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Part I: Basic Information and Principles

 

1. Islam: A Brief Introduction 

 

2. Performing Islamic Prayers

3. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan


4. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity

5.  Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an 

 

6. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth

 

7. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise

 

8. The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical in Islamic Teachings

 

9. Mind, Self, Soul, Spirit, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective

 

10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Qur'an

 

11. Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?

 

12. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Part I, Prohibition, Don't Do, and Do Commands in the Holy Quran

 

Part II: Allah and His Messengers

 

1. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran

 

2. Muhammed

 

3. 'Eissa, Jesus Christ

 

4. Moussa, Moses

 

5. Ibrahim, Abraham

 

6. Noo'h, Noah

 

***

Articles with Islamic Perspective:

 

Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective

 

"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture

 

Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews

 

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings  

Are Muslim women second-class citizens  

 

The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with

 

Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010

 

Links to Islamic Topics 2007

 

Links to Islamic topics 2006

 

Links to Islamic topics 2005

 

Links to Islamic topics 2004

 

Links to Islamic topics, 2003

2002 Links to Islamic topics

 

 

 

 

 

Islam:

God's Message of Guidance to Humanity

 

 

We Are All Responsible for the Wellbeing of Society

 

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

 

A Friday Khutba (Speech) at the Dalton Islamic Center

19th of Dhul Qi'ada, 1433, 5th of October, 2012

 

***

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaitan

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

 

Introduction

 

In their continuous competition, people may fall to the trap of the Machiavellian principle of the "end justifies the means," which is causing a lot of strife in the human society. Our world today is full of wars, revolutions, social unrest, economic turmoil, and uncertainty.

 

People compete to assemble as much wealth, power, prestige, and pleasure as they can. They may indulge themselves in a continuous quest for these resources without regard to ethics, morality, or the rights of other individuals, groups, communities, and societies. This leads to injustice, inequality, insecurity, and lack of peace for all.

 

Whether we are dealing with individual deviance, apathy and indifference towards participation in elections, or tolerance to oppression and injustice, we are all responsible.

 

When individuals commit crimes or violate societal norms, not only they are responsible for their crimes but their family, school, religious organizations, and the media share the responsibility. These are the groups of people which the offender interacts with. They are responsible because of their inadequate teaching, involvement, and interest in the life of that individual. The government also shares the responsibility for leaving that individual behind, without educational, training, and job opportunities.

 

When people who occupy positions of power become authoritarian, dictatorial, and tyrannical in any group or level of interaction, their subordinates share the responsibility for their tyranny. These subordinates, whether in a business firm, an organization, or in society as a whole, usually opt for the convenience of apathy and indifference. However, the whole firm, organization, or society will ultimately suffer from the corruption and oppression of the tyrants.

 

So, what is the solution for this problem, which is plaguing the human society right now? 

 

First, we need to admit our responsibility for the occurrence of these shortcomings. The human society can no longer cling to this fallacy of individualism, and its by-products of apathy and indifference.

 

Second, we need to address these shortcomings by involvement, engagement, education, solidarity and intolerance to injustice, discrimination, and corruption.  

 

We cannot run away from responsibility. Otherwise, we will suffer the harsh consequences we are facing today, as Allah praise to Him has warned us in Verse 25 of Surat Al-Anfal (Chapter 8) of the Holy Quran:

 

ۖ ﴿٢٥﴾  ( 8: 25).

 

And avoid an ordeal, which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty. (25) (Al-Anfal, 8: 25).

 

 

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him (pbbuh), also emphasized the importance of taking responsibility, as we learn from the following two Hadiths (sayings):

 

 

:

 

" ."  ( 853).

 

Abdullah Bin (Son of) Omar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said that he had heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, saying:

 

All of you are shepherds (responsible guardians). An imam is a responsible guardian for his congregation, a man is a responsible guardian for his family and those whom he supervises, a woman is a responsible guardian for her house and her children, a servant (an employee) is a responsible guardian for the money entrusted to him by his employer.

 

Bin Omar added that he thought that the Messenger of Allah said that a man is even a responsible guardian for his father's money, and all of you are shepherds, responsible guardians, for those whom you supervise (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, 853).

 

:  

 

" ."   ( : 193).  

 

The Companion Hudhayfa, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

By God, you have to command each other about doing good deeds and avoiding bad deeds. Otherwise, Allah may send you punishment from Him. Then, you call Him but your call may not be answered.

 

 

So, when things go wrong, society as a whole is responsible, not just the individual offenders. This is because the groups they interact with have not done their job in providing these individuals with adequate education, solidarity, and prevention.

 

Theories of Social Sciences:

 

This emphasis on both the individual and societal responsibility is also found in how sociological theories explain deviance. For example, in the social strain theory, property crime is explained as lack of conformity to societal values of gaining resources through legal means.

 

The social control theory explains deviance as a result of in adequate inner controls, which are defined as the teachings about what is right and what is wrong. Deviance also happens as a result of inadequate outer controls, which are represented by involvement with, attachment to, and commitment to people.

 

Thus, according to the social control theory, a person also deviates from societal norms if he/she is isolated or has weak attachments or involvement with them. This means that society should not leave anybody isolated or left behind, to fend for themselves alone.

 

The labeling theory explains deviance as a result of labeling a person or a group as deviant, which leads to a vicious circle, known as the self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

 Finally, the conflict theory explains deviance as a result of exploitation and oppression by the wealthy against the poor and by the powerful against the powerless.

