From the study of the Holy Quran we learn that Islam is the faith of nature. This means that there is absolute compatibility between faith and nature. Allah says in the Holy Book:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَکَ لِلدِّینِ حَنِیفًا فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتیِ فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَیهَْا لَا تَبْدِیلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِکَ الدِّینُ الْقَیِّم
So set thy purpose for religion as a man by nature upright—the nature of Allah, in which He hath created man. There is no altering the laws of Allah’s creation. That is the right religion. (Sura ar–Rum, 30:30).
This means that Islam is the faith that wants its followers to tread the middle-path and that it is in accordance with nature and shall be there for all times. There is balance in Islam, neither shortage nor excess. This is also the reason that the Prophet of Islam (s) is the last of all the prophets sent to the world by Allah. There shall be no change in the fundamentals of faith in the future.
Today’s discussion will mainly focus on ‘nature’. Nature is commonly taken to mean creation. I invite rapt attention of my learned and knowledgeable audience. As all of us know, our knowledge is of two types. One is the knowledge acquired through instruction and the other is that which is acquired through instinct. An example of the first type of knowledge is a lecture given by a teacher to the pupils in a class. Another example is the talk that I am giving to you now that you are listening to, with rapt attention! This type of knowledge is related to, and directly proportional to, the wisdom or intelligence of the subject. The second type of knowledge is related to the instinct of the person.
This type of knowledge is not acquired or learnt, but is present in people. This knowledge is not related to the intelligence of a person but it is related to his instinct. For example: a person feels hungry and the hunger is satiated once he takes his food. To know that one is hungry or thirsty is also knowledge but this type of knowledge cannot be acquired through learning; it is present in people and has been placed in man by Allah. Man feels hunger, thirst, cold, heat etc. through his instinct. When he drinks water, his thirst is quenched. Instinct is also of two types. One type of instinct is common to all animals, and is perhaps stronger in animals. The examples I have given are examples of this type of instinct. Instinct works without any intervention on the part of the person. With regard to instinct, when man exercises his discretion, it is called nature. Nature needs to be supported by knowledge and requires man to pay attention and exercise his discretion.