By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
11 February 2020
Social responsibility is accorded the highest importance in Islam. Its scope extends to all of humanity, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Allah says,
“O mankind! Truly We created you from a male and a female, and We made you nations and tribes that you may come to know one another. Verity the most honourable of you before Allah are the most righteous of you. Truly Allah is knowing, Aware”. (49:13)
This verse is well-known and helps us consolidate social relations. The words “…from a male and a female” refer to Adam and Eve (peace be upon them). That the people have been divided into nations and tribes indicates that the manner in which differences in ethnicity, nationality, tribe, race and religion can be sources through which human beings attain a deeper acknowledgment of the reality of the human condition.
In this regard it is important to understand the outward diversity of the human beings that is simply a test which they need to pass in this worldly life, as God Almighty says,
“And had God willed, He would have made you one community, but (He willed otherwise), that He might test you in that which He has given you. So compete with one another in good deeds. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ” (5:48)
Social responsibility is based on kind, justice and ethical spirit of humanity. The Quran encourages this kind and just treatment towards all people including believers and non-believers,
“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you because of your religion nor drove you out of our homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal justly” (60:8).
By encouraging the lesson of human honour and dignity in societies towards one another, the Quran clearly says,
“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)
Every human being is socially responsible for himself. It is his responsibility to adopt path of humanity, cultivate good manners, do good deeds and abstain from evils. Allah says,
“By the soul and Him who perfected its proportions; then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right. Indeed, he who purifies himself succeeds. And indeed, he who corrupts himself fails” (17:7-10)
Similarly, he is responsible to protect himself and lead his worldly life in a lawful manner. God Almighty says,
“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters." (28:77)
He Almighty also says,
“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you” (4:29).
Allah also says,
“O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones” (66:6)
According to teachings of Islam, those who are in authority must be sensitive to the welfare of the citizens to a degree that there is no need to condemn the authority. Islam repeatedly says that the ruler is responsible and accountable to God Almighty for the plight of those who are citizens under their rule. In one of the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), we read, “Each one of you is like a shepherd to whom the sheep belong. He is entrusted with the responsibility of tending the sheep. You will be held responsible”. (Bukhari)
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