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The book of Intelligence and ignorance

H 13, Ch. 1, h 13

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad in a marfu‘ manner Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s) who has said the following.

“Intelligence is a complete cover (protection) for one and extra knowledge and skills are evident beauty. Compensate your physical shortcomings with your extra knowledge and skills. Fight your desires with help from your intelligence and in so doing friendship is surrendered to and love becomes manifest for you.”

 

H 14, Ch. 1, h 14

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn Hadid from Suma’a ibn Mihran who has said the following.

“With a gathering of his followers I was in the presence of Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s). A discussion on intelligence and ignorance began to emerge among them. Thereupon Imam abu ‘Abdallah said, “You, first, must recognize intelligence and its army and ignorance and its army only then you would find proper guidance.” I then asked, may Allah make my soul of service to you, we only learn what you teach us.” The Imam (a.s) said, “Allah, the Glorious, the Majestic created intelligence and it was the first creature of spiritual world on the right side of the Throne from His light. He then told him to move backwards and intelligence moved backwards. He then told him to come forwards. Intelligence came forwards. Allah, the Sacrosanct, the Most High said, “I have created you a great creature and honored you above all others of my creatures. The Imam (a.s) continued, “Allah then created ignorance from a salty dark ocean and told it, “move backwards and did move backwards. He then called it to come forwards but it did not come forwards. He then said to it, ‘Did you shun coming forwards?” He then pronounced it condemned. He then assigned seventy-five armies for intelligence. When ignorance saw all the honors Allah has granted to intelligence it bore hidden animosity towards intelligence and said, “Lord this creature is just like me. You created and honored it and gave it power. But I have no power against it. Give me also likewise armies. The Lord then said, “I will give you also an army but if you would disobey Me I will then expel you and your army from My mercy. Ignorance then said, ‘I agree.’ Allah gave it seventy-five armies and it was out of the army of intelligence.

 

The Army of Intelligence The Army of Ignorance
1 Goodness is the minister of Intelligence Evil is the minister of Ignorance
2 Faith Disbelief
3 Professing Refusal
4 Hope Despair
5 Justice Injustice
6 Consent Disapproval
7 Thankfulness Ungratefulness
8 Expectation Hopelessness
9 Reliance Greed
10 Soft-heartedness Hard-heartedness
11 Mercy Anger
12 Knowledge Ignorance
13 Understanding Foolishness
14 Chastity Reckless
15 Restraint Yearning
16 Relenting Relentless
17 Cautious Boldness
18 Humbleness Arrogance
19 Relax Haste
20 Forbearance Silliness
21 Quietness Bluffing
22 Peacefulness Contempt
23 Acceptance Doubt
24 Patience Impatience
25 Forgiving Revenge
26 Self-reliance Poverty
27 Remembrance Forgetfulness
28 Sympathy Detachment
29 Self-content Covetousness
30 Munificent Avaricious
31 Affection Animosity
32 Loyalty Infidelity
33 Obedience Disobedience
34 Subservience Supremacy
35 Security Affliction
36 Love Hatred
37 Truthfulness Duplicity
38 Truth Falsehood
39 Trustworthiness Treachery
40 Sincerity Distortion
41 Sharp witted Feeble-mindedness
42 Comprehension Simple-mindedness
43 Cognizance Refusal
44 Safekeeping feel evil satisfaction
45 Security unseen Intemperance
46 Protective Unmasking
47 Prayer Loosing
48 Fasting Consuming food
49 Hard work Passivity
50 Hajj Disregard of covenant
51 Soundness of words Scandalous
52 Kindness to parents Rudeness to parents
53 Factual Braggart
54 Legitimate Wickedness
55 Guarded Bedecked
56 Concealment Hatching
57 Fairness Taking-sides
58 Peaceable Rebelliousness
59 Cleanliness Filthiness
60 Bashfulness Ill-mannered
61 Impartiality Aggressive
62 Comfort Exhaustion
63 Ease Hardships
64 Blessedness Lack of blessings
65 Tranquility Suffering
66 Stability Aggrandizing
67 Wisdom Desires
68 Dignity Meanness
69 Fortunateness Unfortunateliness
70 Repentance Persistence
71 Seeking forgiveness Keeping pride
72 Conservitiveness Heedlessness
73 Invoking Withholding
74 Vitality Lethargic
75 Happiness Sorrow
Friendliness Aversion
Generosity Stinginess

 

 

No one other than a prophet or his successor or a true believer the strength of whose faith Allah has already tested can have the whole army of intelligence with all such characteristics. However, some of our followers and friends may acquire some of such characteristics so that they may reach perfection and repulse the army of ignorance and purify themselves from evil. In such case they also will step at the high degree and level of the prophets and the successors of the prophets. This progress can only be made after knowing, with certainty, intelligence and its army and ignorance and its army. May Allah provide us and you the opportunity to obey Him and work to please Him.

