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18.8.12

Quran: Intellect and Reason


The difference between human and animals is the 'intellect', the ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding. intellect enables man to think rationally and discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood. Quran repeatedly emphases and urge the people to use their intellect to understand its message. Blind faith without reason is faith of ignorants. Islam is a religion without any mythology. Its teachings are simple and intelligible. It is free from superstitions and irrational beliefs. The oneness of God, the prophet-hood of Muhammad (pbuh), and the concept of life after death are the basic articles of its faith. They are based on reason and sound logic. All of the teachings of Islam flow from those basic beliefs and are simple and straightforward. There is no hierarchy of priests, no farfetched abstractions, no complicated rites or rituals. Islam awakens in man the faculty of reason and exhorts him to use his intellect:
And in the alternation of night and day, and in the provision God sends down from the sky, bringing Earth to life by it after it has died, and in the varying direction of the winds, there are Signs for people who use their intellect.  (Qur'an, 45:5)
Quran enjoins people to see things in the light of reality.
“Verily, the vilest of all creatures in the sight of God are those deaf, those dumb ones who do not use their intellect.” (Quran; 8:22)
“..he who perished might perish by a clear proof and he who survived might survive by a clear proof “(Quran; 8:42)
"There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever rejects the devil and believes in God has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks. God is All-hearing and knowing."(Quran;2:256)
Most frequently used words in this context in Quran are; albāb (أَلْبَٰب), aqal (عَقَلُ) meaning, understanding, intellect, fuād (فُؤَاد), qalb (قَلْب) & Sadr (صَدْر).The heart (♥) has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, also intellectual core of a human being. According yo recent scientific research indicate that  that heart is not merely a pump but has its own mini brain. Despite the importance of the brain, the heart seems to be serving as an organ of intelligence in its own right [click for details].
Quran also refers to brain for intellect as commonly perceived now:
 بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ ۚ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ 
"Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold,  falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us)". [Quran;21:18]
Quran repeatedly exhorts the humanity to; Ponder [ يَتَدَبَّرُ] over Signs [āyat  ءَايَة], Albāb  أَلْبَٰب understand, Think [فَكَّرَ ], seek Proof [بُرْهَانٌ] seek and employ Knowledge  [il'm  عِلْم] and Wisdom [Hik'mat حِكْمَة] to be guided to true path for salvation. Those who reject the guidance are Ignorant جَاهِل. Some examples are mentioned below:- 
Albāb  أَلْبَٰب:
The triliteral root lām bā bā (ل ب ب) occurs 16 times in the Quran as the noun albāb (أَلْبَٰب), meaning, understanding.
(2:179:6) l-albābi(of) understandingوَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
(2:197:29) l-albābi(of) understandingوَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(2:269:16) l-albābi(of) understandingوَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(3:7:46) l-albābi(of) understandingيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(3:190:11) l-albābi(of) understandingإِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(5:100:13) l-albābi(of) understandingفَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
(12:111:7) l-albābi(of) understandingلَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(13:19:15) l-albābi(of) understandingإِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(14:52:13) l-albābi(of) understandingوَلِيَعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَلِيَذَّكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(38:29:9) l-albābithose of understandingلِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(38:43:10) l-albābifor those of understandingوَمِثْلَهُمْ مَعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِنَّا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(39:9:24) l-albābithose of understandingإِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(39:18:13) l-albābithe men of understandingأُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمْ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(39:21:31) l-albābifor those of understandingإِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(40:54:4) l-albābi(of) understandingهُدًى وَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
(65:10:9) l-albābi(of) understandingفَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا

For more details click here>>>
