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Islam Means Peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISLAM MEANS

PEACE

 

 

 

 

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h4<{color:#000;}.

By

 

Dr. Javed Jamil

 

In the name of God the Kind the Merciful

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or translated or transmuted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

 

ISBN

 

ISLAM MEANS PEACE

 

Author Dr. Javed Jamil

Edition First

Pages

Year of Publication 2005

Price Rs. 280/-(PB)

Rs. 480/-(HB) (in India)

US $ 15 (PB); $ 23 (HB)

(in other countries)

 

Publishers

 

To mankind

With love

CONTENTS

 

1.Introduction: Defining Peace

Suggestions for Moving towards a Culture of Peace

2.The Rise of Economic Fundamentalism

Commercialisation of Human Weakness:

The Biggest Threat to peace

3.Dos of Peace in Islam: Fundamental Duties

a.Faith (or convictions)

b.Prayer (Salat)

c.Fasting (Saum)

d.Zakah (Regular Charity)

e.Hajj (Pilgrimage)

f.Jihad (Striving hard in the way of God)

g.To enjoin justice

h.To enjoin good and forbid evil

i.To invite to Way of God

j.To learn, research and teach

k.To foster unity and brotherhood

4.Don’ts of Peace : Fundamental Prohibitions

I) Drinking and gambling

II) Sexual corruption

III) Eatables

IV) Economic corruption

V) Murder

VI) Spreading chaos in society

5.Can Dos of Peace : Fundamental Rights

a.Right to life

b.Right to freedom of conscience

c.Right to equality

d.Right to personal freedom

e.Right to consultation

f.Right to form association

g.Right to retaliation

6.Dimensions of the System of Peace

a.Social System of Islam

b.Rights of women in Islam

c.Health Protective Social System

d.Political System of Islam

e.Legal System of Islam

f.Economic System of Islam

g.Spiritual and Moral System

7. The World of Chaos

a.Alcohol

b.Gambling

c.Freedom of sex

d.Prostitution and pornography

e.Violence against women

f.Divorce and separation

g.Abortions

h.Child abuse

i.Sexually transmitted diseases

j.Smoking

k.Economic Disparity

l. Crimes

8. Are Muslims enemies of Peace?

Suicide

Crimes against Women

Alcohol

Impact of modern sexuality

Organised violence

Islam and Terrorism (Jihad)

Bible on the use of force

Use of force in Hinduism

Buddhist violence

Atheists and Violence

What is Kafir?

9. Towards Natural World Order: Agenda for a Cleaner World

Islam, not Muslimism

System, not just individuals or community

Comprehensive Peace

Three Dimensional System

Comprehensive Hygiene

Family Peace, not Family Welfare

Fundamental Principles

Human Security, not Human Rights

Governance by the Best

Peace Economics

World forums

Islamic Council of Peace

10. Let’s March Towards Peace!

Huntington is right but…..

Mend yourselves too!

Bush I hate Bush I love

To Christians with Love

Common Grounds

Islam the Religion of Peace

Let Us Unite!

The Man behind the book

 

#
h1={color:#000;}. Introduction: Defining Peace

 

 

 

Much water ought to have flowed down the Thames since September 11 2001 when “terrorists” created history of its own kind by plane-crashing twice into the Twin Towers that New York and United States boasted of as the symbol of their economic prowess. But the truth remains that little water seems to have flowed down the Thames, for even now Islam as a religion and Muslims as a community are being maligned as supporters of violence in general and terrorism in particular. This is despite the fact that in the so-called coalition against the so-called international terrorism Muslim countries and groups have been among the foremost ranks, without whose active participation America and company could never have succeeded in their plans. This is also in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of casualties in this war, at least one hundred thousand dead, has been of Muslims. Most of these hapless victims have been neither “Islamic terrorists” nor “fighters against terrorism” but innocent men, women and children, who had nothing to do with this on-going war. The incessant pouring of hatred on Islam and Muslims has also been progressing in spite of a large number of Muslim clerics and intellectuals having issued categorical statements condemning terrorism and all other forms of violence.

 

If one wants to notice the kind of venomous campaign being spread against Islam and Muslims, one only need to pay a visit to Yahoo chat rooms. Visit a Christian, Hinduism, Judaism or Buddhism chat room, and you will hardly find any Muslim using any obscene remarks against Jesus, Moses, Krishna, Ram or Buddha. As soon as you enter an Islam chat room, you will see a war of words going on at an unimaginable scale. There will always be some Christians, Jews and Hindus hurling choicest obscenities and invectives on Quran and Muhammad (Peace be upon him!). Helpless Muslims would not even retort by the same kind of obscenities against symbols of other religions because they have been taught by their madhab to pay them as much of respect as they do to their own religious symbols. The power of Internet is in full display in the fight against Islam. This is another matter that this propaganda has only proved counterproductive. Islam continues to be the fastest expanding religion of the world, and its expansion has only multiplied in recent years in those very regions where the governments and the media are the biggest party to that propaganda. Furthermore, this animus is further strengthening the resolve of those against whom it is directed.

 

A concerted campaign is being run all over the world, denigrating Islam as the religion that promotes violence and Muslims as the people that resort to violence. Clever remarks like “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims” are being circulated to put Muslims on the defensive. The impact on Muslim masses has been profound, even though there is no way it can be measured. Unfortunately, most Muslim clerics and thinkers have become victims of this propaganda, and have adopted an evidently apologetic stand in their defence of a beleaguered Islam. Commoners however have responded by either becoming despondent at the condition of their fellow religionists or indignant at the treatment being meted out to them. The hatred for the West has almost become ubiquitous, which rightly or wrongly is perceived as the biggest enemy of Islam. It will be seen in the coming pages that most of the hate-Islam or hate-Muslim campaign as well as the reaction of Muslims have been dismally out of place, and it is high time it some plain speaking was done to rectify the situation.

 

In the forthcoming discussion, it will be proved that Islam has a much larger meaning of peace, and adopts effective and practicable methods to achieve its larger objectives of “Grand Peace”, which will be defined shortly. It will be seen that it is only the Islamic concept of Grand Peace that can bring real peace in human lives, individually and collectively. It will also be seen in the coming pages that believers of Islam, notwithstanding their shortcomings and their failures in practising their religion in its true spirit, are much less destructive, individually and collectively, than most of the other religious communities.

 

The discussion in this book will obviously be in the backdrop of developments that have marked the emergence of the current civilisation dominated by Western value systems. It will be seen that neither have the major players in the evolution of current social, economic and political trends shunned violence in achieving their bigger goals nor violence has disappeared as the result of that evolution. The truth on the contrary is that the book of the current civilisation is reddened with blood from the first word to the last though the authors of this monumental work have made huge efforts to spread a paint of white lies to suppress the sanguinity of its leaves.

 

It will be in the fitness of things if the meaning of Grand Peace that Islam espouses is introduced at the very outset. It will then be easier for readers to comprehend the developments in the past few centuries and their impact on human life.

 

Let us first see how the world today understands peace. There are numerous definitions of peace, including those given by the world forums of eminence, individual thinkers and institutions. We will however concentrate mainly on the definitions given by the United Nations, which is unquestionably the biggest and the most powerful body of the community of nations that inhabit the earth. Let me reproduce here the definitions and programmes given by the UNESCO Culture of Peace:

 

“An Agenda for Peace: Definitions

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace is dynamic. Peace is a just and non-violent solution of conflicts. It generates an equilibrium in social interactions, so that all of the members of society can live in harmonious relations with each other. Peace is good for society. Where there is violence there is no peace. Where there is injustice and absence of liberty, there is no peace. In order for there to be an equilibrium in the dynamic of social interactions, peace must be founded on justice and liberty.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Preventative diplomacy is action to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace-making is action to bring hostile parties to agreement, essentially through such peaceful means as those foreseen in Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace-keeping is the deployment of a United Nations presence in the field, hitherto with the consent of all the parties concerned, normally involving United Nations military and/or police personnel and frequently civilians as well. Peace-keeping is a technique that expands the possibilities for both the prevention of conflict and the making of peace.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace-building is action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. Only sustained, co-operative work to deal with underlying economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems can place an achieved peace on a durable foundation.”

 

It can be noted that the above set of rules defining peace is primarily an agenda ”to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur” “so that all of the members of society can live in harmonious relations with each other.” This is obviously a political definition of peace. This definition is not only incomplete but is highly deficient in many ways and will have dangerous implications because its very basis is erroneous. Though it speaks of peace as “dynamic”, the peace it promotes has hardly any dynamism about it: it is static rather than dynamic and negative rather than positive. Peace is regarded as essentially not a positive quality but mere absence of conflicts. In negative terms too, this indicates only an absence of armed conflicts. This definition of peace is neither all-encompassing, including all that is positive nor all-abandoning excluding all that is negative. As will be seen in the coming pages, this “peace” is primarily the brainchild of those who seek to promote a certain type of ideology and accompanied culture for their own selfish interests. What an irony! Peace based on selfishness! But this is the peace that is being promoted all over the world with utmost zeal, valour and planning. The consequences of such a strategy are what they should be. Total all-enveloping chaos at every level. The same approach is adopted in various other documents. See for example the following:

 

Appeal to the International Community from a Round Table of Institutions Who Have Won the Nobel Prize for Peace (excerpts)

 

Peace is not only the absence of armed conflict, it is also a dynamic set of relationships of coexistence and co-operation among and within peoples, characterised by the respect for the human values set forth particularly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the concern to provide the greatest possible well-being for all.

Peace is increasingly threatened each day by the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction, by the great economic and social inequalities, which divide mankind, and by contempt for basic human rights and the dignity of the individual.

Peace requires ever greater efforts to overcome these threats. It is only possible in a world in which the observance of international law replaces violence, fear and injustice, in which states voluntarily agree to limit their national sovereignty in the general interest, and in which states employ existing procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations. To build such a peace, everyone must feel a responsibility and should be educated in that sense from childhood …

Finally, the round table asks the mass media to employ to a greater extent their skills and immense resources towards building and maintaining peace, to foster a spirit of equity and solidarity among peoples and to draw attention to the personal and collective sacrifice inherent in the pursuit of those ideals.

Source: Issued by representatives of the following: Institute of International Law, International Peace Bureau,

 

[] Suggestions for Moving towards a Culture of Peace

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Revisit history to discover how people contributed to their cultures.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Research non-military actors and make them models to be emulated.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Research women’s roles in the development of their societies, and the causes and consequences of violence against women.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Promote peace goals as the dominant factor in all forms of art.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Teach the need to be aware of, and take responsibility for, the consequences scientific discovery can have for society as a whole.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Promote responsibility for the well-being of the local and global community, including protection of the natural environment. `

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Promote gender-specific analysis in all areas of human activity, encouraging women to organise themselves to make an impact on decisions that affect society.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Teach co-operation rather than competition, solidarity for mutual support, and appreciation for the rich diversity of multicultural societies.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Combat racism and discrimination, teach respect for human rights, for human life and the dignity of the person.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Promote economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights to create conditions for peace, disarmament and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Source: International Peace Update, April 1995, newsletter of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (excerpted from UNESCO and a Culture of Peace: Promoting a Global Movement”)

 

The above-quoted documents fail to mention peace at individual and family levels, and only concentrate on national and international violence. There are others, mainly the spiritual masters belonging to different religions including mystics, who stress on individualistic notion of peace. (Spiritual definition) For them, tranquillity of mind and soul represent true peace, which is attained through belief in God or gods, through meditation, devotion, self sacrifice and other spiritual exercises ranging from self-appeasing to self-sacrificing. They tend to ignore family and social dimensions of peace, their argument resting on the premise that if individuals are peaceful society will be peaceful as well. They tend to bury in the cemetery of their ideology the fact that hundred per cent of members of society can never be truly peaceful, and that a very minuscule percentage is enough to cause disastrous consequences on society. There is another definition, the social one, of peace that is promoted by sociologists for whom the equality of the distribution of wealth is the chief motive. They argue that if the distribution of wealth and opportunities in society is not equitable there is no way peace can be ensured.

 

The truth however is that no definition of peace can be complete unless it takes into account the following:

 

First, human existence has three essential constituents: individual, family and society. For peace to carry any real meaning, it has to be at all these three levels. Peace at individual level means physical, mental, social and spiritual health, to which must be added what we understand as Satisfaction. Peace at family level means cordial relationship between spouses, between parents and children and among children themselves, and absence of all irritants in a peaceful family life. Peace at social level means peaceful co-existence of all human beings that inhabit the earth anywhere, individually or as communities and nations, and absence of all forms of exploitation, oppression and conflicts. Thus individual heath, family peace and social order may be regarded as the three essential constituents of Grand Peace.

 

Second, peace must involve all stages of life: foetal, paediatric, adult, geriatric, and post-death life. This alone can lead to eternal peace.

 

Islam literally means Peace, and is defined as submission to God, which means that peace cannot be obtained without total submission to the Lord of the universe. Similarly Iman means total satisfaction, which again can be obtained only through undivided devotion to God. When Quran calls, “Enter Islam wholeheartedly”, it does not merely invite its adherents to follow the institutionalised system of Islam; it also signals to them that the real, comprehensive and long lasting peace can be achieved only through total acceptance of the System of God. Quran states: “The System for you is the (system of) Peace” and “Call them to the House of Peace.” In Islam, peace is not just a state of absence of war or chaos in society; it has the broadest and the most comprehensive meaning, in terms of extent, depth and longevity, including all the components of peace described above. It has to be not just personal, not just family and not just social; it has to be at all the three levels and in the widest discernible sense. At individual level, it does not merely mean peace of mind; it encompasses physical, mental and social health. At family level, it comprises peaceful relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children, and among children themselves. At social level, it does not only indicate absence of war or chaos, it also means absence of all forms of crimes and social tensions, and prevalence of mutual brotherhood and justice. Peace is also not something bound by time or space; it is as much for this world as for Hereafter; peace is eternal. This is to be ensured that Islam’s message of Grand peace has to percolate down the lowest strata of society. And this to be done in a way that the world does not feel threatened by the emergence of an institutionalised and political Islam, but learns to apply moral and socio-economic principles of Islam for the benefit of the whole mankind.

 

This will be seen in the later parts of the book that Islam uses all possible means to achieve its goal of Grand Peace. In the modern world, dominated by what I call economic fundamentalism, Fundamental Rights are given paramount importance, Fundamental Duties are largely ignored and Fundamental Prohibitions are virtually prohibited. Islam, on the other hand, espouses a three-dimensional system giving equal emphasis to Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions. If we want to achieve true peace, this three-dimensional approach is indispensable.

 

In the coming pages, we will explore each of the above-mentioned aspects in detail. But first we will try to analyse the development of the current civilisation, the guiding forces in that development and the impact of this “development” on society. We will also discuss the recent history of violence and will try to find out if there is any truth in the propaganda that Muslims, inspired, or not inspired by their religious convictions, are the biggest threat, among all the religious communities, to peace.

#
h1={color:#000;}. The Rise of Economic Fundamentalism

 

During the last few decades, “fundamentalism” has perhaps been one of the most frequently used terms in the world media having been generally used in relation to religion usually referred to as religious fundamentalism. The term seems to have been first used in 1920s in the US to describe the ideological proclivities of a group of churches that claimed to defend the premises of orthodox Christianity. Interestingly, the opposing groups were referred to as liberals or modernists. The modernists severely criticised the church for wrapping itself in an outworn theology and ignoring modern developments. The roots of Christian fundamentalism are to be found in the Millennium Movement of 1830s when Christians of the United States had grown in excitement over the expectation of reappearance of Jesus Christ. They believed the Second Advent of Christ would be the beginning of one thousand years of total peace. Then in 1950s, the term “modern fundamentalism” came into usage in relation to the anti-Communist movement.

In the recent past, “religious fundamentalism” has been used by the West for Islamic revivalists in West Asia who have been engaged in popular campaigns against the Western influences in the region. Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, Yasser Arafat of Palestine, Col. Ghaddafi of Libya, Gen. Zia of Pakistan, Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamic political parties in Algeria and Turkey, pro-Islamic elements in Egypt – all have been spurned time and again as ‘Islamic fundamentalists.’ The most recent to join the list has of course been the al-Qaida headed by Osama ben Laden who allegedly masterminded the devastating attack on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2000. In India, it has been used to describe all those movements and campaigns that have been inspired by religious beliefs or communal sentiments.

 

In terms of purely literal connotations, “fundamentalism” denotes nothing more than strict adherence to and endeavours to propagate, often by undesirable means, a specific set of ideas. Those who follow the ideology are called “fundamentalists”. It follows that it would be uniquely unfair to limit this term to the ‘fundamentalism’ in the field of religion. Fundamentalism can be found without any difficulty in several other fields, especially politics and economics. The politicians who pursue their political aims through fair or unfair and moral or immoral means, and tend to misuse every single opportunity for their own elevation, irrespective of the adverse effects of their actions on others, may be called political fundamentalists. Needless to say political fundamentalism pervades the current world. Similarly, those persons or organisations whose solitary aim is to garner economic benefits by adopting all fair and unfair means may be called ‘economic fundamentalists’, and their ideology ‘Economic fundamentalism’.

 

Wealth has a central position in economics. But economic fundamentalism tends to regard it as the most, not just one of the most essential requirements of life. The business community has throughout the world and for ages always cared little for anything but its own economic interests. But businessmen of the past made only individual efforts in that direction and had little influence over the happenings in their surroundings. They were cranes that would use their cunning eyes to capture the prey when it came close to them and not leopards that would roar their way through a forest in search of their prey. They did not have any say in political and administrative affairs; the law of the land safeguarded the interests of the common people, or the interests of rulers. During the last few centuries, especially in the wake of Industrial Revolution, businessmen have organised themselves into an aggressive, domineering, dextrous, ingenious and inexorable class. It has, wrongfully or rightfully but successfully, mastered all the new information, techniques and opportunities available to it for the protection and expansion of its interests. This is where economic fundamentalism begins to emerge. Now, businessmen, unlike in the past, are no more weak and submissive. They are not cranes any more but leopards that want to rule and roar. They have not only learned to assert themselves but have perfected the skill to push their plans defying all obstacles that may come in their way. Not any longer are they bootlickers of the rulers they used to be; they have now mastered the art of manoeuvring them into submission. From sycophants they used to be they have now positioned themselves in a way that rulers and administrators even often become their sycophants. Not any more are they silent followers of the rule of law; they have become articulate votaries of such modifications in the legal system as better suit their interests. They have ceased to be introverts seeking comfort in solitude; they now socialise in a way that gives them a plateau of eminence in society; and of course the economic monopoly. Still they sacrifice moles for gaining mountains in return. It is this assertive, aggressive, cunning, provident and ruthlessly selfish approach towards economics that breeds what I have termed Economic Fundamentalism.

 

Economics is surely one of the essential constituents of human life. Without money, one cannot survive; we need coins for food, drinks, clothes, house, treatment, entertainment, marriage, bringing up of children and their education and even for funeral. But the problems begin to arise when money is assumed to be the only essential of life. Economics is stomach that supplies food for the body. It cannot and must not become heart and brain. For a wholesome living, good relations among members of family, and of society, proper spiritual and moral development and proper environment are also needed. Love for money is nice as far as it does not disturb mental, family and social peace. But as soon as it transforms into lust encroaching upon others’ spheres, it becomes a curse. When the lust for making money becomes organised, its effects on society are bound to be devastating. And when this organisation turns global and uses highly advanced information and technology available to it, mankind faces imminent ruin.

It can be seen that economic fundamentalism is becoming increasingly aggressive with every passing day. What has facilitated its stupendous growth is the outstanding ability of its generals to deal with the hurdles coming in their way. The truth is that they have been marching towards their ultimate destination without facing any appreciable resistance. They had studied and recognised all the possible sources of obstruction well in advance and prepared a meticulous plan to thwart them. All possible weapons were and are being employed for this purpose: persuasion, advertising, misinformation, defamation, bribing, manoeuvring and use of power. The ballistic missiles of their money-power have proved to be too destructive for the resistant elements to withstand. Through persuasion or threats they are either overpowered or purchased. The opposing forces have failed owing not only to the lack of resources but also to the glaring deficiency of will and spirit. What further paralysed them are innumerable divisions in their ranks, based on religion, region, race, ideology and language. The economic fundamentalists have used this lassitude to gain on them; they are now virtual rulers of the world. Their trumpet blows everywhere — from the north to the south and from the west to the east. There is little evidence in sight to foretell that their dominion will shrink to any remarkable extent in the foreseeable future. Whatever few areas or fields have till now remained beyond their reach will soon be ransacked by their visible or invisible forces. How long they will be able to retain their hold, only time will tell. But presently, no signs of the emergence of a messiah or mahdi are visible.

Thus, the rise and growth of economic fundamentalism has been, from historical standards, rather rapid taking hardly a few centuries. The think-tank of the world of economic fundamentalism has taken innumerable steps to strengthen their hold. They have sacrificed the goddess of justice before the eyes of Statue of Liberty. They have transformed through political manoeuvres the state into their estate. They have incessantly and relentlessly been trying to organise a grand farewell for religion. They have captivated the imagination of the people through the media. They have got the attire of society redesigned so that it looks gorgeous and inviting to their eyes. They have industrialised sex, in which they have discovered the hen that always lays golden eggs. They have relocated the entire educational set-up on the Wall Street. They have monopolised the tree of economy whose fruits and shadows are only theirs; others can only admire its beauty from a safe distance. They have taken science and technology as their mistresses who are always keen to offer their glorious best to them. They have nipped all the challenges in the buds by masterminding popular movements. They have lynched ‘civilisation’, which has been given a new incarnation; and now Bohemians are called civilised. Last but not the least, they have been busy colonising the good earth in the name of globalisation.

This does not mean however that whatever the economic fundamentalists sought to do or undo was all misplaced. Nor does it mean that the economic fundamentalists are solely responsible for all the wrongs perpetrated on mankind. What is true nevertheless is that they have always striven to support those ideas and movements that would become uranium for their commercial nukes. Sometimes they would themselves spearhead a particular campaign. More often, they would financially back such activities as suited their strategies. At other times, they would make overt or covert efforts to contain, dilute or minimise the damages to their interests consequent on the popularisation of certain ideas or customs. Quite a few times they might have pursued or backed a good cause; but they have invariably been selective in their support, calculating its positive or negative impact on their business prospects. It is this preferential and partisan attitude that has to be denounced and renounced if the world has to be saved from the impending doom.

 

 

 

 

[] Commercialisation of Human Weakness:

[] The Biggest Threat to peace

 

The biggest challenge to the advance of economic fundamentalism was an “undue” emphasis in society on duties and prohibitions. The equilibrium between rights, duties and prohibitions helped in keeping susceptibilities of human beings to the worldly desires under check. The inspector of conscience and the commissioner of social conduct were the biggest foes of the emerging corporate world. The target customer of the big business was not an honest, less-worldly, God-fearing idealist whose preferences for self were no more pronounced than for others. The idealists in society outnumbered them and would not let them spread their tentacles wide and across. Their dominating presence meant that any attempts to suppress egalitarianism would be met with stiff opposition. The backbone of their resistance therefore was to be broken. The architects of the Industrial revolution contemplated that human desires were too strong to be resisted by the common men. But it was an onerous task to convince the idealists. Human desires were mines of gold that must be dug at the earliest. It was felt the idealists must be challenged with a weapon similar to theirs. This, they contrived, would ultimately disarm them. Consequent on the debate that was to be stormy, lengthy and extensive, they would win greater number of admirers with every passing day. They were pretty confident of their ultimate triumph, which they believed would come sooner than later, for their opponents lacked in resources to face them. Hired philosophers had sufficient fuel and the required support to ransack the old ideology, and the media were always ready to provide bases to their arsenals. The great ‘ideological war’ began, with “rights” being its central theme. The self-proclaimed champions of personal rights soon started gaining popularity among the masses, for their declared aim was to fight for the rights of the people. The people failed to fathom their undeclared motive — to make each “right” a ladder to reach new heights in their commercial crescendo. The individual’s rights encompassed one’s right to wear whatever one likes including birth-suits. To eat or drink whatever suits one’s taste. To have physical intimacy with anyone and in any style one prefers. To frolic and entertain in whatever manner one feels fit. To view or show whatever one desires to. To express whatever appeals to one’s heart or one’s mind. To earn from whatever resources one can find. And to play whatever game one feels like playing. No act should be taboo for man or woman whatever the consequences of these acts on oneself or the environment. It should be one’s and none else’s concern if one’s actions prove good or bad.

 

Within a short span of time, the concept of individuals’ rights became almost megalomania with intellectuals, writers, professionals and social activists. Their zeal rapidly zoomed because they had discovered some jewels for them also in the newly discovered mine of treasures. Anyone prescribing to the contrary had no takers in the media. His voice would wane rapidly to become inaudible for the masses. “Duty” almost ceased to exist and “prohibition” became the most loathed word. The animus against all sorts of restrictions continued to rise in intensity and venom. The ability to manoeuvre politics emboldened the mikados of business to challenge the very right of the government to meddle in the personal affairs of the citizens. Prior to that religion and state used to proscribe certain practices. Now the trend reversed with religion and state put under strict ‘prohibitory orders’. The emerging milieu reflected itself in the revised statutes. The constitution of a large number of countries put extraordinary emphasis on ‘Fundamental Rights’. ‘Fundamental Duties’ either disappeared into total oblivion or were given nominal importance. ‘Fundamental Prohibitions’ had no room at all in the new constitutional set-up. Until and unless the serpent of “prohibitions” was killed, society would not feel “secure” and “free”. Anyone talking of prohibitions and duties was mocked as “bloody moralist”, and was looked upon with contempt and derision, even condemned as retrogressive and obscurantist. Anyone advocating lifting of all forms of curbs obviously became “progressive” and “liberal”.

 

In the new social environment, idealism became the biggest foe; its bete noire was pragmatism that gained momentum. The very survival of idealism was now intolerable to the economic fundamentalists. The plan to lynch it was meticulously drawn; and then began its systematic execution. The onslaught was commenced with the declaration that idealism existed only in books or in the minds of a few eccentric individuals and had nothing to do with the practical life. The advocacy of idealism was regarded utopianism; a utopian was one who advocated “impractical reforms” or who expected an “impossible state of perfection” in society. The message though succinct was unequivocal: Idealism was the moon of an alien sky that was not within the reach of the humans. “Be practical and enjoy yourselves”, was the new maxim of life. Nothing can be achieved in the world by unnecessarily insisting on idealistic premises. Success in life requires a pragmatic approach. Pragmatism is the Apollo that would sooner than later take to the moon of our own sky. Pragmatism soon got integrated with all the ingredients of selfishness. One who cares for others has very little chance to “succeed”. One must have eye on one’s own benefits and must not hesitate in taking all possible steps, without bothering about their moral dimensions, required for escalation in the world. “Conscience” was not altogether dismissed, but was suitably reconditioned in accordance with the developments. The “realities of life” demanded a down-to-earth approach and not the high-flown ideals having no feet on the earth. The campaign was and has continued to be so fierce that idealism even if it may have survived has gone into a long hibernation.

 

Pragmatism means every man and woman must concentrate only on his or her ascendance, and must care the least about society. Individuals form society, not vice versa. They must look for instant gains and must not be unduly dictated by conscience. The philosophy of life has thus gained a new meaning— not new in chronological terms for such propensities had been observed before, but in terms of its rising acceptability graph. Man has always been selfish in tendencies, but what different religions endeavoured to teach him was that selfishness was despicable. The guard of conscience and fears of God and society restrained his selfishness. The dream of paradise, the wish to please God and the prospects of winning accolades from society tended to keep the temporal worldliness in check. This also meant that man often marvelled in self-denial; he would even sacrifice his own possessions for others. The earth for him was a place of trial where every soul had to prove its mettle. His faith in Hereafter was unshakeable though it might have been in different forms in different religions. The strength of his faith more often than not forestalled his steps towards evil. If he committed a sin his conscience would haunt him till he forsook it forever. There have been in the past several thinkers who believed the present life to be the only life and advocated as much merriment as possible. But their views had no support in society that considered them heretical. With the ascent of economic fundamentalism, this ideology received a big boost. The philosophers who opined thus were all of a sudden in great demand. Their writings were instant hits at the stands. The media gave them a red carpet welcome; their royalty and remuneration touched new heights. The rat race for money, fame and glamour attracted great many writers who gave the masses a categorical message that life is real and final. That Hereafter is a fantasy of fools; one has got a single opportunity to enjoy life which is not long; why then waste it; why not enjoy every bit of it. They suggested: do whatever pleases you; do not lend ears to what ‘the bloody moralists’ say; they are self-seekers who exploit masses for their own pleasure; what can one gain by following their impractical pieces of advice?

 

When all efforts are made to promote individualism, it should have immensely benefited individuals. It must have led to individuals becoming healthier and calmer. But the facts speak to the contrary. This is because individuals can never be separated from family and society. If you separate fish from water, you will only kill it. The promotion of individualism was not intended to make individuals healthier and calmer but to use their inherent susceptibilities for commercial ends. The results had to be, and have been disastrous. Men, women and children have suffered immensely. Diseases, distresses and disturbances that are the direct result of the promotion of individualism have emerged and within no time engulfed the whole world.

 

Economic fundamentalism now rules the world. It survives on the misconceived notions of freedom, peace and development. ‘Freedom’ that freezes the real human dignity, ‘peace’ that has no place for the real peace and ‘development’ that develops only the baser aspects of life. After understanding its role, it will be easier to realise the role of peace that Islam promotes.

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h1<{color:#000;}. Dos of Peace in Islam: Fundamental Duties

 

Before taking into consideration the impact of economic fundamentalism on individual, family and society let us first understand how Islam plans to achieve its objective of Grand Peace. It takes all possible steps to establish peace at every level. The system that Islam proposes to establish has to develop in a way that ensures the attainment of the ultimate goal. Islam is the religion of God, and is therefore not affected by the arguments based on presumptuous sentimentality. It has its eyes focussed on the goal and prefers to achieve that goal, taking harsh measures whenever required, in order to avoid widespread chaos rather than indulging in false notions based on apparent humanism, which ultimately lead to widespread human sufferings. It likes to punish the minority to save the majority rather than endanger the majority to save the minority. Islam is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the word; its not even just a way of life; it is a grand system (Deen), which does not merely guide individuals and society but governs them. This governance is neither weak nor meek; it is alert, normally benign but firm whenever boundaries are trespassed. The forces of economic fundamentalism have created systems where fundamental rights roar, fundamental duties linger and fundamental prohibitions have already been cremated. Islam, in contrast, creates a three-dimensional system giving equal voice to all the three. The three-dimensional approach is the basic necessity of peace. Fundamental Rights without Fundamental Prohibitions is a license to licentiousness for individuals and green signal to the corporate for commercialising human weaknesses and susceptibilities for their growth. Without emphasis on fundamental duties, and without the provision of fundamental prohibitions, there is no way individuals can be prevented from falling victims to the designs of the market or other corrupting influences. When we examine the three-dimensional system of Islam, we can easily find that each of the fundamental duties, rights and prohibitions helps in a significant way the attainment of one or more aspects of total peace. Let us first examine the Fundamental Duties in Islam.

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Faith (or convictions)

 

The foremost duty in Islam, which is in effect the primary condition to enter the System, is faith. Faith has three essential components. First, one must be totally convinced in one’s heart, mind and soul that the Universe has been created and is governed by a Supreme Being, and that He has guided mankind through His Ambassadors and Scriptures. Second, one must be totally devoted to God and His system and must be ready to put one’s best into it. Third, one must be fully satisfied with whatever one gets out of that devotion. Faith is the foundation stone of the edifice of peace. Without it neither a good individual can emerge nor a good family or society. Faith is the fragrance that exhilarates the inside of the soul as well as its surroundings. Faith of an individual is sine qua non for his/her inner peace, and faith of the majority of the people constituting a nation or society is sine qua non for peace in the nation or society.

Faith

 

[ O ye who believe! Believe in God and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scriptures which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray. (4: 136/A)*]

 

At individual level, Iman has an unparalleled calming effect on mind and soul. A Momin (Devotee) is always cool. The vicissitudes of life do not trouble him, pains do not perturb him and losses do not disturb him. Sadness does not bereave him, except to a certain degree, and happiness does not corrupt him. Failure does not depress him, and success does not intoxicate him. If anything worries him it is not his personal aggrandisement in this life but his desire to please God. Despite being ever on the alert fearing His Displeasure, he is always hopeful that Kind God will surely accept His Devotion. If he is hopeful of gaining God’s pleasure it is not out of his belief that he has done enough to warrant approval but out of his unadulterated trust in God who, through His unequalled benevolence, will embrace him. Conceit and haughtiness do not afflict him; humility embellishes his existence. His presence on the earth is not the source of injury to anybody; he loves to take pains to keep others happy. Avarice is not his wont; others’ possessions howsoever precious do not generate envy or jealousy in his heart. If he envies anything it is good deeds of others; if he tries to influence others it is always for their betterment. Rather than finding fault in others he tends to disregard his own achievements; others are better in his eyes than himself. It is this combination of trust in God and selflessness that engenders solace in his heart and mind. A Momin is in a position to detach from all sorts of worries convinced that God will never fail to do what is best for him. If his desires are not fulfilled he regards it as the right decision of Wise God who knows better than him. He prays to Him, without ever showing even minimal signs of dissent if his prayers are not heard. He acquiesces to whatever God chooses for him, patience being his hallmark. In return, even if his wishes are not granted, what he is surely bestowed upon is peace—almost always in this world, and always in Hereafter. Patience and peace are inseparable, and patience is the supreme virtue of a Momin.

 

Every religion has similar designs as far as individual peace is concerned. All religions promote humility, patience and selflessness. What distinguishes Islam however from other religions is its extraordinary emphasis on Hereafter. Unlike Christianity, forgiveness for all sins is not ensured in Islam. He does not get a tacit license to commit sins. His sins against others will be punished in the world if detected by law and in Hereafter if he escapes the punishment here, unless forgiven by the person against whom the sin is committed. Mere belief in God or Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) will not save him. This does not mean one needs to despair if one has committed a sin; one must seek forgiveness from the person against whom the sin has been committed and from God. But sins even if forgiven would surely lower one’s status in Paradise. Nobody else, Jesus or Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) will take on themselves the burden of the sins of others; of course, they may recommend amnesty for anybody, due to their proximity to God. Fear of disincentive in Hereafter for every sin and hope of an incentive for every virtue inculcates virtuousness that promotes peace at all levels. What further distinguishes Islam from other religions, as will be seen later, is its categorical distinction between ‘permissible’ and ‘forbidden’. Moreover a crystal clear relationship can be noted between forbidden acts and severe social problems on one hand, and the desirability of obligatory acts in the attainment of peace, on the other.

 

The clear distinction between the right and the wrong goes a long way in the attainment of the purification of soul (Tazkiyah-e-Nafs). In Islam, actions can be classified into five essential categories: Haram (Forbidden), Makruh (Undesirable but nor forbidden), Halal (Permissible), Fardh (Obligatory) and Mustahab (Desirable but not obligatory). This classification imparts tremendous flexibility to the whole system. An average follower has to refrain from forbidden practices and fulfil his obligations. He does not have to necessarily avoid the undesirable and do the desirable. One who longs to attain a higher status in the eyes of God must also give up the undesirable and pursue the desirable. This leads to the purification of soul that enhances understanding (Ma’rifah) and proximity (Qurb) to God. Tazkiyah, Ma’rifah and Qurb are important milestones in the path of peace.

 

There are people who argue that belief in God is not essential for peace. The truth however is that true peace of soul and mind can never be achieved without belief, trust and faith in God. This belief rescues a believer from impossible situations when one is at loss to find solution to one’s problems. Though belief in God is central in almost all the religions except perhaps Buddhism and Jainism, in Islam this again assumes a distinctive character, as no other religion can boast of absolute monotheism. Since his unique appearance on the surface of the earth, man has been wondering and will surely continue to wonder forever what God is. But God has always been and will always remain beyond comprehension. He has been variously described though: as Energy, as Light, as Power, and as what not. But the truth is that they all are His; not that anyone of them is He. His Nature and Functions can be understood and studied, albeit partially, but not His structure or composition. He is surely not what He can be in human perception. But He undoubtedly is. He is the Creator. He cannot in any way be a part of, or like His creation. He, whatever He is, encompasses all that the vast Universe can boast of, but nothing can encompass Him. His Chair of Authority, whatever It means, controls, governs and manages all that is there in the earth or in the cosmos. Anything that exists does so relative to Him; every being declares its submission by moving relative to Him; for He alone is Absolute; all others are but relative. He is Alive, but His Life knows neither birth nor death. He exists but His Existence is without any ponderable appearance. We can see everything testifying to His Presence, yet our eyes cannot capture Him; we can listen to Him speaking in every sound around us, yet our ears cannot hear Him; we can feel His Omniscient Presence everywhere, yet our brains cannot understand Him. Who can understand God but God Himself? Though all beautiful names are His, there cannot be a better name than “Allah”(meaning God) for Him, as no other name describes the relationship between God and His Creation better. Nothing in the creation can be like Him indeed; and therefore none else can be given a status that is only His unchallenged monopoly. Unlike Jesus, Buddha and Hindu Avatars like Ram and Krishna and Greek and Hindu gods and goddesses, In Islam none including Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) has any share in the Authority and Knowledge of God except what He delegates. There should therefore be no share for anybody in worship, which is His sole monopoly.

 

The belief in God and Hereafter also helps a man to overcome depression, which often sets in seeing huge injustices being perpetrated in the world, massive sufferings of the weak and the apparent successes of oppressors and exploiters. One often feels inclined to think if God is there why He allows these enormous sufferings and why oppressors go scot-free. Many atheists utilise this as an argument in favour of the non-existence of Supreme Being. The truth however is that the apparent sufferings of the weak, poor and innocent and the apparent successes of the strong, debauched and aggressors necessitates the presence of Supreme Being and Hereafter. If this alone is the whole life and there is no Hereafter and none to take cognisance of what is happening there is no way all these sufferings can be undone, honour of the sufferers can be restored and the perpetrators of crime can be brought to justice. If a person is murdered, there is no way he can be restored to life; no amount of compensation to the family of the deceased and no amount of punishment to the murderer can undo his death. If a father or mother loses their son, how can they get him back? Even if the killer is hanged this will not fill the vacuum created in their life; their son cannot get back his life and they cannot get their son back. Millions of people died at the hands of Hitler, Stalin and many other dictators. Hundreds of thousands lost lives in American bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All those killed were innocent. How can they get justice in this world? This is a world where one can be punished for one’s actions, but more often one escapes the punishment. Here people suffer for others’ faults. Quran clarifies that this world is a place of trial, not that of judgement. It makes clear that humans suffer here due to their own faults. This does not mean, as is erroneously interpreted sometimes, one suffers due to one’s faults in the past. On the contrary, it applies to mankind as a whole. Man suffers due to man’s faults, not necessarily one’s own but often somebody else’s. This necessitates Judgement Day where every single deed of an individual will be taken into account for arriving at the judgement. No act, good or bad, of no individual will remain unaccounted for. The judgement will be without blemish; everybody will feel satisfied for what he gets.

 

Faith in Hereafter strengthens the confidence of the good and the sufferers. Their sadness at not being able to get what they deserve is compensated by the hope of getting their due in Hereafter. Those who behave well here, without any benefit, and sacrifice their desires will get a wholesome reward in Hereafter, which will have an entirely different set of natural laws and social rules. Those who have avoided drinks in order to obey the commands of God will receive drinks in Hereafter that will exhilarate their spirits without causing any damage to them or others. They have been asked to avoid certain kinds of sex, and in return, they will enjoy a better companionship in Hereafter, which will be without any undesirable consequences. If on the other hand, they indulge in forbidden acts here not only they but also their contemporaries and their posterity can develop serious problems on account of their actions; they will face severe punishment in Hereafter themselves. Believers know that they can escape punishment in this world but cannot in the next world. Law may not have the eyes to see their deeds, but God can see even what they are doing away from all the eyes of the world. The expectation of incentives and the fear of disincentives combine to prevent them from undesirable actions and encourage them to conduct righteously. It is this right conduct that prevents individuals from a number of problems, and when people in society generally conduct well peace prevails.

 

While faith in God and Hereafter go a long way to ensure psychological and spiritual peace, when this combines with the faith in Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) as the Last Messenger of God and Quran as the last scripture, this paves way for physical, family and social peace. Quran and Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) explain what bad or good conduct is. It is they that discriminate between the right and the wrong. It is they that provide the constitution, the guidelines and the example. Normally, opinions on the desirability or undesirability of certain actions vary to a degree. Man wants to accept the desirability or undesirability of an action only by ascertaining its consequences himself. His methods are ridden with probabilities and it often takes enormous effort and time for arriving at the conclusive evidence. There are always elements in society having vested interests in the continuance of certain practices; they do everything in their grasp not to let the people form any definitive opinion. For a true follower of Islam it becomes an easy task to decide what to do or what not to do. Though his curiosity leads him to try to find out the consequences of different actions, he is always convinced that injunctions and principles enunciated in Quran and put into practice by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) are enough for him to have a wholesome life. He is satisfied in his heart that no man can know better than Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) and Quran because God Himself dispatched them. God is not dependent on the unfolding of events for knowing the effects of anything or action; He is omnipotent. When His omnipotence merges with His kindness, He will provide human beings with the best system: a system that will ensure a comprehensive and eternal peace and will take pre-emptive actions against chaos. The effects of this system on individual, family and society will be discussed at appropriate places.

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Prayer (Salat)

 

Prayer is an essential part of all religions. Worship of One who is in charge of everything in the universe is sure to attract His special attention. “No prayer goes unheard,” says the Prophet, “But God listens to prayers in three different ways. First, He can grant the wish, as implored. Second, He does not grant the wish itself, but gives something else in its place, which is more beneficial for him. Third, he does not grant anything, but rescues him from some impending loss.” Prayer indirectly helps in many other ways. It diverts attention from the ennui of routine activities and provides an escape route for worries, at least for the time being. It revitalises brain, so one can start afresh. Imploring God imbues a feeling of immense satisfaction in the mind; one feels as if one has shared one’s worries with One who is Omnipotent. One feels confident that God will surely find a way for Him. Burdens do seem to have lightened; diffidence does appear to have evaporated. This helps mental peace in a big way. Depression and anxiety get a thrashing and are less likely to devastate an individual who pays regular attention to his prayers.

 

Prayer (Salat) in Quran

 

Times

For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times. (4: 103/A)

Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before God in a devout (frame of mind). (2: 238/A)

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night. (11: 114/A)

 

Purification of body before prayer

O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles…(5: 6/A)

If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body…(5: 6/A)

But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands; God doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favour to you, that ye may be grateful. (5: 6/A)

 

Friday prayers

O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of God, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of God. (62: 9-10/A)

 

Importance of prayers

Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of God is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do. (29: 45/A)

In Islam, prayers assume distinctive character in many ways.

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. As stated before,, prayers in Islam are directed to none but the Highest Authority in the Universe; no deputy stands between God and man. One therefore feels guaranteed that God has listened to his invocation. This direct relationship with Almighty generates a much greater degree of confidence than an indirect relationship through a devata, Son or Apostle.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Prayers in Islam are more frequent and disciplined. At least five times a day a Muslim bows to God, glorifying Him, seeking His forgiveness and imploring his help in all the spheres of life. This means that he has a break from the routine at least five times a day. This not only disciplines his life but also has a much greater relaxing effect on brain than once a day prayer would have. Obviously, anxiety and depression will be far less likely to distract the person. Timings of prayers have been perfectly chosen: before sunrise, immediately after noon, in the afternoon, after the sunset and in the night. Regular reminders of God’s presence and His injunctions have definite influence on his actions; he is less likely to engage in forbidden practices; the more sincere, attentive and regular he is the more the chances are of his leading a purer life.

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p<>{color:#000;}. In Islam, prayer is not merely a ritual; it is a physical, mental, spiritual and social exercise. Every prayer is to be preceded by ablution (Wudhu) requiring washing of exposed organs in a specified manner. This involves rinsing of mouth, brushing of teeth, washing of face, hands and forearms, soaking of head and soaking or washing of feet. I had shown in a paper written about 25 years back that Wudhu involves an area of the body that represents about 80 percent area on the sensory map, present in brain. I had also shown that the sequence of the washing of the organs is in accordance with the sequence of the organs on that map. Five times Wudhu is sure to result in a marked reduction in the incidence of a number of diseases of teeth, gums and skin.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The sequence of different movements in the Muslim prayer is also in accordance with their innervation. Salat, in addition, is a physical exercise of great value. Islamic prayer does not involve a mere sitting or standing, as is often the case in other religions; it is well-organised regime of a number of movements that involve almost all the muscles of the body. A person first stands, then bends on the hip, then stands again, then prostrates putting his hand on the earth, then sits, then prostrates again and then stands erect again, repeating this several times. Sajda is often referred to in medical sciences as Mohemmaden prayer position. In this posture, out of all other postures of the body, cardiac output is known to be maximum, the supply of blood to brain is optimum, breathing is in the best state and blood contains maximum amount of oxygen. Every Salat refurbishes all the important organs ridding them of fatigue. One finds a renewed enthusiasm to work; common problems like body-ache, headache, nervousness, fatigue, lassitude etc are less likely to set in.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Apart from being a terrific spiritual, physical and mental exercise, Salat is an extraordinary socially beneficial exercise too. In Islam, congregational prayers are preferred to individual prayers. Almost all the mosques conduct congregational prayers regularly five times a day. People gather there to bow before God in the leadership of an Imam. This inculcates discipline, order and brotherhood. People know one another; they wish one another and inquire about their well being; they feel concerned when a regular fellow fails to turn up. Those who are in need of support or assistance often use a mosque as the forum for appeal; more often than not they get a positive response from the worshippers. Furthermore, Salat helps a person to avoid social evils; one gets regular reminder of what is liked or disliked by God. One is least likely to falling victim of alcoholism and gambling; the probability of indulging in unhealthy sexual practices markedly decreases. Salat is expected to have a sobering effect on all individuals; if there are some weaknesses of behaviour and character these show, in almost all cases, a steady improvement; they are certainly better individuals praying than if they had not been praying at all. Persons are likely to become more honest, righteous and humble once they start to offer prayers; the more regular they get the more improvement they are expected to show in their behaviour. If one does not show distinct improvement in one’s behaviour, it indicates lack of sincerity in the prayer; there are persons who join prayers in order to deceive people; their prayers will be of no avail either in this world or in Hereafter.

 

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Fasting (Saum)

 

Just as Salat, fasting (Saum) has immense physical, mental, spiritual and social benefits. Fasting of one kind or the other is prescribed in almost all the religions of the world. It symbolises self-sacrifice, devotion, discipline, patience, control, generosity and purification. Fasting of all kinds has a soothing and purifying effect on the body, mind and soul. In Islam however, it becomes a much more comprehensive exercise.

Fasting in Quran

 

The month of fasting

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you…(2: 183/A)

[[*Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting…(2: 185/A) *
…(Fasting) for a fixed number of days. (2: 184/A) {NOTE: Fasts are 29 or 30 depending on the visibility of moon.)]]