 

H 15, Ch. 1, h 15

A group of our people has narrted from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Faddal from certain persons of our people from abu ‘Abdallah who has said the following.
“The holy Prophet never spoke to people from the height and with the full power of his intelligence. The holy Prophet (s.a.) has said, “We the community of the Prophets are commanded to speak to people up to the level of their intelligence and understanding.”

 

H 16, Ch. 1, h 16

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from al-Nawfali from al-Sakuni from Ja‘far from his father from Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s) who has said the following. Imam abu Ja’far has narrated from Imam Ali (a.s) who has said the following.
“Greed motivates the hearts of the ignorant people, longings and yearning keep them as hostages and deceit clings to them.”

 

H 17, Ch. 1, h 17

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Ash‘ari from ‘Ubaydallah al-Dihqan from Durust from Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid from abu ‘Abdallah who has said the following.
“The most perfect of intelligence are those who are the best in moral discipline.”

 

H 18, Ch. 1, h 18

Ali has narrated from his father from abu Hashim al-Ja‘fari who has said the following.
“We were in the presence of Imam al-Rida (a.s) that a discussion about intelligence took place and the Imam said, “O abu Hashim, intelligence is a present from Allah but discipline is a skill and burden. One who would pretend as a well disciplined one he would certainly establish full control in it. But to pretend as a person of intelligence would increase in him nothing but more ignorance.”

 

H 19, Ch. 1, h 19

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Yahya ibn al-Mubarak from ‘Abdallah ibn Jubla from ibn Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“I asked Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) this, ‘May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I have a neighbor who prays a great deal, gives much charity and very often visits Makka and he seems alright.’” The Imam (a.s) asked, “O ibn Ishaq how is his intelligence?” I then said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, he does not have any intelligence” “Nothing from what he does will be raised up (to heavens).” Replied the Imam.

 

H 20, Ch. 1, h 20

Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Sayyari from abu Ya’qub al-Baghdadi who has said the following.
“Ibn Sukayt asked Imam abu al-Hassan (a.s), ‘Why did Allah sent Moses with the miracle appearing through his staff and through his hand and means of magic, Jesus with means of medical tasks and Prophet Muhammad (may Allah send blessings upon him, his family and all the prophets) with means of speech and sermons?’”

“When Moses was sent magic was very popular among the people. He showed a magic of such form that was not possible for others to perform. He was given such means that destroyed the magical effects of those people’s magic and established the truth of the message of Allah among them. Allah sent Jesus at a time when serious illnesses existed among the people and they needed medical treatment. Jesus brought from Allah what the people did not have. He brought from Allah the means to bring the dead back to life, cure the sick and the lepers by the permission of Allah and thus, establish the truthfulness of the message of Allah among the people.” The Imam explained.

Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (s.a.) at a time when oratory and speech was very popular among the people –I think he said poetry. He brought from Allah to the people the good advise and wisdom that showed the falsehood in their speeches and thus established the truthfulness of the message of Allah among them.” Ibn al-Sukayt then said, “I swear by Allah that I have never seen anyone like you. What is the proof to establish the truthfulness of the message of Allah among people today?” The Imam then said, ‘It is intelligence. Through intelligence one recognizes those who speak the truth from Allah, thus, one acknowledges their truthfulness and those who lie in the name of Allah their lies come to light.” Ibn al-Sukayt then said, “This by Allah is the answer.”

 

H 21, Ch. 1, h 21

Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu‘alla ibn Muhammad from al-Washsha’ from al-Muthanna al-Hannat from al-Qutayba al-A ‘sha’ from ibn abu Ya‘fur from a slave of clan of Shayban from abu Ja‘far (a.s) who has said the following.
“When al-Qa’im, (the one who will rise with Divine Authority) the guardian, of our family will appear from occultation, Allah will place His hand over the heads of His servants and, thus, He place their intelligence together and complete their understanding.”

