Issue 136 » September 21, 2001 -
The Bee (16) - Ayah 90
"Verily Allah commands justice ('adl), and doing good (ihsan), and giving to kith and kin,
and He forbids all indecent deeds and evil and rebellion:
He admonishes you so that you may heed."
Justice is a comprehensive term, and may include all the virtues of cold philosophy. But religion asks for something warmer and more human: the doing of good deeds even where perhaps they are not strictly demanded by justice, such as returning good for ill. Similarly the opposites are to be avoided; everything that is recognized as shameful and unjust, and any inward rebellion against God's laws. Therefore, in Islam there is no concept of justice without mercy, and vice versa.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his teachings and his remarkable character are like a spring of pure water in the heart of a desert, or like a source of light in the darkness enveloping the universe. Whoever appeals to this spring can take as much water as to quench his thirst and is purified of all the dirt and pollution, spiritual or intellectual, and illumined with the light of belief.
God's Messenger preached Islam, a state of surrender to God through peace. Despite this, some so-called 'champions of humanism' accuse Islam of being a 'religion of sword'. They seem to wail over an animal killed in certain part of the world, but they do not even bat an eyelid when human beings are massacred on regular basis. Their world is built on personal interests. It should be pointed out that the abuse of the feeling of compassion is as harmful and sometimes more dangerous than being devoid of compassion altogether. And this abuse of compassion very often leads of injustice.
It is interesting to note a saying of the Prophet (pbuh): "Help your brother whether he be oppressed or oppressor." The Companions asked, "How can we help our brother who is an oppressor?" He replied, "You help him by preventing him from doing injustice." Therefore, justice and doing righteousness requires that those who take pleasure in poisoning like a snake, should either be deprived of their poison or prevented from the act of poisoning.
[compiled from "Prophet Muhammad as a Commander" by Shk. Fethullah Gullen, pp. 2-3, and "The Holy Quran" by Abdullah Yusuf Ali]
GLIMPSES OF THE PROPHET'S SEERAH
The Prophet on War
Once when the Prophet (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was facing the enemy and waiting for the setting of the sun, he stood up and addressed the people saying:
"O People! Do NOT desire a combat with the enemy, but pray to Allah for safety. But when you are face to face with the enemy, be steadfast and remember that Paradise lies under the shadow of swords!" Then he supplicated: "O Allah! Revealer of the Book, Driver of the clouds, Vanquisher of hosts, destroy them and help us over them." [Bukhari]
At the same time, the Messenger of Allah clearly warned us:
"When two MUSLIMS combat each other with the sword, the killed and the killer BOTH are doomed to Hell!" A companion asked why the one who was killed suffers the same fate as the killer and the Prophet replied: "Because one longed (intended) to murder the other." [Agreed Upon]
[This section is not meant to justify the actions of any person or group but as a thought-provoking reminder of the perfectly balanced and just concept of war in Islam - in the Prophet's own words.]
EXCERPTS FROM ISLAMIC LITERATURE
"Brothers! You call yourselves Muslims and it is your conviction that Allah showers His blessing on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if Allah's blessing is descending on you? Whatever will happen in the Hereafter will be seen by you afterwards, but have a look at your condition in this world...
"You are [millions] in this land. You are in such great number that if each of you were to throw a pebble it will become a mountain. But where there are so many Muslims, the government is in the hands of unbelievers! Your necks are in their grip to turn you whichever side they like; your head which did not bow before anybody except Allah is now bowed before human beings. Your honour which no one dared to touch is now being besmeared with dust. Your hand which was always above is now lowered and is stretched before a Kafir. Ignorance, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to disgrace everywhere.
"Is this the blessing of Allah? If this is not blessing but obvious wrath, then how strange it is that these are Muslims and yet on them descends the Wrath of God! These are Muslims and are yet in slavery! This situation appears to be an impossibility just as it is impossible for an object to be both white and black.
"Since a Muslim is the beloved of God, how can he or she be disgraced in this world? Is your God (may Allah forbid) an oppressor that while you, on your part, acknowledge His due to you and obey His orders, He makes the disobedient ones rule over you, and gives you punishment for your obedience to Him? If it is an article of faith with you that God is not an oppressor, and if you believe that the reward of obedience to God can never be in the shape of disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim of being a Muslim! Though your name is surely entered as a Muslim in government papers, remember God does not pass judgment based upon the authenticity of the office of the government. God maintains His own office. You will have to search in His list to find whether your name is entered among His obedient or disobedient servants.
"Allah sent you His Book so that by reading it you may know Him and learn the way of obeying Him. Did you ever try to find out what is written in it? Allah sent His Prophet to you to teach you the method of becoming Muslim. Did you ever try to find out what His prophet has taught? Allah showed you the way to attain honour and dignity in this world and the Hereafter. Do you follow that way? Allah very explicitly informed you as to what are those works which debase man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such works? Say what answer have you to these questions?
If you admit that you neither obtained knowledge from Allah's Book and His Prophet's life nor followed the way shown by Him, then how did you become Muslim to merit His reward? The 'reward' you are getting is proportionate to the degree of your being Muslim (in its true sense) and you will get a like 'reward' in the Hereafter too!"
[from "Let Us Be Muslims" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (rahimahullah), Chapter 1]
literally, refers to the state of being in ignorance or heedless to something
historically, refers to the pre-Islamic way of life and thought in Arabia, including all the evil ignorant practices of the time such as infanticide, tribalism, and sexual immorality
generally, denotes all those world-views and ways of life which are based on rejection or disregard of heavenly guidance communicated to mankind through the Prophets and Messengers of God. Also, the attitude of treating human life - either wholly or partly - as independent of the directives of God
[from "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Glossary of Terms]