The Purpose of Life Islamic book PDF

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THIS IS ISLAM
By
His Eminence Sheikh
Saleh Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh,
The Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs,
Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance
Printed and Published by
The Under –Secretariat for
Publications and Research
Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION …………………………………….. 6
AQEEDAH …………………………………………….. 8
Some Fundamentals of Aqeedah ……………. 9
a. Establishing the Pillars of faith ………………. 9
b. Belief in the Unseen …………………………… 10
c. Belief that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are
the main sources of the Islamic Law …….. 10
d. Love and loyalty for the believers ………… 11
e. Seeking Allah’s pleasure (taraddi) for the
Companions ……………………………………… 12
WORSHIP ……………………………………………. 12
SHARRE’AH ………………………………………… 13
Some Characteristics of the Islamic
Sharee’ah …………………………………………….. 13
a. Comprehensiveness ………………………….. 13
b. Consideration of public interest ……………. 16
c. Ease ………………………………………………… 18
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT …………………. 19
System of Government: Some
fundamentals of Islam …………………………. 20
a. Freedom …………………………………………… 20
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  1. Religious freedom …………………………….. 20
  2. Economic and personal freedom …………. 21
  3. Personal freedom in what one does
    at home ……………………………………………. 21
  4. Personal freedom in whatever activities
    one engages ……………………………………… 21
    b. Justice and equality …………………………… 22
    c. Maintaining unity and power ……………….. 23
    d. Counselling the faithful ……………………….. 23
    Fundamental principles of government … 25
    MORALS …………………………………………….. 27
    Types of good morals ………………………….. 28
    a. Good morals towards one’s Lord …………. 28
    b. Good morals towards oneself ……………… 28
    c. Good morals towards one’s parents and
    other family members ………………………… 28
    d. Good morals towards Muslims …………….. 28
    e. Good morals towards non-Muslims ………. 29
    f. Good morals in time of war ………………….. 29
    WEALTH AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ……. 31
    The Islamic view of wealth and economic
    activity ………………………………………………… 31
    a. Wealth belongs to Allah ……………………… 31
    b. Guaranteeing sufficiency to all members
    of the Muslim society ………………………….. 32
    c. Respecting private ownership ……………… 32
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    d. Granting economic freedom ………………… 33
    e. Encouraging development ………………….. 33
    f. Encouraging moderate spending and
    forbidding extravagance and prodigality … 33
    g. Forbidding all transactions that lead to
    individual or communal injustice …………. 34
    Some of the Fundamental principles of
    economic activity and wealth in Islam ….. 34
    a. All transactions are lawful unless there is
    evidence that states otherwise …………… 34
    b. The economic activity must have
    everyone’s best interests at heart ……….. 34
    UNITY …………………………………………………. 36
    Types of unity and disunity ……………………… 36
    a. Unity in religion …………………………………. 37
    b. Unity in worldly matters, the state and the
    ruler …………………………………………………….. 37
    INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ……………… 38
    CIVILIZATION ……………………………………… 40
    DISAGREEMENT AND DIALOGUE ………… 41
    MODERATION …………………………………….. 44
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    INTRODUCTION
    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most
    Merciful.
    All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the
    worlds. I bear witness that there is no god
    worthy of worship except Allah alone, and I
    bear witness that Muhammad is His obedient
    servant and messenger. May Allah bestow His
    Peace and Blessings upon Prophet
    Muhammad, upon his good and pure family, as
    well as upon the noble companions until the
    Day of Reckoning.
    The topic of the present lecture is a long one
    indeed, and it would be unfair to claim to
    discuss it in all its aspects and at length in one
    lecture; for the topic in fact requires a lengthy
    discussion, which is next to impossible to do in
    one single lecture; for Islam is all
    comprehensive and is also impossible to
    delineate the comprehensiveness of Islam in
    one single lecture
    I may address it from a personal point of view,
    from my personal understanding of this religion,
    from the influence of the customs and traditions
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    of my country on me, or from the influence of a
    certain school of thought. Therefore, I have to
    stress from the outset that I have tried to be as
    objective as possible, without being influenced
    by anything that is bound to negatively affect
    the treatment of the present subject. For doing
    so is a huge trust, as it is an exposition and
    explanation of what Allah the Almighty has
    revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (peace
    and blessings of Allah be upon him). In the
    present lecture, I have briefly discussed the
    view of Islam with reference to a number of
    points which are as follows:
    Aqeedah
    Worship
    Sharee’ah
    System of Government
    Morals
    Wealth and Economy Activity
    International relations
    Civilization
    Disagreement and dialogue
    Moderation
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    AQEEDAH
    All of Allah’s messengers (peace and blessings
    of Allah be upon them) observed the essence of
    Islam, namely the complete submission to
    Allah, which can be summarized in the
    realization of the shahaadah: There is no god
    worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad
    is His messenger. This testimony of faith
    incorporates pure monotheism.
    The meaning of the first part of the shahaadah
    is that no one deserves to be worshipped in
    Allah’s Kingdom except Allah alone, and that
    whatever and whoever is worshipped besides
    Him is a false deity. Allah says, “That is
    because it is Allah – He is the Truth (the
    only True God of all that exists, Whohas no
    partners of rivals with Him) and what the
    (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is
    Batil (falsehood)” (22:62)
    The meaning of the second part of the
    shahaadah is to testify and declare in words
    and deeds that Muhammad, son of Abdullah
    who belonged to the family of Hashim, which
    was the noblest tribe of the Quraish section of
    the Arabian race, is truly the last of Allah’s
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    messengers (peace and blessings of Allah be
    upon them), that he was sent from his Lord with
    the truth to all mankind as a bearer of glad
    tidings and a warner, that he should be obeyed
    in whatever he commanded and forbade, and
    that Allah is only to be worshipped by what he
    himself legislated, not by one’s whims, desires
    and innovations in religion.
    Some Fundamentals of Islam Regarding
    Aqeedah
    a. Establishing the Pillars of faith
    Islam is a set of beliefs which can be realized in
    the six pillars of faith, namely belief in Allah, His
    angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last
    Day and the Divine Decree, the good of it and
    the bad of it. Allah the Almighty says, “The
    Messenger believes in what has been
    revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the
    believers: all of them believe in Allah, His
    Angels, His Books and His Messengers,
    [saying,] ‘We make no distinction between
    any of His Messengers;’ and they say, ‘We
    hear and we obey. We implore Your
    forgiveness, O our Lord, and to You is the
    returning.'” (2:285) He also says, “Verily, We
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    have created everything with qadar (Divine
    Preordainments of all things before their
    creation, as written in the Book of Decrees.)’
