To discuss the position that religious belief should have in Western thought presents certain problems. Islam has a definite set of prescriptions on what is good thinking and hence the sort of thinking which leads to religious belief. It is circular to argue that you should think according to the teachings of Islam, then you will come to accept the authority of Islam and its teachings - in particular its teachings about ways in which you should think. In avoiding this the arguments are presented about the sources of knowledge and about the sins of disbelief without basing them on the authority of Islamic teachings, although in fact this can easily be done. The arguments also try to avoid being based on historical evidence or on opinions of respected people since these are inevitably selective and contentious. Instead the appeal is directly to the mind and conscience of the reader, seeking to find common ground for building a better understanding of Islam.