Mind plays its role to analyze everything through the humanity source angle. It covers material realm and those with material characteristics. In other conditions, the role of mind is perceived from the divinity source angle. This refers to the revelation, which transcends the metaphysical realm where this realm is beyond the boundary of human mind. Therefore, the source and the role played by human mind is something which is limited and bounded by certain limitation!
Other than that, mind does not hold its sanctity and purity forever. For that, it needs to be guided with the divine revelation. For us who are the Muslims, we view the role of mind with the Quran, the Sunnah and through the studies of our philosophers.
A. Quran and Sunnah
From the Quran which is our scripture, I found that it stresses the mind is something which plays the role to assist human-being in their quest to study something in depth. The God the Highest mentioned through the Quran that we have to use our mind with an optimum usage. We are encouraged to grab the opportunity to acquire every knowledge that we found in our way to reach Him.
Says the God the Highest
Indeed in the creation of heavens and the earth and the changing of the night and the day as the signs for those who possess the system of mind.Surat Aali-Imran 3 v. 190
A such, our scripture itself opening up the space for human-being to find the knowledge and to study anything that they are curious to know. Whether it is in the form of those related to the daily life or the other knowledge related to our religious life and the hereafter.
Other than that, our mind is used to study, to analyze and to comprehend the revelation of the God. This is what that makes a human noble in his position and in the view of the God the Highest.
Says the God the Highest
O you who believe! When being said to you, "Give space in ceremonies", thus give the space may the God grants you more spaces. And when being said to you, "Stand up!", so stand you up may the God grants those who are faithful among you and those who are given the knowledge few levels above. And the God is the Most Proficient in what you are doing!Surat al-Mujadilah 58 v. 11
Mind is among the reasons that human being convicted for their crimes or being trusted for the execution of the tasks or commandments. The mind which is not correctly directed and used without the Divine Path framework in the execution of responsibilities commanded by the God the Highest will be the factor for one to be tormented in the bitterness.
Says the God the Highest
And indeed We fill the abyss many of those among the genies and human-being who possess the heart but they do not comprehend with it and possessing the eyes but do not observe with it and for them ears but they do not listen with it. They are just like the cattle, even more strayed. They are among those who are negligent.Surat al-A'araf 7 v. 179
As a point for the mind is a condition for conviction on crime or burden of responsibility, there was a saying from our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w recorded by imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and imam al-Tirmidzie...
The pen is lifted on these three people, "On he who is sleeping until he is awake and on the child until he achieve his puberty and a crazy person until he is sane".
This is how we decide on our judgement as Muslim jurists when we judge in our court, we have our reference from the Quran, the interpretations from our traditions, checking the way of life of people around, making researches or inquiries and also we use our mind and considerations. This actually could go side by side with the civil court but I do not know... Those who talk about Shari'a Islamiyya or simply the Divine Path of the God in negative sense perhaps do not even know about Legal Studies or maybe they know "a little" about it but their heart is not clean so they distort things or refuse to check further to discuss instead they love to argue, to debate and to prove their ego. They feel satisfied when they win. I always laugh at this kind of people because I found that they are pathetic. They argue like attorneys in the court but they are not even an attorney to begin with nor they study about crimes or law of acts and effects. Egoism, selfishness or self-center are the same trait that leads one into ignorance and spiritual darkness.
The mind is the source which plays the role for one to know his "True Lord", whether through His characteristics or through His creations.
Says prophet Muhammad s.a.w...
Think with the creations of the God but never with His Essence since you will never reach its proportion!
For the people of Ancient India, those who knows the Supreme Authority are known as the Brahmanas. English translation always distort the sound of Brahmanas into Brahmins. A Brahmana is one who is free from illusions, free from the ordinary nature of births, free from material values and free from the effects of jealousy, boasting, arrogance, treachery and behave with 12 behaviors beginning with self-control or tranquility apart of it is a caste by family classification as everyone commonly gets the idea about. This one is from our philosophical studies were we open up the texts from the original sources and checking commentaries or interpretations. In Arabic, we have several terms too like 'Aleem, 'Ulama' and 'Areef. The third term is a a little to the portal of metaphysical world which I think is somehow closer to Brahmana in some parts of their connotation and yet I do not like to elaborate much about this as I think it is important to be clear with our basis. Just an idea which sparks out while checking the points...
Later on, the mind has a positive role where it helps a person to evaluate between good and evil. If one does not know on how to evaluate between the good and evil, then he needs to direct his own mind so he will have the effort to ask to those who are knowledgeable.
Says the God the Highest
And We never send any messenger before you, except that they are among the men whom We revealed to them. So, ask those who are knowledgeable if you do not know!Surat al-Nahl 16:43
So, when we do not know, we go and see teachers. The same thing too, if we do not know about anything say about Islam and we wanted to talk like we know. First of all, we go and see teachers and get their feedback on what we are curious about. By relying on secondary resources only is not sufficient. It is like we are doing our inquiry for our academic research where we go and do some field-work, having some methodology in our research and curiosity and we never say that our findings are the most correct when we could only produce some writings out of things which we could not simply explain by words. How are we going to describe our feeling correctly in words? How about the touch or emotion? How about psychological condition of one? Even if we do some interviews, could we get sharp answers like we do simple mathematics?
B. Muslim Philosophers
We have both philosophers of different Islamic schools of thought. Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali who is a Sunnah Muslim and Ibnu Sina who is an Ismai'li Shi'a Muslim on the role of mind. Both of them agree that mind plays important role for those who are studying something or those who are curious about something. That is why mind plays a role as a source of knowledge. They both agree that mind has the role to elevate a human-being to a better and appraised position. This matter is in accordance with the fact and reality, where those who possess knowledge will be respected in a community or society.
Mind has the role to make human-being think and conducting research. Later, they could get ideas or differentiate on the positive and negative ones. The ability of the mind and its role should actually make the men administrating the Earth and to prosper with it. Not to kill each other. So, what happens in the Middle East? In Africa? In other regions in the world? Why is people killing among each other while they call themselves as Muslim? Is it because of egoism? Is it because of the lack of knowledge? Is it because of selfishness? Is it because people do not get even knowledge that there are many kind of interpretations? What happen with their "religion"?
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!