Friday 21st Nov 2014
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Mohammad's Message and Human Relations

Cover Story

, by JAMIL FAROOQUI

The modern world is characterised by industrial development, technological advancement and mechanical sophistication. Scientists, day in and day out, are actively engaged in developing better techniques and tools to satisfy growing human needs in the most comfortable way. They, beyond any shadow of doubt, have succeeded in their attempts and provided maximum material benefit for humanity. The credit for all these developments goes to science and its method, particularly to the natural sciences that are considered a great benefactor of humanity.

Natural sciences are concerned with what exists, how it works, what it is composed of and what principles govern the working of an object. They neglect the ontological and axiological aspects of the phenomenal world because their main thrust is to provide maximum physical pleasure and material comfort for humanity.

As a matter of fact, their domain of study is limited to the material world and to the development of tools and techniques to satisfy human urges in the best possible way. These technologies are also used to produce weapons of mass destruction, and consequently destroy the beauty of the planet, its greenery and resources as well as human beings. Thus, the ecological system is damaged and this creates an imbalance in the cosmic order. The more science develops, the more destructive weapons are made. Now humanity is on the verge of disaster and destruction which it has never been in history. It can be turned into ashes in the wink of an eye. However, humans are proud of their achievements and consider that the modern world order is beneficial to them and enables them to live in peace and harmony and make this earth worth living in. The tragedy is that, in spite of these developments and achievements, there is no end to human suffering. Human agony is increasing day by day. A vast majority of people are deprived of an adequate means of livelihood. Those who have wealth and power exploit the poor and downtrodden and force them to work for the dominant ones. The poor are deprived of their due share in the privileges of society. They are unable to lead a dignified life. They are at the mercy of the dominant group 

Humans, in order to have a comfortable material life, can go to any extreme. They do not hesitate even to snatch the loaf of bread from the mouth of others, deprive others of their fundamental right of existence and squeeze their life span. They are thirsty for the blood of others. Those who have wealth and power also do not have peace of mind because their days and nights are spent planning and thinking about having more and more. They always fear losing their wealth and power. As such, they develop such ideologies and enact such laws that can secure their position and get them maximum benefit but all are in vain as when the time comes these strategies become the cause of their own destruction. The reason for all these debacles is that humans have a false perception of the world and of their lives. They think that only material gain can provide them comfort, only the satisfaction of their needs and gratification of their urges can give them peace of mind and only the acquisition of wealth and power can give them contentment. The more humans chase these things, the more they crush and destroy humanity, widen the magnitude of their desires and aspirations and grope in the darkness. Science has failed miserably to establish a just and equitable human collectivity where human beings can breathe in a free and fair environment, live in peace and harmony, share the privileges of society with weak, poor, and downtrodden people, consider all human beings as their kith and kin, take into consideration the needs and problems of others, and follow the principle of ‘live and let live’. It has failed to restrain human desires and aspirations in developing alarming magnitude, to restrict human hands from shedding the blood of innocent persons, to refine human taste and opinion to live amicably with others and to give them contentment and solace of mind and soul.

The message of Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) comes for the rescue of human beings particularly of modern humans who always pay heed to their bodily urges and appetites to get physical pleasure, material gain, and to satisfy their egos. They contaminate their conscience, curb their inner voice and neglect their calling only for momentary pleasure at the cost of enduring peace and solace. In this process, they go to any lengths, even to destroy the very fabric of human relations, create havoc in this world but also lose peace, tranquillity, solace and the charm of their precious lives. The Prophet (may Allah bless and greet him), first of all, taught humans to live in this world in a refined and dignified way, activate humane qualities, treat all humans as equal and give them all rights and privileges which they want for themselves. This is only possible when one purifies one’s conscience, acts on its calling, establishes one’s relation with the Creator, enlightens one’s mind and soul by His light and guidance and proceeds on the path of righteousness.

