Tenets of Islamic Beliefs; Prophethood/5

Why Intellect, Knowledge Cannot Replace Prophets?

12:23 - December 11, 2022
News ID: 3481619
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Humans have been equipped with the power of intellect which guides them on the path of truth. Knowledge is also another guide that results from thousands of years of accumulated experience. But why are we in need of prophets despite having these guides?


Islam attaches great importance to intellect and knowledge as it names intellect as the internal prophet. The Noble Quran asks all people to contemplate the verses while some of the verses have specifically addressed the people of understanding.

There are four main reasons why knowledge and intellect cannot replace prophets:

1) Limitations on human knowledge

The number of specialized universities is on the rise and humans bring new inventions and discoveries on a daily basis. However, relying too much on one’s intellect and knowledge will result in nothing but increased confusion. This is because different people understand things in different manners. Many dangerous conflicts and differences originate from people who are considered to be aware and wise. How can this knowledge that is creating tensions be used to settle differences? The issue that someone considers as good may not be considered so by others.

Yes! Man’s awareness is limited. People are not fully aware of the past, present, or future. As an old quotation reads, human knowledge compared to his ignorance is like a drop against the sea.

2) Barriers to understanding

Understanding the truth can only be achieved when there are no barriers on this path.

The desires of humans sometimes lead to the elimination of the power of understanding. Wearing various glasses, we sometimes cannot see things in a correct manner; we may consider right things as wrong and vice versa.

According to Islamic teachings, anger, lust, love, prejudice and desires can act as barriers to understanding.

3) Delay in understanding

Some of the facts are proven scientifically after maybe hundreds of years. For instance, it is not more than a century that scientists have talked about the harms of eating pork, however, God had warned believers of this danger more than a thousand years earlier.

There are tens of others laws in Islam that have been proven scientifically after hundreds of years.

4) Understanding spirituality

Knowledge, intellect, and consultations can help people in their worldly affairs, however, understanding the eternal felicity and spiritual growth is only possible through referring to prophets and divine revelations.


This article was derived from a book written by Iranian Quran teacher and researcher Mohsen Qara’ati.



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