By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
Islam is a game changer. Every other system, every human-made “ism” – feudalism, tribalism, nationalism, monarchism, capitalism, communism, fascism – treats human beings like commodities or less. Every other system simply plays around with variables like distribution of wealth and labor, or elevates one group of human beings based on lineage or geography, while devaluing others to less-than-human status.
All these systems are fundamentally uncivilized, even barbaric.
Islam changes everything. Islam says, we’re going to uphold the fundamental dignity of all human beings.
“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.” – Quran, 17:70
Allah has honored all the children of Adam. Not only Muslims, not only men, not one race or nation, not only the wealthy or beautiful, but all humans. As for the nature of man, Allah says, “[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.'” – Quran, 38:71-72
A being into whom Allah breathed cannot help but be noble by nature. Yes, we humans are corruptible and shortsighted, but we don’t have to be. Our nature is pure. We can, at times, rise above our own foolishness and become great.
When it comes to morality, Islam takes the approach of trusting human beings to live by values like compassion, justice, fairness, help for the poor, brotherhood and sisterhood, devotion to God, and non-attachment to material luxuries.
That’s what Islam is supposed to be!
This is why certain oppressive cultural practices found in parts of the Muslim world are so abominable. I’m talking about so-called honor killings, female genital mutilation, denial of education to women, violence against religious minorities, etc. These practices must be abolished. They are anathema to everything Islam represents.
Islam came to promote an idea of human dignity based on:
1- Our relationship with Allah;
2- The love and mercy we show one another;
3- The utilization of our free will for a higher purpose.
All human beings are created in the best of molds (You Are Perfectly Created). All human beings are born on the fitrah, the pure and natural way, with an inborn inclination to recognize the Creator and do good. Racism and nationalism are abhorred and abolished. Women are recognized as intellectual and spiritual beings, not property, objects, or vassals.
That’s Islam as it should be. It’s a revolutionary system. Rather than a limited material or tribal system, it is for the first time in history a human system. If we’re practicing anything less then we’re not practicing Islam. If we look down on certain races, if we hate people because of their nationality or religion, if we subjugate women, then we’re practicing a fraud, and shaming ourselves before the world.
Islam rises above everything that came before. Islam came to change the world, and to elevate the essential nobility all human beings, a nobility not based on nation or tribe, but on our eternal souls. That’s the call of Islam. That’s the path we must follow.