 

Exempt

..but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.(2: 185/A)

For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. (2:184/A)

 

Rules

..eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears…(2: 187/A)

Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. …” (2: 187/A)

…. but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques.( 2: 187/A)

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Islamic fasting is directly related to the beginning of the revolution of Islam. Its observance in the month of Ramadhan marks the beginning of the revelation of the messages of God to Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), Quran being the collection of these messages. This also means it also marks the beginning of the Prophet’s mission. This is why, there are strenuous efforts to recite the whole of Quran at least once in the month of Ramadhan; people do it individually as well as collectively. This refreshes the whole mission in the minds of followers; they get an annual reminder of what is expected from them, how they must conduct and what is their ultimate mission: mission of Peace. They are told in categorical terms that the best form of Jihad is Jihad against Nafs (soul) and the best way to do this is to engage in an intellectual and ideological Jihad with the help of Quran.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Islamic fasting is a much better organised and disciplined activity. It is obligatory on all Muslim adults to fast for the whole month of Ramadhan every year. Rules are much more precise. Nothing can be taken, not even water, during the fast that lasts the whole day. Having sex is not permitted during the fast, but is allowed in the night after the fast has ended. Thirty fasts in continuation, along with stress on the spiritual enlightenment through recitation of Quran, have a rectifying and purifying effect on the whole personality. This is a sort of strict training period, which reconditions the body for virtues and against vices. It also helps a person to curtail his weight, increase his resistance and immunity, give up his addictions and forsake his moral weaknesses. After each Ramadhan, many people give up smoking and drinking and become better Muslims. During Ramadhan at least gambling and drinking show a steep decline in Muslim community. In pure Islamic states, of course, the problems are minimal even in the ordinary days.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Fasting also brings with it the month of charity; its socio-economic impact will be discussed in the next section.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The month of fasting each year also reminds Muslims that though Jihad against self and through Quran are the best in normal circumstances, in certain situations, armed Jihad becomes mandatory. It was on the 17th of this month that Muslims had been permitted to take up arms against the aggressors after a fourteen year long period of patience against severe persecution. This will also be discussed in detail in a later section.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Fasting month in Islam ends at Eid, the festival of thankfulness to God, peace, brotherhood and equality. The populace of the area or city gathers at one place to pay obeisance to God and listen to the sermon of Imam. They hug one another, exchange visits and gifts and help their poor brothers and sisters; each one pays a certain minimal amount, Fitra to the needy. At a larger scale functions are organised to promote communal harmony, especially in areas where diverse religious communities cohabit.

 

Thus the month of fasting does everything that wholesome peace necessitates. It strengthens physical, mental and spiritual health of individuals; increases their awareness and knowledge about injunctions of God; involves practical steps to reduce economic disparities in society; promotes equality, brotherhood and communal harmony; and reminds followers of Islam of their duty to combat acts of aggression against them and those by the forces of evils against mankind.

 

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Zakah (Regular Charity)

 

Charity is an act of utmost importance in all the religions of the world. All religions including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism promote charity in a big way. In Islam it again assumes a much more methodical and organised shape.

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Charity is included as one of the pillars of Islam and is a fundamental duty on every Muslim who has wealth beyond a specified value. Zakah literally means purifier. Muslims have been told that it deterges not only their wealth but their soul as well. Those paying their dues regularly have been promised huge reward in Hereafter; a grievous punishment awaits those who fail. Muslims living in an Islamic state have to pay Zakah in accordance with the guidelines provided by the government, failing which law will take its course of action.

 

Charity in Quran

 

Principles

*
p<>{color:#000;}. ..practise regular charity…(2: 43/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: “What is beyond your needs.” (2: 219/A)

 

Also on produce

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Give of the good things which ye have (honourably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything, which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. (2: 267/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. ..eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. (6: 141/A)

 

To whom

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God, and for the wayfarer…(9: 60/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness-to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves…(2: 177/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. (Charity is) for those in need, who, in God’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (for trade or work). (2: 273/A

 

Open and hidden

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If ye disclose (acts of) charity, even so it is well, but if ye conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. (2: 271/A)

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Zakah is paid every year at the time of the choosing of a person in a non-Islamic country and that of government in an Islamic country. Normally, it is paid during the month of Ramadhan.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. A minimum percentage of 2.5% of all the wealth that one has at the time of assessment is to be paid. This percentage as well as other rules can be readjusted in accordance with the needs of the hour in an Islamic country.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Apart from Zakah, there are other forms of compulsory taxes as well. These include Ushr, which is the tenth of the produce of the land, Khhums, which is the fifth of spoils and Fitra, which is an amount to be given on the occasion of Eid to fellow poor Muslims. Besides these compulsory forms of charity, a Muslim is regularly encouraged to be as generous as possible. Sadqa and Khairaat are non-compulsory kinds of charity, which God describes as “loan to God” that He will repay multifold in Hereafter.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Unlike other religions, Islam is also a socio-political system as well, which provides clear guidelines for the state. As will be discussed later in the book, in the chapter on socio-economic system, the regime of charity in Islam if formally applied to the tax structure of a country will result in a much better mode of the generation of revenue and promotion of economic parity. It will suffice here to say that Islam envisages a tax structure based primarily on Assets and Production taxes in contradistinction with the currently popular one dominated by income and consumption Taxes. The importance of Zakah and Ushr in the economic system and the extraordinary role of Islamic economic system in social peace will be dealt with later.

 

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Hajj (Pilgrimage)

 

Faith and prayer are primarily meant to ensure physical, mental, social and spiritual peace of individuals. Fasting and Zakah are aimed, in addition, at social and national peace. With Hajj, the system of peace assumes global dimensions. The annual pilgrimage at Mecca, the birth city of Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) and the seat of Ka’ba, the first place of the worship of God on the earth, is a reminder to the world that Islam’s mission of peace has global aims. And it is a reminder to Muslims that they must earnestly endeavour in that direction. It disseminates the message of universal brotherhood and equality irrespective of race, colour and creed not only among Muslims but also among the rest of mankind. Pilgrimages are popular in many religious communities, but again the pilgrimage of Islam has a very special significance.

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. It is associated with the first place of worship on the earth, which serves as a symbol of monotheism, giving this a special historical and evolutionary significance. The symbolisation is of paramount importance. This being the greatest symbol of the unity of God it also becomes the greatest symbol of the unity of mankind. It is reminded that since the beginning of the human history man has been told to worship only one God. If certain sections of the human race have chosen to dilute monotheism, in one way or the other, or have stooped to frank polytheism, it is their own error of judgement. The gathering at Mecca is also a symbol of the finality of Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) as the Prophet of God and Quran as the guiding force. If the world desires to have perfect peace in this world and Hereafter, they must bow to the commands of God, dispatched to them through the embassy of Muhammad (Peace be upon him!). The unity of mankind cannot be a practical reality unless the whole of mankind submits to one system. Only a system of God can be the rallying point for them. The historical significance of the place linking it to Adam, the forefather of all human beings and Abraham, the Patriarch of all Semitic religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam is indisputable. This refreshes in the minds of Muslims their relationship to the whole mankind and their very special relationship to Jews and Christians. Thus Muslims extend an olive branch to the whole mankind especially to Jews and Christians conveying to them that they have common historical, spiritual and biological roots.

 

Pilgrimage in Quran

 

History

 

Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then eat ye thereof and feed the distressed ones in want. Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House.” (22: 27-29/A)

 

Hajj and Umra

 

And complete the Hajj or ‘Umra in the service of God. (2: 196/A) (Note: Umra is the smaller pilgrimage one that is performed at a time other than prescribed for Hajj.)For Hajj are the months well known. (2: 197/A) (Note: in the month of Dhil-Hajj.)

 

Rules

[* Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to God,- those who can afford the journey...(3: 97/A) *]

 

.If any one undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. (2: 197/A)

It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). (2: 198/A)

 

And complete the Hajj or ‘Umra in the service of God. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (necessitating shaving), (he should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the ‘Umra on to the Hajj, he must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. (2: 196/A)

 

Safa and Marwa

 

……..when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of God at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray. (2: 198/A)

Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for God’s forgiveness. (2: 199/A)

Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of God. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round. (2: 158/A)

 

Importance

 

The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: in it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security…(3: 96-97/A)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. It is a comprehensive, highly systematic and perfectly co-ordinated exercise having spiritual, collective, socio-economic and global dimensions. Pilgrims understand that this is a lifetime opportunity to seek God’s forgiveness for their sins, enhance their proximity to their Guardian and mend their ways. They sacrifice their time, their money, their emotional attachment to their nears and dears and their physical comforts for the pleasure of God. Their total involvement in spiritually elevating rituals for several weeks goes a long way to make them better human beings; a person who has performed Hajj has an increased credibility in the eyes of the people.

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p<>{color:#000;}. People from all over the world gather at Mecca not only to pay obeisance to the Lord but also to listen to the sermon of Imam, who has an unparalleled opportunity to bring home Islam’s message of universal brotherhood, equality, justice, peace, to call for unity against the forces of evils, destabilisation, oppression and exploitation and to emphasise the role of God’s system in the world affairs. All pilgrims adorn the same cloth, join prayers together without any discrimination and invoke God collectively. This provides a unique spectacle of equality and brotherhood and determination to fight against evils.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Visits to various places of historical importance at Mecca and Medina rekindle revolutionary fervour in hearts, minds and souls of pilgrims. They recollect the huge sufferings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) and his followers in the face of the severest kind of persecution and hostility, their unflinching faith in God, their unshakeable determination and their ultimate triumph. When they return home, normally they are much transformed persons; most of them if not all demonstrate visible changes in their attitude towards themselves and the people around themselves. They are less likely to reach the same level of vices they had touched before they had embarked upon the pilgrimage. Many of them lead a truly pious life throughout the rest of their life.

 

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] Jihad (Striving hard in the way of God)

Jihad has for long been one of the most talked about subjects throughout the world. Enemies of Islam have been unrelenting in misusing Jihad as a weapon to malign the religion as a supporter and propagator of violence. They have been assiduous in their efforts to attribute the phenomenal rise of Islam to the use of violent means by its followers. Many Islamic scholars, on the other hand, in the face of the virulent propaganda, have taken an unnecessarily defensive, often apologetic, position. I shall discuss the subject in its true spirit.

 

 

Jihad in Quran

 

Real Jihad

 

And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle). (47: 31/A)

 

Jihad against self

 

Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in God’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of God. They are the people who will achieve (salvation). Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure. (9: 20-21/A)

 

Ideological Jihad

 

Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness with the (Quran)….(25: 51-52/A)

 

Armed struggle

 

Fighting is prescribed for you..(2: 216/A)

 

Against aggression

 

Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. (2: 190/A)

 

Against oppression

 

[* And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!” (4: 75/A) *]

 

Against the forces of evil

 

Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. (4: 76/A)

 

Against the breakers of treaty

 

[* But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? (9: 12-13/A) *]

 

They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. (2: 217/A)

 

Against transgressors

 

If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him.. (2: 194/A)

 

Conduct when fighting begins

 

And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. (2: 191/A)

 

[* O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of God, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)! (8: 15-16/A) *]

 

If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse, with them, those who follow them, that they may remember. (8: 57/A)

 

O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call God in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper: And obey God and His Messenger. And fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart…(8: 45-46/A)

 

[* But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;- except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. (4: 89-90/A) *]

 

If they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them. (4: 91/A)

 

Against treachery

 

If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for God loveth not the treacherous. (8: 58/A)

 

Preparations

 

Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. (8: 60/A)

O ye who believe! Take your precautions and either go forth in parties or go forth all together. (4: 71/A)

 

Martyrs

 

And say not of those who are slain in the way of God. “They are dead.” Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. (2: 154/A)

And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass. (3: 157/A)

 

Reward for jihad

 

[* Those who leave their homes in the cause of God, and are then slain or die,- on them will God bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly God is He Who bestows the best provision. (22: 58/A) *]

Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. (47: 4/A)

 

Conditions for cessation of fighting

 

Be not weary and fainthearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: (47: 35/A)

 

..but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. (2: 193/A)

 

Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then God hath opened no way for you (to war against them). (4: 90/A)

 

Peace for peace

 

But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God.(8: 61/A)

 

Treaties to be adhered to

 

……with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous. (9: 4/A)

 

Asylum

 

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God. And then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge. (9: 6/A)

 

Booty

 

[* And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer... (8: 41/A) *]

 

Exempt from fighting

 

There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to God and His Messenger. (9: 91/A)

 

No blame is there on the blind, nor is there blame on the lame, nor on one ill (if he joins not the war)… (48: 17/A)

 

No fight against peace loving people

 

God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just. God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong. (60: 8-9/A)

 

Fight among Muslims

 

Whenever two factions of believers fall out with one another, try to reconcile them. If one of them should oppress the other, then fight the one, which acts oppressively until they comply with God’s command. If they should comply, then patch things up again between them in all justice, and act fairly. God loves those who act fairly. (49: 9/Z)

 

Breach of treaty

 

[* A (declaration) of immunity from God and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:- Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate God (by your falsehood) but that God will cover with shame those who reject Him. (9: 1-2/A) *]

 

[* And an announcement from God and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that God and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate God. (9: 3/A) *]

 

(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term..(9: 4/A)

 

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (9: 5/A)

 

[* But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand. (9: 11-12/A) *]

 

Islam is not a religion aimed merely at spiritual training of individuals. It is also not there just for social reform. Its area of action encompasses every sphere of individual and collective life, viz. health, education, politics, economics and social affairs, including those at the national and international levels. It is not just a set of rituals and customs or a way of life. It is a fully-grown system, which like every other system of governance, needs to propagate its ideology, safeguard its interests, protect its followers and areas of influence and combat any actions of hostility directed against it. It has the right to self-defence like any other country or organisation has. Jihad means struggle; it denotes earnest efforts to achieve Islamic objective of grand peace and safeguard its ideological, political and geographical sovereignty. Under normal circumstances, Jihad primarily involves intellectual, political and social means; in extraordinary circumstances, it does not shy away from adopting military or militant means. What differentiates Islamic method of armed confrontation however from that in vogue in the current international arena is that in Islam Jihad is not for selfish geographical, political and economic interests of a country or a group of countries. In contrast, it is aimed at ensuring peace, rescuing people in duress and fighting the forces of evil, exploitation and injustice. But Quran categorically states that fighting should be restricted only for the stated objectives, namely in the event of aggressive intents or actions of a hostile force, infraction of agreement, widespread chaos, exploitation or oppression and to counter excesses. It also makes clear that while during fighting every effort must be made to strike telling blows to the enemy, Muslims must return to the negotiating table as soon as the enemy appears inclined to cease-fire and lasting peace.

 

In this section, only the guiding principles of Jihad have been explained. I will analyse in detail at a later stage the issues of terrorism and “Jihad” being pursued by certain Muslim groups in the current world. We will also make a comparative study of the role of different communities and nations in propagating chaos in general and violence in particular.

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _To enjoin justice_

 

Justice is the most powerful arsenal for defeating chaos of all types in society. Justice must not only be done but must also be seen done. Furthermore, it must be achieved swiftly. Any system of justice that denies justice to the victims of crime or unduly delays it cannot ensure social peace. It will be seen later in this book that present legal systems all over the world have dismally failed to safeguard life and honour of the people. On the contrary, this has helped, directly and indirectly, the cause of criminals and the forces of evils. It looks advanced in method but extremely poor in results. It appears to profess humanity but promotes inhumanity. It has increased the crime rate to dangerous levels and has been transforming in increasing numbers good human beings into criminals. Islamic system of justice is based on speedy trial and a punishment equal to the crime with right to pardon only in the hands of the victims or the heirs of victims. In sharp contrast to the modern system that safeguards the interests of criminals, Islam primarily aims at bringing justice to both victims and convicts.

 

“Justice” in Quran

 

No compromises in justice

 

Say: “My Lord hath commanded justice.” (7: 29/A)

 

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (4: 135/A)

 

..speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned… (6: 152/A)

 

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety…(5: 8/A)

 

Judge fairly or don’t judge!

 

If they do come to thee, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If thou decline, they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge, judge in equity between them. For God loveth those who judge in equity. (5: 42/A)

 

Judge thou between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires..(5: 49/A)

 

 

Justice is also to be ensured at the international level; there must be ways to guarantee that small and weak nations do not suffer at the hands of powerful nations.

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _To enjoin good and forbid evil_

 

Though all religions censure vices, it is amr bil maruf (active promotion of good activities) and nahi anil munkar (aggressive campaign against unacceptable actions) that distinguish Islam from the others. Islam does not want its followers to be passive spectators. It categorically declares that the series of the Messengers of God culminated at Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), and it is now the duty of each and every Muslim to carry the torch of guidance to the whole of the world. God wants Muslims to act as active propagators of justice, peace, equality and righteousness; and as ceaseless campaigners against chaos, social evils, corruption, crimes, oppression and exploitation.

 

“Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil” in Quran

 

Away from ignorant

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong…(3: 104/A)

Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant. (7: 199/A)

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong… (3: 110/A)

 

Forces of evils are at work with impunity in society, as there are none to keep them at bay. They have vested interests in the widespread dissemination of vices. People tend to falling victim to their designs, as they strike at the most glaring susceptibilities of human nature. In the absence of any incentives in sight for good, righteous and charitable deeds the number of those inclined to conduct in an admirable way continues to decrease. Crimes, social tensions and all forms of addiction are on the rise. To counter this special efforts have to be organised individually, collectively and politically. Championing the good and campaigning against evils must involve efforts at every level—local, state, national and international. Each and every social institution—clergy, intellectuals, academic institutions, media, courts, social and welfare organisations, executive machinery of the countries, international organisations like UNO, WHO, NAM, SAARC and Arab League must contribute to this exercise; those that do not take active part in this war against vices must be sidelined. Though Muslims must play the leading role, they must not forget to seek active co-operation from all religious communities. They must run this campaign in an organised, relentless and dauntless way; data must be collected to assess the situation, to bring awareness and to counter the propaganda of the forces of evils. The world must be told in no uncertain terms that no short-term or half-hearted measures will suffice to counter the vices that endanger human health, destroy family peace and threaten social order. There is no place for chaos and things and practices that spread chaos in a civilised world.

 

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _To invite to Way of God_

 

Quran categorically declares that the system it spells for mankind is the final version of the way shown by God to the world through thousands of prophets. This system, being from God and “perfected” by Him for all times to come, must be propagated to the every nook and corner of the world. Every human being has the right to know about it and it is the duty of Muslims to invite everybody living on the earth to the Path of Peace. If they fail in their duty, God may punish them for the dereliction of duty, and they can be held responsible for the disbelief or ignorance of non-Muslims.

 

 

Propagation in Quran

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious…(16: 125/A)

 

Real peace can be established only if the whole system submits to the commands of God; but this has to be achieved through gentle and effective ways of preaching. None but God can provide the guidelines of the best possible system. The world has to be convinced that Quran indeed provides that system. This has to be done through proper articulation of the message of God, persuasive argumentation, analysis of the current system, its weaknesses and the superiority of Islamic system in eradicating the problems of the current world. All forms of media must be availed for this purpose. This is important because the media are in control of the forces that bank upon everything that Islam detests; they have sophisticated ways of propagating their ideology, and if they are to be defeated they have to be confronted through an ideological warfare. Muslims must use the same sophistication and skills in promoting their viewpoint. With the natural supremacy of their system, they will emerge victorious, even with one third the arsenal used by the opponents.

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _To learn, research and teach_

 

Learning and researching are extremely important, as these discover or invent not only the paths to progress but also the ways to thwart the designs of the enemies of peace. If Muslims have lost in the last two centuries the domination they used to have in the last millennium, one of the major factors has been the giving up of initiative on the intellectual front. Squeezing of research to theological domains, inability to focus on innovative researches and the failure to first initiate and then keep pace with the technological progress of the rest of the world have put them on the defensive. Despite being acknowledged as “forefathers” of the modern sciences, Muslims have now slipped far behind in the intellectual ascent of mankind.

 

 

Learning and Research” in Quran

 

if a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them….(9: 122/A)

“Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth.” (6: 11/A)

Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? (22: 46/A)

“Travel through the earth and see how God did originate creation…(29: 20/A)

See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? (34: 9/A)

See ye the water, which ye drink? (56: 68/A)

See ye the Fire, which ye kindle? (56: 71/A)

Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of (the air and) the sky? (16: 79/A)

Seest thou not that it is God Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And God knows well all that they do. (24: 41/A)

Seest thou not that God created the heavens and the earth in Truth? If He so will, He can remove you and put (in your place) a new creation? (14: 19/A)

Seest thou not that God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? – then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid lash of His lightning well-nigh blinds the sight. (24: 43/A)

Seest thou not that God merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that God is well-acquainted with all that ye do? (31: 29/A)

Seest thou not that God sends down rain from the sky, and forthwith the earth becomes clothed with green? For God is He Who understands the finest mysteries, and is well-acquainted (with them). (22: 63/A)

 

The inability of Muslims to concentrate on scientific researches, coupled with the loss of political domination has provided economic fundamentalism an easy platform to utilise scientific discoveries and innovations in highly unethical, immoral and devastating ways. The result has been that much more has been ravished from the masses than what they have been bestowed upon. We are now living in a world where peace and prosperity have become each other’s detractors. Had this huge scientific and intellectual advancement taken place under the umbrella of Islam, peace and prosperity could have become friends rather than foes.

 

It is clear from the verses of Quran that researches in all the spheres of life are part of Ilm (Knowledge). The gnosis of God cannot be achieved unless the functioning of the Universe, the way God created it and the way it functions be studied. Physics, Chemistry, Biology and most of the other sciences are the studies of the laws of nature promulgated by God, and their application for the benefit of mankind. This is another matter that the development of sciences under the umbrella of Economics seems to have turned scientists atheistic. Muslims must learn these sciences, develop them further and bring forth before masses the truth that sciences point to a single set of universal laws, which proves that the universe is a unique State having a unique Emperor.

 

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _To foster unity and brotherhood_

 

Unity and brotherhood are the navigators of the same ship that brings peace to the shores. Quran reminds mankind of the unity of their origin, the unity of their Creator and the unity of their purpose. Mankind is one brotherhood and no effort must be spared in realising this unity in real life. If Quran calls for the brotherhood of Muslims, it is also aimed at uniting not for confronting the rest but for the purpose of endeavouring to achieve the larger unification.

 

“Unity and Brotherhood” in Quran

Single Brotherhood

Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other). But (later generations) cut off their affair (of unity), one from another: (yet) will they all return to Us. (21: 92-93/A)

 

Avoid divisions

…..Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs… (3: 104-105/A)

O mankind, We have created you from a male and female, and set you up as nations and tribes so you may recognise [and co-operate with] one another. The noblest among you with God is that one of you who best performs his duty…(49: 13/A)

 

Unity important

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves…(3: 103/A)

In most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (secrecy is permissible). To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value). (4: 114/A)

…who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation…(42: 38/A)

 

Unity is essential for every objective. If it is for a bad cause it spells doom; if it is for a good cause it augurs well for the posterity. Islam reminds mankind that its ultimate objective of unity must be to achieve, groom and sustain peace in its entirety , and that this grand aim can be realised only through total submission to God, His Last Prophet and His Last Book. Unity of mankind should be sought at every stratum of organisation -- individual to individual, community to community and country to country.

 

#
h1<{color:#000;}. Don’ts of Peace : Fundamental Prohibitions

 

The world today is ruled by the economic fundamentalists who have taken innumerable steps to strengthen their commercial hold. These measures include a blanket review of law. Apart from a victorious assault on capital punishment and maiming of the criminal laws, numerous other modifications have been made, in letter and spirit, in the constitutions. These include an exaggerated emphasis on fundamental rights vis-à-vis fundamental duties and absolute denial of place to fundamental prohibitions, imparting a highly partisan definition to “human rights”, popularisation of several crimes as “necessary” evils, giving undue privileges in the name of industrialisation and economic development to the magnates and stress on certain rights of dubious nature in the name of personal freedom and equality.

 

But the time has now proved that the most glaring deficiency of almost all the prominent systems is that they emphasise only upon fundament rights, underscore fundamental duties and altogether ignore fundamental prohibitions. This two-dimensional approach is inadequate in maintaining order in society. Besides, it is inherently dangerous, as it unleashes forces of evils and exploitation. No society can maintain order and tranquillity unless it has its sets of restrictions. Its members must not only claim for their own rights, but must also be duty-bound to help in its survival and development and they must not be in a position, even if they want, to do what is expressly detrimental for society. A three-dimensional approach is therefore mandatory if the totally paralysed and redundant legal system has to be rejuvenated. The two-dimensional constitutions, without any express provisions of fundamental prohibitions, guarantee rights only for the strong and those rights of the weak that the strong seek to exploit. The three-dimensional approach, on the contrary, with explicit Fundamental Prohibitions, is a guarantee for the rights of all the members of society including the weak and the underprivileged. Fundamental Prohibitions must be aimed at ensuring the same trio of objectives -- Individual Health, Family Peace and Social Order, the three essential components of Grand Peace.

 

As already explained, Islamic social system is three dimensional in contradistinction with most of the contemporary systems that are two-dimensional with one dimension (duties) considerably weaker than the other (rights). The modern approach is influenced by economic fundamentalism that seeks to commercialise both strengths and weaknesses of human beings. In order to commercialise weaknesses, it is necessary that “prohibitions” should be totally prohibited and greater emphasis should be given to rights not duties. In Islamic social system, on the other hand, the above-mentioned rights as individual, member of family and member of society are harmonised with duties and prohibitions. In the edifice of Islamic society, duties form the foundation, rights the roof and prohibition the walls; a building cannot be a building without any of the three, and all the three must be adequately planned and built.

.

A system cannot be deemed complete unless it categorically answers three questions: what is one enjoined to do, what is one permitted or entitled to do and what is one prohibited to do? A proper balance between these three is the most wonderful aspect of Islamic constitution that makes it far superior model to the other systems.

 

 

Fundamental Prohibitions in Islam

 

[] I) Drinking and gambling

 

Islam expressly prohibits alcoholic drinks and substances causing addiction. Prohibition in Islam means prohibition on manufacturing, storing, selling, serving and drinking all alcoholic beverages anywhere on any occasion to anybody. Drinking has been labelled as Ummul Khhabais, that is the mother of all evils, and the investigations have clearly established that drinking is Ummul Khhabais indeed. The Global Burden of Study has reported that “in 1990, alcohol was responsible for 3.5 percent of the world’s total disability-adjusted life-years lost.” This exceeds the combined toll taken by smoking (2.6%) and illicit drugs (.6%). Alcohol is the leading cause of disability among men in industrialised nations. Dependence on alcohol is counted as a disease in medical sciences, commonly referred to as Alcoholism. Alcoholism is divided into two groups: substance-use disorders and substance-induced orders. The former include dependence and abuse; the latter include intoxication, withdrawal, delirium, dementia, amnesiac disorder, psychotic disorder, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disorder. Alcohol dependence and abuse are manifested by tolerance, withdrawal, inability to fulfil role obligations, recurrent substance related legal problems and social and interpersonal problems. Cirrhosis is another disease related to alcohol that more often than not proves fatal. Cirrhosis is among the leading killers in many countries where alcohol consumption is high. Other medical conditions related to alcohol include cancers (liver and laryngeal), heart diseases, maternal and child health problem (low birth weight and spontaneous abortion), injuries (falls, burns, or work-related), accidents (water and auto transport) and violence (suicide, assault and child abuse). Alcohol is also related to traffic accidents, increased risks of all sex-transmitted diseases including AIDS and suicides. In women, it is related to several cancers like those of breast and liver. Maternal consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects in children. It is linked to the birth of children with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. In several countries, FAS is considered to be the most important cause of mental retardation.

 

Drinking and gambling in Quran

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2: 219/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. [* O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer. (5: 90-91/A) *]

There have been several brazen attempts recently to popularise drinking on the basis of some dubious reports that impart a protective effect to alcohol for Ischaemic Heart Diseases. This has been strongly countered by independent experts. It will be worthwhile to quote here from a report: “Over the past decade seemingly paradoxical evidence has emerged that alcohol consumption may have a protective effect on one aspect of human health: coronary heart disease. Studies have shown that individuals who consume small to moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to have a myocardial infarction than those who do not drink. (For a review of the studies in the United States on the health benefits of alcohol, see NIAAA, 2000). These studies, however, have been challenged on two fronts: applicability of the findings to women; and methodology (see detailed discussion in World Bank Group, 2000). The majority of participants in the studies were men. In those where women did participate, the protective relationship was not so clear. Studies found that light consumption of alcohol (1.5 to 29.9 grams per day) protected older women (50 years of age and over) from CHD; light consumption also conferred protective benefits on women with one or more risk factors for CHD. . These benefits did not hold true, however, for women with no CHD risk factors. Such women enjoyed no significant protective effects. Notably, women who drank more than 30 grams per day had significantly higher mortality, largely due to their higher risk of death from breast cancer. The research on beneficial effects of alcohol remains inconclusive for women. Furthermore, when discussing the beneficial effects of alcohol on the risk of CHD, it is important not to ignore the prevalence of CHD in a given developing country in relation to other health and social problems that are caused or exacerbated by alcohol. 5NIAAA (2000) has conducted an extensive review and analysis of FAS prevention research. Although research is largely US-based, the review offers a valuable framework for developing prevention programs.“ It can be safely concluded that if some benefits may be accrued to the use of alcohol they will have to be weighed against harms and hazards related to alcohol, which are massive, qualitatively as well as quantitatively.

 

As has been said before, alcohol increases the risks of unhealthy sexual behaviour. Studies of AIDS in other countries, such as Thailand, indicate that alcohol consumption influences many dimensions of sexual behaviour. One such study, which included students, soldiers, and clerks revealed that “heavy drinking increased the odds of having had sexual intercourse; increased the odds of having visited prostitutes; and decreased the odds of consistent condom use in sexual encounters with sex workers (VanLandingham and others, 1993).” Another report says, “The relationship between drinking and HIV risk behaviours, such as visiting commercial sex workers or having sex without condoms, is not one of simple causality. It has been argued that drinking behaviour co-occurs with other dangerous factors; such a risk-taking Includes beverages made from sugarcane alcohol and agaves, such as mescal and sotol. Aguardiente means “burning water” (Aledina-Mora, 1999).”

 

The data of the alcohol-related problems will be presented later in this book. But it should be mentioned here that the alcohol related deaths every year number more than 2 million every year.

 

[[A
LCOHOL RELATED PROBLEMS]]

 

Liver disease Elevated liver enzyme levels Fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis Pancreatic disease Acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia’s, stroke Gastrointestinal problems Gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diarrhoea, peptic ulcer disease Oesophageal varices, Mallory-Weiss tears Neurologic disorders Headaches, blackouts, peripheral neuropathy Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, seizures, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, dementia, cerebral atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive deficits, impaired motor functioning Reproductive system disorders Foetal alcohol effects, foetal alcohol syndrome Sexual dysfunction, amenorrhea, anovulation, early menopause, spontaneous abortion Cancers Neoplasm of the liver, neoplasm of the head and neck, neoplasm of the pancreas, neoplasm of the oesophagus Psychiatric comorbidities Depression, anxiety Affective disorders, anxiety disorders, antisocial personality Legal problems Traffic violations, driving while intoxicated, public intoxication Motor vehicle accidents, violent offences, fires Employment problems Tardiness, sick days, inability to concentrate, decreased competence Accidents, injury, job loss, chronic unemployment Family problems Family conflict, erratic child discipline, neglect of responsibilities, social isolation Divorce, spouse abuse, child abuse or neglect, loss of child custody Effects on children Overresponsibility, acting out, withdrawal, inability to concentrate, school problems, social isolation Learning disorders, behaviour problems

 

Gambling

 

Let us now concentrate on gambling, which too has been prohibited by Quran and along with Alcohol has been described as one of the mischievous activities of the devil.

 

Gambling is recognised by medical scientists as a disease, which is called pathological gambling. According to the National Research Council, “pathological gamblers ‘engage in destructive behaviours: they commit crimes, they run up large debts, they damage relationships with family and friends, and they kill themselves. With the increased availability of gambling and new gambling technologies, pathological gambling has the potential to become even more widespread’”(p. 4-1). The National Research Council of US states that “many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial, physical, and emotional problems, including divorce, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and a range of problems stemming from the severe financial hardship that commonly results from problem and pathological gambling. Children of compulsive gamblers are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs, and have an increased risk of developing problem or pathological gambling themselves.” Other problems include crime, loss of employment and bankruptcy. According to NRC, ‘As access to money becomes more limited, gamblers often resort to crime in order to pay debts, appease bookies, maintain appearances, and garner more money to gamble.’ It has been found that “28 percent of pathological gamblers attending Gamblers Anonymous reported either that they had filed for bankruptcy or reported debts of $75,000 to $150,000.’ (Ladouceur et al. (1994)).

 

The social problems due to gambling are even severer. Relatives, friends and employers suffer hugely. Employers complain of loss of work hours, embezzlement and inability to fulfil their financial obligations. NRC report further states: “How can we begin to measure the social impact of individuals who spend their children’s milk money or cash their welfare checks to buy lottery tickets, as the Commission heard during visits to convenience stores? We cannot, but the Commission can acknowledge that when gambling is promoted as ‘the only way to get ahead’ and, in particular, targets those who do not have ‘leisure dollars’ to spend, the economic and social, indeed, the moral fabric of our nation is damaged.” (p. 7-18)” Reports say that one in fifth of gamblers attempt suicide; other reports speak of as high as two third contemplating suicide.

 

The impact on family is equally dangerous. In NORC’s survey, 53.5 percent of identified pathological gamblers reported having been divorced, versus 18.2 percent of non-gamblers and 29.8 percent of low-risk gamblers. Further NORC respondents representing two million adults identified a spouse’s gambling as a significant factor in a prior divorce. In a survey of nearly 400 Gamblers Anonymous members, 18 percent reported experiencing a gambling-related divorce. Another 10 percent said they were separated as a direct consequence of their gambling. The domestic violence and child abuse are significantly greater problems in the families of gamblers than non-gamblers. Several cases of children dying in cars have been reported, on account of their father or mother leaving them locked and forgetting them, as they joined the casino.

`

[] II) Sexual corruption

 

Sex is the water of life. It sustains the human existence and brings colour to the life. But sex also brings huge responsibilities with it. The case of human beings is different from animals. In animals all responsibilities related to sex fall on the shoulders of females; males do absolutely nothing but impregnate females. They have nothing else to shoulder -- during pregnancy, at the time of delivery and during the growth of children. God has been extremely kind to women, on the other hand; in every part of their biological functions, they have been assured of men’s support. This necessitates family system, which does not only relieve women of the burden of looking after children alone but also provides children with a highly congenial atmosphere for growth. Furthermore, it protects women from unwanted intrusions into their modesty, exploitation and abuse, safeguards children against abuse and devastation in life and bestows upon men a life of comfort and peace. Family system also acts as an infallible barrier between human beings and life-threatening viruses, bacteria and protozoans, ensuring longevity and better quality of life. If Sex within marriage is guarantee to health and security, sex outside marriage is invitation to diseases, destruction and devastation. While Islam promotes sex between a man and a woman, within the boundaries of marriage, it prohibits sex outside marriage; all forms of extramarital relationships are not only sins in the eyes of God but also punishable crimes under Islamic legal system. Apart from extramarital relationships, Islam also prohibits homosexuality, anal sex with women, prostitution and any erotic depiction of human body.

 

“Sexual corruption” in Quran

 

Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (17: 32/A)

If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for God is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (4: 16/A)

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. (4: 19/A)

But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is God, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)… (24: 33/A)

The problems related to prohibited sexual practices have assumed such enormous proportions that sex can now be regarded as the biggest tormentor of human life. It has been killing millions of men, women and children, exterminating family system, desecrating the sanctity of women, denigrating them into prostitutes and porn actors, transforming them into single mothers, divorcees and unwed mothers; and killing foetuses, converting children into half-orphans and making them vulnerable to all sorts of abuses.

 

Physical problems related to prohibited practices include AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Chancroid, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Herpes, Reiter’s Disease, Hepatitis B and many other diseases. AIDS has already killed more than 20 million people across the world and is expected to kill double that number in the next decade. Promiscuity and prostitution are the biggest breeding grounds for HIV. Syphilis has been one of the major killers in the past. Even till fifty years back, it caused fatal complications, and in many parts of the world, has continued to be one of the major factors in the incidence of repeated miscarriages. Gonorrhoea and Chancroid continue to be a troubling factor for sexually promiscuous and pervert; Herpes is one of the major infections in many countries including the US. The propagation of Hepatitis B through sexual route is now well documented. Diseases like Gonorrhoea and Chancroid do not only cause painful problems themselves, but also facilitate the propagation of HIV.

 

Psychiatric disorders related to unhealthy sexual practices and extramarital lesions include Nervousness, Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal tendencies. The detection of HIV in blood has led to many a suicide in the last two decades. There have also been a number of reports regarding HIV positive persons going on the infecting spree as part of revenge or frustration.

 

Social problems are much severer. Millions of women and children are made prostitutes, not only exposing them to severe health risks -- a huge percentage is likely to falling victim to AIDS or other problems -- but also destroying their family and social lives. Liberal sexual life leads to breaking of marriages, women becoming single parents and children living with one parent only. Domestic violence, abuse of women and children are other common consequences. Crimes against women including rape are on the rise assuming dangerous levels in several countries. Teenage pregnancies and abortions have become the norm of life in several countries where sexual liberty has been allowed. More than 50 million foetuses are aborted every year. Pornography is affecting lives of millions of men, women and children who have been dragged or lured into the business; they all become vulnerable to severe health hazards and social deprivation. The impact on the watchers too is often immense.

 

The full scale of the problems related to the prohibited sexual practices will be dealt with later in the book. For a much fuller understanding of the modern sexuality and its effects, please refer to my book, “The Killer Sex”.

 

 

Forbidden degrees in marriage

 

Islam prohibits marriages between immediate relatives – between brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces and aunts and nephews. This automatically decreases the chances of incest, sexual abuse and rapes of women and children by close relatives. This strengthens a healthy family life; and young children and girls can grow in an atmosphere of harmony and security. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the dangers of congenital abnormalities increase with the closeness of spouses. Consanguineous marriages are permitted in Islam but not prohibited; it is better to avoid marriages in very close relations.

Quran on Forbidden Degrees of marriage

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. (2: 221/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. (4: 24/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. [* And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: it was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed. (4: 22/A) *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* Prohibited to you (for marriage) are:- your mothers, daughters, sisters; father’s sisters, mother’s sisters; brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters; foster- mothers (who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives’ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past...(4: 23/A) *]

 

[] III) Eatables

 

Islam allows all kinds of foods except what have been expressly forbidden. These include pork, flesh of already dead animals, and flesh of animals that have been slaughtered in a manner not permissible in Islam. The unacceptable methods of slaughtering are the methods that do not allow time for blood to gush out of the body before death and slaughtering in the name of other gods and goddesses. The diseases related to pork are well known. There are two major infestations related to the consumption of pork. These are Taeniasis, caused by Taenia solium and Trichenellasis, caused by Trichinella spiralis. Both these were quite common till about half a century back Thy can cause paralysing illnesses, including blindness and hemiplegia, and can sometimes even cause death. To avoid these diseases, extraordinary care has to be taken in cooking and storing. There are other diseases that are related indirectly to pigs, some of which can prove fatal.

Quran on Forbidden Food

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than God; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. (5: 3/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. (2:173/A) *]

 

[] IV) Economic corruption

 

Economics is one of the essential organs of the special existence of human beings. It is also the means by which we can promote or demote peace and harmony. Effects of economic policies pursued in a system have huge bearing on almost all the spheres of individual and collective life. Extraordinary care has therefore to be taken to establish an economic system that acts as a wholesome diet rather than a weapon of mass destruction. Islam takes every possible measure for the establishment of a healthy and peaceful existence. A more detailed discussion on the Islamic economic system will be taken later in this book. Here, the impact of prohibitions will be briefly outlined.

 

Quran on Prohibitions in Economics

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied…(3: 130/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: “Trade is like usury,” but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. (2: 275/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past…(2: 275/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. …But if ye turn back, ye shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2: 279/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers. If ye do it not, take notice of war from God and His Messenger. (2: 278-279/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of God. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God. Announce unto them a most grievous penalty - on the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!” (9: 35/A) *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property. (2: 188/A)

All Islamic prohibitions are important as far as the economic system is concerned. Society cannot be allowed to falling victim to diseases, disintegration of family system and chaos at a larger level for the growth of economy in terms of the generation of material wealth. Islam cannot accept any industries resting on the prohibited items. There is no scope for alcohol, tobacco, gambling and sex industries in a civilised society. Peace has to remain the supreme goal, and business has to learn to play the second fiddle.

 

Islam also expressly bans usury and hoarding. Usury has since long been a source of huge human exploitation. The rich would give loans to the poor to “help” them meet their urgent requirements and would exact massive interests from them for the favour. Unable to return the ever-increasing amount in time, the poor would often be compelled to part with whatever assets they possessed. Their exploitation will not stop here. In order to cover for the amassing interest, they would have to work as labourers for their paymasters in wretched conditions. Sometimes even the grandchildren will be sucked into the economic slavery to repay the debts of the grandparents. What occurred at the individual level in the past has now assumed international proportions. Now rich nations or financial institutions have created financing organisations to pay loans to poor and developing countries. The latter do not only have to pay interests, they have to more often than not also adopt policies that suit the interests of the loaners. In the case of default, these countries face threats of various kinds. There are a number of developing countries that have fallen prey to the debt trap. Many Latin American countries, for example, have paid up to five times the amount they originally borrowed from International Monetary Fund, and still they have to pay as much to clear their bills. The results are ever increasing poverty in these countries. IMF and World Bank would of course not accept their role in the growing poverty of the masses of these countries, and would blame erroneous policies for the mess they are in. To ease out of the mess, the loaning agencies have often advised them to develop sex, alcohol and gambling industries. Many countries have taken their advice seriously with the result that their problems have compounded; health, family and social problems have undone whatever economic benefits they might have accrued from these industries.

 

Islam also bans hoarding and bribery. There is hardly any need to elaborate their impact on society. Both are ultimately used to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. The widening gap creates huge societal tensions. At the international level too, owing to exploitative practices of the rich and the powerful, the chasm between rich and poor nations has been continuously growing leading to widespread frustration and chaos. Bribery leads to misplaced judgements, preference to the undeserving over the deserving, nod to undesirable activities and support to undesirable elements in society. This helps in anchoring the evil forces in the system. The ultimate result is chaos with increased incidence of crimes, enhanced levels of oppression and galloping levels of all forms of exploitation.

 

[] V) Murder

 

Life is sacred. Human beings are expected to respect one another’s lives the way they respect their own. There can be no place for such persons in society as do not care for others’ lives, and for their own selfish ends, kill others. Islam does not tolerate crimes of any kind, and takes strong measures to keep their level minimal.

 

Quran on Murder

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Nor take life-which God has made sacred – except for just cause. (17: 33/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never should a believer kill a believer; but (if it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due). (4: 92/A)

 

There are some crimes that cannot be condoned. Murder cannot be allowed to go unpunished, and a murderer must be made to hear the pronouncement of the maximum possible punishment. One who has not allowed somebody to live and has abruptly ended his life cannot be allowed to live, unless the heirs of the deceased exhibit mercy to him. The policy of abolition of death penalty has resulted in an extraordinary increase in the level of all forms of crimes including murders. Millions of murders occur every year throughout the world, and the incidence is much, much higher in those countries where capital punishment has been abolished. The data related to murders will be examined later.

 

[] VI) Spreading chaos in society

 

Islam does not only deal with individual crimes but also takes strong exception to organised crimes including riots, mass killings, exploitation, fanning of hatred against any race or community and oppression. This also includes organised businesses that bank on prohibited practices such as sex trade, casinos, pornography, alcohol trade, smuggling, tobacco industry, etc. People involved in such activities face death penalty, banishment from the land or crucifixion.

 

Quran on “Spreading chaos”

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of God is (always) near to those who do good. (7: 56/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The blame is only against those who oppress men and indulge in wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous. (42: 42/A)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. And fear tumult or oppression, which affecteth not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong. (8: 25/A)

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p<>{color:#000;}. [* O ye who believe! When ye hold secret counsel, do it not for iniquity and hostility, and disobedience to the Prophet; but do it for righteousness and self- restraint; and fear God, to Whom ye shall be brought back. (58: 9/A) *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Secret counsels are only (inspired) by the Evil One, in order that he may cause grief to the Believers… (58: 9-10/A)

 

It can be seen that organised businesses of prohibited trades, riots related to racial or communal hatred and wars and civil wars have killed hundreds of millions of people in the twentieth century. Scientific advancement without deterrent laws, especially laws against crimes and dangerous practices brings greater threats than comforts for mankind. Inflaming hatred on any ground is unacceptable; those involved in it have to be severely punished. Similarly, those that use their “rights of expression” to malign or slander great personalities held dear by any community must be given exemplary punishments, for their callousness or designed mischief for motivated interests may hurt sentiments and inflame passions, which often lead to riots causing loss of innocent lives. If an author or artist really regards himself a revolutionary and feels he has justifiable reasons to target any ideology or its sacred personalities and books he must be ready to face punishment at the hands of the law or aggrieved masses. If he inflames passions and then hurries for shelter it would clearly mean his intentions were not genuine. A “revolutionary” must be ready to sacrifice his own life rather than risking lives of others.

#
h1<{color:#000;}. Can Dos of Peace : Fundamental Rights

 

Fundamental Rights form the third dimension of the trio that safeguards the mansion of peace. After having known duties and prohibitions, men, women and children must also recognise their respective rights, as individuals, members of family and members of society. Family, Society and Governing Body also have their respective rights. Weaker sections of society have special rights. Rights are extremely important, as duties and prohibitions without rights would deprive man of his characteristic natural status. The material creatures of God follow only duties and prohibitions; they have hardly any choice in their actions. Atoms, every particle within the atom and all the collections of atoms—molecules to big heavenly bodies including planets and stars, follow the set of natural laws decreed by God at the time of the creation of the Universe. Human beings, in contrast, have discretionary powers, which coupled with intelligence and creativity endow them with the supreme status among all the creatures. While rights are essential, as they give colour, life and purpose to human life, duties and prohibitions are mandatory, as they discipline human actions. Without rights, man would become inanimate matter, without duties wild beast, and without prohibitions fiend.

 

‘Human rights’ has been one of the major issues in the world in recent times. We will see later why human rights have become dangerous for the world in many ways, and why Islam’s system of rights is superior. It will be seen that human security rather than human rights should be the real issue if the world has to become an abode of peace for mankind.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to life_

 

Life is sacred. Every human being enjoys the right to live. But Islam does not make it an absolute right the way modernism has tried to make it. The result of the modern approach towards the right to life has resulted in a huge increase in murders and other dangerous crimes like rapes, riots, etc. This right has become a protective jacket for criminals, which saves them from the sword of justice.

 

Quran on “Right to Life”

Life sacred

Nor take life – which God has made sacred – except for just cause. (17: 33/A)

……..take not life, which God hath made sacred… (6: 151/A)

..if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. (5: 32/A)

Foeticide and killing children big crimes

Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin. (17: 31/A)

When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on? (16: 58-59/A)

In Islam, right to life is subject to the condition that it shall be only for those who respect others’ right to live. One who has taken the life of a person, or has indulged in activities that can result in the loss of lives has no right to take refuge in the “right of life”. Every innocent human being has the right to live, and whoever endangers his life has no right to live. This is why if one took the life of a man “it would be”, Quran states, “as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

 

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to freedom of conscience_

 

Though Islam, like any other ideology, is desirous of the whole mankind entering its fold, it gives every individual freedom of conscience. It bestows upon men and women the right to choose any religion or ideology. Where however Islam is an established system of governance, this freedom of consciousness will be restricted to a certain degree; while one is free to practise any faith one will not be permitted to do anything that would endanger the system. There is nothing extraordinary or weird about it, for all systems safeguard their existence and do not tolerate any direct threat to their basic principles. Democratic, secular, socialist, capitalist—-all the systems currently in vogue in different parts of the world have legal provisions against attempts to malign or campaign against the fundamental principles of their constitutions.

Quran on “Freedom of Conscience”

 

Let there be no compulsion in religion…(2: 256/A)

To you be your Way, and to me mine. (109: 6/A)

Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did. (6: 108/A)

 

Islam gives right to criticise and analyse , but not the right to slander, defame or injure the sentiments of any community. Quran clearly prohibits Muslims to disrespect gods, figureheads and symbols of other religions and does not tolerate the same for its own symbols and messengers. Sacrilegious remarks against any religion are a work of mischief that can lead to riots causing massive loss of life and property. Persons engaged in such practices -- Muslims or non-Muslims, have to be severely dealt with.

