Islam Versus Different Schools: Liberalism and Pluralism
Shahid Mutahhari extends this point to cover those who for any reason (for which they themselves cannot be held responsible) are unable to understand the message of Islam. Someone who has been brought up in an atmosphere poisoned by propaganda spread by the enemies of Islam may be no more capable of understanding the message of Islam than one living in a remote region physically cut off from all contact with the Islamic world. Even if that person is a scholar for whom a library of books about Islam is available, still the comprehension of the message of Islam for such a person may be as difficult as for those who lack the requisite mental health.
Perhaps those whom Shahid Mutahhari castigates as "narrow minded dry holy ones" (tang nazari khoshk muqaddasan) will argue on the basis of the following noble verse that if one really sought the truth, God would somehow show the way to Islam (in the specific sense): "And those who strive hard in Us, certainly We guide them in Our ways" (Al-Quran, 29:69). However, such a conclusion cannot validly be drawn from this verse for two reasons. First, the guidance God may provide to the true seekers may be moral wisdom without the ability to arrive at information about the revelation given to the last of His prophets, as God may guide and grant wisdom to those who sincerely seek but who live in regions where the message of Islam has not reached.
Second, it is not clear that the phrase "those who strive hard in Us" is to be interpreted so as to include all sincere searchers, for similar words are used in the Qur'an in various places with a much more narrow meaning to signify only those who were already true believers and had struggled on behalf of Islam.