In today’s increasingly globalising world, man has set foot on the moon, sent satellites far and beyond Pluto, invented faster and easiermeans of communication. However, we have also seen that the rise in mistrust between people, corruption, theft, immorality, terrorism, poverty, cheating, and financial instability has crossed all limits. All man-made laws such as communism, capitalism and many other “isms” have finally failed to solve these problems.
Naturally this means mankind needs a way of life, a way of living which is regulated by such laws as are free from all human defects, which solve their problems and bring real peace and prosperity in their lives.
Such laws can only be designed and provided by the Creator and Sustainer of mankind as He knows His creation well and He is devoid of all defects and weaknesses associated with human beings.
Allah the Exalted has not only created us and provided sustenance to live on this planet but also provided us with the guidance needed to lead our life successfully both in this world and in the Hereafter. This guidance was sent to mankind through His messengers and books in every nation on this planet but with the passage of time that guidance was either lost or corrupted.
The Holy Qur’ān, which is the last book of Allah revealed to the last Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him), is now the only authentic book of His guidance available to human beings as it is still intact in its original form in which it was revealed 1400 years ago. The Holy Qur’ān says that Al-Deen (the way of life) in the eyes of Allah is “Islam” which means submission to the Will of Allah, and also means peace, i.e. peace can be established only through submitting to the laws of Allah. The core foundation of Islam is based on the belief in the Oneness of God, belief in His Prophets (and books revealed to them) and the accountability in the life after death.
This book not only offers solution to all the problems ranging from corruption to cheating, from theft to poverty, etc. but also reforms the entire life of man and makes him a responsible, pious man.
Laws alone, howsoever good, cannot solve the problems if a man does not want to change himself from within and abide by the laws and has the fear that a Day will come when he will be held responsible and accountable for all his deeds in front of the Almighty Allah, who has the complete record of his covert and overt deeds, and will be rewarded or punished according to his good or bad deeds on the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter.
When the Islamic laws (Shari’ah) were implemented in true spirit during the rule of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs (Khulfa-e-Rashideen), they completely reformed the most barbaric Arabs into the most civilized society. For example, corruption is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today; politicians, in their lust for money, generally siphon off the public exchequer to fulfil their own personal needs. However public exchequer used to be trust of God during the times of Khulfa-e-Rashideen. The caliphs of Islam Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) went hungry, without donning good clothes, without the lap of luxury. But they did not take even a single pie from the public treasury without any justification.
At the time of his death Caliph Umar was in debt and he willed that his house should be sold to settle the debt. This is another example that shows the simple life led by the Khulfa-e-Rashideen. In spite of being rulers of a vast empire they had to settle their own debts.
All the Khulfa-e-Rashideen strictly followed the Qur’ānic teachings (2:188): “And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.”
Another problem facing mankind today is terrorism. We often see that governments try to stop it by force or power. And again Allah the Exalted has offered solution to this problem. In Surah Maidah verse 8 Allah says: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.” Here Allah offers the solution to terrorism. He asks in this ayah to go to the root cause of it viz. Injustice. Most of the time we see that people rebel because their country or community is facing gross injustices. This results in fighting against those who do injustice against them. This happens to be with their rulers. But this verse means to say that people will not rebel if you show equality and justice to all.
Another problem which needs to be addressed is financial instability and poverty in today’s world. We find that the rich are becoming richer while the poor becoming poorer and are increasing in number. The reason is that the rich are not giving enough money and support to the poor out of what Allah has given them.
Yet again Allah offers solution in making Zakat compulsory for each and every Muslim who has the rich enough to pay it. If each and every rich person gives his/her charity to the poor then the world will be free from hunger and poverty. Its importance can be gauged with the fact that it is mentioned no less than 50 times in the Qur’ān and is one of the five pillars of Islam.
To further eradicate poverty Islam also shows another interest-free living for the poor, giving small amounts of loans to the poor to lead a better life. This system is known as micro financing. For example, Mohammad Yusuf won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his role in introducing micro financing. This is also one of the many things that the Qur’ān has shown to eradicate poverty.
Islam also prohibits interest-based banking because it also results in rising number of people having debts and their inability to pay it back.
Allah says in the Qur’ān in Surah Nisa Verse 161: “And [for] their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth unjustly. And we have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.” In Islamic banking system interest-free loan is the most important aspect.In this modern world we see that interest has led many companies to bankruptcy which has sent many individuals to jail or rendered companies closed down.
The Qur’ān has also succeeded in changing the hearts of many people. One example can be given is that of Abu Zar Ghafari about whom it is said that mothers used to scare their children by telling stories of his robberies. He was one of the most lethal robbers of his time but when he heard the verses of the Holy Qur’ān he became such a sincere and devout Muslim that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said if one wants to see a pious person among my Ummah then he has to see Abu Zar Ghafari. What do you think made a highway robber change into a devout Muslim? It was of course the heart-changing verses of the Qur’ān!
To enjoy peace and justice and to eradicate corruption and poverty the world should turn towards the Qur’ān which is the ultimate solution to mankind.