 

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to equality_

 

Islam is the regime of equality, which forms the very basis of its social system. First of all, Quran points to the biological equality of all human beings by informing them that they are the progeny of the same father, Adam and mother, Eve. All persons living anywhere on the surface of the earth, belonging to any race, nation or tribe, having any colour, size or height, following any custom or consuetude and speaking any dialect, are equal. Then Quran declares the fundamental equality of both genders telling mankind that all men and women are the progeny of a man and a woman as well as sons and daughters of their respective fathers and mothers. (The question of the equality of men and women will be discussed in detail later.) Then Quran reminds mankind that all human beings are equally privileged as far as natural laws are concerned; all lives are governed by the same set of natural laws. Quran then categorically states that all human beings are equal in the eyes of God; He will judge not according to their linkages of various kinds but on the basis of their respective deeds and beliefs. While judging them, He will take into account the conditions, in which they lived and worked. No action, small or big, good or bad will go unaccounted for. The equality in the eyes of God is followed by the equality in the eyes of law. All persons get equal punishment for equal crimes, committed under similar circumstances. All have the right to occupy different positions according to their suitability for those positions. Men and women too get equal punishment for equal crimes.

 

 

Quran on Equality

 

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. (49: 13/A)

…stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…(4: 135/A)

 

Unlike some religious and cultural systems Islam knows no castes. There are no superiors or inferiors on the basis of their birth. The only thing that counts is deeds of individuals and circumstances, in which they have been performed. Islam, as will be elaborated later, took practical steps to abolish slavery system.

 

Some people allege that in an Islamic system, non-Muslims cannot hold the position of the Head of State or government. There is nothing weird about it. No non-communist can hold the highest position in a communist country; no declared communal person can head a secular state; and no avowed enemy of democracy can lead a democratic government. Where the majority of the population is not Islamic, Muslims can enter into any form of agreement with other ethnic groups. However, even in an Islamic government, non-Muslims enjoy freedom of conscience, freedom from liability to join the army, and several other privileges; of course, their lives, property and honour are guaranteed in the same way as those of other countrymen. If however there is any special agreement or pact all decisions will be taken in accordance with the same.

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to personal freedom_

 

Islam gives personal freedom to all human beings, but freedom is subject to fundamental prohibitions. Unlike Socialism, Islam does not unduly curb individual rights; unlike capitalism, it does not allow individuals to fall victim to dangerous habits and practices and the use of these practices by commercial forces for their economic growth. Every man and woman has the right to live, eat, wear, earn, own property, inherit and bequeath, marry according to their choice, have children and get educated. But all these rights have their corresponding limitations. They have the right to live but not the right to die; the right to wear whatever dress they choose but not the right to be naked in public, the right to eat and drink but not the right to eat forbidden foods and drink forbidden beverages; the right to earn but not through the prohibited trades; and the right to have sex but not outside the limits of a proper marriage.

 

Quran on Personal freedom

 

Right to eat

 

Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? (7: 32/A)

 

The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (5: 5/A)

 

Right to marry

 

Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female. (24: 32/A)

 

[* (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness...(5: 5/A) *]

 

……Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess..(4: 3/A)

 

Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). (4: 129/A)

 

…there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. (33: 37/A)

 

When there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: God knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them. But pay the Unbelievers what they have spent (on their dower), and there will be no blame on you if ye marry them on payment of their dower to them. (60: 10/A)

 

 

Right to earn

 

God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. (2: 275/A)

 

It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). (2: 198/A)

 

And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of God. (62: 10/A)

 

Right to inherit and bequeath

 

From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share. (4: 7/A)

 

It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage…(2: 180/A)

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to consultation_

All men and women have the right to express their views in speech, writing, art or opinion, in an assembly, referendum or election. They have the right to be consulted in the collective affairs including the affairs of the state. All these rights are subject however to Fundamental Prohibitions; expression of views or any artful expression has to be within the parameters of Islamic constitution. Any action or writing that involves or promotes the prohibited practices cannot be acceptable. Society cannot be allowed to become victim of the pervert or corrupting views or expressions in any form in the name of “freedom of expression”.

Quran on Right to Expression

 

….consult them in affairs (of moment). (3: 159/Z)

Apart from them, people are free to give advice to the government, to express their dissent on any decision, to vote the ruler out of power in whatever way the law of the land permits it and to engage in healthy cultural activities and entertainment. Political system of Islam will be dealt in detail later.

 

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to form association_

 

People have the right to form associations for any lawful activities. Establishment of organisations for the promotion of desirable activities including welfare programmes and for the campaigning against undesirable activities is surely a virtuous exercise, which should be given all the support by the government and society. This would cover the formation of political or semi-political groups, but all these groups have to work within the parameters of Islamic constitution. Any party, group or organisation working against the interests of the system of Islam cannot be allowed to function. Absolute freedom is an invitation to chaos, exploitation and crimes; if this absolute freedom is misused in an organised way it spells doom for the land; only forces of evil and businessmen prosper.

 

Quran on “Right to form Association”

 

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. (3: 104/A)

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Right to retaliation_

 

As said before, Islam promulgates the Law of equality, which does not only mean equal punishments for equal crimes in similar circumstances, but also punishments equal to crimes. Every person has the right to seek equal retaliation for any kind of injury committed against him. He cannot however seek a punishment beyond the severity of the crime. Though Quran allows an injured party to seek equal retaliation, it exhorts forgiveness.

 

Quran on Right to Retaliation

 

O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder. (2: 178/A)

 

In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, o ye men of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves. (2: 179/A)

 

We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” (5: 45/A)

 

If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. (2: 194/A)

 

Forgiving encouraged

 

But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. (5: 45/A)

 

The law of equality is not to be applied only to members of society within the boundaries of a country but also to disputes between different countries. World organisations must be founded on the principle of equal punishment for equal crimes whoever the culprit or victim. While the world powers harangue big lectures on democracy, democracy is absent within the international organisations including UN. There cannot be any room for veto power in a truly democratic world.

 

#
h1<{color:#000;}. Dimensions of the System of Peace

.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Social System of Islam_

 

In sharp contrast to the modern social systems, which are driven chiefly by economic considerations, Islamic social system is governed by its primary objective of attaining “peace” at all levels. As has been said before, in Islam peace has three essential constituents: health (physical, mental, social & spiritual) of individual, family peace and social order. All social principles are directly or indirectly related to the same three constituents. To achieve these objectives the social system of Islam has taken a number of extraordinary steps.

 

The first important feature of Islamic social system is a harmonious equilibrium between individual, family and society. These three may be regarded as three tiers of social life. Islam safeguards all the three without giving anyone of them an exaggerated emphasis. An individual is an individual, which status cannot be compromised for family and society. But at the same time, one is a member of a family and a member of society. Society cannot trample upon one’s rights and duties as a member of family, which are as important as one’s rights and duties as a member of society.

Social System in Quran

 

Peace ultimate aim

#
h3<{color:#000;}. …(I have chosen for you) PEACE (Islam) as your System… (5: 3/A)

Life important

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Nor take life – which God has made sacred – except for just cause. (17: 33/A)

 

Three tiers: Individual, family and society

#
h3<{color:#000;}. To you be your Way, and to me mine. (109: 6/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? (7: 32/A)

 

Family

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Lawful unto you (in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,-when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness..(5: 5/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)..(30: 21/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. And God has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for God’s favours? (16: 72/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. [_ Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you...(4: 24/A) _]

 

Protection of family system

 

#
h3<{color:#000;}. If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, God will cause their reconciliation…(4: 35/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. If those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until God gives them means out of His grace. (24: 33/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (17: 32/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. (4: 16/A)

 

Society

#
h3<{color:#000;}. When it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “Why, we only want to make peace!” Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not. (2: 11-12/A)

 

Equality

#
h3<{color:#000;}. O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. (49: 13/A)

 

Weaker sections

#
h3<{color:#000;}. They ask thee concerning orphans. Say: “The best thing to do is what is for their good; if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren…(2: 220/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age)…(4: 2/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. If the guardian is well-off, let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. (4: 6/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. To those weak of understanding make not over your property, which God hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. (4: 5/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. [_ ..and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess... (4: 36/A) _]

 

Slaves: importance of freeing them

#
h3<{color:#000;}. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which God has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is God, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)…(24: 33/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And God hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practise self-restraint. And God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (4: 25/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. (2: 221/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased’s family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to God; for God hath all knowledge and all wisdom. (4: 92/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. God will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth God make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful. (5: 89/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. [_ But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other... (58: 3/A) _]

#
h3<{color:#000;}. It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness-to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing. (2: 177/A)

#
h3<{color:#000;}. [_ And what will explain to thee the path that is steep?- (It is:) freeing the bondsman; Or the giving of food in a day of privation To the orphan with claims of relationship, Or to the indigent (down) in the dust. (90: 12-16/A) _]

 

Social Welfare

#
h3<{color:#000;}. [_ And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,-………(8: 42/A) (Note: The term ‘ needy’ has a vast scope: it includes sick, crippled handicapped, refugee, victim of natural calamities, and others.) _]

 

At the individual level, Islam gives personal rights, right to birth, right to education and training, right to choose spouse, right to earn in whatever way one chooses, right to spend, right to own property, right to inherit and bequeath, right to justice, right to express allegiance (or vote), right to religious functions and so on. As a member of a family, one has right to sex with the spouse, right to divorce in accordance with the established procedure, right to decide in the matter of having or not having children, right to kind treatment by the spouse and children, right to inherit and bequeath to and from members of the family, right to get two years’ breast feeding from mother, rights as wives of dower and maintenance and right to loyalty of spouse. As a member of society, one has right to security, right to contribute to administration by expressing one’s allegiance, right to equal opportunities, right to justice when wronged by others, right to associate with people or groups of one’s choice, right to benefit from common resources and right to be a part of any social institution.

 

Another fundamentally important feature of Islamic social system that distinguishes it from most of the modern systems that lay emphasis only on rights and to some extent on duties is that it lays equal stress on rights, duties and prohibitions. This means that Islamic socio-legal system is three-dimensional in contradistinction with most of the contemporary systems that are two-dimensional with one dimension (duties) considerably weaker than the other (rights).

 

Equality is inherent in Islamic social system. Quran speaks of the equality of the whole mankind by stating that all men and women had the same father and mother, Adam and Eve. The holy book shuns supremacy of man on any basis other than the superiority of deeds. Islam knows no races and castes; in religious matters, social obligations and also in the eyes of law all are equal. Contrary to the propaganda unleashed by the vested interests, Islam in fact paved the way for the eradication of slavery from the world and the emancipation of women from the clutches of male chauvinism.

 

Let us first study how the advent of Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) led to the virtual eradication of slavery from society.

 

When Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) announced his Embassy, slavery was in its most abominable form almost throughout the world. Slaves were treated much worse than animals; they were purchased and sold like cattle. Islam started eradicating slavery in a systematic manner. Several steps were taken. First came the lessons of kindness towards slaves. They should be given to eat what the masters eat and to wear what the masters wear. This was followed by Quranic directive to consider slaves for marriagefor believing slaves are better than non-believing women (4: 25).” Quran further directed that slave-girls could not be forced into prostitution (24:33). This was a clear warning that slave-girls could be taken as wife but could not be forced into flesh trade. Another step taken by the Prophet was the directive that any slave-woman who became pregnant would become a free woman. This implied that a mother could never be a slave, and also that the children of slaves would not be slaves. The Prophet did clearly express his displeasure at the practice of some companions to practise azl (coitus interruptus) with slave-women so that, in case they became pregnant, they would not have to be given the status of free wives and they would not be fathers of children from slaves. The most important step that paved way for the eradication of slavery was the declaration of manumitting slaves as an extraordinarily virtuous act (2: 177), for which man would be given special incentives in Hereafter. This was further complemented by the declaration of freeing a slave as compensation or punishment of some crimes and mistakes (4: 92, 5: 89, 58: 3). Quran was kind to slaves in matters of punishment too declaring that the punishment for immorality by slaves would be half that for free women (4: 25).

Critics often impugn why the practice of slavery was not forbidden altogether. The answer is not difficult to find. This in fact goes to prove that Quran is in truth the word of God; for it does not suffer from the shortcomings of human nature and intellect, which often tend to take decisions that look grand in short term, but prove disastrous in the end. If slavery had been declared prohibited, it would mean that purchasing and selling of slaves would not remain permissible. This would not give Muslims an opportunity to buy slaves from other communities who would then neither be freed from their agonising captivity nor would get an opportunity to understand Islam. What happened in the aftermath of the revolutionary steps taken by Islam was that a large number of slaves were purchased by Muslims. They were given exemplary treatment and acquainted with the message of God. Influenced by Islamic teachings and the kind treatment by Muslims they converted to Islam. They were sooner than later freed due to various reasons. Then there came a time in the history of Islam when the descendants of slaves popularly known as Mamluk Dynasty ruled over Egypt.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Rights of women in Islam_

 

There are certain basic criteria in Islam for granting rights to and enforcing duties on men and women. First, Islam recognises natural strengths and weaknesses of men and women, and designs its laws in accordance with them. Second, Islam does not tolerate any form of exploitation. Third, it aims to form a society without sexual crimes, sexual abuses and illicit relationships, which endanger all the three components of Grand Peace, namely Individual’s health, family peace and social order. Fourth, to ensure the above, it promotes legal marriages. It would purposefully create such conditions as would minimise the number of unmarried persons in society; for it understands fully well the dangers that the herds of unmarried men and women can create for society. Fifth, it would ensure social and economic equality (not uniformity) between men and women.

 

Men have certain specified natural characteristics. So do women. How can then their rights be uniform? None is inferior to the other. Men are physically stronger, mentally more alert and more dominating in nature. Women are physically and mentally delicate, this delicateness being a positive quality for their natural duties that include companionship of husband and birth and care of children. In fact, God has bestowed upon women one of His own major attributes of creating and cherishing and sustaining the human children. Of course, human beings are only secondary creators, God being the primary creator. And there can be no greater duty than to become an essential and indispensable part of the birth and care of mankind. In fact, men have only been created by nature to help women in this work. Being mainly responsible for providing women and children with material resources for their sustenance, men have to be physically capable of carrying out their duties. The uniformity of all rights would mean total negligence of the natural manliness of men and the natural womanliness of women. The truth is that uniformity is one thing that can never exist in society. The rights and duties of parents and minor children cannot be uniform, those of the ruler and the ruled cannot be uniform, and the same applies to those of superiors and subordinates. For example, minors do not possess certain rights that majors possess. They have to grow under the guardianship of others; their futures too are largely directed by others; and they are not allowed to roam alone by their parents or guardians. If they start raising voice for granting them a status ‘equal’ to that of majors, what will happen? They may say that they do not accept the guardianship of any person, want to do whatever they like, will not tolerate anybody stopping them from going anywhere they like; should be given voting rights; and as soon as they attain puberty, they will not tolerate any interference if they bring to their houses any kinds of friends for any kind of sex. So the concept of uniformity implies that they should be granted all those rights without any hitch. But would social requirements permit that? And if they are bestowed upon such permissions, will it not lead to dangerous implications for them and society?

Rights of women in Quran

 

Equality

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)..(30: 21/A)

They are your garments and ye are their garments. (2: 187/A)

Care of wives

Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear God. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe… (2: 223/A)

And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree over them. (2: 228/A)

 

Girl Child

When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on? (16: 58-59/A)

 

No marriage against wish

….Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them,…….(4: 19/A)

 

No prostitution

But force not your maids to prostitution… (24: 33/A)

 

Economic Rights

To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn…(4: 32/A)

From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share. ( 4: 7/A)

 

Right to remarry

If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days: When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and reasonable manner. And God is well acquainted with what ye do. (2: 234/A)

 

Rights of widows

Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year’s maintenance and residence; but if they leave (the residence), there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. (2: 240/A)

 

Men and women are equal in most respects, so their rights and duties are almost identical in most matters. They are however different in certain respects, so their rights and duties are different in certain areas corresponding to their strengths and weaknesses in those areas. It is therefore natural that Islam grants an over all equal status to men and women, granting both of them certain privileges in different areas. Man is duty-bound to earn and maintain his wife, children and dependent parents; woman has the right to earn if she so wishes but is also entitled to receive her maintenance from her husband in return of her duties as wife. Man has the primary responsibility to arrange for financial requirements; so he receives a larger share in inheritance. It goes to the credit of Islam that it was the first religion of the world to grant women rights of inheritance. While distributing shares, Islam is not affected by emotional considerations, but judges on the basis of the respective needs of men and women. Unlike several other religions, a Muslim woman enjoys the same status in religious affairs as a man. If she obeys God in the prescribed way, she is as much entitled to Paradise as her father, husband, brother or son. As mother, she commands respect several times greater than man does as father. She has right to choose her spouse, reproductive rights, right to remarry as a widow or as a divorcee, right to seek divorce and in case of any defamation she can demand punishment to the offender. She is as much exhorted to earn knowledge as man. If there are places where man seems to be a little more privileged there are a number of places where woman seems to be more privileged. A woman is privileged in many ways. For instance, she is exempt from services in military though she can join it if she so wishes. She is entitled to economic benefits though she can earn if she wants to.

 

The modern world can boast of giving rights to women; but it has hardly cared for their safety and security. The result is that “freedom” of women has opened ways for their exploitation; and a strange kind of chaos prevails in society. Freedom has in truth proved to be nothing but a ploy to ensure a growing availability of women in market. Sex has not only become one of the biggest global markets; it has also become perhaps the greatest tormentor of humanity. It is killing people (AIDS, suicides, murders), destroying families and disturbing social harmony; women and children become its biggest victims. In contrast, while giving them rights Islam also ensures their safety and security. A woman in a true Islamic system cannot become a victim of the sex market (for commercialisation of sex cannot have any place in a civilised society). She runs minimum risk of assault on her modesty (for Islam severely and in an exemplary manner punishes such crimes). She has an added satisfaction that her husband cannot drink, gamble or have sex outside marriage, which also safeguards her against several life-threatening sex-related diseases. All these are big security concerns for women, and Islam attends all of them with perfection.

 

There has been criticism of Islam’s policy on polygamy, and this has been presented as one of the “proofs” of discrimination against women. It is argued that it is an unnecessary privilege to men; and is also responsible for the rapid growth of population. What an irony that polygamy is being attacked by those very people who have been promoting promiscuity all over the globe! In the modern world, one can have relations with as many women as possible without attracting any legal action, or can have as many mistresses as one desires, but cannot have a second legal wife. Unlike promiscuity, polygamy protects the social and legal status of women. Polygamy is also not associated with the sex transmitted diseases the way promiscuity is; for unlike in promiscuity where both men and women have several relationships, mostly casual, in polygamy, man has long-term relations with women none of whom has relations with any other man. It follows that whereas polygamy is self-limiting and medically minimally hazardous, promiscuity is all-enveloping and medically enormously dangerous. This is practically impossible for a significant minority to become polygamous, as the demography does not allow it, but it is a distinct possibility that the majority of the population becomes promiscuous. There are several other reasons why strict monogamy is not preferable. Almost always, there has been a tendency in the human population to have more women than men. The number of marriage-seeking women is surely greater than that of the marriage-seeking men. This tendency accentuates in times of wars and other calamities. If strict monogamy is enforced there cannot remain any hope of a family life for the remainder of women. Polygamy often helps the cause of widows, aged virgins and divorcees. Obviously, the incidence of polygamy depends on the ratio of marriage-seeking females and marriage-seeking males in society. The more it increases the more the incidence. Moreover, it often happens that a man has genuine reasons for a second wife. His first wife may be incapacitated due to an illness, or may not be in a position to bear a child. In the case of strict monogamy, the husband has no option but either to continue with her suppressing his genuine human desires, or divorce her. If he divorces her she will have been left with hardly any future. Even when the reasons for the second marriage are not so genuine, it saves the man from indulging in unhealthy sexual practices and the woman from becoming his victim. Those who argue that polygamy helps in the growth of population are also misinformed. The rate of the growth of population depends only on the number of fertile women in that population. Polygamy does not change this number and has therefore nothing to do with the growth of population.

There is yet another question that people often put: Why only polygamy, why not polyandry? The answer is simple. Polygamy does not adversely affect the social fabric; it also does not increase the dangers from sex-related diseases. Polyandry will destroy the family system and social fabric. Children will be the greatest sufferers.

 

Islam allows polygamy but prefers monogamy. This ensures the survival and health of family system. The world of economic fundamentalism has opposed it because it is bent upon observing the last rites of family as soon as possible. Otherwise, who can understand the notion of legalising and promoting promiscuity and banning polygamy? It wants to discuss rights only in the context of its own interests, and has hardly any genuine concern for women.

 

Another question that is often put as a proof of Islam’s discriminatory laws against women is regarding divorce. Contrary to common belief however Islam does not promote divorce. The method prescribed by Quran is the most perfect one possible; it gives at least a period of three months (Iddah) to reconcile before the final separation. Unfortunately, in some parts of the Muslim world Triple Divorce, which is considered abominable by all the Islamic scholars and absolutely illegal by many, is in practice. Furthermore, wives also have the right to seek divorce; for this they must approach suitable authorities so that their security and honour are assured while the process of divorce continues.

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Health Protective Social System_

 

As has been said before, the social system of Islam protects all the dimensions of health, which is an essential constituent of peace. Apart from banning all hazardous foods and drinks, it also bans practices that pose grave dangers to individual and family health. The enormous effects of alcohol and gambling have been discussed elsewhere. The sex that Islam promotes and the family system it establishes protect the people from life-threatening sex-transmitted diseases including AIDS and the problems related to divorces and single parent families. I will like to discuss here one important aspect of the family system that Islam espouses: Iddah (Waiting period).

 

Health, Reproductive & Child Health and Family Peace in Quran

 

Hygienic food

Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance… (7: 32/A)

 

Environment

Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief (and disorder) in the earth – except a few among them whom We saved (from harm)? (11: 116/A)

And the Firmament Has He

Raised high, and He has set up

The Balance of (Justice),

In order that ye may

Not transgress (due) balance.. (55: 7-8)

 

Personal Hygiene

In Book well-guarded, which none shall touch but those who are clean (56: 78-79/A)

And thy garments keep free from stain! (74: 4/A)

 

Unhealthy food prohibited

Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than God. that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows…(5: 3/A)

 

Unhealthy social practices prohibited

They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2: 219/A)

 

Mental and spiritual health

Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. (90: 17/A)

 

O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear God that ye may prosper. (3: 200/A)

 

(They are) those who persevere in patience, and put their trust on their Lord. (16: 42/A)

 

Sexual Hygiene

[* O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. (4: 43/A) *]

 

They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by God. For God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (2: 222/A)

 

Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason… (7: 33/A)

 

Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (17: 32/A)

 

Homosexuality forbidden

 

If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. (4: 16/A)

 

Mother & Child Health

 

..for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens… (65: 4/A)

 

And if they carry (life in their wombs), then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden… (65: 6/A)

 

The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child; nor father on account of his child; an heir shall be chargeable in the same way. (2: 233/A)

 

If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them…(2: 233/A)

 

If ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided ye pay (the mother) what ye offered, on equitable terms. (2: 233/A)

 

Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what God has given him. (65: 7/A)

 

 

Iddah is the period for which a woman has to wait after the initiation of the process of divorce or after the death of her husband. The following facts about Iddah are to be noted:

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The period of Iddah in case it follows the pronouncement of divorce is three menstruation-cycles if by that time she shows no signs of pregnancy.

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p<>{color:#000;}. If a woman undergoing Iddah develops signs of pregnancy her Iddah will be extended till the termination of the process of delivery. (This must include the postnatal period of 40 days.)

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p<>{color:#000;}. If she is having irregular menstruation cycles her Iddah will be of three months.

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p<>{color:#000;}. If she is undergoing Iddah after the death of her husband its duration will be four months and ten days.

 

The legal provision of Iddah has enormous implications on family and social health. I was struck with the extraordinary role of Iddah during the compilation of my monograph, “Islamic Model for Control of AIDS when to my amazement I found that Iddah would play a crucial role in protecting men and women from sexually transmitted disease. Since then I have continued to get more and more convinced about the extraordinary importance of Iddah in Family Health and Peace. One of the primary objectives of Iddah is to ensure that right from the first day of conception till the completion of the process of delivery (including postnatal period) she would be looked after financially, physically as well as socially by her husband. During this period, the husband is not entitled to formalise the divorce even if he has decided to part with her. Thus the antenatal, natal and postnatal cares are obligations imposed by Islam on fathers. This also provides the couple with an opportunity to reconcile their differences; the news that she is pregnant is more often than not likely to facilitate this reconciliation. It is obvious that such an extraordinary status of mother also ensures the safety of child.

 

Family is not an artificial creation of man for every born has a father and a mother. It is therefore necessary that the parentage of every child must be established beyond doubt. The establishment of the identity of mother is a foregone conclusion, as she physically delivers the child. But the establishment of the identity of father will create huge problems if the propriety of the institution of marriage is not maintained. If there had been no provision of a mandatory period of waiting it would have become impossible, in case a woman married within a few days of separating from her husband, to know the real father. If the identity of the father of the child is not established, it is bound to cause immense damage to the future prospects of the child; he or she may have to grow outside the shadow of fatherly protection. Thus Iddah preserves the family system ensuring that the children and parents live without their mutual love and affection getting diluted by any kind of suspicion. This of course also preserves the credibility and honour of the woman.

 

Another important role of Iddah is to prevent the sexually transmitted diseases. The provision of Iddah means that no woman can ever have sexual relations with two men without a gap of at least three months. This is greatly helpful in minimising the risks of HIV and other STDs. It is interesting to note that the incubation period of all STDs is less than 90 days, and the window period of HIV/AIDS is also about 90 days. In Syphilis for example the median period of incubation is 21 days though occasionally it may be up to 90 days. Thus in the case of Syphilis, the woman will develop symptoms of Syphilis within and not more than three months. The development of a painful swelling in her private parts is likely to prevent her from marrying till she gets relieved. The same is true of other STDs like Lymphogranuloma venereum, Reiter’s disease, Herpes etc. In the case of AIDS, while the incubation period may be several years, the blood test for HIV becomes positive within three months. So if the spread of AIDS warrants a strict vigilance a woman may get her HIV tested after the expiry of Iddah before getting married again. This rule may be used with good effect for the AIDS prevention programmes. (See my book “The Killer Sex” for details)

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Political System of Islam_

 

As will be seen in the verses included in this chapter, Quran sets basic but distinct and categorical guidelines for the development of political system. Islam encompasses the life of individual as well as society; and society is not conceivable— at least in the modern world, without an elaborate administrative and political set-up. Therefore it could not be possible that God would not have given explicit instructions in this regard. Islam means peace, and is defined as submission to God because the real peace cannot be achieved without wholly submitting to the injunctions of God. The grand objective of Islamic political system therefore is to ensure peace at all levels. This cannot be achieved without taking three basic steps: first, to enjoin the righteousness and forbid evil; second, to ensure justice; and third, to foster unity and brotherhood. It is this trio that forms the foundation of the Islamic political set-up. Before understanding Islamic political system however, let us have a brief look into the development of modern political ideology.

 

Needless to repeat, the political revolution in the West was masterminded by the economic fundamentalists. The political experts of the West, under the impact of the ongoing industrialisation, felt the need to initiate a movement for the establishment of democracy, which they described as a system of “the government of the people, for the people and by the people”. The slogan of people’s rule was indeed fascinating. It cannot be said with certainty whether the onset of the movement of democracy had direct involvement, or not, of the economic fundamentalists. But sooner or later, they were able to fathom the extraordinary potential in the on-rushing political developments for the growth of their ideology. A system other than the people’s government was now incomprehensible for a government that would be periodically changed would be easily manoeuvrable. The political hierarchy would not only be far more accessible than the monarchs but would also be in no position to ignore the interests of the business-world; for the politicians required free flow of money for electioneering and other political functions. Manufacturers and traders would not mind parting with a small loaf in hope of greater returns. The movement for democracy could not have been successful if the dons of the world of business had not been kind to it.

 

The history soon witnessed the birth of different forms of democratic systems. Little wonder that democracies prospered primarily in those lands where the industrialisation was in full swing. Multiple-party democracy was the obvious choice; for in party-less democracy the individual leaders might have ignored the interests of the market as soon as they seized the reins of power. On the other hand, parties had long-term interests, and it was more improbable for the parties to forget the pre-election promises.

 

Though the avowed goal of democracy has been to fulfil the long cherished aspirations of the people and to work for their all-round betterment, it has miserably failed in guarding itself against the damaging intrigues of the vested interests, particularly industrialists. The power can be seized only at the hustings; the big business either fields its own candidates or more often supports a political party that is expected to best serve its interests. Any meaningful electioneering requires not only huge funds but also other extreme methods including the use of muscle-power, facilitating the entry of criminals. Thus a permanent nexus has developed between politics, organised crime and industry. This is true of almost all the big democracies of the present world. The bracket has extended itself to include the bureaucracy, administration and media. Elections are regularly held and the people can exercise their right to franchise. But the issues on which the elections are contested are usually such as suit the game-plan of the economic fundamentalists. The media create and un-create issues; the masses are beguilingly reconditioned into thinking the way the media think. Politics has become highly expensive and hazardous. The word “moral” has ceased to exist in the political lexicon. Anyone with semblance of conscience dares not venture into the political arena that has become playground for the rich and the criminals. The upright and educated have in fact developed repugnance for it. Not only politicians have harmonious relations with criminals, the latter have also developed fascination for politics themselves. In the absence of any strict criteria for candidates, the undesirable elements gain a sort of legitimacy once they enter the election fray after joining one of the parties expected to fare well in the elections. It is much more tedious for an intellectual or social activist to convince the party stalwarts of his claim for party ticket; criminals’ wishes to become people’s representatives are expressly granted. Once they enter Parliaments or Assemblies, they acquire a distinct halo of respectability and esteem; big functions are organised to shower encomiums on them for their “services” to the nation. After a few years of politicking, they become veterans and often occupy ministerial chairs. The ongoing politicisation of criminals breeds the criminalisation of politics, which enhances the prospects of the economic fundamentalists.

 

Had democracy been properly put into practice, it might have been a sacred blessing for the common people. It might have guaranteed them a lion’s share in power, and their rightful needs and aspirations might have been truly realised. It still holds true that they can successfully overthrow any government out of power. It is therefore mandatory for a party in power to keep the masses in good humour. But in reality, the remote controls of almost all the governments remain in the hands of the big business. Through media that blossom under its auspices it succeeds in shackling the imagination of the people. The disinformation campaign in the media is too effective to permit them independent thinking and judgement. Consequently, the real issues hardly surface into prominence, and the minor, insignificant and frivolous matters are made to appear as big issues that do not haunt but hunt the minds of the common-man. The political bigwigs, when they ascend a public rostrum to deliver speeches that usually have plenty of rhetoric, cry their hearts out for the poor and the downtrodden. But in the comforts of their ministerial offices, they minister only to their industrialist benefactors, and their beneficence is gifted back multifold through convenient adjustments in policies and rules and regulations, grants of licences and ministerial orders for their products or services. All through their terms, the problems of the masses never bother them; but as the expiry of their term and the new elections approach they again revert back to their favourite theme: concern for the poor. A few schemes favouring them, though marginally, and often only on the paper, are announced with great media hype. If they return to power, they are back in paradise. If not, still they have great many privileges to enjoy themselves throughout their lives. And of course as opposition, they have now more opportunities to stand on the rostrum and harangue about the necessity to raise the standards of the life of the poor; for that to happen, the best course for the public is to bring them back in the next election.

 

Political Ideology in Quran

 

God ultimate sovereign

It is He Who is God in heaven and God on earth; and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge (43: 84/A)

And blessed is He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all between them… (43: 85/A)

 

Prophet the ultimate Guide

But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. (4: 65/A)

 

Leaders

[* Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to God. The Hand of God is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfils what he has covenanted with God,- God will soon grant him a great Reward. (48: 10/A) *]

O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Messenger, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4: 59/A)

 

Justice

One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least. (17: 71/A)

 

Quran the Final Constitution

These are the verses of the Book which clearly indicate (right and wrong). (12: 1/Z)

Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures… (25: 1/Z)

Thus have We revealed it to be a judgement of authority in Arabic. Wert thou to follow their (vain) desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither protector nor defender against God. (13: 37/A)

 

Participatory governance

It is part of the Mercy of God that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (Their faults), and ask for (God’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in God. For God loves those who put their trust (in Him). (3: 159/A)

 

Importance of unity

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. (3: 103/A)

 

Aims of administration

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. (3: 104/A)

 

Universal brotherhood

Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). (10: 19/A)

 

Importance of treaties with non-Muslims

A (declaration) of immunity from God and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances… (9: 1/A)

 

(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous. (9: 4/A)

 

[* But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. (9: 12/A) *]

 

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God. And then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge. (9: 6/A)

 

As has been emphasised in previous chapters, Islam does not pinpoint its injunctions; it rather sets boundaries, and within the area inside these boundaries, which is quite big, man is free to choose his way. Islam does not provide an elaborate arrangement of various institutions needed for political set-up; it only defines premises that can be developed in an elaborate system, flexible enough to adjust to the requirements of a particular time.

 

The fundamental principles of Islam’s political ideology may be summed up as follows:

 

First, in an Islamic system, the ultimate sovereignty belongs to none but God Almighty, and therefore no laws and regulations can be framed which violate God’s injunctions. Quran, being the word of God, is to be consulted and kept supreme in all policy matters.

 

Second, the best interpreter of God’s injunctions can be none other than the Prophet himself; therefore, to understand God’s commands better the sayings and doings of the Prophet have to be taken into account.

 

Third, there shall be a leader of Islamic Government, who has to be followed in all matters unless he clearly violates the commands of God. The leader should be chosen from among the best followers of Islam; and he should command the approval of Islamic nation.

 

Fourth, the leader, while administering the affairs of the state, shall consult the people (or their representatives), and their wish should be given due importance in decision making.

 

Fifth, an Islamic Government shall continuously endeavour to propagate the message of God.

 

Sixth, an Islamic Government shall continuously endeavour for global peace and for attaining this purpose it can, whenever required, develop working relations with unbelievers (i.e. non-Muslim groups, organisations or countries) who have not been taking active participation in anti-Islamic activities.

 

Seventh, it is the duty of Islamic State to make the best efforts possible to redress grievances of the oppressed people, irrespective of the religion or race of the oppressor or the oppressed.

 

Eighth, Islamic State will ensure peace at all levels.

 

Ninth, Islamic State will make every possible effort to improve the lives of the people within the bounds of God.

 

It follows from the above that the political set-up, as advocated by Islam, is closer to Democracy than any other form of Government, namely Monarchy, Oligarchy or Dictatorship. But it has certain basic differences with the Western model of democracy. First, while in the Western Democracy, the people are the real sovereign and they can make any law, whatever its implications, if the numerical majority supports it, the people in an Islamic Democracy are free to legislate only within the bounds set by God. For example, the British Parliament, amidst the mounting of pressure by the public and the politicians, legalised homosexuality. Such legislation is impossible in an Islamic system. Second, while in the Western democracy, the personal character of the candidates for the leadership of the nation has very little to do with the eligibility for the post, in an Islamic system the ruler and his associates are expected to possess exemplary characters. The natural corollary of this if applied to the modern society is that in an Islamic political system, while all people are free to vote (except those involved in serious crimes), only those are free to contest the elections, who have not been found involved in any of the prohibited activities, have sufficiently good knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and carry out the obligatory duties as enjoined by God. The biat system prevalent since the early days of Islam is very close to the voting system of the present time.

 

Based on the above premises, Muslims are free to develop a model of political system that suits the requirements of a particular period of time. One of the models, which in my opinion is nearest to Islamic injunctions, is described briefly here. The state shall have the following important components:

 

(1) The Supreme Council of Scholars

 

This shall compromise religious scholars with faultless characters and who have in the past worked for the social uplift, in accordance with the principles of Islam.

 

(2) The Leader

 

He should have profound knowledge of Islam and essential qualities required for an administrator. He should be well versed in the issues facing the nation and the world and should have the charisma and character to take his people along with him. Out of various candidates longing for the post of the leader, the Supreme Council of Scholars shall screen only those who befit the criteria. The candidates, approved thus shall be allowed to contest elections.

 

(3) Parliament

 

It shall comprise representatives of people from various constituencies. The eligibility criteria for election in this case shall be less strict than that for the Leader but personal integrity and religious leanings shall still be taken into an account. The leader, before taking any important policy decision, shall direct the parliament to debate over it; and after a careful study of the suggestions of the members of parliament, he shall take a decision. His decision can be challenged by the council of scholars, which shall interfere only when it sees violation of Islamic bounds by the Leader or Parliament. The council can give advice whenever it thinks necessary to the Leader on national or international issues.

 

This should also be made clear that Islam basically advocates universal love, not nationalism; ‘One Nation’ of Islam cannot be achieved by force but by continuous propagation of the faith and pro-welfare social principles of Islam. Every land and country is part of the Earth, which is the creation of God. People of every nation or land have the right to work for its development; but to aggressively pursue the interests of one’s country at the coast of others, or to project it as a superior nation or land is contrary to the spirit of universalism preached by Islam

 

Even non-Islamic nations can adopt Islamic political ideology (removing faith in Islam as the necessary condition) with more success than the westernised forms of uncontrolled and unlimited democracies that have led to the rule of the vested interests everywhere in society.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Legal System of Islam_

 

The criminal law of Islam, particularly the capital punishment has often come under attack. There is little doubt that concerted attacks against capital punishment have been orchestrated chiefly by motivated elements having vested interests in this campaign. Let us analyse the root cause of the furore that emerged and spread against the capital punishment, which coincided with the evolution of modern legal system under the umbrella of Industrial Revolution.

 

The early economic fundamentalists had several impediments and obstacles in their path towards glory. They knew that for hosts of activities required for the protection and promotion of large-scale business, contemporary laws had become a liability rather than an asset. Till the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, the whole world had almost similar laws; Roman, Jewish, Islamic and all other legal systems that were in vogue in different parts of the earth rested on capital punishment, which was based on the principle of the right to seek revenge. The concept of eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear and soul for soul formed the foundation of all constitutions. Crimes like murder, arson and treason were unfailingly punished with death. The same punishment was often awarded to those found guilty of spreading chaos in the land. Death sentence (by beheading or hanging) was the rule rather than an exception for all serious crimes. Adultery and rapes too were punishable by death sentence. Convicts were either beheaded in full public view or were stoned to death. Lesser sexual misdemeanours invited lashes. Theft and bribery led to the chopping off of one hand from the wrist. The process of trial was incredibly quick; cases were usually decided within a few days. The magistrate was usually helped in arriving at his decision and pronouncement of punishment by jurists of the land. Appeals were entertained only in exceptional cases. The result was that isolated crimes like murder, rape, arson, adultery, etc., were uncommon. The victims of these crimes usually remained satisfied with the sentence meted out to the offenders. This more or less compensated for the grief and anger they were stricken with. They did not have to resort to extra-legal ways to avenge their injured sentiments. People normally remained in peace except where the rulers themselves flouted the law of the land, or when civil wars broke out. Such examples where the rulers did not care for the life and honour of their subjects are aplenty in human history; but the instances of the rulers justly treating the ruled are also many.

 

The supremacy of the law in the land and the severity of punishment would prevent the economic fundamentalists from developing a nexus with criminals, which was necessary for the rapid expansion of their empire. The recognition of certain practices like adultery, gambling and drinking as crimes by the law would make it impossible for them to commercialise human susceptibilities for instant enjoyment. A sea change was therefore required in the whole legal system so that it became business-friendly.

 

Industrialists had already decided that the laws of punishment would have to be softened in letter and spirit as well as in application. However a plan had to be charted so that a successful onslaught against capital punishment could be launched. The line of arguments was contemplated in detail and the elements that would assist in that battle were short-listed. The campaign began. Capital punishment was labelled as ‘inhuman unworthy of existence in the developing world’. The argument that was most vehemently put forward was that society had no right to take the life of a human being, whatever the nature and severity of his crime, even if he had put to death another human being. But because there was still a forceful, often belligerent advocacy by a sizeable segment of society in the favour of the continuation of death sentence, at least in the cases of murder, the argument was restructured a little: death sentence could be given but only in rare cases. These rare cases included murders that were cruel beyond tolerance. Hanging started losing popularity in one country after the other. The amazing scientific and technological achievements of the Western world and its recurring political and military triumphs had impressed people all over the world, and they looked with positive interest for any theory that had its origin in the West. The campaign against capital punishment gained momentum. This rose to great heights in the Twentieth Century. The states began to amend their constitutions in order to abolish death sentence. (By the end of the Century more than 100 countries had almost given up the practice of death sentence.) Hanging and beheading of murderers and adulterers/adulteresses became rarer with the advance of time. As if ‘’rare ‘’ was not enough, it was soon converted into ‘’rarest of rare cases ‘’.

 

Another reason stated against death sentence was that there always remained a possibility of an innocent being sent to the gallows owing to false evidence having been produced in the court of law or a wrong verdict given by the presiding judge. A humanist colour was given through the propagation of the logic that ten murderers could be freed but one innocent could not be hanged. The seemingly compassionate argument won a great number of converts among the intellectuals with whom it had become almost a habit to reject whatever belonged to the past. The newer trends have always excited the philosophically inclined elements of society, and capital punishment became a popular hunting ground for writers, thinkers and reformists. The movement was so astutely organised and so laboriously sustained that people developed greater sympathy for the offenders rather than the offended. There were always efforts – overt or covert – to save the lives of criminals, but nobody had tears for the amount of pain, which the deceased might have been subjected to at the time of his murder. And nobody had any time for the travails of the grief-stricken family that had lost its sole bread-earner or one of its heirs. None had time to think about their future; nobody had the heart to feel their sentiments, trauma and anguish. In some legal systems like Islam, the heirs of the deceased had the satisfaction of deciding the fate of their detractors. The duty of the judge was merely to decide whether the evidence against the accused was conclusive. The judge would then pronounce the maximum permissible punishment for that crime. The heirs still had the right to refuse the appeals of mercy and let him be hanged, or to pardon him in return or not of any compensation they asked for. The new legal developments either completely snatched or diluted all the rights of the offended party. Instead the culprits were bestowed upon ever increasing rights and time and space for their successful defence in the court of law.

 

The relative mildness of punishment coupled with progressively lengthening procedures in trial before the pronouncement of the final verdict had presumable effects. The rate of murders and other crimes began to show an upward trend. It continues unabated till now in almost all those countries that have followed the western legal system, because criminals have a remarkably reduced fear of being caught and virtually none for their being executed if their crime is established in the court. (This does not mean that this is the only factor in the rise of crime rate. Societal tensions, family disintegration, commercialisation of evils like alcohol and gambling are other important factors.) Furthermore, they have the advantage of using latest technologies and advanced weapons, which make it simpler and easier for them to pounce upon their prey without leaving a trace of evidence. If somehow suspected and charged with murder, they have multiple ways to save themselves from the gallows. They have at their disposal the services of competent lawyers who have mastered the art of subverting evidences and producing astonishing, mostly fallacious, arguments. If required they would bribe police officers, medical experts or judges. Many criminals are professionals who kill others not out of personal enmity but for their money-masters. They have therefore no dearth of money required for successful combat in the court. If ultimately convicted, the most likely course of event is that they would go to the prison for a few years. During this period, their families if any will be duly looked after. As soon as they are freed, they would waste no time in rejoining the profession. This time however, they would take greater precautions and money to hit the given target.

 

The more the organised business gained ground the more criminals were produced. The procedures of trial have continued to become technically superior; but the effectiveness of the judicial system in lowering the rate of crimes has drastically diminished. With the overwhelming involvement of money, legal profession has become increasingly popular. Advocates have become pettifoggers eager to serve their clients, who offer them huge sums as fees, rather than assist the cause of justice. The ethical code of the profession has unequivocally laid down the principle that the lawyer’s obligation is to look after the interests of his client; it is the duty of the presiding officer to arrive at the truth. Advocates have therefore in effect become white-collared, legally recognised hirelings of the offenders of law, and use all possible means including their golden tongue to subvert justice. Judges have been left with no direct method to come to a reasonable and just conclusion. They have no option but to rely on the evidence and arguments presented by the contending lawyers. Advocacy has been reduced to a foul play of words and logic. Still, it is presumed that the net effect of the lies of the two contending parties of lawyers will unfold the truth. What a travesty of judicial reasoning! The net effect is that the malefactors are having hey day, lawyers are growing in riches, and the weak, the poor and the oppressed are suffering.

 

Criminal Law in Qur’an

 

(1) Murder

 

If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (for ever): and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him. (4: 93/A)

 

Right to retaliate or forgive

 

And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law). (17: 33/A)

 

By mistake

 

Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased’s family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running… (4: 92/A)

But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. (2: 178/A)

 

(2) Injuries

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. ……. We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. (5: 45/A)

 

(3) War against System and mischief on the earth

 

[ The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in Hereafter; except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (5: 33-34/A)*]

 

 

(4) Theft

 

[ As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is Exalted in power. But if the thief repents after his crime, and amends his conduct, God turneth to him in forgiveness…(5: 38-39/A)*]

 

(5) Adultery

 

[* * The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment. (24: 2/A) *]

 

[ The adulterer cannot have sexual relations with any but an adulteress or an idolatress; and the adulteress, none can have sexual relations with her but an adulterer or an idolater; to the believers, such a thing is forbidden… (24: 3/A)*]

 

Half punishment for slaves

 

[..when they (slaves) are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women… (4: 25/A)*]

 

Evidences

 

[ If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them…(4: 15/A)*]

 

[* * And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by God that they are solemnly telling the truth; and the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of God on themselves if they tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by God, that (her husband) is telling a lie; and the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of God on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth. (24: 6-9/A) *]

 

(NOTE: The punishment for adultery (fornication) committed by an unmarried male or female is one hundred lashes, but the married adulterer or adulteress shall be stoned to death. It is argued that the recitation of the verse dealing with ‘stoning to death’ had been suspended but its injunctions remained in force. Some scholars, however, claim that the Qur’an clearly prescribes lashes not death.)

 

(6) Defamation of women

 

[* * And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct)...(24: 4-5/A) *]

[* And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by God that they are solemnly telling the truth; and the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of God on themselves if they tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By God, that (her husband) is telling a lie; and the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of God on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth. (24: 6-9/A) *]

 

What has been the impact of these modernist reforms in the legal system? People all over the world, with the exceptions of some hard-core Islamic and communist countries, live under a constant danger of being murdered, beaten, robbed, raped and kidnapped. People are no more shocked to hear the news of ghastly murders and rapes; these have become the order of the day, and minds have become conditioned to ignore them. “Experts” and “analysts” work hard to investigate, and point out myriad of causes for the decline in law and order. They revel in presenting numerous complex and often incomprehensible solutions, and would deliberately avoid pinpointing the real culprits: the inefficient law and the social milieu spawned by economic fundamentalism. They would explain that crimes are natural by-products of technical and industrial development, and would take great pains in establishing that crime and corruption are ‘global phenomena’; these are ‘necessary evils’ the modern and developing world must learn to live with. The remedies suggested would include advising the people to take precautionary measures and advising the administration to have sophisticated weapons and detective and monitoring systems. They conveniently forget that criminals are equally competent and vigilant competitors; they possess equally sophisticated weapons and systems, and do also know ways to win over ministers, administrative officials and police officers. Whatever marks could have been left behind during the course of crime are often promptly destroyed by the obliging policemen.

 

The paralysis of the legal system led not only to the transformation of individuals in an increasing number into criminals of different sorts; soon crime itself became a business, and saw the emergence of ‘organised crime.’ A tendency to oppose the official law gained ground in society, some sections of which started favouring private rather than legal justice. A secret society of criminals established its roots in Sicily and spread terror far and wide. This organisation, called Mafia, gained control of several illegal activities including gambling and narcotics, and became especially active in the US. A Great number of similar mafias are presently operating all over the world. Some of them have grown in such strength that even the governments have hardly any guts to destroy them. They are now engaged in wide range of commercial activities, from smuggling of gold, diamond and narcotics to sex-market, sales and purchases of land, hotel industry, gambling and smuggling of deadly weapons. Their liaisons with politicians and the police are well known. IMafiocracy’ can in fact be regarded as one of the ugliest and deadliest products of economic fundamentalism.

