quranic revelation is unique the door of which has been closed once for all. The whole Divine Knowledge has been constituted on the basis of prophetic revelation. But for comprehension, the subject matter of revelation may have two dimensions-explicit and implicit. Explicit dimension (WAHI) is the Quranic revelation while the implicit reflections (inspirations) are like functioning of sixth sense.
Full understanding of explicit revelation leads to implicit revelation. The former is primary source of knowledge while the latter is secondary source to comprehend that knowledge. Explicit revelation which has been revealed through the agency of angle may be re-revealed to the heart and mind of humans as implicit revelation. Allah gives us inspiration. He may pour something good in our hearts and minds. And true dreams are like the 46th part of prophet-hood.
Reasoning needs to be activated in the novel pattern of implicit revelation. It is enhanced when mind remains in the control of heart and heart is harmonized with the soul. This spirit needs to be aligned to the Divine truth through unique kind of wireless system. The signals of this spiritual Wi-Fi system are always uninterrupted. Soul is connected to the metaphysical world while mind is connected to this physical world. Both are to be remained connected continuously through heart which is semi physical and semi meta-physical.
When reasoning touches the extreme boundaries, one may feel that something is being implicitly revealed in the form of having good ideas or in the shape of activation of 6th or 7th sense. The more we develop connectivity of soul to heart and heart to mind, there is highly likely of emergence of novelty in mind that is perfectly cognizant to the revealed wisdom. When the process of reasoning is followed in this natural sequence, the true meaning of explicit revelation is reflected.
The faculty of reasoning has been granted to man for true understanding of revealed imperatives of the divine truth. Explicit emotions, instincts and feelings will have to be set aside for the reason to work intellectually in human mind. We must need to admit that reasoning is a kind of special skill which can be acquired with conscious efforts without any contradiction and conflict. Imperatives of reasoning should be aligned to the imperatives of revelation so that the right path for humanity can be traced. The imperatives of reasoning and revelation are quite consistent with each other if genuinely realized and deeply reflected. To execute Divine Orders under diversified conditions, ample dose of reasoning is required.
In this way, reasoning and revelation should go side by side in all the learning endeavors. Without taking care of revelation, reasoning alone is dangerous for the development of knowledge and wisdom. In the same fashion, revelation alone cannot deliver its full potential until and unless it is backed by true reasoning. As for instance, revealed knowledge convinces us that dying for Islam is a noble act. But reasoning may guide us that at some occasions, living for Islam is equally important than dying for Islam. One intellectual life may be a savior of huge chunk of population. That is why the death in the pursuit of wisdom is not less than martyrdom.
The tragedy of our today’s intellectuals revolves around the fact that they have ignored the power of reasoning and try to rule in the intellectual world on the basis of superficial knowledge and irrational logic. If we start reasoning on all organs and atomic parts of human body, there is natural learning as is acquired from Divine knowledge. Similarly, if we ponder over the designing and mechanics of the universe, we get wisdom quite consistent to the Divine wisdom. There is natural harmony of the revealed knowledge with what we observe in our own self, around us and in our universe.
There is a magnanimous alignment and absolute consistency in the Nature. All the creations along with every creature of this universe fully demonstrate the same fabric and flavor of wisdom as has been revealed in the Holy Book. The verses of Divine wisdom are written in our hearts and souls if we could manage time to use the faculty of reasoning. The script of Divine Truth is floating across the stars, planets and galaxies if we open the eyes of reasoning. Every atomic and sub-atomic part of this material world is witnessing every bit of the revealed philosophy. Reasoning would have to be mobilized if we are really interested in leading the world in any kind of intellectual discourse and moral domains.
The writer is Professor of Economics and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. He can be reached at email@example.com