The book of intellect (reason) and ignorance
From: Usul al-Kafi , Traditions 1 to 27
1 Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): God created the faculty of intellect and bestowed upon it the power of speech. He then said to the intellect, “Come forward”, it came forward. He then ordered, “Go back”, it went back. He then proclaimed to the intellect, “By My Power and Majesty, I have not created anything dearer to me than you and I have not made you perfect except in those who I love. Lo! Verily to you alone will I issue My commandments, to you alone will I issue My prohibitions, to you alone will I punish and to you alone will I reward.”
Translator’s note:12 The brilliance and sublimity of the priceless gem of wisdom quoted above deserves further elaboration. This is a symbolic parable, told to illustrate a moral or spiritual truth, presenting the exact definition of the faculty of reasoning. A person endowed with reason recognizes, realizes, understands, appreciates and obeys the orders of his superior unquestionably and without hesitation, provided the Superior is Perfect, All-Knowing, Wise, Just and Matchless. Therefore, when the Intellect was asked to come forward, it did so, and when it was ordered to go back, it went back. When ordered to go back, ignorance could have instigated it to protest, “O Glorious One, You ordered me to come forward and now you ask me to go back! Why did you order me to come forward at all if I had to go back?” But the Intellect did not protest, because it knew that it is a creation itself and the commandment is from the Creator who is All Wise, All-Knowing, Just and Almighty, and the secrets of Divine Commandments cannot be gauged by created intelligence. ‘My’ only duty is to obey God willingly and with a firm conviction that every Divine Commandment has a reason beyond the comprehension of any created intelligence. Thus one of the signs of an intellect is to ponder upon the qualification and superiority of the one who commands and surrenders on finding his wisdom is infinite, no matter what he commands.
A brilliant example of persistent obedience to the commandments of God is a significant event in the life of Prophet Ibrahim (p) who informed his son Ismail, “Son, I have seen in my dream that I am slaughtering you. So consider what you think of it.” The son replied, “Father, do as you are commanded. You will find me steadfast if God so wills” (Q, 37:102, 103).
At face value, this commandment bestowed upon Ibrahim did not appear to reflect the Justice of God. A person of ordinary intelligence will question why the slaughtering of a young innocent boy was commanded for no mistake of him? But both the father and the son readily surrendered to the Will of their Lord without hesitation since their intellects were able to recognize the Infinite, All-Pervading, Unique and Superior nature of their lord. They were wise to distinguish between the intellect of the Origin and the created one. This truth defines the perfect intellect as one who readily accepts to every commandment without pondering upon its justification once it is known that it is from the Lord, the Creator and the Origin of the intellect itself.
The example quoted above is of the prophets who are infallibles while those who are not the prophets may also reach such a stage of unquestionable surrender to the commandment of the Lord. For example, Hajr the wife of prophet Ibrahim accepted to stay alone in the scary barren land with her baby Ismail without hesitation once she came to know that it was the command of the Lord. Another example is of the believer (Haroon e Makki) when he was asked by Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq to sit in the oven and he entered knowing well that unquestionable obedience to the Imam is like the unquestioned obedience to the Lord as He commands in verse 59 of Sura e Nisa “O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you (the divinely guided imams) . . .”
The conclusion is that the sign of a perfect intellect is a firm conviction that every Divine Commandment has a reason beyond the comprehension of any created intelligence. Where as, seeking justification after it is concluded that it is from the Lord, is not intellect but foolishness and ignorance.
2 Imam Ali (p): Jibrael (p) (Gabriel) descended to meet Prophet Adam (p) and said, “O Adam, I have been ordered to offer you the choice of one of three things. Therefore, choose one of them and leave the other two.”
Adam (p): And what are those three things, O Jibrael?
Jibrael (p): Intellect, Modesty and Religion.
Adam (p): I choose Intellect. Jibrael (p) then asked Modesty and Religion to leave. But they said, “O Jibrael, we have been ordered to remain with the Intellect wherever it may be.”
