|The Objectives Of Islam|
Islam, as an everlasting divine message, aims in its call at reforming humanity and preserving life's order through understanding the central message of the religion i.e., the unity of Allah and man's servitude to Him. Islam has undertaken the responsibility of cultural construction, the building of the order of life, beginning with the principle of liberating man from servitude to tyranny and instinctual desires, and realizing his servitude to Allah. A student of the intentions and goals of Islam in life would summarize its most important and major intentions and goals as follows:
1. Strengthening The Connection Between Man and His Creator
The Islamic message aims at strengthening the connection between man and his Creator, informing him of his Lord and of his responsibility before Him. It goes without saying that man's knowing his Creator and arranging his relations with Him are the most serious needs in man's life, and have the deepest effect on his fate. This is because man's recognition of Allah the Exalted and his being connected to Him entail recognition of truth, good and peace, and building life and organizing it under the guidance of those clear and luminous principles.
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This enables man to cleave to the road of safety in reaching Allah, and insures his fate on the day of returning to the world of eternity and lasting existance.
2. Preserving Life's Order
The Islamic message aims at preserving the order of life. to realize man's humanity, and to protect him against any danger that may destroy or injure it: "Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that whkh is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and He will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear..." Holy Our'an (7:157)
These are the aims of the message of Islam, summerizcd by the Qur'an, in respect to fighting against corruption and vice, and defining the method of legislation which manifests the way of life. maintains security and order, frees man from worshipping human beings, and delivers him from the darkness of sin and crime. The Qur'an wonderfully illustrates this fact, while addressing the Muslims:
"0 you who believe! respond to Allah, and the Messenger when He calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allah invents between a man and his heart, and that to Him you will be gathered."
Holy Qur'an (8:24)
There is in this Qur'anic text a beautiful remark to which we refer here: The Qur'an does not see life as a number of physical activities and actions, performed by the body's organs and limbs. In fact, the Qur'an regards life to be a form comprised of a series of human attitudes and goals which raise man to the level of human perfection, and help him complete his own humanity, manifesting his innate humanitarian being. Thus, the call of Islam and the method it addresses to mankind undertakes to define the legislative lines and complete system which draws the picture of life and its dimensions based on the concepts of equity and what is good for man.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
"No one had brought to his people better than what I have brought to mine. I have brought you the Liest of this world and the hereafter."
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It is according to these divine concepts that the great principles of law-making are established by Islam, concentrating its high aims in life. It had been said that, "Islam has come to bring the good and to ward off the bad". And. "Islam has come to preserve rights.
3. Developing Knowlege and Connection With The Universe
Islam aims at producing harmony and accord between man and the world around him, making him feel that he is part of this existence and has his natural place in it. Thus, he may develop in himself a general awareness of the universe, and discover the wisdom and greater purpose of his existence, to which he may be better connected and through which he may better understand life. He will thus discover the unity of the general logic which runs through nature. society and life, and by which he realizes that his existence is a part of this uniform and precise world, in which there is nothing futile nor useless. Every type of existence is connected to a supreme objective.. .turning toward Allah, the Great Creator of the universe.
By means of this feeling, anger, discontent, alienation and destructive loss disappear from man's life: "Did you think that We had created you for naught, and that you would not be returned to Us? Allah is the most exalted Kind, the Supreme Truth! There is no god save Him, Lord of the Gracious Throne."
Holy Qur'an (23:115-116)
4. Cultural Constraction
Islam's aim is to enable man to perform his mission of cultivating and reclaiming the land, and of constructing human civilization, and developing life through knowledge, and work. Man has been created on this earth to personify the Will of Allah and His Wisdom as displayed in His creatures - the wisdom of reforming, cultivating and creating a world of good and blessings on this earth.
The Wise Qur'an explains man's task through the Prophet Salih (a.s.). "And to Thamood (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: 0 my people! worship Allah, you have no god other than Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein. So, ask forgiveness of Him, then repent to Him. Surely, my Lord is Nigh, Responsive. Holy Qur'an (11:61)
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Allah, the Most High, says:
"It is He Who has made you successors in the earth and raised some of you above others in grades, that He may try you in what He has given you. Surely your Lord is swift in retribution, and surely He is All-forgiving, All-Merciful." Holy Qur'an (6:165)
"And corrupt not in the earth, after reformation; and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely Allah's mercy is nigh to the beneficent." Holy Our'an (7:56)
To protect these agricultural and reformative tasks which man has been called to perform, the Qur'an severely attacks the mischief-makers and the corrupt, and promisesthem punishment and torture.
"And when he prevails, he strives to do corruption on the earth, to destroy the crop and the progeny, and Allah love.c not corruption." Holy Qur'an (2:205)
Such is the explanation of the Quran concerning mails progressive cultural role, defining his vital responsibility on this earth - the cultivation of the earth, exploiting its wealth, improving it via knowledge and good work, and using man s energies in the field of good deeds and constructive active.
Mankind, in the bitterness of historical struggle. and because of the violence of despotic political injustice, which enslaved him and deprived him of his natural right to live, began to grope about through the dark maze of loss for a rescuer or a way out. This oppressed and lost man started expressing his feelings of bitterness towards reality and of his sufferings, through different political theories and ideas. such as democracy, socialism, communism, etc. These theories in turn raised the slogans of freedom, equity, and social and economic justice. etc.
