Category Archives: Prof. Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque

Establishment of Nourishment System (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

Implementional Strategies Slamming New Intrusions and Old Obsessions

When will the Nourishment System, the Quraan provides, be established? This is a question often asked to those who present the teachings of the Quraan for the proliferation of this System. The askers of this question make hurry, want it to be established within no time, express their restlessness and agony for the delay and ultimately cast twinkling shadows of doubt and speculation. They forget that the society we dwell is fraught with corruption throughout its wharf and web and has become a permanent source of dingy and monotonous anguish to those who yearn for the establishment of such a System. The stark fact is that this class of people, longing to establish this System, though work to the best of its potential, does hardly meet the bare basic necessities of the life of its family. This state of affairs makes the heart of the pals of the Quraan adversely throb and pulsate all the more and tends to shatter the very tender feelings operating with tender process of its being. Although the remedy to this malaise is none else but the establishment of this System, yet the intrinsic difficulty is that this System can not be established on individual basis. The basic demand to meet its establishment -so that the basic necessities of the life of all the individuals are met satisfactorily – is that the means of production be collectively at the command of those managing and running the State affaires. If those at the helm of affairs concede to it, the establishment of this System, the Quranic Mission, can no longer be hampered or delayed.

Ours is a constitutional time and changes can be wrought through constitutional process. Today this process is being carried out through out this entire globe and provides another alternate for its establishment. All what can be done is that the concept of this Nourishment System along with all of its means and end products be popularized in the State to such an extent that it may gush forth as a core demand from the masses. And then these masses may elect those legislative members whose hearts synchronize –from the recesses of their heart and mind -with the veracious springs of this divine System. These members after being elected may become dedicated to legislate for implementing this System in practical and pragmatic modes.

Those longing to establish this System of Nourishment usually put forth another idea that those having concurrence to this System may execute it on their own at a micro-level -within their own dwelling/village. They suggest that the strategic measures needed to be adopted for this purpose would be that those very Quraanic pals may perk this System in a miniature form within their own dwellings and then lead their life in line with the demands of this System. To me this is absolutely not a new and unique strategic measure; it has never been found practicable. The inherent factor impeding its execution is that only those would join hand in this idea among whom 90% of the population would be comprising of have-nots who hardly have their both hands meet with their hard earnings. And the remaining 10% would be of those who may perhaps be able to meet their basic necessities of life or may have some surplus yield. Here, I would like to shred away this misgiving and would make it clear that this 10%, having surplus money would hardly join hands in the establishment of this System. Now reflect deeply how this System would work when:

(a)    Those joining this System have their earnings very hard to meet their own basic necessities of life and

(b)   Those having more than what they need do not join this System.

And if this group of 10% joins this System, they would experience another inherent and almost insurmountable difficulty for the establishment of this System. They would have to operate this System with the mutual consent and agreement of their family members. At present this concurrence of the family members – of their children, of their spouses and of other associates – would be very difficult to seek if not impossible. The demand to run this System smoothly and effectively is that they must all harmonize with the hone of this thought – without commanding their hearty co-operation, this System cannot run productively even for a single day. There is still another psychologically inherent deterring factor pin-pointed by Eric Fromm. It is: “As long as everybody wants to have more, there must be formulations of classes, there must be class war, and in global terms, there must be international war. Greed and peace preclude each other.” This phenomenon would operate clandestinely and would mar this System. Still other impediment, the greatest of all, is the idea of constituting a separate party within the nation for its implementation. But to me it pervades smell of factionalism within the nation and is diametrically opposite to the teachings of the Quraan. All that opposes the teaching of the Quraan would never facilitate the proper working of this very System.

There is still another objection raised to the implementation of this System by constitution. They say that if this System were enforced by constitution, it would be a sort of compulsion imposed on the Muslims. They would have to concede to this specific System against their wishes. How can this mode of implementation be justifiable? But the question is whether or not this is the confirmed system of Islam, the balanced way of life. If it is un-Islamic in nature, the very inkling of conceding to this System from the core of ones heart is farce, is absolutely baseless, is wrong and erroneous. What to speak of its establishment by constitution of the country! On the contrary, it would be mandatory for the Islamic Order to nip it right in the bud. The more it is aired to brood, the more its noose is tightened. But if this system is in line with Islam, its enforcement by constitution can never be termed compulsion on the Muslims. Any one calling oneself as a Muslim has to concede to and opt for every decision that is Islamic in nature and scope. There are many examples in Islam. Being Muslim, for example, one has to refrain from taking wine, from stealing, from telling a lie, from eating all that is sacrificed on the name other than Allah, from everything that intoxicates thinking faculties of the humans etc. Acting upon these is not a compulsion of any sort. It is simply a synchronization of what the System of Islam demands. It would not mean a compulsion on those Muslims who do not wish to refrain from these Quraanic paradigms. It is necessary for the Muslims to mould their life according to the mores and cores of the Quraanic decisions. The option open to those not conceding to it is that they are free to opt for any other religion. Hence the establishment of this System, – the Economic System of the Quran – the Nourishment System of the Quraan – can never be termed as compulsion on the Muslim community.

This reality must be made crystal clear to the Muslims that the Nourishment System is the proposed system of the Quraan and its establishment is exactly the basic necessity of Islam. But it must be understood that its establishment is not an end in itself. It is but one aspect of Islam. The focus of the call projecting the teachings of the Quraan is to present Islam again in its pristine and original form to the world. It is the spread of that Islam which has been transformed as a coined religion of the human mind in lieu of Allah’s bestowed way of life. It is the proliferation of that Islam which has been buried under the deep crusts of man-made ideas, philosophies, theories, beliefs, customs and rituals. If Deen, the System of life, is reflected to replenish in the forefront of the present Muslim community, the establishment of this Nourishment System would be its natural consequence. At this stage, the greatest impediment to its establishment is the man-made “religion”. Today the proliferation of the call of the Quraan is breaking the shackles. The day will come when this world glows with the light of the divine teachings of the Quran.

Now reflect deeply how the world is undergoing transformations. Take one example. In the medieval society, as in many other highly developed as well as primitive societies, economic behavior were determined by ethical principles. But through a number of steps eighteenth century capitalism underwent a radical change: economic behavior became separate from ethics and the human values. What happened then? Our spirit of conquest and hostility blinded us to the fact that natural resources have their limits and can eventually be exhausted, and that nature will fight back against human rapaciousness. And now economic changes are possible only if fundamental changes in the values and attitudes of man occur (Erich Fromm: To Have Or To Be, 2000). This brings us to the fact that survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart to be transformed according to what the permanent values enshrined in the Quraan demand. Work to the best of our potentials and share according to our needs This is what the Quraan intends to spread. And so the need of this System of Nourishment and hence the strategies slamming new intrusions and old obsessions.

Implementional Strategies Slamming New Intrusions and Old Obsessions

When will the Nourishment System, the Quraan provides, be established? This is a question often asked to those who present the teachings of the Quraan for the proliferation of this System. The askers of this question make hurry, want it to be established within no time, express their restlessness and agony for the delay and ultimately cast twinkling shadows of doubt and speculation. They forget that the society we dwell is fraught with corruption throughout its wharf and web and has become a permanent source of dingy and monotonous anguish to those who yearn for the establishment of such a System. The stark fact is that this class of people, longing to establish this System, though work to the best of its potential, does hardly meet the bare basic necessities of the life of its family. This state of affairs makes the heart of the pals of the Quraan adversely throb and pulsate all the more and tends to shatter the very tender feelings operating with tender process of its being. Although the remedy to this malaise is none else but the establishment of this System, yet the intrinsic difficulty is that this System can not be established on individual basis. The basic demand to meet its establishment -so that the basic necessities of the life of all the individuals are met satisfactorily – is that the means of production be collectively at the command of those managing and running the State affaires. If those at the helm of affairs concede to it, the establishment of this System, the Quranic Mission, can no longer be hampered or delayed.

Ours is a constitutional time and changes can be wrought through constitutional process. Today this process is being carried out through out this entire globe and provides another alternate for its establishment. All what can be done is that the concept of this Nourishment System along with all of its means and end products be popularized in the State to such an extent that it may gush forth as a core demand from the masses. And then these masses may elect those legislative members whose hearts synchronize –from the recesses of their heart and mind -with the veracious springs of this divine System. These members after being elected may become dedicated to legislate for implementing this System in practical and pragmatic modes.

Those longing to establish this System of Nourishment usually put forth another idea that those having concurrence to this System may execute it on their own at a micro-level -within their own dwelling/village. They suggest that the strategic measures needed to be adopted for this purpose would be that those very Quraanic pals may perk this System in a miniature form within their own dwellings and then lead their life in line with the demands of this System. To me this is absolutely not a new and unique strategic measure; it has never been found practicable. The inherent factor impeding its execution is that only those would join hand in this idea among whom 90% of the population would be comprising of have-nots who hardly have their both hands meet with their hard earnings. And the remaining 10% would be of those who may perhaps be able to meet their basic necessities of life or may have some surplus yield. Here, I would like to shred away this misgiving and would make it clear that this 10%, having surplus money would hardly join hands in the establishment of this System. Now reflect deeply how this System would work when:

(a)    Those joining this System have their earnings very hard to meet their own basic necessities of life and

(b)   Those having more than what they need do not join this System.

And if this group of 10% joins this System, they would experience another inherent and almost insurmountable difficulty for the establishment of this System. They would have to operate this System with the mutual consent and agreement of their family members. At present this concurrence of the family members – of their children, of their spouses and of other associates – would be very difficult to seek if not impossible. The demand to run this System smoothly and effectively is that they must all harmonize with the hone of this thought – without commanding their hearty co-operation, this System cannot run productively even for a single day. There is still another psychologically inherent deterring factor pin-pointed by Eric Fromm. It is: “As long as everybody wants to have more, there must be formulations of classes, there must be class war, and in global terms, there must be international war. Greed and peace preclude each other.” This phenomenon would operate clandestinely and would mar this System. Still other impediment, the greatest of all, is the idea of constituting a separate party within the nation for its implementation. But to me it pervades smell of factionalism within the nation and is diametrically opposite to the teachings of the Quraan. All that opposes the teaching of the Quraan would never facilitate the proper working of this very System.

There is still another objection raised to the implementation of this System by constitution. They say that if this System were enforced by constitution, it would be a sort of compulsion imposed on the Muslims. They would have to concede to this specific System against their wishes. How can this mode of implementation be justifiable? But the question is whether or not this is the confirmed system of Islam, the balanced way of life. If it is un-Islamic in nature, the very inkling of conceding to this System from the core of ones heart is farce, is absolutely baseless, is wrong and erroneous. What to speak of its establishment by constitution of the country! On the contrary, it would be mandatory for the Islamic Order to nip it right in the bud. The more it is aired to brood, the more its noose is tightened. But if this system is in line with Islam, its enforcement by constitution can never be termed compulsion on the Muslims. Any one calling oneself as a Muslim has to concede to and opt for every decision that is Islamic in nature and scope. There are many examples in Islam. Being Muslim, for example, one has to refrain from taking wine, from stealing, from telling a lie, from eating all that is sacrificed on the name other than Allah, from everything that intoxicates thinking faculties of the humans etc. Acting upon these is not a compulsion of any sort. It is simply a synchronization of what the System of Islam demands. It would not mean a compulsion on those Muslims who do not wish to refrain from these Quraanic paradigms. It is necessary for the Muslims to mould their life according to the mores and cores of the Quraanic decisions. The option open to those not conceding to it is that they are free to opt for any other religion. Hence the establishment of this System, – the Economic System of the Quran – the Nourishment System of the Quraan – can never be termed as compulsion on the Muslim community.

This reality must be made crystal clear to the Muslims that the Nourishment System is the proposed system of the Quraan and its establishment is exactly the basic necessity of Islam. But it must be understood that its establishment is not an end in itself. It is but one aspect of Islam. The focus of the call projecting the teachings of the Quraan is to present Islam again in its pristine and original form to the world. It is the spread of that Islam which has been transformed as a coined religion of the human mind in lieu of Allah’s bestowed way of life. It is the proliferation of that Islam which has been buried under the deep crusts of man-made ideas, philosophies, theories, beliefs, customs and rituals. If Deen, the System of life, is reflected to replenish in the forefront of the present Muslim community, the establishment of this Nourishment System would be its natural consequence. At this stage, the greatest impediment to its establishment is the man-made “religion”. Today the proliferation of the call of the Quraan is breaking the shackles. The day will come when this world glows with the light of the divine teachings of the Quran.

Now reflect deeply how the world is undergoing transformations. Take one example. In the medieval society, as in many other highly developed as well as primitive societies, economic behavior were determined by ethical principles. But through a number of steps eighteenth century capitalism underwent a radical change: economic behavior became separate from ethics and the human values. What happened then? Our spirit of conquest and hostility blinded us to the fact that natural resources have their limits and can eventually be exhausted, and that nature will fight back against human rapaciousness. And now economic changes are possible only if fundamental changes in the values and attitudes of man occur (Erich Fromm: To Have Or To Be, 2000). This brings us to the fact that survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart to be transformed according to what the permanent values enshrined in the Quraan demand. Work to the best of our potentials and share according to our needs This is what the Quraan intends to spread. And so the need of this System of Nourishment and hence the strategies slamming new intrusions and old obsessions.

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Establishment of Nourishment System (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

Implementional Strategies Slamming New Intrusions and Old Obsessions

When will the Nourishment System, the Quraan provides, be established? This is a question often asked to those who present the teachings of the Quraan for the proliferation of this System. The askers of this question make hurry, want it to be established within no time, express their restlessness and agony for the delay and ultimately cast twinkling shadows of doubt and speculation. They forget that the society we dwell is fraught with corruption throughout its wharf and web and has become a permanent source of dingy and monotonous anguish to those who yearn for the establishment of such a System. The stark fact is that this class of people, longing to establish this System, though work to the best of its potential, does hardly meet the bare basic necessities of the life of its family. This state of affairs makes the heart of the pals of the Quraan adversely throb and pulsate all the more and tends to shatter the very tender feelings operating with tender process of its being. Although the remedy to this malaise is none else but the establishment of this System, yet the intrinsic difficulty is that this System can not be established on individual basis. The basic demand to meet its establishment -so that the basic necessities of the life of all the individuals are met satisfactorily – is that the means of production be collectively at the command of those managing and running the State affaires. If those at the helm of affairs concede to it, the establishment of this System, the Quranic Mission, can no longer be hampered or delayed.

Ours is a constitutional time and changes can be wrought through constitutional process. Today this process is being carried out through out this entire globe and provides another alternate for its establishment. All what can be done is that the concept of this Nourishment System along with all of its means and end products be popularized in the State to such an extent that it may gush forth as a core demand from the masses. And then these masses may elect those legislative members whose hearts synchronize –from the recesses of their heart and mind -with the veracious springs of this divine System. These members after being elected may become dedicated to legislate for implementing this System in practical and pragmatic modes.

Those longing to establish this System of Nourishment usually put forth another idea that those having concurrence to this System may execute it on their own at a micro-level -within their own dwelling/village. They suggest that the strategic measures needed to be adopted for this purpose would be that those very Quraanic pals may perk this System in a miniature form within their own dwellings and then lead their life in line with the demands of this System. To me this is absolutely not a new and unique strategic measure; it has never been found practicable. The inherent factor impeding its execution is that only those would join hand in this idea among whom 90% of the population would be comprising of have-nots who hardly have their both hands meet with their hard earnings. And the remaining 10% would be of those who may perhaps be able to meet their basic necessities of life or may have some surplus yield. Here, I would like to shred away this misgiving and would make it clear that this 10%, having surplus money would hardly join hands in the establishment of this System. Now reflect deeply how this System would work when:

(a)    Those joining this System have their earnings very hard to meet their own basic necessities of life and

(b)   Those having more than what they need do not join this System.

And if this group of 10% joins this System, they would experience another inherent and almost insurmountable difficulty for the establishment of this System. They would have to operate this System with the mutual consent and agreement of their family members. At present this concurrence of the family members – of their children, of their spouses and of other associates – would be very difficult to seek if not impossible. The demand to run this System smoothly and effectively is that they must all harmonize with the hone of this thought – without commanding their hearty co-operation, this System cannot run productively even for a single day. There is still another psychologically inherent deterring factor pin-pointed by Eric Fromm. It is: “As long as everybody wants to have more, there must be formulations of classes, there must be class war, and in global terms, there must be international war. Greed and peace preclude each other.” This phenomenon would operate clandestinely and would mar this System. Still other impediment, the greatest of all, is the idea of constituting a separate party within the nation for its implementation. But to me it pervades smell of factionalism within the nation and is diametrically opposite to the teachings of the Quraan. All that opposes the teaching of the Quraan would never facilitate the proper working of this very System.

There is still another objection raised to the implementation of this System by constitution. They say that if this System were enforced by constitution, it would be a sort of compulsion imposed on the Muslims. They would have to concede to this specific System against their wishes. How can this mode of implementation be justifiable? But the question is whether or not this is the confirmed system of Islam, the balanced way of life. If it is un-Islamic in nature, the very inkling of conceding to this System from the core of ones heart is farce, is absolutely baseless, is wrong and erroneous. What to speak of its establishment by constitution of the country! On the contrary, it would be mandatory for the Islamic Order to nip it right in the bud. The more it is aired to brood, the more its noose is tightened. But if this system is in line with Islam, its enforcement by constitution can never be termed compulsion on the Muslims. Any one calling oneself as a Muslim has to concede to and opt for every decision that is Islamic in nature and scope. There are many examples in Islam. Being Muslim, for example, one has to refrain from taking wine, from stealing, from telling a lie, from eating all that is sacrificed on the name other than Allah, from everything that intoxicates thinking faculties of the humans etc. Acting upon these is not a compulsion of any sort. It is simply a synchronization of what the System of Islam demands. It would not mean a compulsion on those Muslims who do not wish to refrain from these Quraanic paradigms. It is necessary for the Muslims to mould their life according to the mores and cores of the Quraanic decisions. The option open to those not conceding to it is that they are free to opt for any other religion. Hence the establishment of this System, – the Economic System of the Quran – the Nourishment System of the Quraan – can never be termed as compulsion on the Muslim community.

