Qur'aanic code of Life

IT IS A MATTER OF FAITH WITH EVERY MUSLIM that the Qur'aan is a complete code of life. One can attain the highest purpose in this life as well as the Hereafter, and also enjoy the benefits of peace and tranquillity by following the Qur'aan faithfully. This is a claim which needs to be explained in great detail. Voluminous books have been written on this subject. The purpose of this article is to discuss briefly only the more important aspects of this code.

The glorious Qur'aan itself epitomised in four brief words the code of life which it enjoins upon mankind for its salvation. It says, The decision belongs to none but Allah. (6:57)

This is the first, yet the most vital as well as the most comprehensive clause of the Qur'aanic code of life, and ipso facto encompasses Qur'aanic teachings and precepts concerning each and every aspect of human life. It follows, therefore, that whosoever wishes to be guided by the way of life shown by the Qur'aan will have to accept as a matter of faith the concept that sovereignty and supreme authority of the universe belongs only to Allah, and all his votaries should bow their heads in submission to all His Commands. Allah's Sovereignty is so supreme, pervasive and eternal that the authority and power of worldly rulers can bear no comparison to it. For instance, the worldly rulers govern only the visible actions of human beings, and have no control over their secret lives. Therefore there is no man-made law anywhere in the world which can regulate a man's secret life, and conduct his behaviour and the working of his mind. On the other hand Allah's Sovereignty omniscience encompasses all aspects of human life, from his open and visible action to his conduct and behaviour as well as what passes in the remote recesses of his heart and mind. Not a breath of human life is out of His Reach. In consequence, it is expected that an individual, whether in power or in public life, whether in the company of his family members or in solitude should regard himself subject to the Will of Allah in all aspects of his life, whether they be in his words and deeds or in thinking and views. One should have total faith in the verse,
"Verily one will be answerable for everything-the ears, the eyes and the heart." (17:36)

Therefore, the command given by Allah through the Qur'aan and His Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam maybe divided into five major headings as follows:

  1. Belief
  2. Worship / Rituals
  3. Dealings
  4. Social Obligations
  5. Morality

  1. Under the heading 'Beliefs',  Allah has taught some fundamental truths, and their understanding and acceptance for a proper comprehension of the purpose of man's creation. For instance, Unity of Allah (Tawheed), Prophethood (Risaalat), the Hereafter (Aakhirat), Predestination (Taqdeer), Angels (Malaa'ikah) and such other basic Islaamic beliefs not only constitute acceptance of the metaphysical truths but also lead to the serene and contended worldly life. Once these beliefs take roots in one's heart, and one starts believing that the real power in the universe belong only to Allah the Almighty, and that he is constantly and incessantly watching all our utterances and deeds, and that one will be answerable for each and every act before Him, then automatically one feels revulsion for evil and gets drawn closer towards good deeds gradually.
  2. The second heading is 'Worship', which includes Salaat, Sawm, Hajj, Zakaat and sacrifice of animals. The purpose of all these rituals is to develop a special relationship and tie with Allah, the Almighty. Through 'beliefs' man accepts certain things as eternal truths and 'worship' enable them to take such a firm root in his heart and soul that in time they lead to total faith in, and adoration of Allah. Human nature craves that man should love adore his Creator and Master, bow before Him, call him in his miseries and sufferings and surrender himself completely to His Will. These 'worships( then, by satisfying his natural instinct, give him a spiritual joy. As a result of this he does not accept Allah's Supreme Authority as something forced upon him but voluntarily with eager love and devotion. And in a state of extreme love and devotion he calls out, "My prayer, my offering, my life and my death are for Allah the Lord of al the worlds " (6:162) '
  3. The third heading of the Qur'aanic code of life is 'Dealings' i.e. such dealing which a man carries out with other men in his daily life. These dealings include trading, employment., industrial and agricultural transactions as well as day to day sales and purchases. Under this heading Islaam has prescribed very elaborate and comprehensive rules. The source of all these rules is the following verse from the noble Qur'aan, O those who believe, do not eat up each others property by false means, unless it be trade with your mutual consent. (4:29)