In contrast to the modern legal system, Islamic legal system never forgets its ultimate aim of constituting a peaceful society; reduction of crimes therefore remains the top priority that cannot be compromised. Islamic law however differs from the older laws in some ways. In Islam, though the right to retaliation is a fundamental right of every individual, one is always free to exercise one’s discretion in pardoning the convict after the judge has pronounced the judgement. Quran in fact encourages the offended to pardon or at least get the death sentence waived off in return for a suitable compensation. But the right to pardon remains an exclusive privilege of the offended or the heirs of the deceased.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Economic System of Islam_

 

Though Islam attaches optimum importance to economy, it does not, unlike most of the materialistic ideologies, regard it as the most important aspect of life. In Islam, economy has to subordinate to social and moral values, which in turn are dependent on the proper perception and inculcation of the Islamic principle of total submission to God, Lord and Guardian of the universe. If we look at Islamic socio-economic system, we find that there are three essential guiding fundamentals: health (physical, mental, social and spiritual), family peace and social order. Economic development cannot therefore be permitted at the cost of social or family disorder or degradation of any aspect of the health of individuals. The importance of money is irrefutable, but what is still more important is peace – at individual level, at family level and at social (national and international) level.

 

The basic plan of Islam’s economic policy is aimed at maintaining an optimum level of production and ensuring equitable distribution of wealth. To achieve these objectives, Islam strikes a unique balance between economic liberty, restrictions and duties. So, Islam permits an individual to earn (and purchase a property) as much as one likes, but it has not to be from the prohibited areas of trading—usury, gambling, commercial sex and the production and sale of prohibited items (like alcohol, pork etc.). It can be said without hesitation that usury has perhaps since always been the biggest cause of human exploitation. It is not only detrimental but almost fatal to Islam’s objective of keeping the direction of the flow of wealth from the rich to the poor, because usury is the easiest way for the rich to multiply their wealth. This multiplication is achieved at the cost of bread and butter of the poor. At the international level too, the destructive effects of usury are being witnessed on the Developing Nations; they have almost become economic, cultural and political slaves of the “developed” countries. God cannot be but aware that usury, which was present at the time of the Prophet only at individual level, would assume international proportions. He therefore enjoined upon His Apostle to “declare a war” against this practice; the earlier the world follows this dictate of God the easier it will be for the underprivileged nations to achieve an honourable place in the world society.

 

Economic System in Quran

 

Means for life

[ It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; (2: 29/A)*]

 

[ It is We Who have placed you with authority on earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfilment of your life: small are the thanks that ye give! (7: 10/A)*]

 

[ It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection. (67: 15/A)*]

 

Right to earn

[ O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honourably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. And know that God is Free of all wants, and worthy of all praise. (2: 267/A)*]

 

 

Poor and other taxes: Rules

[ ..practise regular charity………….(2: 43/A)*]

 

[ They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: “What is beyond your needs.”(2: 219/A)*]

 

[* * What God has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to God,- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; In order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah. For Allah is strict in Punishment. (59: 7/A) *]

 

Forbidden economic activities

[ Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of God is (always) near to those who do good. (7: 56/A)*]

 

[ Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to God, for which He hath given no authority; and saying things about God of which ye have no knowledge. (7: 33/A)*]

 

No bars, no casinos

[Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than God, that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows.(5: 3/A)*]

 

[ They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2: 219/A)*]

 

[[
No usury]]

[ Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: “Trade is like usury,” but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. (2: 275/A)*]

 

No hoarding

[ And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God; announce unto them a most grievous penalty…(9: 34/A)*]

 

The Evil one threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. God promiseth you His forgiveness and bounties. And God careth for all and He knoweth all things…(2: 268/A)

 

O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2: 168/A)

 

Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgement. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand. (7: 32/A)

 

: “Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest My Wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed! (20: 81/A)

 

Right to inherit and bequeath

[ From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share. (4: 7/A)*]

 

Honesty in trade

[ Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due..(7: 85/A)*]

 

Moderation in spending

[ This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God; who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them… (2: 2-3/A)*]

 

Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes)… (25: 67/A)

 

To further ensure that any disturbance that might arise in the direction of the flow of wealth gets rectified, Islam imposes certain dues on the rich:

 

(1) POOR-DUE (ZAKAH), which is a minimum of two and a half percent of the total savings and assets, to be paid at the end of each year to the needy. The distribution of this may be done at individual level or in an Islamic country by the government. (The implications of Zakah on the modern economic infrastructure will be discussed a little later.)

(2) USHR: Farmers have to distribute on the day of harvest ten percent of the produce (five percent if their fields are not naturally watered) among the needy.

(3) Sacrificial meAt, which is to be distributed among relatives, neighbours and the needy, on the occasion of Id-ul-Adha.

(4) FITRA, which is a specific amount of money to be handed over to the needy on behalf of each member of the well-to-do families, to enable them to have an honourable participation in Id-ul-fitr celebrations.

(5) SPOILS, at least one fifth (Khums) of which has to be distributed among the poor and the needy by the Leader of the Community.

The system of Zakah is not important just because it makes the rich pay some part of their wealth to the poor, but also for another important reason. If we properly understand the meaning of Zakah, it implies a form of Assets Tax. Normally, in modern economic systems, it is income not assets that is taxable. Income tax serves only the interests of the big business, and has devastating effects on the economic interests of the rest of the nation. Industrialists prefer income tax to the other taxes due to several reasons. First, income tax envisages a tax only on the preceding year’s income and has nothing to do with the cumulative assets, which keep on growing. It can be easily noticed that the value of assets possessed by the affluent is always much greater than their annual income. Thus, income tax is the minimum possible amount they have to submit. Secondly, unlike expenditure-tax, it has no depressing effect on purchasing tendencies of the people; annual turnovers of companies are therefore not affected. Thirdly, it is easy to evade income tax through subtle manipulations of rules, purchase of assets that are purchased either surreptitiously or are shown to have been purchased at much lower prices than the actual, display into accounts of much greater expenses than actually incurred, and bribing tax-collectors. The damaging effects of income tax are multiple. Black money sustains its upward march; prices keep on soaring; land, houses and other immovable properties become costlier. Thus inflation helps industrialists in strengthening their hold over the economy; for the value of assets amassed by them continues to grow, their annual turnovers increase, and whatever they have to pay as income tax, or as interests on loans, is more or less neutralised. They conceal their own incomes, convert their savings into assets and avail themselves of their resources as sureties for taking huge loans from banks and financial institutions. It means that loans are availed only by those who do not actually need them; those who are in need of financial support have little chances of getting their application for loans accepted. It can be seen that introducing assets tax, which is closer to Zakah system, can reverse all these damaging effects on economy. The replacement of income tax by assets tax will have far-reaching consequences on the economy. First, people will no longer have to conceal their incomes in order to avoid taxes; they will have no hesitation in depositing their money in banks or investing in stock market. Second, people will find it less profitable to create assets. They would prefer to invest either directly through their own enterprises or through banks and stock exchanges. It would be doubly advantageous for the common people; it would save assets tax, and would also increase their income. Third, with the sloping demands for lands, houses, gold and precious items (because assets of more than a specified minimum limit will be taxed), the prices of these items will show a downward trend. In fact, the inflationary trend will generally be in check. Fourth, the rich will prefer to use their own money rather than take loans from financing agencies, for it would be more expedient and beneficial. The less privileged will therefore have greater chances to get their applications of loan sanctioned. Fifth, with the generous supply of money, rates of interest on loans will tend to decrease. Sixth, with houses available at lower prices, the middle class and the poor will have bigger opportunities to have their own houses.

In the same way, production-tax can be a tax equivalent to Ushr, and may be applied on all forms of production, agricultural or industrial. This should be only in the form of produce, not money, and the items collected in this way must be redistributed among the needy or gifted to those who have been involved in exemplary services to the people.

This also compels us to take a fresh look at “interest” given by banks. Traditionally, the interest given by banks has been described as forbidden by the Islamic scholars on the ground of its being “interest”. But what has to be put into consideration is that banks have become vehicles for the use or misuse of money of the poor by the big business. Businessmen take money from banks and earn huge profits. Out of these, they part a little to banks, and banks give a very small share of their profits to the real owners of money. Banks also earn handsomely because on every hundred units of currency deposited, they can do a business several times. Thus, in the present banking system, it is only the depositor who is in loss. He is not the exploiter but the exploited. He deserves much more. And whatever little he gets, he is told not to take because it has been named “interest”. So there must be a debate on the subject in the light of the mechanism of current banking. And of course, the banking system has to be revamped in a way that they help the weaker sections of society. Moreover, banks have to reshape their system so that there are no fixed term rates for “interests” or “profits”; a system based on sharing of profit and loss is now in practice in several countries.

 

Apart from the obligatory practices enumerated above, Islam vigorously exhorts its followers to be charitable. In fact the third most important and likeable virtue is charity, as described in Quran, only after faith and prayer. To further reduce the chances of economic exploitation, Islam gives certain guidelines: First, hoarding and profiteering are to be zealously curbed and those involved should be severely punished. Second, an atmosphere has to be developed, through continuous preaching and exhortation, in which simplicity of life becomes a commendable virtue rather than a despised act. Islam loves neither a miser nor an extravagant; it loves the “golden mean” in spending. The fact that Islam does not tax income—if a man earns millions but spends all his money, he is not required to pay any tax—proves that it promotes spending and investment rather than hoarding and accumulation of assets. Third, labourers have to be paid their dues “before their sweat evaporates.”

 

Thus, Islam with its unique blend of liberty and restrictions succeeds in inculcating merits that capitalism and socialism, the two conflicting ideologies dominating the modern world, can boast of while having none of their demerits. Capitalism gives undue importance to the rights of individual, which results in a sharp rise in tendencies of profiteering and hoarding, corruption and distribution of harmful (physically and socially) materials and services in society. This results in the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer; at least the relative poverty is on the rise. In Socialism, particularly Communism, on the other hand, the rights of individual are completely trampled upon. There is therefore a likelihood of a sharp decline in enterprise and total production though the distribution is much more equal than in capitalism. Islam’s economic policy is therefore vastly superior to both and is the only hope for an end to the global economic “development” based on exploitation and glorification of evils.

 

On the basis of the above-mentioned principles, experts in Islamic Economics have been busy in developing an alternative model for the economy. The prohibition of usury in Islam has led to the development of a unique interest-free banking system, based on share in profit and loss. It is now successfully working in many countries. Islamic model of economics suitable for the modern world will be discussed later.

 

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h2<>{color:#000;}. [] _Spiritual and Moral System_

 

In Islam, spiritual ascent is not an isolated discipline; it is a part of the overall system aimed at achieving peace at all levels. Islam does not promote isolationism or monasticism. It does not support such spiritual exercises as are bereft of responsibility towards family and society. Spiritual exercises in Islam are aimed at building character; and character-building in the sight of God is not limited to an individual; the character of the family and that of society are of equal importance. Spiritual exercises primarily involve Ehsan (the Best Conduct), Taqwa (utmost alertness to act only within the boundaries provided by the Shariah), control of Nafs (soul) so that it does not fall victim to the vicissitudes of the corrupt world and concern for others only for the Pleasure (Ridha) of God. One cannot become a true Momin until one achieves gnosis (Ma’rifah or Irfan) of God and His Messenger. Gnosis refers to a specific stage of knowledge, which is attained not through studies and researches but through personal experiences attained through total involvement. The real Iman is not just the declaration of faith in God and His Messengers but also obeying them in every sphere of life. For this purpose one has to follow the examples set by the Messengers, particularly Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), the Last Messenger, his Ahl-e-Bayt and his Sahaba (True Companions).

Spiritual and Moral SYSTEM IN QURAN

convictions, ethics and prayers

 

`*Models*

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Messenger, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4: 59/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And God only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. (33: 33/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. The vanguard (of Islam)- the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds,- well- pleased is God with them, as are they with Him: for them hath He prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: that is the supreme felicity... (9: 100/A)(Note: Companions include Muhajirs (who left Mecca for Islam) and Ansar (Helpers), the people of Medina who helped Muhajirs settle there).

 

True righteousness

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h5<>{color:#000;}. It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or west; but it is righteousness-to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing. (2: 177/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of God. And God is full of kindness to (His) devotees. (2: 207/A)

 

Peace, not evil

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Enter into Islam (Peace) wholeheartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2: 208/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Is there any Reward for Good – other than Good? (55: 60/A)

 

Patience

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h5<>{color:#000;}. For in God’s sight are (all) His servants,- (namely), those who say: “Our Lord! we have indeed believed: forgive us, then, our sins, and save us from the agony of the Fire;”- Those who show patience, firmness and self-control; who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in the way of God.; and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning. (3: 15-17/A)

 

Sacrifices important

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h5<>{color:#000;}. By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it well. (3: 92/A)

 

Help the Needy

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess... (4: 36/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. On those who believe and do deeds of righteousness there is no blame for what they ate (in the past), when they guard themselves from evil, and believe… (5: 93/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide. And they feed, for the love of God, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,- (saying), “We feed you for the sake of God alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” (76: 7-9/A)

 

Charity

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with God; for God sees well all that ye do. (2: 110/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for God loveth those who do good. (2: 195/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth. And God careth for all and He knoweth all things. Those who spend their substance in the cause of God, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury,-for them their reward is with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing. O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in God nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And God guideth not those who reject faith. And the likeness of those who spend their substance, seeking to please God and to strengthen their souls, is as a garden, high and fertile: heavy rain falls on it but makes it yield a double increase of harvest, and if it receives not heavy rain, light moisture sufficeth it. (2: 261-265/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. If ye disclose (acts of) charity, even so it is well, but if ye conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. And God is well acquainted with what ye do. (2: 271/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. For those who give in Charity, men and women, and loan to God a Beautiful Loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward. (57: 18/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. But if ye are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you…(3: 120/A)

 

Gentle dealing

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h5<>{color:#000;}. It is part of the Mercy of God that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee… (3: 159/A)

 

Hypocrisy condemned

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h5<>{color:#000;}. So He hath put as a consequence hypocrisy into their hearts, (to last) till the Day, whereon they shall meet Him: because they broke their covenant with God, and because they lied (again and again). (9: 77/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O Prophet! Fear God, and hearken not to the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites: verily God is full of Knowledge and Wisdom. (33: 1/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. That God may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (33: 24/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time: (33: 60/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. When it is said to them: “Come to what God hath revealed, and to the Messenger.: Thou seest the Hypocrites avert their faces from thee in disgust. (4: 61/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty… (4: 138/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching God, but He will over- reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold God in remembrance; (They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it,- being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another whom God leaves straying,- never wilt thou find for him the way. (4: 142-143/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them.. (4: 145/A)

 

Avoid sins

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And if any one earns sin, he earns it against His own soul: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom. (4: 111/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. …So be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust; but seek the forgiveness of God. For God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. Contend not on behalf of such as betray their own souls; for God loveth not one given to perfidy and crime… (4: 105-107/A)

 

No conspiracies

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h5<>{color:#000;}. In most of their secret talks there is no good… (4: 114/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. God loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for God is He who heareth and knoweth all things. (4: 148/A)

 

No impudence

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason. (7: 33/A)

 

No disputes

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And obey God and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes…(8: 46/A)

 

No mischief

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief in the earth – except a few among them whom We saved (from harm)? (11: 116/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. But those who break the Covenant of God, after having plighted their word thereto, and cut asunder those things which God has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land;- on them is the curse; for them is the terrible home! (13: 25/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Nor sell the covenant of God for a miserable price: for with God is (a prize) far better for you, if ye only knew. (16: 95/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Eat of the things which God hath provided for you, lawful and good; but fear God, in Whom ye believe. (5: 88/A)

 

No oaths for bad purposes

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And take not your oaths, to practise deception between yourselves, with the result that someone’s foot may slip after it was firmly planted, and ye may have to taste the evil (consequences) of having hindered (men) from the Path of God, and a Mighty Wrath descend on you. (16: 94/A)

 

Neither a miser nor a spendthrift

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute. (17: 29/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful… (17: 26-27/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge…(17: 36/A)

 

Avoid superstitions

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h5<>{color:#000;}. They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear God. Enter houses through the proper doors: and fear God; that ye may prosper. (2: 189/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. Out of what God hath produced in abundance in tilth and in cattle, they assigned Him a share: they say, according to their fancies: “This is for God, and this” – for our “partners”! But the share of their “partners” reacheth not God, whilst the share of God reacheth their “partners” ! Evil (and unjust) is their assignment! (6: 136/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. And they say that such and such cattle and crops are taboo, and none should eat of them except those whom – so they say – We wish; further, there are cattle forbidden to yoke or burden, and cattle on which, (at slaughter), the name of God is not pronounced; – inventions against God’s name: soon will He requite them for their inventions. They say: “What is in the wombs of such and such cattle is specially reserved (for food) for our men, and forbidden to our women; but if it is stillborn, then all have share therein. (6: 138-139/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Even so, in the eyes of most of the pagans, their “partners” made alluring the slaughter of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction, and cause confusion in their religion. (6: 137/A)

 

No boasting, no arrogance

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h5<>{color:#000;}. For God loveth not any vainglorious boaster,- such persons as are covetous and commend covetousness to men. (57: 23-24/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height. (17: 37/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for God loveth not any arrogant boaster. (31: 18/A)

 

No slanders

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin. (33: 58/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous. (42: 42/A)

 

No laughing at others

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames… (49: 11/A)

 

Suspiciousness disliked

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…(49: 12/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Woe to the falsehood-mongers,- those who (flounder) heedless in a flood of confusion. (51: 10-11/A)

 

Avoid shamelessness

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults,- verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, and when ye are hidden in your mothers’ wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil. Seest thou one who turns back, gives a little, then hardens (his heart)? (53: 32-34/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts…(54: 3/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Nor expect, in giving, any increase (for thyself)! But, for thy Lord’s (Cause), be patient and constant! (74: 6-7/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. So woe to the worshippers Who are neglectful of their prayers, Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), But refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs. (107: 4-7/A)

 

Weigh correctly

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h5<>{color:#000;}. To the Madyan People (We sent) Shu’aib, one of their own brethren: he said: “O my people! worship God. Ye have no other god but Him. And give not short measure or weight: I see you in prosperity, but I fear for you the penalty of a day that will compass (you) all round. And O my people! give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief. (11: 84-85/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice), in order that ye may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance. (55: 7-9/A)

 

Fraudulence really bad

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Woe to those that deal in fraud,- those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. (83: 1-3/A)

 

Polytheism never

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: “O my son! join not in worship (others) with God; for false worship is indeed the highest wrongdoing.” (31: 13/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “O my son!”, (said Luqman), “If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, God will bring it forth: for God understands the finest mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them). O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs. And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for God loveth not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.” (31: 16-19/A)

 

Be good to parents

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.” (31: 14-15/A)

 

Purification of soul

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (12: 53/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit: (Eschew Evil). (75: 2/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. To the righteous soul will be said:) “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! (89: 27/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Whoever submits his whole self to God, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trust- worthy hand-hold: and with God rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs. (31: 22/A)

 

Work for God

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O thou folded in garments! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night,- half of it,- or a little less, or a little more; and recite Quran in slow, measured rhythmic tones. Soon shall We send down to thee a weighty Message. Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise). True, there is for thee by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties: But keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him wholeheartedly. (73: 1-8/A)

 

Remembrance of God

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But God doth appoint night and day in due measure. He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of Quran as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others travelling through the land, seeking of God’s bounty; yet others fighting in God’s Cause; read ye, therefore, as much of Quran as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to God a Beautiful Loan. And whatever good ye send forth for your souls ye shall find it in God’s Presence,- yea, better and greater, in Reward and seek ye the Grace of God; for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (73: 20/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. O ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (5: 108/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And do thou (O reader!) Bring thy Lord to remembrance in thy (very) soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evenings; and be not thou of those who are unheedful. Those who are near to thy Lord, disdain not to do Him worship: They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him. (7: 205-206/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of God; for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction. For those who believe and work righteousness, is (every) blessedness, and a beautiful place of (final) return.” (13: 28-29/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification, and have in their minds no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, but only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord Most High; and soon will they attain (complete) satisfaction. (92: 18-21/A)

 

God’s pleasure

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home… (13: 22/A)

 

Invocations

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray. (1: 5-7/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And remember Abraham and Isma’il raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer): “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing. Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will)..” (2: 127-128/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. And there are men who say: “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!” (2: 200-201/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear! Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness! Have mercy on us! Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.” (2: 286/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.” (3: 147/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” (7: 23/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “O my Lord! Forgive me, my parents, all who enter my house in Faith, and (all) believing men and believing women: and to the wrongdoers grant Thou no increase but in perdition!” (71: 28/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. Say: “O God. Lord of Power (And Rule), Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest off power from whom Thou pleasest: Thou enduest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power. Thou causest the night to gain on the day, and thou causest the day to gain on the night; Thou bringest the Living out of the dead, and Thou bringest the dead out of the Living; and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest, without measure.” (3: 26-27/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Say: “O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me).” (17: 80/A)

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h5<>{color:#000;}. “Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!” (18: 10/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. “O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; Grant me honourable mention on the tongue of truth among the latest (generations); “Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss; Forgive my father, for that he is among those astray; And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be raised up… (26: 83-87/A)

#
h5<>{color:#000;}. Now await in patience the command of thy Lord: for verily thou art in Our eyes: and celebrate the praises of thy Lord the while thou standest forth, And for part of the night also praise thou Him,- and at the retreat of the stars! (52: 48-49/A)

In Islam, every follower is expected to work for his/her spiritual ascent, which is as much achieved through the realisation of Rights of Creatures (Huquq-al-Ibad) as of Rights of the Creator (Huquq-allah). Rights of Creatures include not only the rights of human beings in different positions but also the rights of inanimate creatures like water, air, animals, plants and other components of environment. If one wants to raise one’s spiritual level, one has to be righteous in deeds. One must be courteous in behaviour, give as much in charity as one can (not for fame but for the pleasure of God), encourage others to perform virtuous deeds and avoid all forms of evils, help the week, the needy and the downtrodden, not get involved in any of the undesirable acts; shun violence, not speak ill of others, not boast, not feel arrogant, not preach hatred, not believe in superstitions, and so on. To develop high moral standards, one must concentrate on prayers. Prayers and invocations soften the heart, purify the soul and revitalise the spirit so that one develops internal aversion for evils and inclination towards virtues, as one comes under God’s special protection. Thus spiritualism in Islam is the other name of internal revolution that ultimately leads to one’s determination and resolve to join external revolution.

 

7. The World of Chaos

 

It is ‘civilisation’ that anoints humans with the status of the superior-most among all the creatures. Man is superior because he is not always concerned with his own needs and desires; his heart thumps at others’ grief or joy too. In contradistinction to humans, animals mostly derive pleasure only in their own attainments. Human beings tend to socialise and live together in villages or cities, animals vie with one another in the jungles. ‘Survival of all’ is the motto of human society; ‘survival of the strongest ‘ is the law of the jungle. Animals do not generally have any feeling of shame and roam nude, mating without following any specific set of social principles; man has learned to cover himself and prefers to make love in surroundings hidden from others’ view. Animals enjoy rights and follow duties only as part of their nature; their excesses against one another are not judged by any rule of law, for they are not expected to have any sense of conscious knowledge of law. Man has to work within the boundaries set by society; he is expected to know the law and obey it.

Let us examine the present civilisation in the light of the above observations. The economic fundamentalists want the world to believe that the present human society is at the zenith of civilisation. Their claim emanates from the fact that humans can now boast of more worldly splendour than was the case at any other time in the past. Man resides with comfort in palatial surroundings; has variety of colourful dresses to don; travels in high-speed vehicles on splendid roads; can fly in the air or sail the sea with dazzling velocity; has tools to confront the vagrancy of weather; has advanced technology providing him with thousands of items of luxury; can communicate within seconds with any person living anywhere in the world; can watch with delight in his own bedroom events organised at the farthest places on earth; is better acquainted with the secrets of life and of the universe; possesses thousands of medicines to treat illnesses; and can remove, with or without knife, malformations from inside the human body. They also claim that the world of today has the most developed political, economic and social systems. Big industries, lavish hotels, multi-storey stock exchanges, sprawling, lush-green picnic spots, bars and casinos and busy beaches are presented as symbols of civilisation. By making these claims the votaries of modernism aim to give a new meaning to ‘civilisation’. To them, civilisation is synonymous with development and prosperity. This is an absolutely materialistic description of civilisation that has no place for moral and spiritual excellence. It is not that the connoisseurs of economic fundamentalism are not aware of the hollowness of their belief; they very much are. This is in fact a conscious, motivated and deceptive attempt aimed at diverting public attention from the dangerous consequences of their strategies and perpetuating their empire. They seek to keep the populace and the intelligentsia bemused. It is for this reason that they assiduously glorify status symbols in society. These status symbols are projected as indicators of one’s ‘sophistication’, the word that is being planted as the replacement for ‘civilisation’. As soon as a new item or an updated version of the old one comes into the market with a fanfare that immediately captures the imagination of the people, it becomes a new status symbol. These symbols modify not only with time but also with the various strata of society. A man or woman’s ability to attend parties, smartness in mixing with the members of opposite sex, readiness to dance on the floor, ken at organising such functions, boldness to crack naughty jokes and keenness to share bed are signs of ‘modernity’. Promiscuity, gambling and drinking are no more sins but pointers to one’s high lifestyle.

The net result is that peace eludes the modern civilisation; and it is not only peace at social or international level that is non-existing; man has grown even more devoid of peace at individual level. He has all the luxuries at his disposal; still happiness has divorced his soul. He has numerous means of entertainment; still tension and anxiety terrorise his mind and heart. Socialism aimed at converting the world into a factory and humans into machines. Market economics has transformed the world into a bazaar hemmed in on all sides by the jungles; it has converted humans into beasts that know only their rights, not duties, nor prohibitions. When the modern man feels throngs of anxiety, he opts for either a tablet of a sedative or a peg of whisky. When he is sick with boredom, he finds solace in gambling, flirting with women and watching vulgarities on the big or small screen. When his problems become intolerable, he often decides to seek refuge in the valley of death. Everyone is ready to exploit everyone else. Friendship has lost its meaning; selfish interests govern relationships. Nobody wants to help others. Neighbours do not even recognise one another. None is concerned about the sentiments of fellow beings; every one is seeking fulfilment of one’s own desires whatever the consequences for others. One kills another for the sake of a few thousand bucks. Money is important, man not. The great thinker, Emerson, in his essay, “Napoleon” says: “As long as our civilisation is essentially one of property of fences, of explosions, it will be marked by delusions. Our wishes will leave us sick. There will be bitterness in our laughter and our wine will burn our mouth.”

‘Freedom’ is the catchword for the megalomaniacs of modern “civilisation”. This augurs well for them because it opens a great number of avenues for their business. This is also a tool in their hands to create a fantastic image of the present civilisation vis-à-vis the medieval ages when men and women used to love under “severe restrictions” and “unnecessary inhibitions”. Free man tends to do whatever he feels like doing at a particular moment of time, irrespective of its consequences on his own life or on the lives of others. The rationale behind this, according to liberalists, is that man is himself responsible for the consequences of his acts, and others have no business to interfere in his personal matters and to teach him morals. If one wants to drink, it is one’s right even if it causes severe mental anguish and financial burden to one’s dependants and well wishers, and makes one vulnerable to several life-threatening health problems. If one wants to lie with a person of one’s choice, one must have full liberty to do so even if it destroys one’s family, and leads to several other unforeseen problems including fatal or incapacitating illnesses. If one wants to roam in minimal or no clothes it is one’s prerogative to dress as one likes even if it blazes the passions of onlookers and drives them to raping unwilling women. One must be free to commit suicide even if one’s self-destruction brings intolerable pain and suffering to one’s relatives and friends. What sort of freedom is this that kills people, maddens men, women and children, leads to sexual assaults, destroys families, makes parents and children alien to one another, turns the old into destitute and kids into orphans and gives people sleepless nights? It is absolutely nonsensical to call the modern civilisation ‘civilisation’. It is barbarism at its worst. Today’s men and women are not humans but another species of animals, the Homo sapiens whose animal instincts are always positioned in the driver’s seat. They are in fact even worse than beasts, as beasts do not manufacture weapons, drinks and eatables for their own destruction, and their actions are simply the result of impulses and reflexes that ensure their survival. Whatever animals do is without the foreknowledge of the consequences of their actions. Man is mostly prescient of the possible adverse consequences of his actions on himself and on society. Still, his knowledge does not stop him from indulging in evil acts. The king of the jungle rules only due to his sheer physical force and commits “excesses” on fellow-animals only to fill his empty stomach, having no other option to satiate his hunger. Neither do lions exploit the other inhabitants in their territories nor prevent them from availing themselves the products of nature. The rulers of the world of Homo sapiens commit excesses, oppress and cheat their species-fellows for their own nefarious designs. They are worse than carnivores and saprophytes. It is not the compelling necessities but their covetousness that makes them ruthless dictators. They kill people not to fill their hungry intestines but to perpetuate their rapacious hold on the economic or political power; their intention is not just to survive but not to let others survive. It will be worthwhile here to reproduce Schiller’s remarks about freedom:

We all in nature, destitute of reason, only a sister who, more fortunate than ourselves, has remained under the material roof, while in the intoxication of our freedom, we have fled from it to throw ourselves into a stranger world. We regret this place of safety, we earnestly long to come back to it as soon as we have begun to feel the better side of civilisation and in the totally artificial life in which we are exiled we hear in deep emotion the voice of our mother. While we were still children of nature we were happy, we were perfect; we have become free, and we have lost both advantages”.

How then is the present era better than the middle ages? There might have been some areas where the medieval people suffered at the hands of rulers or administrators. There might have been many wives who were beaten by their husbands. But there was generally no lawlessness. Murders and rapes were few, at least in those parts of the world that had well-established governments; murderers and rapists could not go scot-free, and severe punishment to them was a big deterrent. Cheating and infringement of other’s rights were not easy; the law was always there to act decisively; prostitution was there but it was not the order of the day. Family system was not only alive but also well; there used to be little rancour between different family members who were always eager to support one another. Women were then viewed not as mere paramours or objects of beauty; they were not just bedfellows. They were also mothers under whose feet lay paradise, sisters who tied rakhi on the wrists of their brothers and daughters whom parents treated like precious jewels. If wives were beaten by some illiterates then they are beaten no less now, not by illiterates but by highly educated and highly placed husbands. Girls were not assaulted in their own houses, and any one found eve-teasing them in the streets had to face the wrath of society. In contrast, the woman of today is free only to be exploited. In the so-called developed world, woman has much fewer chances of becoming a high-class officer or a leading politician than of becoming a sex-worker, a cabaret-dancer, a strip-teaser, a model, a receptionist and a saleswoman. And if she is working, her ordeal does not end; the more she concentrates on her career the more her family suffers. Mind it: Her own family, her own husband and her own children who want to share some moments of delight with her but have to adjust without. As a result, the husband often finds solace in some one else’s arms or in a bottle of whisky, and the children grow as psychiatric degenerates. The fate of today’s woman is totally sealed. If she decides to stay at home for the sake of her family she has to live under the burden of unfulfilled ambitions; if she goes out she faces the threat of assault, even rape and alienation of her dearest ones. As it is only her physical charm that sells, it is only between the ages of 16 and 35, 40 at the most, that she is most wanted in the market. Once her charm vanishes, her career is almost finished. The people hovering around her decrease in number and she feels neglected; her glorious past haunts her but that cannot return. It is between 16 and 40 as well that she is most wanted at her home. The truth is that if the modern civilisation developed by the economic fundamentalists has harmed any one most -- though it has harmed every body -- it is woman. Her liberty has in fact made her a permanent captive of the public. She looks at herself only with the glasses of man; no wonder then that she has miserably failed to discover herself.

 

If there is one field, in which the modern civilisation may claim to have actually benefited mankind, it is that of medicine. Certainly, there are many diseases that have now become treatable or preventable, namely, infectious diseases like Tuberculosis, Cholera, Leprosy, Meningitis, Smallpox, Measles, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, etc. But economic fundamentalism has largely undone the great work done by medical scientists by making the people adopt a lifestyle that makes them susceptible to a large number of ailments -- Chronic Bronchitis, Buerger’s disease, Ischaemic Heart Diseases, Hypertension, Peptic Ulcer, Diabetes mellitus, Cancers, especially of lung, mouth and breast, Arthritis, Spondylitis, Cirrhosis, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, AIDS, Psychoses and neuroses, and many others. It is difficult to decide if man today actually faces less threat to his health than in the past. Whatever increase in the average age has been noticed in the last few decades, is chiefly due to reduced Infant Mortality Rate. This reduction is counter-balanced by the high rate of feticide; more children are killed every year by way of abortion than are saved by vaccines and antibiotics.

 

Thus the balance sheet of the achievements of the modern world is not at all encouraging. It is in fact greatly depressing because with the scientific knowledge and technical know-how the world possesses man must have been physically healthier, socially safer and mentally more peaceful. Is he? Most will agree that he is not, and this is because economic fundamentalism has been rapidly destroying whatever the world has been gaining through the labour and dedication of scientists. The civilisation the modern world boasts of is in truth in a moribund state.

 

Let us now try to understand a little more about the true scale of chaos that grips the world today. We will discuss here the biggest threats to comprehensive peace that come from

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. High Crime Rate: murders, rapes, suicides;

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Increasing Alcohol Consumption and Smoking: effects on health, family and society;

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Development of the so-called Modern Sexuality: effects on health, family and society;

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Economic Exploitation: usury, disparity, poverty;

#
p<>{color:#000;}. All forms of Gambling: effects on health, family and society; and

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Politically Motivated Violence: wars, terrorism, communal, racial and ethnic riots, civil wars.

 

How violent the current world has become can be gauged from the statistics of violence, especially murder, rapes and suicides. The number of law-enforcing personnel is continuously multiplying, the sophistication of their methods for nabbing criminals is enhancing and more and more money is being poured into the exercise. But the statistics related to crimes continue to become ghastlier; the threat to human security is getting bigger and bigger with every passing day.

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Alcohol_

The alcohol consumption is directly associated with increased health risks related to alcohol, crimes, accidents, sex-related problems, suicides and domestic violence. Note the following facts:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. World wide, alcohol accounts for more than 2 million deaths

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In developing nations, alcohol ranks as the fourth cause of disability among men.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Deaths attributable to alcohol form 1.3 percent for developed regions and 1.6 percent for developing regions.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. ‘The Global Burden of Disease’ study estimated that, in 1990, alcohol was responsible for 3.5 percent of the world’s total disability-adjusted life-years lost. This exceeds the tolls taken by tobacco (2.6 percent) and illicit drugs (0.6 percent) combined (Murray and Lopez, 1996).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Among men, alcohol is the leading cause of disability in industrialised countries and ranks fourth in causing disabilities in developing countries (WHO, 1999).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In developed nations, more than 136000 people die every year, in developing countries more than 636000 and in LAC countries more than 136000.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* In industrialised nations, 14.3 % and in developing nations, 4.4% of total disability adjusted life years are lost. *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are countries with alcoholics in the range of 10-36 % of total population. (Remember that alcoholic means an alcohol-dependent person, not the persons who take alcohol irregularly.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cirrhosis is one of the ten leading causes of death in Mexico. Among men between the ages of 35 and 45, it is the number one killer (Madrigal, 1998, Medina-Mora, 1999). In Mexico, Venezuela R.B., Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago, cirrhosis deaths among men are as much as three times higher than the deaths among women.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Percent of traffic fatalities attributed to alcohol

[* Chile 1970 46% (male traffic deaths) *]

Colombia 1990s 60%

Costa Rica 1990s 46%

Peru 1990s 50%

Sources: Caetano, 1984; Madrigal, 1998

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Alcohol was estimated to cause 41 percent of suicide cases among men in Australia, compared to only 16 percent among their female counterparts.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Selected Health Issues by Alcohol Attributable Fractions

Health issue Australian Canadian

Male Female Male Female

Liver cancer 0.18 0.12 0.29 0.16

Breast cancer – 0.03 – 0.04

Unspecific

liver cirrhosis 0.54 0.43 0.54 0.54

Chronic

pancreatitis 0.84 0.84 0.84 0.84

Spontaneous

abortion – 0.04 – 0.20

Road injuries 0.37 0.18 0.43 0.43

Fall injuries 0.34 0.34 0.24 0.15

Fire injuries 0.44 0.44 0.38 0.38

Drowning 0.34 0.34 0 30 0.23

Suicide 0.41 0.16 0.27 0.17

Assault 0.47 0.47 0.27 0.27

Source: Edwards and others, 1995, Single and others, 1998

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Drinking, along with poor condom use and sex with prostitutes, was found to increase by a factor of 15.6 the soldiers’ risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (Flores and Arathoon, 1994).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than a quarter (26 percent) of the women seeking counselling services in the urban areas of Mexico reported that their partners’ abusive behaviours were fuelled by intoxication (Ramirez and others, 1992). In the Solomon Islands, 32 percent of family violence offences were related to problem drinking (McDonald, 1995). Even higher rates were found in South Africa: 67.4 percent of domestic violence cases in Cape Town and 76.4 percent in rural areas involved alcohol use (Parry, 1995).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In both Canada and Australia, 16 percent of child abuse cases could be attributed to alcohol. In Japan, 20 percent of abused children had alcoholic parents, and in Hungary 8.6 percent of child abuse cases in 1994 involved alcohol (Fekete, 1996). Alcohol has also been associated with a high proportion of child abuse cases in the UK (30 percent) and Norway (50 percent) (Moser, 1992).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Alcohol use disorders present serious problems for the interpersonal relationships, health, and productivity of employed men and women. Of the $117 billion estimated as the economic cost of alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the United States in 1983, nearly $71 billion (61 percent) was attributed to lost employment and reduced productivity (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1990).

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. World-wide Deaths Attributable to Alcohol

Percent Total

Cause of Total Alcohol Alcohol

Death Deaths Related Deaths

 

Motor Vehicle 214,208 50 107,104

Accidents

Oesophagus Cancer 805,980 75 604,485

Liver Cancer 488,060 15 73,209

Alcohol Dependence 279,930 100 79,930

Syndrome Cirrhosis 2,094,110 50 1,047,055

Total 2,111,783

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h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Gambling_

Gambling was always bad. History is replete with the havoc caused by gambling in social lives. With the growth of economic fundamentalism, gambling, like other human addictions, became an organised business at the global level. Owing to the money involved in it, market forces were quick to use it as a big money-spinner. Not only have casinos burgeoned, gambling of one kind or the other has become associated with almost all the vistas of business to accelerate their growth. Casinos are regular part of tourism and entertainment industry. Betting is associated with almost all the big fixtures including political, entertainment and sports events. Lucky draws are being used to collect money as well as to boost the sales of hosts of consumer items. The globalisation of gambling also means globalisation of opportunities. The National Opinion Research Centre (NORC) of US has rightly stated that “As the opportunities for gambling become more commonplace, it appears likely that the number of people who will develop gambling problems also will increase.”

Let us note a few facts about gambling:

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. NORC found that the presence of a gambling facility within 50 miles roughly doubles the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Two key studies indicated that between 15 and 20 million Americans are displaying some signs of a gambling addiction. Further, the Commission emphasised that estimates of the number of problem and pathological gamblers may be significantly understated.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. A Harvard University meta-analysis concluded that approximately 1.6 percent, or 3.2 million, of the American adult population are pathological gamblers. . In Oregon, the lifetime prevalence of problem and pathological gambling is 4.9 percent. Recent studies in Mississippi and Louisiana indicate that 7 percent of adults in these states have been classified as problem or pathological gamblers.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. NORC found that approximately 2.5 million adults are pathological gamblers. Another three million of the adult population are problem gamblers. Over 15 million Americans were identified as at-risk gamblers.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. A survey of nearly 400 Gamblers Anonymous members revealed that two-thirds had contemplated suicide, 47 percent had a definite plan to kill themselves, and 77 percent stated that they have wanted to die.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. In NORC’s survey, 53.5 percent of identified pathological gamblers reported having been divorced, versus 18.2 percent of non-gamblers and 29.8 percent of low-risk gamblers. Further NORC respondents representing two million adults identified a spouse’s gambling as a significant factor in a prior divorce.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. One domestic violence counsellor from Harrison County, Mississippi, testified that a shelter there reported a 300 percent increase in the number of requests for domestic abuse intervention after the arrival of casinos.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. The NRC reported on two studies indicating between 10 and 17 percent of children of compulsive gamblers had been abused.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. “World Online Gambling Markets,” says the global online gambling market generated $834.5 million in 1998 – an increase of more than 100 percent over 1997. The market has considerably swelled since then. Research firm Datamonitor forecasts that revenues from gambling will soar to $20.8 billion by 2005.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. It is estimated that more than a trillion dollars are wagered annually world wide on various forms of gambling.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. According to the International Data Corporation, the number of Internet users is projected to grow from 142 million people at the end of 1998 to 502 million people in 2002.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. The Baker Report was quoted as saying, “We believe our projections of Internet gambling revenues of US$100 to US$200 billion domestically and US$200 to US$400 billion in the rest of the world by 2005 is reasonable, even conservative.”

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Freedom of sex_

The problems related to sexual “freedom” are multifold. They are: medical (AIDS, other sex transmitted diseases, psychiatric problems, abortions), family (divorces, separations, single mothers, children living with single parents) and social (sexual assaults, domestic violence, abuse of women and children, commercial exploitation of women and children). If readers are interested to understand the full implications of the development of modern sexuality, they are advised to ready my book, “The Killer Sex”. I will like to quote here a few excerpts from that book.

Revolution implies an extraordinary change. But the change is not always the antibiotic that kills the infection and treats the disease. Instead it may be the hypnotic that sedates, addicts and slowly poisons. For any colossal transformation to be valuable, it has to be for the better. If huge changes do not end into salubrious fruition, they have no credentials to be called a Revolution. “Sexual Revolution” is in truth the nadir of human behaviour. It has proved to be not the antibiotic but the hypnotic. It has heralded nemesis of individual’s peaceful existence, family’s peaceful sustenance and society’s peaceful countenance. It has derailed every body from the right course, nailed every institution and failed every development; it has only bailed the merchants. It has made humanity look ludicrous; it has thinned to almost non-existence the demarcating line between human and animal. It has sacrificed abiding happiness at the altars of instant fun; and has crucified health on the cross of wealth. It has made character moribund by slaughtering the inspector of conscience that sustained it. It has pierced childhood, hanged womanhood and polluted manhood. It has snatched the apron of shyness that used to adore and protect woman, and has made her transvest in the lingerie of shamelessness. It has transfigured man from a lover and protector of woman to mere usurper. It has made love without sex to look abnormal and ridiculous but sex without love to appear natural and admirable. It has reduced love to lovemaking, and has made lovemaking a perpetual captive of unadulterated lust. It has trounced parenthood and transfixed childhood. It has buried fatherhood and sickened motherhood. It has bulldozed the world converting it into huge rubble of solace and brought mankind to the verge of total collapse. Sexual Revolution is the python that must be trapped at the earliest and killed without delay…..

 

Sexual Revolution has taught us that sex is not for life but life is for sex. That sex must overrule every other consideration and overcome every obstacle in its way. If it is the custodian of Law, it must learn to behave; if it is the inspector of Religion, it has to be dismissed; and if it is the police of morality, it has to be confronted. It has made us believe sex must not necessarily be between a human and a human; it can be between a human and an animal. That sex must not always require two sexes; it may be between a man and a man, and between a woman and a woman. That sex must not have to be between two adults: it may be between an adult and a child. That sex may not unfailingly involve those who are not linked by blood; it may involve a mother and a son, a father and a daughter and a brother and a sister. That sex should not always be limited to two individuals; many may join simultaneously. That sex must not necessarily use organs that are naturally meant for it; any organ that can be penetrated is fit for coitus. That sex must not necessarily be enjoyed away from the public gaze; it may be performed in front of their staring eyes and exhilarating hearts and brains. That sex must not necessitate any formal declaration; any two consenting individuals can have it without warranting any social or legal sanction. That, in extreme circumstances, sex does not even require consent; if one is smart enough to hoodwink Law or bold enough to face it, one may even rape without fearing too much. That sex does not have to be for fulfilling one’s legitimate physical and psychological desires; it may also be for filling one’s coffer. That sex need not be the corollary of love; it may be purchased or sold in the market. That whatever comes in the way of sex must be mercilessly got away with even if it is a human-in-making. In nutshell, Sexual Revolution has convinced us that sex knows no bounds. The old saying must be redefined thus: everything is fair in love, sex and war.”

The results of the “revolution” have been devastating. Note the following statistics:

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Prostitution and pornography_

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* The National Task Force on Prostitution suggests that over one million people in the US have worked as prostitutes in the United States, or about 1% of American women. *]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. There are now at least 40,000 porn sites on the World Wide Web and probably thousands more. “No one has been able to count them all.” (U.S. News & World Report, 3/27/2000)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. There are in excess of 40,000 individual URLs containing child pornography, paedophilia and pro-paedophilia content. (United Mothers & Cyber Angels “Our Kids In Danger List”, 2000)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* According to Nielson Net Ratings, 17.5 million surfers visited porn sites from their homes in January, a 40% increase compared with 4 months earlier. (U.S. News & World Report, 3/27/2000) *]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Web surfers spent $970 million on access to adult-content sites in 1998 and is expected to rise to more than $3 billion by 2003, according to the research firm Datamonitor. (U.S. News & World Report, 3/27/2000)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. About 1.2 million children annually are exploited in child pornography and prostitution. (Source: Women Against Pornography)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. 25 million Americans visit cyber-sex sites between 1-10 hours per week. Another 4.7 million in excess of 11 hours per week. (MSNBC/Stanford/Duquesne Study, Washington Times 1/26/ 2000)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Child molesters often use pornography to seduce their prey, to lower the inhibitions of the victim, and to serve as an instruction manual. (PORNOGRAPHY: RESEARCH ADVANCES AND POLICY)

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Violence against women_

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. The American Medical Association estimates that almost 4 million women are the victims of severe assaults by boyfriends and husbands each year, and about one in four women is likely to be abused by a partner in her lifetime. (Sarah Glazer, “Violence Against Women,” CQ Researcher, Congressional Quarterly Inc., February 1993)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* More than 50% of women are battered at some time in their lives; over one-third are battered repeatedly. ] [*(Peachey, 1988)]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Every day in this country approximately four women are killed by a male intimate partner. (Stout, 1991)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Domestic violence is increasing in Russia, with 14,000 women dying every year at the hands of their husbands or other relatives. (Amnesty Internatic)

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Divorce and separation_

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Divorce and separation is on the increase. It looks likely that more than a third of all new marriages will end within 20 years and four out of ten of them will end ultimately in divorce. Current trends show that one in four children will experience parental separation or divorce by the age of 16. (Different sources)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. By age 30, three-quarters of women in the U.S. have been married and about half have cohabited outside of marriage. (Report on cohabitation, marriage, divorce, and remarriage released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. . Data for 1995 show that women who divorced in the 1980’s only had a 50 percent chance of remarrying.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. One study found that parental divorce reduced a child’s life expectancy by four years, even after controlling for childhood health status and family background, as well as personality characteristics such as impulsivity and emotional instability. Another analysis of this same data found that 40 year old men whose parents had divorced were three times more likely to die than 40 year old men whose parents stayed married. (Marriage and Children’s Health and Longevity By Maggie Gallagher)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* Vaughn (1998) approximates that 80% of marriages will be affected by one partner who has an affair. She basis this on an estimate that 60% of men and 40% of women who are married will have an affair. She estimates that 20% of the women will have affairs with unmarried men not included in the 60%. (Blaine Powel, Family Therapist, Walmsley and Associates, 1512 Queensway, Prince George, BC ) *]

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Abortions_

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. There were a total of 10-22 million “clandestine” abortions, bringing the total world-wide figures to 36 and 53 million abortions. There are approximately 126,000 abortions conducted each day Sources: International Family Planning Perspectives, 16:59, June 1990; USA Today, 8/8/96.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* Women who obtained legal abortions in 1995 were predominately white and unmarried. As in 1994, one fifth of women who obtained legal abortions in 1995 were adolescents (aged less than or equal to 19 years); 33% were aged 20-24 years. As in previous years, (Reported by: Statistics and Computer Resources Br, Div of Reproductive Health, National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC) *]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. 1,370,000 abortions occur annually in the U.S. according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* Reasons of abortion: 25.5% of women to postpone childbearing. 21.3% of women cannot afford a baby, 14.1% of women have a relationship issue or their partner does not want a child. 12.2% of women are too young (their parents or others object to the pregnancy). 10.8% of women feel a child will disrupt their education or career. 7.9% of women want no (more) children. 3.3% of women due to a risk to foetal health 2.8% of women due to a risk to maternal health *]

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Child abuse_

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [* In 1995, local child protective service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse; of these, 75% were girls. Nearly 30% of child victims were between the ages of 4 and7. [Dept. of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment, 1995] *]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. The earlier studies found that one-third of juvenile delinquents, 40 percent of sexual offenders and 76 percent of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.” [Dr. William C. Holmes of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.”