Ponder: yatadabbaru (يَتَدَبَّرُ):
Four times as the form verb yatadabbaru (يَتَدَبَّرُ) is used meaning  'ponder'
(4:82:2) yatadabbarūnathey ponderأَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ
(23:68:2) yaddabbarūthey ponderأَفَلَمْ يَدَّبَّرُوا الْقَوْلَ أَمْ جَاءَهُمْ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِ آبَاءَهُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
(38:29:5) liyaddabbarūthat they may ponderكِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
(47:24:2) yatadabbarūnathey ponderأَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
Ponder, Thought, فَكَّرَ
The triliteral root fā kāf rā (ف ك ر) to mean 'thought, ponder, reflect'occurs 18 times in the Quran, in two derived forms: once as the form II verb fakkara فَكَّرَ,  times as the form V verb yatafakkaru (يَتَفَكَّرُ). For details click here >>>

(74:18:2) fakkarathoughtإِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ

Verb  - to ponder, to reflect

(2:219:26) tatafakkarūnaponderكَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(2:266:35) tatafakkarūnaponderكَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(3:191:8) wayatafakkarūnaand they reflectالَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
(6:50:28) tatafakkarūnayou give thoughtقُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(7:176:30) yatafakkarūnareflectفَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(7:184:2) yatafakkarūthey reflectأَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُوا مَا بِصَاحِبِهِمْ مِنْ جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ
(10:24:43) yatafakkarūnawho reflectكَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(13:3:24) yatafakkarūnawho ponderإِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(16:11:16) yatafakkarūnawho reflectإِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(16:44:12) yatafakkarūnareflectوَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(16:69:24) yatafakkarūnawho reflectفِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(30:8:2) yatafakkarūthey ponderأَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ
(30:21:20) yatafakkarūnawho reflectوَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(34:46:11) tatafakkarūreflectأَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَىٰ وَفُرَادَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا
(39:42:26) yatafakkarūnawho ponderإِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(45:13:16) yatafakkarūnawho give thoughtإِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(59:21:18) yatafakkarūnagive thoughtوَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Proof  بُرْهَانٌ :
The quadriliteral root bā rā hā nūn (ب ر ه ن) occurs 8 times in the Quran as the noun bur'hān (بُرْهَٰن). 
(2:111:15) bur'hānakumyour proofتِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
(4:174:5) bur'hānuna convincing proofيَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بُرْهَانٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ
(12:24:9) bur'hānathe proofوَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَا أَنْ رَأَىٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ
(21:24:8) bur'hānakumyour proofأَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ آلِهَةً قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ
(23:117:8) bur'hānaproofوَمَنْ يَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ لَا بُرْهَانَ لَهُ بِهِ فَإِنَّمَا حِسَابُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ
(27:64:16) bur'hānakumyour proofأَإِلَٰهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
(28:32:16) bur'hānāni(are) two evidencesفَذَانِكَ بُرْهَانَانِ مِنْ رَبِّكَ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ
(28:75:8) bur'hānakumyour proofوَنَزَعْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا فَقُلْنَا هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ
For more details click here>>>
ʿKnowledge il'm عِلْم
The triliteral root ʿayn lām mīm (ع ل م) meaning 'Knowledge' occurs 854 times in the Quran, in 14 derived forms, including 105 times as the noun ʿil'm (عِلْمmeaning 'knowledge' For details click here >>
Ignorant جَاهِل
Opposed to knowledgeable, the triliteral root jīm hā lām (ج ه ل) 'ignorant' occurs 24 times in the Quran, in six derived forms: five times as the form I verb yajhalu (يَجْهَلُ), once as the noun jāhiliyyat (جَٰهِلِيَّة), three times as the proper noun jāhiliyyat (جَٰهِلِيَّة), four times as the noun jahālat (جَهَٰلَة), once as the adjective jahūl (جَهُول), 10 times as the active participle jāhil (جَاهِل).
Say, [O Muhammad], "Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?"[38:64]
Right Minded  رَشِيدٌ
Derived from the triliteral root rā shīn dāl (ر ش د) occurs 19 times in the Quran, in seven derived forms:  right path, rightly guided, rightly minded, guidance & guide.
Hik'mat حِكْمَة
Hik'mat (حِكْمَة) noun, meaning ''wisdom' appears 20 times in Quran.
