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Islam's Gifts to the World

Islam's Gifts to the World

Publisher: Rafed Network


Islam’s Gifts to the World

Author: CulturalRafed Network



This versionis published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errorsare not corrected .

Table of Contents

Islam 5

Islam and Political Theory 7

Islam and Legislation 9

Islam and Ideologies 12

Islam and Nationhood 14

Islam and Economics (1) 16

Islam and Economics (2) 20

Islam and Intellectual Advance 23

Cultural Revolution 26

Medical Science 29

Pharmacology 31

Hospitals 32

Chemistry 33


Islam stands for harmony and perfectibility with an unmatched depth and breadth of scope that comprises all aspects of spirit and life. It knows all the roads that lead to blessing and happiness. It has the cure for human ills, individual and social, and makes them as plain as the wit of man can devise or comprehend. It sets out to develop all sides of each person: and therefore perforce includes everyreality which impacts human existence. It has not given way, in its doctrine of man, to modern errors or corrupt institutions.

It does not set man in God's place. To do so is to leave man with only himself to rely on in all his pride and egotism: or else to reduce him to the slavery of being a beast of burden for his fellows, powerless, will-less, helpless before nature's and matter's tyrannies. This is precisely what modern heresies do with man.But Islam vindicates man's unique naturevis -a-vis all other living creatures, affirming that he is a special creation with a lofty calling all his own.

Islam holds that a man's personality does not cease to exist with death, but is continuous and eternal. "Worldly" and "other-worldly" are an indivisible unity.body and soul can therefore not be dissolved into disparate elements. Islam, on these grounds, presents both worlds in shining terms. It both trains a man for eternityand also finds the guiding principles for its public institutions on earth in the sublime destiny inherent in man's creation.

Eternity dictates universal principles, unchanging and unchangeable. These Islam proclaims as tenets, convictions, commandments, statutes, in its school of contentment, in its thrust for progress. It offers man the perfection of freedom for thought, for concern, and for exegesis of the divine law on matters of social necessity. It reverts to firstprinciples which provide the sure andunshifting basis of rock-bottom truth in all the chances and changes of this mortal life.

Islam holds that man has certaincharacteristics which are his link with the material world and certain others which connect him with realities that are non-material and which motivate desires and aims of a more sublime nature.body , mind and spirit each has its proper propensities. Eachmust be duly weighed , so that what one of these indivisible elements desires does not conflict with the desire of another.

Islam takes all the elements and facets of human nature into account and caters for the compound essence of man's combined material and spiritual propensities.

It draws him upward towards the highest without cutting his roots in the material. It demands absolute purity and chastity without denying the flesh and its needs. Its current flows from pole to pole over a network of live wires - convictions and regulations which preserve the integrity of all the innate human instincts while rejecting the Freudian doctrine of total freedom which treats man as nothing but animal.

Islam is not a mere set of ideas in the world of metaphysicalspeculation : nor did it come into being simply to order man's social living. It is a way of life so comprehensively meaningful that it shapes education,society and culture to heights none other ever aimed at. It forms a supreme court of appeal and rallying-point for East and West alike, and offers them anideology which can answer their divisive materialisms. It can replace their inequities and contradictions with amore universal , more perfect and more powerful idea.

Islam does not concede priority of any kind to material affluence or to hedonistic comfort as basic for happiness. It finds its principles in an analysis of man's true nature. With these principles it constructs a plan forindividual , social and international living, framed by fixed and all embracing moral standards, aimed at a goal for humanity far loftier than the modern world' s limited materialist aims.

Islam does not imprison man in the narrow confines of the material and the financial. It sets him in a spacious and expansive air. There morality, principle and the spirit reign. Its statutes arethose which spring from the nature of man himself. They encourage mutual help andteam-work . They pursue values outside the straitened boundaries imposed on individual and on community by the petty pusillanimous pedestrian patterns of materialist purposes.Instead it yokes man's strength and striving to the change, advance, progress and perfecting inherent in his creation.

Islamic training sets out to refine and enhance human qualities and to harness them to right and reasonableobjectives which direct and dictate every forward step to the desired end. It focuses a man's motives, which arise from his natural desires and basic needs, in such a concentrated and streamlined beam that each talentis called in to exercise its function in due succession and order.

Impetuous uncoordinated impulses are thus controlled so that no singleinstinct overrule commonsense nor momentary urge replace reason.Instead man is made master of his fate and captain of his soul. Excessis obviated and every person is accorded his or her legitimate share in the common triumph of all. In thisemployment every need of body, mind and soul is met and satisfied.

Whenever in history individuals have united in harmonious pursuit of such aims, persons and communities have found themselves. "What is right" has ruled thoughts,conduct and character; human living has been orderly and secure. Reason dictates this training, and calls to a religion with convictions superstition-free, canons practical, statutesfeasible and excellencies virtuous. The God-given human intelligence intuitively and logically perceives their truth.

No manis asked to perform a task above that which he is able.But his powers are put at full stretch. Every possibility within himis expressed to the full.And each is, at doomsday, judged; then the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is.

Islam and Political Theory

Modern political theory exalts "the general will" Democratic government attempts to put that general will into practice by making law out of the policy voted for by «'the majority" (which need only be 51%) leaving null and void the will of the minority (which may be that of as many as 49% of the voters).

The minority is thus not "free" at all, even though in some casesits will may be sensible, and in the circumstances right. But '«Government by the Will of the People" will never voluntarily strip off the sanctity andsplendour with which it has endowed "the general will", giving that concept precedence over all other material and spiritual values.

Islam, on the other hand, gives precedence to the Will of the Lord of this world, rather than to the uncontrolled inclinations and sentiments of a majority of humans. Islam refuses to strip the Godhead of control of the legislative and jurisdictional power Islam's conception of Godhead and of divine government is wide enough to comprise everything that goes to make up human life everywhere on this planet.

This makes Islam man's unrivalled guardian. It demands total obedience to its statutes on the ground that these are God-given and that therefore no human being has a right to allow his own desires to dictate any action in breach of these statutes and rules of life.

Howcan God be proclaimed worthy of total commitment by people who arrange their lives on precepts deriving from other sources than God Himself? No person dare claim divine authority for a partner for God, nor substitute another lawgiver for Him. Islam's aim is to champion truth and right in everything in human society, since truth does notspecialise exclusively in social,political and financial matters but also clothes the stature of man himself in its most beautiful vestments.

The human physiqueis fearfully and wonderfully made . So are the rules and rights that govern human living.No-one can claim a complete knowledge of all the mysteries of man's make-up, or of the complicated social structure it generates. For this structure comprises thespecialised areas of the body and the spirit of all its individuals as well as of all their relationships with each other Nor dare anyone claim to be innocent of sin, of a shortcoming, a fault or an error.No-one is aware of all the elements which go to make up human happiness and welfare.

Despite all the devoted efforts of scientists to penetrate the mysteries of human being, the area they have succeeded in covering is still extremely limited. To quote Dr. Alexis Carrel again ("'Man, the Unknown" p.4): "'Mankind has made a gigantic effort to know itself. Although we possess the treasure of the observations accumulated by the scientists, the philosophers, the poets, and the great mystics of all times, we have grasped only certain aspects of ourselves.

We do not apprehend man as a whole. We know him as composed of distinct parts.And even these parts are created by our methods. Each one of us is made up of a procession of phantoms, in the midst of which strides an unknowable reality."

Without insight into the human make-up man cannot frame laws 100% suited to the human condition, nor justly cure the troubles thatarise : witness the bewilderment of legislators, their constant alteration of their own statutes in face of today's new problems and unexpected blind alleys. Motives of personal advantage, self-interest, profit, ambition, power, and even of environmental predilections,

intrude to distort the legislators' outlook consciously or unconsciously. Montesquieu said oflegislation that "none is ever wholly objective and impartial, for the personal ideas and sentiments of the legislator influence his drafting". Thus Aristotle, because he was jealous of Plato, influenced Alexander to denigrate his great predecessor.

Modern slogans of "Liberty and Equality" and "the Public Will" are empty words used by politicians to win support for their laws, lawswhich in fact represent the interests not of the masses but of the landowners and capitalists.

Henry Ford wrote of England, which boasts itself "the Mother of Democracy". "We cannot forget the 1926 general strike or the way the government tried to break it with every means in its power. Parliament, tool of the capitalists, proclaimed the strike unconstitutional and illegal, and turned police and army out against the strikers with bullets and tanks. Meantime the media of radio and press declared the government to be the servant of the workers, a plain subterfuge contradicted by the fines imposed on the trade unions and by the imprisonment of their leaders as soon as the opportunity offered."

Khrushchev declared in the 22nd Supreme Soviet Congress: "In the era of the personality-cult (i.e. under Stalin) corruption infiltrated our Party's leadership, government and finances; produced decrees which trod the masses' rights underfoot; lowered industrial output; filled men with fear in their work; and encouraged sycophants, informers and character-assassins."

Thus both Eastern and Western systems of government falsely appear in the guise of the public will, Parliamentary rule, representation of the masses: while capitalism and communism alike frame inequitable laws because they neglect the heavenly decrees which establish fast what is best for man.

Islam and Legislation

Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote ("Social Contract" Book II: Chapter 6: "The Lawgiver"):

"To discover the rules of society that are best suited to nations, there would need to exist a superior intelligence who could understand the passions- of men without feeling any of them, who had no affinity with our nature but knew it to the roots, whose happiness was independent of ours but who would nevertheless make our happiness his concern, in fact a divine lawgiver is needed."

Bythese standards the most competent legislator is the Creator of man Himself, He knows all the mysteries of man's being, makes no profit out of any human society, and needs no man.Hence the principles which can shape equitable social regulations must be learnt from a person who receives direct guidance from the Creator, whose teachings are the inspired revelations of that unique Source, and who is wholly reliant on that Infinite Wisdom.

Human laws aim only at the ordering of human society. They do not stray outside those limits, nor touch non-social matters like personal conditions, attitudes of mind, spiritual excellence.

They do not try to cure internal pollutions within the personality. It is only when personality problems issue in social disorder in action that they enter the scope of legal measures. A person may be filthy in thought and spirit and still good in the eyes of Western law, which looks only upon outward acts and not upon the heart.

Islam with its wide outlook aims not just at redressing what has been done wrong but primarily at putting individual and society right from inside, regarding the ethical personality as the basic unit, andits perfecting as the priority. Islam aims at an orderly society composed of sound morals, sane thinking, sensible action, serene psyches.

It therefore legislates for the inner life of the individual in as much detail as for the outer life of society. It brings order and congruence between large and small in creation, the natural laws and the spiritual, the material and the metaphysical, the individual and the social, creeds and philosophies. It helps man not to come into collision with the naturallaws which underlie the orderliness of the universe; disobedience to which collapses and confounds all human affairs.

Man-made institutions pursue performance of the law. but in Islam the trustee for the law's performance is a deep-rooted faith; and a Muslim duly performs his obligations by the force of morality and faith, even in matters where he is seen by no one save by God alone. Armed forceis only needed to control the tiny minority of criminal-minded hypocrites. Islam thus pays due regard both to inner purity of heart and to outward purity of action. It calls those deeds good,laudable and meritorious which spring from sincerity and faith.

USA's Attorney General, in his introduction to his book on IslamicLaw , wrote: "American law has only a tenuous connection with moral duty. An American may be accounted a law-abiding citizen even though his inner life is foul and corrupt.But Islam sees the fount of law in the Will of God as revealed to and proclaimed through His Apostle Muhammad. This Law: this DivineWill, treats the entire body of believers as a single society, including all the multifarious races and nationalities which go to make it up in a far-scattered community.

This gives religion its true sound force and makes it the cohesive element of society. No bounds of nationality or geography divide, for the government itself is obedient to the one supreme authority of the Qur'an. This leaves no place for any other legislator, so that nocompetition or rivalry or rift can arise.

The believer regards this world as a vale of soul-making, the ante-room to thenext : and the Qur'an makes perfectly plain what are the conditions and laws which govern believers'behaviour to each other and towards society; and thus makes the changeover from this world to the next a sure and sound and safe transition."

Despite Westerners' small acquaintance with Islam, and their often mistaken ideas, far removed from reality, a comparatively large number of their thinkers grasp some of the depth and profundity of Islamic teaching and do not conceal their admiration for its clear exegesis and estimable doctrines.

A Muslim scientist's respect for Islam's laws and ordinances is no surprise.But if a non-Muslim savant, despite his slavery to his own religious bigotry, yetrecognises Islam's grandeur and greatness and its lofty leading, that is a real tribute, especially when it is based on a recognition of the progressive nature of Islam's legal systems and their legacy to mankind. This is why this book quotes foreign verdicts on Islam. We do so, not because we need their support, but because they can help to open the road for seekers and enquirers so that who reads may run its way.

Dr. LauraVacciea Vaglieri , Naples University professor, wrote: "In the Qur'an we come across jewels and treasures of knowledge and insight which are superior to the products of our most brilliant geniuses, profoundphilosophers and powerful politicians. How can such a book be the product of the brain of a single man - and that of a man whose lifewas spent in commercial,

not particularly religious, circles - far removed from all schools of learning? He himself always insisted that he was in himself an ordinary simple man like other men, unable, without the help of the Almighty to produce the miracle of such work. None other than He whose knowledge compasses all that is in heaven and earth could produce the Qur'an."

Bernard Shaw in his "Muhammad, Apostle of Allah"said: "I have always held the religion of Muhammad in the highest esteem simply from the marvel of its livingvigour . To mymind it is the sole religion capable of success in mastering the multifarious vicissitudes of life and the differences of culture.

I foresee (it is manifest even today) that, man by man, Europeans will come to adopt the Islamic faith. Mediaeval theologians for reasons of ignorance or bigotry pictured Muhammad's religion as full of darkness, and considered that he had cast down a challenge to Christ in a spirit of hatred and fanaticism.

After much study of the man, I have concluded that Muhammad was not only not against Christ, but that he saw in Him despairing mankind'ssaviour I am convinced that if a man like him would undertake leadership in tile new world, he would succeed in solving its problems, and secure that peace and prosperity which all men want."

Voltaire, who at the beginning was one of Islam's most obdurate opponents and poured scorn on the Prophet, after his 40 years of study of religion,philosophy and history frankly said: "Muhammad's religion was unquestionably superior to that of Jesus. He never descended to the wild blasphemies of Christians, nor said that one God was three or three Gods were one.

The single pillar of his faith is the One God. Islam owes its being to its founder's decrees and manliness; whereas Christians used the sword to force their religion on others.Oh Lord!if only all nations of Europe would make the Muslims their models."

One of Voltaire's heroes was Martin Luther. Yet hewrote that "Luther was not worthy to unloose the latchets of Muhammad's shoes. Muhammad was a great man and a trainer of great men by his example of virtue and perfection. A wise lawgiver, a just ruler, an ascetic prophet, he raised the greatest revolution earth has seen."

Tolstoi wrote: "Muhammad needs no other claim to fame than that he raised a barbarous bloodthirsty people out of their diabolical customs to untold advances. His Canon Law with its intelligence and wisdom will come to be the world's authority."

Islam and Ideologies

Our worldis split into two blocs. They hold contradictory ideologies, each backed by its own scientists and savants who, in a spate of pamphlets and books, prove it right and its opponents wrong. Each claims to be the sole sure road to happiness, and says its adversary is the sole cause of confusion and catastrophe.

Both cannot be right. Both may be wrong! Each may be missing a vital point. Yet both have made large contributions to human progress through the brilliance of some of their scientists and technologists. Progress in one field is no proof of equal progress in every field of human life, any more than an individual's possession of one set of talents indicates a competence in all occupations. An outstanding physician is not ipso facto a brilliant musician! Nor does technological advance ipso facto imply equal advance in thought, wisdom, religion, government, morality.

Dr. Alexis Carrel writes ("Man, the Unknown" p. 27 and 28) : "The applications of scientific discoveries have transformed the material and mental worlds. These transformations exert on us a profound influence. Their unfortunate effect comes from the fact that theyhave been made without consideration for our nature. Our ignorance of ourselves has given to mechanics,physics and chemistry the power to modify at random the ancestral forms of life. Man should be the measure of all.

On the contrary, he is a stranger in the world that he has created. He has been incapable oforganising this world for himself, because he did not possess a practical knowledge of his own nature. Thus, the enormous advance gained by the sciences of inanimate matter over those of living things is one of the greatest catastrophes ever suffered by humanityThe environment born of our intelligence and our inventions is adjusted neither to our stature nor to our shape.

We are unhappy. We degenerate morally and mentally. The groups and the nations in which industrialcivilisation has attained its highest development are precisely those which are becoming weaker, and whose return to barbarism is the most rapid."

The perfection andsubliminating of man in a whole series of different areas requires a body of sound and universal teachings based on realities of human life and free of all faults and errors. Such is only tobe found in the teachings of the prophets of God to whom revelation was granted concerning the origins of the world's being.

Morality, to rely on sanctions higher than the natural and tobe inspired by what is beyond the material, must build solely on fundamental and basic instructions.

From the moment that man was set upon the globe and laid the groundwork ofcivilisation , a cry rose to heaven from his inward depths.

This cry we call religion. Its truthis indissolubly connected with a moral order.

Inhumanity, faction, inequity, tyranny, war, all testify to the truth that governments and their laws have never sufficed to control the sentiments and beliefs and feelings of man nor to establish an order of justice, happiness, peace and quietude in society. Science and knowledge can never solve the problems of human life nor prevent its derailment except in alliance with religion.

Will Durant, American sociologist and philosopher, writes in his "Pleasures of Philosophy" (pp.326/7): '"Has a government such power in economic and ethical matters to preserve all the heritage of knowledge and morals and art stored up over generations and woven into the warp and woof of a nation's culture? Can it increase that heritage and hand it on to posterity? Can a government, with all the modern machinery at its disposal, bring the treasures of science to those depressed classes who still think of scientific utterances as blasphemy and witchcraft?

Why is it that such smallmen govern America's biggest cities? Whyis our administration conducted in such a way as to make one weep over the lack of noble policies and true patriotism? Why do corruption and deception enter into our elections and make havoc of public property? Why has government's basic task dwindled today to an attempt merely to prevent crime? Why do governments not seek to understand the causes of war and the conditions of peace? Churches and families ought to undertake the imposition ofcivilisation on such governments."

Western society can only continue to tolerate moral confusion and its ways of destruction because of its limited powers to take reform into its own hands.But the continuation of this state of affairs already tolls a warning bell. Peril liesclose at hand , forcivilisation stays stable only so long as there is a balance between ends and means, between authority and aspiration. When this equilibrium breaks down, such violence ensues that no goodness can stop it. It rushes headlong to an inevitable disruption. You will find no nation throughout humanhistory which survived the corruption of indulgence and permissiveness.

Rome perished. The glory of Greece collapsed. France, because of the indulgent lives of its citizens, turned soft and gave way to the first Nazi assault. One of their most famous generals himself wrote that the reason for their weakness was the inner erosion of character.

Spengler foresaw the downfall of Westerncivilisation and said that other lands would in the future see great cultures arise. Perhaps the East will be one of the first to return to its ancient heritage. This will not come by worshipping at the false shrine of misguidedcivilisations .But the decline of onecivilisation can awaken men to the divine plan and inspire them to follow it; and so, by means of this sublime truth, to found an entirely new social life on sound foundations.

Islam and Nationhood

Today, alas, the symptoms of aninferiority-complex over Western industrial prowess and its deadly consequences mark everything in Eastern nations' life. Many a Muslimis so impregnated with Western ideas that he wishes to see everything through Western spectacles, in the belief that progress demands manners and morals, laws and legislation, which copy Western styles. This total surrender welds the ring of slavery in our ears.

We spread the red carpet of our self-respect, our material and moral wealth, our religious and national heritage ofgood-breeding , before their feet. This is what saps Muslim nations' strength, both physical and spiritual.

Muslims they may be: but they have lost the art of thinking on Islamic lines, cast aside their Muslim outlook on world events, alienated themselves from Islam's creed and culture, and want toWesternise all Muslim ways.Mankind's greatest problems are not those which can be solved in the laboratory.

Shall a foreign force prevent our taking our place incivilisation's caravan? Suppose we follow neither the capitalist nor the communist trail. Suppose perfect social justice rules the interior of our land, and wins us an international regard, restoring our ancient prestige amongst the assembly of national governments. Might this not save usand mankind from further horrors of wars?

Why do we not let our religion's laws and statutes solve our internal problems? If it can prevent us occupying the seat of a beggar at the table of humanity, and instead install us as masters in that house to the benefit of all, is this a small thing? Can a rich and generous giver turn beggar? Can a man born to command turn submissive, cringe and crawl as an inferior, and give up his right to choose the road he knows is proper?

Our inherited treasures have blessed humanity in the past. Neither West nor East dare disregard that fact, and despise us as backward and helpless, however much they strive to turn our confidence into confusion and our hope into hopelessness, so that we fall easy prey. Our long experience over three thousand years of history has left us tired.

We have culled habits, thought, laws,manners from here and there over centuries, and donned them in indiscriminate combination, so that we make ourselves more like figures in a ridiculous carnival procession than the dignified personalities that we should be, wearing our own national garb with distinction and consuming our national dishes with conscious nobility.

Take our present constitution.We first copied French models : then those of other European nations were added ; and later, on each occasion when new legislation was called for, sought our mould in some other place again, so that there is an endless conflict between the spirit of the laws which we have borrowed from outside, and the national spirit for which the laws are made. As a result, a transgressor of the law gains national renown, hero-worship, and help unstinted in every way.Why? Through ignorance in the community? Not so! For theeducated do not respond to the laws.

No!It is the inconsistency between the national spirit and the borrowed laws, unrelated to social needs, historical antecedents, national consciousness, personal convictions that emerged from an environment entirely alien to the spirit of our people. Each borrowed law came from a community with its own history, religion,needs and peculiar realities. Yet none of them can even give a wholly positive answer to its own people, as continuous insurrectionary conditions show.

Professor Hocking of Harvard in "The Spirit of World Politics"writes: "Islamic lands will not progress by merely imitating Western arrangements and values. Can Islam produce fresh thinking, independentlaws and relevant statutes to fit the new needs raised by modern society? Yes! -and more! Islam offers humanity greater possibilities for advance than others can. Its lack is not ability - but the will to use it. In reality theShar'iya contains all the ingredients needed."

Iran's national daily "Keyhan " on 14thDey , 1345 reported: "Yesterday, anniversary of the martyrdom of the Imam Ali, all Tehranpractised Islam's laws 100%. Result: - no crimes; forensic offices unemployed; no murders; no violence; no ripple on the calm surface; borough officers and police untroubled by any calls; even family quarrels within the homes were quickly hushed in reverence for the martyred Leader of the Faithful."

The Persian "Reader's Digest" (No. 35, Year 25) corroborated this, saying. "The average number of corpses in Tehran mortuaries on any one day of last year was 6 - fewer of course on religious holy days and more on some other days. Last week's anniversary (Dey 13th) of Ali's martyrdom was total peace - a proof of the persistent strength of religious conviction, and of the calm andsanity society attains on days when sale of alcohol is banned and amusement houses are closed.

" Such is the result of Muslimspractising their religion's laws for 24 hours. Could a single Western city report, if not 24 hours, even 60 minutes, without an accident, atheft or a murder? Whenwill mankind attain the adult maturity to learn the simple lesson from which so easily comes the peace, the quiet, the unity that all want? It is plain serendipity for us for, in the poet's words,

"I round the globe in search of Heaven did roam:

Returned, and found my Heaven was here at home."