Limitation of Human Reason

q&a

Abduh states: “…but reason quite lacks the competence to penetrate to the essence of things. For the attempt to discern the nature of things, which necessarily belongs with their essential complexity, would have to lead to the pure essence and to this, necessarily, there is no rational access. So the utmost that our rationality can attain is acknowledgement of accidents and effects. ..Take, for example, light – the most clear and evident of things. Students have propounded many laws about it and arranged them in a special science. But none of them can understand what it is or penetrate the nature of illumination. They know only about light what every non-student using his eyes knows equally well… The study of creation is necessarily salutary in a practical way and lightens for the soul the way to the knowledge of Him who can be characterized by the fact that aside from Him none of these things would have the order they plainly possess. Contradictory views of the universe are part of the conflict of truth with error. Truth must prevail over falsehood by dint of sound thought or by the strength of the case outweighing its weakness…the Qur’an and earlier Scriptures confine themselves to directing attention to the creator’s existence and to His perfect attributes, as these may be known from the contemplation of the created world. As for the nature of His attributes and what they signify, it is beyond our province to discuss.”

Excerpt: [Theology of Unity, p.55] by Mufti Muhammad Abduh

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