Filed under: THE SCHEME OF LIFE
In Islam, man’s entire individual and social life is an exercise in developing and strengthening his relationship with Allah. Man, the starting point of our religion, consists in the acceptance of this relationship by man’s intellect and will; Islam means submission to the will of Allah in all aspects of life. The Islamic code of conduct is known as the Shari‘ah. Its sources are the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him.
The final Book of Allah and His final Messenger stand today as the repositories of this truth. Everyone who agrees that the concept of Reality stated by the Prophet, and the Holy Book is true, should step forward and surrender himself to the will of Allah. It is this submission which is called Islam, the result of Man in actual life. And those who of their own freewill accept Allah as their Sovereign, surrender to His Divine will and undertake to regulate their lives in accordance with His commandments, are called Muslims.
All those persons who thus surrender themselves are welded into a community and that is how the ‘Muslim society’ comes into being. It is an ideological society, radically different from those which are founded on the basis of race, colour or territory. It is the result of a deliberate choice, the outcome of a ‘contract’ which takes place between human beings and their Creator. Those who enter into this contract undertake to recognise Allah as their Sovereign, His guidance as supreme and His injunctions as absolute Law. They also undertake to accept, without question, His word as to what is good or evil, right or wrong, permissible or prohibited. In short, freedoms of the Islamic society are limited by the commandments of the Omniscient Allah. In other words, it is Allah and not man whose will is the primary source of Law in a Muslim society.
When such a society comes into existence, the Book and the Messenger prescribe for it a code of life called the Shari‘ah and this society is bound to conform to it by virtue of the contract is has entered into. It is, therefore, inconceivable that a real Muslim society can deliberately adopt any other system of life than that based on the Shari‘ah. If it does so, its contract is ipso facto broken and it becomes ‘un-Islamic’.
But we must clearly distinguish between the everyday sins of the individual and a deliberate revolt against the Shari‘ah. The former may not mean a breaking up of the contract, while the latter most certainly would. The point that should be clearly understood is that if an Islamic society consciously resolves not to accept the Shari‘ah, and decides to enact its own constitution and laws or borrows them from any other source in disregard of the Shari‘ah, such a society breaks its contract with Allah and forfeits its right to be called ‘Islamic’..