The Chief Justice and Chief Da’i Saiyedna Qaazi No’maan bin Mohammad (aq) says that, once he approached Maulaana Imaam Mo’iz (as) and asked about the meaning and attributes of Intellect (aql). Imaam Mo’iz (as) said, ‘O No’maan, look around you and you will notice that everyone says that, ‘I am intellectual and learned, not stupid and ignorant.’ Even if you ask to an insane man, he will say that, ‘I know better than you.’ Everyone claims and considers to be intellectual and learned but there are vast differences in that. He then said that, there are four types of Intellect (aql) in each of us varying in quantity and quality. These four types of Intellect are:
- Aql-e-Matboo’: This type of Intellect is ingrained in an individual and it is through this intellect that he is able to perceive the general idea and understanding about his surrounding environment. For example, we all know about the sky, earth, stars, trees, water, rain etc. We don’t have to make a special effort in knowing all these things. We get it as we grow older – by our senses and learning. The word “Matboo” means ‘grasping naturally.’
- Aql-e-Masmoo’: This type of Intellect is the one which we gain through learning – in the school, college, university, madrasah or from a teacher. The word “Masmoo” means ‘by listening.’ We get the general or specific knowledge through the branch we opt for. We either become an engineer, computer professional, doctor through this intellect. A specific institution, faculty or discipline is necessary for it and this knowledge is acquired in stages.
- Aql-e-Maksoob: The word ‘Maksoob’ is derived from the root word ‘Ka-sa-ba’ which means to earn, to acquire or to gather. Whatever we have learned in a specific branch of knowledge, we gain experience and expertise with time. This is the knowledge which is gained from practice and the application of the knowledge acquired by the previous “Aql-e-Masmoo”. A doctor practices and as time passes he gains expertise in a specific procedure or method. This is through the individual’s own intellect. Whatever has been gained by “Aql-e-Masmoo” is churned and blended into practice and application hence it can be said that, Aql-e-Maksoob is Aql-e-Masmoo plus practice, application and time.
- Aql-e-Mawhoob: The word ‘Mawhoob’ comes from the root word ‘Wa-ha-ba’ which means to grant, gift or accord. This Intellect is from Allaah which is gifted to his Hujjat on this earth which is Nabi, Wasi, Imaam or Da’i. This intellect is superior to all previous intellects and the knowledge gained through it is called as ‘Ilm-e-Ladunni’ (Divine Knowledge). It is this knowledge which makes Hujjatullaah (the representative of Allaah) superior to all Mankind. All the knowledge of the World is inferior to it. The principles of the Deen of Allaah and their esoteric interpretation are the essence of this Intellect. The Hujjatullaah (Nabi, Wasi or Imaam) knows what nobody knows. They are the masters of all the creations of the Allaah. It is through and because of this knowledge that they give Da’wat (invitation) to the Mumineen towards Allaah. It is because of this knowledge that the Hujjatullaah are called by Allaah in the Qur’an as “ar-raasekhoona fil ‘ilm”, “ahl uz-zikr” etc. A common man does not possess this Aql. The attributes of this divine intellect are carried over from one Hujjat to the other through Nass-e-Jali or Nass-e-Khafi. It is therefore mandatory on the Hujjat of Allaah to appoint his successor by doing Nass on him. Hence the concept of Nass bears prime importance and is one of the supreme Aqeedah of the Isma’ili Faatemi Taiyebi Alavi tenet.
Imaam Mo’iz (as) then explained Saiyedna Qaazi No’maan Saheb (aq) that, in true sense, intellect is the one which knows what is right and wrong and strips apart the truth from falsehood. Gaining intellect is treading on the path of Deen and Shari’at of Allaah with the guidance and the knowledge of Hujjatullaah present near you and indulging your body and soul in doing what is deemed as lawful for you and abstaining from what is forbidden for you and obeying all the obligations of the Shari’at, having respect, honour and acceptance for the Hujjatullaah.
Saiyedna Qaazi No’maan Saheb (aq) asked about further intricacies on the same topic to which Imaam Mo’iz (as) gave a non-verbal response of a closed smile and said, ‘O No’maan, always remember that whoever gains and acquires the knowledge from Allaah and his Rasool, Wasi, Imaam or Da’i, can only be termed as an ‘intellectual’. Because by learning from them, he will get the true knowledge of Allaah, His Deen and Shari’at. Whoever turns his face towards others for seeking knowledge who are not considered as the Hujjat of Allaah on this earth is ignorant and will indeed deviate from Siraat-e-Mustaqeem.' Those people who claim themselves to be “ar-raasekhoona fil ‘ilm” or “ahl uz-zikr” are the Taghoots and Allaah has descended Curse on them. No one but Rasoolullaah (saws), Maulaana Ali (as) and the succession of A’immat-e-Taahereen (as) from his progeny or the Du’aat ul-Akrameen (aq) who are the representatives of the Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) can be called as ‘ar-raasekhoona fil ‘ilm” or “ahl uz-zikr”. Indeed we can only reach to Allaah through His Hujjat on this earth. One who grasps this main trunk of the divine succession of Ambiyaa, Awsiyaa, A’immat and Du’aat will never deviate from the Ilaahi path of najaat and rehmat. Undoubtedly he will be the most intellectual one.
Imaam Mo’iz (as) then continued saying that, ‘O No’maan, there are many people in this World who consider Haraam (forbidden) as Halaal (lawful) and vice versa. Indeed, they have never understood Allaah, the Qur’an and its interpretation.' ‘O No’maan, don’t you remember what Rasoolullaah (saws) said during his lifetime? He has said, ‘After me, many Ahaadees, Akhbaar and Riwaayat will be said about me which will ‘unusually’ be related and associated with me filled with the filth of falsehood.’ Hence if you come across such thing, put it parallel to the Qur’an. If you find it in accordance with it, then consider that it is being said by me and if you find it in contradiction with Qur’an, then consider that it is not from me.’ Each Hadees of Rasoolullaah (saws) runs parallel in its meaning and interpretation with the verses of the Qur’an. How can Rasoolullaah (saws) say such thing which contradicts the Qur’an? Alas! After the death of Rasoolullaah (saws), his Ahaadees were manipulated and doctored for the personal gain by the so called religious leaders (johalaa). The only source of the pure and original teachings of, both, Qur’an and Ahaadees of Rasoolullaah (saws) remained with Ameer ul-Mumineen Maulaana Ali (as) and A’immat-e-Tahereen (as) after him.