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Holmes said a review of the studies leads him to believe that 10 percent to 20 percent of all boys are sexually abused in some way. But widely varying definitions of sexual abuse in the studies and differences in who was being studied make it difficult to accurately gauge the prevalence of sexual abuse, he said. (Dr. William C. Holmes of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. [It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
Source: Forward, 1993]

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. “1,500 children die from abuse each year. There are 140,000 injuries to children from abuse each year. There are 1.7 million reports of child abuse each year.” (Mental Health journal)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. …about 1 in 4 women in North America were molested in childhood.” (Mental Health journal)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. More than 2 million cases of child abuse and neglect are reported each year in the United States. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 new cases of sexual abuse occur each year.” (Mental Health journal)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. An estimated 325,000 U.S. children age 17 or younger are prostitutes, performers in pornographic videos or have otherwise fallen victim to “commercial sexual exploitation (USA Today,9.9.2001)

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. The United Nations says one million children are drawn into prostitution annually. It estimates that 100,000 children and women in the Philippines, 400,000 in India, 100,000 in Taiwan, 200,000 in Thailand are subject to commercial sexual exploitation in the region. (CNN.com, 17.12,01)

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Sexually transmitted diseases_

 

Global summary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

December 2002

 

Number of people living with HIV/AIDS

<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 42 M
<>.
<>.
<>.

 

People newly infected with HIV in 2002

<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 M
<>.
<>.
<>.

 

AIDS deaths in 2002

<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. 3.1 M
<>.
<>.
<>.

 

 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* Best current projections suggest that an additional 45 million people will become infected with HIV in 126 low- and middle-income countries (currently with concentrated or generalised epidemics) between 2002 and 2010—unless the world succeeds in mounting a drastically expanded, global prevention effort. More than 40% of those infections would occur in Asia and the Pacific (currently accounts for about 20% of new annual infections). *]

 

The statistics of sex-related problems gives an idea about the enormity of the situation. “Sexual Revolution” has brought to the world death and destruction, which is hundreds of times more dangerous than “terrorism”. Still, not even a hundredth of the efforts to tackle the latter are made to tackle the sex-related deaths. Obviously, where almost all businesses have direct or indirect dependence on beauty and sex, how can anything be allowed to be done in that direction?

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Smoking_

 

Smoking is another product of economic fundamentalism that is causing havoc all over the world. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.1 billion people smoke, about one-third of the global population aged 15 and older. About 200 million men and 100 million women in developing countries and 700 men and 100 women in developing world do smoke. WHO says that more than 4.9 million people die of smoking every year.

 

It will be interesting to note that the problems due to smoking are much less than those due to alcohol and “free” sex. Smoking has primarily health hazards; the hazards caused by the other too are of much huge magnitude, physically, mentally as well as socially. This is surprising therefore that while campaign against smoking has been quite vociferous with some successes, there has hardly even any noteworthy campaign against alcohol, gambling and “free” sex. Is it because, the later are of much greater importance to the industry? Maybe, campaign against smoking is allowed because it saves the alcohol and sex industry from receiving the attention of the protagonists of a healthier life.

 

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Economic Disparity_

 

The advance of modern economic system on the pivot of economic fundamentalism has created huge disparities. The truth is that this system thrives on disparities. The current philosophy to remove poverty is based on the outrageous notion that if the commercial giants are ensured huge earnings some of the money will trickle down to the poorest as well. The tax structure, banks, financial organisations, stock exchange—all these are nothing but instruments to accumulate the money of the lower classes and transfer it to the higher ones. Banks collect the money and loan most of it to the big industries. Only a small fraction of whatever banks earn is given as “interests” to depositors. Stock Exchange goes a hand further to attract the money of the people so that the corporates may use it for their own growth. In Banks, at least the deposits are safe; in share market, quite often one loses whatever one has “invested”. Taxes on incomes instead of assets make it easy for the rich to convert their own money into assets whose value grows much faster than the interest they have to pay to banks against the money taken for the growth of their business.

The new economic ideology has produced massive economic disparity not only internally but also globally. The level of internal disparity within the nations may be gauged from the following statistics about the situation in the US:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* It is estimated that 28% of the total net wealth is held by the richest 2% of families in the U.S. *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* The top 10% holds 57% of the net wealth. *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* If homes and other real estate are excluded, the concentration of ownership of financial wealth is even more glaring. In 1983, 54% of the total net financial assets were held by 2% of all families, those, whose annual income is over $125,000. Eighty-six percent of these assets were held by the top 10% of all families (US Bishops ] Economic Justice [*183, quoting 1983 Federal Reserve Board figures).]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* A survey of 26 industrialised nations (the Luxembourg Income Study) found that the gap between the wealthiest 10% and the poorest 10% is greater in the United States than any other country except Russia (Wallechinsky). *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* In 1970, the lowest quintile had 5.5% of the national income; in 1990, that group had 3.7% -- ] [ a 33% decline in 20 years ] [*(Haughton and Schwoyer 88).]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The ratio of the compensation of CEOs to the average worker in 1974 was 35 to 1; now it is 150 to 1.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* During 1983 to 1992, the top 1% of households’ net worth increased from 34% to 42% of all household wealth; the bottom 80% dropped from 18% to 15% (the top 20% in 1989 controlled 85% of all household wealth). *]

The disparity at the global level is even more disturbing. At the national level, too much of disparity often leads to pressure on political leaders to take corrective measures. But at the global level, there is hardly any such pressure on the economic giants. The result is that

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* Income disparity between the richest one billion and the poorest one billion people has doubled over the last three decades and reached by now a dangerously high level of 150 times. (This is surely much more than the internal economic disparities of the developed and developing nations. The income disparity between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% of the people within nations is far smaller 5 times in Sweden, 6 times in Germany, 9 times in USA and 26 times (the highest) in Brazil.) *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* The report raises some questions: ”As national markets open up, from New Delhi to Rio, from Warsaw to Moscow, can global markets close down further? And yet this is precisely what is happening. The OECD nations have become more protectionist in the last decade at a time when additional export surpluses are likely to emerge from the liberalising markets of developing countries and the former socialist bloc. For instance, if India follows the path of South Korea, it will have at least $60 billion of additional exports to offer to the world markets each year. But what about the developing world where 1.2 billion people barely survive below an absolute poverty line of about $400? The rich nations can spare only one-third of 1% of GNP for official development assistance, the closest approximation to an international social safety net.” *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh contain nearly one-half of the world’s poor but get only one-tenth of total aid.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* Less than 7% of global aid is spent on human priority concerns of basic education, primary health care, family planning, safe drinking water and nutritional programmes. *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even mighty international institutions like the World Bank and the IMF are now taking more money out of the developing world than they are putting in, adding to the reverse transfer of around $50 billion a year from the commercial banks.

 

 

Thus today’s world despite all the claims to the contrary is chaotic in every sense of the word. There is internal chaos within bodies and lives of individuals; there is chaos in family and society; and there is chaos at the global level. The figures given in the next chapter will show that the so-called civilised world has killed hundreds of millions of people in wars and civil wars. Wars and civil wars had historically been there even before the emergence of the so-called modern world. But what the later has added or at least multiplied are the deaths caused by alcohol, suicides, unhealthy and immoral sex, gambling and crimes. Women had always been exploited and criminally assaulted but not in numbers they are being assaulted and exploited now. Children were mistreated before, sometimes abused, but neither they were killed before their birth in such staggering numbers nor were they sexually abused and commercially exploited at such a large scale, as they are now. When chaos rules, peace has hardly any chance to survive.

#
h2<{color:#000;}. [] _Crimes_

Thanks to the social milieu engendered by economic fundamentalism and the softening of laws against all forms of crimes, crimes are the order of the day in this world. Murders, rapes, suicides, thefts and robberies are becoming commoner with every passing day; minor swings tend to take place, which often provoke intense debates amongst various lobbies. Abolitionists of capital punishment do try to project selective statistics to prove that capital sentences have no remarkable effect on the incidence. They interpret statistics in their own way forgetting the simple principle that -- though there may be various factors responsible for the rise or fall of crimes anywhere in the world -- the confidence that their actions will either go unpunished or will attract a mild punishment is sure to embolden criminals in a big way. There have been simpletons arguing that the abolition of death penalty reduced the rate of murders, as if murderers stopped murdering because the law had become mild towards them. The numbers of murders and attempted murders and rapes and attempted rapes are not in thousands but hundreds of millions. In America alone, more than 200000 murderous assaults are made every year and more than one third of women have experienced attempts to rape. The number of murders all over the world is in millions, the number of the executed in just thousands. During 2001, 3,048 prisoners were executed in 31 countries and 5,265 people were sentenced to death in 68 countries. (Amnesty International figures) 90 per cent of all known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA. In China, the limited and incomplete records available to Amnesty International at the end of the year indicated that at least 2,468 people were executed, but the true figure was believed to be much higher. At least 139 executions were carried out in Iran. In Saudi Arabia, 79 executions were reported, but the total may have been much higher. Sixty-six people were executed in the USA. The situation surely represents total failure of all systems including the judicial system.

The statistics related to the crime situation in different countries will be given in next chapters.

8. Are Muslims enemies of Peace?

Since the early successes in the miraculous rise of Islam, the religion has been maligned for adopting violent means in its propagation. Such response from the rejecters of Islam was nothing extraordinary, as its ascent was too phenomenal to be recognised by the opponents as the impact of its highly superior spiritual and socio-political ideology. There have been numerous rebuttals to the thesis that the primary cause of Islam’s rise has been the use of military might. I do not want to discuss the old history here. The way the facts are being distorted however about the developments in the past two centuries is nothing but an ugly manifestation of the designs of the dominant forces of the world to mislead and misguide the world. After subjugating Christianity as a religion in their own fortresses and vanquishing Communism outside their domains, all attention has now been focussed on Islam and Muslims. They are being perceived as the only remaining threat to the designs of the economic fundamentalists in recent decades. The attack on Twin Towers has provided them the “proof” of their worst fears and the ground for alerting that this blossoming threat must be nipped in the bud. So multiple fronts have been opened to finish this off or at least contain it. While Bush and Blair in league with their “allies” are busy defeating the “enemies” militarily, media and literature have become battlegrounds for thinkers and analysts to bombard Islam and Muslims with their hate-bombs and lie-missiles. The arguments being advanced are:

First, Muslims are the most violent people of the world. They are ruthless murderers who need no sympathy or understanding. Euphemistically perhaps, some have started arguing that while all Muslims are not terrorists all terrorists are Muslims.

Second, if Muslims are prone to indulging in violence, its roots lie in the very foundations of their religion that promotes violence against “unbelievers.” If Muslims are indulging in terrorist attacks, it is because Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) too indulged in similar attacks.

Third, Muslims want to pursue their medieval culture and are not ready to accept the modern, “peace-loving” civilisation of the West. Muslim countries are undemocratic having no regard for human rights, particularly the rights of women and minorities.

Fourth, Muslims demonstrate mutual brotherhood, which endangers the very survival of the “civilised world.”

We will deliberate on each of these accusations one by one.

Are Muslims the most violent people on the face of the earth? Though Hindu fundamentalists in India too have incessantly been engaged in similar propaganda, in recent years, the Westerners -- Christians, Jews and atheists, have been the biggest votaries of this thesis. But when we examine the facts, the truth emerges to the contrary. First, Christians have been the most violent people in the world especially in the last 150 years. Jews have not had many opportunities but whenever they got some, they have not remained far behind. Second, Western countries have not only used violent methods against others with impunity, internally too they have been the most violent nations. Third, Muslims have been much more the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence. Fourth, Muslims despite their weaknesses on some fronts are currently one of the most peaceful people of the world—individually, socially as well as politically. Fifth, in the so-called War against terrorism, Muslim countries and Muslims have been on the forefront along with Western powers. Sixth, whenever and wherever Muslims have resorted to violence, this has been the reaction of having been deprived of their genuine rights and of having been subjected to long periods of oppression, exploitation and treachery. Some action of some of the disillusioned elements might not have been the true representation of Islamic spirit – hence not condonable -- but their actions are understandable given the frustration and desperation they find themselves in.

Let us first look at the history and extent of violence, social and political as well as domestic and international. When we analyse the international crime statistics, we find that the very nations, which boast of being the leaders of the “civilised” world, prove to be the most barbaric. Here is the list of top fifty countries in terms of the rate of murders:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Colombia 0.63 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. South Africa 0.51 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Jamaica 0.32 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Venezuela 0.32 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Russia 0.19 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Mexico 0.13 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Lithuania 0.10 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Estonia 0.10 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Latvia 0.10 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Belarus 0.09 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Ukraine 0.09 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Papua New Guinea 0.08 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Kyrgyzstan 0.08 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Thailand 0.07 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Moldova 0.07 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Zambia 0.07 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Seychelles 0.07 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Zimbabwe 0.07 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Costa Rica 0.06 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Poland 0.05 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Georgia 0.04 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Uruguay 0.04 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Bulgaria 0.04 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. United States 0.04 per 1000 people

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Armenia 0.03 per 1000 people

26. Yemen 0.03 per 1000 people

27. India 0.03 per 1000 people

28. Azerbaijan 0.02 per 1000 people

29. Dominica 0.02 per 1000 people

30. Finland 0.02 per 1000 people

31. Slovakia 0.02 per 1000 people

32. Romania 0.02 per 1000 people

33. Portugal 0.02 per 1000 people

34. Malaysia 0.02 per 1000 people

35. Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of 0.02 per 1000 people

36. Mauritius 0.02 per 1000 people

37. Hungary 0.02 per 1000 people

38. Korea, South 0.01 per 1000 people

39. Slovenia 0.01 per 1000 people

40. Iceland 0.01 per 1000 people

41. France 0.01 per 1000 people

42. Czech Republic 0.01 per 1000 people

43. Australia 0.01 per 1000 people

44. Canada 0.01 per 1000 people

45. Chile 0.01 per 1000 people

46. United Kingdom 0.01 per 1000 people

47. Italy 0.01 per 1000 people

48. Spain 0.01 per 1000 people

49. Germany 0.01 per 1000 people

50. New Zealand 0.01 per 1000 people

Source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 – 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

The list tells that most of the countries listed are predominantly Christian countries including the bastions of the Western World: US, UK, France, Germany, South Africa, Canada and Australia. Though Muslim countries form one third of the total number of countries, only three Muslim countries, Yemen, Malaysia and Azerbaijan (that has more of a communist than Islamic history) appear in the list. There are no Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and Indonesia, the countries that are supposed to be the biggest representatives of the Islamic world. Malaysia appears at the lower end. Obviously the murder rates in these countries as well as other Islamic countries are extraordinarily low. Most of the 60 odd Muslim countries occupy places in the last eighty countries. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have traditionally been the lowest crime prone countries though the latter has witnessed some rise in crime rate recently. Not only the US has one of the highest crime rates among the major countries, Washington and New York alternately continue to earn the epithets of “the crime capital” of the world. This is despite the fact that the US has the most developed legal machinery with maximum number of policemen and lawyers per 1000 population. A US website copyrighted by The Father’s Manifesto makes mockery of the legal system of the US by citing several important statistics. Some of its observations are worth reproducing here:

“ … We have 60 times as many lawyers as Japan, which has 4 times as many engineers as us….. one of the most incredible accomplishments of American lawyers was to attain the undisputed world’s highest incarceration rate at the very same time that they attained the world’s third highest murder rate, something that an effective justice system would have a difficult time justifying. If incarceration is an effective deterrent to crime, then why should both our incarceration and murder rates have increased more than ten fold in parallel with each other during the 20th Century? If we had a high incarceration rate but a low murder rate, then the high incarceration rate would be justified. Or if we had a low incarceration rate but a high murder rate, then it could be argued that the high murder rate was the direct result of our low incarceration rate. But when both rates increased in parallel from one of the world’s lowest to one of the world’s highest all within one century, you have to question the efficacy of feeding this many lawyers, and you have to wonder what it is about having so many lawyers that we also have so many criminals and prison inmates. And you have to question why the number of all three (criminals, inmates, and lawyers) increased so dramatically at the same time…… . Many of the Muslim countries that we’re intent on bombing into oblivion so that we can “improve” their lives by imposing our “solutions” upon them also have lower crime rates than us. The UN data for Turkey, which is available on the Internet shows that if we had had a crime rate equivalent to Turkey’s, then just last year we would have had:

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 543,860 fewer assaults at $124 each = $67 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 116,440 fewer rapes at $234 each = $27 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 670,808 fewer robberies at $89 each = $60 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 14,806,908 fewer thefts at $55 each = $814 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 305,300 fewer frauds at $210 each = $64 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 648,372 fewer drug arrests at $50 each = $32 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 2,599,736 fewer juvenile delinquents at $100 each = $260 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 29,820 fewer judges at $140,000 each = $4,175 million.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. 41,180 fewer prosecutors at $110,000 each = $4,530 million.”

 

The following table also proves the fact that there is high incarceration rate in America and other “developed” nations:

<>\2.
p={color:#000;}. Incarceration Rate/100K
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In the above table, Russia and the US occupy the top positions. The first major Muslim country appearing in that table is listed at No. 33, which has an incarceration rate about one seventh of that of the US. The crimes against women show similar results, but this will be discussed a little later. The fact that the US has one of the highest murder rates and the second highest incarceration rate can be regarded as ample proof of the rising criminal tendencies of the American people. But more than that it is the proof of the total failure of American judicial system, and still more the proof of the negative impact of social, political and economic policies, which ultimately branch out from the root of economic fundamentalism. (People of any country are not inherently bad. It is the system that grooms them into good and bad.) In America, more than 18000 people are murdered on average every year, according to the statistics. Compare this with about 600 murders per year in Saudi Arabia, and it leads to the conclusion that the former has at least three times the murder rate than the later. The situation in most of the other Muslim countries is even batter. The more Islamic a society and its laws the lesser are the rates of almost all crimes.

The crime situation is in fact far worse in Western countries than what is represented by the statistics related to murders. With highly improved medical techniques and emergency measures, the victims have now much lesser chances of succumbing to their injuries than was the case about 40 years back. A study done by U Mass Amherst sociologists Anthony R. Harris and Gene A. Fisher, Dr. Stephen H. Thomas of the Harvard Medical School and David J. Hirsh of the University of Massachusetts Medical School says:

“The level of violence from assaults in America has risen dramatically over the past 40 to 50 years at the same time that guns have become more lethal and available….But because of the vast improvements in the nation’s access to and quality of emergency medical care – particularly since the Vietnam War – the outcome of these assaults is far less likely to be lethal…..People who would have ended up in morgues 20 years ago are now simply treated and released by a hospital, often in a matter of a few days…. And people who would have faced the death penalty 20 years ago are now simply guilty of felonious assault, treated and released by prisons, often in a matter of a few years.”

 

It was concluded that the primary reason for the dropping lethality rate is a set of medical variables. The report adds:

“Against a baseline of 1960, we estimate that without this technology, the U.S. would presently be experiencing 45,000 to 70,000 homicides a year instead of an actual 15,000 to 20,000.” (Findings are from May 2002 issue of Homicide Studies)

 

It can be safely argued that the rate of murderous assaults in USA is more than 10 times the rate of major Muslim countries.

 

 

[] Suicide

 

The other lethal outcome of human actions that gives an idea of true peace in real life is suicide. If a man commits suicide, he is driven into that for two reasons. First, he must face a situation when he feels he has no option but to end his life, and second, he must actually feel inclined to transform his motivation into reality. The first represents the external circumstances and the second the internal response to those circumstances. If suicides are common in a country, it means essentially two things. First that societal tensions in that country are high enough to make many persons believe they have no option left but to kill themselves; and second that the level of patience and contentment among the people of that country is substantially low. The high-stress life, the ever-increasing fascination for higher status in society, the free sexual life that often results in estranged relationships and broken hearts, the triggering factors like alcohol and gambling and the development of some life-threatening illnesses especially related to life style are some of the external factors that compel people to commit suicides. Absence of Faith in God and Hereafter and lack of tolerance, endurance and patience are the internal factors that are responsible for the extreme decision. In most of the Western societies, internal as well as external conditions are favourable for suicides. A significantly high percentage of suicides are related to AIDS, failure in relationships, alcohol, gambling, and family tensions . It is hardly surprising therefore that the incidence of suicides among adolescents and youth is on the rise. In the US it has become the third most important cause of death among adolescents. If we examine the rate of the incidence of suicides we can again find that suicides are rarest in Muslim countries. A recent report by WHO states that nearly one million people take their lives every year. In the US alone, more than 27000 people commit suicide every year. The suicide rate in the USA is 0.02% per annum for men, and 0.005% per annum for women. Suicide levels are highest among the retired, unemployed, divorced, childless, urbanites, empty nesters, and other people who live alone. Nationmaster.com gives the following list of the top 17 countries in terms of the rate of suicide per annum.

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Country+] |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

[
Rate
**
**]

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Source: GECD Society at a Glance 2001, Statistical Annex Table D3

What a glorious list for the eulogisers of the West! All 17 countries are typical Western countries. This is despite the fact that they possess much better facilities and health care system to treat the emergencies of attempted suicides. The picture would be much deadlier if attempted suicides are taken into account. Muslim nations of course again leave all other nations far behind in terms of low suicide rate. Suicide is almost negligible among Muslims, which speaks highly of their mental calm as well as family peace and social equanimity. Most of the factors leading to suicides like extramarital sex, family disintegration, alcohol, gambling and sex related diseases are minimal if not totally absent in typical Islamic societies. Added to this, an unshakeable faith in God and Hereafter armour them with incredible patience, which helps them in facing even the most depressing situations.

[] Crimes against Women

The Western world boasts of being the champions of women’s lib and leaves no stone unturned in trying to prove that Islam and Muslim societies are the biggest violators of the rights of women. To prove their credentials, they have adopted criteria that suit their fundamentalist economic goals. Women’s security is ignored altogether and all the emphasis is laid on their “rights”, which too are only a small part of all the rights they deserve. Needless to say, the most essential rights that women need are the right to security and the right against all forms of exploitation. Ironically, these are exactly the rights that are denied to them. They have been “liberated” only to become susceptible to be misused and exploited by the big business; their freedom is nothing but a ploy to use their physical charm for commercial ends. Consequent upon the pseudo-feminism aggressively promoted by the forces of economic fundamentalism, women in astronomically multiplying numbers are becoming victims of violence, deprivation and exploitation. They are being raped, traded for prostitution, bared for entertainment, turned into divorcees, mistresses and single mothers and willingly or unwillingly made accomplice in the murder of millions of children by way of abortion.

Let us first study some of the major statistics about the incidence of rape. The following is the list of top nations in terms of total number of rapes committed in a year:

 

1. United States 89,110 (1999)

2. South Africa 53,008 (2000)

3. Canada 24,049 (2000)

4. Australia 15,630 (2000)

5. India 15,468 (1999)

6. Mexico 13,061 (2000)

7. United Kingdom 8,593 (2000)

8. France 8,458 (2000)

9. Germany 7,499 (2000)

10. Russia 6,978 (2000)

11. Korea, South 6,139 (2000)

12. Spain 5,664 (2000)

13. Zimbabwe 5,567 (2000)

14. Thailand 4,020 (2000)

15. Venezuela 2,931 (2000)

16. Poland 2,399 (2000)

17. Italy 2,336 (2000)

18. Japan 2,260 (2000)

19. Colombia 1861 (2000)

20. Netherlands 1648 (2000)

21. Indonesia 1372 (2000)

22. Jamaica 1304 (2000)

23. Papua New Guinea 1295 (2000)

24. Turkey 1260 (2000)

25. Chile 1250 (2000)

26. Malaysia 1210 (2000)

27. Sri Lanka 1202 (2000)

28. Ukraine 1151 (2000)

29. Romania 1110 (2000)

30. New Zealand 861 (2000)

31. Bulgaria 593 (2000)

32. Hungary 589 (2000)

33. Finland 579 (2000)

34. Norway 555 (2000)

35. Belarus 530 (2000)

36. Czech Republic 500 (2000)

37. Denmark 497 (2000)

38. Costa Rica 475 (1999)

39. Switzerland 404 (2000)

40. Portugal 385 (2000)

41. Tunisia 334 (2000)

42. Kyrgyzstan 321 (2000)

43. Zambia 300 (2000)

44. Ireland 218 (1999)

45. Moldova 200 (2000)

46. Lithuania 183 (2000)

47. Uruguay 175 (2000)

48. Slovakia 129 (2000)

49. Greece 114 (2000)

50. Latvia 104 (2000)

Total 295,879

Source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 – 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

What a great statistics again for the champions of women’s rights! Out of top 50 nations in terms of the incidence of rape, the US, South Africa, France, Germany and Australia feature among the top 10. Out of about three hundred thousand incidences of rapes committed in top 50 countries, which is more than 95% of all the rapes committed all over the world, more than 210 thousand are committed in the “most advanced”, “peace loving” and “women-loving” nations of the world. They are not only superpowers in terms of their military might but also in terms of their raping prowess. Out of these, about 90,000 women are raped in the US alone. Compare these with the situation in Muslim countries. Only 3-4 countries appear in the list of top 50 and combined the incidence of rapes in these countries, “the enemies of women” if western thinkers and analysts are to be believed does not cross 3000. According to Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) Statistics website, there were 247,730 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault in the United States in 2002. Approximately 87,000 of these were victims of completed rape. It is estimated that only 39% of cases are reported. If these are taken into account, only 6% of the perpetrators of rape get any kind of punishment. This means that only one of 16 rapists will ever spend a day in jail.

At the individual front, there are also some diseases that are directly the outcome of the so-called human rights and freedom, the “freedom” denied by Islam through “Fundamental Prohibitions”. These include diseases caused by alcohol, smoking, free sex and gambling.

[] Alcohol

As told before, alcohol accounts for around 2 million deaths annually. Most of these deaths take place in industrialised, developing and Latin American countries. In Islamic countries, alcohol related deaths are virtually absent. All other problems related to alcohol are absent too. According to the data available, the economic cost of alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the US was 117 billion dollars in 1983. Recent data are not available. European countries lead the table of countries having maximum per capita consumption of alcohol. Canada, the US, South Africa and Australia follow Europe. South American, Asian and African countries come next. In Muslim countries, of course, the consumption is extremely low. Here is the list of top 20 countries in terms of alcohol consumption:

 

Top countries in terms of alcohol consumption

 

1.Luxemberg 12 litres per inhabitant

2.Portugal 10+

3.Ire;and 10+

4.Germany 10+

5.France 10+

6.Spain 10

7.Denmark 9+

8.Austria 9+

[*9.Great Britain 8]

[*10. Belgium 8]

[*11.Netherlands 8]

12. Russia 6+

13.Greece 6+

14.Australia 6+

15. Italy 6+

16.Finland 6+

17.USA 6+

18, Canada 6+

19. Japan 6+

20.Sweden 5+

21.Norway 5+

All these are Western countries. The high consumption rate, it may be argued, points to their high lifestyle and the ability to spend more. If the ability to spend more leads to spending on the purchase of slow poisons for themselves it is better not to have that ability. If Westerners consume alcohol at such an alarming rate it is because they have been made habitual or addict of drinking by their cultural supervisors, the forces of globalisation. It is not surprising then that about 2 million deaths every year are attributable to alcohol-related problems. A substantial percentage of these deaths occur in the developed nations whose “advanced” health system is always busy in creating conditions that lead to the longevity of life. Still, they are not in a position to demand a ban on substances and practices that are the leading causes of mortality and morbidity. Some of the findings of a research report entitled, “ALCOHOL-ATTRIBUTABLE MORTALITY IN A HIGH PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION COUNTRYGERMANY” by Ulrich John and Monika Hanke are startling. The report says:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Based on data from Europe, increases or decreases of 1 litre of pure alcohol in the per capita consumption were estimated to be associated with increases or decreases [* of 1.3% in all-cause mortality rates (Her and Rehm, 1998) *]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [* On this basis, for the USA, 4.5% of the total mortality ] [*was estimated to be alcohol-attributable (McGinnis and Foege,] 1999)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Restricted to middle adult [* age (36–64 years), in France, the rates are 19.1% of all ] [ male and 13.0% of all female death cases (Zureik and Ducimetière, ] *1996

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Alcohol-related disease, [* accounting for 25% of the total mortality in males and 13% in ] *females, is a substantial part of the total mortality in the most productive part of adult life.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In males, the median age at death in all alcohol-attributable cases is 7 years and in AAM1 cases 15 years below that of the male general population. In females, the median age at death in all alcohol-attributable cases is 10 years and in AAM1 24 years below that of the female general population.

The other statistics related to alcohol have been given in the last chapter. It is clear that the consumption of alcohol is least among Muslims and also therefore all the problems related to alcohol—alcohol related diseases, deaths, accidents, suicides, divorces, separations, unhealthy sexual behaviours, rapes, murders etc.

It is unfortunate that Islamic scholars have not been unanimous in their disapproval of smoking. Quran clearly states that everything that is harmful is forbidden. There can be no place in Islam for something that is directly associated with such large number of deaths. In the absence of clear edicts against smoking, Muslims have too succumbed to the addiction of smoking.

[] Impact of modern sexuality

The so-called freedom has unfolded itself in the booming of beach resorts, casinos, brothels, nightclubs, pornographic portals, massage parlours, etc. These glaring symbols of freedom are in fact blots on the face of the earth. The consequences of “freedom” have been even ghastlier: sex-related diseases, total disintegration of family system, commercial exploitation of women and children, single parents and children living with single parents, etc. Islamic countries have remained relatively untouched by the scourge of “Sexual Revolution”. This does not mean that all Muslims are pious; Muslims in their individual capacities are becoming victims, in increasing numbers, of the growing assaults on their traditions by the Western culture. Still in terms of the overall impact, they have been able to thwart the menace in a big way. This is especially true for societies where Islamic laws are in force. Thus HIV/AIDS has not affected Islamic countries as badly as it has the countries that lie in their vicinity. See the following table:

Regional HIV/AIDS statistics and features, end of 2002

<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Total
<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Children
<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Percentage
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.
<>.

The whole of West Asian Muslim countries is virtually free of HIV; those who have caught it have done so mostly as a result of their misdemeanours in other countries. The seroprevalence rate in Muslims in Sub Saharan countries and some North African countries has been rising, but this owes to the fact that these countries are not following Islamic laws and traditions. Still the seroprevalence among Muslims is significantly lower than non-Muslims. In some countries, Muslims are getting infected through injectible drugs. The whole of South Asia is facing the menace with countries like Thailand in the danger of half the population being wiped out by AIDS. Chinese are catching it fast. Still, Malaysia and Indonesia have very low seroprevalence. The alarm bell has however started ringing in Muslim countries too. The onslaught of satellite channels, the growing tourism giving Muslims the opportunity to indulge in unhealthy sex and the growing menace of drugs and commercial sex are challenging the harmony.

Family peace is an integral part of Islamic social system. Owing to much less prevalence of extramarital relationships, promiscuity and sexual perversions, family system is safe and alive, unlike most of the Western countries where arrangements are being made to perform its final rites. Divorce rates are extremely low, with less than 1 per cent of marriages ending in divorce in most countries, compared to more than 50 % in most of the Western countries. The incidence of Polygamy is generally low, except in some countries. Wherever polygamy is there, this is nowhere compared to very high promiscuity rates in Western countries. The differences between promiscuity, permitted by modern systems and prohibited by Islam, and polygamy, permitted by Islam and interdicted by modern laws, are huge. Polygamy is self-limiting; promiscuity is all enveloping. While only a few can practise polygamy in a society, depending upon the ratio of marriage-seeking women and marriage-seeking men, almost all can indulge in promiscuity. In polygamy, a man has relationships with a few women, none of whom has relationship with other men. The question of the establishment of parentage does not therefore arise. It is much less likely as well to help in spreading the sex-transmitted diseases. In contrast, men and women both can have promiscuous relationships. Not only the establishment of parentage becomes a problem it also provides natural habitat for HIV and other sex-transmitted infections. With hardly a few marriages breaking, the number of single parents is remarkably low in Muslim countries, and there are only very few unfortunate children living in single parent families. In Islamic societies, abortion too is much less common; in most of the countries people regard it as murder of their own children.

An interesting report appeared in Hindustan Times of 2nd April, 2005, entitled, “No Sex please, we are NRIs”. The report quoted HTC London statistics to show that Pakistani Muslims living in England are least likely of all ethnic groups living in Britain to have multiple sex partners. The average number of Sex partners Black Caribbeans have is 9; the same for British whites is 6 and for Indians and Pakistanis 1. While the British white women have an average of 5 partners, the most for any group, Pakistani women have the least, less than one. The statistics also show that Indians and Pakistanis lose their virginity at a much later date than Christians of other countries; British men lose it at 17, while South Asian men at 20. The average age for women is 22, compared to 17 for British women. This makes it clear that the religious morality plays some role even in a hostile atmosphere . The results on the health show a direct association between sex-transmitted diseases and sexual promiscuity. According to the same report, while 19.7% of Caribbean men suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, the least affected are Pakistanis with only 3.2% suffering from the STDs.

[] Organised violence

The Western Media have been aggressively singling out Muslims as the source of violence, but the facts speak to the contrary. It has already been seen that the level of almost all crimes is much less in Muslim countries than in most of the other countries. Let us now glance through the history of last 100-150 years to find, which countries indulged in biggest massacres, wars and civil wars. According to the website copyrighted by Pierie Scruff, which gives the statistics of wars and civil wars, about 160 million people died in wars in the 20th century. The break-up of these wars and people dying in each of them is as follows:

Wars in last 150 years

[1860-65: American civil war (360,000)
1886-1908: Belgium-Congo Free State (3 million)
1899-02: British-Boer war (100,000)
1904: Germany Vs Namibia (65,000)
1904-05: Japan Vs Russia (150,000)
1910-20: Mexican revolution (250,000)
1911: Chinese Revolution (2.4 million)
1911-12: Italian-Ottoman war (20,000)
1912-13: Balkan wars (150,000)
1915: the Ottoman empire slaughters Armenians (1.2 million)
1914-18: World War I (8 million)
1917-21: Soviet revolution (5 million)
1928-37: Chinese civil war (2 million)
1931: Japanese Manchurian War (1.1 million)
1934: Mao’s Long March (170,000)
1936: Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia (200,000)
1936-37: Stalin’s] purges (13 [million)
1936-39: Spanish civil war (600,000)
1939-45:] World War II [(55 million) including holocaust and Chinese revolution
1946-49: Chinese civil war (1.2 million)
1946-49: Greek civil war (50,000)
1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1948-1973: Arab-Israeli wars (70,000)
1948-: Kashmir’s civil war (40,000)
1949-: Indian Muslims Vs Hindus (20,000)
1950-53: Korean war (4 million)
1954-62: French-Algerian war (1 million)
1958-61: Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” (30 million)
1960-90: South Africa Vs Africa National Congress (?)
1961-2003: Kurds Vs Iraq (180,000)
1962-75: Mozambique Frelimo Vs Portugal (?)
1964-73: USA-Vietnam war (3 million)
1965: second India-Pakistan war over Kashmir
1965-66: Indonesian civil war (200,000)
1966-69: Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” (11 million)
1966-: Colombia’s civil war (31,000)
1967-70: Nigeria-Biafra civil war (800,000)
1968-80: Rhodesia’s civil war (?)
1969-79: Idi Amin, Uganda (300,000)
1969-02: IRA – Northern Ireland’s civil war (2,000)
1969-79: Francisco Macias Nguema, Equatorial Guinea (50,000)
1971: Pakistan-Bangladesh civil war (500,000)
1972-: Philippines Vs Muslim separatists (120,000)
1972: Burundi’s civil war (300,000)
1972-79: Rhodesia/Zimbabwe’s civil war (30,000)
1974-91: Ethiopian civil war (1,000,000)
1975-78: Menghitsu, Ethiopia (1.5 million)
1975-79: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1.7 million)
1975-89: Boat people, Vietnam (250,000)
1975-90: civil war in Lebanon (40,000)
1975-87: Laos’ civil war (184,000)
1975-2002: Angolan civil war (500,000)
1976-83: Argentina’s military regime (20,000
1976-93: Mozambique’s civil war (900,000)
1976-98: Indonesia-East Timor civil war (600,000)
1976-: Indonesia-Aceh (GAM) civil war (12,000)
1979: Vietnam-China war (30,000)
1979-88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
1980-88: Iraq-Iran war (1 million)
1980-92: Sendero Luminoso – Peru’s civil war (69,000)
1980-92: El Salvador’s civil war (100,000)
1980-99: Kurds Vs Turkey (35,000)
1982-90: Hussein Habre, Chad (40,000)
1983-2002: Sri Lanka’s civil war (64,000)
1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
1987-: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
1988-2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
1988-2004: Somalia’s civil war (550,000)
1989-: Liberian civil war (220,000)
1989-: Uganda Vs Lord’s Resistance Army (30,000)
1991: Gulf War – large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait (85,000)
1991-97: Congo’s civil war (800,000)
1991-2000: Sierra Leone’s civil war (200,000)
1991-: Russia-Chechnya civil war (200,000)
1991-94: Armenia-Azerbaijan war (35,000)
1992-96: Tajikstan’s civil war war (50,000)
1992-96: Yugoslavia’s civil war (200,000)
1992-99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
1993-97: Congo Brazzaville’s civil war (100,000)
1993-: Burundi’s civil war (200,000)
1994: Rwanda’s civil war (900,000)
1995-: Pakistani Sunnis Vs Shiites (1,300)
1995-: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (10,000)
1998-: Congo/Zaire’s war – Rwanda and Uganda Vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
1998-2000: Ethiopia-Eritrea war (75,000)
1999: Kosovo’s liberation war – NATO Vs Serbia (2,000)
2001: Afghanistan’s liberation war – USA & UK Vs Taliban (25,000)
2002-: Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war (1,000)
2003: Iraq’s liberation war – USA, UK and Australia Vs Saddam Hussein (14,000)
2003-: Sudan Vs Darfur (70,000)
2003-: Iraq’s civil war (100,000)]

Out of the total number of around 160 million dead, more than 135 million have been killed in or by countries that are now the five big powers of the world , namely China, the US, the UK, France and Russia. The killings by or in Muslim countries form a very small percentage of the total killings, despite the fact that Muslims form about one fifth of the world population. If we convert the figures into community-wise break-up, 90% of violence has involved Christians, Buddhists and Atheists. Most of the killings in Muslim countries or regions have been the direct result of foreign interventions. These include the deaths in Afghanistan, as the results of Soviet and American invasions, Iran-Iraq war (which was fought at the behest of the US), and Iraq as the result of American invasions. The biggest pogroms of the history have taken place in Germany, Russia (both Christian countries) and China (Buddhists, other religions, atheists). Stalin and Hitler, two of the biggest killers of all times were Christians; few massacres that have taken place at the behest of Muslim rulers, like Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin, have been by those whose loyalty to their religion was almost negligible. While China and Russia hold the distinction for murdering their own people in maximum numbers for political ends, the credit of killing most people abroad goes to the US, especially during last 60 years. Apart from its role in the killings in the Second World War, it killed about half a million people in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, 3 million people in Vietnam and about 100, 000 people in Iraq. America’s role in Afghan’s struggle against Russia, Iran-Iraq war and Arab-Israeli conflicts is too well known to require elaboration.

The maximum number of militarymen killed in wars are also those of the current big powers that waged wars to dominate the world for their own expansionist and commercial ends. See the following table:

table=. =. |=.
p={color:#000;}.  

=.
p={color:#000;}. Military Death Toll
=.
p={color:#000;}. War
=.
p={color:#000;}. Dates
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.
=.

(Courtesy 1999 Matthew White)

Contrary to the lie propagated by Western media, Muslims have been subjected to violence by others rather than the vice versa. Russia killed millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, America killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Israel killed thousands in its conflict with Arabs. In all of these resistance movements or liberation struggles, Muslims were killed in very large numbers, while they killed much less. Here is the break-up, for example, of Israel-Arab conflicts, which have always been receiving much attention in the world media:

 

Arab-Israeli wars

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I (1947-49): 6,373 Israeli and 15,000 Arabs die

*
p<>{color:#000;}. II (1956): 231 Israeli and 3,000 Egyptians die

*
p<>{color:#000;}. III (1967): 776 Israeli and 20,000 Arabs die

*
p<>{color:#000;}. IV (1973): 2,688 Israeli and 18,000 Arabs die

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Intifada I (1987-92): 170 Israelis and 1,000 Palestinians

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Intifada II (2000-03): 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians

 

After the terrorist attack on Twin Towers, there has been inundation of books and articles trying to prove that Muslims alone are involved in terrorism. We will discuss the causes of the rise of terrorism among Muslims later. But even the propaganda that all the terrorists are Muslims is blatantly false. The history of terrorism in Ireland is several decades old. Several splinter Ireland groups including PIRA, Real IRA and Continuity IRA have indulged in numerous attacks on British targets killing and injuring several thousands of people. Spain has been struggling with its own terrorism. Basque supporters, led by ETA, are fighting for the separation of Basque country from Spain and France. Since 1968, ETA has been involved in several terrorist attacks including the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco, Prime Minister of Spain, Meliton Manzanas, secret police chief and Santiago Oleaga Elejabarrieta, the CFO of El Diaro Vasco. An assassination attempt was also made on King Juan Carlos of Spain, which failed. Apart from these well-known groups, there are several relatively less known Christian terrorist organisations. These include

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Christian Identity+] movement

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Ku Klux Klan+] (A racist [+ Protestant+] Christian organisation)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ The Order+] (1980s-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Orange Volunteers+]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Provisional Irish Republican Army+] (PIRA) (1969-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Real Irish Republican Army+] (RIRA) (1997-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Ulster Defence Association+] (UDA) (1971-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Red Hand Defenders+] (1998-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Ulster Volunteer Force+] (UVF) (May 1966-present)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [+ Lord’s Resistance Army+] (Christian/Pagan/Muslim) (1987-present) (Uganda[*)*]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Nagaland Rebels (1948-present) (Nagaland[*)*]

 

India has a long history of terrorist attacks involving Hindus and Sikhs. Sikh militancy in Punjab killed thousands in 1980s. The Government response to the movement culminated in an attack on Golden Temple in which hundreds of armymen and Sikh militants were killed. There have been separatist movements in Eastern India that led to killing of thousands of people in terrorist attacks. Naxalites have been killing people in several parts of India for almost half a century. The biggest seat of terrorist violence in the recent history has been Sri Lanka, where Hindu Tamils have been involved in terrorism for more than two decades; about one hundred thousand persons have become victims of this violence. In Nepal, Maoists have slaughtered several thousands in recent years. Maoists have more than 30000 fighters in their ranks and hundreds of thousands of sympathisers. Apart from these, leftist elements have a long history of guerrilla attacks in several parts of the world. The so-called International terrorism -- anything that involves America becomes “International”— perpetrated by Al-Qaeda has killed less than 5000 people. The war against this terrorism-either directly by US attacks or as a result of attacks by “insurgents” fighting American invaders in Iraq, has killed more than one hundred thousands of innocent Muslims. But for America, only their own people are innocents; their hearts bleed at every single American killed, but their eyes do not shed a drop of tear for thousands of Muslim innocents who lost lives just because a Super Power wanted to dominate their country. Thanks to the hate campaign by the media and some politicians, a large number of Americans seem to hate Muslims with the cores of their hearts. Such is the venom that flows down their veins that when some Muslim terrorists are involved in a bomb blast, they would shout, “Look, Muslims are murdering innocents”, and when innocent Muslims get killed, they would mock at them, “all of them deserve to be killed.”

