Islamic Ideology- Islamic Ideology- Lesson(28-63): Comparison between Prophethood and Genius


Comparison between Prophethood, genius, and the like of matters:

 Last lecture we reached a delicate issue concerning the topic of believing in Messengers, peace be upon them, and this issue is the comparison between Prophethood and genius. The enemies of Islam describe the Prophet PBUH as a genius man who excelled in his intelligence, and due to his exceptional creative abilities, he was able to bring people around him. However, Prophethood is one thing and genius is another, just like the difference between being a Prophet and being a king.

(( Sayyidina 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)Narrates: "I went to the Prophet PBUH and saw that he was lying on a mat made of the leaves of the date-palm, and there was no bedding between him and the mat, and the texture of the mat had left deep marks on his body, and under his head was placed a leather pillow stuffed with the bark of the date-tree. On seeing it, I said, "My Master! Pray to Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) to grant prosperity to your followers. He has bestowed riches upon the people of Rome and Persia even though they are not believers." The Prophet PBUH replied, 'O son of Khattab! Do you also think like that? They are the people who have been deprived of the blessings of the Hereafter (owing to their ungodly ways), and hence, the comforts (Allah wanted to confer upon them) have been granted to them in this world.' (In another version of the same Tradition, it is said that the Prophet PBUH replied, "O 'Umar! Do you not prefer that they took the joys of this world and we of the Hereafter)?"))

[Mentioned in the relic]

 The difference between Prophethood and genius is that no matter how shrewd the genius man is and how exceptional abilities he has, he may err in the way he thinks or expresses his thoughts, but the Prophet PBUH never erred. The history of great people assures us that some of them have moral shortcomings, like for example the great educator Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was known for his homosexuality, so how does anyone dare to compare between a genius and a Prophet?

 One of the most remarkable psychologists in children's psychology, and whose books are taught in most universities around the world was described by someone after meeting him saying, "If you discuss with him subjects that are related to fields other than psychology, you will find yourself face to face with a little boy!" Thus, no matter how remarkable the genius man is, and regardless his exceptional talents, he has shortcomings whether in his ideas, words or actions, and such a person cannot be a Prophet or a caller to the good. Therefore, Prophethood is different from genius.

 Freud is one of the most well-known psychologists in the world, and he is the one who interpreted the entire life from a sexual perspective making some of his theories funny and ridiculous. According to his views, Prophets, peace be upon them, have sexual orientations, because they tended to sit with men more than women, so this is how such a famous psychologist interpreted the Prophets' behavior.

 Darwin is one more example of the scientists who committed deadly mistakes. He put forth a theory which contradicts all Divine Books (On the Origins of Species). According to this evolution theory, man is the evolutional version of the ape, and he meant by this theory to confuse the doctrines of Divine religions, but this theory was refuted and could not stand. Hence, geniuses are exceptional by the standards of people, but they are not flawless of shortcomings or deviation in their morals, and such things make them unqualified to convey the Share' (Message) of Allah the Almighty to people. Therefore, Prophethood is different from genius.

The basis of genius versus the bases of prophethood:

 It is not true that Prophethood is mere genius (according to their claims), for every man has his own perspective of things. In other words, if this genius comes from a poor social class, he will see matters from the perspective of poor people, but if he comes from a different social class his perspective will be different. Therefore, it is hard for man to be objective when it comes to issuing laws, because he will give his own subjective perspective, and he may be biased to a specific group of people, so he will consider their interests and not sh3er' when he issues the laws. Accordingly, had the Prophet PBUH been a genius, his religion would never have been perfect.

 Every person acts upon the reality he lives. For example, the man who owns a car says to you, "The streets are jammed with cars, so the government should stop importing cars", but the one who does not own a car will reject this recommendation, do you know why? It is because man acts upon his environment and the reality he lives, and he sees things from his own perspective.

