Intellect and Emotions in Religion
There are two elements in human personality: intellect and emotions. The correct sequence of using them is in the same order. If you are intellectually convinced that a certain view is correct, it’s only then that you should employ your emotions to act upon your views and to disseminate them. If you will reverse the sequence, you will be guilty of ignoring the truth, which is a serious crime. The suggestion is difficult to practice. But it is vital if you want to live and die as a truth seeking person. This is one of the many lessons of wisdom I have learned from Ghamidi Sahib.
When you hear someone expressing a view different from yours, it is binding on you that you empty your mind and listen to what the other person is saying or else you will not be listening to him. When you have certain favourite scholars, you can always be emotionally biased in favour of them and be against those others who disagree with them. The consequences of being emotionally charged in an intellectual debate are extremely damaging. You can deprive yourself of the knowledge of the right things by being emotional at the wrong time. It was mistimed emotionalism that caused kuffar to deny the truth when it was presented to them. It was the correct combination of intellect and emotions that caused the companions of the prophet, alaihissalaam, to be what they turned out to be.
When religious emotions are high, people can go to the extent of killing fellow human beings in the name of God. Making false claims knowingly to defend one’s own religious views is another manifestation of such an attitude.
As somebody who has been teaching for the last thirty five years, I want to share this recurring experience with you: I have never lost my temper on being asked a question by a student, howsoever rude the manner it was done, if I was comfortable with answering it. I have always been extremely upset on being asked a difficult question, even though put across politely, if I knew that I couldn’t answer it. This latter tendency has thankfully disappeared, at least partly, when I started applying the ‘technique’ of admitting to the one questioning that the query was valid and I didn’t know the answer as yet. I think what I experienced was a human weakness and what I did later to counter its ill effect on me was the only solution to problem.
In religious matters, if you will place your emotions before your intellect, you may find yourself categorized as a biased criminal in the eyes of God. In case you correct the sequence, you will progress leaps and bounds in religious awareness. Your success in the hereafter would ensue as a natural consequence of it.