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Acting Upon Conjecture

In the state of heedlessness, logic and reasoning are seldom resorted to. This is indeed a bizarre state of mind that can be defined as being half-asleep, half-awake. The heedless person easily becomes involved in irrational deeds. The life of such a person becomes a sequence of illogical deeds and the grave consequences he has to suffer.

One of the basic principles of logic is not to put implicit trust in anything, which is not based on sound reasoning. No man of intelligence bases his life on a system which is inherently of a dubious nature. For instance, no one randomly takes a pill assuming that “it might bring relief”. All actions should rest on ascertainable facts.

However, unbelievers, or those who associate partners with Allah, assume this kind of unwise attitude. That is solely because their lives are entirely based on certain presumptions. For instance, almost all unbelievers presume that judgment will not be passed on them on judgment day. Or even if judgment is passed, they will be found innocent. All the systems and ideologies they embrace, likewise rest on unfounded beliefs. Their viewpoint about the world is not based on genuine grounds.

The Surat’Al-Kahf, tells the story of two men, one an unbeliever who bases his life on unfounded conjectures and suppositions, and the other a believer:

Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed corn-fields. Each of those gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein: in the midst of them We caused a river to flow. (Abundant) was the produce this man had : he said to his companion, in the course of an argument: I have more wealth than you, and more honour and power in (my following of) men.” He went into his garden in a state (of mind) unjust to his soul: He said, “Surely this will never perish, Nor do I believe that the hour (of judgment) will (ever) come. Even if I am brought back to my Lord, I shall surely find (there) something better in exchange.” (Al-Kahf, 32-36)

The statements in the above verses are striking. The unbeliever dares to say : “Surely this will never perish, Nor do I believe that the hour (of judgment) will (ever) come. Even if I am brought back to my Lord, I shall surely find (there) something better in exchange.” This was a blatant assumption. He had no evidence whatsoever to verify his assumption. Yet, the owner of the garden persisted in voicing his groundless views. However, his end matched his attitude: his garden was utterly ruined. The story continues as follows:

His companion said to him, in the course of the argument: “Do you deny Him Who created you out of dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned you into a man? But (I think) for my part that He is Allah, My Lord, and none shall I associate with my Lord. Why did you not, as you went into your garden, say: ‘Allah’s will (be done)! There is no power but with Allah!’ If you see me less than you in wealth and sons, it may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and that He will send down on your garden thunderbolts (by way of reckoning) from heaven, making it (but) slippery sand!- Or the water of the garden will drain off underground so that you will never be able to find it.” So his fruits (and enjoyment) were destroyed and he remained wringing his hands over what he had spent on his property, which had (now) tumbled to pieces to its very foundations, and he could only say, “Woe is me! Would that I had never ascribed partners to my Lord and Cherisher!” Neither had he anyone to help him against Allah, nor was he able to deliver himself. In such ordeals the (only) protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the best to reward, and the best to give success. (Al-Kahf, 37-44)

As stated in this example, all the unbelievers follow their assumptions, rather than the true wisdom. The only information that is certainly true is what is revealed by Allah. Hence, those who want to base their life on certainty have to establish their criteria according to the Qur’an. Any other basis for moral judgement be it an ideology, philosophy, system, a thought process or science, cannot lead man to the truth. That is solely because, unless it is a revelation, every kind of thought indulged in human beings is a mere assumption.The Qur’an enjoins careful attention to this fact in numerous verses: “But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against truth.” (An-Najm, 28)

The Qur’an describes the state of those who follow nothing but conjecture and consequently turn away their faces from the way of Allah:

Woe to the falsehood-mongers, those who (flounder) heedless in a flood of confusion: They ask, “When will the day of judgment and justice be?” (It will be) a day when they will be tried (and tested) over the Fire!  “Taste this, your trial! This is what you used to ask to be hastened!” (Al-Dhariyat, 10-14)

The people who worship other gods besides Allah are, in reality, only a prey to conjecture. In the Qur’an, this fact is thus stated:

“These are nothing but names which you have devised - you and your fathers - for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire! Even though there has already come to them guidance from their Lord!” (An-Najm, 23)
Behold! Truly, to Allah belong all creatures, in the heavens and on earth. What do they follow who worship as His “partners” other than Allah? They follow nothing but fancy, and they do nothing but lie. (Jonah, 66)
Were you to follow the common run of those on earth, you would be led away by them from the way of Allah. They follow nothing but conjecture: they do nothing but lie. (Al-Anaam, 116)
But most of them follow nothing but fancy: truly, fancy can be of no avail against truth. Truly, Allah is well aware of all that they do. (Jonah, 36)

Those who act on conjecture assume that they can make up excuses to protect themselves against the punishment of Allah. This is, in fact just an assumption that is not compatible with reality. Their excuses will not be accepted by Allah.

Those who ascribe partners (to Allah) will say: “If Allah had wished, we should not have given partners to Him, nor would our fathers; nor should we have had any taboos.” So their ancestors falsely argued, until they tasted Our wrath. Say: “Have you any (certain) knowledge? If so, produce it before us. You follow nothing but conjecture: you do nothing but lie.” (Al-Anaam, 148)

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