|Translation of the Persian explanation of Shaykh Saleh Sabziwari|
Deniers of authority of intellect; Christian scholars and Muslim Ahl al-Hadith
(I seek refuge to God from the expelled Shaytan
In the name of God, the most merciful and the most beneficent
Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace be upon Mohammad and his purified family
In the preceding discussion, it became clear that “intellect” have all the necessary qualities to be the criterion of cognition; because it is both “necessary”, to the meaning that it is inevitable and every human being willingly or unwillingly is forced to use it, and is “Unit”, in the sense that it is possessed by all humans and has the same fundamental perceptions, and if humans are bound to it, their differences will be resolved and will achieve unity and is also “trivial”, in the sense that its authority and credibility is ultimately clear and there is no need to argue and prove it; because any reasoning and affirmation is done by intellect itself and credibility and authority is nothing but rationality. Despite all this, there have been some groups who did not accept the credibility and authority of intellect and this is really strange! Our master Al-Mansoor introduces some of these groups and discusses them under subject)
Deniers of authority of intellect
(He says:) Authority of intellect and its being as a standard for cognition, is from essential issues (that is, inevitable and undeniable) having doubt in which is meaningless (because it is a sophistication and is doubt in a very clear matter). However, there have been people who have doubts in it for a long time until now and even they have denied it (and it is hereby understood that this creature with a head and two ears, has left no truth in the world unless he has doubts in it! This is why God has said about him in His book «ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا» [Al-Ahzab /72], meaning “extremely cruel and ignorant” and even in one case He has sent him death and has said: «قُتِلَ الْإِنْسَانُ مَا أَكْفَرَهُ» [Ibrahim /10], meaning “Death to the human who is to such an extent infidel”! His oppressive and ignorant doubts have grown to the point where he doubted his God! While nothing in the world is clearer than God is; because according to our master Al-Mansoor, everything in the world is known by God and it is not possible to know anything before knowing God! Therefore, He has said with surprise: «أَفِي اللَّهِ شَكٌّ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ» (Ibrahim / 10); meaning “Is there doubt in God who is the creator of the heavens and the earth?”; But this skeptical creature has brought his oppressive and ignorant doubts to the point where he doubts even in himself! Like some so-called philosophical sects who suspected everything including self-existence, and they suspected that their existence might be fictitious and unrealistic!! Anyway, this is a strange thing in humans that, although something is very clear and tangible, he doubts about it, to the extent that human nature may be interpreted with some tolerance to be defined by doubts instead of being a talking creature: “human is a doubtful skeptic animal”!! Therefore you see they doubted in the prophets, despite all their great miracles, and they doubted in their successors and they doubted in any knowledge and reason and information they brought! Today, our master Al-Mansoor, though invites them toward Imam Mahdi peace be upon him clearly and decently and prepares the ground objectively and practically for his appearance, and he has no claim for himself and he does not say that I am definitely promised and does not ask for any financial help from anyone and does not disrespect or oppress anyone and does not belong to any group, religion or government and speaks according to the Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet and common sense, is still doubted and without any valid reason, they have odd and unlikely possibilities and have very bad suspicious thoughts about him! This is an attribute of human that has been originated from the fact that he is «ظلوماً جهولاً»; as if his mind has been saddened by doubt and doubts the earth and the sky and everything between them and barely ever becomes certain.
