Does his honor Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani believe wisdom is prior to religion and does he believe that we should abide by the wisdom rather than religion?
Your question is rising from the incorrect assumption that intellect and religion are in contradiction with one another, in such a way that adherence to one means compromising adherence to another and inevitably one has to regard one of them prior to another, while, in the opinion of his honor Mansoor, wisdom and religion have originated from one source and both are created by the wise God, and therefore there is no conflict between them; as God Himself has said: ﴿مَا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ﴾; “You may not see any diversity in creation of God” and yet, adherence to intellect does not mean that you do not obey the religion and is not equivalent to prioritizing one over another; but rather, it means it is also obeying the religion; because religion has commanded to obey intellect and has invited toward it due to the unity of the source and the perfect reconciliation of religion and intellect; as, for example, God has said: ﴿لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ﴾; “It is hoped that you will use intellect” and has said: ﴿أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ﴾; “So, do you not use intellect?” Therefore, Mansoor does not regard intellect is beyond religion and does not believe that you should obey the wisdom of intellect in lieu of religion, rather he believes intellect is in full agreement and congruence with the religion, and he believes you must abide by both of them, as God has commanded to obey them both and has said: ﴿أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ﴾; “Do you think that most of them will listen or use their intellect?! They are nothing except like the beasts, they are even more ignorant” and has said: ﴿وَقَالُوا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ﴾; “They say that if we had listened or had used our intellect, we were not among the companions of fire”, While many Muslims, in contrast to this statement of God, believe that with presence of religion there is no need to follow the wisdom of intellect, and religion removes the need to intellect, but rather they believe adherence to wisdom is inappropriate when religion is present and whoever cites intellect while religion exists is in a state of heresy and deviation. On top of this group, the Ahl Al-Hadith from among Muslims are living and they believe whatever they need is mentioned in the Hadiths (narrations), and when Hadith is present there is no need to use intellect, while this supposition is contrary to reality; because even the Hadith, whether in terms of validity or in terms of meaning is recognized by intellect and cannot be recognized without intellect. Consequently, his honor Mansoor believes that having adherence and obedience to intellect is an inalienable and inevitable necessity, and he believes that unhappiness and disdain about it, does not have any effect in obeying it in the sense of utilizing it. Yes, indeed he sees intellect as the criterion for cognition and in this regard, it can be said intellect precedes religion, but this is only due to the fact that the religion is known by intellect and cannot be known by its own means; because it is clear that it is impossible to verify validity of the Qur’an, by referring to Qur’an and verify validity of the Sunnah, by referring to Sunnah, and such an action is meaningless. Therefore, in order to know the validity of the religion, there is no choice other than invoking intellect, and therefore, the intellect has some sort of natural and inevitable precedence, and religion recognizes this precedence, but this does not mean that all religious credits like prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and zakat etc. are independently recognized by intellect; because such credits are from among inventions of religion that intellect cannot count their causes and means and therefore inevitably considers it necessary to listen to them. Therefore, the criterion of intellect for knowledge does not mean that it does not need religion, but it means it is a tool for acquiring knowledge of everything, including the religion, which is naturally possible with its intrinsic credibility. It is hereby understood that those who accused Mansoor of preaching precedence of intellect over religion despite its deficiency in relation to the religion have not understood him at all, and they have not comprehended any of the preliminaries of his honor’s dialogue, and they only see it from the angle of their own presuppositions based on opposition between intellect and religion or they have looked at his honor’s book based on its equivalence between Istihsan and comparison. There is no doubt that recognizing his Excellency’s thoughts and the image of pure and complete Islam that he has introduced, is impossible without setting aside such presuppositions or without a correct apprehension of his cognitive intellectual foundations and those who, by relying on their intellectual foundations and baseless presuppositions that they have built for themselves, regardless of prerequisites and introductions, listen to his teachings, will not understand anything from them and will not accept them either, and this is not of course the sin of his honor, but they are to be guilty instead; those who, instead of understanding, ridicule and instead of using him harass him or those who have chosen a meaningless and useless silence before his honor.