This reality must be made crystal clear to the Muslims that the Nourishment System is the proposed system of the Quraan and its establishment is exactly the basic necessity of Islam. But it must be understood that its establishment is not an end in itself. It is but one aspect of Islam. The focus of the call projecting the teachings of the Quraan is to present Islam again in its pristine and original form to the world. It is the spread of that Islam which has been transformed as a coined religion of the human mind in lieu of Allah’s bestowed way of life. It is the proliferation of that Islam which has been buried under the deep crusts of man-made ideas, philosophies, theories, beliefs, customs and rituals. If Deen, the System of life, is reflected to replenish in the forefront of the present Muslim community, the establishment of this Nourishment System would be its natural consequence. At this stage, the greatest impediment to its establishment is the man-made “religion”. Today the proliferation of the call of the Quraan is breaking the shackles. The day will come when this world glows with the light of the divine teachings of the Quran.

Now reflect deeply how the world is undergoing transformations. Take one example. In the medieval society, as in many other highly developed as well as primitive societies, economic behavior were determined by ethical principles. But through a number of steps eighteenth century capitalism underwent a radical change: economic behavior became separate from ethics and the human values. What happened then? Our spirit of conquest and hostility blinded us to the fact that natural resources have their limits and can eventually be exhausted, and that nature will fight back against human rapaciousness. And now economic changes are possible only if fundamental changes in the values and attitudes of man occur (Erich Fromm: To Have Or To Be, 2000). This brings us to the fact that survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart to be transformed according to what the permanent values enshrined in the Quraan demand. Work to the best of our potentials and share according to our needs This is what the Quraan intends to spread. And so the need of this System of Nourishment and hence the strategies slamming new intrusions and old obsessions.

Implementional Strategies Slamming New Intrusions and Old Obsessions

When will the Nourishment System, the Quraan provides, be established? This is a question often asked to those who present the teachings of the Quraan for the proliferation of this System. The askers of this question make hurry, want it to be established within no time, express their restlessness and agony for the delay and ultimately cast twinkling shadows of doubt and speculation. They forget that the society we dwell is fraught with corruption throughout its wharf and web and has become a permanent source of dingy and monotonous anguish to those who yearn for the establishment of such a System. The stark fact is that this class of people, longing to establish this System, though work to the best of its potential, does hardly meet the bare basic necessities of the life of its family. This state of affairs makes the heart of the pals of the Quraan adversely throb and pulsate all the more and tends to shatter the very tender feelings operating with tender process of its being. Although the remedy to this malaise is none else but the establishment of this System, yet the intrinsic difficulty is that this System can not be established on individual basis. The basic demand to meet its establishment -so that the basic necessities of the life of all the individuals are met satisfactorily – is that the means of production be collectively at the command of those managing and running the State affaires. If those at the helm of affairs concede to it, the establishment of this System, the Quranic Mission, can no longer be hampered or delayed.

Ours is a constitutional time and changes can be wrought through constitutional process. Today this process is being carried out through out this entire globe and provides another alternate for its establishment. All what can be done is that the concept of this Nourishment System along with all of its means and end products be popularized in the State to such an extent that it may gush forth as a core demand from the masses. And then these masses may elect those legislative members whose hearts synchronize –from the recesses of their heart and mind -with the veracious springs of this divine System. These members after being elected may become dedicated to legislate for implementing this System in practical and pragmatic modes.

Those longing to establish this System of Nourishment usually put forth another idea that those having concurrence to this System may execute it on their own at a micro-level -within their own dwelling/village. They suggest that the strategic measures needed to be adopted for this purpose would be that those very Quraanic pals may perk this System in a miniature form within their own dwellings and then lead their life in line with the demands of this System. To me this is absolutely not a new and unique strategic measure; it has never been found practicable. The inherent factor impeding its execution is that only those would join hand in this idea among whom 90% of the population would be comprising of have-nots who hardly have their both hands meet with their hard earnings. And the remaining 10% would be of those who may perhaps be able to meet their basic necessities of life or may have some surplus yield. Here, I would like to shred away this misgiving and would make it clear that this 10%, having surplus money would hardly join hands in the establishment of this System. Now reflect deeply how this System would work when:

(a)    Those joining this System have their earnings very hard to meet their own basic necessities of life and

(b)   Those having more than what they need do not join this System.

And if this group of 10% joins this System, they would experience another inherent and almost insurmountable difficulty for the establishment of this System. They would have to operate this System with the mutual consent and agreement of their family members. At present this concurrence of the family members – of their children, of their spouses and of other associates – would be very difficult to seek if not impossible. The demand to run this System smoothly and effectively is that they must all harmonize with the hone of this thought – without commanding their hearty co-operation, this System cannot run productively even for a single day. There is still another psychologically inherent deterring factor pin-pointed by Eric Fromm. It is: “As long as everybody wants to have more, there must be formulations of classes, there must be class war, and in global terms, there must be international war. Greed and peace preclude each other.” This phenomenon would operate clandestinely and would mar this System. Still other impediment, the greatest of all, is the idea of constituting a separate party within the nation for its implementation. But to me it pervades smell of factionalism within the nation and is diametrically opposite to the teachings of the Quraan. All that opposes the teaching of the Quraan would never facilitate the proper working of this very System.

There is still another objection raised to the implementation of this System by constitution. They say that if this System were enforced by constitution, it would be a sort of compulsion imposed on the Muslims. They would have to concede to this specific System against their wishes. How can this mode of implementation be justifiable? But the question is whether or not this is the confirmed system of Islam, the balanced way of life. If it is un-Islamic in nature, the very inkling of conceding to this System from the core of ones heart is farce, is absolutely baseless, is wrong and erroneous. What to speak of its establishment by constitution of the country! On the contrary, it would be mandatory for the Islamic Order to nip it right in the bud. The more it is aired to brood, the more its noose is tightened. But if this system is in line with Islam, its enforcement by constitution can never be termed compulsion on the Muslims. Any one calling oneself as a Muslim has to concede to and opt for every decision that is Islamic in nature and scope. There are many examples in Islam. Being Muslim, for example, one has to refrain from taking wine, from stealing, from telling a lie, from eating all that is sacrificed on the name other than Allah, from everything that intoxicates thinking faculties of the humans etc. Acting upon these is not a compulsion of any sort. It is simply a synchronization of what the System of Islam demands. It would not mean a compulsion on those Muslims who do not wish to refrain from these Quraanic paradigms. It is necessary for the Muslims to mould their life according to the mores and cores of the Quraanic decisions. The option open to those not conceding to it is that they are free to opt for any other religion. Hence the establishment of this System, – the Economic System of the Quran – the Nourishment System of the Quraan – can never be termed as compulsion on the Muslim community.

This reality must be made crystal clear to the Muslims that the Nourishment System is the proposed system of the Quraan and its establishment is exactly the basic necessity of Islam. But it must be understood that its establishment is not an end in itself. It is but one aspect of Islam. The focus of the call projecting the teachings of the Quraan is to present Islam again in its pristine and original form to the world. It is the spread of that Islam which has been transformed as a coined religion of the human mind in lieu of Allah’s bestowed way of life. It is the proliferation of that Islam which has been buried under the deep crusts of man-made ideas, philosophies, theories, beliefs, customs and rituals. If Deen, the System of life, is reflected to replenish in the forefront of the present Muslim community, the establishment of this Nourishment System would be its natural consequence. At this stage, the greatest impediment to its establishment is the man-made “religion”. Today the proliferation of the call of the Quraan is breaking the shackles. The day will come when this world glows with the light of the divine teachings of the Quran.

Now reflect deeply how the world is undergoing transformations. Take one example. In the medieval society, as in many other highly developed as well as primitive societies, economic behavior were determined by ethical principles. But through a number of steps eighteenth century capitalism underwent a radical change: economic behavior became separate from ethics and the human values. What happened then? Our spirit of conquest and hostility blinded us to the fact that natural resources have their limits and can eventually be exhausted, and that nature will fight back against human rapaciousness. And now economic changes are possible only if fundamental changes in the values and attitudes of man occur (Erich Fromm: To Have Or To Be, 2000). This brings us to the fact that survival of the human race depends on a radical change of the human heart to be transformed according to what the permanent values enshrined in the Quraan demand. Work to the best of our potentials and share according to our needs This is what the Quraan intends to spread. And so the need of this System of Nourishment and hence the strategies slamming new intrusions and old obsessions.

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Conflicts and Contradictions in Human Thought and the Approach to the Holy Quran (Prof. Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The Trail of human thought, from Grecian to the most recent time philosophers and scientists, is fraught with conflicts and contradictions. In the beginning, the universe in its nature, to the human thought, was simply a dune of inanimate clay.

Nature of Universe.

Now it is found that it is not such a heap of clay but a “pure movement” or “abstract energy” in its origin. It brought two questions to the human thought: what is the origin of the absolute energy; how the diversified fickleness and wondrously awe-inspiring novelties gushing forth? The human mind to these questions is still struck with awe and finds no head or tail of what he has discovered over years for understanding the nature of universe.

Life and Consciousness.

The human mind pondered over the nature of life and consciousness, and eventually concluded that it came out of itself merely on the basis of mechanistic process of its evolution from the organic matter, but when maturity prevailed over his experiments and experiences, he changed his mind and inferred that life and consciousness can never be the outcome of this mechanistic process; it has its origin somewhere else. Again the searching question to the mind was “where does lie its origin? The human thought till now finds no clue to it to go ahead.

Ethics: Good and Evil in Life.

The other questions flashed in the human mind were about the occurrence of the events: why does man labor under the vicissitudes of calamities and misfortunes? Why is he yoked in the well of life as an oppressed and suppressed person? Eventually what is his fault in case of failure? Why is evil let loose in the universe? Why does ‘good’ not prevail everywhere? What is, ultimately, the remedy to the human ills and misfortunes? He reflected deeply over these issues. But his insight was trapped when he found that the solution, he discovered was itself a riddle of a perplexing enigma. He searched for other pragmatic solutions but soon became disparaged and discouraged of what he had invented. Now his final analysis of the things is that “good” is what synchronizes permanent values and “evil” is what is discordant to these values. Here again new questions popped up: what are the permanent values? Why are these permanent? Where do these values come from? Unfortunately the human reason could not answer these questions. He is, at present, awfully wonder-struck at this point and finds no clues to these questions.

Politics: The Form of Governance.

Then this trail of human thought caught another question: when the man has to live his life socially on this biosphere, which form of governance be lived so that there be no wedges of human interests creating clashes and chaos among the contending groups of masses? It was confoundingly a confusing question to him. The human mind struggled days in and days out for its satisfactory solution but enchanted every time by the solutions he discovered he remained deceptively oligarchic. Now he is of the view that there should be a universal law operative in the universe under a single state of the whole of mankind. He had not moved further when other questions clasped his faculty: which would be the universal law that could entail satisfaction to the confronting and contradicting segregations of the human beings? From where would that law be made available? And what would be the pragmatic test of the fact that this law accomplished what it purports to accomplish? He is today wonder-struck standing and reclining at the crossroads of life he wants to live by.

Economics: Dissipation of Earnings.

Then, there came again another problem of the same similitude and magnitude: basic needs of human life are limited but the area of his rapacious desires and wants for more than what he needs abounds the very limits imposed on, then how could that be managed, so that the entrepreneurial aspect of the society is not hampered and consequently every body is provided with the necessities of life smoothly? Seemingly it was a basic problem to the human vision but its satisfying answer put the human thought in the whirlpool of chaos and confusion to the extent that though he spent a lot of his time and energy on its solution, it remained paradoxically a quagmire for the human intellect. The human faculty could neither solve it nor it was empowered potentially to solve it. Today the human reason is standing at the confounding crossroads where one school of thought says ‘depriving man of his hard earnings is an injustice to him’ and the second school of though roars ‘every one should work to the best of his potential and be given only what is enough for him to make his both ends meet’. The human reason is awe-struck on this crucial point and is probing the way to proceed righteously further and farther. This was the economic aspect of human life and reflected no exception to the multi-variate impediments the human reason has been confronting incessantly on the walk of life.

Internal Conflicts Within Man.

Though confused, man never forgot to exercise the option of his choice and will. In doing so he got trapped on way to his path where there was no external danger encountering him; it was only the will-o’-the-wisp clung to the apron of his intellect at every measure he suggested. It was his new adversary whom he did not understand. It was invisibly a plague to him and now, wherever he goes; it follows him advertently or inadvertently. This was both a melee and affray within human reason and his desires, and made human thought awfully peevish and petulant.

Mysticism or Religion.

To get rid of this affliction, he coined a series of arcane techniques but of no use. He became so confused of the hardened crust of the way of his life, the extended journey he traversed, the intensity of the conflicts he encountered and the difficulty of the new mixed metaphors in his life that he decided to bereave his own intellect and opt for something else, irrational and illogical, the taken-for-granted paradigm.

He, within the fold of his own vision close to the lap of an ice-covered mountain of reason and rhyme, saw an enchanting orchard bestowing shady groves, showering cold winds with peaceful calm rivulets and providing silence and solace with absolutely no sigh of any leaf. Enchantingly he jumped there and felt so sleepy that he forgot the spectrum of his own goal and destination he had been endeavouring so far. This fascinative, intoxicative, rapturous and solace-infusing orchard is the mysticism, which the tired philosophers of the West termed as religion and God. To human thought, this is now the ultimate consequence of the human conflicts and the final answer to all those questions, which have kept him, perplexed throughout the whole of his life career. This is the halt where the human vision has put up today.

Basic Infirmity of Human Thought.

But this is not the first halt in the life span of human thought where he has made this alluringly intoxicating envisioned garden the product of his life. So often this has happened earlier that whenever he confoundingly became tired of the hard realities and wearisome conflicts of life, he opted for escape. Mysticism (the other name of personal concept of God and religion) is the last resort to escapism. Even the history of human thought stands witness to this fact that the horn of tranquility has never been any cause of solace for a long period of time to the human thought. Now, after he passed the plateau of tiring mental activity, he has again started probing for virtuous satisfaction and real consolation; so the western philosopher, perplexed with the conflicting state of life today, is searching for the blissful solace in the garb of religion, which could not be any cause of satisfaction any longer. He would, in real sense again come out in the search of that ideal world where he hopes he might find the satisfying solution to those problems which have kept him in the state of agony, grief and restiveness for the whole of his life.

These are the multi-variate issues of human life for the solution of which the human thought has traversed such a long mental journey and these are the halts where he has stood today awe-struck, confounded and is wandering about in a depressed state of mind! He will again come forward and take initiative to start his mental traverse. This is not despising to him. On the contrary these trails of human thought are appreciative and facilitative. If you have to weigh and watch of what he brought, just visit the Negroes of Africa or America and Australia and the high sounding philosopher and inventing scientist in the contemporary world, the difference of the mental vision/horizon found in the mores and cores of these two segments of people would make it clear that all this has become possible only due to this tedious and long intellectual journey of the human thought, and this constant struggle is a thing of beauty as a joy for ever. But the basic infirmity of the human thought is that man proceeds on the axiom of hit and trial, coins a way for himself without knowing whether it would lead him to the destination sought or to the caverns of destruction and annihilation. But before reaching its farther end, he finds that cognizance of the ultimate reality is beyond the scope of human intellect. Hence man follows the way opened to him, faces dacoits and buccaneers, combats with the beasts of the jungle where the brutalities of wilderness in man, find blood streams gushing out during the clashes, and the humanity broken, tortured, exploited. But the human thought remains outpouring continuously. Sometimes it so happens that the way he has been moving to, leads to somewhere else he did not visualize earlier. These are the halts where the human thought reclines deadly tired and consequently the Western thought is now searching for these refuges like the ‘Rosicrucians’, the ‘mystics’, the ‘sages’, the ‘hermits’ folds at present.

The Problem in Real Sense.

The question is whether the human thought be left to itself to operate on the process of hit and trial or there is any other mechanism which leads the humanity to its goal of life. In other words: is he endowed with the faculty to really solve the problems compatibly to the urges of his life he has? If man has no other means leading him confidently and safely to his destination, there is no alternative except his own hit and trial mechanism and hence the calamities and disasters so encountered be faced bravely with perfect calm and patience. Compulsion has no remedy in the world. But if there is a way leading man to his destiny safe and sound, it would surely be a psychopath who would not prefer to follow it. This problem has become the real crux of the matter today.

The fact is that man is a finite being and the powers with which he is endowed are necessarily limited in scope. Human reason is no exception. It has serious limitations. But the glorious successes of reason led man to over-estimate its capacity: he expected that reason would give him absolute knowledge. When this expectation was not fulfilled, he became disillusioned with reason and went to the other extreme in rejecting reason outright and forgot that only a few aspects of reality are accessible to reason and reality has an infinity of aspects. There is also no denying the fact that human reason can subdue the forces of nature-the history has proved it-but this is also a stark fact that it cannot find by itself a satisfactory solution to the complexity of the problems of mankind, even its manifestations, the sciences, do not and cannot possibly help to solve these problems of human life. If a nation adopts a wrong course of action, it may be years before it begins to experience its effects because reason can legitimately function within its own sphere and ceases to be reliable the moment it steps beyond it. We can put it to the best only when we know what it can do and what it cannot.

As indicated earlier we are witnessing the violent reaction against reason today. After a long period of unquestioned supremacy, its authority was challenged from various quarters: mystics, philosophers, scientists, psychologists because according to them, the intellect is compelled to invent specious reasons to justify the irrational operations of unconscious desires. Reason functions according to the role one gives it.

In voyaging across the uncharted seas of existence, the man cannot depend solely on the fitful flickering light of reason. The Qur’an sets forth a sustaining practical program for this inviting enterprise-the reason-and corroborates that human reason acting in the light of Revelation enshrined in Qur’an cannot miss the right path.

Approach to the Qur’an.

