Impact of the Islamic Ideology

We have now to observe as to what sort of attitude in life is formed by the Islamic Ideology and what consequences emerge out of it.

Impact on Individual Life

In contrast to other doctrines based on Ignorance, the Islamic creed builds up a responsible and disciplined attitude of life among individuals. Faith in the doctrine of Islam implies that man should not deem himself the master of his body, physical powers or anything in the world and should not consider himself free to use them at will. Instead man should look upon these things as the property of God and make use of them in conformity with the Divine Law. He should take his possessions as a trust from God and while using them, should never forget that he has to render full accounts for their use to a Supreme Authority from whose sight no individual deed is hidden nor is He unaware of even the innermost of man. Evidently a man who renders allegiance to Islam will abide by a code of rules under all circumstances. He can never let his passions go berserk like an untamed beast. He can never become a tyrant or a corrupt person. His integrity is above board and he is trustworthy. There is no need of external pressure to coerce him into obeying the laws. His inner self becomes subservient to a Supreme Moral Discipline which keeps him steady on the path of righteousness and equity even under those circumstances when there is no risk of punishment at the hands of a worldly power. It is impossible to imagine any other means of producing individuals of such impeccable and dependable character in society than the fear of Divine Retribution and a realisation that all things in man's possession are a trust from God.

Moreover, this viewpoint of life not only transforms an individual into a man of action but also diverts his efforts from the attainment of selfish, sensual or nationalistic ends with a view to achieving lofty aims of justice and morality. It is impossible to find a more dynamic, more productive and a man of more righteous action than the one who entertains the following opinions about himself that:

I have not been sent unto the world without any aim; instead God has created me to discharge a duty the aim of my life is to perform deeds that please God rather than live to please myself or my relations.

I shall not be spared until I have rendered felt accounts as to how and to what extent did I expend my energy and time.

This viewpoint of life produces individuals of such excellence that it is difficult to imagine that any other viewpoint can inculcate a better sense of values among its individual devotees.

Impact on Collective Life

Let us now analyse the impact of the Islamic viewpoint of life on the collective life of mankind. In the first place, the Islamic faith changes the foundations of the human society. According to this doctrine all persons are the subjects of God. Hence all enjoy equal rights, equal status and equal opportunities. No individual, family, class, nation or race has any superior or preferential rights or rights of dominance over other people. In this way the concept of man's dominance or superiority over other men is rooted out, and all veils arising out of Monarchy, Feudalism, Aristocracy, Brahmanism, Papal rule and Dictatorship are instantly knocked down. The doctrine of Islam also removes all prejudices of tribe, nation, race, country or colour which have been the major cause of bloodshed in the world. According to the Islamic faith, the whole earth is the property of God. All men are the progeny of Adam and Creatures of God. Merit is attained by virtue of purity of morals and fear of God and not on account of race, genealogy goods, wealth, or the white or pink colour of the skin. Distinction is conferred on these who fear God most and practice piety and carry out ennoblement of their souls.

Similarly, the Islamic viewpoint completely alter: the basis of social links, inter-relation, difference of distinction between man and man. Those man-made principles which form the basis of a collective social life or social conflict laws groups and have raise insurmountable barriers between these groups. Race, country, nationality or colour cannot be changed by man nor do they permit of social mobility from one section of mankind to another. In contrast to this, the Islamic viewpoint establishes the basis of social life or conflict upon the secure foundations of firm conviction in God and obedience to His Commands. Those who renounce supplication to creatures and bow their heads before the Creator and acknowledge the Divine Law as the governing principle of their lives, all these constitute one community. Those who act otherwise form a separate community. In this way, all differences are leveled, save one. And even this difference is not insurmountable. It is possible at all times for a person to change his convictions and his way of life and thus drove out of one group to embrace the fold of another. If it is possible to form a united community of the peoples of the world, it can be founded only on the principles of Islam. All other doctrines split up the mankind: Islam welds peoples together into one united brotherhood.

