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Islam is built on a sound thinking basis.

Islam is a unique ideology based upon a unique Aqeedah which serves as the foundation for a unique system of rules. The distinct nature of Islam would lead someone to ask whether or not Islam came to also shape the thinking process, which is a process common to all human beings. The Aqeedah serves as the intellectual framework that defines the outlook towards life as well as the reference and foundation upon which the person builds all other thoughts. Thus, the Aqeedah by its nature mandates a distinct way of thinking. And adopting the Islamic Aqeedah in a correct intellectual manner (based upon sound intellectual thinking and not based on imitation of ancestors, blind faith, instinctive emotions, or benefit) will undoubtedly change the individual into an intellectual ideological person who thinks in a distinct method with a distinct style and inclination. And this distinct thinking will manifest in a distinct pattern of behaviour. "Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding." [TMQ 3:190] "Do they not then consider the Quran carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found within it many contradictions." [TMQ 4:82] "Tell Me! The water that you drink is it you who causes it to come down from the rain clouds, or are We the Cause for it to come down?" [TMQ 56:68-69] "He is created from a fluid poured forth proceeding from between the back bone and the ribs." [TMQ 86:6-7] "Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And at the heaven, how it is raised? And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" [TMQ 88:17-20] In all of these ayahs, Allah directs the human being to think and analyse in order to build the Aqeedah of Islam within him through a definite conviction. Thus, the method that Islam encourages in pursuing knowledge is based upon the intellect and entails thinking, research, and analysis. It is not built upon blind faith, emotional belief, or submission without any discussion. Such methods will not produce a dynamic Iman and cannot serve either as a foundation for a point of view of life or as a foundation to build other thoughts upon. A person who adopts Islam through these methods will remain a hostage to the concepts that he carried from his previous background. Although such a person may turn to Islam in a limited scope for such aspects as his ibadat, he will continue in his thinking to refer to other concepts. He will constantly shift between a superficial Iman that is not built upon a correct thinking process and indulging in discussion without a specific frame of mind, which will lead him either to diverging or straying from Islam altogether. And he will not escape this spiral except by either compromising between what he adopted from Islam and 1

whatever erroneous concepts he already possesses in order to bridge the gap, or by separating Islam from his thinking by restricting Islam to his rituals and thinking in a secular or pragmatic manner, or by deciding not to think at all except in his livelihood in order to save himself from diverting. All of these options are incorrect and, in reality, will not get the person out of this spiral. Eventually, this cycle will drain the persons power, particularly his intellectual capacity, which is the most valuable possession of man in this life. Such an endless spiral results from an incorrect method of adopting Islam and acquiring knowledge. The rational way of thinking is a process which involves the reality, a sound human mind, senses which transfer the reality to the mind as a sensation, and previous information which the mind links to the sensation to produce a thought. Thus, the rational method entails thinking about the reality at hand or the issue as it is. Therefore we must use the rational method of thinking to arrive at the Aqeedah of Islam. The Islamic Aqeedah will define a unified viewpoint in life which will push the Muslim to follow the halal and haram as a criteria for his actions. As Muslims once we have conviction in the existence of Allah (swt) and the fact that the Quran is the word of Allah (swt), the Islamic Aqeedah does not leave the Muslim free to think as he likes but rather guides him to believe in the those elements which are defined by the Aqeedah. On all other matters the Islamic Aqeedah must be used as a basis for thought to ensure that no concepts alien to Islam are allowed to affect the mind of the Muslim. Once one accepts the lslamic Aqeedah then you must ensure that it is used as a basis for all thoughts and actions. Neglecting this fact and using ones own mind to justify the actions one performs would be a grave sin. We cannot be pragmatic and take the solutions from the reality in which we find ourselves or take those solutions which we feel are easy and leave those that we may find difficult, because Islam has decreed them. As Muslims we must look to what Allah (swt) requires us to do and behave and think in the manner by which Allah (swt) will be pleased. Using ones own mind as a basis for solutions will lead to multiple solutions being advocated. Using the Islamic Aqeedah as a basis for solutions will lead to unity in the thought and will prove to be productive because the solution is not one from mans own mind but rather a solution dictated to us by Allah (swt). Furthermore, Allah (swt) states that the unity of the Fikr (thought) that unifies the hearts is one of the greatest favours that Allah gave to the Muslims: "And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (the Quran) and be not divided among yourselves. And remember Allahs Favour on you, for you were enemies to one another, but He joined your hearts together so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islam), and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it." [TMQ 3:103] In conclusion, we must realise that that we must use the Islamic Aqeedah as a basis for all our thoughts and solutions and not look to take the solutions from the reality. So for example, those who advocate peace with Israel must first refer to Islam and will find that it does not 2

allow any peace with the Jews over the issue of Palestine. Therefore, we must not seek the displeasure and anger of Allah (swt) when we put forward solutions through using our own mind. We must ensure any thoughts that we advocate agree and are consistent with the Islamic Aqeedah.