A History of Muslim Philosophy Volume 1, Book 2

ID book

Title: A History of Muslim philosophy

Author(s): Sharif, MiaMohammad

Publisher(s): Karach: Royal Book co، 1983م. = 1362.

Congress Classification: BBR18/ش4ھ9 1362

Dewey Classification: 189/1\

National bibliography numbers: 1157228


سرشناسه : شریف، میان محمد، 1893 - 1965م.

Sharif, MiaMohammad

عنوان و نام پدیدآور : A History of Muslim philosophy : with short accounts of other disciplines and the modern renaissance in Muslim lands/Edited and introducted by M. M. Sharif.

مشخصات نشر : Karach: Royal Book co، 1983م. = 1362.

مشخصات ظاهری : 2ج. (xi، 1792 ص).

وضعیت فهرست نویسی : ایرانشناسی

یادداشت : انگلیسی.

یادداشت : این کتاب تحت عنوان تاریخ فلسفه در اسلام با ترجمه فارسی نصرالله پور جوادی بین سال های 62 - 70 در چهار جلد توسط ستاد انقلاب فرهنگی، مرکز نشر دانشگاهی منتشر شده است.

یادداشت : کتابنامه.

عنوان دیگر : A history of muslim philosophy: with short a ccounts of ...

آوانویسی عنوان : هیستری آو مزلم فیلاسفی ...

موضوع : فلسفه اسلامی.

موضوع : تمدن اسلامی.

موضوع : اسلام -- تاریخ.

رده بندی کنگره : BBR18/ش4ھ9 1362

رده بندی دیویی : 189/1\

شماره کتابشناسی ملی : 1157228


Specifications Publication: Karach: Royal Book co، ‫1983م. ‫ = 1362

Note: The book entitled History of Philosophy in Islam Persian translation Nasrallah Palmer Between 62-70 in four volumes by the headquarters of the Cultural Revolution, published academic publication center.

Advent Of Islam, Fundamental Teachings Of The Qur'anA Compendium of articles on the History of Muslim Philosophy. In this book: Advent Of Islam, Fundamental Teachings Of The Qur'an

Publisher(s): Pakistan Philosophical Congress

Category: General General Philosophy Miscellaneous information:nbsp;A History of Muslim Philosophy Volume 1, Book 2.

Edited and Introduced by: M. M. SHARIF.

Director of the Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore Pakistan

Featured Category: Introducing Islam

Chapter 7: Philosophical Teachings of the Qur’an


Philosophical Teachings of the Qur’an by M.M Sharif

The Qur'an

Although the Scriptures revealed to the earlier prophets, especially those of the Christians and the Jews, are regarded by the Muslims as holy, yet the Book (al‑Qur'an) revealed to the last Prophet, Muhammad, is their chief sacred Book. The doctrine propounded by the Qur'an is not a new doctrine, for it is similar to the Scriptures of the earlier apostles.(1) It lays down the same way of faith as was enjoined on Noah and Abraham.(2)

It con­firms in the Arabic tongue what went before it, the Book of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus‑in being a guide to mankind, admonishing the unjust and giving glad tidings to the righteous.(3) God never abrogates or causes to be for­gotten any of His revelations, but according to the needs and exigencies of the times, He confirms them or substitutes for them something similar or better. (4)

The Qur'an is a book essentially religious, not philosophical, but it deals with all those problems which religion and philosophy have in common. Both have to say something about problems related to the significance

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1- Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an has been mainly used for the purposes of this chapter. For references the same work may be consulted. - Qur'an, X1VI, 9‑10.
2- Ibid., X1II, 13.
3- Ibid., V, 49; XLVI, 12.
4- Ibid., II, 106; XIII, 39; XVI, 101.

of such ex­pressions as God, the world, the individual soul, and the inter‑relations of these; good and evil, free‑will, and life after death.

While dealing with these problems it also throws light on such conceptions as appearance and reality, existence and attributes, human origin and destiny, truth and error, space and time, permanence and change, eternity and immortality.

The Qur'an claims to give an exposition of universal truths with regard to these problems ­an exposition couched in a language (and a terminology) which the people immediately addressed, the Arabs, with the intellectual background they had at the time of its revelation, could easily understand, and which the people of other lands, and other times, speaking other languages, with their own intel­lectual background could easily interpret. It makes free use of similitude to give a workable idea of what is incomprehensible in its essence.

It is a book of wisdom,(1) parts of which relate to its basic principles, (umm al‑kitab) and explain and illustrate them in detail, others relate to matters explained alle­gorically. It would be a folly to ignore the fundamentals and wrangle about the allegorical, for none knows their hidden meanings, except God.(2) In what follows, a brief account is given of the Qur'anic teaching with regard to the religio‑philosophical problems mentioned above.

Ultimate Beauty: God and His Attributes

The Ultimate Being or Reality is God.(3) God, as described by the Qur'an for the understanding of man, is the sole self‑subsisting, all‑pervading, eternal, and Absolute Reality.(4) He is the first and the last, the seen and the

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1- Ibid., X, 1.
2- Ibid., III, 7.
3- Ibid., II, 186; XXXI, 30
4- Ibid., II, 115; VI,.62; XX, 111; XXXI, 30; XXXII, 2; LV, 27; CXII, 2

unseen.(1) He is transcendent in the sense that He in His full glory cannot be known or experienced by us finite beings‑­beings that can know only what can be experienced through the senses or otherwise and what is inherent in the nature of thought or is implied by it. No vision can grasp Him. He is above all comprehension.(2)

He is transcendent also because He is beyond the limitations of time, space, and sense‑content. He was before time, space, and the world of sense came into existence. He is also immanent both in the souls (anfus) and the spatio‑temporal order (afaq). Of the exact nature of God we can know nothing. But, in order that we may apprehend what we cannot comprehend, He uses similitudes from our expe­rience.(3)

He “is the light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp enclosed in glass; the glass as if it were a brilliant star lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well‑nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: light upon light !”(4).

Likewise for our understanding, He describes through revelation His attributes by similitude from what is loft­iest in the heavens and the earth(5) and in our own experience(6) (our highest ideals).

This He does in a language and an idiom which the people addressed to may easily understand.(7) These attributes are many and

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1- Ibid., LVII, 3.
2- Ibid., VI, 103.
3- Ibid., XXX,. 28.
4- Ibid., XXIV, 35.
5- Ibid., XXX, 27.
6- Ibid., XXX, 28.
7- Ibid.. XIV, 4; XLIII, 3.

are connoted by His names,(1) but they can all be summarized under a few essential heads: Life,(2) Eternity,(3) Unity,(4) Power,(5) Truth,(6) Beauty,(7) Justice,(8) Love,(9) and Goodness.(10)

As compared to the essence of God, these attributes are only finite approaches, symbols or pointers to Reality and serve as the ultimate human ideals, but though signs and symbols, they are not arbitrary symbols. God has Himself implanted them in our being. For that reason they must, in some sense, be faithful representations of the divine essence. They must at least be in tune with it, so that in pursuing them we human beings are truly in pursuit of what is at least in harmony with the essence of God, for they are grounded in that essence.

God is, thus; a living, self‑subsisting,(11) eternal, and absolutely free creative reality which is one, all‑powerful, a11‑knowing, all‑beauty, most just, most loving, and all good.

As a living reality God desires intercourse with His creatures and makes it possible for them to enter into fellowship with Him through prayer, contemplation, and mystic gnosis, and lights with His light the houses of those who do not divert from His remembrance, nor from prayer nor from the prac­tice of regular charity.(12)

His life expresses itself also through His eternal activity and creativeness. God is one and there is no god but He.(13) He is the only one(14) and there is none like Him.(15) He is too high to have any partners.(16) If there were other gods besides Him, some

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1- Ibid., LIX, 24
2- Ibid., II, 255; XL, 65.
3- Ibid., 1VII, 3.
4- Ibid., II, 163; V, 75; VI, 19; XVI, 22, 51; XXIII, 91; XXXVII, 1‑5; XXXVIII, 65‑68; LVII, 3; CXII, 1‑4.
5- Ibid., II, 29, 117, 284: III, 29; VI, 12‑13, 65, 73; VII, 54; X, 55; XI, 6‑7; .XIII, 16‑17; XVI, 72‑81; XXI, 30‑33; XXV, 61‑62; XXIX, 60‑62; XXXII, 5; XLVIII, 7; LI, 58; LIII, 42‑54; LXVII, 2‑3; LXXXV, 12‑16.
6- Ibid., II, 284; III, 5‑29; IV, 26; VI, 3, 18, 115; X, 61; XIII, 8‑10; XVI, 23; XX, 114; XXI, 4; XXXI, 34; XXXIV, 2; LXIV, 4; LXVII, 14; XCV, 8.
7- Ibid., VII, 180; XVII, 110; XX, 8.
8- Ibid., IV, 40; V, 45; VII, 29, 167; X, 109; XIII, 6; XVI, 90; XXI, 47; XXIV, 39; LVII, 25.
9- Ibid., III, 150, 174; IV, 26‑28; 45; V, 77; VI 12, 17, 54, 63‑64, 88, 133, 162; VII, 151, 153; IX, 117‑18; X, 21, 32, 57; XII, 64, 92; XIV, 32‑34; XV, 49; XVI, 119; XVII, 20‑21; XIX, 96; XXI, 83; XXIII, 109, 118; XXIX, 60‑62; XXXV, 2‑3; XXXIX, 53;‑XL, 51; LII, 28; LV,. 27; LXXXV, 14; LXXXVII, 3; XCII, 12; XCIII, 6‑8; XCVI, 3.
10- Ibid., XVI, 53; XXXI, 26; LIX, 23.
11- Ibid., II, 255; XX, 111.
12- Ibid., XXIV, 36.
13- Ibid., II, 163; III, 18; VI, 19; XVI, 22, 51; XXIII, 91; XXXVII, 4; XL, 2; CXII, 2.
14- Ibid., CXII, 1.
15- Ibid., XVI, 51; CXII, 4.
16- Ibid., VI, 22‑24, 136‑37; XXIII, 92; LIX, 23.

of them would have lorded over others.(1)

He is the One and not one in a trinity

Those who attribute sons and daughters to Him and those who say Christ is the son of God and is himself God only blaspheme God.(2) He has begotten neither sons nor daughters(3) nor is He Himself be­gotten.(4) And how could He be said to have sons and daughters when He has no consort?(5) And yet the unbelievers have taken besides Him gods that create nothing, but are themselves created, who have no power to hurt or do good to themselves and can control neither death, nor life, nor resurrection.(6)

Therefore no god should be associated with God.(7) Setting up of gods is nothing but anthropomorphism. The gods that people set up are nothing but names of conjectures and what their own souls desire.(8) They do blaspheme who say, “God is Christ the son of Mary”; for said Christ, “O children of Israel, wor­ship God my Lord and your Lord.”(9) They regard the angels as females, as if they had witnessed their creation.(10)

God and the World ‑ God is omnipotent

To Him is due the primal origin of everything.(11) It is He, the Creator,(12) who began the process of creation(13) and adds to creation as He pleases.(14) To begin with He created the heavens and the earth, joined them together as one unit of smoky or nebulous substance,(15) and then clove them asunder.(16)

The heavens and the earth, as separate existents with ail their produce; were created by Him in six days(17) (six great epochs of evolution). Serially considered, a divine

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1- Ibid., XXIII, 91‑92.
2- Ibid., V, 75‑76.
3- Ibid., II, 116; VI, 100; X, 68; XIX, 35; XXIII. 91; XXXVII, 151, 15'7.
4- Ibid., CXII, 3.
5- Ibid., VI, 100‑01.
6- Ibid., XXV, 3.
7- Ibid., XVII, 22, 39; XXI, 22; XXIII, 117; XXV, 68; XXVI, 213; XXXVII, 35‑36; LI, 51; LII, 43.
8- Ibid., LIII, 23.
9- Ibid., V, 75.
10- Ibid., XLIII, 19.
11- Ibid., X, 4; XXX, 11.
12- Ibid., XCVI, 1.
13- Ibid., XXX, 27.
14- Ibid., XXXV, 1.
15- Ibid., XLI, 11.
16- Ibid., XXI, 30.
17- Ibid., VII, 54; X, 3; XXXI, 10; XXXII, 4; LVII, 4.

day signifies a very long period, say, one thousand years of our reckoning(1) or even fifty thousand years.(2)

Non‑serially considered, His decisions are executed in the twinkling of an eye(3) or even quicker,(4) for there is nothing to oppose His will. When he says, “Be,” behold' it is.(5) His decree is absolute;(6) no one can change it.(7) He draws the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, all governed by the laws ordained by Him(8) and under His command.(9) Every creature in the heavens and the earth willingly submits to His laws.(10)

The sun runs its course for a determined period; so does the moon.(11) The growth of a seed into a plant bearing flowers and fruit, the constellations in the sky, the succession of day and night‑these and all other things show proportion, measure, order, and law.(12) He it is who is the creator, evolver, and restorer of all forms.(13) He it is who sends down water from the sky in due measure, causes it to soak in the soil, raises to life the land that is dead,(14) and then drains it off with ease.(15)

God is the Lord of all the worlds,(16) and of all mysteries.(17) He has power over all things,(18) and to Him belong all forces of the heavens and the earth.(19) He is the Lord of the Throne of Honour(20) and the Throne of Glory Supreme, the Lord of

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1- Ibid., XXII, 47.
2- Ibid., LXX, 4.
3- Ibid., LIV, 50.
4- Ibid., XVI, 77.
5- Ibid., VI, 73; XIX, 35.
6- Ibid., VI, 34.
7- Ibid., VI, 115.
8- Ibid., VII, 54; LXXXVII, 2‑3.
9- Ibid., VII, 54; XVI, 12.
10- Ibid., III, 83; XIII, 15.
11- Ibid., XXXVI, 38‑39.
12- Ibid., X, 5; XXV, 2; XXXVI, 37‑40; LIV, 49; LXVII, 3; LXXX, 19.
13- Ibid., LIX, 24.
14- Ibid., XLIII, 11.
15- Ibid., XXIII, 18.
16- Ibid., I, 2.
17- Ibid., XVI, 77.
18- Ibid., LVII, 2.
19- Ibid., XLVIII, 4, 7.
20- Ibid., XXIII, 116; XXXVII, 180; XLIII, 82.

the dawn(1) and all the ways of ascent.(2)

It is He who spreads out the earth(3) like a carpet,(4) sends down water from the sky in due measure(5) to revive it(6) with fruit, corn, and plants,(7) and has created pairs of plants, each separate from the others,(8) and pairs of all other things.(9)

He gives the heavens' canopy its order and perfection(10) and night its darkness and splendour,(11) the expanse of the earth its moisture, pastures, and mountains;(12) springs,(13) streams,(14) and seas(15) ships(16) and cattle;(17) pearls and coral;(18) sun and shadow;(19) wind and rain;(20) night and day;(21) and things we humans do not know. It is He who gives life to dead land and slakes the thirst of His creatures(22) and causes the trees to grow into orchards full of beauty and delight.(23)

To God belong the dominions of the heavens and the earth and everything between them.(24) To Him belong the east and the west. Withers ever you turn, there is His presence, for He is all‑pervading.(25) Neither slumber can seize Him, nor sleep.

His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving His creatures, for He is the most high and supreme in glory,(26) exalted in might; and wise.(27) It is He who gives life and death and has power over all things.

God is not only the creator, but also the cherisher,(28) sustainer,(29) protector,(30) helper,(31) guide,(32) and reliever of distress and suffering(33) of all His creatures, and is

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1- Ibid., CXIII, I.
2- Ibid., LXX, 3.
3- Ibid:, XIII, 3.
4- Ibid., XX, 53.
5- Ibid., XLIII, 11.
6- Ibid., XXIX, 63.
7- Ibid., XVI, 10‑11; LV, 10‑13.
8- Ibid., XX, 53.
9- Ibid., XLIII, 12.
10- Ibid., LXXIX, 28.
11- Ibid., 1XXIX, 29.
12- Ibid., LXXIX, 30‑33.
13- Ibid., XXXVI, 34.
14- Ibid., LXVII, 30.
15- Ibid., XVI, 14; XXV, 53; LV, 24.
16- Ibid., XVI, 14; LV, 24.
17- Ibid., XVI, 5 ; XXV, 49 ; XLIII, 12.
18- Ibid., LV, 22.
19- Ibid., XXV, 45‑46.
20- Ibid., XXV, 48‑50.
21- Ibid., XXV, 47.
22- Ibid., XXV, 49.
23- Ibid., XXVII, 60.
24- Ibid., II, 255; III, 2; XL, 65; XLIII, 85.
25- Ibid., II, 115; LV, 17; LXXIII,
26- Ibid., II, 255.
27- Ibid., III,
28- Ibid, I, 2; VI, 164; X, 32.
29- Ibid., VII, 54; XI, 6; XXVII, 64; XXIX, 60; LI, 58
30- Ibid., II, 257; III, 150; LXVI, 2; XCIII, 6.
31- Ibid., III, 150; IV, 45; XL, 51.
32- Ibid., VI, 71, 88; XXVI, 63; XCII, 12; XCIII, 7.
33- Ibid., XXVII, 62

most merciful, most kind, and most forgiving.

God has not created the world for idle sport.(1) It is created with a purpose, for an appointed term,(2) and according to a plan, however hidden these may be from us humans. “God is the best of planners.”(3) He it is who ordains laws and grants guidance,(4) creates everything and ordains for it a proportion and measure,(5) and gives it guidance.(6)

There is not a thing but with Him are the treasures of it, but He sends them down in a known measure.(7)

The world is not without a purpose or a goal; it is throughout teleological and to this universal teleology human beings are no exception. To every one of them there is a goal(8) and that goal is God Himself.(9)

God is all knowledge. He is the Truth.(10) With Him are the keys of the un­seen, the treasures that none knows but He.(11) He witnesses all things,(12) for every single thing is before His sight in due proportion.(13) Verily, nothing on the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Him, not even as much as the weight of an atom. Neither the smallest nor the greatest of things are but recorded in a clear record.(14)

On the earth and in the sea not even a leaf does fall without His knowledge.(15) Should not He that created everything know His own handiwork? He is full of wisdom.(16) He understands the finest of mysteries.(17) He knows what enters the earth and what comes

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1- Ibid., XXI, 16.
2- Ibid., XLVI, 3.
3- Ibid., III, 54.
4- Ibid., 1XXXVII, 3.
5- Ibid., XXV, 2; LIV, 49.
6- Ibid., XX, 50.
7- Ibid., XV, 21.
8- Ibid., II, 148.
9- Ibid., LIII, 42.
10- Ibid., X, 32; XXII, 6; XXIV, 25; XLIII, 84.
11- Ibid., VI, 59.
12- Ibid., X, 61.
13- Ibid., XIII, 8.
14- Ibid., III, 5; VI, 59; X, 61.
15- Ibid., VI, 59.
16- Ibid., XLIII, 84.
17- Ibid., LXVII, 14.

forth out of it; what comes down from heaven and all that ascends to it.(1) He knows every word spoken.(2)

No secrets of the heart are hidden from Him,(3) for He has full knowledge of all things, open or secret.(4) He knows and would call us to account for what is in our minds, whether we reveal it or conceal it.(5) Two other attributes of God and our basic values are always mentioned together in the Qur'an. These are justice and love, the latter including among other attributes the attributes of munificence, mercy, and forgiveness.

