Lessons From the Prophet and the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt: Excerpts from Usul al-Kafi
Place Of Reason In The Religion (Part 1)
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
"Almighty God has endowed upon mankind nothing better than reason (wisdom). Sleep of a wise man is better than the waking hours of an ignorant. Rest of a wise man is better than the movement (journeys for Hajj or Jihad) of ignorant. God has not send any prophet or messenger without first perfecting his reason; and his reason stands superior to all the reasons of (the people of) his community. What the Prophet has wished is preferable to all the Ijtihad (striving) of the Mujtahideen (those who strive).
No creature can ever discharge his obligations to God unless he comprehends those (obligations). All the worshippers weighted together can not reach the height of excellence of a wise man. The man of reason who are the possessors of understanding minds about whom Allah said:
`... Yet none takes to mind (understands these facts) except men of understanding. (Qur’an 2:269, 3:7)’"
Shi’ite Reference: Usul Al-Kafi, Arabic-English Version, Part 1, Pp 30-31, Tradition #11 (Part 2)
Next tradition is Tradition #12 from the Chapter entitled "The Book of Reason and Ignorance". This tradition is pretty large. So I decided to randomly select some parts of it, and I will continue to copy the other parts of this tradition in the next parts of these series. This tradition is the conversation of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as), and one of his faithful disciples, Hisham Ibn al-Hakam (ra). Hisham was well-known for his exceptional ability in debate with the polytheists and the members of the heretical groups.
Hisham Ibn al-Hakam (ra) narrated that Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far (as) addressed him, saying:
O’ Hisham! Almighty God has given glad tidings to the people of reason and understanding to this effect:
"Glad tidings unto My servants! Those who hear the sayings and follow the best of it; those are who Allah has guided and those who are the possessors of understanding minds. (Qur’an 39:17-18)"
... O Hisham! It is through reason and understanding that God has completed evidence of proof (in respect of Himself and His religion) for mankind. He has helped His prophets and His messengers by endowing them with the gift of eloquence and guided them to comprehend His overlordship through reason and understanding. As He himself has said: