Chapter I : Principles Values and General Concepts

 

 

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    The Islamic Charter on Family

     

    Chapter I : Principles Values and General Concepts

    This Chapter discusses the general principles, governing values, and regulating concepts that are necessary to reach the correct understanding of the family system in Islam.  They are considered comprehensive principles that regulate the branches and the details of the family system. Each section of this Chapter is considered a comprehensive title under which these principles fall.  This Chapter is composed of the following five sections:

    Section One : The Divine Mission of Man

      This Section discusses the primary goal for which man was created. It also deals with the ways in which Allah has prepared and enabled man to achieve this goal.  This subject is covered in two articles:

    Article (1)

    Worshipping Allah and Spreading Civilization on Earth

    Allah honored man and distinguished him above many of His other creations. He chose man to be His caliph on Earth,  to spread civilization therein by working to provide for his physical and spiritual needs; building a human society governed by the ideal values of truth, beneficence, and justice; and achieving the significance of worshipping Allah and having faith in Him Alone, and setting Him apart from His creation to be obeyed and worshipped according to the manner of His prophets and messengers.

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    This Article clarifies some of the general principles and values that govern man's mission on Earth.  It begins by clarifying the details that distinguish man over all other creations, as Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 70)

    [And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.]  (17: 70)

    Then He clarified the objective behind man's creation; so that man would strive to spread civilization on Earth, thereby allowing him to fulfill his spiritual and physical needs, as Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 61)

    [ . It is He Who hath produced you from the earth and settled you therein.] (11: 61)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 56)

    [And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me. ] (51: 56)

    Also, He says:

    [ ] (: 15)

    [It is He who made the earth tame for you so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision and to Him is the resurrection. ] (67: 15)

    And He says:

    [ ] (: 20)

    [ [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed and He is the Exalted in Might, the Most Forgiving] (67: 2)

    Man was also created to build a human society, as Allah the Exalted says:

    [   ] (: 13)

    [O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Aware. ] (49: 13)

    This society is ruled by the highest virtues; including truth, beneficence, and justice.  With regard to the virtue of truth, Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 26)

    [ [We said]: O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allah. Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account. ] (38:26)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 33)

    [And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except for a just cause.] (17: 33)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 42)

    [The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress men and wrongly rebel in the earth, for such there will be a painful torment. ] (42: 42)

    The Prophet (may blessings and peace be upon him) said, "Speak the truth, even if it is bitter."[1]  He also said, "There is no charity more beloved to Allah than to speak the truth."[2]

    In reference to the virtue of beneficence, Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 77)

    [O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful. ] (22: 77)

    He also says:

    [ ] ( : 104)

    [And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right... ] (3: 104)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 73)

    [. and We inspired them to do good deeds.] (21: 73)

    With regard to the virtue of justice, Allah the Exalted says:

    [  ] (: 58)

    [Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. ] (4: 58)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 90)

    [Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you might be reminded. ] (16: 90)

    Allah the Exalted also says:

    [ ] (: 8)

    [O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. ] (5: 8)

    Man was also created to achieve the implications of worshipping Allah and having faith in Him Alone; distinguishing Him from His creation in His sole right to be obeyed and worshipped as did His prophets and messengers, as Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 56)

    [And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. ] (51: 56)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 31)

    [. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him. ] (9: 31)

     Allah the Exalted also says:

    [ ] (: 5)

    [And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakaah. And that is the correct religion. ] (98: 5)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 25)

    [And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, There is no deity except Me, so worship Me. ] (21: 25)

    ***

    Article (2)

    Providing Man With the Necessary Qualities to Undertake This Mission

    In order to accomplish his mission on Earth, Allah granted man the necessary intellectual, psychological, and physical abilities to make him qualified to fulfill this mission. Likewise, He sent messengers to lead man to the straightest path of guidance and success, in this life and in the Hereafter.

    --------------------------------------------

    This Article clarifies the abilities and talents that Allah has bestowed upon man to enable him to achieve his mission on Earth.  Allah the Glorious and Exalted granted him mental faculties, as Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 78)

    [And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.] (16: 78)

    Likewise, Allah the Exalted gave man psychological and physical abilities. He says about these:

    [ ] (: 64)

    [Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, then blessed be Allah, the Lord of all creation.] (40: 64)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 2)

    [[He] Who has created [everything], and then proportioned it] (87: 2)

    Allah also says:

    [ ] (: 4)

    [We have certainly created man in the best of stature] (95: 4)

    This Article also clarifies the blessing that Allah bestowed upon mankind by sending messengers to lead them to the straightest path of sound guidance and success, in this life and in the Hereafter.  Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 36)

    [And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid false gods.".] (16: 36)

    He also says:

    [ ] (:47)

    [And We have already sent messengers before you to their peoples, and they came to them with clear proofs.])30:47)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 28)

    [It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.] (48: 28)

    ***

    Section Two:  Man's Divinely Inspired Nature and the Universal Norms

    This Section discusses some of the universal norms related to the creation of man and man's relationship with other humans. Allah instilled these norms within His creation to govern their way of life. This Section includes three Articles, and each Article clarifies one of these norms.