Jibrael (p): Lo! That is your choice.
Jibrael (p) then ascended to his heavenly abode.
Translator’s note: This tradition clearly asserts that religion and modesty are integral parts of the intellect (reason). Religion is based on reason and logic. All commandments, rulings and forms of worship are based on sound reasoning. There is nothing irrational in religion. Similarly, norms of modesty emanate from reasoning.
3 ImamJafar as-Sadiq (p) was requested to define ‘Intellect’ Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Intellect is that by which Allah is worshipped and Paradise is earned.
The Imam (p) was then asked: What did Muawiyah has?
The Imam (p): That was just craftiness (cunningness), shrewdness that appears like intellect but it is not intellect.
4 ImamJafar as-Sadiq (p): One who has intellect and reasoning is blessed with religion and one who is blessed with religion will enter Paradise.
5 Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Surely, God will subject his servants to different levels of scrutiny on the Day of Judgment according to the degree of intelligence bestowed on them in their worldly life.
6 Muhammadibn Suleiman al-Dailami spoke about the devotion, religious acts and piety of a certain individual to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p).
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): How is his intelligence? Muhammadibn: I have no idea.
The Imam (p): The degree of reward is based on the degree of his intellect.
Then the Imam (p) explained his statement with the following story: A person belonging to the tribe of Israel used to worship God on an island that was fertile, full of greenery and blossoming trees, with an abundant supply of pure and fresh water. One of the angels happened to pass that way and was impressed with the sincerity and devotion of the worshipper.
Angel: O my Lord! Show me the reward and blessings destined for this servant of Yours for his good deeds. God, the Elevated One, showed him the reward for the servant.
The angel thought that the reward was very little. God, the Elevated One, then inspired the angel to befriend the worshipper and the angel approached the worshipper in a Human form.
Worshipper: Who are you?
Angel: I am also a devoted worshipper. I have been heard about your unique worship and this inspiring place. Therefore, I have come here to worship God in your company.
A conversation took place between them the following morning the angel remained with the worshipper.
Angel: Your place is beautiful and most suitable for worship.
Worshipper: Yes it is, however, there is one drawback of this place.
Angel: And what is that?
Worshipper: Our Lord did not create an animal. I wish He had created a donkey, I would have let it graze the land of this island because all the grass here is wasted otherwise.
Angel: Is it true that your Lord does not possess a donkey?
Worshipper: It is sad that He does not have a donkey; otherwise this grass would not have been wasted.
God then revealed to the angel: We will reward him according to the degree of his intellect.
7 Prophet Muhammad (p): Whenever you hear about the captivating devotion of a person in worship, you should examine the degree of his intellect, since he will be rewarded according to his intellect.
8 Prophet Muhammad (p): God has not given to His servants anything better than intellect and reasoning. The slumber of a person of intellect is better than the vigilance (worship) of an ignorant one, and the immobility of a wise person is better than the travelling of an ignorant one.
God has not raised any Prophet or Apostle without perfecting his intellect so that it is of a higher level than that of all the members of his community. The wisdom that is found in the repository of a Prophet is far superior to the efforts of the scholars (and those who strive for knowledge) to attain wisdom.
No servant of God can discharge the duties assigned to him by God, unless he comprehends its significance. No ordinary worshipper can reach the highest height of excellence in his devotion to God, only an intellectual and wise person can. And it is the intellectual people who are people of understanding about whom God has said: “And none do realize except the men of understanding” (Q, 2:269).
