The debate in philosophy about the reality of phenomenon scattered around us is an old one – is their existence real or just an illusion? There exists two schools of thoughts in this regard: materialism and idealism. The materialists are of the view that matter and material objects are for real and would last forever. They believe that it is eternal and continues to change its form, but the overall existence does not alter. Contrary to this, the idealists do not recognise the reality of matter. For them it is mere illusion and material objects are only puppets or shadows. Both of these philosophies are known as Monism. However another concept of dualism that takes cognizance of matter and reality beyond matter also exists. This finds echo in all religions including Islam. They recognise matter as well as reality beyond matter. Scores of verses could be quoted from the Quran on this score.
The modern philosophy has four schools of thought: dualism, idealism, materialism, and agnosticism. Of these, only materialism confronts religion. Idealism does not, as a universal mind only supports the existence of God. Agnosticism is by itself no positive ideology, but only an asylum for such of the scientists and thinkers who saunter between idealism and materialism and take a neutral stance. Their dilemma is least represented by the fact that the modern scientific discoveries have annihilated materialism. They are, hence, scared of being seen on the side of the materialists, but they are weary of siding with the religion too. Thus, they ply in between.