Speculative Education in Islam
By: Muhammad Baqir Qarashi
Islam has betaken man’s conscience, as well as the mental and speculative powers, as the chief ground of constructing the educational entity. Thus, it dedicated the grand powers to the reformation of impulses, the maturity of the noble tendencies, and the incapacity of the evil ones so that man would be actually God’s representative in this earth through constituting the right and enjoining justice and seeking the good.
Islam has focused its concernment on the mental frames in order to save them from disintegration, collapse, and frailty, and saturate with the spirits of faith, willpower, and self-determination. In fact, Islam has applied this excellent education to the life. The old men were rushing to the battlefields for the sake of guarding the principals of their grand religion. The youth were also armored with powers of belief and struggle for the sake of right. They attained the top of loyalty when they left their fathers and brothers who tarried in the battle of Tabuk*. However, the Prophet asked them to associate with their families later on.
The Islamic education overflowed with immense spiritual powers that are kept in the first Muslims whose feelings and emotions were totally captured by Islam. They formed a single body that was tied by religious emotions and single words and trends. The powers of belief, which is the most fastening than any other bond, tied these trends.
Using all of its methods and powers, the Islamic education aims at maturing and releasing the human speculations from the chains of ignorance and blind imitation. It also purposes to teach through the providing of the historical examples and events. It arouses the deep thinking in the universal precision and systemization so that man will believe in the Creator. This belief should be provable through argumentation and evidenced certitude. Only then, the illuminations of the conscious belief, which encourages on competing in the fields of virtue and good, will be shining in the minds.
Islam has been greatly concerned with the intellects; therefore, it called for an intellectual liberation and prosperity, and decreed of using the judgments of the intellects. Uninterrupted reports have related that the Imams confirmed that the intellects are the intrinsic argument of men and the means by which the Beneficent Lord is worshipped, and the wisdom is attained. They also affirmed that the intellects’ judgments are the messages of the intrinsic apostles. The Imamite Shias decide that the intellectual judgments are within the four evidences, according to which the jurists can elicit shariite rulings. Furthermore, the intellects are the master judge of the questions of contrary narratives -narratives that are intellectually accepted should be grasped only.
The holy Quran condemns those who neglect their intellectual talents. God says:
Surely, the vilest of animals, in Allah’s sight, are the dear, the dumb, who do not understand.
Or do you think that most of them do hear of understand? They are nothing but as cattle; nay, they are straying father off from the path.
God has also stated that the reason beyond the torture that would inflict the atheists is that they screened their intellects against thinking in God’s affairs:
And they shall say: Had we but listened or pondered, we should not have been among the inmates of the burning fire.
Islam has surely glorified the headmost basis of believing and wisdom.
Thinking in the Universal System:
Truthful meditation and deep thinking in the universal phenomena fill in the heart with shining and believing in God. Islam has encouraged on this matter. God says:
Do they not then look up to heaven above them how we have made it and adorned it and it has no gasps. And the earth we have made it plain and cast in it mountains and we have made to from therein of all beautiful kinds. To give sight and as a reminder to every servant who turns frequently to Allah.
The human beings will surely strengthen their relations with the Lord through exposing the fines of this universe and thinking in its miracles, from which the most accurate essences of wisdom, excellence, and creation are perceived. Islam calls for wakening the mentality and guiding to look
upon the universal portents: God says:
Most surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand. Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth; Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire.
Looking deeply in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and thinking in the alternation of day and night; all these fill in the mentalities with faith and confidence in Allah the Creator. None would think of these matters except the sound-minded individuals who use their conscious mental powers in a serious thinking of the marvelous creation. They mention God permanently and say with pure tones of certitude and imploring, “O our Lord! Thou hast not created all this in vain. Glory be to thee! Save us against the chastisement of fire.”
Thinking in God’s kingdom is the perfect course of the speculative education since it release the minds from every deviation, and negates any doubt or suspect to lead them to the locations of believing in God. People will surely and indisputably believe in God if they look accurately in the fascinating and excellent systems of this universe. It is quite impossible that such systems be the origin of serendipity that is, according to absolute scientific conceptions, the most nonsensical. Lablabs says, “This mind-perplexing system, within the movements of the stars from which the solar system is composed, can never be presupposed to be the outcome of serendipity. In fact, serendipity is logically nonexistent in the language of science. Serendipity is absent and nonexistent in this world all of whose components are subduing to the laws of equanimity and statistics that are assigned by an unseen will and an ultimate wisdom. The thing we are naming serendipity is the very result of the unseen powers that we ignore their influences totally. Likewise, we lack knowledge of their existence while they are surrounding us. On that account, it is not possible to regard the order we are noticing in the solar system as a serendipity. We must confess of the existence of an origin and general matter that organizes this system.”
Eckersie Morrison says that the nonfinite systems, without which the life is impossible, are the evidence on the Creator’s existence. Man’s existence on this earth and the excellent aspects of his intelligence are only a part of the program that is implemented by the Creator of this universe.
Islam pushes the conceptual powers to think and perceive the mysteries of this universe so that people will believe in God sincerely and, thereafter, constitute their lives on bases of equanimity.
