The period of youth and maturity is a very sensitive and crucial period for making the future. As if it is a period of the beginning of a new life. In this stage, the intellectual capacity and thinking power develops leading to firm beliefs in the future. And the youth should be sensitive for the future during this period and they should chalk out a plan for themselves. Losing this valuable opportunity would make them suffer an irredeemable harm, because the opportunity passes and the age which has gone by does not ever come back.
Man is a sensible being having foresight and he cannot, like pure beasts, follow his selfish desires. He is supposed to make use of his reasoning ability and should identify his duties in this world. He must follow the path of humanity and achieve his real success. A man with intelligence and foresight does not waste the valuable opportunity of his life, but considers two things necessary for himself and tries to achieve them: thirdly correct belief, organized and accounted program.
The youth is supposed to use this opportunity, and to identify the real aim of life and make a firm determination for his future; he should tread the path of his actual success and should walk on it with awareness and perfect insight; and he should make efforts to fulfill his aim.
But it is clear that choosing a proper program and precise path of success depends on the belief and world view of a person. Every person with regard to cognition and belief about the world would identify the aim of life and the path that he should tread and he should determine the future and make a program for it. As much perfect and correct are our cognitions about the basic problems of the world of existence, we can recognize the aim of life in a better way and can make efforts to act according to that program in the best way. On the other hand, if our cognition about the basic matters of the world of existence (world view) are wrong and we harbor invalid beliefs, we would make a mistake in selecting the aim and path and also the program of the future and would fall into the bottomless abyss of destruction.
Therefore, the first need for a man of foresight is to strengthen the basis of beliefs and a right world view. Every sensible person needs that in the first stage of life in his youth, he should work towards strengthening his beliefs and he should through reasoning and evidences make the basis of his faith strong. And through this he can save himself from confusion, perplexity and deviation.
Basically research and curiosity in exposing the secrets of the world is in the nature of a man with insight. How can he ignore these natural desires and how can he satisfy his intellect? If he doesn’t, what would be his superiority over other beasts?
Recognition and imagination that man is from the world of existence is called as ‘world view’. In other words, ‘world view’ is that which provides proper replies to the following fundamental matters:
Has this world come into existence automatically or a higher being has created it and which controls it? If it has a creator, what type of existence does He have? What qualities are present in Him? What is the aim in creating man and the world? Is the life of man permanent in this world or it is as such in another world that is the world of the hereafter where man is transferred after death, so that he may recompensed for his deeds and behavior? What type of a world is hereafter, Paradise and Hell? What type of an existing being man is? And what capacities are present in him? Does man have duties and responsibilities in this world…?
Can man, in order to secure success of his world and hereafter arrange a perfect program? Or it is necessary for him to follow divine guides and programs of prophets having contacts with divine revelation? What type of persons the prophets are and what qualities do they have? And…?
Whether there is need of a person who is aware and powerful and supported by prophet and Almighty Allah to assure correct application of laws and rules of religion, guidance of people, guarding the social system, maintaining justice in society and survival of the path of prophets?
Reply of people to these types of question is not similar. On the contrary every group will give their special reply according to its belief and world view. Their total replies shapes a system of thinking, which is named as world view.
After selection of the world view it is the turn of ideology1. Terminologically, ideology implies an organized and aimed program and a perfect guideline of life and a system of thinking which determines the duties of man.
Therefore the term, ‘world view’ is the foundation and ideology is its product; that is selection of an ideology depends on selection of a world view. In fact, world view is complete recognition with regard to existence; but ideology means recognition and awareness of duties, dos and don’ts and values.
Replies to such questions are called as ideology in terminology:
What is our duty in this world? What responsibility do we have? In what act does the success and real perfection of man lies? What are good deeds and what are bad deeds? And...?
In what actions does the well-being of man lie? Which acts should we perform and which should we leave?...?
Such questions arise for all curious youths, intellectual, wisdom seekers and seekers of truth and demand appropriate replies. Youths, during the period of inquisitiveness and research and during the development of their opinions and views are in the stage of concluding their faith and belief. That is why it is necessary that during this period, they should have correct view about the world and should strengthen their beliefs. They should use their foresight, make investigations and derive satisfactory replies to all such questions.
Therefore, it is most necessary to obtain a correct and definite world view and a clear and a firm ideology. Since you are sensible and have foresight and the inquisitive intellect does not allow you to ignore these fundamental matters; passing over these matters in a cursory manner would lead man to fall into confusion and perplexity and makes his life a dreadful abyss of futility and perplexity.
Let us once again revise the questions that arise in the discussion of world view. We can divide such questions into four groups:
1. Questions related to the beginning of existence and creator of universe and His qualities, and this discussion is called ‘Knowing God’.
2. Questions related to the future of man and life after death that is called as ‘Knowledge of resurrection’.
3. Questions related to needs of man of an organized program and need for prophets and need of leadership and their guidance; which is called as knowledge of prophethood or messengership.
4. Questions related to the need of man for guides of the Almighty Allah, whose existence is necessary for organization of an equitable society, guarding and application of heavenly laws and guiding people. This discussion is named as knowledge of recognizing the Imam.
5. Questions related to programs, duties and religious responsibilities, which are sent through prophets.
- 1. Ideology consists of two Latin words: Idea+ logy. Idea is in the meaning of view, belief and imagination. Logy is in the meaning of identity and study. Therefore ideology means the cognition of beliefs and views and study into religious beliefs.
Nowadays in addition to its usual meaning it is also used in the sense of a system of views that people have about every aspect of human life. 1. It almost means same as world view. 2. System of thinking which is a guideline for life of man and which specifies the dos and don’ts and values and that is why it is considered to be an effect of the world view. In this book we have used the word of ideology in this sense.