 

So, we can no longer ignore the complexity of the human society, which necessitates solidarity, caring, and responsibility or we face the negative consequences we are facing right now all over the world.

 

Verses from the Holy Quran

 

1. Self Responsibility

 

  ٰ ۖ ۖ ٰ ﴿٥٧﴾  ( 2: 57).

 

(O Children of Israel) And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and quails, [saying], "Eat from the good things with which We have provided you." And they did not wrong Us but they were (only) wronging themselves. (57)  (Al-Baqara, 2: 57).

 

﴿٧

 

﴿٨

 

﴿٩

 

﴿١٠ ( 91: 7-10).

 

 "By the (human) self, and how He fashioned it (7),

 

by inspiring it to (to know the paths of) disobedience and piety (8)

 

Truly, whoever keeps it pure will succeed (9)

And whoever corrupts it will fail (Al-Shams, 91: 7-10).

 

 

﴿١

 

﴿٢

 

﴿٣

 

ٰ ٰ ﴿٤

 

﴿٥﴾  ( 75: 1-5).

 

***

 

ٰ ﴿١٤

 

ٰ ﴿١٥ ( 75: 14-15).

 

I swear by the Day of Resurrection (1)

 

And I swear by the reproaching self (soul) (2)

 

Does the human being think that We will not gather his bones? (3)

 

Yes. (We are) able (even) to remake his fingertips (4)

 

But the human being desires to continue in sin (5).

 

***

 

Rather, the human being will be a witness against himself (14)

 

Even if he presents his excuses. (15(Al-Qiyama, 75: 1-5, 14-15).

 

 

2. Tyrants and oppressors, adorned as Gods, deny responsibility and dissociate themselves from their followers

 

 

ۖ ۗ ﴿١٦٥

 

﴿١٦٦

 

ۗ ٰ ۖ ﴿١٦٧﴾  ( 2: 166-167).

 

 

And among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. And if only they who have wronged would consider (that) when they see the punishment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment. (165)

 

(In the Day of Judgment) Those who have been followed disassociate themselves from those who followed (them), and they see the punishment, and the ties (among them) are cut off  (166)

 

Those who followed will say, "If only we had another turn (another worldly life), so we could disassociate ourselves from them, as they have disassociated themselves from us." Thus, Allah will show them their deeds as regrets upon them. And they are never to emerge from the Fire. (167) (Al-Baqara, 2: 166-167).

 

 

3. Angels asking the oppressed about why they didn't immigrate from lands of oppression

 

 

  ۖ ۚ ۚ ٰ ۖ ﴿٩٧

 

﴿٩٨

 

ٰ ۚ ﴿٩٩

 

ۚ ۗ ﴿١٠٠﴾  ( 4: 97-100).

 

 Those whom the angels complete their records (on Earth when they die) while wronging themselves, (the angels) say (to them), "In what (condition) were you?" They say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels say, "Was not the Earth of Allah spacious (enough) for you to immigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell and that is a bad destination. (97)

 

Except for the oppressed among men, women, and children who cannot devise a plan nor are they directed to a way (out of oppression) (98)

 

Those, Allah may pardon them, and Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving. (99)

 

And whoever immigrates for the path of Allah will find on the Earth many (alternative) locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an immigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him - his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. (100) (Al-Nissa, 4: 97-100).

 

4. Enjoining Good and Forbidding Bad deeds

 

Many verses of the Holy Quran emphasize engagement, involvement, enjoining the right and forbidding the wrongdoing. Here are some examples.

 

 

ٰ ﴿ 11: 42).

 

And it (the Ship) was sailing with them through waves like mountains, and Noo'h (Noah) called at his son. who was apart (from them), "O my son, come aboard and do not be with the disbelievers" (Hood, 11: 42).

 

ۚ

 

﴿ 19: 41-42﴾.

 

 

And mention in the Book Ibrahim. He was a man of truth and a Prophet.

 

When he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all?" (Maryam, 19: 41-42).

 

ۚ

 

﴿ 19: 54-55﴾.

 

(O Muhammed) And mention in the Book, Issma'il. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a Messenger (of Allah) and a Prophet,

 

And he used to enjoin on his family (people) prayer and zakat (charity), and his Lord was pleased with him (Maryam, 19: 54-55).

 

 

  ٰ ﴿ 7: 159 ﴾.

 

And among the people of Moussa (Moses) is a community which guides by truth and by it establishes justice (Al-A'araf, 7: 159).

 

ٰ ﴿ 11: 117﴾.

 

 

And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers (Hood, 11: 117).

 

***

 

One of the most beautiful pieces of advice from a father to his son, in the Holy Quran, are those given by Luqman, peace be upon him, to his son, in Surat Luqman (31: 12-19).

 

 

 

ۚ ۖ ﴿١٢

 

ۖ ﴿١٣

 

ٰ ﴿١٤

 

ٰ ۖ ۖ ۚ ﴿١٥

 

ۚ ﴿١٦

 

ٰ ۖ ٰ ﴿١٧

 

ۖ ﴿١٨

 

  ۚ ﴿١٩   ( 31: 12-19).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaitan

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], "Be grateful to Allah." And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] - then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy. (12)

 

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, "O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice." (13)

 

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. (14)

 

But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. (15)

 

[And Luqman said], "O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. (16)

 

O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. (17)

 

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. (18)

 

And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys." (19(Luqman, 31: 12-19).

 

 

==============================

 

* Dr. Hassan Ali El-Najjar is a native speaker of Arabic. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology.

 

editor@daltonislamiccenter.org

 

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