SHAFAQNA- As said earlier, the aim pursued by the Qur’an is the training of the human being as a being conscious of his duties. Now, the emergence of such a being requires a comprehensive reform of the human being, involving various changes such as the negation of false values and meaningless criteria, and fostering of a creative energetic spirit within him. The Qur’an can thus be said to melt the spirit of human beings and pour them into a new mould, where they acquire a different, richer and more valuable form.
Although this may be said to be the principal aim of the Qur’an, it summons the human being insistently, at the very same time, to reflect and to ponder, and to acquire a realistic view of the world; it guides him on to the path of thought, of teaching and learning.
The method used by the Qur’an in training human being is that of ‘Inductive Method’, i.e. the process of deriving general principles of life by using logic, reason and facts. According to Qur’an, there are four sources of human knowledge through which eternal truth can be derived, and they are:
1) Reason and logic.
3) Study of Nature.
All the other forms of sciences are offshoots of the above four sources, and the principal advances and developments in the natural sciences are all due these premises. Allama Iqbal, the famous Indo-Muslim thinker says: “The birth of Islam, as I hope to be able presently to prove to your satisfaction, is the birth of inductive intellect. ….. The constant appeal to REASON and EXPERIENCE in the Qur’an, and the emphasis that it lays on NATURE and HISTORY as sources of human knowledge, are all different aspects of the same idea of finality”.
Of course, there are traditions narrated from the Prophet and the Imams of Ahlul-bayt (as) saying for example: “Verily the Qur’an has an exterior and an interior, and its interior has an interior upto seven (or according to a version, seventy) interiors . . . “ And the Prophet and the Imams gave importance to its exterior as much as to its interior; they were as much concerned with its revelation as they were with its interpretation. That is why the Qur’an deserves to be evaluated from different points of view.
Some of the topics which call for examination in the Qur’an are:
1) The artistic and verbal beauty of the Qur’an and its style which is neither poetry nor prose.
2) The intellectual and scientific content of the Qur’an.
3) The reinforcement of the spiritual dimensions of man.
4) The appeal to reflect and ponder.
5) The appeal to the study of nature.
6) The tapping of the historical incidents for evaluation.
7) The expounding of the mysteries of the creation.
8) The mentioning of series of truths and principles that govern the human life, i.e. Sociology, Economics, Government, etc.
Adapted from: “Towards Better Understanding of the Qur’an” by: “Shaykh Muslim Bhanji”
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