It is said that Islam is a religion of logic. Is it true?

The Details of the Question
It is said that Islam is a religion of logic. Is it true?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

This expression may have been used for two meanings.

The First: The rules and doctrines of Islam are suitable for the nature of man and his/her reason. This evaluation is correct. Except for a small proportion of principles that are “ta'abbudi” (requiring obedience without needing to know its reason), all rules in Islam are understandable in terms of reason and logic.   

The fact that the orders and prohibitions of Islam are valid for people who have reached the age of puberty and who are sane and do not hold responsible people who are not sane shows that Islam gives importance to reason and addresses reason and it also indicates that Islam is “a religion of logic”.  

For example, the institution of alms in Islam is an establishment that helps the poor by the rich and balances the social order, prevents the conflicts between the poor and the rich and turns those conflicts into reconciliation, love-respect and eliminates the injustices that foments the hatred and abhorrence between classes and layers of the society. This function of alms can easily be understood and is very reasonable.

In addition, one of the first conditions of embracing Islam is having faith in Allah and His apostle. The place of belief is the heart. The heart is large enough to hold divine feelings, inspirations, hadiths and for the mind (reason). It is a clear indication of this truth that a person who is not sane is not responsible for having a faith. The style of the Qur’an is full of rational and logical proofs that are required for the approval of man’s reasoning. There are always rational and logical examples when about the fact that the Qur’an is a word of Allah, and the existence of resurrection after death are explained. 

Actually, if any order or punishment by Allah does not satisfy man’s reasoning then it cannot be said that a fair test exists here. If someone makes a primary education student responsible for the questions that belong to the sciences which are valid in the works of university or doctorate degree, then that person can be considered to have tortured. That is why, in the Qur’an, there is always an emphasis on human’s reasoning. There are also phrases such as; “Will you not then understand? Will you not then meditate?”   

The second: the phrase “Islam is a religion of logic”; emphasizes the philosophy of based on a person’s own reason and logic. It is wrong. According to it, a person who has this kind of philosophy may say that “Great minds think alike”, so the things that he/she cannot understand are wrong. Therefore, what Islam has and what opposes to his/her view is wrong. In addition to this, such a person may also think that as Islam is a religion of logic; then, what reason cannot grasp has no place in religion.

Such people who have this kind of philosophy are unable to understand the concept of “reason” because reason cannot grasp everything on itself without external factors; on the contrary, it tries to grasp in the direction of knowledge and ideas that were given to him beforehand. It is the best proof of this truth that a person with no matter how high a reason but who is not necessarily educated cannot understand and do the things of an engineer or a doctor who are not as clever as him.

The most important point to be mentioned here is this: It is not appropriate for some people who cannot comprehend an issue to say “unreasonable” for that issue. Most of us do not know about physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, etc and do not comprehend them but nobody says they are unreasonable because some people do not understand them. The mind cannot discover everything on its own. If it were possible, there would be no need for prophets. Each issue has a field that can be understood by specialists only. Those specialists can easily understand the issue that some people cannot comprehend. Similarly, the fact that some people cannot understand the truths of the Quran does not mean that those truths are unreasonable and illogical.  

Another important point is this: The existence of some issues that are called ta’abbudi and that cannot be understood by reason are related to the testing of man. The principles of belief are scientific and based on reason. A few principles of Islam are present in order to test man’s belief and surrender not to satisfy the mind. There need to be some issues that the mind cannot comprehend easily so that it will be clear whether man believes in his mind only or believes in and surrenders to Islam. 

To sum up, a person who says, “Since the Quran is the word of Allah, everything in it is correct – even if my mind cannot comprehend – “ passes the test. A person who hesitates saying, “Such and such issue in the Quran is unreasonable; my mind cannot comprehend it” fails the test because he is either not sincere or is very ignorant. For instance, the fact that the morning prayer has two rakats but the noon prayer has four rakats has nothing to do with the mind. However, issues like the prohibition of pork and alcohol can be explained by science and reasoning. The issues based on reason are more than ta’abbudi issues.

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