بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Islamic Shariah, Not the Human Mind, Defines Morals
Pope Francis has blasted the “backwardness” of some conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church, saying they have replaced faith with ideology and that a correct understanding of Catholic doctrine allows for change over time. Francis’ comments were an acknowledgment of the divisions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has been split between progressives and conservatives who long found support in the doctrinaire papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. The 86-year-old Argentine acknowledged this point, saying there was “a very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” in the U.S. church, which he called “backward.”
The people in Europe rose against the oppression of the Church. After many protracted wars secularism, the separation of Church from state, and the separation of religion from the management of man's affairs in life, took firm roots as an ideology amongst them. Effectively, besides surrendering its political position, the Church also surrendered its authority to define what is moral, and what is not. Religion first gave way to the so-called natural law, and eventually to what the people desired. Sensual pleasures and carnal desires became self-styled rationality and the basis for moral standards. Hundreds of years have passed since the so-called Renaissance, and yet Western philosophers, after losing their anchorage in religion, continue to try to articulate what they construe as their morality. This is itself a testament to them having no morality at all.
Morals cannot be acquired for the sake of benefit, as one cannot seek or aim to acquire benefit from morals. Such a practice will necessarily produce the express result that morals are corrupted and make them revolve around benefit. A person who views morals as being built on pursuit of a benefit is a hypocrite, who portrays a false character, while concealing his or her true nature. This is because morals built on benefit revolve around interests. Western civilization conceived rules and laws to revolve around a cause, benefit, resulting in an explicit outcome that rules are defied if the cause, the benefit linked to it, ceased to exist. That is what the world has witnessed in the colonial and neo-colonial periods. Three continents had their population exterminated and the other two saw unparalleled cruelties, such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, slavery, racial supremacy, world wars, use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, concentration camps, wholesale starvation, incarceration and economic sanctions on nations. All such atrocities were justified by the West’s moral standards.
The West even justified the early 20th century horror of the killing of millions of Congolese people, when the punishment for failing to meet the rubber collection quota set by the Belgium government, was death. In the 23 years (1885-1908) Leopold II ruled the Congo, he massacred 10 million Africans by cutting off their hands and genitals, flogging them to death, starving them into forced labor, holding children ransom, and burning villages.
The West has developed a deceptively potent approach where ideas are banned or censored, or are refused access to the society, by labelling them with exclusionary terms. This deception is instead of delving deep into investigating their intellectual merits. For this purpose, a particular idea or practice is declared as old. Then the general preference of people for newer things is exploited to reject this idea. The objective is to stop people from accepting, or rejecting, an idea on its intellectual merits, or demerits. Instead only those ideas are allowed to enter the society, which the Western ruling establishment deem appropriate and acceptable.
As an example, women covering their awrah is declared an old practice and the alternative attitude is presented as modern, reform-oriented, or enlightened. Hence, the people will identify one group as conservative, fundamentalist, backward, or close-minded and the other as progressive and forward looking. The aim is to side-step the original question, which is, who is empowered to decide what is right and wrong and what is lawful or unlawful; the limited human mind and human experience, or the All-Knowing All-Mighty Creator, Allah (swt)?
The sad reality in the West is that after surrendering religion to the human mind, the highest authority in Christianity, Pope Francis, is complaining that his congregation is not accepting the depraved and degenerate behaviors, articulated by the modern materialist forces. Some Muslims who are bedazzled and overawed by Western civilization, have been envious of the surrender of the Christian Church to the materialist forces and have demanded similar reforms for Islam. Indeed, Allah (swt) warned us about moving away from what is revealed and following the desires of people. Allah (swt) said,
(وَأَنِ ٱحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ وَٱحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنۢ بَعْضِ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا۟ فَٱعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًۭا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَفَـٰسِقُونَ)
“We order you to judge between them according to what Allah has sent down. Do not follow their desires, and beware of them, lest they should turn you away from some of what Allah has sent down to you. If they turn away, be assured that Allah intends to make them suffer for some of their sins. Surely, many of the people are sinners.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maaidah 5:49].
Today the Western social setup has become diseased to the point that it is tearing Western societies apart. The stench of moral decay in the West is causing all people, with the slightest sensibility acquired through scripture, to refuse the filth that is being forced upon their families and loved ones, under the garb of freedoms, championed by Western philosophers. Whether it is the transgender chaos, sexual deviancy, or extramarital debauchery, Western societies are at the brink of disintegration.
Allah (swt) has declared the Ummah of our Master Muhammad (saw) as the best people because they rescue people from deviation and oppression. Allah (swt) said,
(كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ ءَامَنَ أَهْلُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًۭا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ ٱلْفَـٰسِقُونَ)
“You are the best ‘Ummah ever raised for mankind. You bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and you believe in Allah. If the people of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them, there are believers, while most of them are sinners.” [TMQ Surah Aali Imran 3:110].
Islam provides a contrary position to morals from what the West espouses. Muslims do not abide by morals simply because they benefit or harm them in life. Instead, they do so in response to the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt). With this understanding, the characterization of good morals is constant and unwavering. Morals are attributes that man must be characterized with, freely and willingly, through the incentive of taqwa (the fear of Allah (swt).
The correct approach is that an idea is judged based on its origin and its creed. Any idea that makes man revere another fellow man, as happens in Capitalism and Communism, is reversing human dignity and is against human nature. Either it is the democratic majority, or the Communist Party, whose decisions and viewpoints become sacred. These ideologies, their intellectual leadership, and the behavior they produce are backward and negative. Only Islam and its intellectual leadership is forward-looking because Islam allows human beings to submit to their Creator, the One that is the Most-Magnificent, Most-Exalted, Greatest, and the Most Majestic, Allah (swt).
Islam, when implemented by the Khilafah state and when the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood takes the Dawah of Islam to rest of the world, will restore the dignity of the human beings and restore humanity to the status of Allah’s best creation. Allah (swt) said,
[لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ فِىٓ أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍۢ] “We have created man in the best composition.” [TMQ Surah At-Tin 95:4]. And Allah (swt) said,
[وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ وَحَمَلْنَـٰهُمْ فِى ٱلْبَرِّ وَٱلْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَـٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَفَضَّلْنَـٰهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍۢ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًۭا]
“And We bestowed dignity on the children of Adam and provided them with rides on the land and in the sea, and provided them with a variety of good things and made them much superior to many of those whom We have created.” [TMQ Surah Al-Israa 17:70].
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Engineer Mohammad Akmal – Wilayah Pakistan