A note on Belief and Intelligence

I have just read about a recent study claiming to have found a negative relationship between religiosity and intelligence. Essentially the researchers say that intelligence is associated with lower religiosity or in other words, that religious people seem to be less intelligent. Of course such findings make easily headlines world wide, as can be seen at RT Network.

You may have already guessed that I cannot accept such a claim that religious belief leads to lower intelligence. Intelligence is a very wide concept and it has many faces. The researchers admit that they have focused on a particular definition of intelligence. I am not planning to explain the findings here, but one possible answer is that people who have special interest in science (who embrace in general the illusion that nature can explain it all i.e. who deny God's existence) have far more experience than the general population in the sort of questions asked within a standardized intelligence test. In addition to having more experience and attraction to solve abstract tasks. That certainly should not lead to the conclusion that religious people are less smart than non religious people. God's says in the Holy Quran that knowledge (in God and the Hereafter) and lack thereof cannot be the same People who believe, fear God and make good are the winners now and in the next life, whereas the disbelievers are the losers.

"Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah." Say: "Have you then taken (for worship) Auliya' (protectors, etc.) other than Him, such as have no power either for benefit or for harm to themselves?" Say: "Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light? Or do they assign to Allah partners who created the like of His creation, so that the creation (which they made and His creation) seemed alike to them." Say: "Allah is the Creator of all things, He is the One, the Irresistible."
{ al-Raʿd }

I have read many times that linguistics fail to explain why the people of the world speak the many languages they do. In other words, they cannot explain why at some point people started to invent new words and sounds and started to speak their own languages. As for this God says:

{21} And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.  {22} And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge.
{ al-Rūm }

Certainly the different tongues and colors are indeed a miracle.

God stated clearly that there is no Creator but Him, and here is the challenge:

{73} O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily! Those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.
{al-Hajj}

Back to the religion-intelligence "findings" I can simply say that my belief in God provided me with clear understanding of things and gave me wisdom. The concentration levels I have today exceed by far those I had while attending University couple of years ago (when I was less religious). God says this in the Holy Quran:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.
{al-Nūr}

Comments

AS Salaam Alaikum,

This is a good idea however it needs to be developed. Verses from the Quran that encourage the use of the intellect and the development of knowledge debunk any idea that people who would follow the dictates of the Divine guidance are less intelligent Such verses as
" Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know?"

"Certainly in this are signs who think?" Prove that knowledge and critical thinking are encouraged by the Quran

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