From the Book
“The Muslim Mind on Trial: Divine Revelation vs. Secular Rationalism”
By Imam Abdessalam Yassine, Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland
The instrumental mind obtains its knowledge of the cosmos by means of the senses and the natural instincts, and then by means of the logic that it develops from the investigation of invariables and inter-related consequences. The perfect mind obtains from Revelation knowledge of the Unseen, and from the common faculties knowledge of the visible realm.
The mind that believes in God and Revelation suffers a loss of sight when it closes the eye of the common faculties, becomes incapable of learning from the cosmos and abandons its tool to neglect and rust. It thereby fails to achieve the mastery of worldly life and sits idly in the company of the impotent slackers. That is a shortcoming and a lack of understanding Revelation. God made the universe subservient to us and commanded us to move about the earth, to dwell in it and to compete and strive with earnest endeavor. That is impossible unless we strive to learn how to use this marvelous instrument called the mind.
The common instrumental mind is afflicted by total blindness that negates the sole real vision: the vision of God and His commandment, the vision of Afterlife and the source of human felicity both here and hereafter.
The believing mind is afflicted by paralysis and impotence in this world, if it closes one of its eyes and turns away from competing in the arena of scientific and industrial endeavor, side by side with the common mind.
When the mind is blind and averse to Revelation, it wanders astray. For it finds no guidance to the unique goal that decides its eternal destiny either in the Garden of Paradise or the Fire of Hell. It finds no guidance to its Otherworldly bliss, even if it holds the means of its material comfort in this world.
“Blindness [amâ]” is mentioned thirty-three times in the Qur’an, including three expressions referring to blindness of the senses and thirty expressions referring to blindness of the heart.
As a consequence, the functions and operations of the common faculties of hearing and sight are obscured, restricted and ineffective. The listener thus listens but does not hear, the viewer looks but is not guided aright. That happens when unbelief intervenes between man and the radiant lights of Revelation, when doubt severs his connections with the sources of hearing.
Describing the condition of the unbelievers, God (Almighty and Glorious is He) addresses His Messenger Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace):
And among them are some who listen to you; but can you cause the deaf to hear, even though they do not comprehend? And among them is he who looks toward you; but can you guide the blind, even though they do not see? (Q. 10:42, 43)
Such people hear and see the elements of the universe. Yet they are as the Noble Qur’an describes them:
Deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand. (Q. 2:171)
When the mind rejects Revelation, disputes the sovereignty of its Lord, and arrogantly claims to be a divinity, it descends in the balance of truth and eternity to the animal level. Glory be to God, Who disdained that mind to the point where it took pride in being an animal, in being an ape!
God (Exalted is He) describes the deaf, the dumb and the blind who do not comprehend:
We have already created for Hell many of the Jinn and men, having hearts with which they do not understand, and having eyes with which they do not see, and having ears with which they do not hear. Those are like cattle—No, they are worse! Those are the heedless. (Q. 7:179)
Their hearts are merely that pineal gland diseased by the opulence of civilization, the victuals of gluttony, and the life of frenzied and fastpaced concerns that keep the individual constantly enmeshed in the madness of materialism. They do not have the hearts required for comprehending Revelation, the ears for listening to Revelation, nor the eyes for enlightenment through Revelation.
Those are like cattle—No, they are worse! Those are the heedless. (Q. 7:179)
Such are they whom God curses, so that He deafens them and makes their eyes blind. What, do they not ponder the Qur’an? Or are there locks upon their hearts? (Q. 47:23, 24)
They have sealed hearts upon which locks have been fixed. These locks are the product of their stubbornness, their arrogance and their apish stupidity.
May God grant us refuge! May God protect us! May God bestow His Mercy upon us!