The balance is an important objective which is aimed at individuals and societies. It can be acquired by those who follow the right procedure to obtain it. It means equilibrium which applies to factuality that is recognized and appreciated in Islam.
We live in this life by the will of Allah Almighty for a genuine purpose for which we are created. So we are related to the Nomoses of the Universe which are organized by the Creator, Who says,
وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِندَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ – 13:8
عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ – 13:9
wakullu shay-in AAindahu bimiqdar AAalimu alghaybi wa shshahadati
“Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion. He knoweth the Unseen and that which is open. “ 13/8-9•••
إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ – 54:49
Inna kulla shay-in khalaqnahu biqadar
Verily all things have We created in proportion and measure.” 54/49.
Perfect balance is necessary to maintain life by coordinating the factors affecting it such as spiritual and temporal, economic, and human factors. The balance measurements are very clear, but, unfortunately, many people miss them. These measurements are the laws of Allah
يَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الْأَعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ – 40:19
YaAAlamu kha-inata al-aAAyuni wa matukhfee assudoor
“Who knows all” (the tricks) that deceive with eyes and all that the hearts (of men) “conceal.” 40/19
Any other measurements might not fulfil the objective, or at least not in its perfect way. Balance in its perfect form cannot be practised except in an Islamic atmosphere by an Islamic society. So, we should know about the nature of this society.
THE NATURE OF THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY
Mankind is the vicegerent of Allah on the earth to establish his system utilising the entire creations which Allah put under man’s dominion. The relation between man and other creations is based on the loyalty of both, to Allah, the Originator.
On the other hand Islam is neither a mere religion, confining its scope to the private life of the individual, or just an ideological vision it is a complete practical way of life. It provides guidance for all aspects of life, social, moral, economic, political, legal and cultural; and on the individual, national and international level.
It is very clear -in the sight of Islam -that a human being forms one unit consisting of spirit and body. The spiritual aspirations cannot be divorced or separated from the material needs. And none of them should dominate the other, but peace and harmony inside one’s self.
The final goal according to Islam for the whole humanity is Allah.
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ – 2:156
inna lillahi wa-innailayhi rajioon
“To Allah we belong and to Him is our return” 2/156.
So if faith is confirmed by realisation and action, the only laws that should be used in this life are those which come from Allah.
The nature of the Islamic society is based on the previous principles which form the frame of its interaction ……
It is a very lofty society. Among its peculiarities are: sincere mutual love, mercy, respect, reciprocity and genuine feeling of brotherhood. In conclusion, the Islamic society is unique because all its members believe in Allah and practice His laws in a beautiful system.
THE AIM OF SOCIAL LIFE
Social life in Islam is based upon supreme fundamentals which are designed to secure happiness and prosperity for all. These aims cannot be achieved without social solidarity and mutual responsibilities, for the individual is responsible for the welfare’ of the society and the society is responsible for the welfare of its members, especially the disabled. The social life in Islam is characterised by co-operation in goodness and piety. In the, meantime the Muslims is enjoined to play an active part in the establishment of social morals by inviting good and combating evil in any form with aIl the available means at his disposal.
This is ordained in the Holy Quran
وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ – 5:2
wala taAAawanoo AAala al-ithmi walAAudwani
“Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour.”5/2.
Then it proceeds to achieve an equilibrium between the needs of the individual and the needs of the society and neither allow transgression nor approve enslavement nor injustice.
DUTIES AND RIGHTS
In Islam, human personality is sanctuary regardless of colour, sex, race origin or language. It confers equal rights on all without any distinction, and it subjects the highest and the lowest, the richest and the poorest, the governor and the commoner to the sovereignty of Allah, and at the same time it gives no superiority on account of class or wealth because humanity represents one family springing from one and the same father and mother, aspiring to the same ultimate goals. There is no room for racial prejudice or social injustice or class conflict.
Every human being is entitled to enjoy the common benefits as he is enjoined to share the common responsibilities.
Based upon these duties are us follows:
a) State Duties:
(I) The saying of beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is very clear as he said, “Whosoever act as a public officer for us and has no wife; he shall have a wife; if he has no house, he shall be given a house to live in; if he has no servant, he shall have one, and if he has no animal (a conveyance) he shall be provided with one.”
(2) The state should secure full care for the disabled, poor and needy, and should grant education, health and security services
(3) The state is responsible for collecting and distributing (zakaat) charity according to the specified system, and not to leave it to the individual’s initiative.
(4) To secure equal opportunities and to respect the differences in abilities and efforts.
