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Think Tank

The most apparent and obvious characteristic and trait of the current Muslims is their inability to think and lack of desire to think. Most Muslims avoid thinking like plague and virus, and they think that thinking is dangerous. However, they are wrong because non-thinking is dangerous, non-reading is perilous, and non-writing is murderous.

A think tank is a research institute that produces ideas, policies, forecasts, plans, etc.[i] Thinktank is a group of thinkers, writers, scientists, and artists from different areas of expertise and various groups of society. Altogether, they analyze the past, study the present, and prepare plans for the future. Think tanks produce solutions for problems, answers to questions, remedies to ailments, cures for illnesses.

The modern world is complex, nonlinear, asymmetric, volatile, and random.[ii] Therefore, one person cannot grasp and think about everything, and group work is needed to understand the harms and benefits of a nonlinear world. The time of secluded and lonely geniuses has gone; now, it is the time of collective and collaborative thinking and crowd-sourced intellect (swarm intelligence).[iii]

In verse 2:155, there is a mention of “Black Swan” events.[iv] In verses 12:47-48, there is a mention of layers of redundancy that make societies and individuals robust and antifragile both in physiological, psychological, philosophical, and fiscal dimensions.[v] The purpose of think tanks is to analyze past Black Swans, predict future Black Swans, and propose layers of redundancy, policies of robustness, and habits of antifragility.

Crises, catastrophes, cataclysms, and conflicts are not harmful if people adopt the mentality of antifragility. According to 2:155, Black Swans are not the matter of “if,” but Black Swans are the matter of “when.” [vi] That is why think tanks should produce the policies in the style of Prophet Yusuf (12:47-48). Telling people that everything is going to be good and perfect makes people blind to Black Swans (2:155) and makes them fragile. Of course, fear-mongering and fear-vendoring are pessimistic, but rational pessimists are more robust and antifragile than irrational optimists who are very fragile.

Historically and psychologically, people tend to believe those persons who produce and propose positive forecasts, but positive forecasts reduce and eliminate the layers of redundancy. Catastrophes, cataclysms, conflicts, and crises are not harmful and dangerous by themselves, but the unpreparedness and blindness of people to them are harmful and dangerous.

For example, positive forecasters and analysts tell people living in Alaska or Siberia that next winter months are going to be very warm and that they do not need to stock up food, fuel and prepare warm clothes for next winter. At the same time, positive forecasters stock up food, fuel, and warm clothes. Those people who believe the lies of positive forecasters are going to buy much-needed food, fuel, and clothes at exorbitant and unethical prices from positive forecasters during the winter. On the other hand, those people who don’t believe the positive forecasters-liers are going to prepare their own layers of redundancy in the form of stocks of food, fuel, and clothes.

This means believing the lies of positive forecasts makes people dependent, vulnerable, and fragile, and it is the start of dictatorship and slavery. On the other hand, disbelief in positive forecasts makes people independent, robust, and antifragile.

Believing, assuming, and predicting that catastrophe is going to happen, making preparations, and erring in that prediction is better than disbelieving in catastrophe, predicting its nonoccurrence, abandoning preparations, and erring in that prediction. Making preparations and preparing layers of redundancy is the way to make a person and society antifragile, resilient, and robust to errors in predictions.

According to Quran, prophets were not positive forecasters-liers, but prophets were negative forecasters-warners. Thus, they urged people to prepare for crises and catastrophes, increase the quality and quantity of layers of redundancy, and adopt the mindset and habits of antifragility. For example, daily prayers are an individual layer of psychological redundancy, and alms are a societal layer of economic redundancy. Daily prayers produce antifragile individuals, and yearly alms produce an antifragile society.

In the list of futurologists, there is only one Muslim futurologist.[vii] This means Muslims do not care about the future, and Muslims do not think about the future. Whereas in the civilized world, people gather together in think tanks, and they think about, plan, propose, and predict the future.

Muslims do not have think tanks because they learned to hate thinking. Muslims believe the lies of positive forecasters, and Muslims disbelieve the truths of negative forecasts of the Quran. For example, do Muslims have the guarantee that verses 36:7 and 36:10 are not about and for them? Do they really think that verses 36:7 and 36:10 are not about Muslims? Do they have layers of redundancy against the negative forecasts of these verses? I do not think so.

