A Definition Of Wisdom

Wisdom is a Quwwa-i darraka, that is, a comprehensive power. It has been created so as to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, useful from harmful. Therefore, wisdom ('aql) has been created in human beings, genies and angels, who may mistake right for wrong. There cannot be confusion of right and wrong with each other in the person of Allahu ta'ala or in the knowledge pertaining to Him. Therefore, in that knowledge, wisdom, alone, cannot be a means for documentation by itself. Since it is possible to confuse right and wrong with each other in the knowledge of creatures, it is appropriate for wisdom to interfere with the knowledge among slaves. Since mistaking right and wrong for each other is out of place in the knowledge pertaining to Allahu ta'ala, wisdom cannot walk on that road of knowledge. Creativeness has to be one in every respect. There cannot be difference there. For this reason, wisdom has no business there.

Religious matters cannot be built upon wisdom. For, wisdom does not remain in the same state. Every person does not have the same wisdom, and, while a man's wisdom which is not selim [1] finds what is right occasionally, it errs more often than not. Let alone religious matters, a person who is said to be the wisest makes many mistakes even in the worldly affairs in which he has an expertise. How can wisdom, which is so prone to err, be relied on? How can wisdom be followed in the matters pertaining to the next world, which are continuous and everlasting?

As men's figures and habits are different from one another, so are their wisdoms, natures and knowledge. Something that seems suitable to the wisdom of someone may seem not suitable at all to the wisdom of someone else. Something which is compatible with the nature of one person may not be compatible with the nature of another. Therefore, in religious matters, wisdom cannot be a precise scale or a sound judge. Only, wisdom and the Shari'at [2] together can make up a precise and sound scale and witness. For this reason, Islamic savants said: "Do not commit your faith and iman to the deductions of human thoughts, and do not adapt them to the conclusions reached by reasoning!"

Yes, wisdom is a judge, and shows the right way. But, it is only the wisdom which is selim, not every wisdom.

In conclusion, since the wisdom which is not selim errs so often, its denying a fact or finding it unsuitable is of no value. The wisdom which is selim, which is the wisdom of Prophets, sees clearly that all the religious rules are very suitable and correct. Every word of the Shari'at is very obvious and extremely clear to this wisdom. It does not need any documents or proofs, nor even being warned or advised.

[1] 'Aql-i selîm The wisdom which is selîm never goes wrong and never errs. It never does anything to necessitate repentance. It does not make mistakes in the things it considers. It always follows the course of actions that are good and that turn out good. It thinks properly, and finds the right way. This wisdom existed in Prophets only.
[2] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.