Islam: The Qur'nic Overview

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Section III

Relationship with Fellow Creatures

 

* All these human endeavors along the path of Allah mentioned under numbers 6-14 above contain certain noble values which are included among the Qur'n's key concepts. Some of these are mentioned in the four pillars in the diagram on the inside cover for Relationship with Fellow Creatures because these are absolutely essential for human happiness, peace, progress and prosperity.

* This relationship exists in this mighty Universe for Allah has appointed human beings as his vicegerents and all other things in the Universe have been subjugated for their service.

17 (a) al-Taqw, Allah Consciousness:

  • It is the essence of worship.
  • It is one of the most important concepts of the Qur'n.
  • It is the net result of penetration of Faith in the heart. It is an inner voice for the Truth.
  • It enables a person to act according to the precepts of Shar'ah.
  • It is a true consciousness of Allah which creates awareness of accountability. It is an attitude of mind (2: 177; 3: 133; 51: 15; 5: 8; 2: 237; 3: 76; 7: 26; 49: 13; 8: 29; 10: 62-63; 16: 128).

(b) al-Tawakkul, Trust in Allah:

  • It is the practice of all Prophets and righteous souls.
  • It helps a person in his/her endeavors of life. A person is closely associated with Allah at times of ease as well as times of difficulty.
  • It is an ornament of Faith which provides extra strength, courage and determination when these are required in life (11: 88; 10: 85; 3: 122, 160; 5: 11; 8: 49; 9: 51; 65: 3; 3: 159).

(c) al-Sabr, Patience/Perseverance:

Patience is the practice of the Prophets and it is one of the keys for their success in their mission. A person witnesses many calamities in life. It is calm endurance which enables a person to accept all life's challenges with fortitude and courage. Allah is with steadfast, patient persons (2: 45, 153; 46: 35; 6: 34; 42: 43; 16: 96; 32: 24; 12: 90; 3: 200; 33: 35).

18 (a) al-Ihsn, Godliness/Kindness:

The hard core of al-Ihsn is the love of Allah. It incorporates faithfulness, sacrifice and forgiveness and its ultimate aim is Allah's pleasure. "Allah commands justice, the doing of good and the giving to kith and kin. And He forbids all indecent deeds, and evil and rebellion..." (16: 90).

(2: 177; 4: 36; 3: 134; 2: 83; 4: 125; 16: 128; 2: 195; 5: 93; 7: 56; 9: 120.)

(b) al-Salm, Peace:

al-Salm is one of the many attributes of Allah. It means peace.

  • The spread of that peace is for His pleasure alone.
  • Peace with oneself, peace with fellow human beings and other creatures.
  • Peace in Paradise (5: 16; 13: 24; 15: 46; 89: 28).

(c) al-Shukr, Thanksgiving:

"And when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks, I will give you more..." (14: 7). Nobody can count the favors of Allah. It is essential to remain thankful to Allah and spread thanks among one's fellow human beings (2: 152, 172; 39: 7; 5: 89; 16: 78; 29: 17; 4: 147).

 

19 (a) al-'Adl, Justice:

  • It is a Divine command.
  • It is a noble value which is much needed in all affairs of life. Its scale is the Divine knowledge which discerns virtues from vices, and truth from falsehood. Faith and the concepts of accountability grant al-'Adl an extra strength.
  • A person is required to deal justly with himself/herself and with other fellow creatures without any discrimination:
       "O you who believe! Be you staunch in justice, witness for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer to both (than you are). So follow not passion lest you lapse (from truth) and if you lapse or fall away, then surely Allah is ever informed of what you do" (4: 135).

(5: 8; 7: 29; 42: 15; 16: 90; 57: 25.)

(b) al-Musw, Equality:

All human beings are equal in the sight of Allah. It is al-Taqw, Allah consciousness which grants excellence to one person over another. As for differences in race, color, language and nationality, the Qur'n maintains, these are merely for recognition and not for division, discrimination and superiority (2: 213; 4: 1; 10: 19; 39: 6; 49: 13).

(c) al-Ukhuwwah, Brotherhood:

The bond of Islam can unite strangers into a brotherhood stronger than that of blood relations.
Brotherhood is one of the great blessings of Allah through which two hearts are reconciled and, according to the Qur'n, it cannot be attained without His grace even if whatever exists in the world will be spent (8: 63).
With this noble relationship two aliens can be united like the teeth of a comb. It creates mutual love, a spirit of cooperation, sharing, sacrifice, understanding and tolerance (49: 10; 3: 103; 33:5).

 

20 (a) al-Mawaddah, Love:

"Those who believe are staunch in their love for Allah" (2: 165). One of the names of Allah is al-Wadd, the Loving. Faith and righteous deeds earn Divine love. A person who loves Allah also loves Allah's creatures which is an effective means for peace and tranquility (11: 90; 85: 14; 19: 96; 3: 31, 159; 5: 34).

(b) al-Rahmah, Mercy:

Divine benevolence is one of the key concepts of the Qur'n. With Divine mercy all things in this mighty Universe exist. It is a clear sign of success, prosperity and happiness which strengthens relationships with fellow creatures (6: 133; 4: 175; 7: 56; 15: 56; 18: 58; 39: 53; 7: 156; 12: 64).

(c) al-'Afw, Forgiveness:

Overlooking the faults of a fellow Muslim and pardoning his/her mistake is a Divine quality which Muslims seek to emulate.

"Certainly! Your Lord is rich in pardon for mankind despite their wrongs" (13: 6).

"Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Certainly! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful" (39: 53).

The practice of this attribute of Allah makes a person kind, sympathetic, considerate, polite and far-sighted. (3: 135; 4: 48; 24: 22; 2: 286; 7: 155; 66: 8; 4: 110; 5: 74; 110: 3; 73: 20)

21 The Social Life:

The key elements:

The best course in all affairs of life is the moderate course.
 
A balance between material and spiritual life is essential (2: 143; 17: 29; 25: 67).
 
All members of the society locally and internationally are tied strongly with the bond of brotherhood.
 
They work jointly for establishment of al-ma'rf, virtuous conduct, and jointly reject and annihilate al-munkar, the forbidden acts (3: 104, 110, 114; 22: 41; 31: 17).
 
The family institution plays a decisive role in a Muslim Society. It is like a rose in which all the petals are healthy and united, extending their support to each other for the increase of elegance, charm and beauty. Islam encourages the extended family system.
 
The fabric of the society is woven by the Divine law. The rights and obligations of each member of the society are assigned by Divine sanction, on the basis of justice, equity, harmony and natural requirements which guarantees prosperity, happiness, peace and tranquility.

22 The Economic Life:

The key elements:

Wealth and resources, like other bounties of Allah, are the trust of Allah and a wealthy person is only a trustee (24: 33; 2: 284; 3: 109; 4: 126; 4: 29).
 
Private ownership is permitted as long as there is no exploitation, injustice and overall disadvantage to the Ummah, the community.
 
A man earns his livelihood through lawful means with sincerity and honesty and spends his wealth only in lawful ventures through moderate means. (2: 168; 5: 88; 7: 31, 32; 2: 188; 11: 85; 17: 35; 83: 1).
 
The payment of Zakh on accumulated wealth encourages investment which is used for the benefit of the entire Ummah. In this way jobs are created and services provided.
 
al-Infq, the circulation of wealth, should be done by the trustee among the less privileged members of the society both in cash and kind for the pleasure of Allah only, without expecting gratitude or even thanks (76: 9; 2: 261-262; 63: 9; 2: 215; 59: 7; 9: 103; 6: 141; 2: 267, 274, 275; 57: 18).
 
Isrf and Tabzr (excesses, waste, squandering) are completely discouraged.
 
Hoarding gold and silver is vehemently condemned as punishable in the life Hereafter if these are not spent in the way of Allah according to the Shar'ah (102: 1-2; 70: 18; 3: 14; 9: 34-35).
 
After death, the deceased's wealth is apportioned by Divine decree to specific heirs (4: 7-8, 11, 12, 176).
 
Interest is blighted. It is not equated with trade and is considered as devouring people's wealth by false pretences. Whatever is gained by means of interest is not regarded as an increase in prosperity in the sight of Allah. In every deal involving interest, two wrongs are committed. In the case of loss, the lender commits an excess upon the borrower, whereas in the case of gain the borrower usurps the share of the lender. It is in this context that the Qur'n declares: "Wrong not and you shall not be wronged" (2: 275-6, 278-9; 30: 39).

 

23 The Political Life:

The key elements:

Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone (2: 107; 25: 2; 18: 26; 57: 5; 59: 23; 3: 26; 7: 128).
 
Supremacy of the Shar'ah (law derived from the Qur'n and the Sunnah). All citizens including the head of state come under the jurisdiction of Divine law (39: 2, 10-11; 45: 18; 5: 4447; 4: 80, 115; 59: 7; 33: 36; 4: 59).
 
All affairs of state should be conducted with Shr, consultation (42: 38).
 
Citizens have the right to complain against any contravention of the Shar'ah and to offer advice.
 
The Judiciary remains independent.
 
Bayt al-Ml, the public treasury, is the trust of Allah.
The state establishes and promotes al-'ibdt worship and al-mu'malt (public dealing) and adopts such policies as will promote righteous life and peace (22: 41).
 
The human rights of all citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims, should be protected (2: 188; 6: 108; 29: 46; 51: 19; 2: 256).

24 al-'Ilm, Knowledge:

  • Those who have knowledge hold high rank, (58: 11). They recognize Allah (35: 28).
  • The Qur'n, over and over again, encourages acquisition of knowledge through experimentation, observation and exploration of the hidden forces of nature (35: 44; 36: 33-40; 7: 179; 8: 22; 24: 43; 3: 137; 10: 101; 30: 50; 88: 17-20; 2: 164, 219; 3: 190; 5: 75; 10: 6; 45: 4; 31: 20; 45: 13).
  • Revealed knowledge is acquired from the Revelation (the Qur'n) and the Prophet (his Sunnah).
  • The Qur'n discourages blind following, compulsion, whims and conjecture (5: 104; 4: 135; 10: 36; 20: 69; 2: 102).
  • "Acquisition of knowledge is obligatory on all Muslims, male and female" (Hadth).
  • 'Ilm (knowledge) has been applied in Islam to encompass the totality of life - the spiritual, intellectual, religious, cultural, individual and social - and means that its character is universal and that it is necessary to guide man to his salvation. (Naqib al-Attas).
  • Muslims have made immense contributions in the fields of cosmology, cosmography, geography, natural history, physics, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, alchemy, philosophy, art, architecture and law.

 

25 al-Hadrah, Civilization:

Glimpses of Muslims' Contribution to Civilization:

Muslim physicians practiced and developed psychotherapy, introduced therapeutic methods and contributed research works on smallpox and measles.
 
They produced materia medica and established, as a result of extensive research, the properties of scores of drugs. They distinguished mediastinitis from pleurisy; recognized the contagious nature of diseases and the spreading of diseases by water and soil; pointed out the existence of capillaries and discussed animal psychology and physiology.
 
Muslims established the first apothecary shop, produced the first pharmacopocia and used chemistry for medical purposes.
 
Muslims constructed magnificent, well-organized and equipped hospitals, unrivalled in the world, whose doors were open for all human beings without discrimination. Some of these hospitals were used as teaching hospitals for medical students.
 
They discovered the principles of inertia and in experimental physics they used hydrostatic balance and discussed the phenomena of the expansion of flat surfaces. They transformed the study of optics, provided for the first time details of the eyeball, discovered the reflection of light in the anatomy of the eye and the formation of the image on the retina.
 
Muslims introduced three chief acids: nitric, sulphuric and hydrochloric. They discovered the arts of distillation, oxidization and crystallization. They classified substances into mineral, vegetable and animal origin.
 
Muslims introduced, on the basis of Indian digits, Arab numerals and discovered decimal fractions.
 
They invented Logarithms and Algebra. Algebra is derived from an Arabic word, al-jabr, which means binding together.
 
Muslims revived the science of trigonometry and discovered the law of sines and cosines.
 
Muslims related geometry to algebra and sought geometric solutions for algebraic problems.
 
Muslim geographers contributed works on physical, mathematical, topographical, regional, human, historical, descriptive and specific geography.
 
They established, correctly, the circumference of the earth and measured accurately the terrestrial degrees. They devised tables of latitudes and longitudes for places throughout the world.
 
They considered the earth to be spherical in shape, divided into two equal parts by the equator, and having a circumference of 360 degrees, with 90 degrees from the equator to each pole.
 
They made a detailed study of solar and lunar eclipses.
 
Muslims introduced to the West rice, sugar cane, cotton, ginger, saffron, spinach, flax, sesame and a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and perfumes.
 
Muslims' monumental buildings and beautiful gardens attract thousands of people the world over.
 
Islam does not admit the neglect of anything essential for the all-round elevation of humanity at large. Islam depends and grows on those truths, beliefs, aims, objects, words and deeds which are concerned with the external and internal training of man who is born to work as a faithful representative of Allah on earth.

 

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