From Issue: 1052 [Read full issue]
Sources of Knowledge
The essential aspect of the Quranic teaching is to awaken in the human being the higher consciousness of his manifest relationship with God. According to the Quran, the affirmation of spirit does not come by the renunciation of the external forces but by proper adjustment of man's relation to these forces in view of the light of the world received from within. Thus the spiritual animates and sustains the material. The Quran demands the affirmation of the spiritual self in man with a recognition of his contact with the world of matter, and it points the way to master it, with a view to discovering a basis for a realistic regulation of life.
The Quran directs two ways of establishing connection with the reality that confronts human beings: one is the direct association with reality as it reveals itself within a person, that is, the inner experience; the other is the indirect reflective observation and utilisation of natural phenomena as they reveal themselves to perception. The Quran regards both Anfus (self) and Afaq (world) as sources of knowledge. Allah reveals these signs in inner, as well as outer, experience and it is the duty of human beings to judge the knowledge-yielding capacity of all aspects of experience. Thus there are three main sources of human knowledge referred to in the Quran, namely inner perception, environment (signs of Allah) and History (the days of Allah).
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, p. 108