|Society's Need For Religion|
"Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men, by their Lord's permission, from utter darkness into lighç, to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One. " Holy Qur'an (14:1)
"0 followers of the Book! indeed Our apostle has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the Book and forgiving much; indeed, there has come to you light and a clear Book from Allah. With it Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure into the ways of peace and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His will and guides them to the right path. " Holy Qur'an (5:15-18)
"He said: 0 my people! have you considered if I have a clear proof from my Lord and He has given me a goodly sustenance from Himself ; and I do not desire that in opposition to you I should betake myself to that which I forbid yow I desire nothing but reform so far as I am able, and with none but Allah is the direction of my affair to a right issue; on Him do I rely and to Him do I turn. " Holy Qur'an (11:88)
"And to Madyan (We sent) their brother Shu'aib. He said: 0 my people! serve Allah, you have no Allah other than Him; clear proof indeed has come to you from your Lord, therefore give full measure and weight and do not diminish to men their things, and do not make mischief in the land after its reform; this is better for you if you are believers. " Holy Qur'an (7:85)
"There is no good in most of their secret counsel except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking. Allah's pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward. " Holy Qur'an (4:114)
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"They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good wad forbid what is evi4 and who keep the limits of Allah, wad give good news to the believers. " Holy Qur'an (9:112)
"Ta this then go on inviting, and go on steadfastly on the right way as you are commanded, and do not follow their low desires, and say: I believe in what Allah has revealed of the Book, wad I am commanded to do justice between you... " Holy Qur'an (42:15)
"…and help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin wad aggression; but keep your duty to Allah; surely Allah is severe in punishment. " Holy Qur'an (5:2)
"And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favor of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so by His favor you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it; thus does Allah make clear to you His communications that you may follow the rigid way. And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful.'' Holy Qur'an (3:103-104)
"Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners and that when you judge between people you judge with justice; surely Allah admonishes you with what is excellent; surely Allah is Seeing; Hearing. '' Holy Qur'an (4:58)
The above mentioned Qur'anic verses are rich with their concepts, alive in their spirit and contents, full of meanings and ideas, and prolific in organizing and guiding notions and values. By combining these concepts and ideas, and by connecting them to the objectives stated through their letters and expressed by their texts, we realize that they are a clear statement inviting people to organize, reform and protect the society, and to draw a program for it according to the best possible legislative and cultural forms.
This can be discerned by scrutinizing the words of the verses and the details of Qur'anic texts, so that their implications and contents can be comprehended. If we do so, we will be able to discover the following:
1.The Glorious Qur'an is the torch of light and guidance for humanity and guides it on the road to safety and righteousness. It prevents humanity from going astray,
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through its principles, its laws and its values for the purpose of organizing the society, building its structure and basing its being on the foundation of truthfulness, justice and order. Allah the Exalted says:
"...indeed, there has come to you light and a clear Book from Allah. With it Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure in the way of peace, wad brings them out of utter darkness into Light by His Will; wad guides them to the right path. '' Holy Our'an (5:15-18)
2. The call of religion is the call for reforming and rejecting mischief, and for fighting against destruction, as well as against those practices borne by mankind's ignorance during diverse ages and generations as a distinguishing characteristic and a historic indication showing its culture.
"Therefore, fear Allah and obey me, and obey not the command of the prodigal who spread corruption in the earth wad do not reform. '' Holy Qur'an (28:150-152)
3. Religion calls upon people to do good and to forbid evil, mischief, wickedness and tyranny. Allah, the Exalted says: "Surely, Allah enjoins justice wad kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He admonishes you in order that you may take heed. '' Holy Qur'an (16.90)
4. According to Islam, injustice, deviation and crime in this life are man-made, and man is responsible for them; but these devious phenomena are not imposed on man as inevitable; and thus Islam urges man to refuse injustice, mischief and deviation, stirring in him the spirit of resistance, to block the way of evil and error. By this man rejects the theory of compulsion and fate that leads to acceptance of injustice and submission.
The Qur'an is quite explicit in communicating this fact and in placing it before man's eyes: "Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of (the evil) which men's hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return. '' Holy Qur'an (30:41)
''…It was not for Allah to wrong them, but they wronged themselves. '' Holy Qur'an (29:40)
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5. Islam tries to establish a unified and cooperative society dominated by the spirit of brotherhood and equality. "...help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression... '' Holy Qur'an (5:2)
6. The invitation of religion is to establish a state of truth and justice, and to make them the foundation of the law as justice is the most sacred symbol and the loftiest truth that Islam discerns in the world. To make certain the sanctity of justice, and to demand it to be implemented, it suffices to note that Allah, the Exalted describes Himself as Just, and acquits Himself from injustice, and He commands His apostle to rule with justice, equality and to adhere to truth and equity. Allah the Exalted says:
"To this, then go on inviting and go on steadfastly on the right way as you are commanded, and do not follow their low desires, and say: I believe in what Allah has revealed of the Book, and I am commanded to do justice between you... '' Holy Qur'an (42:15)
"0 David! Surely We have made you a ruler in the Land; so judge between mankind with justice, and do not follow desire... Holy Qur'an (38:28)
So, the Glorious Qur'an defines the most obvious social aims of religion, and explains man's need for them, and states the most important measures to be taken to build the society and to organize and preserve it. These measures are: First: Individual Education:
Islam set a sound educational program for the individual so that he may be prepared to live in society and to hold fast to the principles of ordered life. Allah the Exalted says: ''And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of his Lord and restrains his soul from low desires, surely the garden will be his home.'' Holy Qur'an (19:40-41)
"He is indeed successful who purifies it, and he is indeed a failure who corrupts it.'' Holy Our'an (91.-9-lO)
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"0 you who believe! Observe your duty to Allah with right observance, and die not unless you become Muslims (unto Him). '' Holy Qur'an (3:102)
Second: Organizing the Society:
The second step taken by Islam in this respect is to move from educating the individual to organizing the society, through adherence to the law and keeping it, in order to protect social life and Islam's teachings. Allah the Exalted says: "...these are the limits (imposed by) Allah, so do not exceed them, and whoever exceeds the limits of Allah, these it is that are the unjust.'' Holy Qur'an (2:229)
"And whoever disobeys Allah and His messenger and goes beyond His limits, He will cause him to enter fire to abide in it, and he shall have an abasing chastisement. '' Holy Qur'an (4:14)
Third: Building the State:
The third step taken by Islam after building society is to construct the state and to implement justice, as a sacred principle in life, which is the foundation for a good government through which the rights are observed, the duties are carried out, and the regime is protected.
Fourth: Preserving the Safety of the Social Structure: The fourth and last stage in an Islamic society is to make reforms and prevent mischief and corruption from creeping in after the society has been constructed, organized and reformed. Allah the Exalted says quoting prophet Hud (a.s.): "...I desire nothing but reform m far as I am able. '' Holy Qur'an (11:88)
''...and do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation. '' Holy Our'an (7:58)
When the disease of deviation and decay creeps into society's body, and there appear the signs of injustice, mischief and confusion, Islam imposes on every individual the obligation to do his duty of reforming both the individual and the society, and to resist corruption and pluck out the roots of evil and transgression, so as to guide the progress of society on the straight path, and merge with the procession of truth and justice. Allah the Exalted says:
"And from among you there should be a party who invite to good, and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it as that shall be successful.'' ( 24 )
Holy Qur'an (3:104)
Accordingly, the construction of society, and measures for its welfare and safety are implementable only through religion. Therefore, the message of religion and the principles of belief are indispensable to the society. This discernable cultural reality is confirmed by man's social experience and by his sufferings from deviated principles, systems and theories.
Religion and Physical Care
As religion has its moral, spiritual and mental programme and plans, it similarly has its exact and complete program for taking care of the body and meeting its physical and instinctive needs. This bodily care is in harmony with that of the mental, psychological and spiritual programmes, since man is regarded as one complete unit of inseparable soul and body. The religious laws and values have been formulated to satisfy, coordinate and guide all the human inclinations and activities. So, Islam legislated laws for economy, matrimony, food, drink, worship, cleanliness, etc.., in order to meet these needs within the limits of the law.
Islam has founded its special plan for taking care of the body and the instinctive activities, on the following basic principles:
1. Accepting the physical needs of the body and man's inborn instincts, and the necessity to satisfy them in a natural way so as to keep the body balanced. This admission has been met by the laws and teachings which provide for man all his needs of food, drink, shelter, clothes, marriage, medical treatment, etc.. Allah the Exalted says:
"And seek by means of what Allah has given you the abode of the hereafter, and do not neglect your portion of the world and be kind as Allah has been kind to you, and do not seek corruption in the earth. Sure& Allah does not love mischief-makers.'' Holy Qur'an (28:77)
2. Islam has offered a complete programme for the protection of the body and its energy against diseases, vanity and waste. It prohibits whatever is harmful and immoral, such as wine, adultery, sodomy, extravagance, lust, etc. It also purifies and protects the body against sickness, filth and impurity which attack the body and destroy health and cleanliness. Allah the Exalted Says:
"Say: My Lord forbids only indecencies, those apparent of them and those concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice and that you associate with Allah that for which He has sent down no a authority, and that you say concerning Allah that which you do know not.
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Holy Our'an (7:33)
3. Islam has a plan for utilizing man's energy and bodily effort in the fields of construction, production and innovation. Allah the Exalted says:
"...he brought you into being from the earth, and has made you dwell in it... '' Holy Qur'an (11:81)
"And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation... '' Holy Qur'an (7:58)
4. Islam has given man the right to enjoy the beauties and the adornments of life, and to make use of its good things. "Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good provisions?'' Holy Qur'an (7:32)
By these practical and scientific measures, Islam protects the health of the body, provides man with physical happiness, keeps his natural right to live, and saves his sanity and energy from uselessness, from being completely lost and from the destruction imposed upon him by the ignorant programmes, the man- made laws and dogmatic theological calls.
Can Religion Be Substitled?
Can man reject religion and replace it by the discoveries and the knowledge to which he could attain in the fields of social organization, in morals and behaviour, and in ideological explanations?
Would man be happy, dignified and comfortable if he took that as a substitute for religion?
This must be studied carefully so as to find an objective and correct answer, since the advocates of ignorance have one answer, and the believers in Allah have another. All the ignorants, notwithstanding their different materialistic and infidel philosophies,
sects and secular trends, reject religion and advocate its replacement by man's scientific and theoretical achievements, with an argument based on a deformed idea and a disordered concept about the origin of religion, its message and aims - the concept which takes religion to be nothing but a mythical legend or an imagery created by a superstitious mind during the backward and primitive ages. According to them in those ages man tried to interpret the appearance of the universe and life.
Having failed to discover the scientific laws of nature and life, he attributed. that to an unknown creator. He saw the rain, observed the sunrise and the sunset, and discerned the growth of plants and animals, their multiplication,
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their birth and death; yet he did not know how those events happened, because he was ignorant of their scientific explanation. He, therefore, invented an imaginary theory, fabricated by his illusions, telling of the existence of a god behind this physical existence, and of an unseen divine power that was behind the movement and direction of all these things.
Then, as man gradually started discovering the laws of nature, he came to obtain a materialistic answer to eveiy event; so, now he has no need of religion and he would not like it.
Prophets, from the viewpoint of this ignorant concept, are men representing the thought of their communities, backward in their beliefs and knowledge. They are distinguished because of the class - struggle and an inclination to reform. So, they are movedby economic and social factors to enact social reforms according to their thinking and the conditions of their communities. As for Allah, revelation and prophethood, they say they do not exist except in the minds of those who believe in them.
Such are the calumnies of the modern ignorant mind and the materialistic, infidel thought which rejects religion, revelation and prophethood, and which is founded on denial, infidelity and disbelief in the existence of a Creator of this universe, refusing to accept revelation and prophethood as being true and real.
These religious facts are regarded by this ignorant and denying interpretation as ideas expressing peoples' low understanding, and illustrating their inferior level of knowledge. This ignorant argument is the idea which is being repeated by the infidel seculars, according to which they demand the abolition of religion, replacing it with the materialistic interpretation and organization, which man reached through researches and experiments, announcing that man is in no need of religion, and thus severing his ties with Allah.
Religion, likewise, presents its own answer to the question: (Can religion be substituted?), and explains its point of view. Religion's answer is derived as we shall see, from intellect and human experience. The answer is: There is no substitute for religion. This answer is based on numerous scientific and known facts which prove that man cannot do without religion.
They confirm the scientific discoveries which pave the way for organizing social life and coining laws to govern behaviour - such as the discoveries in the science of economy, finance, statistics, psychology, sociology, health, etc. But without divine guidance these are incapable of offering the legislative prescription that may cure the disorder and the abnormality from which man is suffering in respect to his conduct, legislation, systematizing, thinking, etc.
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There are before the contemporary man enough facts and events to break down his scientific conceit which he acquired in the wake of his achievements in technology and invention. These made him believe that he was the god on earth, and that he could do without adhering to religion, and that what he obtained of knowledge and scientific achievements was enough to organize life and lead mankind's progress to happiness.