Mankind, under the shadow of political terrorism, had to offer sacrifices to support these and similar ideas, hoping to break the siege around them. or pull down the walls of the prison in which they lived. Yet, when those theories and principles were put to practice, they turned out to be no better than those of the preceding regimes. They did not match the image that had been envisioned by the oppressed and the exploited. In practice, those theories were disappointing and incurred even more suffering for humanity.
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Nevertheless and despite this horrible failure and its tragic results, some of those ideas and slogans remained respected in their theoretical concepts, amicable in their verbal expressions. Ideas such as freedom, equity, justice. etc., are understood by the abstruct human mind to be good and sound during all ages and for all generations. Actually, they are not the inventions of those theories and ideas, nor are they adopted by them alone, as they allege. In fact, although they are the discoveries of human thinking which recognized the soundness of their significance, yet they remained as general concepts with loosely defined meanings.
Their interpretation requires a practical definition of their laws and values which they can transform into a way of life. Practical reality has proved that these theories and political principles presented by man - democracy, socialism, communism - are by their nature (18) incapable of changing general human understanding - although they allege them to be of their own invention - into applicable laws and a way of life.
But man, disregarding the darkness of aberration, and the absence of a pioneering course, continued clinging to these systems in different parts of the world, deceived by their slogans and allegations. It was also natural that this political current should creep toward the Islamic world, following the deterioration of the political consciousness of the Muslims. As a consequence their own ignorance of their message had spread among their ranks, and they also suffered the calamities of injustice. oppression and enslavement, when they fell under the military and cultural invasion of other countries. After all that, it was natural that a good number of the Muslims should be influenced by this political current, unaware of the dangers of these concepts, nor realizing their falsity and earlier failure.
Most of them do not even know that concepts, such as democracy, socialism and communism, contradict the Islamic belief. Some of the Muslims who had been deceived by these currents, including some men of letters, thought that Islam was a democratic system. Others pictured it as a socialist regime. Still others even went to the extreme of saying that Islam and Marxism meet, deceived by their calls for freedom, justice, equality, economical and social welfare, abolishing monopolism and exploitation, etc. which were advocated by these theories; these concepts had already been raised by Islam.
Discerning this coincidence concerning these general concepts. they mistakely thought that the conicident was a complete one, applicable to all Islam's teachings. Those who saw Islam calling for freedom, justice and equality, regarded Islam a democratic system, as democracy also called for the same slogans. And those who knew about Islam's theories of economics and the way it confronted capitalist inflation, called it "socialism , because socialism advocated the same sb- gans.
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Thus, the concepts mixed and became obscure, and the vision was confused. Therefore, this grave mental case was in need of being uprooted and its cultural consequences were to be successfully treated.
By returning to Islam and by analytically studying it, we realize - as has already been said - that Islam has its own principles and starting points. It has its own laws, regulations, values and moralities. It has its merits and goals distinguishing its own personality and identity. In the fields of politics and economy it differs from other systems. So, its meeting with some other general mental concepts and understandings, does not mean a unity of nature and disposition. The Islamic system cannot be democratic, socialist or anything else. It can only be Islamic and nothing else.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
1-Those who are born to Muslim parents are regarded Muslims by birth.
2-See our book 'Who is the Law-Maker'
3-Al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-Uqool an AaI al-Rasool, p.30, ed. 1394 H.
4-lmam All, Nahj al-BaJa ghah, p.3 15, by Dr. Subhial-Salih, ed. 1387 H.
5- Sayid Abut al-Qasim al-Khu'i, aI-Bayan S Tafsir al-Qur'an.
7-Ai--Kulaini, aI-Usool mm al-Kafi, vol.1, p.59.
10- The lmamiah Jurisprudents mentioned four basic sources for the Islamic Legislation: Holy Our'an, Sunnah (the Prophetic Traditions),Consensus and Reasoning.
1 1-AI-Harran,, Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.41.
12- Nahj al-Balaghah, p.153, Dr. Subhi al-Salih.
13-A/--Hural-Amil,, Wasa'ilaJ-Shi'a, vol.8, p.12.
14- Sayid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu I, al-Bayan S Tafsir al-Our'an, vol. 1, p.3
I5-Al-l-larrani, Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.41.
16- NahI aI-Balaghah, p.153, Dr. Subhi aI-Salih.
17-Al-l-/ural-Amili, Wasa'ilal-Shi'a, vol.8, p.12.
18- Sayid Abu a/-Qasim al-Khu'i~ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Our'an, vol. 1, p.39.87
19-Al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-Uqool, p.41.
20- Na/il al-Balaghah, p.153, Dr. Subhi al-Sail/i.
21- AI-Hur al-Amili, Wasa ii al-S hi a, vol.8, p.12.
22- Sayid Abu aI-Qasim aI-Khu'b al-Bayan fi Tafsir aI-Qur'an, vol. 1,p.39.
23- Nahj al-Ba/a ghah, p.153, Dr. Subhi al-Salih.
24- Al-Hur aI-Amili, Wasa ii al-Shi'a, vol.8, p.12.
25- Sayid Abu al-Qasim aI-Khu'i, al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Our'ari, vol. 1,15-Al-u/a/ni, al-Usool rn/n al-Kafi, vol. 1, p.10.
26- Sayid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, al-Ma'alim al-Jadidah, p.l48.
27-Muhammad Mahdi al-Na qrani~ Jami' al-Sa adat, vol.3, p.113.
28- See our book Who is the Law-Maker'