 

The question here arises what is turning Muslims into “international” terrorists. Is it that violence is inherent in their nature? Is it that they are doing so just because they hate all non-Muslims? Or is it because they want to convert the world to Islam by hook or crook? It has been proved beyond doubt in the preceding pages with the help of indisputable statistics that, as individuals, families as well as society, Muslims are one of the most peaceful people on the face of the earth. They have much more equanimity at the individual level, have much greater family peace and live amidst a higher social security. It has also been seen that Muslims have been much less the part of the political bloodshed that reddens the last century. Furthermore, they have faced sustained hostilities at the hands of their opponents; they have been killed in much greater numbers than that they have killed. Loss of political dominance on accounts of recurrent political and military onslaughts of European countries in the 18th to 19th century followed by the recurrent persecution by Russians, Americans and Israelis have turned Muslims all over the world sour. Till 1970s, they had been only on the receiving end. Israel backed by America had snatched Muslim lands; Russia had occupied Afghanistan and US-backed dictators had been ruling most of the countries of the Arab world. In the twentieth Century, ideologically too, Islam was facing a stiff challenge from both the West and the East. Muslim intellectuals were becoming increasingly influenced either by Westernism or by Socialism. There was hardly any place for religion in a world dominated by two blocs. But Islam had an inherent capability to make a comeback even from the worst of situations. Revivalist movements had already begun at the ideological level in several countries. This was particularly evident in Egypt where Ikhwanul Muslimeen was busy bringing Islam back to the forefront in human lives. In Indian subcontinent, two major movements turned the tide. Tablighi Jamaat attracted both the masses as well as some elements of the educated class. But its aim was limited to reforming individuals. It started making efforts to change the human psychology by endeavouring to inculcate love for God, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) and his Companions. This love was conjoined with the fear of Hereafter that led to a decreased attachment for this world in the minds of the masses. But Tabligh had virtually nothing to do with social, economic and political aspects of human life. They had no idea whatsoever of what was boiling in the international arena. Allama Iqbal and Syed Maulana Maudoodi challenged the Western ideas through their revolutionary writings, the former in the form of a haunting poetry and the later in the form of a haunting prose. Both of them attracted the intellectually inclined Muslims. They gave them the reason to believe that despite the huge scientific and technological advancements of the Capitalist and Socialist blocs Islam as an ideology was far superior to them. Maulana Maudoodi in particular was able to impart social and political colours to fast swelling Islamic sentiments. But still the influences of Western and Socialist systems were strong in several countries. Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan had pro-capitalist tilts. Iraq, Syria, Libya and some other countries had strong leftist leanings. In most of the countries, the Western social and moral values were being aggressively promoted. Masses had started feeling perturbed by the new developments. The continued support for Israel had been generating hatred for Americans. Developments took fast turns towards the end of the 1980s. The first of the major developments was the success of Islamic Revolution in Iran under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini who overthrew Shah Raza Shah Pahalvi. Shah fled the country. Against the wishes of the people of Iran, he was given an asylum in Egypt at the behest of the US. This infuriated the students in Iran who took 50 Americans as hostages. The US could not secure the release of the hostages in the face of the religious fervour demonstrated by Iranians. Ayatollah Khomeini’s movement had far reaching effects. He was the first Islamic cleric, after the initial period of “Rightly Guided Caliphate” (Khilafat-ar-rashidun), who could combine his views with actions in the field. This energised Muslim masses all over the world. Till this time, Muslims had been on the receiving end for centuries. Their countries had been occupied, their faith was ridiculed and every attempt was being made to divide them on various lines. Now the time had taken a new turn. Muslims had now started responding in fashion to the designs of the Western and Socialist blocs. Russia was forced to leave Afghanistan as the result of the huge sacrifices of Mujahidin. Hizbollah Movement, influenced and guided by Ayatollah Khumeini, gathered momentum in Lebanon, which Israel and the US were using for their strategic purposes in the region. Faced with daring attacks by the fighters of Hizbullah, American forces had to pull out from the vicinity of Beirut. Soon Israeli forces had to leave in the face of stiff resistance. The success of Islamic revolution in Iran had engendered a visible unease in the Western capitals. America in particular felt offended. It could not tolerate its consolidation and export to other parts of the Muslim world, and signalled Saddam Hussein of Iraq to invade Iran. Ever ambitious, Hussein obliged the US with a swift advance towards Tehran. The initial successes of Iraqi army caused jubilation in the US. They had started calculating that the fall of Tehran was imminent. But their hopes were belied. What happened instead was the rise of Iranian nation against the invaders, which ultimately forced Iraqis to retreat. The war continued for several years. The defeat of Russia in Afghanistan and the failures of the US in Lebanon and Iran had rekindled the hearts and spirits of Islamic revolutionaries in many Muslim countries. With the downfall of Soviet Union, the US and its allies had shifted all its attention to the new threat. Islamic resurgence had been gaining ground in many Muslim countries. Malaysia had witnessed the emergence of an Islamist in the form of Mahathir Muhammad who cleverly combined Islamic zeal with modern technology, which within two decades would see the emergence of a big economic power in the region. Life in Indonesia had started showing visible impact of Islam. Pakistan was being Islamised by Zia ul Haq who at the same time kept close ties with the US. The expulsion of Russian forces in Afghanistan had paved the way for an Islamic rule there. The US did everything in its power to stall Islam from rising as a dominant force. When Islamic groups emerged victorious in Algerian elections, the US did not allow the democracy to function and beckoned to the army to take over. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait gifted the biggest opportunity to the US to increase its hold in the area. It amassed a huge coalition under its leadership and invaded Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to pull out of Kuwait. For the first time, the US forces established bases on the soil of Saudi Arabia, regarded as the Holy Land by Muslims. Though the US attacked Iraq for the stated purpose of liberating Kuwait, Muslim masses would not tolerate the US intervention in the affairs of Islamic countries. The hatred for the US achieved new heights, which was not diluted by the American intervention in Bosnia where hundreds of thousands of Muslims were brutally killed by the forces of Millesowich. Most Muslims believed that the US remained a silent spectator of the carnage of their fellow brothers, which continued for several years. The US intervened, they believed, only when its own strategic interests in Europe faced imminent threat from the Serb ruler. The US action in Bosnia could have still carried some weight had the US not continued to support Israel against Palestinians whose plight was intolerable for almost all the denizens of the Muslim world. The continued presence of the US forces in Saudi Arab was working as fuel in the fire. The hatred for United States and Israel was sufficient enough to spawn groups that would use whatever method they had at their disposal to defeat the Western designs. The ideologues of these groups were convinced that most Arab states were mere stooges of the US government and would do precious little in the direction of securing legitimate rights for Palestinians, establishing Islamic systems in their own lands, eradicating social evils and working for the uplift of masses. This was a strong enough motivation for them to fight Westernism led by America and its stooges in the Muslim world; they thought it would be a fight for the cause of God. Weak as they were, without any formal army and sophisticated arsenal at their disposal, the only option left for them was to work clandestinely and attack targets of significance. They knew that the forces they were confronting were too strong for them to defeat in a conventional war. The governments of their own countries would not support them if they used peaceful means of demonstration. The frustration this helplessness caused in their minds converted them into “terrorists”. Previously they had been indulging in relatively less threatening attacks that did not worry the West too much. But in 2001, they were able to prepare a master plan, muster courage and execute it with perfection. They chose what were three of the chief symbols of American power: White House, Pentagon and Twin Towers. The plan to hit White House failed, the attack on Pentagon was significant but without causing any substantial loss; the twin onslaught by planes on Twin Towers was big enough to change the course of the history to follow. Though no terrorist organisation claimed responsibility for these orchestrated attacks on American soil, the US administration was quick to point finger at the Al-Qaeda led by Osama Ben Laden, a man of Saudi origin who had close ties with CIA in the Afghan resistance against Russia. This was the “defining moment” for the US. It could have acted in many different ways. The delicateness of the position of the only Super Power of the world at that critical juncture was understandable. A Tiger had been challenged in its own den. It was natural for the tiger to be furious, ready to pounce, whoever it thought could have been behind the attacks. Yes, instead of fighting “terrorism” with human wisdom, it chose to fight it with the instincts of a wild animal. The US could have given a serious thought as to why there was a growing hatred in the Muslim world for its policies. It could have invited an international debate to discuss what was required to minimise the hatred. It could have taken Islamic clerics and intellectuals into confidence. Instead it chose to threaten the whole world; the jaw was demonstrated and the teeth ground implying that anyone not ready to abide the orders of the king would be crushed and engulfed. With all of its might, the US attacked Afghanistan, reduced its already dilapidated cities to ruins, killed thousands of innocents along with Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters and replaced the Government of Mullah Omar with its puppet government of Karzai. The Muslim world was furious; their fury however had an empty jaw with no teeth. Many Muslims had reconciled to the attacks by the US on Afghanistan. They felt it would perhaps silence the fury of the wounded tiger. The end of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime provided a golden opportunity again for the US to bury the hatchet and concentrate on improving the relationship with Muslim masses. Mind it, Muslim masses, not the self-imposed rulers. It had already dismantled the infrastructure of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It could have continued to hunt its elements while trying to befriend Muslims in general. But the tiger’s anger had not subsided. It was ready to engulf another prey, which in its mind, and only in its mind, was a threat to it; none in the world could see what the tiger was trying to show them. Without waiting for the UN inspectors to find Weapons of Mass Destruction, the US embarked upon a mission, which would prove to be nothing more than a mission of hatred. Which would flare the flames of terrorism rather than extinguishing them. Which would make ordinary Muslims believe the US and its allies were bent upon destroying, with their innumerable weapons of mass destruction, the very existence of their religion, their culture and their sovereignty. What followed was nothing but sheer madness. Iraq was invaded with the overwhelming might of the US and allied forces. Saddam Hussein was overthrown soon. But the real carnage followed after his exit. Even those who hated Saddam Hussein soon turned enemies of the allied forces. Insurgency emerged strongly and has continued even after two years of invasion. About one hundred thousands of Iraqis have lost lives. American and British forces are facing an uphill task in controlling the insurgency; they are working on an exit strategy but nothing has worked so far. The Iraq invasion has totally annihilated the sympathy that had been generated all over the world for the US in the wake of 9/11. The hatred for the US policies has now become ubiquitous; almost half of Americans are angry with their government. The Iraqis that were oppressed for long by Saddam Hussein have developed an equal aversion for Bush. They know that Saddam was bad, but they also have seen Americans proving worse. The average of innocent Iraqis killed per month in the Post Saddam era is surely much greater than those killed in the Saddam era. The graph of hatred in Muslim community for the US has climbed sharply. And it is the hatred that ultimately matters. No stockpiles of weapons, no threatening postures and no bombardments can generate love in the hearts of Muslims for the US and its allies. The more they will be bombed the more they will get determined to fight it. Only a handful of “terrorists” have brought disastrous consequences for the US. If suppose this number multiplies 100 times, the results can be anything but predictable. If immediate actions are not taken to redress the situation, the future spells doom for the whole world. We will discuss later what should be done to minimise the imminent threat.

 

The rise of terrorism, in short, can be attribute to three major factors: American policies, the failure of official response by Muslim countries and the failure of Islamic clerics to take the governments to task. American policies have shown glaring paradoxes:

First, while the West does not tire of espousing the cause of democracy, it has shown scant regard for the same when it does not suit its interests. The US continued to give Shah Reza Shah Pahelvi of Iran, a monarch, whole-hearted support against the wishes of the people of Iran; he in fact survived on this support. The rise of popular movement against him and the replacement of monarchy by Islamic democracy must have been a welcome change for the US if it was a real supporter of the rights of people. Instead it chose not to let the Republic of Iran function smoothly. It has been busy putting all sorts of pressure on the elected government and organising rebellion against it. When an Islamic political party emerged victorious in Algeria, the US did not allow it to hold reins. The Army got in and the civil war that ensued consumed thousands of lives. The “lovers” of humanity and democratic rights of the people kept smiling. What on the earth can explain the souring of America’s relationships with important Muslim democratic countries like Malaysia and Iran and its backing of the monarchies? The US is fooling itself if it thinks its campaign of bringing democracies to the Islamic world will help its cause. Whatever the US plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, the governments there will ultimately land in the hands of Islamic revolutionaries. In Iraq it will happen sooner than the US can expect. The Muslim masses do not tolerate the US; the democratisation is therefore not going to help it. If it thinks it can manipulate political groups within these countries, this strategy is not going to work.

Second, while the US wants every other country to honour “international opinion”, it hardly cares itself for what the world thinks about it. The overwhelming opinion of the world was against the invasion of Iraq; it still chose a course itself and treaded it along with a handful of its followers. It disregarded the UN, which it thinks must always submit to its demands. The truth is that “International community” for the US means nothing but America, and “international opinion” means nothing but the opinion of the President of America. The “champions” of democracy would not tolerate democracy in the UN. The fate of the world should be decided not by the mutual consent of all the countries but by the will of the lone Super Power.

 

Third, while the US would not waste a minute in declaring the actions of terrorist organisations as barbaric, it would do everything, civil or barbaric, to satiate its lust of power. The US forces killed thousands -- the estimate varying from a minimum of 15 to the maximum of 100 thousands -- of innocent Iraqis. The responsibilities of all killings in Iraq after the invasion fall on the US. It made open attempts of the assassination of the President of a member of the UN, and later put rewards on his and his men’s heads. Its soldiers tortured, molested, humiliated and sexually abused Iraqi prisons; the worst inhuman treatment was reserved for the prisoners at the Guatanama Bay. While it regards the death of innocents as “collateral damage”, it is not going to accept that the loss of innocent lives in terrorist attacks may also be labelled as collateral damage.

 

Terrorism would in all probabilities not have emerged had the governments in Muslim countries not been blindly pursuing the American line. If they had even allowed the masses to demonstrate peacefully, things would not have got that far. Terrorism is an act of frustration; when the governments do not act the way the masses want it to, some groups emerge from among them, which use the means available to them to try to stall the march of their detractors. While wars are the method of the strong to subdue dissent, terrorism is the weapon of the weak to challenge the mighty. Terrorism is worth condemning but less than the full-fledged wars by the strong nations against the weak. Terrorists must be condemned but in the same breath American government must be condemned. For its heavy-handedness in dealing with other countries, its exploitative policies at the global level, its attempts to hijack all international institutions including the UN, its support for social evils, even their export for its own economic ends and for its unjust policies towards the genuine grievances of Muslims.

 

Third, Muslim masses want to see clerics perform their religious duty without fear or bias. Clerics have failed to understand, at least put into practice, the real mission of Islam: bringing peace to the whole world. The fact is that they have hardly any idea of what is happening in the corridors of power at the global level; they have been a virtual failure in recognising the demands of the emerging world and planning an Islamic response to them. The world has become a haven for the forces of evils; evils of all kinds are destroying the individual, family and social lives of the people. But clerics are only busy eulogising their mentors, religious and political. This provides an opportunity to those to step in who have the will and courage to challenge the devil but not the following to pursue their goals in a peaceful manner. They have no option but to resort to undesirable if not entirely prohibited means.

 

The Western analysts have also responded to the “terrorist” problem rather childishly. Most of them have used it as an alibi for venting their own hatred or misgivings about Islam and Muslims. They have demonstrated a partisan approach. They have culled from the pages of history a few isolated incidents where Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), as the Head of State, ordered the execution of a few persons who were busy masterminding rebellion against the on-rushing revolution. They forget that this order of the execution of less than ten persons was preceded by amnesty for the whole city of Mecca. They also ignore that even the most modern heads of state try to protect their countries from visible threats by openly or clandestinely ordering the execution of the biggest tormentors. When Khomeini punishes the leaders of the enemies of Islam, the whole world yells in unison. But when Bush orders the killing of the current and former heads of state and a number of other enemies of the US and puts rewards on their heads, the world keeps quiet.

 

Let us now try to understand what the position of Islam is towards “terrorism”.

 

 

[] Islam and Terrorism (Jihad)

 

As has already been explained, “peace” in Islam does not merely refer to the absence of war. It is a much more comprehensive term that includes peace at physical, mental, family and social (national and international) levels. This implies absence of all forms of diseases and weaknesses at individual level, and absence of all forms of mischief in society. The verses of the Holy Quran are full of messages that speak of tolerance, endurance and peace. Equally strong are messages against chaos, mischief, suppression and oppression. In fact when one goes through the Holy Book, one can easily feel the intensity with which Islam wants to achieve its aim of grand peace. True, in exceptional circumstances, it allows armed struggle, but it prefers to avoid violence. And whenever it allows violence, it is only aimed at preventing greater violence or widespread chaos. Let us examine the following verses:

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. “..but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.” (2:193)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them).” (4:90)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah.” (8:61)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “……………with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.” (9:4)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.” (9:6)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.” (60:8-9)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Whenever two factions of believers fall out with one another, try to reconcile them. If one of them should oppress the other, then fight the one, which acts oppressively until they comply with God’s command. If they should comply, then patch things up again between them in all justice, and act fairly. God loves those who act fairly.” (49:9

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p<>{color:#000;}. “…and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety”(5:8)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “If they do come to thee, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If thou decline, they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge, judge in equity between them.” (5:42)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher.”(21:92)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order…”(7:56)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land…”(42:42)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “And fear tumult or oppression, which affecteth not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong…”(8:25)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “…………..if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”(5:32)

 

The above verses clearly spell out the principles of Islam. Quran is categorical in its condemnation of those who directly or indirectly contribute to mischief, oppression and anarchy. These terms surely include terrorism. But at the same time they also include glorification and commercialisation of human weaknesses (commercialisation of sex, gambling, smoking and drinking) that lead to rise in the incidence of several diseases, disintegration of families, crimes and social tensions. Terrorism is to be defined in a way in which it includes all its ramifications. The world today tends to define it in a way that suits its interests. Terrorism must include anything that can lead to diseases, instability and chaos at individual, family and social level. The states that directly or indirectly support such activities are also to be confronted with. The punishment of such activities is in fact extremely severe in Islam:

 

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter..” (5:33)

 

 

The term “Jihad” in Islam does not mean an armed fight, which at best is only a part of it. Jihad, in fact is an incessant struggle to spread what is good and uproot what is evil. The best Jihad, according to Islam is against one’s self. And when this definition is extended to a social level, it again means struggle against forces that exploit human weaknesses or oppress the weak and poor.

 

Islam is for peace. God clearly abhors mischief, and loves peace:

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief. (5:64)

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p<>{color:#000;}. And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle). (47:31)

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p<>{color:#000;}. …verily Allah loves those who act aright. (3:76)

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p<>{color:#000;}. ..but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief. (28:77)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. they are the people who will achieve (salvation). Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure.. (

 

Thus Islam has a perfect, yet pragmatic approach towards establishing a lasting peace in society. In an effort to prove that Islam is for peace, some scholars tend to totally disregard any form of armed struggle. Islam does not merely ask its followers to engage themselves in a few rituals; it prepares them to establish a system and protect it. Every ideology and system takes all the necessary measures to protect it from external and internal mischief and to consolidate it. Islam is no exception and it has greater right to work in that direction because it aims to establish the rule of God, not an oligarchy. All ongoing struggles in the world cannot be equated with terrorism. To fight against the occupation by external forces, usurpers of land, tyrannical rulers, exploiters, forces of evils and oppressors cannot be regarded terrorism. To sacrifice one’s life in a bid to harm the enemies for a justified cause cannot be condemned as “suicide attacks”; any bombing that is for a justified cause and is aimed at justified targets must be termed sacrificial bombing. There are some Islamic scholars who argue that Jihad can be undertaken only by an Islamic state. They are awfully mistaken, playing in the hands of those who want to reserve all military options open for them including pre-emptive strikes and at the same time want Muslims to forego their right to fight altogether. If Muslims can fight only under the command of a state, it means they cannot fight against an occupying force and against a tyrannical ruler. If the government of a state is corrupt, anti-Islamic or oppressive, nobody can deny the people the right to organise into groups and campaign against it. However, deliberate killing of innocents cannot be regarded desirable even if it is in response to killing of innocents by a country or a group. Though Quran allows Muslims to transgress against the enemy if it transgresses against them, this is surely the last and not the first option. Furthermore, state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism are much more dangerous than the terrorism of splinter groups. The so-called Islamic terrorism has caused much less damage and has taken much fewer lives than the state terrorism of the US and Israel and state sponsored terrorism of some other countries. What is the US action in Iraq if not the worst form of terrorism? What are Israel’s actions against Palestinians if not terrorism of the most abominable kind?

 

Another allegation that is labelled against Islam is that Quran calls for killing all the unbelievers. The protagonists of this thesis base their arguments on the verses that call for killing the Unbelievers, forgetting that these verses are war-time-injunctions. “Unbelievers” in these verses means only the unbelievers engaged in the combat. Refer to the verses quoted above that speak against compulsion in the religion, Thus the Holy Book states:

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. “..but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.” (2:193

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them).” (4:90)

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p<>{color:#000;}. “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah.” (8:61)

 

It is clear also that the injunctions of Quran are almost similar in the case of fights between factions of Muslims. It asks its true followers to also fight those Muslims who are unjust.

 

Jihad in Islam is obligatory. It is an important constituent of the Islamic mission of universal peace and justice. It is in fact incumbent on all the human beings to engage in this mission. But for Muslims it is a divine duty. Jihad is meant for protecting the weak against the mighty; for alerting the forces of evil that their sordid adventures will not go unchallenged; for giving the oppressed sections a voice and wrecking the nerve-centres of the tyrants; and for giving the exploiters sleepless nights. Jihad prepares a person to sacrifice his possessions including his life if required for the cause of God. But Mujahids must clearly know that the objective of Jihad is not to bring certain persons to power, nor to bring theocracies to the whole world through sheer use of force. “Deen”, the system of God does not necessarily mean the establishment of a theocratic government through violent means; it means the rule of justice. Fighting is only the last but an open option in Jihad. If conditions are justifiable for fighting, it becomes obligatory; if conditions do not demand fighting, it becomes aggression. If its objectives are for the welfare of the masses it is desirable; if it is an excuse for selfish ends, it is an unparalleled sin. Jihad through peaceful means must always continue without halt; Jihad through arms must be an aberration. But once the conditions are justifiable, fighting must see no sympathy for the enemy; it must be given a crushing below. Fighting against the wicked is no violence; it is an exercise aimed at minimising violence. Killing bacteria and viruses through antibiotics and antiviral drugs is essential to maintain a healthy life. If microbes are not killed, they will kill the very person who provides them the food for their sustenance.

 

Islam however does not accept that “all is fair in love and war”. Even in war, all Islamic conditions must be followed in letter and spirit. As soon as the conditions are bright for an honourable settlement, fighting must be stopped without delay; for the ultimate objective is not the subjugation of the enemy but an end to mischief, anarchy, chaos and oppression. The powers that dominate do always try to take the right to fight away from others, so that they can continue to hold reins. They amass massive stocks of deadly weapons, but deny others the right to possess them. They do not hesitate a second to attack or invade the positions of their challengers, but make too much fuss of even the smallest acts of armed resistance. They kill innocents in big numbers and label it as ‘collateral damage’; and lambaste their opponents, through the weapons of words and war, if their actions cause the deaths of even a handful of innocents.

 

Several thinkers have tried to prove that the expansion of Islamic State after its establishment at Medina was achieved through the use of force. The hawks within the Islamic community present this as a ground for their aggressive intents; the hawks outside Islam use this as an evidence of the religion’s expansionist designs and support for violence. The countries were given the option, they argue, to either accept the supremacy of Islamic State or face war. This is true that several Muslim rulers used such tactics. But there was nothing extraordinary about this strategy, for it had been an inveterate practice throughout the world at that time, before and even for centuries after that. There were no clear injunctions in Quran directing Muslims to expand the borders of their empire. What the Caliphs did was only in keeping with the established norm. At that time there was no UN charter in force, and no international treaty bound the states to certain international obligations. All the powerful rulers in that era used to demand allegiance from the smaller states, and this had been happening throughout the ages in Europe, Asia and Africa. Britain, Russia, France and China—all had been using force to expand their influences, till very recently. Islamic rulers must however be credited for their humanistic approach to their political consolidation. They did not usually indulge in massacres. Moreover, they took practical steps to earn the favour of the masses. They gave them the right to practise their own religion, the right to refuse services in the military in return of a tax, the right to live as honourable citizens, the right to earn, the right to own properties and the right to follow their own family laws and laws of inheritance. Their life and honour were guaranteed full protection. Even in fighting, strict observance of certain principles was prescribed by Islam, which most of the rulers in general followed. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave clear guidelines regarding conduct during combat. He prohibited Muslim soldiers from killing women, children and the elderly, or cut a palm tree. He advised them, “… do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a new-born child.” Another tradition of the Prophet states, “Whoever has killed a person having a treaty with Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance is found for a span of forty years.” Yet another tradition states, “The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgement will be those of bloodshed.” Quran equated the killing of an innocent as the killing of the whole mankind. The Prophet also said, “Truly your blood, your property, and your honour are inviolable.” And “There is a reward for kindness shown to every living animal or human.”

 

The truth is that in most of the places conquered by Muslims the people took a sigh of relief at their arrival; they more often than not brought them out of the yoke of injustice and tyranny. This is why the masses thronged to accept Islam in most of the places, and even after the departure of their conquerors they mostly remained loyal to their new religion. In the conquered countries, Muslim caliphs often preferred to have local men in charge of the affairs. The rule of Muslims, with a few exceptions, proved to be far superior to that experienced by the masses before. It was this confidence in the new system that the Islamic caliphate, despite the fact that many of the caliphs were not as pious and upright as Islam would want them to be, was able to sustain itself for about a millennium. Even after the dismemberment of the caliphate, almost all the people of most of the Muslim countries have continued to be within the fold of Islam; some of them have emerged as its citadels. It is significant that an outstanding number of Islamic scholars in the current world hail from non-Arab countries like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran and Turkey.

 

It should be made clear here however that the nations are now bound by the treaties of the UN that do not permit any country to conquer any other country for the expansion of ideology. Muslim as well as non-Muslim nations are parties to this agreement. So no Muslim or Non-Muslim nation can now be allowed to invade or threaten other nations for the export of its own ideology or for any other reason unless there are compelling reasons to do so and the majority of the members of the UN agree to it. However, people are free to propagate their beliefs, ideas and customs through peaceful means. But the world must be ready to ban all such substances and practices that lead to death and social problems at a big scale. In the name of freedom, the business of death cannot be allowed to prosper.

 

It can be seen that not only the constitutions of all countries as well as that of the UN permit the use of force for certain purposes, scriptures of almost all religions also prescribe the use of force in several situations. Compare them with Quran, and it will be clear that Quranic guidelines are much better example of a perfect and pragmatic approach in the current world.

 

[] Bible on the use of force

 

Let us see what the Bible has to say about the use of force. The following verses are from the Bible, New International Version (NIV), 1984:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Do not allow a sorceress to live. Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death. Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed. (Exodus 22:18-20)

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p<>{color:#000;}. This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour.’ The Levites did as Moses commanded and that day about three thousand of the people died. (Exodus 32:27-28)

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p<>{color:#000;}. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites…. The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps…. (Moses ordered) “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. (Numbers 31: 1-18)

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p<>{color:#000;}. (Jesus said) “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me. (Luke 19:27)

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p<>{color:#000;}. He (Jesus) said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. (Luke 22:36)

Christians who are always blaming Quran for asking Muslims to “kill the unbelievers” must stop this tirade, as Jesus asked for the “enemies” to be killed “in front of me.” The Old Testament is replete with the accounts of bloody battles that killed thousands of persons. In this context, following remarks from an article are important:

Is Christianity only a religion of Peace and Love? I do not think that anyone can honestly and objectively examine American or European history and answer “yes” to that question. Christianity can encourage Peace and Love – but it certainly need not, and it quite often has done just the opposite. Although the people responsible for violence might have found a way to express their hatred without Christianity, it cannot be ignored that Christianity offers a convenient divine mandate for hatred and violent acts against a wide range of people………Violent inclinations in Christianity are apparent right from the beginning……The course of modernity has been one strewn with blood, bones, and bodies – much of which can be attributed to Christianity.” (Atheist.com)

 

In another article, “The Real History of the Crusades”, Thomas F. Madden, despite his huge defence of the crusades against Islam, admits:

 

“…I was frequently asked to comment on the fact that the Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn’t the present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades’ brutal and unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren’t the Crusades really to blame?….. Ex-president Bill Clinton has also fingered the Crusades as the root cause of the present conflict. In a speech at Georgetown University, he recounted (and embellished) a massacre of Jews after the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and informed his audience that the episode was still bitterly remembered in the Middle East. (Why Islamist terrorists should be upset about the killing of Jews was not explained.) Clinton took a beating on the nation’s editorial pages for wanting so much to blame the United States that he was willing to reach back to the Middle Ages. Yet no one disputed the ex-president’s fundamental premise…… The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilisation in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.

….The Crusades were wars, so it would be a mistake to characterise them as nothing but piety and good intentions. Like all warfare, the violence was brutal (although not as brutal as modern wars). There were mishaps, blunders, and crimes. These are usually well-remembered today. During the early days of the First Crusade in 1095, a ragtag band of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine, robbing and murdering all the Jews they could find. Without success, the local bishops attempted to stop the carnage. In the eyes of these warriors, the Jews, like the Muslims, were the enemies of Christ. Plundering and killing them, then, was no vice. Indeed, they believed it was a righteous deed, since the Jews’ money could be used to fund the Crusade to Jerusalem….. Jews perished during the Crusades, but the purpose of the Crusades was not to kill Jews”. He takes lot of pains in proving the better side of crusades, which of course is opposite to the analysis of most of the neutral historians. This is why he calls his analysis “the real history”. But the negative side of crusades is extremely ugly. Not only Muslims but Jews were also brutally massacred in the process. In the first Crusade, the Christian fighters, in order to avenge the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, massacred tens of thousands of innocent Jews, Muslims, and even Orthodox Christians who had the misfortune to dress or look like Muslims. On July 15, 1099, they reached Jerusalem where streets were drenched with the blood of Muslims and Jews. Those who survived were sold into slavery. In 1144, in the Second Crusade, the Jewish communities of Germany faced another slaughter in Jesus’ name. During the Third Crusade in 1170. Jews in York, Lynn, Norwich, Stamford, and other towns of England were massacred. In 1198, Pope Innocent III began the Fourth Crusade. He ordered Jews to wear badges to identify themselves, and then ordered them to be killed to atone for Jesus’ death. After the formal ending of Crusades, thousands of young Crusaders burned their way across Europe exterminating more than 150 Jewish communities. The worst victims were of course Muslims. In the First Crusade, nearly all of the Muslims inside Antioch. were killed by the merciless crusaders. . Then the crusaders attacked Marrat an-Nu’man where the crusaders (The Templars, known for their religiousness) slaughtered a hundred thousand people. The attack on Jerusalem witnessed the worst kind of brutalities that ever occurred before in the history. No Muslim was given mercy. Old, young, men, women and children were brutally massacred. The blooded flooded the streets, reaching as high as knees. Muslims were thrown from the tops and burnt. The crusaders mounted the Mount of Solomon and killed hundreds of thousands. In contrast when Salaadin recaptured Jerusalem, no Christian was harmed. Those who wanted to leave the city were allowed to do so; those who wanted to live were allowed to live by paying tribute. Those who could not pay tribute were condoned. The irony is that Crusaders themselves lost millions of lives in the fights; often Christens killed fellow Christians with the same brutality with which they massacred Muslims and Jews.”

 

 

[][] Use of force in Hinduism

 

Despite the avowed principle of Ahimsa (non-violence) that Hinduism preaches, Ahimsa has sufficient scope for Himsa (violence). Hindu scriptures are full of grandiose descriptions of wars and battles. “Mahabharat”, one of the most sacred scriptures of Hindus is in fact all about the “greatest” war that was fought on the surface of the earth, under the command of Lord Krishna. “Ramayana”, the other important scripture too has the war between Ram and Ravan as one of the main chapters. The major Hindu festivals like Diwali and Dussehra are celebrated in the memory of the victories in wars. Many Hindu thinkers have been preaching for years the desirability of the use of force against their “enemies”. It will be worthwhile here to quote from an article, “THE REAL HINDU VIEW OF AHIMSA (non-violence)” by Shri Nandan Vyas. He says:

 

[* “The Hindu scriptures extol virtues of Ahimsa (non-injury or non- violence) and consider it an essential tenet of and guide for PERSONAL behaviour (ONLY). However destruction of wicked essential for establishing the Dharma (righteousness) is considered Ahimsa also……As the Bhagavat tells us: Jivo jivasya jeevanam Bhagavat - 1.13.46 .... (1) Knowingly or unknowingly a larger life form consumes a smaller life form, thence complete Ahimsa is not possible. Also in this respect one must define right or justifiable Himsa, and unjustifiable Himsa….in the context of the Mahabharat war wherein Bhagawan Krishna repeatedly asks Arjun to fight the righteous war (Tasmat yuddhasya Bharat!)….. Because the HINDU SCRIPTURES CONSIDER UNAVOIDABLE VIOLENCE (HIMSA) RELUCTANTLY UNDERTAKEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A RULE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (DHARMA SANSTHAAPANA) FOR THE BETTERMENT OF SOCIETY AND FOR SUSTENANCE OF ONE'S BODY AS JUSTIFIABLE AND CALL IT AS AHIMSA ALSO. ….Dayaa tiche naav bhutaanche paalan aanika nirdaalan kantakaanche (Tukaram Gatha - Abhanga 129)...(4) Meaning - Compassion is thy name - nurturing all (living) beings AND the destruction of the wicked. …..Even Manusmruti says : Aatatayinaa mayaantam hanyaadevavichaaryan (Manusmruti 8.350) ...(1) Meaning - A wicked, evil aggressor should be killed without any hesitation. …. …In fact in Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna promises – ‘paritraNaaya saadhunaam vinaashaayacha dushkrutaam dharma sansthaapanaarthaya sambhavaami yuge yuge (Gita 4.8) …(7) Meaning – For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of dharma, I am born age after age…..real popular Hindu view considers destruction of wicked as*] Ahimsa also. Hindu scriptures are full of incarnations of Vishnu and Shiva with the destruction of wicked demons as their main Avatar karya (reason to be). It is also more than a coincidence that all Hindu divine images are always bearing arms. Even Hindu goddesses, such as Durga, Bhavani, Kali, carry weapons, and are immortalised in the stories of their destruction of the wicked. Even now during the Dasshera festival Hindus perform puja of their weapons. This tradition is followed even in the Indian and Nepali armed forces, particularly in the Gorkha regiments. Thus bearing arms and destroying the wicked are considered necessary for the preservation of society and are considered as Ahimsa.”

 

The article also gives the opinion about the need of taking arms in the current world and exhorts Hindus to fight their enemies:

 

In the present day context, the fight against historical injustice against Hindus and the Hindu way of life must be considered as Ahimsa also. Because fighting for justice is a Hindu’s righteous duty (dharma). “

 

The article criticises Gandhi’s approach towards non-violence, “Gandhiji’s non-violent struggle worked against an educated and cultured oppressor, namely the British.” It then goes to prove that Gandhi’s style will not work against less cultured enemies who must be suppressed by force without any hesitation.

 

History is enough proof that whenever Hindus got the opportunity, some of them used the violence in all its brutality. They vanquished Buddhism in the early part of the first millennium, using all sorts of methods for that purpose. In the immediate aftermath of the Partition, Hindu-Muslim madness consumed hundreds of thousands of lives. During the last 50 years, Hindu-Muslim riots have consumed tens of thousands of lives, the overwhelming majority of those killed being Muslim men, women and children. The worst pogroms were of course in Assam (Nille), the violence following the demolition of Babri Mosque and the Gujrat riots recently; thousands of Muslims were brutally murdered in each of these, many burnt alive and many pregnant women brutally slaughtered, their foetuses taken out and put to the sword.

 

 

[] Buddhist violence

 

Despite Buddhism preaching an extreme kind of non-violence, it also allows its followers the right to self-defence. Buddhist monks learn martial arts as part of their religious duty. The Shaolin order is specially known for their expertise in martial arts. Buddhists have been involved in numerous violent struggles in South Asia that resulted in death of tens of thousands of people. In the fourteenth Century, Buddhists led an uprising that evicted Mongols from China. In the twentieth Century, Japanese Zen masters openly supported Japanese wars of aggression. Sawaki Kodo wrote this in 1942: “It is just to punish those who disturb the public order. Whether one kills or does not kill, the precept forbidding killing [is preserved]. It is the precept forbidding killing that wields the sword. It is the precept that throws the bomb.” The civil war in Sri Lanka between Buddhist Sinhalse majority and minority Tamils has cost more than 50,000 lives. There are numerous other examples of Buddhists’ involvement in violence in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.

 

 

[] Atheists and Violence

 

The fact that followers of almost all the big religions have engaged in wars and other forms of extreme violence, either for justifiable or unjustifiable reasons, often not in conformity with the highest teachings of their respective religions, has often been used by atheists as a stick to beat religion. But the truth is that atheists of various kinds have indulged even in more cruel pogroms and wars. Mao’s China witnessed killing of millions of people. In the Communist Russia, the story has been no different. Millions of men, women and children lost their lives in the short history of Soviet Union. In the Second World War, China and Russia lost more than 20 million people. Russia invaded Afghanistan and more than half a million Afghans lost their lives in the resistance movement against the Soviet army. Russia’s war against Chechen rebels too has resulted in the death of more than one hundred thousands of people. Even the violence caused by many Christian countries like America and Britain in the Twentieth Century may be attributed to atheism, because many of the rulers though born in Christian families have had atheistic inclinations. In fact the international violence increased with the rise of the atheistic secularism. Most of the more than 240 million deaths in the twentieth Century may be attributed to the rise of atheistic ideologies of Secularism and Economic Fundamentalism including Capitalism and Socialism.

 

There are some other arguments that the Western media use against Islam. First, they try to prove that Muslims are involved in violent tussles with almost all communities in different parts of the world: Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. They conveniently forget that even in this regard Christians and the Western powers outscore Muslims. Christian countries occupied India for about two centuries, where majority population was Hindu and killed hundreds of thousands of Indian freedom fighters including Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. British Christians entered Australia, killed hundreds of thousands of aborigines there and occupied their country forever. “Report details crimes against Aborigines” by Brett Stone, 7 September 1999, describes gory details of the extermination of aborigines. It says:

The genocidal practices perpetrated against Australian Aborigines were the outcome of policies adopted and implemented by all Australian governments from British settlement in 1788 until the present…..Aborigines were forced out of their traditional homes, hunted like wild animals, poisoned or shot, and confined to the harshest and most desolate climes. The effect of British settlement upon these people led to near extinction within 120 years….Even though no official figures exist, estimates of the Aboriginal population in 1788 range between 250,000 and 750,000. By 1911 the number was 31,000…..….Aboriginal children were abducted for use in forced labour, women were raped and tortured and given poisoned flour, and the men were shot…Between 1829 and 1834, an appointed conciliator, George Robinson, collected the surviving remnants: 123 people whom were then settled on Flinders Island. By 1835, between 3,000 and 4,000 Aborigines were dead….Between 1824 and 1908 approximately 10,000 Aborigines were murdered in the Colony of Queensland. “Considered ‘wild animals’, ‘vermin’, ‘scarcely human’, ‘hideous to humanity’, ‘loathsome’ and a ‘nuisance’, they were fair game for white ‘sportsmen’….…Aboriginal people met him (Archibald Meston) “like hunted wild beasts, having lived for years in a state of absolute terror”. His prescription for their salvation lay in strict and absolute isolation from all whites, from predators who, in no particular order, wanted to kill them, take their women, sell them grog or opium”. Needless to say, none of the perpetrators of the slaughter were made to answer for their actions.”

 

Similarly brutal atrocities were reserved for native Americans who were killed in thousands by Europeans and their country permanently occupied. A website, Ken Hope’s Home Page says,

 

“…De Soto is described by a contemporary as “fond of the sport of killing Indians.” Natives are captured in the hundreds and forced to march in chains, carrying stores. He kidnaps a native chief known as Queen Cofitachequi, and plunders a case of worthless mussel pearls from her. …By now, epidemics brought by Europeans have killed almost half of the native population of Mexico. According to historians (See From Revolution to Reconstruction on Net), in 1600 AD, there were about 40 million people living in the Western Hemisphere that now forms North America. In the region that forms the US now, estimates say that up to 18 million native Indians lived. Majority of them was killed either in numerous wars and skirmishes with Europeans or through Chicken Pox and other epidemics brought by them.“

 

For centuries, they have been engaged in massacres of Jews. American forces invaded Vietnam, where hundreds of thousands of Buddhists were killed. They killed half a million people of Japan, which again has been a Buddhist country. In the modern history of the world, hardly any Muslim country has occupied any non-Muslim country while Christian countries have colonised a large number of countries. Wherever Christians are in some numbers, for example Indonesia, Kenya and Lebanon, they have been involved in violent struggles with Muslims. Second, it is argued that currently it is the armies of Christian countries, not private terrorist organisations that are fighting. What a ludicrous argument! Where is the need for the people to fight when their powerful countries are engaged in the worst forms of terrorism? Bush has put rewards “for capturing live or dead” the heads of states and the leaders of “terrorist” organisations. It is also argued that Muslim countries are not democratic. This is based on the assumption that only the Western style democracies are the best form of government. The truth is that the Western style democracies are nothing but an instrument in the hands of the big business to perpetuate their hold, through good as well as bad means. And when we look at the statistics, what comes out is that there are only 36 democratic countries in the world, which means only about one fifth of the total number of countries. If we look at the Muslim world, currently Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Algeria, Palestine and several other countries belonging to the erstwhile Soviet Union are democratic countries, where regular elections are held. This number is certainly not less than one fifth of the total number of Muslim countries. If there are several monarchies or autocratic Muslim countries, there are a sizeable number of Christian countries too that have autocratic regimes. If there is a democratic India, there are Kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, though all of these are predominantly Hindu countries. Most of the Buddhist countries are also not democracies. It has been discussed before that in Islam no ruler can occupy the seat unless he has the support of the people and Islamic system of governance is much better than the Western style of democracies.

 

 

[] What is Kafir?

 

Let us also discuss here the question often raised by the opponents of Islam about the word “Kafir”. It is argued that Muslims regard all others as Kafir and that Islam asks its followers to kill all Kafirs. This is oversimplification of facts aimed at nothing but denigrating Islam. Literally, Kafir means one who has disproved, disbelieved, rejected or dissented. So literally speaking, for Christians Catholics those Muslims, Jews and all others who disprove their principle of Trinity are Kafir; for Jews those Christians and Muslims who have rejected their fold are Kafir; and for Hindus Muslims and Christians rejecting Hindu principles are Kafir, that is dissenters. Similarly, for Muslims, all those who disprove Islamic principles of Oneness of God, Embassy of all Messengers of God including Jesus and Moses, Mohammed’s being the Final Ambassador of God, Quran’s being the Final Book of God and Hereafter are Kafir. Literally speaking, even Muslims are Kafir of Polytheism, Trinity, etc. Now in this connection following comments are important:

 

First, Unlike the melechh and rakshas used by Hindus and Heathens used by Christians for those who do not follow their faiths, Kafir, used by Quran for the disbeliveers, is not a derogatory term. It simply means one who disproves the ideology of Islam.

 

Second, all non-Muslims are not Kafirs. A person becomes a dissenter only after the message of Islam has properly been conveyed to him, has been given time to think, has been formally invited to Islam and has categorically rejected the invitation. All others remain in the category of “ignorant” or “undirected”. It is the duty of Muslims to properly convey the message of Islam to all the inhabitants of the earth, through the best and kindest means possible, without any coercion. If they have failed in their duty, they will have to share the blame for the inability of the “ignorant” to accept Islam.

 

Third, even Kafirs fall into several categories. There are those who have simply disproved Islam but have no hostile intentions against it and are not engaged in hostile activities against Muslims or anyone else. Quran makes it clear (verses quoted before) that it does not want Muslims to fight those who have not fought with them or have not expelled them from their homes. Quran is still more benign on another category of Kafirs: those who follow the Divine Scriptures. They are called Ashab-al-Kitaab (People of the Book) and essentially include Jews and Christians, but according to a group of Indian Islamic thinkers, Hindus too come in the same category. Muslims have been told in Quran that they can maintain social relations with them and can even marry their women. (There is no categorical ban in Quran on Muslim women marrying Christian and Jew men, but most of the theologians believe the permission is there for only Muslim men to marry the women of Ahl-e kitab.) Quran even praises their priests who are engaged in services to humanity for the pleasure of God. Then there is a category of Kafirs who have formal treaties with Muslims. Muslims have been told to honour their commitments, as agreed upon in the pacts. This category also includes non-Muslim subjects living in Muslim countries who enjoy full protection by the state. There is always a scope of revising all forms of treaties depending upon the positions taken by the parties. Then there is the category of those Kafirs who are openly engaged in hostile activities, fights, rebellion and mischievous activities through campaigns of hatred or are violating their treaties with Muslims. These must be dealt with without any sympathy; different forms of punitive actions including sanctions, boycott and armed struggle can be used against them in accordance with the demands of the situation. But even in their cases, Quran makes it clear that if they return to peaceful ways God does not give Muslims a lead to unnecessarily pursue and persecute them. Quranic injunctions of killing “Kafirs”, as appear in some verses related to the conduct during fighting, apply only to the last category.

 

9. Towards Natural World Order: Agenda for a Cleaner World

 

It is true that human beings are animals. But it is equally true that ‘human beings’ are human beings. They may eat, mate and die like animals. But in addition, they possess an extraordinarily healthy relationship with fellow human beings, a highly sensitive conscience that censors their activities, and a supreme spirituality that seeks to instil divine virtues in them. “Liberty”, in the modern era, has only become an iron-chain prepared by the economic fundamentalists for the purpose of shackling the conscience and spirituality of human beings. These must now be liberated and allowed to function without fear. Once the conscience and spirituality are set free, humanisation of mankind will progress rapidly. Man will then not only enjoy the fruits of material developments, but will also ensure this is done in a way as would not disturb his mental peace and social order. The agenda for the future must be to establish Natural Word Order rather than New World Order. New World Order is unstable by its very meaning; what is new now will become old tomorrow. The Order has only brought chaos at all levels. It has led to the development of a strange kind of world, which appears to be paradise from outside, but as one enters it, one finds nothing but hell. We are living in a world where, thanks to the designs of merchants, immorality reigns. Where it is easier to be bad than good. Where wearing a scarf is banned and baring the body is promoted. Where being a wife or husband is outdated and being a bed partner is smartness. Where piety is ridiculed and impudence glorified. Where prosperity is considered to be the synonym of peace, education that of knowledge and entertainment that of happiness. Where condoms are presented as wonderful little bags possessing everything required for a wholesome life. We are living in a world where children are aborted in the name of women’s rights. Where, murderers and rapists are protected in the name of ‘right to life’. Where, criminals are given all amenities of life in the name of human rights. Where, sexual perverts receive all kinds of sympathy and attention. Where those talking of righteousness in life are condemned as “bloody moralists”. Where, the media do everything to change the choices of the people, but if some reformer tries to warn them against evils, he is dubbed as a retrogressive, who has no business to teach lessons of good behaviour to the people. Alcohol, smoking, gambling and unrestrained-sex are considered to be the biggest symbols of liberty, brothels, beaches, bars and casinos the citadels of “freedom”. One third of the total population of the world smokes, millions of people take drugs, millions drink and gamble and a sizeable percentage indulges in all forms of unhealthy sexual behaviour, including promiscuity, homosexuality, purchased sex, etc. In short, we are inhabitants of a world where the biggest virtue is to openly indulge in the biggest sin; and the biggest sin is to try to exhibit virtuousness.

The globe of New World Order is therefore rapidly developing into nothing but a fireball of chaos. It is hardly surprising then that

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 1 million people are murdered every year. (More than 240 million people lost lives in wars in the last century)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 2 million people commit suicides

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 5 million people die of sex related diseases (more than 20 million have died of AIDS in recent years)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 2.2 million die of alcohol related problems

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 5 million die of smoking related problems

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 70 million children are not allowed to take birth and are aborted.

The deaths due to poverty and unhygienic conditions are also there, but for these, it is ignorance, not knowledge that is to be blamed. They occur in the poor and undeveloped areas and are not the result of the designs of human minds, though the people of the area particularly the leadership has to share the blame. The above-given are however the figures related to damages consequent upon the deliberate acceptance of certain concepts of individual freedom and the deliberate promotion of a legal, social and economic system that supports the interests of the economic fundamentalists. Apart from death, other diseases, addictions, family disintegration, exploitation of men, women and children are other dangerous consequences of economic fundamentalism in the developed regions of the world. So

[ More than a hundred million suffer from alcohol related illnesses*]

[ More than 2000 millions smoke*]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Hundreds of millions indulge in gambling. 500 million are now using Internet alone for gambling. (In US alone, 20 millions show some signs of gambling addiction and 2 million divorces had gambling as a significant factor.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 100 million suffer from sex transmitted diseases (42 million from HIV/AIDS)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tens of millions of women are in prostitution and other sex related businesses (more than one million Americans alone have served as prostitutes)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 1.2 million of children are exploited annually in prostitution and other sex trades

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 800 million watch pornography

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Millions of homes are broken every year

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Millions of women are raped every year; in many Western countries one tenth to half of all women have been raped (The total number of women who have been raped at least once is in hundreds of millions)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sexual abuse of children is on the rise all over the world; in many Western countries up to one third of all people have been sexually abused in their childhood

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Drug addiction is also persistent; tens of millions of people are addicted of harmful drugs

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Civil wars, wars and riots for various reasons are also not showing any remarkable decline, consuming thousands of lives every year

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Economic disparity between different countries and people of the world and among the people of the same countries is continuously growing; poverty may be on the decline but relative poverty is showing steep rise.

It is in the backdrop of this universal disharmony that Islam has to play its role. The whole social, legal, economic, administrative, scientific, health and educational set-up all over the world is founded on un-Islamic premises. Yet Muslims seem to be in a permanent somnolence. Everything that Quran expressly prohibits is destroying the social fabric everywhere. Polytheism of various kinds is prevalent all over the world; even those that are not pagans have become slaves of money, addiction or sex. Alcohol has become the water of life for the people. Early marriage is banned while premarital sex is promoted. Promiscuity is glorified while polygamy is mocked. Sex has become one of the biggest industries with the result that it has become as much associated with death as it has been with life. The economic system is based on exploitation and marketing of evils. Crimes are ever on the rise. For a few hundreds or thousands of deaths caused by “Islamic terrorists”, the whole world is being terrorised; for millions of deaths caused by the modern sexuality promoted by merchants of sex, alcohol and smoking, criminal silence is maintained. All international organisations including the UN, WHO, WTO and Amnesty have been dancing to the melody of globalisation trampling, in the process, individual’s physical, mental and spiritual health, family peace and social order.

[] Islam, not Muslimism

It is unfortunate that most Muslims seem to have forgotten the real objectives of Islam. Islam is being equated with Muslimism. The truth is that Islam is for all, not just for Muslims. But Muslims are generally insensitive to the needs of others and the needs of mankind as a whole. Neither at the national levels, in different countries particularly where Muslims are not in majority, nor at the international level, Muslims come up with demands that can have bearing on the lives of the whole society. Most of the times they are busy preparing charters of demands for themselves. Normally these demands comprise reservations for Muslims in jobs or political institutions and favours in different fields. This is not that they do not have the right to air their genuine grievances. They must not hesitate in demanding what they need. But their folly is that they have little interest in setting the agenda of national and international policies. In India, for example, Muslim organisations do not even respond to the declaration of the National Budget, which is one of the most important policy-setters in the life of a nation.

[] System, not just individuals or community

The so-called Islamic and Muslim organisations have been unable to recognise their role. Either they have been busy in reforming individuals, or are trying to strengthen Muslims as a community. There is no endeavour whatsoever to influence the direction the world is heading. It is high time Muslims rose to the occasion. They must clearly know that Islam aims to achieve a comprehensive peace throughout the world. They have been fighting in the fields, in which they are weal rather than in those, in which they are strong. Instead of getting entangled in military warfare, which though must remain an open option wherever required, they must engage in a full-fledged ideological and intellectual aggression. Quran has clearly outlined the objectives of Islam, which are as follows:

(1) To work for the common good

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity.” (3:104)

(2) To endeavour for the unity of mankind

O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women.” (4: 1)

Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later).” (10: 19)

And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other). But people have cut off their affair (of unity), between them, into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself…” (23: 52-53)

Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher…” (21: 92)

(3) To work for peace at every level

The System in the sight of God is that of PEACE (Islam).” (3: 19)

(Islam, literally, means Peace and is defined as total submission to God.)

