Comparing human intelligence with prophetic intelligence to understand a prophets supernatural ability
The standards for testing a prophet’s intelligence is not a cognitive process like ours. The metaphysical truths cannot be tested and discernible except through metaphysical sources. One needs to have metaphysical understanding and tools to figure the depth of intelligence that is being carried by a prophet or a messenger of Allah ﷻ. Even though many spiritual personalities in Islam such as Imams and Saints do carry the tools to measure the ability of a prophetic personality yet their own spiritual comprehension remains short of comprehending the complete status of a prophet or a messenger. Due to their own spiritual stations they are able to realize the ocean of prophetic knowledge yet they are unable to fully comprehend its depth and instead live their entire lives in submission to them and studying these oceans in amazement.
What I’ve mentioned above may be better understood using a good example given by Imam Ghazzali (r.a) who said in his Ihya (Revival) that just like a child cannot comprehend a young boys level of intelligence but that boy may very well understands the intelligence level of a child through observation. Similarly an adult may understand the young boys level of intelligence but the latter cannot comprehend the level of the adult because he is short of experience and age to comprehend the adults potential. The same would apply when doing comparison between a normal adult and an intelligent adult when communicating with each other the intelligent one will be able to discern the capacity of the normal adult and his intellectual situation. The intelligent one in this case comprehends the regular adult better simply to due the fact that he has passed that stage when he himself was not very intelligent and therefore understands better those lesser than himself. Comparing the intelligent adult with a genius adult would also make the genius outrun the former due to the fact that the latter’s experience, knowledge and mental capacity is much more stronger. This genius adult can pretty much comprehend the intelligence levels of all; a child, youth, adults, intelligent adults at their individual levels while they would not be able to fully realize his potential unless they reach his level.
Having said that a prophet is someone who leaves a genius behind at such a great distance that the latter always remains amazed and astonished at the former’s actions. He is never able to comprehend a Prophet’s abilities and intelligence due to the lack of spirituality or spiritual tools required to measure a prophet’s abilities. Therefore, the end result is that he either opposes this holy personality and becomes his enemy or humbles himself and becomes his follower and learns spiritual knowledge. Take the example of Labid ibn Rabiyah the greatest poet in the entire Arabian Peninsula at the time when poetry among Arabs was at its peak. After hearing the Quran from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ he was so shocked in amazement that he immediately gave up poetry and became a Muslim. Its said he never recited any poetry after that. At the same time the very smart Jews of Madinah who carried deep knowledge of religion knew the Prophet’s description in their scripture and amazed at the proofs of prophet hood displayed by him could not defeat him by opposition and so resorted to conspiring and magical arts to harm him!
A person who may score highest in the most difficult IQ test may be referred to as a genius. Over here its important to mention where does the word ‘genius’ comes from. The word genie or genii comes from the Arabic Jinn because as in the West it was understood after exposure to Islamic literature that these spirit beings had supernatural abilities to perform miraculous feats. Thus the term became synonymous for anyone who did amazing acts not done by common people. In this sense a prophet or a messenger is indeed a true genius when it comes to miraculous and supernatural performance and this is why there is no person higher than a him who can test and fully measure his abilities with something called an IQ test. If such is the case of a single prophet then what about that individual who is the leader of all prophets and messengers? Allah says in the Quran: "And they ask you about the ruh (spirit). Say: The ruh (spirit) is one of the commands of my Lord, and you are not given any knowledge of it but a little." The supreme intelligence lies in the ruh or spirit that Allah ﷻ blew in Adam (a.s) carried by all humans. The supreme intelligence is of a spiritual nature and gives the ability to discern what the mind cannot discern. It is due to this reason why Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said the following: “Beware from Firasah (spiritual insight) of a Mumin (believer) when he sees he sees with the Nur (Light) of Allah.” The complete nature of this ruh or spirit cannot be understood by worldly and material resources of gaining knowledge. It can only be realized by those who are closer to the divine in their living. Only a prophet or a messenger of Allah ﷻ makes full use of this ruh to gain supreme intelligence and it is this ruh inside a prophet which becomes the focal point of receiving divine inspiration (wahi) which causes him to perform supernatural acts, miracles and receive revelation at the command of Allah ﷻ which boggles the mind of even a genius. Hence to comprehend divine inspiration and the abilities of ruh one has to be at the level of a prophet and his experience as such cannot be described in words. Even if there were sufficient words to express yet it would cause much confusion to the common or general public who have very little or almost no understanding of what is prophethood.
 Al Quran 17:85
 Jami Tirmidhi - Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3127
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