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The Muslims also maintain that the individual is the center of gravity and is the launching instrument which can put Islam, or any other system for that matter, into full action on a full scale. And this is why Islam always begins with the individual and invariably prefers quality to quantity Let us begin, where Islam when begins, with the individual. Let us examine the nature of the individual and find out how Islam views this nature. To clarify things as much as possible, without getting entangled in philosophical disputes or abstract controversy, we can define man as having two complementary natures, very intimately interrelated and continually interacting upon each other. These are the inner nature and the outer nature. Or one might say that man has one nature only with two bridged sections hardly separable from each other. One is internal and another external. The internal nature of man refers to the Ruh (soul or self or heart) and Aql (mind or power of reasoning or intelligence) In our illustration of the internal nature of man we shall have to deal with two aspects: (1) the spiritual or moral aspect and (2) the intellectual aspect. The rest of man’ s activities and transactions will have to be classified as the external or outer nature of man. After all, it is a universally admitted fact that man does not live by bread alone The Spiritual Life Islam organizes the spiritual or moral life of man in such a way as to provide him with all the spiritual nourishment needed for piety and righteousness, for safety and peace. The Islamic prescription for the spiritual life of man grants, when faithfully applied, maximum positive results as far as man’ s spiritual growth and maturity are concerned. The main items in this Islamic prescription are: 1. Prayers (Salah); 2. Zakah or Alms – giving; 3. Fasting (Sawm); 4. Pilgrimage (Hajj); 5. Love for God and His Messenger, love for truth and humanity for the sake of God; 6. Hope and trust in God at all times; and 7. Sacrifice for the sake of God by virtue of actual unselfishness Various aspects of these items have already been discussed in some detail, and here we have only to add that without these fundamental elements there can be no true Faith as far as Islam is concerned. The reader is advised to refer to the previous sections of this work. The Intellectual Life The intellectual nature of man is made up, as already mentioned, of mind or intelligence or reasoning power. To this aspect Islam pays extraordinary attention and builds the intellectual structure of man on most sound foundations which may be classified as follows: 1. True knowledge based on clear proofs and indisputable evidence acquired by “ experience” or experiment or by both. In this connection it is safe to say, beyond doubt, that the Qur’ an is the first authority to enjoin zealous quest for knowledge through “ experience” as well as experiment, meditation and observation. In fact it is a Divine injunction incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female, to seek knowledge in the broadest sense of the word and search for truth. Nature and the whole universe are open and ever revealing treasures of knowledge and truth, and the Qur’ an was the first book to point to these rich sources of knowledge. It does not accept inherited “ truths” or claimed facts which have no proof or evidence to substantiate them. As far as we have been able to know, the Qur’ an was the first Scripture to say intelligently: “Why” and to demand proof in support of any conviction or contention (Qur’ an, 2:111 and 21:24) The Qur’ an itself is an outstanding intellectual challenge; it challenges the human intellect to dispute any Qur’ anic truth or produce anything similar to the Qur’ an. Open any chapter of the Qur’ an and you will find the warmest appeal to search for knowledge through the infinite sources of nature. Devotion to true knowledge is

Islam in Focus  
Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

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