But God doth call to the Home of Peace: He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a way that is straight.” (10: 25)

Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then God hath opened no way for you (to war against them).” (4: 90)

[* There hath come to you from God a (new) light and a perspicuous Book,- wherewith God guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light,- guideth them to a path that is straight.” ] [*(5: 15-16)]

(4) To maintain universal harmony and balance

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves…” (2: 143)

And the Sky has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (in it) in order that ye may not transgress (due) balance.” (55: 7-8)

(5) To work for justice at every level

And God means no injustice to any of His creatures.” (3: 108)

O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both.” (4: 135)

Say: “My Lord hath commanded justice.” (7: 29)

God commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion.” (16: 90)

The fundamental principles of Islam have already been described. If Muslims have to play an effective role in the world affairs they must immediately set a plan for it. This is a pretty kettle of fish. The application of Islamic principles to the contemporary world has to begin without wasting any more time. Let us discuss the principles that the followers of Islam must start campaigning for at the war footing:

[] Comprehensive Peace

It has to be explained to the world that peace is a comprehensive state. It has individual (Physical, mental, psychological and social health), family (peaceful relationship between members of family) and social (community, national and global) components. Half definitions of peace suited to the interests of the powerful lobbies will not be acceptable. Peace of individuals has no meaning unless it is complemented with family peace and social order. To be concise, individual health, family peace and social order must be the three basic aims; all the activities, whatever field they may be associated with, must be guided as well as limited by the trio. Any substance or action that seriously hampers anyone of the three must not go unchallenged in a civilised society. If society permits them, it may be anything but civilised. If it encourages them, it is nothing but barbaric.

[] Three Dimensional System

To achieve these goals, Islam builds a constitutional infrastructure. The distinguishing feature of Islamic system is that unlike other contemporary systems that give Fundamental Rights supremacy over Fundamental Duties and omit Fundamental Prohibitions altogether, it creates a three-dimensional structure with equal emphasis on Fundamental Duties, Fundamental Prohibitions and Fundamental Rights. A system based on this impregnable triangle gives Islam the flexibility that is required for being a system for all times to come.

The two-dimensional approach is inadequate in maintaining order in society. It is innately dangerous, as it unleashes the forces of exploitation. No society can maintain order and tranquillity unless it has its set of restrictions. Its members must not only claim for their own rights, but must also be duty-bound to help in its survival and development, and they must not be in a position, even if they want, to do what is expressly detrimental for society. A three-dimensional approach is therefore mandatory if the totally paralysed and redundant law has to be rejuvenated. The two-dimensional constitutions, without any express provisions of fundamental prohibitions, guarantee rights only for the strong and those rights of the weak that the strong seek to exploit. The three-dimensional approach, on the contrary, with explicit Fundamental Prohibitions, is a guarantee for the rights of all the members of society including the weak and the underprivileged. Fundamental Prohibitions must be aimed at ensuring the same trio of objectives — Individual Health, Family Peace and Social Order, the three essential components of what can be called Grand Peace.

 

Muslims must not hesitate to lead an aggressive campaign for Fundamental Prohibitions. Seminars must be organised not on Fundamental Rights but on Prohibitions. People must be explained with the help of statistics that are easily available why prohibiting certain practices is necessary. They must be told in unequivocal terms that Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs, Gambling and uninhibited sex outside the boundaries of marriage have no place in a civilised society. They are too dangerous for the humanity to be tolerated anymore. Murder and other crimes including rape cannot be allowed to go unpunished; the punishment must be equal to the crime. Economic exploitation should be forbidden and its dimensions thoroughly exposed; harshest possible measures must be taken to minimise the economic disparity.

 

 

[] Comprehensive Hygiene

 

If we want peace, we need a purer world; if we want a purer world, we need total hygiene. Hygiene is being used in a very limited sense. Physical hygiene is of utmost importance for the corporate world because it suits them; mental hygiene, sexual hygiene and social hygiene have no meaning for them because they pose serious damages to their vested interests. If internal hygiene is promoted tobacco and alcohol industries will nosedive; if sexual hygiene is promoted many industries including film, pornography, prostitution and tourism will become defunct; and if social hygiene is promoted, gambling industries will perish. For the economic fundamentalists, it is the health of industries not that of human beings that matters. Let people suffer but under no circumstances market can be allowed to suffer. Let the people be killed, let families be disintegrated, let tensions of all kinds plague society, but the interests of the corporate must never be allowed to be killed, slump must not disintegrate them and non-growth must not plague them.

 

Islam on the other hand prefers to preserve human health, dignity and honour. Monetary interests do not influence Islam’s concept of hygiene; it is the betterment of mankind that concerns it. It promotes therefore comprehensive hygiene, which alone can ensure a purer, safer and healthier world. It takes every possible step to ensure physical, mental and social hygiene. For physical hygiene, some of the steps taken are as follows:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Total ban on alcohol, flesh of dead animals, pork, drugs, tobacco (it should be declared prohibited in accordance with the principles laid down by Quran), blood, etc. (Internal Physical Hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Regular bath after impurities, 5 times washing of the exposed organs of the body, cleaning of the area after each passing urine and defecation, cleaning of hands after touching any unclean things including animals like dogs, maintenance of mouth hygiene through miswak (brushing of teeth), etc (External Physical Hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sex only with spouses of opposite sex, total ban on promiscuity, homosexuality, sex with animals, incest, paedophilia, anal sex and sex during menses and immediate postnatal period, washing of mouth and private parts soon after intercourse, (Sexual Hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Total ban on any such activities that can incite people to indulge in forbidden activities like pornography, watching sex and violence, reading materials that can lead to corrupting thoughts. (Mental Hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Regular prayers, tasbihat (repeated rehearsing of God’s Attributes, invocations, preaching to others, meditation, charity (Spiritual hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cleaning of clothes, surroundings, environment (Environmental Hygiene)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ban on usury, bribery, commercialisation of forbidden practices, economic exploitation, murders, spreading mischief, rumours, promotion of brotherhood, mutual co-operation, well-established marriage system, proper care of children, etc. (Social Hygiene).

 

 

[] Family Peace, not Family Welfare

 

There is need to develop an Islamic model of family welfare, consistent with Islamic principles. For this however, a threadbare analysis of the current international model of family planning programme has to be made, which unfortunately is guided by the primary objective of population control. Let us first try to analyse the pros and cons of the population control programme.

 

Population control programme has been pursued in varying intensities not only by the countries that have been under the influence of the West but also by several hard-core socialist countries including China, non-aligned countries like India, Egypt and Cuba and Islamic countries like Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. That the programme is not all garbage is also evident from the fact that it had its inception when capitalism and socialism were at loggerheads with one another. If communist countries have also adopted and aggressively pursued it, it could not essentially have been anti-people. Yet, if during the last few decades, the implementation of the programme has received an extraordinary thrust, it is because the big business has developed several interests in its pursuance. It may be true that the population is growing at a rate considered fast by the experts. It may also be true that such a rapid growth of population escalates several problems. If infectious diseases cause mortality and morbidity at alarming rates, mothers still die during deliveries, a sizeable percentage of infants do not remain alive to celebrate their first birthday, and out of the rest, many more die in their paediatric age owing to the lack of nutritious food and unavailability of good medical care, and cities are becoming overcrowded, the population growth may be a significant, if not the only contributory factor. But there are other factors related to the issue that are conveniently forgotten. Disinformation is generously used to further the birth control programme. For example, the impression has been usually disseminated that a steep rise in population would create the shortage of food. Studies by the organisations monitoring food production have been categorical in proving that the rise in food production in the last half century has been greater than the rise in population. If the people still starve, it is because the food is not allowed or made to reach them. It can be said with confidence that if the distribution of food becomes equitable no human being on earth will remain hungry. The earth allows the birth of only as many humans as it can sustain. The economic fundamentalists know this. This is why some economists have gone to the extent of arguing that increase in food production must not be allowed to occur; for if the food production rises the population will naturally expand to consume it. It can thus be the reason why food is not allowed to reach all the corners of the earth for if it reached all humans it would save many a life from starvation. This would obviously cause an increase in population. Once there are no more deaths owing to starvation, the drive for population control will receive further setback. Why exactly the economic fundamentalists seek to keep population under control will be explained below.

 

Another point that has been missed is that the total biomass of the earth remains the same. If the human population grew, the population of animals would decrease and, if the human population were reduced by natural or artificial means, the animal population would increase. The question arises: should we reduce the number of human beings and increase the population of beasts? If the human population has always continued to increase it is because Nature designs to replace the less developed creatures with the better developed. Should we endeavour to interfere with this natural preference? Similarly, in order to popularise family welfare programmes, the advertisements suggest that early marriage is detrimental to the health of the girl. This again may be disputable; for if Nature has made her physically capable to reproduce the probability of damage to her body would be minimal, provided of course she takes adequate diet and receives appropriate medical care, which are essential as well for the older mothers. Ironically, boys and girls are never discouraged to have sex before a certain age. It has been very well documented by gynaecologists that the chances of congenital abnormalities in children and certain kinds of malignancies (cancers) of women rise with the increase in the age of the mothers. The best period for procreation is below thirty. Family welfare programmes are definitely worth following as far as their objective is to save mothers and children from diseases and death. Proper spacing is essential. Avoidance of pregnancies in mothers who are ill, or when their other children are not healthy, or if the income of the family is too meagre to sustain a large family, is also understandable. But, is the programme really aimed at alleviating the problems of the common people? Unfortunately not. There is much more to what meets the eyes. Behind the “mercifulness” for the poor are several undeclared motives.

 

One, by fixing the blame of every problem of the world on the population growth, the economic fundamentalists are able to divert attention of the people from their own sinister games that are in fact responsible for the sweeping poverty. When less than five per cent have more than ninety per cent of the country’s income (and wealth) in India, for example, how a population growth of less than two percent per annum is going to aggravate the problems? Despite the high rate of population growth, the country has become self-reliant in food production, and is now in a position to export it. Still, poverty haunts more about half of the nation. Even if the population growth becomes zero, with the continuous flow of wealth from the poor to the rich and from the richer to the richest, would the situation show any signs of improvement even in decades? The situation warrants harsh measures and requires that the holders of ninety per cent of the wealth of the country be made, either through force, or through change in policies, to share the benefits of their wealth with the rest of the countrymen. It is not the explosion of “population bomb” but that of the bomb of truth that frightens the economic fundamentalists. Lest the people know the truth, it is better to keep them engaged in debates on the adverse effects of population growth.

 

Two, the big industries know that a bigger family uses a bigger chunk of its income to purchase food items. Rest is utilised in purchasing clothes that too are usually of cheaper variety often produced by small industries. Little money is left with it to buy costly consumer goods manufactured by the big industry. It tends to assist agricultural growth (and that of small-scale industry) at the cost of industrial growth. It is essential therefore that the size of the family remains small so that it can save enough money to shower on the big industries.

 

Three, the popularisation of contraceptive devices through promotion of small family norms is a great boon for industrialists. Through these programmes, men and women are informed and habituated of the use of methods for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. This awareness helps the commercial sex. If women had not become fearless on this account, promiscuity could never have become common. Furthermore, through the marketing of various contraceptive devices, the industries earn billions.

 

Fourth, encouraging men and women to marry as late as possible again immensely benefits the sex market. For the sustenance of the flesh-trade, demand and supply are essential; and if the people start marrying as soon as they attain puberty, the market would take a nosedive. It is hardly surprising therefore that to achieve success in population control encouragement to promiscuity as a method to discourage people from early marriage has been advanced by the Western experts. It is also for the same reason that the so-called champions of human rights do never raise their voice against killing of millions of children by way of abortion every year. The truth is that the so-called family welfare programmes are aimed at the disintegration of family system, for family system is not consistent with the “development” model. The weaker the family system is the more likely the members of family are to squander money in the consumer and sex-market and therefore to help the “development”.

 

The current international model of family welfare is replete with shortcomings. It is primarily aimed at population control, Family Welfare being only a secondary objective. In Islam, the primary aim is the welfare of family itself that indirectly helps the control of population as well. Furthermore, Islam designs its programmes in a way that general moral values are not compromised with. Here are the outlines of an Islamic model of family welfare, which can be called Family Peace. It will not only be acceptable to Muslims but will also be seen with respect by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians.

 

[] Fundamental Principles

 

1. Recognition of family as an essential and equally important institution of human organisation along with individual and society;

2- Recognition of family peace as a fundamental principle of a peaceful human living. (Family Welfare cannot be pursued at the cost of family peace); Family Peace or health has to be defined as a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of each and every member of family and creation of a family-friendly environment within and outside family (society);

4- Recognition of a legally sanctioned properly solemnised marriage between an adult male and an adult female as the starting point of the establishment of a family and rejection of all forms of casual relationships.

 

Objectives

 

1- To strengthen the institution of marriage;

2- To strengthen the concept of a cohesive family that essentially means good understanding between husband, wife, their elderly parents and children;

3- To ensure that all the members of the family are physically, mentally, spiritually and socially healthy;

4- To ensure that all such practices as are destructive of family peace and health are effectively prohibited.

 

Steps for ensuring Family Peace

 

1- Steps for strengthening family system

(i) Strong measures at all levels (Social, spiritual, legal, administrative, etc.) against unhealthy and immoral sexual practices:

  • Extramarital sex

  • Premarital sex

  • Homosexuality-Sodomy and Lesbianism

  • Other sexual perversions like incest, etc.

(ii) Effective measures at war-footing against all dimensions of commercialisation of sex:

  • Eradication of prostitution and social rehabilitation of prostitutes by adopting a proper procedure

  • Total and effective ban on all forms of pornography, eroticism and obscenity

  • Censoring of all such materials in all forms of the media as provoke or promote unhealthy sexual practices including promiscuity and other sexual perversions

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Steps at all levels to ensure health of all members of family

 

  • Emphasis on the health of the father (If the earning member is unhealthy, the whole family will suffer)

  • Emphasis on the health of mother-antenatal, natal and postnatal and during breast-feeding

  • Emphasis on the health of children (boys and girls without any form of bias)

 

3- A balanced, ethical, scientific and humanist approach to birth control

 

(i) Desirable (General encouragement)

  • Active breast-feeding for a period of two tears and use of harmless mechanical methods (in case menses start) to ensure that the period of breast-feeding is completed

  • Delay of marriage till the man is not only physically and mentally adult but also is financially competent to maintain his family and the woman is physically and mentally adult (that is mature enough to bear the burden of a family). (There should, however, be no lower limit in years of the marriage except the biological adulthood)

  • Use of harmless methods like Azl, rhythmic methods and condom if the mother is unhealthy or previous children are sick

 

(ii) Permissible when the couples are already overburdened on account of any form of hardships

  • Harmless methods like Azl, condom, Jelly, etc.

 

(iii) Normally undesirable but selective encouragement of harmful contraceptive methods where the hazards to mother’s or child’s health are more than the adverse effects of such a method

  • Oral pills in certain types of diseases

  • Vasectomy or Tubectomy when any of the parents are suffering from a disease likely to be transmitted to the child (Such as AIDS, some genetic disorders, etc.)

 

(iv) Ban on abortion as a method of birth control

(Permissible only for pure medical reasons when there is an imminent threat to the life of mother or child or there is an imminent risk of developing a serious disability)

 

(v) Campaign against newer methods unless their harmlessness is proved beyond doubt

 

(vi) Campaign against false propaganda and misinformation to popularise family planning

 

(vii) Campaign for due recognition of the right of parents to determine the size of their family (They can be forced neither to increase nor decrease the size of their family)

 

(viii) Campaign against the use of force or disincentives for promoting birth control

 

4- Special programmes to promote moral development of the whole family

 

5-Popularisation of personal hygiene for good reproductive life

  • Circumcision

(This protects from a large number of diseases including sexually transmitted diseases especially AIDS, Gonorrhoea, etc., cancers of penis and cervix and phimosis and paraphimosis)

  • Proper washing of private parts after intercourse

  • Avoidance of sex during menses

 

The model presented above may be an ideal ground for discussion. Islamic scholars can deliberate over it and give it the final shape after making suitable amendments. They can show to the world that Islam can care for women and children in a much better way than the current world ruled by economic interests. Population stabilisation will be achieved, but numerous adverse effects on family and society will not accompany it.

 

Islam takes other measures to ensure good individual and family health. Some of these are to be popularised at the global level. For example, breast-feeding for a period of two years has been prescribed in Quran. This is extremely important. It has been proved beyond doubt that breast-feeding plays an extraordinary role in the proper growth of children. It has been found that children who have been breast-fed are 10% less likely to develop Hypertension, 20% less likely to develop Heart Attacks and 30% less likely to develop cerebrovascular strokes. They are likely to live 10 years longer. They are also less likely to develop criminal tendencies and problems of social isolation. It has been documented that the best period of breast-feeding remains 2 years. This also means that if properly followed the average gap between two issues would increase towards an ideal 3 years, which is good for mothers as well as children.

Another important matter related to health is the type of food Islam promotes. Contrary to popular belief, it does not promote non-vegetarianism. Instead, it promotes varied kind of food having mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items. It is clear from the Prophetic traditions that Muhammad (PBUH) used to savour milk, fruits particularly dates, honey, cloves, black cummin and several kinds of cereals, apart from the flesh of fishes, birds and camel.

[] Human Security, not Human Rights

 

Human rights have been one of the most popular issues at the global level in the modern era. The modern concept of ‘human rights’ also originated from the West. Superficially, it looks an extremely fascinating slogan. But its hidden objectives are not that attractive. The West feared that the kind of economic fundamentalism and legal system that it had decided to aggressively pursue could have some very serious adverse effects. It would engender barbarism in society in the form of steep rise in all forms of crimes including murder, rape, robbery and bribe. It would also enhance societal tensions as well as psychiatric illnesses. If these really happened, it would give a bad name to their ideology. To counter this, the economic fundamentalists sought to impart a new meaning to ‘human rights’ so that the darker face of their civilisation could not come to the fore. They could use the brighter side to fusillade those systems that were unwilling to accept the economic hegemony of the West. The result of such re-orientation has been that the situation of human rights in a country is not assessed on the basis of crimes there, but on how the accused in various crimes are being treated by governmental institutions and agencies. Apparently, human rights organisations argue that they safeguard the people against excesses. But in reality, they only serve criminals and saboteurs of social peace. What happens to the victim of a crime and his relatives does not bother them; their function is only to follow the trial of the accused. It has already been discussed that the economic fundamentalists have vested interests in the paralysed legal system, for criminals and crimes form an indispensable part of their operations. Criminals are supported in more than one ways. If they or their crimes have any political dimensions the “champions” of human rights are quick to label their trial as ‘political vendetta’. It is true that governments tend to be less kind towards their opponents, and often use the stick of law to punish them. But it is equally true that all political forces have some nexus with criminals who are used to create ugly situations for the ruling party or coalition. This side of the coin is however intentionally overlooked. Human rights organisations never publish reports on the crime-situation in different countries, and never pressurise the governments to drastically reduce them, so that the common people can pass their lives without fear; for such reports would unveil their own faces and fingers will then be at the Western ideologies.

 

‘Women’s rights’ is yet another extremely favourite subject with the Amnesties and the Human Rights Watches. And it is needless to repeat that the major aim behind all the raucous that is regularly made is to assist merchants of sex and barons of consumer industry. Why is it that “purdah” (veil) annoys them, but prostitution does not? Why has Amnesty, the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, never bothered to tell the world that there can not be a bigger crime against womanhood than its sordid commercialisation? Why does it not shout that a civilisation cannot claim to be a true human civilisation if it creates a social environment in which women have to willingly or unwillingly sell their bodies? Amnesties and Human Watch groups take extraordinary pains to highlight the cases of rapes in police custody or in prisons. But their eyes do not bleed at thousands of rapes that innocent women have to suffer daily all over the world. If they begin to unveil the nefarious strategies of the commercial exploitation of women, nothing else would be required to prove their credentials. But the truth is that amnesties are damnesties, which are only mouthpieces of the economic fundamentalists. Their goals are only to glorify Westernism and degrade every other system. One of the issues that Amnesty and other organisations have continuously been raising at different platforms is that of child labour, an issue ostensibly inspired by humanist sentiments. There can hardly be anybody not moved by the concern shown for the innocent children who, instead of going to schools, have to earn their livelihood in factories and fields. They often have to work in wretched conditions. The situation needs prompt redress. But, is this concern for child labour the only or the real motive behind the worldwide campaign? The actual motivating force, on the contrary, is the strategy of big industries to throttle the small sector, so that they can expand their own market. They know that small-scale industries may be individually small, but combined they have a sizeable share in the economy of at least some countries. They reckon that these industries survive only because they can get relatively cheap labour in the form of young children; once this labour goes beyond their reach, they will not be able to compete with the big industries, and will be left with no option but to wind up. Why should the circulation of money remain confined between owners of small-scale businesses and their clients, without the involvement of the big business? The economic fundamentalists neglect the fact that these children are bread-earners for themselves and their extremely poor families, where each member has to financially contribute to survive. If child labour has to end better ways should be found, so that small-scale industries do not face virtual extinction.

 

It is now high time the concept of Human rights was re-examined. Human rights are nothing if they do not guarantee the security of the common people, including men, women and children, old, young and yet-to-be born. Islam has a larger plan, which aims at Human Security, human rights being only one of the means to achieve that aims. To ensure human security, emphasis on prohibitions is equally essential. Human Security demands that lives of all human beings must be safeguarded against all kinds of external threats. None -- individual, society, corporate sector or government, can be allowed to offer the choice of death to the people; freedom of choice must be limited to choice among the good. A choice between life and death cannot be given to the people. A child cannot be left on a highway hoping that it will take all the necessary precautions to save it from being crushed by fast moving vehicles. People are like children who more often than not are guided by baser instincts that suck them into all forms of life-threatening and peace-threatening habits. Addiction has hardly any regard or fondness for knowledge and sanity. Who knows better, about the effects of alcohol, smoking and sexual perversions, than do doctors? Still they often succumb to the temptations. A smoker, a drinker, a drug addict and a promiscuous person understand that they face huge risks on account of their habits; but such is the effect of these on baser instincts that they find it hard to be governed by their knowledge.

 

Human security demands that all necessary measures must be taken to minimise

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Murders (severe punishment to criminals)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. all other crimes (punishments equal to crimes, and poverty alleviation)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. rapes and other crimes against women (Severe punishment to rapists, proper dress code, ban on nudity and sex in films and media)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. diseases caused by gambling, smoking, drinking and unhealthy sexual practices (ban on tobacco, alcohol, gambling and all forms of sex industries)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. suicides (apart from ban on all forms of addiction, endeavours to strengthen family system)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. abortions (total ban on abortions except for medical reasons, ban on premarital sex)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. commercial exploitation of women (total and effective ban on prostitution and pornography)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. commercial exploitation and sexual abuse of children (Total and effective ban on commercialisation of sex, harshest legal measures against sexual abusers, social environment conducive for healthy family life)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Effective steps to minimise economic disparity (this will be discussed later) and poverty

 

I will like here to elaborate a little on the plight of children owing to the development of modern sexuality. It will be worthwhile to quote from my book “The Killer Sex” that deals the subject in great details:

 

The new sexual morality espoused and promoted by the big business, especially the global merchants of sex, annihilated all the barricades in the way of free sex. Marriage or any other formality, age, gender, place, time and previous relation—all paled into insignificance for the purpose of a sexual encounter. The only restriction that the legal framework put, albeit without making it effective in practice, was the consent of the two individuals seeking sex. If both agree, nothing can stop them. They would be advised however to take precautions as far as possible not to let their ecstatic love drift to an unwanted fruition. This can devastate their own career, they would be told, and also the country’s economy. Never mind though. If despite precautions, a woman conceives, she need not unduly worry. The state is there to provide whatever she needs for a safe abortion: legal permission, social protection and free services. Private clinics, in their own way, are looking to provide the best.

 

And with abortion begins the sad story of children being killed and abused for none of their faults. An estimated number of about 70 million of children are caused to perish before their birth every year. Staggering figures from all accounts. Figures that must put the whole mankind to shame and must jolt from head to toe every person with conscience. But where is mankind? What we know of mankind today is that it is a kingdom of human beasts seeking pleasure and nothing but the pleasure, whatever the consequences. And this is not just the pleasure of the whole mankind at the cost of other creatures. It is for the gratification of the strong among men who have mastered the science of eradicating all that can directly or indirectly become impediments in their stupendous march towards an unstoppable fun and entertainment. What then if for this majestic plan, few millions of partially formed human fleshes are to be discarded! They are of course just the humans-in-making, not humans themselves. And they are the weakest obstacles as well. Flowers must be protected, proponents of abortion seem to argue, but there is no plausible reason why tears should be shed if buds are nipped to “save mankind from undesirable consequences”. Big movements are organised against the killing of animals and the extinction of rare species, against the uprooting of plants and deforestation, and also against the destruction of historical monuments and sites. These have the backing and support of one or the other elements of power. But a notable global campaign against the unceremonious killing of millions of humans-in-making cannot be allowed to gather momentum. The cronies of the Big Business are always there, fully armed with the arsenals of “sophisticated” logic and money to thwart any such development. Still, we are forced to believe we are living in a civilised world that cares for human rights. And those that shout at the top of their voice for human rights happen to be those who silently preside over most of these killings. The only voices audible in the all-pervading eerie silence are of those that are concerned merely and specifically with the killing of female foetuses, as if the killing of a male foetus is justifiable but not that of a female. Ironically, female feticide, not feticide in general, is regarded a genuine issue at the global level. It is agonisingly but amazingly true that an abortion not based on gender discrimination is normally not even labelled feticide. To join the fray against female feticide is considered a noble cause on account of it being part of the global movement against the gender-discrimination. But criminal silence on the abortion of male children is no discrimination in their eyes on the similar ground. I do not purport to say that the sordid practice of female feticide does not invite the concern it does. Female feticide is outrageously abominable, and must be condemned in the strongest possible words. In India, the problem has become so acuminate that, in some states like Punjab and Haryana, it has already severely disturbed the male-female ratio in the population that has gone down to as low as 650 women per 1000 men in some areas. Demographic catastrophe of its own kind is staring at the country’s policymakers. Such has been the traditional revulsion towards a girl child, especially among Hindus, in which community dowry still remains a major issue, that the news of the birth of a girl is often welcomed with gloom writ large on the faces of the members of the family. With ever increasing consciousness towards small family norms, it becomes even more compelling for couples to get the sex of their babies determined early in the pregnancy. If a couple already has a girl, it is more likely to opt for abortion, in case the test proves the foetus to be a female. According to reports, out of the foetuses that are aborted in India after sex determination, around 99 per cent are females. That is absolutely unacceptable. But what I want to emphasise upon is that abortion on any non-medical ground with few exceptions like when pregnancy is the result of a rape must be unacceptable. If a hue and cry is raised against female feticide while abortion as such is accepted, it is largely because of the clashes of interests. Female feticide is no product of globalisation and is of no assistance to global business. This can in fact be jeopardous, as it can lead to less availability of females for scores of business that need them. Every possible effort must therefore be made to stop this. Abortion as a whole, on the other hand, helps their cause because it helps young women overcoming a big hurdle in their work and it helps in stabilising the population.

 

Abortion is such an important chapter in the book of the “modern” sexuality that it would be “obnoxious” to scrap it. The permissibility of abortion and the availability of medical services at the first door are essential prerequisites if the population is to be kept in check, and the commercial sex is to prosper. In fact wherever women play a meaningful role, abortion always helps. Women in their young age are the best consumer items themselves, or the best agents of promotion for other items. If large number of them have to take leave from the bazaar recurrently to be confined to houses or maternity homes for months, industrial “development” would take a nosedive. Therefore, the problem of abortion would be taken care of in its finest details. The hullabaloo against the termination of pregnancies would have to be diplomatically quietened. Any overture that to avoid pregnancy women must avoid sex before marriage would be dismissed as non-starter outright. This would generate insurmountable problems for several major industries. Their marshals would immediately rise on their feet to declare that this would be a death-blow to the very idea of “freedom” that has been espoused and developed with such concerted efforts all over the years. Despite recognition in the inner corners of their hearts that it was the ideal solution, people would not press it because they have been made too addicted to the uninhibited sex to accept any restrictions on their activities. Those who talk of humanitarian grounds are confronted with the argument that it is better for children not to be born rather than being neglected. The argument may be grotesque, as it proposes to replace a smaller evil by a greater evil, substituting death for neglect. But the protagonists of abortion possess the intensity and lungpower that would effectively submerge any emerging voice of sanity in the din. Right to live, which is used assiduously as the bullet to shoot the protagonists of death sentence, has been conveniently forgotten when it comes to abortion. What can be a colossal, yet notorious tragedy than this that parents are being made to be a party in the cold-blooded murder of their own children. And still greater tragedy is that parents hardly feel any compunction or remorse. Even mothers have been reconditioned to believe it would be a greater sin to bring their kids out of their wombs if they are not in a position to look after them than to finish them. Thus the most innocent human beings are slaughtered without tears falling anywhere for them, and without anyone caring to perform obsequies for them. The ghastliness of this crime is unparalleled. No other crime can be anywhere near it in terms of cruelty and severity. If God had decided to punish the crime of abortion in the world itself, He would have perhaps doomed the whole earth without delay. I remember a woman coming to a doctor colleague of mine to seek abortion. He politely asked her: “What’s the hurry, lady? Let your child come out of your belly. It will then be easier for you to strangulate it” The woman walked off in tears. But who would tell this to every woman who attends a clinic for abortion? The interests of so many are at stake: those of the big business in general, particularly sex trade, hospitals and doctors, to name a few. Why should they unnecessarily bring morality into picture? Morality, in their view, is a needle in a haystack; it is futile to attempt a search for it. And when it also helps the common people to overcome the unwanted adverse effects of their desire to stroll freely without chains of morality, why should they raise voice against it, even if in their minds and hearts they do not feel particularly comfortable about it? What a way to live the life! Immorality heaped on immorality. To get away with one immoral act, take the help of another even more immoral act. And if there is a danger of the people becoming unduly distressed on account of their immoralities, change the definition of immorality! So that moralities become immoralities and immoralities become moralities.”

 

Islamic organisations must popularise the slogan of Human Security at every possible level. Seminars must be conducted to highlight concerns related to the security of all human beings. Regular surveys must be conducted to assess the position at the global level, as a whole as well as the situation in all the countries of the world. The governments of different countries must be sent missives demanding strengthening of legal system and multisectorial campaigns against all the crimes and evils. Governments of Muslim countries must be constantly pressurised to raise the issues of global security in the international organisations, including UN, WHO, European Union, NAM, etc.

 

 

[][] Governance by the Best

 

Democracy literally means ‘a government by the people, of the people and for the people’. In truth it is a government of the corporate, by the corporate and for the corporate. The result is that in most of the cases it is not the best among the people that ascend the ladder of politics but the ones chosen by the corporate, who often prove to be the worst for the people. The irony is that it is the people who appear to be voting them to power; they have no option but to elect from among those chosen by their rich masters. Islam, on the other hand, promotes the real democracy, which means Government of God, by the best servants of God and for the people; for in Islam the state belongs to God, and what belongs to God does in truth belong to the people. God alone can be selfless Master, whose only interest is mercy on all its creatures. In Islamic countries, Islamic organisations must campaign for an Islamic republic. In other countries, they must campaign for suitable changes in the constitution that allow the most dedicated, selfless and competent persons, at the same time clean enough to be role models for the people, to form the political hierarchy. There must be a screening procedure for the candidates in all elections, and the criteria for the head of state and government must be very strictly selected and applied. They should not just be the administrative heads but also true leaders of the masses. Suitable steps must be taken to ensure that the corporate world and other powerful lobbies are not in a position to unduly influence the decisions of the government.

 

 

[] Peace Economics

 

The development of modern economy has been mainly the result of the aggressive economic fundamentalism, an ideology with emphasis only on economics in general at the cost of health, family peace, and social order, and on the interests of the big business in particular. The economic fundamentalists have grown in power by following well-defined objectives, which may be enumerated as follows:

1. To increase demands of goods and services in the market by:

(a) Changing perceptions of the people;

(b) Creating false standards of life;

© Fanning human desires;

(d) disinformation

(Without, of course, caring for their adverse impact on individual, family or society)

2. To monopolise supplies through extensive advertising and friendly governmental policies that give them the right to use specific brand name

3. To monopolise assets and money by (a) saving their own money and converting it into long-lasting assets (that would continue to increase in value); and (b) using public money for their own business

4. To attract public money by encouraging them to (a) squander whatever they earn; (b) to invest whatever they save in banks or stock market

5. To neutralise whatever they have to part with either as taxes or interests to financial agencies by regularly increasing prices

6. To pay to their employees much less than what they deserve

7. To throttle all those sectors (agricultural and small scale industry) that are doing business without the involvement of the big industries

8. To mastermind welfare programmes that do not adversely affect their interests and/or help their cause—directly or indirectly

9. To commercialise every strength, weakness and need of human beings without caring for their effect on health, family or society

In contrast, the objectives of the economic set-up, envisaged in accordance with Islamic principles and spirit, may be named “Healthy Economics”, or “Peace Economics”, and may be summed up as follows:

1. To visualise economics as not the only but one of the important parts of human life

2. To ensure that all the social and economic developments must be aimed at safeguarding the health of all individuals, family peace and social order

3. To ensure that industrialists do not earn at the cost of labour and consumers

4. To ensure that the money of the rich is so used as to benefit the common people, and not the vice versa by: (a) changing the tax structure (imposing assets tax rather than income tax); (b) giving due representation to small share-holders in policy decisions; © distributing the profits among all those who have contributed in the success of the company; using emergency measures whenever the level of disparity among the rich and the poor exceeds a defined limit

 

5. To guarantee that the susceptibilities and weaknesses of human beings are not misused for commercial purposes: (a) by banning commercial exploitation of all forms of addiction and sex; (b) by strengthening the legal system so that exploiters and oppressors find it impossible to continue their activities; © by continuously preaching the need to support the good against the evil

6. To ensure that political and legal set-ups promote healthy economics

7. To ensure that social values are shaped in accordance with their impact on health and social conditions, and religion plays an effective role in reducing tensions at all levels

 

 

[] World forums

World forums too have been reduced to nothing but pawns in the hands of the forces of globalisation led by the USA. This is highly unfortunate that the policies of all the international forums have no stamp of Islam. Muslims hardly play any role in deciding their directions. If universal peace is to be achieved, Islam must play an effective role in influencing the direction of these forums.

To antagonise economic fundamentalism at the international level, drastic measures have to be taken. The first of course must be the reconstitution of the UN. The United Nations must be truly democratic in character; all nations must be equal in rights as well as duties. There is no way a democratic organisation of the countries can run successfully if some of its members have unqualified rights over the others. The growing regional powers like India, Japan and Germany must not campaign for the extension of veto power to few other countries including themselves. They must instead seek the abolition of veto altogether. If the big powers do not agree to this they must be bold enough to start the process of the formation of an alternative body; and must, along with all the opponents of veto power, resign forthwith from the UN. This is the only way pressure can be mounted on the US, Britain, France and their allies. It must be ensured that all the constituent parts of the UN concentrate on the problems of the world as a whole and endeavour to find out the right kind of solutions—solutions that do not have ulterior commercial motives. The call for globalisation of the world must be changed with that of universalisation of the globe. The universalisation must be directed at the opening of the world’s natural resources and know-how wherever they exist for the benefit of all those who need it wherever they live on the earth. The countries holding reservoirs of natural products must seek reasonable price, and must not indulge in blackmailing tactics. The UN must redefine its objectives. To ensure health, family peace, social order and a war-less world must be its basic goals. Strict action must be taken against any country violating the UN code. The office bearers of various bodies must be rotational.

Human rights organisations must stop cheating the world in the name of human rights. Instead of being sympathetic to criminals, they must show concern for the masses. It is undoubtedly important that there should not be any political killings; convicts should not be given punishment more in severity than their crimes; nobody must be lodged in jails without proper trial; the accused should be given proper opportunity to defend themselves; and the abuse of children and women should be stopped. Still more important however is to guarantee that there are no murders, no rapes, no robberies, no bribes and no suicides in society. Furthermore, it should be ensured that no woman or child is entrapped in the sex market; no human embryo is aborted in the name of reproductive rights; an environment is created where women including divorcees and widows find it easier and safer to marry; women do not have to suffer on account of the drinking and gambling habits of their husbands or fathers; and children develop in a peaceful family, free of tensions due to alcoholism, gambling, separations, divorces, or fights between parents due to their extramarital liaisons.

 

The world bodies like the UNICEF, UNDP, UNPP, WHO, World Population Fund, etc. must base their schemes, plans and programmes not on the basis of fallacious sets of premises, articulated by theorists under the influence of the economic fundamentalists, but on the basis of objective analyses. Their policies must be result-oriented; a policy that gives better results has to be better. A legal system that drastically reduces crimes, a sociological pattern that remarkably lowers social tensions and a health policy that effectively prevents diseases have to be preferred and put into action. Polemics are no answer to problems. Problems must be solved by all possible means; the only golden maxim that should be followed is that the solution must not engender bigger problems than the problem it seeks to solve. A lesser evil can substitute a bigger evil, and not vice versa.

While in general, groupism at the international level is not a healthy sign, the groupism that is already there warrants that Muslim nation too must form a group of their own and this group must then seek co-operation of all the other groups on the quid pro quid basis. Muslims must try to develop good relationship with all the countries but not at the cost of fundamental principles. It is high time now Muslims formed Islamic Union like European Union. But if any such beginning is made, it is imperative to make it sure that its objective will be to achieve peace and prosperity and to promote the real comprehensive meaning of peace. It must take extraordinary precautions to avoid military conflicts unless there is no other option left.

Muslim countries must realise the strategic importance of developing and sustaining ties with European Union, India, Russia and China. European Union and America are involved in a keen tussle for supremacy. There are visible signs that the member countries of European Union feel threatened by the unilateralism adopted by the US, and they want to bring an end to this as soon as possible. Muslim countries must try to balance their relationships with both – European Union and America. Developing strong ties with EU will certainly help them in safeguarding their strategic interests as well as achieve their ultimate goal of realising their Islamic dream of comprehensive peace. Developing and maintaining relations with India is of equal importance. India is a growing world economic power. It has advanced technical know-how and availability of working capital. India is also a country having arguably the biggest Muslim population of the world. Strengthening ties with India will of immense mutual benefit, and will also help the cause of Indian Muslims. If Muslim countries develop good ties with Russia, China and India, this will act as a balancing force in the world politics. This will counterbalance the threat that the US and European Union can pose in the future. But Muslim countries must try to, as far as possible, be on good terms with all the countries. Apart from developing strong ties with the big players in International politics, it is their divine duty to act on behalf of the poor and the weak. To work for selfish ends would bring them on par with the Western countries, which they must avoid. They have to demonstrate to mankind that they are the champions of the weaker sections and the enemies of the forces of evils, and they work only for the pleasure of God. While they must endeavour to achieve economic strength through all possible legal and moral ways, their growing economic strength must benefit the masses. Muslims must concentrate their attention to the African and South American people, where there is not only extreme poverty but is also extreme chaos in family and social lives. They need help on all fronts – ideological, socio-economic and moral.

[] Islamic Council of Peace

To put Islamic point of view emphatically, an Islamic Council for Peace must be set up. It must have religious scholars and experts in different fields from every country. This must have a big research team at its disposal. The council must take suitable stands in all the issues of the world. Its aims, objectives and the method of function can be discussed and fixed with consent.

10. Let’s March Towards Peace!

Quran states:

 

“He Who created

The Seven Heavens

One above another:

No want of proportion

Wilt thou see

In the Creation

Of The Most Gracious

So Turn Thy Vision again:

Seest thou any flaw?

Again turn thy vision

A second time: (thy) vision

Will come back to thee

Dull and discomfited,

In a state worn out.” (67:3-4)

These beautiful verses invite the man to have a look at the cosmos, its beauty, its harmony and the unfailing nature of its system. The universe is huge with more than 1012 galaxies and 1024 stars in it. The size of the universe is so big that there are areas from which the light travelling at the speed of about 300,000 kilometres per second has not yet reached the earth. This is despite the fact that the universe is assumed to have come into existence more than 15 billion years ago. In spite of the massive size of the universe and innumerable bodies that form it, the universe has an unfailing harmony. Satellites revolve around planets, planets around stars; numerous stars form numerous galaxies, numerous galaxies form numerous clusters, clusters form superclusters, which form one or few megagalaxies. All the systems act with impeccable precision; all follow the same sets of laws, wherever they are. Peace and harmony are there in the universe because everywhere the same system is being strictly adhered to. If the laws decreed by the Creator at the time of the creation of the universe had not been followed in totality it would have been dead by now. But it exists because it follows the laws of God. If inhabitants of the earth had followed the same set of laws everywhere and in all spheres of life, and had stuck to the restrictions instructed to them by the messengers of God, the earth too would have become a garden of unparalleled beauty. It would the have become an abode of peace, which would have been available to all. But inhabitants of this planet chose to follow different sets of laws, which were decreed by the powerful among them for the sake of the perpetuation of their own supremacy over the rest. The result is that this tiny part of the gigantic universe has become the abyss of anarchy where the devil rules. In short, Islam is well established in the universe, but man could not establish Islam on the earth. The day mankind decides to follow the system of laws enjoined by their Creator, the Devil will be on the run and peace and harmony will immediately begin to return.

Man is the reservoir of strengths as well as weaknesses. Peace is the result of the realisation of human strengths. If human strengths are ignored and weaknesses are promoted and glorified immanent chaos is the inevitable consequence. Man is a child and society its guardian. A child tends to err; the guardian has to keep a watch and use corrective measures whenever required. The more perfect the guardianship the better are the prospects of children developing into sensible adults. If children are left to themselves doing whatever they like in the name of freedom many of them will groom into ruffians. If guardians start promoting an environment conducive for the adoption of dangerous practices all but few of the children would grow into perverts of one or the other kind. Human weaknesses are born out of the human desire to get rich as quickly as possible, to have an unceasing fun, at the earliest, and their willingness to copy what others do, especially their nears and dears and the elite of society. When man feels hungry, he wants to enjoy delicious foods of all variety, when thirsty, he wants to have all kinds of drinks, and when one feels like having physical fun, one wants to have as many partners as one can afford to have. Added to this, man tends to get addicted too soon to analyse and give up a habit after he has been exposed to it. If there are forces that are looking to exploit these tendencies, which are too powerful to be sidetracked, chaos, anarchy and violence are sure to vanquish peace, calm and tranquillity.

 

Islam does not merely promote Peace; Islam is peace itself. One who has entered Islam wholeheartedly has entered peace in its entirety. One who has accepted any part of its moral, social and legal principles is on the way to enjoy at least some of the fruits of peace. One who has left some parts of it has lost at least some dimensions of peace. Finally, one, who has disproved everything that Islam preaches, has put oneself away from the path of peace and on the course of chaos. Islam does not rule the current world with the result that chaos prevails, as is evident from the figures cited in the preceding chapters. Muslims of the current world have adopted Islam partially. This partial application has deprived them of the peace in its entirety. Still they are in a much better state of peace than the people living in the so-called developed world are. This is evident from the fact that they have

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. one of the lowest rates of murders

*
p<>{color:#000;}. almost negligible incidence of suicides

*
p<>{color:#000;}. very low rates of rapes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. negligible consumption of alcohol and alcohol-related deaths and other problems

*
p<>{color:#000;}. very low rate of gambling related problems

*
p<>{color:#000;}. extremely low level of family break-ups

*
p<>{color:#000;}. extremely low number of prostitutes and pornographic actors among them

*
p<>{color:#000;}. negligible level of sexual abuse of children

*
p<>{color:#000;}. very low incidence of sex-related, alcohol related and gambling related diseases

*
p<>{color:#000;}. relatively low incidence of drug addiction

*
p<>{color:#000;}. relatively low incidence of psychiatric illnesses

*
p<>{color:#000;}. relatively very low level of the consumption of sedatives and tranquillisers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. very low incidence of single parents, negligible number of children born out of wedlock

*
p<>{color:#000;}. relatively much lower level of promiscuity and other sexual perversions

*
p<>{color:#000;}. very low level of abortions including teenage pregnancies, etc

*
p<>{color:#000;}. relatively low incidence of several diseases including Cancers of Penis and Cervix (due to circumcision), sex transmitted diseases, Urinary Tract Infections, other cancers due to alcohol, etc.

 

The world must know that if Islamic principles are allowed to function properly, every year more than 80 million lives can be saved. These include

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 million murders

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2.2 million suicides

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 million deaths from AIDS

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 million deaths from smoking

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 million deaths associated with alcohol

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 million deaths associated with smoking, gambling and drugs

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 70 million cases of feticide

 

Even if feticide is excluded, more than 10 million people should have been saved every year from falling prey to the unwanted kinds of death had Islamic legal and socio-economic system been in force. These are no ordinary figures. These are staggering statistics from all accounts. And adding the figures of feticide, more than 80 million lives are lost just because the laws of God are not followed. For a few thousands dead in terrorist attacks, the world is made hostage, billions of dollars are put to the fire, cities devastated and tens of thousands of innocents killed. For millions of death as the result of the pursuance of socio-economic policies dictated by the forces of globalisation, virtually nothing is done except a few cosmetic measures. In the US alone, for example,

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 200,000 people are assaulted with murderous intents every year (more than 18,000 are killed)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 30, 000 die of AIDS

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More than 100, 000 die of alcohol, smoking and drugs

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Half a million of foetuses are aborted

 

Despite these horrible figures, nothing substantial is done to save America from these deaths. But for a few thousands killed in terrorist attacks in over 10 years, the whole world is threatened with death and destruction. No punishment is there in store for the killers who are involved in the merchandise of devastation, selling death in the bottles of whisky and in the bodies of glamour. But “terrorists” must not only die themselves; hundreds of thousands of others must face death for their “sins”.

 

 

[] Huntington is right but…..

 

The book will remain incomplete without mentioning Huntington’s hypothesis of the clash of civilisation, which has perhaps been one of the most debated political theories in recent times. Huntington’s theory is a strange mixture of frankness and ingenuity on the one hand and bias and ingeniousness on the other. He has been candid enough to admit the designs of the West to dominate the world, or at least to admit that this is how the non-West perceives the Western policies. He says:

 

“….Most important, the efforts of the West to promote its values of democracy and liberalism as universal values, to maintain its military predominance and to advance its economic interests engender countering responses from other civilisations………….Several wars occurred between Arabs and Israel (created by the West. France fought a bloody and ruthless war in Algeria for most of the 1950; British and French forces invaded Egypt in 1956; American forces went into Lebanon in 1958; subsequently American forces returned to Lebanon, attacked Libya, and engaged in various military encounters with Iran; Arab and Islamic terrorists, supported by at least three Middle Eastern governments, employed the weapon of the weak and bombed Western planes and installations and seized Western hostages”.

 

This is significant that he describes the terrorist and terrorism-like acts as “the weapon of the weak”. In reaching his hypothesis about the future clash of civilisation between Islam and West, he traces the roots in history:

 

“This centuries-old military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It could become more virulent. The Gulf War left some Arabs feeling proud that Saddam Hussein had attacked Israel and stood up to the West. It also left many feeling humiliated and resentful of the West’s military presence in the Persian Gulf, the West’s overwhelming military dominance, and their apparent inability to shape their own destiny. Many Arab countries, in addition to the oil exporters, are reaching levels of economic and social development where autocratic forms of government become inappropriate and efforts to introduce democracy become stronger. Some openings in Arab political systems have already occurred. The principal beneficiaries of these openings have been Islamist movements. In the Arab world, in short, Western democracy strengthens anti-Western political forces. This may be a passing phenomenon, but it surely complicates relations between Islamic countries and the West.”

