Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Scale of Values

The following are extracts from the translation of an Arabic leaflet. 

"Westerners would determine the value of something according to the level of importance an individual would attach to it, or according to its importance in relation to something else. Therefore, to them the value would be relative and not real, for it would be related to either a specific person or a specific thing. However, to the Muslims, the value is determined by the amount of benefit gained from the thing itself, with the factor of scarcity taken into consideration, but not necessarily affecting the evaluation of things. In any case, the value would be the measure by which goods and services are judged, be it to the Muslims or the others, i.e. to those who either consider the value to be real, or to those who consider it to be relative. The value would therefore be the measure of benefit obtained from the goods and services, and consequently, the knowledge of the value and how to estimate it would be indispensable to the material life i.e. to the economy.

This is as far as the material value is concerned. As for the moral and spiritual value, this also would be to the westerners determined by the amount of benefit obtained from it. Therefore, things like generosity, nobleness, helpfulness and fidelity would have a value if they happened to be important to a person, or important in relation to something else. Hence, if any of these things had no importance, they would be worthless and without value. Likewise, to the westerners, worship, places of worship and the learning of religious laws, i.e. anything connected to the spiritual value, would have its value if it had an importance in relation to a specific individual or something else.

For the Muslims, the value would not be nominal, it would rather be real. Thus, the moral and spiritual values would form one single branch, known as the spiritual value. The spiritual value means the abiding by the commands and prohibitions of Allah (SWT). Therefore, any action which Allah (SWT) ordered us to perform, and any action which Allah (SWT) gives preference to, it would have a value. If He (SWT) forbids it, it would be worthless and with no value whatsoever.

This would be as far as the actions are concerned. As for the things, these would also not have a relative value, but they are determined by the amount of benefit that Allah (SWT) has predetermined in them. Thus their value would not change, nor would it fluctuate according to supply and demand, nor according to the level of circulation. Therefore, the value which Allah (SWT) has determined would remain fixed until the day of judgment.

Since the human being would naturally evaluate things and actions according to the benefit obtained from them, and since the value of things and actions meant the society's estimation of those things and actions, likewise, the spiritual matters would be valued according to the benefit obtained from them if they were left to be naturally determined. Therefore, Allah (SWT) has left it to the human being to determine the value of the material things and the actions, and He (SWT) has predetermined the value of the spiritual matters, including the moral matters, and He (SWT) specified the aspects of preference between them.

He (SWT) predetermined a value to the obedience of parents, However, He (SWT) gave the acts of Jihad a bigger value. He (SWT) predetermined a value to the providing for one's dependants, and He (SWT) placed a higher value on the repelling of the enemy from Muslim land. He (SWT) placed a value on the building of mosques, but he placed a higher value on the carrying of the Da'awa. He (SWT) says:

"Do you consider the providing of water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Masjid al Haram as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the last day, and strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not the Zalimun (Oppressors)" [TMQ 9:19]

Therefore, Allah (SWT) has predetermined the values of the actions and at the same time He (SWT) classified the scale of values in a specific manner. He (SWT) has made Islam, Jihad in the way of Allah and the defending of Islam at the top of the scale of values. Therefore Allah (SWT) says: “Say if your parents, your children, your brethren, your wives, your tribe, the wealth you have acquired, a merchandise for which you fear that there would be no sale and dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and Jihad in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command, and Allah would not guide the wrong-doing folk." [TMQ 9: 24]

The word "Amrihi" (His command) in the verse means His punishment, and it serves as a warning to those who prefer these matters to the love of Allah, His Messenger and Jihad in His way. Hence Allah (SWT) has classified and specified the values and warned against the violation of this order. Therefore, there is no excuse for the Muslim to place something at the top of the scale of values, different to the love of Allah, His Messenger and Jihad in His way, i.e. other than Islam and Jihad. Then the rest of the matters were put in their order according to what the Sharia'a rules had stated. Therefore, it would be forbidden for the Muslim to make his life at the top of the scale of values, then his wife and his children, then their wealth and well being, then Islam and Jihad, for if he did this, he would be sinful and would deserve the punishment of Allah (SWT) as clearly outlined in the Ayah. A Muslim should therefore place Islam, Jihad in the way of Allah, the Da'awa to the Deen of Allah and making the word of Allah reign supreme at the top of his priorities i.e. at the top of the scale of values. Then the rest of the matter would also be placed, however, not according to the benefit obtained from them, but according to their order which Allah (SWT) had predetermined and in relation to the other values.

Those who have taken it upon themselves to carry the Islamic Da'awa, and to struggle in the way of resuming the Islamic way of life, they would have evidently added to their commitments the making of Allah (SWT), His Messenger and the Jihad in His way, better than their parents, their children etc... They would have added this to their commitment by actively working with a group gathered as a Kutla; they need not therefore to be reminded with the scale of values classified by Allah (SWT), because they have read it in the Qur'an and practically adhered to it by gathering in the Kutla or by joining forces with the Kutla, no difference between the member or the Daris (student) in this context, for if they did not take this order in values into consideration and if they suffered a confusion in the scale of values, they would undoubtedly not remain with the Kutla, for they would not be from its kind. 