God is the best to judge(6) and is never unjust,(7) He does not deal unjustly with man; it is man that wrongs his own soul.(8) On the Day of Judgment, He will set up the scales of justice and even the smallest action will be taken into account.(9) He is swift in taking account,(10) and punishes with exemplary punish­ment.(11) He commands people to be just(12) and loves those who are just.(13)

For those who refrain from wrong and do what is right there is great re­ward,(14) and God suffers no reward to be lost.(15) People's good deeds are in­scribed to their credit so that they may be requited with the best possible award.(16)

Divine punishment is equal to the evil done. It may be less, for, besides being most just, God is most loving, most merciful, and forgiver of all sins,(17) but it is never more.(18) Such is not, however, the case with His reward. He

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1- Ibid., XXXIV, 2; LVII, 4,
2- Ibid., XXI, 4.
3- Ibid., IVII, 6; LXIV, 4.
4- Ibid.. LIX, 22.
5- Ibid., II, 284; III, 29; VI, 3; XVI, 23.
6- Ibid., VI, 57; X, 109.
7- Ibid., IV, 40.
8- Ibid., X, 44.
9- Ibid., XXI, 47.
10- Ibid., VII, 167; XXIV, 39.
11- Ibid., XLI, 43.; LIX, 4.
12- Ibid., XVI, 90; LVII, 25.
13- Ibid.. V, 45.
14- Ibid., III, 172.
15- Ibid., IX, 120.
16- Ibid., IX, 121.
17- Ibid., XXXIX, 53.
18- Ibid., VI, 160; XXXVII, 39.

is most munificent and bountiful and, therefore, multiplies rewards for good deeds manifold.(1) These rewards are both of this life and the life hereafter.(2)

Islam, no less than Christianity, lays emphasis on the basic value of love. Whenever the Qur'an speaks of good Christians, it recalls their love and mercy.(3) God is loving,(4) and He exercises His love in creating, sustaining, nourishing, sheltering, helping, and guiding His creatures; in attending to their needs, in showing them grace, kindness, compassion, mercy, and forgive­ness, when having done some wrong, they turn to Him for that; and in ex­tending the benefits of His unlimited bounty to the sinners no less than to the virtuous.(5)

It is, therefore, befitting for man to be overflowing in his love for God(6) and be thankful to Him for His loving care.(7)

God is all good, free from all evil (quddus).(8) He is also the source of all good(9) and worthy of all praise.(10)

The Qur'an uses synonymous words for beauty and goodness (husn wa khair).The word radiance or light (Nur) is also used to signify beauty. God is the beauty (Nur) of the heavens and the earth(11) and His names (attributes) are also most beautiful (asma al‑husna).(12) He is the creator possessed of the highest excellence.(13) He creates all forms and evolves them stage by stage (al‑bari al‑musawwir).(14)

Everything created by Him is harmonious and of great beauty.(15) Notice the beauty of trees and fields and the starry, heaven.(16) He is the best bestower of divine

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1- Ibid.,VI, 160.
2- Ibid., IV, 134.
3- Ibid., V, 85; LVII, 27.
4- Ibid., IV, 28, 45; VI, 17, 64, 77, 88, 122; X, 57; XVLI, 20, 21; XIX, 96; LXXXVII, 3; XCII, 12; XCIII, 7; XCVI, 3.
5- Ibid., III, 150, 174; IV, 26‑27, 45; V, 77 ; VI, 12, 17, 54, 63‑64, 133, 165; VII, 151; IX, 117‑18 ; X, 21, 32, 57 ; XII, 64, 92 ; XIV, 34, 36 ; XV, 49 ; XVI, 119 ; XVII, 20, 21; XXI, 83; XXIII, 109, 118; III, 28; IV, 27; XCVI, 3.
6- Ibid., II, 165.
7- Ibid., XVI, 114.
8- Ibid., LIX, 23.
9- Ibid., XVI, 53.
10- Ibid., XXXI, 26.
11- Ibid., XXIV, 35.
12- Ibid.,VII, 180; XVII, 110; XX. 8.
13- Ibid., XXXVII, 125.
14- Ibid., LIX, 24.
15- Ibid., XXXII, 7.
16- Ibid.,. XXXVII, 6.

colour to man(1) who has been made in the best of moulds(2) and has been given the most beautiful shape.(3) How lovable is the beauty of animals whom you take out for grazing at dawn and bring home at eventime.(4)

Throughout history God has sent messages of great excellence,(5) and given the best of explanations in His revealed books.(6) Therefore, people must follow the best revealed book (ahsan al‑kitab).(7) How beautiful is the story of Joseph given in the Scripture.(8)

God's judgment is of the highest excellence,(9) and belief in the Day of Judgment of extreme beauty. Of great excellence is the speech of the righteous that call to God,(10) for they invite people to Him by beautiful preaching(11) and say only those things which are of supreme excellence.(12)

The Qur'an lays the greatest stress on the beauty of action. It exhorts mankind to do the deeds of high value,(13) for God loves those who do excellent deeds. It wants men to return greetings with greetings of great excellence(14) and repel evil with what is best,(15) for in so doing they enhance the excellence of their own souls.(16)

Patience is graceful (sabr‑i jamil)(17) and so is forgiveness.(18) Excellence of conduct shall not be wasted.(19) Those whose deeds are beautiful shall be given the highest reward(20) in this world and better still in the next.(21) They shall be given in paradise the most beautiful abodes and places for repose(22), and excellent provisions shall be made for them.(23)

God's Relation to Man


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1- Ibid., II, 138.
2- Ibid., XCV, 4.
3- Ibid., XL, 64.
4- Ibid., XVI, 5‑6.
5- Ibid., XXXIX, 23.
6- Ibid., XXV, 33.
7- Ibid., XXXIX, 55.
8- Ibid., XII, 3.
9- Ibid., V, 53.
10- Ibid., XLI, 33.
11- Ibid., XVI, 125.
12- Ibid., XVII, 53.
13- Ibid., II, 195; V, 96.
14- Ibid., IV, 86.
15- Ibid., XXIII, 96.
16- Ibid., XVII, 7.
17- Ibid., XII, 18; LXXIII, 10.
18- Ibid., XV, 85.
19- Ibid., XVIII, 30.
20- Ibid., XVI, 30.
21- Ibid., XXV, 24.
22- Ibid., III, 172; IX, 121; V, 26; VI, 96‑97; XIV, :3,I: XXIX, 7; XXXIX, 35,.70; XLVI, 16; LIII, 31.
23- Ibid., XVI, 96‑97; XXV, 75‑76.

created man's spirit out of nothing(1) and created mankind from this single spirit. He created his mate of the same kind and from the twain produced men and women in large numbers.(2)

From the point of view of personal history and perhaps also from the point of view of the evolutionary process, man is created for an appointed term(3) as a being growing gradually from the earth,(4) from an extract of certain elements of the earth,(5) then by receiving nourishment from the objects of sustenance,(6) and being endowed with life.

Like all other living beings,(7) taking the form of water(8) or watery clay or adhesive mud(9) moulded into shape in due proportions(10) as a life‑germ, a leech‑like Clot(11) of congealed blood,(12) growing into a lump of flesh, further developing into bones clothed with flesh, and finally emerging as a new creation,(13) a human being in two sexes,(14) gifted with hearing and sight, intelligence, and‑affection,(15) destined to become God's vicegerent on earth,(16) decreed to die one day,(17) and destined to be raised again on the Day of Resurrection.(18)

The form in which he will be raised again he does not know.(19) The whole of mankind is one family, because it is the progeny of a single pair.(20)

In reality, man is the highest of all that is created, for God has created him in the most beautiful of moulds.(21) He is born with the divine spirit breathed into him,(22) even as for the Hindu, Greek, and Christian sages he is made

p: 12

1- Ibid., XIX, 67.
2- Ibid., IV, 1.
3- Ibid., VI, 2.
4- Ibid., XXXII, 7; LV, 14.
5- Ibid., VI, 2; XXII, 5.
6- Ibid., XVII, 70; LXXV, 36‑39,
7- Ibid., XXI, 30.
8- Ibid., XV, 26.
9- Ibid., XXXVII, 11.
10- Ibid., XV, 26.
11- Ibid., XCVI, 2.
12- Ibid.
13- Ibid., XXIII, 14.
14- Ibid., XXXVI, 36; XLIII, 12; LI, 49.
15- Ibid., XVL, 78.
16- Ibid., II, 30.
17- Ibid., XXIII15.
18- Ibid., XXIII, 16, 115; XXXVI. 79.
19- Ibid., LVI, 61
20- Ibid., IV, 1; XXXIX, 6; XLIX. 13
21- Ibid., XCV, 4.
22- Ibid., XXXVIII, 72.

in the image of God.

Human perfection, therefore, consists in being dyed in divine colour(1) ‑ in the fullest achievement and assimilation of divine attributes, for God desires nothing but the perfection of His light,(2) the perfection of these attributes in man.

The sole aim of man, therefore, is a progressive achievement of all divine attributes‑all intrinsic values. God encompasses(3) and cherishes(4) mankind. He is always near man(5) nearer than his jugular vein.(6) He is with him wheresoever he may be and sees all that he does.(7) Whithersoever he turns, there is the presence of God, for He is all‑pervading.(8) He listens to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Him.(9)


The soul of man is of divine origin, for God has breathed a bit of His own spirit into him.(10) It is an unfathomable mystery, a command of God, of the knowledge of which only a little has been communicated to man.(11) The conscious self or mind is of three degrees.

In the first degree it is the impulsive mind (nafs ammarah) which man shares with animals; in the second degree it is the conscientious or morally conscious mind (nafs lawwamah) struggling between good and evil and repenting for the evil done; in the third degree it is the mind perfectly in tune with the divine will, the mind in peace (nafs mutma'innah).(12)

Theory of Knowledge

Man alone has been given the capacity to use names for things(13) and so has been given the knowledge which even the angels do not

p: 13

1- Ibid., II, 138.
2- Ibid., IX, 32.
3- Ibid., XLI, 54.
4- Ibid., XCVI, 1.
5- Ibid., II, 186.
6- Ibid., L, 16.
7- Ibid., LVII, 4.
8- Ibid., II, 115.
9- Ibid., II, 186.
10- Ibid., XV, 29; XXXII, 9; XXXVIII, 72.
11- Ibid., XVII, 85.
12- Ibid., XII, 53; LXXV, 2; LXXXIX, 27.
13- Ibid., II, 31.

possess.(1) Among men those who are granted wisdom are indeed granted great good.(2)

Understanding raises a man's dignity.(3) Those who do not use the intellect are like a herd of goats, deaf, dumb, and blind(4) no better than the lowest of beasts.(5) The ideal of the intellect is to know truth from error. As an ideal or basic value for man wisdom means the knowledge of facts, ideals, and values.

There are three degrees of knowledge in the ascending scale of certitude (i) knowledge by inference (`ilm al‑yaqin),(6) (ii)knowledge by perception and reported perception or observation (`ain al‑yaqin),(7) and (iii) knowledge by personal experience or intuition (haqq al‑yaqan)(8) ‑a distinction which may be exemplified by my certitude of (1) fire always burns, (2) it has burnt John's fingers, and (3) it has burnt my fingers. Likewise, there are three types of errors: (i) the errors of reasoning, (ii) the errors of observation, and (iii) the errors of intuition.

The first type of knowledge depends either on the truth of its presupposi­tion as in deduction, or it is only probable as in induction. There is greater certitude about our knowledge based on actual experience (observation or experiment) of phenomena.

The second type of knowledge is either scientific knowledge based on ex­perience (observation and experiment) or historical knowledge based on reports and descriptions of actual experiences. Not all reports are trustworthy. There­fore, special attention should be paid to the character of the reporter. If he is a man of shady character, his report should be

p: 14

1- Ibid., II, 32.
2- Ibid., II, 269.
3- Ibid., XXXIX, 9.
4- Ibid., II, 171.
5- Ibid., VIII, 22.
6- Ibid., CII, 5.
7- Ibid., CII, 7.
8- Ibid., LXIX, 51.

carefully checked.(1)

Scientific knowledge comes from the study of natural phenomena. These natural phenomena are the signs of God(2) symbols of the Ultimate Reality or expressions of the Truth, as human behaviour is the expression of the human mind.

Natural laws are the set ways of God in which there is no change.(3) The study of nature, of the heavens and the earth, is enlightening for the men of understanding.(4) The alternation of day and night enables them to measure serial time.(5)

They can know the ways of God, the laws of nature, by observing all things of varying colours‑mountains, rivers, fields of corn, or other forms of vegetation, gardens of olives, date‑palms, grapes, and fruit of all kinds, though watered with the same water, yet varying in quahty;(6) by studying the birds poised under the sky and thinking how they are so held up(7) and likewise by observing the clouds and wondering how they are made.(8)

Those who think can know God and can conquer all that is in the heavens and the earth(9) night and day, and the sun the moon, and the stars.(10) Knowledge of the phenomenal world which the senses yield is not an illusion, but a blessing for which we must be thankful.(11)

No less important for individuals and nations is the study of history. There is a measure and law in human society as much as in the whole cosmos.(12) The life of every nation as a collective body moves in time and passes

p: 15

1- Ibid., XLIX, 6.
2- Ibid., II, 164, 219; III, 190; VI, 95‑99; X, 3‑6; XIII, 2‑4; XVII, 12; XXX, 20‑27; XLV, 3‑6.
3- Ibid., XVII, 77.
4- Ibid., III, 190.
5- Ibid., III, 190; XVII, 12.
6- Ibid., XV I, 11, 13‑16.
7- Ibid., XZIV, 41; LXVII, 19.
8- Ibid., XXIV, 43.
9- Ibid., XVI, 14; XLV. 13.
10- Ibid., XVI, 12.
11- Ibid., XVI 78; XXXII. 9.
12- Ibid., XXV, 2; LIV, 49.

through rises and falls, successes and reverses,(1) till its appointed period comes to an end.(2) For every living nation there are lessons in the history of the peoples that have lived in the past.

It should, therefore, study the “days of God,” the momentous periods of history, the periods of divine favour and punish­ment, the periods of nations glory and decline.(3) People should traverse the earth to see what had been the end of those who neglected the laws of nature, the signs of God.(4) Those who do not guide others with truth and so do not act rightly, even though their days are lengthened, are gradually brought down by such means as they do not know.(5)

God never changes the condition of a people until they change it themselves, but once He wills it, there can be no turning it back.(6) Therefore, it is all the more important to take lessons from the past. In the stories about the past there are instructions for men of understanding.(7) Even the bare outlines of the rise and fall of nations, of great events of history, and their consequences provide object lessons for their guidance and warning.

Let them remember momentous events of the lives of such peoples and societies as the Israelites,(8) the Magians,(9) the Sabians,(10) the Romans,(11) the Christians,(12) the people of Saba,(13) the people of Madyan,(14) of `Ad,(15) of Thamud,(16) of Lot,(17) Companions of the Cave, the Seven Sleepers,(18) the Companions of al‑Rass,(19) the Companions of the Rocky

p: 16

1- Ibid., III, 137‑39.
2- Ibid., VII, 34.
3- Ibid., XIV, 5.
4- Ibid., III, 137.
5- Ibid., VII, 182‑83.
6- Ibid., XIII, 11.
7- Ibid., XII, 111; XIV, 5, 15; XXX, 9; XXXIII, 62; XXXV, 44.
8- Ibid., II, 40‑86, 93, 100, 122, 246‑51; V, 13‑14, 73‑74; VII, 138‑41, 161‑71; XX, 80‑82; XXIX, 27; XXXII, 23‑25; XL, 53‑54; XLV, 16‑17.
9- Ibid., XXII, 17.
10- Ibid., II, 62; V, 72; XXII, 17.
11- Ibid., XXX, 2.
12- Ibid., II, 138; V, 15, 85‑88.
13- Ibid., XXVII, 22; XXXIV, 15‑21.
14- Ibid., VII, 85‑93; XI, 84‑95; XXIX, 36‑37.
15- Ibid., VII, 65‑72; XI, 50‑60; XXV, 38; XXVI, 123‑40; XXIX, 38; XLI, 15‑16; XLVI, 21‑26; LI, 41‑42; LIV, 18‑21; IXIX, 4‑8; LXXXIX, 6‑8.
16- Ibid., VII, 73‑79; XI, 61‑68; XXV, 38; XXVI, 141‑159; XXVII, 45‑53; XXIX, 38; XLI, 17; LI, 43‑‑45; LIV, 23‑31; LXIX, 4‑5; LXXXV, 17‑20; L=IX, 9‑14; XCI, 11‑15.
17- Ibid., VII, 80‑84; XI, 77‑83; XV, 57‑77; XXI, 74‑75; XXVI, 160‑75; XXVII, 54‑58; XXIX, 26, 28‑35; XXXVII, 133‑38; LI, 31‑37; LIV, 33‑39.
18- Ibid., XVIII, 9‑22.
19- Ibid., XXV, 38; 1, 12.

Tract,(1) and those of the Inscription,(2) and Gog and Magog;(3) prophets like Noah,(4) Abraham,(5) Isma`il,(6) Isaac,(7) Jacob,(8) David,(9) Solomon,(10) Joseph,(11) Moses,(12) Aaron,(13) Elisha,(14) Jonah,(15) Jesus;(16) and other personages great for their piety, power or wisdom, e.g., Mary,(17) the Queen of Saba,(18) Dhu al‑Qarnain(19) (probably Cyrus of Iran), and the Pharaoh(20) (Thothmes I of Egypt), and Aesop.(21)

So much importance has been given to history that fifteen chapters of the Qur'an have been given the titles bearing historical significance.(22) Nor indeed has the study of contemporary history been ignored. The Qur'an refers to contemporaneous events such as the battle of Badr,(23) the battle of Tabuk,(24) the trade and commerce of the Quraish,(25) the hypocrisy of those who were enemies pretending to have embraced Islam, and the animosity of persons like abu Lahab and his wife.(26)

God reveals His signs not only in the experience of the outer world (afaq) and its historical vistas, but also through the inner experience of minds (anfus). Thus, the inner or personal experience is the third source of know­ledge. Experience from this source gives the highest degree of certitude. Divine guidance(27) comes to His creatures in the first instance from this source. The forms of knowledge that come through this source are:

(1) divinely‑determined movement‑movement determined by natural causes, as in the earth,(28) and the heavens,(29)

(2) instinct, e.g., in the bee to build its cell,(30)

(3) intuition or knowledge by the heart,(31)

(4) inspiration as in the case of Moses mother when she cast

p: 17

1- Ibid., XV, 80‑84.
2- Ibid., XVIII, 9.
3- Ibid., XVIII, 94.
4- Ibid., VI, 84; VII, 59‑64; X, 71‑73; XI, 25‑49; XXI, 76‑77; XXIII, 23‑30; XXV, 37 ; XXVI, 105‑22 ; XXIX, 14‑15 ; XXXVII, 7 5‑82 ; LI, 46 ; LIV, 9‑15 ; LXIX, 11‑12 ; LXXI, 1‑28.
5- Ibid., II, 124‑27, 130, 258, 260; III, 67, 95‑97; VI, 74‑83; XI, 69‑76; XIV, 35‑‑41; XV, 51‑56 ; XVI, 120‑23 ; XIX, 41‑50 ; XXI, 51‑71; XXVI, 70‑87 ; XXIX, 16‑18, 23‑25; XXXVII, 83‑111; LI, 24‑30; IIII, 37; LX, 4‑6; IXXXVII, 19.
6- Ibid., II, 125‑29; VI, 86; XIX, 54‑55; XXI, 85.
7- Ibid., VI, 84; XXI, 72; XXXVII, 112‑13.
8- Ibid., II, 132‑33; VI, 84; XIX, 49; XXI, 72.
9- Ibid., VI, 84; XXI, 78‑80; XXXIV, 10‑11; XXXVIII, 17‑26
10- Ibid., II, 102; VI, 84; XXI, 79, 81‑82; XXVII, 15‑44.
11- Ibid., VI, 84; XII, 4‑101.
12- Ibid., II, 51‑61; V, 22‑‑29; VI, 84; VII, 103‑62; X, 75‑92; XI, 96‑99, 110; XIV, 5‑8; XVII, 101‑03; XVIII, 60‑82; XIX, 51‑53; XX,9‑56, 70‑73, 86‑98; XXIII, 45‑49; XXV, 35‑36; XXVI, 10‑69; XXVII, 7‑14; XXVIII, 7‑42; XXXVII, 114‑22; XL, 23‑46; XLIII, 46‑56; LI, 38‑40; LIII, 36; IXI, 5; LXXIX, 15‑26; LXXXVII, 19.
13- Ibid., VI, 84; XX, 29‑‑36, 90‑94.
14- Ibid., VI, 86; XXXVIII. 48.
15- Ibid., IV, 163; VI, 86; X, 98; XXXVII, 139‑48.
16- Ibid., II, 136; III, 45‑47, 49‑59; IV, 157‑59, 171; V, 19, 20, 49, 75‑78, 113‑21; VI, 85; IX, 30; XIX, 22‑36; XLIII, 59‑61, 63‑64; LVII, 27; LXI, 6, 14.
17- Ibid., III, 35‑37, 42‑51; IV, 156; XIX, 16‑21; 23‑33; XXI, 91; LXVI, 12.
18- Ibid., XXVII, 22‑44; XXXIV, 15‑21.
19- Ibid., XVIII, 83‑98.
20- Ibid., II, 49, 50; VII, 103‑37; X, 75‑92; XL, 23‑37; IXVI. 11; LXIX, 9; LXXIII. 15‑16; LXXIX, 17‑26; IXXXV, 17‑20; IXXXIX, I0‑14.
21- Ibid., XXXI, 12‑19.
23- Ibid., III, 13.
24- Ibid., IX, 40‑42; 43‑59. 81‑99 120‑22.
25- Ibid., LXXXIII, 1‑3; CVI, 1‑4
26- Ibid., CXL, 1‑5.
27- Ibid., II, 38.
28- Ibid., 1, 7‑8; LI, 20.
29- Ibid., XLI, 12.
30- Ibid., XVI, 68.
31- Ibid., II, 97; XXVI, 193‑95; XLI, 30‑31; LIII, 10‑11.

her tenderly suckled child into the river,(1) and

(5) revelation as in the case of all true prophets,(2) God's messengers.

Man's Power

God has subjected for the use of man, His vicegerent on the earth,(3) everything in the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon; day and night; winds and rain; the rivers and the seas and the ships that sail; pearls and corals; springs and streams, mountains, moisture, and pastures; and animals to ride and grain and fruit to eat.(4)

Free Will

God has given man the will to choose, decide, and resolve to do good or evil. He has endowed him with reason and various impulses so that by his own efforts he may strive and explore possibilities. He has also given him a just bias, a natural bias towards good.(5) Besides this He has given him guidance through revelation and inspiration, and has advised him to return evil with good,(6) to repel it with what is best (ahsan).(7) Hence if a man chooses to do good, it is because in giving him these benefits God has willed him to do so.

He never changes the gracious benefits which He has bestowed on a people until they change themselves.(8) Therefore, whatever good come from man or to man is ultimately from God.(9) On the other hand, his nature has a bias against evil, his reason is opposed to it, and he has been given a warning against it through the revealed books; therefore, whatever evil comes from him or

p: 18

1- Ibid., XXVIII, 7.
2- Ibid., IV, 163‑64; X1II, 15, ETC.
3- Ibid., XXXI, 20.
4- Ibid., XIV, 32‑33; XVI, 12‑13; XXI, 81; XXV, 45‑53; XXXL, 20; XXXVI, 33‑35 71‑73; XLV, 12‑13; IV, 22; LXVIII, 34; LXXIX, 30‑33
5- Ibid., LXXXII, 7.
6- Ibid., XIII, 22.
7- Ibid., XXIII, 96; X1I, 34.
8- Ibid., VIII, 53; XIII, 11.
9- Ibid., IV, 79.

to him is from his own soul.(1)

If God had willed He would have destroyed evil or would not have allowed it to exist, and if it were His will, the whole of mankind would have had faith, but that is not His plan?(2) His plan envisages man's free use of the divine attribute of power or freedom to choose(3) and take all judicious and precautionary measures to suit different situations.(4)

In the providential scheme man's role is not that of a blind, deaf, dumb and driven herd of goats.(5) So even his free choice of evil is a part of the scheme of things and no one will choose a way unto God, unless it fits into that scheme or is willed by God.(6)

There is no compulsion in faith. God's guidance is open to all who have the will to profit by it.(7) Whosoever wills, let him take the straight path to his Lord.(8) Truth is from God, then whosoever wills, let him believe it; and whosoever wills, let him reject it.(9) The prophets are sent to every nation(10) for guiding the whole of mankind. Their duty is to preach, guide, and inspire by persuasion and not to drive or force people to anything, nor to watch over their doings or dispose of their affairs.(11) They cannot compel mankind against their will to believe.(12)


Death of the body has been decreed by God to be the common lot of mankind.(13) Wherever a man is, death will overtake him

p: 19

1- Ibid.
2- Ibid., VI, 107.
3- Ibid., VI, 104; XVIII, 29; LXXVI, 29.
4- Ibid., IV, 71.
5- Ibid., II, 171; VII, 179.
6- Ibid.. LXXVI, 30; LXXXI, 29
7- Ibid., LXXXI, 28.
8- Ibid., LXXVI, 29.
9- Ibid., XVIII, 29.
10- Ibid., X, 47; XLII, 13
11- Ibid., VI, 107.
12- Ibid., X, 99.
13- Ibid., LVI, 60.

even if he is in a tower strong and high.(1) No soul can die except by God's leave, the term being fixed as if by writing,(2) but every soul shall be given a taste of death(3) and in the end brought back to God(4) and duly judged on the Day of Judgment, and only he who is saved from fire will be admitted to paradise; it is then that he will have attained the goal of his life. As compared to that life, the life of this world is only a life of vainglory.(5)

Life after Death

There are some who think revival after death is far from their understanding(6) and ask how they shall be raised up after they have been reduced to bones and dust.(7)

Let them recall to mind that they were created out of nothing; first as dust, then a sperm, then a leech‑like clot, then a piece of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, kept in a womb for an appointed term, then brought out as babes and then fostered so that they reached an age of full strength; and further, let them ponder over the fact that the earth is first barren and lifeless but when God pours down rain, it is stirred to life, it swells, and puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs.(8)

Let them understand that He who created the heavens and the earth is able to give life to the dead, for He has power over all things.(9)

God created man

p: 20

1- Ibid., IV, 7 8.
2- Ibid., III, 145.
3- Ibid., III, 145; XXI, 35
4- Ibid., XXIX, 57.
5- Ibid., III 185
6- Ibid., 1, 3.
7- Ibid., XVI, 38; XVII, 49; XIX, 66‑72; XXLI. :1: XLVI. 33; 1. 20‑22, 41‑44; LXXV, 1‑15; LXXIX, 6‑12; LXXXVI. 5‑8.
8- Ibid., XXII, 5.
9- Ibid., X1VI, 33.

from the earth, into it shall he return and from it shall he be brought out again.(1) For everyone after death there shall be an interval (Barzakh)lasting till the Day of Resurrection.(2) On that day all the dead shall be raised up again.(3) Even as God produced the first creation, so shall He produce this new one.(4) We do not know in what form we shall be raised,(5) but as a parable(6) the Qur'an describes the Day of Resurrection as follows

On that day there shall be a dreadful commotion.(7) The heaven shall be rent asunder(8) and melted like molten brass.(9) The sun folded up and the moon darkened shall be joined together,(10) and the stars shall fall, losing their lustre.(11) In terrible repeated convulsions,(12) the earth shall be shaken to its depths and pounded into powder.(13) The mountains shall crumble to atoms flying hither and thither(14) like wool,(15) the oceans shall boil over, there shall be a deafening noise, and the graves shall be turned upside down.(16)

A trumpet shall be blown,(17) no more than a single mighty blast,(18) and there shall come forth every individual soul(19) and rush forth to the Lord(20) ‑ the sinners as blackened,(21) blinded,(22) terror‑smitten(23) with eyes cast down(24) and hearts come right up to their throats to choke;(25) and the virtuous, happy and rejoicing.(26)

Then all except such as it will please God to exempt shall fall into a swoon.(27) Then a second trumpet shall be sounded, when, behold! they will all be

p: 21

1- Ibid., XX, 55.
2- Ibid., XXIII, 100.
3- Ibid., XVI, 38‑39.
4- Ibid., XXI, 104.
5- Ibid., LVI, 61.
6- Ibid., XXX, 27, 58.
7- Ibid., LXXIX, 6‑9.
8- Ibid., XXV, 25, LXXIII, 18.
9- Ibid., LXX, 8.
10- Ibid., LXXV, 7‑9; IXXXI, 1.
11- Ibid., LXXXI, 2.
12- Ibid., XCIX, 1.
13- Ibid;, LXXXIX; 21.
14- Ibid., XGVII 88; III, 9‑10; LVI, 4‑6; LXXVII 10.
15- Ibid., LXX, 9.
16- Ibid., LXXXII, 4; XCIX, 2.
17- Ibid., XX, 102; XXVII, 87; 1, 20.
18- Ibid., XXXVI, 29
19- Ibid., XXXI, 28.
20- Ibid., XXXVI, . ,
21- Ibid., LXXX, 40‑41.
22- Ibid., XX, 102, 124.
23- Ibid., XXI, 97; XXVII, 87.
24- Ibid., LXXIX, 9.
25- Ibid., XL, 18.
26- Ibid., LXXX, 38‑39.
27- Ibid., XXXIX, 68.

standing and looking on. The earth will shine with the glory, of the Lord and the record of deeds shall be opened.(1)

All shall fully remember their past deeds.(2) Anyone who will have done an atom of good shall see it and anyone who will have done an atom of evil shall see it.(3) They shall also recognize one another,(4) though each will have too much concern of his own to be able to be of help to others.(5) They will have neither a protector, nor an intercessor except God(6) or those whom permission is granted by Him and whose word is acceptable to Him.(7)

They shall all now meet their Lord.(8) The scale of justice shall be set up, and not a soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least; and if there be no more than the weight of a mustard seed, it will be brought to account,(9) and all shall be repaid for their past deeds.(10) There will be a sorting out of the sinners and the righteous.(11) The sinners will meet a grievous penalty but it shall not be more than the retribution of the evil they will have wrought.(12)

All in proportion to their respective deeds and for a period longer and shorter shall go through a state of pain and remorse,(13) designated in the Qur'an as hell, and the righteous saved from hell shall enter a state of perpetual peace, designated as paradise.

Paradise has been described in the Qur'an by similitude(14) in

p: 22

1- Ibid., XXXIX, 69.
2- Ibid., VI, 28; LXXXIX, 23.
3- Ibid., XCIX, 6‑8.
4- Ibid., X, 45.
5- Ibid., LXXX, 37.
6- Ibid., VI, 51.
7- Ibid., XX, 109.
8- Ibid., XIX, 95.
9- Ibid., XXI, 47.
10- Ibid., XXXVI, 54.
11- Ibid., XXXVII, 21; LXXVII, 13‑14.
12- Ibid., XXXVII, 38‑39.
13- Ibid., XIX, 71‑72.
14- Ibid., XIII, 35; XLVII, 15.

terms of what average human beings value most: dignity, honour, virtue, beauty, luxury, sensuous pleasures, and social discourse‑and hell in terms of what they all detest. People shall be sorted out into three classes.(1)

(1) Those who will be fore­most and nearest to God, with whom God is well‑pleased and who are well­ pleased with God. They shall have no fear, no grief, no toil, no fatigue, no sense of injury,(2) no vanity, and no untruth.(3)They shall enjoy honour and dignity, and, dressed in fine silks and brocade and adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls,(4) shall live forever in carpeted places. They will recline on thrones encrusted with gold and jewels facing one another for discourse.

They will be served by youths of perpetual freshness, handsome as pearls,(5) with goblets, beakers, and cups filled out of clear fountains of crystal white and delicious drinks free from intoxication and after‑aches, which they will ex­change with one another free of frivolity and evil taint.(6) They shall be given fruit and flesh of their own choice in dishes of gold to eat, and shall get more than all they desire.(7)

Their faces shall be beaming with the brightness of bliss.(8) They shall have as companions chaste women, their wives,(9) beautiful like pearls and corals.(10) Those who believe and whose families follow them in faith, to them God shall join their families, their ancestors, their spouses, and their offspring.(11) Rest, satisfaction, and peace will reign all round. This will be their great salvation;(12)

p: 23

1- Ibid., IVI, 7‑56.
2- Ibid., VII, 43; XXXV, 33‑35; LXV, 46‑48.
3- Ibid., LXXVIII, 35.
4- Ibid., XVIII, 31; XXII, 23.
5- Ibid., III, 24.
6- Ibid., XIX, 61‑63; LII, 23.
7- Ibid., XLII, 22; 1, 35.
8- Ibid., LXXXIII, 24.
9- Ibid., XLIII, 70.
10- Ibid., LV, 56‑58.
11- Ibid., XIII, 23.
12- Ibid., V, 122.

but their greatest reward, their supreme feli­city, will consist in being in the presence of God.(1)

(2) Companions of the right hand who shall have their abode in another garden. They will sit on thrones on high in the midst of trees, having flowers, pile upon pile, in cool, long‑extending shades by the side of constantly flowing water. They will recline on rich cushions and carpets of beauty,(2) and so will their pretty and chaste companions,(3) belonging to a special creation, pure and undefiled. They will greet one another with peace. They will also have all kinds of fruits, the supply of which will not be limited to seasons.(4) These are parables of what the righteous shall receive.(5)

(3) Companions of the left hand who shall be in the midst of a fierce blast of fire with distorted faces and roasted skin, neither alive nor dead,(6) under the shadows of black smoke. They shall have only boiling and fetid water to drink(7) and distasteful plants (zaqqum)to eat.(8) Nothing shall be there to refresh or to please.

The fire of hell shall, however, touch nobody except those most unfortunate ones who give the lie to truth.(9)

But for these similitudes, we cannot conceive the eternal, bliss and per­petual peace that awaits the righteous in the life hereafter,(10) nor can we conceive the agony which the unrighteous will go through. They will, however, remain in their respective states only so long as it is the will of God and is in accordance with

p: 24

1- Ibid., 1, 35; LIV, 55.
2- Ibid., LV, 54.
3- Ibid., LV, 70‑77.
4- Ibid., V, 122; IX, 20‑21, 7‑2; XV, 45‑48; XXXVII, 40‑49; XXXIX, 20; LII, 17‑24; LV, 6‑78; LVI, 10‑39, 88‑91.
5- Ibid., XLVII, 15.
6- Ibid., XX, 74.
7- Ibid., XIV, 16‑17.
8- Ibid., XLIV, 43.
9- Ibid., XCII, 15‑16.
10- Ibid., XXXII, 17.

His plans.(1)

Neither is the bliss of paradise the final stage for the righteous, nor is the agony of hell the final stage for the unrighteous. Just as we experience the glowing sunset, then evening, and then the full moon at night one after another, even so shall everyone progress whether in paradise or in hell stage by stage towards his Lord, and thus shall be redeemed in the end.(2)

Chapter 8: Ethical Teachings of the Qur’an


Ethical Teachings of the Qur’an by B.A Dar, M.A, Fellow Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore (Pakistan)



As it has been explained in the preceding chapter, the real goal of man, according to the Qur'an, is the assimilation of divine attributes. These attri­butes, as also shown in the same chapter, can be summarized as life, eternity, unity, power, truth, beauty, justice, love, and goodness.


God is the living one Himself(3) and gives life to others.(4) The moral laws enunciated in the Qur'an are life‑giving and life‑enriching(5) and, therefore, by living in this world in accordance with these laws man is able to realize one of God's attributes. If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.(6) On the social plane, the importance of life on this earth is duly emphasized.

The ideal of the Qur'an is to develop a healthy social organization which traverses the middle path of rectitude avoiding all forms of extreme.(7) People are to partake of the good things of the world(8) and wear beautiful apparel, to eat and

p: 25

1- Ibid., XIX, 71.
2- Ibid., LXXXIV, 6, 16‑19.
3- Qur’an, II, 255; XL, 65.
4- Ibid., II, 260; III, 156; VII, 1158; IX, 116; X, 56; XL, 68.
5- Ibid., VIII, 24; XVI, 97.
6- Ibid., V, 35.
7- Ibid., II, 143.
8- Ibid., VII, 32.

drink without going to excess,(1) and for this reason monasticism which implies denial of life on this earth is condemned as being incompatible with human nature.(2) Man is advised not to forget his portion in the life of this world.(3) Wealth and property are good things to be enjoyed and appreciated and are blessings of God(4) which make life smooth and comfortable.(5)

The life of the present world is no doubt significant and purposive,(6) but it’s purposes are directed towards the good of future life, for the real abode of life is in the hereafter.(7) God created life and death to test which of the people are best in point of deed.(8) The present world is a place of sojourn and a place of departure;(9) its enjoyments are short(10) and comforts are few,(11) while as compared with these the life in the hereafter is better and more enduring.(12)

It is best for the righteous(13) and will last forever.(14) The present life and the future life, however, are to be viewed as a unity, for man's creation here and his resurrection later on are events related to an individual soul.(15) In fact, life on this earth is a preparation for the life hereafter.(16) The good works that we do here in this life will run before us to illumine our path in the here­after(17) where we shall have full opportunity to develop our spiritual light to ever greater perfection.(18)


This attribute in its fullness is exclusively God's and man is created

p: 26

1- Ibid., VII, 31.
2- Ibid., LVII, 27.
3- Ibid., XXVIII, 77.
4- Ibid., XVII, 6.
5- Ibid., LXXIV, 14.
6- Ibid., III, 191; X, 5; XV. 85; XXI, 16.
7- Ibid., XXIS, 64.
8- Ibid., LXVII, 2.
9- Ibid., VI, 98.
10- Ibid., IV, 77.
11- Ibid., IX, 38.
12- Ibid., LXXXVII, 17.
13- Ibid., IV, 77.
14- Ibid., V, 122; XVIII, 31; XIX, 61‑63; XXXV, 33‑35; XXXVIII, 49‑52; XLIII, 68‑73.
15- Ibid., XXXI, 28.
16- Ibid., LXVII.
17- Ibid., VII, 12.
18- Ibid., IXVI, 8.

within time for a stated term;(1) yet he has within himself a deep craving for eternity and for a kingdom that never fails or ends.(2) Though finite and temporal, man does not and cannot rest content with that. The way is open for the finite and temporal man to attain life everlasting.(3)


The greatest emphasis in the Qur'an is on the unity of God which implies belief in the divine causality and the presence of moral order in the universe where people are judged according to the merit of their deeds(4) and not arbitrarily.(5) This moral order works without any favour not only in the case of individuals but also in the case of societies and peoples.(6) God has entered into covenant with men within the limits of this moral order with men as such and not with particular nations or races.(7)

Unity, as one of the ideals of man, implies unity in the internal life of man, a co‑ordination of reason, will, and action. It requires complete control of one's passions and lust. It also stands for the unity of profession and practice. Faith in God is the necessary prerequisite of moral life, but it should not be mere verbal acceptance;(8) it must be accompanied by good deeds,(9) implying an attitude of mind which is motivated by a complete submission to God's will.(10) Poets generally say what they do not practise,(11) and hypocrites say with their tongues what is not in their hearts,(12) but all believing men and

p: 27

1- Ibid., VI, 2.
2- Ibid., XX, 120.
3- Ibid., XXII, 23; XXXIX, 73‑75; LVII, 12; XCVIII, 8.
4- Ibid., XCIX, 7‑8.
5- Ibid., VIII, 53.
6- Ibid., V, 20.
7- Ibid., III, 81, 187; V, 8, 13, 15; VII, 172.
8- Ibid., V, 44
9- Ibid., VII, 42; X, 4; XIII, 29.
10- Ibid., II, 131; IX, 112.
11- Ibid., XXVI, 224‑26.
12- Ibid., III, 167; IV, 81; XLVII, 11.

women are truthful in their words and deeds.(1)

Externally, the ideal of unity demands that men should develop a healthy social organization which traverses the middle path of rectitude avoiding all forms of extreme.(2) The righteous are advised to get together and strive, so that tumult, oppression, and mischief are removed from the face of the earth.(3)

This ideal of unity also implies peace and harmony among members of a family. A woman is a mate for man so that both may dwell in tranquillity with an attitude of mutual love and kindness;(4) each is like a garment for the other(5) for mutual support, mutual comfort, and mutual protection. It is the duty of man to live with woman on a footing of kindness and equity.(6) Unity also implies that members of a national or ideological group should develop ties of intimate relationship among themselves so that the ideal of an organic whole may be realized in a broader context.

