Monday, November 5, 2007


One of the most excellent traditions of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq ('a) reads: “The possessor of intellect (al-aaqil) is one who does not consider anyone as insignificant.” Indeed the radiance of these words penetrate the depths of our hearts, and make us understand two significant realities: (1) The meaning of being intellectual ('aaqil). To be intellectual is not simply to theoretically decipher the truth, but also to practicalize the same. In another tradition, when asked about the meaning of intellect ('aql), Imam al-Sadiq ('a) said: "Intellect is that with which the All-Beneficent is worshipped, and by which Gardens of paradise are attained". (2) Every human being is worthy of esteem and worship. The Holy Qur'an says: "Indeed we ennobled (karramna) the children of Adam...[17:70]". Hence the human being in essence is made worthy of respect and veneration. To guage people, therefore, according to man-made criteria is to undermine the integrity of Divine law. Unless, however, the human being himself loses his identity and degenerates to animal or plant life. Such people lose their respect due to their intentional loss of human identity. Superiority and excellence, however, is weighed according to how careful one is before God. The Holy Qur'an says: "...Indeed the most noble (akramakum) among you is the most God-wary...[49:13]". In fact one who is God-conscious would be so caring for others that every one would naturally show humility before such a figure.

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