Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Intellectuality Vs Spirituality

The word intellectuality is derived from the word intellect, which relates to the human ability to think and understand things, incredibly complicated ideas. Contrary to that, the word Spirituality has various meanings depending on the mindset of the speaker/writer. To some, it is the concept of connecting all spirits to their source, our Creator. To others, it means connection with the source of knowledge through a system (Tariqat) or a designated path not practiced or taught in general academic curriculum, be it in western or eastern society. To believe in spirituality, one need not be in any defined religion or sect. Though power and magnitude may differ, Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism also shows some spiritual linkage. On the other hand, intellectuality is a quality of a human being that can be attained by having a long and in-depth study on related subjects, provided they are blessed with the necessary faculty to achieve it. This paper aims to define these two terminologies at a conceptual level.

Intellectuality relates to knowledge and wisdom, while spirituality refers to faith and connection. Spirituality can be attained without religious principles, but it will lack the sweetness and entirety that can touch the soul's innermost part. It cannot be attained without the guidance of a monotheistic religion, but intellectuality does not require religious support. To qualify this argument, one can look at history's life sketch of many intellectually enlightened peoples. It will tell us that, in most cases, intellectually enlightened personalities surrendered themselves to spiritual leaders/masters of their time. Another form of spirituality is anti-spirituality, attaining some mystic power from a devilish connection; they are also called devil’s worshipers and fall under the category of occult science.

Intellectuality may accompany negative or counterproductive traits, but purity is a fundamental requirement for spirituality. We know very well that many intellectually enlightened people had unstructured, indisciplined,d and abnormal lifestyles. On the other hand, spiritually rich people are clean and pure and possess the gift of luminosity that emits through their actions, speeches, and lifestyle that symbolizes peace and tranquility.

There may be some character assassination initiatives by a group against any spiritually enlightened person, but finally, they were always proven to be the work of people with foul intentions. Like many, Abdul Qadir Jilani, Rahmatullah Alaihe, a designated spiritual leader of his century (Mujaddid), was declared kafir (Non-believer) by a few so-called Islamic scholars of that time. The utmost responsibility of Satan (devil) is to prevent people from getting connected with the Creator. So, he has no problem when people pursue intellectuality, but Satan is in a real crisis when people seek spirituality or try to get connected with the Creator, the ultimate source of all knowledge, power, and truth.

The technical and philosophical differences may be moderately easy to comprehend honesty and integrity, but pretty much challenging to figure out the cardinal differences between intellectuality and spirituality. An Indian think tank Shiv Khera offered a straightforward example: “Father asking son, Son, if you get a wallet full of dollars, suppose USD 5000 and none has seen while you pick that up, what would you do? Tell me honestly." With a thoughtful pause, the son replied," Probably I would keep it!" Father responded, "I am happy that you are honest in saying, but I expect you to be a man of integrity. Had you had integrity, you would not have touched that wallet or tried to return that to the owner”. A man with integrity is a one-man army. If the people like honesty, integrity needs to be worshiped by the people. This very integrity is one of the pillars of spirituality. Spiritually enlightened Muslims of the early days attracted people of different religions to Islam. After reverting to Islam, they became good Muslims by reading and understanding the message of the Creator, i.e., the Sacred Quran Shareef. Today someone from different religion ran away from Islam, seeing a Muslim with appalling human quality, but accepts Islam after reading or researching the Sacred Quran Shareef. That means Muslims of these days do not hold the spiritual power that they were bestowed along with Islam. Their spirituality is deliberately erased from their heart and mind with extreme professionalism. If Muslims ever desire to rule the world like before, they have no alternative but to attain the same level of the spiritual platform that they have lost.

Most parts of the western world probably could never test the core value of spirituality like that of Muslims at their advent. That is why they imprudently try to make a balance between the two. As there cannot be any measuring scale to weigh out these two completely different items, any attempt of such nature is simply a waste of time. But surprisingly, such effort to balance the two is taking place at their top-notch university level. According to Islam, Intellectuality is pretty much one of the attributes of spirituality. There is no advantage to the Christian world of spiritual life from mere ignorance or intellectual dimness. The western world cannot recognize that spirituality is far higher a platform than human intellect. According to Islam, a spiritually enlightened person is a complete person with all the attributes humanly possible to add on. They connect with the source or origin of all knowledge, whereas intellectuality is a small segment of a complete person. From an Islamic perspective, when someone is called spiritual, integrity and intellectuality are integral parts of that. It is possible for a good human being to become an intellectual, but to attain spirituality, he has to be a man of integrity.

Islam recognizes that three positive elements of human beings, power, wealth, and intellectualism, can impede spirituality. Out of these 3 cases, the worst case is with someone who is an intellectual; he feels he will be able to negotiate spirituality with his level of intellectuality. He will often fail to identify the dimensions of these two that are entirely different. Intellect relates to a theory where spirituality is practical, i.e., the physical connection from beginning to end. Our Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam did not read a single book, but he was the spiritually most enlightened person ever walked over the earth's surface. Notwithstanding his level of spirituality, his level of intellectuality was simply beyond human capacity to fathom. Besides, none of our great Nabi or Rasul (prophets) held a Ph.D. in theology, nor were they recognized as an outstanding student in any academic institution of those days. Yet all of them were intellectually enlightened persons during their time.