    (54:49)
    Belief in Allah means the belief that He is the
    only true God and that He is one and has no
    partners at all. He is the only Lord who
    manages the affairs of the universe, the only
    true God who alone is worthy of worship,
    without any partners, who has the most
    beautiful names and the loftiest perfect
    attributes which are not likened to any of those
    of His creatures even though some of the
    attributes may be shared between the Creator
    and the created, for there is nothing like Him.
    b. Belief in the Unseen
    Belief in the unseen is a requisite in Islam and
    signifies belief in anything of which Allah the
    Almighty or His Messenger (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him) has informed
    us. Belief in the unseen is not comprehended
    by the intellect, reasoning or any form of
    analogy. For matters relating to the Unseen are
    to be accepted without questioning as their true
    nature is known to Allah alone. Therefore, we
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    believe in them as Allah informed us without
    qualifying them or likening them to anything.
    That is why Allah describes His obedient
    servants as those “who believe in the
    Unseen” (2:3), and so He made this belief a
    special quality of the believers, that is their
    belief in the Unseen of which Allah has
    informed them, for no one who informs of the
    Unseen knows better than Almighty Allah.
    c. Belief that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are
    the main sources of the Islamic Law
    Another fundamental of Islam with regard to
    Aqeedah is the belief that the Qur’an and the
    Sunnah are revealed by Allah and that they
    represent the sources of acquiring proper
    knowledge in matters of belief and the revealed
    laws of Islam. The sources of the Islamic Law
    include the Book of Allah (the Qur’an), the
    Prophet’s Sunnah, Ijma’, or the unanimous
    agreement of the mujtahidoon of any period
    following the demise of the Prophet Muhammad
    on any matter, and ijtihaad (independent
    reasoning or analytical thought to be supported
    with textual evidence from the Qur’an, the
    Sunnah) and ijma’. (Ijtihaad may involve the
    interpretation of the source materials, inference
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    of rules from them, or giving a legal verdict or
    decision on any issue on which there is no
    specific guidance in the Qur’an and the
    Sunnah). Such sources as analytical reasoning
    without evidence from the Qur’an and the
    Sunnah, dreams and imagined interests that
    contravene the evidence of the Sharee’ah are
    all excluded and are to be disregarded.
    d. Love and loyalty for the believers
    Another Islamic fundamental with regard to
    Aqeedah is to show love, loyalty and support
    (walaa’) for the believers. Allah says, “The
    believers, men and women, are awliyyaa’
    (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of
    one another.” (9″71) Given the importance of
    this principle, scholars of Aqeedah have
    included the principle of walaa’ for the believers
    amongst matters relating to Aqeedah and not
    amongst matters relating to fiqh (jurisprudence)
    even though it is related to juristic matters.
    e. Seeking Allah’s pleasure (taraddi) for the
    Companions
    Another Islamic fundamental with regard to
    Aqeedah is to seek Allah’s pleasure for the
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    Mothers of the Believers (the prophet’s wives)
    as well as all the Prophet’s companions whom
    Allah the Almighty extolled. One should also
    hold Muslim devout scholars in high esteem,
    show loyalty, love and support for Allah’s
    righteous servants as well as all the believers
    with different degrees of walaa’ according to the
    requirements of faith.
    WORSHIP
    As far as worship, or ‘ibaadah, is concerned,
    Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that no
    god is worthy of worship except Allah and that
    Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,
    performing the obligatory prayers, paying the
    zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadhan and
    making the pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque (in
    Makkah). The four acts of worship (namely
    prayers, zakat, fasting and the pilgrimage)
    represent the great practical pillars of Islam,
    and whoever abandons them and refuses to
    obey Allah’s command with regard to them has
    in fact left the fold of Islam. Jihad is also one of
    these great pillars of Islam.
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    SHARRE’AH
    Islam is a law (sharee’ah) from Allah the
    Almighty, as revealed in His Book (the Qur’an)
    or in the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him). All of the
    Prophets received their Message from one
    source, which was the wahy (revelation), and
    they all had the same ‘aqeedah, which was the
    belief in Tawheed (absolute unity of Allah) and
    the worship of Allah alone, even though there
    were differences in the details of their laws.
    This is confirmed by the Prophet (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him) when he said:
    “The Prophets are brothers although they have
    different mothers, and their religion is
    one.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim)
    Allah says in this connection, “To each among
    you have We prescribed a law (Sharee’ah)
    and a manifest way.” (5:48) He also says,
    “Then We set you on the right path of
    religion (Sharee’ah); so follow it, and do not
    follow the inclinations of those who do not
    know.” (45:18)
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    Some Characteristics of the Islamic
    Sharee’ah
    a. Comprehensiveness
    One of the traits of the Islamic Sharee’ah is that
    it is all-comprehensive and includes all that
    people need in their present and their future
    despite the difference in time and place. This
    comprehensiveness is realized either through
    the nass (plural: nusoos, a clear textual ruling
    or injunction from the Qur’an and the Sunnah)
    or ijthad (independent reasoning). Therefore,
    the ijtihad was exercised by scholars among the
    Prophet’s companions (may Allah be pleased
    with them), the Tabi’oon (the Successors: the
    generation of Muslims immediately after the
    Companions who benefited and derived their
    knowledge from the Companions of the
    Prophet) as well as the leading scholars of
    Islam. The emergence of the four established
    schools of jurisprudence whose followers
    followed the leaders of these schools followed
    the nass or carried out ijtihad in case no nass
    was available on a given issue. The reason for
    this is that the divine texts are general and
    comprehensive whereas the incidents are
    particular and diverse. Therefore, the Sharee’ah
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    is suitable for every time and place as its divine
    texts, foundations and principles are so
    comprehensive and flexible that they can be
    applied at all times and in all places.
    This is self-evidnt in the ijtihad carried out by
    the leading Muslim jurists in matters on which
    they differed. For Muslim jurists differed on a
    host of issues, and one of the reasons behind
    these differences was that they took into
    account the factors of time and place, which
    necessarily yielded different rulings. Muslim
    authorities on method-ological principles of
    Islamic jurisprudence said in this connection,
    “Rulings do not change, but the fatwa (legal
    verdict) changes according to time and place.”
