We are living in an age where technology can make our difficulties disappear literally overnight. We are now at the brink of a new era where technology like blockchain or artificial intelligence, can provide a truly just and inclusive solution to challenges that mankind faced. However, if we do not have divine intelligence, the more progress the more challenges that we will face
Human Intelligence is Agile
Humans are already an intelligent species even when they learn to hunt and light the first fire. This ability ushered them into the first civilizations. Then they began to settle down and grow their own food which required them to have a new kind of intelligence; understanding of soil and grain.
Times are constantly changing and humans are required to continue to hone their intelligence – so that they can stay smarter than the complexities of life’s problems and be guided accordingly depending on the needs of their time and era. Human intelligence is agile and can adapt to any situation turning adversity into blessings. It does not happen naturally as some like to think it is actually with divine guidance that human intelligence continues to grow.
Intelligence is not the prerogative of humans, all of God’s creation is bestowed with this guidance according to their respective needs. Plants are guided on what nutrients that they need to select from the soil, bees were given guidance on what flowers could be medicinal nectars, sheeps grazing in pastures were given guidance to know if a plant was poisonous and so on.
Right from the beginning of creation, we are promised guidance in executing our predetermined fate. This is clearly stated in Surah Al Ala in ayah 3. The gist of the Ayah is with predestination you are promised guidance. You will be guided to manifest your fate with perfection.
One might ask if we are given guidance why so many of our life’s affairs seem not or have not been properly resolved, economic, political, security, food, health and so on? If we have guidance why then we are faced with mounting and endless challenges. The answer is that mankind has ignored the guidance that was sent to them repeatedly. This is true from an individual level to an organizational level. Because most people cannot recognize the guidance it
Let me demonstrate, there are countless research that prove the medicinal benefits of honey, it was a cure to many ailments, in the past, present and Insya Allah will continue to do so in the future. The bee is able to find flowers in the forest and transform into a substance that heals mankind – because the bee is following the guidance sent to then.
On the other hand, man who explores the same forest, instead of looking for a cure, causes disease for his fellow man – by burning and plundering the forest. This happened not because there was no guidance.
Noticing the Signs
The signs are strikingly obvious, it is present in our homes and as apps on our smartphones. It is none other than the Quran. Some even have memorised the signs with an 100 percent accuracy, parroting them on a daily basis. Why don’t we have the intelligence to be a nation that is favoured by Allah?
Perhaps it is because we who live in the ultra-fast information age have not yet understood the message that was sent.
So we try to understand this guidance by extracting information using technology that is currently available. But how can we be smarter than the complexity of the problems of life in this era?
The key is how we master the essence of every problem we face.
The Ulul Albab (The Wise)
Those who master the essence of every issue in the Qur’an are known as Ulul Albab. There are dozens of verses in the Qur’an that reveal the existence of that is enough for you to map out the characteristics of Ulul Albab.
One of the most prominent characteristics of Ulul Albab is remembrance or Dzikir. Almost all the verses about Ulul Albab are connected with this word Dzikir. The meaning of Dzikir in the context of Ulul Albab is explained by one of the Ayah of the Quran as to remember him while standing , while sitting, even while lying down.
But it does not stop there, the Ulul Albab also contemplates on Allah’s creation in the heavens and earth until he comes to understand everything is not created in vain and realise the greatness of the Almighty that deserve to be glorified. Just from this brief reflection we can see the root of our problems.
The problem of our intelligence is with every solution that we can think of and implement, creates another problem that needs to be solved. So you are trapped in the vicious cycle.
This is because we have not done Dzikir as described by Allah which is continuous remembrance of Allah.
Apart from the word Dzikr, there are also a number of other characteristics among others; Ulul Albab are people who have Iman, pious, institute the night prayer and continue to contemplate on Allah’s creation.
What do they get in return for habitualizing these characteristics? They are guided, given mercy, blessings, wisdom and victory in their lives. Simply put it is impossible for them to fail.
They are also people who are given instructions (huda), mercy, blessings, wisdom and victory in their lives.
Acquiring the Intelligence of Ulul Albab
So how can we become intelligent people – who control the essence of every problem in life that we face – according to the Qur’an?
There is a graph used as a featured image of this article that will let you discover who are the people that are given divine intelligence.
But how do you become a member of the people that are given divine intelligence and understanding. It is how you respond to Allah’s Ayah. Let’s take one ayah from Surah Yusuf specifically ayah 111.
The ayah, among other things, connects Ulil Albab with ibrah, huda and rahmat. This ayah is placed at the end of the story which Allah Himself calls the best story in the third ayah of the same surah. Try to read it over and over again while trying to contemplate on the Ayah, if you can feel the beauty of the story – then God willing, you are among the common people – linnas who should be able to capture the beauty of the story about the Prophet Yusuf mentioned above.
But when you begin to be able to take ibrah deducing lessons from this ayah, then you are on the journey to become a member of the Ulul Albab – an intelligent person, who understands the essence of the problems you face. Insha Allah.
So many people approach the Quran as if it is a marathon that you must get over and done with in the shortest time possible. You need to approach it with contemplation, and if you do it often enough the doors of divine intelligence and guidance will be open to you.
This means you will be guided in your decision-making process, finding the right solution and your effort will be blessed.
Muhaimin Iqbal is the Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Bioeconomy Science and Technology, Indonesia. He is also the Founder and Chairman of iGrow Resources, Indonesia – an agriculture resource integrator and market integrator.