(2:129:11) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomيَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ
(2:151:12) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomيَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
(2:231:35) wal-ḥik'matiand [the] wisdomوَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ
(2:251:10) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomوَقَتَلَ دَاوُودُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمَّا يَشَاءُ
(2:269:2) l-ḥik'mata[the] wisdomيُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَنْ يَشَاءُ
(2:269:7) l-ḥik'mata[the] wisdomوَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا
(3:48:3) wal-ḥik'mataand [the] wisdomوَيُعَلِّمُهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ
(3:81:10) waḥik'matinand wisdomلَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ
(3:164:18) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomيَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
(4:54:15) wal-ḥik'mataand [the] wisdomفَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا
(4:113:23) wal-ḥik'mataand [the] Wisdomوَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ
(5:110:24) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomوَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ
(16:125:5) bil-ḥik'matiwith the wisdomادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ
(17:39:7) l-ḥik'matithe wisdomذَٰلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَىٰ إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ
(31:12:4) l-ḥik'matathe wisdomوَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ
(33:34:9) wal-ḥik'matiand the wisdomوَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ
(38:20:4) l-ḥik'mata[the] wisdomوَشَدَدْنَا مُلْكَهُ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَفَصْلَ الْخِطَابِ
(43:63:8) bil-ḥik'matiwith wisdomقَالَ قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَلِأُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ
(54:5:1) ḥik'matunWisdomحِكْمَةٌ بَالِغَةٌ فَمَا تُغْنِ النُّذُرُ
(62:2:14) wal-ḥik'mataand the wisdomيَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
Signs; āyat  ءَايَة
The triliteral root hamza yā yā (أ ي ي) occurs 382 times in the Quran as the noun āyat (ءَايَة) it is means 'sign or proof' at 172 places, which also include miracles. The other meaning is 'verse', in fact each verse of Quran is also a 'sign' of Allah.
"The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - [those] from which men and livestock eat - until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought."(10:24)
And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and a manifest authority;(11:96)
10:24) l-āyāti              the Signs              كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(2:99)  āyātin              Verses              وَلَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَا يَكْفُرُ بِهَا إِلَّا الْفَاسِقُونَ
(11:96 biāyātinā      with Our Signs       وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا
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Intellect عَقَلُ
The triliteral root ʿayn qāf lām (ع ق ل) occurs 49 times in the Quran as the form of verb ʿaqalu عَقَلُ. Which means; mind, reason, brains, intellect, intelligence, sense, understand, understanding. Some verses are mentioned here:
(2:44:10) taʿqilūnayou use reasonأَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنْسَوْنَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ أَفَلَاتَعْقِلُونَ
(2:73:11) taʿqilūnause your intellectكَذَٰلِكَ يُحْيِي اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
(2:75:17) ʿaqalūhuthey understood itيَسْمَعُونَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ
(2:76:23) taʿqilūnaunderstandأَتُحَدِّثُونَهُمْ بِمَا فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لِيُحَاجُّوكُمْ بِهِ عِنْدَ رَبِّكُمْ أَفَلَاتَعْقِلُونَ
(2:164:43) yaʿqilūnawho use their intellectوَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

For all 49 verses please click here >>>
On عَقَلُ aql and Rationale:
By: Abd-Allah Muhammad bin Abdul Karim and Hazreen Haizi binti Harith
Verses that contain the word  عَقَلُ aql (ع ق ل ain-qaf-lam) or its derivatives are 49 in the Quran. Verses that contain any word that have similar meaning, like fikr (fa-kaf-ra), faqaha (fa-qaf-ha), dhikr (dha-kaf-ra), lubb (lam-ba-ba) or it's plural, albab are numerous, which shows that the concept of thinking is indeed highly promoted in the Quran. However, for the purpose of simplicity, only verses containing the word عَقَلُ aql or its derivatives are  being analyzed here, which is a total of 49 verses.
The word عَقَلُ aql means intellect or reason, or to restrain. The use of عَقَلُ aql is encouraged in the Quran, as mentioned when Allah says: ع And We have certainly left of it a sign as clear evidence for a people who use reason.' (29:35). In all 49 verses, it was concluded that they could be divided into 2 main categories, which are:
1) verses inviting mankind in general to use their عَقَلُ aql and reflect upon the creations and signs of Allah, and;
2) verses addressing specific groups of people with regards to the use of their عَقَلُ aql.
In those verses that invite all kinds of people to use their عَقَلُ aql, there were few recurring themes or signs that were mentioned. Among them were:
i) the development and life of human,
ii) the life, through water, and death of the earth and its produces, and
iii) the alteration of night and day. 
For example, the Quran states, "And it is He who gives life and causes death, and His is the alternation of the night and the day. Then will you not reason?' (23:80), and ˜Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. We have made clear to you the signs; perhaps you will understand.' (57:17), as well as, "And he to whom We grant long life We reverse in creation; so will they not understand?' (36:68)
Upon further reflection on these verses, some of the lessons that could be extracted is that Allah is in control of each of His creation, He gives life to any, and as such, He gives death to any, and most importantly, none of His creation is exempted from death.
In the second category, the verses were addressed to specific groups of people. These verses can be further divided into 4 categories, which are, verses addressed to:
i) the non-believers who needs further guidance, 
ii) the non-believers who rejects the belief in Allah, 
iii) the people of the book [Jews & Christians] and 
iv) the believers.