    Hence, the ruling is the same, but the fatwa
    may change by considering, for instance, a
    certain principle or a preponderant unrestricted
    legal benefit (maslaha raajiha). Evidence with
    regard to these is well known and fully
    explained by specialists.
    The texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah can
    either be qat’ee (definitive, unequivocal; free of
    speculative content) or dhannee (ambiguous in
    their meaning) and thus open to interpretation
    and allow ijtihad. With regard to the
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    implementation of the Sharee’ah, these legal
    texts should be understood within the context of
    the lofty goals and objectives of Islam and its
    basic principles which aim at realizing the
    welfare or the good of mankind in their religion
    as well as in their life after death.
    The fact that the Sharee’ah is practicable for
    every time and place is proof enough that Islam
    will prevail for all time and that the divine texts
    are comprehensive and flexible. Lack o insight
    and discernment as to the new juristic issues in
    many respects is undoubtedly due to the fact
    that some would look at the modern juristic
    issues through the eyes of scholars or jurists of
    old who do not live in the present day. This is
    obvious in the juristic definitions and conditions
    which the learned scholars set at a certain time
    and which suit only their times and countries at
    that point in time. Many present-day Muslims,
    unfortunately, commit themselves to these
    juristic definitions and conditions even though
    they are not applicable to their own time.
    It is worth mentioning here that the divine texts
    are comprehensive and flexible, and that, with
    regard to the definitions and conditions, we
    should refer to the comprehensiveness and
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    flexibility of the texts and not to the definitions
    furnished by jurists at a certain point in time,
    especially if these definitions and conditions are
    restrictive, which is the case in many instances.
    For we find that the definition of a certain issue
    differs from one school of jurisprudence to
    another. For example, the definition of sale
    according to the Hanbali school of law differs
    from that of shafi’ee, Hanafi and Maliki schools
    of law because their definitions are restrictive.
    Another example is the definition of hawaala
    (transfer of a debt from one person to another).
    This fact necessitates that we leave the
    definitions aside and adhere to the text that is
    comprehensive and flexible, for the text
    comprehends the time and place in all that
    benefits mankind.
    b. Consideration of public interest
    One of the salient features of the Sharee’ah is
    that the Legislator (Almighty Allah) has taken
    into consideration the objectives intended to
    secure benefits for mankind by following the
    rules of the Sharee’ah. The Sharee’ah is not a
    rigid set of rules which do not take into account
    public interest and lofty goals and objectives of
    Islam and its basic principles which the
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    Legislator intended when He prescribed the
    Islamic Law. For the Lawgiver has lofty goals
    and objectives behind what He commanded
    and prohibited with regard to dealings and acts
    of worship; He also has certain lofty objectives
    behind the rulings as to the family. This also
    applies to other things such as social relations
    and donations like the charitable endowment or
    trust set up in perpetuity known as waqf,
    wasaayaa (wills or testaments) and hibah
    (gifts). In a nutshell, the Sharee’ah has lofty
    goals and objectives which made it more
    flexible. If these goals and objectives are
    disregarded with a view to securing benefits for
    mankind, a major goal that the Lawgiver
    intended will be missing in looking at the juristic
    rulings and the flexibility of the Sharee’ah. In
    this connection, imam Ash-Shaatibee writes in
    Al-Muwaafaqaat, “There is nothing in the entire
    world that can be considered pure benefit
    (maslahah) or pure harm (mafsadah). The
    overall goal of the Sharee’ah is what is more
    predominant: if the benefits are predominant,
    they are permitted, and if the harms are
    predominant, they are avoided. This is in line
    with the principles established by the leading
    learned scholars of Islam which state that the
    Sharee’ah came to secure benefits and perfect
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    them and to prevent harm and minimize it. By
    benefits is meant benefits in this life by making
    people’s affairs easy, facilitate their livelihoods
    and secure their necessities, needs and
    comforts; these benefits also include benefits in
    the hereafter through Allah’s forgiveness for
    their sins and [His Will] to admit His servants to
    Paradise.”
    c. Ease
    One of the fundamentals of the Sharee’ah
    which we can rightly say that it is its distinctive
    feature is ease. Allah the Almighty says, “[He]
    has laid no hardship for you in religion.”
    (22:78) He also says, “Allah does not intend
    to place you in a difficulty, but He intends to
    purify you and to complete His favour upon
    you, so that you may be grateful.” (5:6) It has
    been related that whenever the Prophet (peace
    and blessings of Allah be upon him) was given
    a choice between two matters, he would
    choose the easier of the two unless it was a sin.
    (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree) He also once said,
    “The most beloved religion to Allah is the
    indulgent and tolerant monotheism.” He also
    said, “The religion [of Islam] is very easy, and
    whoever overburdens himself in his religion will
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    not be able to continue in that way.” (AlBukhaaree)
    The principle of ease in Islam is so important
    that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah
    be upon him) would always follow easy options
    and recommend them under all circumstances.
    Indeed, ease pervades all acts of worship and
    all forms of dealings; Islam is based on ease.
    Therefore, the learned scholars and those who
    ascribe a saying, juridical verdicts or rulings to
    Islam should bear in mind the fact that Islam is
    based on ease. In the absence of a clear
    textual ruling or injunction from the Qur’an and
    the Sunnah on a given matter, the rulings that
    observe the principle of ease and thus find
    appeal amongst people are in fact the ones that
    are to be followed. For the Prophet (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him) clearly stated
    that Islam is an easy religion and that the most
    beloved religion in the sight of Allah is the
    indulgent and tolerant monotheism, that is
    Islam. Therefore, ease and tolerance
    characterize the Islamic Law, and the removal
    of difficulty and inconvenience are some of the
    salient features of Islam.
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    SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
    Islam is not only a religion that consists of acts
    of worship that a Muslim offers to his Lord in the
    mosque. In fact, it is a religion for the individual
    and for the community at large. Islam is a
    system that regulates man’s personal affairs as
    well as the affairs of his society. It is also a
    system of government. Allah says, “[Allah
    commands that] when you judge between
    men, judge with justice.” (4:58) Allah also
    says, “Do they then seek the judgment of
    [the days of] Ignorance? And who is better
    than Allah as a judge for a people who have
    firm faith?” (5:50)
    System of Government:
    Some Islamic fundamentals
    a. Freedom
    Islam takes into account the fundamentals upon
    which the Muslim society is to be based with
    regard to the system that governs their affairs.