9 Imam Musa al-Kazim (p) advised Hisham ibn Hakam: O Hisham! God, the Glorious, the Elevated One, has given good news to the people of reason and understanding, in His Book: “Give good news to my servants, those who listen to the word then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of intellect.” (Q, 39:17, 18)
He (p) further elaborated: O Hisham, God, the Glorious and the Elevated One, perfected the proofs of His existence for people according to their capacity for reasoning. He helped His Messengers and Apostles by bestowing on them the gift of excellent communication and guided them to realize His lordship through His signs and He said in the Noble Quran: “Your God is one God. There is no God except Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and in the vessels that sail at sea with profit to men, and in water that God sends down from the sky with which He revives the earth after its death, and scatters therein all kinds of animals, and in the circulation of the winds, and in the conditioning of the clouds between the heaven and the earth, are indeed signs for the people who apply reason.”(Q, 2:163, 164)
O Hisham, God has presented the above truths as proof of His existence. These facts are related to His Will, He has designed them saying: “God has made the day and the night, the sun and the moon, and all the stars subservient to you by His command. In this there are indeed signs for a people who apply reason.” (Q, 16:12)
“It is He, Who created you from clay, turning it into a living germ, then into a clot of blood, and then brings you forth as a child. He then made you grow into manhood and become old. He causes some of you to live for an appointed time and some of you to die before; in order that you may understand” (Q, 40:67)
God further said: “And in the alternation of night and day, and what God sends down from heaven of (His) with which He revives the earth after its death, and the changing of the winds, there are signs for a people who apply reason.” (Q, 45:5).
“ Know that Allah revives the earth after its death. We have indeed made the signs clear for you so that you may apply reason.” (Q, 57:17).
“ In the earth are adjacent pieces of lands, garden of vines, and fields sown, and date-palms of single and many roots which are all watered by the same water, and We give some of them an advantage over others in flavor. There are indeed signs in that for a people who apply reason.” (Q, 13:4).
“And of His signs is that He shows you the lightning, arousing fear and hope, and that He sends down water from the sky and with it revives the earth after it is dead. Surely in that are signs for a people who understand” (Q, 30:24).
“Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has forbidden you; that you associate not anything with Him, and to be good to your parents, and not to slay your children because of poverty; We will provide you and them; and that you approach not any indecency outward or inward, and that you slay not the soul God has forbidden, except by way of justice: thus does He command you, that you may understand” (Q, 6:151).
“…do you have, among that which your right hands own, associates in what We have provided for you so that you are equal in regard to it, you fearing them as you fear each other? So We distinguish the signs for a people who understand”(Q, 30:28).
After explaining this inspiring subject in detail, the Imam (p) addressed Hisham: O Hisham! Then He advised the intellectuals and has drawn their attention towards the Hereafter and has said in Noble Quran: “And what is this worldly life but play and vain sport. Certainly the abode of the Hereafter is the best (and perpetual) for those who guard themselves against evil. Do you not then understand?” (Q, 6:32)
O Hisham, thereafter God has put the fear of His chastisement in the hearts of those who do not ponder. He says: “Then We destroyed the others. And indeed you pass by them (their ruins) at dawn and at night. So do you not apply reason?” (Q, 37:137, 138)
And God also said: “We are about to inflict upon the people of this city a chastisement from heaven because of their disobedience. We have left a clear sign thereof for a people who would understand” (Q, 29:34, 35).
The Imam (p), then said something worth remembering: O Hisham! Intellect is interlinked with knowledge. God says: “These are the parables that we set forth for people, but no one comprehends them except those who possess knowledge” (Q, 29:43).
The Imam (p) continued his sermon: OHisham! God has further reprimanded those who do not put their reason to good use, saying: “And when it is said to them, ‘Follow that which God has sent down’, they say, ‘Nay, but we shall only follow in the way of our fathers.’ But what if their fathers had no sense and did not follow the right path? The similitude of those who disbelieve is like that of one who calls out to an animal which pays heed only to the sound of the voice without comprehending its meaning. Deaf, dumb and blind they are, incapable of understanding” (Q, 2:170,171).
“And some of them give ear to thee; what, wilt thou make the deaf to hear, though they understand not?” (Q, 10:42)
“Or deemest thou that most of them hear or understand not? They are but as the cattle; nay, they are further astray from the way” (Q, 25:44).
“They will not fight against you all together except in fortified cities, or from behind walls. Their valour is great, amongst themselves; you think of them as a host; but their hearts are scattered; that is because they are a people who have no sense” (Q, 59:14).