Pondering over the Creation of Man:
Islam has encouraged on pondering over the creation and composition of man. God says:
So, let man consider of what he is created. He is created of water pouring forth, coming from between the back and the ribs. Most surely, he is able to return him to life. On the day, the hidden things shall be made manifest. He shall have neither strength nor helper.
O people! If you are doubt about the raising, surely we created you from dust, then from a small seed, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, complete in make and incomplete, that we may make clear to you. And we cause what we please to stay in the wombs till an appointed time. Then we bring you forth as babies, then that you may attain your maturity. And of you is he, who is brought back to the worst part of life, so that after having knowledge he does not know anything.
Men’s realizing themselves, as well as looking upon the worlds and the mysteries there, is within the matters that incite to believe in God without doubt. Afif abdul-Fettah says, “The Evidences on God’s existence, which are lying in man’s essences, are innumerable. With the extension of the scientific scope, these evidences grow more acceptable and plentiful. All these evidences verify that this fantastic creature should have a Wise Lord. Which of the man’s aspects are not astonishing and amazing?
Are man’s phases in the uteri not one of God’s portents?
The digestive system dissolves the food into variant balanced materials. Each material directs to the place where it fulfills its function while the unusable is emitted. Are these not one of God’s portents?
The system of blood distribution is responsible for taking the blood from its main center, which is the heart, to all of the body directions via uncountable arteries, then returns to the heart through the blood circulation and the passage of air that is brought by aspiration. This process aims at reforming the polluted blood and bettering the body. Is this system not one of God’s portents?
Man’s hearing, sight, articulation, and feelings, including oblivion, grief, delight, familiarity, and ignorance; all these are within the grand evidences that refer to the Creator’s existence.”
The modern microscopic devises and labs could realize a tiny part only. All these refer to the Creator’s excellence and power.
Pondering over the creatures:
Islam has encourages on looking upon the creatures, including the plants. God has given each plant an exclusive quality, arranged it so aptly that it absorbs only the matters it needs for maturity, and prepared it for the purpose of creation. God says:
Then let man look to his food. We pour down the water, pouring it down in abundance. Then we cleave the earth, cleaving it asunder. Then we cause to grow therein the grain and grapes and clover and the olive and the palm and thick gardens and fruit and herbage. A provision for you and for your cattle.
And a sign to them is the dead earth; we give life to it and bring forth from it grains so they eat of it. And we make therein gardens of palms and grapevines, and we make springs to flow forth into. That they may ear of the fruit thereof and their hands did not make it; will they not then be grateful.
He it is who sends down water from the cloud for you; it gives drink, and by it grow the trees upon which you pasture. He caused to grow for you thereby herbage, and the olives, and the palm trees, and the grapes, and of all the fruits. Most surely, there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.
If man looks deeply upon the creation of animals with their countless classes and remarkable making, he will certainly believe in God. Newton says, “How were the bodies of these animals composed in such a gorgeous creation? What for were their numerous parts designed? How is it rational to believe that eyes and ears are originated without full acquaintance with the origins of sight and audition laws? How are the animal’s movements renewed intentionally? What is the source of this natural familiarity of these animals?
These creatures, along with their most splendid and perfect formation, refer to the existence of an incorporeal god. This god should be everliving and wise and existent in everyplace, and should be realized by the factuality of everything.”
The holy Quran invites man to look deeply in the striking creation of animals. God says:
Do they not see the birds, constrained in the middle of the sky? None withholds them but Allah; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.
Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created?
God has created the animals for that people would use and benefit by them. He says:
And your Lord revealed to the bee saying: Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build. Then ear of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes froth form within it a beverage of many colors, in which there is healing of r men. Most surely, there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.
And Allah has made for you of what he has created shelters, and he has given you in the mountains places of retreat, and he has given you garments of preserve you from the heat and coats of mail to preserve you in your fighting. Even thus does he complete his favor upon you that haply you may submit.
Thinking in God’s creatures leads to believing and removes any delusion or suspect. It is surely the best of worship. The Prophet said, “A one-hour thinking is preferable to a seventy-year worship.”
Reflecting manners of the past nations:
For awakening the minds and maturing their acquisitions, the manners of the past nations, people, history, and affairs should be considered. A group of these nations took the right path that saved them from all of the sorts of irregularity and aberrance. They gained the regal life of amiability, security, and settlement. The other group went astray. They abandoned the path of right and justice; therefore, they vanished, and lost their existence. This carries lessons and examples for every conscious and free man, and saves against the elements of ruining and elapse and clinging to the equanimity and straightness. Imam Ali (a) says:
“Beware of the consequences of the past nations due to their ill deeds and wrongdoing. Remember their worthy and vile manners, and beware of being their likes. If you look upon the variance of their two –good and evil- manners, then you should cling to matters that dignified them, scavenged their enemies, elongated their healthiness, submitted their graces, and connected them to nobility. These matters represent the avoidance of discrepancy and acceding, urging, and recommending of amiability. They shunned every matter that breaks their backs and weakens their intentions, like the heart malice, the mind malevolence, the spiritual rancor, and the power frustration.