For this purpose our first task is to understand the real meaning of the Qur’an with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. We can then proceed to assess the value of its teaching. How are we to test the truth and usefulness of the Qur’anic teaching? The Qur’an itself helps us to answer this question. It proposes three ways in which it may be tested and offers to abide by the results of these tests. It is significant that the tests proposed are all acceptable to reason. Nowhere is the supernatural invoked. The appeal is invariably to human reason and experience.

Before proceeding to consider the tests, let us recapitulate the teaching of the Qur’an. The Qur’an enjoins man to believe in God, to follow His laws, to believe in one’s own self, to love and serve his fellow-beings, to act in a virtuous manner so as to develop and express the best in him, and finally to believe in and prepare for the Hereafter. All these we are invited to test in the light of reason. Is there anything in this teaching that is repugnant to reason? No doubt it is possible to doubt the existence of God and the reality of the Hereafter. But then, it is also possible to doubt the existence of the world. There is no conclusive proof of the existence of objective world and some philosophers have argued, in all seriousness, that belief in such a world is unjustified. All that we can be sure of is the actual momentary sensation. In spite of philosophical arguments our belief in objective reality remains unshaken. Life pays little heed to the cobwebs of such philosophers. The point to bear in mind is that suprarational realities are not less real because they cannot be proved by logical arguments. In applying the rational test it is permissible to ask whether there is anything in the teaching, which runs counter to reason and to that part of human knowledge which commands universal acceptance. The question as to whether every element in it can be logically proved is inadmissible, because, the teaching, if it is to be true to its nature, cannot avoid reference to realities, which transcend reason. In this case, the rational test will take the form of determining whether or not the teaching is in direct conflict with reason and whether it furthers the interests of humanity. It is needless to say that the Qur’an has stood the test of reason and proved itself to be in harmony with the best in man:

Say (O Muhammad! To the unbelievers): I say not unto you (that) I possess the treasures of Allah, nor that I have knowledge of the unseen, and I say not unto you: Lo I am malak. I follow only that which is revealed to me.

Say: are the blind man and the seer equal? Will ye not then reflect on this? (The Qur’an 6:50, 11:24)

Secondly, the Qur’an invites people to judge it in the light of history. It asks them to ponder over the rise and fall of nations. It assures them that if they seek the causes of the downfall of a people, they will find that the people had contravened the principles of right conduct and permanent values, which were communicated to them by the Nabi of their age. Right belief and right conduct enable a nation to rise to power and wrong beliefs and actions lead to its downfall. Time and again the Qur’anic teaching, which confirms the teaching of earlier Anbiya, was put to the test and was found to be a trustworthy guide to the good life. People who rejected it and followed the wrong path inevitably fell into decay and were overtaken by a dreadful fate. The Qur’an advises men to pay attention to the facts of history in order to discover the difference between the ways of life of the nations, which flourished and prospered and those, which perished. It will be brought home to them that the latter cherished false and harmful beliefs and their conduct was not in harmony with the eternal laws of God:

But they deny the knowledge that they could not compass and whereof the final result had not come unto them. Even so did those then deny? Then see what were the consequences for the wrong-doers (The Qur’an 10:39).

Finally we come to the pragmatic test. The unbelievers are repeatedly urged to apply this test and satisfy themselves about the truth and value of the Qur’an. A tree is judged by the quality of its fruit and a creed by its effects on the life and conduct of men. The believers who had accepted the teaching and had regulated their lives in accordance with it, provided irrefutable evidence of its value to man. Their character had been transformed overnight. Formerly they were mean, selfish, quarrelsome, narrow-minded and self-centered caring only for petty gains. Afterwards, they were united in the pursuit of noble ends, were bound to each other by ties of love and affection, were kind and just to their enemies and lived up to the high ideals, which they professed. The Qur’an had brought into existence a new type of man- self-respecting, self-reliant, conscious of his worth and desirous of enhancing it and fired with the ambition to set up a better social order in the world. These men by their lives and actions testified to the value of the Qur’an, the spirit of which they had imbibed. The Nabi, Muhammad PBUH, was fully justified in pointing to these men as a living testimony for the truth of the faith he preached. The astounding effect of the faith on the life of man was the strongest proof of its truth and values:

Say: O my people! Work in your own way. I too am working. Thus ye will come to know for which of us will be the happy sequel. Lo! The wrong doers will not be successful (The Qur’an 6:136).

Such are tests, which the Qur’an desires to be applied. Even bitter critics will have to concede that the tests are crucial, practical and provocative.

Again and again the Qur’an exhorts man to think and think hard. The man who uses his reason is held up to admiration:

The blind man is not equal with the seeing, nor is darkness equal to light, nor is the shadow equal with the sun’s refulgence; nor are the living equal with the dead (The Qur’an 35:19-22).

Those who think rightly can find the light of knowledge and can discover the path that leads to success:

Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed (The Qur’an 39:9).

Again:

Surely those who strive for Us, We guide them to our ways, and verily Allah is with those who lead a balanced life of goodness (The Qur’an 29:69).

The Believers (Mo’minin), according to the Qur’an, are:

Those who, when the revelations of their Rabb are presented to them, do not fall thereat deaf and blind (The Qur’an 25:73).

This is Iman! Not to accept even God’s revelations as the deaf and the blind.

Cosmic Process.

At present discussion emerges out of the question: why the Qur’anic Social Order which assures a peaceful, prosperous and glorious life to mankind has not been established anywhere in the world, not even in any Muslim state, although the Divine Guidance, enshrined in the Holy Qur’an, has been with us for fourteen centuries. The answer corroborative of the phenomenon is that cosmic process is slow, very slow when measured by serial or historic time. The point requires further elucidation. Evolutionary changes take place in the outer universe automatically, according to Divine plan, and by stages, each involving thousand and thousand of years to accomplish. This is cosmic process. In the case of man, however, this process works in a somewhat different way. Man (and here we mean man not travelling in the light of Divine guidance) when pressed by circumstances to modify any existing state of affairs, adopts a course which he thinks the best, works on it strenuously day in and day out, but finds at the end that the course adopted was wrong. He abandons it and embarks upon another course. This he has to repeat time and again. Often he feels exhausted during the course of his journey and leaves the experiment incomplete in dire frustration. Even when he reaches his destination, the labor involved and the time spent do not commensurate with the results achieved-the span of human life is so short and the distance to be traversed so lengthy. This process of “trial and error” is another form of cosmic process. Man has, however, not been left in wilderness to find his way out, un-aided by a guide or without any signposts on his way. He has been blessed with Divine guidance. If he adopts the course suggested by it straightaway, not only is he protected against pitfalls but the time taken to reach the goal also shrinks from cosmic reckoning to human calendar. Fourteen hundred years ago, a group of believers made this experiment most successfully, which, apart from the miraculous results it produced, proved that neither the Qur’anic Social Order was a utopia nor the program laid down to establish it was unworkable. Their later generations, however, abandoned that course; with the result that they met the same fate as did the past nations who acted similarly. (This, by the way, is the negative proof of the efficacy of the Divine Law governing the rise and fall of nations). The Divine course is still there and can be taken up by any nation who wished to reach human destination safely and within the shortest possible time:

Say: The truth from your Rabb is there; so let whosoever will accept, and let whosoever will reject (The Qur’an 18:29).

So why to waste time and shed blood! That nation will survive which strives to assure for all men a life of happiness, peace and prosperity. Armed might, control over the forces of nature and wealth will not avail a nation if its policies are detrimental to the interest of mankind. It is bound to pass away, for

Only that remains which is beneficial for mankind as a whole (The Qur’an 13:17).

REFERENCES

1. Berdeau: The Divine and the Human
2. Brend: Foundations of Human Conflict
3. Buber, Martin: Between Man and Man
4. Cobban, Alfred: The Crisis of Civilization
5. Haldan, J.S.: The Philosophical Basis of Biology
6. Hill, A.V.: The Physical Reasonableness of Life
7. Johnson, R.F.: Confucianism and Modern China
8. Kierkegaard: The Present Age
9. Moore, Thomas: Personal Mental Hygiene
10. Paul, Leslei: Annihilation of Man
11. Parvez, G.A.: What Man Has Thought (Urdu Version)
12. Parvez, G.A.: Islam a Challenge to Religion
13. Simpson, G.G.: The Meaning of Evolution
14. Time-Special Issue: The New Age of Discovery, January, 1998
15. Toynbee, Arnold J.: The World and the West
16. Turner, H.H.: Introduction to the Foundations of Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation.

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Conflicts and Contradictions in Human Thought and the Approach to the Holy Quran (Prof. Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The Trail of human thought, from Grecian to the most recent time philosophers and scientists, is fraught with conflicts and contradictions. In the beginning, the universe in its nature, to the human thought, was simply a dune of inanimate clay.

Nature of Universe.

Now it is found that it is not such a heap of clay but a “pure movement” or “abstract energy” in its origin. It brought two questions to the human thought: what is the origin of the absolute energy; how the diversified fickleness and wondrously awe-inspiring novelties gushing forth? The human mind to these questions is still struck with awe and finds no head or tail of what he has discovered over years for understanding the nature of universe.

Life and Consciousness.

The human mind pondered over the nature of life and consciousness, and eventually concluded that it came out of itself merely on the basis of mechanistic process of its evolution from the organic matter, but when maturity prevailed over his experiments and experiences, he changed his mind and inferred that life and consciousness can never be the outcome of this mechanistic process; it has its origin somewhere else. Again the searching question to the mind was “where does lie its origin? The human thought till now finds no clue to it to go ahead.

Ethics: Good and Evil in Life.

The other questions flashed in the human mind were about the occurrence of the events: why does man labor under the vicissitudes of calamities and misfortunes? Why is he yoked in the well of life as an oppressed and suppressed person? Eventually what is his fault in case of failure? Why is evil let loose in the universe? Why does ‘good’ not prevail everywhere? What is, ultimately, the remedy to the human ills and misfortunes? He reflected deeply over these issues. But his insight was trapped when he found that the solution, he discovered was itself a riddle of a perplexing enigma. He searched for other pragmatic solutions but soon became disparaged and discouraged of what he had invented. Now his final analysis of the things is that “good” is what synchronizes permanent values and “evil” is what is discordant to these values. Here again new questions popped up: what are the permanent values? Why are these permanent? Where do these values come from? Unfortunately the human reason could not answer these questions. He is, at present, awfully wonder-struck at this point and finds no clues to these questions.

Politics: The Form of Governance.

Then this trail of human thought caught another question: when the man has to live his life socially on this biosphere, which form of governance be lived so that there be no wedges of human interests creating clashes and chaos among the contending groups of masses? It was confoundingly a confusing question to him. The human mind struggled days in and days out for its satisfactory solution but enchanted every time by the solutions he discovered he remained deceptively oligarchic. Now he is of the view that there should be a universal law operative in the universe under a single state of the whole of mankind. He had not moved further when other questions clasped his faculty: which would be the universal law that could entail satisfaction to the confronting and contradicting segregations of the human beings? From where would that law be made available? And what would be the pragmatic test of the fact that this law accomplished what it purports to accomplish? He is today wonder-struck standing and reclining at the crossroads of life he wants to live by.

Economics: Dissipation of Earnings.

Then, there came again another problem of the same similitude and magnitude: basic needs of human life are limited but the area of his rapacious desires and wants for more than what he needs abounds the very limits imposed on, then how could that be managed, so that the entrepreneurial aspect of the society is not hampered and consequently every body is provided with the necessities of life smoothly? Seemingly it was a basic problem to the human vision but its satisfying answer put the human thought in the whirlpool of chaos and confusion to the extent that though he spent a lot of his time and energy on its solution, it remained paradoxically a quagmire for the human intellect. The human faculty could neither solve it nor it was empowered potentially to solve it. Today the human reason is standing at the confounding crossroads where one school of thought says ‘depriving man of his hard earnings is an injustice to him’ and the second school of though roars ‘every one should work to the best of his potential and be given only what is enough for him to make his both ends meet’. The human reason is awe-struck on this crucial point and is probing the way to proceed righteously further and farther. This was the economic aspect of human life and reflected no exception to the multi-variate impediments the human reason has been confronting incessantly on the walk of life.

Internal Conflicts Within Man.

Though confused, man never forgot to exercise the option of his choice and will. In doing so he got trapped on way to his path where there was no external danger encountering him; it was only the will-o’-the-wisp clung to the apron of his intellect at every measure he suggested. It was his new adversary whom he did not understand. It was invisibly a plague to him and now, wherever he goes; it follows him advertently or inadvertently. This was both a melee and affray within human reason and his desires, and made human thought awfully peevish and petulant.

Mysticism or Religion.

To get rid of this affliction, he coined a series of arcane techniques but of no use. He became so confused of the hardened crust of the way of his life, the extended journey he traversed, the intensity of the conflicts he encountered and the difficulty of the new mixed metaphors in his life that he decided to bereave his own intellect and opt for something else, irrational and illogical, the taken-for-granted paradigm.

He, within the fold of his own vision close to the lap of an ice-covered mountain of reason and rhyme, saw an enchanting orchard bestowing shady groves, showering cold winds with peaceful calm rivulets and providing silence and solace with absolutely no sigh of any leaf. Enchantingly he jumped there and felt so sleepy that he forgot the spectrum of his own goal and destination he had been endeavouring so far. This fascinative, intoxicative, rapturous and solace-infusing orchard is the mysticism, which the tired philosophers of the West termed as religion and God. To human thought, this is now the ultimate consequence of the human conflicts and the final answer to all those questions, which have kept him, perplexed throughout the whole of his life career. This is the halt where the human vision has put up today.

Basic Infirmity of Human Thought.

But this is not the first halt in the life span of human thought where he has made this alluringly intoxicating envisioned garden the product of his life. So often this has happened earlier that whenever he confoundingly became tired of the hard realities and wearisome conflicts of life, he opted for escape. Mysticism (the other name of personal concept of God and religion) is the last resort to escapism. Even the history of human thought stands witness to this fact that the horn of tranquility has never been any cause of solace for a long period of time to the human thought. Now, after he passed the plateau of tiring mental activity, he has again started probing for virtuous satisfaction and real consolation; so the western philosopher, perplexed with the conflicting state of life today, is searching for the blissful solace in the garb of religion, which could not be any cause of satisfaction any longer. He would, in real sense again come out in the search of that ideal world where he hopes he might find the satisfying solution to those problems which have kept him in the state of agony, grief and restiveness for the whole of his life.

These are the multi-variate issues of human life for the solution of which the human thought has traversed such a long mental journey and these are the halts where he has stood today awe-struck, confounded and is wandering about in a depressed state of mind! He will again come forward and take initiative to start his mental traverse. This is not despising to him. On the contrary these trails of human thought are appreciative and facilitative. If you have to weigh and watch of what he brought, just visit the Negroes of Africa or America and Australia and the high sounding philosopher and inventing scientist in the contemporary world, the difference of the mental vision/horizon found in the mores and cores of these two segments of people would make it clear that all this has become possible only due to this tedious and long intellectual journey of the human thought, and this constant struggle is a thing of beauty as a joy for ever. But the basic infirmity of the human thought is that man proceeds on the axiom of hit and trial, coins a way for himself without knowing whether it would lead him to the destination sought or to the caverns of destruction and annihilation. But before reaching its farther end, he finds that cognizance of the ultimate reality is beyond the scope of human intellect. Hence man follows the way opened to him, faces dacoits and buccaneers, combats with the beasts of the jungle where the brutalities of wilderness in man, find blood streams gushing out during the clashes, and the humanity broken, tortured, exploited. But the human thought remains outpouring continuously. Sometimes it so happens that the way he has been moving to, leads to somewhere else he did not visualize earlier. These are the halts where the human thought reclines deadly tired and consequently the Western thought is now searching for these refuges like the ‘Rosicrucians’, the ‘mystics’, the ‘sages’, the ‘hermits’ folds at present.

The Problem in Real Sense.

The question is whether the human thought be left to itself to operate on the process of hit and trial or there is any other mechanism which leads the humanity to its goal of life. In other words: is he endowed with the faculty to really solve the problems compatibly to the urges of his life he has? If man has no other means leading him confidently and safely to his destination, there is no alternative except his own hit and trial mechanism and hence the calamities and disasters so encountered be faced bravely with perfect calm and patience. Compulsion has no remedy in the world. But if there is a way leading man to his destiny safe and sound, it would surely be a psychopath who would not prefer to follow it. This problem has become the real crux of the matter today.

The fact is that man is a finite being and the powers with which he is endowed are necessarily limited in scope. Human reason is no exception. It has serious limitations. But the glorious successes of reason led man to over-estimate its capacity: he expected that reason would give him absolute knowledge. When this expectation was not fulfilled, he became disillusioned with reason and went to the other extreme in rejecting reason outright and forgot that only a few aspects of reality are accessible to reason and reality has an infinity of aspects. There is also no denying the fact that human reason can subdue the forces of nature-the history has proved it-but this is also a stark fact that it cannot find by itself a satisfactory solution to the complexity of the problems of mankind, even its manifestations, the sciences, do not and cannot possibly help to solve these problems of human life. If a nation adopts a wrong course of action, it may be years before it begins to experience its effects because reason can legitimately function within its own sphere and ceases to be reliable the moment it steps beyond it. We can put it to the best only when we know what it can do and what it cannot.

As indicated earlier we are witnessing the violent reaction against reason today. After a long period of unquestioned supremacy, its authority was challenged from various quarters: mystics, philosophers, scientists, psychologists because according to them, the intellect is compelled to invent specious reasons to justify the irrational operations of unconscious desires. Reason functions according to the role one gives it.

In voyaging across the uncharted seas of existence, the man cannot depend solely on the fitful flickering light of reason. The Qur’an sets forth a sustaining practical program for this inviting enterprise-the reason-and corroborates that human reason acting in the light of Revelation enshrined in Qur’an cannot miss the right path.

Approach to the Qur’an.

For this purpose our first task is to understand the real meaning of the Qur’an with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. We can then proceed to assess the value of its teaching. How are we to test the truth and usefulness of the Qur’anic teaching? The Qur’an itself helps us to answer this question. It proposes three ways in which it may be tested and offers to abide by the results of these tests. It is significant that the tests proposed are all acceptable to reason. Nowhere is the supernatural invoked. The appeal is invariably to human reason and experience.

