Use of ‘Aql (ad-Darimi)

Posted on February 28, 2007. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Imām `Uthmān b. Sa`īd al-Dārimī states in al-Radd `Alā al-Jahmīyyah:

Some of them have said, “No, we base our view on the rational (ma`qūl).”

We say: it is here that you have strayed from the right path and fallen into misguidance from which you have no escape, for reason (ma`qūl) is not a monolithic entity with uniformly defined limits for all people such that it would be sufficient. If such were the case, it would be a relief for the people and we would also base our view upon it and go no further. In that case, Allāh would not have said:

“Each sect rejoices in what it has.” [Al-Mu’minūn:53]

Thus, we find that according to each group, the “rational” (ma`qūl) is that which they are upon while that which opposes them they regard to be “irrational” (majhūl). Consequently, O assembly of Jahmīs, we find your factions to be in dispute as to what is “rational”. Each faction amongst you claims that reason is with it and that is calling to it, while that which opposes it is irrational. Thus, having seen that “reason” is disputed amongst us and you and all the People of Desires, we have not been able to find a precise definition for it in all things. Consequently, we hold that the most guided way is to refer all manners of reasoning to the order of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and to that which was considered rational by his Companions and was well-known amongst them, because it was in their midst that the revelation would descend. Hence, they are more knowledgeable of its meanings than you or us. Furthermore, they were in agreement about the fundamentals of the religion (Usūl al-Dīn). They did not divide into factions concerning them, innovations did not appear amongst them nor desires which lead one astray from the path.

Hence, in our view, the rational is that which corresponds with their guidance and the irrational is that which opposed them. Furthermore, there is no way to know their guidance and their way except by these Āthār, and you have detached yourself from them and claim to select only some of them, so how can you be guided?

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