How the Man Think in the Absence of Divine Guidance: Just an Analysis (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The planet we dwell saw two revolutions: the scientific revolution and the ethical revolution. The birth of the modern science took place in the Europe about four centuries ago. And a little over two centuries ago there came a revolution in the domain of ethics to affect the process of governance and development in the human sphere. The scientific revolution brought a dynamic, self-correcting and ever growing body of knowledge. It continuously remained quick in its pace. On the contrary, the ethical revolution advanced slowly. Its result is that the pace of the ethical social progress among the masses looks to be especially slow when competed with pragmatic economic realities the scientific revolution brought. The amazing phenomenon is that the advances in technology spread like wildfire around the planet, and created at each step ethical concerns that have been and are barely articulated before the new advances arise. It is now playing a wondrous and horrendous awe in the human vision and the human interpersonal relations.

Whatever has been said above will become clear with this explanation. Look at one end of the spectrum. There are practices that infringe individual rights and gush forth problems. These problems are fairly straightforward, since a system of laws exists with a tradition of dealing with such rights. An example is the use of diagnostic genetic tools to dent health insurance and jobs to people with a genetic predisposition to certain diseases. The system of laws deals with these problems effectively. At the other end of the spectrum are ethical problems in which the sum of our individual behavior results in intolerable consequences for all humankind. The present restlessness the world over is one of its natural consequences.

Now look to the use of the scientific products. Even civil, law-abiding citizens think that they have the right to drive oil guzzlers when they feel like it and use as much oil and electricity as they please, regardless of the consequences for the rest of the inhabitants of the planet. We have yet to define the ethical principal that bind individuals to the fate of humankind.

Our ethics have been good at breaking down problems into smaller components but have not found ways to put things back together. That is, we have yet to master anticipating the consequences of our big innovations. Every time we try to fool nature, we are fooled instead. Perceived short-term personal benefits become of doubtful value in the longer term.

Take another aspect. Large-scale industrial crop practices of agribusiness in technology-driven countries threaten the survival of vast communities of small farmers in those countries and in the developing world. Use of animal meal to feed herbivores has brought us madcow diseases. And likewise is the blue sheep disease. In the name of efficiency and lower costs, livestock are frequently kept in such cramped, unhealthy conditions that their meat and their wastes lead to public health hazards. For the most part, laboratory animals live much healthier lives than livestock! How to deal ethically with this situation is still a grave problem. The mindless use of antibiotics on humans and domestic animals has fostered the selection of resistant, deadlier strains of pathogens. All these examples of supposed efficiency have had social costs. Now, in the European Union, concerns about the safety of food are affecting local and national elections. What will come out is still a problem in the domain of ethical revolution.

Many more examples can be cited where the scientific revolution has harnessed the forces of nature and the ethical revolution has failed to cope up with the situation so arisen. The basic reason is that the human intellect is unable to devise and implement rules to solve the human problems. It is the Quraan that brings forth the needed solutions. And we have neglected this torch of guidance. What we did with it is that we have given expression to all the Quraanic passages, revealed in a specific time in history and within certain circumstances, relative to those circumstances only. And forgot that the message was not limited to that time or to those circumstances historically alone. Added to it was another malaise of our so-called scholars’ heaped up pile of a kind of pastiche of Islamic principles, pre-Islamic practice, and prophetic practice. This became one of the causes of Islamic decadence. It lacked a systematic study of Islamic principles, without which Islamic law became an arbitrary instrument that became eminently susceptible to manipulation by those in power. And then these scholars before addressing political goals tried tooth and nail to create a truly Islamic populace. They discussed grammatical and rhetorical distinctions in particular texts, producing commentaries and even commentaries on commentaries without ever looking into the real, the actual message of the text itself though it required urgently the creation of truly Islamic education, which itself demanded the careful reassessment of all Islamic institutions.

At creation, Allah, the Nourisher, set a challenge for humanity: to create a just society, a society in which the equality and competence all people share in the eyes of Allah would be reflected in the Socio-Economic and Political Order we call as The Nourishment System. Unjust societies are, self-destructive by nature; they inevitably produce rebellion. And in the nuclear age, full-scale rebellion could well lead to the destruction of human life, as we know it.

It is the Quraan that deals with these human problems in the social setup of the nation. Let’s unfold the mysteries of the nature through the scientific revolution broadening the horizons of intellectual vision and find out the ways and means of their utilization in the human area according to the teachings of the Quraan. It will unite the Sm’a and the Urz together. What we forget now, the coming generations of the world would remember.

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