 Depending on this fact, any man, regardless his skills and intelligence, is unable to be a law-giver, because he will see matters from his own perspective, and so his law will be biased to a group of people (not all people), his perspective will not consider sh3er' perspectives, and he will be partial to the interests of a group of people only. The Prophet PBUH, on the other hand, is infallible, because Allah makes him like so. Therefore, genius is different from Prophethood.

 The Prophet is a man who is chosen by Allah the Almighty to convey His Message to people, and this Message is from the All-Wise, All-Knowing and The Creator, and it is not from the creature. Had it been sent from a creature, it would have been biased and would have considered only one perspective and neglected other perspectives.

 It is a grave mistake and plain error to describe a Prophet PBUH as a genius man. The Prophet PBUH is a man who is chosen by Allah the Almighty according to His Knowledge, and Allah makes him infallible of shortcomings of the tongue and actions. Thus, his words and actions never incline from the truth, simply because he is a law-giver who is sent by Allah the Almighty. The aspersion (i.e. the Prophet is a genius man) which is put forth by the enemies of Islam is rejected, and it is pretty enough to say that the Prophet PBUH is a man sent by Allah, and keep in mind that The Creator is the Only Law-Giver:

﴾ Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).﴿

[Al-Mulk, 14]

Man-made laws are fallible, whereas the Divine Laws are flawless:

 The best example to mention concerning this point is the Europeans who exalted themselves to a Divine status by toping science over everything due to the substantial scientific advance. Therefore, they have unleashed man and encouraged him to do whatever he wants to satisfy his whims and lusts by breaking all the restraints and adopting the principle of fulfilling pleasures, so wherever there is pleasure, it worth to be sought at any cost, but what are the consequences of these values? The kin ties are ruptured, the sacred domestic bonds are broken, the families are torn apart and divorce has prevailed. Marriage's maximum duration in some cities in the United States never extends to more than two years, due to the dissoluteness of the husband and the wife and their immortality. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).﴿

[Al-Mulk, 14]

 When you buy a car you get with it a manual to show you how to operate it, drive it, maintain its engine, when to change the oil and when to change the consumed parts, so is there any person on earth who can help you more than this manual with maintaining your car? There is not. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).﴿

[Al-Mulk, 14]

 The fact I would like to emphasize is that no matter how genius, objective and honest man is, he is not qualified to be a law-giver, because he is fallible, and he might have a shortcoming in his morals. The Prophet PBUH, on the other hand, is infallible due to Allah's Decree; he is flawless of all sorts of shortcomings, and he is chosen by Allah according to His Divine Knowledge, he receives the Divine Guidance and he is ordered to convey Allah's Message after making him infallible. Hence, everything the Prophet PBUH put forth is a source of Tashree' (Laws) for people.

 The genius is incapable of embracing all aspects of life, for his genius might be in military, in politics, in morality, in law-giving, in intelligence or in abstract theories. Every genius masters one aspect in life, but the Prophet PBUH embraces all aspects of life, because he is chosen by Allah the Almighty, and he receives the Divine Revelation, so everything he imposes is balanced and covers every facet, activity and orientation. Herein lies the greatness of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, peace be upon them, whom are chosen by Him for us.

Difference between the outcome of Prophethood and the one of philosophies:

 What is the difference between what Prophethood and what philosophies brought to mankind? If you read the history of philosophy, you will find out that some of the theories put forth by the Romans and the Greeks are ridiculous. These philosophies are obviously detached from justice and Haqq (the truth), for some of them are mere myths, while sh3er are corrupted.

 Few days ago, I read an article about strange doctrines, and I thought to myself that this article proves that people without Divine Revelation and guidance will get lost in deviations. The author of the article wrote, "In India there are more than 400 man-made religions, one of them is Hindu, according to which it is forbidden to kill the cow or eat its meat, and whoever commits such a sin is punished by being imprisoned for life. The cow is left until it naturally dies, and if it is run over by a driver accidently, he will be imprisoned for a whole year, and he will be asked to pay a fine that is more than $3000. Upon repeating this action, the punishment will be doubled. When man is driven away from the Divine Share', he will be lost in dark mazes.

