Table of Contents

Introduction

The metaphysical issues of the Qur'an constitute the most important part of knowledge and this treasury of divine revelation is accessible to the seekers.

The Qur'an's metaphysical teachings are, in fact, the substratum of understanding Islam. Thus, studying them is essential for correct understanding of Islam. It has been for this reason that during the past fourteen centuries of history of Islam some of the most illustrious Muslim scholars have devoted themselves to the investigation and study of these teachings and have left many invaluable books on these matters.

Unfortunately, not all the studies that have been made and the books that have been written, were have been fully free from prejudice and personal bias in one way or another. Sometimes, we come across the works of some venerable and great scholars who have worked in this field, but certain prejudices and narrow mindedness effected their works. This, of course, reduces the validity of their works and weakens the trait of "pure and search for the truth" which should be the hallmark of all truly scholarly endeavours.

1. A New Objective Approach

All those who are aware of the deficiencies in the works written, hitherto concerning Qur'anic teachings, feel the need to understand the teachings of Islam, as portrayed by the Qur'an and the Sunnah in a wholly new method, that is, completely scholarly, objective, as well as free of any prejudice.

As a matter of fact, to carry out a scientific, objective, and unprejudiced research in the natural sciences is somewhat an easy task. However, a free research in these fields, also has suffered considerable setback in the past, but at present enjoying favorable atmosphere and have surmounted notwithstanding. Now, the fact is that a researcher who attempt to carry out an objective and investigative study of such matters may face with the question as: Is it possible, in religious studies, to use a completely investigative and objective method totally free form any subjective opinions or personal predilection?

The basic precondition for an objective research is that a researcher must be free from all kinds of predilections either personal, social, or political consideration, or of any other kind that may affect his understanding of the matter. The question is that is such freedom practically possible in the field of religion? If an investigator belongs to a particular religion, would it not be inevitable that evidence proving the validity of that religion would attract him more strongly than the evidence which goes against it? What, anyhow, is the solution to this problem? Should we entrust the task of investigating such enterprise to those who do not believe in any religion? Such an approach may yield fruit in regard to certain minor issues, but it is not fruitful regarding the major issues of religion especially, the central question of a religion.

Not being committed to either side may result in an automatic tendency towards the other position. If a person does not believe in the existence of God, the truth of revelation, and the mission of the prophets, especially, that of the Prophet Muhammad (s), would tilt toward a position.

In our view, in the matter of religious studies, if there is any hope, it must be in those individuals who are not swayed by inclination. It is only these sorts of people who are apt to learning and prepared to exchange their views, if they are confronted with evidence which proves that the truth is something other than what they have believed until now. Such people believe that deep and unshakable conviction is something that only those beliefs based on clear and irrefutable evidence deserve. Such individuals, always, put their reliance on reasoning, and are ready to face any challenge, as long as they hold views firmly backed by evidence and reason.

2. A Step In This Direction

The book, being presented to the seekers, is intended to be a step towards the objective inquiry into the metaphysical issues of the Qur'an. The author does not claim that this step is a perfect one, free of any faults or shortcomings. he believes that an investigation of this kind should be carried out on Islam. Indeed, the author would thank God and consider it a remarkable success if his effort proved to be a new step towards an understanding of the real teachings of the Qur’an and opens a new inquiry into the realization of this ideal.

I hope that while treading on the path of metaphysical studies, a path full of ups and downs, we shall all be blessed with the guidance of God and be protected from any deviation.

Sayyid Muhammad Husayni Beheshti
Tehran
Shahriwar 27, 1352
Sha'ban 20, 1393