The Qur'an says that all Muslims are brothers(7) and have great love and affection among themselves.(8) No excuse should be allowed to stand in the way of doing good or making peace between different persons.(9) Every effort should be made to bring about con­ciliation between men,(10) yet we should co‑operate in righteousness and piety, not in sin and rancour.(11) We should be kind to those in need, to neighbours, and to the wayfarers.(12)

This attitude, of kindness and fairness is to be maintained and upheld even in the case of

p: 28

1- Ibid., IX, 119.
2- Ibid., II, 143.
3- Ibid., VIII, 73.
4- Ibid., XXX, 21.
5- Ibid., II, 187.
6- Ibid., IV, 19.
7- Ibid., XLIX, 10.
8- Ibid., XLVIII, 29.
9- Ibid., II, 224.
10- Ibid., IV, 114.
11- Ibid., V, 3.
12- Ibid., II, 83, 177, 215; IV, 36; XVII, 26.

enemies and opponents.(1) We should try to forgive those who plot against us and overlook their deeds,(2) cover evil with pardon,(3) and turn off evil with good.(4)

This attitude of toleration is to be cultivated in our relation to people of other faiths. The Qur'an aims at establishing a peaceful social atmosphere where people belonging to other faiths can enjoy freedom of conscience and worship(5) for which purpose the believers are urged to rise and fight against the oppressors so that monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure may not be pulled down.(6) It unreservedly praises some of the people of the Book for their faith.(7)

It is as a consequence of this attitude of tolerance that according to the Qur'an all those who believe in God and the Last Day and practice right­eousness, whether they are Muslims, Jews, Christians, or Sabaeans, shall get their reward from their Lord.(8) The Qur'an gives an open invitation to the people of the Book to come together and work conjointly for the establishment of peace and social harmony based on the idea of the unity of God.(9)

Above all, this ideal of unity leads to the conception of unity of the whole of humanity. Mankind was created from a single pair of a male and a female(10) and from a single breath of life.(11) All people are equal members of the human community;(12) the only distinction recognized by the Qur'an is based on

p: 29

1- Ibid., V, 3, 9, 45.
2- Ibid., V, 14.
3- Ibid., IV, 149.
4- Ibid., XIII, 22; XXVIII, 54.
5- Ibid., II, 256.
6- Ibid., XXII, 40.
7- Ibid., III, 110.
8- Ibid., II, 62; V, 72.
9- Ibid., III, 64.
10- Ibid., II; 213; IV, 1; VI, 98; X, 19; XXXIX, 6; XLIX, 13.
11- Ibid., IV, 1; XXXIX, 6.
12- Ibid., III, 195.

the degree of righteousness possessed by people.(1)


Power as a human ideal implies that man has the potentiality of assuming responsibility undertaken by him of his own accord.(2) God breathed His Spirit into him(3) and, therefore, made him His vicegerent on the earth.(4) Everything in the universe was created subservient to him(5) ‑ even the angels were ordered to bow down to him.(6) He was given a position of great honour in the universe and was elevated far above most of God's creations.(7)

He has all the faculties that are necessary for his physical and spiritual development and can pass beyond the limits of the heavens and the earth with the power given to him by God.(8) He is given the power to distinguish between good and evi1(9) and, therefore, he alone is responsible for what he does.(10) He is endowed with freedom of action, but his freedom is limited by the free causality of God.(11) His responsibility is proportionate to his powers;(12) he has been shown the path of righteousness and it is up to him to accept its lead or reject it.(13)

Being created after the pattern of God's nature(14) man is capable of develop­ing from one stage to the next higher stage.(15) But this development involves struggle against the immoral forces of the external world which he is able to meet successfully with the co‑operation and help of God.(16)

This effort of man is, however, viewed not in any exclusive spirit of otherworldliness.(17) It is the primary

p: 30

1- Ibid., XVI, 132; XLIX, 13. In this respect the Oration delivered by the Holy­Prophet during his Farewell Pilgrimage is illuminating. He said: O People! your Lord is One and your father (i. e., Adam) is one; you are all as sons of Adam brothers. There are no superiority for an Arab over a non‑Arab and for a non‑Arab over an Arab, nor for a red‑coloured over a black‑coloured and for a black‑skinned over a red‑skinned except in piety. The noblest is he who is the most pious.
2- Ibid., XXXIII, 72.
3- Ibid., XV, 29; XXXVIII, 72.
4- Ibid., II, 30.
5- Ibid., XIV, 32‑33; XXXI, 20.
6- Ibid., II, 34.
7- Ibid., XVII, 70.
8- Ibid., XVI, 78; XXXII, 9; IV, 33; LXVII, 23; LXXVI, 2‑3; XC, 8‑9.
9- Ibid., XV, 10; LXXVI, 3.
10- Ibid., VI, 164.
11- Ibid., LXXIV, 55‑56; LXXXI, 28‑29.
12- Ibid., II, 286.
13- Ibid., LXXVI, 3.
14- Ibid., XXX, 30.
15- Ibid., LXXXIV, 19.
16- Ibid., XL, 51; X1VII, 7.
17- Ibid., LVII, 24.

duty of the believers to participate actively in the struggle for the establishment of asocial order based on peace, harmony, and justice(1) in which everybody is equal beforre the law, and people in authority work out their policies after ascertaining the views of the people.(2)

In this endeavour to realize the moral law in his individual and social life, man has often to contend against evil forces represented in the person of Satan.(3) But it is within his power to resist and overcome them.(4) Though man is always prone to weakness and susceptible to seduction by the forces of evil, yet his weakness is rectifiable under the guidance of revelation,(5) and such men as follow the law of righteousness shall be immune from these lapses.(6) They shall never be afraid of anything(7) or be cowardly in their behaviour.(8)

The ideal of power demands that in order to establish a State on the basis of peace, freedom of thought, worship, belief, and expression, the morally ­orientated individuals will have to strive hard. Jihad or utmost striving(9) with might and main(10) with wealth and their person,(11) as they ought to strive,(12) becomes their foremost duty so that tumult, oppression, and mischief should be totally eliminated from the world(13) and there should be left no possibility for the aggressors to kindle the fire of war,(14) to hinder men from the path of God,(15) and to oppress people for professing a faith different from their own.(16)

This struggle against the forces of evil and

p: 31

1- Ibid., II, 193; III, 104, 110; XIII, 21; XXII, 41.
2- Ibid., XLII, 38.
3- Ibid., XV, 36‑40.
4- Ibid., XVI, 99.
5- Ibid., II, 36.
6- Ibid., XVI, 99.
7- Ibid., III, 1.75.
8- Ibid., III, 122.
9- Ibid., VIII, 74‑75.
10- Ibid., V, 38.
11- Ibid., IX, 20, 31, 88.
12- Ibid., XXII, 78.
13- Ibid., VIII, 73.
14- Ibid., V, 67.
15- Ibid., XVI, 88.
16- Ibid.. II, 190‑93.

oppression demands that its participants must be characterized by perseverance, courage, fearlessness, and trust in God‑the moral qualities which are described by the Qur'an as characteristic of the righteous in the social context.(1) Those who patiently per­severe in the path of righteousness will be in possession of a determining factor in all the affairs of this life(2) and will be above trivial weaknesses.(3)

Those who are firm and steadfast will never lose heart, nor weaken in will, nor give in before the enemy.(4) A small band of steadfastly persevering people often vanquish a big force.(5) Similarly, trust in God is the moral quality of all believers.(6) This quality does not involve any negation of planning in advance as is evident from the attitude of Jacob while advising his sons who were going to Egypt.(7) After you have taken all possibilities into consideration and taken a decision, put your trust in God.(8)

Truth or Wisdom

Wisdom as a human ideal stands for man's search for knowledge or truth. It is something which is distinguished from conjecture or imperfect knowledge(9) and mere fancy.(10) Different stories are related in the Qur'an,(11) several similitudes(12) and signs pointing to reality are detailed(13) and explained,(14) so that people may reflect and ponder over things.

It is the characteristic of the righteous that they not only celebrate the praises of God, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, but also contemplate and ponder over the different phenomena of nature.(15) The people are, therefore, advised repeatedly to look at and observe

p: 32

1- Ibid., XI, 115; XVI, 127; X1,.55; X1VI. 35; 1, 39; LXXIII, 10.
2- Ibid., III, 186.
3- Ibid., XI, 10‑11.
4- Ibid., III, 146.
5- Ibid., II, 249.
6- Ibid., VIII, 2; IX, 51; XIV, 11.
7- Ibid., XXII; 67‑68.
8- Ibid., III, 159.
9- Ibid., IV, 157; VI, 116, 148; X, 36; LIII, 28.
10- Ibid., X, 36, 66.
11- Ibid., VII, 176
12- Ibid., LIX, 21.
13- Ibid., VI, 98.
14- Ibid., X, 24.
15- Ibid., III, 191.

the phenomena of nature, pondering over everything in creation to arrive at the truth.(1)

None can grasp the message of revelation except men of understanding and those firmly grounded in knowledge.(2) Lack of true knowledge leads people to revile the true God,(3) invent lies against Him, and worship other gods besides Him.(4) The only safety lies in following the revelation which is replete with the knowledge of God.(5) Whosoever has been given knowledge has indeed been given abundant good.(6)

Those who dispute wrongly about God are the ones who are without knowledge, without guidance, and without a book of enlightenment.(7) Only those people will be promoted to suitable ranks and degrees who have faith and are possessed of knowledge,(8) and only those who have knowledge really fear God and tread the path of righteousness.(9)

When Solomon asked the people of his Court who would be able to bring the throne of the Queen of Sheba, it was only the one possessed of knowledge who offered himself to bring it and later actually did baring it.(10)

The Qur'an advises the Holy Prophet to pray for advance in knowledge.(11) The mysterious teacher of Moses who tried to help him have a glimpse of the working of the unseen had knowledge proceeding from God, i.e., `ilm al ­ladunni.(12) Saul (Jalut) was appointed king of the Israelities because he was gifted by God abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess.(13) Noah, David, and Solomon possessed knowledge(14) and judgment.(15) Jacob had a lot of knowledge and experience;(16)

p: 33

1- Ibid., XII, 185.
2- Ibid., III, 7, 18; VI, 105; XXII, 54, XXXIV, 6.
3- Ibid., VI, 108.
4- Ibid., XXII, 71.
5- Ibid., XI, 14.
6- Ibid., II; 269
7- Ibid., XXII, 8; XXXI, 20
8- Ibid., LVIII, 11.
9- Ibid., XXXV, 28.
10- Ibid., XXVII, 40.
11- Ibid., XX, 114.
12- Ibid., XVIII, 6.5.
13- Ibid., II, 247.
14- Ibid., XXVIII, 14.
15- Ibid., XXI, 711.
16- Ibid., XII, 68.

Joseph possessed abundant power and know­ledge,(1) and so also was Moses given wisdom and knowledge.(2)

It was through knowledge and reflection on the phenomena of nature, the heaven and the earth, that Abraham was able to arrive at the ultimate truth.(3) It was through his personal experience and knowledge that Joseph refused to follow the path of the unbelievers and adopted the path of Abraham.(4)


Justice is a divine attribute and the Qur'an emphasizes that we should adopt it as a moral ideal. God commands people to be just towards one another(5) and, in judging between man and man, to judge justly,(6) for He loves those who judge equitably.(7) All believers stand firmly for justice even if it goes against themselves, their parents, their kith and kin, without any distinction of rich and poor.(8)

God's Revelation itself is an embodiment of truth and justice;(9) it is revealed with the Balance (of right and wrong) so that people may stand forth for justice.(10) The value of justice is absolute and morally binding and the believers are, therefore, warned that they should not let the hatred of some people lead them to transgress the limits of justice(11) or make them depart from the ideal of justice, for justice is very near to piety and righteousness.(12)

Justice demands that people should be true in word and deed,(13) faithfully observe the contracts which they have made(14) and fulfil all obligations.(15) When Muslims enter into treaties with people of other faiths, they must fulfil their engagements

p: 34

1- Ibid., XII, 22.
2- Ibid., XXVIII, 14.
3- Ibid., VI, 75‑79.
4- Ibid., XII, 37‑39.
5- Ibid., VII, 29; XVI, 90; XLII, 1:1.
6- Ibid., IV, 58.
7- Ibid., V, 45.
8- Ibid., IV, 13 .5.
9- Ibid., V1, 115.
10- Ibid., IVII, 25.
11- Ibid., V; 3.
12- Ibid., V, 9.
13- Ibid., III, 17.
14- Ibid., II, 177; XXIII, 8; LXV, 32.
15- Ibid., V, 1.

to the end and be true to them, for that is the demand of righteousness.(1) They are also advised to establish the system of weights with justice and not to skimp in the balance(2) and cause thereby a loss to others by fraud, and unjustly withhold from others what is due to them,(3) for that would lead to the spread of evil and mischief on the earth.(4)


Love as a human ideal demands that man should love God as the complete embodiment of all moral values above everything else.(5) It demands that man should be kind and loving to parents,(6) especially to the mother who bore him in pain and gave birth to him in travail.(7) This obligation of loving kindness is further broadened to include kindred, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near and neighbours who are strangers, and the wayfarers.(8)

Righteousness is to spend a part of our substance out of love for God, for kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer,(9) and for the indigent.(10) The Holy Prophet who is a mercy to believers(11) and mercy to all creatures(12) always dealt gently with people.(13) Moses was advised by God to speak to Pharaoh mildly and gently.(14)

It is one of the characteristics of the believers that they are compassionate and loving to one another;(15) they walk on the earth in humility, and hold to forgiveness;(16) they are friendly to others,(17) and forgive and overlook their faults,(18) even though they are in anger.(19)


Goodness is

p: 35

1- Ibid., IX, 4, 7.
2- Ibid., VI, 152; IV, 9.
3- Ibid., XXVI, 181‑83.
4- Ibid., XI, 85.
5- Ibid., II, 165.
6- Ibid., VI, 151; XXIX, 8.
7- Ibid., XXI, 14; XLVI, 15.
8- Ibid., II, 83, 215; IV, 36; XVII, 26.
9- Ibid., II, 177.
10- Ibid., XC, 16.
11- Ibid., IX, 61.
12- Ibid., XXI, 107.
13- Ibid., III, 159.
14- Ibid., XX, 44.
15- Ibid., XLVIII, 29.
16- Ibid., VII, 199.
17- Ibid., II, 28; IV, 144; V, 60.
18- Ibid., II, 109.
19- Ibid., XLII, 37.

an attribute of God(1) and, therefore, it becomes the duty of every person to obey his own impulse to good.(2) He should do good as God has been good to all(3) and love those who do good.(4) Believers hasten in every good work.(5)

As all prophets were quick in emulating good works,(6) so all people are advised to strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good(7) and virtuous.(8) Truly did Solomon love the love of good with a view to glorifying the Lord.(9)

All good things are for the believers;(10) goodly reward in the hereafter(11) and highest grace of God awaits those who are foremost in good deeds.(12) Believers are advised to repel evil with what is better, for thereby enmity will change into warm friendship.(13)


God possesses most beautiful names(14) and highest excellence,(15) and creates everything of great beauty.(16) Man is created in the best of moulds(17) and is given a most beautiful shape.(18)

God has revealed the most beautiful message in the form of a book(19) and given the best of explanations in the revealed books.(20) We are, therefore, advised to follow the best of revelations from God.(21) The Qur'an relates most beautiful stories.(22) The association of believers, prophets, sincere lovers of truth, witnesses (to the truths of religion in word and deed), and the righteous is a beautiful fellowship.(23)

Who is better in speech than those who invite people to the ways of the good with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them

p: 36

1- Ibid., XVI, 53; LIX, 23.
2- Ibid., II, 158.
3- Ibid., XXVIII, 77.
4- Ibid., II, 195.
5- Ibid., III, 114; XXIII, 61.
6- Ibid., XXI, 90.
7- Ibid., II, 148.
8- Ibid., V, 51.
9- Ibid., XXXVIII, 32.
10- Ibid., IX, 88.
11- Ibid., XV111, 2.
12- Ibid., XXXV, 32.
13- Ibid., XLI, 34.
14- Ibid., VII, 180; XVII, 110; XX,
15- Ibid., XXXVII, 125.
16- Ibid., XXXII, 7.
17- Ibid., XCV, 4.
18- Ibid., LXIV, 3.
19- Ibid., XXXIX, 23.
20- Ibid., XXV, 33.
21- Ibid., XXXLX, 55.
22- Ibid., XII, 3.
23- Ibid., IV, 69.

in ways that are best and most gracious(1) and say only those things that are of supreme excellence ?(2) The Qur'an exhorts people to adopt ways of the highest value, for God loves those who perform deeds of excellence,(3) good‑will, and con­ciliation.(4)

It advises people to return greetings with greetings of greater excellence(5) and repel evil with that which is best,(6) for thereby they will be adding to the beauty of their own souls.(7) Patience is gracefu1(8) and so are forgiveness and overlooking others faults.(9) Those who perform beautiful deeds shall have the highest rewards in this world(10) and their reward in the hereafter shall be still better(11) when they shall enjoy the fairest of places for­ repose(12) and be provided with excellent provisions.(13)



Corresponding to these values there are some disvalues which are symbolized in the Qur'an as Satan or Iblis. He is described as a persistent rebe(14) who is constantly engaged in deceiving(15) people and misleading them from the path of righteousness.(16) He sows the seeds of enmity and hatred,(17) creates false desires,(18) commands what is shameful and wrong,(19) and defaces the fair nature created by God.(20) He is in short an enemy of mankind;(21) and believers are, therefore, advised that they should beware of his machinations.

Destruction of Life

Opposed to the value of life is weakness of man to make mischief in the earth and shed blood(22) ‑ symbolized by the first unlawful and unjustified murder in the history of mankind by the first issue of Adam.(23) All life being

p: 37

1- Ibid., XVI, 125.
2- Ibid., XII, 33; XVII, 53.
3- Ibid., II, 195; V, 96.
4- Ibid., IV, 62.
5- Ibid., IV, 86.
6- Ibid., XXIII, 96; XLI, 34.
7- Ibid., XVII, 7.
8- Ibid., XII, 18, 83.
9- Ibid., XV, 85.
10- Ibid., III, 172;. IX, 121; X, 26; XVI, 96, 97; XXIV, 38; XXIX, 7; XXXIX, 35, 70; XLVI, 16; LIII, 31
11- Ibid., XVI, 30.
12- Ibid., XXV, 24.
13- Ibid., LXV, 3.
14- Ibid., IV, 117.
15- Ibid., VIII, 48.
16- Ibid., IV, 119:
17- Ibid., V, 94.
18- Ibid., IV, 120.
19- Ibid., XXIV, 21.
20- 1BID., IV, 119.
21- Ibid., XXXV, 6; XXXVI, 6.
22- Ibid., II; 30.
23- Ibid., V, 33.

sacred,(1) it is forbidden to commit suicide or to kill anybody without a just cause.(2)

It is equally sinful to murder one's children for fear of want or poverty.(3) Killing a person without reason, in the view of the Qur'an, is tantamount to slaying the human race.(4) Fight for the cause of righteousness is permitted only because tumult and oppression, which neces­sitate resort to armed resistance, are worse than killing.

All those tendencies which weaken a man's hold on life are condemned in the Qur'an. People are warned of falling into fear, grief, and despair(5) or of being unmindful of the ultimate mercy of God.(6) But any unjust clinging to life which involves sacrifice of other values is to be avoided at all cost. It does not become a man to be cowardly in the face of difficulties(7) or to turn back and run away for life from the battle‑field.(8)

Similarly, covetous­ness,(9) niggardiiness,(10) and the hoarding of wealth(11) are condemned, for they betray man's unjustified clinging to values as means, as if they were ends in themselves.

