Dear brothers and sisters,
First of all I would like to thank my brother, Dr. Zikria, Chairman of the Conference, for inviting me to talk on this occasion, on the topic of the "Islamic View of the Well-Being of Man." I feel embarrassed indeed to talk to you on this subject, because you are more qualified than me to talk about it, since you are experts in the science of the body of man.
Brothers and sisters, the view of Islam of the well-being of man is to abstain from everything that it has forbidden, and to do everything that it has commanded him to do.
If anyone studies in detail the science of Jurisprudence, he will amazed how Islam takes care of man, not only his childhood, but even before he is born.
Let us begin with the first stage of human being, the fetus. Islam considers fetus a human being who has right in inheritance. Islam gave the fetus part of the inheritance to be kept until it is born.
After birth and during childhood if the parents are separated, Islam recommends that the child is to stay with the woman, to be suckled and raised by a woman, and not by a man at this age. I mean from the day he is born until the age of 7 or 9 - according to the opinion of different scholars, he is to stay with a woman. It is obvious that the woman is more patient than the man in this regard. She will suckle and raise the child happily. We see mothers spending days and nights, raising their children and they do so without any complaint, It is a secret of Allah (S.W.T.).
Islam recommends parents to be patient with the child and raise him according to the teachings and principles of Islam. Parents should teach the child prayer, and should order him to pray at the age of seven and to study religion. Then Islam ordered the children to obey their parents totally and blindly, since they cannot have any better well-wishers than them.
Islam urges its followers to acquire knowledge. God says in His book:
ARE THOSE EQUAL, THOSE WHO KNOW AND THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW? IT IS THOSE WHO ARE ENDUED WITH UNDERSTANDING THAT RECEIVE ADMONITION. (Zumar. 39:9)
In another verse, God Says:
THOSE TRULY FEAR GOD, AMONG HIS SERVANTS, WHO HAVE KNOWLEDGE: FOR GOD IS EXALTED IN MIGHT, OFT- FORGIVING. (Fatir. 35:28)
GOD WILL RAISE UP: TO (SUITABLE) RANKS (AND DEGREES), THOSE OF YOU WHO BELIVE AND WHO HAVE BEEN GRANTED KNOWLEDGE. (Mujadila. 58:11)
Knowledge in Islam is very important. Its importance can be grasped by the fact that the very first word of Wahi (=Revelation) is "lqra" (=Read!). And one chapter of the Divine book (chapter 68), bears the title "Qalam," which means "the Pen" the implement of writing, and writing is the art which has preserved all knowledge for man. Its first verse reads:
NUN. BY THE PEN AND BY THE (RECORD) WHICH ANGELS WRITE.
At the very beginning of Quran, we read in Sura Baqr about the angels, who expressed their reservations about Adam's fitness to be God's vicegerent on earth. God convinced them that Adam had this fitness, because he had knowledge of the names of the things which they (the angels) did not have. The angles had to concede that Adam was superior to them, because he had knowledge, and he was, therefore, worthy of being Gods vicegerent on earth.
Quran Majid has repeatedly made reference to the
(=men who are well - grounded in knowledge),
and has told the people to defer to them in the event of any difficulty.
Our Prophet, Mohammed (S) himself equated knowledge with "nur" (=light), and a blessing of God, and all his life, he urged his Sahaba and his umma to acquire it.
Brothers and sisters: Islam is responsible to protect his body as well as his soul, and let us see how it protects the body.
First to protect the mind of man which is part of the body, Islam legislated the prohibition of liquor. I am not going to read the verses about liquor so that I can save some time. If a man is going, to drink liquor, he is going to lose his mind. Then he is going to commit crimes. In addition to this, liquor is hurting the body of human beings. Therefore, Islam has forbidden the consumption of all kinds of liquor. You know only too well the damage that liquor does to the body and mind of man.
To protect the whole body of human being, Islam has legislated capital punishment for the intentional killer. Allah says:
NOR TAKE LIFE - WHICH GOD HAS MADE SACRED - EXCEPT FOR JUST CAUSE. AND IF ANYONE IS SLAIN WRONGFULLY, WE HAVE GIVEN HIS HEIR AUTHORITY (TO DEMAND QISAS OR TO FORGIVE): BUT LET HIM NOT EXCEED BOUNDS IN THE MATTER OF TAKINGLIFE; FOR HE IS HELPED (BY THE LAW). (Bani Israel. 17:33)
In another verse God says:
IN THE LAW OF PUNISHMENT THERE IS (SAVING OF) LIFE TO YOU, 0 YE MEN OR UNDERSTANDING: THAT YE MAY RESTRAIN YOURSELVES. (Baqrah. 2:179)
And our Prophet, Mohammed (S) said:
THIS HUMAN BEING IS A BUILDING OF GOD ON THIS EARTH, AND GOD IS GOING TO DESTROY ANYONE WHO IS GOING TO DESTROY THIS BUILDING.
The lslamic view of the crime of killing is absolutely the best. However, time does not allow me to elaborate on it.
To protect the wealth of a human being, Islam has legislated the chopping off of one's hand. God says in verse 41 of the fifty chapter (Al- maida):
AS TO THE THIEF, MALE OR FEMALE, CUT OFF HIS OR HER HANDS: A PUNISHMENT BY WAY OF EXAMPLE FROM GOD. FOR THEIR CRIME: AND GOD IS EXALTED IN POWER.
This type of punishment, seems very severe; but I would like to emphasize that this punishment should not be practiced unless the society is practicing Islam completely, and the thief does not find it necessary to steal.
Kbalifa Umar bin al-Khattab (R) did not cut the hands of four theieves who had stolen because of their hunger and need, when there was an acute famine in Arabia.
Islam is very much interested in establishing a society that is pure, that is free from the filth of sin and crime, a society in which men and women would live in total freedom from fear of all kinds, including fear of crimes and violence. It, therefore, wishes to build that society on foundations of piety, fear of God, and absolute justice, in which each person would respect the rights of other people and would not trespass on them.
We are living in this country, and we are suffering from the threat of insecurity, because of the number of the crimes in this society. I think it is not out of place to mention here the average rate of crimes in this country, and do not be shocked:
one murder every 27 minutes one larceny-theft every 5 minutes one motor-vehicle theft every 33 seconds one violent crime every 31 seconds one forcible rape every 8 minutes one robbery every 78 seconds one aggravated assault every minute one burglary every 10 minutesWe as Muslims, have to feel the need of Islamic medicine, "the punishment," more than anyone else. since we know the influence of the punishment on the society, and we believe in it, and it was prescribed to us by Allah.
Dr. Ala'Eddin Kharofa
Director, Muslim World League
New York, N.Y.