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ISLAM’S RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifa-tul-Masih IV Rehm’Allah talla Prepared by Dr Shakeel Ahmad National Tabligh Team,

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Presentation on theme: "ISLAM’S RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifa-tul-Masih IV Rehm’Allah talla Prepared by Dr Shakeel Ahmad National Tabligh Team,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ISLAM’S RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifa-tul-Masih IV Rehm’Allah talla Prepared by Dr Shakeel Ahmad National Tabligh Team, UK

2 ISLAM’S RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Chapter wise educational seminars: 1. Inter-religious peace 2. Social peace 3. Economic peace 4. Political peace 5. Individual peace

3 Seminar 2 SOCIAL PEACE

4 Background ‘Contemporary Social Order’ - strong urge to shun religious obligation - increasing concern for growing lack of social order Religion in name only - ‘water water every where, not a drop to drink’ - more aware of pollution in physical environment than in spiritual/moral environment Leads to loss of respect for moral heritage Void in the collective subconscious Urge for enquiry for a new code Search can go either way - Some maybe succeeding - Mass are experimenting with dangerous trends Not just a current problem - Many societies in past have been wiped out for same reasons

5 Do we need a social code of conduct?

6 Need for a Code - 1 Vanity of materialistic society 57:21 Be aware that worldly life is just a shallow fulfilment of your desires and can make one lose the higher goals; the worldly glitters, pride, race for riches and progeny, is all like the rain that initiates vegetation, rejoicing the tiller for a while, but which then dries up, vegetation turning yellow, then becoming worthless, ultimately agony for the tiller. And there is forgiveness from Allah (if you repent) and life of this world is nothing but temporary enjoyment of delusive things. Worldly life - lived for material gains, begins to feel void - a mirage - similarly, societies that live only for material pursuits 24:40 For those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in flat plain, a thirsty one thinks it to be water; until he comes to it, then finds it is nothing, and finds Allah to be there, Who then pays him his account fully. Allah is very able in justice.

7 Need for a Code -2 A code of social behaviour can help Many religions, incl Islam, teach about life after death If life here & hereafter are a continuum – effect of social code on our soul can affect afterlife Therefore - need to observe a social code with positive effects on society and on the soul - reject one with negative effects

8 Two Climates of Social Order - 1 According to Holy Quran: Type 1 - without due regard to social effects - based on short term gains - thus allowing development of evil Type 2 - based on concerns for betterment of society - with willing sacrifice of individual short term gains - in which moral/spiritual growth is encouraged, thus also inhibiting growth of evil

9 Two Climates of Social Order - 2 Type 1 Instant gratification Individual ‘freedom’ To consider only the span of life on earth Answerable only to society Answerable only for what is visible & detectable Type 2 Considerate of social benefit Conducive to growth of society To also consider effect on life hereafter Answerable ultimately to God, The Master Answerable also for intentions, thoughts, evil acts carried out subtly

10 Two Climates of Social Order - 3 Type 1 Only those crimes are punishable that are established ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ - superficial judicial system. Encourages clever planning to avoid legal challenge Crime loses its link with moral code Type 2 Also punishable are actions of vested interest & immoral intention. Unavoidable challenge of accountability Criminal intention closely linked with moral code

11 Two Climates of Social Order - 4 Type 1 Law is word of a despot or a govt which isn’t accepted by all Submission to law only out of necessity If benefit/pleasure can be gained by breaking law and avoiding detection, why not! Type 2 Law is given by The Master Submission to law out of moral discipline No room for such attitude

12 Importance of Accountability Accountability and reward is natures way of development -in early evolution of life -in development of children as they learn and grow - in our physical development eg athletes -inconceivable that we are left without this mechanism to govern our moral/spiritual development Failure to accept life after death is core to this difference 23:38 (disbelievers say) there is no life other than this life, we live here & we shall die here and we shall be not raised again 17:53 they say, when we shall have become bones and dust, shall we be raised again into a new creation? Four characters of worldly society in Quran 74:43-7 what has brought you into fire of hell? They will say, ‘we were not of those who worshipped God, we did not feed the poor, we indulged in vain talk with those who indulge themselves and we denied the Day of Judgement’

