GIVEN the lack of analytical thought, deep reflection and serious scholarship in many Muslim societies today, the fact that intellect was cited by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as the most critical aspect of a Muslim’s life might come as a surprise.
Dr Khaled Abu al-Fadl mentions that the Prophet is said to have stated: “To everything there is a foundation, and the foundation of a believer is the intellect. And to every person, there has to be an objective. And the objective of the true believer has to be the intellect. And to every home, there are people that are responsible and accountable and in the homes of true believers, it is the intellect that holds everyone to account … and for every journey, there is a purpose and the true purpose of the journey of a true believer is the intellect.”
The Prophet is also said to have stated that the best person and worshipper is one who possesses intellect, has developed it and invested in it.
Intellect and ethics are also linked in Islam because only a person with intellect can assess the goodness and eternity of ethical values and can abide by ethical standards.