The Spirit Of Islam
FROM the Quranic point of view, there are four (4) factors influencing the rise and fall of nations/Ummah (my Friday Column, dated 24 & 31 October, 2014, were published on this theme in Pakistan Observer). They are Justice and Injustice (‘Adl and Zulm); Unity and Disunity; Neglect/abandonment of the principle of Amr Bil Mar’uf wa Nahy an al Munkar; and Moral Corruption and Degeneration. This last factor is much relevant to our present situation, so let me throw some light on this aspect from the Quranic perspective.
Moral Corruption is one of the four factors influencing the rise and fall of nation; and ‘Zulm’, meaning oppression and thereby committing sin, have also been declared in the Qur’an as vices to be eradicated. There are various verses in the Holy Qur’an in this context also. In a number of verses, luxury, lavishness, and luxuries are regarded to be the cause of destruction, devastation and demolition. There are also a number of verses in which the word ‘Zulm’ (cruelty, injustice, oppression, tyranny, etc.) occurs. In Quranic terminology, ‘Zulm’ does not merely mean ‘violation of the rights of an individualor group by other individual or group but also includes injustice to one’s own self as well as injustice of a nation to itself’.
Also, according to Holy Quran, any kind of deviation from the right of humanness is injustice. It includes all acts of injustice to others as well as all acts of impropriety (indecency and immodesty) corruption, perversion, and immorality. There are various narrations of the nations and how they were destroyed. Examples are: (i) Madyan, nation of Prophet Sh‘uayb, who were indulged in acts of “short measure or weight” (Surah Hud, 11: 84); (ii) the nation of Prophet Lut (Lot), who “used to commit crimes, (sodomy)” (11: 78), was destroyed by the “rain (of stones)” (7:84); (iii) to the ‘Ad, nation of Prophet Hud, who were also destroyed by “Torment and wrath” (7:65-71); (iv) Prophet Nuh’s nation was also destroyed with flood, “and then the floods overwhelmed them while they were still lost in evildoing” (29: 14); and (v) the “earthquake seized” the Thamud, the nation of Prophet Salih (7:78).
Our present situation and state of affairs, is no more different or unusual. When we look around, our society, it appears and seems, to be in the race for desiring, longing and aspiring, this world’s life and forgetting and overlooking the life hereafter (Aakhirah). Being Muslims, we have the duty of “Amr bil Mar’uf wa nahy an al-Munkar” (commanding good and forbidding evil). To eradicate, eliminate and remove all types of threats (menace) faced by our society completely and to guide the misguided people to the straight and right path is our moral responsibility.
As soon as people commit sins in abundance and plentiful, natural disasters strike that Ummah/ Nation. It is necessary for every Muslim to ‘learn a lesson’ from the calamities and disasters in the lives of individuals and Nations. We are rapidly and swiftly moving and going away from Allah and are abandoning the Shariah, which has resulted in the ‘loss’, misplace and mislay of Ummah’s consciousness and responsibility, unawareness of goal or destination (manzil) and reform/change (Islah). Every sensitive soul and mind at this occasion, questions: How will Muslim Ummah wake up, change and reform?
The answer to this question, in Qura’nic perspective, is that we have to know our responsibilities, our awareness of goal, our consciousness, our destination (manzil), initiative to change; and we have to change and reform ourselves and our society by following Divine Social Rule mentioned in the Quran (Surah ar-Rad, 13:11), which states: “Verily Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves”.
—The author holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from Aligarh Muslim University (India) and is a regular Columnist.