 

His assessment that the introduction of democracy in the Islamic world will strengthen Islamic movements is pretty accurate; monarchies misuse Islam only to keep a strict control on the masses, which long instead for a true Islamic rule. The democracy in Malaysia has seen the emergence of Islamist elements as the ruling coalition. In Iran, it is Islam that has brought democracy to the country. In Iraq, the externally imposed democracy is more likely than not to culminate in one or the other form of Islamic revolution. North African countries, Turkey and Egypt will also witness the concurrent strengthening of Islamic movements and democracy. The same can happen to other Muslim states. Most of Islamic revivalists are disenchanted with monarchies and consider them to be systems that violate the political spirit of Islam. All of them regard an Islamic paradigm of democracy as the ideal solution of the aspirations of the people.

 

Huntington is also right on the mark when he talks of the distrust with which American actions are perceived in the Muslim world:

.”

 

It is this distrust, which has made the prospects of a large-scale clash a distinct possibility. Huntington sums up the Western domination in style:

 

“. Its superpower opponent has disappeared from the map. Military conflict among Western states is unthinkable, and Western military power is unrivalled. Apart from Japan, the West faces no economic challenge. It dominates international political and security institutions and with Japan international economic institutions. Global political and security issues are effectively settled by a directorate of the United States, Britain and France, world economic issues by a directorate of the United States, Germany and Japan, all of which maintain extraordinarily close relations with each other to the exclusion of lesser and largely non-western countries. Decisions made at the UN Security Council or in the International Monetary Fund that reflect the interests of the West are presented to the world as reflecting the desires of the world community. The very phrase “the world community” has become the euphemistic collective noun (replacing “the Free World”) to give global legitimacy to actions reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western powers. (4) Through the IMF and other international economic institutions, the West promotes its economic interests and imposes on other nations the economic policies it thinks appropriate. In any poll of non-western peoples, the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a few others, but get an overwhelmingly unfavourable rating from just about everyone else, who would agree with Georgy Arbatov’s characterisation of IMF officials as “neo-Bolsheviks who love expropriating other people’s money, imposing undemocratic and alien rules of economic and political conduct and stifling economic freedom…

 

“Western domination of the UN Security Council and its decisions, tempered only by occasional abstention by China, produced UN legitimisation of the West’s use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and its elimination of Iraq’s sophisticated weapons and capacity to produce such weapons. It also produced the quite unprecedented action by the United States, Britain and France in getting the Security Council to demand that Libya hand over the Pan Am 103 bombing suspects and then to impose sanctions when Libya refused. After defeating the largest Arab army, the West did not hesitate to throw its weight around in the Arab world. The West in effect is using international institutions, military power and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic values.”

 

He is candid enough again to say, “In the post-Cold War world the primary objective of arms control is to prevent the development by non-western societies of military capabilities that could threaten Western interests.”

What is however clearly discernible in the hypothesis is that even when spelling the machinations of the West, his interest is only to alert the Western thinkers of the challenges ahead. He feels that if the Western domination is to continue they will have to be more accommodative, and he does not shy away from enumerating the steps that have to be taken to perpetuate the Western domination:

 

“In the short term it is clearly in the interest of the West to promote greater co-operation and unity within its own civilisation, particularly between its European and North American components; to incorporate into the West societies in Eastern Europe and Latin America whose cultures are close to those of the West; to promote and maintain co-operative relations with Russia and Japan; to prevent escalation of local inter-civilisation conflicts into major inter-civilisation wars; to limit the expansion of the military strength of Confucian and Islamic states; to moderate the reduction of Western military capabilities and maintain military superiority in East and Southwest Asia; to exploit differences and conflicts among Confucian and Islamic states; to support in other civilisations groups sympathetic to Western values and interests; to strengthen international institutions that reflect and legitimate Western interests and values and to promote the involvement of non-western states in those institutions.”

 

In the longer term, he adds “The West will increasingly have to accommodate these non-western modern civilisations whose power approaches that of the West but whose values and interests differ significantly from those of the West.”

 

Huntington is right in saying that history is full of the clashes based on civilisational sentiments. The question however is this. When did this clash of civilisation cease, so that it will start? With the rise of economic fundamentalism rose another civilisation, which soon got the name of the Western Civilisation. The Western civilisation itself was paradoxical in the sense that while it was anti-Christianity it was primarily a movement by Christians or their progeny and for Christians and their progeny. (In the last half a century, Jews have become part of it.) It fought against Christianity because the development of economic fundamentalism could not take place in an atmosphere dominated by religion; Christianity being the dominant religion in their lands, it was to be systematically and rapidly marginalised. Christianity, like all other religions, advocated purity in life including sexual cleanliness, which would be a big impediment for the commercialisation of evils. The simplicity in life and the morality that religions promote will be detrimental for the growth of the business. But this anti-religion bias did not turn the Western civilisation anti-Christian. Secularism to it meant only the denial of the religion particularly religious morality, not the community. Westernism therefore tried to consolidate its position in almost all the countries that had predominant Christian population; it supported Christian missionaries in the countries the Western powers colonised, which made strenuous efforts to proselytise the masses, often through offers of lucrative lives. The only thing that divided the Christian world in the Twentieth Century was the economic ideology. By the end of the century that division was bridged with the fall of socialist Soviet Union. Overt and covert attempts to bring all the states of former Soviet Union under American influence are still on.

 

The Western civilisation has been involved in violent struggles since its inception without break. This struggle has been internal, for the supremacy of nations within the Western civilisation and external, for the supremacy of the Western civilisation on all other civilisations, based on religion or any other ideology. So the clash has never come to a halt. What Huntington means by the clash in future is that while till now the clash has been one-sided he fears it can turn two-sided in future. Till now, The West has been busy bulldozing all other ideologies and systems without any serious opposition. They now feel a little scared of facing a stiffer challenge at the hands of religionists in general and Islam in particular. They are not only concerned with the revival of Islam but they are also piqued at the revival of Christianity in certain parts of the world especially America. The success of Iranian Islamic revolution, the strengthening of Malaysia under an Islamist government, the rise of religious fervour in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Turkey and the failure in Iraq have all combined to give the protagonists of the Western Civilisation sleepless nights. Their “war” on “terror” is proving counterproductive. The world is increasingly getting convinced that the “war against terrorism” is in fact a war for terrorising the world. The West fears that the clash can become severer with the passage of time. Their fears are not totally unfounded. The failure of the Western civilisation to bring real peace in life as well as in the world and the breakdown of social and family system in most of the Western countries have put a question mark on the whole concept of New World Order. The strategy they have chosen to perpetuate their supremacy is not going to help them. It will further divide the already divided world; it will multiply the numbers of the people hating America and its allies. The more the hatred grows the more the violence will threaten mankind. If this violence has to be avoided it is high time Muslim and the Western world sat together and discussed everything without mincing words.

 

The West must understand that the real peace cannot be achieved through pushing their agenda of economic and political domination. If they are so fond of democracy they must also learn to behave democratically within the conglomeration of nations. The West, particularly America must learn to behave as a leader instead of a dictator. A dictator uses his military power to subdue masses to submission. The US is doing exactly the same. A leader on the other hand wins support on account of his concern for others’ problems and his readiness to sacrifice for their sake. The West must also know that their ideology is faulty, which has already put the world on the path of chaos. Just by shouting at the top of their voice “they are the civilised world”, they will not become civilised. They must accept the fact that their immense growth has been made possible less by their scientific and technological advancement and more by the use of that technology to spread the worst vices (alcohol, smoking and “free” sex having already become the biggest tormentors of humanity), first within their own countries and then exporting them, adopting numerous immoral means for political and economic supremacy and using their ruthless military strength to full effect to further their goals. They must realise now that this cannot go forever. An economy based on the commercialisation of human weaknesses and a social system based on all forms of deceit cannot produce anything but chaos. They must put an end to the barbaric practices of the so-called civilised people. They must learn to offer their people and the world only a choice among the good and not the choice among the good and the bad. They must know that freedom of choice means choice between one form of life and the other and not the choice between life and death. They must know that the real freedom is the freedom from diseases, family tensions and crimes. They must understand by now that they cannot continue to sleep peacefully if a significant portion of the world is starving. They must learn to be purer and must allow others to try to live purer lives.

 

If The West has to be on friendly terms with Muslims they must learn to respect all religions including Islam. The world today needs not an atheistic secularism but a religious secularism that would respect the moral, family and social values so beautifully preached by religion. It may be true that history is full of violence perpetrated in the name of religion. But it is even truer that the rise of atheistic secularism has caused much bigger violence, and at the same time has created havoc in personal, family and social lives of human beings.

 

The West will have to revise its strategy towards the Muslim world. They must take the following steps. First they will have to learn to respect Islam, which can provide much better system than what The West boasts of. They must try to understand Islamic goal of a purer world and must not hesitate to benefit from the great economic, political, social and moral principles of Islam. They must stop teaching lessons to the Islamic world and must start mending its own ways. They must concentrate on saving their own people from falling victim to all forms of crimes and dangerous habits and addictions that are destroying their family lives. Instead of lecturing Muslims on human rights, they must try to reduce crimes in their society. Rather than telling Muslims to give women rights, they must first give security to their own women, and must take steps to put an end to the sordid commercialisation of sex, which is destroying everything that humanity stands for. They must stop trying to export their own ideologies to the Muslim world and must stop the use of Internet and Cable TV to make Muslims addict of gambling and ‘free” sex. They must not try to meddle in the internal affairs of Muslims, and must not take undue advantage of political turmoil in any country. They must stop supporting Israel in its expansionist policy, and must ask it in no unequivocal terms to vacate all the lands it has been occupying. The West has no right to stop Muslim countries to develop weapons for their safety, and before trying to stall any country from making weapons must first destroy all of their nuclear arsenals. In the international community of nations, no country can be allowed to be more equal than the others. Veto power has no place in a democratic set-up. It must be abrogated. The West must deal with Islamic countries on equal terms and help them in technological advancement in accordance with mutually agreeable terms. The West must stop intimidating Muslim countries. If they continue to invade Muslim nations, occupy their land and threaten them with dire consequences, they must rest assured that, howsoever Islamic clerics and Muslim governments condemn acts of violence, terrorism will not be defeated.

 

While terrorism may not be condoned, it must be recognised that it is usually the product of the suppression of certain people. It is the weapon of the week against the mighty, which have large armies at their disposal. When innocents are killed in wars, big powers tend to dismiss it as collateral damage. But when innocents are killed in terrorist attacks, it is regarded as a ghastly crime against humanity. If terrorism is to be successfully tackled, its root causes have to be found. Justice is the only answer to terrorism. Attempts to kill terrorists or terrorise them may have a short-term impact. But in long term, it will breed bigger and more dangerous forms of terrorism.

 

The US administration made serious follies, in the wake of attacks on the Twin Towers, in calling for a “crusade” and naming the operation as Operation Infinite Justice. These terms sent dangerous signals across the Muslim world. Fortunately, Muslims did not take these terms literally. Christians and Muslims form more than 40% of the world population. If the war against terrorism transforms into a war between Christians and Muslims, which it may still turn into despite the assurances by the West that it is not a war against Muslims, the whole world will be ruined. On the other hand, if Christians and Muslims start respecting one another’s beliefs and concerns, and unitedly act against all forms of biases and injustices, and take all other religious communities of the world along, a lasting peace can be achieved.

 

 

[] Mend yourselves too!

 

This is high time Muslims did not only analyse the weaknesses of others but also their own blunders. It is the lack of wisdom and vigour in them, which has not only allowed the world to take a wrong route but has also created misconceptions about Islam and misgivings about them. Apart from the loss of political, economic and intellectual supremacy in the last two centuries, they have developed attitudes that are not consistent with the spirit of Islam. What has plagued the world of Islam is its tendency to viewing its religion as something exclusive for itself. A bigger problem is the tendency to view the path of Islam as nothing but a route to Paradise. This diminishes its role as the world leader in all the affairs of human life. If the world has to be saved from the impending doom, we have to learn the science of the application of Islam in the contemporary world. To make it not just the world religion but the world order that it has to be destined for, Muslims must come out of their tubular vision. They must lead the fight against the forces of evils in a way that other religious communities feel inclined, not disinclined, to join them. The world has to be convinced that Muslims are not campaigning to vanquish others but to subjugate evils that are destroying the moral and social fabric of society. They must be ready to sacrifice themselves for the others, instead of pleading others for helping them. The third glaring mistake that Muslims often commit is to confuse Westernism with Christianity, and the West with Westernism. Westernism has been as much against Christianity as it has been against Islam. Every effort must be made to develop friendly relations with all religious communities particularly Christians. Unless followers of Islam and Christianity unite, the fight against the global forces of evils cannot be convincingly won. If Hindus and Buddhists also join the mission nothing can stop the world from becoming a paradise. The fight today is between the forces that seek to destroy morality at individual, family and social levels for commercial gains and those that seek to strengthen them. Muslims must also clearly understand that while they have every reason to confront the fundamentals of Westernism, they must learn to respect the West and the Western people. The Western people are themselves the victims of Westernism. To fight agains tthe Western people and the Western nations is contrary to the Islam’s objective of universal brotherhood. The scientific and technological development, the achievements in medical sciences, the infrastructure in their countries, the transport and communication systems, the care for their citizens and religious tolerance (which though has suffered lately) are the characteristics that the West must be emulated for. Developing under the influence of Westernism, people living in the West have succumbed to certain major and highly destructive evils. But their personal honesty, integrity, their concern for their fellowmen and their will to know and research must be respected and admired. They have to be explained that Islam is not against any nation or people but against the unrestrained liberty that Westernism promotes for commercial ends. Muslims must take full advantage of the scientific and technological development they have made but must pursue other goals only within the parameters of Islam.

The fourth folly is that most Muslims seek to popularise the institution rather than the system of Islam. The institution is very much alive. A substantial percentage of Muslims offer regular prayers, recite Quran, keep fasts of Ramadhan, perform Hajj and pay Zakah. A large number of them also sport beards and dress in accordance with what they regard as Islamic culture. There are thousands of thousands of traditional Islamic institutions and mosques and millions of clerics all over the world. In spite of them all, the system of Peace (Islam) seems to have gone in hibernation. There is no attempt whatsoever to introduce the system at the national and international level. The system does not necessarily require an Islamic government. Even those societies and nations that do not accept the institution of Islam can benefit from the great legal, moral, social and economic principles of Islam. Muslims must endeavour to influence the world movements and the policies of international institutions. They must categorically declare that any development that harms health or family peace or social order cannot be acceptable in the civilised world. Free sex, alcohol, smoking and gambling have become greatest tormentors of humanity. These have to be put to an end, and Islam has to play the pivotal role in this campaign.

Unfortunately, Muslims have become apologetic in their response towards modernity. The modern educated Muslims tend to view Islam with the glasses of modernity. The need in fact is to view modernity with the glasses of Islam. What is Islamic in modernity must be hugged with warm bosom, and what is un-Islamic must be rejected, condemned and fought.

In short, Muslims must know that they are wasting their energies in the wrong fields. They are fighting militarily and politically rather than ideologically and socially. Militarily and politically they are on the weak foot. They must know that they have to keep the interests of Islam and not those of Muslims in the forefront of their campaigns. Unfortunately, they are more Muslimist than Islamic in their approach. If they want to be Islamic, they must be ready to prevent all the people of the world from treading the path of destruction. They must be ready to raise their voice against atrocities being committed anywhere whoever are the victim of those atrocities. The way the West and Muslims have been behaving in recent years makes the clash of civilisation imminent. Muslims must do everything in their power to stop this clash. The best way to stop this clash is to change it to an ideological one. The clash of civilisation will lead to the clash of peoples that will only result in a widespread blood shedding. An ideological clash will ultimately lead to peace. One note of caution though. We must realise that the clash of civilisation that Huntington talks of is neither against Muslims nor against a ritualistic Islam. Westernism is primarily a civilisation based on commercial ideology, and the threat from Islam is not religious and political but ideological and economic. They do not hate an Islam that prescribes prayers, fasting and pilgrimage but one that seeks to ban alcohol, gambling, free sex, economic exploitation and the monopoly of the few. But the chieftains of Westernism try to shape the war as political because it is where they are strong and confident of winning. Political defeat of Muslims, they feel, will mean the death of puritan Islam. Muslims must not fall in this trap, and must wage a full-scale ideological war, taking all religious groups on their side.

[] Bush I hate Bush I love

Islam teaches us to distinguish between right and wrong. We must not hesitate to accept any development that is positive wherever it originates from and shun what is negative. Our decisions must be objective rather than subjective. Even if we disagree with someone on one hundred issues, we must not feel shy to agree with one on the hundred first. Similarly, even if we agree on hundred issues with someone, we must not forget to reject the hundred first. For example, Bush may have committed a number of mistakes making him one of the most hated presidents of America in the Muslim world. But his stand on moral issues like homosexual marriages, euthanasia, abortion, AIDS prevention programmes and other family issues must be appreciated and supported. I hate Bush for his external political agenda but I love him for his religious inclination that makes him make efforts for a purer personal and family life in America. If he can separate Christian religion from Christianism, and learns to be respectful of all religions and religious communities, he can surely play an important role in the evolution of a purer world.

I would also like to say a word here about the people of America. My criticism of America might have led the readers to believe that I have aversion for anything American. This is far from the truth. I have great fascination for American people. They have produced and are producing some of the best scientists of the world, who have been playing an extremely important role in improving the lives of the people. Americans, in general, are good, peace loving and fun loving people. If there is lot of violence in America and the family system has disintegrated it is the impact of the culture spawned and promoted by the market forces. I have been noticing in recent years a significant turn around in the approach of Americans towards moral and spiritual issues. Unlike Europe, American people are increasingly become religious now; more and more people are becoming concerned about the rising immorality all over the world. The concern for family values in surely on the rise. The victory of Bush in the last election is in fact the manifestation of this change of attitude in American people’s minds. If Bush won the Elections despite huge opposition to his Iraq policy, it was mainly because a significant number of voters were impressed with his views on moral issues like abortion and homosexual marriages. Bush’s defence of marriage as a natural bond touched the hearts of many a people. According to Election statistics, more than a third of the supporters of Bush did vote for him due to his stand on the issues of morality. It will not be unfair to say that Bush represents the upcoming religiously inclined America, which is a very positive sign for the future world. It is this side of Bush, which needs to be admired. He needs full encouragement on this front. This may also help in convincing him that Muslims of the world may still forgive him for his policies towards Muslim countries if he changes his policies now.

I should be failing in my duty if I do not use this occasion also to highlight the positive side of Hindu communalists of India. Muslims have every reason to hate the forces of Hindutva, as they have incessantly been engaged in anti-Muslim campaign over the years. But they also have similar views on cultural, social and economic issues, as Islamists have. While the forces of Hindutva must be confronted on their communal agenda, their co-operation must be sought on socio-economic and moral issues.

[] To Christians with Love

Muslims must make concerted efforts to propagate the true message of Islam. They must invite all religious communities to unite in the face of the onslaught of evils. I am reproducing here a letter that I had addressed to Christians a few years back. Similar letters must be addressed to all other religious communities particularly Hindus and Buddhists.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters

Peace be upon you all!

 

I have been feeling strongly for quite some time that I must address an open letter to all our Christian brothers and sisters. The reasons are multiple.

 

First, Christians are the biggest majority of the world today. (This is another matter that, according to the statistics only a small percentage of “Christians” do believe in the fundamentals of Christianity.)

 

Second, the Holy Quran praises Christians for certain of their qualities. It states:

“… and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth: they pray: “Our Lord! We believe; write us down among the witnesses. What cause can we have not to believe in God and the truth which has come to us, seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?” (5: 82-84/A)

 

Third, Christians are mostly educated people, and it is much easier for the more educated to appreciate the beauty of the message of Quran than it is for the less educated.

Before inviting you to study the religion of Islam, I must clarify a few misunderstandings prevalent among Christians regarding Islam and Muslims, which have been aggravated in the wake of the attacks on World Towers in the US. Christians in larger numbers have now started believing that Muslims hate Christians and want to kill them on account of their religion. Here, it would be appropriate to state that:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Islam literally means PEACE and there is nothing in the religion of Islam that allows or exhorts Muslims to kill (—except when attacked or victimised—) people of other faith on the ground of their beliefs.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who planned attacks in America were neither themselves Islamic priests nor had any sanction of Islamic authorities;

#
p<>{color:#000;}. No Islamic scholar condoned their actions; in fact Islamic scholars were unanimous in condemning the attacks. This is another matter that many of those had hardly any sympathy for a number of the policies of American government. The governments of most Muslim countries supported America in its war against Taliban and Al-Qaida.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who planned these attacks had done so not to express their hatred for Christianity; it was directed against the US hegemony.

 

Conversely, there have been a number of Christian rulers and armies that killed Muslims in millions. Serbian President Millesowich slaughtered about hundreds of thousands of Bosnian Muslims. Soviet army (mostly Christians) killed about half a million in Afghanistan. Does this mean that Christianity was responsible for killing of Muslims?

 

[] Common Grounds

 

You must understand and realise the fact that out of all those who do not believe in the fundamentals of Christianity it is only Muslims who love all those whom Christians love: God, Mary, Jesus, John the Baptist, Holy Spirit and all other messengers of God including Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Job, Jonas, David and Solomon (Peace be upon them!). Love for them is an inseparable part of Islamic Faith. Not only their belief in Jesus and respect for him and his mother are profound, they also believe Jesus will come again in the world and will unite Muslims and Christians against the Evil forces ruling the world. And most Muslim scholars believe that the time of Second Advent of Christ is not far away.

 

Quran glorifies Jesus (Peace be upon him!) and Mary (Peace be upon her!)) in no uncertain terms. Muslims regard Jesus as the penultimate Prophet of Islam (the last being Muhammad (Peace be upon him!)) and “Word”, “Spirit” and “Messenger of God”. And though it might sound incredible to Christians but the fact is that apart from several stories common in Quran and Bible, there are many events in the lives of Jesus and Mary that are described only in Quran; Bible is silent about them. For example, Quran describes in detail the story of how Virgin Mary went on to take bath and The Holy Spirit announced to her the birth of Jesus as a miracle of God. It also describes events related to the birth of Jesus, difficulties faced by Mary, the help by God, slandering of Mary by the community and Jesus’ miraculous speaking in the cradle to silence his mother’s detractors. Not only this, Quran also describes in detail the birth of Mary herself and her miraculous childhood. It also describes the birth of John the Baptist. These all stories are not present in any of the versions of Gospel. At the same time, Quran does also not fail to rectify certain misconceptions about Jesus’ life that will be discussed later.

 

This will also be interesting for you to know that Quran coins for Jews and Christians a very respectable term, “Ahl-e-Kitab”, the People of the Book because they have been reading earlier parts (Torah, Psalm sand Gospel) of the Book of God. To affirm their proximity to Muslims, several practical measures have been taken. The foods of Muslims and People of Book have been declared lawful for both. Quran states:

 

“The food of the People of Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.” (5:5)

 

Taking another major leap towards bonding Muslims with the People of Book, Muslims have been permitted to marry Christian and Jew women; they are not required to change their religion. Quran states:

 

[* “(Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness.” (5: 5) *]

 

Muslim rulers have also taken care to judge the internal affairs of Christians (as well as of Jews) on the basis of their own laws.

Quran on Mary and Jesus

 

Let us first see what Quran states about Mary and Jesus. Quran states:

 

Behold! a woman of Imran

[[Said: “O my Lord! I do
Dedicate unto Thee]]

What is in my womb

For thy special service:

So accept this of me:

For Thou hearest

And knowest all things.

When she was delivered,

She said: “O my Lord!

Behold! I am delivered

Of a female child!”

And God knew best

What she brought forth

“And nowise is the male

Like the female.

I have named her Mary,

And I commend her

And her offspring

To Thy protection

From the Evil One,

The Rejected.”

Right graciously

Did her Lord accept her:

He made her grow

In purity and beauty:

To the care of Zakariya

Was she assigned.

Every time that he entered

(Her) chamber to see her,

He found her supplied

With sustenance. He said:

“O Mary! Whence (comes) this

To you? She said:

“From God: for God

Provides sustenance

To whom He pleases,

Without measure. “ (3: 35-37/A)

 

[ Kaf.Ha.Ya ‘Ain.Sad*]

(This is) a recital

Of the mercy of thy Lord

To His servant Zakariya.

Behold! he cried

To his Lord in secret,

Praying: “O my Lord!

Infirm indeed are my bones,

And the hair of my head

Doth glisten with grey:

But never am I unblest,

O my Lord, in my prayer

To thee!

“Now I fear( and colleagues)

(Will do) after me:

But my wife is barren:

So give me an heir

As from Thyself,

(One that) will (truly)

Represent me, and represent

The posterity of Jacob;

And make him, O my Lord!

One with whom Thou art

Well-pleased!” (19: 1-6/A)

 

[ While he was standing*]

In prayer in the chamber,

The angels called unto him:

“God doth give thee

Glad tidings of Yahya,

Witnessing the truth

Of a word from God, and (be

Besides) noble, chaste,

And a prophet,

Of the (goodly) company

Of the righteous.”

He said: “O my Lord!

How shall I have a son,

Seeing I am very old,

And my wife is barren?”

“Thus”, was the answer,

“Doth God accomplish

What He willeth.”

He said: “O my Lord!

Give me a sign!”

“Thy sign,” was the answer,

“Shall be that thou

Shall speak to no man

For three days

But with signals.

Then celebrate

The praises of thy Lord

Again and again,

And glorify Him

In the evening

And in the morning.” (3: 39-41/A)

[ (To his son came the command):*]

“O Yahya! take hold

Of the Book with might”

And We gave him wisdom

Even as a youth,

And pity (for all creatures)

As from Us, and purity:

He was devout,

And kind to his parents,

And he was not overbearing

Or rebellious.

So peace on him

The day that he was born

The day that he dies

And the day that he

Will be raised up

To life (again)! (19: 12-15/A)

 

[ Behold! the angels said:*]

“O Mary! God has chosen thee

And purified thee-chosen thee

Above the women of all nations.

O Mary! worship:

Thy Lord devoutly:

Prostrate thyself,

And bow down (in prayer)

With those who bow down.”

This is the part of the tidings

Of the things unseen,

Which we reveal onto thee

(O Apostle !) by inspiration:

Thou wast not with them

When they cast lots

With arrows, as to which

Of them should be charged

With the care of Mary:

Nor wast thou with them

When they disputed (the point).

Behold! the angels said:

O Mary! God giveth thee

Glad tidings of a Word

From Him: his name will be Christ Jesus,

The son of Mary, held in honour

In this world and the Hereafter

And of (the company of) those

Nearest of God;

He shall speak to the people

In childhood and in maturity;

And he shall be (of the company)

Of the righteous.” (3: 42-46/A)

 

[ Relate in the Book*]

(The story of) Mary,

When she withdrew

From her family

To a place in the east

She placed a screen

(To screen herself) from them.

Then we sent to her

Our angel and he appeared

Before her as man

In all respects.

She said: “I seek refuge

From thee to (God)

Most Gracious: (come not near)

If thou dost fear God.”

He said: “Nay I am only

A messenger from thy Lord,

(To announce) to thee

The gift of a holy son.”

She said: “How shall I

Have a son, seeing that

No man has touched me,

And I am not unchaste?”

He said: “So (it will be):

Thy Lord saith, ‘That is

Easy for Me and (We

Wish) to appoint him

As a Sign unto men

And a mercy from Us’:

It is a matter

(So) decreed.” (19: 16-21/A)

 

[ So she conceived him,*]

And she retired with him

To a remote place.

And the pains of childbirth

Drove her to the trunk

Of a palm-tree:

She cried( in her anguish):

“Ah! would that I had

Died before this! Would that

I had been a thing

Forgotten and out of sight!”

But (a voice) cried to her

From beneath the (palm-tree)

“Grieve not! for thy Lord

Hath provided a rivulet

Beneath thee;

And shake towards thyself

The trunk of the plam-tree:

It will let fall

Fresh ripe dates upon thee.

So eat and drink

And cool (thine) eye

And if thou dost see

Any man, say, “I have

Vowed a fast to (God)

Most Gracious, and this day

Will I enter into no talk

With any human being.”

At length she brought

The (babe) to her people,

Carrying him (in her arms).

They said :”O Mary!

Truly an amazing thing

Hast thou brought!

O sister of Aaron!

Thy father was not

A man of evil, nor thy

Mother a woman unchaste!”

But she pointed to the babe.

They said: “How can we

Talk to one who is

A child in the cradle?”

He said: “I am indeed

A servant of God:

He hath given me

Revelation and made me

A prophet:

And He hath made me

Blessed wheresoever

I be,

And hath enjoined on me

Prayer and charity as long

As I live;

He hath made me kind

To my mother, and not

Overbearing or miserable;

So peace is on me

The day I was born,

The day that I die,

And the day that I,

Shall be raised up

To life again”! (19: 22-33/A)

 

[ “And God will teach him*]

The Book and wisdom,

The Law and the Gospel,

And (appoint him)

An apostle to the children

Of Israel, (with this message):

‘I have come to you

With a sign from your Lord,

In that I make for you

Out of clay, as it were,

The figure of a bird,

And breathe into it,

And it becomes a bird

By God’s leave:

And I heal those

Born blind, and lepers,

And I quicken the dead

By God’s leave;

And I declare to you

What ye eat, and what ye store

In your houses; surely

Therein is a Sign for you

If ye did believe;

,

To attest the Law

Which was before me.

And to make lawful

To you part of what was

(Before) forbidden to you;

I have come to you

With a Sign from your Lord.

So fear God,

And obey me.

It is God

Who is my Lord

And your Lord:

Then worship Him.

This is a Way.

That is straight.’ (3: 48-51/A)

 

[ Behold! the Disciples said:*]

“O Jesus the son of Mary!

Can thy Lord send down to us

A tablet set (with viands)

From heaven?” Said Jesus:

“Fear God, if ye have faith.”

They said: “We only wish

To eat thereof and satisfy

Our hearts, and to know

Thou hast indeed

Told us the truth; and

That we ourselves may be

Witnesses of the miracle.”

Said Jesus son of Mary:

“O God our Lord!

Send us from heaven

A Tablet set (with viands),

That there may be for us

Fro the first and the last of us

A solemn festival

And a sign from Thee;

And provide for our

Sustenance,

For thou art the best

Sustainer (of our needs).”

God said:” I will Send down unto you:

But if any of you

After that resisteth faith,

I will punish him

With a penalty such

As I have not afflicted

On anyone among

All the peoples.” (5: 114-115/A)

 

[ O ye who believe!*]

Be ye helpers of God

As said Jesus the Son of Mary

To the Disciples, “Who will be

My helpers to (the work

Of) God?” Said the Disciples,

“We are God’s helpers!”

Then a portion of the children

Of Israel believed, and

A portion disbelieved:

But We gave power

To those who believed

Against their enemies,

And they became

The ones that prevailed. (61: 14/A)

 

[ And remember, Jesus,*]

The son of Mary, said:

“O children of Israel!

I am the apostle of God

(Sent) to you, confirming

The Law (which came)

Before me, and giving

Glad tidings of an Apostle

To come after me,

Whose name shall be Ahmed. (61: 6/A)

(Note: Ahmed means ‘praiseworthy’, the word nearest to the original Hebrew word, which is now translated as “counsellor” or “comforter”.)

 

[ And (the unbelievers)*]

Plotted and planned,

And God, too, planned

And the best of planners

Is God.

Behold! God said:

“O Jesus ! I will take thee

And raise thee to Myself

And clear thee (of the falsehoods)

Of those who blaspheme;

I will make those

Who follow thee superior

To those who reject faith,

To the Day of Resurrection:

Then shall ye all

Return unto me,

And I will judge

Between you of the matters

Where in ye dispute. (3: 54-55/A)

 

[ That they said( in boast),*]

“We killed Christ Jesus

The son of Mary,

The Apostle of God;”

But they killed him not,

Nor crucified him,

But so it was made

To appear to them,

And those who differ

There in are full of doubts,

With no (certain) knowledge,

But only a conjecture to follow,

For of a surety

They killed him not;

Nay, God raised him up

Unto himself; and God

Is exalted in Power, Wise…. (3: 157-158/A)

 

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Differences between Islam and Christianity

 

As seen above, Quran pays great respect to all those who are revered by Christianity. But while Christian priests are admired for certain qualities, Quran does not fail to put the matter straight by criticising Christianity in matters that dilute or corrupt the absolute monotheism. Jesus was a man of truth like all other messengers of God but he was a chosen human being, who would guide mankind in a way instructed by God. God is Absolute, Infinite and Perfect. Not even for an iota of time can He, in part or as a whole, become limited or bound by space or time. For whatever aim, God can never be caught by human beings and killed. Jesus was very special; whatever he did and said was in accordance with what God wanted him to say or do. This is another matter that many of his sayings or doings were not correctly recorded or interpreted. He was not the SON of GOD biologically but metaphorically, because God the Absolute creates and not reproduces. Reproduction is a sign of dependence. It can be proven from Bible that, at several places, Jesus called God as Father of not only himself but also of all humans; he called himself “Son of Man” at several places. Humans were called “sons of God” at several places in both Old and New Testaments. God may be like father in the sense that He is Kind towards His creatures in the same way as a father is expected to be kind to his children. But to call Him Father in the Biological sense would deprive Him of His Absoluteness. God is one that encompasses the whole universe (even any other universes that might be existing) and controls it. One who can create anything need not reproduce. Furthermore, Son of God cannot be a role model for sons of men. Jesus was born without a father as a special miracle of God like Adam was born without parents and Eve without mother.

 

I slam (literally meaning PEACE, and defined as TOTAL SUBMISSION TO GOD) is not a new religion. It is the same religion, which Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (Peace be upon them!) followed, except that God remodelled the constitution to suit new requirements. The basic philosophy of Belief in One God, Belief in His Messengers and Books, Belief in Hereafter and Belief in GOOD ACTIONS remains the same. But as Quran is for all times to come, it sets guidelines concerning all matters of life. Unlike Christianity that primarily seeks to reform an individual, Islam also gives well-defined principles about family and social life, including social, political, legal and economic systems.

 

[] Islam the Religion of Peace

 

Islam, as opposed to the propaganda unleashed by the enemies of Islam, which gains credence from the activities of some Muslims who endeavour to use violence as a method of protest against the designs of some Western governments, Islam remains a system committed to and aimed at PEACE. To quote from my book, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”,

 

“This is not without significance that Islam literally means Peace, and is defined as submission to God which means that peace cannot be obtained without total submission to the Lord of the universe. Similarly Iman means total satisfaction which again can be obtained only through unshared devotion to God. When Quran calls, “Enter Islam wholeheartedly”, it does not merely invite its adherents to follow the institutionalised system of Islam; it also beckons to them that the real, comprehensive and long lasting peace can be achieved only through total acceptance of the System of God. ….. And the best way to achieve peace, Quran states, is to continuously engage in Jihad, which again has the most comprehensive meaning possible. Jihad is primarily aimed at achieving peace at all levels; it implies revolution: within the body, and outside. Endeavours to achieve peace, the regular (or major) Jihad, must obviously be chiefly through peaceful means; but if peaceful means are not enough to ensure peace, armed (or minor) Jihad must be used, whenever unavoidable, in order to quell aggression, violence and mischief. Jihad is obligatory for every Muslim who must “enjoin good and forbid evil”. But, before telling others to behave, one has to learn behaving oneself. This makes Jihad against “self” as the best form of Jihad. Internal revolution is a sine qua non for external revolution. The external revolution has, however, not to be forgotten; it has to remain the ultimate goal. The combination of Internal and External Revolution alone can lead to real peace.

 

Thus the message of Quran, the Final Document of Peace, is unequivocal; anything good and desirable has to be promoted, and anything undesirable has to be discouraged. All possible means within the ambit of Islam are to be availed for achieving the goal. This goal however cannot be achieved with perfection unless there is unity of mankind; and mankind cannot unite unless it submits to One God, imitates One Prophet, follows One Book and faces One Direction. This is the real meaning of Wahdat (Unity) that is central to all Islamic systems of affairs. Wahdat of God means, in effect, the Wahdat of mankind. The only way of achieving the real peace is therefore in accepting Wahdat in principle, and in practice. Wahdat of Muslim Community has to be not for confronting the Unbelieving world but for striving for the unity of the whole world, in accordance with the commands of God. Let us pray to the Lord of the Universe for the unity of mankind in total submission to His Law!”

 

Thus Quran sets following objectives to achieve:

 

OBJECTIVES

(I enumerated the objectives of Islam in the letter but will not repeat them here, as they have already been described in this book.)

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APPEAL TO CHRISTIANS

 

My Christian brothers and sisters-in-humanity! I invite you all to Islam, because you have the right kind of attitude towards accepting the Truth. You have more right than any other community to accept and benefit from Islam, the Final Version of God’s religion. By accepting Islam, you will not abandon Jesus but will follow him, because Jesus followed none but ONE GOD. Jesus had never said that none would come after him and he gave a clear indication that “Father” will send a “COMFORTER” to guide mankind. Out of all the important historical religious figures, it was only Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) and none else who glorified Jesus. He commanded his followers to believe that Jesus brought the truth from God and generated such a love for Jesus in the minds of Muslims as no other religious community has. It is only due to his teachings that Muslims alone believe in his miraculous birth from only a woman and his ascending to the heaven. If he were not a true messenger of God, he would not have hesitated to point out to the “dubious” nature of the birth of Jesus. If he had not been categorical in his admiration of Jesus, Muslims too could have responded, in the like manner, to the rebukes and slanders some Christians use for Muhammad (Peace be upon him!). Those who speak abusively about Quran must know that the pages of Quran are full of the stories of Jesus and Mary, apart from the glorification of God the Only Creator and Lord of the Universe. The Holy Spirit brought Quran to Muhammad (Peace be upon him!). Along with you, followers of Islam alone are those who love Jesus and Mary (Peace be upon them!). Those who tried to kill Jesus were Jews; and Hindus, Buddhists, Janis and Zoroastrians do not believe in them at all. Islam declares Virgin Mary as PURE and “would-be-leader of women of her time in Paradise” and Jesus as one of the biggest miracles of God. Along with you, we Muslims too are waiting for his Second Advent when he, along with Mahdi, one of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), will eliminate the forces of evils from the world.

 

[] Let Us Unite!

 

If you accept the religion of God, whose penultimate Prophet was Jesus and the last one Muhammad (Peace be upon them!), the way will be opened for the triumph of the good over the bad. If you do not accept Islam, even then Christians and Muslims must make every possible effort to unite against injustice, chaos, exploitation, crimes and other evils that pervade society. Christians and Muslims, combined, form almost half of mankind. Hatred between them does not augur well for the world. Mutual understanding and co-operation will lead to a long-lasting peace in the world. Once they unite, they must endeavour to unite others for the common good of the people of the world. The world today is being ruled not by the system of God but by a system created by the forces of business and globalisation for their own selfish interests. They have commercialised and glorified all those evils that Bible and Quran campaigned against. They have commercialised all forms of addictions, sex and crimes. The result is chaos at every level. Family system is being disintegrated. Sex and alcohol have become the greatest tormentors of humanity; their high scale and organised commercialisation has brought AIDS as one of the biggest killers of humanity, and exploitation of women and children in a big way. If these evils are not uprooted from society the day is not far when, despite all scientific and technological advancements, human life will become nothing but an unadulterated misery. Mankind already seems to be wandering on the road to ruin.

 

Let us all pray to God for total peace in the world!

 

Truly yours

Dr. Javed Jamil

 

 

Lastly

Quran is also Furqan that distinguishes between the right and the wrong. Muslims must concentrate their attention on this role Quran seeks to play. Let Quran become Imam Mubeen (Distinct Leader) for the whole world! Let this book become a mish’al (torch) on the Path of God, established by His messengers!

 

The Man behind the book

 

Dr. Javed Jamil is a medical doctor by profession. Such has been his grasp on issues related to diverse spheres of life however it is no wonder people often mistakenly consider him to be a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). He is quickly emerging on the international scene as a thinker whose amazing versatility would sooner than later compel the world to appreciate his work and admire the comprehensiveness of his approach in dealing with contemporary issues. He has already propounded several remarkable theses in various fields.

 

Dr. Jamil began by studying medical issues of great social importance like Family welfare and AIDS. He then authored a highly absorbing critique of the current economic ideology being pursued all over the world in a book entitled, “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”. He followed it with another remarkable work, “The Killer Sex”. He also authored several books on religious subjects especially on Islam. He has also created a collection of poetry and a novel (both in Urdu) to his credit.

 

Dr. Jamil has an aggressive style of writing; he marvels in presenting novel, often revolutionary ideas, and does not shy away from challenging the established or dominant trends howsoever popular they are. Some of his remarkable ideas are summed up here.

 

First, he has waged a ruthless war of attrition against what he calls “economic fundamentalism”, which he defines as the ideology that gives predominance to economics over all other spheres of life, without caring for its devastating effects on health, family peace and social order.

 

To counter the ideology of economic fundamentalism, he has proposed a comprehensive system, which he calls Peace Economics. He proposes that peace must be the ultimate goal of all human efforts, and has three essential constituents: individual’s total health, family peace and social order. Any socio-economic “development” at the cost of any one or all of the three cannot be accepted as real development. All policies should be regulated in accordance with the demands of peace.

 

Second, he argues that unfortunately the forces of economic fundamentalism have hijacked even health issues. The family welfare and AIDS control programmes have been designed to protect their interests. He gives the thesis that family welfare programme cannot be pursued at the cost of family peace; and should therefore include aggressive campaigning against all those evils that disturb it. He has presented an alternative comprehensive model for the control of AIDS. Unlike the current international strategy to combat AIDS, which rests almost entirely on the awareness programmes aimed at helping individuals to avoid HIV infection mainly through condoms, his model includes a full-fledged campaign against all such practices as promote promiscuity and sexual perversions. This cannot be done without initiating a campaign at war footing against all forms of the industrialisation of sex.

 

Third, he asserts that the emphasis should be on a social solution rather than the medical one for the health hazards caused by social practices. He labels this approach Therapeutic Sociology, which involves studies of the impact of old and new social practices on health, and suggesting social changes that would not be conducive to the propagation of diseases. For this purpose, he promotes the concept of Total Hygiene that includes not only Physical but also mental, sexual and social hygiene.

 

Fourth, he feels particularly aghast at the development of modern sexuality under the umbrella of the forces of economic fundamentalism for which sex has become a massive money-spinner. Introducing his book, “The Killer Sex”, he says,

 

“Sex and life were created to be and are inseparable. However, this most outstanding, beautiful and wonderful relationship would sustain its sublimity only if sex followed the limitations set by God, not out of His wish to regulate actions, but necessitated by the probable adverse effects. As soon as man started bulldozing these boundaries, sex and life began to fall out. The more the boundaries got demolished the more the distance between them grew. The greater they distanced themselves from one another the closer the death came. Alas! Sex has now become as much a friend of death as it has been of life. Thanks to the global merchants of sex—better call them the global merchants of death and destruction—sex has become the drug more than the food. It can now be regarded, arguably, as the biggest tormentor of humanity. It kills individuals, devastates family peace and desecrates social order. The Killer Sex unveils the designs of the forces of economic fundamentalism and their insatiable hunger for the moolah, which has transformed sex from an agent of life to an instrument of business.”

Fifth, He has undiluted devotion for Islam, but he has great love also for all religions and all communities. In the authorspeak of his book, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, he says:

 

“The world today, despite its advanced and sophisticated ways of life, is full of chaos at every level. At the individual level, physical, mental and spiritual illnesses are ever on the rise. At the family level, the disintegration of family is fast becoming a norm rather than an exception. And at the social level, the ever rising crime rate, social and economic exploitation, commercialisation of all forms of evils including sex, addiction and crime, and separatist and extremist movements based on racism, communalism and aggressive nationalism have destroyed the harmony of life. ….. The contest today is not between different religions. The real contest is between religion and irreligion; between scientific (or Healthy) morality preached by Divine Messengers and commercial morality advertised by the tyrannical monarchs of the business world; and between ‘Comprehensive Peace’ propagated by the Scriptures and ‘materialistic peace’ imposed by the forces and powers that rule the roost.”

 

He believes that Islamic concept of Comprehensive Peace that includes peace at every level—individual, family and social, must be universally propagated and pursued in all affairs of life. The followers of Islam have their foremost duty to fight against all forms of evil; and must relentlessly endeavour to bring unity and brotherhood into the whole world. Rather than expecting others to make sacrifices for them, they must themselves be in the forefront to make sacrifices for others so that mankind may live a truly peaceful life. Every possible effort must be made to avoid communal, parochial or ethnic hatred in the world. In today’s world, Islam is not primarily at war with other religions; its fight must be directed only against those who dominate the world affairs and have been oppressing the weak, exploiting the masses and/or commercialising human weaknesses for their selfish ends.

 

Sixth, in his latest work, “Rediscovering the Universe”, Dr. Jamil has touched on an entirely new subject, a subject that continues to mystify sciences despite huge advancement in the last century. He believes sciences have become a playground for super-specialists having tubular vision. Their depleted sight does not allow them to look beyond a horizon specified by their deep knowledge of a very minute sphere of sciences. This has led some branches of sciences to become more and more speculative with the passage of time. Physics often seems to derive its strength from mathematical jugglery. More philosophy has to be introduced into the domain of Natural Sciences, if they are to master the understanding of the nature and the functioning of the universe. Dr. Jamil has given an entirely new theory of Physics, “Universal theory of Relativity,” which has the potential of becoming as revolutionary in the near future as the Special and General Theories of Relativity given by Einstein the Great.

 

 

 

 


Islam Means Peace

The Title of the Book, "Islam means Peace" is a give-away. I thought it very pertinent at a time when Muslims the World over feel persecuted and under siege from all quarters. The title from the outset is apt and is an invitation to both the skeptics and believers to enhance and reaffirm their pre-conceived notions about Islam. For a skeptic a great opportunity to find fault and shred to smithereens the Author's attempt to convey Islam as an instrument of World Peace and for a believer to feel reassured about Islam being all that he thought it was and perhaps even more. How far the Author has succeeded in winning the skeptic over even while retaining the believer has to be seen. The author did well to quote the "UNESCO" definition of Peace as it is understood, accepted and pursued today and contrasted it with the way shown by Islam. He argued that while the earlier is the brain child of those who seek to promote their own selfish interests, the latter is based on the principle of complete submission to God, hence acceptance of a System of Peace as shown by God. A three dimensional Islamic System of Peace that is based on Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions is an absolute must for Real Peace is a very persuasive argument by the Author. On the one hand much of all ills today and on the other the maligning of Islam by the World media has its genesis in a flawed definition of Fundamental Rights & Duties. Javed Jamil absolutely insists that Fundamental Rights & Duties without Fundamental Prohibitions are a tool of the devil and an invitation to all that is ill in the Society. Unless Fundamental Prohibitions are equally well defined and become easily interpretable and justifiable, World Peace cannot be possible. He feels this anomaly can be corrected only if lead can be taken from the way shown by Islam. The Author by virtue of being a Believer seems to be completely at ease in making his case on the strength of what Allah said in the last revealed Ayaat (Verse) to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in which, Allah says: "This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your Religion" The Author's implicit faith thus enables him to trace peace in the order shown by Allah from the five Pillars of Islam (Shahada/Pledge, Salaat/Prayer, Roza/Fasting, Zakaat/ Charity and Hajj/Pilgrimage). He then goes on to take an in depth look of Prohibitions as enjoined by Islam. Again the Author is able to amply demonstrate why the Islamic Prohibitions such as Drinking, Gambling, Usury, Hoarding, sexual corruption, forbidden Foods and so on are a cause of evil and conflict. In respect to the Islamic System of governance, Jamil articulates that the ultimate sovereignty belongs to God. Hence all Laws need to be framed in the light of Quran by virtue of it being the word of Allah in its entirety and the Sunnah (sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH). Consequently the Supreme Leaders are to be chosen from among the best of Scholars who are able to strictly adhere to the direction as shown by the Quran and Sunnah.

  • Author: Javed Jamil
  • Published: 2016-07-16 17:05:27
  • Words: 92618
Islam Means Peace Islam Means Peace