Friday, 29 December 2006

The Knowledge Of Good And Bad

There is no disagreement among Muslim scholars that the source of ALL legal rulings for all the acts of insan who are morally responsible is Allah SWT.

The question then arises:
Is it possible for the mind alone, unaided by Allah's Messengers (AS) and Revealed Scriptures, to know the rulings - to such an extent that even those not reached by the Prophet's (AS) invitation would also be able to know Allah's rule concerning his or her actions? Or is this impossible?

The answer is that -

The mind is unable to know the rule of Allah about the acts of which Insaan is morally responsible except by means of Allah's Messengers (AS) and Revelation.

This fact is further strengthened by the nature of how human beings interact, behave and think nowadays and derive their own man-made laws.For minds are in obvious disagreement about acts. Some minds find certain acts good, others find them bad, according to his want and desire.
Moreover, one person can be of two minds about one and the same action. In such situations, desire will dominate.

So it cannot be said that an act which the mind deems good is therefore good in the eyes of Allah, its performance called for, and its doer rewarded by Allah; or that whatever the mind feels to be bad is thus bad in the eyes of Allah, its non-performance called for and its doer punished by Allah.

So thus Insaan must fully understand this that - unaided Intellect CANNOT know Allah's Rules.


The basic premise of Islam is to UNDERSTAND that the good of the acts of those morally responsible is- what the Lawgiver i.e. Allah through His Messenger - Rasulullah SAW - has indicated is good by permitting it or asking it be done. And the bad is - what the Lawgiver i.e. Allah through His Messenger - Rasulullah SAW - has indicated is bad by asking it not be done.
The good is not what reason (i.e. the mind) considers good, nor the bad is what reason considers bad. The measure of good and bad is defined by Sacred Law.


A person is not morally obligated by Allah to do or refrain from anything unless the invitation of a prophet and what Allah has legislated have reached him or her.
No one is rewarded for doing something or punished for refraining from or doing something until he / she knows by means of Allah's Messengers (AS), what he / she is obliged to do or obliged to refrain from.

So whoever lives in such complete isolation that the summons of a prophet and his Sacred Law do not reach him / her, is not morally responsible to Allah for anything and deserves neither reward nor punishment.

And those who lived in one of the intervals after the death of a prophet and before a new one had been sent were not responsible for anything and deserve neither reward nor punishment.

Allah SWT confirms this in the Qur'an:

"We do not punish until we send a messenger." (Surah 17: Ayat 15)

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