|THE QUR’ANIC VIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE SOCIETY|
|Published by tislam|
|Sunday, 23 October 2011 13:13|
Dr. MUHAMMAD FAZL-UR-RAHMAN ANSARI
1. The mission of the Qur’an in respect of both the Individual and the Society is vehemently Integralistic—the principle of Integralism being grounded in the concept of Unity (tawhid), and expressing itself in the balanced and harmonious realization of the basic values of Piety, Truth, Justice, Wisdom, Love, Beauty and Selflessness.
2. The Ideational religious approach to human life may either be: (1) ritualistic, or (2) mystical. The ritualistic approach leads to barren Formalism, or Externalism, which brings into play juristic hairsplitting and bigotry even in purely devotional matters. Often falling victim to the cruel disease of ‘piety-complex’, the adherents of this approach present the picture of a soldier who has acquired only a uniform but no soldierly training. The mystical approach leads to inertia, or to superstitions, or both. As opposed to both of those approaches, the Qur’anic approach is Integralistic, i.e., directed to the build-up of an integrated life, which is fundamentally ethico-religious in character. ‘Fundamentally ethico-religious’ means that the Qur’an has emphasized the simultaneous pursuit of both Religion and Morality. Indeed, religiosity without regard for the moral refinement and development emerges in the Qur’anic view as nothing less than an opiate, because the very concept of ‘godliness’ loses all meaning without the active pursuit of the highest Morality.
3. The mission of a Muslim is: To build up his own personality, his social environment, and the world in general, as good; and, for that purpose, to equip himself to possible heights of perfection in respect of, and to cooperate with others in the pursuit of, all healthy and constructive human activities.
4. The external make-up of an Islamic personality is fundamentally grounded in natural grace, because the Qur’an has ordained no sophistications.
5. Religious persons of a particular type feel that they should attach practically all importance to the Law of Grace, and much less or no importance to the Natural Law. No doubt, both of those Laws are operative, under the Divine Plan, in the universe and in the lives of human beings. But, the Holy Qur’an demands that a Muslim should function in life with as much regard for the Natural Law as the wisest Materialist, because God Himself has made the function of the Natural Law as fundamental, and that of the Law of Grace as supererogatory.
6. The adoption of the atheistic mechanistic view of the universe and Man is advocated by its adherents as the only and necessary condition for Scientific progress. That is, however, fallacious; because the Qur’anic concept of the ‘Reign of Law’ also ensures it in the same measure, and without damage to the spiritual and moral values.
7. The Qur’an rules out the exploitation of man by man in all forms, whether in the social sphere in respect of the economic and the political matters, or in the sphere of Religion in respect of certain so-called religious practices whereby superstitions are traded in as a commodity. Similarly, it is firmly opposed to all forms of tyranny.
8. Wealthy-ness has been very often wedded to wickedness, and the Holy Qur’an has condemned it in that perspective time and again.
9. Hence, while Islam permits private enterprise in business and industry, its permission is not unqualified. Because, it permits only controlled freedom in respect of both earning and spending one’s wealth, whereby the emergence of both Monopoly Capitalism and its child, the luxurious and aristocratic living, are ruled out, and the possessors of surplus wealth are stopped from adopting the cult of indulgence in ‘wealth, wine, and woman’, while the Islamic society as a whole shoulders the responsibility of the provision of basic needs of life to all with dignity.
10. We may sum up the Qur’anic standpoint in respect of Muslim society by saying in negative terms that, with all the practice of religious rituals, the Muslim society loses a vital part of its Islamic character if;
- any form of exploitation and tyranny is practised, and economic and political justice is not comprehensively enforced;
- the highest moral Idealism is not made the very lifeblood of the social order and the basic pursuit of the individuals;
- the mission of the conquest of Nature is forsaken,—a mission that necessitates the pursuit of Empirical Knowledge and Technology at the highest level.