    Article (3)

    Possession of Mental Faculties and the Will to Change

    Allah created man with the innate tendency to believe in Him. At the same time, He granted man the intellect and will that allow him to stray from his fitrah (divinely inspired nature), or to develop his abilities according to his knowledge, spiritual gifts, and social conditions. It is the existence of this intellect and this will that is the precondition for the reward or punishment that man will be dealt in the Hereafter.

    --------------------------------------------

    This Article addresses one of the norms in Allah's creation: Possession of mental faculties and the will to change.  The Article clarifies that faith has been instilled within man's being, within the depths of his sentiment, and in the essence of his creation. Likewise, it also clarifies that Allah granted man intellect and will by which he is able to change his beliefs; either deviating from them or furthering them. This is based on the noble verse of the Qur'an:

    [ ] (: 30)

     [So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.] (30: 30)

    Similarly the Messenger of Allah (may blessings and peace be upon him) said, " Each child is born in a state of "fitrah", then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian."[3]

    This mental faculty and will is in fact a condition for the punishment or reward in the Hereafter.  Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] ( : 104)

    [There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you." ] (6:104 )

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 29)

    [And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills let him believe; and whoever wills let him disbelieve"... ] (18: 29)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 3)

    [Indeed, We guided him to the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful. ] (76: 3)

    Allah the Exalted also says:

    [ ] (: 99)

    [And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? ] (10: 99)

    The basis for this is also found in the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may blessings and peace be upon him), "The pen has been lifted from three [i.e. their deeds are not recorded]; from one who is sleeping until he awakens, from the child until he reaches maturity, and from the insane until he becomes sane."[4]

    ***

    Article (4)

    The Equality in the Origin of Creation and the Variation in Distinguishing Characteristics

    Allah created all of mankind equal in the origin of their creation from one soul.  Thus it follows, that they are equal in their general characteristics. Despite this, Allah's wisdom dictated that they should differ in some of their individual characteristics such as strength and weakness, talents, and psychological, mental, and physical abilities.

    This human variation in some special characteristics is the foundation of life, as it causes individuals and societies to get to know, cooperate, and complete each other; as opposed to being an invitation to animosity and hatred.

    --------------------------------------------

    In the context of clarifying the norms that Allah has instilled in His creation, this Article clarifies that Allah created all of mankind to be equal in the source of their creation from one soul, and thus it follows that they are equal in their general characteristics.  Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 1)

    [O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.] (4: 1)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 20)

    [And of His signs is that He created you from dust; then, suddenly you were human beings dispersing [throughout the earth]. ] (30: 20)

    Likewise, the Messenger of Allah (may blessings and peace be upon him) said, "All of mankind are the sons of Adam, and Adam was created from dust."[5]

    Allah's wisdom dictated that they should differ in some of their individual characteristics such as strength and weakness, talents, and psychological, mental, and physical abilities and this is a social phenomenon that is witnessed and felt, and does not require any further evidence.  Allah the Exalted says:

    [ ] (: 54)

    [Allah is the one who created you from [a state of] weakness, then made after weakness strength, then made after strength weakness and white hair. He creates what He wills, and He is the All-Knowing, the All-Competent. ] (30: 54)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 247)

    (.Indeed, Allah has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah gives His sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing [in favor] and All-Knowing.] (2: 247)

    Likewise, He says:

    [ ] (: 69)

    [.And remember when He made you successors after the people of Noah and increased you in stature extensively. So remember the favors of Allah that you might succeed.] (7:69)

    This human variation in some special characteristics is the foundation of life as it causes individuals and societies to get to know, cooperate, and complete each other rather than being an invitation to animosity and hatred. Allah the Exalted says

    [ ] (: 13)

    [O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Aware. ] (49: 13)

    He also says:

    [ ](: 2)

    [.And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah.] (5: 2)

    He also says:

    [ ] (: 46)

    [. and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. ] (8: 46)

    Article (5)

    Integration of the Spouses; The Male and the Female

    Despite the common origin of humanity's creation from one soul, Allah, with His Infinite Ability, created a pair from this soul; male and female. Only through contact, cooperation, and completing each other, can life continue, the civilization be spread, and the human race proliferate; this is the way that Allah has decreed for all of creation and things in this life.

    It is only by way of the connection between man and woman that the family is formed, and the family is the first nucleus of human society.

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