A Faith to Pass On, Fraud, More than Religion
Issue 903 » July 15, 2016 - Shawwal 10, 1437
A Faith to Pass On
Al-Baqara (The Cow) - Chapter 2: Verse 133
"Were you present when death approached Jacob? He asked his children, 'Whom will you worship when I am gone?' They replied, 'We will worship your God, the God of your forefathers Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, the One God. To Him we submit ourselves.'"
It is indeed a tremendous and solemn occasion. The most important and only issue that concerned Jacob as he drew his last breath was the religion his children were to follow after his death. He was worried about the fate of his legacy and the future of the religion placed in his trust. His children's reply must have been most reassuring and gratifying for him. The chain would not be broken, and the legacy of Abraham was sure to live on for many generations to come.
Every generation has its concerns and characteristics, and the record for which it shall be accountable. A corrupt and heedless generation shall bear no relation to a righteous one. The only durable link between generations of nations is that of faith and belief. From the Islamic point of view, a nation's characteristics are preserved and perpetuated through faith rather than race or blood, and generations are viewed as either believers or unbelievers, with every one seen in the light of their actions and record.
According to Islam, a nation is defined by its faith and beliefs, regardless of its constituent ethnic and racial groups, or how widely spread in the world they are. Having a common race or territory does not make a nation. This approach stems from Islam's universal view of mankind as a single race deriving its unique human qualities from the divine spirit God had breathed into man at the moment of creation, rather than from some acquired physical qualities that are of little concern.
"In The Shade of The Quran " - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 1, pp. 136, 137
All kinds of cheating are prohibited in Islam. Any form of unjust exchange in dealings or making profit by cheating others in business transactions is prohibited. As is stated in the following hadith, he who deceives is not of the believers: "Whoever defrauds us is not one of us." [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]
A seller must inform the buyer about all the characteristics of the thing they are selling and inform the buyer about the defects, if there are any. Such a conduct will not only secure trust, but also invoke God's abundance. Honest traders will be shaded under the shade of God's Throne and will be assembled for judgment together with the righteous and martyrs on the Doomsday.
In Islam, it is not permissible for the seller to refrain from mentioning the defects of a commodity. The following tradition shows the significance given to absolute justice and fair play in business dealings: Once, when passing by a grain merchant, the Prophet (peace be upon him) thrust his hand into the heap of grains and found it wet. "What is this, O merchant?" he asked. "It is because of rain," the man replied. The Prophet then said to him, "Why did you not put it on top so that the people could see it? He who deceives us is not of us." [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]
The Muslims of earlier times observed the practices of truthfulness in transactions and described the commodity they sold, exposing the defect in the commodity. Today, however, trade seems to be based on misleading people, often mentioning something that is not true about the commodity. In particular, TV commercials and advertisements claim the goods to be very different from what they actually are. They cheat large masses of people by making use of every trick to convince and deceive when promoting their commodity.
"Cleanliness in Islam" - Remzi Kuscular
More than Religion
Representative democracy may be the greatest social and political experiment in the history of the world. But it is an ever-evolving experiment. These days there is a tendency to regard American democracy as the model for all the world's democracies, and in some ways this is true. The seeds of democracy may have been sown in ancient Greece, but it is in American soil that they sprouted and flourished. Yet precisely for this reason, only in America is American democracy possible; it cannot be isolated from American traditions and values.
The fact is that the vast majority of the more than one billion Muslims in the world readily accept the fundamental principles of democracy. Thanks to the efforts of Modernists like Muhammad Abdu, most Muslims have appropriated the language of democracy into Islamic terms, recognizing shura as popular representation, ijma as political participation, bay'ah as universal suffrage. Democratic ideals such as constitutionalism, government accountability, pluralism, and human rights are widely accepted throughout the Muslim world. What is not necessarily accepted, however, is the distinctly Western notion that religion and the state should be entirely separate, that secularism must be the foundation of a democratic society.
Islam, as Sayyid Qutb aptly noted, has always been more than religion; it is, in al-Afghani's observation, civilization. It is the dynamic conviction that a person's spiritual and worldly responsibilities are one and the same, that an individual's duty to the community is indistinguishable from his or her duty to God. From the creation of the first Islamic civil order in Medina, Islam has endeavored not merely to prevent vice but to encourage virtue, not merely to satisfy the needs of the people but to satisfy the will of God. And since a state can be considered democratic only insofar as it reflects its society, if the society is founded upon a particular set of values, then must not its government be also?
"No god but God" - Reza Aslan, pp. 258, 259