Islamic Laws

Islam: The Universal Legislation for Mankind

From our aforementioned general and all-embracing look at the beings, including man, the following important facts of this vast universe and life can be inferred:
• Unity of Origin- Allah, the Exalted.
• Unity of Creation- comprising numerous parts.
• Unity of Order- governing the Universe.
• Unity of Goal- direction towards Allah.
Through this vision of unity and oneness, we come to realize the necessity of man’s submission and connection to this principle, the principle of the unity of Origin, Creation, Order and Goal. Man has but to enter the circle embracing the whole existence, and he will be in harmony with the Divine Religion which forms the Order and the Goal in the shape of laws which take into consideration all his existence and diverse activities:

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[45:18] Then We have made you follow a course in the affair, therefore follow it, and do not follow the low desires of those who do not know.
While discussing universal unity and the need for a natural canon for man to govern his activities, organize his relations and give shape to his personal contents in behavior and action, we should make distinction between a voluntary adherence to that canon, and a compulsory and material submission to it.
Man is completely free, and has full power but in order to organize his social life he has to submit to this universal canon based on the nature of his existence. By accepting and following this Divine Order, man would be expressing his contents and the possibilities, activities, innovations, perfection and other symptoms of animation in ways adapted to his own free will.
In other words, man can formulate his activities, by voluntary practice of this sound legislative plan and undertake an orderly construction of the framework of his life by charting its welfare and high objectives, among other things in the world.
This legislative plan should be a canon which coincides, in its principles and goals, with man’s inborn nature, feelings and needs, encompassing and organizing them all and providing him with prosperity and happiness.
The Islamic canon is thus a legislative molding of the laws of life and human nature. It consequently becomes:

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[30:30] Then set your face upright for religion in the right state– the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know—

شَرَعَ لَكُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۚ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ يُنِيبُ

[42:13] He has made plain to you of the religion what He enjoined upon Nuh and that which We have revealed to you and that which We enjoined upon Ibrahim and Musa and Isa that keep to obedience and be not divided therein; hard to the unbelievers is that which you call them to; Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns (to Him), frequently.

وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

[6:153] And (know) that this is My path, the right one therefore follow it, and follow not (other) ways, for they will lead you away from His way; this He has enjoined you with that you may guard (against evil).
Stages of the Existence of Law
The proof that Islam is the answer for mankind’s universal legislation, and that it is the formula uncovering the law of human nature, is based on the facts that there are in this human existence certain rules and regulations which govern and mold it, without which there would be nothing, except chaos, confusion, futility and corruption.
If we trace the stages of the appearance of law and its role in human life we realize that like other natural laws it appears in three existing forms in this world, which are as follows:
1. The Objective Form.
2. The Scientific Form.
3. The Process of Formulating Laws.
The Objective Form
Human laws have an objective form that governs the mental, psychological and material being of man. It is a self- subsistent form, as are the natural material rules which govern the order of the world of matter in their reality, independence, correlation, arrangement of their results and efforts, etc. For example, thinking has certain rules which it follows and has its own laws, rules and goals which control its movements. Likewise the whole human body composed of diverse parts, has its own laws, rules, goals and needs, which control its activities.
Similar are the social, economic and political relations which are also subject to their relevant rules and laws which affect their results.
The Scientific Form
This is the rational stage of the laws and facts which control human life. During this stage science discovers these laws and derives from them their subjects, as we derive grammatical, physical and astronomical rules from these very subjects and applications.
The Process of Formulating Laws
This is the process of the verbal construction and expressing the meanings of the laws and their aims in words easily understood by man, so that he may accordingly plan his life and organize his individual and social conducts and activities.
Thus these three stages of legislation in their true forms are possible only for the Creator of the existence. Since He is the Creator of man as well as the laws and regulations and is fully aware of every detail about their facts and truthfully expresses them. Unlike a human being whose knowledge and ability is limited in discovering and defining the natural laws of life. Furthermore, man cannot be regarded sincere and objective in his dealing with the laws. He falsifies them to suit his own selfish interests, or in the interests of other groups as the case may be, and thus he does not define legality in its scientific and objective forms.
There are numerous examples proving this human frailty. For instance when man discovered the harms of alcoholic drinks, adultery, usury trade monopolies and the like, he prohibited none of them in utter disregard to the proven scientific facts. On the contrary, he resorted to sophisticated means to conceal the actual truth.
Therefore, leaving the task of judgment and legislation to Allah alone is the only way of saving man from doom beau. Allah the Creator is the only One Who knows all the hidden secrets of mankind and life:

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

[67:14] Does He not know, Who created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware.
Allah alone is able to communicate what He wants to by means of the best possible way understandable to mankind. The way of the prophets and the divine revelation to them, disclosed in explicit verbal forms that are clear in meaning and implication. This was actually what had been preached throughout the course of history by all the Divine Laws and Messages:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ ۖ فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

[14:4] And We did not send any messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; then Allah makes whom He pleases err and He guides whom He pleases and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

[14:1] Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission from utter darkness into light– to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One,

إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا

[17:9] Surely this Quran guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward.
Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (AS) drawing our attention to these facts has rightly remarked: “The Qur’an is a covenant of Allah to His creatures. A Muslim will have to look into His covenant, and read from it fifty verses (at least) a day.” 1
From this starting point, the Qur’an draws a picture of the nature of the Divine Law revealed through the Prophets, showing that it is the existential fact coinciding with the nature of the human -being. It also discloses to us the gross unfitness of other laws, rules or regulations (man-made), which vainly try to define life and its order, contrary to the nature of man and life, or in other words these laws are not applicable unless life and nature itself is changed. Thus we can safely conclude that this religion is the Divine decision that suits the nature and innate disposition of man as well as its multi-sided construction, as Allah, the Exalted, says:

وَذَٰلِكُمْ ظَنُّكُمُ الَّذِي ظَنَنْتُمْ بِرَبِّكُمْ أَرْدَاكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

[41:23] And that was your (evil) thought which you entertained about your Lord that has tumbled you down into perdition, so are you become of the lost ones.

وَاتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ ۖ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ مِنْ دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا

[18:27] And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, there is none who can alter His words; and you shall not find any refuge besides Him.

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

[6:115] And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَسْأَلُوا رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۗ وَمَنْ يَتَبَدَّلِ الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ

[2:108] Rather you wish to put questions to your Messenger, as Musa was questioned before; and whoever adopts unbelief instead of faith, he indeed has lost the right direction of the way.

وَلَوِ اتَّبَعَ الْحَقُّ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ لَفَسَدَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ ۚ بَلْ أَتَيْنَاهُمْ بِذِكْرِهِمْ فَهُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِهِمْ مُعْرِضُونَ

[23:71] And should the truth follow their low desires, surely the heavens and the earth and all those who are therein would have perished. Nay! We have brought to them their reminder, but from their reminder they turn aside.
The above – mentioned verses of the Qur’an help mankind to perceive the truth, by clearing the mist of blindness from the eyes, and pushing aside from the intellect any doubts of illusion and ignorance, which would have misled man to imagine that he is able to devise laws and canons according to his wishes and desires. It makes him realize that an off-hand and extempore law however minutely designed cannot solve his problems nor organize his diverse activities and individual and social relations, in harmony with his natural existence.
This is because Secular Laws are not based on rational foundations, nor have they a truthful reality behind them, except man’s imaginations and illusions.
For example, if we ask the Secular Legislator: Why do you impose a fine or a year’s imprisonment for a certain crime? Is this penalty based on the basis of a strict balance and calculation such as that the punishment imposed, is actual to crime, according to the legislative equation? Did you study its graveness and its effect on the social reality or its psychological reaction acting as a restraint, and is a just decision keeping the balance among the parties concerned? On what grounds did you build your decision, conclusion and penalty for this particular crime?
Should we put such questions to him? lie would not be able to give us scientifically satisfactory answers, and we would come to realize that lie talks nothing but nonsense, makes laws without a true Justice or reasonable argument, completely unaware that by doing so, lie is generating an artificial being in the system of life contrary to the logic of justice and contradicting the very principles of existence.
Such misfit laws, cause negative effects on humanity and upset the universal balance of truthfulness and justice on whose very basis every truth in this world has been erected.

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

[3:18] Allah bears witness that there is no god but He, and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, maintaining His creation with justice; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise.

وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

[6:116] And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.
1. Al-Bavan fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an, page 4

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