“…And (you) forget yourselves while you recite the book? Do you not understand?” (Q, 2:44)
O Hisham! The Almighty God has denounced numerical superiority with the words: “And if thou obeyest the most part of those on earth they will lead thee astray from the path of God …” (Q, 6:116)
“And if thou askest them: Who created the heavens and the earth? Certainly they will say: God. Say: All praise belongs to God. Nay, but most of them have no knowledge” (Q, 31:25)
“And if thou askest them: Who sends down out of heaven water, and therewith revives the earth after it is dead? Certainly (they) will say: God. Say: All praise belongs to God. Nay, but most of them have no understanding” (Q, 29:63)
The Imam (p) continued: O Hisham! Then God has praised the few in numbers with the words: “A few of My bondmen are thankful” (Q, 34:13). “And they are just a few” (Q,38:24)
Then said a man, a believer from among the people of Pharaoh, who concealed his faith, “Will you slay a man simply because he says, ‘God is My Lord” (Q, 40:28)
“And those who believed, but believed not with him but a few” (Q, 11:40).
“But most of them have no knowledge” (Q, 6:37).
“But most of them lack wisdom” (Q, 5:103).
“But most of them are ungrateful” (Q, 10:60).
The Imam (p) continued: O Hisham! Then God has praised the men of reason in good words and has praised them with fine comments and said: “He gives the wisdom to whosoever He wills and the one who is given wisdom, has been given much good and no one retains in his memory except men of understanding” (Q, 2:269).
And those firmly rooted in knowledge say, “We have faith in it. It is all from our lord, yet none remembers, but men of reason” (Q, 3:7).
“Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men of intellect” (Q, 3:190).
“Is he who knows what is sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, like him who is blind (to the signs)? Only intellectuals remember”(Q, 13:19).
“He who is prayerful during the hours of the night, prostrating in obedience and standing, he being sure of the world to come and hoping for the mercy of his Lord! Say, “Are they equal, those who know and those who know not? Only those possessed with reason remember” (Q, 39:9).
“O Muhammad, We have sent a book down to you, blessed, that man possessed of reason may ponder over the signs in it and remember” (Q, 38:29).
“We also gave Musa (Moses) the guidance and We bequeathed upon the Children of Israel the book for guidance and for a reminder to men of intellect” (Q, 40:53, 54).
“And reminder without fail profits the believers” (Q, 51:55).
The Imam (p) continuing his sermon said: O Hisham, God in the Noble Quran says: “Therein is verily a reminder for him who has a comprehending heart* ”(Q, 50:37).
* In this verse the expression ‘heart’ signifies ‘reason and wisdom’ and denotes the capacity for learning and understanding.
“And indeed we endowed Luqman with wisdom” (Q, 31:12).
O Hisham! Luqman advised his son: Submit to the truth and you will be the wisest among men, and surely a wise person when confronted with truth, accepts it. O my son, this world is like a deep ocean in which many a creation has sunk. Therefore let the fear of God be your boat in this ocean and let your firm conviction be the main plank of your boat. Let your complete reliance on God be its sail; let your wisdom be its motivating force; let your knowledge be its compass; and let your patience be its navigator.
O Hisham, for everything there is a pointer and the pointer towards wisdom is contemplation and the pointer towards contemplation is silence. As well, for everything there is a climax and the climax of wisdom is humility, and to do what God prohibits is a sufficient proof of ignorance.
O Hisham, God has sent His Prophets and Apostles for His servants to realize the existence of God through intellect reasoning. Those who respond most favorably are the foremost in their God-consciousness and the well-versed in the commandments of God. They are the wisest, and the most intellectual. They enjoy the highest rank in this world and the Hereafter.
O Hisham, God has provided His servants with two irrefutable proofs: the explicit and the implicit. The explicit ones are the Messengers and the Apostles and the implicit one is the faculty of reasoning. O Hisham, a man of reason does not neglect thanking God for his lawful acts and (in adversity) his patience is not overwhelmed by temptation for prohibited acts.
