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HomeIdeal Human BehaviorsIdeal Human Behaviors According To Islam: Thinking

Ideal Human Behaviors According To Islam: Thinking

According to the Quran, it is the mind what makes a human to be said human, gives meaning to all his behaviors, and takes him under responsibility in the Infront of Allah’s orders.[1]

Allah encourages humans to seek and bring evidence in many parts of the Quran; It wants the subjects to be approached by thinking, researching, and questioning. Instead of blindly imitating and obeying without question, thinking is encouraged in many verses:

“Then will you not reason?” [2]

“Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would have certainly found in it many inconsistencies.[3]

“Then will you not give thought?” [4]

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for people of reason. They are˺ those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth ˹and pray˺, “Our Lord! You have not created ˹all of˺ this without purpose. Glory be to You! Protect us from the torment of the Fire.”[5]

“O people, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed – that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind.”[6]

“Do people do not see that We have created them from a sperm-drop, then—behold! —they openly challenge ˹Us˺?” [7]

“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [8]

The reason why thinking is so important in the Quran is that the most important duty of the human being, who was created with the privilege of having intelligence, is to “know Allah”. Knowing Allah can only be possible by thinking focused on the works created by Him, making connections, and making inferences.

The religion of Islam aims at balancing in every issue related to human beings; also the necessity of a balance in terms of thinking and using the mind are one of the issues that the religion of Islam aims. Because if a person does not use his mind properly, he loses his own worth and cannot understand the truth. However, using the mind as the only reference without the guidance of the revelation will result in departure from the truth. The measure of using one’s mind correctly and in a balanced way is to think frequently in the light of the guidance of the revelation (Divine message) and to examine the information that one is dealing with.[9]

Allah criticizes unbelievers (those who do not believe in Allah) for not using their minds well [10]; He states that it will be a consequence of the unbelievers not using their minds.[11] It is stated in the Quran that the people of Hell will feel regret for not using their minds.[12]

In many parts of the Quran, Allah criticizes those who deny Him because they do not use their thinking power well and mentions the existence of a great punishment for those who do not use their ability to reason: ” The example of the disbelievers ˹not responding to the Messenger’s warning˺ is like a flock not comprehending the calls and cries of the shepherd. ˹They are wilfully˺ deaf, dumb and blind so they have no understanding.”[13] “It is not for any soul to believe except by Allah’s leave, and He will bring His wrath upon those who are unmindful.” [14] These verses show that the religion of Islam is built on the foundations of reason, wisdom, and logic.

The prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing be upon him) stated that ignorance is the greatest poverty and contemplation [15] is the greatest worship.[16] Also the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated that one should get used to act by thinking for himself: “Get your hearts accustomed to contemplation. Think a lot to take a lesson.” [17] He also took special time to think deeply both before and after the prophethood and he gave importance to this. For example, he retired to the cave of Hira for a long period of time to think before the revelation came to him. Like His grandfather, prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) he took a lesson from the creation of the heavens and the earth and thought about the Kaaba. After the revelation, during the nights he stayed with Aisha, he would go to the graveyard and think there.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a hadith: “The wise man is one who holds himself accountable and performs good deeds to prepare for what comes after death. The foolish man is one who gives into his lowly desires and seeks their indulgence from Allah.” [18]

[1] Al-Furqan, 44
[2] Al-Baqarah, 44
[3] An-Nisa, 82
[4] Al-An’am, 50
[5] Ali’ Imaran, 190-191
[6] Al-Hajj, 5
[7] Ya-Sin, 77
[8] Sad, 29
[9] Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Isharatul Ejaz, The Tafsir of Fatiha, Risale-I-Nur
[10] Al-Baqarah, 171
[11] “and He will bring His wrath upon those who are unmindful.”, Yunus,100
[12] “And they will lament, “If only we had listened and reasoned, we would not be among the residents of the Blaze!”, Al-Mulk, 10
[13] Al-Baqarah,171
[14] Yunus,100
[15] To contemplate means: getting to know Allah by looking at what He created in the universe, by reading the Quran and trying to get to know the prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
[16] Ahmed ziyauddin Gumushanevi, Ramazull-Ehadis, 5.
[17] Al-Jami’ as-Saghir , 2731
[18] At-Tirmidhi, Chapters on the description of the Day of Judgement, 25