 

H 22, Ch. 1, h 22

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Muhammad ibn Sulayman from Ali ibn Ibrahim from ‘Abdallah ibn Sinan from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“The authority of Allah over the people is the Prophet (s.a.) and the authority between Allah and the people is intelligence.”

 

H 23, Ch. 1, h 23

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad in a mursal manner from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“Intelligence is the support for man. From intelligence come intelligence, understanding, memorization and knowledge and with intelligence he gains perfection. Intelligence is his guide, his instructor and the key to his affairs. When his intelligence is supported with light he becomes a scholar, a keeper (of knowledge), an intelligent re-caller and a man of understanding. Through intelligence he learns the answer to how, why and where or when. He learns who helps and who harm him. When he learns these (facts) he learns the channels, the connections and the differentiating factors. He then establishes pure faith in the oneness of Allah and acknowledges the need to obey Him. When he does so he finds the proper remedy for what he has lost and the right approach to whatever may come in. He knows well his present involvement, for what reason is he here, wherefrom has he come and to what end is he going. He will have all these because of intelligence.”

 

H 24, Ch. 1, h 24

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from ’Isma‘il ibn Mihran from certain persons of his people from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“Intelligence is the guide of a true believer.”

 

H 25, Ch. 1, h 25

Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu‘alla ibn Muhammad from al-Washsha’ from Hammad ibn ‘Uthman from al-Sariy ibn Khalid from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
” The Messenger of Allah said, ‘O Ali, no poverty is more sever than ignorance and no property is more profitable than intelligence.”

 

H 26, Ch. 1, h 26

Muhammad ibn al-Hassan has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from ibn abu Najran from al-‘Ala’ ibn Razin from Muhammad ibn Muslim from abu Ja‘far (a.s) who has said the following.
” When Allah, God, created intelligence He said to it, ‘Come forward’. It came forward. He then said, “Go back.” It went back. Then Allah said, “I swear by My honor and glory that I have not created any creature more beautiful than you. I will command only you to do certain things and prohibit only you from doing certain things. I will grant blessings (rewards) to you only and will subject only you to punishments.”

 

H 27, Ch. 1, h 27

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Haytham ibn abu Masruq al-Nahdi from al-Husayn ibn Khalid from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar who has said the following.
“I said to abu ‘Abdallah (a.s), “A man comes to me and as soon as I speak to him only a part of what I want to say he understands it all. There are also people who come to me and I speak to them all that I want to speak and only then they understand all of my statements. And explain to me what I meant. There are still others to whom I speak at length but they ask me to repeat to them what I have already expressed to them.” The Imam (a.s) then said, “O Ishaq, do you know why is this?” I replied, ” No, I do not know.” The Imam then said the following, “Those to whom you speak only some of what you want say and they understand the rest are those whose intelligence is mixed to take shape with his nature (Nutfa). Those who understand you only when you complete your speech are those whose intelligence is mixed with them in the womb of their mothers. Those who ask you to repeat what you already said are those, whose intelligence is combined with them when they grow up. It is such people who ask you to repeat your statement.”

 

H 28, Ch. 1, h 28

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from certain persons of our people in a marfu‘ manner from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“The Holy Prophet (s.a) has said, ‘When you find a man who prays and fasts a great deal do not become proud of him until you see how his intelligence is.”

 

H 29, Ch. 1, h 29

Certain persons of our people has narrated in a marfu’ manner from Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
” O Mufaddal one can never gain success until he understands and one can never understand until he acquires knowledge. One who understands can very soon excel. One who exercises patience can very soon triumph. Knowledge serves one as a shield, truth is honor, ignorance is humility, sharp wittedness is glory, generosity is success and ethical excellence attracts friendship. One who possesses the know how of his time confusion does not frustrate him. Strong determination creates pessimism…. Allah is the guardian of those who know Him. He is the enemy of those who pretend to know Him. A person of intelligence is forgiving and an ignorant person is treacherous. If you like to be honored you must become kind hearted and if you like to be insulted become harsh. One whose origin is noble he is kind hearted. One whose element is rough his liver is thick. The extremist falls into crisis. One who is afraid of the consequences desists from involvement in what he has no knowledge of. One who engages in an affair without knowing anything about it he is headed to his own loss. One who does not know he does not understand and one who does not understand he does not agree and become peaceful. One who does not agree and submit he is not respected and one who is not respected is broke and one who is so broke is blamable and one who is in such a condition must become regretful for his own self.

