This paper aims at studying the fifth approach that studies the presence of intellect and rationality in Islamic history, culture, and civilization. It does not deal with all of the aspects of this problem.
It instead studies the role of Islamic texts (namely the Holy Qur’an and traditions reported from the Holy Prophet and his infallible progeny) in the spread of reason and rationality in the world of Islam. It also studies the relation that exists between the said texts and rationality in Islamic world. To deal with this issue, we will make use of descriptive-analytic and historical-concrete methodologies. Each one of these two methodologies explains a part of the problem. The descriptive and analytic methodology exemplifies the opportunities and challenges that exist in Islamic texts for the actualization and proliferation of intellectuality, whereas the historical and concrete methodology deals with the impact of the said texts, keeping in mind other influential factors such as human, political, economic, and cultural factors. It determines how far the said texts were influential in shaping different meanings of intellect. Similarly, it shows how these texts were interacting with other factors in the process of the cultural presence of intellect.The
Taking a historico-cultural approach towards the meanings of ʿaql – or intellect – in the world of Islam, the paper at hand, using a descriptive-analytic methodology, explains the role the Qur’an and other Islamic sources of textual authority played in shaping the meaning of intellect in Islamic culture. The first part of the paper identifies the meanings of intellect in Islamic history and categorizes them on the basis of various standards. The second part studies the historical and cultural categorizations of the meanings of intellect and their relation to religious texts. This study shows which one of the meanings of intellect is caused by the cultural presence and influence of Islamic texts and is thereby given the chance to flourish, and which one is caused by divergent external or internal elements that has met and continues to meet opposition from Islamic textual authorities.
Title: The Relation between the Concept of Intellect in the Qur’an and Traditions and the Concept of Intellect in Islamic Culture and History
Author: Hamid Parsania
Published in: Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2017
Length: 29 pages