The solution of the aforementioned fundamental problems is of foremost importance, because it plays a basic role in shaping and giving direction to man's personal and social life, and, logically, should be taken up before any other issue. Also, it is of special significance because it involves unlimited gain and loss. In other words, if the answer to the fundamental questions raised is in the affirmative, the possibility is opened up for man of deriving infinite benefit from his life.
If it is proved that being is not coextensive with matter, and that the world has a supreme Creator who is the Maker, Sustainer, and Nourisher of all things, and possesses infinite power, knowledge, and mercy, and if it is proved that man's life is not limited to this short, worldly existence, but that it is followed by an everlasting life accompanied either by felicity or misery, and that our life in this world is a preliminary stage in which we determine the course of our life in the Hereafter through our voluntary actions, and if it is proved that there is a guaranteed method for obtaining the knowledge of a correct life-programme that can take care of our felicity in both the lives, and that this method has been communicated by the Almighty God through His chosen messengers to mankind in general, it will have a tremendous impact on man's life. In fact, the value given to the vital human activities by such a view of reality is incomparably greater than the combined worth of all the advancements made by science and the discoveries and inventions made by man. This is so because however great the value of these inventions and discoveries may be, it is still finite and limited, while the value of this view is unlimited since it makes it possible for man to attain unlimited and everlasting felicity. And it is obvious that the unlimited cannot be compared with the limited.
The objection may be raised here that the probability of the fundamental questions being answered positively is so small that it is not worth considering. It should be kept in mind, however, that however small this probability may be (1/n), it would still retain its positive value since its multiple is infinity; (infinity x n = infinity). To put it in the language of economics, the `expected value' of any investment depends on two factors: (1) the percentage of probability of success, and (2) the estimated amount of the profit. It is the product of these two that determines the `expected value.' For example, if we want to see which of two business ventures is more profitable for investment, it is not enough to take into account the percentage of probability of each one alone. We should also consider the estimated amount of profit each venture is likely to yield. Thus, if the percentage of the probability of success in the first venture is 10%, while that of the second venture is 20%, but if the amount of the profit the first venture is likely to yield is ten times that of the second venture, then we must conclude that the expected profit in the first venture is five times greater than that in the second one, despite the fact that the probability of success in the first venture is half of that of the second one. This is so because the product of the two multiples in the first case (0.1 x 10 = 1) is five times greater than that in the second case (0.2 x 1 = 0.2).
The conclusion that may be drawn from the above example is that it is highly preferable to handle problems whose solution promises unlimited benefit, even if our chances of solving them be very small. Furthermore, the value of insight into such problems cannot be compared to that of any other science, even if the results produced by these sciences be one hundred per cent certain and reliable. Thus, indifference to the various aspects of one's world-view and negligence of its fundamental problems is not a reasonable and rationally justifiable attitude. Answering these fundamental questions in the negative without any sufficient evidence is even more unjustifiable.
$$SECTIONThe Spiritual and Materialist Philosophies]
Although the fundamental questions facing man have been answered in different ways and the differences in these answers have created various philosophies and schools of thought, yet by taking into account the positive and negative answers, we can distinguish and divide the various philosophies into the two general categories of materialist and spiritual. Islam is a perfect example of the spiritual schools of thought , whereas the most prominent contemporary example of the materialist schools is Marxism.
The tenets of the Islamic world-view are none other than the well≠known threefold doctrines of the faith.  These are: the belief in the One God (al-tawhid); the belief in resurrection on the Day of Judgement (al-ma`dd); the belief in what God has revealed to His prophets (wahy, nubuwwah). In other words, Islam answers in the affirmative to each of the fundamental questions, and considers faith in them to be the real basis of man's happiness and felicity. It undertakes the solution of life's all other problems by relying on these three basic doctrines. In fact, it considers all solutions as the branches of a tree whose roots are these three principal beliefs. On the contrary, the materialist philosophies deny the existence of anything nonmaterial, do not believe that man has any life except this brief earthly existence, and deny the assurance held out by revelation.
