Sunday, 3 February 2013

Facts of Mind

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Scholars and scientists are not in accordance when explaining the fact of mind. In my notes here, I have two proposed opinions from Muslim scholars pertaining the topic who are:

A. Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Ghazali
B. Al-Harith Bin Asad al-Muhasabi

A. Imam al-Ghazali

He explains the fact of mind through four definitions. Mind differentiate man-kind with animals and other creatures. With mind, human-being could accept knowledge in the form of theory and observational view or arranging their ideas. Mind in this form is the main essence for human-being thought. The fact of mind according to this definition could be explained through the hadith of prophet Muhammad s.a.w by al-Tirmidzi narration which means, "none other of the God's creatures which is noble in His view except the mind".

Mind is a knowledge which could bring a confidence on possibilities on what would happen on what is possible or impossibilities on what would never happen on the possibility. For e.g, our mind could not accept on two things happening in the same time like sitting or standing in the same time. This form of mind is the fraction and the closest branch for the mind as the previous mentioned definition.

Mind is all the knowledge which a human have got through his experience and he had faced in his life. It is based from the statement that, an experienced man is a mindful man. A person without any life experience is known as an ignorant. This form of mind is the fraction of the previous two forms of mind. 

Mind is something which has the strength or a strength which one has gotten due to the development of the instinct. Due to the instinct is at its peak, one's mind has an ability to detect the consequences of his acts or from all the matters. On the other hand, mind could prevent, control and constrain desires on  temporary pleasure or the pleasures that would perish after their time ends. A person is counted as mindful when he could control and prevent his self from being controlled by his desires. This form of mind is the development of the previous three mentioned forms of mind. It is the highest development in achieving the goal of life.

This latter form of mind is described by noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w from the narration of Abu Darda'...

"Increase your mind, may you be closer to the God. Then Abu Darda' asked the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w, "By my father and mother, how could I achieve that?" Prophet Muhammad s.a.w answers, "Stay away from His prohibitions and hold fast His commandments upon you, may you be a mindful person and be steadfast in charity may your position be higher and noble in the hereafter closer to your Lord".

As the conclusion from the forms of mind made by imam al-Ghazali rahimahullah, the first and second forms refer to the natural form of a human-being mind. The third and fourth form refer to the development of mind as a result from his struggles and effort.

B. Al-Harith Bin Asad al-Muhasabi

Mind is an instinct, nature and natural fact exists in a human-being. Human-being learn sciences and getting knowledge with the help of mind. Mind is a preparation for a human-being in order to learn and comprehend phenomenon surrounding him. It is like a light being cast into the "heart" of a human and with it, he is guided by the God. 

The weakness of human-being mind which hinders him to achieve the "fact" about the God is a form of disability. It shows that a human-being mind is still bounded to limitation. It is limited in its task. However, this limitation does not hinder him from using specific methods in deciding the qualities and being closer to the God through His creations. The qualities of the God are mentioned in the scripture while being different from His beings'. What could not be achieved by our limited mind is the "Essence of the God". This has been described in the hadith...

"Think about the creations but never about His Essence as you will perish!"  

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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