Before proceeding to consider the tests, let us recapitulate the teaching of the Qur’an. The Qur’an enjoins man to believe in God, to follow His laws, to believe in one’s own self, to love and serve his fellow-beings, to act in a virtuous manner so as to develop and express the best in him, and finally to believe in and prepare for the Hereafter. All these we are invited to test in the light of reason. Is there anything in this teaching that is repugnant to reason? No doubt it is possible to doubt the existence of God and the reality of the Hereafter. But then, it is also possible to doubt the existence of the world. There is no conclusive proof of the existence of objective world and some philosophers have argued, in all seriousness, that belief in such a world is unjustified. All that we can be sure of is the actual momentary sensation. In spite of philosophical arguments our belief in objective reality remains unshaken. Life pays little heed to the cobwebs of such philosophers. The point to bear in mind is that suprarational realities are not less real because they cannot be proved by logical arguments. In applying the rational test it is permissible to ask whether there is anything in the teaching, which runs counter to reason and to that part of human knowledge which commands universal acceptance. The question as to whether every element in it can be logically proved is inadmissible, because, the teaching, if it is to be true to its nature, cannot avoid reference to realities, which transcend reason. In this case, the rational test will take the form of determining whether or not the teaching is in direct conflict with reason and whether it furthers the interests of humanity. It is needless to say that the Qur’an has stood the test of reason and proved itself to be in harmony with the best in man:

Say (O Muhammad! To the unbelievers): I say not unto you (that) I possess the treasures of Allah, nor that I have knowledge of the unseen, and I say not unto you: Lo I am malak. I follow only that which is revealed to me.

Say: are the blind man and the seer equal? Will ye not then reflect on this? (The Qur’an 6:50, 11:24)

Secondly, the Qur’an invites people to judge it in the light of history. It asks them to ponder over the rise and fall of nations. It assures them that if they seek the causes of the downfall of a people, they will find that the people had contravened the principles of right conduct and permanent values, which were communicated to them by the Nabi of their age. Right belief and right conduct enable a nation to rise to power and wrong beliefs and actions lead to its downfall. Time and again the Qur’anic teaching, which confirms the teaching of earlier Anbiya, was put to the test and was found to be a trustworthy guide to the good life. People who rejected it and followed the wrong path inevitably fell into decay and were overtaken by a dreadful fate. The Qur’an advises men to pay attention to the facts of history in order to discover the difference between the ways of life of the nations, which flourished and prospered and those, which perished. It will be brought home to them that the latter cherished false and harmful beliefs and their conduct was not in harmony with the eternal laws of God:

But they deny the knowledge that they could not compass and whereof the final result had not come unto them. Even so did those then deny? Then see what were the consequences for the wrong-doers (The Qur’an 10:39).

Finally we come to the pragmatic test. The unbelievers are repeatedly urged to apply this test and satisfy themselves about the truth and value of the Qur’an. A tree is judged by the quality of its fruit and a creed by its effects on the life and conduct of men. The believers who had accepted the teaching and had regulated their lives in accordance with it, provided irrefutable evidence of its value to man. Their character had been transformed overnight. Formerly they were mean, selfish, quarrelsome, narrow-minded and self-centered caring only for petty gains. Afterwards, they were united in the pursuit of noble ends, were bound to each other by ties of love and affection, were kind and just to their enemies and lived up to the high ideals, which they professed. The Qur’an had brought into existence a new type of man- self-respecting, self-reliant, conscious of his worth and desirous of enhancing it and fired with the ambition to set up a better social order in the world. These men by their lives and actions testified to the value of the Qur’an, the spirit of which they had imbibed. The Nabi, Muhammad PBUH, was fully justified in pointing to these men as a living testimony for the truth of the faith he preached. The astounding effect of the faith on the life of man was the strongest proof of its truth and values:

Say: O my people! Work in your own way. I too am working. Thus ye will come to know for which of us will be the happy sequel. Lo! The wrong doers will not be successful (The Qur’an 6:136).

Such are tests, which the Qur’an desires to be applied. Even bitter critics will have to concede that the tests are crucial, practical and provocative.

Again and again the Qur’an exhorts man to think and think hard. The man who uses his reason is held up to admiration:

The blind man is not equal with the seeing, nor is darkness equal to light, nor is the shadow equal with the sun’s refulgence; nor are the living equal with the dead (The Qur’an 35:19-22).

Those who think rightly can find the light of knowledge and can discover the path that leads to success:

Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed (The Qur’an 39:9).

Again:

Surely those who strive for Us, We guide them to our ways, and verily Allah is with those who lead a balanced life of goodness (The Qur’an 29:69).

The Believers (Mo’minin), according to the Qur’an, are:

Those who, when the revelations of their Rabb are presented to them, do not fall thereat deaf and blind (The Qur’an 25:73).

This is Iman! Not to accept even God’s revelations as the deaf and the blind.

Cosmic Process.

At present discussion emerges out of the question: why the Qur’anic Social Order which assures a peaceful, prosperous and glorious life to mankind has not been established anywhere in the world, not even in any Muslim state, although the Divine Guidance, enshrined in the Holy Qur’an, has been with us for fourteen centuries. The answer corroborative of the phenomenon is that cosmic process is slow, very slow when measured by serial or historic time. The point requires further elucidation. Evolutionary changes take place in the outer universe automatically, according to Divine plan, and by stages, each involving thousand and thousand of years to accomplish. This is cosmic process. In the case of man, however, this process works in a somewhat different way. Man (and here we mean man not travelling in the light of Divine guidance) when pressed by circumstances to modify any existing state of affairs, adopts a course which he thinks the best, works on it strenuously day in and day out, but finds at the end that the course adopted was wrong. He abandons it and embarks upon another course. This he has to repeat time and again. Often he feels exhausted during the course of his journey and leaves the experiment incomplete in dire frustration. Even when he reaches his destination, the labor involved and the time spent do not commensurate with the results achieved-the span of human life is so short and the distance to be traversed so lengthy. This process of “trial and error” is another form of cosmic process. Man has, however, not been left in wilderness to find his way out, un-aided by a guide or without any signposts on his way. He has been blessed with Divine guidance. If he adopts the course suggested by it straightaway, not only is he protected against pitfalls but the time taken to reach the goal also shrinks from cosmic reckoning to human calendar. Fourteen hundred years ago, a group of believers made this experiment most successfully, which, apart from the miraculous results it produced, proved that neither the Qur’anic Social Order was a utopia nor the program laid down to establish it was unworkable. Their later generations, however, abandoned that course; with the result that they met the same fate as did the past nations who acted similarly. (This, by the way, is the negative proof of the efficacy of the Divine Law governing the rise and fall of nations). The Divine course is still there and can be taken up by any nation who wished to reach human destination safely and within the shortest possible time:

Say: The truth from your Rabb is there; so let whosoever will accept, and let whosoever will reject (The Qur’an 18:29).

So why to waste time and shed blood! That nation will survive which strives to assure for all men a life of happiness, peace and prosperity. Armed might, control over the forces of nature and wealth will not avail a nation if its policies are detrimental to the interest of mankind. It is bound to pass away, for

Only that remains which is beneficial for mankind as a whole (The Qur’an 13:17).

REFERENCES

1. Berdeau: The Divine and the Human
2. Brend: Foundations of Human Conflict
3. Buber, Martin: Between Man and Man
4. Cobban, Alfred: The Crisis of Civilization
5. Haldan, J.S.: The Philosophical Basis of Biology
6. Hill, A.V.: The Physical Reasonableness of Life
7. Johnson, R.F.: Confucianism and Modern China
8. Kierkegaard: The Present Age
9. Moore, Thomas: Personal Mental Hygiene
10. Paul, Leslei: Annihilation of Man
11. Parvez, G.A.: What Man Has Thought (Urdu Version)
12. Parvez, G.A.: Islam a Challenge to Religion
13. Simpson, G.G.: The Meaning of Evolution
14. Time-Special Issue: The New Age of Discovery, January, 1998
15. Toynbee, Arnold J.: The World and the West
16. Turner, H.H.: Introduction to the Foundations of Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation.

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The Quran’s Concept Of Self Integration: The Motive-Valance For Learning, Slamming New Intrusions, Old Obsessions (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The study examines the viability of human intellect through which the man has made many an awe-inspiring success and con­cludes that the inherent weakness underlying his ideals or his way of life has undermined his constructive genius and has brought a disastrous end to his efforts. The main reason attributed to his phenomenon is that the human intellect helps little because it is not aware of any source of knowledge other than itself. The man has been endeavouring to understand the nature of human self and to devise strategies for the development of human personality but has encountered numerous enigmas, threats and challenges. The Quran’s concept of NAFS has been identi­fied as human self. This not only solves the human riddle but also regulates it as a motive-valence for learning with (i) inbuilt operative laws shunning new intrusions and old obsessions; (ii) varied potentialities – Angelic and satanic; (iii) implications by un­locking the doors of human problems and unraveling all mys­teries of life; (iv) operational injunctions; and (v) the establishment of an epitome of the Quranic Social Order. This is all for living peacefully on this biosphere not on the doctrine of balance of power but on the mutual respect, for disciplining life within the boundary walls of permanent values embodied in the Qur’an, for the development of human self. That is the Quran’s Concept of self-integration, which has profusely been elaborated through this paper.

INTRODUCTION

The history of mankind stands as a living testimony to the fact that man has shown a remarkable constructive genius, having attained many an awe-inspiring success, now and then, despite occasional setbacks and natur­al catastrophes. But his constructive genius was always undermined by some inherent weakness underlying his ideals or his way of life, which ulti­mately brought about a disastrous end to his efforts. This paradox leads all thoughtful minds inescapably to the conclusion arrived at by Einstein: By painful experience we’ve learnt that rational thinking doesn’t suffice to solve the problems of our social life. Penetrating research and keen scientific work have often tragic implications for mankind, producing, on the one hand, inven­tions which liberated man from exhaustingly physical labour, making his life easier and richer; but on the other hand, introducing a grave restlessness into his life, making him a slave to his technological environment, and – most cata­strophic of all – creating the means for his own mass destruction. This, in­deed, is a tragedy of overwhelming poignancy. (Albert Einstein: Out of My Later Years, P. 152)

Human intellect helps little in this matter, because it isn’t aware of any source of knowledge other than itself, so it holds materialistic concept of life according to which a human being consists of body alone. He is born, brought up, eats, sleeps, and falls sick, procreates and then dies. This, in fact, is animal life (47:12, The Qur’an) for which he needs no divine guidance and, therefore, feels no necessity in having faith in life after death (45:34. The Qur’an). But the Qur’an holds that man isn’t merely a phy­sical being, he is composed of something else besides his body. It is human self, human personality, which isn’t inherited by man in a fully developed state, it exists in a latent form and its development is the ultimate goal of human life.

The growth of an individual’s physical existence is governed by cer­tain physical laws, but the development of his personality is subject to a different set of laws which have been given to mankind from time to time through Divine Revelation, and are now fully embodied in the Holly Qur’an.

NATURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY

What is the nature of human self? In the ancient and mediaeval philo­sophy, the self was synonymous with the soul, and the soul was believed to be an indestructible substance which existed before its temporary conjunc­tion with the material body and which survives the dissolution of the body. The notion of the soul was taken over from primitive thought and was re­fined and elaborated by philosophers. Aristotle was the only great philoso­pher who rejected this view and propounded a theory more in consonance with natural science. He regarded the soul as the entelechy of the body, and as it was the form of the body, it was also inseparable from it. The soul was thus placed squarely in the system of natural phenomena. How­ever for centuries after Aristotle, both scientists and philo­sophers unquestionably accepted the older view of an independent and supernatural soul. It was challenged only when modem science was well under way.

In the eighteenth century, the term, «Self», came into vogue. It had ad­vantage of being closer to nature than the term soul, which had a super-naturalistic flavour. The self was regarded as the subject of experience. It was regarded as free and not subject to natural laws. Hume delivered the coup de grace to the popular belief in an independent self and replaced it with empirical self as merely a succession of ideas, which are related to each other externally by virtue of existing in the same or successive states of con­sciousness. In the modern psychology the concept of personality has sup­planted the older concept of self.

The psychologist now studies the origin of personality and the process of its development as well as the process of its disintegration in abnormal cases. Personality is conceived not as an entity but as the form or pattern which the raw material of mind assumes when it was organized. The orga­nization of the instinctive urges, tendencies and capacities constitutes the biological equipment of the individual during the formative years of life.

According to this view two factors, the physiological and the social, de­termine the farther course of personality development. The physiologists hold that the hormones secreted by the endocrine glands play a decisive role in the growth and normal functioning of personality. The social psy­chologists tend to attach greater importance to the social milieu in which the human child grows up. Personality emerges through the process of socialization. The child internalizes the group code and the social norms which immediately begin to regulate this instinctive urges and motives. The group also assigns to him a particular role, and the child develops the capa­cities and gives free scope to the tendencies, which he meets for playing the role successfully.

According to this point of view, the individual plays a negligible role in his own development. He remains passive while society moulds him into the form that happens to enjoy social approval at the moment. The in­adequacy of this view is obvious: two children, brought up in the same so­cial environment, develop different types of personality.

According to psychologists’ view, personality develops as the result of the reactions of the individual itself. The important thing for personality isn’t the social influence to which the individual is exposed but the way, the process, in which he reacts to it. Man, therefore, doesn’t passively receive but actively acquires personality. The biological factor operating in man is of crucial importance for personality development. However, it will not act to disregard the social factor altogether. Man has, perforce, to accommo­date himself to the demands of the group on which he is dependent and which provides him with security and necessities of life. According to psy­chological theory, personality is the product of the interaction between the heredity constitution of man and his social milieu (Blum: Theories of Personality, 1961). The psychologists first analyze personality into traits and then dis­cover that each trait had a certain dimension. The combined result of these traits was termed as an overall picture of personality or personality profile (King: Reading for an Introduction to Psychology, 1961).

ENIGMAS, THREATS & CHALLENGES

The rich harvest of these results has little bearing on the question: what is it in man which impels him to embark, on the perilous and see­mingly desperate enterprise? From psychologists’ point of view, personality is the integration of the individual’s characteristics and motivational under­currents. This process begins in early childhood and proceeds, at first slowly, and then at an accelerated pace during adolescent until the emer­gence of the personality of the adult. Thereafter, too, personality continues to undergo at least some changes, though slight throughout the life of the individual. With senility, or through disease or traumatic experi­ence, a process in the reverse direction may set it. The process of disintegra­tion may lead to the splitting or even fragmentation of personality. Cases of dual and multiple personality have been observed and intensively studied by psychiatrists; therapeutic techniques have also been devised for reinte­grating the split personality. This all indicates that there is nothing substan­tial about personality as conceived by the psychologists who work from the surface of the mind downwards and often fail to plumb the depths of the human mind. What has been grasped so far is a mere shadow.

The modern man lives at a superficial level. He pursues petty and self­ish ends. Douglas Hurd, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, cautioning the UN General Assembly on the limitations of International peacekeeping has re­grettably said: «It is empty to imagine we can impose peace with justice on every disorder or dispute outside our borders» (Time, October 11, 1993, P. 8).

No wonder that the modern man is discontented and unhappy. His deepest cravings are left unsatisfied. Thus he is in conflict both with himself and with his fellow beings. In this connection, Iqbal’s remarks deserve to be quoted in full: « . . . wholly overshadowed by the results of his intellectual activity, the modem man has ceased to live soulfully i.e. from within. In the domain of thought he is living in open conflict with himself; and in the domain of economic and political life he is living in open conflict with others. He finds himself unable to control his ruthless egoism and his infinite gold hunger, which is gradually lulling all higher strivings in him and bringing him but life-weariness. Absorbed in the ‘Fact’ that is to say, the optically present source of sensation, he is entirely cut off from the unplumbed depths of his own beings» (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, P. 177). Its result is that the biosphere, today, is fraught with threats like:

  1. American Movies;
  2. Farm Exports often termed as American ukase;
  3. Currency speculations;
  4. Third World immigrants;
  5. Europeans Community’s increasing suspect as black pessimism rooting fears;
  6. Hard adjustment to a world in which encroachments of moderniza­tion and competition threaten the traditional way of life;
  7. Political clout and political chicanery;
  8. Cultural identity being at stake;
  9. Arrogance and boastfulness derived from military and material superiority; power and prowess based on scientific and technological pro­gress;
  10. Tyrannical exploitation of the weak, physically and economically; and
  11. Dividing the weak into opposing groups – infusing, infighting and domestic conflicts in Third World countries.

This all has resulted into numerous consequences. The most predomi­nant are:

  1. An upsurge of anti-Americanism with inbuilt ambivalent feelings about America;
  2. Overwhelming Choice of American images of modernity being foisted;
  3. Tons of tasteless ultra-products in agricultural factories throwing farmers out of work in other countries, destabilizing the society of those countries;
  4. Inclination to follow those powerful lobbies that potentate way­wardness and perversion setting barricades to the doctrines of permanent values embodied in the Qur’an. A Gallup poll conducted by CNN re­vealed that, in the sole surviving superpower, a little more than 22% men have declared themselves ‘gay’ and a little more than 7% women ‘lesbian’, the greater tragedy being that none of them has a sense of shame and that they’ve been openly agitating for the same respect and the same opportu­nities as are enjoyed by other normal citizens (Wafa: Lesson From Past Civilizations, Dawn, Karachi, October 15,1993).
  5. Economic collapse usually called the limping economy;
  6. Political chicanery;
  7. Guerilla style insurgency;
  8. Ethnic Rebellion termed Explosive Ethnic conflicts;
  9. Treat of force by the Superpower;
  10. Enforcement of Peace or Facilitation of Peace;
  11. New International Structure; and
  12. Human-embryo Cloning.