For the first group of people, they are those who still need guidance in putting their  عَقَلُ aql to appropriate usage. After being invited to reflect on the signs and creations of Allah, and to believe that Allah is in control of everything, human could still be directed into different directions depending on the use of the عَقَلُ aql. However, Allah guides human further by rejecting the concept of worshipping multiple gods, idol-worshipping or blind faith. For example, the Quran states, He presents to you an example from yourselves. Do you have among those whom your right hands possess any partners in what We have provided for you so that you are equal therein [and] would fear them as your fear of one another [within a partnership]? Thus do We detail the verses for a people who use reason.' (30:28), also, "And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?' (2:170)
As mentioned in the Quran, the non-believers from different generations rejected their prophet(s) with various accusations, and Allah tells them to use their عَقَلُ ˜aql and ponder about this matter, when He says, Say, “If Allah had willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you, for I had remained among you a lifetime before it. Then will you not reason?”' (10:16)
Furthermore, they were also reminded to reflect upon and learn about the fate of previous generations who rejected their prophet and the message of Islam, in at least 3 different places. An example is, "So have they not travelled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.' (22:46)
The second group of people addressed are the non-believers who refused to believe and submit to the Oneness of Allah even after being invited to ponder upon the creations and signs of Allah, to reflect on His Oneness, His messengers and their roles, and the fate of the previous generations who refused to believe. For this group, the Quran simply state that they are those whom do not use their عَقَلُ aql, or do not think at all. Among others, they are addressed as;
1) the deaf, dumb and blind, as in this verse,˜The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.' (2:171), and 
2) the worst of creatures in this verse, Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.' (8:22)
It is also mentioned that, they have hearts that are divided as shown in this verse, ˜They will not fight you all except within fortified cities or from behind walls. Their violence among themselves is severe. You think they are together, but their hearts are diverse. That is because they are a people who do not reason.' (59:14)
And because they are people whom do not utilize their عَقَلُ aql, and consequently do not believe, their fate in this world is that they are defiled, while in the hereafter, their destination is the hell fire while regretting not using there عَقَلُ aql properly, as mentioned in these two verses, and He will place defilement upon those who will not use reason.' (10:100), and ˜And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”' (67:10)
The third group of people addressed is the People of the Book [Jews, Christians]. In the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), some of them claimed that they believed, but refused to accept the message of Prophet (pbuh). For these people, the Quran addressed them by posing rhetorical questions, which portrayed the acts that they were questioned with looked even worse. From the analysed verses, none of the verses mentioned them as people who do not think directly. Some of the acts that were questioned were, first, them not practising what they preach in this verse, "Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?' (2:44), second, their argument about Abraham (pbuh) in this verse, ˜O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?' (3:65), and, third, them preferring the lowly life as mentioned in this verse, And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, “It will be forgiven for us.” And if an offer like it comes to them, they will [again] take it. Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it? And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah, so will you not use reason?' (7:169)
One important lesson that could be extracted from these verses is that, they used their عَقَلُ aql based on their whims and desire, and their refusal to believe was due to sheer arrogance.
The final group of people addressed is the believers, who submit to the Oneness of Allah, who worship Allah alone, and obey the teachings of His messenger, Muhammad (pbuh). Upon reflecting on the signs and creations of Allah, the Eeman or faith of the believers should be reaffirmed and solidified, resulting in increased `ubudiyyah (worship acts) to Allah. However, the use of عَقَلُ ˜aql for a believer has to be accompanied with knowledge i.e. in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. As mentioned in the Quran, none would properly understand, except people with knowledge, ˜And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.' (29:43) In addition, in few occasions, the Quran tells the believers, to ponder and learn from the Quran itself, Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand.' (12:2)
In the remaining of the verses addressed to the believers, most begins by Allah mentioning His commands, and ends with عَقَلُ so that you may understand', implying that, it is not for the believer to question the details of these commands, rather, obey it and be assured that there are lessons to be learned from these commands. For example, "Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”' (6:151), and ˜O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason.' (3:118)
The believers are also reminded to reflect upon the deceptions of Satan (shaytaan) that has led many astray, ˜And he had already led astray from among you much of creation, so did you not use reason?' (36:62).