Islam recognizes that people of the Christian religion have some divine connection with the source of all power. Allah Tabarak Taala ordains in Sacred Quran Shareef, 5 / 82. “You will find the most hostile towards the believers to be the Jews and those who associate. And you will find the nearest in affection towards the believers to be those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and pastors, and they

are not arrogant." Here, "associates of the Jew" means idol worshipers, i.e., Hindus of India. When someone pursues intellectuality, Satan either remains unconcerned or supports him to advance his (Satan's) own agenda. Introducing false spiritual leaders in Muslim society is an age-old technology of Satan to disconnect humans from their Creator. When Satan found that it is the spiritual leaders (connectors) who maintain the linkage between the Creator and the creation – he introduced thousands of false spiritual leaders in the society to derail/disconnect the linkage. Once the number of false spiritual leaders has increased, and Muslims with average IQ have become fed up with such leaders, a perception is surreptitiously initiated that all leaders claiming connectivity are false. All spiritual leaders these days are doing business by acting as spiritually connected. This is the ruse Satan played on Muslims, achieving maximum success. Now literate and illiterate Muslims alike started looking for all other avenues to be religious, leaving aside searching for the right guide, a spiritual leader with connectivity. In the present day of Akhery Jamana, finding the right guide has become an open challenge.

To negotiate such an almost impossible trick of Satan, one needs direct blessings (Hedaya) from Allah Tabarak Taala. For such a successful Satan’s ploy, a Muslim with insight, foresight, and wisdom may not achieve spiritual enlightenment if he cannot establish connectivity through the right spiritual guide. Sacred Quran Shareef, Sura Kahaf elucidate that in the 2nd part of the Ayah 17. This is the reason why Imam Gazzali ( Rahmatullah Alaihi), the top intellectual of his time (1058 - 1111), decided to abandon his post as a VC of Baghdad university in pursuit of spirituality. After taking baya (physical communication and obedience), he spent ten long years in different forests to attain his spirituality. Upon returning to the social environment, one of his best comments was, "After investigating all the discipline of knowledge and intellectuality, I have come to a conclusion that true knowledge is only with the Shufis’ (Spiritually enlightened persons) those who maintain a constant connection with Nabi / Rasul and Malaika (angles) as they are the original source of knowledge.”

To understand the power of spirituality, we need to look at history. Throughout history, the victor has enforced/influenced their faith and culture over the mass of vanquished land, but only Islam made a unique difference. Several Muslim countries collapsed in the face of the Mongol army's offensive tsunami. Victor Mongols accepted Islam, even being victorious over the Muslims. Astonishing! No such example is available in world history!

Before 600 AD, there was not a single Muslim in the world. Today, it is 1.7 billion and rapidly expanding, whereas strong religious beliefs already existed on the face of the earth at the advent of Islam. Discussion over religion is a mandatory issue while discussing spirituality, as spirituality is one of the fundamentals of religion. In Arabic, miracles are rated based on their origin. Whatever Allah Pak shows is "Kudrat," whatever Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) showed were “Mujeja," and whatever Walis/Awlias (Friend of Allah) shows are called “Karamat ."Once someone is genuinely connected with the Creator, showing miracles is child's play for them; like dividing the water of the Red sea by Nabi Musa Alaihissallam (Mosses), remaining comfortably alive inside fire by Nabi Ibrahim Alaihissallam (Abraham), bringing a dead person to life by Sayidina Issa Alaihissallam (Christ) and dividing the moon by Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam (Muhammad) fall in this category.

In the west, spirituality and intellectuality are like two different disciplines of pursuit, and human beings should try to understand the difference between the two. Islamic perspectives about these two are different; when someone achieves spiritual emancipation, he automatically attains balance in every facet of human life let alone intellectuality. The potentials of intellectuality are limited, but for spirituality, it is limitless. That is the reason why Newton or Einstein could produce groundbreaking scientific theories and inventions, but they could never perform miracles like that of Moses, Abraham, Issa/Jesus, or Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam.

