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Monday, January 21, 2013

A Social System Based on Quranic Values

Tolu-e-Islam is purely an intellectual movement that has no political pandemonium, is not involved in creating any sect, or dividing Muslims into groups, or generally causing any kind of disorder and confusion in the Ummah. It is actively engaged in disseminating the Quranic ideology since 1938. To drive away every kind of non-Quranic concept, viewpoint and belief from the mind and heart of Muslims, and replace these with purely Quranic ideas projected through arguments and proofs is the sole aim and objective of Tolu-e-Islam. It thus keeps in mind, first and the foremost, the educated youth so that, having saved themselves from the torrent of western secularism, glamorously wrapped indecency inciting to adultery through all-encompassing media, insinuation of terrorism, they may develop competence and excellence for establishing a Social System Based on Quranic Values.

Tolu-e-Islam (Idara and Trust Both), through its writings in monthly magazine Tolu-e-Islam, pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, books, speeches, lectures, discourses on tapes (audio and audio-visual both), makes its strenuous efforts on regular scientific lines to expose the masses, the readers, understand that:

(a) Reason alone is not enough to solve the problems of life; it needs revelation just as eyes need the light of the sun. Rational thinking, reason and intellect have been applauded to the highest tone, but just ponder over the verdict of Einstein who says: “By painful experience we have learnt that rational thinking does not suffice to solve the problems of our Social life. Penetrating research and keen scientific work have often had tragic implications for mankind, producing, on the one hand, inventions which liberated man from exhausting physical labor, making his life easier and richer, but on the other hand introducing a grave restlessness into his life, making it slave to his technological environment, and – most catastrophic of all – creating the means for his own mass destruction. This, indeed, is a tragedy of overwhelming poignancy. ( Out of My Later Years, P.152);

(b) This revelation is preserved in the Qur‘an in its final and complete form, and mankind cannot reach its desired destination without the Quran;

(c) The Quran is the only criterion for judging truth and falsehood; every thing that conforms to the Quran is correct, that which is at variance is false;

(d) The Holy Prophet (PBUH) attained the pinnacle of character and conduct in ratio and proportion; foreign conspiracies vitiated our history by alloying it with matters that are blot on the Prophet’s (PBUH) escutcheon i.e. an stain on his honour; these sections of our history, in whatever books they may appear, are altogether wrong and fabricated; the Holy Quran is the only criterion for judging the character of the Prophet (PBUH);

(e) From the viewpoints of the Quran, all human beings inhabiting the earth are individuals belonging to one Universal Brotherhood; the practical aspect of establishing this brotherhood would be to prevail upon the mankind lead their lives according to One dispensation i.e. one universal organization of life;

(f) This universal organization of life may be formulated in such a manner that people of every era according to the exigencies of their time, may compile by mutual consultation the details of laws in the light of the Quran; these details would keep changing according to circumstances but, the principles of the Quran also called Permanent Values shall remain immutable forever;

(g) From the point of view of such an organization, the Quran envisages a society in which the potentialities, the latent abilities of all individuals are developed, and no one in such a society is deprived of the necessities of his / her life; this is interpreted as the preservation of the masses or the fostering of the mankind;

(h) The establishment of such a society ensures that the distribution of the means of living is managed in accordance with the needs of every one, thus no human being is left at the mercy of another human being; this is called the Quranic Organization of Preservation of Mankind

For the present system of life that man has developed from the dawn of the human consciousness to the present day achievements, Mason laments: “We began our era of scientific efficiency confidant that materialistic triumphs would solve life’s problems. We are finding we were wrong. Life is not as simple as that (Creative Freedom, PP. 184-3). In this regard Robert Briffault is still heard moaning: “No system of human organization that is false in its very principle, in its very foundation, can save itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained, by any amount of superficial adjustment and tinkering (The Making of Humanity, P. 159). That is why Iqbal had to declare in unequivocal words: “Thus, wholly overshadowed by the results of his intellectual activity, the modern man has ceased to live soulfully, that is from within. In the domain of thought he is living in open conflict with himself; and in the domain of economic and political life he is living in open conflict with others. He finds himself unable to control his ruthless egoism and his infinite gold hunger which is gradually killing all higher strivings in him and bringing him but life weariness. Absorbed in the ‘fact’ that is to say, the optically present source of sensation, he is entirely cut off from the unplumbed depths of his own being (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, P. 177). It is because, in the words of Joad: “A man’s thought follows his desire much as the feet of a hungry dog follow his nose. (Decadence, P.36).” On the other hand, man depends upon reason which in the words of Joad: “tends to be exhibited as a mere tool or handmaid of desire. Its function is to secure the ends which we unconsciously set ourselves, by inventing excuses for what we instinctively want to do, and arguments which we instinctively want to believe… Reason is the power of deceiving ourselves into believing that what we want to think true, is in fact true (Guide to the Philosophy of Morals and Politics, P. 239).”