Anyway, our master Al-Mansoor names the most important groups who deny the authority and credibility of intellect, and firstly names)
(As a group outside world of Islam from which we should take lesson and avoid being like them and he says:) For example, the Christian scholars who have undertaken the leadership of the church, (meaning its management and leading the world of Christianity) are among those who do not believe in authority of intellect and do not consider it as cognition standard. (meaning, both with regards to beliefs, considering that they recognize faith is not an intellectual matter, and with regards to practice, given the fact that they have no commitment to rational necessities and confirm contradictory theories). Since 4th century A.D., (That is, in the year 325 AD, a so-called “Niqiya” council with the presence of dozens of outstanding bishops was ordered by the king of Constantine of the Roman Emperor to determine the status of Christ, and eventually approved that Christ, the true God, is the son of the true God, and cursed those who believed he is a creature and excommunicated them and he laid the foundation for this great heredity that has continued until today. Our master Al-Mansoor says that the Christian scholars of that time) these who have come to the belief that the Christ, is God and is God’s child at the same time, have said farewell to the authority of intellect (in a practical perspective) since believing in the Christ’s divinity and his filial status at the same time for God, is an apparent contradiction which is not absolutely accepted by the intellect (given that the birth of one for himself requires union of two opposites, in the sense that one has two contradictory natures which cannot be combined at the same time), and those who have had such a (unreasonable) belief, could not have paid attention to intellect (because intellect laughs at such an impossible belief and does not acknowledge it). From long ago until now (i.e. the fourth century, and even before that in the second century AD, when the Tartolian first time introduced the belief in Trinity) they have insisted on this principle that the unit God, is three persons (meanwhile He is Unit): father, son and the Holy Spirit and this is exactly the same as if they say: one is equal to three! (This explanation of our Master Al-Mansoor is very clear and precise, and highlights the contradiction and the impossibility of this belief; given that Christian scholars believe in God’s monotheism while also believe in Trinity and this means equalizing one with three!) There is no doubt that such a belief is the most impossible of all, (Of course, all the impossibilities are impossible and there is no difference in their impossibility level, but some of the impossibilities have a clearer impossibility and some others need more reflection and our master Al-Mansoor intention from “the most impossible of all” is an impossible whose impossibility is clearer than others) and intellect cannot comprehend the unity of God despite divinity of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. (Indeed this disability, contrary to the imagination of the Christian scholars, is not due to the weakness and deficiency of intellect, but it is because of the impossibility of the unity of God despite divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) Moreover, believing in the occurrence of God from Himself, (given that Christians believe that God has come from God!) transforming God to human being, (given that Christians believe that God has become man and embodied in Christ!) pre-existence of the Christ despite being born from Mary (Given that Christians believe that Christ existed from the beginning and was not created, yet he was born from Mary!) and the Christ being sacrificed for forgiveness of the sins (given that Christians name Christ “Faddy” meaning “the sacrifice” who believe that he has surrendered himself to death and has been crucified in order to forgive sins of the past and the future generation of all Christians, and they will be able, like today, to commit any misconduct they wish to do and do not be constrained with any of God’s restrictions!) and other beliefs like that, has converted Christianity to a contradictory (i.e. self-contradictory and inconsistent) and unwise religion. Therefore, masters of the church (i.e. its owners and elders) have come to the belief that being wise is not necessary for the belief; since the faith is a heart issue (Meaning that, it is “emotional” and based on “taste”. It is also a common game with words that our Master Al-Mansoor criticizes it in the topic “superstition” as he continues in the book because in his opinion “the heart” is not a perceiver independent from intellect and what is called “the heart” among this group is nothing but “intellect constrained in cognition impediments”! However, these Christian scholars, since they have seen their beliefs are not truly and fairly reasonable and cannot be rationally justified, have erased the question and said: There is no need that beliefs should be reasonable) and it does not need to be conformed to intellect. (The reason for this sophistry is that) In fact from their point of view, the standard for cognition is not the intellect, but is the religious texts (i.e. the Holy Scriptures) and since religious texts (for example, the Christian narrations from the Gospel) confirm such contradictions, believing in them is necessary. (I remember that one time our master Al-Mansoor, while I was with him, was speaking with some Christian bishops from Africa and he clarified for them with some strong intellectual arguments that there are contradictions in their beliefs, and they were silent and helpless in every direction until they finally responded that you are right, and these beliefs are not reasonable, but the fact is that the Bible explicitly implies them, and this is enough for us as a reason! He said: Therefore, you cannot defend your beliefs against a non-Christian and you have to keep your beliefs for yourself! They accepted and said: “you are right, and this is what we do!” Anyway, our master Al-Mansoor, for this very reason, considers Christian scholars to be the deniers of authority of intellect, and considers new Christianity to be a contradictory and unacceptable religion. Further, he names another group of deniers of authority of intellect and that is)
