Articles

We have made you a moderate nation

Do Not Forget Your portion of the present world!

During a visit to China, we visited “Window of the World”, which is a public park established on enormous areas of land with monolithic figures of the most distinguished world sites. So, you find for example in one corner a model of the Eiffel Tower, a model of Big Ben in another, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Niagara Falls, etc. In this park, you get a chance to taste Latin food, wear East Asian costumes, and live African traditions. It’s a real breath-taking place.

I was amazed with the place. My children were having fun and my husband was taking photos. In the middle of my amazement, I recalled a question that frequently used to come to my mind when I was young. The question was how could we balance between enjoying the pleasures of life and getting to know different cultures, while at the same time winning eternal happiness. Then I remembered the Qur’anic verse: But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your portion of the present world. And do good as Allah has done good to you[1].  I felt really good afterwards.

A moderate Nation:

The Austrian philosopher Leopold Weiss – who converted from Judaism to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Al Assad – said in his book (Islam at the Crossroads): “Our travel through this world is a necessary, positive part in God’s plan. Human life, therefore, is of tremendous value; but we must never forget that it is a purely instrumental value. In Islam there is no room for the materialistic optimism of the modern West which says: “My kingdom is of this world alone” – nor for the life – contempt of the Christian saying: “My kingdom is not of this world”. Islam goes the middle way. The Qur’an teaches us to say: Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good.[2] Thus, a full appreciation of this world and of whatever it offers is not necessarily a handicap for our spiritual endeavors. Material prosperity is desirable, though not a goal in itself.

Every individual Muslim has to regard himself as to some extent personally responsible for all happenings around him, and to strive for the establishment of Right and the abolition of Wrong at every time and in every direction’.

A result for this attitude is to be found in the Qur’anic verse:

You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong”[3]

The Austrian philosopher continued: “This is the moral justification of the aggressive activism of Islam, a justification of the early Islamic conquests and of its so-called “expansionism”. For the world of Islam was sometimes expansionist , if one insists on using this term; but this kind of activism was not promoted by the love of domination ; it had nothing to do with economic or national self – aggrandizement or with the greed to increase Muslim comforts at other people’s cost; nor has it ever meant the coercion of non-believers into the religion of Islam. It has only meant, as it means today, the construction of a worldly framework for the best possible spiritual development of man. For according to the teachings of Islam, moral knowledge automatically forces moral responsibility upon man. A mere Platonic discernment between Right and Wrong, without the urge to promote Right and to destroy Wrong, is a gross immorality in itself. Morality lives and dies with the human endeavor to establish its victory upon earth”.

The presence of contradictions in some religious concepts is one of the reasons that leads to aversion of religion and drives people towards following science alone. So, one of the main features that drives people towards religion is its balance and moderation, which are both apparent in Islam.

The problem in other religions which have been distorted from the correct religion is that they are either:

– purely spiritual and call their followers to monasticism and isolation.

– Totally materialistic.

Do not exceed the limits in your religion:

Extremism, fanaticism and inflexibility are mere features that have been forbidden in the true religion. In various verses, the Qur’an has called for kindness, tolerance in treatment, mercy and forgiveness.

So, by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].[4]

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.[5]

Originally matters are permitted (halal) in the true religion except some counted agreed upon forbidden matters which have been clearly mentioned in the Qur’an:

O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess, Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of [i.e., from] Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?” Say, “They are for those who believed during the life of this world, exclusively [for them] on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know , Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know. [6]

The religion has considered radicalism and inflexibility that is without authentic proof as a satanic action that the religion revolts.

O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy, He (Satan) commands you only what is evil and sinful, and that you should say against Allah what you know not. [7]

Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah. And whoever takes Satan as a protector instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss.[8]

Allah intends for you ease:

Originally, religion comes to ease a lot of restrictions that people impose on themselves. In the times of pre-Islam ignorance, there were some highly detested practices such as female infanticide, permitting certain types of foods for males while forbidding them on females, forbidding females from inheritance, also fornication, drinking alcoholic beverages, eating the money of orphans, eating the dead, usury, etc.

