A Constructive Unified Society
The unity of mankind is conceived in the light of the common parentage of Adam and Eve. Every human being is a member of the universal family established by them, and is entitled therefore to enjoy the common benefits as he is enjoined to share the common responsibilities. When people realize that they all belong to Adam and Eve and that these were the creation of Allah, there will be no room for racial prejudice or social injustice or second-class citizenship. People will be united in their social behavior as they are united in nature by the bond of common parentage. The unity of humanity is not only in its origin but also in its ultimate aims. According to Islam, the final goal of humanity is Allah. From Him we come, for Him we live and to Him we shall all return. In fact, the sole purpose of creation as described by the Qur’an is to worship Allah and serve His cause, the cause of truth and justice, of love and mercy, of brotherhood and morality.
With this unity of origin and ultimate goal as the background of the social life in Islam, the relations between the individual and society are based. The role of the individual is complementary to that of society. Between the two there are social solidarity and mutual responsibility.
The individual is responsible for the common welfare and prosperity of his society. This responsibility is not only to the society but also to Allah. In this way the individual works with a sound social-mindedness and genuine feeling of inescapable responsibility. It is his role to do the utmost for his society and contribute to its common welfare.
On the other hand, the society is also responsible to Allah for the welfare of the individual. When the individual is able he is the contributor and society is the beneficiary. In return he is entitled to security and care, should he become disabled. In this case he is the beneficiary and society is the contributor. So duties and rights correspond harmoniously. Responsibility and concern are mutual. There is no state to dominate the individual and abrogate his personal entity. Likewise, there is no individual or class of individuals to exploit the society and corrupt the state. There is harmony with peace and mutual security. There is a constructive interaction between the individual and society.
Besides the unity of humanity in origin and ultimate goal, and besides this mutual responsibility and concern, the social life of Islam is characterized by cooperation in goodness and piety. It is marked with full recognition of the individual and his sacred rights to life, property and honor. It is also marked with an effective role played by the individual in the domain of social morals and ethics.
In an Islamic society the individual cannot be indifferent. He is enjoined to play an active part in the establishment of sound social morals by way of inviting to the good and combating evil in any form with all lawful means at his disposal.
In so doing, not only does he shun evil and do good but also helps others to do the same. The individual who feels indifferent to his society is a selfish sinner; his morals are in trouble, his conscience is in disorder, and his faith is undernourished.
The structure of social life in Islam is very comprehensive.
Among the substantial elements of this structure are sincere love for one’s fellow human beings, mercy for the young, respect for the elders, comfort and consolation for the distressed, visiting the sick, relieving the grieved, genuine feelings of brotherhood and social solidarity; respect for the rights of other people to life, property, and honor; mutual responsibility between the individual and society. It is a common thing to come across Prophetic sayings that entreat us to fulfill our social obligations: “Whoever relieves a human being from a grief of this world, Allah will relieve him from a grief on the Day of Judgment.”
“None of you is a true believer in Islam until and unless he loves for his fellow man what he loves for his own self.”