Why Islam holds out hope for a divided world

DEAR readers, last week we talked about the simplicity and practicality found in Islam. This week we further look at Islam as a complete way of life and the reasons as to why a great multitude of people are taking to the Islamic code of life.

By Abid Ishaq

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 24 Jun 2005, 12:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:46 PM

To start with, Islam is not a religion in the common and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete way of life and is present in every field of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life — individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, and national and international. The Quran enjoins man to embrace Islam without any reservations and to follow God’s guidance in all areas of life.

As we read in the Quran: "We have sent our messengers with explanations, and sent the book and the balance down with them, so that mankind may conduct themselves with all fairness. We have sent down iron wherein is great violence as well as benefits for mankind, so that God may know who is supporting Him and His messenger even though (He is) unseen." (Quran, 57:25)

"Discretion belongs only to God. He has ordered you to serve Him alone; such is the right religion, even though most men do not realize it." (Quran, 12: 40)

"(Muslims are) those who, if we establish them in the land will keep up prayer (salah) and pay the welfare due (zakah); command what is proper and forbid what is improper." (Quran, 22:40-41)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Each of you is a keeper or a shepherd and will be questioned about the well-being of his flock. The head of the state will be questioned about the well being of the people of the state. Each man is a shepherd to his family and will be answerable about every member of it. Each woman is a shepherd to the family of her husband and will be accountable for every member of it. And each servant is a shepherd to his master and will be questioned about the property of his master." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Thus even a cursory study of the teachings of Islam shows that it is an all-embracing way of life and does not leave out any field of human existence to become a playground for the forces of evil. Furthermore, Islam encourages a balance between the individual and society. It believes in the individual personality of man and holds everyone personally accountable to God.

It guarantees the fundamental rights of the individual and does not permit anyone to tamper with them. It makes the proper development of the personality of man one of the prime objectives of its educational policy. It does not subscribe to the view that man must lose his individuality in society or in the state.

According to the Quran: "Man shall have nothing but what he strives for." (Quran, 53:39)

"God only assigns to a soul what it can cope with: in its favour stands whatever it has earned, while it is held responsible for anything it has brought upon itself." (Quran, 2:286)

On the other hand, it also awakens a sense of social responsibility in man, organises human beings in a society and a state, and enjoins the individual to subscribe to the social good. Prayer, in Islam, is offered in congregation, a situation that inculcates social discipline among Muslims.

In short, Islam neglects neither the individual nor society — it establishes a harmony and a balance between the two and assigns to each its proper due.

The message of Islam is for the whole of the human race. God, in Islam, is the God of all the world (Quran 1:1) and the Prophet is a Messenger for the whole of mankind. In the words of the Quran:

"O People! I am but a Messenger from God to you all." (Quran, 7:158)

"We have sent you only as a mercy for everybody in the universe." (Quran, 21:107)

Dear readers, Islam is truly universal in its outlook and approach and does not accept barriers and distinctions based on colour, clan, blood, or territory, as was the case before the advent of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Unfortunately, these prejudices remain rampant in different forms even in this modern age. Islam wants to unite the entire human race under one banner. To a world torn by national rivalries and feuds, it presents a message of life and hope of a glorious future.

More news from