Three years ago, we attempted a humble undertaking: studying the deepest bases on which each of Marxism and Islam stands, and the book Our Philosophy فلسفتنا interpreted our attempt. That was a starting point for a successive strain of thought trying to study Islam from base to top .
So was Our Philosophy, then, published to be succeeded, after about two years, by Our Economy اقتصادنا; and the two intellectual brothers (meaning books) are still waiting for other brothers to join, so that the whole intellectual series, which we aspire to present to Muslims, may be completed.
From the very beginning, we noticed that in spite of the unmatchable welcome with which the series was met, so much so that the copies of Our Philosophy were sold out within only few weeks—there is a considerable paradox between the high Muslim intellect and the general intellectual atmosphere in which we nowadays live. It is even very difficult, for many, to live upto this high standard of Muslim intellect without exerting a great deal of hard effort. It was inevitable, then, to initiate successive series of books through which the reader ascends higher steps of Muslim intellectualism that may enable him to appreciate its supreme standard.
Thus emerged the idea of "The Islamic School": an attempt to use a scholastic procedure in introducing the Muslim intellect through successive series parallel to the main series; (i.e., Our Philosophy and Our Economy), sharing its burden of carrying the Muslim intellectual message and agreeing with it in mutual and main purpose, although it differs in degree and level.
As we were contemplating on issuing "The Islamic School", we defined the characteristics of the Muslim intellect composing the general outlook and intellectual taste of the presumed School.
These characteristics may be summed up thus:
1. The direct aim behind establishing "The Islamic School" is to supply conviction, more than innovation; therefore, it derives its intellectual topics from Our Philosophy, Our Economy and their intellectual brothers, displaying them all within a specific scholastic framework, without confining itself to ideas presented for the first time.
2. "The Islamic School" does not always restrict itself to proving the form of any particular idea. Such form here is less clearly highlighted than in Our Philosophy and her sisters—all this is done according to the degree of simplification expected from scholastic series.
3. "The Islamic School" deals with a broader intellectual horizon than that of Our Philosophy and her sisters. It does not only deal with the major aspects of the general Islamic intellect. It deals with the different philosophical, historical or Qur'anic topics which affect the growth of the Islamic awareness, the building and completion of the Muslim character, from both intellectual and spiritual standpoints.
Allah Almighty has decreed that the idea of "The Islamic School" should meet another idea derived from the Introduction to Our Philosophy, and that both ideas get intermingled with each other and see the light in the form of this book.
The other idea came out of the dear readers' persistence that we must reprint Our Philosophy, and to attempt broadening and simplifying the topics in Our Philosophy before we reprint the whole book for the second time, a matter that requires a leisure which I do not have at the present time.
Accordingly, the dear readers' wish started to make a direction towards the Introduction to Our Philosophy itself because reprinting such Introduction would not take as much effort as reprinting the entire book. The influx of requests left no room to suspect the necessity of responding to them.
There did both ideas meet: Why should the Introduction to Our Philosophy not be the first series of "The Islamic School"?
And so it was.
But we were not satisfied with printing the Introduction only; we also introduced some significant adjustments, giving some of its concepts a broader explanation, such as the concept of the egotistic instinct. We added to it two important chapters: One is "Contemporary man and his capacity to solve the social problem", which is the first chapter of this book and which deals with the human capacity to establish the social system that guarantees happiness and perfection.
The other chapter is "Islam's standpoint regarding freedom and security". It is the last chapter of this book. In it we attempted a comparative study between the standpoint of each of Islam and capitalism towards freedom, and that of Islam and Marxism towards security.
Thus did the Introduction multiply, taking a new name: Contemporary Man and the Social Problem, as the first series of "The Islamic School"; verily, only Allah grants success.
Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr