Sunday, 4 May 2008

Ten Merits of Islam

Adapted from the treatise of Shaykh Muhammad Idris Khandalwi RA

The First Merit

All principles and rules of Islam are most reasonable and proved. The Ulama i.e. the learned scholars of Islam - have written definite books on the principles and beliefs of the Shari'ah, and given the rational proofs, the causes, the secrets, expediencies of its provisions and the rules. In these books the principles and rules of Islam have been shown to be according to sound reason, right understanding and true nature. If any person raised any objection on any religious question, the Ulama has given, and will give - a very reasonable, logical and complete answer to it.

The Second Merit

Islam pointed out such wonderful ways of serving and worshipping Allah, as are not to be found either in any revealed book or in any worldly religion.

The Third Merit

Islam has given thorough details of the obligations towards Allah, towards one's own self and towards fellow beings; even one-hundredth of these details (1/100th) cannot be found in any other religion.

The Fourth Merit

No constitution and no law can compete with the perfect political system of a country or a city constitution and the rules of justice, administration and international security, that is presented by Islam. Take the constitution and Law of America, Britain or any other country; we will find - by going through them that they are based on the expediencies of a particular territory, and whichever law is enacted, it will be found to contain particularly the element of domination and preference of a particular nation and a particular territory. On the contrary, the law promulgated by Islam, enunciates the rights of mankind without distinction of race and colour. No branch of Islamic law is based on the expediencies and objects of any particular territory and particular race. The proof of this is that - whenever any problem presents itself in the world, whether it be about the agreement and treaty with any nation or about war and whether it be about the internal administration or foreign policy of the country, a commandment relating to it will certainly be found in Shari'ah of Islam.

In Agra, India - an Englishman demanded proof of the truth of Islam from a Muslim scholar. The 'Aalim gave some proof about the truth of Islam and related the miracles of the Prophet SAW which proved him to be a true Prophet (SAW). The Englishman admitted the truth of these proofs but said that there was one more proof about the truth of Islam. He said that their (English) constitutional and administrative law was framed with the deliberations and consultations of hundreds of wise men and politicians of the country and was completed in hundreds of years and inspite of all this, some law or the other needs amendment and alteration every four or five years. On the other hand, the Law of Shari'ah was set up in a period of twenty-three years by the tongue of a person who does not know how to read or write, without consulting anybody, and no amendment and alteration was needed in it until now, nor did it show any sign of weakness as to its stability and constitution. Such a complete and extensive constitution and code cannot be made without revelation from Allah. The 'Aalim then inquired of that Englishman as to why he did not embrace Islam. He replied that if he did so, his service and salary would come to an end. On hearing this, the 'Aalim kept quiet. It came to be known afterwards that the Englishman embraced Islam some time later. (This historical narrative can be found in Tuhfat-ul-Hind: Page 240)

The Fifth Merit

No other religion contains even a shadow of the science of ethics and manners as contained in Islam. Such discussion are well perused and dwelved into in immense detail by the kitabs - Ihya-ul-Ulum ("Renaissance of Learning") and Kimiya-I-Sa'daat (Alchemy of Bliss) by the grand scholar of Tasawwuf - Imam Ghazali RA. All sources of discussion of these monumental compositions are based directly from the Holy Qur'an and Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

The Sixth Merit

No other religion contains the injunctions about the prevention and restraint of the carnal desires, evil instincts and worldly pleasures and about the protection of the chastity and character of women as are found in Islam.

Islam enjoined Hijaab for women and prohibits men from casting their looks on women, so that the chastity and character of women may not be tarnished; and so that descent and progeny may not become doubtful.

Islam has prohibited singing and music because it leads to sexual waywardness.

Islam has prohibited consummation if alcohol because it takes away the faculty of reason which is the most valuable gift in the world. Therefore, the Shari'ah of Islam has prohibited all intoxicating things which cause the destruction and annihilation of the faculty of reason. People should be thankful to Islam which has protected our faculties of reason, upon which depends - our faith and worldly affairs.

Islam has prohibited usury and gambling which are the causes of man's spiritual and temporal degeneration. Islam enjoins us to advance Qarz-i-Hasanah ("Loan Without Interest") to others when they need it. That is - we should help them by advancing loans without interest and if we gain any profit out of any pledged article, such profit should be credited towards the principal loan. We should help the needy when they are in need and advance loans to them without making them feel obliged. Allah is not kind to one who is not kind to men. This is the teaching of Islam.

The creed of usury tells you that we shold take advantage of the miseries and needs of the needy, and should increase wealth by advancing loan on interest to them, without doing any work or labour. If the debtor is unable to pay the debt in time, give him f├╝rther time with a smiling face, so that the interest is doubled and trebled and you may eventually put his house and property to auction.

The evil results of usury are briefly as follows:

1. Mutual help and obligation come to an end.

2. It makes a man hard-hearted instead of kind-hearted.

3. One addicted to this evil is pleased to see others in trouble and he is always on the look out to find a needy person so that by showing sympathy, he may be able to entrap him in the net of loan and get his property auctioned.

4. When avarice and greed of wealth is augmented, his conscience teaches him various ways of dishonesty and fraud.

5. Gradually such a person becomes indolent and a pleasure-seeker. When he sees that he accumulated so much wealth to enable him to earn thousands, he does not care to take the trouble of indulging in trade, cultivation of land or industry, upon which depends the progress of the country. If the capitalists invest their capital only to secure interest and do not establish any industrial factory, the country will not make any progress.

In short, Islam has completely prohibited indulgence in revelry and carnal desires, and has made adequate provision for the protection of honour, chastity, descent and progeny of women. It has also prohibited the filth of usury, because Islam does not tolerate such an acquisition of money which generates dishonesty, fraud, cruelty, hard-heartedness and pleasure over the trouble of the afflicted.

Communism exhorts the poor to rob the Capital of the Capitalists and bring them down to the level of beggars and labourers.

But Islam enjoins the rich and wealthy people to pay the Zakat and to help the poor by giving alms to them without letting other people know of it in the least. It is not valid for anyone to let their neighbour go to bed hungry. When we give alms and charity to anybody, we should not press our obligation upon him, but we should thank Allah who enabled you to help others, because if Allah wished Allah could have done the reverse. If any needy person be not inclined to accept charity, help him by advancing Qarz-i-Hasanah ("Loan Without Interest") to him.

Islam enjoins the poor not to cast their looks on the property of others, but to remain content with their poverty, rather, to be grateful to Allah because poverty is also a blessing which was conferred by Allah on His friends. The Prophets - Ibrahim Khalilullah AS, Musa Kalimullah AS and Isa Ruhullah AS were blessed with the gift of poverty. On the other hand, Allah SWT granted Namrud, Fir'aun and the Jews the tempting sovereignty of this transcient world. When the rulers of states were intoxicated with power, wealth and position and became so proud and haughty as to defy that very Allah Who had granted the kingdom to them, Allah after the lapse of centuries, destroyed them all in no time. Now we may compare the preachings of communism with the teachings of Islam.

The Seventh Merit

Islam is the gist of the Shari'ah of all the Prophets AS and the essence of wisdom of all the wise men. There is not a single good and virtue which has not been enjoined and there is not a single evil and vicious act which has not been prohibited.

Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alfi-Sani RA in one of his letters says :

"The personality of the Leader of the Universe - Muhammad Messenger of Allah, (SAW) was the reflector of all the attributes and virtues. The Book which was revealed on him, that is, the Holy Qur'an, is the gist of all the Divine Books which were revealed on all the Prophets (AS) and his Shari'ah is the gist and essence of all those Shari'ah and the practices and religious services of his shari'ah are the combinations of the religious services of the Angels and of the whole universe. Some Angels are ordained to undertake Ruku' (bowing), some Sujud(prostration) some Qiyam (standing erect). In Solat, all these services are combined. In previous communities, some had the morning prayer as obligatory, others had other prayers and on this community (of Islam) all the prayers have been made obligatory. The religious services of this community are the combination of the different religious services of the earlier communities.

Therefore, to act on the Shari'ah of Muhammad SAW - as a matter of fact, is to act upon all the Shari'ats; and to deny the Shari'ah of Muhammad (SAW) is to deny all the Shari'ats. To affirm our Prophet (SAW) is to affirm all the Prophets AS; and to deny him (SAW) is to deny all the Prophets AS. Therefore, the believers in him are the best communities and the deniers of him are the worst of communities." (Daftar-i-Awwal: 70th Maktub)

The Eight Merit

The Economic Law of Islam is based on this principle that no one should be left unprovided for. It is the primary duty of an Islamic State that it should establish a Bait-ul-Mal ("Public Treasury") and realise Zakat, charities and other recoveries; and spend the Zakat collected from a particular town on the poor and the destitute of that town and to spend only that portion of it elsewhere which is left after making provision for the deserving people of that town. It is also the duty of an Islamic State that if any non-Muslim is unable to earn livelihood, he should be maintained from the Bait-ul-Mal of the Islamic State.

The Ninth Merit

The judicial and criminal system of Islam is fully responsible for maintenance of public peace and order. It enjoins to cut the hands of the thieves so that no thief may dare even to look at the property of others. It enjoins to whip and stone the adulterers so that no bad character be able to defile the chastity and character of women and may not thereby make doubtful the descent and progeny of any family, and thus prevent the illegitimate issues from becoming co-sharers in the inheritance along with the legitimate issues.

The present form of Government not only fails to prevent the theft and adultery, but allows them to thrive day by day, and the simpletons regard it as progress and democracy and regard the Islamic penal law to be barbarous. By Allah, Reason tells us that the barbarity is far better as compared to the prevailing civilisation and democracy which puts the honour and property into danger.

There is no latitude for the thieves and the bad characters in the Islamic law as said:

"It is as bad to do good to the bad as to do bad to the good."

The fact that a particular law of the land creates anxiety among the thieves and the bad characters, is a clear proof of that law being just and right. Therefore, the fact that Islamic Penal Law makes the thieves and knaves nervous is a clear proof of its being just and right.

The Tenth Merit

The Islamic Shari'ah is plain and clear and not vague and complicated. The Islamic law does not tolerate that a case should remain pending for tens of years and the time and money of the parties should be wasted on the hearings; and the court that fails to grasp the facts of each case within a reasonable time is in all probability itself afflicted with the evils of bribery and corruption. In Islamic Shari'ah there is no room for a barrister or a representative to prove the truth as falsehood and vice versa. Secular laws which are so flexible that a representative may turn it in any direction he pleases, cannot be a just law, but a crookedness. In law and justice, there is no likelihood of any interference. Modern man-made laws are known as susceptible to any interpretation. Islamic Shari'ah is the law of justice. It only tends to do justice. It is rigid and not capable of being turned to any other side.

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