Very right did Mason put the remarks forth: «We began our era of scientific efficiency confidant that materialistic triumphs would solve life’s pro­blems. We are finding we were wrong. Life isn’t as simple as that» (Creative Freedom, P. 183-4). The graveyards of glorious old civilizations induce a thoughtful mood in sensitive spectators and caution them to pause for a while and reflect over this warning of the Qur’an: «Mind! Be ye not like the old woman who laboured hard to spin her yarn and then pulled it to pieces». (16:98, The Qur’an). But neither ancient civilizations nor the present ones are the work of thoughtless men. In fact, all the great civilizations are the manifestations of a highly developed crea­tive mind. But the potential drawback is that «For the scientist, there is only “being”, but not wishing, no valuing, no good, no evil, no goal». (Einstein: Out of My Later Years, P.I14). In his book, The Making of Humanity, Robert Briffault has brought out the root cause of the trouble clearly into focus when he said: «No system of human civilization that is false in its very principals, in its very foundation, can solve itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained, by any amount of superfi­cial adjustment and tinkering» (P.159). That is why the Universal Declara­tion of Human Rights, Article 26(20) proclaims: «Education should be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strength­ening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom» (P: 17).

Whether education in the world, in the 21st century, is actually being directed towards these goals? is the real question of the day.

THE QURANIC CONCEPT OF SELF

The term «self» is in closer correspondence with the Qur’anic term, «nafs» than any of the terms which have come into vogue so far. The Qur’an has used this word 255 times – NAFSUN 61 times and in other forms like ANFUSKUM 49 times, NAFSENE 40 times and NAFASUN 14 times. It has numerous meanings. Tajul Uroos writes that this word is used normally to denote the total personality of a person. It also means in­tellect, knowledge and mind. (Taj: Ibn-i-Faris). It is used for a person as well. It is further used to express greatness, superiority, courage, resolution, and punishment. It also means close relative, brotherly (Taj and Lis’anul Arab). It is also used in the meaning of blood, ‘NIF’ASN’ which pours out after the birth of a child (Taj). NAFASUN also means, ‘breath’ and its plural is AN-FASUN, Ibn-i-Faris says that its basic meanings are light and soft air. It also means a nice thing, which attracts a person.

The Qur’an has also used this word for a specific thing called, “Human Personality” or «Self». It has been used as a special term in the Qur’anic concept of Life which, in fact, is the base of Deen-ul-Islam. It doesn’t extinct with the body’s death. If it is developed, it can flourish in this life and survive even after death. Therefore, it needs to be nourished to enable it to develop according to the evolutionary process. This nourish­ment has to be according to the laws given from time to time by Allah to mankind through His Anbiya and now are fully contained in the Qur’an. It, therefore, is clear, that if one believes in «SELF» and its growth, one has to believe in Allah, His revelation «WAHI», the NUBU-WAT and life after death. The following characteristics of the self found in the Qur’an enable to form an adequate idea of the self, a just estimate of its capabilities and a constructive motive-valence for the process of learning:

  1. The self partakes of Reality and consequently enjoys permanence and stability. It retains its identity throughout its career. The trials, which it undergoes and the influences to which it is exposed, change it with­out transforming it into something different from itself. It starts its ca­reer in an undeveloped form but equipped with immense potentialities. It may or may not actualize these potentialities but it never ceases to be itself. It isn’t a passive material, which is moulded by external for­ces; it is essentially active & dynamic. Its typical activity is «DINI» ac­tivity in the highest sense of the term, viz., the development and actualizing of its basic characteristics, & thereby «drawing closer» to the Most Perfect Self, God, Whose attributes serve as an objective stan­dard for the human self, and thus tasting the joy of proximity of Him. Death doesn’t terminate the activity of the self; it is but an episode in its career.
  2. The self, as conceived in the Qur’an, is free. Freedom is an in­alienable property of the self. Although it operates in the sphere of nature, its activity flows from its own nature and isn’t determined by natural causes. Dr. Rhine, in his book, New World of the Mind, corroborates this view with the remarks: «There is something operative in the man that transcends the laws of matter.»

It is because the self is free that it functions as a moral agent. Duties and obligations have no meaning for a being, which is completely deter­mined. If the self were not free, it would be insensitive to the demands of “ought” and would respond only to the demands of «must». Its sense of re­sponsibility springs from its sense of freedom; it is capable of leading a moral life only because it is free. The view implies that the self has a real choice of freedom. It can choose any one of the alternative courses of ac­tion open to it, and responsibility for its choice rests squarely on it.

Of course, the self doesn’t enjoy absolute and unlimited freedom. Its freedom is circumscribed by the conditions under which it lives. The world of fact checks & restrains its activities in various ways and in various de­grees. The self chafes under these restraints. It flourishes only in an atmo­sphere of freedom. In a highly regimented society, its sphere of action may be subjected to increasing shrinkage. Such a society discourages all kinds of self-expression and curbs liberty of action. Under these conditions, the self begins to languish. It can regain its vitality only by regaining its freedom. The self burgeons, blossoms and fructifies in lofty thoughts and noble ac­tions only in an atmosphere of freedom. Freedom is the essence of the self and cannot be extinguished under external compulsion. The self, however, feels cramped and frustrated in a regimented and totalitarian society, or an «other-directed conformism». The state, whose power has increased enor­mously in recent times, poses a serious threat to the integrity of the self. It has been sturdily and relentlessly encroaching on the domain of self. The individual’s freedom has been seriously curtailed by the modern state, armed as it is with scientific techniques of suggestion, propaganda and brainwashing. The government can now influence the individual’s mind to a degree, which was undreamed of in the past. It can control not only man’s overt ac­tions but his inner thoughts as well.

  1. The self, as viewed by the Qur’an isn’t static. It possesses infi­nite capacity for development. With its own efforts based on the line of permanent values, it rises to higher and higher plans of existence. The Qur’an says: «Verily We will raise you to higher and higher levels.» (84-19). The self fulfils itself by developing and actualizing its potentialities. With death, man doesn’t cease to exist but passes onto a higher plan of existence. The Qur’an has prescribed «din», or the way of life, which enables man to achieve the higher level. When man is elevated to the higher level, he feels as if the gate of Heaven has been thrown open to him. On the other hand when he falls to a lower level he feels that he has been flung into Hell.

The Qur’an opens a vast vista of development to man. No term has been set to his progress. Man’s destiny is marked out of him in sym­bols. To understand the symbols, true insight is needed. When a glimpse of higher level is caught, the symbol, which represents it, becomes intelligible. It is futile to discuss a symbol when we’ve no inkling of the stage to which it refers. The Qur’an, when studied intelligently, provides us with the insight to understand the true meanings of these symbols.

  1. The self has the capacity for value- experience. It is sensitive to the higher qualities of its experience and appreciates their value. Value-ex­perience is non-existent at the sub-human level. It becomes possible only when the self has emerged. Value-experience may be of a lower or higher order. The higher in the scale an experience is, the more satisfying it is found to be. When the self is fit to rise to a higher plan, it craves for a value-experience higher than that with which it had been content hitherto. An experience of high value enriches and elevates the self.
  2. The self develops mainly through its own efforts. It rises or falls through its moral or immoral actions. The Qur’an says: «The self (NAFS) owns only that which it earns» (74:38), and it changes: through what it assimilates, good or bad. The self is subject to the law of requital. It’s a’mal-ul-hasalah enhance its worth and a’mal-us sayyi’ah degrade it. God never does wrong to the self. The Qur’an is explicit on this point. If the self is degraded, it is its own doing. External forces cannot touch the self and God never deals with it unjustly. So the self is affected by nothing except the results of its own actions. Suffering is the fruit of a’mal-us-sayyi’ah.
  3. The self partakes of Reality and mirrors the Divine attributes, «I breathed My Rouh-Divine Energy – into him (man), say the Qur’an (15:29) The Nabi said: “Cultivate in yourselves those qualities that reflect the Divine attributes”. By cultivating those qualities, the self develops and draws, so to say, closer to God. Throuh a’mal-us sayyi’ah, it gets further away from God and Reality. A’mal-ul-hasanah strenghen the self and a’mal-us-sayyi’ah weaken it. The distance between God & human self is increased by the latter and is decreased by the former, which cultivate Divine qualities. This is the teaching of the Qur’an. The self becomes more and more real as it develops into itself the attributes of God, and more and more unreal as it does re­cede from Him. The Divine attributes serve as an objective model after which man can strive to fashion himself (Perwez: Islam: A Challenge to Religion, pp. 71-74).

OPERATIVE LAW IN SELF

The operative law in SELF is The Law of Requital. An action performed deliberately for a set purpose, or with a high degree of ego-involvement, changes self for better or for worse. It strengthens or weakens the moral fibre. This is governed by the Law of Requital. Ac­cording to this Law:

  1. Every human action (a) affects his ‘self’ (6:164, The Qur’an), and (b) is being recorded every second by Mal’aika – heavenly forces (Raghib) – and the record is kept up-to-date. (82:10-12, The Qur’an).
  2. The self is even effected by hidden and/or unfulfilled desires or inten­tions (40:19, The Qur’an), Allah’s Law of Requital is aware, (even of what is harboured within you (5:7, The Qur’an).
  3. Only Allah Almighty knows how much credit or discredit is to be gi­ven to a particular act. (53:32, The Qur’an).
  4. On the Day of Judgement all the actions performed deliberately would be weighed. Those whose balance of good and constructive deeds tilts in their favour (is heavier) are successful ones, but those whose bal­ance goes against them (is lighter), are the ones who have harmed themselves by their willful rejection of the Allah’s message. (7:8-9, The Qur’an).
  5. No one would be able to help the other, nor any intercession allowed. (2:123, The Qur’an).
  6. No action would go unrewarded or unpunished. (3:25, The Holy Qar’an).
  7. Everyone would get the reward or punishment of his own deeds. (7; 17; 37:39; 45:28; and 52:16, The Qur’an).
  8. Absolute and full justice would be done, no one would be dealt with unjustly (16:111; 39:70; and 40:17, The Qur’an).
  9. No one would be able to transfer his good or bad deeds to others – he would himself get the reward or the punishment as the case may be (2:286; 6:105; 10:108; 17:7; 17:15; 27:40; 27:92; 29:6; 31:12; 35:18; 39:41; and 45:15, The Qur’an).
  10. There is no exception to this Law, even the Rasool-Allah (Peace be upon him), the most perfect of all the human beings, was asked to proclaim – «say, surely I fear, if I disobey my Rabb – the chastisement of a grievous day» (6:15; 10:15; and 39:13, The Qur’an).

Thus the Jannat (the paradise), the state of perfect self-fulfillment (Manzoor: The Qur’anic Model of Education, 1993) in this world and the hereafter is earned as a result of good deeds, not as an alms or gift or on the recommendation of others (7:43; 29:158; 32:17; and 70:38-39, The Qur’an).

This is the Law of Requital.

Confronting the consequences of one’s actions concretely has also been termed as – Liqa-i-Rabb in the Qur’anic terminology. This may have three aspects:

(a)   Confrontation of consequences after death

«Do He (Allah’s Law) hath made the consequences (to be) hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day of Reckoning. This was because they had not kept their promise to Allah and had failed» (9:77, The Qur’an) and on the Day of Reckoning Allah will also ask: «O group of Jinn and Ins! Did the Rusal not arise from amongst you announcing My laws and warning you of the consequences of violating them? They will answer: we bear witness against our own-selves».

(b)   Commitment to the existence of Allah by contemplating on the systems of the universe and the nourishment

«Allah is He who has raised the heavenly spheres aloft without any visible pillars and He has control over the entire universe. He has subjected the sun and moon to function for an appointed period». (31:19, The Qur’an). «He regulates affairs and has given clear signs so that you may be certain of facing (the consequences) before your Nourisher» (13:2, The Qur’an).

This phenomenon develops insight of the nature as well.

(c)    Concrete confrontation with the consequences of ones actions in this world and the life hereafter

«A11 the actions of those who discredit our laws and belittle the idea of the life hereafter, will go waste. Will they earn anything except what they’ve worked for?» (7:147 – The Qur’an). «Who know they will have to face (the consequences) before their Allah, and that unto Him they are returning (for their consequences)» (2:46, The Qur’an). About the fabrications against Allah, the Qur’an clearly brings this stark fact forth that, «Soon they will be confronted with the consequences of such fabrications». (6:139, The Qur’an).

This all impels the man towards the motive-valence for the qualities of learning in life.

QUALITIES OF ADAM

POTENTIALS, THWARTING FORCES AND IMPLICA­TIONS

The greatest of Adam, as the original human being, the first prophet, or as the archetype human (Rashid: Human Development Theory: Islamic Vs. Western Perspective, P.4) is that he has been bestowed poten­tialities to acquire knowledge of how everything else in the universe func­tions (2:33, The Qur’an). Now it is unto him to utilize these potentialities and conquer/ harness all that lies in the universe.

In this universe, man is the only creature who is given choice and dis­cretion. He may obey the laws of Allah or may not; this discretion isn’t gi­ven to any other creature. Man decides to disobey Allah’s laws when his feelings and emotions overpower him. These emotions instigate him for personal gains as against universal good. He bypasses the laws of Allah and starts following his own emotions. At this stage his intellect manipu­lates him the ways and means to achieve these objects. These emotions or feelings and the intellect which guides such feelings to achieve the objectives are given the name of Iblees by the Qur’an allegorically. Because of this rebellious nature (Taj and Lane), it was said that he was born out of fire (7:12, The Qur’an) and since feelings of human beings remain hid­den, Iblees/Shaitan was also called a Jinn (18:50, The Holy Qnr’an) and Jinn means one who is hidden (Raghib). Along with the feelings or emo­tions, a man is also given the discretion by virtue of which he is capable of disobedience at the time of his birth and these accompany him through his life span (15:36, The Qur’an).

A person who decides to follow the path of disobedience becomes de­prived of the resultant benefits which accrue by virtue of following the laws of Allah: that is why Iblees is termed as the disappointed – the dejected or devoid one. About those who follow Allah’s law, the Qur’an says that they will not suffer any fear or sorrow (2:38) and Iblees will have no hold on them (15:42, The Qur’an).

The Qur’an has termed Iblees and Shaitan as the two faces of the same coin. While narrating the (allegorical) story of Adam, the refusal to bow, then rebellion, disobedience and finally the challenge to mislead mankind, all these are attributed to Iblees; and when it mentions the story of Aadm’s fall, it is attributed to Shaitan (2:36, 7:11-20, 20:116-120). This shows that Iblees is the name of term used for a specific personality trait and the way this trait operates is called Shaitan. Iblees and Shaitan or dis­appointment and rebellion are, in fact, those obstacles that hinder the progress of human self. If self of a person overcomes these obstacles, it shows positive growth in his evolutionary process, but if he fails then his self gets stuck or falls down to the lower lever of (animal) life. Human life is, in fact, the story of this crisis. That is why, with the creation of Adam, the existence of Iblees is necessary. Unless there is opposition, there can’t be a clash, and without clash, there can’t be stability in one’s self; in order words, there is no other test to check the growth and stability of one’s self, except at the time of clash with evil.

Researchers in the field of modern psychology also propounded that frustration and other stresses often lead to anger and aggression. Psycholo­gists use the term frustration as a label for (i) an emotional state that ap­pears whenever an obstacle interferes with the satisfaction of a desire, need, goal, expectation, or action; and (ii) the obstacle itself. (Shaffer and Shoben, The Psychology of Adjustment: Dynamic and Experimental Approach to Personality and Mental Hygien, 1956). A person who is frustrated may be one who is simply blocked in all his attempts to solve a problem, or he may be one who has responded to his failure by anger, worry and anxiety. Here two types or means of coping with frustration need differentiated. If an individual directs his frustration against his own self, he resorts to anger, aggression, helplessness, anxiety, regression, fixation, escape, or withdrawal. Similarly, if the same feeling of frustration is due to an external stimulus or another person, then defence mechanisms come to the foreground: projection, repression, fantasy, denial of reality, rationalization, intellectualization and reaction-formation. All these varieties of adjustive mechanisms have the underlying roots in disap­pointment closely followed by a feeling of rebellion or aggression. Clearly there is a direct and deep-rooted connection between the feelings of rebel­lion and disappointment experienced by a person, which is also exemplified in the relationship of Iblees and Shaitan.

The Qur’an supports the above deliberations that frustration leads to aggressiveness. When a person feels that he cannot achieve what he desires, he gets angry. If he gives vent to his anger against his own self, this results in worry, tension or depression; the last stage of which is suicide. When he uses this anger against anyone else, who in his opinion is responsi­ble for this, it is called revenge, but if he is incapable of taking revenge from the person concerned, then at times he gives vent to his feelings against unconcerned thing – which is madness. One can see the direct and deep contact between disappointment and rebellion and this is the relation­ship of Iblees and Shaitan. In fact these are the psychological feelings of a human being. The Qur’an wants to establish such a social order, where chances of disappointments don’t occur (39:53), as His resources of nourishment are boundless for everything and abundant throughout the Universe (7:156). So in the Qur’anic Social Order,the feelings of Iblisiat cannot overcome anyone; particularly in respect of those who follow His laws (15:43).

The Qur’an has described the results of misdeeds as the torturing fire! As the fire burns everything, so the bad deeds burn the human person­ality and stop its growth. According to the Qur’an, life is a continu­ous process and has to go a long way. If the life is led according to the laws given by its Creator, Allah, then its latent potentialities are developed in such a way that enables it to continue progressing and going from one stage to another, but if the potentialities/capacities are not developed it doesn’t have the strength to travel or grow further and stops at one stage or point. This process of stoppage is called al-jaheem in the Qur’anic con­cept.

Life is like an ever-flowing stream which should continue flowing, the moment it stops, it turns into a pond, then gets stagnant. Out of dust rose Adam, and out of good deeds would rise the man for the world hereafter.