 

H 30, Ch. 1, h 30

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from in a marfu‘ manner from Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s) who has said the following.
“If one would establish firmly in himself one good quality for me I will credit him for it and forgive his other shortcomings but I will not forgive him for his losing intelligence and religion because departing religion is departing peace and security. Thus, life with fear and insecurity is unpleasant. Loss of intelligence is loss of life. A person without intelligence can be compared with no other thing but the dead.”

 

H 31, Ch. 1, h 31

Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim has narrated from Musa ibn Ibrahim from al-Muharibi from al-Hassan ibn Musa from Musa ibn ‘Abdallah from Maymun ibn Ali from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s) has said, ‘Self glorification is an indication of the weakness of one’s intelligence.’”

 

H 32, Ch. 1, h 32

Abu ‘Abdallah al-‘Asimiy has narrated from Ali ibn al-Hassan from Ali ibn Asbat from al-Hassan ibn al-Juham from abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s) who has said the following.
“Our people mentioned intelligence and spoke about it in the presence of the Imam al-Rida (a.s), and he said, ‘Of the religious people those who have no intelligence deserves no credit.’ I then asked, “May Allah take my soul in your service, of such people we know a group who are considered alright in our opinion but they do not have such intelligence.” The Imam then said, ‘They are not of the people whom Allah has addressed when He created intelligence and said to it, ‘Come forward’. It came forward. He then said, “Go back.” It went back. Then Allah said, “I swear by My honor and glory that I have not created anything better and more beloved to Me than you. I will grant blessings (rewards) to you only and will subject only you to punishments.”

 

H 33, Ch. 1, h 33

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid from his father from certain persons of our people from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“There is nothing else to distinguish belief from disbelief but lack of intelligence. People asked the Imam, “How is that, O great-great-great-great grandson of the holy Prophet.” The Imam replied, ‘Human beings center their expectations on other creatures. If they would become sincere to Allah He will grant their wish and expectations much quicker.’”

 

H 34, Ch. 1, h 34

A number of our people has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from ‘Ubaydallah al-Dihqan from Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Halabi from Yahya ibn ‘Umran from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“Through intelligence the depths of wisdom is discovered and with wisdom the depths of intelligence is discovered. Good policies are of the virtuous moral discipline.” He said that Imam Ali (a.s) used to say, ‘Thinking is life for the intelligent heart just as light helps one to walk in darkness with ease and without waiting for a long time.”

(a) It is narrated from Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) in a long narration, “The first, the beginning, the force and the structure of something is that without which something would be of no benefit. The thing that Allah has made beauty and light for His creatures, the people, is intelligence. With intelligence people come to know their creator and that they are created and that He is the one who has designed them and they are the ones who are being maintained. That it is the creator that is eternal and it is the creatures that are mortals. It is intelligence with which they reason from His creatures, like the heavens, the earth, and the sun the moon, night, the day. In this way they learned that they and the creatures have a creator and maintainer who is eternal. With intelligence they learn about good and bad and that darkness is in ignorance and light is in knowledge. These are facts that they learn with intelligence.”

People asked the Imam (a.s), “Can intelligence only be enough for people?” The Imam (a.s) then replied, ‘With guidance from intelligence that Allah has made him to depend on and it is, his beauty and guide, a person of intelligence learns that Allah is his creator and that He is his Lord. Through intelligence one learns that his creator loves and that He dislikes certain things, that the Lord must be obeyed and that certain acts are disobedience to Him and that nothing but intelligence shows him all these facts. One also (with intelligence) learns that only with knowledge and searching one may reach the Creator. That one may not benefit from his intelligence if he can not learn the truth about Him through his knowledge. It then is necessary for a person of intelligence to acquire knowledge and proper moral discipline without which there is nothing else so dependable.”

(b) It is narrated from Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who said, “No wealth is more profitable and no poverty is more crashing than foolishness and no effort of seeking support is more supportive than seeking consultation.”

End of the book of Intelligence and Ignorance.

All praise belongs to Allah May Allah send peace and blessings upon Muhammad and his holy family.

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