THE ADVICE I WISH I HAD RECEIVED YEARS AGO …
It is so enriching to speak with some people, and so exhausting to talk to others. There are some whose the conversations are energising, and those where talking to them just drains you and wastes your time.
The principles in this article have universal application – whether to a Muslim or non Muslim, at work, at home or even at school. Read it and we promise you that this will save you hours of time and energy in the future!
WHAT IS WISDOM?
There is a distinction between the brain, intellect and wisdom. All of us have the physical brain, but not all of us have intellect. Even if we possess intelligence, we can only be considered wise once we implement the knowledge in the right context and with benefit.
The intelligence that we refer to here is not related to academic achievements. It is of the intellect that generally applies to the knowledge of life, but with a dose of emotional intelligence and maturity which then cultivates wisdom.
Intellect has its foundation in the Arabic word “aql” which means the mother and the pillar of all righteousness and quality. The early people advised that intellect coupled with wisdom forms the fountain of all manner. Allah SWT made it the source of the deen, and it is the pillar of life. It is the quality that brings one closer to people and allows them to be a source of guidance, wisdom and ability to help others.
With the proper intellect, you can rein your emotion and guide it towards successful relationships or feelings that can generate pleasure and benefit to you.
The early wise people used to say that the ultimate treasure mankind can acquire is intellect and humility, which allow and lead one to guidance, and prevent one from being a fool and an ignorant.
According to a saying, the pillar of a human being is his intellect. Based on his intellect, he will know his Lord. The more he knows his Lord, he develops his faith, and according to that, the closer to Allah he becomes and the more good quality and manner he generates. The same person also asked us to contemplate the meaning of chapter Al Mulk, verse 10:
And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” (Al Qur’an 67:10)
Umar Al Khattab (RA), one of the Khulafa Ar-Rahideen was himself a genius, sharp witted and with brilliant foresight. He held the view that the roots of a man are his intellect, his status is his deen and his legacy is his manner.
Al Hassan Al Basri (RA) mentioned that Allah SWT bestows no one with intellect and guidance without one day, the same saving him and others.
One of the early wise people correctly said: “If you comprehend intellect, you will make it your constitution and your destination. Ignorance is the most powerful enemy against you.”
Another declared: “Do you know who your best friend is? It is your intellect. And do you know your worst enemy? It is your ignorance.”
Yet another saying goes: “The most beautiful hobby is to increase your intellect. The worst hobby is to increase your ignorance by not seeking knowledge.”
TYPES OF INTELLECT
Intellect can be divided into two:
(a) Inherited – the one that we are born with, meaning our own ability, aptitude and style of thinking, with all the related qualities (or lack thereof)
(b) the one that is acquired over time by seeking knowledge, being in the company of those who possess intellect and wisdom, and the ability to humble oneself and seek the knowledge and wisdom from different sources.
One of the early people held the view that: “The intellect is the light in the heart of the believer. It distinguishes between truth and falsehood.”
Of this, the Qu’ran says: So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. (Al Hajj, verse 46)