What the Shabab should be reminded of would be the value of performing the partial activities of the Da'awa, not the carrying of the Da'awa itself. Some of the Da'awa carriers have become indifferent when it comes to gaining the reward, thus they would confine their work to merely relieving the sin off their necks. This led to a slackness in the duty and a neglect of the obligation. Furthermore, this led to imperfection in the work and a tendency to simply establish the work rather than perfect it." 

"Therefore, it has become imperative to remind the Shabab about the maintaining of the entire scale of values and not to restrict themselves to only what Allah (SWT) has made it the top of the scale of values, to remind them also that the particulars form the whole, and that which is necessary to accomplish a duty is in itself a duty; to remind them also that he who dedicates himself to gaining the pleasure of Allah (SWT) could not think of shunning His reward (SWT), and that the physical and mental laziness is one of the worst illnesses, and that the stinginess in spending the effort to remove the sin or accomplish a duty is to Allah (SWT) the worst type of stinginess. What would be painful for the believer is to hear that some of us tend to avoid distributing leaflets or tend not to carry out the distribution as they had been instructed, some do not compete over a larger number of leaflets. It would also be painful to find amongst us those who would prefer to take a circle rather than give it, even though they are capable of doing so, or to find amongst us those who try and stick to the minimum number of circles, or those who give a circle but not whole-heartedly, or to find amongst us those who do not establish contacts and discussions, or to find those who partly carry out their duties in the narrowest of scopes, and those who seek excuses to avoids establishing the contacts they had been ordered to establish them. Do these Shabab not realise that the distribution of leaflets is Fard (obligatory) just like the Raka'a (prostration) in the Salat, and just like the striking of the enemy in the battlefield? When Allah (SWT) prescribed the Salat, His command (SWT) to perform the one Raka'a was included in this general command, and his command to strike once when fighting was included in the general command of Jihad. Also, when Allah (SWT) commanded the carrying of the Da'awa and the resumption of the Islamic way of life, his command to distribute the leaflets was included in that general command. Hence the distribution of leaflets is Fard just like the Salat, and just like the Jihad, without distinction. To neglect such a Fard would be regarded as sin just like not performing the Raka'a in the Salat without distinction. 

It is true that it is Fardu Kifaya (a duty of sufficiency), however, since the Kifaya has not been fulfilled yet, the performing of Fard-ul-A'yn (the individual duty) and that of sufficiency would become one and the same; the reward and the sin would include both of them, so when did the Kifaya get established so that a Shab could deem as the neglect of distributing leaflets etc? The Hukm of distribution is like that of the Halaqa, the contacts and the discussions, for these form parts of the carrying of Da'awa, they are even the carrying of the Da'awa itself. Jihad is also Fardu Kifaya, but if the Kifaya is yet to be established, it becomes Fardu A'yn until it is established. 

Allah (SWT) did punish those who lagged behind in the battle of Tabuk and explained the importance of partial actions in Jihad. In His reprimand to those who remained behind He (SWT) says: "It was not fitting for the people of Madina to refuse to follow the Messenger of Allah, nor to prefer their own lives to his, because whatever they suffer, be it thirst, fatigue, or hunger in the way of Allah, and whatever paths they may tread which would anger the disbelievers, or whatever gains they may achieve against the enemy, it would be recorded for them and Allah would reward them for their best deeds." [TMQ 9: 120]

Allah (SWT) has demonstrated to those who lagged behind what made feel sorry and heartbroken for this lagging behind. This demonstration came in the shape of the partial actions, He (SWT) demonstrated seven partial actions which happen in Jihad, and He (SWT) highlighted elaborately their importance. This should have established to the Muslims that the partial actions which occur when performing the whole task, do have a real value reflected in the reward of performing such action, that they do have an important effect and that Allah (SWT) does hold them in a great standing. Allah (SWT) reprimanded the believers for depriving themselves when they lagged behind rather than performed Jihad. The same applies to all the Da'awa actions such as the distribution of leaflets, giving a Halaqa, holding discussions etc.. Therefore, if the Muslim were to suffer of thirst, or fatigue, or hunger, or if he were to perform any action which would anger the disbelievers and the hypocrites, or spend something, or move from one place to another, Allah (SWT) would undoubtedly record it as a good deed in his favour in addition to the falling of the duty and the lifting of the sin off his neck. So how could the Muslim who has carried the Da'awa seeking the pleasure of Allah (SWT) bear the lagging behind when it comes to performing the partial actions which as well as lifting the sin, carry a great reward?

Therefore, the Da'awa carriers should realise that the value of what they spent in terms of physical and intellectual efforts, is less than the value of distributing leaflets, giving Halaqat (circles) and holding discussions. In fact there is a wide difference between the two values, the value of rest and the value of what Allah (SWT) records as reward for this good deed."

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