The Prophet (may Allah bless and greet him) gave humanity a comprehensive and potential system of life that not only enjoins certain practices of worship but also encompasses the whole life of human beings. It covers all aspects of human life and motivates humans to adopt a just, balanced, and rational view of the universe in consonance of their nature and to lead life not for the benefit of themselves but also for the benefit of their brethren. The system of life which the Prophet enunciated was most beneficial to humanity, to other living beings and to the entire universe because it preaches justice to all objects living and non-living beings and tells us not to harm and destroy them. It is most appropriate to human life and best suited to the nature of human beings because it subjects human beings to certain moral and ethical principles and restricts them from committing any atrocity and going beyond their limits. The Qur’an clearly declares its efficacy: “So set thou thy face steady and truly to the Faith (establish) Allah’s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: No change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard religion: But most among mankind understand not” (30:30).

Human existence is the manifestation of God’s attributes and gets strength from Him. It is, thus, rooted and embedded in His being. If it is spent according to His will and commandments, it will be worthwhile because it strengthens the relation of humans with their Creator. Otherwise, they will be enmeshed in the network created by their own ambitions and desires and they will be the victims of their own false perception and understanding of reality. The system revealed by Him for the guidance of humanity, practised and implemented by the Prophet is the only right and appropriate way to live in this world. It activates human potentiality, acquaints humans with high virtues, purifies their body and soul and enables them to fulfil the purpose of their creation.

The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) harmonised human relations and gave them a new dimension and new strength. He impressed upon humanity that relations of humans with their fellow beings should be based on the relation between them and their Lord. Human relations in modern world are based on ‘give and take’, domination and subjugation as well as on super-ordination and subordination. This is the reason that those who are in privileged positions always exploit the unprivileged ones, suppress them and take advantage of their weakness. Islam strictly prohibits this tendency and instructs humans to base their relations with their fellow beings on justice, good and liberality. It condemns those who take advantage of others’ weakness and deprive them of their genuine rights due to their weak position. The Qur’an explains: Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition (16:90).

Humans should be compassionate and sympathetic to others. They should understand the problems of others and help them in solving their difficulties. Humans should differentiate between goodness and evil and try to remove evils, but in a better way and not in an undesirable way. It is said, “Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate” (41: 34).

The same principles should be applied to human relations with other living beings as well as to inanimate objects. Intergroup, intercommunity and international relations should also be based on these principles. Powerful groups and nations force poor and the weak to enter treaties and agreements at the cost of benefit to the poor. This is a condemnable act and not permissible in Islam. It should be based on justice and compassion rather than on getting superiority and domination. Islam does not allow individuals and groups to form alliances to gain advantage over others. All this is possible when a person comprehends Allah, the Absolute Reality, His suzerainty and unconditionally surrender to His will. His operation in this world is in accordance with the commandments of the Lord and his priority is only to seek His pleasure. The entire life of such persons is spent in the adoration of Allah and strengthening their relations with Him. They shape their lives firmly and steadfastly on the principles of Truth and Reality. They always establish their relations with others in the way and for the purpose their Lord commands. They are the persons who exercise patience and restraint, and in the Qur’anic language they are “persons of the greatest good fortune”. The Qur’an exhorts: “Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness and says, “I am of those who bow in Islam” (41:33).

The message of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) instilled virtues among humans, enabled them to adopt righteousness, to dedicate their lives in the service of their Lord as well as in implementing His system on the earth. They established peace and harmony, manifested compassion and kindness towards their brethren, and invited them to join hands in making this world worth living in. The significant attribute of such persons was that they understood the value and importance of virtues and righteousness and the covenant of Allah and did not sacrifice them for momentary physical pleasure. For such persons the Qur’an says: “Nor sell the Covenant of Allah for a miserable price: for which Allah is (a price) far better for you, if you only know (16:95).

Human relations, if established for personal gain, obtaining superiority, dominating others, humiliating others and taking advantage of others’ weakness, create conflict and tension and destroy the bases of humanity. This is the tendency of animality that can be restrained and transformed if one activates humane qualities, strengthens one’s relations with the Creator and leads life according to His instructions. This is the crux of the Prophet’s (may Allah bless and greet him) mission and message.



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