    First and foremost, it has taken into
    consideration freedom, which takes a number
    of forms including the following:
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  5. Religious freedom
    Allah the Almighty says, “There should be no
    compulsion in religion. Surely, right has
    become distinct from wrong.” (2:256) He
    also commands His messenger thus:
    “Admonish, therefore, for you are but an
    admonisher; you have no authority to
    [compel] them.” (88:21-2) He also addresses
    him thus: “Will you then compel mankind
    against their will to believe?” (10:99)
    This freedom was implemented during the time
    of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be
    upon him) and that of the rightly-guided caliphs.
    No one was forced to embrace Islam; rather,
    Islam would be presented to people who then
    had the choice either to embrace it or reject it. It
    is a principle in Islam that followers of other
    faiths, such as Christianity and Judaism, should
    not be forced to leave their religions. The
    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon
    him) once said in a letter to one of his
    governors, “Whoever is upon Judaism or
    Christianity, then he should not be seduced
    from it” [narrated by Abu Ubayd].
    The example of the rightly-guided caliphs as to
    their tolerance in this regard is self-evident.
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  6. Economic and personal freedom
    Almighty Allah says in this connection, “Allah
    has made trade lawful and made usury
    unlawful.” (2:275) This point will be discussed
    in detail later on.
  7. Personal freedom in what one does at
    home
  8. Personal freedom in whatever activities
    one engages
    This is a fundamental established by Islam
    which takes into consideration one’s freedom in
    one’s own home. Sahl ibn Sa’d as-Saa’idi
    reported that a person peeped through the hole
    of the door of Allah’s Messenger (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him) and he had with
    him some pointed thing with which he had been
    adjusting [the hair of his head]. Allah’s
    Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be
    upon him) said to him, “If I were to know that
    you had been peeping, I would have thrust it in
    your eyes. Allah has prescribed seeking
    permission because of protection against
    glance.”
    Therefore, Islam has attached great importance
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    to freedoms, and people cannot achieve an
    agreement on any matter without any one of the
    freedoms that Islam has guaranteed them.
    b. Justice and equality
    One of the fundamentals of the Islamic system
    of government is to establish the rule of justice
    and enforce the law of equality in order to
    secure benefits for people. People rally behind
    their ruler and uphold their system of
    government so that benefits are secured for
    them. The most appealing thing to people that
    guarantees this is the administration of justice
    among themselves. Scholars have defined
    justice as granting each person his or her
    rights. Those owed rights differ from one
    another, and this principle was observed by
    Caliph Omar when he made a distinction when
    he granted people certain rights. Justice has to
    be established under all circumstances by
    giving the rights to their owners without
    deceiving or oppressing the right-owners.
    Equality is a requisite for securing the wellbeing
    of people. As people are equal in terms of the
    religious obligations in that there is no
    difference between an Arab and a non-Arab
    except in righteousness, so are they in terms of
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    their worldly needs, benefits and what they
    need to ward off harm in all aspects of life. It is
    for this reason that Islam stressed the equality
    of people in all their rights and worldly affairs. It
    also stressed their equality before the judge
    and in anything that is bound to realize their
    wellbeing.
    c. Maintaining unity and power
    One of the fundamental principles of the system
    of government in Islam is to maintain the
    strength, unity and power of the ruled. One of
    the foremost duties of government in Islam is to
    realize this objective by implementing the law of
    Allah the Almighty.
    d. Counselling the faithful
    One of the fundamental principles which Islam
    has laid down is counselling. The Prophet
    (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
    once said, “Religion is counselling. Religion is
    counselling. Religion is counselling.” The
    companions asked, “To whom?” He replied, “To
    Allah and His Book and His Messenger, and to
    the leaders of the Muslims and their common
    folk.” (related by Muslim) Therefore, giving
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    counsel to the general populace as well as to
    the Muslim leaders is a fundamental principle in
    Islam. The prophet (peace and blessings of
    Allah be upon him) reported about Ubada ibn
    as-Samit who said: “We pledged ourselves to
    the Messenger of Allah to listen and obey in
    whatever pleases and displeases us, and that
    we should not dispute the authority of those
    who had been entrusted with it, and to stand for
    or say the truth wherever we are, fearing no
    blame of anybody for the sake of Allah.” Some
    other companions pledged themselves to the
    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon
    him) to give counsel to Muslims without
    distinction. In fact, giving counsel is part and
    parcel of the principle of enjoining virtue and
    forbidding evil. Allah describes the Muslim
    Nation as having such a good trait thus: “You
    are the best of people raised for the good of
    mankind; you enjoin what is right and forbid
    what is wrong and believe in Allah.” (3:110)
    Giving good counsel is part and parcel of the
    principle of enjoining virtue and forbidding evil.
    However, its forms, criteria and general
    conditions vary according to time and place. It
    is worth mentioning here that new modern
    systems such as the Shoura (consultative)
    29
    Council and the Ummah Council are forms and
    means of giving counsel whereby Islam has
    taken public interest into account. People can
    develop these means whenever a need arises;
    however, when people’s relationships become
    complicated and counsel cannot be given
    except through a method to be devised by the
    Muslim ruler, then the matter has to be referred
    to him so that the counsel is duly given for the
    good interest of all members of society.
    Criticism and ‘the other opinion’, or opposition,
    as it is termed nowadays, is also acceptable but
    with its criteria and legal conditions, most
    important of which is the avoidance of sedition
    and political turmoil and disunity of Muslims.
    Therefore, if the ‘other opinion’, criticism or
    opposition is in the best interest of people and
    does not lead to any form of sedition, political
    turmoil or dissention, then it is acceptable.
    Fundamental principles of government
    Islam has detailed the duties and obligations of
    the ruler, how he should be appointed and how
    he should rule his subjects. It has also detailed
    the duties and obligations of those charged with
    authority, how the Muslim ruler consults them
    30
    and monitors their movements and activities to
    guarantee the realization of the welfare of his
    subjects. Consultants at the time of Caliph
    Omar were well-known and their number was
    known to him. This, however, changes
    according to time, and today we find many
    councils and representatives who represent all
    strata of society even in terms of their
    differences, knowledge, understanding,
    countries and tribes. It is the shoura councils
    that are entrusted with legislation, the making of
    laws and the monitoring of the organs that
    execute these laws.