This conceited allegation is not novel in man's history, nor is it alien to the human thinking. In fact, it is a sickness of ignorance that has been accompanying man throughout the stages of his history and the chapters of his life.
The divine invitation has in every generation been confronted by the accusations of the ignorant opponents of guidance and faith, of being superstitious and mythical who allege that they can do without religion, since they possess knowledge, wealth, power, etc. The inseparability between ignorance and this accusation (religion being a legend, and man's knowledge is able to take its place), is but a proof of its deficient comprehension, and of how far it lags, in its spirit, mind and conduct, behind the procession of religion and its invitation to catch up with it.
As a matter of fact, this accusation is not new nor discovered in man's age of knowledge and learning, as otherwise, the accusers would have provided themselves with an excuse, and refuted their opponents by arguing that man's knowledge of facts and achievements could discover the mythical aspect of religion, and avoid resorting to, or depending on, it.
But the tragedy of the modern ignorant mind is that it has been blindly repeating what has originally been said during man's most ignorant, backward and reactionary period - a fact which confirms that the accusation is a mere justification for man's ignorance concealed behind it - for his rejection of the message of religion, and for his discordance with it, spiritually and psychologically. It has not been a scientific discovery, nor has it been an objective estimation of religion.
Here the Qur'an presents us with text telling about the disputes of the nations and the perished ignorant people. These texts spotlight the painful and bitter fact that man is diverged from admitting the truth; justifying it by abuse, self-deceit and proud and empty allegations. Allah the Exalted says:
"And when Our revelations are recited to them, they say: We have heard. If we wish we can speak the like of this; this is nothing hut the stories of the ancients. '' Holy Qur'an (8:31)
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"And when it is said to them: What is it your Lord has revealed? They say: Stories of the ancients. '' Holy Qur'an (16:24)
Then the Qur'an continues, elsewhere, to talk about man's pride and his illusive belief of his having no need for religion. It illustrates the result of this proud and empty haughtiness of the time of ignorance - it is a tragic result of arrogance and is the proof of truth and Allah's message.
Thus arrogance and pride, the main characteristics of nations and peoples in the time of ignorance, were the cause of their own down - fall and closed the deformed register of their historical existence. Allah the Exalted says:
"Have you not traveled in the land to see the nature of the consequence for those before them? They were more (numerous) than these, and mightier in power and (in the) trace (which they left behind them) in the earth. But all that they used to earn did not avail them, and when their messengers brought them clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty) they exulted in the knowledge they (themselves) possessed. And that which they used to mock befell them. '' Holy Qur'an (40:82-83)
This is how the Qur'an brings to us over generations, pictures of the Conscience and thoughts of the time of ignorance, to show us a phenomenon that accompanies man on this path through the history of his life, so that the advocates of faith may not be taken by surprise by this invalid accusation synchronized with deviated thought and the imagination of the ignorant. It may suffice, by reviewing the Holy Qur'an, to unearth the roots of this accusation and write the pages of its history along man's procession, and to come to an important conclusion; i.e. the argument of those of the time of ignorance - which can be summarized as:
religion is mythical, and man can replace it by the knowledge and discoveries he has attained - was not a scientific fact discovered by the scientific mind; it is rather a repetition of ignorant, deviated and ancient theory, whose existence synchronizes with the existence of human ignorance and the very old backward ages. Besides this historical proof exposing the fabrication of the said allegation, there are further facts confirming the need for religion, and that the scientific achievements cannot enrich human life with belief, concepts and systems capable of explaining life, its order and its arrangement.
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Hereunder are some of these proofs:
Firstly, the shortcomings of the scientific discoveries, and their not covering the whole truth in man's world, both in its individual scientific facts and in its unified and correlated wholeness.
Science failed to find out the laws that govern man and his society, and was unable to recognize their correlation and the extent of their interaction and effectiveness.
There is a correlation between human motives and the constitution of the human body; between economic laws and society, politics, ethics, health, ways of thinking, etc. But science failed to recognize and define it in its complete objective form. So, man was left in his own reality, his social laws, still in an unknown world which science could neither discover nor define. Therefore, man has become an object of experiment for those who have theories, principles, philosophies, but they lost their lives at the alter of those severe and bitter experiments.
Secondly, the effect of man's will on the scientific discoveries of social trends: Man's free will to choose is the essence of humanity and its far-reaching truth evident in every act and position, which science cannot tame and force to accept and adopt its results, unless man responds to it. So, the most that science can do and offer to man, is to uncover knowledge and laws and place them before man so that he may make use of them and define his attitude towards them.