OPERATIONAL INJUNCTIONS

INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE

The laws revealed to the Messenger of Allah for the guidance of humanity are immutable. They comprise two different categories: those for the individual and those for the nations. The laws for individuals are re­lated to physical life as well as for the development of human personality. As far as the nations are concerned, although they comprise groups of in­dividuals yet their psychology has got its own individuality and peculiarity. The Qur’an says that nations who lead their lives in consistence with the revealed laws i.e. organize their social order based on such laws, meet success, glory and an exalted position; and those who act against these laws meet failure and ultimate destruction. This is known as, «the collective law of requital», which is as immutable as the law of requital for individuals. According to the Qur’an, history is a record of the collective laws of requital. It tells that so and so a nation, when it organized its social or­der, according to so and so a concept of life, the results produced were spe­cifically peculiar to that concept. It was the Qur’an that gave first of all the concept of the Science of History. The Qur’an attaches such a great importance to it that it relates the history of bygone nations, in order to prove the truth of the Qur’anic fundamental principles:

«We’ve already sent down to you signs, making things clear and (illus­trations) from the history of people who passed away before you, and an ad­monition for those who believe» (24:34). The Qur’an warns the non-believers: «Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before them. They were more numerous than these and superior in strength and in the traces (they have left) in the land: yet all that they accom­plished was of no profit to them» (40:82). In the verse (21:12)) it is said, «When they felt Our punishment approaching, they (tried to) flee from it». It means that the destructive effect of wrongful social orders starts building up from the very beginning but they are not felt at the early stage. They grow silently until they appear in palpable form and might require centuries to do so that is why the Qur’an has said that a day of universal laws comprises centuries (22:47; 32:5, The Qur’an).

The Qur’an proclaims: «Because Allah will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people, until they change what is in their own self. And verily Allah is He Whose power of hearing and knowledge are boundless» (8:53). In this small verse the Qur’an has enclosed the phi­losophy of the rise and fall of nations: The Qur’an says that outer world is true image of the man’s inner self. As long as there is no change in its inner self, there can be no change in its outer world either; and also the change in the outer world is the prototype of the change in the inner world. Bertrand Russel rightly says: «Our present difficulty is that we have con­quered the forces of nature to a considerable extent but have not been able to conquer the forces which lie within ourselves. Self-control has also been the foremost teaching of every teacher of ethics but in every stage a clear concept of it did not exist. However self-control means how to utilize the external for­ces in subservience to the correct values».

The Our’an tells that corruption amongst nations starts in the upper ranks and from their it proliferates and affects the lower ranks: the former indulge in a life of ease, selfishness and luxury and devise plots to keep their hold firm on their wrong system. They are the parasites on the lower ranks, thus it is said: «Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men to plot (and burrow) their-in (6:12)». «But the wrong doers pur­sued their enjoyment of the good things of life by parasitism and persisted in their life of sin» (11:116). These greedy, selfish exploiters become the leaders of their nation and lead their caravan to a market where there is no buyer of this rotten commodity (14:28-29, The Qur’an). In fact, the power of the leaders lies in their followers. That is why, the Qur’an ordains to use intellect and think before taking to the right path even. Thus it is said: «Those who when they are admonished with the signs of their Rabb, droop not down at them, as if they were deaf and blind». (25:72)

That is why, men and women have equally been given ability to:

  1. 1. submit to the Laws of Allah,
  2. 2. obey the laws mechanically, but be convinced of its truthfulness and its healthy results,
  3. 3. develop their abilities and use them only when they have been told to by the laws of Allah,
  4. 4. justify the agreement they have made with Allah (9:111, The Qur’an),
  5. 5. stay steadfast while facing difficulties,
  6. 6. be always available and willing to serve the mankind,
  7. 7. spend all they have got on the system made to implement God’s Laws,
  8. 8. restrain themselves where-ever Allah’s Laws require them to and ob­serve limitations imposed on them,
  9. 9. protect their chastity and honour (honor),
  10. 10. always remind themselves of the Laws of Allah in all matters.

These are the people who will be protected by Allah’s Law of Requital from destruction in all walks of life and Allah will reward them for their ef­forts and work (3:194, 4:124, The Qur’an).

This all requires the establishment of the Qur’anic Social Order for which the ideological base in the Qur’anic words is: «Order the lives of peo­ple according to what Allah has revealed in His Book and don’t follow the de­sires of those who make you deviate from this course» (5:48). But this Qur’anic Social Order is developed through the Qur’anic Model of Education depict­ing (a) the Qur’anic Basis of Education; (b) Ideological Basis of Curricu­lum, and (c) Economic and Social Foundations of education (Manzoor 1993). That will provide the motive-valence for learning by slamming intrusions and obsessions the world is facing today: not by balance of power but by managing to lead life within the boundary walls of the Permanent Values embodied in the Qur’an. (Manzoor: VALUES EDUCATION PROGRAM AND OPERATIONAL MECHANISM FOR STRATEGIC EDUCATIONISTS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM, websitehttp://www.tolueislam.com).

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The Quran’s Concept Of Self Integration: The Motive-Valance For Learning, Slamming New Intrusions, Old Obsessions (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The study examines the viability of human intellect through which the man has made many an awe-inspiring success and con­cludes that the inherent weakness underlying his ideals or his way of life has undermined his constructive genius and has brought a disastrous end to his efforts. The main reason attributed to his phenomenon is that the human intellect helps little because it is not aware of any source of knowledge other than itself. The man has been endeavouring to understand the nature of human self and to devise strategies for the development of human personality but has encountered numerous enigmas, threats and challenges. The Quran’s concept of NAFS has been identi­fied as human self. This not only solves the human riddle but also regulates it as a motive-valence for learning with (i) inbuilt operative laws shunning new intrusions and old obsessions; (ii) varied potentialities – Angelic and satanic; (iii) implications by un­locking the doors of human problems and unraveling all mys­teries of life; (iv) operational injunctions; and (v) the establishment of an epitome of the Quranic Social Order. This is all for living peacefully on this biosphere not on the doctrine of balance of power but on the mutual respect, for disciplining life within the boundary walls of permanent values embodied in the Qur’an, for the development of human self. That is the Quran’s Concept of self-integration, which has profusely been elaborated through this paper.

INTRODUCTION

The history of mankind stands as a living testimony to the fact that man has shown a remarkable constructive genius, having attained many an awe-inspiring success, now and then, despite occasional setbacks and natur­al catastrophes. But his constructive genius was always undermined by some inherent weakness underlying his ideals or his way of life, which ulti­mately brought about a disastrous end to his efforts. This paradox leads all thoughtful minds inescapably to the conclusion arrived at by Einstein: By painful experience we’ve learnt that rational thinking doesn’t suffice to solve the problems of our social life. Penetrating research and keen scientific work have often tragic implications for mankind, producing, on the one hand, inven­tions which liberated man from exhaustingly physical labour, making his life easier and richer; but on the other hand, introducing a grave restlessness into his life, making him a slave to his technological environment, and – most cata­strophic of all – creating the means for his own mass destruction. This, in­deed, is a tragedy of overwhelming poignancy. (Albert Einstein: Out of My Later Years, P. 152)

Human intellect helps little in this matter, because it isn’t aware of any source of knowledge other than itself, so it holds materialistic concept of life according to which a human being consists of body alone. He is born, brought up, eats, sleeps, and falls sick, procreates and then dies. This, in fact, is animal life (47:12, The Qur’an) for which he needs no divine guidance and, therefore, feels no necessity in having faith in life after death (45:34. The Qur’an). But the Qur’an holds that man isn’t merely a phy­sical being, he is composed of something else besides his body. It is human self, human personality, which isn’t inherited by man in a fully developed state, it exists in a latent form and its development is the ultimate goal of human life.

The growth of an individual’s physical existence is governed by cer­tain physical laws, but the development of his personality is subject to a different set of laws which have been given to mankind from time to time through Divine Revelation, and are now fully embodied in the Holly Qur’an.

NATURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY

What is the nature of human self? In the ancient and mediaeval philo­sophy, the self was synonymous with the soul, and the soul was believed to be an indestructible substance which existed before its temporary conjunc­tion with the material body and which survives the dissolution of the body. The notion of the soul was taken over from primitive thought and was re­fined and elaborated by philosophers. Aristotle was the only great philoso­pher who rejected this view and propounded a theory more in consonance with natural science. He regarded the soul as the entelechy of the body, and as it was the form of the body, it was also inseparable from it. The soul was thus placed squarely in the system of natural phenomena. How­ever for centuries after Aristotle, both scientists and philo­sophers unquestionably accepted the older view of an independent and supernatural soul. It was challenged only when modem science was well under way.

In the eighteenth century, the term, «Self», came into vogue. It had ad­vantage of being closer to nature than the term soul, which had a super-naturalistic flavour. The self was regarded as the subject of experience. It was regarded as free and not subject to natural laws. Hume delivered the coup de grace to the popular belief in an independent self and replaced it with empirical self as merely a succession of ideas, which are related to each other externally by virtue of existing in the same or successive states of con­sciousness. In the modern psychology the concept of personality has sup­planted the older concept of self.

The psychologist now studies the origin of personality and the process of its development as well as the process of its disintegration in abnormal cases. Personality is conceived not as an entity but as the form or pattern which the raw material of mind assumes when it was organized. The orga­nization of the instinctive urges, tendencies and capacities constitutes the biological equipment of the individual during the formative years of life.

According to this view two factors, the physiological and the social, de­termine the farther course of personality development. The physiologists hold that the hormones secreted by the endocrine glands play a decisive role in the growth and normal functioning of personality. The social psy­chologists tend to attach greater importance to the social milieu in which the human child grows up. Personality emerges through the process of socialization. The child internalizes the group code and the social norms which immediately begin to regulate this instinctive urges and motives. The group also assigns to him a particular role, and the child develops the capa­cities and gives free scope to the tendencies, which he meets for playing the role successfully.

According to this point of view, the individual plays a negligible role in his own development. He remains passive while society moulds him into the form that happens to enjoy social approval at the moment. The in­adequacy of this view is obvious: two children, brought up in the same so­cial environment, develop different types of personality.

According to psychologists’ view, personality develops as the result of the reactions of the individual itself. The important thing for personality isn’t the social influence to which the individual is exposed but the way, the process, in which he reacts to it. Man, therefore, doesn’t passively receive but actively acquires personality. The biological factor operating in man is of crucial importance for personality development. However, it will not act to disregard the social factor altogether. Man has, perforce, to accommo­date himself to the demands of the group on which he is dependent and which provides him with security and necessities of life. According to psy­chological theory, personality is the product of the interaction between the heredity constitution of man and his social milieu (Blum: Theories of Personality, 1961). The psychologists first analyze personality into traits and then dis­cover that each trait had a certain dimension. The combined result of these traits was termed as an overall picture of personality or personality profile (King: Reading for an Introduction to Psychology, 1961).

ENIGMAS, THREATS & CHALLENGES

The rich harvest of these results has little bearing on the question: what is it in man which impels him to embark, on the perilous and see­mingly desperate enterprise? From psychologists’ point of view, personality is the integration of the individual’s characteristics and motivational under­currents. This process begins in early childhood and proceeds, at first slowly, and then at an accelerated pace during adolescent until the emer­gence of the personality of the adult. Thereafter, too, personality continues to undergo at least some changes, though slight throughout the life of the individual. With senility, or through disease or traumatic experi­ence, a process in the reverse direction may set it. The process of disintegra­tion may lead to the splitting or even fragmentation of personality. Cases of dual and multiple personality have been observed and intensively studied by psychiatrists; therapeutic techniques have also been devised for reinte­grating the split personality. This all indicates that there is nothing substan­tial about personality as conceived by the psychologists who work from the surface of the mind downwards and often fail to plumb the depths of the human mind. What has been grasped so far is a mere shadow.

The modern man lives at a superficial level. He pursues petty and self­ish ends. Douglas Hurd, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, cautioning the UN General Assembly on the limitations of International peacekeeping has re­grettably said: «It is empty to imagine we can impose peace with justice on every disorder or dispute outside our borders» (Time, October 11, 1993, P. 8).

No wonder that the modern man is discontented and unhappy. His deepest cravings are left unsatisfied. Thus he is in conflict both with himself and with his fellow beings. In this connection, Iqbal’s remarks deserve to be quoted in full: « . . . wholly overshadowed by the results of his intellectual activity, the modem man has ceased to live soulfully i.e. from within. In the domain of thought he is living in open conflict with himself; and in the domain of economic and political life he is living in open conflict with others. He finds himself unable to control his ruthless egoism and his infinite gold hunger, which is gradually lulling all higher strivings in him and bringing him but life-weariness. Absorbed in the ‘Fact’ that is to say, the optically present source of sensation, he is entirely cut off from the unplumbed depths of his own beings» (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, P. 177). Its result is that the biosphere, today, is fraught with threats like:

  1. American Movies;
  2. Farm Exports often termed as American ukase;
  3. Currency speculations;
  4. Third World immigrants;
  5. Europeans Community’s increasing suspect as black pessimism rooting fears;
  6. Hard adjustment to a world in which encroachments of moderniza­tion and competition threaten the traditional way of life;
  7. Political clout and political chicanery;
  8. Cultural identity being at stake;
  9. Arrogance and boastfulness derived from military and material superiority; power and prowess based on scientific and technological pro­gress;
  10. Tyrannical exploitation of the weak, physically and economically; and
  11. Dividing the weak into opposing groups – infusing, infighting and domestic conflicts in Third World countries.

This all has resulted into numerous consequences. The most predomi­nant are:

  1. An upsurge of anti-Americanism with inbuilt ambivalent feelings about America;
  2. Overwhelming Choice of American images of modernity being foisted;
  3. Tons of tasteless ultra-products in agricultural factories throwing farmers out of work in other countries, destabilizing the society of those countries;
  4. Inclination to follow those powerful lobbies that potentate way­wardness and perversion setting barricades to the doctrines of permanent values embodied in the Qur’an. A Gallup poll conducted by CNN re­vealed that, in the sole surviving superpower, a little more than 22% men have declared themselves ‘gay’ and a little more than 7% women ‘lesbian’, the greater tragedy being that none of them has a sense of shame and that they’ve been openly agitating for the same respect and the same opportu­nities as are enjoyed by other normal citizens (Wafa: Lesson From Past Civilizations, Dawn, Karachi, October 15,1993).
  5. Economic collapse usually called the limping economy;
  6. Political chicanery;
  7. Guerilla style insurgency;
  8. Ethnic Rebellion termed Explosive Ethnic conflicts;
  9. Treat of force by the Superpower;
  10. Enforcement of Peace or Facilitation of Peace;
  11. New International Structure; and
  12. Human-embryo Cloning.

Very right did Mason put the remarks forth: «We began our era of scientific efficiency confidant that materialistic triumphs would solve life’s pro­blems. We are finding we were wrong. Life isn’t as simple as that» (Creative Freedom, P. 183-4). The graveyards of glorious old civilizations induce a thoughtful mood in sensitive spectators and caution them to pause for a while and reflect over this warning of the Qur’an: «Mind! Be ye not like the old woman who laboured hard to spin her yarn and then pulled it to pieces». (16:98, The Qur’an). But neither ancient civilizations nor the present ones are the work of thoughtless men. In fact, all the great civilizations are the manifestations of a highly developed crea­tive mind. But the potential drawback is that «For the scientist, there is only “being”, but not wishing, no valuing, no good, no evil, no goal». (Einstein: Out of My Later Years, P.I14). In his book, The Making of Humanity, Robert Briffault has brought out the root cause of the trouble clearly into focus when he said: «No system of human civilization that is false in its very principals, in its very foundation, can solve itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained, by any amount of superfi­cial adjustment and tinkering» (P.159). That is why the Universal Declara­tion of Human Rights, Article 26(20) proclaims: «Education should be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strength­ening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom» (P: 17).

Whether education in the world, in the 21st century, is actually being directed towards these goals? is the real question of the day.

THE QURANIC CONCEPT OF SELF

The term «self» is in closer correspondence with the Qur’anic term, «nafs» than any of the terms which have come into vogue so far. The Qur’an has used this word 255 times – NAFSUN 61 times and in other forms like ANFUSKUM 49 times, NAFSENE 40 times and NAFASUN 14 times. It has numerous meanings. Tajul Uroos writes that this word is used normally to denote the total personality of a person. It also means in­tellect, knowledge and mind. (Taj: Ibn-i-Faris). It is used for a person as well. It is further used to express greatness, superiority, courage, resolution, and punishment. It also means close relative, brotherly (Taj and Lis’anul Arab). It is also used in the meaning of blood, ‘NIF’ASN’ which pours out after the birth of a child (Taj). NAFASUN also means, ‘breath’ and its plural is AN-FASUN, Ibn-i-Faris says that its basic meanings are light and soft air. It also means a nice thing, which attracts a person.

The Qur’an has also used this word for a specific thing called, “Human Personality” or «Self». It has been used as a special term in the Qur’anic concept of Life which, in fact, is the base of Deen-ul-Islam. It doesn’t extinct with the body’s death. If it is developed, it can flourish in this life and survive even after death. Therefore, it needs to be nourished to enable it to develop according to the evolutionary process. This nourish­ment has to be according to the laws given from time to time by Allah to mankind through His Anbiya and now are fully contained in the Qur’an. It, therefore, is clear, that if one believes in «SELF» and its growth, one has to believe in Allah, His revelation «WAHI», the NUBU-WAT and life after death. The following characteristics of the self found in the Qur’an enable to form an adequate idea of the self, a just estimate of its capabilities and a constructive motive-valence for the process of learning:

  1. The self partakes of Reality and consequently enjoys permanence and stability. It retains its identity throughout its career. The trials, which it undergoes and the influences to which it is exposed, change it with­out transforming it into something different from itself. It starts its ca­reer in an undeveloped form but equipped with immense potentialities. It may or may not actualize these potentialities but it never ceases to be itself. It isn’t a passive material, which is moulded by external for­ces; it is essentially active & dynamic. Its typical activity is «DINI» ac­tivity in the highest sense of the term, viz., the development and actualizing of its basic characteristics, & thereby «drawing closer» to the Most Perfect Self, God, Whose attributes serve as an objective stan­dard for the human self, and thus tasting the joy of proximity of Him. Death doesn’t terminate the activity of the self; it is but an episode in its career.
  2. The self, as conceived in the Qur’an, is free. Freedom is an in­alienable property of the self. Although it operates in the sphere of nature, its activity flows from its own nature and isn’t determined by natural causes. Dr. Rhine, in his book, New World of the Mind, corroborates this view with the remarks: «There is something operative in the man that transcends the laws of matter.»

