The intellectual, ethical, and, spiritual dimensions of the Islamic thought
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AbstractThe intellectual inquiry and acquisition of knowledge have always been integral to Islam, right from the first revelation recorded by the Qur’an. This paper aims to examine how the origin, role, and purpose of intellect have been understood in Islamic thought from its inception and through its subsequent evolution. It further aims to discuss the role and purpose that intellect and ethics ought to serve in the faith and lives of contemporary Muslims. Muslim philosophers based their ideas on teachings of the Qur’an and teachings of Prophet Muhammad. They utilized their intellect to share this significant knowledge with their contemporary intellectuals to further human reasoning and inquiry at large. In Islamic thought, Intellect and ethics go hand in hand. A crucial objective here is to determine the essential meaning of Jihad, so as to establish a sound intellectual basis for ethical behavior. Understanding the role that intellect can and should play in a Muslim’s life holds the key to resolving crucial problems that contemporary Muslims face, such as the rise of various forms of fundamentalism and misconceptions of Jihad. I hope to show that Islamic ethics and spirituality grounded in conscientious intellectual inquiry can be instrumental in counteracting and overcoming ignorance and unwarranted violence.