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The Qur’an gives great importance to the faculty of reason. There are dozens of verses in the Qur’an that emphasize the importance of rational thinking. One such verse is found in the chapter Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War). The translation of this verse is as under: The worst creatures in God’s eyes are those who are deaf and dumb, and who do not use their reason. (8:22)

What is the reason? The reason is the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic. This power is given to every human being by the Creator. The reason is the greatest faculty of every man and woman. Reason alone is the distinctive quality of a human being. The reason is not an isolated faculty. According to the Qur’an, the fact is that the whole creation is based on reason.

The religion revealed by God is also a rational religion. Everyone is required to plan one’s life by using reason. Those who fail to do so are according to the Qur’an deaf, dumb and blind (2:18). Only that belief is a valid belief that is based on reason and understanding. The reason is so important that it is said that man is a rational animal. Man has an unlimited mind, full of unlimited capacity, but the mind is like a hidden treasure. It is everyone’s first duty to unfold his or her potential. One who dies without unfolding one’s intellectual potential is dying like an animal. Such a person fails to fulfill the creation plan of God.

Reason needs to be developed. According to the Qur’an there are several ways of this intellectual development—study, contemplation, observation, taking lessons from experiences, etc. It means that every man and woman must inculcate the spirit of learning in their personality. Reason cannot be created but it can certainly be developed. So, everyone has a twofold duty, developing his reason or mind, and then using it in different activities of life. The reason is like a potential in the human mind, and it is the duty of every man and woman to turn this potential into actuality.

According to the Qur’an, reason has both the points: plus point as well as minus point. When you use your reason with sincerity and modesty, reason will then serve as a constructive and healthy agent of your personality. But if you become a victim of egoism, then reason makes you an arrogant person and that is the minus point of reason. The reason is the greatest faculty of every man and woman. Reason alone is the distinctive quality of a human being. According to the Qur’an, to understand the Qur’an requires deep contemplation. Without applying reason no one can undertake deep contemplation. In this sense, the reason is very important for the understanding of the Qur’an. If you read the Qur’an you will find that the Qur’an always addresses the reason. So, without developing the reason no one can understand the Qur’an properly. The reason is the key to all kinds of better understanding—religious matters, spiritual matters, social matters, or any matter can be understood by applying reason. Reason gives us the master key to a better understanding of all kinds of human issues.

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