According to verses 96:3 and 96:4, thinking is an individual obligation (fard al- ayn).[viii] Next, there are five pillars of Islam: (1) testimony, (2) prayer, (3) alms, (4) fasting, and (5) pilgrimage. The last four of them have detailed rituals and specific times, but the testimony is dispersed, distributed, and diffused in the other four pillars. Therefore, I propose to collect, concentrate, formalize, and formulate the pillar of testimony by using verses 96:3 and 96:4.

 Testimony is impossible without thinking, and thinking is a process that happens between reading (96:3) and writing (96:4). That is why the pillar of testimony must be formalized and formulated as a daily habit of reading and writing. For example, each adult Muslim must read a minimum of ten pages and write a minimum of one page every day. The proof and evidence of this formalization and formulation are verses 96:3 and 96:4. Children can read and write less than that, for example, reading one page daily and writing one sentence each day, starting from the age at which they learn reading and writing.

In thermodynamics, there is the zeroth law of thermodynamics.[ix] It was discovered and formulated after the first and second laws of thermodynamics, but due to its importance and significance, it was placed before them and named as zeroth law of thermodynamics. Similarly, reading (96:3) and writing (96:4) have chronological precedence and semantic priority over the other four pillars of prayer, alms, fasting, and pilgrimage because testimony is the prerequisite of the other four pillars.

A think tank is an institution comprised of individuals who read and write. The first pillar of Islam is a testimony. Testimony is thinking. Thinking equals reading plus writing. That is why think tanks are institutions that perform, promote, and preserve the first pillar of Islam, and that is why think tanks are a collective obligation (fard al-kifayah) of Muslims.[x] Thinking habit is fard al-ayn (individual obligation), and think tanks are fard al-kifayah (collective obligation).

Muslims learned to hate thinking, reading, and writing and they must unlearn this hate and relearn to love thinking, reading, and writing. Nowadays, most Muslims abandon, abdicate, and abrogate the first pillar of Islam by not thinking and by not operating think tanks. On the other hand, civilized and cultured societies instill and install the daily habits of thinking, reading, and writing in their children from an early age, and they form and operate innumerable think tanks.

That is why, nowadays, some non-Muslim societies and individuals are more “Muslim” than Muslims themselves.

The name, label, and title do not make you Muslim. The country and language do not make you Muslim. Race and ethnicity do not make you Muslim. If you think that you are Muslim because of your name, label, title, country, language, race, ethnicity, etc., then let me tell you, you are wrong, and you should start thinking about 36:7 and 36:10.

Think tanks and thinking habits are, were, and will be the realities of life. If Muslims want to succeed in this life and the next life, then they have to set up think tanks and adopt thinking habits. Otherwise, they are going to remain the laughingstock of the civilized and cultured world.

I chose, and I am choosing to think by myself and for myself, not waiting for others and allowing others to think instead of me.

2:111 … Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful!” [xi]

25:30. And the Messenger says: “My Lord! Surely my people have made this Qur’an something worthy of no attention.” [xii]

-İman isteyen münafık


[i] Wikipedia, “Think Tank,” in Wikipedia, May 29, 2021,


[ii] Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, 1st ed (New York:

Random House, 2012).

[iii] Said Bediuzzaman Nursi, “Zaman Cemaat Zamanıdır,” YENİ ASYA - Gerçekten haber

verir, June 28, 2018, https://www.yeniasya.com.tr/risale-i-nur-dan/zaman-cemaat- zamanidir_468782.

 [iv] Taleb, Antifragile.

[v] Taleb.

[vi] Ali Ünal, The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English, n.d.,

www.mquran.org www.theholybook.org.

[vii] Wikipedia, “List of Futurologists,” in Wikipedia, May 10, 2021,


[viii] Oxford Islamic Studies Online, “Fard Al-Ayn (Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Islam),”

accessed January 28, 2021, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e624.

[ix] Wikipedia, “Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics,” in Wikipedia, May 26, 2021,


[x] Oxford Islamic Studies Online, “Fard Al-Kifayah,” accessed May 31, 2021,


[xi] Ünal, The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English.

[xii] Ünal.


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