    The administration of justice is a fundamental
    principle in Islam, and no civilization or religion
    has attached as much care and importance to it
    as Islam has. The prophet (peace and
    blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Judges
    are of three types, one will be in Paradise and
    the other two in Hell. The type that will be in
    Paradise is a man who knows the truth and
    judges accordingly. A man who knows the truth
    but judges unjustly will be in Hell, and a man
    who judges between people without proper
    knowledge will also be in Hell. (Sunan Abu
    Dawood).
    31
    Justice guarantees that everyone is treated
    fairly and equally and no one has authority over
    it. The Muslim judge must convey Allah’s laws
    and rulings, and his statements in this regard
    are binding. The judiciary can be of one level or
    more levels, as we have here in Saudi Arabia:
    at the base of the hierarchy of the Shari’a
    Courts are the Limited Courts, which are
    empowered to hear civil and criminal cases in
    which the maximum penalty is limited. At the
    second level are the General Courts, which are
    the courts of first instance for all matters falling
    outside of the jurisdiction of the Limited Courts.
    At the apex of the structure sits the Supreme
    Judiciary Council (SJC). In addition to its
    administrative authority, the SJC also serves in
    a limited capacity as a final court of appeal for
    the Shari’a Courts. In any case, no one,
    whether ruler or ruled, should have authority
    over the function of the judiciary in the Islamic
    state because it rules by the law of Allah, and
    whoever interferes in it has in fact interfered in
    the law of Allah the Almighty which He made to
    settle people’s disputes. If people, however,
    interfere in the judiciary, justice will be removed
    and inequity will set in. This will undoubtedly
    lead to conflict and dissension, for Islam has
    taken care of all the means whereby Muslims’
    32
    strength and unity can be safeguarded.
    Members of the executive organs such as the
    ministries and the various government agencies
    and councils are to execute Allah’s commands
    and laws. Therefore, they should duly discharge
    the duties entrusted upon them by the Muslim
    ruler. Indeed, such duties represent a trust that
    they should safeguard. Allah the Almighty says,
    “Verily, Allah commands you to make over
    the trusts to those entitled to them, and that
    when you judge between men you judge
    with justice; and surely excellent are that
    with which Allah admonishes you. Allah is
    All-Hearing, All-seeing.” (4:58)
    MORALS
    Allah describes the best morals ever with
    reference to His Messenger (peace and
    blessings be upon him) when He addresses
    him thus: “And you surely possess sublime
    morals.” (68:4) The prophet also said, “I have
    been sent only for the purpose of perfecting
    good morals.” (Al-Muwatta’) This tradition
    makes indicates the main reason behind the
    Prophet’s mission, which is the perfection of
    sublime morals. Good moral, therefore, cover
    everything covered by Islam.
    33
    Man has an outward side and an inward side.
    The outward side is his physical appearance,
    and the inward side, represented by his inner
    qualities, refer to the inner image of his soul.
    Because man naturally cares about his outward
    appearance, for which he is not subject to
    account on the Day of Judgment, he must also
    care about his inner qualities for which he is
    subject to account because it is related to the
    soul; whims and base desires, however,
    dissuade it from perfecting them.
    Types of good morals
    Islam has called to different types of good
    morals including the following:
    a. Good morals towards one’s Lord
    A Muslim must observe the highest forms of
    morals towards his Lord in whatever is related
    to his soul. Love for Him, fear of Him, invoking
    Him alone, humbling oneself before Him,
    relying on Him and having a high opinion of Him
    are some of the great obligatory morals that
    man must observe towards his Lord. His good
    morals towards his Lord also include being.
    34
    sincere to Him in religion and not intending any
    act of worship except for Him alone.
    b. Good morals towards oneself
    c. Good morals towards one’s parents and
    other family members
    d. Good morals towards Muslims
    A Muslim must observe truthfulness and
    honesty when dealing with other Muslims; he
    should love for them what he loves for himself
    and avoid anything that may cause him to hold
    grudges against them, and vice versa.
    Addressing the Prophet (peace and blessings
    of Allah be upon him), Allah the Almighty says
    in this regard, “And say to My servants that
    they should speak that which is best.
    Surely, Satan stirs up discord among them.”
    (17:53) Morals can only be improved through
    good words and deeds; conversely, they
    become worse as a result of bad words and
    deeds. Therefore, when a person improves his
    words and deeds when dealing with other
    people and loves for them what he actually
    loves for himself, his morals become better and
    thus commendable. Other good morals that
    35
    Islam encourages are truthfulness,
    safeguarding trusts, fulfilling the covenants,
    discharging one’s obligations upon others,
    telling the truth at all costs and avoiding lying
    and deception and observing uprightness under
    all circumstances.
    e. Good morals towards non-Muslims
    It does not befit a Muslim to be rough and hardhearted towards non-Muslims just because they
    do not follow his faith; rather, he should observe
    good morals towards them in both words and
    deeds. Concerning words, Allah says, “And
    speak to people kindly.” (2:83) He also says
    with regard to deeds, “Allah does not forbid
    you, concerning those who have not fought
    against you on account of [your] religion,
    and who have not driven you forth from
    your homes, that you be kind to them and
    act equitably towards them; surely Allah
    loves those who are equitable.” (60:8)
    Hence, Allah does not forbid us from dealing
    kindly and justly with those who do not fight us
    on account of our faith, for kindness and justice,
    as forms of sublime morals, are essential in all
    forms of dealings with non-Muslims. Nor does
    He forbid us from being charitable to them and
    36
    speaking kindly to those who do not display
    hatred towards Islam and Muslims.
    f. Good morals in times of war
    Islam is the first legislation that has excluded
    civilians from war and has only directed the
    attention of Muslim fighters to combatants and
    belligerents. The prophet (peace and blessings
    be upon him) always commanded Muslim
    fighters not to kill women, minors, the elderly
    and monks. He also forbade them from cutting
    down trees or destroying homes. For, in Islam,
    war is to be waged only on those who fight
    against Muslims and not on civilians. In Islam,
    war with all its forms does not mean destroying
    everything and killing people for the sake of
    victory.
    In summary, Islam encourages man to make
    his whims and desires to follow the commands
    of Almighty Allah in order to realize sublime
    morals; the person with noble morals is one
    who observes kindness in words and deeds.
    Whims, habits and one’s upbringing always
    influence one’s morals.