Also, in lieu of the lesson of life and death and that no creation of Allah could escape from death (from the first main category), which invites people to ponder upon the signs of Allah, the believers were asked to think beyond this life through rhetorical questions. For example, ˜And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?' (6:32). As well as, ˜And whatever thing you [people] have been given – it is [only for] the enjoyment of worldly life and its adornment. And what is with Allah is better and more lasting; so will you not use reason?' (28:60)
In conclusion, even though these verses are directed towards different groups, each of it serves as a reminder for the believers. As for the verses directed towards those who do not submit to the Oneness of Allah and the people of the book, a believer should continue reexamining him/herself so that he/she is free from the characteristics associated with these groups. As for the verses directed to the believers, one should always pause and reflect upon them. Indeed there are great lessons to be learned. Allahu ta`ala a`lam.
Quran emphasizes use of intellect, reason and understanding to ponder over Quran to grasp the real message. Translation of some verses is given below:.
"...We explain our signs clearly for those who use reason." [Quran 30:28] 
"They will say: If only we had listened or used reason, we would not have ended up as inmates in the burning fire." [Quran 67:10] 
"We have made the revelations clear to you, if you will use your reason." [Quran 3:118]
"But none will grasp the message except the men of intellect." (Quran 2:269)
We have made it a Quran in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand. (Quran 43:3)
Verily, We have made this (Quran) easy, in your tongue, in order that they may give heed. (Quran 44:58)
This is a Book full of Blessings that we have revealed unto you so people ponder upon its verses and men of intellect may reflect. (Quran 38:29)
Do they not then ponder on the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? (Quran 47:24)
"He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! The Satan is but a traitor to man!" The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."(Quran 25:29-30)
Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful. (2:111) 
God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves ... (13:11)
They follow nothing except conjecture, and what the self desires ... (53:25)
If thou obeyest the most part of those on earth, they will lead thee astray from the path of God: they follow only surmise, merely conjecturing. (6:116) 
And pursue not that thou has no knowledge of ... (17:36) 
And when it is said to them: 'Follow what God has sent down', they say, 'No; but we will follow such things as we found our fathers doing.' What? Even if their fathers had no understanding of anything, and if they were not guided ? (2:170)
In the creation of the heavens and Earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships that sail the seas to people's benefit, and the water that God sends down from the sky—by which He brings Earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind—and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and Earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur'an, 2:164)
How many Signs there are in the heavens and Earth! Yet they pass them by, turning away from them. Most of them do not believe in God without associating others with Him. (Qur'an, 12:105-06)
Such metaphors—We devise them for humanity, but only those with knowledge understand them.  (Qur'an, 29:43)
Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and Earth and the variety of your languages and colors. There are certainly Signs in that for those who know.  (Qur'an, 30:22)
What about the one who spends the night hours in prayer, prostrating and standing up, mindful of the Hereafter, hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: "Are they the same—those who know and those who do not know?" It is only people of intelligence who pay heed.  (Qur'an, 39:9)
Rather, We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through its brain and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray!  (Qur'an, 21:18)
Read more:
An other view by Ashfaq Ahmad!
اشفاق احمد
ذہن کا اور Intellect کا سارا وجود اور اس کی اساس ”ناں“ پر قائم ہے۔ جب تک آپ میں نہ کہنے کی صلاحیت ہے، اس وقت تک آپ Intellect کے ساتھ وابستہ ہیں۔ اسی وقت تک آپ دانشور ہیں۔ جوں جوں انسان دانشور ہوتا جاتا ہے، اس کیلئے ”ہاں“ کہنا مشکل ہوتا جاتا ہے۔ اگر تم ”نہ“ کہہ رہے ہو توذہن کام میں مصروف ہے اور عمل ہو رہا ہے۔ جب آپ نے ”ہاں“ کہہ دیا تو وجود ٹھہر گیا۔ عمل رک گیا، سکون شروع ہوگیا۔ ایمان کے پاس کوئی دلیل نہیں ہوتی....نہ حق میں نہ خلاف۔ جن لوگوں نے خدا کو عقل سے اور دلیل سے ثابت کرنے کی کوشش کی (اور ولایت میں اس پر بڑا کام ہوا اور اب بھی ہو رہا ہے)۔ اور جن لوگوں نے خدا کے وجود کو دلیل سے ثابت بھی کر دیا اور لوگ اس کو مان بھی گئے انہوں نے خدا کو دلیل کے تابع کردیا۔ دلیل کو خدا سے افضل کر دیا ہے۔ دلیل خدا سے بڑی ہوگئی۔ لیکن جو خدا دلیل سے ثابت ہوگیا.... وہ دلیل سے رد بھی ہو سکتا ہے۔ چنانچہ اس دنیا میں جتنے بھی دہریے اور خدا کو نہ ماننے والے ہیں، وہ خدا کو ماننے والے دلائل پسند لوگوں کی وجہ سے ہیں۔ دینی لوگوں نے خدا کے بارے میں کبھی کوئی دلیل نہیں دی۔ انہوں نے خدا کو اوڑھا ہے خدا کو اختیار کیا ہے، اپنایا ہے.... تم خدا کو دیکھ نہیں سکتے لیکن ان لوگوں کو دیکھ سکتے ہو، جنہوں نے خدا کو اختیار کر رکھا ہے۔ جب کسی خدا رسیدہ شخص سے ملاقات ہوتی ہے تو آپ کی عقل اور آپ کی دانش آپ کو یہ نہیں بتلاتی کہ اس آدمی کو پکڑ لو۔ یہ شخص روحانی ہے، خدائی ہے.... خدا رسیدہ آدمی کو دیکھ کر آپ کا دل کچھ اور طرح سے دھڑکنا شروع ہوتا ہے۔ آپ کا دماغ نہیں آپ کا دل اس کے ساتھ ہم آہنگ ہوتا ہے۔ ذہن دلیل اور برہان یا تو ثابت کرسکتا ہے یا نا ثابت کرسکتا ہے اور جس وقت وہ کوئی چیز ثابت بھی کر رہا ہوتا ہے اس وقت وہ ”چیز“ کے بجائے اپنے آپ کو ہی ثابت کر رہا ہوتا ہے۔ اپنی ہی گا رہا ہوتا ہے۔ خدا کے وجود کو ثابت کرتے وقت اور لوگوں کو قائل کرتے وقت آپ خدا کو ثابت نہیں کر رہے ہوتے بلکہ اپنے آپ کو اپنی عقل کو اپنی دانش کو ثابت کر رہے ہوتے ہیں۔ آپ خدا کو اجاگر نہیںکر رہے ہوتے آپ لوگوں کو معقول کر رہے ہوتے ہیں۔ آپ یہ بتا رہے ہوتے ہیں کہ دیکھو اس کو کہتے ہیں دانشمندی اور منطق آویزی۔ انا کی سب سے پسندیدہ خوراک Intellect ہے Ego ذہن پر بڑا پھلتا پھولتا ہے۔ جب آپ ثبوت مہیا کر رہے ہوتے ہیں یا دلائل کاٹ رہے ہوتے ہیں۔ اس وقت خدا کا وجود یا خدا کا ماڈل سامنے نہیں ہوتا۔ صرف آپ ہی ہوتے ہیں۔ آپ ہی مرکز بنے بیٹھے ہوتے ہیں۔ سب توجہ آپ کی ذات پر ہی مرکوز ہوتی ہے۔ آپ محسوس کر رہے ہوتے ہیں کہ آپ بتا سکتے ہیں آپ بیان کر سکتے ہیں۔ آپ ثبوت دے سکتے ہیں۔ دلیل دے سکتے ہیں۔ مثال بیان کرسکتے ہیں۔ اس وقت خدا کا سارا دارومدار بھی آپ پر ہی ہوتا ہے۔ آپ چاہیں تو اس کو ثابت کردیں نہ چاہیں تو اس کا بطلان کردیں۔ اس کی حیثیت ثانوی ہوتی ہے۔ اس کائنات میں Intellect کے سامنے ہر شے کی حیثیت ثانوی ہے۔ نمرون Intellectہی ہے۔ ایمان کہتا ہے کہ دانش اور برہان کی حیثیت بعد کی ہے۔ ”ہونے“ کا وجود افضل ہے۔ ساری چیزیں ہونے سے تعلق رکھتی ہیں۔ Being اول ہے اور دانش ثانوی ہے۔ دانش اس کا ایک جزو ہے۔ لیکن Intellect ایک آمر ہے۔ ایک ڈکٹیٹر ہے جب ایمان جمہور پسند ہے۔ ایمان آپ کے سارے وجود کو سارے ”ہونے“ کو معنی عطا کرتا ہے۔ Expression عطا کرتا ہے جبکہ دانش جو محض ایک جزو ہے، اس کے مقابلے میںاپنے آپ کو افضل اور اعلیٰ اور Supreme سمجھتی ہے۔ (اشفاق احمد کی کتاب ”بابا صاحبا“ سے اقتباس ۔ یہ کتاب سنگِ مےل پبلی کےشنز نے چھاپی )

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