41. Scholars are, of all people, those least familiar
with the ways of politics.



The 1203 reason for this is that (scholars) are used to mental speculation and to a searching study of ideas which they abstract from the sensibilia and conceive in their minds as general universals, so that they may be applicable to some matter in general but not to any particular matter, individual, race, nation, or group of people. (Scholars,) then, make such universal ideas conform (in their minds) to facts of the outside world. They also compare things with others that are similar to or like them, with the help of analogical reasoning as used in jurisprudence, which is something familiar to them. All their conclusions and views continue to be something in the mind. They come to conform (to the facts of the outside world) only after research and speculation has come to an end, or they may never come to conform (to them). The facts of the outside world are merely special cases of the (ideas) that are in the mind. For instance, the religious laws are special cases derived from the well-known (texts) of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. In their case, one expects the facts of the outside world to conform to them, in contrast with the intellectual sciences, where, in order to (prove) the soundness of views, one expects those views to conform to the facts of the outside world.

Thus, in all their intellectual activity, scholars are accustomed to dealing with matters of the mind and with thoughts. They do not know anything else. Politicians, on the other hand, must pay attention to the facts of the outside world and the conditions attaching to and depending on (politics). (These facts and conditions) are obscure. They may contain some (element) making it impossible to refer them to something like and similar, or contradicting the universal (idea) to which one would like them to conform. The conditions existing in civilization cannot (always) be compared with each other. They may be alike in one respect, but they may differ in other respects.

(Now,) scholars are accustomed to generalizations and analogical conclusions. When they look at politics, they press (their observations) into the mold of their views and their way of making deductions. Thus, they commit many errors, or (at least) they cannot be trusted (not to commit errors). The intelligent and alert (segment) of civilized people falls into the same category as (scholars). Their penetrating minds drive them toward a searching occupation with ideas, analogy, and comparison, as is the case with jurists. Thus, they (too) commit errors.

The average person of a healthy disposition and a mediocre intelligence has not got the mind for (such speculation) and does not think of it. Therefore, he restricts himself to considering every matter as it is, and to judging every kind of situation and every type of individual by its particular (circumstances). His judgment is not infected with analogy and generalization. Most of his speculation stops at matters perceivable by the senses, and he does not go beyond them in his mind, like a swimmer who stays in the water near the shore, as the poet says:

Do not go out too deep when swimming. Safety lies near the shore.

Such a man, therefore, can be trusted when he reflects upon his political activities. He has the right outlook in deal­ing with his fellow men. Thus, he makes a good living and suffers no damage or harm in the (process of making a living), because he has the right outlook.

"And He knows more than any scholar." 1204

This (situation) makes one realize that logic cannot be trusted to prevent the commission of errors, because it is too abstract and remote from the sensibilia. (Logic) considers the secondary intelligibilia. It is possible that material things contain something that does not admit of (logical) conclusions and contradicts them, when one looks for unequivocal con­formity (between them and the facts of the outside world). It is different with speculation about the primary intelligibilia, which are less abstract. They are matters of the imagination and pictures of the sensibilia. They retain (certain features of the sensibilia) and permit verification of the conformity of (the sensibilia to the primary intelligibilia). 1205