    37
    WEALTH AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
    Islam attaches great importance to wealth and
    economic activity because they represent
    power and strength for Muslims. The more
    powerful Muslims’ wealth and economic activity
    is, the more importance and prestige Muslims
    gain, the more internal solidarity they achieve
    and the stronger and the more invincible they
    become in the sight of their enemies. The
    power of the Islamic state and that of Muslims
    emanates from a number of factors including
    strong financial and economic power, hence the
    importance Islam attaches to them.
    The Islamic view of wealth and economic
    activity
    Islam observes a number of fundamental
    principles in this regard including the following:
    a. Wealth belongs to Allah
    Allah the Almighty says, “And give them out
    of the wealth of Allah which He has
    bestowed upon you.” (24:33) In the words of
    the Qur’an, people are ‘heirs to wealth’, which
    they should employ in accordance with Allah’s
    commands and laws. Allah the Almighty says,
    38
    “Believe in Allah and His Messenger and
    spend [in the way of Allah] out of that to
    which He has made you heirs.” (57:7) Here,
    spending of wealth is realized by spending it in
    lawful ways. Allah has made us heirs to wealth
    in all its forms, and thus we should spend it in
    ways that are pleasing to Him. Scholars make a
    clear distinction between the words ‘spending’
    and ‘wasting’. They define ‘wasting’ as spending
    wealth in ways Allah has not commanded; thus
    spending in unlawful matters is a form of
    wasting wealth. Conversely, spending in
    accordance with the injunctions of Islam is in
    fact spending in that to which Allah has made
    us heirs, for in this case wealth is spent in ways
    that are pleasing to Him.
    b. Guaranteeing sufficiency to all members
    of the Muslim society
    Islam attaches great importance to the fact that
    sufficiency is to be guaranteed for all members
    of the Muslim society and families depending
    on their needs. This could be realized through
    the treasury of the Islamic state, as the Prophet
    (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did
    by allocating some money to the needy from
    the treasury. The rightly-guided caliphs Abu
    39
    Bakr and Omar also followed suit. This could
    also be attained through the Islamic legislations
    such as zakah, charity, the obligation of
    spending on one’s relatives.
    c. Respecting private ownership
    Islam respects private ownership and instructs
    that small private ownerships be developed
    before the big private ownerships. Islam attends
    to small capital owners before big capital
    owners, as opposed to capitalism and other
    unjust economic systems which either deprive
    the rich or place them in positions of complete
    authority. Islam encourages small business
    owners to work and be more productive so they
    can stand on their own feet. Allah does not
    approve wealth being circulated only among the
    wealthy. Allah says, “…that it may not
    circulate [only] among those of you who are
    rich.” (59:7)
    d. Granting economic freedom
    The economic activity or power cannot be
    realised without a form of freedom. To this end,
    Islam encouraged lawful economic activities
    and limited many transactions and dealings
    40
    which were prevalent before the advent of
    Islam. People in the pre-Islamic period, or
    Jahiliyah, used to engage in a large number of
    transactions; however, when Islam came it
    prohibited many of these transactions and
    considered the rest permissible.
    e. Encouraging development
    One of the fundamental principles of the Islamic
    economic system is that it encourages
    economic development, estate development,
    agricultural development and productive
    development. There is ample evidence that the
    Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as
    well as the rightly-guided caliphs engaged in
    each of these developments.
    f. Encouraging moderate spending and
    forbidding extravagance and prodigality
    g. Forbidding all transactions that lead to
    individual or communal injustice
    Some businessmen my abuse their economic
    freedom and thus and thus act unjustly towards
    individuals or groups. That is why Islam has
    forbidden all forms of transactions that may
    41
    lead to injustice and declared that justice be
    administered in all transactions when dealing
    with either individuals or groups. Islam has also
    encouraged the growing of capital for both
    small business owners and large business
    owners.
    Some of the Fundamental principles of
    economic activity and wealth in Islam
    a. All transactions are lawful unless there
    is evidence that states otherwise
    Muslim jurists are unanimously agreed that all
    acts of worship are assumed to be forbidden
    except where there is evidence from the Qur’an
    or the Sunnah stipulating that they are
    permitted. The reason for this is that reason or
    opinion cannot be used in matters of worship.
    Transactions, on the other hand, are assumed
    to be permitted except where there is evidence
    from the Qur’an or the Sunnah stipulating that
    they are forbidden. Because transactions
    generally pertain to worldly affairs, people can
    use whatever forms of transactions and choose
    any financial and economic conditions they
    wish on the condition that they do not get
    involved in five forbidden acts, namely (1)
    42
    usury, or riba, (2) gambling, (3) foolishness that
    generally leads to arguments and disputes, (4)
    deception and swindling and (5) inequity.
    Once transactions are free from any of these
    forbidden acts, people are allowed, and even
    encouraged, in Islam to engage in any form of
    transaction and choose any financial and
    economic conditions or financial and economic
    institutions they wish.
    b. The economic activity must have
    everyone’s best interests at heart
    The form of economic activity which Islam
    commands and encourages must realize the
    interests of the individual, those of the group as
    well as those of the state, and not the interests
    of certain individuals or a certain party. Allah
    the Almighty says, “…that it may not circulate
    [only] among those of you who are rich.”
    (59:7) When the prices became high in the
    Prophet’s time and people asked him to fix
    prices for them, he replied, “Allah is the One
    Who fixes prices, Who withholds, Who gives
    lavishly, and Who provides, and I hope that
    when I meet Him none of you will have a claim
    against me for any injustice with regard to blood
    or property.” (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Daoud,
    43
    al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) Thus, he created
    opportunities for everyone to benefit from and
    warned against controlling prices for personal
    benefits or creating an economic power in
    society that controls everything at the expense
    of other businesses.
    UNITY
    Islam commands unity and warns against
    disunity. Almighty Allah says, “And hold fast,
    all together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this
    Qur’an) and be not divided.” (3:103); “And
    be not like those who became divided and
    who disagreed [among themselves] after
    clear proofs had come to them; and it is
    they for whom there shall be a great
    punishment.” (3:105); “He had prescribed
    for you the religion which He enjoined on
    Noah, and which We have revealed to you,
    and which We enjoined on Abraham and
    Moses and Jesus, [saying,] ‘Remain
    steadfast and be not divided therein.'”