Also, we find in some people’s legislations and rules that have been falsely related to religion as a way to force them upon people. This has deviated people away from differentiating between the correct religion that meets their innate agreed upon needs and the traditions and customs inherited from ancestors. This has lead people afterwards to replace religion by science.

The correct religion relieves the suffering of people and puts rules and legislations that basically aim at easing their lives.

Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. [9]

Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman). [10]

..and do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.[11]

..and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allah), and do good. Truly, Allah loves the good-doers.[12]

The Prophet peace be upon him said:

Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam). ( Sahih Al Bujari)

There were three men at the time of the Prophet who were talking among themselves about worship, where one of them said:  I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever. The other said: I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast. The third said, I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever. Prophet Muhammad came to them and said:

Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So, he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers). ( Sahih Al Bujari)

And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.[13]

Also, the Prophet peace be upon him said to Abdullah Ibn Amr:

O Abdullah! I have been informed that you fast during the day and offer prayers all the night. Abdullah replied: Yes, O Allah’s messenger! The Prophet said: Don’t do that; fast for few days and then give it up for few days, offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you. ( Sahih Al Bujari)

Balance in giving rights:

I recall a funny conversation I had with a Latin lady who asked me: Is a Muslim woman allowed to wear earrings like other women? I laughed and replied: A Muslim woman is a human that doesn’t differ from any women, but she is acumen and knows her rights and obligations and how to arrange her priorities. She has the ability to deal with such matters with amazing moderation in a way the Latin and western woman cannot.

She said: What do you mean?

I replied: The Muslim woman has understood the meaning of the term “privacy” well. So, while she loves her father, brother, son, and husband, she has realized that each type of love is distinguished from the other. She realized that her love to each of them requires her to give each of them their suitable rights. So, her father requires honor and respect while her son requires breeding and care. She knows when and how to show her beauty and she doesn’t appear in the same form for all.

I continued: The Muslim woman is a free woman. She has refused to surrender to the whims of others and fashion. She wears what she likes and pleases her Creator. Can’t you see how the western woman has become a captive of fashion?! If the fashion came out this season for women to wear tight pants, all women will automatically speed up to wear them even if they aren’t suitable for their figure or if they aren’t really comfortable in wearing them.

I continued: Doesn’t it scare you how the woman has turned into a commodity?! There is almost no commercial without a half-naked woman. This gives an indirect message of the deteriorating value of the woman in this age.

By covering up her beauty, it’s the woman who is sending a message to the world. A message that she is a human with value, honored by God, and those who deal with her must judge her according to her knowledge, beliefs, ideas not according to her physical appearance.

She said: That’s strange! This is what is called etiquette.

I told her: Yes! The Muslim woman has understood the human nature and has understood that she needs to cover up her body from strangers to keep herself and the society from hurt. I don’t think you could deny that all women who are used to show off their bodies wish when they get old that all women are wearing the head cover.

She answered: That’s 100% correct!

Then I asked her: Have you read about the death and distortion rates of women during plastic surgeries? What do you think forced the woman to go through this suffering? It’s this beauty competition that has been forced upon her instead of an intellectual one, and that has made her not only lose her true value in the society, but also to lose her life.

She said: This is a strange philosophy that I have never heard before.

Then she said: Ok well, has Islam given the woman equality with men?

I replied: The Muslim woman is looking for justice not equality. Equality with man has made her lose a lot of her power and value.

She asked: And how is that?

I answered: Imagine you are buying shirts for two of your children who are five and eighteen years old. Equality by buying them the same size would make one of them suffer from not having a shirt that fits him, while justice is that you must buy a shirt for each one of them but a suitable one, in order for both of them to be happy.

I continued: The woman in this age is striving to prove she has the ability to achieve all what the man can do, but actually she is losing her uniqueness and distinguished qualities. God has created her to be able to do what men can’t do. It has been proven that birth pain is one of the most severe types of pains. So, religion has honored her in return of this and compensated her by relieving her from the burden of providing the expenses of living, or even to share her private wealth with the man unlike what happens in western societies. As for men, God has not given them the ability to tolerate the pain of giving birth, but had given him the ability to climb mountains for example.

