Muhammad Al Fateh Essay - 10206 Words



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Muhammad Al Fateh

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The Qur’an is the main reference and source of knowledge for Muslims. It is logically follows that understanding the concept of thinking should also be referred to the Qur’an. Even though the word intellect is mentioned 49 times in the Qur’an and there are hundreds of verses that urge Muslims to think, but the theory of thinking from the Qur’anic perspective is not extensively explored to guide Muslim educators and curriculum designers and developers. This paper attempts to explore the concept of good thinking from the Qur’anic perspective. It extensively examines verses of the Qur’an pertaining to the intellect and thinking to come up with a theory of good thinking. From the analysis of the relevant Qur’anic verses, the researcher found that the intellect is capable of rational and spiritual cognition as a result of applying critical, creative, ethical and spiritual thinking. Therefore, the researcher posits that good thinking from the Qur’anic perspective is multi-dimensional; and the dimensions are critical, creative, ethical and spiritual thinking. Further, according to the Qur’an, the aim of good thinking is to achieve wisdom. Hence, this paper also explicates the meaning of wisdom from the Qur’anic perspective. Implications for the curriculum of Muslim educations were also discussed.

Key words: the intellect, thinking in the Qur’an, good thinking, spiritual thinking, wisdom

Muslim scholars agreed that Muslim mind is infected with blind imitiation. Blind imitation or taqlid is a sickness that has infected Muslim minds which is unnatural to the Muslims since the Qur’an repeatedly urges Muslims to think critically before accepting any idea as practicable solutions to predicaments of the ummah. Al-Alwani stresses that “increase in taqlid has caused a growing belief in fatalism”. It also has become a fertile breeding ground for rigid, narrow and superficial thinking; which are the manifestations of the paralysis of the Muslim minds. While reading the Qur’an, one will stumble upon hundreds of verses that keep reminding reader over and over again to use his/her intellect to think. These verses provoked the readers to think by questioning readers in a negative form for not using their intellect and for not thinking. The fact that there are hundreds of verses that mentioned about the intellect in action shows that thinking is necessary and strongly encouraged. The Qur’an does not merely ask but provoke, challenge and appeal to readers to use their intellect. We conclude that the problem with thinking among Muslims stems from lack of awareness and understanding of the Qur’anic verses on the power of the intellect and thinking because of scarcity of literature on thinking from the Qur’anic perspective. Therefore, this paper attempts to give awareness and to expose thinking from the Qur’anic perspective. First, this paper identifies Qur’anic verses pertaining to thinking and attempts to interpret the meaning of those verses through the method of interpreting one verse using another verses of the Qur’an that deal with the same subject and through contemplation. They explain that contemplation on the Qur’anic verse is reciting it, reviewing it, dwelling on its meanings in an attempt to know all the possible meanings it contains, and allowing one’s thought to wander freely and unhampered through it in order to arrive at the hidden meanings that Allah reveals to certain people of intellect and understanding (p: 14).

As early as verse 44 in the second chapter of the Qur’an, readers are provoked by a negative question, afala ta’qilun (will you not use your intellect?). There are 13 verses which question readers negatively for not using their intellect, afala ta’qilun which means “do you not think”; “have you no understanding”; or “will you not use your reason. Al-Qardhawi explains that Allah asks man in the... Show More

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