It is also a stark fact that wise men, including scientists, are aware that reason can never fathom reality. Dr Aitken, Director of Lick Observatory, California, while discussing the formation of the universe frankly admitted; “Of the origin of the universe and its ultimate fate, we know practically nothing (The Great Design, P. 35).” Besides, there is no finality about scientific theories. With the discovery of a new fact, even a well-established theory may have to be modified or even set aside. Absolute reliance, therefore, can not be placed on them nor can a philosophy of conduct valid for all human beings, be built upon the shifting sands of scientific theory. Hence Dr. Crowther aptly remarks: “The last word of science on any topic may perhaps be left for the last man to utter (The Great Design, P. 52).” It will be sheer folly then if we are to depend on reason alone for acquiring a set of right principles of conduct. Reason has repeatedly failed to give right guidance in regulating social relation. Experimenting with social affairs has often led to disaster. For example, kingship was tried at first, then imperialism and finally democracy, and that too is on trial today. Man has paid a heavy price for experimenting with various forms of government – centuries of bloodshed, internecine wars, revolutions, class struggle, and economic and political unrest have been the consequences. For two centuries men have pinned their faith on democracy but there are now unmistakable signs of disillusionment. “On the other hand,” says Einstein, “representatives of science have often made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect to values and ends on the basis of scientific methods and in this way have set themselves in opposition of religion. These conflicts have all sprung from fetal errors… Science cannot create ends and, even less, install them in human beings; science can, at the most, supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals. (Out of my Later Years, P.25). This involves the idea of religion for which Ouspensky openly says: “A religion which contradicts science and a science which contradicts religion are both equally false (Tertium Organum, P. 208)”.

But man needs the help of both science and din, if he wishes to bring himself into a meaningful relationship with God and the world. The Qur’an puts man in a meaningful relationship with nature and presents it as friendly to man, responsive to his intellect and sympathetic to his moral endeavor. Both nature and man have been created by a wise and benevolent God and fundamentally there is no conflict between them. Man can develop only with the help of nature. This help he can obtain provided he requires knowledge of nature and utilizes it for the achievement of his moral ends in the light of Divine Guidance. The knowledge referred to is scientific knowledge. The only method by which he can study nature profitably is the scientific method. Equipped with scientific knowledge he can bend nature to his service. Natural forces can be made to serve man. This truth the Qur’an has expressed in the metaphorical language that the “Malaikah (cosmic forces) prostrated themselves before Adam (man)” (2: 34). Man, as the verses quoted below show, occupies a privileged position in the physical word and it is his destiny to become master of it: God has pressed into the service of man the sun and the moon, to perform their courses, and He has pressed the night and the day into his service (14:33).Again the Quran says: And He hath of service unto you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; it is all from Him. Lo! Herein verily are portents for people who reflect (45:13).

The knowledge of divine law relating to the external universe is derived from a close observation of nature, scientific experiments and discoveries, but not in the case of laws relating to human life and the regulation of its conduct which are communicated only through Revelation to the Rusul and conveyed by them as Messenger of God to mankind. It is this wherein Islam as a din also distinguishes itself from the Material concept of life which takes no cognizance of the Divine Guidance by means of revelation.

God did not merely create the universe, but has also laid down definite laws comprising it. The “Law of Cause and Effect,” and the “Law of Uniformity in Nature,” among others, being of basic importance, deal with the external nature of the universe. He has, besides, prescribed definite laws regulating human life and its activities. That is why the Qur’an speaks of those who study nature and try to discover the laws that govern it as “men of knowledge and insight”; because, says the Qur’an: “Lo! In the heavens and the earth are portents for believers” (45: 3). In seeking knowledge, the believers are spurred on by their Iman. “And in your creation and of all the beasts that He scattereth in the earth are portents for a folk whose Imam is sure” (45: 4). They know that: The alternation of night and day and the provision that Allah sendeth down from the sky and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death, and the ordering of the winds, are portents for a people who have sense (45: 5). In this way Iman in God does not follow from purely logical arguments; it springs from the direct experience of order, harmony, and beauty in nature. Along with that the Rasul is told: These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee with Haqq (45: 6).

