My definition of Wisdom is the Arabic word الحكمة as opposed to Intelligence, which is universal , or intellectuality as in being “an intellectual”. Intelligence is related to the ability to solve real world problems. Intellectuality is related to philosophy. In this sense related should be taken more loosely than its usual meaning. But Wisdom is another thing for Allah told us that it comes directly from him. Now even if you say that Allah’s revealed wisdom is not the only source of wisdom, it is sufficiently superior to all other sources that it makes them nearly zero in comparison. Wisdom comes to me not in actually finding the right way, but in accepting its consequences. Finding Islam is not wisdom, but accepting the vast difference in quality between your intellect and that of the revealed Quran is the source of wisdom. Do I have any support that wisdom comes from Allah. Well yes, good that you asked.
(يُؤتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَابِ)[البقرة:269]
Allah Gives wisdom, and wisdom is a great gift. This is the general case and it does not specify prophets specifically.
Specific cases in the Quran deal with prophets, why because the Quran’s stories are mainly about this.
(وَقَتَلَ دَاوُودُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْكَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ)[البقرة:251].
Here wisdom is used to spread Islam
(ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ)[النحل:125]
It is this verse that shows that Wisdom is the way to Islam.
Now you may say many things along the lines of but it is not exclusive to Islam.
Well I have a few points.
Please differentiate between wisdom and other intellectual abilities. Intelligence is to create a fast car but Wisdom is to walk in the correct path even if you are just walking.
Wisdom can be attained by those that are not intelligent ( that is not highly so ) just by realizing this simple fact.
Allah is omnipotent, omniscient, and infinitely powerful and knows the future.
Do you think that in relation to the above, my intellect is any match or do you think that such when it gives us a text and tells us this is a guidebook for humanity, that it is more important for me to study and understand such book and use it as higher than my intellect. To trust it more than my capacity to “intellectualize”.
Of coarse in areas that Allah has chosen not to address, normal intellect is needed as long as it does not use foreign ideas to this book or ideas and ideals that are against it.
Examples of mistakes in human history shown by the Quran.
The Quran in many places tells us that we are not equal, it tells us that Allah raised some people in class. Such class may be different from what marx defined but the fact is that such is the way of Allah in his creation.
I would argue but I do admit this is not a clear cut case, that as economic systems spend enough time with Riba or interest or time value of money, the Interest that economists will find to be conductive to the good of humanity will tend to zero. That was stated in the Quran by saying that time value of money or riba is not allowed.
Also the Quran puts many limits on capitalism and sometimes even tends to socialism, since it is Haram for Muslims as a group to enjoy the fruits of their labor while another Muslim is dying of hunger or non-access to medicine.
والذين استجابوا لربهم وأقاموا الصلاة وأمرهم شورى بينهم ومما رزقناهم ينفقون
from sura of Shoura
So shoura, is limited to this, to our affairs, not what has been revealed directly.
And democracy extends to allowing the vote to those that have responded to Allah’s call and pray and do not horde money. If any of the above are not met then democracy does not do its intended action.
Let me say in the end that wisdom if defined as walking in the correct path, can never lead you away from Islam. Lesser wisdom attained from outside of God’s path, if correct will lead you to one branch of God’s path. Also great wisdom is not automatically obtained by Muslims but every one can have “enough” wisdom just by Submission to Allah’s will and that is the true path of Islam. You can get more by as you said study and contemplation if Allah wills it and you will it. For you have to will yourself to submission first, because the acceptance of the perfection of Allah and his divine revelation will only lead you to one conclusion that whatever is revealed is of a higher value than what my intellect can create.
Now there is one final note, that while Allah gave to the sons of Israel many prophets, he did say that Muslims are the best Ummah,
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ مِنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
This Aya has so many meanings that I could go on for a very long time, let me just point out the following. Our being better than other Ummas is contingent on our accepting and following of Allah’s commands of Amr Bil Ma3roof and nahy an al monkar. Not only that but it also says that good comes from faith. Now if we only had one Prophet SAAWS does that mean that we are devoid of wisdom, no, it is the very acceptance of that book that He came with that in our time is Wisdom.
The Quran is the literal Word of Allah, it contains the path to heavenly and worldly good, optimized by Allah directly as a single revelation that will stand the test of time that optimizes goodness based on Allah’s knowledge of the macro and micro and femto levels of the future. He knows the position of each and every atom of the Universe at each and every instant from it creations to its eventual dimise and the each word of the Quran has been optimized to create the best effect possible throughout history. I find that if you compare limited human intellect and its capacity to create wisdom then the wisest philosopher if not guided by this guide will not even reach the level of wisdom of a simple uneducated man who’s only intellectual merit is to understand that Allah is superior and to follow the guide of the Quran in his life according to his limited understanding of it.
May Allah give wisdom to all the readers of this and every one else.
Please note that if there is any logical or factual errors in my article then this is due to my limitations as a human being and does not reflect any error or anything deficient in the Quran and Islam