There are certain disvalues which imply disrespect of life in oneself as well as in others. Begging importunately from all and sundry, which leads to killing one's self‑respect, is(12) looked upon by the Qur'an as unbecoming a true believer.(13) It forbids slandering, throwing fault or sin on somebody who is innocent of it,(14) and swelling one's cheek out of pride at men.(15)

Scandal‑mongering and backbiting

Scandal‑mongering and backbiting are hateful deeds.(16) The Qur'an advises men and women

p: 38

1- Ibid., VI, 151; XVII, 33.
2- Ibid., VI, 131, 140; XVU, 33.
3- Ibid., VI, 15; XVII, 31.
4- Ibid., V, 35.
5- Ibid., II, 191. Ibid., III, 139; IX, 40; XLI, 30.
6- Ibid., XXXIX, 53.
7- Ibid., II, 122.
8- Ibid., IV, 89‑91.
9- Ibid., III, 180; IV, 32; LVII, 24.
10- Ibid., XVII, 29; XLVII, 38.
11- Ibid., IV, 2‑3.
12- Ibid., IX, 79; XXIV, 23: LX, 12; 1XVIII, 11-12.
13- Ibid., AL, 273
14- Ibid., IV, 112.
15- Ibid., XXXI, 18.
16- Ibid., XXIV, 18; CIV, 1.

not to laugh at, defame, be sarcastic to one another or call one another by offensive nicknames, and not to be suspicious, not to spy on others or speak ill of them behind their backs.(1) It deprecates the man who is ready with oaths, is a slanderer going about with calumnies, is a transgressor beyond bounds, or is deep in sin, violence, and cruelty.(2)

Things Momentary

Opposed to his natural urge for eternity, man sometimes through ignorance seems to be enamoured of the life of the moment,(3) which tends to vanish(4) and is mere play and amusement.(5) It is no good to be pleased and remain satisfied(6) with the transitory things of this world(7) and the fleeting and temporal life(8) that has a span of but an hour of a day.(9)

The true goal of man is eternity which is the home of peace,(10) satisfaction,(11) security,(12) and supreme achievement(13) for which man must, according to his nature,(14) ever toil and struggle.(15)

Lack of Unity

Against the value of unity there is the disvalue of the denial of the unity of the Ultimate Reality (kufr) and the association of partners with God (shirk) and likewise the disvalues of disunity, discord, and disharmony in the life of the individual and society.

Those who turn back and disobey God and His Apostle(16) deny God's creative power, His purpose, and design,(17) follow a part of the revealed book and disregard the rest,(18) accept some prophets and deny others,(19) are all deniers of the true unity of God. Hair‑splitting

p: 39

1- Ibid., XLIX, 11‑12,
2- Ibid., LXVIII, 10-13.
3- Ibid., X, 45
4- Ibid., XVI, 96.
5- Ibid., VI, 32
6- Ibid., X, 7.
7- Ibid., XVII, 18
8- Ibid., LXXV, 20; LXXVI, 27.
9- Ibid., X, 45.
10- Ibid., X, 25.
11- Ibid., XLIII, 70.
12- Ibid., XLIV, 51.
13- Ibid., XLIV, 57.
14- Ibid., XE, 4.
15- Ibid., LXXXIV, 6.
16- Ibid., III, 32.
17- Ibid., II, 28‑29.
18- Ibid., II, 85.
19- Ibid,, IV, 150.

in religious matters,(1) failure to judge by the light of divine revelation,(2) indulgence in magic in order to sow seeds of disunity among people,(3) are all acts which tantamount to disbelief in God.

God's unity implies that He alone deserves worship,(4) a worship which demands exclusive submission to His will,(5) tinged and informed with the highest emotional attachment.(6)

Association of partners with God does not mean that, people deny God's power of creation and control of world's affairs;(7) where they err is the belief that these partners may bring them nearer to God,(8) wrongly and foolishly ascribe to them a share in bestowing gifts, as for example, the gifts of a goodly child,(9) thus leading to lack of consistency in their moral conduct and lack of exclusive loyalty towards the highest ideal, which indeed is a form of most heinous sin(10) and the highest wrong‑doing(11)

A form of associating partners with God is ancestor‑worship. If people are invited to the path of righteousness, they refuse by saying: “Nay! we shall follow the way of our fathers,” even if their fathers were devoid of knowledge and guidance.(12) Sometimes people succumb to their personal ambitions and self‑importance which signifies their lack of faith in the ultimate causality of God; implied in the belief in the unity of God.

When some trouble or affliction comes to man he turns to God, but when it is removed he forgets that he ever turned to him,(13) and ascribes its removal to others besides, sets up rivals

p: 40

1- Ibid., V, 105.
2- Ibid., V, 47.
3- Ibid., 11, 102.
4- Ibid., XVI, 51.
5- Ibid., VII, 29.
6- Ibid., II, 165.
7- Ibid., X, 31; XXIII, 82‑89.
8- Ibid., XXXIX, 3.
9- Ibid., VII. 19.
10- Ibid., IV, 48.
11- Ibid.. XXXI, 13.
12- Ibid., II, 170; V. 107.
13- Ibid., X, 13.

unto Him a great blasphemy(1)(2) and sometimes thinks that it was his own skill and knowledge which helped him in removing his difficulties.(3)

The disvalues of discord and disunity are the result of the denial of the unity of God.(4) The unbelievers and those who associate partners with God are always subject to fear and lack a sense of unity and harmony.(5) It is the devil that incites people to discord(6) and, therefore, the Qur'an very force­fully forbids people to be divided among themselves,(7) and looks upon dis­unity as the result of lack of wisdom.(8)

It denounces divisions and splits in religion(9) and disagreements among different sects and schisms through in­solent envy.(10) Similarly, all those acts which tend to spread mischief and tumult after there have been peace and order are condemned because they tend to create disorder, disunity, and disharmony in life.(11)


Opposed to power, weakness is a disvalue. It is wrong to show weakness in face of difficulties, to lose heart,(12) to be weak in will,(13) to be weary and faint‑hearted,(14) to despair or boast,(15) to be impatient and fret­fu1.(16) It is forbidden to be afraid of men(17) or of Satan and his votaries.(18)

There are certain disvalues which arise out of misuse of power. Warning is given to those people who oppress men with wrong‑doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice.(19) It is for­bidden to indulge in vain talk,(20) to exhibit fierceness,(21) to be arrogant against God,(22) for arrogance blinds

p: 41

1- Ibid., XXX, 33.
2- Ibid., XXXIX, 8.
3- Ibid., XXXIX, 49.
4- Ibid., LIX, 14.
5- Ibid., II, 151; VIII, 65.
6- Ibid., VII, 200; XLI, 36.
7- Ibid., III, 103.
8- Ibid., LIX, 14.
9- Ibid., VI, 159; XXX, 32; XLII, 13.
10- Ibid., XLII, 65; XLV, 17.
11- Ibid., II, 191, 192, 205; VII, 85; XI, 85.
12- Ibid., VIII, 46.
13- Ibid., III; 146.
14- Ibid., XLVII, 35.
15- Ibid., LVII, 23.
16- Ibid., LXX, 19, 21.
17- Ibid., IV, 77.
18- Ibid., III, 175.
19- Ibid., XLII, 42.
20- Ibid., XIX, 62; XXIII, 3; XXVII, 55.
21- Ibid., X1VIII, 26.
22- Ibid., XLIV, 19.

people to the truth,(1) to swell one's cheek with pride, or walk in insolence through the earth,(2) for one cannot rend the earth asunder or reach the mountains in height.(3)

Arrogant and obstinate trans­gressors,(4) vainglorious people,(5) those fond of self‑glory,(6) people rebellious and wicked,(7) and vying with one another in pomp and gross rivalry,(8) are held out as examples of those who misuse their power.

Satan is condemned to everlasting punishment for abusing power and becoming haughty.(9) Moses was sent to Pharaoh because the latter had become proud and arrogant.(10) The people of 'Ad were punished because they behaved arrogantly and thought themselves very powerful.(11) The Israelites slew their apostles because of pride.(12) The hypocrites turn away from truth out of arroganee.(13) The Christians are described as nearest in love to the Muslims because they are not arrogant.(14)

Some people try to cover their misuse of power under the cloak of deter­minism,(15) but the Qur'an repudiates this stand as totally unrealistic.(16) Man has the power to shape his destiny in the light of the truth of revelation.(17)


Opposed to truth or wisdom, error, conjecture, and fancy are all disvalueas which the Qur'an at several places denounces as equivalent to un­truth or lies(18) and which do not lend support to an individual in his moral life.(19) Fancy and conjecture can avail nobody against truth.(20) It is forbidden to accept a report without ascertaining its truth,(21) to utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood(22) and to throw fault or sin on some­body

p: 42

1- Ibid., XXVII, 14; XXXV, 4.
2- Ibid., XXXI, 18.
3- Ibid., XXIII, 46.
4- Ibid., XL, 35.
5- Ibid., IV, 36; XVI, 23.
6- Ibid., XXXVIII, 2.
7- Ibid., XLIX, 7.
8- Ibid., LVII, 20.
9- Ibid., VII, 12; XXXVII, 74‑76.
10- Ibid., XX, 24, 43.
11- Ibid., XLI, 15.
12- Ibid., II, 87.
13- Ibid., LXIII, 5.
14- Ibid., V, 85.
15- Ibid., VI, 148; XVI, 33.
16- Ibid., VI, 149.
17- Ibid., II, 38.
18- Ibid., VI, 148; X, 66.
19- Ibid., IV, 157; VI, 116; LIII, 23.
20- Ibid., X, 36; LIII, 28.
21- Ibid., XLIX, 6.
22- Ibid., LX, 12.

who is innocent of it;(1) for these are all against the value of truth.

Indulgence in disputation,(2) vain discourses;(3) and susceptibility to super­stitions(4) are disvalues opposed to wisdom. Those who do not try to save themselves from these are liable to be always afraid of others,(5) to be unable to distinguish truth from falsehood, and right from wrong;(6) their hearts always turn away from the light of truth and wisdom(7) towards depths of darkness.(8) Such are the people who have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not; in short, like cattle they lack truth and wisdom.(9)


Hypocrisy is another disvalue. A hypocrite is one who says with his tongue what is not in his heart,(10) who is distracted in mind, being sincerely neither for one group nor for another.(11) Hypocrites are liars.(12) They expect people to praise them for what they never do,(13) compete with one another in sin and rancour,(14) and hold secret counsels among themselves for iniquity, hosti­lity, and disobedience.(15)

Hypocrites‑men and women‑enjoin evil and forbid what is just,(16) and if by chance they come into possession of a position of authority, they make mischief in the land, break ties of kinship,(17) and yet claim to be peace‑makers.(18)

Showing off (riya') is also a disvalue. God does not love those who give away even money in order to be seen doing so by others, for such men have no faith in God and the Last Day.(19) Such

p: 43

1- Ibid., IV, 112.
2- Ibid., XXIX, 46.
3- Ibid., VI, 68.
4- Ibid., V, 106; VI, 138‑41, 143‑44.
5- Ibid., LIX, 13.
6- Ibid.. IX, 81.
7- Ibid., IX, 127.
8- Ibid., XX1V, 40.
9- Ibid., VII, 179.
10- Ibid., II, 167; IV, 81; X1VII, 11.
11- Ibid., IV, 143.
12- Ibid., LIX, 11; 1XIII, 1.
13- Ibid., III, 1 88.
14- Ibid., V, 65.
15- Ibid., LVII, 8.
16- Ibid., IX, 67.
17- Ibid., XLVII, 22.
18- Ibid., II, 11.
19- Ibid., IV, 38.

showing off cancels the spirit of their charity.(1) It is like sowing seeds on a hard, barren rock on which there is little soil, and where heavy rain has left nothing but a bare stone.(2)


Opposed to the value of justice is the disvalue of injustice and violation of the principle of the mean. It is forbidden by the Qur'an to be influenced by people's vain desires and to deviate from the truth while judging between them.(3) It is also forbidden to distort justice or decline to do justice(4) or to withhold justice from people merely because they are your enemies.(5)

It would be perfectly unjust to oneself and to others to pile up wealth,(6) to bury gold and silver, and not to spend them in the cause of God and righteous­ness.(7) The Qur'an equally forbids as violation of the principle of justice the squandering of wealth like a spendthrift(8) and recommends the middle way of prudence which is neither extravagance nor niggardhness.(9)

It advises one neither to make one's hand tied to one's neck nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach so that one becomes blameworthy and destitute.(10) One should eat and drink but not waste by exeess(11) for that would be violating the prin­ciple of justice. Excess in any form is forbidden whether in food(12) or in religion.(13)

Usury is forbidden, for it means devouring other people's substance wrong­fully(14) and involves injustice on both sides.(15)

Hatred and Unkindness

Against the value of love is the disvalue of hatred, harshness,

p: 44

1- Ibid., II, 264.
2- Ibid., II, 263‑64
3- Ibid., V, 51‑53.
4- Ibid., IV, 135
5- Ibid., V, 3, 9.
6- Ibid., CIV, 2‑3.
7- Ibid., IX, 34.
8- Ibid., XVII, 26‑29; XXV, 67.
9- Ibid., XXX, 67.
10- Ibid., XVII, 29.
11- Ibid., VII, 31.
12- Ibid., V, 10.
13- Ibid., IV, 171, V, 84.
14- Ibid, IV, 161.
15- Ibid., II, 279.

or unkindness to others. People are advised not to speak any word of contempt to their parents,(1) to orphans,(2) and to beggars.(3) Believers are not to revile even those whore the unbelievers call upon besides God.(4) The Holy Prophet is described as safe from severity and hard‑heartedness towards others.(5)

Vice ‑ Against goodness the Qur'an denounces the disvalue of vice, i. e., doing wrong and shameful deeds.(6) It is Satan who commands people to do what is evil and shameful.(7) People are forbidden to come near adultery, for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils.(8) Similarly, wine and gambling involve great sin,(9) for they are the work of Satan.(10)

The Qur’an forbids ‑ all shameful and evil deeds and uses a very comprehensive term zulm to cover them all.(11) Hypocrites and unbelievers enjoin(12) and plot evi1(13) and hold secret counsels for iniquity, evil, and rebellion(14) and wrong­fully eat up other people's property.(15) The believers are advised, therefore, not to help one another in sin and rancour.(16)

The Qur'an refers to several Satanic tendencies in man,(17) such as ungrate­fulness,(18) hastiness,(19) impatience,(20) despair, and unbelief in times of adver­sity, and pride and conceit in times of prosperity;(21) quarrelsomeness,(22) arrogance,(23) greed of ever more and yet more,(24) niggardliness,(25) transgres­sion of the bounds of propriety,(26) and false sense of self‑sufficiency.(27) These tendencies often lead to different forms of wrong‑doing and, therefore, must be counteracted by all right‑thinking people.

Moral Discipline

To produce the attitude of moral righteousness (taqwa), the

p: 45

1- Ibid., XVII, 23.
2- Ibid., XCIII, 9.
3- Ibid., XCIII, 10.
4- Ibid., VI, 108.
5- Ibid., III, 159.
6- Ibid., III, 14, 110; XLI, 37; LIII, 32.
7- Ibid., II, 189, 268; XXIV, 21.
8- Ibid., XVII, 32.
9- Ibid., II, 219.
10- Ibid., V, 93.
11- Ibid.,, VII, 28; XVI, 90.
12- Ibid., IX, 67.
13- Ibid., XXXV, 43.
14- Ibid., IVIII, 8.
15- Ibid., N, 188.
16- Ibid., V, 3.
17- Once the Holy Prophet said that every man has his Satan with him. Some­one asked him if there was one with him as well. He replied: yes, but I have made him a Muslim, i.e., made him submit to my control.
18- Qur’an, VII, 10; XXXVI, 45‑47; LXXIV, 15‑25; C, 1‑8.
19- ICE, XVI, 37; XVII, 11.
20- Ibid., LXX, 19‑21.
21- Ibid., XI, 9‑10; XVII, 83.
22- Ibid., XVI, 4.
23- Ibid., IXXV, 31‑40; XC, 5‑7.
24- Ibid., LXXIV, 15.
25- Ibid., XVII, 100.
26- Ibid., XCV3, 6.
27- Ibid., XCVI, 7.

discipline of prayer, fasting, zakat,(1) and pilgrimage is enforced. People are commanded to guard strictly their habit of prayers and stand before God in a devout frame of mind,(2) pay the zakat,(3) spend in charity secretly and openly(4) ‑ a beautiful loan to God(5) ‑ a bargain that will never fail,(6) in­volving a glad tidings for the believers(7) and a cause of prosperity(8) and spiritual joy.(9)

Those people who follow these principles are on the right path under the true guidance of the Lord.(10) They remove the stain of evil from the people(11) and help them refrain from shameful and unjust deeds.(12) It is the duty of all Muslims, as witnesses for mankind in general, to hold fast to God.(13) It is the practice of all believing people that when God grants them power in the land; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.(14) All Muslims ought to follow these disciplinary principles.(15) Those who neglect them are bound to fall into the snares of their passions.(16)

Similarly, fasting is recommended as a discipline during the month of Rama­dan in which the Qur'an was revealed as a guide to mankind and as an em­bodiment of guidance and judgment between right and wrong.(17) It involves observance of certain limits and rules by all those who may wish to become righteous (acquire taqwa).(18) Performance of hajj is symptomatic of a righteous life in which there should be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling, and the best provision for which is right conduct,

p: 46

1- The term zakat is used for the state tax earmarked for the poor, the needy, the wayfarer, the administrative staff employed for its collection, those whose hearts are to be won over, for freeing slaves and the heavily indebted, and for use in the path of god (Qur’an, IX, 60). Even if a state does not levy this tax or there is no state to levy it, its payment direct to the classes mentioned above still remains obligatory for every Muslim. Sadaqat is a term wider than zakat. It covers both zakat and whatever is voluntarily given for charitable purposes over and above zakat. Some people translate the word zakat as compulsory charity, and other forms of sadaqat as voluntary charity.
2- Ibid., II, 238.
3- Ibid., XCVIII, 5.
4- Ibid., XXV, 29.
5- Ibid., LXXN, 20.
6- Ibid., XXV, 29.
7- Ibid., XXII, 34; XXVII, 2.
8- Ibid., XXXI, 5.
9- Ibid., XX, 139.
10- Ibid., XXXI, 5; XCVII, 5.
11- Ibid., XI, 114.
12- Ibid., XXIX, 45.'
13- Ibid., XXII, 78.
14- Ibid., XXII, 41.
15- Ibid., XXIV, 55.‑56.
16- Ibid., XIX, 59.
17- Ibid., II, 185.
18- Ibid., II, 183, 187.

i. e., taqwa.(1)


Though man is by nature after the pattern of God's nature(2) and, therefore, capable of approximating to the ideal embodied in the most beautiful names,(3) yet being prone to different weaknesses(4) he is often led to wrong his soul in spite of his best efforts to follow moral discipline.(5) Adam disobeyed God and thus was about to run into harm and aggression,(6) but as soon as he realized his mistake, he repented and God accepted his repent­ance(7) and promised that whoever follows His guidance shall be free from grief and sorrow.(8)

The Lord accepts repentance from His servants and for­gives the sins(9) of those who do evil in ignorance but repent soon afterwards(10) and are never obstinate in persisting in the wrong intentionally.(11) Even the thieves(12) and those who had waged wars against God(13) are covered by the universal mercy and loving kindness of God(14) provided they repent and amend their conduct,(15) earnestly bring God to mind,(16) hold fast to God, purify their religion solely for God,(17) and openly declare the Truth.(18)

There is no scope, for pessimism and despair arising from the natural weak­nesses of men in doing wrong to their sou1s,(19) for God turns to them that they might repent.(20)

Turning to God in repentance and seeking of forgiveness from Him lead to the grant by God to man of good and true enjoyment and abounding grace in this life.(21) He will rain bounties from the sky and add to people's strength.(22) To turn continually

p: 47

1- Ibid., II, 197
2- Ibid., XXX, 30.
3- Ibid., VII, 180; XVII, 110; LIX, 24.
4- Ibid., XIV, 34; XVII, 11, 83.
5- ICE, VU 23; XI, 21, 101; XVI, 33
6- Ibid., II, 35; VII, 19.
7- Ibid., II, 37.
8- Ibid., II, 38.
9- Ibid., XLI, 25.
10- Ibid., IV, 17; VI, 54; VII, 153; IX, 104; XVI, 119.
11- Ibid., III, 135.
12- Ibid., V, 42.
13- Ibid., V, 36‑37.
14- Ibid., XI, 90.
15- Ibid., V, 42.
16- Ibid., 131, 135.
17- Ibid., IV, 136.
18- Ibid., II, 160.
19- Ibid., XXXLX, 53.
20- Ibid., IX, 118.
21- Ibid., XI, 3.
22- Ibid., XI, 52.