O Hisham, one who lets three of his shortcomings overtake three of his commendable qualities, undermines his wisdom. 1. One who darkens the enlightenment of his reason by unwarranted ambitions; 2. One who tarnishes his wisdom by unnecessary talk. 3. One who extinguishes the light of his inhibition by his pleasure-seeking desires. Surely, it is as if his desires had conspired to impair his reasoning, and one whose reasoning is impaired, both his life and faith are destroyed.
O Hisham, how could your conduct be pure in the eyes of God when you have turned away your heart from God and His commandments, and when you have followed your worldly desires that have got the better of your reason?
Imam (p) further addressed Hisham: Patience in solitude (with no one to support you) is a sign of the strength of the intellect. One who contemplates on God becomes detached from the people of the world and from those who are obsessed with worldly pleasures, and turns his attention towards God. God becomes his solace in his moments of depression; an escort in his solitude; a source of affluence in his adversity; and prestige without any social support.
Truth depends on obedience to God and there is no salvation without obedience. Obedience depends on knowledge, which is attained through learning, which is based on the intellect. There is no knowledge except through divine religious scholars and the recognition of knowledge is through intelligence.
O Hisham, a little virtuous act of a learned person is acceptable to God with a multiplied value, and the virtuous conduct of a greedy and ignorant person is totally rejected.
O Hisham, people of intellect avoid worldly affluence (and abundance of material wealth). How then can they indulge in sins? Avoiding vain worldly pleasures is a merit, while avoiding sins is obligatory.
O Hisham, a man of intellect looks at the world and its people and came to the conclusion that its pleasures could not be gained without hard struggles. Then he considered the Hereafter and concluded that its joys also shall not be obtainable without hard struggles, therefore he decided to strive for the everlasting (bliss of the Hereafter) …
O Hisham, people of intellect avoid worldly things and look for gains in the Afterlife. They know that the worldly gains are necessary and the gains of the Hereafter are also needed. But whoever seeks the gains of the Afterlife, the world will come to them providing them with a proper livelihood. But the ones who are after worldly gains, the Hereafter will not pursue them. Finally death will destroy their world and they will miss the gains of the Hereafter.
O Hisham, One who is content without wealth and desires is comfortable, He is free from jealousy and his faith is secure. He perfects his intellect by beseeching God from the depth of his heart. One with a sound intellect and reasoning is satisfied with basic needs alone. He is content and feels rich without any further wants. He does not need any thing more than what he has. Whereas the one who is not satisfied with what is with him is never content.
O Hisham, God has stated the following in respect to the people of virtue: They say, “Lord, do not cause our hearts to deviate from Your guidance, and grant us mercy. You are the Most Awarding One” (Q, 3:8). They are aware of the fact that if their hearts deviate, they will be led to destruction.
Those who do not fear God have no understanding about Him, and they never look for guidance and intellectual development from Him. Their hearts do not establish any firm spiritual feelings about God with devout awareness in their hearts. Those who are blessed with a developed intellect feel an awareness of God, from this awareness they are able to ascertain the truth about God in their hearts. No one can attain this except those whose deeds conform to their words. Further more their private and public activities must agree with each other. This is because God the Almighty does not guide the inborn intellect, unless that intellect produces good deeds and words.
The Imam (p) continued his discourse: Imam Ali (p) used to say: ‘God is never worshipped in any better fashion than on the basis of intellectual deductive reasoning. And the intellect of people cannot achieve perfection without certain characteristics in them: immunity from disbelief and evil; expectation of guidance and virtue; giving away in charity of everything in excess of the bare necessities of life; abstinence from vain gossip; availing worldly goods just sufficient for subsistence; insatiable craving for knowledge; preference for humiliation before God over vain glory in front of fellow beings; preference for the love of meekness over pride; considering ordinary favors of others as great and your own immense favors to others as insignificant; and considering others better than themselves and considering your own selves significantly inferior to others.’ And these are the last words on this subject.