She said: But I like to climb mountains and I could do it just like men.

I told her: Yes, maybe you have the ability to climb a mountain and to work hard, but still it’s you who will give birth and nurse because men couldn’t do that in all cases. So, you will have a double burden that you could have avoided.

There is something that a lot of people don’t realize. If a Muslim woman chose to demand her rights in the United Nations while give up her rights in Islam, she will actually lose a lot, because her rights are more in Islam. Islam achieves the integration between the man and the woman in a way that grants happiness for all.

The favor of Islamic civilization:

A Columbian visitor and her work colleague told me one day that they strongly need to worship the one God, but they do not want to let go of the Virgin Mary in their prayers because they do not want to underestimate her rights.

I told them: A Muslim could achieve the balance in worship without underestimating the prophet or the prophet’s mother.

They asked: How?

I answered: A Muslim loves his Creator and gives Him His rights in worshipping Him alone. Love for the prophet is by following his way that has been revealed to him by God, and that is by worshipping the one God without worshipping the prophet himself.

I then asked them: What are the statements that you cannot give up in your prayers that include mentioning the Virgin Mary?

The first one replied: God bless Mary and help her.

I told her: That’s true. We say: May God bless the Prophet Muhammad and bless Jesus and Mary as well.

The other one said: We also say: Oh, Mary help me and bless me.

I said: This is incorrect.

They said: What’s the difference?

I answered: In the first prayer we are asking for Mary, while in the second we are asking from her. We are only allowed to ask from God. So, you could say the first prayer, but should stop the second.

They were thrilled because they found out that worshipping God directly won’t make them lose the Virgin Mary and they converted to Islam at once.

We find that many nations and civilizations have failed to achieve this balance. While Christianity has exaggerated in believing in Jesus and his mother by making them Gods, we find out that the followers of Moses rejected Jesus as a messenger.

Islam has achieved the required balance by believing in both Jesus and Moses and granting them the respect and appreciation they deserve. The required balance is achieved by following their true message in worshipping the One God just like how all prophets and messengers worshiped the One God.

The Islamic civilization has dealt with The Creator well and put the relation between Him and His creations in its correct standard, while other human civilizations have mistreated the way they dealt with their Creator. There are people who have worshipped others, apart from Him. There are other people who disbelieved in Him. They have dealt in ways far from what HE deserves in Glory and Grace.

A true Muslim doesn’t mix between matters. He knows how to establish a balance between ideologies and sciences, along with differentiating between:

– Civilization elements, which are represented in the ideological and mental evidences, morals, and ethics.

– Civil elements, which are represented in scientific discoveries and industrial achievements.

A Muslim deals with them in a framework of faith and morals.

  • The Greek civilization believed in God, but denied His Oneness and described Him as a god who does not benefit or harm.
  • The Persian civilization before Islam worshipped the sun, prostrated to fire and sainted it.
  • Hindus stopped worshipping the Creator, and worshipped created gods, which are incarnated in the holy trinity that is composed of the three gods: Brahma the creator, Vishnu who preserves the universe and Shiva who destroys the universe.
  • Buddhism denied the Creator and worshipped a created god (Buddha).
  • The Sabian civilization were people of the book (have divine revelation), but then denied their Lord and worshipped the stars and planets, except for some Muslim monotheistic groups that are mentioned in the Qur’an.
  • The civilization of the pharaohs had reached the peak in monotheism during the time of king Akhenaten, yet the civilization still symbolized God in some of His creations such as the sun, which was the main symbol of God. After that, disbelieving in God also reached its peak in the time of Moses peace be upon him when the Pharaoh claimed to be God and the sole legislator.
  • The Arabic civilization stopped worshipping God, and worshipped idols instead.
  • Christianity denied the oneness of God, and worshipped Jesus peace be upon him along with his mother. They believed in the trinity which is represented in three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • The Roman civilization totally denied the Creator before Christianity, and gave partners to Him in Christianity by worshipping idols and symbols of power.
  • The Jewish civilization rejected God and chose a god of its own. They also worshipped the calf, and gave God human attributes in their book.