It is because the self is free that it functions as a moral agent. Duties and obligations have no meaning for a being, which is completely deter­mined. If the self were not free, it would be insensitive to the demands of “ought” and would respond only to the demands of «must». Its sense of re­sponsibility springs from its sense of freedom; it is capable of leading a moral life only because it is free. The view implies that the self has a real choice of freedom. It can choose any one of the alternative courses of ac­tion open to it, and responsibility for its choice rests squarely on it.

Of course, the self doesn’t enjoy absolute and unlimited freedom. Its freedom is circumscribed by the conditions under which it lives. The world of fact checks & restrains its activities in various ways and in various de­grees. The self chafes under these restraints. It flourishes only in an atmo­sphere of freedom. In a highly regimented society, its sphere of action may be subjected to increasing shrinkage. Such a society discourages all kinds of self-expression and curbs liberty of action. Under these conditions, the self begins to languish. It can regain its vitality only by regaining its freedom. The self burgeons, blossoms and fructifies in lofty thoughts and noble ac­tions only in an atmosphere of freedom. Freedom is the essence of the self and cannot be extinguished under external compulsion. The self, however, feels cramped and frustrated in a regimented and totalitarian society, or an «other-directed conformism». The state, whose power has increased enor­mously in recent times, poses a serious threat to the integrity of the self. It has been sturdily and relentlessly encroaching on the domain of self. The individual’s freedom has been seriously curtailed by the modern state, armed as it is with scientific techniques of suggestion, propaganda and brainwashing. The government can now influence the individual’s mind to a degree, which was undreamed of in the past. It can control not only man’s overt ac­tions but his inner thoughts as well.

  1. The self, as viewed by the Qur’an isn’t static. It possesses infi­nite capacity for development. With its own efforts based on the line of permanent values, it rises to higher and higher plans of existence. The Qur’an says: «Verily We will raise you to higher and higher levels.» (84-19). The self fulfils itself by developing and actualizing its potentialities. With death, man doesn’t cease to exist but passes onto a higher plan of existence. The Qur’an has prescribed «din», or the way of life, which enables man to achieve the higher level. When man is elevated to the higher level, he feels as if the gate of Heaven has been thrown open to him. On the other hand when he falls to a lower level he feels that he has been flung into Hell.

The Qur’an opens a vast vista of development to man. No term has been set to his progress. Man’s destiny is marked out of him in sym­bols. To understand the symbols, true insight is needed. When a glimpse of higher level is caught, the symbol, which represents it, becomes intelligible. It is futile to discuss a symbol when we’ve no inkling of the stage to which it refers. The Qur’an, when studied intelligently, provides us with the insight to understand the true meanings of these symbols.

  1. The self has the capacity for value- experience. It is sensitive to the higher qualities of its experience and appreciates their value. Value-ex­perience is non-existent at the sub-human level. It becomes possible only when the self has emerged. Value-experience may be of a lower or higher order. The higher in the scale an experience is, the more satisfying it is found to be. When the self is fit to rise to a higher plan, it craves for a value-experience higher than that with which it had been content hitherto. An experience of high value enriches and elevates the self.
  2. The self develops mainly through its own efforts. It rises or falls through its moral or immoral actions. The Qur’an says: «The self (NAFS) owns only that which it earns» (74:38), and it changes: through what it assimilates, good or bad. The self is subject to the law of requital. It’s a’mal-ul-hasalah enhance its worth and a’mal-us sayyi’ah degrade it. God never does wrong to the self. The Qur’an is explicit on this point. If the self is degraded, it is its own doing. External forces cannot touch the self and God never deals with it unjustly. So the self is affected by nothing except the results of its own actions. Suffering is the fruit of a’mal-us-sayyi’ah.
  3. The self partakes of Reality and mirrors the Divine attributes, «I breathed My Rouh-Divine Energy – into him (man), say the Qur’an (15:29) The Nabi said: “Cultivate in yourselves those qualities that reflect the Divine attributes”. By cultivating those qualities, the self develops and draws, so to say, closer to God. Throuh a’mal-us sayyi’ah, it gets further away from God and Reality. A’mal-ul-hasanah strenghen the self and a’mal-us-sayyi’ah weaken it. The distance between God & human self is increased by the latter and is decreased by the former, which cultivate Divine qualities. This is the teaching of the Qur’an. The self becomes more and more real as it develops into itself the attributes of God, and more and more unreal as it does re­cede from Him. The Divine attributes serve as an objective model after which man can strive to fashion himself (Perwez: Islam: A Challenge to Religion, pp. 71-74).

OPERATIVE LAW IN SELF

The operative law in SELF is The Law of Requital. An action performed deliberately for a set purpose, or with a high degree of ego-involvement, changes self for better or for worse. It strengthens or weakens the moral fibre. This is governed by the Law of Requital. Ac­cording to this Law:

  1. Every human action (a) affects his ‘self’ (6:164, The Qur’an), and (b) is being recorded every second by Mal’aika – heavenly forces (Raghib) – and the record is kept up-to-date. (82:10-12, The Qur’an).
  2. The self is even effected by hidden and/or unfulfilled desires or inten­tions (40:19, The Qur’an), Allah’s Law of Requital is aware, (even of what is harboured within you (5:7, The Qur’an).
  3. Only Allah Almighty knows how much credit or discredit is to be gi­ven to a particular act. (53:32, The Qur’an).
  4. On the Day of Judgement all the actions performed deliberately would be weighed. Those whose balance of good and constructive deeds tilts in their favour (is heavier) are successful ones, but those whose bal­ance goes against them (is lighter), are the ones who have harmed themselves by their willful rejection of the Allah’s message. (7:8-9, The Qur’an).
  5. No one would be able to help the other, nor any intercession allowed. (2:123, The Qur’an).
  6. No action would go unrewarded or unpunished. (3:25, The Holy Qar’an).
  7. Everyone would get the reward or punishment of his own deeds. (7; 17; 37:39; 45:28; and 52:16, The Qur’an).
  8. Absolute and full justice would be done, no one would be dealt with unjustly (16:111; 39:70; and 40:17, The Qur’an).
  9. No one would be able to transfer his good or bad deeds to others – he would himself get the reward or the punishment as the case may be (2:286; 6:105; 10:108; 17:7; 17:15; 27:40; 27:92; 29:6; 31:12; 35:18; 39:41; and 45:15, The Qur’an).
  10. There is no exception to this Law, even the Rasool-Allah (Peace be upon him), the most perfect of all the human beings, was asked to proclaim – «say, surely I fear, if I disobey my Rabb – the chastisement of a grievous day» (6:15; 10:15; and 39:13, The Qur’an).

Thus the Jannat (the paradise), the state of perfect self-fulfillment (Manzoor: The Qur’anic Model of Education, 1993) in this world and the hereafter is earned as a result of good deeds, not as an alms or gift or on the recommendation of others (7:43; 29:158; 32:17; and 70:38-39, The Qur’an).

This is the Law of Requital.

Confronting the consequences of one’s actions concretely has also been termed as – Liqa-i-Rabb in the Qur’anic terminology. This may have three aspects:

(a)   Confrontation of consequences after death

«Do He (Allah’s Law) hath made the consequences (to be) hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day of Reckoning. This was because they had not kept their promise to Allah and had failed» (9:77, The Qur’an) and on the Day of Reckoning Allah will also ask: «O group of Jinn and Ins! Did the Rusal not arise from amongst you announcing My laws and warning you of the consequences of violating them? They will answer: we bear witness against our own-selves».

(b)   Commitment to the existence of Allah by contemplating on the systems of the universe and the nourishment

«Allah is He who has raised the heavenly spheres aloft without any visible pillars and He has control over the entire universe. He has subjected the sun and moon to function for an appointed period». (31:19, The Qur’an). «He regulates affairs and has given clear signs so that you may be certain of facing (the consequences) before your Nourisher» (13:2, The Qur’an).

This phenomenon develops insight of the nature as well.

(c)    Concrete confrontation with the consequences of ones actions in this world and the life hereafter

«A11 the actions of those who discredit our laws and belittle the idea of the life hereafter, will go waste. Will they earn anything except what they’ve worked for?» (7:147 – The Qur’an). «Who know they will have to face (the consequences) before their Allah, and that unto Him they are returning (for their consequences)» (2:46, The Qur’an). About the fabrications against Allah, the Qur’an clearly brings this stark fact forth that, «Soon they will be confronted with the consequences of such fabrications». (6:139, The Qur’an).

This all impels the man towards the motive-valence for the qualities of learning in life.

QUALITIES OF ADAM

POTENTIALS, THWARTING FORCES AND IMPLICA­TIONS

The greatest of Adam, as the original human being, the first prophet, or as the archetype human (Rashid: Human Development Theory: Islamic Vs. Western Perspective, P.4) is that he has been bestowed poten­tialities to acquire knowledge of how everything else in the universe func­tions (2:33, The Qur’an). Now it is unto him to utilize these potentialities and conquer/ harness all that lies in the universe.

In this universe, man is the only creature who is given choice and dis­cretion. He may obey the laws of Allah or may not; this discretion isn’t gi­ven to any other creature. Man decides to disobey Allah’s laws when his feelings and emotions overpower him. These emotions instigate him for personal gains as against universal good. He bypasses the laws of Allah and starts following his own emotions. At this stage his intellect manipu­lates him the ways and means to achieve these objects. These emotions or feelings and the intellect which guides such feelings to achieve the objectives are given the name of Iblees by the Qur’an allegorically. Because of this rebellious nature (Taj and Lane), it was said that he was born out of fire (7:12, The Qur’an) and since feelings of human beings remain hid­den, Iblees/Shaitan was also called a Jinn (18:50, The Holy Qnr’an) and Jinn means one who is hidden (Raghib). Along with the feelings or emo­tions, a man is also given the discretion by virtue of which he is capable of disobedience at the time of his birth and these accompany him through his life span (15:36, The Qur’an).

A person who decides to follow the path of disobedience becomes de­prived of the resultant benefits which accrue by virtue of following the laws of Allah: that is why Iblees is termed as the disappointed – the dejected or devoid one. About those who follow Allah’s law, the Qur’an says that they will not suffer any fear or sorrow (2:38) and Iblees will have no hold on them (15:42, The Qur’an).

The Qur’an has termed Iblees and Shaitan as the two faces of the same coin. While narrating the (allegorical) story of Adam, the refusal to bow, then rebellion, disobedience and finally the challenge to mislead mankind, all these are attributed to Iblees; and when it mentions the story of Aadm’s fall, it is attributed to Shaitan (2:36, 7:11-20, 20:116-120). This shows that Iblees is the name of term used for a specific personality trait and the way this trait operates is called Shaitan. Iblees and Shaitan or dis­appointment and rebellion are, in fact, those obstacles that hinder the progress of human self. If self of a person overcomes these obstacles, it shows positive growth in his evolutionary process, but if he fails then his self gets stuck or falls down to the lower lever of (animal) life. Human life is, in fact, the story of this crisis. That is why, with the creation of Adam, the existence of Iblees is necessary. Unless there is opposition, there can’t be a clash, and without clash, there can’t be stability in one’s self; in order words, there is no other test to check the growth and stability of one’s self, except at the time of clash with evil.

Researchers in the field of modern psychology also propounded that frustration and other stresses often lead to anger and aggression. Psycholo­gists use the term frustration as a label for (i) an emotional state that ap­pears whenever an obstacle interferes with the satisfaction of a desire, need, goal, expectation, or action; and (ii) the obstacle itself. (Shaffer and Shoben, The Psychology of Adjustment: Dynamic and Experimental Approach to Personality and Mental Hygien, 1956). A person who is frustrated may be one who is simply blocked in all his attempts to solve a problem, or he may be one who has responded to his failure by anger, worry and anxiety. Here two types or means of coping with frustration need differentiated. If an individual directs his frustration against his own self, he resorts to anger, aggression, helplessness, anxiety, regression, fixation, escape, or withdrawal. Similarly, if the same feeling of frustration is due to an external stimulus or another person, then defence mechanisms come to the foreground: projection, repression, fantasy, denial of reality, rationalization, intellectualization and reaction-formation. All these varieties of adjustive mechanisms have the underlying roots in disap­pointment closely followed by a feeling of rebellion or aggression. Clearly there is a direct and deep-rooted connection between the feelings of rebel­lion and disappointment experienced by a person, which is also exemplified in the relationship of Iblees and Shaitan.

The Qur’an supports the above deliberations that frustration leads to aggressiveness. When a person feels that he cannot achieve what he desires, he gets angry. If he gives vent to his anger against his own self, this results in worry, tension or depression; the last stage of which is suicide. When he uses this anger against anyone else, who in his opinion is responsi­ble for this, it is called revenge, but if he is incapable of taking revenge from the person concerned, then at times he gives vent to his feelings against unconcerned thing – which is madness. One can see the direct and deep contact between disappointment and rebellion and this is the relation­ship of Iblees and Shaitan. In fact these are the psychological feelings of a human being. The Qur’an wants to establish such a social order, where chances of disappointments don’t occur (39:53), as His resources of nourishment are boundless for everything and abundant throughout the Universe (7:156). So in the Qur’anic Social Order,the feelings of Iblisiat cannot overcome anyone; particularly in respect of those who follow His laws (15:43).

The Qur’an has described the results of misdeeds as the torturing fire! As the fire burns everything, so the bad deeds burn the human person­ality and stop its growth. According to the Qur’an, life is a continu­ous process and has to go a long way. If the life is led according to the laws given by its Creator, Allah, then its latent potentialities are developed in such a way that enables it to continue progressing and going from one stage to another, but if the potentialities/capacities are not developed it doesn’t have the strength to travel or grow further and stops at one stage or point. This process of stoppage is called al-jaheem in the Qur’anic con­cept.

Life is like an ever-flowing stream which should continue flowing, the moment it stops, it turns into a pond, then gets stagnant. Out of dust rose Adam, and out of good deeds would rise the man for the world hereafter.

OPERATIONAL INJUNCTIONS

INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE

The laws revealed to the Messenger of Allah for the guidance of humanity are immutable. They comprise two different categories: those for the individual and those for the nations. The laws for individuals are re­lated to physical life as well as for the development of human personality. As far as the nations are concerned, although they comprise groups of in­dividuals yet their psychology has got its own individuality and peculiarity. The Qur’an says that nations who lead their lives in consistence with the revealed laws i.e. organize their social order based on such laws, meet success, glory and an exalted position; and those who act against these laws meet failure and ultimate destruction. This is known as, «the collective law of requital», which is as immutable as the law of requital for individuals. According to the Qur’an, history is a record of the collective laws of requital. It tells that so and so a nation, when it organized its social or­der, according to so and so a concept of life, the results produced were spe­cifically peculiar to that concept. It was the Qur’an that gave first of all the concept of the Science of History. The Qur’an attaches such a great importance to it that it relates the history of bygone nations, in order to prove the truth of the Qur’anic fundamental principles:

«We’ve already sent down to you signs, making things clear and (illus­trations) from the history of people who passed away before you, and an ad­monition for those who believe» (24:34). The Qur’an warns the non-believers: «Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before them. They were more numerous than these and superior in strength and in the traces (they have left) in the land: yet all that they accom­plished was of no profit to them» (40:82). In the verse (21:12)) it is said, «When they felt Our punishment approaching, they (tried to) flee from it». It means that the destructive effect of wrongful social orders starts building up from the very beginning but they are not felt at the early stage. They grow silently until they appear in palpable form and might require centuries to do so that is why the Qur’an has said that a day of universal laws comprises centuries (22:47; 32:5, The Qur’an).

The Qur’an proclaims: «Because Allah will never change the grace which He has bestowed on a people, until they change what is in their own self. And verily Allah is He Whose power of hearing and knowledge are boundless» (8:53). In this small verse the Qur’an has enclosed the phi­losophy of the rise and fall of nations: The Qur’an says that outer world is true image of the man’s inner self. As long as there is no change in its inner self, there can be no change in its outer world either; and also the change in the outer world is the prototype of the change in the inner world. Bertrand Russel rightly says: «Our present difficulty is that we have con­quered the forces of nature to a considerable extent but have not been able to conquer the forces which lie within ourselves. Self-control has also been the foremost teaching of every teacher of ethics but in every stage a clear concept of it did not exist. However self-control means how to utilize the external for­ces in subservience to the correct values».

The Our’an tells that corruption amongst nations starts in the upper ranks and from their it proliferates and affects the lower ranks: the former indulge in a life of ease, selfishness and luxury and devise plots to keep their hold firm on their wrong system. They are the parasites on the lower ranks, thus it is said: «Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men to plot (and burrow) their-in (6:12)». «But the wrong doers pur­sued their enjoyment of the good things of life by parasitism and persisted in their life of sin» (11:116). These greedy, selfish exploiters become the leaders of their nation and lead their caravan to a market where there is no buyer of this rotten commodity (14:28-29, The Qur’an). In fact, the power of the leaders lies in their followers. That is why, the Qur’an ordains to use intellect and think before taking to the right path even. Thus it is said: «Those who when they are admonished with the signs of their Rabb, droop not down at them, as if they were deaf and blind». (25:72)

That is why, men and women have equally been given ability to:

  1. 1. submit to the Laws of Allah,
  2. 2. obey the laws mechanically, but be convinced of its truthfulness and its healthy results,
  3. 3. develop their abilities and use them only when they have been told to by the laws of Allah,
  4. 4. justify the agreement they have made with Allah (9:111, The Qur’an),
  5. 5. stay steadfast while facing difficulties,
  6. 6. be always available and willing to serve the mankind,
  7. 7. spend all they have got on the system made to implement God’s Laws,
  8. 8. restrain themselves where-ever Allah’s Laws require them to and ob­serve limitations imposed on them,
  9. 9. protect their chastity and honour (honor),
  10. 10. always remind themselves of the Laws of Allah in all matters.

