Reflections on the scriptural approach; the knowledge of God as an example


The dominating methodology among Muslim scholars, especially in Sunni circles, is the necessity of adhering to religious texts (the Quran and hadith) in the area of religious teachings, in particular theology, and prohibiting the interference of reason in this area. This textual trend comes from the claim of the purity of knowledge that emerges from texts, which leads to the role of human intellect being useless or negative. This paper starts by sketching a precise and referenced image of this theory in religious teachings, especially in knowing God, and relies on the words of textualists themselves. We then aim at explaining the main arguments against this view, with there are at least three critiques directed at them.The first: The main claim of this view opposes religious text itself, because there are numerous religious texts that refer to the intellect having a primary role in religious knowledge. The second: Destablising the position of reason does not strengthen transmitted (al-naqli) evidence. Rather, relying on transmitted evidence without referring to rational principles is nothing but building on weak foundations. The third: Abandoning reason will not lead to an increase in the purity of religious teachings. Rather, such a claim from a scholar is elevating the level of human understanding and interpreting of revelation to be revelation itself.