Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Individual's Social Development

Individual’s social development (both moral and intellectual) aims at making him/her a beneficial member of a society. In order to be a beneficial member of a society, individual has to be law abiding and intellectually believing in social/moral values adopted by the society. In this article, we would look into root of hurdles in the way of social development of a Muslim to become a beneficial member of an Islamic society; and what remedy is suggested in the light of Quran.

From the outset, it may be noted that major sources of social/moral values to be believed in and practiced by a beneficial Muslim member of Islamic society are Quran and Sunnah. In other words, a Muslim may become a beneficial member of Islamic society by practicing and believing intellectually in social/moral values as enshrined in Quran and Sunnah.

Quran divides broadly into two groups the people who do not believe in Quranic guidance.  The first group consists of non-believers and  are generally called ‘ kafreen’; hypocrites/munafqeen are included in this group. The second group consists of those Muslims which are wavered in their belief in Quranic guidance; such Muslims in Quran are called  as having disease/ ‘marz’ in their 'quloob'. It may please be noted that the people having disease/ ‘marz’ in their 'quloob' are not hypocrites/ ‘munafqeen’. Hypocrites are those who never embrace Islam; who falsely claim that they have accepted Islam. But the people described in Quran as having disease/ ‘marz’ in their 'quloob' are those who believe in Islam but become skeptical and start doubting Islamic injunctions after accepting Islam. In other words, people having diseased 'qalb' are Muslims; but if such Muslims advance in their disease and do not  repent untill their death, they die a death of 'kafreen' (al-taubah-125). 

Now we dwell on the point that hypocrites/‘munafqeen’ are different from people having diseased 'qalb', and what is hurdle in social development of such Muslims to become beneficial members of an Islamic society. Quran says:
“when the hypocrites and those in whose 'quloob' was disease said, "Their religion has deluded those [Muslims]…." (al-anfal-49). In this verse hypocrites and people having diseased minds/'quloob' have been mentioned side by side; it implies that hypocrites and diseased minded/'qalb' people are two different terminologies used in Quran. At many other places too, the diseased minded/ 'qalb' people seem to be Muslims and not ‘munafqeen’. The instances are al-maidah-52; al-hajj-52; al-noor-50; al-ahzaab-12 etc.

Now we dwell on the point that people having disease in their 'qaloob'/minds are the Muslims who grow skeptic about Islamic injunctions after believing in Islam. Quran says:
“And of the people are some who say, "We believe in Allah and the Last Day," but they are not (really) ‘mumineen”. “In their 'quloob' is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they used to lie” (al-baqra-8,10).
 Above quoted verses state about the people with diseased mind/qalb that they are not ‘mumineen’, but they are Muslims.  Quran defines ‘mumineen’ as below:
The believers (mumineen) are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah (al-hujurat-15).

From this verse it is clear that ‘mumineen’ are those who do not fall a prey of skepticism/ doubt about Islamic injunctions. Now it is evident  the people with diseased qalb/mind are not ‘mumineen’ because ‘mumineen’ are those which do not doubt in Islamic injunctions after believing in Islam; it implies that diseased minded people are those which doubt in Islamic injunctions after believing in Islam. That is why Quran says:  “those who have faith, enter in Islam fully” (Baqra-208). It means some/many Muslims do not follow Islamic injunctions fully. The major reason of non-following of Islamic injunctions by Muslims is that they turn out to be skeptic and doubtful about validity and utility of Islamic injunctions/social/moral values; it is not necessary that they become skeptic about all Islamic injunctions; they may be skeptic about some injunctions. In other words, the root of hurdles in the way of many Muslims to become beneficial members of a Muslim society is that they grow skeptic about Islamic injunctions/ social/moral values after believing in Islam, and as a result they cannot practice such Islamic values and resultantly the process of their social development is retarded.

The remedy of this problem lies in providing Muslims with such a environment in which they could resolve all paradoxes which become hurdles in their way to believe in Islam intellectually. For this purpose,  Quranic studies must be given prime importance in all educational institutions where students may study other subjects of their choice but Quranic studies must be compulsory at all levels of education. Quranic studies teachers must be highly qualified not only in Quran studies but also in other subjects of their choice. They should be able to resolve all paradoxes a student may confront with while studying Quran. As the process of individual’s social development starts entering its logical phase since adulthood period, it would be more appropriate that Quranic studies are started to be imparted since adulthood age.  In this way a student after completing fourteen or sixteen years education, would be enough imbued with Islamic social and moral values because he would be able to believe intellectually in such social and moral values and resultantly much more enabled to practice such values to become a beneficial member of an Islamic society.

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