Thinking the Islamic way. A lecture warning of the danger in using intellect to understanding Islam was uploaded to You Tube in September 2019 by Colorado Imam Karim AbuZaid, who has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Egypt, and is often invited to lecture in capital cities across Europe. In the summer of 2018, Imam AbuZaid gave a weekend lecture on the book Islamic Guidelines for Individual & Social Reform by Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zino, a Syrian-born Salafi Muslim scholar at Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, ON. Canada which is led by Dr. Aly Hindy, father of Imam Ibrahim Hindy who also hosted Shaikh AbuZaid at his mosque Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in Mississauga, ON. Below is an excerpt of Imam AbuZaid’s lecture.
What makes you a believer? I’m going to tell you four words in Arabic. If you memorize them in Arabic and understand them that’s enough. But I have to explain them in English. Four words that’s what makes you a believer. And this is the summary of those five verses – belief and implementation. That’s what the believer does.
This is the whole religion of Islam. That you make ‘belief’ of the unseen. What is ‘belief’? Believe beyond any shadow of doubt. You’re not skeptical and you don’t try to use your intellect, your aql [intellect] to figure out how this unseen is…
Me and Abu Bakr [the first of the Rashidun Caliphs] and Omar [the second of the Rashidun Caliphs], we believe in this even though it doesn’t make [sense]. You see what did they try to do here? They tried to do what? To employ their Aql [intellect], their intellect in a matter of what? Unseen. If you’re going to do this, man, come on.
There is a man who is chained in an island somewhere in earth called the [Dajjaal] Antichrist, hadith Muslim. Go ahead and blow your Aql [intellect] now. How he [Antichrist] eats? How he drinks? Where is he? We have all the satellites. We went all over earth now. We have all the satellites now. Figure out where this man [Antichrist] is? No! You’re not supposed to figure out where he is. Who cares where he is. Just deal with him when he comes out, man.
That’s not your job to figure out how he is. Why do you employ your Aql [intellect] in that area? And confuse youth and children? Confuse people. That’s ABC Islam. ABC Islam. Ok, you know what, we believe with certainty, with no doubt, that Prophet Issa [Jesus], peace be upon him, is up there alive. Tell me how is he up there? In which heaven and how he eats? How he drinks? How he sleeps? This is the tasdiq [belief].
Imagine this and just to show you that when you employ that methodology of understanding or dealing with the unseen, this may lead you to leave Islam. During the time of the prophet [Muhammad], PBUH, imagine this. In Mecca the messenger of Allah wakes up in the morning and he tells the people of Quraish: By the way guys, I went to Jerusalem last night and I came back. Can you imagine? He didn’t even say that I went to the seventh heaven. He didn’t say to see the Miʿraj [The event of Isra and Mi’raj marks the night that Allah took Mohammad on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven]. He just told them what [happened].
Come on, come on, man, what is this? Imagine some Muslims at the time, some sahaba [companions] left Islam. Why? Because they did what? That’s the danger here. No! Look, they went to Abu Bakr. They went to Abu Bakr. What was his question? What was his question? Did he say that? That’s all what you have to worry about. That’s all what you are entitled to do. You make sure that this is in the Quran. If it is in the Quran then this is correct. Verify the Sunnah, the Hadith.