Merits of the Islamic Society



Because of its remarkable qualities, the Islamic society, in the reign of its prosperity, was nonesuch and ideal among the international civilized nations. Its individuals composed one compact family of virtues and dignities. It has been a nonesuch example of belief that included secrets of monotheism, showed true traits of divinity, declared the reality of prophesy, and explained the dimensions of the Judgment. Hence, it has become the divinely selected religion: "No religion other than Islam (submission to the will of Allah) will be accepted from anyone. Whoever follows a religion other than Islam will be lost on the Day of Judgment. (3:85)" It has been a nonesuch example of the enactment of laws, because the Islamic Sharia has been the comprehensive among the other divine codes and has been the most ideal constitution to humankind. It has been a nonesuch example of moralities. The ethical values have been perfect and prosperous only during the reign of the Islamic society that is described by the Prophet's words: "The true believer is only he whom Muslims can trust in regard with their estates and souls. The true Muslim is only he whom Muslims are saved from his hand -physical harm- and tongue- verbal harm-. The true Muhajir536 -emigrant- is that who deserts the sins." 537 It has been a nonesuch example of social moralities. Amir ul-Mu'minin said: "O my child, make yourself the measure (for dealings) between you and others. Thus, you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for yourself. Do not oppress as you do not like to be oppressed. Do good to others as you would like good to be done to you. Regard bad for yourself whatever you regard bad for others. Accept that (treatment) from others, which you would like others to accept from you. Do not talk about what you do not know even though what you know be very little. Do not say to others what you do not like to be said to you." 538 Islam has been a nonesuch example of fraternity. It has declared the principle of fraternity among its individuals in such an unprecedented way: "Believers are each other's brothers. (49:10)" Accordingly, the Islamic society has become one family applying fraternal terms with each other. That was surely the greatest reformative conquest of Islam. Islam has been also a nonesuch example of liberality and solidarity. Muslim individual must take interests in the social affairs and benefits and must look kindly at the miserable. The Prophet (s) said: "He that begins a day without taking an interest in the affairs of the Muslims is not one of them." 539 "The creatures are subjects of Allah; therefore, the most favorable in the sight of Allah are those who best benefit His subjects and please His household." 540

Rights of the Islamic Society

Individuals are the bricks of society whose happiness is achieved when they are pleased and granted their social rights. In the same way, social depression occurs when they are depressed and deprived of their rights:

1. Right of Life

In the sight of Islam, right of life is natural and sacred and it is obligatory to be guarded. Violence of this right is a big crime the punishment of which is immortal abiding in Hell: "The punishment for one who purposely slays a believer will be to live in hell fire forever. (4:93)" Not only has Islam settled for the immortal abiding in Hell as punishment for murderers, but also has enacted the retaliation for murder and the undergoing of blood money for unintentional killing so as to guard Muslims' souls and stop crimes of homicide: "People of understanding, the law of the death penalty as retaliation grants you life so that perhaps you will have fear of Allah. (2:179)" Moreover, man is not permitted to put an end to his own life by committing suicide. He must protect and guard his soul against dangers and harms: "Do not push yourselves into perdition. (2:195)" In the field of sacredness of souls, Islam has reached the climax when it forbade killing the fetuses by abortion and imposed on those who commit such crimes to undergo the identified blood money.

2. Right of Dignity

God has honored the faithful believer and covered him with colors of respect and support. He therefore has respected the believer's dignity, guarded his honor, forbidden any sort of violence to his property or soul, guaranteed his right, conferred upon him with favors, and declared His divine care for him in this life as well as the life to come: "To those who have said, "Allah is our Lord, " and who have remained steadfast to their belief, the angels will descend saying, "Do not be afraid or grieved. Receive the glad news of the Paradise which was promised to you. We are your guardians in this world and in the life to come, where you will have whatever you call for, a hospitable welcome from the All-forgiving and All-merciful Allah" (41:30-2). "Those who have faith and fear Allah will receive glad news both in this life and in the life hereafter. (10:64)" "We shall help Our Messengers and the believers, in this life and on the day when witness will come forward. (40:51)" For cleaning the society from factors of divergence and dispersing the concepts of dignity among its individuals, Islam has forbidden any matter that may humiliate the believer, such as backbiting, spying, and sarcasm. "Believers, stay away from conjecture; acting upon some conjecture may lead to sin. Do not spy on one another or backbite. Would any of you like to eat the disgusting dead flesh of your brother? Have fear of Allah; Allah accepts repentance and is All-merciful. (49:12)" "Believers, let not a group of you mock another. Perhaps they are better than you. Let not women mock each other; perhaps one is better than the other. Let not one of you find faults in another nor let anyone of you defame another. How terrible is the defamation after having true faith. Those who do not repent are certainly unjust. (49:11)" Moreover, Islam has guarded the believer's reputation in his life and after his death in the same standard. Hence, it is obligatory upon Muslims to hold the funeral rites of the dead Muslims and it is forbidden to do any matter that may dishonor even the dead body of Muslim. It has also enacted the law of the doctrinal provisions and blood money so as to guard the believers' souls, properties, and honors. "People of understanding, the law of the death penalty as retaliation grants you life so that perhaps you will have fear of Allah. (2:179)" "The only proper recompense for those who fight against Allah and His Messenger and try to spread evil in the land is to be killed, crucified, or either to have one of their hands and feet cut from the opposite side or to be sent into exile. These are to disgrace them in this life and they will suffer a great torment in the life hereafter. (5:33)" Because fornicators despise the sacred honors of people and violate their dignities, Islam has enacted a severe punishment for them: "Flog the fornicatress and the fornicator with a hundred lashes each. Let there be no reluctance in enforcing the laws of Allah, if you have faith in Allah and the Day of Judgment. Let it take place in the presence of a group of believers (24:2)." To stop crimes of larceny that disturb peace, Islam has decided a strict provision for the thieves: "Cut off the hands of a male or female thief as a punishment for their deed and a lesson for them from Allah. Allah is Majestic and All-wise. (5:38)" In the same manner, the Ahl ul-Bayt (a) declared the honor of the believer: The Prophet (s) said: "To revile at the believers is defection, to fight them is atheism, to backbite them is act of disobedience to Allah, and their wealth is as sacred as their blood (soul)." 541 "Allah said: He who dishonors one of My disciples is waging war against Me. The best thing through which My servant seeks nearness to Me is performing that which I have imposed on him. The servant may seek nearness to Me through performing a supererogatory prayer, and I will love him for so. If I love him, I will act as his hearing, sight, tongue, and hand. I will certainly respond to him when he calls upon Me, and I will certainly give him when he asks from Me. The most difficult thing for Me is grasping the soul of My believing servant who hates death and I hate injuring him." 542 "O you who declared being Muslims by tongues but did not have sincere faith in hearts! Do not dispraise Muslims and do not inspect their flaws, for Allah will surely inspect the defects of those who inspect the flaws of Muslims, and will dishonor them even if they are in their own houses." 543 "He who publicizes an ill matter is regarded as him who originated it, and whoever disregards a faithful believer for a matter will not die before that very matter sticks to him." 544

3. Right of Freedom

Freedom stands for man's manumission from slavery and enjoyment of his legal rights. It is the most sacred right of humankind; therefore, Islam has declared and decided protecting and spreading this right in the Islamic society. Unlike the idea of the simple-minded, freedom does not mean release from all regulations that contribute in systematizing, reforming, and protecting the societies. This sort of freedom is the freedom of jungles. The true freedom is to enjoy all the legal rights that are not in violation of others' rights: A. Freedom of ReligionIt is rightful for a Muslim to have full freedom in matters relating to his beliefs, rituals, and rulings of Sharia. It is illicit to coerce him to desert or act violently towards the constitution of Islam since such coercion is regarded as flagrant violence to the most sacred freedoms. Muslims, however, are required to be steadfast in matters relating to the belief and against the misleading campaigns aimed at deceiving them. B. Civil FreedomIt is rightful for a Muslim to enjoy latitude and practice all his civil affairs. Hence, it is rightful to reside in any country he chooses, do any job he prefers, study any field of science he likes, and make any contract he wants. Hence, he is free to do all these things in the light of the Islamic Sharia. C. Freedom of Propagation of IslamThis freedom is dedicated to the well-qualified Muslims who are able to publicize the Islamic edification. Such efforts contribute in developing the Islamic society doctrinally, culturally, and socially, and help in purifying it from vices. "Let there be a group among you who will invite others to do good deeds, command them to obey the Law, and prohibit them from committing sins. These people will have eternal happiness. (3:104)" The Prophet (s) said: "People will live in perpetual goodness so long as they enjoin good, forbid evil, and cooperate on charity. If they stop acting these deeds, blessings will be taken away from them, some of them will rule the others tyrannically, and they will not find any supporter in the earth or in the heavens." 545

4. Right of Equality



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