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Safar\Rabi-Ul-Awwal 1424 H
May 2003
Volume 16-05 No : 197
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Reflection


Islam And Universal Brotherhood – Part 2


Islam And Universal Brotherhood – Part 2


By DR. ZAKIR NAIK

CONCEPT OF GOD IN ISLAM AND ITS IMPACT ON UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD:

The concept of Almighty God in Islam, of Allah (swt), is of a Universal and Unique God of all, and not that Almighty God, Allah (swt), is the deity of a particular race or a particular group of people.

The Qur’an says in Surah Fatihah, Ch. No.1, V. No. 2:

“(All) praise is (due) to Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

Almighty God is referred to as ‘Rabbil Aalamin’ the Lord of the worlds.’

The last Surah (chapter) of the Glorious Qur’an, that is, Surah Nas, Ch. 114, V. No.1 states:

‘Say: I Seek refuge in the Lord of mankind’.

Almighty God, Allah (swt), is the Lord of the whole of humankind and not exclusively of only a particular group of people or a particular race.

There are various verses of the Glorious Qur’an which begin by saying, ‘O humankind’.

ISLAM PRESCRIBES A MORAL CODE TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD:

The Glorious Qur’an also says in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, V. No. 168:

“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth (that is) lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”

Islam has prescribed a moral code in order to ensure that Universal Brotherhood prevails in the world.

The Qur’an says in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, V. No. 32,

“If anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

The Qur’an says that if any person kills any human being – whether it is a Muslim or Non Muslim (irrespective of the race, caste, colour or creed) – if any person kills any human being, unless it is for murder, or for spreading mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed the whole of humanity.

And if anyone saves another human being, whether it be a Muslim or Non Muslim (irrespective of any caste, colour or creed), it is as though he has saved the whole of humankind.

Thus, Islam has prescribed a moral code in order to ensure that Universal Brotherhood prevails in the world.

The Glorious Qur’an says that no one should ever steal it is a crime, it is a sin.

Islam has a system of Zakaat – that is, any rich person who has a saving of more than the Nisaab level (which is 85 grams of gold) – he or she should give 2.5 percent of that saving, every lunar year in charity.

If every human being in the world gives Zakaat, poverty will be eradicated from this world and there will not be a single human being who will die of hunger.

The Glorious Qur’an says that we should love and help our neighbours. The Qur’an says in Surah Ma’un, Ch. No. 107, Verses 1 to 7:

“Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? For that is the one who drives away the orphan. And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who pray (but) who are heedless of their prayer. Those who make show (of their deeds). And withhold (simple neighbourly) assistance.”

According to Islam, ‘He is not a Muslim, who sleeps with his full stomach, while his neighbours are hungry.’ (neighbour could be Muslim or Non-Muslim)

This means that any person, who has had a good meal and sleeps with his stomach full while his neighbours are hungry, is not following the commandments of Allah, and His Rasool.

The Glorious Qur’an commands us not to be spendthrifts. The Qur’an says in Surah Israa, Ch. No. 17, V. No. 26 and 27:

‘Squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the evil ones (of the Satan).’

If you are a spendthrift, you are bound to disturb the Universal Brotherhood, because if a person squanders, it creates animosity, it creates enmity, it creates envy between the brothers.

A person should not steal, a person should give charity, a person should provide neighbourly assistance, a person should not squander wealth – all these are moral conducts mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an.

The Qur’an further prohibits believers from receiving or offering bribes.

The Qur’an says in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, V. No. 188,:

“And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities nor use it as bait for the judges with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property.”

PROHIBITION OF INTOXICANTS, GAMBLING, ADULTERY & SLANDER
TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD:

The Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, V. No. 90

“O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. Eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper.”

The Glorious Qur’an commands humans to abstain from intoxicants, alcohol, drugs, gambling, from dedication of stones and divination of arrows.

All know that intoxicants are one of the main causes for various evils in society. It obstructs Universal Brotherhood from prevailing.

Statistics tell us that in America on an average more than one thousand nine hundred cases of rape take place daily and in most of the cases, either the victim or the rapist is intoxicated. Further, 8% of the population in America is affected by incest. This means that every 12th or 13th person you come across in America has committed incest (that is, having sexual relationship with close relatives – father and daughter, son and mother, brother and sister) and almost all the cases of incest take place under the state of intoxication.

Therefore the Qur’an says that Intoxicants and gambling are Satan’s handiwork. We are instructed to abstain from these so that we may prosper.

Islam forbids adultery. The Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Israa, Ch. No. 17: V. No. 32:

“Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil opening the road (to other evils).”

The Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Hujurat, Ch. 49: V. No. 11 and 12:

“O ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: And those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong…avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...”

The Qur’an says that if one indulges in backbiting or slander, it is as though he/she devours the meat of his/her dead brother. Eating dead meat itself is prohibited – eating meat of your dead brother is worse. Even the cannibals who eat humans do not eat the flesh of their dead brother.

All these laws of moral conduct given in the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith promote Universal Brotherhood. Besides talking about it, the uniqueness about Islam is that it practically demonstrates Universal Brotherhood and shows practical ways to practice it and attain it.

(The author, Dr. Zakir Naik, is a well known orator and scholar of Comparative Religion; He is the President of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation; he may be reached at: zakir@irf.net )

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