Look upon the affairs of the past believers and study their behaviors in the manners of testing and examination. Were they not the most antagonized, the most examined, and the most distressed? The tyrants enslaved, showed the worst of torment, and coerced them to swallow the bitterest. They were kept up in this state of humiliation, expiration, and persecution of mortification. They could not be availed with a plan of refutation or a way of defense. As God noticed their serious toleration that they offered for His favor, and their harsh endurance that they chose for His fearing, He relieved them after the hard examination. He substituted dignity for the humiliation and security for the vacillation. They became kings and rulers. God has made to them what they did not expect.”
The Imam (a) keeps on exposing the vigorous pictures of the past nations that coincided with the paths of right and justice and achieved the most significant states of dignity, nobility, honor, and custody. The holy Quran is filled up with the repetitive calls to count the results of the pious that God has appointed in the earth and fortified their religion that He pleased. The Quran is also stifled with the calls to attend to the consequences of the tyrants and the beliers who averted the right path; hence, God devaluated their triumphs and deadened their affairs.
Result of the pious:
The Quran declared that victory should be the share of the pious and the virtuous ones:
Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that he will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as he made rulers those before them. And that he will most certainly establish for them their religion, which he has chosen for them. And that he will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve me, not associating aught with me, and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors.
God has granted those pious servants with this noble standing in this world, and bestowed upon them by immortalizing their mentioning and making their lives as exemplars. In the Hereafter, God will lodge them in the Paradise and the permanent felicity.
Consequence of the tyrants:
God has pledged of destroying the tyrants and the despots who disbelieve the social rights and people’s souls and dignities. In various positions in the holy Quran, God exposes the story of Pharaoh who tyrannized and bullied; consequently, God fisted him strongly and revengefully. God says:
Surely, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into parties, weakening one party from among them. He slaughtered their sons and let their women live. Surely, he was one of the mischief-makers. And we desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the imams, and to make them the heirs. And to grant them power in the land, and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared.
Mortification and torment were the result of Pharaoh because of his having denied God’s elegance and averting the straight path in addition to tyranny and arrogance.
The holy Quran has also called for considering the manners of those that wronged or trampled; therefore, God tortured them, and none could guard them against His punishment. God says:
Have they not traveled in the earth and seen how was the end of those who were before them? Mightier than these in the land, but Allah destroyed them for their sins, and there was not for them and defender against Allah.
And certainly, we did destroy generations before you when they were unjust, and their apostles had come to them with clear arguments, and they would not believe; thus do we recompense the guilty people. Then we made you successors in the land after them so that we may see how you act.
God cursed the wrongdoers and prepared for them a painful torment. God says:
Now surely the curse of Allah is on the unjust, who turn away from the path of Allah and desire to make it crooked. And they are disbelievers in the Hereafter. These shall not escape in the earth, nor shall they have any guardians besides Allah. The punishment shall be doubled for them. They could not bear to hear and they did not see.
God has decreed to punish the wrongdoers all over history. When God’s discipline and punishment inflict the wrongdoers, their economic and military powers will not protect them since God makes all these in vain.
By the exposition of the wrongdoers’ manners, the Quran intends to provide lessons and admonitions for people to convince them of giving up the vile qualities, such as aggression and insulting people.
Releasing the intellects from imitation:
Islam has called for releasing the minds from the bonds of imitation. The source of such an imitation is ignorance and bigotry. The Quran reproached the imitators whose words are expressed by His saying:
Thus, We did not send before you any warner in a town, but those who led easy lives in it said: surely, we found our fathers on a course, and surely, we are followers of their footsteps.
The Quran alienated the question of resting upon the chiefs and leaders who avert the guidance, and ruled that those chiefs, along with their imitators, will share the same punishment. God says:
Those who were followed shall renounce those who followed them, and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder.
Islam antagonizes any baseless trend that depends upon unfounded imitation and pursuance. This is an invitation to discipline the minds and release the ideas from the bonds of imitation.
Verification of matters:
Within the courses of its speculative education, Islam insisted upon the verification of matters and obtaining certitude before judging. God says:
And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart; all of these shall be questioned about that.
On that account, God forbade depending upon surmise. God says:
They do not follow anything but conjecture, and surely conjecture does not avail against the truth at all.
The baseless surmise leads to incorrect delusion and many fatal troubles. Fatalists depended upon such surmise when they denied the existence of God as well as the Resurrection. God says:
And they say: There is nothing but our life in this world. We live and die and nothing destroys us but time. And they have no knowledge of that. They only conjecture.
Fatalists deviated to such a lowly foot only because they depended upon conjecture in the conventional fields.
Islam has also banned relying upon the reports of the licentious lest sedition and ignorance will be prevalent. God says:
O you who believe! If an evildoer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done.
Opting for the best:
Islam has urged on clinging to a certain opinion. Muslims should opt for the best of opinions since this expresses sincerity to the right and disciplines the intellects. God says:
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 understanding.
God has ordered Muslims of scrutinizing every sect and avoiding rejecting, owing to fanaticism, any opinion before checking. Muslims are also advised of opting for the best. God describes those who follow this method as the guided and owners of right minds and shining mentalities.
Refer to Spirit of Islam: 29.