    (42:13) The Prophet (peace and blessings be
    upon him) also said in this regard, “Unity is
    mercy, while disunity is punishment.”
    It is clear, then, that Islam encourages unity and
    strongly opposes disunity and dissension.
    44
    Types of unity and disunity
    Islam calls to unity and forbids disunity with
    regard to two types of unity and disunity.
    a. Unity, not disunity, in religion
    People are not allowed to introduce any form of
    innovation into religion, be they words,
    practices or rites. Rather they should be united
    in religion and follow the true religion in its
    entirety, in its creed, acts of devotion and
    dealings; they should not exceed the limits set
    by the Legislator and leave legislation to
    Almighty Allah alone in all affairs: “Have they
    [such false] associates [of Allah] as have
    made lawful for them in religion that which
    Allah has not allowed? And had it not been
    for a decisive Word [gone forth already], the
    matter would have been decided between
    them.” (42:21)
    b. Unity, not disunity, regarding worldly
    matters, the state and the ruler
    Allah the Almighty commands Muslims to
    observe unity by supporting the Muslim ruler,
    giving him good counsel and should under no
    circumstances be betrayed. He also warns
    against opposing him and becoming disunited.
    45
    To stay united and give support to the ruler is
    tantamount to supporting religion even if there
    is some neglect on his part or if he commits
    some mistakes or holds opinions on which
    others do not agree with him. When ijtihad, or
    independent reasoning, on any issue is
    required, people must give support to the ruler
    in any matter that requires ijtihaad to avoid
    disunity. Observing unity with regard to the
    state and ruler will doubtless keep Muslims
    united; conversely, becoming divided into sects
    as to the state and the ruler will doubtless lead
    to disunity and anarchy. Allah the Almighty
    says, “If your Lord had so willed, he could
    have made mankind one people, but they
    will not cease to differ save those on whom
    your Lord has had mercy, and for this has
    he created them.” (11:118-119)
    INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
    The relation between states is either that of
    peace or war. In case of war, Islam does not
    encourage war; rather, it considers it a
    necessity. And if there is an opportunity to call
    to the path of Allah and convey His Message,
    jihad is not required. In a response to the
    Christians regarding this point, Imam Ibn
    46
    Taymiyyah writes, “…except to protect the
    mission of calling to Islam. If it is possible to
    advance the true faith, then [offensive] jihad is
    not permitted.” He also provided ample
    evidence in support of this. In times of war,
    therefore, only defensive war is required. The
    Muslim ruler as well as the entire Muslim
    community must repel the enemy to the best of
    their ability. If this is not possible, then they
    should opt for the lesser of two evils. For the
    Prophet’s companions had been wronged and
    subjected to oppression and were not allowed
    to fight in self-defence until later. Almighty Allah
    says, “Sanction is given unto those who
    fight because they have been wronged; and
    Allah is indeed Able to give them victory;
    those who have been driven from their
    homes unjustly only because they said: Our
    Lord is Allah.” (22:39 -40)
    Therefore, defensive jihad is required according
    to ability and the general situation and with the
    permission of the Muslim ruler.
    In case of peace, the relation between the
    Muslim state and non-Muslims can be based
    either on mithaaq and ‘ahd (treaties) or amaan,
    which Muslim scholars refer to as the status of
    47
    mu’aahad (one who has signed a predetermined accord with the Muslims in order to
    stop the bloodshed between them, whether it is
    a peace accord or an armistice agreement with
    the non-Muslims who do not reside in Muslim
    territories) or musta’man (a non-Muslim who
    has sought peaceful asylum in Muslim lands).
    With regard to the state of treaties, Islam
    commands that treaties be honoured. Allah the
    Almighty says, “O you who believe! Fulfil
    your compacts.” (5:1) “And fulfil the
    covenant; for the covenant shall be
    questioned about.” (17:34) Addressing His
    Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him),
    He says, “But if they (the believers) seek
    your help in religion, then it is your duty to
    help them, except against a people between
    whom and yourselves there is a treaty.”
    (8:72)
    If there is a treaty between the Muslim state
    and non-Muslim states and some Muslims are
    transgressed against, the Muslim ruler and the
    Muslim government have two options, either to
    violate the agreement and engage in war or
    honour the agreement, depending on whatever
    option will be beneficial to the Muslims and help
    safeguard their unity and strength.
    48
    There are many and various types of treaties,
    and Muslims are allowed to establish
    international relations with other states if these
    are bound to bring about benefits to Muslims.
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
    him) received messengers and delegations
    from other countries, honoured them, received
    the messages they came with and sent
    messages to the rulers of the countries in his
    time.
    CIVILIZATION
    Civilization in its widest sense was established
    during the Islamic period because Muslims
    realised that Islam encourages anything that is
    bound to bring about their welfare.
    The internal civil structure, with regard to either
    the building of cities, legislations or regulations,
    cannot be realised without cooperation between
    the legislative system, the public at large and
    the executive bodies. That is why Islam
    attached great importance to the civil system in
    all its forms and thus established civil
    jurisdiction, set up councils and the executive
    bodies and urged Muslims to cooperate with a
    view to realizing whatever would be of service
    49
    and benefit to them.
    Establishing civil conditions in the building of
    the economy, the increasing of wealth and the
    enacting of the various legislations is selfevident. Islam even organized the public
    treasury of the Muslim state (baytul-maal) and
    decided that qualified people be appointed to
    safeguard wealth and dispose of it in
    accordance with the Islamic injunctions. Islam
    also urged charitable endowments or trusts to
    be set up in perpetuity (waqf) and the various
    kinds of donations. Indeed, waqf is a
    characteristic of civil diversity and the widening
    of international concerns. For this reason, waqf
    was utilized during the period of the Islamic
    civilization to cover all aspects of life. It was
    employed for mosques, education, health,
    hospitals, books, libraries, roads, water, to to
    attend to the needs of widows, the needy and
    the homeless, to mention only a few examples.
    This is one aspect of Islam’s interest in urging
    people to make contributions in this area and
    not to rely on the public treasury of the Muslim
    state. Islam also urged cooperation in this
    regard through zakah, voluntary charity and
    social solidarity.
    50
    DISAGREEMENT AND DIALOGUE
    It is a truism that disagreement among people
    is inevitable; however, this being the case, they
    should enter into constructive dialogue. Allah
    the Almighty calls the believers to speak kindly
    to one another when they engage in dialogue.