13 So What Is Healthy Social Climate? Unhealthy natural desires are disciplined New tastes are developed which promote growth of individual/society Healthy v non-healthy - Peace & contentment v restlessness & dissatisfaction Matthew 7:16-18 (Jesus said) by their fruits you will recognise them…likewise every good tree bears fine fruit but every rotten tree bears worthless fruit. Our modern societies - recognise the signs of being unhealthy - do not recognise the cause Islam - uproot the ‘evil tree that bears the unhealthy fruit’ 14:27 case of an evil ‘word’ is like a weak tree which has been uprooted from earth and has no validity or dignity - replace with a ‘healthy tree that will bear a healthy fruit’ 14:25-26 do you not see how Allah sets forth the example of a pure ‘word’? It is like a good tree whose root is firm and whose branches reach the sky. It succeeds & bears fruit regularly…

14 Some fundamental Islamic social injunctions are described - - Imagine their effect on society

15 Some Fundamental Islamic Social Injunctions - 1 Absolute Justice, Kindness & Kinship 16:91 verily Allah instructs to carry out justice and kindness (above justice ie to give more than their dues) and to serve humanity with beneficence like they are your kin… Any wrong, by universal standards, is forbidden 16:91 …Allah prohibits display of evil, and all that is considered wrong (by human conscience) and all that leads to rebellion and chaos. He admonishes so you realise. Emphasises loyalty, integrity, faithfulness – peace Discourages unrestrained permissiveness – prevents social chaos due to pleasure seeking behaviour

16 Some Fundamental Islamic Social Injunctions - 2 People’s behaviour should be in accordance with - nature ie act of God - revealed scripture ie word of God - (recognition and acceptance of social responsibility) Drivers of behaviour should not be - pleasure - market forces - (selfish motive and escape from social responsibility)

17 Social moral code is a social responsibility The developed parts of the world clean their streets better than the underdeveloped world, but only of physical litter Islam holds society collectively responsible 3:105 let there be among you a group who always invite to goodness & enjoin equity & dissuade from evil. It is such societies that shall prosper - family elders to educate children - ‘war’ against evil, Jehad, not thru sword or restrictive legislation - but thru education, wise counsel & admonishment - Government can play their role but that alone is not enough Prophet Mohammad pbuh: Indeed by Allah, you must enjoin good & forbid evil. Seize the hand of wrong-doer & persuade him to act justly, establish him firmly on the right, else Allah will involve hearts of some of you with the hearts of others & will curse you like He cursed others Prophet Mohammad pbuh: serious sign of decline of society is that people lose courage to show displeasure at misconduct

18 Trust Building of trust is crucial Keeping promises 23:9-12 And those who are watchful of their trusts and their covenants, and those who are strict in observance of their prayers, these are the heirs, who will inherit paradise. They will abide therein forever. 4:136 O’ ye who believe, be strict in observing justice, be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourself or your parents or your kindred. Whether you bear witness against rich or poor, Allah is regardful of them both. Hence follow not low desires so you are able to act equitably. If you hide or evade the truth, then be assured that Allah is well aware of what you do.

19 Discouragement of Vain Pursuits Entertainment is neither bad nor prohibited If an objective in itself then ‘Laghav’ 23:2-4 successful indeed are the pious, who are humble in their prayers, and who shun all that is vain Eg: TV-good, but …can make people idle, become neglectful of education, ignore family responsibility, desensitised to immorality, learn crime, create an artificial ‘expectation’ in their minds Philosophy of turning away from all comforts - nirvana - rejected. The author: ‘more like death than peace’ Islamic teaching - disciplining of desires 20:132 And do not be tempted, by what we have temporarily bestowed on some to enjoy as splendour of this world, so we try them thereby. Blessed provisions of thy Lord are better & more lasting. 49:13 O’ ye who believe, avoid much suspicion, for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And do not envy one another, nor back-bite about others. Would any of you like to eat flesh of his dead brother? Certainly you would loathe it. And fear Allah, surely Allah is very compassionate and very merciful.