O Hisham, a wise person never tells a lie in spite of extreme temptation.
O Hisham, those who have no courtesy have no religion and those who have no intellect have no courtesy. The greatest people are those who never associate themselves with the worldly life. Your bodies cannot be sold except in exchange for Paradise, therefore, do not sell yourself for anything less than Paradise.
The Imam (p) further continued: Imam Ali (p) said that the sign of wise people is that they have three characteristics: 1. They reply whenever they are enquired about. 2. They speak with confidence when all others are at a loss to say anything. 3. They offer advice that is good for their people. Anyone who does not posses these three characteristics is unintelligent. He (Imam Ali) said that one who does not possess all these three qualities or at least one of them should not occupy the leader’s chair at a meeting and the one who does not have any of these qualifications yet sits in that chair, is unwise.
Then Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) quoted Imam al-Hasan (p): Whenever you want your needs to be fulfilled, seek them from the proper source. He (p) was asked: O son of the Prophet Muhammad (p), who are the proper sources? Imam al-Hasan (p) replied: those whom God has mentioned in the Noble Quran and described them as, “…only men of understanding will pay heed.” (Q, 39:9)
Then the Imam (p) quoted Imam ZainulAbideen (p): Being in the company of the pious leads to reformation. To draw inspiration from the behavior of the learned scholars enhances wisdom. And to obey those who rule with justice is an honor and prestige. And investment of wealth in virtuous deeds is the climax of generosity. Guiding the seekers of advice properly is to fulfill obligations concerning the bounties of God. Total abstinence from inflicting pains upon others is the apex of wisdom. In this lies happiness, sooner or later.
O Hisham, if a person with intellect is afraid of being falsified by someone, he does not speak in that person’s presence. If they fear rejection by someone, they do not seek any favor from them. They do not promise what they cannot fulfill; and they never aspire for anything in which they fear they will be reprimanded. They never take the initiative in a task if they are afraid of failure due to their inabilities.
10 Imam Ali (p): Intellect and reasoning are a covering curtain and accomplishments are a glory, therefore, cover the flaws of your being with your accomplishments and eliminate your evil desires with your sound reasoning. This will earn you popularity, and make people’s love for you evident.
11 ImamJafar as-Sadiq (p): The Prophet Muhammad (p) never talked to people on the basis of his own supreme intelligence. He (p) used to say that the Prophets have been ordered to speak to the people at the level of their intelligence.
12 Imam Ali (p): The hearts of the ignorant people are driven recklessly by greed, they are held hostage by their cravings, and entrapped by delusions.
13 ImamJaffer al-Sadiq (p): Perfect is the intellect of those who are outstanding in ethical discipline.
14 Some companions of Imam Ali ar-Rida (p) were discussing the exact connotations of ‘reasoning’ and ‘cultural education’. The Imam (p) clarified the meaning of these two terms. He (p) said that ‘intellectual reasoning’ is a divine gift but cultural education is acquired by conscious efforts. One who struggles to acquire intelligence and reasoning, is successful… and the one who does not struggle in acquiring intellectual reasoning does not attain anything except ignorance.
15 A believer informed Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) about his neighbor who prays regularly, generously gives charity, goes for Hajj frequently and there is nothing wrong in his character. The Imam (p) asked him about his neighbor’s faculty of intellect. Believer: He does not have much intellect. The Imam (p): Then his position will not be enhanced on account of his weak intellect.
16 Hassan as-Sikkeet, a prominent scholar of his time, asked Imam Ali an-Naqi (p) the reason why God sent Prophet Musa (p) (Moses) with the miraculous staff and the luminous hand and the devices to dispel magic and why Prophet Esa (Jesus) (p) was sent with miraculous medicines and why Prophet Muhammed (p) and his Holy Descendants (p) were sent with the gift of oratory and speech.