to God in repentance is the sign of the true believer;(1) and this attitude of mind is strengthened by remembrance of God (dhikr), for it enables a man in most difficult and odd situations to keep firm and steadfast(2) and find in it a source of deep satisfaction and mental equipoise.(3)


it is the whole pursuit of value and avoidance of disvalue in general that is designated by the Qur'an as righteousness (taqwa). It is de­pendent on and is the result of faith in God and adoration of Him.(4) The Qur'an is revealed solely to produce this attitude of taqwa among people.(5) It is the presence of this moral attitude which saves people from destruction(6) and it is this which helps them maintain God's commands in their conjugal life,(7) in sacrifice,(8) in different aspects of social life,(9) and in fulfilling faithfully their social obligations.(10)

The motive which prompts people to adopt this moral attitude of taqwa is the desire to win the pleasure of God,(11) to gain nearness to Him,(12) and to seek His face(13) or countenance(14) implying that their motive is not self­ interest but the seeking of good for the sake of good,(15) which benefits their own souls(16) and which they seek even at the sacrifice of life.(17) The aim of such people is mainly a desire for increase in self‑purification without any idea of winning favour from anyone or expecting any reward whatsoever.(18)

They will get a reward of the highest value(19) and attain complete satis­faction(20)

p: 48

1- Ibid., IX, 112.
2- Ibid., VIII, 45.
3- Ibid., XIII, 28.
4- Ibid., II, 21.
5- Ibid., XX,,113;, XXXIX, 28.
6- Ibid., XXVII, 53; XLI, 18.
7- Ibid., II, 24; IV, 129.
8- Ibid., V 30; XXII, 37.
9- Ibid., II, 177.
10- Ibid., XXV, 63‑74.
11- Ibid., II, 207; IV, 114.
12- Ibid., III, 13.
13- Ibid., II, 272.
14- Ibid., XIII, 22; XXX, 38; XCII, 18‑21.
15- Ibid., LV, 60.
16- Ibid., II, 272.
17- Ibid., II, 207.
18- Ibid., XCII, 18‑21.
19- Ibid., IV, 114.
20- Ibid., XCII, 21.

and prosperity(1) ‑ the final attainment of the Eternal Home,(2) well‑pleasing unto God.(3) These people resemble a garden high and fertile, heavy rain falls on it and makes it yield a double increase of harvest, and if it receives not heavy rain, light moisture suffices it.(4) For such people are the gardens in nearness to their Lord, a result of the pleasure of God.(5)

To be righteous (muttaqi) is to believe in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Books, and the messengers; to spend out of one's substance, out of love for God, for kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayers, and to pay the zakat; to fulfil the contracts which have been made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering), adversity, and periods of danger. Such people as follow these are possessed of true taqwa, i.e., righteousness.(6)

And of the servants of God the most gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace”; those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrating and standing; those who, when they spend, are not extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a just balance between these two extremes; those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication; those who witness no falsehood,

p: 49

1- Ibid., XXX, 38.
2- Ibid., XIII, 22.
3- Ibid., XXXIX, 28.
4- Ibid., II, 265.
5- Ibid., III, 15.
6- Ibid., II, 177.

and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable avoidance; those who, when they are admonished with the signs of their Lord, do not show indifference to them like the deaf or the blind; and those who pray, “Our Lord! give us the grace to lead the righteous.”(1)

The better and more lasting reward of the Lord is for those who believe and put their trust in Him; those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, even when they are angry, they for­give; those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular prayer; who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what God bestows on them for sustenance; who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves; and those who recompense injury with injury in degree equal thereto and, better still, forgive and make reconciliation.

But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong is done to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrong‑doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice; for such there will be a grievous penalty. But indeed showing patience and forgiveness is an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.(2)

There is yet a higher stage of moral achievement described as ihsan which signifies performance of moral action in conformity with the moral ideal with

p: 50

1- Ibid., XXV, 63‑64; 67‑68, 72‑74.
2- Ibid., XLII, 36‑43.

the added sense of deep loyalty to the cause of God, done in the most graceful way that is motivated by a unique love for God.(1) Performance of righteous actions accompanied by a true faith is only a stage in the moral life of man which, after several stages, gradually matures into ihsan.(2)

God is with those who perform good deeds and perform them with added grace and beauty.(3)

Those who sacrifice animals with a spirit of dedication have piety (taqwa) no doubt, but those who thereby glorify God for His guidance, acknowledging fully the extent of His bounties provided in abundance, are the people who are characterized by ihsan.(4)

In the life hereafter the morally upright will be in the midst of gardens and springs(5) wherein they will take spiritual enjoy­ment in the things which their Lord gives as a reward for leading a life of graceful righteousness.(6)

The sincerely devoted people (muhsinin) are those who willingly suffer thirst, fatigue, or hunger in the cause of God,(7) or tread paths which may raise the ire of the unbelievers, or receive injury from an enemy;(8) who despite all that do not conduct themselves in life as to cause mischief on the earth but call on Him with fear and longing;(9) who spend of their substance in the cause of God, refrain from evil, and are engaged in doing truly good deeds;(10) who spend freely whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon all men;(11) who are steadfast

p: 51

1- In the Mishkat, there is a tradition which relates that a stranger one day came to the Holy Prophet and asked him, among other things, what ihsan is. The Holy Prophet replied, “Serve the cause of God as if you are in His presence. If it is not possible to achieve this stage, then think as if He is watching you do your duty.” This tradition clearly emphasizes the attitude of deep loyalty tinged with an emotional response of love towards God.
2- Qur’an, V,.96.
3- Ibid., XVI; 128.
4- Ibid., XXII, 37.
5- Ibid., LI, 15.
6- Ibid., LI, 16.
7- Ibid., XXIX, 69.
8- Ibid., IX, 120.
9- Ibid., VII, 56.
10- Ibid., II; 195.
11- Ibid., III, 134.

in patience(1) and exercise restraint;(2) who establish regular prayer and pay the zakat and have in their hearts the assurance of the hereafter;(3) and who are always ready to forgive people and overlook their misdeeds.(4)

Almost all the prophets are included in this category(5) which signifies that the muhsinin are those who are not only on the right path themselves,(6) but in addition by their good ex­ample and magnetic personality lead others to the way of righteousness and help in establishing a social order based on peace, harmony, and security.(7) Com­plete power,(8) wisdom and knowledge,(9) true guidance from the Lord, prosperity,(10) rise in worldly position,(11) power, and knowledge(12) are the by‑products of their life of graceful righteousness (ihsan).

Their reward shall never be lost,(13) for God is always with them(14) and loves them(15) and will bestow on them the rank of friendship as He did on Abraham.(16) He who submits his whole self to the will of God and moreover does it gracefully and with a spirit of dedication (muhsin) has grasped indeed the most trustworthy handhold,(17) and enjoys the most beautiful position in religion for he is follow­ing Abraham who was true in faith.(18)

He will get his reward from his Lord and shall experience neither fear nor grief.(19) God is well pleased with those who followed in the footsteps of the vanguard of Islam‑the first of those who forsook their houses and of those who gave them aid‑in a spirit of devo­tion and graceful loyalty as well as

p: 52

1- Ibid., XI, 115; XII, 90.
2- Ibid., XVI, 128
3- Ibid., XXXI, 4.
4- Ibid., V, 14.
5- Ibid., VI, 84; XXXVII, 75, 80, 83, 105, 110, 120‑21, 130‑31.
6- Ibid., VI, 84.
7- Ibid., II, 193; III, 104, 110.
8- Ibid., XII, 56.
9- Ibid., XXVII, 14.
10- Ibid., XXIX, 69; XXXI, 5.
11- Ibid., II, 58; VII, 161.
12- Ibid., XII, 22.
13- Ibid., XI, 115; XII, 56.
14- Ibid., XXIX, 69.
15- Ibid., II, 195; III, 134, 145.
16- Ibid., IV, 125.
17- Ibid., XXXI, 22.
18- Ibid., IV, 12 5.
19- Ibid., II, 112.

those who followed them, as they are all with Him. For them God has prepared the garden of paradise, as their eternal home of supreme felicity.(1)

Chapter 9: Economic and Political Teachings of the Qur’an


Economic and Political Teachings of the Qur’an by Abul Al’a Maududi, Editor, Tarjamanul Qur’an, Lahore (Pakistan)

Economic Teachings

1. The first economic principle emphasized by the Qur'an with repeated stress is that all natural means of production, and resources which subscribe to man's living, have been created by God. It is He who made them as they are and set them to follow the laws of nature that make them useful for man. It is He who allowed man to exploit them and placed them at his disposal.(2)

2. On the basis of the aforesaid truth the Qur'an lays down the principle that an individual has neither the right to be free in acquiring and exploiting these resources according to his own sweet will, nor is he entitled to draw a line independently to decide between the lawful and the unlawful. It is for God to draw this line; for none else. The Qur'an condemns the Midians, an Arabian tribe of old, because its people claimed to possess a right to acquire and expend wealth in any way they liked without restriction of any kind.(3)

It calls it a “lie” if a man describes a certain thing as lawful and another unlawful on his own account.(4) The right to pronounce this rests with God and (as God's deputy) His Prophet.(5)

3. Under the, sovereign command

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1- Ibid., IX, 100.
2- Qur’an, II, 29; VII, 10; XIII, 3; XIV, 32‑34; LVI, 63‑64; LXVII, 15.
3- Ibid., XI, 87.
4- Ibid., XVI, 116. “This verse strictly prohibits that people should decide accord­ing to their own views or wishes what is lawful and what is unlawful” (Baidawi, Anwar al‑Tanzil, vol. III, p. 193). “The purport of this verse is, as `Askari explains, that you should not call a thing lawful or unlawful unless you have learnt of its being so from God or His Prophet, otherwise you would be telling a lie on God; for nothing makes a thing lawful or unlawful save a commandment of God” (Alusi, Ruh al‑Ma'ani, vol. XIV, p. 226, Idarat al‑Taba`at al‑Muniriyyah, Egypt, 1345/1926)
5- Qur’an, VII, 15,7.

of God and within the limits imposed by Him, the Qur'an recognizes the right of holding private property as implied in several verses.(1)

The economic scheme presented in the Qur'an is based entirely on the idea of individual ownership in every field. There is nothing in it to suggest that a distinction is to be made between consumption goods and production goods (or means of production) and that only the former may be held in private ownership, while the latter must be nationalized.

Nor is there anything in the Qur'an suggesting or implying that the above‑mentioned scheme is of a temporary nature to be replaced later by a permanent arrangement in which collectivization of all means of production may be desired to be made the rule. Had that been the ultimate object of the Qur'an, it would have certainly stated it unequivocally and given us instructions with regard to that future permanent order.

The mere fact that it mentions in one place that “the earth belongs to God”(2) is not enough to conclude that it either denies or forbids private owner­ship of land and sanctions nationalization. Elsewhere it says, “Whatever is in the heavens and the earth belongs to God,”(3) but nobody has ever concluded from this verse that none of the things in the heavens or the earth can be held in individual possession or that all these things should be State property. If, a thing which belongs to God ceases to belong to human beings, certainly it ceases

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1- Ibid., II, 275, 279, 282, 283, 261; IV, 2, 4, 7, 20, 24, 29; V, 38; VI, 141; IX, 103; XXIV, 27; XXXVI, 71; LI, 19 ; LXI, 11.
2- Ibid., VII, 128.
3- Ibid., II, 284.

to belong to individuals and States alike.

It is equally erroneous to draw from verse xli, 10 the inference that the Qur'an desires to distribute all the means of livelihood in the earth equally among all men, and conclude that since this can be achieved only under nationalization, the Qur'an advocates or favours the introduction of that system. For the purpose of this interpretation the verse is wrongly rendered to mean that “God has put in the earth its means of sustenance proportionately in four days, alike for those who seek.”(1)

But even this wrong translation does not serve the purpose. It would be incorrect to apply the words “alike for those who seek” to human beings alone. All kinds of animals, too, are among “those who seek,” and there is little doubt that their means of sustenance have also been placed by God in the earth. If this verse, then, denotes an equal share to all who seek, there is no justification for restricting this equality of share to members of the human species alone.

Similarly, it would be wrong to stretch those verses of the Qur'an which emphasize providing for the weak or the have‑nots to extract from them the theory of nationalization. It should be seen that wherever it stresses this need of providing for the poor, it also prescribes the only way of meeting it, namely, that the rich and the well‑to‑do of a society should spend their wealth generously for the welfare of their poor kin, the

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1- The words of the text are: fi arba'ati ayyamin sawa’ al‑lissa'ilin. Zamakhshari, Baidawi, Razi, Alusi and other commentators have taken sawa' to go with ayyamin and interpreted it to mean “in full four days.” No commentator of distinction has taken sawa’' to go with sa'ilin. However, even if it is allowed to go with it; it would mean “provided for the sake of all who seek,” and not “for all who seek in equal measure.” This latter interpretation is just untenable.

orphans, and the needy for the pleasure of God; in addition to this, the State should collect a fixed portion of it and spend it for the same purpose.

There is no hint in the Qur'an of any other scheme proposed to be put in practice to meet this end.

No doubt, there is nothing in the Qur'an to prevent a certain thing from being taken over from individual control and placed under collective control, if necessary; but to deny individual ownership altogether and adopt nationali­zation as an economic system does not go with the Qur'anic approach to man's economic problems.

4. The fact that, as in other things, all men do not enjoy equality in suste­nance and means of earning, is described in the Qur'an as a feature of God's providence. Extravagant disparities devised by various social systems aside, natural inequality, as it goes, is described as the outcome of His wise apportionment, issuing from His own dispensation. The idea that this inequality is to be levelled up and substituted by dead equality is alien to the Book of God.(1)

The Qur'an advises people not to covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn, and ask Allah of His grace.(2)

It is sometimes tried to conclude from verses xvi, 71 and xxx, 28 that the Qur'an desires equality of provision for everybody. But both the words and the

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1- Qur’an, VI, 165; XVII, 21, 30; XXXIV, 39; XLII, 12; XLIII, 32.
2- Ibid., IV, 32.

context of these verses tell that they do not attempt to disparage inequality and urge equality to take its place, but press this fact (of inequality among men) as an argument against taking some of God's creatures as His partners.

They argue that when men are not prepared to share their wealth (given by God) with their slaves as equal partners, what on earth leads them to think that God will share His powers with His servants and have partners with Him from amongst His creation?(1)

5. The Qur'an also asserts with full and repeated emphasis that God has created His bounties for men so that they use them for their benefit. It is not His intent that men should have nothing to do with them and live a life of renunciation. However, He desires that they should distinguish between things pure and impure, lawful and unlawful. They should use and exploit only what is pure and lawful, and there too should observe moderation.(2)

6. To achieve this end the Qur'an ordains that wealth should be acquired by lawful means only and that unlawful ways and means should be discarded altogether: “O you who believe, take not your wealth among yourselves in wrongful ways, but let there be trade among you by mutual agreement .. . .”(3)

These “wrongful ways” have been detailed at length by the Holy Prophet and the great jurists of Islam have elucidated them in books of law. Some of them, however, have been described in

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1- This will be absolutely clear on reading Surah xvi, verses 71‑76, and Surah xxx, verses 20‑25. The subject of discussion in both cases is the assertion of the unity of God and refutation of polytheism.
2- Qur’an, II, 29, 168; V, 88; VII, 31, 32; LVII, 27.
3- Ibid., iv, 29. By trade is meant exchange of commodities and services. (Al­ Jassas, Ahkam al‑Qur'an, vol. II, p. 21, Matba'at al‑Bahiyyah, Egypt, 1347/1928; ibn al‑`Arabi, Ahkam al‑Qur'an, vol. I,p.17, Matba'at al‑Sa'adah, Egypt, 1331/1912.) The condition of “by mutual agreement” explains that there should be no coer­cion, fraud, or trick about it to which the other party would not agree if it came to its notice.

the Qur'an as under:

(a) “And do not eat one another's property among yourselves in wrongful ways, nor seek by it to gain the nearness of the judges that you may sinfully consume a portion of other men's goods and that knowingly.”(1)

(b) “If one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let him who is trusted (faithfully) deliver his trust, and let him fear God, his Lord.”(2)

(c) “He who misappropriates (the public money) will come on the Day of Judgment with what he has misappropriated; then shall everyone be given in full what he earned.”(3)

(d) “The thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands.”(4)

(e) “Those who devour the property of orphans unjustly, devour fire in their bellies, and will soon endure a blazing fire.”(5)

(f) “Woe to the defrauders who, when they take the measure from men, exact full measure, but when they measure or weigh for them, give less than is due.”(6)

(g) “Those who love those indecent things should spread among the believers, for them is a painful chastisement, in the life of this world and the hereafter.(7)

(h) “Force not your slave‑girls to prostitution that you may enjoy (some) gain of the present life, if they desire to live in chastity.”(8) “And approach not fornication, surely it is a shameful deed and an evil Way.”(9) “The adulterer and the adulteress, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.”(10)

(i) “O ye believers, wine and gambling and idols and divining arrows are an

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1- Qur'an, ii, 188. Seeking to gain the nearness of the judges includes resorting to law‑courts to lay a false claim to other people's property, or offering bribes to the judges to obtain a favourable decree. (Alusi, op. cit. vol. II, p. 60.)
2- Qur’an, II, 283.
3- Ibid., III, 161.
4- Ibid., V, 41.
5- Ibid., IV, 10.
6- Ibid., LXXXIII, 1‑3.
7- Ibid., XXIV, 19.
8- Ibid., XXIV, 33.The purpose of this verse is to prohibit prostitution. Slave­girls are mentioned because in old Arabia prostitution was conducted with slave­girls. People would install their young and beautiful slaves in the brothels and eat of their earnings. (Ibn Jarir, Jami` al‑Bayan fi Tafsir al‑Qur'an, vol. XVIII,pp. 55‑58, 103‑04, Matba'at al‑Amiriyyah, Egypt, 1328/1910; ibn Kathir, Tafsir al‑Qur'an al‑`Azim, vol. III, pp. 89, 288, Matba'ah Mustafa Muhammad, Egypt, 1947; ibn `Abd al‑Barr, al‑Isti`ab, vol. II, p. 762, Dairatul Maarif, Hyderabad, 1337/1918.)
9- Qur’an, XVII, 32.
10- Ibid., XXIV, 2. Along with making adultery a criminal offence, the earnings of adultery are also declared forbidden. The Prophet of God (may peace be upon him) called it the most abominable of earnings. (Bukhari, Book 34, Ch. 113; Book 37, Ch. 20; Book 68, Ch. 50; Book 76, Ch. 46; Book 77, Ch. 96; Muslim, Book 22, Tr. No. 39, 41; abu Dawud, Book 22, Ch. 39, 63; Tirmidhi, Book 9, Ch. 37; Book 12, Ch. 46; Book 26, Ch. 23; Nasa'i, Book 42, Ch. 5; Book 44, Ch. 90; ibn Majah, Book 12, Ch. 9.)

abomination of Satan's handiwork; so avoid them that you may prosper.”(1)

(j) “God has permitted trade and forbidden usury.”(2) “O ye believers, fear God and give up what remains (due to you) of usury if you are believers (indeed). If you do not do so, take notice of war from God and His Messenger. But if you repent you shall have your principal. Neither you wrong, nor shall you be wronged. If the debtor is in straitened circumstances, give him time till it is easy (for him to pay), and that you remit (the debt), by way of charity, that is the best thing for you, if you only knew.”(3)

Thus we see that the Qur'an has prohibited the following ways of acquiring wealth:

(i) Taking another's property without, his consent or remuneration or with consent and with or without remuneration in such a way that the consent is forced or obtained by guile.

(ii) Bribes.

(iii) Forcible acquisitions.

(iv) Fraud, whether with private or public wealth.

(v) Theft.

(vi) Mis­appropriation of orphans' property.

(vii) Taking or giving wrong measure

(viii) Businesses which help to spread indecency.

(ix) Prostitution and its earnings.

(x) Manufacture, buying and selling, and carriage of wines.

(xi) Gambling, including all such ways in which the transfer of wealth from one person to another depends on mere chance.

(xii) Manufacture, buying, and selling of idols, and service of temples where idols are kept or worshipped.

(xiii) Earnings from businesses like astrology, foretelling of fate, divination, etc.

(xiv) Usury.