20 Prohibition of Drinking & Gambling Drinking & gambling are institutionalised 5:92 Satan desires only to create enmity and hatred amongst you by means of wine and game of chance, and to keep you back from remembrance of Allah. So will you keep back? Problems of all ages & all parts of the world - Majority of gamblers lose - Money changes hands without turning the wheel of economy - Both effect not only the individual but the society - Effect on the family - Quickly the youth get involved - Crime is encouraged Islam creates a very opposite atmosphere: - to ponder over God’s way and social responsibility - facilitates development of a taste for goodness - once pleasure of God’s way is experienced, worldly pleasures seem too shallow - such society isn't devoid of pleasure, only change in terms of what is pleasurable

21 Racism - 1 Class prejudice of any kind is condemned. - nationalism, imperialism, tribalism, religious arrogance, ethnic divide, accent! Based on injustice Author: ‘Greatest danger to peace’ 49:12 O ye who believe, let not one people deride another people, lest they maybe better than them, nor let a group of women deride another group, lest they be better than them. Do not defame your people, nor call by distorted names. It is bad malpractice of the bygone days after having believed, & those who repent not are the wrong-doers. 49:14 We have created you from a male & a female, We have made you into tribes & subtribes for the sake of easy recognition. verily the most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is one who is most righteous among you. Surely Allah is all knowing, all aware.

22 Racism - 2 Islam – advocates bringing mankind together thru peaceful means 24:36 Allah is the light of the heavens & the earth. His light is as if there is a lamp in a niche, lamp is inside a crystal globe, globe is like a glittering star. Lamp is lit with oil from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the East nor of the West. The oil would glow though no fire would touch it. Light upon light! Allah guides to His light whomsoever He pleases & Allah knows all things fully well 21:36 (Proph Mohammad pbuh is introduced as) mercy for the whole world & whole of mankind Proph Mohammad pbuh: All of you are equal. All, whatever nation or tribe you may belong to & whatever station in life you may hold. No one has any superiority to claim over another. An Arab possesses no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab. A white man is no way superior to a black man, nor a black to a white man, but only to the extent he discharges his duty to God and mankind, the most honorable among you are those who are the most righteous.

23 Sanctity of Social Relations Marriage – objects of; peace & comfort (30:22), procreation(2:224), protection from vice and opportunity for moral/spiritual development (2:188), widening of circle of relations (4:2) Segregation of sexes (in recreational activity) - not a restriction - behaviour & dress code which applies to both genders - preservation of sanctity of family - part of social code that helps divert social energies to constructive purposes - prevention of misery from insincerity & exploitation - prevention of sexuality driven crime Chastity in love - desire to love and be loved - natural - extended beyond physical, love to facilitate growth in the loved one - strengthens families, neighbourhoods, friendships Permissiveness / struggle for ‘female rights’ - not really a ‘modern’ issue

24 Equal Rights for Women - 1 Thru Divinely revealed moral code and not a gradual process of social reform Naturally occurring constitutional variation in genders is not to be undermined for sake of literal ‘equality’ Equal opportunity for spiritual growth 33:36 Surely men who submit to God & women who submit to God, believing men & believing women, obedient men & obedient women, truthful men & truthful women, steadfast men & steadfast women, humble men & humble women, men who give alms & women who give alms, men who fast & women who fast, men who guard their chastity & women who guard their chastity and men who remember Allah a lot & women who remember, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward 16:98 whoso acts righteously whether male or female and is a believer, We will surely grant them a pure life and bestow Our reward according to their acts. Equal share in affairs of life 2:229 and women have rights similar to men … 4:33 and envy not that whereby Allah has made some of you excel others. Men have a share of what they earn and women have a share of what they earn. Ask for Allah’s blessings. Surely Allah is all knowing.

25 Equal Rights for Women - 2 Education Women as well as men encouraged strongly, even against odds Independent identity – decision making right, witness Security – thru marriage, prevention from exploitation thru purdah Right to marry with choice & right to divorce 4:36 if you fear a breach between them then appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire reconciliation, Allah will effect it between them. Allah is All-Knowing Inheritance 4:8 for men there is share from what parents and near relations leave, and for women there is a share… As mother & wife - very special privileges - strengthens family ties Proph Mohammad pbuh: ‘best of you are those who behave best towards their wives’

26 Polygamy Not a generality - situation specific – helps preserve social integrity of society - ‘localised’ disturbance of nos is balanced thru polygamy - where practiced, doesn’t disturb the proportion, M:W-1:1 Conditions – not pleasure seeking, becomes issue of taking responsibility v irresponsibility, fairness to all wives 4:4 If you apprehend you will not be fair to orphans then marry of other women, 2, 3 or 4; but if you apprehend that you will not deal justly between them, then marry only one…this is the best way for you to obviate injustice Benefits - Help preserve women’s rights - Security for widows, handicapped women, orphans - Avoids grave risk to peace of society thru breach of marital sanctity If not : women lose sense of security, men live in guilt, families gets destroyed reduces inhibition of crime in stealth amongst society concept of love and loyalty get eroded from society, leaving infatuations which are only transient eg post ww2 Germany, lately – Iran

27 Care of Aged Natural expression of human kinship - innate ability of elderly mother to continue to care and look after Responsibility of children to look after parents when old 17:24-5 your Lord has commanded ‘worship none but Him, & show kindness to your parents. If one or both attain old age with thee, never express disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech. Lower towards them wings of humility, out of tenderness’. And say ‘my Lord, have mercy on them, as they nourished me when I was a little child’. State cannot provide the affection and contentment Islamic injunction removes responsibility from the state to provide for elderly, except in exceptional circumstances

28 Future Generation Responsibility of parents towards their children - their conduct & behaviour 59:19 O’ ye who believe, fear Allah and let every soul look to what it sends for tomorrow… Proph Mohammad pbuh: Treat you children with kindness, always. ‘Unique teaching’ – to achieve best relation with children it is necessary to have best relation between parents 4:35 ‘qawwamun’ ie guardians - heavy responsibility on father to create a conducive atmosphere at home Proph Mohammad pbuh (Abu Hurraira): Best of the believer is the one whose behaviour is best, and best of you are those who behave best towards their wives Pray for the best behaviour 25:75 and those who say ‘Our Lord, grant us of our wives & children the delight of our eyes and make us a model for the righteous’

29 Some other Islamic Injunctions GOOD BEHAVIOUR Cleanliness Controlling anger Cooperation Courage Doing wilful good Excelling in doing good Feeding the hungry Forgiveness Giving true evidence Good treatment of employees Good treatment of neighbours Good treatment of relatives Gratefulness Humility Making peace between people Patience Perseverance Purity Self control Sincerity Truthfulness BAD BEHAVIOUR Arrogance Backbiting Boasting Defamation Derision Despair Dishonesty Envy Extravagance Following what one has no knowledge of Haughtiness Giving bad names Stinginess Suspicion Telling lies Theft

30 Summary - 1 Society is losing peace - either in the name of individualism - or following religion in name only Need of a social order - based on benefits not only to this life but also to hereafter - Divinely guided & not just social reform - based on accountability Quran describes 2 types of social order 1. allows evil to flourish - allows unrestrained living for self and pleasure - does not involve responsibility for others - moral code is about what is observable by society 2. conducive to moral & spiritual growth - disciplines temptations & desires - involves responsibility for the society - recognises importance of intention in relation to behaviour

31 Summary - 2 Wrong doing, of any kind, is forbidden Absolute justice, kindness & kinship Loyalty, integrity, faithfulness – leading to social peace Behaviour - Behaviour acc to - act & word of God - Prevention of social chaos due to pleasure seeking behaviour Society is responsible for its own moral education & cleansing Trust is crucial Vain pursuits are discouraged - incl gambling & drinking Tastes for pleasure are redeveloped relating to refined and constructive social activity Oneness of mankind - all forms of racism are strictly condemned - righteousness is the criteria to classify people, not their class distribution

32 Summary - 3 Sanctification of social relations Rights for women - equal opportunity for spiritual growth - equal share in affairs of life & an independent identity - security - rights of inheritance - right to marry with choice & right to divorce - special privileges as mother & wife Polygamy - i s conditional. Equal treatment is fundamental requirement. - has social benefits for widows, handicapped women, orphans & deals with excess number of women in specific circumstances like post-war situations Care of aged - responsibility of children - not left to state Future generations - responsibility of parents - by example of their relationship Many others

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