of a people is its servant.”1 And, “The best of people is the one most useful to people.”2 Also, through sacred phrases like,
So will they not think?(6:50) * So will they not reflect on it?(4:82) * So will they not reason?(2:44),
the All-Wise Qur’an calls on the intellect to testify; it warns, refers to the reason, it urges investigation. Through this, it accords scholars and the people of reason a position; it gives them importance. It does not dismiss the reason like the Catholic Church; it does not silence thinkers, or require blind imitation of them.
Since the fundamentals of, not true Christianity, but the present-day Christian religion and the fundamentals of Islam have parted on another important point, they go their separate ways in many respects like the above-mentioned differences. The important point is this:
Islam is the religion of the true affirmation of divine unity (tevhid-i hakikî) so that it dismisses intermediaries and causes. It breaks egotism and establishes sincere worship. It cuts at the root every sort of false dominicality, starting from that of the soul, and rebuffs it. It is because of this that if a person of high position from the upper class is going to be completely religious, he will have to give up his egotism. If he does not give up egotism, he will lose his strength of religion and to an extent give up his religion.
As for the Christian religion of the present day, since it has accepted the belief of Jesus (Upon whom be peace) being the Son of God, it ascribes an actual effect to causes and intermediaries. It cannot break egotism in the name of religion. Rather, saying that egotism is a holy deputy of Jesus (Upon whom be peace), it ascribes it a sacredness. For this reason, members of the Christian upper classes who occupy the highest worldly positions may be completely religious. In fact, there are many like the former American President, Wilson, and the former British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, who were as religious as bigoted priests. But any Muslims who rise to those positions rarely remain completely religious and firm in their religion, for they cannot give up their pride and egotism. And true taqwa cannot be combined with pride and egotism.
Yes, just as the religious bigotry of the Christian upper class and slackness in religion of the Muslim upper class demonstrate an important difference, so the fact that the philosophers who emerged from Christianity were
al-Maghribi, Jami’ al-Shaml, i, 450, no: 1668; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, ii, 463.
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, ii, 463; al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iii, 481, no: 4044.