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regarded by Islam a devotion to God in the most compensating sense 2. The second part of this point is faith in God, an ever-revealing source of knowledge and a spiritual insight into countless fields of thought. In Islam Faith in God is the cornerstone of the whole religious structure. But in order to make Faith in God valid, Islam requires that it should be founded on unshakable certainty and convictions. These, in turn, cannot be acquired without the proper investment of the intellect. Any stagnant or indifferent mind and any limited vision cannot possibly reach the height of the Most Supreme Truth, God, nor can it attain the real depth of Faith Islam does not recognize faith when it is attained through blind imitation, when it is accepted blindly or unquestioningly. This fact is very important as far as the intellectual life of man is concerned. Islam requires Faith in God; and the Qur’ an makes numerous statements calling for Faith in God. But the significance of such statements is not in shelving them in the study room or even in the mind. The significance of such statements is that they constitute a warm invitation and an urgent appeal to the intellect to wake and think, to ponder and meditate. It is true that the Qur’ an reveals the essential truth and facts about God, yet it is equally true that it does not want man to behave like a lazy heir who makes no effort of his own. It wants man to enrich his intellectual wealth through serious endeavor and honest earning, so that he may become intellectually secure. “ Easy come, easy go,” and Islam disapproves of easy coming faith which is bound to be easy going. Islam wants Faith in God to be effective and permanent, to light every corner in man’ s heart and prevail in every aspect of his life. Easy coming faith cannot possibly do that, and Islam would not accept anything less When Islam demands Faith in God on the basis of knowledge and research, it leaves wide open all fields of thought before the intellect to penetrate as far as it can reach. It lays down no restrictions against the free thinker who is seeking knowledge to widen his vision and broaden his mind. It urges him to resort to all methods of knowledge, be they purely rational or experimental. By calling on the intellect in this way, Islam shows its high regard for and confidence in the intellectual abilities of man and wishes to free his mind from the tight shackles and limits of tangibility. It wants to elevate the individual and empower him with self-confidence and Heavenly authority to expand the domain of his mind into all fields of thought: physical and metaphysical, scientific and philosophical, intuitive and experimental, organic and otherwise. That is how Faith in God nourishes the intellect and makes the intellectual life prosperous and productive. When the spiritual and intellectual activities of man are organized according to the teachings of Islam as mentioned above, the internal nature of man becomes sound and healthy. And when man is internally secure and sound, his external life will be of the same nature. THE EXTERNAL NATURE The External nature of man is as complex, subtle and wide as his internal nature. We need to re-emphasize the fact that the soundness of the former is greatly dependent upon that of the latter and vice versa, because man’ s complete nature is made up of both aspects. For the sake of clarification, once more, we have to classify the external nature of man into divisions and subdivisions. But we should always bear in mind that any imbalance in the system of human nature may become destructive and fatal. The fact of the matter is that both the internal and external natures of man act and interact responsively, and that Islam has extended its Divine touch to the internal as well as the external aspects of life The Personal Life Islam deals with the very personal life of man in such a way as to insure his purity and cleanliness; as to give him a healthy diet and show him the proper manners of clothing, behavior, adornment, sports and so on. Purity and Cleanliness It is an Islamic injunction that before offering the Prayer the Muslim must perform an ablution, unless he has done one earlier and kept it valid. This obligatory ablution is

Islam in Focus  
Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

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