While these civilizations have decayed, the previously explained Christian and Jewish turned into atheist communistic and capitalistic civilizations. The way these two civilizations dealt with God and life based on an ideological and intellectual context is considered backward-minded, brutal and characterized with immortality, even though they have reached the peak in civil, industrial, and scientific developments, which are not the basis of assessing the development of a nation.

The correct civil development standards that should be used to assess nations depend on mental evidence, and how these nations deal with God, life, man, and the universe. A true civil development should lead to a correct way in regarding God and His relationship with His creations, and that puts this relation in its correct level. From this, we conclude that the Islamic civilization is the only truly developed civilization, because it simply achieved this required balance.

Islam is a Religion and a State:

Capitalism has given man a free method of living and has claimed that following this path will lead to happiness and satisfaction. But what happened is that man found himself deteriorating in a society classified by class in which people either live in extravagant wealth, which has been established by unfairness to others, or in poverty and suffering for the moral people.

Communism, on the other hand, cancelled all social classes and tried to establish firm principles. But this caused more poverty and pain leading to societies that are more revolutionary than others.

As for Islam, it has achieved moderation. It is the moderate nation that has offered humanity a great balanced doctrine that is praised even by the enemies of Islam. But unfortunately, there are Muslims who haven’t followed Islamic morals properly.

A French diplomat asked me one day about what is considered a contradiction:

He said: I couldn’t understand how could Islam, according to your explanation, be so reasonable at a time when Muslims are living in such randomness which has driven them away from morals and ethics. Isn’t this a contradiction?!

I replied: Where is the contradiction? If your driver made an accident with your luxurious car due to his ignorance of driving rules, would that affect the fact that your car is originally luxurious?

His fellow – who was French with Arab origins – instantly said: Yes, a loser Muslim represents himself. A lot of people noticed that many non-Muslims behave with an Islamic behavior, which led to a saying: We find Islam without Muslims.

Joseph Franz Schacht, a German professor of Arabic and Islam, had extremist thoughts yet still managed to say the truth when it came to his assessment about Islam. He said: “One of the distinguished features of Islam is that it’s a religion and state.  The Sharia law (Muslim law) and the Islamic jurisprudence are characterized by their clear and strong influence on the legal culture that exceeded or contacted it. Their domination is stronger than the state’s. There have been different types of conflicts between religion and the state throughout history. In Christianity, the conflict was over political power, in which the church had an organized, graduated, and coherent institution that had a head leader. The church law was one of its political weapons. As for Islam, the case was totally different than the church’s case. The Islamic law never depended on such organized power. Thus, there has never been a real test for the power between religion and the state. The principle stating that Islam must organize the legal aspects in Muslims’ lives has been kept strong and dominant, with no one defying it.”

One of the thoughts of Schacht was: “The civil law is one of the most important gains that Islam has given to the civilized world. This is what is called “Sharia”. It is completely different than all other laws. The Islamic sharia is what clearly distinguishes the Islamic way of life. What distinguishes it is that it looks at all human behavior and their relation amongst each other. This includes the actions that are obligatory, or the desirable, the left out, the hated, or the forbidden.”

He also said: “The Islamic legislation has affected all branches of law with the Christians and Jews who  lived in Islamic states, and have seen the mercy along with forgiveness of the Islamic sharia. The Jew Mousa Ibn Maimonides (601 Hijri – 1204 AD) was affected by the Islamic compositions while putting the legal materials in Mishneh Torah, an action which no Jew has done before. Also, Jacobins and Monophysites and Nestorians weren’t reluctant to take from the Islamic legislation.”