These are in general the duties of the Islamic state, beside the fundamental duty which is “establishment of Allah’s religion (Deen)” and spreading Islam with all the suitable means.
b) Muslim duties:
- There is a special claim on Muslims on each other which flows out of the common bond of Islam” The saying of the Apostle of Allah, Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) is comprehensive and needs no explanation, as says “Every Muslim is a Muslim’s brother.” He should neither harm him himself, not leave him alone (when someone else does so, best to help and to protect him). Whoever among you will fulfill the need of his brother, Allah will take it upon Himself to fulfill his need. And a Muslim who will remove the distress of a Muslim brother, will in return, find a distress of his removed by Allah on the Day of Requital. And anyone who will hide the shame of a Muslim, his sins will be hidden by Allah on the Last Day.”
- To enjoin the goodness and to prevent the badness
- To lead his family along the path to Allah.
- To prepare himself to make propagation of Islam (Peace).
- To be merciful to the youngsters, respectful of the elders, to comfort and consol the distressed, to visit the sick, to relieve the grieved, and to respect the rights of others.
- Before that, to fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam, and to love for his fellow-man what he loves for himself..
c) Family role
Family in Islam is not a mere relation between a man and a women in order to bring new generations, but it is a fundamental institution of human society ~ to maintain, to develop and to guard the human culture and its existence. It is the basic unit which depends upon its being the being of society. No well-being of society consists of mal-being families.
d) Special rights
There are some components of society who have special rights, hence the duties and the rights correspond harmoniously and responsibilities and concern are mutual. “As you treat you will be treated” .. These special rights are:-
- Parents. The Prophet (u.w.b.p.) said “In the pleasure of parents lies the pleasure of Allah, and in their displeasure, is the displeasure of Allah” ••• Allah relates His worship to the kindness to parents as He Almighty says, وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ – 17:23 – [
Waqada rabbuka alla taAAbudooilla iyyahu wabilwalidayni ihsanan] “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none save Him, and that you be kind to your parents”.
- Children. Islam has laid an equal stress on the rights of children. Their rights are not only to feed and clothe them; the most important is their moral education and upbringing. The Prophet (u.w.b.p.) said “No better gift can there be from a father to his children than that he brought them up properly.”
- Elders and youngsters. Every Moslem should respect the elders and carry himself with due deference in their presence. In the same way, those who are older are required to treat the younger with kindness and affection even if they are not of their relation. The Messenger of Allah (u.w.b.p.) said “He is not of us who is not affectionate to those who are younger than himself, and respectful to those who are older.”
- Women. Women are equal to men in the full sense. They have the same rights as men, they differ in duties, hence every sex has been prepared to undertake certain tasks to suit his abilities and complete the tasks of the other. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an 2:228 وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ
walahunna mithlu allathee AAalayhinna bilmaAAroofiwalirrijali AAalayhinna darajatun“And they (women) shall have rights similar to those against them according to what is equitable. But men have a degree of (advantage) over them”. The Prophet (u.w.b.p.) said “It is the generous (in character) who do good to women, and it is the wicked who insult them”. In case of mother, the Prophet (u.w.b.p. and blessing of Allah) said “Paradise is at the feet of Mothers”. And he (u.w.b.p). said regarding the wife “The best of you is the best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family”.
- Kinship. All the relations through parents, brothers, sisters and relatives through in-laws which Islam ordained to be mutually affectionate, cooperative and helpful. Fair and lofty treatment of one’s relation as enjoined by Islam should be at one’s own expense and within the limits of justice and fair play.
- Neighbours.Islam requires all neighbours to be loving, courtly, fellow-feeling, and cooperative with each other and to share each other’s sorrow and happiness. It enjoins social relation among them in which one could depend upon the other and regard his life, honour and property safe. Not only this, but “He is not a Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbour hunger” said the Messenger of Allah (u.w.b.p.).
- Weaker, poorer, all kinds of needy. It is the duty of the most prosperous among Moslems towards their less fortunate brothers to have a share in their wealth and other capabilities. And it is the duty of every member of the society to take care of the others as they live as one family.
BACK TO BALANCE
Islam fully appreciates all the genuine needs of mankind and trying to realise them, to effect a perfect balance as far as the limitations of human nature would allow. It starts with the individual maintaining balance between his requirements of body and soul, reason and spirit, and in no case allows one side to predominate the other.
Then, it organises the balance in the society among the individuals and between the individual and the community, hence it has an altogether independent existence of its own as a social philosophy as well as an economic system. By that, in its view, life consists of established, well defined forms of mutual love and respect, cooperation and mutual responsibilities between Muslims in particular and between all human beings in general.