 It is mentioned in the same article that people in India do not prevent the cow from eating what they own (of food) even if they are in dire need of it, so if a cow enters a grocery and eats whatever it likes of the exhibited fruits, the grocer will be happy. If it eats everything, he is ready to go home empty handed as long as the blessing of this cow is extended to his grocery. Also, if people are starving, they will let the cow does whatever it likes right and left seeking its blessing.

 One of the researchers studied the origins of Hindu, and the experts in this religion told him that according to this belief, man will face so many troubles after death, and that there are lots of rivers he should pass to get to Paradise, but he cannot pass these rivers, so the cow will come to help him by letting him hold on to its tail, and it will pass him through to Paradise. This is the secret behind their beliefs, and for that reason they prostrate to the cow; they believe that it is their means to get to Paradise.

 Also they prostrate once in the year to dogs especially guard dogs, they make leis of flowers, they hang them on dogs' necks and they never hurt these dogs, but what is the secret behind this belief? They believe that this guard dog will admit them to Paradise after death, but how is that? They believe that this dog guard Paradise, and whoever is good with this dog in the worldly life, he prostrates to it, he honors it and he feeds it will be admitted to Paradise accompanied by that dog. This is why dogs are respected and fed properly by the Hindu.

 As you notice, in the absence of Divine Revelation, Allah's Guidance and Divine Instructions, these philosophies lower man to a degraded level of ridiculousness, idiocy, superstition and deception. Thus, philosophies are not enough to depend on regarding one's beliefs, because they might lead him to his doom. A philosopher might come up with very ridiculous theories, such as the Arab philosopher Abu Al-Alaa' Al-Ma'arree (whom I think you all know). He was the poet of all philosophers, and the philosopher of all poets, and he forbade himself from eating meat forgetting that this animal is created to serve man, and that this animal is happy forever when man feeds on its flesh. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ See you not (O men) that Allah has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent (i.e Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.) and hidden [i.e. One's Faith in Allah (of Islamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.]? Yet of mankind is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or a Book giving light!﴿

[Luqman, 20]

﴾ See you not that Allah has subjected to you (mankind) all that is on the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His Command? He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His Leave. Verily, Allah is, for mankind, full of Kindness, Most Merciful.﴿

[Al-Hajj, 65]

﴾ And the cattle, He has created them for you; in them there is warmth (warm clothing), and numerous benefits, and of them you eat.﴿

[An-Nahl, 5]

 Some philosophers considered marriage and breeding a crime. If we believe in what philosophers believe, we will follow our desires, and we will be lead by them to believe superstitions, have shortcomings and believe in deviations for which Allah has sent down no authority. Hence, philosophies which are not based on any religious grounds are full of contradictions and dissoluteness, and they are irrelevant to the reality. Let alone, these philosophies are based on contrastive perspectives, and they serve specific reality which makes them incapable of serving all mankind, and this is one of the deficits of philosophy.

Philosophy is not universal unlike the Divine religion:

 The Law Code of Hammurabi which is based on the Greek philosophy is not suitable for our era, because it is the outcome of a specific environment, whereas Islam, which has been brought by the Prophet PBUH from Allah, is applicable whenever and wherever, and it never changes, because it is based on constant values and facts. Whatever facts and wisdom which are put forth in the Noble Quran were irrefutable to all people in the Prophetic era, and they will always be like that throughout all different eras, simply because they are sent from Allah. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ The likeness of those who take Auliya' (protectors and helpers) other than Allah is as the likeness of a spider, who builds (for itself) a house, but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house; if they but knew.﴿

[Al-Ankabut, 41]

 It has been scientifically proved that the female spider is the one which does the web-weaving, and if the Prophet PBUH had been the one who wrote the Quran, he would have referred to the male spider not to the female, and according to science the Quran would have believed to be written by the Prophet PBUH. However, science goes along with what is mentioned in the Quran. Also it has been discovered that honey has different colors, and that every color indicates the origin of the honey, and each kind of honey is a cure to a certain disease. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ "Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you)." There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.﴿

