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Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam ( 8 May 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Islam Outlasts All the Man Made Systems through Its Universal Appeal


By Khwaja Azhar Abbas

(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)

May 8, 2013

The movement of Islam has claimed since its day one that it is the best system of life which the human mind cannot even conceive of. This claim of the movement of Islam is not a utopia. The prophet (pbuh) single-handedly rose with this claim and established this system with the help of his companions. The proof of the success of this system was the fact that thousands entered and embraced this system during the lifetime of the prophet (pbuh). The area of this system during the prophet’s lifetime was ten million sq mile. The holy prophet (pbuh) had appointed officers (2-188) and authorities (4-83) who had maintained law and order and the prophet (pbuh) himself adjudicated on issues. For the DOs and DONTs of this system, the Quran has mentioned the words ‘Awamir’ and ‘Nawahi’. These ‘Awamir’ and ‘Nawahi’ were strictly followed. There was no question of obeying any officer on personal level. The officers and the authorities were themselves bound by those DOs and DONTs. They themselves adhered to the Dos of the government and abstained from the Don’ts and ensured that others too obeyed the rules. The rule of one human being on another human being was strictly prohibited in this system. The prophet (pbuh) himself obeyed those rules. He or any other officer did not have any immunity because the head of the Islamic state strictly adheres to the rules.

On the contrary, the consequences of the system conceived by the human mind are before everyone to see. Communism had gained reputation as the best system and it breathed its last before our eyes. The end result of democracy is capitalism. In other words, both are interdependent. Democracy suits only the affluent and ruins the poor. In a democracy, people follow rules formed by themselves. In it, personalities are more important than rules. All its rules suit only the rich and no one cares for the poor. In democracy, the group of the affluent are the dens of corruption. The movement against corruption called Occupy Wall Street that began recently has spread in over 188 countries. The gradual spread of the movement is the proof of the failure of democracy and capitalism. Now look at the unique features of the system based on the Quran:

“And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference. “(17-70)

God has made all the human beings dignified and honoured. The sole meaning of this value is that every child deserves respect solely on the basis of being a human being. In the present day, the standards of honour and respect are relative. A child born to affluent parents deserves thousands of facilities and privileges. The child of the poor does not get any respect. The children born in palaces get all the bounties of the world and the child who is born in a hut is deprived of all the good things of life. This division between them in terms of respect and honour and privileges and facilities continues through the life. But this divide does not exist on the basis of their potentialities and capabilities. Similarly, the doors of progress are closed for the children of the poor. In our country too, the children of the poor get education in English medium schools while the children of the poor do not even see the face of a school.

In a Quranic state, such discrimination between children on the basis of such divide cannot exist. Every human being will be honoured and respected in this state. No one will be considered humble due to any relative value. Their personal status will be decided on the basis of their personal traits and virtues.

“And for all there are degrees [of reward and punishment] for what they have done, and [it is] so that He may fully compensate them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged. (46-19)” People will get their place according to their work.

In an un-Islamic system, people get honour and respect on the basis of personal relationships. The present nations of Europe who claim to respect human beings have made the entire humanity dance to their tunes. If we ignore other nations, the British are considered the best rulers among them. They captured the power of India by brute force. They consciously spread poverty in this country between the two great wars so much so that the poor section of this country was forced to join the army. During that period, the soldiers were entitled to kill those they did not even know or had enmity with for a paltry salary of Rs 18 a month.

During the time of peace though the Indians were humiliated at every step because of their being the ruled nation, the prominent example of this humiliation was that outside the high society clubs of the period, signboards with ‘Indians and dogs are not allowed’  were put up. In the eyes of the British people, the place of the ruled nation was akin to that of dogs. Today the same nations have become the flag bearers of human rights.

The vilification of the British nation is not meant here. As a nation they are good. Politeness, sympathy, good behaviour, humility, straightforwardness, love of knowledge etc are their traits. I personally have come across such British men who demonstrated politeness and tenderness. They possess a pleasing personality which makes you wish to meet them again and again. But since they had divided the humanity on the basis of the ruler and the ruled in India, the ruled were more humiliated here. But during the same time, poverty was common in England and the poor were insulted there. For example, read the novels of the Victorian Era, particularly the novels of Charles Dickens. All his novels feature the incidents of showing insults to the poor. Themes of most of the novels are based on this. This is not specific with the British or any other nation. The real cause is the system. Their system then was against the poor. The insult to the poor was inherent in their system. Today, due to the changes of the time, their system has come closer to the Quran automatically and the differences between human beings are being removed. The system of the modern times is compelled to accord the honour and respect to the human beings which was prescribed by the Quran. The evils and virtues of the society are the results of its system. The system proposed and conceived by the Quran has no equal.

Another characteristic of the Islamic system is this: “And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives” (53-39).

Man only deserves what he has earned. The Quran has endowed us with comprehensive and universal principles which apply to all the departments of life. Thanks to these principles, no member of the Islamic state can get anything without doing labour. Many people have agricultural land somewhere else and they lead a luxurious life. The poor agricultural labourer does labour the year round and pays the landlord a hefty amount of money while keeping his own children half fed. This is oppression of the agricultural labourers. In an Islamic state no one can exploit the labour of others but regretfully today the economy of all the countries of the world is based on the violation of this principle and the labour of the poor labourers is exploited in all these countries. The details of this exploitation are not needed here as the readers are already aware of it.

Similarly, it is the golden rule of the Quran: “Say "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ." (6-164).

This Quranic principle is also very meaningful. According to this principle, everyone will bear his own burden. One’s responsibility will not be put on the shoulders of another. In other words, others will not pay the price for the wrongs of one.

To the Quran, the state is for the individual and not the other way round. The Islamic state revolves round the individual. The Islamic system is based on constant values. Unlike in secular governments, all the rules of the Islamic state are within the confines of these constant values. These very constant values are called human rights in political parlance. These are the traits of God also. The basic traits of the human beings are the same as of God. This is the basic relationship between God and man. The obedience to God is not like the obedience to a doctor nor does the nature of man conform to such obedience because the human nature gets nourishment from the obedience to God. The requirements of the self are satisfied by the obedience to the ordainments of the Quran.

You can also understand this difficult point with some examples. To steal or to capture someone’s property is against the constant value. A person follows this constant value to strengthen his self. If he strengthens his self with this act, it will automatically have an impact on the society as the incidents of stealing will become lesser by the day. You can apply this example on other crimes. A person who does not break his fast fearing weakness, will not also break traffic rules because he will realise that violation of the rules of Islamic state will have  a bad impact on the human self. In an Islamic state, social reform is directly related to the self-development. In an Islamic system, establishing a society on best principles is not the sole objective but also the attainment of the completeness of the human personality that completes the journey to the hereafter successfully.

All the systems of life conceived by the human brain have strived to solve the problems of the bestial level of life. No system has kept the problems on human level. God has created every creature or object on earth with a specific purpose and has endowed that with the ability to fulfil that purpose (24-11). A small seed grows and gradually becomes a big tree. The seed turning into a tree is its creative purpose and its ability. The purpose of every object on the earth is to awaken its abilities, and to create. According to the Quran, the purpose of the human life is to develop all the abilities inherent in him. In it is hidden the bestial level of man’s life. All the good governments of the modern day have tried to solve the problems of this level of life. It has formed the economic system in such a way that more and more people can get food. But the uniqueness of the Islamic state is that it is the only system in which the human body and self is developed and nourished by following the constant values prescribed by the Quran. The intellectual and ideological abilities of man are automatically awakened if these values are followed.  In this way the society also progresses and an ideal society is established. The Quran says about the prophet (pbuh):

“Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise. “(2-129)

On another occasion, the Quran says about the status of the prophet (pbuh):

“Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. “(2-151)

The Quran has also mentioned the way to develop these abilities.