    Allah says, “And say to My servants that they
    should speak that which is best. Surely,
    Satan stirs up discord among them.” (17:53)
    When people disagree on certain matters and
    do not use kind words in their talks with one
    another, they will certainly end up having
    arguments and disputes. Islam commands its
    adherents to use kind words in addressing
    others. Even when calling others to Islam, Allah
    commands the believers to use wisdom and
    goodly exhortation. Allah says, “Call to the
    way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly
    exhortation, and argue with them in a way
    that is best.” (16:125) Observing such sublime
    etiquette applies when addressing both
    Muslims and non-Muslims. The superlative form
    ‘best’ in the verse indicates that one should do
    one’s best to achieve the goal behind such
    constructive argument.
    Given that disagreement is unavoidable, society
    51
    will certainly be divided into different groups
    and hatred will pervade it unless we observe
    the etiquette of conversing with others, as
    clearly stated in the Qur’an. Allah also says in
    this connection, “And do not argue with
    People of the Book except in a way that is
    best, except for those who commit injustice
    among them.” (29:46)
    It is in the very nature of things that any society
    may have some sectarian tendencies, including
    ethnic, tribal and indigenous affiliations. As a
    matter of fact, these tendencies emerged during
    the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be
    upon him), but he nipped them in the bud.
    Muslims at this time either belonged to the
    muhajiroon (immigrants) or the ansar (helpers).
    These names were legal and even mentioned
    in the Qur’an itself. However, it happened once
    that during a military expedition, a youth from
    the ansar had an argument with another youth
    from the muhajiroon as a result of some sort of
    incitement by the Jews. The youth from the
    ansar called the ansar for support, while the
    youth from the muhajiroon called the
    muhajiroon for support. As a result there was a
    call to arms. When the news reached the
    Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be
    52
    upon him), he became furious and said, “O
    Muslims, remember Allah, remember Allah. Will
    you act as pagans while I am present with you
    after Allah has guided you to Islam, and
    honoured you thereby and made a clear break
    with paganism, delivered you from disbelief,
    made you friends thereby?” When they heard
    this they wept and embraced each other. Then
    Allah revealed verses 102 and 103 of Surah AlImran.
    Even though the ansar and the muhajiroon are
    approved names, when the principle of love and
    hate was established on the basis of
    sectarianism and racism, not on that of Islam,
    the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
    immediately voiced his disapproval of it thus,
    “Will you act as pagans while I am present with
    you after Allah has guided you to Islam?”
    With the different and various patterns of
    understanding, sectarian and factional
    differences do occur, as do affiliations and
    narrow-minded opinions. This is absolutely
    natural to happen, but Islam’s opinion on any
    matter should be consulted first and foremost;
    the principle of love and hate should be
    established for the sake of Allah alone, and
    53
    unity should be established on the basis of
    Islam under the banner of the Muslim ruler.
    When the Muslim society is divided into sects
    and parties that fight against one another and
    oppose the ruler’s opinion, the Muslim
    community becomes weak and disunited. There
    were hypocrites during the time of the Prophet
    (peace and blessings be upon him), and he
    would treat them as Muslims without
    questioning the disbelief that they concealed in
    their hearts, for he left this to Allah alone to
    judge. Although he knew the identities of the
    treacherous hypocrites living in his midst –
    those whom Allah declared to be destined for
    the lowest depths of the Hellfire – he did
    nothing against them. When some of his
    companions suggested to him to kill some of
    the hypocrites, he said, “I will not have it said
    that Muhammad kills his companions.”
    MODERATION
    Islam is a religion of moderation that fights all
    forms of immoderation and extremism. Allah the
    almighty says, “Thus have We made you a
    nation justly balanced, that you might be
    witnesses over the nations, and the
    messenger a witness over you.” (2:143)
    54
    This moderation is self-evident in all of Islam’s
    creed and legislations. The Islamic creed
    follows a middle course, and so do its
    legislations. Therefore, moderation should be
    observed in everything, in our words and our
    opinions. Even our thinking and our view of
    each other should follow a middle course,
    without excess or negligence. We should follow
    only this course because it is the foundation of
    Islam.
    Islam warns against excess and extravagance.
    Addressing the People of the Book, Allah the
    Almighty says, “O People of the Book, do not
    exceed the limits in your religion and do not
    say of Allah anything but the truth.” (4:171)
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
    him) also said in this regard, “Beware of
    excess, beware of excess, beware of excess.”
    Exceeding the limits in religion is objectionable
    in Islam, and those who follow an extremist
    course do not in fact act in accordance with the
    dictates of the Prophet’s Sunnah. Sects and
    innovations that crept into religion emerged only
    when the extremist course was adopted. The
    Khariji sect emerged only when its followers
    rejected the middle course, and the misguided
    55
    sects also appeared as a result of the extremist
    course its adherents adopted. The afflictions
    that Muslims have suffered in their long history
    occurred because of excess and extravagance
    without any evidence whatsoever from the
    Qur’an or the Sunnah. It could have been that
    extremists had some evidence, but the
    deviation and extreme tendencies in their
    hearts had already been there to influence them
    before searching for evidence. Allah the
    Almighty says, “It is He Who has sent down
    to you the Book; in it; are verses that are
    clear [in meaning]—they are the basis of the
    Book—and there are others that are
    susceptible of different interpretations.”
    (3:7) Therefore, there are verses that are clear
    and others that are not entirely clear and thus
    open to different interpretations. “But those in
    whose hearts is perversity pursue such
    thereof as are susceptible of different
    interpretations, seeking discord and seeking
    [wrong] interpretation of it.” (3:7) That is,
    those with extremist tendencies and in whose
    hearts there is deviation from the truth follow
    the parts thereof that are not entirely clear.
    Therefore, deviation from the truth has made
    some misguided people follow the Qur’anic
    verses or the prophetic traditions that are not
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    entirely clear to convince themselves that they
    are in the right. “And none knows its hidden
    meanings except Allah. And those who are
    firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We
    believe in it; the whole of it (clear and
    unclear) is from our Lord.'” (3:7)
    I pray to Almighty Allah to forgive me my mistakes
    and make what I have discussed in the present
    lecture the right approach to Islam. I pray to Allah to
    make me and you among the guided who guide
    others, to spare us the hidden and obvious trials and
    tribulations, to grant strength and victory to this
    nation over its enemies. Indeed, he is Most
    Generous, Most Gracious.