[Muslim Ahl Al-Hadith]
(Which is considered to be a popular Islamic group and is also a very selfish group; because it considers itself to be flawless and perfect and considers other groups in astray, while our master Al-Mansoor reveals the misguidance in this group and reveals a great deal of flaw in terms of foundations in this group and says:) Propagation of this contradictory and unwise approach in western materialist and experience-oriented societies is surprising, (since these societies claim to be wise and rational, and they consider materialism and experientialism as the culmination of rationalism and therefore, they sometimes deny the world of the unseen and they do not recognize whatever is not sensed real, but with all this, they follow Christianity in terms of religion which is the most contradictory, superstitious and irrational religions of the world! Therefore our master Al-Mansoor says this is a strange thing), but more surprising than that is the propagation of a similar approach among Muslims who blame the Christians for having this approach! (Because it is unlikely from Muslims who have a wise and realistic religion, and who regard Christians followers of superstition and illusion, and yet they have such an approach. But, which group of Muslims had such an approach?) Specifically, a group of Muslims appeared during the 2nd and 3rd century AH (The second half of the Umayyad era and the first century of the Abbasid era) in contrast with (meaning as an antithesis) the groups such as Mu’tazilites (who had rational tendencies in the field of Islamic laws) and “Ahl al-Ra’y” (who had rational tendencies in the field of Islamic laws) who have denied the authority of intellect like Christians and believed that intellect may not be cognition standard. In their view, (due to the intensity of love and dependence they had on the Hadiths narrated from the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa ‘Alihi wa Sallam) who were called “Ahl Al-Hadith”, cognition standard, is the exact religious texts (i.e. mainly narrations) and any belief or deed, for which there is a single narration (not necessarily Mutawatir narration) that confirms it, is the truth even if it is contrary to intellect. (Considering that not at all, they did consider a role for intellect along with Hadith and they still don’t.) This was while from one hand, they received several true narrations about the authority of intellect and necessity to apply them (in an absolute sense and encompassing religion), which were intentionally encountered with their inattention and ignorance  (Where he says “intentionally” is because the Ahl Al-Hadith were not unaware of these correct and abundant narrations, but in practice they did not pay any attention to them, and they treated as if such wisdom hadiths did not have any trace in Islam!) and on the other hand, following the Omayyad monarchy (who were highly opposing rationalism and promoted unwise beliefs such as determinism), and the political and religious competitions of the first three generations, (i.e. companions, Tabe’in and followers of Tabe’in who had intense differences politically over Caliphate and religiously over some Islamic beliefs and laws), several forged and contradictory narrations (in the direction of confirming one and rejecting other) were propagated among them, which were deemed as true with their self-made standards (it is said their “self-made standards” because the standards of the Ahl Al-hadith to determine the authenticity or inaccuracy of a narration have no basis in intellect and religion, and is considered from their inventions after the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa ‘Alihi wa Sallam. For example, determining the credibility or lack of credibility of a narrator is based on the narration of another narrator about him, which is a ridiculous loophole and a funny sequence; apart from the fact that the narrator of another narrator does not have authority religiously or intellectually and does not bring about certainty, in the sense that one cannot, for example, prove lack of authenticity of one of the narrators such as Aban ibn Abi Ayyash, with another person’s opinion like Shu’bah ibn Hajjaj, unless his lack of authenticity has been proved with a decisive intellectual or religious argument; otherwise the opinion of Aban ibn Ayyash about him was useless unless for himself and did not have any credibility for others! Ahl Al-Sunnah [Sunni] narrators have narrated from Shu’bah ibn Abi Hajjaj who has said: If I drink from the piss of a donkey is better for me than narrating from Aban ibn Abi Ayyash! It is unclear what kind of hostility this gentleman had toward that gentleman who has made such an obscene comment about him; since the narrations received from Aban is not terrible to such an extent that shows he is a liar to such a level and presents him with such a bad face! Apart from the fact that Aban ibn Abi Ayyash may also have had the same opinion or even worse about Shu’bah!! As Shi’a narrators have narrated from Fazl ibn Shazan who has had such comments about Mohammad bin Sinan, while narrations of ibn Sinan are empty of what this gentleman attributed to him! Therefore, it is clear that is not possible to consider one narrator authentic and another