The Muslims rightfully maintain that Islam is not simply an abstract ideal conceived just for nominal adoration or a stagnant idol to be frequented by admirers every now and then. Islam is a code of life, a living force manifest in every aspect of human Life. The Muslims also maintain that the individual is the center of gravity and is the launching instrument which can put Islam, or any other system for that matter, into full action on a full scale. And this is why Islam always begins with the individual and invariably prefers quality to quantity.
Let us begin, where Islam when begins, with the individual. Let us examine the nature of the individual and find out how Islam views this nature. To clarify things as much as possible, without getting entangled in philosophical disputes or abstract controversy, we can define man as having two complementary natures, very intimately interrelated and continually interacting upon each other. These are the inner nature and the outer nature. Or one might say that man has one nature only with two bridged sections hardly separable from each other. One is internal and another external. The internal nature of man refers to the Ruh (soul or self or heart) and Aql (mind or power of reasoning or intelligence).
In our illustration of the internal nature of man we shall have to deal with two aspects: (1) the spiritual or moral aspect and (2) the intellectual aspect. The rest of man’s activities and transactions will have to be classified as the external or outer nature of man. After all, it is a universally admitted fact that man does not live by bread alone.