The Dutch historian Reinhart Dozy said in his book “observations into the Islamic History”: “Most Christians in the East followed different doctrines. They suffered immensely from persecution under the Constantinople governments, but when Islam came with its rules of brotherhood and forgiveness, they were left to choose their religion and were protected and treated with equality. After they had been exhausted by Roman taxes, they were obligated only to pay the “Jizya”[14] which doesn’t exhaust anyone.”

The state in Islam’s concept is the same as the “Religious State” concept according to old western thinking. In Islam there is cancellation of any infallibility or holiness to humans. It’s a state which has a main target of serving the people. Islamic legislation doesn’t contradict novelty and civilization. Actually, it should be a source of pride in our civilized position in history.

A French atheist asked me one day: Why not separate religion from the state, and let human thoughts along with their points of view be included in references, similar to western societies? Along with completely separating religion and the lives of people, similar to how it was implemented in the French society.

I replied smiling: You mean references depending on the human’s whims and mood swings? Actually, we need a godly legislation that suit humans in all their cases, and doesn’t change because of inconsistent human thoughts and mood swings, similar to what happened when usury and homosexuality were allowed. We need legislations that aren’t put by the people in power at the expense of the vulnerable like Capitalism, nor do we need communism that opposes the human innate need for possession.

I continued: The French experiment resulted from the dominance and alliance between the church and the state over the minds and destiny of the people in the Middle Ages. The Islamic world hasn’t faced this problem at all due to its logical and applicable system.

He said: You don’t acknowledge democracy then.

I said: We have what’s better than democracy. We have Consultancy.

He asked: What’s the difference?

I answered: Democracy is when you consider the opinion of all family members no matter their age, or how badly their experience would affect the family. During decision making, both opinions of a kindergarten child and an old wise person would be equal. On the other hand, the consultancy system depends on the opinions of experienced members; they get to decide what is beneficial and what isn’t.

I added: The difference between the two systems is obvious. A valid evidence that proves the deficiency found in the democratic system is that some countries have given legitimacy to practices that oppose human nature, customs, traditions, and religion. Like for example homosexuality, fornication, usury and other abhorrent practices just because such practices have been voted for by the majority. With many voices calling for moral decay, democracy has helped by participating in creating immoral societies.

I continued: The difference between the Islamic Consultancy system and Western Democracy is the source of sovereignty in legislation. In democracy, the sovereignty starts from the people and nation. As for the Islamic Consultancy system, sovereignty starts from Allah Almighty the Most Glorious. It’s not the result of human thoughts. Humans can just build upon the godly legislation. Also, they have the right to jurisprudence in whatever’s not included in the heavenly legislation, as long as it’s within the religious framework of what’s permitted and what’s forbidden.

He said: The Islamic legislative system is unique. Even though it’s a religious system, it doesn’t contradict reason in any way. It’s an organized, coherent doctrine; its various branches are coherent with one another. But I’m against the punishing penalties in the Qur’an.

I said: These penalties have been put in order to restrain and punish those who intend to corrupt the community. As an evidence to this, these are penalties that aren’t implemented on unintended killing or on stealing during famine and extreme need. It’s to protect the society and some of them are already in the French law such as the death penalty.

He asked: Is there truly a death penalty in the French law?

I replied: Yes, as well as in many postural law systems in other countries. Imagine that you went home and found your whole family murdered by a person. Then that person was arrested and put in prison for a specific period of time eating and enjoying the prison facilities that you yourself are funding through the taxes you are paying.

How would you tolerate this?! You will probably either end up going insane or falling into addiction to forget your pain. If this same situation happened in a country practicing the Islamic legislations, the case will be completely different. The murderer will be brought in front of the family of the murdered, and they will take the decision whether to take revenge through retribution, which is justice itself, or blood money which is a certain amount of money that must be paid on intended killing to the family of the murdered or to give pardon, which is much favored as mentioned in the Qur’an.

But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [15]

I continued: There are 6348 verses in the Qur’an, while the verses of penalties are no more than ten, and have been put by One Who is Wise and Well-acquainted with all things. Would you leave reading, enjoying, and practicing this system you consider unique, just because you don’t know the wisdom of ten verses?!

The balance in the economy:

I remember a Latin person, who was interested in economics, once asked me about the difference between the economic system in Islam, capitalism and socialism.

I replied: Concerning the freedom of ownership, the private property is the main principle in capitalism, while in socialism public property is the main principle. In Islam, several types of ownerships are allowed:

– The Public Property, which is publicly owned by Muslims, for example rich lands

– The State Property, which is owned by the state. Like for example natural wealth, that includes forests and minerals.

– The Private Property, which is acquired only through investment work, in a way that does not threaten the public welfare.

He asked: What about free economy?

I replied: In capitalism, free economy has no boundaries. Socialism, on the other hand, completely confiscates free economy. In Islam, free economy is acknowledged, but is limited within certain boundaries:

  • Self-identification that stems deeply out from the person, according to Islamic teachings and the widespread of Islamic concepts.
  • Objective identification, which are legislations that forbid certain practices such as: usury, gambling, cheating, etc.

He said: Religion is like a drug that oppressed and poor people devour to accept suffering and unfairness. Then, they are left to dream about paradise in order to give the rich people a chance for acquisition of the wealth. This has resulted in the poverty of Muslims and other religious people.

I told him: Never have societies suffered from poverty and social unfairness because of being religiously faithful or because of shortage in their resources. Actually, it was because of people distancing away from religion, and unfair resource distribution. Extreme poverty is only the result of outrageous wealth.

In capitalism, it is claimed that the natural resources are unable to meet the renewable needs of humans; while in socialism, people believe that there is a contradiction existing between the production power and distribution. In Islam, it has been clarified that Allah Almighty has created plenty of natural resources that completely satisfy human needs without running out. The problem lies in the human misuse of these resources and inequality in distribution.

I continued: Religion is responsibility and commitment. It keeps the conscience alert, and calls the believer to continuously account himself in every minor or major issue. The believer is responsible for himself, his family, neighbor, and even the passerby. He takes by the underlying causes, and relies on Allah at the same time. I don’t think this is a description of a drug addict.

I said: The real drug addiction in societies is atheism not religion.

He said: Why?

I replied: Because atheism calls its followers to pure materialism. It causes them to exclude their relation with the Creator by relinquishing duties and responsibilities. It calls for enjoying only the current moment regardless of the consequences. So, they behave as they wish, believing that there are no sanctions, no resurrection, and no judgement.

Isn’t this the correct description of an addict?

He said: Yes, that’s true.

He then asked: How did Islam achieve social balance?

I answered: One of the general concepts in Islam is that the wealth belongs to Allah. We are only in a subordinate position in our control over this wealth. Islam has forbidden wealth to be only exchanged between the rich. Islam has prohibited treasuring wealth without giving out a small portion to the poor and needy from the person’s savings. Giving out a small portion from the person’s savings is called “Zakat”. This act of worship helps the person overcome being tight-fisted; it helps them become generous and giving.

And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the needy and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. [16]

Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward. [17]

…And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment. [18]

Also, Islam encourages hardworking for those whom are capable.

And say, “Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do.” [19]

Islam has forbidden extravagance. It calls for setting the standards of living at a moderate level. This does not mean that the concept of richness in Islam is limited only to the vital needs, but it also includes the possession of food, a home, clothing, the ability to marry, perform the pilgrimage, and giving out charity.

And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate. [20]

The poor, from an Islamic perspective, is whoever’s incapable of achieving the vital needs. These needs are determined according to the living standards in the country that the person is living in. So, if in a certain country it’s normal for every family to own a separate home, then the family that is incapable of this is considered to be poor. Thus, the law of balance is based on the ability to satisfy the needs of every individual according to what’s known in the community at that time.

Islam ensures meeting the needs of every individual in the society. This is achieved through public interdependence. The Muslims are considered to be brothers; helping each other and meeting each other’s needs is obligatory. The presence of a needy person in the society is a sin for all.