These are the acts of physical manipulation of nature by the prophets, contrary to those Intellectuals who could only play with nature's potential hitherto unknown by the people; they have no power to manipulate nature's laws. They can only invent/explore existing nature's power with the help of their gifted intellectuality. Thereby by inventing the existing power of nature in different shapes and forms, they become famous not only for their insight, foresight, or wisdom, they are further credited as visionary. Too much intellectuality may sometimes have an abject effect on spirituality. Let me give one example of how an intellectual person was given spirituality in his Qalb (heart). Imam Fakhruddin Razi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) was a prolific Islamic think tank and intellectual of his time. Once, he decided to learn tasawwuf (spirituality) from a Sufi saint. He went to Shaykh Nojibuddin Kubra Rahmatullah Alaihe. After physically touching his Qalb (heart) with his fingertip, the Shaikh said, “Qalb is full of knowledge, and there is no room for spirit to accommodate ."Imam Fakhruddin Razi (Rahmatullah Alaihi) was advised to go to the jungle in seclusion to meditate as per the prescribed Tarikat (system) for two years; he was forbidden to study any book during that period. Imam Fakhruddin Razi (Rahmatullah Alaihi) came back after two years and after touching the Qalb, "Shayk said; Qalb is more densely filled with knowledge than before. Did you study any books in the last two years?" No, "then what have you done?" he replied, I translated Sacred Quran Shareef with commentaries, which took 40,000 pages. Shaikh Nojibuddin Kubra said, "That is why knowledge has further increased. Go back for more two years, this time no reading and no writing, only prayer, recite only Sacred Quran Shareef and follow Tarikat with meditation.” Imam Razi (Rahmatullah Alaihi) was finally given the spiritual linkage after four years of hard work.

The lesson is one can be intellectual by dint of hard work based on his potential, but to be spiritual, one needs to have a Shaikh, Waly/Awlia, or a spiritual guide to start with. However, in either case, one must have the inherent capacity and blessing to receive those. Spiritual teachers’ state of affairs is completely different. It is said that these teachers can mend and heal spiritual diseases and help raise the level of knowledge and understanding. Modern-day intellectuals argue that there is no need for spirituality in our day-to-day life, even if there is a serious spiritual vacuum in our society. It is like saying we can go to a doctor for a physical disease, but for spiritual treatment, we don't need any expert/specialist.

It is the Sacred Quran Shareef mentioned clearly at the beginning, “This is the book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous, those who believe in unseen” (Sura 2, Ayath 2&3). If one does not believe in the unseen and does not believe in whatever Sacred Quran Shareef has said, the probability of perfect spiritual enlightenment reduces substantially. So, to develop spirituality, one must have faith first. One may try and achieve such enlightenment following other religions as well, but the scope is expected to be limited as none can guarantee the correctness or effectiveness of their basic religious books as they have not been able to preserve them in their original state.

Absolute correctness of Sacred Quran Shareef often challenges non-believers and believers of other faith. However, none could find an iota contradiction or mistake in Sacred Quran Shareef except a few hateful misinterpretations by anti-spirituals by taking sentences out of context. While conducting in-depth research on the Sacred Quran Shareef, all almost all fortunate researchers reverted to Islam. They could decipher that the Sacred Quran Shareef is the living linkage to establish communication with the Creator through spirituality. That is why the Sacred Quran Shareef is also known as a living document or a living miracle.

Spirituality is on a much higher plateau than intellectuality; history provides us with the best examples. At the advent of Islam, the world was bipolar. World power was divided between Byzantine and Persia. They were not only rich economically and academically; they had the most technologically advanced armies. Then, no proper statecraft was operating in Arabian Peninsula. Tribal leaders used to rule these economically malnourished, handicapped people and remain busy in the internecine clashes. However, with the arrival of Islam, these people got spiritually linked with the source of all power and blew those 2 superpowers simultaneously (700 century) like haystacks under a super typhoon. That was a genuine display of the unbelievable power of spirituality.

Before accepting Islam, the second Caliph / (Khalifa) of Islam, Khalifa Umar (Radiallahu Taala Anhu), was a large-framed, flamboyant person, a great fighter, used to move with an aura of deterrence. Being fed up with the activities of a new religion Islam, he decided to give a final shot to the preacher of Islam. One day he was rushing towards Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam with his big open sword to close the issue of Islam by taking his life. At that point, someone gave him a message that his own sister and brother-in-law had accepted Islam very recently. Being outraged by the news, he rushed to his sister's house to check the reality and found them reciting Sacred Quran Shareef. He beat both of them mercilessly. Being very tired from the exhaustion, he ordered his sister to show him what they were reciting. His sister gave him part of the Sacred Quran Shareef (Surah number 20, Sura Toaha), which they were reading. Reading some sentences of that Surah, Umar could not resist himself; he clearly understood that these messages could not be from anybody but the Creator of the universe. Instantly he accepted Islam and rushed to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam, this time not to assassin but to surrender and submit himself to the last Rasul sent by Allah Tabarak Taala by placing his sword at his feet and taking complete allegiance. That was a tiny miracle of living Sacred Quran Shareef.

With intellectualism, there is no guarantee for Jannah (heaven) after death. However, from the Islamic perspective, heaven is guaranteed if someone can establish spiritual linkage even at the terminal period of his life. Therefore spirituality is an invaluable line of pursuit for every surviving believer. People of all three monotheist religions believe that spirituality is the vessel that carries a believer's soul to the Creator.

সোশ্যাল মিডিয়ায় শেয়ার করুনঃ


আমার লিখা এবং প্রকাশিত/প্রচারিত কোনো সংবাদ, তথ্য, ছবি, আলোকচিত্র, রেখাচিত্র, ভিডিওচিত্র, অডিও কনটেন্ট কপিরাইট আইনে পূর্বানুমতি ছাড়া ব্যবহার করা সম্পূর্ণ বে আইনি।

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