Although the fundamental doctrines of the Islamic faith have been expounded and proven throughout the past centuries and on various levels, and there does not remain any doubt or uncertainty about any of them, this does not affect the basic fact that the contemporary strength of any set of beliefs hinges on two sorts of studies: one devoted to proving the validity of those beliefs, and the second, devoted to refuting contrary viewpoints. In other words, a double insight is necessary. In the case of Islam, unless the points of disagfee≠ment with other ideologies are identified, the areas that are made the targets of the opponents' criticisms and attacks are pinpointed, and a proper defence consisting of clear and logical answers is provided to the common Muslim individual, we cannot be sure of the stability of the faith on the level of the general public, and be certain of the people's steadfastness in the face of the waves of challenging ideologies. More≠over, just as in the past ideological and theological books were written in accordance with the intellectual challenges of the times and with the aim of answering their prevailing doubts, so must the ideological discussions of today be formulated in accordance with the philosophies and schools of thought now current, and with the aim of repelling their ideological attacks.
What makes defensive discussions specially essential today is that materialist philosophies are not being set forth for the mere purpose of proposing solutions to the fundamental theoretical questions, but are, in fact, being propagated in order to serve the political interests of the superpowers who consider exploitation of the emotions of the world's hardworking and simple people as the best means of attaining their colonialist aims. Thus in order to disarm the people of their deep≠rooted, liberating spiritual world-view, they have taken recourse in a philosophy tuned to the shallow understanding of the majority of workers and farmers. At the same time, they have tried to adorn materialism, which is one of the most reactionary and baseless of the ancient dogmas, with scientific embellishments, and pretend that it is a modern and "scientific" philosophy. Nor have they spared the use of all sorts of sophistry, paralogism, and misrepresentation to achieve this end.
The truth of the matter is that the superpowers have used materialism, which is based on empiricism, as a means of attracting the uneducated masses and as an excuse for sanctioning their propensities for improper and unethical conduct. In order to deceive the educated classes, they have borrowed some of the postulates of the experimental sciences and incorporated them into materialism. Moreover, to make sure that the probable rejection of these postulates does not destroy the foundations of their philosophy, they have taken refuge in "dialectical logic," presenting all truths to be relative and variable, so that scientific progress not only would not invalidate their doctrines, but would, on the contrary, appear to support them.
We may maintain, therefore, that defending the positions of Islamic ideology, clarifying any of its ambiguities which may lend themselves to misrepresentation, and exposing all those who have made spiritual philosophy the target of unfair and dishonest accusations, is not only an authentic philosophical and intellectual duty and a divinely ordained obligation in regard to guiding the Muslims and strengthening the foundations of their faith, but is also an Islamic social responsibility in regard to defending Islam and the existence of the Muslim countries, which have become targets of ideological, political, and colonialist attacks by the communist block.
It must be pointed out here that by emphasizing the necessity for `double insight' and `two-faceted defence' we do not mean to say that such insight and understanding is the `sufficient cause' for creating faith and inclination towards the right path, or that the only reason for being drawn towards atheism and other devious paths is ignorance about correct, logical, and convincing answers to criticisms. Our purpose is simply to indicate the importance of defensive arguments alongside the affirmative ones, and to emphasize that these two activities are some of the necessary conditions for creating a stable faith, though are not the sufficient condition for it. There are other conditions necessary for the stability of faith, specially in regard to the masses of people, the most important of which is spiritual readiness and freedom from moral corruption. Just as hedonism and moral irregularities may be caused by belief in materialism, belief in materialist philosophies may also be occasioned by strong attachment to bodily pleasures and moral corruption; since one's love of pleasures and lusts may lead him, unconsciously, to search for and be attracted by philosophies which promote and sanction such conduct, and to avoid all schools of thought which teach abstinence from such endless pursuit of carnal pleasures.
It is, therefore, necessary that the real seeker after truth should cleanse himself of all moral impurities and all selfish and carnal desires, and, relying on nothing except logic and reason for guidance, liberate himself from the bondage of blind imitation of individuals, groups, or nations, simply because they possess some kind of social, political or technical superiority.
. This is not to say that Islam is one kind of philosophy; what is meant is that the basic principles of Islamic faith concern issues which fall into the same category as philosophical ones. To put it another way, Islam has philosophical foundations just as Marxism does.
. The two other principles of Islamic belief, that is, `adl (justice) and imamah, are in fact implicit in the doctrines of al-tawhid and nubuwwah (prophethood).