The Sovereignty of God

Subsequent to the introduction of these reforms the society which emerges on the principles enunciated lay Islam is a society, the attitude, spirit and social structure of which undergoes a complete transformation. In this society, the basic principle on which the State is formed is that Sovereignty lies with God, not with man.[For details, please refer to 'The Political Theory of Islam' A. A. Maududi] God is the Sovereign Ruler; and is the Law-giver. Man functions only as a vicegerent of God. To start with, this political system wipes out all those evils which arise out of this system in which laws are framed by men and man rules over man. The striking distinction of this kind of State System, is that a spirit of piety and service to God pervades over the entire system. The rulers and the ruled both understand that they are directly accountable to God Almigty Who is Omnipresent, the Knower of the seen and the unseen. The citizen pays taxes as donations in the service of God; the tax-collectors and the men responsible fear spending the tax money consider it the wealth of God and themselves only as its trustees. From the ordinary policeman to the Judge and the Governor, every main official performs his functions in the same frame of mind in which he performs service to God, for both are equally acts of devotion to the Almighty and in both cases the same spirit of piety and dread of divine Authority is required. The virtues sought out among the candidates whom the citizens elect from among themselves to act as the representatives of God on earth are the fear of God, trustworthiness and integrity of character. In this process only those persons are elevated to the positions of power and authority in society who surpass other citizens in moral excellence. Islam permeates society and culture with the same spirit of piety and purity of morals. The keynote of this civilization is Service to God rather than slavery to passions. Almighty God is the Arbitrator between man and man; relations among men are regulated by the law of God. Since the Law-Giver is free from all sensuality and self-interest and is All-Knowing and Wise. His Law, therefore, suppresses every possibility of the rise of mischief or tyranny in this society for all times to come. The Divine Law, however, makes due allowance for every aspect of human nature and makes provision for every human need.

Time does not allow me to present before you a complete picture of the structure of society which can be raised on the principles of Islam. You can, however, form an idea of the kind of attitude, its consequences and possibilities which emerge from, the viewpoint regarding man and the universe presented by the Prophets of God. It is not a utopia State the blue-print of which is drawn on paper only. The existence of a society and a state raised on this viewpoint is a historical fact. No better citizens and no Humanitarian State better than the one created by the Islamic Concept of the universe have ever existed on the surface of this earth in the whole history of mankind. The sense of moral responsibility among the citizens of this State had developed to such an extent that a desert woman, who had got pregnant as a result of illicit intercourse, despite the knowledge that she would be mercilessly stoned to death for this crime, came of her own accord; pleaded guilty and requested that the punishment be enforced on her. She was released without taking surety or bond and was told to come back after the delivery of the child. She turned up from the desert after the birth of the child and repeated her request to be punished. This time she was told to suckle the infant and return when the weaning period was over. The woman went back to the desert and was not subjected to any surveillance by the police. At the end of the suckling period, the woman presented herself once again and implored the judge to cleanse her of the sin of adultery by enforcing the law on her. She was stoned to death and the people prayed for God's blessings on her. When a man casually remarked : "What a lewd woman she was!", he was severely reprimanded and it was observed:

"By God ! This woman has made such penitence that even a corrupt tax-collector would have been pardoned by God if he had made a similar recompense".

Such was the moral calibre of the citizens of that State. And what of the State itself ? It was a State the total receipts of which amounted to several millions of rupees. The treasuries of that Government were overflowing with capital revenues from Iran, Syria and Egypt. And yet the Head of this State received a paltry sum of Its 150.00 per annum as salary. Among the citizens of this State, it was difficult to find a single person deserving alms.

Even after this historically successful experiment an individual is not prepared to believe in the validity of the Prophets' viewpoint about the nature of the universe and the position of man in the cosmic system, there is no other way in which such an individual array be persuaded. God, angels and the life in the hereafter are not open to the direct view of any man. In the absence of direct observation, experience is the best way to determine the validity and existence of a phenomenon. Take an example, A physician on examination of his patient is unable to determine the real defect in his internal system. In this case, the physician administers various medicines and wits to see which medicine reaches the target in the dark recesses of the human body and eliminates the defect. The fact that a certain medicine pawed efficacious in curing a disease is a proof positive that this particular medicine was the only suitable means for removing the defect in the system of human broody. Similarly, if the defaults of the mechanism of human life cannot be removed by any other ideological system and can be set right only by the solution offered by the Prophets, it is a proof positive of the fact that the Prophets viewpoint is compatible with the reality of the case. This universe is a Divine State and there is surely a life beyond this life in which man shall be obliged to render full account of his deeds in the worldly life.