7. After prohibiting these wrong ways of acquiring wealth the Qur'an also strongly

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1- Qur'an, V, 93. The manufacture of and trading in all things prohibited in the Qur'an are also prohibited. Full prohibition calls for complete ban on profiting by anything connected with what is prohibited. (A1‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. II, p. 212.)
2- Qur'an, ii, 275. This makes it clear that in the case of trade the profit which a person makes over his invested capital, or in the event of a partnership in trade the profit which the partners of an enterprise divide according to their shares in it, is lawful and allowed, but whatever a creditor charges from his debtor over his principal is unlawful and God does not allow it as truly earned income like the profit earned in trade.
3- Ibid., II, 278‑80. It is evident from the words used here that this injunction is related to transactions of debt and in such transactions if a creditor charges anything more than what he has advanced it would be riba (excess, usury, interest). The rate of interest to be charged, high or low, makes no difference in it. It is also immaterial for what purpose the sum is borrowed.

condemns the amassing of wealth in a covetous and niggardly way.(1) Along with this we are warned that love of wealth or a hankering after riches and pride of fortune hae always been among the causes that have led men astray and ultimately sent them to ruin.(2)

8. On the other hand, the Qur'an condemns it in equally strong terms that one should squander one's properly acquired wealth in wasteful pursuits, spend it for one's own lust or luxury, and put it to no use save raising one's own standard of living.(3)

9. The proper course for man, according to the Qur'an, is to spend moderately on his own needs and those of his family. He and his dependants have rights to his wealth which must be granted without stint, but he cannot be allowed to squander everything on himself and his family, for there are other obligations, too, which must be recognized.(4)

10. After he has satisfied his own needs with moderation, a man should spend what is left over of his well‑earned wealth in the following ways:

“They ask you what they should spend (in charity). Say: `Whatever exceeds your needs.”'(5)

“It is not piety that you turn your faces towards east or west. Piety is that a man should believe in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and give his wealth for the love of God to his kinsfolk and the orphans and the needy and the traveller and to

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1- Ibid., III 180; IX, 34; XLVII, 38; LVII, 24; LXIV, 16; LXIX, 34; IXX, 21; IXXIV, 45; LXXXIX 15‑20; XC II, 11; CIV, 3; CVII, 1, 2, 3, 7.
2- Ibid., XXVIII, 58; XXXIV, 34, 35; CII, 1‑3.
3- Ibid., VI, 141; VII, 31; XVII, 23.
4- Ibid., XVII, 29 ; XXV, 6 7 ; XXVIII, 77.
5- Ibid., II, 219.

those who ask, and for setting the slaves free.”(1)

“You will never attain piety until you spend what you love (of your wealth). And whatever you spend, God knows it well.”(2)

“Serve God, and associate no partner with Him, and be kind to parents and kinsmen and orphans and the needy, and the neighbour who is of kin, and the neighbour who is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the traveller, and the slaves that your right hands own. Surely God does not love the proud and the boastful.”(3)

“(Charity is) for those poor people who are so restrained in the way of God that they cannot travel in the land to earn their living. The ignorant man regards them as wealthy because of their self‑possession. You shall know them by their mark, they do not beg of men importunately. What­ ever (wealth) you spend (on them) God surely knows it.”(4)

“They (the righteous) feed the needy, the orphan, and the captive, for the love of God, saying: `We feed you for the sake of God alone. We desire no reward from you nor any thanks.”'(5)

“(Excepted from the fire of hell are) those in whose wealth there is a fixed portion for the beggar and the destitute.”(6)

The Qur'an not only tells that this kind of spending is the essence of piety but also warns that its absence in a society must mean its decay and ruination: “Expend in the way of God, and cast not

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1- Ibid., II, 177.
2- Ibid., III, 92.
3- Ibid., IV, 36. as in the days of the Holy Prophet these were the four hundred volunteers who had come from the four corners of Arabia and settled at Madinah. They had dedicated their lives to the pursuit of the knowledge of Islam and were prepared to go with any expedition of propagation or war when and wherever the Holy Prophet sent them. Having devoted their whole time to these services they could do little to earn their livelihood. (Zamakhshari, al‑Kashshaf, vol. 1, p. 126, al­ Matba'at al‑Bahiyyah, Egypt, 1343/1924.)Similarly, this verse will now apply to those persons who devote their whole time to study, or propagation of faith or other works of social welfare and do not find opportunity to attend to their own business.
4- Qur’an, II, 273.
5- Ibid., LXXVI, 8‑9.
6- Ibid., LXX, 25.

yourself with your own hands into ruin.”(1)

11. Besides this general and voluntary spending in the way of God the Qur'an enjoins expending of wealth as expiation of omissions and sins. For instance, if a man takes an oath and then forswears it, “the expiation for it is to feed ten poor persons with the average of food which you serve to your own folk, or to clothe them, or to give a slave his freedom; or if anyone does not find (the wherewithal to do so) let him fast three days.”(2)

Similarly, if anyone makes his wife unlawful for him by declaring her to be his mother or sister by zihar(3) and later seeks to retract and take her again, it is ordained that “he should free a slave before the two touch each other, and he who has not (the wherewithal for that) should fast for two months consecutively . . . and he who is unable to do so let him feed sixty poor per­sons.”(4)

Like expiations have also been ordained to make up for omissions in the performance of piilgrimage(5) and proper observance of the month of fasting.(6)

12. But all such expense will count as expense in God's way only if it is really free from selfishness, guile, and display, and there is no attempt to hurt or lay anyone under obligation. One must also make no attempt to sort out the worse of one's goods to disburse in charity. One must give the choice

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1- Ibid., II, 195.
2- Ibid., V, 89.
3- It was an old Arab custom to divorce a woman by uttering the formula “Thou art to me as the back of my mother.” This formula was called “the zihar.” Divorce by zihar freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties but did not leave the wife free to leave the husband's home or to contract a second marriage. This pagan system of divorce unfair to women was abolished (LVIII. 2).
4- Qur’an, LVIII, 4.
5- Ibid., II, 196; V, 95.
6- Ibid., II, 184.

of them, and bear nothing in mind except the love and pleasure of God.(1)

13. This expending of wealth which the Qur'an variously terms as “spending in God's way” or charity or zakat, is not a mere act of piety, an almsgiving; rather it is the third among the five pillars of Islam, viz., (1) the witness of faith (iman), (2) prayer (salat), (3) charity (zakat), (4) fasting (saum) and (5) pilgrimage (hajj). It has been mentioned constantly with prayer (salat) some thirty‑seven times in the Qur'an and both of them have been described with full emphasis as essentials of Islam, without which there can be no sal­vation.(2) Zakat, it says, has been a pillar of true religion preached by all the prophets of God.(3)

And so this zakat is a pillar of Islam now in the religion of the last Prophet of God. It is as essential for one who joins the fold of Islam as bearing witness to the truth of faith (iman) or prayer (salat).(4)

Zakat is not only for the good of society; it is also necessary for the moral development and edification of the giver himself. It is for his own purification and salvation. It is not only a tax, but also an act of worship just like prayer. It is an essential part of that programme which the Qur'an prescribes for the amelioration of man's soul.(5)

14. But the Qur'an was not content to infuse a general spirit of voluntary benevolence and philanthropy among

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1- Ibid., II, 262‑63, 268, 271; IV, 38; XXIV, 33.
2- Ibid., II, 3, 43, 83 110, 177, 277; IV, 77, 162; V, 12, 55; VIII, 3; IX, 5, 11, 18, 71; XIII, 22; XIV, 31; XIX, 31, 55; XXI, 73; III, 35, 41, 78; XXIII, 2; XXIV, 37, 56; XXVII. 3; XXXI, 4; XXXIII, 33; XXXV, 29; XLIII, 38; LVIII, 13; LXX, 23; LXXIII, 20; LXXIV, 43; XCVIII, 5; CVII.
3- Ibid., II, 83; XIX, 30, 31, 55; XXI, 73; XCVIII, 5.
4- Ibid., II, 2, 3; V, 55; VIII, 2, 3, 4; IX, 11; XXII, 78.
5- Ibid., III, 92; IX, 103; LXIV, 16.

people. It instructed the Prophet as the Head of the Islamic State to fix an obligatory minimum for it, and arrange for its regular receipt and disbursement.

“Take a charity from their wealth.”(1)

The words “a charity” pointed out that a certain fixed measure determined by the Prophet was to be enjoined on people, besides the usual charity they practised of their own accord. Accordingly, the Prophet fixed a maximum allowable limit in respect of different kinds of wealth, and the following rates were fixed for the holdings that stood above that limit(2)

(1) On gold, silver, and cash hoardings(3) – 2 1/2 % annually

(2) On agricultural produce from unirrigated land – 10 % annually

(3) On agricultural produce from artificially irrigated land - 5 % annually

(4) On livestock kept for breeding and trade‑the rates are different for sheep, goats, cows, camels, etc.

(5) On mines in private ownership and treasure‑troves - 20 % annually

The Prophet of God imposed these rates of zakat as a duty on Muslims like the five daily prayers. As duties, and in being incumbent, there is no difference between the two. According to the Qur'an, it is one of the basic objects of an Islamic State that it should institute prayer (salat) and manage regular re­ceipt and distribution of zakat.(4)

It should be noted that although, as seen above, the collection and disburse­ment of zakat is a duty of an Islamic State, the believers will not be absolved from paying it (privately), just as they are not absolved

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1- Ibid., IX, 103.
2- Al‑Shaukani, Nail al Autar, vol. IV, pp. 98, 126, Mustafa al‑Babi, Egypt, 1347/1928.
3- Later it was decided by ijma` (consensus of opinion) that zakaton merchandise goods would also be charged at the rate of 2 1/2 % per annum. (Al‑ Shaukani, op. cit., vol. IV, p. 117.) This principle of zakaton commerce will likewise apply to factories which manufacture different kinds of goods for sale.
4- Qur’an, IX, 103; XXII, 41; XXIV, 55, 56.

from prayer, in case the Islamic State ceases to exist or is neglectful of its duty.

15. To the funds collected under zakat the Qur'an adds another item‑a part of the spoils of war. The rule prescribed by the Book is that the soldiers fighting in a battle should not loot the spoils which fall into their hands after a victory, but bring everything before the commander who should distribute four‑fifth of the whole booty amongst soldiers who participated in the engagement and hand over the remaining fifth to the State for the following purposes:

“Know that whatever booty you take, the fifth of it is for God and the Prophet and the kinsmen and the orphans and the needy and the traveller.”(1)

16. The income from these two sources, according to the Qur'an, is not a part of the general exchequer maintained to furnish comforts and provide for essential services for all including those who contribute to the zakat fund. On the contrary, it is reserved for use on the following items:

Alms are meant for the poor(2) and the needy(3) and those who work on them (i. e., collect, disburse, and manage them) and those whose hearts are to be reconciled,(4) for the ransoming of slaves(5) and those in debt, and the cause of God(6) and the traveller(7) ‑ a duty from God.”(8)

17. The Qur'anic rule with regard to the property which a person leaves behind him after his or her death is that it should be distributed among his

p: 65

1- Ibid., viii, 41. During his life, the Prophet took a part of this fifth of spoils for his own and his kins' needs as neither he nor they had any right in zakat. After his death it was a disputed point as to who should take the Prophet's and kinsmen's share. Some people opined that the Prophet was entitled to it for being the Head of the State and thus after his death it should go to the Caliph and his kinsfolk. Others thought that it should still belong to the kinsfolk of the Prophet. At last it was agreed that it should be set aside for the military requirements of the Islamic State. (Al‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. III, pp. 75, 77.)
2- Arabic fuqara', singular faqir. Literally, faqr is want, and fuqara' are those who earn less than they need and thus deserve help. (Lisan al‑`Arab, vol. V, pp. 60, 61, Beirut, 1956.)
3- Arabic masakin, singular miskin. The Caliph `Umar says that miskin is he who cannot earn his living or does not find opportunity to do so. (Al‑Jassas, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 151.) According to this definition, all those helpless children who are not yet able to earn, and the cripple, and the old who are no longer able to make a living, and the unemployed, and the invalids who are temporarily rendered unfit to earn livelihood, are masakin.
4- Three kinds of men were given money for “reconciling of hearts,” during the Prophet's life: 1. Staunch opponents of Islam who persecuted weak Muslims or set themselves hard against the faith were given something. and persuaded to adopt a lenient attitude. 2. Those who forcibly prevented the people of their tribes or clans from embracing Islam were persuaded to give up this obstruction. 3. The new entrants in faith were given monetary help to get over their financial difficulties, so that they should live in their new environments amoung Muslims with equani­mity. (Al‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. III; p. 152.)
5- Refers to the Muslims who were captured in war by the enemies as well as the non‑Muslims who came as war captives to the Muslims and wanted to be set free on payment of ransom; reference is also to the slaves who lived in bondage from old.
6- The cause of God includes jihad (war) and ,hajj (pilgrimage). One who proceeds on war can avail oneself of zakateven if one is well‑to‑do so far as personal effects go, because one's personal effects are often inadequate to enable one to prepare for war and provide for the expenses of the way. Similarly, one who runs short of money on pilgrimage deserves to be helped with zakat. (al‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. III, pp. 156‑57; al‑ Shaukani op. cit., vol.. IV, pp. 144‑46.)
7- A traveller, even though he is rich at home, deserves to be helped with zakatif he runs short of money on the way (Al‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. III, p. 157).
8- Qur’an, IX, 60.

parents, children, and wife (or husband, as the case may be) according to a specified ratio. If he leaves neither parents nor children, his brothers and sisters (real, step, or uterine) should divide it. Detailed instructions relating to this may be seen in chapter iv of the Qur'an.(1) We omit to reproduce them here to avoid prolixity.

The guiding principle here is that property accumulated by a person during his life‑time should not remain accumulated there after his death but scatter among his kinsfolk. This is opposed to the principle underlying primogeniture, the joint family, and other like systems which aim at keeping accumulated wealth accumulated even after the death of its holder.

The Qur'an also rejects the system of adopting children to make them heirs, and lays down that inheritance should go to those who are actually related, not to those fictitiously adopted as sons and daughters to pass on property.(2)

However, after ensuring blood relations their rights, the Qur'an advises them to be generous to the other relations who are not going to inherit but are present on the occasion of the division of property. They also may be given something out of kindness.(3)

18. In prescribing the law of inheritance the Qur'an allows a person's right to make a will before he dies in respect of the property he is leaving behind him.(4)

This ordinance instructs a man who is passing away to urge his offspring to be kind to his parents‑the young being often inclined to neglect the

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1- Verses 7‑12 and 176. According to the Holy Prophet's elucidation, in the absence of the nearest relations the inheritance will go to the nearer, and in their absence, as a last resort, to those who have at least some relation with the deceased in comparison with mere strangers. But if the deceased leave no relation of any kind, the property will be added to the general exchequer of the Islamic State. (Al‑Shaukani, op. cit., vol. VI, pp. 47, 56.)
2- Qur’an, XXXIII, 4, 6.
3- Ibid., IV, 8, 9.
4- Ibid., II, 180.

proper care of their aged grand‑parents; and to bequeath some of his property to those of his kinsfolk who deserve help but are not entitled to inherit anything under the law. Besides this if a person is leaving much wealth he may bequeath a part of it for charitable purposes or works of social welfare, for the above­ quoted verse does not ask him to restrict his will to his parents and relatives alone.(1)

It is evident from these laws of inheritance that the rule in respect of the heritage of private property is that two‑thirds of it must be divided among legal heirs and the remaining one‑third left to the discretion of the dying person to dispose it of as he wills, provided, however, the purpose for which he means to bequeath it is just and lawful, and no one is robbed of his right.(2)

19. As for those people who cannot husband their property well on account of idiocy or want of intelligence and are wasting it away or, it is genuinely feared, are likely to do so, the instruction is that they may not be allowed to hold it in their care. Such property should lie in the care of their guardians or responsible judicial officers and may be restored to them only when there is satisfaction that they are able to manage their affairs properly.(3)

An important point described in this verse about private possessions is that although they are the property of their owners according

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1- Al Shaukani, op. cit., vol. VI, pp. 32, 33. Seen in the light of the Holy Prophet's elucidation, the Qur'an does not seem to favour the idea that one should leave one's kinsfolk deprived and spend on works of social welfare. The words of the Prophet quoted in Nail al‑Autar from Bukhari, Muslim, and other books of Tradi­tion are: “Your leaving your heirs rich is better than your leaving them poor, spreading their hands before people (for help).”
2- Elucidating the law in this matter, the Prophet of God (may peace be upon him) has imposed three restrictions on the right of demise. First, that a person can exercise this right to the extent of one‑third of his property only. Secondly, that no will should be made in favour of any of the legal heirs without taking the consent of other heirs. Thirdly, a will cannot be made to deprive an heir of his entitlement or to give him less than his due share. (Al‑Shaukani, op. cit., vol. VI, pp. 31, 35.)
3- Qur’an, IV, 5, 3.

to law, yet they do not wholly be­long to them, because the interest of society is also involved in them. That is why the Qur'an calls them “your property” instead of “their property.”

That is also why, where unintelligent use of private property is causing, or is likely to cause, harm to the collective interest of society, it allows guardians or magis­trates to take it over in their own hands, without, however, disturbing the owner's right of owning it or benefiting by it.(1)

20. The Qur'anic direction in respect of properties, wealth, and incomes that belong to the State is that they should not be used for the welfare of rich classes only but of all alike and particularly the poor whose interest deserves more looking after than that of any other class.

“Whatever God has bestowed on His Messenger, (taking it) from the people of these towns, is for God and the Messenger(2) and the kinsfolk(3) and the orphans and the needy and the traveller, in order that it may not circulate among the rich of you (only) .... (It is also) for the poor emigrants who have been expelled from their homes and possessions.”(4)

21. In the matter of levying taxes the Qur'an teaches the principle that their incidence should lie on those who possess more than they need, and on that part of their wealth which is surplus after all legitimate needs have been met.

“They ask you what they should spend. Say: `What is spare after meeting your

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1- Ibn al‑`Arabi, op. cit., vol. I, p. 123; ibn Kathir, Tafsir al‑Qur'an, vol. I, p. 482; al‑Jassas, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 72, 73.
2- By this is meant the expenditure on the administration and defence of the Islamic State. The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace) and his successors, the Caliphs drew their own subsistence and paid their officials (except those of the zakat department) from this source.
3- For explanation, see note 54.
4- Qur’an, LIX, 7‑8.


The characteristic features and basic principles of the economic scheme drawn by the Qur'an for man and described in the above twenty‑one para­graphs may be summed up as follows

i. It works a happy co‑ordination between economic and moral values. Instead of being treated as distinctly separate things, the two are drawn to­gether into a harmonious blend. The economic problem has been tackled not from the purely “economic” point of view; it has been solved after being appropriately placed in the overall scheme of life based on ethical concepts of Islam. (paras 1, 2, 4, 5.)

ii. All resources and means of living are regarded as God's magnanimous gift to mankind; this implies that all kinds of monopolization, individual, collective, or national, should be discouraged and all men should be provided with free opportunities of earning on God's earth to the maximum limit possible. (para 5.)

iii. It allows individual right of ownership but not to an unlimited extant. Besides putting restrictions on it in the interest of other individuals and society as a whole, it admits on a person's property the rights of his relatives, neighbours, friends, the needy, the unfortunate, and, so to speak; of all members of society. Some of these are made enforceable by law; as for others, arrangement has been made to educate people morally and intellectually enabling them to understand these rights and prepare themselves to honour them of their own free‑will. (paras 3, 5, 7‑14, 16, 18, 19.)

iv. The natural way for the economic system

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1- Ibid., II, 219.

to operate according to this scheme is that individuals should work it and try to improve it with free endeavour. However, they are not left to do as they may without checks and restraints of any kind. For their own cultural and economic welfare and for that of their society this freedom has been curtailed within limits. (paras 6, 14, 21.)

v. Man and woman are alike declared owners of the wealth they earn, in­herit, or acquire by other lawful means, and allowed to derive benefit from their possessions. (paras 3, 4, 17.)

vi. To preserve economic balance people have been urged to give up miserlyness and renunciation, and take to putting the gifts of God to good use. But at the same time they have been strongly warned not to indulge in extrava­gance of any kind. (paras 5, 7, 8.)

vii. To secure economic justice it has been assured that unjust means are not employed to force the flow of wealth in particular channels. Nor should wealth acquired by just means remain stored at a place and fall out of circula­tion. Arrangement is also made to ensure that wealth remains in constant use and circulation, particularly for the benefit of those classes which are deprived of their due and reasonable share for one reason or another. (paras 6‑8, 10, 11, 14, 16‑18, 20.)

viii. The scheme does not depend much upon the interference of law or the State to ensure economic justice. After declaring a few unavoidable things to be the responsibility of

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the State for this purpose, it seeks to enforce the other items in its plan through the intellectual and moral uplift of the individuals comprising a society and its general amelioration. Economic justice is thus secured in perfect concord with the principle of allowing the exercise of in­dividual freedom in the economic field. (paras 5‑21.)

ix. Instead of producing class conflict it puts an end to the causes of such conflicts and produces a spirit of co‑operation and comradeship among the different classes of society. (paras 4, 6‑10, 12, 14‑16, 20, 21.)