narrator weak on the basis of taste and such exaggerated views, or to accept one narration and deny another narration. Such a way is not a credible method and it is not possible that God has obliged us to obey it. This is a very important knowledge that our master Al-Mansoor, with his special courage, explains in detail, under the topic “prevalence of traditionalism”, but apparently it is not acceptable to the fanatics of the Ahl Al-Hadith; as is the case for instance when a youth from Uzbekistan who had apparently studied the valuable book of his honor and had not digested this part of the book because of the prejudice he had about Ahl Al-Hadith, he told me with a wonder that this honorable man have spoken in such a way that Ahl Al-Hadith had been influenced by the rulers of Umayyad and had narrated fake hadiths! I said: Yes, this is exactly what he has said and this is a bitter reality that exists! Then with an angry and denial tone he said: “What is the reason for this claim?” I said: This claim is way clearer than one can be doubtful about it, because apart from many famous historical evidences and documents and instances, all these conflicting hadiths in the books of the Ahl Al-Hadith which has caused all the differences between Islamic sects, is the best reason for this claim; Considering that they have provided almost no narration from the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa ‘Alihi wa Sallam, unless they have also precisely contradicted it and this happened because of the prevalence of the fake and fabricated narrations among them under the influence of various factors, including the Umayyad ruler-ship. He said: Ahl Al-Hadith has not brought these hadiths! I said: Do you think that the Jins have brought them and entered in the books of Ahl Al-Hadith?! Anyways, it is clear that until the second and third centuries, many contradictory and fabricated narrations were prevalent among the Ahl Al-Hadith who, according to their loose and self-made standards, were considered correct.). These false and contradictory narrations (in many cases or in most cases), that were incompatible with intellect have made them believe that there is no accompaniment between intellect and religion; rather, religion is against intellect! (Because they considered these narrations, on one hand, according to their inventive standards, to be correct, and on the other hand, they were found to be against the wisdom. So either they should have ceased to believe in these narrations or they had to give up the wisdom and they chose the latter!) From their point of view, religion was a substitution for the intellect; (not a tool or partner for intellect); which means that while the religion exists, there is no need to intellect. Therefore, they deemed it an innovation to use intellect in understanding religion and (as they claimed that the religion is nothing but obedience to the words of God and His Prophet without any reasoning and the words of the Lord and His Prophet are beyond reason and that its rationality is not necessary. Therfore) they accused the wise for opposing religious texts. (although some rationalists, such as the Mu’tazilites and the Ahl Al-Ra’y, were not entirely rationalists and had many cognition impediments, and therefore had oppositions with pure and complete Islam, but these disagreements were never because of their commitment to intellect, but it was because of the cognitive impediments that they were suffering from; given that according to our master Al-Mansoor sayings, commitment to intellect is only useful and effective when it is not associated with the impediments of cognition.) In their view, intellect, whether for recognizing correctness of narrations or for recognizing their meanings, had no efficiency (that is, one can neither understand correctness of narration with intellect nor can understand meanings of narrations with it!) and this would mean that one unwise narration could be true (merely because of its reference) or one true narration could have an unwise meaning; as for instance the narrations indicating the existence of direction, (i.e. a materialistic and realistic higher and lower position), movement (i.e., relocating from top to bottom and vice versa) and body limbs (i.e., the body organs) for God, although it was definitely unwise, (because God is not a body and it is not possible to be in a particular direction, and to go up and down and have the right hand and feet and a realistic finger) was considered as true and in this way, this made the Muslims beliefs closer to the polytheists’ beliefs! (Because this image of God was similar to the image that the idolaters presented from Him, and they painted them on the walls of their idol houses!) It is clear that this approach was exactly similar to the approach that was adopted by Christian scholars in the nearby outside the Islamic world, (in Christian Rome) in order to plan for propagating the polytheistic beliefs, through stiffness (meaning a corporeal and unconscious use) of apparent meaning of religious texts’ and through denying the authority of intellect (given that when rationality among the Ummah is weakened, the superstitious and polytheist beliefs will easily spread among them; as it happened, and after the spread of lack of wisdom among Muslims, some beliefs came among them that causeed surprise and regret. This was the second group of the deniers of authority of intellect. The third group is the Salafis from Muslims who are in very close correlation with this second group and we will look into it in the next lesson Inshallah).
Wa salamualaikum wa rahmatullah
↑ . See: Maj-Ma’ Al-Kana’es Al-Sharqiya, Qamus al-Kitab al-Muqaddas, Page 232.
↑ . See: ibid, page 233.
↑ . As for instance ibn Abi Al-Dunya (Died 281 AH) has collected some of these narrations in the book Al-Aql wa fadluh.