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  • Intellect is the faculty with which the truths of things are known and understood.”1)
  • “Literally meaning understanding, perception, sober-mindedness and prudence, as a term, aql is a Divine light with which a person can perceive the things that cannot be comprehended with external senses. There have been some who view aql as a faculty abstract of matter but which acts in collaboration with matter, or as the ‘speaking soul,’ or as the ‘self’ that is identified with the ego. There are others who see it as an important aspect of the speaking soul or self, or a faculty dependent on the spirit. According to many others, aql is a Divine immaterial substance or faculty that is separate from the speaking soul and which distinguishes truth from falsehood, good from evil, and what is beautiful from what is ugly.”2)
  • “… reason is a faculty that, in respect of its essential nature, has a connection with the spirit, is open to the horizon of the heart, and diffuses its light by means of the mind.”3)
  • “There can be no reason or intellect without the heart.”4)
  • “… when you know (that there can be no deities, lords, creators and providers at all to worship, save God)” (Baqarah, 2:22). This expression and the similar expressions mentioned at the end of the verses indicate that the origin of Islam is knowledge, and its foundation is intellect. Therefore, it is the glory of Islam to accept the truth and reject the fallacious assumptions.”5)
  • “It is an established methodological principle (in the Islamic sciences) that when any item of religious knowledge reported to be based on either the Qur’an or the Sunna of the Prophet appears to be in conflict with reason, the judgment of reason—provided that it is genuine—takes priority and, consequently, the item in question is subjected to interpretation. (Genuine reason is that which has been taught and enlightened by the established truths and foundational principles of Islam, and which is implemented by one who possesses accurate knowledge both of God’s creational laws and of the laws enshrined in the Divinely-revealed religious code or Shari‘a).”6)
  • “Imagination, which is the broadest of the human senses, cannot encompass the intellect and the fruits of the intellect.”7)
  • “… the Necessarily Existent Being does not resemble contingent things, which are absolutely dependent upon the Necessarily Existent Being for their existence, in His Essence, qualities, and acts. For example, in His view there is no difference between near and far, few and many, small and large, individual and species, and part and whole. Unlike the contingent, He acts with ease, in no time, and does not busy Himself with anything. This is why the intellect cannot understand the nature of the Almighty’s acts and goes so far as to deny the One Who does them.”8)
  • “Even if reason does not work properly and cannot see the truth, the human conscience does not forget the Creator.”9)
  • “… if you use your intellect for the sake of your carnal soul, it becomes such an ill-omened, destructive, and debilitating instrument that it bur dens you with sad sorrows of the past and terrifying fears of the future. This is why sinful people frequently resort to drunkenness or other frivolous pleasures. But if you sell your intellect to its true Owner and use it on His behalf, it becomes like a mysterious key unlocking the infinite treasure-houses of compassion and wisdom-filled vaults, and elevates you to the rank of a pious and righteous guide deserving eternal happiness.”10)
  • “… just as life is a pure extract distilled from the universe, just as consciousness and sense perception are extracts distilled from life, and intellect is an extract distilled from consciousness and sense perception, and spirit is the pure essence of life…”11)
  • “A life without belief, or with belief rendered ineffective by rebelliousness, only produces pain, sorrow, and grief that far exceed the superficial, fleeting enjoyment and resulting pleasure. This is because humanity has intellect and, unlike animals, is connected to the past, present, and future, and derives both pain and pleasure from them.”12)
  • “We are rich in faculties because our senses and feelings have developed a great deal owing to our mind and intellect. Our many needs have caused us to evolve different types of emotions and to become very sensitive to many things. Also, due to our comprehensive nature we have been given desires turned to several aims and objectives. Our senses and faculties have greatly expanded due to the diversity of our essential duties. Furthermore, since we are inclined and able to worship, we have the potential to realize all kinds of perfection.”13)

Going beyond the intellect by the intellect

  • “Perspicacity means going beyond the intellect by the help of the intellect. It is the Prophetic intellect. It is bringing together the spirit, heart, feeling and subtle senses, and considering a matter.”14)

See Also

Further Reading

Other Languages


Ali ibn Muhammed es-Seyyid eş-Şerif Cürcani, Tarifat: Arapça-Türkçe Terimler Sözlüğü, tr. Arif Erkan, İstanbul: Bahar Yayınları, 1997, p. 154.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Emerald Hills of the Heart: Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism (vol. 3), New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2011, p. 206.
Ibid., p. 209.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, New Jersey: The Light, 2013, p. 718.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursî, İşârâtü’l-İ’câz, İstanbul: Şahdamar Yayınları, 2007, p. 105.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Reasonings: A Key to Understanding the Qur’an’s Eloquence, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2008, p. 11.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursî, Mesnevî-i Nûriye, İstanbul: Şahdamar Yayınları, 2007, p. 58.
Ibid., p. 256.
Ibid., p. 376.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, New Jersey: The Light, 2013, p. 37.
Ibid., p. 122.
Ibid., pp. 161.
Ibid., pp. 341.
intellect.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/16 18:09 by Editor