When these principles were worked out and put into practice in govern­mental and social spheres during the time of the Holy Prophet and his “Guided Successors,” many more injunctions and precedents came into exist­ence. But our present study precludes that discussion. Books of history, bio­graphy, traditions, and jurisprudence abound in such matters and may be consulted for details.

Political Teachings

1. The political philosophy of the Qur'an is essentially based on its fun­damental concept of the universe which should be clearly kept in mind for its proper appreciation and right appraisal. If we study this concept of the universe from the political point of view, the following four points vividly come into prominence

(a) That God is the creator of the whole of this universe including man and all those things which he exploits and harnesses into his service .(1)

(b) That God Himself is the sole master, ruler, director, and administrator of His creation.(2)

(c) That sovereignty in this universe does not and

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1- Ibid., II, 29; IV, 1; VI, 73; XIII, 16; XXXV, 3; LVI, 58‑72.
2- Ibid., VII, 54; XX, 8; XXX, 26; XXXII, 5.

cannot vest in anyone except God. Nor has anyone else any right to share this sovereignty with Him.(1)

(d) That all attributes and powers of sovereignty are solely His prerogatives. He is living, self‑existent, self‑sufficient, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and exalted above all flaw, defect, or weakness. His is the supreme authority; everything submits to Him willingly or unwillingly; to Him belong all powers. He can dictate whatever He likes and none has the power to interfere in or review His commandments. No one can intercede with Him save by His leave. Nobody has the power to harm those whom He intends to benefit and none can protect whom He intends to harm.

He is accountable to none; everyone else is accountable to Him. He is the guardian of one and all. He can protect against all, but none can give quarters against Him. His are the powers of inflicting punishment or granting forgiveness. He is the supreme Lord over all other rulers. He grants an opportunity to rule on His earth to whomsoever He desires and withdraws this privilege whenever He so wills.

These essential powers and attributes of a sovereign being vest solely in God.(2)

2. On the basis of this concept of the universe the Qur'an asserts that the real sovereign of mankind too is the same as the sovereign of the whole uni­verse. His is the only rightful authority in human affairs just as in all other affairs of creation. No one else, be he human or non‑human,

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1- Ibid., II, 107; III, 154; VI, 57; XIII, 16; XVI, 17; XVIII, 26; XXV, 2; XXVIII, 70; XXX; 4; XXXV, 40‑41; LVII, 5.
2- Ibid., II, 255, 284; III, 26, 83; V, 1; VI, 18; VII, 128; X, 65, 107; XIII, 9, 41; XVIII, LL, 26, 27; XXI, 23; XXIII, 88; XXXVI, 83; LIX, 23; IXVII, 1; LXXII, 22; LXXXV, 13‑16; XCV, 8.

has any right to give orders or decide matters independently.

There is, however, one vital difference.

In the physical sphere of the universe the sovereignty of God is established by itself regardless of whether one willingly submits to it or not. In that sector of his life even man has no option to do otherwise. He too finds himself totally regulated by the inexorable laws of nature like any other object from the tiniest speck of an atom to the magnificent galaxies in space.

But in the volitional sphere of his life man has been allowed a certain amount of free‑will and God has not coerced him to an unwilling submission. Herein He has chosen only to invite and persuade mankind through His revealed Books (the last of which is the Holy Qur'an) to surrender themselves before His Lordship and acknow­ledge His sovereignty with deliberate willingness. The Qur'an has discussed the different aspects of this subject at great length. For instance:

(a) The Lord of the universe is indeed the Lord of man, and this position must be fully recognized by him.(1)

(b) God alone has the right to decide and order. Mankind should submit to none save Him. This is the only right course.(2)

(c) The right to rule belongs to God alone because He is the creator.(3)

(d) The right to order and decide belongs to God because He is the ruler of the universe.(4)

(e) His rule is right and just, because He alone comprehends reality and none else is

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1- Ibid., VI, 164; VII, 54; X, 31; CXIV, 1‑3.
2- Ibid., III, 154; XII, 40; XLA, 10.
3- Ibid., VII, 54.
4- Ibid., V, 38‑40.

in a position to give unerring guidance.(1)

3. On these grounds the Qur'an lays down that an unadulterated obedience is the due of God alone; that it is His Law that should rule supreme; and that to obey others or to follow one's own wishes against the Law of God, is not the right way.(2)

The Qur'an also asserts that no one has the right to transgress the limits that have been laid down by God for the regulation of human affairs.(3)

It also points out that all orders and decisions in contravention of the Law of God are not only wrong and unlawful but also unjust and blasphemous. It condemns all such orders as anti‑Islamic and the attempt to abide by them as negation of faith.(4)

4. Then the Qur'an says that prophets are the only source of our knowing the Law of God. They alone are the bearers of revelation and are in a position to convey to mankind the commandments and directions of their Lord.

They again are the persons divinely authorized to explain those commandments by their word and deed. Thus, the prophets are embodiments of the legal sovereignty of God. That is why obedience to them has been considered to be obedience to God Himself and faith in them has been made a necessary condition for demarcating belief from disbelief.(5)

5. According to the Qur'an, the commandments of God and the Prophet of Islam constitute the Supreme Law and the Muslims as such cannot adopt

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1- Ibid., II, 216, 220, 255, 232; IV, 11, 176; VIII, 75; IX, 60; XXIV, 58‑59; LX, 10.
2- Ibid., VII, 3; XIII, 37; XVI, 36; XXXIX, 2, 11‑12; XL, 18; XCVIII.
3- Ibid., II, 229; LVIII, 4; LXV, 1.
4- Ibid., IV, 60; V, 44, 45, 46, 50.
5- BID., IV, 64, 65, 80, 115; LIX, 7.

any attitude other than that of complete submission to it. A Muslim is not allowed to follow his own independent decisions in matters which have been finally and unequivocally decided by God and His Apostle. To do that is a negation of faith.(1)

6. The right form of government for mankind according to the Qur'an is one in which the State relinquishes its claim to sovereignty in favour of God and, after recognizing the legal supremacy of God and His Apostle, accepts the position of Caliphate (vicegerency) under the suzerainty of the Rightful Ruler. In this capacity all the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the State will necessarily be circumscribed by the limits which have been described in paras 3, 4, and 5 above.(2)

7. The conception of Caliphate as it has been put forth by the Qur'an, can be summed up in the following terms

(a) All the powers that man possesses in this world are in fact not his own, but have been endowed to him by God Almighty. The Lord Himself has assign­ed to man the position in which he may exercise these delegated powers within the limits prescribed by Him. Man is thus not an independent master but a vicegerent of the real Sovereign.(3)

(b) Every nation that acquires the power and authority to rule over any part of the world is in reality a vicegerent of God in its domain.(4)

(c) This vicegerency, however, cannot be right and lawful unless it is subservient to the

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1- Ibid., IV, 51; XXIV, 47‑48; XXXIII, 36
2- Ibid., V, 48; XXXVIII, 26.
3- Ibid., II, 31; VII, 10; XXII, 65.
4- Ibid., VII, 69, 74, 129; X, 14.

commandments of the real Sovereign. Any State independent of Him and not subservient to His commands is not a vicegerency. It is really a revolt against the Lord.(1)

8. The powers of a true Caliphate do not vest in any individual nor in any clan, class or community, but in those who believe and do good. The text of xxiv, 55 that “God has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them His vicegerents on the earth...” is quite clear on this point. According to this verse, every good Muslim is fit to hold the position of a Caliph.

It is this aspect of Islamic Caliphate that distin­guishes it from a kingship, an oligarchy, and a theocracy. It is different even from modern democracy. There is a basic difference between the two. The edifice of democracy is raised on the principle of popular sovereignty; while in Islamic Caliphate the people themselves surrender their independence to the sovereignty of God and of their own accord limit their powers within the four corners of the divine Law and the promise of vicegerency has been held out to them only if they are morally good.

9. The government of a State established with a view to running an Islamic Caliphate cannot claim an absolute or unlimited obedience from the people. They are bound to obey it only so far as it exercises its powers in accordance with the divine Law revealed in nature and the

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1- Ibid., XXIV, 55; XXXV, 39; LXXXI, 17‑24; LXXXIX, 6‑11.

Sacred Book. There can be neither obedience nor co‑operation in sin and aggression.(1)

10. In all affairs of the State, right from its constitution to the election of its Head and members of its parliament, and the matters of legislation and administration, the Muslims should make it a rule to take counsel among them­selves.(2)

11. The following qualifications must be kept in view in choosing the people responsible to run the State:

(a) They must have faith in the principles according to which they have to manage the affairs of the Caliphate. Evidently, an ideological system can­not work in the hands of those who do not subscribe to its principles.(3)

(b) They should not be unjust, licentious, forgetful of God, or transgressors of divine limits. They should be, on the other hand, honest, trustworthy, God­fearing, and virtuous.(4)

(c) They should not be unwise and ignorant. They must be rather educated, wise, intelligent, and both bodily and intellectually fit to pilot the State.(5)

(d) They should be men of integrity so that they may be safely entrusted with public responsibilities.(6)

12. The constitution of such a State shall be based on the following princi­ples:

(a) “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle and those of you who are in authority; and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Apostle if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.”(7)

This verse elucidates

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1- Ibid., C, 2; LX, 12; LXXVI,
2- Ibid., XLII, 38.
3- Ibid., III, 118; IV, 59; IX, 16.
4- Ibid., II, 124; XVIII, 28; XXVI, 151‑132; XXXVIII, 28; X1IX, 13.
5- Ibid., II, 247; IV, 5, 83; XII, 55; XXXVIII. 20; XXXIX, 9.
6- Ibid., IV, 58
7- Ibid., IV, 59.

five constitutional points:

(i) That obedience to God and His Apostle must be given priority to every other obedience.

(ii) That obedience to those who are in authority is subject to the obedience to God and His Apostle.

(iii) That the Head of the State must be from amongst the believers.

(iv) That it is possible for the people to differ with the government and its rulers.

(v) That in case of dispute the final authority to decide between them is the Law of God and His Apostle.

(b) The Qur'an does not give us any hard and fast rules about the method of election and consultation. It lays down only broad‑based principles and leaves the problem of their practical implementation to be decided in accordance with the exigencies of time and the requirements of society.

(c) In those matters about which clear injunctions have been given or definite principles laid down or limits prescribed by God and His Apostle, the legislature has only the right to interpret them, or to frame bye‑laws and rules of procedure to bring them into practice.

As for those matters about which the Supreme Law is silent, the legislature is allowed to legislate for all pur­poses and needs of the society keeping in view the spirit and the general principles of Islam. The very fact that no clear injunction exists about them in the Qur'an and Sunnah is sufficient to show that the Lawgiver has Him­self left it to the good sense of the believers.

(d) The judiciary must be free from

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every pressure and influence to adjudicate impartially without being carried away by the public or the people in authority. Its foremost duty is to give verdict strictly in accordance with the law and requirements of justice without being swayed either by the passions or preju­dices of its own members or those of others.(1)

13. This State comes into being for two main purposes. First, that justice and equity should be established in human affairs,(2) and, secondly, that, the powers and resources of the State should be harnessed for the welfare of the people, i. e., for promotion, for them, of all that is good and eradication of all that is evil.(3)

14. All citizens of the State, whether Muslims or non‑Muslims, must be guaranteed the following fundamental rights, and it is the bounden duty of the State to safeguard them against all types of encroachment:

(a) Security of person.(4)

(b) Security of property.(5)

(c) Protection of honour.(6)

(d) Right of privacy.(7)

(e) The right to protest against injustice.(8)

(f) The right to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. This includes the right of criticism.(9)

(g) Freedom of association, provided it is used for good ends and does not become an instrument for spreading dissensions and creating fundamental differences in the society.(10)

(h) Freedom of faith and conscience.(11)

(i) Protection against wrongfully hurting one's religious susceptibilities.(12) The Qur'an has clearly laid down in this connection that in matters of religious differences an academic discussion can be held, but it

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1- Ibid., IV, 58; VI, 48; XXXVIII, 26.
2- Ibid., LVII, 25.
3- Ibid., XXII, 41.
4- Ibid., XVII, 23.
5- Ibid., II, 188; IV, 29.
6- Ibid., XLIX, 11‑12.
7- Ibid., XXIV, 27; XLIX, 12.
8- Ibid., IV, 148.
9- Ibid., III, 110; V, 78‑79; VII, 165.
10- Ibid., III, 11.
11- Ibid., II, 191, 236; X, 99.
12- Ibid., VI, 108.

must be conducted in a fair and decent manner.(1)

(j) Limiting the responsibility of every person only to his or her own deeds.(2)

(k) Security from action being taken against anyone on false reports about his or her crime.(3)

(l) The right of the destitute and the needy to be provided with basic necessities of life by the State.(4)

(m) Equal treatment of all its subjects by the State without discrimination(5)..

An Islamic State has the following rights against its citizens:

(a) That they must submit to its authority.(6)

(b) That they must be law‑abiding and should not disturb the public order and tranquillity.(7)

(c) They must give unstinted support to the State in its rightful activities.(8)

(d) They must be prepared to sacrifice their life and property for the defence of the State.(9)

16. The Qur'an gives the following important directions about the foreign policy of the Islamic State:

(a) Sanctity of treaties and pledges.(10) (b) Honesty and integrity in all transactions.(11) (c) International justice.(12) (d) Respect for the rights of neutrals in war.(13) (e) Love of peace.(14) (f) Non‑participation in the efforts directed to self‑aggrandizement and oppression in the world.(15) (g) Friendly treatment to all non‑hostile powers.(16) (h) Fair deal with all those who are good and honest in their dealings.(17) (i) Retaliation in proportion to the high‑handedness of others and no more.(18)

The salient features of the State envisaged in these sixteen points laid down by the Holy Qur'an are as follows:

(i) This State is brought into existence by a

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1- Ibid., XXIX, 46.
2- Ibid., VI, 164; XVII, 15; XXXV, 18; XXXIX, 7; LIII, 38.
3- Ibid., IV, 58; XVII, 36; X1IX, 6.
4- Ibid., LI, 19.
5- Ibid., XXVIII, 4.
6- Ibid., IV, 59.
7- Ibid., V, 33; VII, 85.
8- Ibid., V, 2.
9- Ibid., IX, 38‑41.
10- Ibid., VIII, 42, 58 ; IX, A ; XV I, 91‑92 ; XV II, 34.
11- Ibid., XVI, 94.
12- Ibid., V, 8.
13- Ibid., IV, 90
14- Ibid., VIII, 61:
15- Ibid., XXVIII, 83.
16- Ibid., LX,.8.
17- Ibid., LV, 60.
18- Ibid.. II, 1,94; XVI, 126; XLII, 40‑42.

conscious resolve on the part of a politically free nation to renounce all claims to sovereignty in favour of God Almighty, to surrender its autonomy accepting the position of vicegerency under Him, and to work according to precepts and directions given by the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Apostle.

(ii) It is theocratic in so far as it is based on the doctrine of sovereignty of God but, in actual and practical realization of this doctrine, it is vitally different from theocracy. Instead of delegating the vicegerency of God to a particular order of priests and vesting them with the full powers to rule, it vests the believers whose deeds are good with the right of Caliphate.

(iii) It is democratic in the sense that the formation of government, change in its administrative set‑up, and its working wholly depend upon the general will. But the rights of the people in this system are not so unlimited that they may change the law of the State, its ideology, its internal and external policy, and its resources according to their own sweet will.

On the other hand, the Supreme Law of God and His Apostle with its legal and moral code provides a permanent and inviolable check which always keeps the life of the community on the right keel and on a broad pattern which can be changed neither by the executive, nor by the legislature, nor by the judiciary, nor even by the whole nation unless it decides to renounce

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the religion of God and break its pledge with Him.

(iv) It is an ideological State which must be run only by those who accept its basic ideology and principles wholeheartedly. As for those who do not subscribe to its ideology but live within its territorial bounds, the State guarantees them the same civil rights as are enjoyed by the other inhabitants provided they pledge to behave as law‑abiding citizens.

(v) It is a State which makes no discrimination whatsoever on grounds of race or colour and is not bound by any linguistic or geographical barriers. It is a purely ideological State. All peoples, no matter to whatever race, nation, or country they belong, can accept this ideology and become equal partners in all the affairs of the State. Such an ideological State bids fair to become a world State.

But even if more than one such States are established in different parts of the world, all of them will be equally Islamic. And instead of there being any nationalistic conflicts among them, they will extend fraternal support and co‑operation to one another. Not only that, there is every possibility of their joining together in a world confederation of their own.

(vi) The real spirit of this State lies in subordinating politics to morality and conducting affairs conscientiously and God‑fearingly. Honour and eminence must come through moral excellence alone. Paramount importance should be given to character besides ability in selecting men of authority. Honesty, fairness, and justice are to prevail in every sphere

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of domestic administration. And the whole foreign policy is to devolve upon truth, faithfulness, love of peace, fair dealing, and international justice.

(vii) Policing is not the only function of this State. It does not come into existence merely to maintain law and order and to defend its territory against external attacks. It is a State with a purpose and a mission. It must positively strive for the achievement of social justice, promotion of good, and eradication of evil.

(viii) Equality of rights, status and opportunities, supremacy of Law, co­-operation in virtue and non‑co‑operation in vice, sense of accountability to God Almighty, sense of duties more than that of rights, unity of purpose be­tween the individuals, society, and the State, guarantee of the basic necessities of life to everyone in need, are the fundamental values of this State.

(ix) The relations between State and individual are so balanced in this system that neither the State has been vested with absolute authority reducing individuals to virtual slavery, nor has individual freedom been allowed to turn itself into licence threatening the interest of society.

On the one hand, by guaranteeing fundamental rights to its citizens and by making the State authority subject to the Supreme Law of God and the democratic process of shura, it provides ample opportunities for the development of individual personality and protection from undue interference by others.

And, on the other hand, it binds the individual to a definite code of morality, makes it obligatory for him faithfully to obey the

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orders of the State working in accordance with the Law of God, to co‑operate wholeheartedly with it in the cause of virtue, to avoid disturbing its tranquillity, and to sacrifice even his life and property in its defence.


The Qur'an;

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Alusi, Ruh al‑Ma'ani, Idarat al‑Taba'at al‑Muniriyyah, Egypt, 1345/1926; al‑Jassas, Ahkam al‑Qur'an, Matba'at al‑Bahiyyah, Egypt, 1347/1928;

ibn al‑'Arabi, Ahkam al‑Qur'an, Matba'at al‑Sa’adah, Egypt, 1331/1912; ibn Jarir, Jami' al‑Bayan, Matba'at al‑Amiriyyah, Egypt, 1328/1910;

ibn Kathir, Tafsir al‑Qur'an al‑'Azim, Matba' Mustafa Muhammad, Egypt, 1947;

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al‑Tirmidhi, Sunan;

al‑Nasa'i, Sunan; ibn Majah, Sunan al‑Mustafa;

al‑Shaukani, Nail al‑Autar, Mustafa al‑Babi, Egypt, 1347/1928;

ibn Abd al‑Barr, al‑Isti’ab, Dairatul‑Maarif, Hyderabad, 1337/1918;

ibn Manzur, Lisan al‑'Arab, Beirut, 1956.

p: 84

About center

In the name of Allah

Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works

-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.

Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.

Address of the central office:
Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
Website: www.ghbook.ir
Email: Info@ghbook.ir
Central office Tel: 09132000109
Tehran Tel: 88318722 ـ 021
Commerce and sale: 09132000109
Users’ affairs: 09132000109

Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library