  4.  In this verse, Allah has discredited for all times the materialistic mentality, which justifies for material advantage anything whether right or wrong. This type of thinking regards money making (by any means) as the right of an individual. Allah has ordained that earning a living is not only permitted for men but also obligatory, but its parameters have to be prescribed by Allah. You are permitted to strive for your economic betterment while remaining in the parameter set out by Allah, which he has declared lawful (halaal). Any other means of earning a living outside the prescribed limits are wrong and unlawful. If you have accepted the Sovereignty of Allah then you must abstain from adapting those means, no matter how much material gain they might bring. Allah ta'aalaa has given, through Qur'aanic injunctions and the sayings of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, complete details of permitted and prohibited means of earning livelihood. All such means and methods have been declared unlawful and are banned which might even remotely deceive others or where there is chance of injustice, or which may benefit only a section of society at the cost of others. In consequence, in a society which faithfully follows the injunctions of the Qur'aan and Sunnah in its dealings with others there would neither be exploitation of man by man as in the capitalist system, nor would there be any deprivation of one's lawful and natural rights, as in the case of socialist / communist system. Without going in to detail, yet to provide an idea, it will suffice to point out that only one-fourth of the injunctions of Qur'aan and Sunnah which the Fuqahaa have compiled in the form of science of Fiqh (jurisprudence) comprises of ‘worship' and the other three-fourths cover 'dealings’.

  5. The fourth heading of Qur'aanic code of life is 'Social Obligations' which deals with man's activities in his daily life as an individual, such as eating, drinking, dressing, sleeping, etc. At the same time his behaviour and obligations towards others, e.g. parents, wife, children, brothers, sisters, relations, friends, acquaintances and others are also defined. This is a very vast subject in itself on which considerable literature is available. However, the basic principle governing this aspect is elucidated by Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam in his saying, "A Muslim is he whose tongue and hand do not harm another Muslim."

  6. The gist of this saying is that no one should cause any harm to others by any deeds, action or utterance. All social obligations preached by Islaam revolve round this basic principle. As such Qur'aan and Sunnah have forbidden all such deeds and actions which might cause harm to other fellow beings. According to Qur'aanic verse, harming an individual is like harming the entire humanity. The Qur'aan says, Whoever kills a person, not (to retaliate) for a person killed nor (to punish) for spreading disorder in the earth, is as if he has killed the whole mankind. (5:32 )
    Soorah Hujuraat of the noble Qur'aan specially emphasises the injunctions on social obligations, which prohibits in very strong terms backbiting, violence, derision and ridicule.

  7. The fifth and the last heading of the Qur'aanic code of life is 'Morality. Under this heading some very sensitive issues of human nature have been touched upon, which despite being very delicate make a deep impact on human life. Fact of the matter is that whatever one does in one's outward life is a reflection of his inner character. Therefore the noble Qur'aan has provided injunctions related to inner character in great detail. It has been made incumbent upon man to practice humility, sacrifice, manliness, generosity, courage, forbearance and other noble attributes, and keep away from evil habits of arrogance, egotism, anger, jealousy, hatred, animosity, miserliness, cowardice, haste etc. It is not an easy thing to mould one's life so as to conform fully with the precepts prescribed by Allah, and people cannot be expected to follow them merely by teaching. Hence, as the noble Qur'aan has explained, Allah sent His Messengers in this world to demonstrate and teach morality to people by personal example. After the Messengers, the task was taken up by their true followers. Therefore it is the duty of every Muslim to seek company of the genuine followers of the Messengers in order to receive practical training in Islaamic morality The glorious Qur'aan commands, O you who believe, fear Allah, and be in the company of the truthful. (9:119)
  8. Therefore the best way to get practical training in morality is that one should seek and adopt the company of those who are already trained and adorned with a high degree of morality.

May Allah grant His Divine Help so as to enable us to follow and practice the Qur'aanic code of conduct as it calls for, and may He bestow on us its benefits fully, both in this world and in the Hereafter. Aameen.

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