The Third Solution - Islam

Let us now turn to the third course of action which is the last resort in formulating a viewpoint about the basic problems of life. This course of action is to put our faith in the solution to these problems offered by the Prophets of God. The matter may be explained by taking the example of a man who finds himself in a strange land. He has absolutely no acquaintance with the land. He seeks information from a man and goes around the land under his guidance. Whenever you are confronted with a problem of this nature your first endeavour is to search a man who claims to know the way. Your second concern is to satisfy yourself about the reliability of such a guide on the basis of circumstantial evidence. Finally, taking him as your guide, you set out on your journey. When it is established by experience that the information provided by him has not misled you, you are convinced that your guide possessed the requisite knowledge and that the information supplied by him about that place was true. This is a scientific method. In the absence of any other scientific method, this one is surely the only correct method of formulating one's viewpoint.

Now look! The world is a strange place for you. 'you have no knowledge about its reality. You do not know how the world is regulated? You are not aware under what system of laws this great `workshop' is operating. What is your own position in this world? and what is the proper attitude you should adopt towards the world? These are the questions the answers of which you seek. In the first place, you conceived the opinion that what is visible is real. You acted according to this viewpoint, but the result was a fiasco. Subsequently, you formed various opinions on the basis of conjecture and supposition and acted upon each of them, but in every case the experience was negative. After all this, the final course left for obtaining true guidance is to turn to the Prophets of God. The Prophets claim to possess correct knowledge. On a deep inquiry into the ways of their lives, it is revealed that they are very truthful, trustworthy, pious, selfless and sound-minded beyond any shadow of doubt. Evidently there is sufficient ground for believing in the truth of their claims. It remains to be determined, however, that how far their information in regard to this world and man's position in it is valid and whether or not any practical evidence is forthcoming which gives a lie to their claims? Further, how far the information supplied by them succeeded in experience ? If upon scrutiny the outcome of all these inquiries is in favour of the Prophets, we should put our trust in their guidance and adept only that course in life which is in accordance with their instructions.

As I have said earlier, in contrast to other methods based on Ignorance, the basis of this method is scientific. If a man bows his head in compliance to this knowledge; when he gives up obstinacy and conceit and acts according to this knowledge and if he, limits his actions within the bounds fixed by this knowledge, it is dais method which is termed as "Islamic Method".