Search for Truth

Man’s search for truth can come to a successful end when he finds answers to his questions at an intellectual level. To achieve such a purposeful existence is the greatest quest of man’s life. Everyone is motivated, consciously or unconsciously, by this demand of human nature, everyone at one time or another suffers from a sense of frustration, with or without sad experiences. To make one’s life meaningful, therefore one has to discover its purpose. One should be extremely sincere and honest in this respect.

It is through reason that man justifies his belief. Rational justification strengthens his convictions. Rational argument is thus an intellectual need of every seeker. Without this he would not be able to stand firmly on his conviction. It is reason which transforms a belief system into a matter of intellectual choice. History shows that man has employed four kinds of arguments to find rational grounds for his conviction. Each of these reflects different stages in his intellectual development. Let us see how Islam stands based on these arguments.

1. Natural Argument

We can see that although the text of the original scriptures of Islam (Quran and Sunnah) is preserved, a veil of interpretation has formed over it through the commentaries and interpretations. Therefore misconceptions in Islam ensue. However all is not lost for a seeker of truth. All that he needs to do, therefore, is to rediscover Islam from its original sources – the Quran and Sunnah to find out the true face of Islam. We have to take a look at each aspect of the teachings of Islam in light of its original sources and not in the light of what the Muslims are doing.

One reason for original Islam becoming alien is that as time went by self-styled interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah gradually placed a veil over the original content of these texts. A time came when the original Islam was completely obscured from view. The wrong, man-made interpretations took the place of revealed guidance. In later times, people mistakenly took the misconceptions in Islam to be the real Islam.

Islam tells us that all religions revealed by God to His messengers brought true guidance from Him and, therefore, were one and the same. Therefore, Islam is not a recent religion. It is the same religion sent by God through His Prophets since the beginning of human history. So we can say that God had sent all the previously revealed books so that man might be informed of the nature of his life. The Quran, the last of the revealed books, endorses all the revealed books, which preceded it. But this endorsement applies to them only in their original, pristine versions.

One can safely say that for a seeker after the truth, there is no whole range of options. He has only one choice to make. And that is the choice of Islam: the only religion, which has a preserved book of God and whose prophet has true historical credibility. Let us understand this in detail.

1. Quran: The Preserved Word of God

Let us now come to religion. Scholars have generally believed that in the search for truth, the most reliable source is religion. That is why in every age the majority of human beings have been associated with one religion or the other. And today, this is still the case.

What is mysticism? According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, mysticism is a “quest for a hidden truth or wisdom.” The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, defines it thus: “Mysticism is the direct experience of the divine as real and near, blotting out all sense of time and producing intense joy.”

What is science? According to its definition, “Science is a branch of knowledge concerned with the material world conducted on objective principles involving the systematised observation of, and experiment with physical phenomenon.”

Science has divided the world of knowledge into two parts—knowledge of things and knowledge of truths. According to this division, science has confined its study only to a part of the world – the knowledge of things – and not to the entire world. A scientist has rightly remarked, “science gives us but a partial knowledge of reality.”