These are the people who will be protected by Allah’s Law of Requital from destruction in all walks of life and Allah will reward them for their ef­forts and work (3:194, 4:124, The Qur’an).

This all requires the establishment of the Qur’anic Social Order for which the ideological base in the Qur’anic words is: «Order the lives of peo­ple according to what Allah has revealed in His Book and don’t follow the de­sires of those who make you deviate from this course» (5:48). But this Qur’anic Social Order is developed through the Qur’anic Model of Education depict­ing (a) the Qur’anic Basis of Education; (b) Ideological Basis of Curricu­lum, and (c) Economic and Social Foundations of education (Manzoor 1993). That will provide the motive-valence for learning by slamming intrusions and obsessions the world is facing today: not by balance of power but by managing to lead life within the boundary walls of the Permanent Values embodied in the Qur’an. (Manzoor: VALUES EDUCATION PROGRAM AND OPERATIONAL MECHANISM FOR STRATEGIC EDUCATIONISTS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM, websitehttp://www.tolueislam.com).

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Understanding The Quran: Pre-requisites (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The Quran seeks to awaken in human the consciousness of his/her intimate relation to the universe. Its main emphasis is on reason and knowledge. Its purpose is to help to build up a free, self-reliant and rational personality, vivified with the sense of Allah’s working in the universe according to His immutable, unalterable laws. Now the question is: “How to understand the Quran?”

For this purpose, some pre-requisites are suggested. Study them very carefully, minutely, and meticulously before manifesting any emotional reactions.

Pre-requisite No. I
For understanding the Quran, it is not enough to have mastered its language, the Arabic language. A man may be proficient in the Arabic language and yet the meaning of the Quran may elude him.

Pre-requisite No. 2
He/She should approach this Divine Book with a receptive mind, free from preconceived ideas and notions, prejudice and bias.

Pre-requisite No. 3
He/She should be serious about human life and universe in which we live, and should have an intense consciousness of participation in a purposeful cosmic process.

Pre-requisite No. 4
He/She should be anxious to guard against pitfalls in the way of life and to steer clear of the obsacles which hinders his/her progress

These are, according to the Quran, the essentials pre-requisites for understanding the Quran. Those who do not approach the Quran in this way, it remains a sealed book to them. In the stories of the Anbiya -the Messengers recounted in the Quran -we are told how those who were not perceptive and alive were only bewildered when they listened to their i.e., the anbiya’s passionate exhortations. Some of them frankly confessed that they found their words unintelligible:
O Shu’aib ! We understand not much what you say (11: 91)

Our first task, in the light of the above mentioned pre-requisites, is to understand the real meaning of the Quran with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. It can only be then that we can proceed to assess the values of its teaching.

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Understanding The Quran: Pre-requisites (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The Quran seeks to awaken in human the consciousness of his/her intimate relation to the universe. Its main emphasis is on reason and knowledge. Its purpose is to help to build up a free, self-reliant and rational personality, vivified with the sense of Allah’s working in the universe according to His immutable, unalterable laws. Now the question is: “How to understand the Quran?”

For this purpose, some pre-requisites are suggested. Study them very carefully, minutely, and meticulously before manifesting any emotional reactions.

Pre-requisite No. I
For understanding the Quran, it is not enough to have mastered its language, the Arabic language. A man may be proficient in the Arabic language and yet the meaning of the Quran may elude him.

Pre-requisite No. 2
He/She should approach this Divine Book with a receptive mind, free from preconceived ideas and notions, prejudice and bias.

Pre-requisite No. 3
He/She should be serious about human life and universe in which we live, and should have an intense consciousness of participation in a purposeful cosmic process.

Pre-requisite No. 4
He/She should be anxious to guard against pitfalls in the way of life and to steer clear of the obsacles which hinders his/her progress

These are, according to the Quran, the essentials pre-requisites for understanding the Quran. Those who do not approach the Quran in this way, it remains a sealed book to them. In the stories of the Anbiya -the Messengers recounted in the Quran -we are told how those who were not perceptive and alive were only bewildered when they listened to their i.e., the anbiya’s passionate exhortations. Some of them frankly confessed that they found their words unintelligible:
O Shu’aib ! We understand not much what you say (11: 91)

Our first task, in the light of the above mentioned pre-requisites, is to understand the real meaning of the Quran with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. It can only be then that we can proceed to assess the values of its teaching.

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Quran’s Concept of Self (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

Reflecting the various facets of Allah (within the human limitations) is the development of the self. It must be kept in mind that the human self is not a part of the Self of Allah. Self is an undeveloped indivisible whole and can not be divided into parts.

The base of every action of the human lies on his intention. So  the consequence of his every action has its impact on his self, even “the treachery of the eyes and what the breasts conceal (Quran, 40: 19)” develop the imprints on the self. This is the Registry of conduct, the debit or credit side of the ledger kept for him: “And on every man We have fastened his record about his neck (Quran, 17: 13).” He will read this same augury at the time of judgment (the time when the consequences are declared). The Quran says: “Read your Register today. Today your self suffices you as a reckonor against you (Quran, 17: 14; and also 75: 14-15).” This establishes the individuality of the human self (Quran, 6: 95 ; 19: 95). Man bears responsibility for all those actions in which his self was involved. If the action was wrong, he has no option but to submit to the “punishment” which is the necessary result of his action. It will not avail him to offer excuses, that he acted heedlessly in a fit of abstraction, or with a good intention. His own heart will bear witness against him (Quran, 75: 14; 6: 165).

The very important phenomenon of the human self is that it is a proficiency, potentiality, capacity or a realizable form, neither good, nor evil in itself. Its use, like other entropies, makes it good or evil. When the human makes its use for the solidarity and preservation of  higher values, it becomes the cause of good (it develops with this process.) When the human makes use of his “choice and will” for achieving the low/mean self-gains (where the higher values are neglected) it manifests evil. In this case, just for discrimination from human self, we call it as “ego”. Ego is extant at the animal level whereas self is at the human level. When human emotions operate under the command of ego, the Quran interprets it with the term “Hawa” (The very root of this word connotes the concept of “mean-ness, low-mindedness, mean-spiritedness”.) And when the human intellect serves the purpose of ego, it is called ruse, craftiness, feigning, deceitedness. On the contrary, when the emotions operate under the command of human self, it becomes the highest essence of humanity. And when the intellect becomes subordinate to the self, the human life and the society become a heaven.

The ego as “ruse, craftiness, feigning” is usually called “Nafs-e-Ammara”, the term derived from the saying of the wife of “Aziz-e-Misr” (Quran, 12: 53) ” Surely the Nafs incites to evil.” It does not mean that the human Nafs is the one that orders for the evil. It does never mean this. This is said of ego. That is why, the Quran, just after this verse, says “except that on whom rest the nourishment of the Nourisher (Quran, 12:53).”

Some times it so happens that the Nafs of the human commits an evil, then there emanate the feelings of shame, of remorsefulness. This, in fact, is a kind of conflict between the ego and the self. The Quran calls this condition as “Nafs-e-Lawwama” (Quran, 75:2) i.e., the reproaching Nafs, the remorseful Nafs. This must be understood, in this connection, that the human self has no proficiency, no capacity, no capability, to distinguish between good and evil in itself. Discrimination between good and evil can be done by means of Revelation of Allah alone. “Nafs-e-Lawwam” will reproach that alone which it considers as evil. But it is not necessary that the one which it considers evil is evil in real sense. And the one it considers good is good in reality (consult the Quran’s concepts of La Ha Meem and Fa Ta Ra). In this way the human conscience is no criterion for judging the good and evil.

When man obeys the Laws of Allah, the conflict between good and evil vanishes. The self overpowers the low and the mean attractions. The Quran calls this state as “Nafs-e-Mutmaenna” (Quran, 89: 27). This phase, in the terminology of the contemporary Psychology, is called Integrated Personality. The reverse of it is called Disintegrated Personality. The Quran has interpreted both these conditions as Fojooraha wa Taqwaha (Quran, 91: 8-9) and has called the development of the self as the ultimate goal of human life. According to the Quran, this is the achievement of life (Quran, 91: 10). Since every human child gets the human self by birth, every human is respect worthy (14: 70). And none enjoys the right to make anyone subordinate. “Choice and will” is the basic facet of the human self, so getting anyone obey one’s orders, exploiting others’ option of “choice and will”, is depriving one of one’s prestige and dignity. According to the Quran, obeying is only to the Laws of Allah. (The Quran calls it as Ibadat.) It is not the obeying  of the orders of any despot or of any tyrant ruler. This obeying is the acting upon the Laws of Allah from the core of one’s heart. ‘This acting upon’ is the self-imposed limitation of the human being on himself. It is because it makes one’s self develop. It is only the Quranic Social Order that establishes the milieu in which no one remains subservient to any one else. This makes the self go on growing higher and higher. The human self can not grow in the solitary life of the monasticism.

There is one verse in Sura Zamr: “Allah stops the Nafs at the time of its death, and that which does not die, makes it so, in its state of sleep; then He withholds that for which He has decreed death, and sends back the other for a stated term (39: 42).” The question is: “What does the term Nafs    -which is made to stop during the state of sleep and death both; and when the human awakes, sends it back, but in case of death is not sent back   – mean in this verse?” So far as sleep is concerned, we know it well that every thing except consciousness is extant in the human; even the subconsciousness remains present. It is evident that Nafs in this verse means the state of its consciousness. It means the consciousness does not remain present in both the states of sleep and death. When the sleeping person awakes, his consciousness again starts operating. But in case of death, consciousness loses its link with the body. After death, the reactivation of consciousness is called “the life after death.” How does the consciousness (or Nafs) reactivate in this life, we can not understand it at this level of our consciousness? It is because the only mean of activation of our consciousness today is our material body. We can not imagine the operational state of our consciousness without the body; it is because the body is the mean at this stage of life through which the consciousness operates. The Quran has never told as to what will be the mean for activating consciousness in the life hereafter, nor was it of any use. But the activation of Nafs after death is the reality which the Quran describes as an established fact. And we have fervid faith (conviction) in it. This is the genuine base on which the edifice of Deen is erected.

That is why the Deen is said to be a Social Order where the dualism of personal and private segments of life, of Deen and Dunya, or of religious and ‘worldly’ matters etc. does not exist.

It must be remembered here that there is at least one marked distinction in the way of development of the self from that of the body. The body grows by taking and assimilating nutrient substances from the environment. The more nourishment it gets, the better is its growth. Paradoxically, the self grows not by receiving but by giving. Generosity promotes its growth and meanness checks it. The more the self gives of its riches, the richer it grows. If this basic truth is clearly perceived, men will rush to the help of those in need. They will think more of what they can give than of what they can keep for themselves. The acquisitive instinct will be weakened and the impulse to give will gain strength. THe Quran extols men who put the interests of others above their own: “They prefer others before themselves, although there be indigence among them; and whosoever is preserved from the covetousness of his own self, these shall prosper (Quran, 59: 9). That is why the Quran has laid down the standard that “Only the most munificent is the fittest to survive”. Those who have imbibed the true spirit of the Quran, will eschew selfishness and will dedicate themselves to the service of humanity. These are the real Muslims manifesting the Quran’s true concept of human self.

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Quran’s Concept of Self (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

Reflecting the various facets of Allah (within the human limitations) is the development of the self. It must be kept in mind that the human self is not a part of the Self of Allah. Self is an undeveloped indivisible whole and can not be divided into parts.

The base of every action of the human lies on his intention. So  the consequence of his every action has its impact on his self, even “the treachery of the eyes and what the breasts conceal (Quran, 40: 19)” develop the imprints on the self. This is the Registry of conduct, the debit or credit side of the ledger kept for him: “And on every man We have fastened his record about his neck (Quran, 17: 13).” He will read this same augury at the time of judgment (the time when the consequences are declared). The Quran says: “Read your Register today. Today your self suffices you as a reckonor against you (Quran, 17: 14; and also 75: 14-15).” This establishes the individuality of the human self (Quran, 6: 95 ; 19: 95). Man bears responsibility for all those actions in which his self was involved. If the action was wrong, he has no option but to submit to the “punishment” which is the necessary result of his action. It will not avail him to offer excuses, that he acted heedlessly in a fit of abstraction, or with a good intention. His own heart will bear witness against him (Quran, 75: 14; 6: 165).

The very important phenomenon of the human self is that it is a proficiency, potentiality, capacity or a realizable form, neither good, nor evil in itself. Its use, like other entropies, makes it good or evil. When the human makes its use for the solidarity and preservation of  higher values, it becomes the cause of good (it develops with this process.) When the human makes use of his “choice and will” for achieving the low/mean self-gains (where the higher values are neglected) it manifests evil. In this case, just for discrimination from human self, we call it as “ego”. Ego is extant at the animal level whereas self is at the human level. When human emotions operate under the command of ego, the Quran interprets it with the term “Hawa” (The very root of this word connotes the concept of “mean-ness, low-mindedness, mean-spiritedness”.) And when the human intellect serves the purpose of ego, it is called ruse, craftiness, feigning, deceitedness. On the contrary, when the emotions operate under the command of human self, it becomes the highest essence of humanity. And when the intellect becomes subordinate to the self, the human life and the society become a heaven.

The ego as “ruse, craftiness, feigning” is usually called “Nafs-e-Ammara”, the term derived from the saying of the wife of “Aziz-e-Misr” (Quran, 12: 53) ” Surely the Nafs incites to evil.” It does not mean that the human Nafs is the one that orders for the evil. It does never mean this. This is said of ego. That is why, the Quran, just after this verse, says “except that on whom rest the nourishment of the Nourisher (Quran, 12:53).”

Some times it so happens that the Nafs of the human commits an evil, then there emanate the feelings of shame, of remorsefulness. This, in fact, is a kind of conflict between the ego and the self. The Quran calls this condition as “Nafs-e-Lawwama” (Quran, 75:2) i.e., the reproaching Nafs, the remorseful Nafs. This must be understood, in this connection, that the human self has no proficiency, no capacity, no capability, to distinguish between good and evil in itself. Discrimination between good and evil can be done by means of Revelation of Allah alone. “Nafs-e-Lawwam” will reproach that alone which it considers as evil. But it is not necessary that the one which it considers evil is evil in real sense. And the one it considers good is good in reality (consult the Quran’s concepts of La Ha Meem and Fa Ta Ra). In this way the human conscience is no criterion for judging the good and evil.

When man obeys the Laws of Allah, the conflict between good and evil vanishes. The self overpowers the low and the mean attractions. The Quran calls this state as “Nafs-e-Mutmaenna” (Quran, 89: 27). This phase, in the terminology of the contemporary Psychology, is called Integrated Personality. The reverse of it is called Disintegrated Personality. The Quran has interpreted both these conditions as Fojooraha wa Taqwaha (Quran, 91: 8-9) and has called the development of the self as the ultimate goal of human life. According to the Quran, this is the achievement of life (Quran, 91: 10). Since every human child gets the human self by birth, every human is respect worthy (14: 70). And none enjoys the right to make anyone subordinate. “Choice and will” is the basic facet of the human self, so getting anyone obey one’s orders, exploiting others’ option of “choice and will”, is depriving one of one’s prestige and dignity. According to the Quran, obeying is only to the Laws of Allah. (The Quran calls it as Ibadat.) It is not the obeying  of the orders of any despot or of any tyrant ruler. This obeying is the acting upon the Laws of Allah from the core of one’s heart. ‘This acting upon’ is the self-imposed limitation of the human being on himself. It is because it makes one’s self develop. It is only the Quranic Social Order that establishes the milieu in which no one remains subservient to any one else. This makes the self go on growing higher and higher. The human self can not grow in the solitary life of the monasticism.

There is one verse in Sura Zamr: “Allah stops the Nafs at the time of its death, and that which does not die, makes it so, in its state of sleep; then He withholds that for which He has decreed death, and sends back the other for a stated term (39: 42).” The question is: “What does the term Nafs    -which is made to stop during the state of sleep and death both; and when the human awakes, sends it back, but in case of death is not sent back   – mean in this verse?” So far as sleep is concerned, we know it well that every thing except consciousness is extant in the human; even the subconsciousness remains present. It is evident that Nafs in this verse means the state of its consciousness. It means the consciousness does not remain present in both the states of sleep and death. When the sleeping person awakes, his consciousness again starts operating. But in case of death, consciousness loses its link with the body. After death, the reactivation of consciousness is called “the life after death.” How does the consciousness (or Nafs) reactivate in this life, we can not understand it at this level of our consciousness? It is because the only mean of activation of our consciousness today is our material body. We can not imagine the operational state of our consciousness without the body; it is because the body is the mean at this stage of life through which the consciousness operates. The Quran has never told as to what will be the mean for activating consciousness in the life hereafter, nor was it of any use. But the activation of Nafs after death is the reality which the Quran describes as an established fact. And we have fervid faith (conviction) in it. This is the genuine base on which the edifice of Deen is erected.

That is why the Deen is said to be a Social Order where the dualism of personal and private segments of life, of Deen and Dunya, or of religious and ‘worldly’ matters etc. does not exist.

It must be remembered here that there is at least one marked distinction in the way of development of the self from that of the body. The body grows by taking and assimilating nutrient substances from the environment. The more nourishment it gets, the better is its growth. Paradoxically, the self grows not by receiving but by giving. Generosity promotes its growth and meanness checks it. The more the self gives of its riches, the richer it grows. If this basic truth is clearly perceived, men will rush to the help of those in need. They will think more of what they can give than of what they can keep for themselves. The acquisitive instinct will be weakened and the impulse to give will gain strength. THe Quran extols men who put the interests of others above their own: “They prefer others before themselves, although there be indigence among them; and whosoever is preserved from the covetousness of his own self, these shall prosper (Quran, 59: 9). That is why the Quran has laid down the standard that “Only the most munificent is the fittest to survive”. Those who have imbibed the true spirit of the Quran, will eschew selfishness and will dedicate themselves to the service of humanity. These are the real Muslims manifesting the Quran’s true concept of human self.

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