Intellectual Spheres and Their Impact on the Type of Hypotheses Entertained in a Study

By Shaykh Haider Hobbollah / Translated by Ali Jabbar

Original Source

For every intellectual framework, there are hypotheses which are considered possible and others which are considered impossible. What I mean by this is that a person who lives within a certain sphere and a framework will not have certain hypotheses. In contrast, if he lived within another sphere, that very hypothesis (which was impossible within the other sphere) would be the quickest hypothesis to enter his mind.

This matter, in my estimation, is of utmost importance and extremely critical. Let me give a basic example. He who lives within a religious and spiritual intellectual sphere may not consider – when he studies the causes behind the massacre of Karbala – that the class transformation in the lives of Muslims, and the change in the means of production of wealth and capital, by virtue of the futuhat [conquests that occurred during the early periods of Islam after the Prophet’s death] was one of the factors that lead to the cause of this tragedy. Such a possibility, if it were to occur in his mind would not remain for more than half a minute, because the possibility that comes [much more quickly] to his mind is that of the tyranny of the soul, love of the dunya, the addiction to sin and disobeying the prophet etc. In contrast, the economic possibility will be one of the first hypotheses to enter the mind of a socialist historian who believes in historical materialism and swims within that orbit.

This means that we are absent from certain possibilities or that we exclude them quickly, because of our mental frameworks and not because of a proof that we have come to know prior to that [exclusion], which acts to prove it or disprove it.

Each age in history that is ruled by a certain intellectual sphere distances certain hypotheses from its popular mind1 and attracts other hypotheses which it considers to be rational possibilities. This matter is not a simple [unimportant] one.”


  1. This term was first coined by the famous French psychologist Gustav Le Bon who wrote a work that was translated in English as “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

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