What are the problems being faced by the western world today?
Let's look at the problems that exist in our society and that government's as well as NGO's (you know- non-governmental organisations) are struggling to solve. Now can Islam provide a solution to these problems?
'Ha! That 1400 year old ancient out of date religion's gonna sort our problems out...yeah...and Saddam Hussein is the fairy God mother!'.
'So you don't think Islam is up to it. eh?' Now. what if the systems of Islam provide us with solutions to these problems at the individual, national and international level, then we have to say that mankind should accept and follow the teachings of Islam -true? So, let the party begin:
Today, all over the world people are murdered and attacked because of the colour of their skin. White and black racist groups still exist. .I know you're shocked aren't you?
The murder of Stephen Lawrence and the race riots in the North of England have shown that today's governments aren't able to prevent racism. Nobody is in a position to remove this conflict except Islam. In his last sermon, the Prophet Muhammad said:
'O mankind! All of you have one Lord. All of mankind are She children of Adam. I have crushed the exploitative though! of the old world order under my feet. Today the Arabs will not be superior than non-arabs. and non-arabs will not be superior than Arabs. White is not superior over black and black will not be superior over white.' (Bukhari)
The Prophet also said: 'All of you have been created from a single unit of creation. There is no superiority on the basis of race. tribe, language orternfoiy. Superiority is only in character and piety.'
Islam eliminated the concept of racism and developed the idea of brotherhood. It emphasises on the issue that race and colour doesn't matter, it's your character, behaviour and piety that counts. It is these teachings. which will kick out racism from the individual to the national level.
2. Hunger, homelessness & Poverty
Today, millions of people are dying of starvation and are homeless. There are people who cannot meet the basic necessities of life. whilst others are living as kings.
Islam has resolved this problem at the individual and national level: 'Feed a hungry person, enquire after a sick person, and help a person seek release from prison.' (Bukhari)
'Allah has fixed a portion in the wealth of the rich out of which the needs of their poor are met.' (AI-Muajam-al-Ausaatj 'He is not a believer who eats to the full while his neighbour remains hungry.' (Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad said: '0 people! If any of you possess food. which is more than you require, then he should return it to those who do not have enough for their basic needs. Each and everything given to you is from Allah and the basic necessity should be fulfilled in each and every society'. (Bukhari)
Someone asked Prophet Muhammad (saw): which kind of Islam is better? He replied one that feeds others.' (Bukhari)
Islam makes sure nobody in the community is hungry or homeless. These Islamic laws and teachings can be implemented at the individual, community as well as national level.
3. Sexual life
This has ruined mankind. It has destroyed the human and ethical values of mankind. Islam gave a balanced view. which if adopted today will solve the sexual problems in society.
Today due to absolute freedom of sex we have problems such as teenage pregnancies, single parent families, rape. child abuse, homosexuality and so on.
Islam has resolved the problem saying that sex should be balanced and kept in check, not eliminated completely nor should it become the meaning of life. Islam gave the idea that marriage should be used to keep your sexual desires in to moderation.
Sexual life should be enjoyed within marriage so that you can gain purity from sex Prophet Muhammad said: 'O party of the young! Whosoever among you can afford to marry, he should marry because it makes you modest and protects your private parts.' (Bukhari)
'Whosoever married saved half of his faith.' (KanzulAmal) 'To cohabit with your wife is chanty, ...and one who satisfies his sexual desires lawfully will be rewarded font.' (Muslim)
If these teachings of Islam were adopted in the West then the sexual ills and problems can be resolved.
Alcohol & Narcotics
Today, the modern world has reached the conclusion that alcohol and narcotics are harmful to people But it was Islam and the Prophet Muhammad who came to this conclusion 1400 years ago.
The Prophet Muhammad said; 'Each intoxicant is like alcohol and every (type of) alcohol is forbidden.' (Bukhari)
The Prophet also said. 'Allah has cursed alcohol, and He has cursed the one who serves it. the one who sells it and the one who buys it. the one who produces it and the one who makes others produce it and the one who carries it and the one for whom it is being carried.' (Abu Dawood)
What that means is that any association with alcohol will result in chaos and anarchy in the lives of the individual and the community. It is a well-known fact that alcohol is the root to all problems today.
Islam has kicked out alcohol for good and by doing so has made the society healthier and safer. The West. from the ordinary chap to the governmental stage, can do the same by adopting these rules and teachings.
5. Environmental health
Today we are polluting and destroying the environment so much that it has become a major concern and a burning issue. Islam has taught man to care for the environment.
The Prophet Muhammad has stated: 'Faith has more than 70 branches. The highest amongst them is to say. There is no God but Allah' and the lowest amongst them is to remove a thorn or a stone from the streets.' (Muslim)
The Prophet Muhammad said: "If the Day of Judgement is imminent and one of you has a palm shoot in his hand and is able to plant it before the hour strikes, he should do so and he will be rewarded for this action.' (Mishkat-al- Misabih)
The Quran says. "Do not harm yourself...." So you see any harm to the environment will automatically be harmful to the human thus the Quran prohibits harming the environment.
It will come as a shock to you that according to Islamic law the Muslim army cannot damage or harm the crops or greenery during a war. This shows the regard for the environment that Islam has even in critical situations such as war.
So you don't have to join the Green Party to care for the environment...if you know what I mean mate. Now there you have it. Even though Islam is 1400 years old it provides the solutions for the modern day problems that exist in the world today. So my dear chap Islam is not ancient or out of date. The Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad provide a perfect guidance for us all- for all times.
First published: The Revival April 2002