Ibn Taymiyyah on Reason: Islam balances human reason and divine revelation

January 19, 2016

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Reason is a requirement for acquiring knowledge and performing righteous deeds, through which knowledge and deeds are perfected, but it is not enough on its own. Rather, it is a faculty of the soul and an ability like the ability within the eye to see. If it is connected with the light of faith and the Quran, then it is like the eye receiving the light of the sun and torch. If it is left to itself, it cannot gain insight into matters that it cannot know alone… Thus, the circumstances resulting from the denial of reason are defective, and ideas that contradict reason are false.”

Source: Majmūʻ al-Fatāwá 3/338

And Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Every reliable narration from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is the truth and confirms one another. It agrees with the natural instinct of creatures, sound reason that has been placed within them, and noble purposes. It cannot contradict sound reason, nor a noble purpose, nor an upright instinct, nor an authentic and established revelation from the Prophet.”

Source: Majmūʻ al-Fatāwá 6/580

قال ابن تيمية الْعَقْلُ شَرْطٌ فِي مَعْرِفَةِ الْعُلُومِ وَكَمَالِ وَصَلَاحِ الْأَعْمَالِ وَبِهِ يَكْمُلُ الْعِلْمُ وَالْعَمَلُ لَكِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مُسْتَقِلًّا بِذَلِكَ بَلْ هُوَ غَرِيزَةٌ فِي النَّفْسِ وَقُوَّةٌ فِيهَا بِمَنْزِلَةِ قُوَّةِ الْبَصَرِ الَّتِي فِي الْعَيْنِ فَإِنْ اتَّصَلَ بِهِ نُورُ الْإِيمَانِ وَالْقُرْآنِ كَانَ كَنُورِ الْعَيْنِ إذَا اتَّصَلَ بِهِ نُورُ الشَّمْسِ وَالنَّارِ وَإِنْ انْفَرَدَ بِنَفْسِهِ لَمْ يُبْصِرْ الْأُمُورَ الَّتِي يَعْجِزُ وَحْدَهُ عَنْ دَرْكِهَا … فَالْأَحْوَالُ الْحَاصِلَةُ مَعَ عَدَمِ الْعَقْلِ نَاقِصَةٌ وَالْأَقْوَالُ الْمُخَالِفَةُ لِلْعَقْلِ بَاطِلَةٌ

3/338 مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

وقال ابن تيمية مَا جَاءَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كُلُّهُ حَقٌّ يُصَدِّقُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا وَهُوَ مُوَافِقٌ لِفِطْرَةِ الْخَلَائِقِ وَمَا جُعِلَ فِيهِمْ مِنْ الْعُقُولِ الصَّرِيحَةِ والقصود الصَّحِيحَة لَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ الصَّرِيحَ وَلَا الْقَصْدَ الصَّحِيحَ وَلَا الْفِطْرَةَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَةَ وَلَا النَّقْلَ الصَّحِيحَ الثَّابِتَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

6/580 مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية