Translator(s): Laleh Bakhliar
Publisher(s): Foreign Department of Bethat Foundation
Category: General Education
Topic Tags: Ideology Miscellaneous
Teach Yourself Islamic Ideology contains various lessons with the aim of getting a better and thorough understanding of Islamic Ideology at 360° degrees. The Lessons presented in Teach Yourself lslamic Ideology were prepared in Persian by Mahmud Rajavi, Mahmud Muhammadi and Akbar Mirsiah from the Dar Rah Haqq Organization in Qum.
information: nbsp;The Lessons presented in Teach Yourself lslamic Ideology were prepared in Persian by Mahmud Rajavi, Mahmud Muhammadi and Akbar Mirsiah from the Dar Rah Haqq Organization in Qum. First edition by Foreign Department of Be 039;that Foundation in 1984 Address: Tehran, Islamic Republic of lran, Somaye Ave. between Mofatteh and Forsat Tel: 821159-822244-82237
Featured Category: Introducing Islam
The Lessons presented in Teach Yourself lslamic Ideology were prepared in Persian by Mahmud Rajavi, Mahmud Muhammadi and Akbar Mirsiah from the Dar Rah Haqq Organization in Qum.
They proved to be so useful that the Foreign Department of Be'that Foundation decided to undertake the English translation which is presented here.
First edition by Foreign Department of Be'that Foundation in 1984
Address: Tehran, Islamic Republic of lran, Somaye Ave. between Mofatteh and Forsat
In our world, with its unlimited number of creatures, the human being is a creature who 'thinks', makes choices' and then ‘acts’.
On the surface, we are confronted by the behavior and acts of human beings. For instance, we see a human being who 'oppresses'. We see another human being who is
'oppressed'. Then we see a third human being who is ‘indifferent’.
What are the motives and reasons for these various kinds of behavior? Why is one an oppressor and another, oppressed, and a third, indifferent?
Of course, many factors play an effective role in the reason behind why a human being acts in a certain way. But let us not forget that we said a human being is a creature who 'thinks' and then 'acts.’
There is no doubt that the way of thinking of human beings and how a human being thinks has a great effect upon the choices that that person makes and his or her acts. In other words, belief and one's way of thinking or the ideology of a human being plays an important role in his or her practice and behavior.
[Note: The word ideology, from the point of view of structure, means the science of ideas or beliefs. An idea is something one thinks, knows or imagines; a thought; a mental conception or image, notion, an opinion or belief. Anything existing in the mind as an object of knowledge or thought as an idea. 'Ideal', also from this root, means 'model', ‘exactly as one's beliefs are', or 'what one would wish for.'
But today the word 'ideology' has other meanings: First, in a general sense, ideology means or refers to a school of thought and action and the collection of all of the guidelines of that school of thought and action whether at the level of thought or at
the level of action. When we use the word 'ideology' in these lessons, we refer to just this.
Second, ideology in the particular sense, refers only to the behavior of a human being and the rules of practice (the do's and don’ts). In this case, we will refer to this as a 'world view' or the basic ideas of a school of thought and action.]
It is the general meaning of ideology, that is, a collection of component’s of the belief system of human beings which are used for the word maktab, school of thought and action. We say, "The ideology of Islam as compared to other ideologies and schools of thought and action..."
Thus ideology means a universal or total theory about the world of existence along with or accompanied by a design for society. Because of its harmony and solidarity, it defines the way human beings should live and its goal is the well-being and the gradual development of humanity towards perfection or completion.
In an ideology, the insights, tendencies, methods and actions of human beings are defined and formed. Also, in an ideology, all of the basic lines or ways, routes, of the life of a human being, the do's and don’ts, the good and bad, the goals and means, the needs, pains and treatment and the answers to all of the needs of human beings must be made clear and defined.
In this way, the ideology of each human being or each society is the source of inspiration of that person
or that society in coming to know something. This includes one's mission in life or the mission of a country, one's duties or the duties of society, individual responsibilities and society's responsibilities.
If we want to explain it in our own words, we can say 'the principles of belief and action' which underlie and explain behavior and encounters of human beings.
In the examples given at the beginning of the lesson, an individual who because of self-interests, material interests and animal desires, oppresses others, it is more often than not for the reason that he or she only looks at the world from the point of view of materiality and an animal-like life and he or she sees the sum total of life to be in these few days.
Also, the person who defends the oppressed and who fights for them and often even sacrifices his or her life in this struggle, these self-sacrifices and also struggles are because that person worships Truth and that person's beliefs are based upon spiritual values and the principles of humanity.
The indifference of the third person who is only a spectator also, in the first place, stems from the weakness of that person's beliefs and faith in spiritual values and in general , this encounter is because of the tendencies towards quick rewards and interests that are momentary like material and animal interests.
Our age is an age of multiple ideologies and creeds. Various ideologies exist where each one claims to alone be the leader and guide for
human beings. It believes itself to have a monopoly as the bringer of well-being and gradual development of human beings towards perfection and completion. Towards this end, it invites all human beings to follow its tenets and ideology.
Each one of these ideologies and creeds, whether they want to or not, are a perception of a general evaluation and finally, they offer a particular interpretation and analysis of the world. Every ideology looks at the world and human beings with a particular view and existence is interpreted in a certain way. This total outlook or perception which in reality is the infrastructure which forms an ideology is called 'world view’.
For instance, materialism is a world view based upon which existence is equated to materiality and no truth exists above materiality. According to the world view of materiality, the human beings is merely a material creature which is destroyed upon death and in no way does an enlightened future confront the human being.
Confronting materialism is the Divine world view and based upon it the world is not limited or confined to materiality. Rather, the material world is a world which is dependent and in need of essence 'from Him' and 'towards Him'.
According to the Divine world view, the world of existence has a God and a precise accounting or reckoning rules over the world. The changes in the world do not merely materially obey the endless actions and reactions The destiny of a human being and one's future obeys particular criteria. The
human being is not destroyed with death. In the next world, after death, the rewards and punishments of one's deeds will be seen.
In general, the ideologies which are prevalent in the world today are one of these two world views. The basic lines of one’s desires or the way of one's reaching towards them are either based upon a world view of materiality or a Divine one. For instance, Marxism as one material ideology today, claims by offering its ideology to be able to save some of the groups of society and it has a world view based on materiality. This is why we say that Marxism is the infrastructure of materiality which its world view stands upon.
Confronting that today, Islam, as the last heavenly ideology, containing the most complete Divine world view, that is, the world view of monotheism, offers its ideology to the world of humanity. It calls or invites all to follow its guidelines which bear the responsibility of saving lost and alienated individuals of today. Its eternal questions to all of humanity, in every age, in every century from whatever group, whatever class and whatever race is this: Where do you come from? What must you do: Its special message for alienated human beings in our age: Oh mankind! Oh those who bear the mission of the Divine successors upon their shoulders, you have forgotten God and as a result, you have forgotten the self and your own mission. Today you are alienated because you are
alienated from God. Return to your 'self’. Your medicine is this: Return to the selfhood of the self, the real and true self.
From the point of view of Islam, when a human being seeks the self, he or she finds God. When God is forgotten, the self is forgotten. It is at this moment that one becomes alienated and loses one's identity.
The human being is a wayfarer and religion is a way which the wayfarer must take. The human being grows in two important dimensions: Thought and action. A complete ideology and religion must guide human beings in both the area of thought and in the area of practice. Thus the important dimension of an ideology consists of the dimension or level of thought and the dimension or level of practice. At the level of thought, a principle phase and infrastructure exists which is that very world view and in the second phase, based upon that world view, the ideals of human beings are defined. And with the actions of a human being, they give a connection which is sometimes called ideology (ideology in its particular sense) which means that ideology, in truth, is the intermediary or transition between a thought and action of a human being.
(In the Islamic view, a thought, principle or strategy is then a connection with the Divine precepts. It moves through the transition of a system of beliefs which is called an ideology. And then from there, it moves to the stage of culmination, that
is, the practice of that Divine principle.)
The practice of an ideology may also be divided into two sections. The first consists of the constant and permanent precepts and criteria. We normally refer to this part as the practice of religion and today it is called the strategy of an ideology.
The second part is the changing methods which obey the conditions of time and place and they change within the framework of strategies. This section is the one which today is called tactics.
[Note: Here it is relevant to know that the authority or power of ‘leadership through a religious jurisprudent' (wilayat al-faqih) which Islam gives to a religious jurisprudent’ who meets all of the conditions of a religious authority relates to this very section on the tactics of an ideology. That is, it is the religious jurisprudent who meets all the conditions of a religious authority who relates to this very section on the tactics of an ideology. That is, it is the religious jurisprudent who meets all the conditions of a religious authority alone who can assume the responsibility of being aware of the strategic issues of an ideology which he has arrived at through reasoning from the basic texts of religion throughout the various periods of history. The changing and permanent relevant Islamic laws are expressed by him as well as all of the duties which that Islamic law gives.]
Islam has in a complete way turned its attention to this issue with Islamic laws that are permanent and changing
and one of the eternal secrets of this code is found at this very point.
In order to further clarify the point, we will bring forward issues on the ideology of Islam: In the ideology of Islam, in the section on world view, we say: The Creator of the Universe exists above these creatures.
In the section of the principles of ideology, we consider friendship with the friends of God and enmity with His enemies.
In the section on strategy, in order to reach our goal, we say:
"And prepare against them what force you can ...to frighten thereby the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) God knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in God's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly." (8:60)
That is, "Prepare yourselves and equip yourselves before the enemies of God in such a way that any thought on their part to attack you or aggress against you will be put aside."
The section on tactics contains the totality of the Islamic laws that the leaders with belief brought (the Prophets, the Imams and the Imam's successors) in a limited period of time and under particular circumstances. As an example the stand of Ayatullah Mirza Shirazi against the Tobacco concession may be mentioned.
It is also very important to know that a great section of the tactical issues of Islam form the general issues of the permanent Islamic laws
which in various times and places take various branches. For instance, the very existence of preparedness before the enemy which was mentioned as being part of the section on strategy like 'preparedness' which is the issue of a ruling for the general public in whatever time or place has a new application.
It is clear that at the time of the descent of the revelation, it was to make the swords, arrows, chain mail, horses; etc. ready. The application was preparedness and in our times we have made ourselves ready with modern weapons which can answer any unmanly attack of the enemies of God and mankind.
1. Ideology as the Principle of Beliefs and Practice is a total or universal plan which is comprehensive and harmonized, whereby insights, tendencies, methods and actions of human beings are determined and the main purpose is to complete human beings and guarantee their well-being.
2. Every ideology is based upon basic principles which interpret a particular view of the world. These basic principles which are the infrastructure of thoughts of the ideology are called world view.
3. The ideology of Islam is based upon the Divine world view which is that of monotheism:
"Say: I am God, the One."(112:1).
4. The Islamic world view can be summarized in one sentence: Everything is from God and returns to God.
5. From the point of view of Islam, the reasons for the alienation of human beings in our age is because they have forgotten God.
1. What do we mean by ideology
and world view?
2. Explain the world view of Islam and the world view of Marxism.
3. What sections make up the rules of practice in an Ideology?
Without a study of the structure of the existence of a human being and the particularities which have separated human existence from the existence of other creatures and animals, we will reach this conclusion that a human being, without an inclination or tendency towards a school of belief or faith and growing towards that, cannot enter the arena of human life.
In order that we come to know the great design of a world view and ideology in the structure of the existence of a human being and his or her human life and also with the intention of understanding, to the furtherest extent possible, the necessity for the non-elusive elements of ideology, there is no choice but to endeavor to take our first steps towards understanding the human being itself.
What kind of a creature is the human being? What particularities do we contain that requires us to have a school of thought and action? Why do animals not need to have an inclination towards a particular school of thought and action?
In order that we come to understand the human being, it is necessary to place the issue in the midst of other creatures who we sense, for ln the opinion of some scholars, "The understanding of anything consists of understanding it in relation to other things."
In order to understand the human being
among other sensible creatures, we must first, of necessity, look at all the other creatures who have the power of sensations.
There is no question about the fact that the human being is not part of the inanimate world nor part of the plant world. The discussion begins with the question, "Is it correct to separate the human being from other animals and know it to have special qualities'?"
Some have the opinion that separating human beings from other animals makes no sense. Now it is up to us to think about whether or not it is correct for the human being to be understood separate from others.
This is not an unimportant issue and the answer is not a simple yes or no. In a general sense, when the human being is compared to other animals, if we ignore the three dimensional differences, we see there are three other important basic differences: First, the dimension of insight or consciousness; second, the dimension of inclination or tendencies; third, the dimension of efforts or acts.
There are four types of attitudes or methods of understanding in the human being. Animals share three of them and the fourth one belongs exclusively to the human being and this one causes the difference in attitude.
1. Perceptions: The direct understanding of perceptions. For example, a flower is placed before you. You see it. That which you perceive in the color and shape of the flower is a result of the function of the power or faculty of perception.
The indirect understanding of perceptions (the storage area of perceptions).
For example, the flower you saw, when you come home, you still have it in recollection and you understand it. In your home, no flower is before you for you to directly understand but it has been stored in your perceptions and it is something which you pay attention to without your mind. This is called the faculty of imagination.
3. Illusion: The understanding of a particular meaning. The word ‘meaning’ refers to anything which is not capable of externally being understood like kindness or hatred and the word 'particular' is in the sense of logic. In logic it is said: Whenever a concept does not accept more than one truth, it is called particular and whenever it is possible that a concept have more than one truth, it is called 'universal'. For instance, 'this chair' brings a concept to mind which the insight into one truth does not accept. But 'chair’ brings multiple truths to mind. The first is particular and the second is universal.
For example, to understand what illusion is, you come to know something, i.e. your mother and father love you and you love them. This perception is called illusion. Thus, love is a meaning and also because it is not absolute (it is your love for them or their love for you). Thus it is particular. As we have said, the understanding of a particular meaning is called illusion.
1. Humanity without inclination to a school of thought of
faith and following that cannot enter the life of a human being.
2. In a general sense, the human being differs in three basic, important dimensions with other animals: a. the dimension of insight and awareness; b. the dimension of tendency or inclinations; c. the dimension of acts.
3. There are four types of comprehension in the human being, three of which they share with other animals. The three that arc shared are: a. perceptions, that is, the direct comprehension of sensibles; b. imagination: the indirect comprehension of sensibles; c. illusion: the comprehension of a particular meaning.
1. What does the human life of a human being depend upon?
2. In what dimension does the human being differ from other animals in distinguishing perceptions?
3. Describe the insight of perceptions and imagination.
4. Describe the insight of illusion and give examples.
5. Do you accept the fact that these three kinds of comprehension are shared between human beings and animals? Why?
These three types of attitudes are common between human beings and other animals. It is the fourth type of insight which is special to human beings alone.
Intellectual insight means the comprehension of generalities and their type, perceptions und differences and includes the gradual development of human beings towards completion in an extensive and unlimited sense.
For example, that which is expressed in the various kinds of knowledge or science as laws, the comprehension of all of them falls into the category of intellectual insight. This is particular to human beings.
Paying attention to what we have
said so far, it becomes clear that it is true that animals like ourselves are aware of their environment and in order to continue their life, they consciously act by choosing that which is advantageous to them. They evade that which is harmful but this consciousness is essentially external, material, particular, regional, unconscious, instinctive and limited.
On the other hand, human perceptions penetrate the external and internal. 'They go beyond the limits of materiality. They contain generalities. They are not limited to a particular region or area. They are not particular to any special time but rather include an extensive history and they reflect upon the future and in this way, they are conscious. It is not only instinctive but acquired also, unlimited and progresses rapidly.
All animals whether human or otherwise are equipped with a series of special tendencies and inclinations which guarantee the continuation of its life and gradual development like sexual inclinations which assures the continuation of the generations of that species.
But in this, area as well, human beings have many differences with other animals. The capacity which exists in animals is usually limited, generally personal and at the most family related. In addition to this, from the point of time, also, limited, instinctive and unconscious. The support behind these tendencies is also to draw special interests.
On the other hand, human inclinations and tendencies can move forward to infinity, break the moulds of materiality, move beyond self-interests or the interests of the family, tribe, etc., free itself from the
bonds of time, penetrate the past and tile future, receive strong support from consciousness and insight and replace individual interests with the highest values of humanity and the divinity, and lofty human and ethical ideals.
The human being moves forward until the point where he or she is freed from all limitations and bonds of materiality and nature and the chains of lowly animal whims and desires. It is then that he or she conquers the high peaks of love and faith (the tendency towards meta-ideals), and sacrifices everything before its Beloved.
The human being in the offering of acts is also without rival in the world of nature. It is true that animals also effect the environment they live in. But animals, in this dimension as in other dimensions, are imprisoned in the prison nature built for them and their behavior is generally instinctive as well as limited in area and to a particular time. They never move beyond the limits of materiality, and only move because of the pull of individual, or, at the most, family interests. In addition to these, they obey a pre-determined state, whereas the arena of the human being's actions are more extensive.
A human being can in the same way that he or she has material activity, also be active in the dimension of spirituality and meta-materiality. The human being struggles against nature and tames the natural forces upon the way of determining his or her way. They combat other human beings and are often
victorious and often defeated. The most wonderous of all is that it can struggle against the self (the greater jihad) and dominate over his or her own inner self.
The human being has social capacities and inclinations, the acts of a human being accept no geographical boundaries, boundaries are broken and the world attained. He or she effects the past and sometimes takes on the color of 'immortality'.
More important than any of this is the behavior of a conscious individual who has strong and firm support of intellectual forces and rich sources of knowledge, awareness and thoughts.
The human being establishes his or her acts upon a series of universal criteria which his or her system of thought builds. In addition to all of this, the human being is free to act and he or she does not follow the determinations of nature, rather, he or she can, with free will, choose his or her own way.
The human being has, with the blessings of his or her intellect, a sense of insight which is multiple and gradually developed. This very quality is directly effective in his or her method of action. Animals have comparable acts and throughout the duration, they are uniform, and lacking in development. Whereas the acts of human beings have both a vertical change as well as a horizontal one.
Vertical change is an evolutionary change or one which gradually develops. For example, the act of building a house is a realized affair in the human being; to begin with,
how to build and what to build whereas from among the multiple examples of the methods of animals, it is best to look at the honey bee. We see that with the honey bee, there is no change of gradual development nor was there ever any in building a house.
One can carefully look in the same way at the acts such as swimming, self-defense, gathering food, etc. in animals and in human beings in order to conceptualize and understand the method of vertical change in the area of human acts. Horizontal change refers to the change of external appearance and other than gradual development.
Let us look again at the building of a house. A human being does not build a house in one form, but builds, rather through the form of multiple shapes whereas animals are not like this. The complete acts like that of the honey bee can be carefully studied as an example. The other acts which were mentioned in vertical change can be studied from the point of horizontal change as well, and in an unlimited way. This change can be discovered in an unlimited way within the human being, in contrast to animals in whose act these changes are normally not found or if they exist they are very limited.
The compilation of these particularities of human beings build a multi-dimensional human being who is both material and spiritual and from among the animals of the same species in all dimensions: Consciousness and insight (knowledge), inclinations and
tendencies (faith) and behavior and acts take separate ways and join the perfection of his or her unlimitedness with eternity and moves towards the Divine attributes upon the way of self-construction in nature's arena and becomes worthy of the station of 'vice-gerent' of God.
1. The human being shares many things in common with other animals.
2. The difference of a human being with other animals is in the three-dimension in the following way: insight or awareness of animals is external, material, particular, regional, present, unconscious, instinctive and limited.
The insight and awareness of the human being is external and internal, material and spiritual, particular and universal, present, past and future, conscious, capable of increase and gradual development, sensation, imagination, fantasy and intellectual.
The tendencies and capacity of animals: material and non-material, social, unlimited, conscious, ethical.
The acts and behavior of animals: Determined, limited, material, instinctive, unconscious, regional, present with a motive based on personal interests or family interests.
The acts of human beings: free and made by choice, material and spiritual, conscious, unlimited, universal and social, ethical and ideal, intellectual and changing both from the point of view of gradual development and from the point of external shape.
Describe the human being in 10 lines and explain its particularities.
In the previous lesson we concluded that the human being is different from other animals in the three dimensions of: insight or attitude, inclinations and action or performance. What causes the human being's superiority in the area of insight is not sensory organs and comprehension, for
there are many animals whose sensory range far surpasses that of the human being. The secret of the human being's superiority in the dimension of insight and awareness lies in the power of thinking, deduction, reasoning and understanding the unknown through what is known. It is this very same factor which broadens the human being's knowledge and creates new awarenesses which are followed by new innovations.
When we look into the area of inclinations, we observe that it is true that the human being possesses a series of inclinations towards the exalted and the metaphysical, seeking the transcendent, love for the good and the benevolent, humanitarianism, seeking the truth and other human inclinations and emotions. But if these tendencies are merely seen as being esoteric and natural inclinations not concerned with awareness, they will be unconscious and sometimes very weak just as instinctive perceptions are.
These tendencies are most readily suppressed in face of the human being's animal tendencies. Therefore the human being 's tendencies und inclinations can emerge, actualize and grow in the correct direction when they are concerned with awareness and controlled by reason.
Also in the area of action, it is correct to say that the scope of action of the human being is much greater than that of the animal, but it is quite obvious that the human value of these acts depends to what extent they have been Influenced by human motives and to what extent the human being has, in practice, succeeded in freeing the self
from the compulsory web of inhuman instinct and motives.
For instance, the human being becomes thirsty and hungry as his or her instincts dictate or even becomes inclined to help the wretched and the infirmed by arousing his or her emotions. The sensory inputs then recognize the need and will perform the required action through the hands, feet and other bodily organs. But the 'human' peculiarity of these actions emerges when the will and decision for action depends upon reason and logic in addition to instinctive and emotional motives. For example, eating and drinking is done to keep healthy and the satiation of emotions and sentiments is done in a framework of logical laws and relies upon the guidance of reason.
We can now conclude that first, the basic factor of the human beings advantage in all areas including insight, (inclinations and performance) is when all the human being's forces and dimensions of existence be covered by knowledge and thinking, be in the framework of rational laws and be controlled and governed by reason. But should the human being's reason, on the contrary, be condemned by his or her instinctive and emotional inclinations, he or she would be placed on a slope of decline and be lower and more misled than animals because of the damage that would incur to his or her human and evolutionary talents. Of course, the sense of judgment of the mind follows a series of basic criteria and principles which we will discuss in the next
lesson entitled 'world view'.
Second, from what we have understood about the human being, we can gather that while having many things in common with animals, the human being has privileges particular to the self. Consequently, a kind of dualism emerges from human life and existence. The human being comes to possess two kinds of lives and two kinds of actions. One is the material and animal life. The other, a spiritual and religious or cultural life. It is at this point that one of the most basic and fundamental issues in humanology is brought up. That is, where lies the originality of the human being. Is the human being's material dimension primary or his or her spiritual dimension? Which of these two form the infrastructure of human life? Are these two aspects independent or is one the variable of the other? It is at this crucial point where the path of many schools of thought separate one from the other.
The schools of thought which are popular today unanimously accept this fact that besides the material, physical and animal interests and needs, the human being also possesses a series of needs, emotions, inclinations, pains and cures which do not directly spring from his or her material and animal desires. It is these very same tendencies and perceptions that construct humane cultural life and later shape the spiritual aspect of human life. Science, philosophy, art, literature, ethics, etc., are all different facets of the human being's cultural life.
What is under dispute is
this: Are these facets which make-up the spiritual dimension of human life dependent upon the human being's material and animal life, or rather do they enjoy originality and independence?
Naturally, from the point of view of the world view of materialism, the materialistic aspect is primary in human life. Marxism, as the most common materialistic school of thought, believes in the primacy of an economic monopoly in human life.
Based upon this idea, all human activities, views and inclinations solely move upon and are dependent upon economic production. What forms the infrastructure of a change in society is the improvement of the tools of production. The result of this view is that, essentially, there is no fundamental difference between the human being and the animal, for although a cultural and immaterial dimension in the human being exists, this dimension is totally dependent upon the human being's material and animal life and possesses no independence.
According to this thesis, not only the primacy of human tendencies and inclinations such as idealism, perfectionism, humanitarianism, ethics, love for beauty and the arts, inclination towards benevolence, the seeking of truth, etc., are negated but also that the human being's capacities, thoughts and ideas could never be observed as a reality since these views and thoughts merely reflect the economic condition of society and the progress of the tools of production.
It is surprising that when ethics and humanity are discussed, the advocates of these schools of thought, while considering human life as being dependent upon animal needs and
introducing the human being as being merely a tool-making and productive animal, boasts about philanthropy and humanism and present themselves as the adherents of human values and would like to resolve this apparent contradiction with this wrong justification, "We are materialists in philosophy and idealists in ethics," unaware of the fact that they are destroying the foundation of their philosophy and prove that in their opinion, ethics has no philosophical or rational support.
According to Islam's realistic school of thought and action the human being is a being which is born of matter but takes steps towards emancipation from this bondage. The course of the human being starts from the world of matter and continues towards dominating it. The more the human being progresses in his or her evolutionary course, the more he or she frees the self from the bounds which ties the self to matter. It could be said, "It is true that in the past, the human being was more dependent upon material and animal conditions but after achieving the station of humanity, the human dimension, without being dependent on the material and economic aspects, could independently grow as a genuine aspect."
Therefore, the human being of the future will be a cultural person, free of the determination of matter, and will freely bow only before the ideals and values which are related to his or her human life. In our opinion, This belief would be nothing other than faith in God and serving Him which is accompanied by
the human being's freedom from servitude to all his or her self-made idols and all kinds of multi-theism.
According to the humanology of Islam, the human being possesses a dual nature. He or she has been moulded from the earth and the soul of God. Thus, by using the God given talents and by utilizing his or her will-power and choice, he or she could move on the path of evil or good ad Infinitum.
Also from the view of Islamic philosophy, based on the hypothesis of the movement of essence, the human being arises from a material and physical origin and then ascends towards the metaphysical world.
By noting what we have so far understood about the human being, we can more than ever comprehend the importance of cognition, world view, and ideology in human life. Also, it would make us acknowledge the necessity of an ideological debate as, first, the human being has many deficiencies and short falls in his or her various dimensions of existence from the very beginning.
Secondly, the human being is naturally inclined to remove these deficiencies and raise the self towards perfection and prosperity.
Third, in order to achieve prosperity, the human being should inevitably choose a way and tread it.
Fourth, various religions, faiths and schools of thought set many different ways before the human being which sometimes are contrary and opposed to each other.
Fifth, these ways could not be experimentally travelled. Besides, the human life-span is too limited.
Sixth, knowing that all the ways cannot be treaded, the
human being is compelled to select one (the necessity for selection).
Seventh, it is obvious that discernment is necessary for selection (the necessity for discernment).
Eight, in order to discern the correct path, he or she should have standards and criteria.
Ninth, gaining standards and criteria would necessitate fundamental and basic discussions, so that after accepting a definite world-view and ideology, we would recognize the correct path from a dead-end and find the way to prosperity and perfection.
Conclusion: Ideological discussions are of the utmost importance.
1. In the area of insight, the differences between a human being and an animal, rather, the secret to the higher position of the human being is comparison to other animals is the human being's power of thought, independence and ability to reach conclusions.
2. In the area of inclinations, the secret of the difference is the shelter of the human being's consciousness, intellect and thought which constructs or builds the human being's inclinations.
3. In the area of performance and action, also, act’s are human acts when will-power and intellect or reason dominate over instincts, not the reverse.
4. The human being contains two types of activity which, as a result, brings about two types of life, a material and animal and a spiritual.
5. From the point of view of materialism, primacy exists in the material dimension of the human being but from the Islamic point of view, the human being is a creature who is born into the material but then frees the self from the bondage of the
6. From the point of view of Islam, the human being contains a dual nature which consists of the earth and the Spirit of God. Thus, by taking advantage of his or her will-power and chasing either the good or the evil. In any case, it is the human journey towards gradual development and perfection.
1. What is the nature of the human being?
2. What does a materialist think about a human being?
3. Prove the necessity for reasonable and logical ideological discussions.
4. What is meant by the word 'criteria’?
Just as we mentioned in the first lesson, a world view consists of a fundamental universal view of the totality of existence. In order for such a view to take shape, we arc compelled to answer three questions that are naturally considered by every human being. In other words, the answers to these three questions become the fundamental basis of the world view for each human being. These questions are as follows:
1. Are the phenomena of the world (in general and ignoring their particularities which would relate them to particular sciences like Physics, Chemistry, Biology or other fields of science) merely created as a result of material interactions and does no other force, which is not in the category of matter, play a role in their creation or even the very being of matter? And essentially, is existence equal to matter or is it that matter merely constitutes a part of the world of existence and that it is in need
of what is beyond it in order to be realized? This is a philosophical question which the mind should answer through intellectual investigations and analyses, even though empirical knowledge (in its widest sense) constitutes the starting point of these investigations. The arguments which we will bring up in search of the answer to this question relate to ontology.
2. Is the life of each individual of Ute human race confined merely to these few years of worldly existence, or does the possibility of life after death exist, which is longer and possibly eternal?
The issue, of and by itself, brings up yet another issue as to whether or not there is a thing named spirit which survives in addition to the material body of the human being? This is linked, in part, to the previous issue as to whether existence itself is equivalent to matter or more extensive than that. The arguments which are presented in this section relate to humanology.
3. Which is the surest way of recognizing the correct program of individual and social life? Are there any correct ways other than the orthodox ways which are commonly available and from which contradictory results are actually achieved? We could relate this issue to something called 'recognizing the way' or simply, 'recognition'.
Thus, to this point, we can conclude that a world view consists of having an opinion or point of view about three fundamental subjects: ontology, humanology and recognition.
Should it be proven in the discussion of ontology that existence is not the
equivalent of mutter and that the world has a Creator who is the Maintainer and Nourisher of all creatures and Who is Omniscient and Omnipotent; should it be proven in the discussion of humanology that human life is not merely confined to this short period of worldly life, but rather there is an eternal life coupled with well-being, that adversity will exist, the preliminaries of which are provided in this world and that life is but an initial stage for the building of one's eternal destiny through one's own actions, and, also, should it be proven in the discussion of 'recognizing the way' that in order to recognize the correct program of a life, in order to be able to provide well-being in both worlds, there is a guaranteed way which is placed before all people by God, the Most High, and through His special Prophets; if all of these are proven, they will have a great affect upon the life of the human being.
They will give a value to life's activities which is incomparable with any of the achievements of the human sciences, discoveries and inventions for however great the values of the latter may be, they are still finite and limited, but the value of this recognition is an infinite one as it provides the possibility for human beings to achieve an unlimited and eternal wellbeing, and it is clear that there is no proportional relationship between the finite and the infinite.
Although different answers have been given
to the fundamental issues and the difference in these answers have led to various philosophies and schools of thought, however, in considering the negative and affirmative aspects of the answers, two opposing poles can be deciphered. World views can then be divided into two groups, the material and the Divine. The perfect example of the Divine school of thought is Islam and the most prevalent materialistic school of thought in our time is Marxism.
It is suitable to call your attention to a delicate point and that is that materialism has had a long record, its extent of which cannot be determined. We should consider this world view to be one which opposes a belief in metaphysics and not as a view which is opposed to belief in God for some people consider themselves to be monotheists but have a materialistic notion about God. Our reason for placing the Divine world view vis-a-vis materialism is because we believe that monotheism logically requires a belief in metaphysics and those who consider themselves monotheists but, at the same time, choose a materialistic world view, are logically afflicted with contradictions. They pay no attention to the correct meaning of the terms which they use and in fact they are playing with words.
In stating the principles of the world view or Islam we should briefly say that Islam gives positive answers to all these three questions. It answers ontology with monotheism, humanology with resurrection and recognition of the way with prophethood.
1. The fundamental issues of
a world view consist of ontology, humanology and recognition of the way.
2. These issues are in a primordial way, naturally pertinent for all human beings.
3. The fundamental issues, in addition to having the value of providing an infrastructure, are of utmost importance due to the quotient factor of infinite values.
4. Although schools of thought differ and are numerous, there are not as many world views because a world view is a universal view. Thus, world views are either based on the Divine or on the material.
5. Through monotheism, resurrection and prophethood, Islam has given positive answers to the three questions discussed.
6. Materialism, whose most common example today is Marxism, gives negative answers to all these three questions.
1. How are issues of one's world view explained?
2. How valuable are you in answering questions in the area of world view? Why?
3. Write down the divisions of world view.
4. How has Islam answered the three questions of world view?
5. How has the world view of materialism answered them?
Islam as an ideology has its own particular world view. This world view with its basic principles answers the essentials of the infrastructure of human beings. Our present lesson is the parameters of monotheism as the most basic principle of the Islamic world view. A world view is a perspective whereby an ideology looks upon the world.
From the point of view of Islam, the world of nature is a dependent reality and creation can only exist by relying upon the principle source of existence.
The realities which are comprehended by a human being through the senses, without exception, consists of the following particularities:
First, limitation. Take any phenomenon, from the largest planet to the smallest atom, all are limited from the point of view of place and space, that is, they occur in a special time and place and beyond that, they do not exist
Second, general movement and transformation. All of the phenomenon of nature follow or obey general movements and transformations and they are continuously changing. No creature in this world remains exactly the same from one moment to the next. The human being one day comes into this world, passes through the age of youth, and, finally, reaches old age. All plants and animals also follow the same pattern moving from growth and transformation or towards destruction. This is a general law for all phenomenon.
Third, being dependent and conditional. Look at yourself. See to what extent you are dependent and conditioned by others. If your father had not existed, would you have existed? If your mother had not existed, would you have existed? How about if your grandfather and grandmother had not existed? If sufficient food, air, housing, clothes and temperatures not be provided for you, would you be able to continue existing? All other creatures are the same. All of these 'ifs' which relate to you and other creatures have, in reality, made you very dependent and your existence dependent upon numerous conditions, one of which plays a major role
in the continuation or your life.
Fourth, is need. It is clear that a conditional and dependent creature will also have needs. All of the bonds and chains by which nature keeps you enchained and imprisoned are proof of your being in need. If anyone of these ties should be cut; you would not continue to exist. For instance, the need for air, nourishment, special temperatures. Each is an example of the human beings' needs. Without air, how long can you live?
If the earth's temperatures were to change just a fraction, no living creatures would remain. All other phenomenon are the same. This is a general law. No creature can live independently and without the need of something other than self.
Fifth, relativity. Take any phenomenon into consideration whose existence and completion or gradual evolution is relative, not absolute. When we compare a 15 year old child with a 5 year old child, the first is bigger, but this difference is relative and this same 15 year old is smaller in relation to a 22 year old, that is, the smallness of one is transformed into the largeness of the other. This is relative. All phenomenon of nature have the same qualities, in their existence, in their qualities. When we say so and so is very strong, we must realize that he is relatively stronger than those under him but in relationship to a creature which is above him, he is weak. Taking the strongest person we can imagine, we can still
imagine a person stronger. This is proof of relativity. No matter who one assumes to be the most perfect in this world, we can always assume another to be more perfect.
Thus, these particularities which we have gathered from information of the creatures of the world of being, when placed next to each other, we reach the following conclusion.
Limitation, movement, transformation, dependency, being conditional, having needs and relativity, the intelligence of the human being concludes that taking these particularities into consideration, one must follow something unlimited, eternal, absolute, without need and unconditional. Without this, the human being cannot remain and will be destroyed.
The phenomena of this world are like worthless journeys which when placed before the number one, they have meaning and find value but without the number one, they are nothing, no matter how many they may be.
This is why we say that the world exists through God and God is the Nourisher. That which the Creator makes special for His creatures is that the Creator is the essence of existence and being comes from Him. But the existence of creatures does not come from themselves and they must drink of the water of life.
If we turn to the Quran, it refers to all phenomena as signs or a sign. This is because before any of the phenomena of the world appear, by having need, they prove the existence of their Creator. Hadrat Ali said. "I never saw a creature unless I first saw God; with that creature I saw
God and after that creature, again I saw God." This is the meaning of the world view of Islam.
1. The realities which the human being comes to understand through the senses, without exception, contain the following: limitation of general movement and transformation, dependency and being conditional, being in need or having needs and relativity.
2. These particularities make the human being aware that this world must then be supported by an unlimited, endless, absolute, needless and unconditional Being.
1. What particular qualities do sensual realities contain?
2. What conclusion do you reach from studying these particularities?
Monotheism is the most basic principle of Islam. Based upon this, it is not simply a mental exercise and conclusion. Monotheism relates to all dimensions of human existence. It transforms the human being and the world. In all dimensions of our existence, insight, inclinations and actions, it plays an essential role.
Monotheism itself has multiple dimensions which are summarized in the testimony, 'there is no god but God.'
First: Oneness in Creation. That is, all of the world with all of its continuances and its single system which rules through the laws of nature and holds each phenomenon as its particular proof. Each phenomenon is a continuous truth but dependent upon the existence of the Absolute One, having knowledge, awareness, power and Absolute justice. The world is not empty and absurd but rather it is goal-oriented based upon that which the Creator determines who then gave human beings insight, wisdom, awareness and will-power. The responsibility of acting as
His vice-gerent upon the earth was given to the human being.
Second: Oneness in obedience. That is, there is nothing other than God worthy of Absolute obedience. Obedience without questioning is special to God. Islam announces that it will war with all leaders or rulers who try to have absolute obedience to them.
Third: Oneness in worship. That is, no person or creature other than God who is Absolute Perfection, the Source of all Good and Beauty is worthy of worshipping. This principle also plays the important role of negating all of the temples and places of idol worship. Muslims who follow this principle must be in continual struggle with all of these who rebel against God's commands, all Pharaohs, Shah of Shahs and all satanic forces for it is these people and forces which seek to make human beings their Slaves and enslave people to themselves and try to have human beings bow before them. Based upon this dimension of monotheism, human beings are freed from any kind of bondage. That is, Muslims must also struggle against being enslaved by their own passions and desires and worshipping desires and ego-centeredness. This is the greater struggle (jihad al-akbar) and the fighting against the selfhood of the self.
Fourth: Oneness in Lordship. That is, no one but God is the Lord or Nourisher and Master of another. Only He is capable of Lordship.
Fifth: Oneness in power.
Sixth: Oneness in devotion. ("Praise belongs to God.") Taking the other principles of social, psychological, ethical roles of monotheism
into consideration in the building of an ideal society and the ideal human, being becomes clear.
Based upon monotheism, all human beings, rather all creatures, are the created of the One God. All are only His servants. All superficial benefits and superiorities which exist in human society lose their color before monotheism and are negated.
The psychological examples of monotheism are also worthy of study. It consists of a monotheist blessed with faith in God and who has among the particularities and particular psychological conditions, the sense of responsibilities, commitment, endless hope and understanding of the self in relation to the world of existence, tireless efforts and love in reaching the ideals and beliefs, self-sacrifices and the giving to others of something which you yourself need, goal-oriented etc.
We have realized that God is the Source of existence. Whatever we have is from Him. He is Perfect and Absolute, a Being without needs and limitations. All the world of being which has a relative and imperfect existence stem from that Absolute and Perfect Source.
All goodness, beauty and perfection come from His existence. All lacks, insufficiencies and imperfections are from His non-being. We can conclude that God is the Source of life Who has Absolute Existence, Who is Eternal. Thus all goodness, perfections and beauty in an unlimited and endless sense stem from His Being. They reach other creatures through Him. He has no imperfection, insufficiency or ugliness because ever imperfection is from non-being or not having which does not exist in Absolute Beauty.
Knowledge, awareness, consciousness, power, life, wisdom, justice, creation and forgiveness are all from Him. God Who is the Absolute and Source of all Existence has Absolute Knowledge, Power, Life, Wisdom and Justice and Endless Grace. All ignorance, lack of power and injustice comes from His non-being and all are imperfect. The Divine is far from any of these insufficiencies and uglinesses.
The first group are called the Permanent Qualities of God and the, second, Privative Qualities of God.
1. Monotheism is not simply a mental exercise but rather a belief and an inner tendency which contains all of the existence of the human being in its various dimensions.
2. The monotheist human being finds oneness in all of creation, in obedience, in worship and finds an insight whereby the only conclusion is an Absolute truth which is the Source for all existence, perfection, beauty then turns to no other but God and submits to no other power.
1. What are the various dimensions of monotheism? What effect does a monotheistic insight have upon the behavior of a monotheist?
2. List the psychological results of monotheism.
3. What do you know about God's Qualities?
Throughout the world of nature, to the level of penetration of human awareness and knowledge, from the smallest particle to the largest stars and planets, every phenomenon, from the moment of the appearance of the phenomenon, grows according to special principles and laws, moves, seeks completion until, finally, reaches his or her final place.
This truth proves the fact that within every phenomenon there
is an inclination and special pull which directs the phenomenon towards final completion. This universal law which is called 'the universal principle of guidance’ in our school of thought and action and includes the entire world of existence, which is the principle infrastructure of the world view of Islam, that is, monotheism, as the Source and based upon that, the Creator of the universe who is the Absolute Judge and Source of Knowledge and Wisdom and Eternity guides all of the creatures upon the way of completion, providing them with all of the means and possibilities for growth and completion.
The Holy Quran says,
'Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its form and then guided it.’ (20:50)
It is because this that we say our world is the world of Divine law. Even people who deny the Source of the Creator believe that throughout the world of existence, there is one thing which rules and that is law.
These schools of thought make efforts to fill the vacuum created by dispensing with the belief in God with something in the name of the laws of the material world. As an example, the Marxists make efforts to introduce the contradictory laws of dialectics as the cause for being and completion in the world and replace God with that. They are negligent of the fact that assuming the correctness and accepting these laws is itself the best proof of His existence, not the other way around as they say that the existence
of order in the universe does away with any need for a ruling Creator or a Power in Creation.
This universal law or universal principle of guidance acts in a uniform way in each kind of phenomenon in a proportion suitable to its structure. It is a fact that the universal law of guidance acts in a determined way in many phenomena like inanimate things or plants and even in many animate forms but within the human being we witness the fact that natural determination is broken or defeated. The law of attraction, forces stemming from a center, etc. discussed in physics are examples of the common laws whereby the earth, heaven, moon and sun are placed upon a determined course in a predetermined manner and in this way they continue their motion.
The special laws of plants which is to be discovered in the study of the physiology of plants are but a small example of a part of the extension of universal guidance. The wheat seeds, when placed within the heart of the earth, if the particular circumstances exist like sufficient humidity, the readiness of the earth, light and suitable temperatures blossom and bring forth new plants. Natural laws have determined the direction of the completion of these plants and all of its needs have been provided for it to grow as seed, sprout, leaf and flower and grow towards its final station.
In the world of animals, the common law of guidance operates in another way. The Creator of the
world in this phase has given instinctive forces so that with the help of the determination of instincts, the natural life of their development is made clear and they are guided towards the final goal. An animal instinctively knows from the very first moments of life what it must do to remain alive and what it must eat. In addition, having learned from its teacher, nature, it knows what its food is. It knows what things are suitable and what are harmful. At times of sickness, it can even and that which will act as a remedy. Thus, in truth, instincts are the principle guides of the life of animals. Of course, recognizing the instinctive forces is done with the help of the senses.
We can conclude at this point that the law of guidance and determination of the way is a common law. Inanimate objects obey determined laws of physics and plants have their own special Jaws. Even though animals act and move based upon their own particularities, but, in general, they are condemned to following their own instinctive forces and in no way can they show opposition to the rule of their instincts.
But what about the human being? When the turn of the human being comes in complete amazement we realize that the form of the determining laws of nature to a large extent give off color and are obliterated. No one way has been determined for human beings. The human being is a creature who often in life
is faced by a cross-roads - no determined law is imposed.
Even the pulling forces of instincts which play a basic role in leading and guiding animals when it comes to human beings even though their needs are greater than animals and more extensive, not only do instincts not increase their activities but rather they are weakened.
Not only can a new born human being not determine its own food or separate out that which is harmful but it cannot determine what is to be consumed and the way of consuming. It must be show to learn. The human being is the only animal which can confront instinctive forces and not act according to them. Even though the human being shares the same senses as animals, the extent of them in some animals is far greater than that in human beings.
This question now arises that if the universal law of guidance is a universal law and the entire world of existence falls in its realm, how is this guidance felt in human beings? By recalling the fact that the movement of human beings is not predetermined and that the instinctive drives are not sufficient as guides, how can this vacuum be filled? What force can fill the losses?
Here two issues must be studied. First, the needs of human beings so that it becomes clear what needs one has in one's lifetime. Second, the power and possibilities of human beings until it becomes clear what power human beings have in order to meet
All human beings despite of an of the differences that they have with one another as to shape, color, environment, civilization, culture and quality of life, all have one purpose which is behind their efforts in life and that is to reach well-being. What is this well-being that all are searching for? Even though opinions differ among the various groups and human societies in interpreting this ideal, all agree that in order to reach happiness, we must follow a way and laws and its guidelines. It is here that once again we reach the point that we began our discussion. The laws refer to that very leader of phenomena which rules over one's destiny.
Yes. The Human being, like other phenomena, in order to follow the way towards completion and in order to reach the final goal that is commonly known as wellbeing, it is one with the well-being of society, the importance and role of these universal guidelines will become more clear.
Now this issue arises, how can we find this way? How will we discover and recognize these laws? These laws are imposed upon other phenomena but the human being is not like other animals to hang its head and quietly follow the way nature has chosen for it. We know that nature has not done this in relation to human beings.
We have said that the laws of human beings cannot be unconscious. A human being is not blindly guided by instinct. The human being is a conscious being.
He or she must recognize the way. Here we reach one of the most sensitive and important needs of human beings, that is, the necessity for consciousness and recognition. Yes. Human beings want to have well-being, that is, reach the highest of completions and in order to attain this, they must take the way or well-being because nature has not determined any certain way for them. To find the way of well-being means to discover its laws and find the clear and distinct guidelines which cannot be wrong. Thus before anything else, human beings need to have recognition, recognition of the way, of the laws.
What does the human being want: well-being. What is the way towards well-being: understanding the laws and universal guidelines.
Every phenomenon in finding its completion develops needs which have been met in nature in the best possible way. There is no creature which needs a certain kind of food and the need not be met by nature. We have realized that human beings need the sense of recognition. Now let us see how that need is met. In order to attain consciousness and have recognition, tools and a source for recognition is necessary. Without sight, things visible cannot be seen. Without the sense of hearing, nothing can be heard. What tools or source for attaining recognition and consciousness are placed at the disposal of a human being? How are his or her needs met?
In order to attain consciousness and the sense of recognition which is the most
necessary and basic need he or she has, tools must be placed at his or her disposal. The most important of these are: The sense and experience; the intellect and the ability to think.
All of the achievements of the human being in the area of experimental science and also in the human sciences is responsible for these two. The human being with the senses and experiences of objective phenomenon understand something by direct witnessing. With the help of the intellect and thoughts of the truth, the non-sensibles are discovered by means of their effects and signs.
The eyes, ears and remaining senses are like an ocean which spreads from our inner self to the outside and makes us conscious of the world around us. But many things cannot be directly sensed by the eyes or ears but the human being with the air of the intellect by means of the signs seen come to know of their existence. For instance, you know a teacher who gives lessons is literate and has knowledge and consciousness but you do not see his or her knowledge or literacy. Why do we say so and so is a scholar?
As a result of his or her words or lessons because our intellect tells us that a person who is not literate, cannot teach others so they gain literacy. The human being with the help of the senses, experiences and the intellect understands a great many things. But in spite of all of this, we have
to ask ourselves if the human being by only making use of these tools can meet all of his or her needs? Based upon the law of universal guidance, can the way to well-being and completion be attained with the help of consciousness and the sense of recognition? Or is there a need for outer ways and guidelines?
1. The law of universal guidance is a law which exists throughout nature.
2. The universal law includes .all of the phenomena whether they be animate or inanimate, even animals who move according to their own desire but in totality are condemned to their instincts.
3. The human being is the only creature which is not condemned completely to the 'predetermined guidance' and can even confront the tremendous pull of the instincts.
4. What does the human being want? Well-being. What is the way? Recognition of the laws and universal guidelines.
5. Because the needs of all phenomena are met in nature, the human being needs tools in order to develop the sense of recognition.
1. What is the universal law of guidance?
2. Can the existence of a law in the world of nature make the world needless of God?
3. How does the universal law of guidance work in plants and animals?
4. Taking the needs of human beings into consideration, how does the universal law of guidance relate to him or her?
We have said that human beings desire to reach wellbeing. The way of well-being must be taken to achieve it. In order to take
that way, universal laws must be understood.
Limitations: The human being knows that the circle of his or her knowledge, no matter how extensive, is limited. From the point of view of quality, a person can never claim that he or she knows everything. However much knowledge increases, that which is not known becomes greater and clearer.
Time, whether in the past or in the future, is one of the thousands of boundaries which limit the consciousness of a human being. Thoughts can only go to a certain point. He or she cannot know about the far past nor the future. The human being has still not succeeded in understanding the self, what kind of a creature he or she is.
The greatest scholars today refer to mankind as 'the unknown creature'. It is clear that one must first come to know a phenomenon as the basic preliminary required to then discover the evolutionary laws and laws of completion of that phenomenon. When we still do not recognize a creature by the name of human being, when its actions are still paradoxes for us, how can we then come to know the highest completion and well-being of that person and then give weight to it and guidelines?
Acceptance of Error: The history of thought of humanity is full of errors. Many of these errors have then dominated the history of human thought for years, even centuries as the final principles. Is it not true that the idea that the earth was the center
of the universe and that the sun revolved around it did not hold away in human thought for over 2000 years? Was it not a law which no one doubted? We know that there is no opinion given by any scholar which can be claimed to be 100% an expression of the truth and one that will hold forever. Thus any thought which comes from human beings is capable of being erroneous.
Acceptance of Influences: Another of the weaknesses of human thought is that no matter how pure a human being be, he or she will be influenced by other factors. A person cannot separate the self from all external effects because a human being is not just thought but contains feelings, emotions and sensations as well. Each plays an important role in the development of the human being.
An effect confronting another effect exists within the thoughts of a human being along with his or her other dimensions which causes an influence upon the power and strength of thought of that person and prevents one from reaching a unity of thought and practice. The decision making capacity of the human being in the final phase is always affected by the various dimensions which exist within that them.
In addition to the inner dimension, the social environment and economic conditions of the place of living and the growth of a person, the customs and traditions are all external factors which affect human thought. The judgments and opinions of the majority of people
always contain clear veins like prejudice, individual desires, attention to individual and group interests, self-worship, sometimes worship of a group which then poison then prevents the individual from discriminating between truth and falsehood, truth and error, in particular in social issues and then causes the deviation of many people.
It must be noted that the effects of these factors usually take the form of unconscious absorptions, in particular when inner factors affect the thoughts of individuals. Most often the individual cannot determine what motives affected his or her judgment.
In addition to all of these weak points, there is no doubt that the evolution of human thought gradually takes place within humanity. Thus before intelligence is completed, one cannot rely upon an incomplete intellect which is capable of erring to answer the increasing needs which arise when the individual seeks well-being.
These limitations in the sense of recognition of human being negates the self-sufficient thoughts of the individual intellect in the guidance upon the way towards perfection and well-being. The limitations show the continual need for relations with another source which does not contain these limitations and insufficiencies.
As an example, the human being by accepting the limitations of consciousness, in particular, at the edge of metaphysics at the same time that a great sense of wonder and amazement has arisen within the mind, and looking towards it with great desire, knows that most of his or her questions will remain unanswered. Can the human being answer this question - does human life continue
after death or is death the end of life? How can a person be an effective factor in his or her own eternal life which one considers to possibly exist and then arrange his or her present life accordingly?
It is here that one must pay special attention. The need of the human being for a conscious Source which is unlimited, does not err, is a guarantor and not affected by other influences become felt. If such a relation did not exist, all of humanity would have to use all of its strengths and energies to find this lost One and to never stop until It was found. From what has been said, can we say what this Source is?
In order for the human being to reach the stage of well-being, he or she must recognize certain guidelines and universal laws.
The source of the sense of recognition of humanity has certain deficiencies: It is limited, capable of erring and accepts outside influences.
In order to determine the needs of the human being in the area of recognition, a Source is necessary which is unlimited, incapable of erring and does not accept outside influences.
1. List the ways and means which brings consciousness to the human being.
2. Describe the deficiencies and insufficiencies of the source of human recognition.
3. Why is it that without complete understanding of the human being, we cannot make laws for them?
4. Can revelation and prophethood eliminate the deficiencies that human beings face in the area of recognition?
our discussion of the Divine Qualities, we came to know that God is the Absolute Aware, Wise and Compassionate. Now we ask, would this God Who has these qualities, leave humanity to itself? Is it possible that He not distinguish truth from falsehood for them? Is it possible that in this area He has withheld his Divine Grace?
It is clear that such a thing is not possible because such a thing disagrees with the Creator being Aware and Wise and also with His being Absolute.
Now this question arises, "Who is that leader?" Perhaps some people will say, "The leader or guide is that very intellect of the human being." Now without any erroneous orientation or prejudice we will answer this question.
There is no doubt about the fact that the intellect does play a role as a guide for human beings. The greatest distinction between animals and human beings is this very intellect. Cogitation and thought which bring consciousness are greatly emphasized and we discussed this to a certain extent in our lesson on humanology. That which must be studied is whether or not the intellect acting alone can guide us to the final stage of perfection. In other words, is the intellect self-sufficient?
All of our words relate to this issue. If it be proven that the intellect is self sufficient, the necessity for prophethood will naturally be negated and if self-sufficiency be negated and the intellect be proven to be imperfect, taking monotheism into consideration, the acceptance of prophethood will
Is the intellect self-sufficient as a guide? Now it is vital that we explain what we mean by self-sufficiency.
What is meant by self-sufficiency as previously indicated is, whether or not the intellect alone is capable of guiding the human being towards the final stage of perfection and answer all of the issues which play a role in bringing the human being to well-being?
This is the point for otherwise it is very clear that the thought that the intellect is not self-sufficient in reaching conclusions about scientific evidence is not true. The evolutionary movement of the human being towards perfection begins with the intellect. Scholars accept the need for prophethood here and they clearly say that the way to reach monotheism, which is the infra-structure of prophethood, is possible through the intellect. Prophethood itself is proven by the intellect's ability to reach conclusions.
Now that the limits of the discussion have become clearer, we will tum to the main issue and that is whether or not the intellect is self-sufficient.
In order that this discussion not becomes too lengthy, we are obliged to state the following: The intellect can never be self-sufficient and this point has been proven in practice. It is sufficient if you look at the various views of the schools of thought and the contradictions which exist. If the intellect were self-sufficient, then why all these differences of opinion? What are they for?
One of the important issues in a group becoming Sophists is because of this very confusion which
exists whereby every member of a school of thought claims, "My ideas relate to intellectual precepts."
It is here that the materialists come and say, "The human being is a creature who is lost," or, "The human being is a creature who has been left to itself," or, "The human being is a creature who is alone."
A book is required in order to discuss all of these. Thus we will end the discussion here and we will turn to that which the very nature of the human being (who has not deviated) cries out, "Oh human being! You have not repented. Your intellect is weaker than to be able to suffice you. Find faith in a prophet who has united his roots with the Source of existence."
What are prophets like? Here we turn to the word of Martyr Professor Mutahhari. "The prophets are like receivers who have been put to work in the form of human beings." The prophets are outstanding people who have the ability lo receive this kind of awareness from the unseen world. The Holy Quran says,
"God knows best where to place His Prophet." (6:125)
Even though revelation is beyond the areas of sense and experience of humanity but this power like many other powers which can be recognized from the traces which remain of them. Divine revelation leaves wonderous effects upon the person who has received the revelation, that is, the person of a prophet. It 'actualizes' him. That is, it takes his powers and creates a
deep and great revolution within him. This revolution is oriented towards the betterment, growth and well-being of humanity and it acts in a realistic way. It gives him an unbelievable decisiveness. History has never recorded a decisiveness to equal the decisiveness of the prophets and those who arose from their side or by means of them.
Now that we have seen the philosophical necessity for a prophet and we have come to know what kind of persons prophets are, with a bit of care, we will come to know that the prophets must contain characteristics which can be described as the following;
Immunity from sin: That is to be free from sin and error. A prophet should not be under the domination or his own egotistical desires and then sin and, in his work, not err.
It is possible that God send a prophet to guide humanity whose words and deeds one cannot rely upon? It is clear that the answer is negative. What is necessary to be contained by a prophet in order for him to be trusted? Freedom from sin and error which then brings the highest form of trust and credibility and this is immunity or immaculateness.
Miracles: What are the real signs of the invitation of a prophet and proof that his words are from heaven? Is proof necessary? It Is clear that it is necessary and that tool is several deeds which are beyond the power of humanity (bringing miracles).
Leadership: Prophets bring the message of God to His creatures
and he awakens their powers and brings order to them. He invites them to those qualities which are pleasing to God: Purity, reforming the self, freedom from everything that is other than God, truthfulness, kindness, justice and other qualities which a good morality contains. He frees humanity from the chains of obeying egotistical desires, obeying various idols and those who rebel against God's Commands.
Thus the leadership of humanity and bringing order to human powers and inspiring them to movement towards that which is pleasing to God and reformation of humanity requires the bringing of a prophet.
Sincerity of intention: As prophets rely solely upon God and never forget that God has given His message to them to deliver and that they do His work, they have the greatest amount of sincerity in themselves. That is, they have no goal other than to guide humanity which is the desire of God. This is why they seek no reward for what they do.
Constructiveness; It is not possible under any circumstances that a prophet move in a direction which will corrupt individuals or destroy human society. Rather, prophets give movement to powers or abilities and bring order. This is only in order to build human beings and society. In other words, moves towards the well-being of humanity. Thus if the effects of an invitation of a pretentious prophet are to corrupt human beings, turn aside their powers or bring destruction to them or their society and be a cause for the decline of humanity,
these are the very decisive proof of his pretentiousness and lack of sincerity in his invitation.
Struggle: It is impossible that a real prophet bring something in his message which is doubtful or that he put his efforts towards helping an oppressor and confirming oppression and injustice or remain silent before multi-theism, ignorance, superstitions and oppression and not struggle against them.
Of course, struggle does not solely mean armed struggle. Rather, struggle takes many forms. A prophet, taking the conditions of the times in to consideration, struggled in appropriate ways.
Monotheism, decisively following the intellect and justice are among the principles of the invitation of all prophets. The invitation of individuals who invite in this way is in and of itself worthy of study. It is a miracle. Thus if persons in their message expressed ideas which oppose monotheism or something which opposed the clear and decisive rules of the intellect or justice and confirm oppression, their message is not worthy of study.
Finally, in conclusion, we should turn our attention to this fact that prophets, despite of all of the outstanding qualities which they contain like bringing miracles, immunity from sin and error, leadership, they are of the human species. That is they contain all the necessities of humanity.
A prophet never forgot his duties. More than any other person, they feared God and more than any other, they worshipped God.
The difference between a prophet and others is only in the area of revelation and the preparatory stages and necessity for revelation. Revelation does
not remove prophets from humanity. Rather they are models for the perfect human being. This is why they become leaders for people.
It is the belief of all Muslims that Muhammad, peace and the mercy of God be upon him and his descendants, is the Seal of Prophets. The kindness and generosity of the prophets with the perfection or his existence ends. With his death, the world of humanity ends its relationship with Divine revelation. After him no prophet will come.
Based upon this principle of faith, all of that which is necessary for humanity to receive through Divine revelation was revealed to him and the Holy Quran is the last of the heavenly books.
But as the Prophet, in addition to his expressing the revelation, he also held the position of leadership of human society and the interpretation of Divine revelation with the support of his immunity from sin and error which God gave him. After him, the need for an aware leader who does not sin or err, as Divine proof, remained because the thoughts of human beings err, are impressionable and imperfect.
The belief of the Shi'ites in the system of imamate stems from this very necessity. They believe in the clear words of the Holy Prophet who said that the continuation of the way of the prophets to be through the 12 leaders, immune from sin and error, based upon God's Command, who are determined and introduced as those who continue the way of the Prophet.
This is that very ideal
plan of the Shi'ites who believe the leadership of human society should be through the most aware and purest of human beings who God, through the direct words of the Prophet, guaranteed will be free from accepting impressions and committing error.
Of course, during the time when the immune Imam is in occultation, a leader or leaders of Islamic society will chosen from among those who best contain the criteria of the determined framework of knowledge, guarding the self (against evil), justice, etc. This is the principle of 'leadership of the religious jurisprudent' which is the best and closest form of leadership to the above system during the time when the immune imam is in occultation. It is the only way which will prevent deviation and the domination of an individual and individual rule within a society.
1. As God is the Aware, Wise and Absolute Grace, it is impossible that He not give a leader to humanity.
2. The intellect is a guide but is never sufficient to act alone.
3. The clearest reason for the non self-sufficiency of the intellect is the existence of various schools of thought, philosophies, politics and religions who the followers of each believe to be the right one.
4. The prophets are like receivers who have been put to work in the form of humanity.
5. The particularities of the prophets are the following: immunity from sin, miracles, leadership, and sincerity of intention, constructiveness and struggle.
6. Prophets by having all of these qualities are, at the same time, human
beings who have, in the shadow of revelation, become the perfect model for humanity. This is why they become the leader of others.
7. With attention to the imperfection of humanity like erring and being impressionable, the best way to guide society is to give the leadership to an aware person who is immune from sin and this is the system of the imamate.
1. Why have you accepted the principle of leadership?
2. What do we mean when we say the intellect is selfsufficient?
3. Describe the characteristics of the prophets and explain each one.
4. How is the system of imamate the continuation of prophethood?
5. What is the leadership of the religious jurisprudent?
One day we will leave this home. That which we have to think about is what will happen after death. This is important otherwise we will not have determined anything about the sunset for death is a reality which reaches everyone, whether or not they so desire.
Is death the end of life? Is death non-being, destruction, annihilation and the end or is death a change and a connection from one world to another? Do you recall that in our discussion of world view we said: One of the three questions which naturally arises from an individual is: Is the life of every individual human being limited to these few years of life in this world and is death the end of human life or is it that real human life which is eternal and forever begins at the time
of death and this short life in this world is an introductory phase for structuring one's eternal fate with one's deeds?
"What is the life of this world but amusement and play? But verify the home in the hereafter, that is life indeed, if they but knew."(29:64)
In reality that which is destroyed and torn asunder at death is the material form of a human being but the truth of a human being which is one's very spirit and non-material dimension. This is never destroyed. Rather, according to the Holy Quran,
"And they say, 'What! When we lie hidden and lost in the earth shall we indeed be in a creation renewed?' Nay, they deny the meeting with their Lord. Say, ‘The Angel of Death, put In charge of you, will take the souls then you shall be brought back to your Lord.' " (32:10-11)
In order to attain the most correct and real answer to this question, we will study three issues which are the principle bases of it: First, the human being eternal; second, the possibility for the resurrection; and, third, proof of the resurrection.
As proving the existence of a world after death without the concept of the subsistence and eternality of the human being makes no sense, in this section, the two-dimensionality of the human being will be discussed. We ask the question: Is there anything other than the material frame within the existence of the human being which we call spirit which is capable of subsisting or is
the human being solely determined by this very material dimension?
The two-dimensionality of the human being is accepted by all of the various contemporary schools of thought. There is no doubt among them that in addition to the material dimension of the human being, it also has another dimension which separates it from other creatures. That which the various opinions held differ upon is whether or not the spiritual dimension of the human being follows its material dimension or not. Does it originate from there or is it independent? In other words, does its authenticity belong solely to the material dimension or does the spiritual dimension also have authenticity?
The material schools of thought generally believe that the spirit and spiritual dimension of the human being stems from the material. They believe it to be the reflection of the material dimension. Opposed to this, other schools of thought believe that the spirit has authenticity and independence.
Material schools of thought accept that the world is the monopoly of the material and in general they deny the existence of the metaphysical. They justify the existence of non-material phenomena by showing them to be the effects of the material. As to the spirit (and spiritual phenomena), these schools of thought busy themselves with justifications and vain fantasies. Materialists say: The true spirit is not separate from the material and physical dimension of the human being. They claim that the incorrect knowledge of former scholars who said, "The spirit is independent and after death will be
reborn," is clear.
Dr. Arani says about this, "In the past ages the belief was held that the spirit is independent. Descartes assumed the spirit to be a fluid. Gnostics believed that the spirit is in love with the body. The new science has drawn a red line around these fantasies which prove that the spirit does not exist as an independent entity but rather stems from the material."
Materialists accept the fact that the spirit and spiritual phenomena are material and are among the particularities of the material because they believe that everything which exists is either material or has the particularities of materiality and that no particularities can be found which do not relate to the material.
Dr. Arani says, "From that which has been said, the following must be accepted as the definition of the spirit and life: 'The spirit and life consist of particularities determined by a special material facility. What we mean by special facility is those very cells or nerve cells. Thus the spirit has no external existence. Rather they are particular to a living form."
In describing the above, he says, “If material organs find the special time-place relationship to each other, they will possess the spirit and the spirit consists of these very relationships of the material organs which have a spirit.
In the previous discussions, this point has been intimated that experimental sciences are not able to prove or disprove the existence of non-material creatures like the spirit. Now let us see if there are
other ways to prove the independence of the spirit and to be able to recognize it or not?
The best method of bringing consciousness to humanity from among the phenomena of the world is to move from cause to effect. Each one of us in our daily lives have been able to make correct judgments about the existence of a phenomenon or about its particularities and how it works without having had any direct contact with it. That is, we have only seen its effects and based upon that we have expressed an opinion. In the area of independence or non-independence of the spirit we can apply this same method and then, in this way, come to know the particularities of spiritual phenomena and their originality and independence.
Once we study the particularities of the spirit and its effects, we see that these particularities do not coincide with the spirit being material. There are clear proofs and living examples of its non-materiality. We will briefly study this in the following:
Even though we may have doubts about many things, there is no doubt about the fact that we exist. This is the lowest common denominator of the level of knowledge and awareness of each and every human being. Every human being knows that he or she exists. There is no doubt about this. We discover ourselves and we are certain about our existence. Our awareness of ourselves which is explained by the word 'I', is the clearest bit of knowledge we have and
it requires no proof or reasoning.
On the other hand, we also know that the 'I' or 'self’ from the time of birth until the end of life was, is and will always be, one unit. Neither is change seen in it, nor can any multiplicity be assumed nor may it be divided up. It has no parts and essentially such a thing is not conceivable. And also even though we, throughout our lifetime, lose many of our characteristics or gain some, that which is described by the word 'I' has remained stable.
Now let us see what that stable unit which does not contain any change or multiplicity is. Is it a stable unit, unchangeable, without parts and indivisible or multiple cells in our body which every seven years totally changes? Is this ‘I’ or ‘self’ in every individual those very brain cells which according to Dr. Arani (who popularized Marxism 30 years ago in Iran), have a relationship among themselves which relates to both numbers and multiplicity and one which is destroyed when the cell dies and is re-established with the birth of new cells or is another creature involved?
If the 'I' of each individual consists of cells and their time-place relationship, a 70 year old human being will at least 10 times during his lifetime become other than that 'l' and his 'I' will have changed. Each person, then, would contain innumerable parts.
It is sometimes said that physiology has proven that the brain cells are stable and that these
cells every so often are enlarged and then reduced in size but they do not change in number. The spirit has the same characteristics as the brain. As the cells of the brain are stable, and never decrease or increase, it would appear that the spirit is also a stable form.
But attention must be paid to the fact that that which has been proven by physiology is the following: The numbers of the cells of the brain do not increase or decrease, not that the atoms which formed them do not change. Thus the brain cells are also not stable and like the other cells or the body, every seven years give their place to new cells. In addition to this, these explanations can never describe the unity of the personality of the human being.
This particularity (the unity and stability of the self) makes us turn our attention to the non-materiality of the spirit. This indication alone is sufficient so that it becomes clear that the claims of Mr. Arani that "science has drawn a circle of destruction upon the existence of the spirit as an independent entity," Is nothing other than an absurd slogan. Science in this area has no right to give either a negative or positive answer because science has greater humility than to negate something which is beyond its domain.
Greater still, experimental sciences are not able to negate or affirm any phenomena whether it be material or non-material. They can never bring proof to negate the
existence of something. The only conclusion that science and experience can bring is that in such and such an area of experiment, such and such was not found. It is clear that the non-finding and lack of awareness of the existence or non-existence of a phenomenon in no way proves its existence. From what has been said it becomes clear how absurd the words, "until the time does not come that we can cut the spirit with a knife, we will not believe in it," are.
One of the spiritual phenomena is perception. The particularities of perception make the subtraction of the spirit and spiritual phenomena manifest. In order to make this clear, we will do a quick study of the substance of perception.
Every material creature has three characteristics: place, change and being capable of division. Now it must be seen whether or not any of these three characteristics can be found in the sense of perfection or not. If these three characteristics exist in the sense of perception, it is a material thing and if the sense of perception does not contain these three characteristics, it is clear that the proof of the non-materiality of perception has been proven. Now we will turn to each of these three and weigh them carefully with perception.
Many times thousands and even millions of people have participated in demonstrations. Perhaps you have stood aside and watched the people. As far as the eye can see you are surrounded by people who are in motion,
shouting slogans, fists clenched, they put the responsibilities or their school of thought on display. Look carefully. Do you perceive the multitude of people who have participated in the demonstrations? Have you ever thought about the place of all these people? Is it possible that these great forms which require hundreds of kilometers of space will fit into the small space of brain cells? Without doubt, these forms of ours exist and non-material organs of outs can hold them because it is not possible to have such large forms fit into the small cells of the brain.
Is it possible that the concept of external creatures be minutely reflected in our eyes through our nerve cells and our mind conceive of its size and we think that we have seen something in the size that it really is.
But we must recognize the fact that these words can in no way prove that the form of our perceptions has a place because, assuming this, we ask: Where is the great form which our mind itself has enlarged? If this great form which we perceive be material, it needs a place whereas our brain and our nerve cells do not have the capacity to give a place to it. Thus perceptions do not have such a place.
With a bit of care and attention, we arrive at the conclusion that perceptions are not capable of change and cannot be because if perceptions were capable of change, they must, like other creatures, change and be
destroyed. With the passing of time, color changes and takes on another form. This does not make sense that no perceivable stable form remain in the mind of the human being.
It is clear that our mental form, after the passing of many years, remains the same as it was to begin with and we can once again recall it. For instance years ago we learned that Aristotle was the student of Plato. If perceptions were capable of change, this fact must later take a different form. Even the suggestion of something like this makes us laugh. Thus perceptions do not change.
Conceive of a two meter long piece of wood. Now divide that into two parts. Look carefully. You can never cut that piece of wood which you conceived of. Why? If you were to really divide that wood into two parts, the perception of your mind would still contain the two meter long, piece of wood and you have only conceived of two pieces of wood, each one meter long.
The best proof is when you are asked, "What did you divide up?" You answer, "I divided up the two meter piece of wood into two one meter pieces." The very indication of yours to the two meter piece of wood which you first conceived of, still remains in your mind. Thus, it has not been divided. Look at other perceptions. They are the same. Thus perceptions do not accept division.
Now that we know that none of the three
conditions of materiality exist in perceptions, we can consciously make the judgment that perceptions are not material. Thus now that it is clear that perceptions are non-material phenomena, we can conclude that other than the human body which contains the characteristics of materiality, there must be another dimension so that the person observing these non-material phenomena (perceptions) exist within the human being. That is that very thing which we call the incorporeal spirit.
1. A discussion of the resurrection can be divided into three sections: The eternality of human beings, the possibility of the resurrection and proving resurrection.
2. The two-dimensionality of human beings is accepted by all schools of thought whether they be material or nonmaterial ones and they only differ as to the authenticity of the spiritual dimension.
3. The spirit or self of the human being which is contained with the word 'I' has unity and stability and this is the greatest reason for its being an incorporeal entity.
4. Experimental sciences for two reasons cannot deny the incorporeality of the spirit. First, the spirit and spiritual phenomena are non-material and experimental facilities are only material places to study the effect of material things. Second, the only thing which science can prove is that it has not discovered the spirit and incorporeal things and this does not prove their non-existence.
5. Perceptions or our mental images neither have place, accept change nor are they divisible. Thus they arc not material and they tell of the existence or an incorporeal thing called spirit.
What is the opinion of materialists about the spirit and spiritual phenomena?
2. Can experimental sciences make judgments about things like the spirit? Why?
3. Which one of the characteristics of the spirit does not fit into its being a material thing?
4.Why are perceptions incorporeal substances?
In the previous lesson we reached the conclusion that the human being, in addition to being material, has a spiritual dimension which is original and independent.
Now that we have proven that the spirit is non-material and we have shown its effects, to begin with we will mention the sophistry of Marxism which tried to show why the spirit is material. Then we will study the proofs given by materialism for why the spirit is material and answer them. Then we will discuss the second issue, the possibility for the resurrection.
Marxists have divided philosophy into two parts. First, the philosophy of idealism which stands for the primacy of the spirit, insight and thought over the material and the followers believe in them being the source and creator of existence.
Second, the philosophy of materialism which stresses the primacy of the material over thought and the followers believe that the spirit, insight and thought stem from the material.
With these divisions, Marxists place human beings through their special deceitful tactics and personal opinions, upon a crossroads which is inevitable. On one side is materialism which stresses the originality of the material and negates the metaphysical. On the other side is idealism which stresses the belief in the
originality of thoughts.
It is natural that in such a situation, after eliminating the thinkers, materialism is the only way left. In this way, Marxism frees itself from what it considers to be the narrow limit of the reasons for metaphysics.
In answer to their monopolizing, we say, Marxists have confessed to three issues in spite of their sophistry which either stems from their unawareness or their bad intentions. First, consciousness, thought and mental processes. Second, the spirit or soul of the human being. Third, God and the Creator of the world of existence.
In the first issue, Islamic philosophy stresses the belief in the primacy of the material over thought and that after the appearance of the frame of the material, gradually the mental processes develop and begin to be activated.
In the second area, based upon the great wisdom of Islam, as to the relationship of the spirit to the body and the appearance of the human being, the material dimension precedes the spiritual, in particular, as to substantial movement because the material with its substantial movement, moves towards the perfection of the spirit and the soul of the human being.
In the third area, as mentioned in the previous lesson, God precedes the material and lie creates it. Of course this is not a precedence in time but is rather a precedence of cause over effect.
The followers of the material schools of thought in order to prove the materiality of the spirit, have presented witnesses to show the physical and chemical characteristics
of the brain and nerve cells and the relationship which exists between them and our perceptions. Examples of this are the following:
1. The failure of one part of the central nervous system or nerve cells causes the destruction of a group of the effects of the spirit. Dr. Arani says, "The undermining of the facilities, that is, the time-place relationship of the organs, causes the decline of that characteristic. If they take away the brain of a pigeon, it will not die but its will-power will have been impaired. If they give it food, it will eat it and it will digest it and if they do not give food to it and give seeds for it to eat, it will not eat them and will die."
2. When the mind thinks, the brain consumes more food and at the time of sleep it needs no food. Dr. Arani says, "At the time of thinking, further material changes take place in the brain. The blood turns its attention to the brain and the brain requires further food. At the time of sleep when the brain is not performing any mental work, it takes less food and this is itself proof of the materiality of the effects of thought."
3.The weight of the brain of geniuses and the cream of the crop is heavier than that of the brain of normal people. Dr. Arani says the average weight of the human brain is 1.36 or 1.40th of a kilogram. A large brain
is 1.2 kilograms but they have discovered that the weight of the brains of Bismark, Kant, Schiller and Lenin were from 1.492 to 2.2 kilograms.
Marxists believe this very relationship between our perceptions and the changes in the brain cells proves the spirit is material.
This great error has fallen to the materialists because they do not distinguish between a tool and the agent of an act. We accept the fact that the brain, nerve cells and physical senses are tools used by our sense of perception but we do not believe them to be the agents for our sense of perception. Pay attention to the following which clarifies this point.
Until the time when Galileo Galilei discovered a change in the study of the heavens, the human being did not have any means greater than human eyesight to discover the secrets of the heavens and the cosmological system. Galileo Galilei with the help of an optician was able to build a small lens which was the first step for human beings to become more familiar with the heavens. One night when Galileo Galilei looked through that lens at the heavens and bore witness to a wondrous scene which had never been seen by a human being before, he was very excited. He understood the extent of his discovery.
After that, telescopes developed and daily became more sophisticated until a telescope was built whose diameter is five meters or more wide which shows a part of the heavens to the human eye, which the
human eye is incapable of viewing. Now, if someone were to say that it is the telescope which sees the wonders of the heavens and other than these great telescopes no agent exists, would you believe it? Would you not think that person to be joking?
Without doubt, telescopes which can help us see the heavens are very useful. Without them, our eyes do not have the power to see the wonders of the heavens. In other words, the extent of our vision depends on the power of those telescopes. Here, again, there is no doubt that we are the real viewers. A telescope only helps us to perceive a small number of the multitude of cosmological entities. A telescope plays the role of a tool or an instrument.
Now if we carefully study the relationship between the senses, nerves, brain and the agent of perception, we will clearly realize that this relationship is that very relationship which exists between the telescope and the person who perceives by means of the telescope. The senses, nerves and brain are in reality, means or instruments for perception and the agent who perceives is really and truly another. Of course, if these tools were not to exist, we would not perceive but this does not mean that the telescopes perceive. Now Jet us turn to the things that materialists say to prove the materiality of the spirit which will show their unfounded reasoning.
2. The Possibility for Resurrection: Each and every one of us has born
witness to wondrous scenes in our lifetime. Each one of them bears witness to the possibility that there is life after death. For example:
Revival of nature: In our daily lives the only things which draw our attention are those things which are exceptional. Those affairs which we have to continuously deal with even though interesting, surprising and educational, still they tend less to draw us to themselves. One of these is the revival of nature. We have many times born witness to the arrival of new leaves in nature but we have paid less attention to it.
During the winter season when nature applies the greatest of pressures upon a tree, not only do leaves leave no trace of themselves but their spiritless forms decline and are transformed into a handful of earth. But after a few months when spring arrives with its life-giving breezes, it enlivens the dead earth and gives life to new leaves. That force which has the power to give new life to leaves and the earth, has the power to revive the human being. What difference is there in reviving leaves and giving new life to human beings?
The Holy Quran presents many examples of this. It says,
"And among His Signs is this that you see the earth barren but when We send down on it water it is stirred and swells. Verily He Who gives life unto the dead, verily He has power over all things.” (41:39)
"O people! If you be in doubt about (your)
rising again (resurrection), then (reflect that you) verily We created you from dust, then from sperm, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, formed and partly unformed, that we may manifest unto you and We cause to stay in the womb what We will until an appointed term, then We bring you forth as babies, then (foster you) that you reach your maturity; and of you is he who is caused to die and of you is he who is brought back to the feeblest (state of) old age that he knows not aught after knowing (much), and you behold the earth dried, dead, but when send We down on it water, It is stirred (to life) and wells up and produces every kind of attractive herbage (in pairs). This is because verily God, He is the Reality and because verily He gives life unto the dead, and because verily He, has power over all things." (22: 5-6)
2. The First Creation of the Human Being: The first creation of the human being is another proof for the possibility of the resurrection. The power which initially exists had the power to create the human being without any previous model and created it in the light of Its knowledge and power. This power can thus once again gather together all of the particles and give life to it again to be reborn at the time of the resurrection. The second creation is in no way more difficult than the
first one was. "He says,
‘Who will enliven the bones when they are rotten?' Say (oh Muhammad), 'He will enliven them Who created them for the first time and He is fully cognizant of creation.' " (36:78-9)
"And He it is Who originated the creation then caused it to return again and to Him it is most easy; His are the most exalted similitudes in the heavens and the earth and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise." (30:27)
We know that coal, the power of electricity, the winds, the wood of trees and also all the living creatures in general are forms of energy. Atoms also contain a great deal of energy called atomic energy. Have you ever thought about what the source of this energy is?
All of the energies come from the sun other than atomic energy. These words are not to exaggerate or condemn but relate to an external truth. If you study the history of these energies, you will see that the source for all of them is the sun.
Wood: The new science after chemical study made on wood, proved that wood consists of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and that it is a composite. Trees in the earth take gases from the air. Then the cells take these gases unto themselves and release oxygen. This process takes place in the light of the sun. Some of the transformed gases are then stored in the trees. Coal is that same tree which due to special conditions took this form and transferred
existing energies in the tree to itself.
Oil: Oil which is one of the in1portant sources of energy, according to the latest scientific information, comes into being from the remains of large and small sea animals who were buried in the depths of the earth. The bodies of these animals as a result of various actions and reactions were transformed into this black gold and the potential energy which it contains is that very solar energy in trees which was transferred to animals and then became oil.
This stored energy which in this case is buried energy is another example of the resurrection which will take place for human beings.