The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said:

The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim, he doesn’t oppress him and doesn’t put him into ruin, and whoever is concerned for the needs of his brother, Allah is concerned for his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens of the Day of Judgement and whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) on the Day of Judgement. ( Sahih Al Bujari)

I recall a beautiful incident with a Colombian visitor. She came to the center with her teenage children and friend. Unfortunately, they came late when the working hours were about to end, so I wasn’t able to answer all her questions. I explained what I could within 15 minutes. I had the feeling that she was hiding something. She came back the next morning with her children only without her friend. She said: I insist on continuing our conversation because I have some questions that have been keeping me from converting to Islam for years. I want answers to these questions.

I responded: Ask all you wish. I have the whole day to answer your questions.

She said: I met a Muslim friend while traveling with my husband. This friend told me that Muslims don’t need to go to doctors when they get sick because they just pray to God to get well. I wasn’t convinced at all, and that was one of the points that kept me from accepting this religion. I believe we must follow the underlying causes.

I told her: That’s true. Concerning this point, you unfortunately know about Islam more than that Muslim. She actually needs someone to explain to her our religion. She hasn’t given you the correct information. Islam is a realistic religion. Allah said:

Work (righteousness): Soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messenger, and the Believers. [21]

Allah Almighty ordered us to rely on Him, and trust His wisdom, but He also forbade us from full dependency without relying on the causes. Reliance includes determination while exerting effort and applying the causes, then surrendering afterwards to the wisdom of Allah.

The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him saw someone who wanted to leave his camel without being tied, thinking that this good reliance on Allah. He then told him: “Tie your camel, then trust Allah”. This is the correct balance.

She was very pleased with my explanation. We spent the whole day together answering her questions. She talked about a time six years ago when her husband, who had no religion, converted to Islam. He didn’t have any religious interests; he said that he found in Islam answers to all the questions he had. He invited her to join Islam as well, but she was reluctant because she still had many questions. Thanks to Allah, she said that our conversation provided her with answers to all questions.

Conclusion:

Islam looks at life as it should be. People are looking for a balanced religion that meets their spiritual needs, a religion that is indispensable and at the same time doesn’t marginalize their materialistic needs. The religion calls for moderation, which is the concept that has been strictly stressed in the final heavenly religion. This heavenly religion was sent through the final messenger peace be upon him, who came to correct the errors previous nations have made, and which have led to the distortion of the religion concept by putting it in a spiritual path only. This has resulted in superstitions that have completely driven people away from religion. In addition, religion has been manipulated to achieve private objectives by being used as an instrument to pressure the people. This has led to many people following secularism, which is total separation between religion and the state.

Islam has succeeded as a ruling system and a method of living, while capitalism and communism have failed. But atheists and agnostics are increasing because of many Muslims straying away from their religion; they are also failing in spreading the correct concepts of Islam. Humanity has started to lose faith in all creeds. This is due to the corruption of the religious concepts that are being introduced. Nevertheless, there has been no oriental researcher – no matter what his opinion in Islam is – who hasn’t admitted that Islam is a Religion and State.


[1] (Qur’an 28:77)

[2](Qur’an 2:201)

[3] (Qur’an 3:110)

[4] (Qur’an 3:159)

[5] (Qur’an 16:125)

[6]  (Qur’an 7: 31-33)

[7] (Qur’an 2:168-169)

[8] (Qur’an 4:119)

[9] (Qur’an 2:185)

[10] (Qur’an 4:28)

[11] (Qur’an 4:29)

[12] (Qur’an 2:195)

[13] (Qur’an 21:107)

[14] It is a type of a (Poll Tax), imposed on non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic state, for which their lives, progeny, possessions, are protected by the State, and they are entitled to practice their religion without any interference by anyone not from their faith, and they are guaranteed to settle their intra community disputes according to their own traditions and laws – not according to Sharia- and they are exempted from military service while being entitled to full protection from alien enemies.

[15] (Qur’an 64:14)

[16] (Qur’an 59:7)

[17] (Qur’an 57:7)

[18] (Qur’an 9:34)

[19] (Qur’an 9:105)

[20] (Qur’an 25:67)

[21] (Qur’an 9:105)

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