Imam Ali an-Naqi (p) replied: It was because in the days of Prophet Musa (p) magic had its sway over people. So Prophet Musa (p) was given such Divine Powers by God, as the people of those days did not possess such forces, and that power made the magic of the people completely ineffective. This Divine power proved the authenticity of the Prophet hood of Musa (p). God sent Prophet Esa (p) at a time when people were suffering from chronic diseases and were in dire need of good physicians. So God provided Prophet Esa (p) with medicines that people did not possess. By the Will of God Prophet Esa (p) brought the dead back to life, restored sight to individuals born blind, cured the lepers, thus establishing his authenticity as a Prophet of God. God sent Prophet Muhammad (p) at a time when people were under the sway of the excellence of their speech (and language) and oratory. Under these circumstances God sent Prophet Muhammad (p) with sermons and warnings of such high lingual quality that the pride of the Arab poets (regarding the excellence of their oratory, language and poetry) was diminished to nothing, Leading to the firm establishment of the Prophet hood of Prophet Muhammad (p).
IbneSikkeet: By God, I have never seen any intellectual like you. Now, what is the undeniable proof (of the existence of God) for the people in these days? The Imam (p) replied: It is the faculty of reason through which the claims of a truthful man about God are established and the claims of pretenders of God are falsified. IbneSikkeet: This, by God is the correct answer.
17 Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): When our Qaim (atfs) (the divinely ordained living Imam, Al Mahdi) will reappear, God will put his hand (metaphorically not literally) on the heads of the people of that time which will result in the restoration of the faculty of intellect and reasoning within these people, while their expectations will be accomplished.
18 ImamJafar as-Sadiq (p): The Prophet is the testimony of the existence of God for His subjects, and the testimony that exists between God and His subjects is sound reasoning.
19 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): The intellect is the guide for the true believer.
20 Prophet Muhammad (p): O Ali! Ignorance is the worst form of poverty, and no asset is more profitable than intelligence.
21 Prophet Muhammad (p): If you find a man deeply engrossed in prayers and fasting, do not admire his piety unless you understand the level of his intellect.
22 ImamJafar as-Sadiq (p) addressed Mufazzal bin Umar: O Mufazzal, those who do not use their intelligence will not succeed and those who do not use their knowledge will have no intellect. Those who have understanding will attain nobility and excellence, and those who are tolerant will triumph. Knowledge is a shield (against evil), truth begets honor, and ignorance brings disgrace. Understanding is a distinction, generosity is salvation, and good manners will command love and respect …
23 Imam Ali (p): If I find someone credited at least with one virtue out of many virtues, I will admit him in my fold and I will forgive him his lack of other virtues, but I shall never forgive individuals for a lack of reasoning and religion because lack of religion is lack of peace and security. Without doubt, life in fear is unpleasant and lack of reasoning is equivalent to absence of life, and a person devoid of intellect cannot be counted except among the dead.
24 Imam Ali (p): Self glorification is the weakness of Intelligence.
25 Some companions of Imam Ali ar-Rida (p) were discussing the intellect and reasoning in his presence. Imam Ali ar-Rida (p): The people who are devoid of reasoning are of no consequence among the believers. One of the companions asked: There are people in our community who in our eyes are not at any fault but they do not have intellect and understanding of religion. The Imam (p): Such people are not among those whom God addressed. When Almighty God created intelligence, He ordered it to come forward. It came forward. Then He ordered it to go back. It went back. God said, “By My power and Majesty, I have not created anything better and dearer to Me than you. On your basis I shall take people to task and on your basis I shall grant them My rewards.”
26 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): That which distinguishes faith from disbelief is a lack of intellect and reasoning.
He (p) was asked: And how is that?
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Humans turn to others for the fulfillment of their desires. If they are sincere in their intention towards God, He will give humans what they want sooner than they expected.
27 Imam Ali (p): Depths of wisdom are brought out and discovered by means of the intellect. The depths of the intellect are brought out and discovered by means of wisdom, and excellence in our course of action brings good conduct. Sound thinking is the life of an insightful heart, like a man walking in darkness with the light of pure sincerity, warding off dangers with minimum effort . . .