Here is where the task of science comes to an end, and the task of man, with all his emotional and voluntary being, begins, the task to choose his method of handling these facts, positively or negatively.
Consequently, the role of religion is quite important in guiding mankind and in putting him on the road leading to goodness and happiness. It is religion that is capable of making a free will in accordance with the will of goodness and truth, scientific knowledge is incapable of attaining this goal, because a scientific fact is of man's discovery, and he, therefore, is not obliged to observe it or to turn against it. He finds in himself the power of accepting and implementing such information, as well as the power of omitting them from his life, since he is their owner and master, and has the will to ignore them. For this there is much evidence and many examples.
For example, man has discovered the dangers of alcohol, adultery and drugs, nevertheless millions of people are still falling victims to these dangers, subjected to deadly diseases and insanity under the psychological, nervous, and financial chaos.
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Man-made laws still regard lawful such practices, and grant abnormal individuals full freedom to practice them. So, man's knowledge availed him not, nor did it save him from his disastrous fate.
Man has realized the dangers of usury, monopoly economic exploitation, unlawful speculations in money and goods, and their bad effects on human society and its security and welfare. But this knowledge was unable to solve man's economic crisis, nor did it put an end to poverty and fulfilled his needs. Millions of people still cannot find enough food to keep them alive, nor do they have means to protect themselves against poverty; and thus, hundreds of thousands of them die every day from hunger and undernourishment, whereas, a small number of the elite enjoy diverse kinds of luxury and excessive wealth.
Therefore, scientific discoveries, knowledge and social experience cannot help man to force the implementation of those findings, unlike the laws, the values and the ethics of religion, as these have the power to direct man's will, to omit personal effect and to curb his inner desires and whims.
This is because a believer believes that the principles of religion are divine and must be carried out, and he is responsible for their implementation, for which he is promised reward. This faith gives the message of religion - besides the support of the law and scientific facts-the authority to implement and to educate. This prepares man to obey these principles and put them into effect, through the spiritual and moral immunity of the religion. They work as a guaranteed confirmation of the purpose of their application and their fulfillment.
Analyzing the motives which induce the supporters of ignorance and secular principles to advocate breaking away from religion and abolishing its role in life, we come to locate three major reasons:
1.The backwardness of the materialistic and ignorant man and his weak personality which is unable to ascend to the level of adhering to the message of religion - the message of normal and straight forward men. This causes man to accept his lowliness and stick to the bottom of the swamps, and to defend this debased situation of his, he accuses religion of being inert, reactionary, legendary, etc., trying to justify his degrading position and his submission to be in such an immoral situation. The Qur'an is quite exact in analyzing these types of people and rebuking them:
"...Is it ever so, that, whenever then a messenger came to you (from Allah) with that which your souls did not desire, you grow arrogant, and some you disbelieve and some you say?'' Holy Qur'an (2:87)
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"Among them are some who give ear to you, (Muhammad) till when they go forth from you, they say to those who have been given knowledge: What was it that he said just flow? Those are they whose hearts Allah has sealed, and they follow their own Lust. '' Holy Qur'an (47:16)
This factor - of psychological backwardness and moral deviation - is the first of the three reasons for pronouncing the ignorant secular call.
2.The second reason that encourages the call for abolishing religion and seeking a substitute, is the distorted picture drown about religion and learning by the Church, the Jewish concepts and paganism. These twisted concepts and beliefs which place faith in opposition and hostility towards learning and man, have been encountered with rejection and disdain, and man, with all his mighty culture and modern ideas, stands against these backward and legendary tendencies.
