By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
3 November 2021
Reforming Social Evils Is the responsibility of Every Individual in a Society.
1. The Issue Is That No One Wants To Work Hard To Make Society A Better Place.
2. Every individual is likely to feel obligated to criticise society, but he or she fails to see that he or she is a member of that society.
3. Believing and Acting On Any News without First Verifying It.
4. Conflict Resolution between Warring Factions.
5. Calling Each Other Names That Are Derogatory.
6. Suspicions and Negative Thoughts about Others.
7. We must follow the social rules outlined in the Quran and Hadith.
8. One must first cultivate a spirit of obedience and commitment to God inside oneself.
As we can see, our society is in a state of turmoil. The ills of lie, deception, corruption, murder, robbery, intolerance and violence have all become threats to our society. And it is because of them that our country and society are in trouble.
This is a depressing truth that we as a society are well aware of, which is why we regularly hear terms like “society has gone bad” in our daily lives; yet, the problem is that no one wants to work hard to make society a better place. One of the primary reasons for this is because a large percentage of the public is either uninformed of or uninterested in reality. As a result, it is vital to comprehend the social reality.
Society is essentially a group of individuals. The term "society as a whole" refers to the collective of individuals who dwell in any given location. It's as if the collective noun for people is society. In this way, when a society is made up of individuals, its reformation is reliant on individual reformation. As a result, individual transformation is essential for the advancement of society. However, every individual is likely to feel obligated to criticise society, but he or she fails to see that he or she is a member of that society and that it is his responsibility to contribute individually and collectively to the good of society.
For the benefit of society, it is also necessary to be familiar with the social rules and issues addressed in Islam. Various social principles and issues are found in the Qur'an and Hadith. It's difficult to cover all of them here. However, some extremely essential social rules are mentioned together in Surah Al-Hujurat of the Holy Qur'an, and this Surah is of exceptional importance on this occasion. These regulations are outlined shortly below.
Believing and Acting On Any News without First Verifying It
This is a very harmful societal blight that is all too frequent in today's culture. What happens is that the news is taken as fact without question, and practical action is taken as a result. The report is later shown to be inaccurate and incorrect, but the arrow had already flown out of the bow. That's why there's a sense of remorse. As a result, whenever there is any news or gossip about someone, it is a social responsibility to thoroughly investigate it before believing it and acting on it.
Allah Almighty says:
“O those who believe, if a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness, lest you harm a people out of ignorance then become remorseful on what you did” (49:6)
This verse indicates ‘Do not rush into actions or measures; be solid and steadfast in your position; and do not be easily moved or shaken. Wait until other independent sources validate the news or information.’
Conflict Resolution between Warring Factions
It is common for people living in a society to have disagreements and disputes. In such a case, the rest of the people have a social responsibility to put an end to their disagreements and conflict by reconciling them with fairness and justice, rather than simply watching a display. If one of the parties oppresses the other, the oppressed must be supported until the oppressor ceases to oppress them.
Making Fun of People
This is a deplorable form of social behaviour that must be avoided at all costs. In actuality, Islam places high importance on a person's self-esteem, and any act that undermines one's self-esteem is prohibited. Making fun of someone's self-esteem is obviously detrimental and a major social faux; hence this behaviour must be avoided. Men and women have been separately instructed by Allah Almighty to refrain from this immoral behaviour.
Sneering is strictly forbidden. Harassment and mocking of one another over varied and age-old issues are normal in our culture; nonetheless, it must be avoided.
Calling Each Other Names That Are Derogatory
People living in a society calling and remembering each other with nasty names and nicknames are actually toying with each other’s self-esteem, and this behaviour is also against the relationship of respect and esteem that people in a society must have among them, thus it is prohibited. Islam teaches that people should address each other by their proper names and titles.
Suspicions and Negative Thoughts About Others
Man’s behaviours are heavily influenced by his thoughts. Every action and decision a person makes in his life is based on his thinking, because man makes decisions with his mind and heart before acting with his body and limbs, so appropriate human thinking is essential. Never thinking negatively is one of the most important and essential aspects of proper thinking. Instead, one should always think positively.
Negative thinking is more likely to have negative repercussions. Whatever decision you make in your life, whatever practical action you take, whether it is related to yourself or others, it should not be founded on negative thinking. Because the Islamic religion condemns the cultivation of negative ideas and suspicions about people for no reason, it is important to prevent it.
People in a society are not allowed to pursue each other’s inferiority complexes or vices. It also shatters the trust link, which is harmful to society. Every human being should examine his or her own flaws and misdeeds and consider how to remedy them.
Backbiting is the term used to indicate the evil done behind another Muslim's back. This is strictly forbidden in Islam. In the same Surah of the Holy Qur'an, Allah Almighty compares this behaviour to consuming the flesh of another dead Muslim. The Holy Prophet has declared it a sin worse than adultery. Unfortunately, our society's members have become so infected with this disease that its depravity has been washed from their hearts. This is a great moment to reflect and think about how to prevent this horrific crime.
This is an important social precept stated at the end of this Surah, as well as a simple formula for avoiding the societal evils outlined previously. In fact, one of the main reasons why someone backbites, slanders, blasphemes, makes fun of others and remembers them with terrible titles is because he believes he is superior to others. After outlining all of the social ills, equality was taught at the end of the Surah, stating that all human beings are descendants of Adam and Eve (peace be upon them). There is just one criterion of virtue and merits, which is Taqwa, or the fear of Allah.
Allah Almighty has given some of the most important social commandments for His followers in this Surah. Discord and strife are two of today's major societal evils. Hatred, conflicts, and fights are prevalent among persons linked by any means and relationship, including marriage, kinship, employer-employee relationships, business relationships, and so on. Disagreements and disputes between the parties involved are prevalent in all of these relationships, which is why they end sooner or later, and even if they don't, the element of love and devotion goes missing.
When we examine the causes and reasons behind it, we can see that the major and most important factor is a shift away from decent social norms. As a result, if we wish to reform society, put an end to battles, and see peace, love, calm, and happiness in it, we must follow the social rules outlined in the Qur'an and Hadith. Every citizen in society must bear this obligation.
Finally, in order to address these social evils, I believe one must first cultivate a spirit of obedience and commitment to God inside oneself. Our Nafs has become accustomed to obtaining a reward for every good conduct while living in this material realm. Why not? Allah Almighty has promised a reward for each of the servants' deeds. Whoever performs good deeds will be rewarded, and whoever performs wicked deeds will be punished. Some servants make the aim of doing good deeds and avoid evils solely for the sake of pleasing their Lord Allah Almighty. We must educate our hearts and thoughts by this divine decision that if we keep away from social ills, our Lord would be delighted, and if we do not stay away from social evils, we must remember that there is a life after death in which we will have to answer to God Almighty. Then, if our actions are harmful, we shall be punished—a conviction that must be a part of our firm faith and a source of inspiration for addressing social problems, beginning with ourselves.
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is a Classical Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
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