“[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself “(92-18)

On another occasion, it says,

“He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself, And mentions the name of his Lord and prays. “ (87-14, 15)

Dhikr literally means putting something before the eyes prominently. Putting the virtues of God as an example and following them and spreading them results in self-purification and human abilities are awakened in this way.

It is a fact that poverty and penury force man to commit crimes. If a woman does not provide her child with legitimate food, she will provide her with food through illegitimate means. God does not make poor and rich. Neither is one born rich nor poor. The system of a country makes one rich or poor. If the distribution of commodities is done judiciously, no one will remain poor. The demerit of an unjust system is that people lap up whatever they can take. The Quran promises that in the system formed by it the responsibility for providing food to everybody is with God.

“And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.“ (11-6). No one can remain hungry in this system.

“And how many a creature carries not its [own] provision. Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing. “(29-60)

In the outer world, there are billions of creatures apart from man who need food. All of them get food under God’s rule of provision.(11-6). The entire ground is before the cow, the ox and the goat but they leave the ground after filling their stomach for others. This system of the nature runs there. They only fulfil their needs. The Quran says that when man is hungry, he not only fills his stomach but also takes the rest with him and other are deprived of the food. If the system of the Quran is implemented and people do not take the remaining food with them after filling their stomachs, these problems will never originate. Therefore, the Quran says,

“And they ask you what they should spend. Say, "The excess [beyond needs]." Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought. “(2-219)

Moreover, for people to leave their earnings for others, the Quran has prescribed a big initiative: “                                                  

“[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself “(92-18)

Every one nourishes his own self by spending on others and therefore no one can remain hungry in an Islamic system because if the Islamic state does not provide food to a citizen, the state loses its right to obedience from that citizen. A Hadith in Masnad Ahmad says, “If someone in a town remained hungry at night till morning, it lost the protection of God.” It is the duty of the Islamic state not to make one feel lonely or helpless. According to Tirmidhi, the holy prophet (pbuh) said, if someone does not have a patron, God and his prophet is his patron.” Hadhrat Umar said, “Even if a dog dies of hunger at the bank of the Euphrates, Umar will be held accountable for that also on the Day of Judgment.”

Islamic state is the guarantor of peace in the world. Every Muslim is responsible for establishing peace on earth. To establish peace on earth, two things are imperative. First, the community should remain in peace and does not create troubles for others. Second, if other nations destroy the peace of the world, it would be necessary to stop them. First they will be appealed to abstain from their acts but if they persist on their misadventures, the use of force will be permissible against them. In Islam, war is permitted only to stop oppression and tyranny, be it anywhere or against anyone. There is no distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. Whenever the Quran orders Muslims to fight the Mushrekeen (polytheists), it means the polytheists present during the life of the prophet (pbuh). War was permitted against them under specific circumstances. If in future too, the same circumstances arise, war is permitted to stop oppression and persecution. But if the circumstances do not exist, then war is not permitted because Islam only wants peace. It shows the path to peace to the world. The Quran says,

“O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path. “(5-15, 16)

The road shown by the Quran leads to the destination which is called Dar al Salam (abode of peace).

“For them will be the Home of Peace with their Lord. And He will be their protecting friend because of what they used to do. “(6-127)

The Jews had confined prophet hood to a race and they had confined their Quibla that is Aqusa mosque. On the contrary, Islam is a universal religion and therefore its centre (Kaaba) also is free from geographical confines and is a universal centre. That’s why the Quran says,

“In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds. “(3-97)

This guidance is very clear. This Kaaba is the centre from where Abraham got an elevated position and the virtue of this centre and the system that originated from here is that whoever entered this system got protection of every kind. There is no question of disturbance and disorder in the Islamic system except peace.

Source: Saut ul Haque, May 2013