ISLAM for Human Liberation: By : M.M. Akbar (Translation: Dr. M. Abdul Aziz)
While the beginning of the present century marked the rise of ideologies,
it's end witnessed their downfall. We know that these ideologies which
raised a lot of hope have failed to deliver the goods. The philosophies
proclaiming Utopian dreams of a world of equality and the economic system
promising a brave new world have found its place in the dustbin of
history. Countries which once embraced these ideologies have started
throwing them out fully convinced of their unreal and impractical nature.
Both communism and capitalism have practically failed and so man is in
search of an ideology which is hundred percent practical and which can
lead to the liberation of mankind.
Men seeking the path of liberation strayed into different areas. The ultra
materialists begin to learn about religion from religions based on
priesthood. In fact materialism and priestly religions are two extremes of
degeneration. While the former considers man as a mere animal, the latter
claims to elevate him to an angel. Man who is a special creation is
brought down to the level of mere animal in the studies made by such
ideologies and this has invariably led to the failure of these ideologies.
On the other hand priestly religions while claiming to take him to the
high pedestals of angels destroy the human aspect in him. The question of
liberation becomes quiet relevant here. No one now believes that transfer
of power from one to another will lead to liberation. All agree that
transformation of the society and country can be effected through the
individual. But the fact remains that most people fail to define the
nature of changes to be brought about in the individual.
As we have pointed out above it is neither correct nor feasible to treat
man as a mere animal or to make him an angel. What is necessary is that he
should transform himself to a real human being. Man should be able to
differentiate himself from animal. He should be prepared to eschew evil
thoughts. Basic evil characteristics consist of pride, selfishness,
chicanery, badness, cruelty, hypocrisy, petty mindedness etc. Evil actions
originate from all these. When the individuals are liberated from such
evils the society and the nation prosper. Fraternity, good behaviour,
affection, helpfulness, mercy and such qualities trigger to social
transformation which in turn liberates mankind.
It is a fact that an ideology which can liberate man from evil and which
teaches righteousness and human values alone can be a liberating force in
its true sense . The ideologies and philosophies created by man will not
be able to teach what is required for the success of man. This is proved
by the failure of the materialistic ideologies. It means that some one who
is not a man, but knows everything about man should show the path of
liberation to mankind. It is the creator, the protector and the Almighty
who knows better about man than man himself. So the Creator who sustains
the world and all of its beings is the proper authority to show us the
path of liberation.
ISLAM, THE RELIGION
Let us find out whether any philosophy which heralds liberation exists. There is only one philosophy that can hold its head aloft and proclaim that it is possible to liberate mankind. That ideology is Islam.
Islam is the ideology of liberation. Liberation means freeing of the individual, the family, the society and the nation from evils. This is complete and the most comprehensive liberation that comes from Islam.
What is Islam? Is it the life pattern of a section of people treating the mosque and its surroundings as the only world? Is it the religion of long shirts and head gears? Is it a system of worshipping myths borrowed from other religions giving them Arabic names? Is it an army of soldiers wielding Qur'an in one hand and sword in the other hand and ordering to embrace Islam or to face death? Is it a system of law fabricated by Muhammed with a view of putting an end to social evils of the uncultured Arabs? Or is it a philosophy of life with the more important aim of ending miseries of this world? Islam is not any one of these. Then what is Islam?
Islam is a religion, a religion in the full sense of the term. Islam is introduced by God as "Deen". Qur'an introduces Islam as Deen from God. The best translation of the Arabic word 'Deen' is religion. The meaning of the term religion when applied to Islam is to be clearly understood as it is different from what secularists and spokesmen of established religions call religion. The western secular concept of religion is that it should be confined to the church and the rosary beads is foreign to Islam. The philosophy of established religions that it is the duty of religions to carry out orders of the church and the clergy does not agree with the precepts of Islam. What Islam does is the transformation of every field of human activity in consonance with the dictates of God. Religion, in the sense of Islam, is all comprehensive and it covers every aspect of human life - the individual, family, society and politics. Islam does not give license to do what ever one likes.In other words it is improper to define Islam as a religion with its causal meaning.
It is also not correct to bring Islam down to the level of a mere ideology in the sense of 'away of life'. Islam is not enamoured by such ideologies which raise hopes of charming and beautiful world of utopian dreams. The foundation of Islam is laid on the belief in the world to come. The concept of life that the reward for the deeds should be available in this world itself is entirely opposed to Islam. According to certain ideologies the idea of life after death is not only a myth but also reactionary. According to Marxism which was described by Freidrich Nietzche as the philosophy of the present century, the very concept of life after death is a lethal narcotic administered on a society built on heaven on earth. Islam views the world here-after as a powerful instrument capable of transforming the world and as the ultimate transformation, answer to the entire question relating to the very existence of man. As distinct from secular ideologies which run after worthless dreams Islam basically calls for action to succeed in life here-after.
Islam is not merely the religion of Muslims, nor of mosques, of priests of assembly of priests, or of a nation. The Creator of the universe presented the ideology of Islam for the emancipation of man. It consists of divine laws, orders, actions and beliefs. The individual who accepts this becomes a Muslim. Any one born of Muslim parents does not become a Muslim by virtue of birth. If one follows the dictates of God one is in the circle of Islam and out of it whenever one deviates. Similarly a person born out of non-Muslim parents becomes a Muslim if he is prepared to go by the tenets of Islam. No one is barred from getting divine protection on account of birth. Any one who belongs to a Muslim family will be a Muslim as long as he or she leads a life ordained by God. A Scholar will be acceptable when he leads the society with the help of divine sources. A country or a nation when it decides on issues on the basis of divine ordinance will be Islamic.
An ideology can be considered complete and an instrument for transformation only when its philosophy becomes faultless and practical. To bring forth a practical system is more difficult than creating attractive ideologies. It is here that Islam succeeds. Its principles are faultless, attractive and practical.
An article by Br. MM Akbar.
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