[An-Nahl, 69]

Divine religions versus philosophic theories:

  The Divine religions are the same in their basics, which proves that they are all from Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad PBUH) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else)."﴿

[Al-Anbiya', 25]

 The content of the Messages of all Prophets, peace be upon them, is the same, and what is Halal and Haram in one of them is Halal and Haram in all other Prophets' Messages, peace be upon them. On the other hand, philosophies show competition, contradiction, contrast, deviation and delusion. What they claim to know about the unseen is mere prediction and anticipation, for how can the philosopher know the unseen and what will happen after death? How can the philosopher know how we were in the pre-eternal world? How can a philosopher know the history of mankind?

 The Prophets, peace be upon them, on the other hand, received the Divine Revelation through which they introduced to us the pre-eternal world, the history of nations and people and what is awaiting man after death, like Hell, Paradise, Barzakh (Purgatory), reckoning, Sirat Mustaqeem (Straight Way) and other many matters. Had it not been for the Prophets, peace be upon them, and the Divine Messages they conveyed, man would have had no idea about these facts.

Why are the Messages conveyed by Prophets not full of science?

 One might ask, "Do Prophets, peace be upon them, bring Divine Books to enlighten man of science and universal laws? Is the Quran a book of Mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy or social sciences?" Absolutely it is not. All Divine Books which have been brought to mankind by the Prophets, peace be upon them, are not books of science which provide man with science and universal laws, but they are for a different purpose.

 All of you know that man is motivated by three motives: The motive to survive, the motive to maintain his species and the motive to leave a good reputation and memory behind him after he dies. Therefore, in order to survive, we eat and drink, in order to maintain man's existence, we get married and beget and in order to leave a good memory after we die, we leave good deeds behind us. Starting from these motives, man always inclines to build earth, so that he will survive.

 Dear brother, if man has no urge to eat, nothing will exist on earth, for why will anyone work? No one will. Who will weave this shirt? No one will. Who will build this house? No one will. Who will plant this seed? No one will. Because of hunger, man is motivated to work, and by working he accumulates experience which falls within the interest of work itself.

 Due to man's instinctive needs, he is obliged to learn the earthy knowledge since they basically aim at building the earth (only). However, this earthy knowledge is useless after death, and all the purposes man achieves through knowledge in the worldly life will come to an end after his death. Hence, man is in need to know his Lord, to know his assignment on earth, to know the purpose of his creation and to know his destiny, and all these mysteries will become clear to man through the Divine Books which get man acquainted with his Lord, define his assignment, draw the course towards happiness and make him know the Orders and Prohibitions of Allah the Almighty.

 It is a kind of exaggeration to say that all sorts of science are included in the Noble Quran. The Quran is a book of guidance, and it is not a book of science. However, there are indications to some scientific basics and not to scientific details. Thus, trying to find the different branches of science in the Quran is impossible, because it contradicts the purpose of this Sacred Book (i.e. Quran) in hands, which is to guide us to our Lord:

﴾ Do they not look at the camels, how they are created?﴿

[Al-Ghaashiyah, 17]

﴾ By the fig, and the olive,﴿

[At-Tin, 1]

 Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ And by the sun and its brightness;﴿

[Ash-Shams, 1]

 When Allah mentions water, He says:

﴾ And We send the winds fertilizing (to fill heavily the clouds with water), then caused the water (rain) to descend from the sky, and We gave it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores [i.e. to give water to whom you like or to withhold it from whom you like].﴿

[Al-Hijr, 22]

 Allah draws our attention to the fact that man is incapable of storing water. Have you given any thought to this grace? The Quran is a Divine Book whose mission is to guide people and lead them to Allah, but it has some delicate indications to some scientific facts without going into details about everything. Accordingly, Allah's Messages aim at amending souls, getting them to know the Lord of the heavens and the earth and make them abide by His Orders and refrain from his Prohibitions.
 We are still tackling the topic of Prophets and Messengers, peace be upon them, and I will continue this topic next lecture insha' Allah (if Allah wills).