The Islamic faith is based on belief in Allah. When a person believes that the heavens and the earth and the world around him have been created by Him, and it is He who is governing them and it is He who will one Day call all mankind to account, then this is the beginning of religious awareness. Quite obviously, it is necessary that people have a true conception of their Creator. For this, they must have knowledge of the rational grounds of His existence as well as knowledge about gaining His correct recognition (ma`rifat). In this article we shall dwell upon these twin issues.|
We shall first take up the issue of the Almighty's existence. A logical starting point in this regard would be to analyze all human sources of knowledge. A little deliberation shows that, apart from Divine Guidance revealed to the Prophets, man has three sources of knowledge. We shall examine each one of them.
a) Faculty of Intuition: Certain a priori information exists in every person's intuition: it pertains to the knowledge which is not learned through the senses but which is innate and inborn in an individual. This innate information consists of various concepts. For example the concept of contradiction is information present in our intuition. This concept, of course, is not a tangible thing. However, we apply this concept to a certain phenomenon and conclude that contradiction exists. b) Faculty of Sense Perception: Similarly, man receives knowledge through his five senses from the external environment. A person's senses are his receptors, which link him to the outside world. He sees, hears, touches, smells and tastes a thing and gets information about it. Moreover, this information gathered by the senses is transmitted to the later generations and such information becomes established history.
c) Faculty of Reason: Now, the human faculty of reason collates the information that it receives through the...