In fact these distorted tendencies are to blame for man's lack of understanding of religion and of the messages of faith and of the invitations of guidance, not knowing that it was religion that first called for fighting such legendary concepts, and was at the head of the objectors against those ideas and beliefs, contradictory to the logic of science and mind. It was religion that pioneered the announcement of the slogans calling unity among faith, mind and science. The Qur'an, which is the soul of divine legislation and constitution of the Islamic religion, advocates this slogan by saying:
''…Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who have knowledge to high ranks... '' Holy Qur'an (58:11)
"He grants wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever is granted wisdom, he truly has received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding.'' Holy Qur'an (2:269)
And this, the apostle of religion, Muhammad, (s.a.w.)2, the spokesman of the apostles, raises his voice saying: "The honor of knowledge is dearer to me than the honor of worship and the best of your religion is piety.'' "Whoever desires this world let him learn, whoever desires the other world let him leant, and whoever desires both Let him learn . '' Tohaful Uqool p.34
3.The third and last reason is the endearment of scientific achievements, and the lack of distinguishing between social experience and being able to discover and
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make use of its laws, on one hand, and the natural experiments and man's ability to discover the natural laws and utilize them, on the other. This mixing between the nature of the two experiences, and man's connection to them without being able to distinguish between the two, the social and the natural, encouraged the call for satisfaction with man's achievements in the social field, as it sufficed him to be content with his natural discoveries,
without taking into consideration the differences between the two cases. By scrutinizing both practices, the social and the natural, their basic differences can be detected, and then we may clearly discern the grave mistake in treating the two practices on the same level. It is a mistake committed by materialistic thought when it regards the social experience as equal to the natural one, ignorant of the differences between the two. These differences are:
a. Concerning the natural experience:
In this experience man deals with matter, which possesses no will to refuse or to resist. It responds to the law, and is forced to submit exactly to the movement of that law.
Whereas in the social experience, the dealing is with the human will which has the power to refuse or accept, and it is the will which handles the law, not the contrary.
b. As for the natural laws, man utilizes them to his interests as soon as he discovers them. He cannot forge these interests or falsify the results. But he can fabricate the social laws, motivated by his selfishness and the benefits thereof, in order to take hold of the results.
Whereas in the case of the social laws, knowing them does not inevitably imply carrying them out and utilizing them. Actually, man's desires and selfish interests affect the law and misinterpret it or even cancel it.
c. In relation to the law, man can live without having to know or to discover most of the natural laws, or to continue the search for discovering them, and apply those already discovered to serve his purpose. Man, in encountering failure in his natural experiments, or being short of comprehending them, (or knowing very little about them), does not harm himself whatsoever. Whereas in respect to the social law, to ignore it, or to neglect to comprehend it, inevitably causes disorder and chaos in the society, and man himself would be the victim of this deficiency and failure in his social experiment. What can man win if he loses himself and his happiness? True is Allah's saying:
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"...say: the losers will be those who lose themselves and their house-folk on the Day of Resurrection. Ah, that will be the manifest loss!'' Holy Qur'an (39:15)
So many social experiments proved disappointing! So many systems that were applied failed! And man was the victim, and suffered much torture and misery. When a human society lacks the social system that establishes 3ustice, equality and respect for peoples' rights, it loses much more than what it loses in being ignorant of the laws of the atom,or of the planets, or of the depths of the oceans.
Man can do without that kind of knowledge. There is no harm in his failing to discover these laws, or in their incorrect application; but the case is not so with the concepts of justice, truth, equality, etc.
d. There is still another difference. The natural facts can be discovered through observation and laboratory-experiments; whereas this is not the case with the concepts of truth, equity, goodness, etc., by which the social laws and values are measured. These measures, the legislative and moral values, ate not the results of laboratory experiments, nor are they something tangible in as much as a social experiment can explicitly distinguish. They are moral and spiritual values or measures, or evaluating facts that need knowledge, understanding and estimation, outside the limits of an experiment, and an objective treatment of man. They are general facts that man tries to attain, but in reality he is always short of them, while their contraries have always been there during his bitter experience at the time of ignorance. So, how can man attain them? How can he make them?
Thus, in light of the above reasons, it is a grave mistake to equate a social experiment with a natural one and, consequently, give up religion as a social legislator. Our scientific discoveries and experiments, though satisfying us from the natural and materialistic viewpoint, miserably fall short of solving our social life and organizing In fact, we have but to open wide the doors of learning and the windows of the intellect, in order to accept the word of Allah, and to respond to the preachings of the Qur'an and look into them carefully:
"0 you who believe! Obey Allah and the Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life and know that Allah intervenes between the man and his heart, and to Him you will be gathered. '' Holy Qur'an (8:24)
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At the end of our essay, we should not forget to say that the errand of the religion is not only organizing life and guiding it; but the ultimate goal is the other world, a much bigger reality in the message of religion. Preparing for the afterlife is a basic and most important task of every religion and divine message.
Man should think of that world before thinking of the transient travel of this life. The other life is a real fact, and it is the inevitable end at whose shores man will have to anchor. Science is incapable of guaranteeing safety for man in the afterlife, nor can it make him believe in it and work for it, away from the message of religion and the guidance of faith.