"He Who made for you the fire from the green trees and lo from it you kindle (fire)." (36:80)
God is able to re-enliven human beings for He has made fire from green trees and He will make use of you to kindle the fire.
1. Materialists have not distinguished between tools of work and an agent who works and the existing relationship between physical and chemical characteristics and believe the nerves and the sense of perception to be the proof of the materiality of the spirit.
2. The agent for the sense of perception is the human soul and the brain, nerve cells and senses are tools for the soul. Thus the sense of perception and thinking has no relation to them.
3. The revival of nature, the first creation of the human being and the revival of energies are clear proof of the possibility
of the resurrection and life after death.
1. Is the spirit primary to the material?
2. How do physics and chemical facilities of the nervous system effect our sense of perception? Is it because the agent who perceives is that very nervous system?
3. Prove the possibility of the resurrection with the revival in energies.
In the discussion of monotheism, a discussion of God's Qualities of Grace, Justice and Wisdom, we said: "God is the Absolute Being and the Source of existence. He has Absolute Knowledge, Power, Life, Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and endless Grace. Now with attention to these Qualities and particularities we have mentioned, we shall discuss them one by one.
God's Graciousness and Bounty consists of the fact that God does not hold back His Bounty and Compassion from any creature. Every creature based on its worthiness and to the extent of its ability receives His Grace and Compassion. Each one of the creatures of the world within the degree of its being and the level of its ability receives God's Grace. It is not because of God that a creature does not receive as much of God's Grace as it is prepared to receive. That which every creature does not have is because within the totality of conditions it does not have the possibility or the ability.
Now, if creatures have the present possibility to receive the extensive Grace and Mercy but it continuously prevents itself from receiving this, it will not agree with God's having Grace. Rather, the opposite is
true in receiving God's Grace.
The human being amidst other creatures is a being who has abilities and special possibilities. In addition to instincts it also contains very high motives which cannot be accounted for in this world. They are at the level of eternity. The human being performs many of its deeds under the influence of the highest ethically motivated goals as well as scientific, intuitive, religious and Divine goals. Often the human being sacrifices his or her material and animal life for higher, more human goals and in this way moves beyond his or her material needs.
According to the interpretation of the Holy Quran, the human being bases his or her acts upon faith and good deeds. In this system he or she seeks eternal life. The great desire for eternal life is part of the human being, both the desire for it and the inclination towards it. All of these reflect the ability and potentiality of the human being for eternity.
If there were no such thing as eternal life, God would have denied the human being something which it is capable of attaining and such a way is not consistent with God's Grace and Mercy.
The word justice in its extensive sense means that a right is given to its rightful owner without any kind of discrimination. If a teacher were, for instance, at the time of an examination to give a group of students a grade lower than their rightful grade, he would not have acted with justice.
The same is true if he were to give some a higher grade. Justice means to negate discriminations and to take one's worthiness into consideration.
The human being in the system of faith and good deeds reaches a level higher than nature and beyond the particles of material relations. Whereas in a system which opposes faith and good deeds like the atheist system, a follower’s acts will also be beyond nature and animals and they take on a spiritual and eternal quality, which is described in the Holy Quran to be even lower than that of animals.
The Holy Quran contains many verses which prove the resurrection based upon God's Justice like,
"What! Deem those who have wrought evil that We will make them like unto those who believe and do good, that equal shall be their life and their death. Ill it is what they judge." (45:21)
Based upon the acceptance of monotheism and a belief in the existence of a Wise Source, Knowing and Powerful and with attention to the fact that with all of its wonders is the product of His hands Who with the greatest of care built this world can never accept the fact that death is the end of human life and the belief in such a Source like the belief in life after death are assured.
If we believe the human being to be intelligent and aware who has the ability to discern, we would never anticipate that he build with the best of plans and using
the best of materials then after a few moments of its life, for no reason whatsoever, destroy it. Would we then not doubt his intelligence?
How is it possible that a world in its greatness and the human being who has been placed upon it be left without any goal and after the passing of some time, dies and will be forgotten forever.
A study of the created world both from the point of view of greatness and from the point of view of care will prove this fact that the world is far more extensive than we can imagine and full of glory and secrets.
The atom which is considered to be the smallest creature is full of wonder, the movement of the electrons around a nucleus, the distance to the center of the atom, their speed and accuracy and the potential energy within each atom causes great wonder.
In the world of cells we are faced by another wonder, motion, reproduction, the transformation of food into energy, the multitude of numbers, all of this increases one's faith in the wonders of the world.
The human being, this unknown creature, more than any other creature, makes us familiar with the wonders of the world of creation. In addition to its material aspect, and its animal characteristics, it has a spiritual dimension. It contains intelligence, will-power and the power of choice. In the midst of such powers, it continuously struggles with nature and with its successes it dominates over nature. The creations, discoveries and inventions
of the human being bear witness to the greatness of its spiritual dimension.
The order and accuracy within each one of the phenomenon of the world of creation is to such an extent that we can say that the world has been created upon the basis of a series of mathematical formulas. On the other band, the human being who is considered to be the highest form of creature of the world of creation and the world was created for it, has a short life. This very short life is filled with many natural and social difficulties, diseases, anxieties, and a thousand other bitter experiences subsists and still finds no benefit from life when death arrives and its hand is then curtailed from everything.
Is this believable that this great system and the wonders of creation in general and the human being, this wondrous small world ends here? Does this not resemble the ceramist whereby after building a ceramic vase, then breaks it? Is this not like the person who builds a glorious palace and then after a few hours destroys it. Does this fit the idea of science, knowledge and wisdom of God? Does this not seem like a useless effort? The Holy Quran says,
"And We created not the heavens and the earth and what is between them in sport. We created them not but with the truth but most of them know not." (44:38-39)
That which the Holy Quran states in short sentences is a truth which can be found
in all of nature. Now we turn to a short discussion about this.
If human awareness of the various systems of its body and the method of action of each one of them and the goal which each one has, if this is not the greatest knowledge which a human being contains, it is one of its clearest knowledge and is a good point to begin to understand the preceding.
In the various systems of the body, nothing was created without a goal. Eyes to see, ears to hear, hands and feet for movement and meeting one's needs, the tongue to speak. Each one has its own goal.
If each one of the organs of our body, from the smallest member to the largest, has a goal, it follows that the total body also has a goal. How could it be that each part have a goal - even an eyelash - and the total unit which is formed not have a goal.
A study of other phenomena in the world tells us that each one of them also has a special goal which it is moving towards. No creature can be found which was created without a goal, whether it be among the lifeless, the animate, each cell, several cells, creatures of the earth or of the heavens, all, from the smallest which is an atom, to the planets and galaxies, all have a determined purpose which they follow. To have a goal is a universal law which all contain.
Now, each particle in
this extensive world moves towards a goal. Is it possible that the created world be created uselessly and without a purpose? Undoubtedly the created world also has a goal.
What is the goal? Again it is best to begin with the self. If we look carefully we see that the goal which each part of the body as well as the total complex has is to move towards completion and perfection. As far as other creatures are concerned, to the point that we have been able to discover, they have the same goal. All creatures move towards perfection. In general, the caravan of existence journeys towards perfection. This is not a statement of gnostics and philosophers alone. Various sciences also say the same thing like the study of atoms, the plants, the earth, psychology and sociology.
The scholars in these fields believe that however much more accurate we become in studying this world we will reach the conclusion that the whole world is in motion. In this motion an orientation is apparent. The general characteristic or this movement is perfection. As the whole world is a goal-oriented, movement, the goal cannot be itself. The goal must be external to the creature itself.
We can conclude that the philosophy of the creation of the world tells the human being that another world must exist, otherwise this world will be absurd and useless.
Is it effective to think about a life after death before one dies? This question could arise for a person in many forms.
Someone may say, "That which relates to us is life in this world. We have to think of ways to make life in this world better. Whenever we leave this world then we will think about the next world." It is possible that some going even further claim that a belief in the afterlife has an adverse effect upon life in this world for it keeps the human being from putting forth efforts.
They make their judgment from the first group of thinkers. That is, they look at these two - life before death and after death - as two completely different things whereas reality is other than this. From the point of the world view and humanology in Islam, death is nothing more than a connection. Life in this world and the next are connected together. Death does not completely separate one from the other. These two have a complementary effect upon each other and life in this world and how to live for an individual in this world is effective in determining his after life.
"Then he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it. And he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.” (99:7-8)
It is clear hew the effects of life in his world upon a human being's behavior effects his life after death. To the point that it can be said, in reality, orientation and the deeds of a human being in this world builds his life after death and
give form to it. "On that day shall come out people (from their graves) in (scattered) groups to be shown their own deeds.” (99:6)
That which we want to discuss is the effects of belief in the afterlife in our present life. This effect takes multiple forms, among which are:
The Role of Resurrection in the Philosophical Insight of a Human Being: A belief in a world after death gives meaning to life. Without this belief, life in this world, from the philosophical point of view, is absurd, purposeless and unbearable. The life and death of a person who does not believe in the afterlife will not have a correct sense of life. It is life after death and the continuation of human perfection and the acceptance of an extensive world which is higher and better than this world which gives meaning, purpose and form to life and removes it from absurdity.
"What think you that We created you in vain and that unto us you shall not be returned?" (23:115)
The Effect of Resurrection upon Ethics: It is clear that the gaining of ethics like truthfulness, forgiveness, sacrifice, friendship, self-sacrifice, etc. are absurd, empty and lacking in context with out a belie in resurrection and a strong spirit. They must be found in literature, poetry, the world of the imagination:
"(Saying), we feed you only for God's sake. we intend not any recompense from you nor thanks. Verily we dread from our Lord a stern day of distress." (76:9-10)
The Guarantee of the
Reckoning and the Real Implementation of the Hidden and Manifest Laws: A belief in the resurrection is the strongest inner guarantee for the implementation or the laws especially at times of suffocation whereby no person may believe in anything other than a life after death.
The implementation of laws guarantees has a determining effect upon the beliefs of an individual and prevents sin, encourages good deeds without doing so to show off and all rewards In this world can be studied in this section.
"Woe unto the defrauders in measuring! Who, when they rake by measure from the people demand it in full. But when they measure unto them or when they weigh unto them, they reduce (It). What! Think they not that they shall be raised." (83:1-4)
The belief in resurrection plays an important role in disciplining and structuring a human being. Some examples of the effects of the discipline of the resurrection and role in structuring them in having a better life are sensing responsibility, moving out of indifference, surrendering the self to the creator as to the system of creation, hope in the resurrection and final well-being, tendency towards justice and truth, saturation with the motive of seeking perfection, endless consciousness, love and hope, strengthening the sense of patience and struggle before difficulties.
“And what reasons do we have that we should not believe in God and in the truth that has come to us which we earnestly crave that Our Lord should admit us (to heaven) with
the righteous ones.” (5:84)
Taking that which has been said into consideration we see that a true belief in resurrection will not only not have a negative effect upon the life of this world but rather will be full of positive and constructive effects upon the individual and society. If negative effects are seen among a group of people it will be because of their deviation and misuse of it and does not relate to the principle itself. “...but those who thought they shall meet God spoke saying,
'How often by God's permission a small army did vanquish a big host and verily God is with the patient ones." (2:249)
1. God's Grace demands that death not be the end of human life. Rather a world greater and more extensive than the present world exists.
2. Based upon the belief in Divine justice, a world beyond this world must exist.
3. A belief in a Wise, Aware Source is inseparable from a belief in resurrection.
4. A belief in life after death in the insight of philosophy, discipline and structuring the individual is effective. It supports the education of ethics and guarantees the implementation of laws.
1. Prove the existence of the resurrection because of God's Grace.
2. By studying the philosophy of creation with attention to God's Wisdom what result do you reach?
In the name of Allah
Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
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