In this respect the Qur’an distinguishes between two kinds of knowledge - perceptual and conceptual. Through perceptual knowledge we become aware of and deal with that portion of the physical environment, which happens at the moment to be the centre of our interest. Through conceptual knowledge we rise above the particularity of concrete facts and cognize the unities which underlie the multiplicity of the world. The conceptual framework we build up is far removed from the rich vivid concrete reality of the actual world, yet it gives us an insight into the working of the nature and greater power of control over it. The point to note is that both kinds of knowledge have their sources in senses. In the platonic theory of knowledge, reason can achieve knowledge of the Real independently of the senses. The Qur’an accords full recognition to the role of the senses in the “Knowing Activity”. According to the Qur’an, the mind (fuad) gropes from knowledge the data provided by the senses. In this way we see that the Qur’anic view is close to, if not identical with, the empirical theory of knowledge. The Qur’an exhorts man to use his senses and absorb nature sagaciously. This is the first step in getting to know nature and its way: And follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! The hearing and the sight and the fuad (heart) - of each of these it will be asked (17: 36). Those who do not make proper use of their senses and mental power sink to the animal level. “Many of the people, both civilized and nomads, live a life which dooms them to hell” (7: 179). The reason for this is that “they have hearts wherewith they understand not, and have ears wherewith they hear not” (7: 179). The result is that they cease to be rational beings. “These are like cattle: nay, but they are worse. These are the neglectful” (7: 179). In sharp contrast to such people are those who ponder over God’s creation, for they know that “In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, are surely signs to men of understanding”(3: 189). They are the men “who keep in their mind (the law of) Allah sitting and standing and reclining, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth” (3: 190). When they reflect on the grandeur of nature, they are deeply moved and exclaim: “Our Rabb! Thou hast not created this in vain (7: 190).” When they approach nature with the attitude of the believers (Mu’mins) they feel it in their bones that it has a meaning and a purpose. With their intellectual honesty, they cannot but admit that certain things in it are incomprehensible to them at the present level of their knowledge. With humility they confess that they do not know, but they have a conviction that if they persist in seeking more knowledge, one day they will perceive the meaning of these as well. Men who lack this conviction live “in a sort of hell” (7: 191)”, and the pity is that “no one can help them” (7: 191).

For the purpose of Iman springing from the direct experience of order, harmony, and beauty in nature, the Quran gives a sketch of the process of knowing, which is both scientific and ethical. This process is begun by the activity of the senses, which furnish the raw material of knowledge. The next stage is of the attending when the mind addresses itself to the material reaching it. This is the stage of perceptual knowledge. The sense of data are referred to external objects and events and their objective meaning is grasped. In the third stage, through the process of analysis, synthesis, abstraction and generalization, the material is converted into knowledge of varying degrees of generality. The final stage is that of comprehension in which the new knowledge is placed and viewed in the context of the whole of human knowledge and experience, and its meaning of human life is assessed. At this stage the Qur’an exhorts men to aim at the deeper understanding of the meaning of the Nabi’s words, whenever he speaks to them through the embodiment of the Quran. It denounces those who fail to make this attempt and stop at the first or second stage, being content with imperfect knowledge: And you may see them looking towards you, but they see not (7: 198). In this way the process of development includes the following basic principles:

1. Every thing, animate or inanimate, is endowed with the capacity for development. Its development is guided, at every step, by the Supreme Being.

2. It must not be supposed that the guiding power acts upon things from outside. It is inherent in their nature and acts from within them. It would be more correct to say that it is the nature of a thing to seek the development of its latent capacity and thus to reach its destiny.

3. Man, by virtue of possessing an autonomous self, occupies a privileged position in the universe. Divine Guidance is offered to him in the form which is suited to a free rational being. It does in no way curtail man’s freedom of choice and action. Man has the right to rejected it, if he so desires and is willing to pay the price of rejection.

4. For man, Wahi or revelation, is the vehicle of Divine Guidance. God selects a man who is fit to be the custodian of truth. This man is the Nabi who receives the revelation from God, keeps it inviolate and faithfully communicates it to his fellow-beings. Those who accept, of their own accord, find themselves following the path which leads to the enhancement of their powers and towards the goal of perfection. Those who reject, have perforce to follow the downward path of deterioration and degradation. Self-fulfillment is the reward of the farmer, while an enfeebled and perverted self falls to the lot of the latter. Such is the Law of Requital.

5. The Wahi, the Divinely revealed guidance, is really God’s Word. It is not contaminated by the personal likes and dislikes, feelings and desires of the recipients. The medium specially selected by God is so refined that the Wahi, in passing through it, suffers no diminution in its purity or lustre. The Wahi transcends intellect but does not conflict with reason. It rather supplements it.

Scientifically the knowledge of the Divine Laws relating to the external universe is derived from a close observation of nature, scientific experiments and discoveries, but not so in the case of laws relating to human life and the regulation of its conduct which are communicated only through Revelation to the Rusul and conveyed by them as Messengers of God to mankind as mentioned above. It is this wherein Islam as a din also distinguishes itself from the Material concept of life which takes no cognizance of the Divine Guidance by means of revelation.

Islam asserts that such Divine Laws have been, from time to time, communicated to all the peoples of the world. The Rusul, the Messengers of God, received them through revelation and delivered them to their people. What happened after the demise of a Rasul was that his followers, chiefly their leaders having vested interests, tampered with the Laws with excision and deletion of what was found detrimental to their interests, and by interpolations, with the result that, from among the religions of the world, not one can produce the original text of Divine Revelation free from the taint of corruption. But these Divine Laws in their original form, words as well as letters, are fully extant and meticulously preserved in the Qur'an, which is the last and the final of the series of the revealed Books of God, as was revealed to the last of the Rusul. So long as these Laws remain in their original form and pristine glory, they constitute what is termed as din, but when they are tampered with and corrupted, they fall from the high pedestal and become what is known as religion; and that is why among all the religions of the world only Islam deserves to be styled as a din. As a matter of fact, no other religion makes a claim, nor could it prove, even if it were to advance such a claim, that it possesses a revealed book word for word and letter for letter as delivered to them by their Rasul. Islam, on the other hand, does make such a claim which is verified and fully supported by an impartial testimony of even non-Muslim historians.

Islam, thus, is a code of laws revealed by God, through his Rasul, Muhammad (P), for the guidance of the whole of mankind, and which are fully preserved in the Book of God, known as the Qur'an; and they constitute what we may call the Permanent Values. Further, Islam emphatically and confidently advances the claim that if life is led in full compliance with and in complete subordination to the Permanent Values, it will be rid of all the travails and troubles in which the entire world of the present day finds itself beset condemning humanity to a hellish life despite the wonderful and awe-inspiring material and scientific advancement. The order of life according to these Permanent Values is termed as the Quranic Social Order, or, in other words, the Islamic State. It requires, however, to be made clear that even the order of life established by the so-called Muslims, would not necessarily be the Islamic State as such, for, the Islamic State connotes only that State which is based on, and is in the fullest consonance with the Permanent Values; and any other, lacking in this foundation, will be only un-Islamic, established though it may have been by the Muslims themselves. An Islamic State is thus an agency for the enforcement of Quranic injunctions, and laws made in the light of the principles enunciated therein.

It should not, however, be misunderstood that the laws thus framed are rigid and hidebound with hardly any scope for progress or wanting in meting out the exigencies of the ever-changing conditions of life in the progressive world. In fact, the Islamic State is fully authorized, after mutual consultations, to legislate, within the framework of the Permanent Values, to provide for the needs of the time, and the body of laws thus promulgated could be altered and amended when necessary to suit the circumstances prevailing at a given time, with this essential proviso that in no circumstance shall the framework of the Permanent Values be disturbed or interfered with. From this point of view, the Islamic State may be considered as a “controlled democracy, ” which is quite distinct in character from the concept of democracy commonly prevalent in the West, for, in that system the nation or its representatives enjoy an unlimited power of legislation. This would provide a check on the apprehension of Ouspensky who once cited Gurdjieff in support of his views when he declared that: “If a man is changing every minute, if there is nothing in him that can withstand external influences, it means that there is nothing in him that can withstand death. But if he becomes independent of external influences, if there appears in him something that can live by itself; this something may not die. In ordinary circumstances we die every moment. External influences change and we change with them, i.e., many of our “Is” die. If a man develops in himself a permanent “I” that can survive a change in external conditions, it can survive the death of the physical body. (In Search of the Miraculous, P. 101)”. Our aim is to establish such a Quranic Organization, Quranic Social Order (QSO) initially in Pakistan and there-after in the whole world, so that in the light of Divine Attributes, the potentialities, the latent abilities of every human being, be developed fully and the world, thus, become resplendent with the Light of the Eternal Nourisher, the Supreme Being. This warrants that the literature for the establishment of such a Quranic Social Order (QSO) be developed, proliferated – through cyberspace too – and provided to the very stream blood of life, i.e. the educational institutes, the academics, the educated youth, the intelligentsia at their door steps. For this purpose the literature in the form of pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, essays, English rendering of the numerous G. A. Parwez books facilitating the teachings of the Holy Quran prove to be the most effective and the most munificent mechanisms for spreading, propagating, and proselytizing the Quranic wisdom, the Quranic epistemology,and the Quranic knowledge to the potential users. For example one such pamphlet of an average size, costs Rs15,000; with this amount, 5000 homes can be provided an opportunity to be illuminated with the Quranic teachings and this goes on multiplying with the inter and intra social interactions of its readers. At present, Tolu-e Islam(Idara and Trust), Bazams and websites are the only clarion call to the action of establishing such a Quranic Social Order (QSO) in the whole of this world which is now fraught with corruption, nepotism, terrorism, economic morass, narcotics, lotteries and so many other un-Quranic practices in vogue. Here is a point worth pondering for those who yell for what is happening on this globe, called our earth today.

1 comment:

  1. I will suggest to learn quran yourself and you will find the truth. Quran guide us towards nature and show us the path where we all are one. Quran teach us how to convert our individual thinking into collective thinking so that peace prevails in our society.