Saturday, May 02, 2015

Mafaheem Islaamiyah: The Organic needs

The following is a translation from the book: Mafaheem Islaamiyah Al-Juz’u-l-Awwal, Islamic concepts – Volume One by Muhammad Hussein Abdullah published in 1994.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ فَسَوَّى (2) وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى
Who created and proportioned and Who has measured (preordained) and then guided (Al-A’alaa).
The Insaan (human) is material and within the human there exists a Taaqah Hayyawiyah (vital energy) which is manifested in the instincts, organic needs and the Tafkeer (thinking) and these Khaassiyaat (special attributes) remain within the human as long as he is living whilst they cease to exist upon his death.
We have already discussed the three instincts and their manifestations. In regards to the organic needs then discussing them requires some preliminary discussion about the human body i.e. the material from which the human being is composed of.
The sensed and tangible human body is composed of many cells of different shapes (forms), colours and functions. Their number total more than 200 thousand million and each cell is made up of a covering or wall which contains inside of it a jellylike material which is the cytoplasm at the centre of which is the nucleus which in turn consists of chromosomes. The number of chromosomes are 46 only and they do not increase or decrease from that with the exception of the sperm of the male and the egg of the female.
In terms of the human make-up then no individual differs from another in respect to the organic and functional composition and regardless of any differences in colour, size or appearance. Each has a head, a heart, stomach, limbs and all the other parts or organs. His organs (or body parts) consist of the same cells that we have previously described. Each individual consumes food and breathes air, sleep and move, and all get rid of their wastage in the same way.
The special attribute which makes the human body in need of specific matters and to demand them, is a Khaassiyah (special attribute) that Allah (swt) has deposited within the human being. These are what have been named organic needs (Haajaat ‘Udwiyyah). These needs require satisfaction and for the sake of satisfying them the human is in need of specific situations or circumstance, things and actions. From amongst the circumstances that the human body requires includes those of sleep and rest, a suitable temperature and atmospheric pressure. From amongst the things the human body requires includes food, drink and oxygen whilst the required actions include eating and those related to getting rid of waste.
If any of these organic needs are not provided for within the living human body then the body will perish.
These situations or circumstances and things are required by the body organs for the purpose of fulfilling their functions. For example a mere deficiency of the water necessary in the body leads to the organs sending out its sensation of this deficiency which then leads the human to go out to search for his need for water in order to fill the deficiency. If he is not able to find water then the human resists this need with the water that he has but if the reserves of water in the rest of his body was to run out then his body would inevitability be exposed to destruction.
The same applies in respect to the rest of the needs in terms of food, oxygen and sleep.
The need could also be the body getting rid of harmful wastes like sweat, excrement and carbon dioxide.
In spite of these organic needs being perceived by the human Allah Ta’Aalaa has pointed to them in the Qur’aan Al-Kareem.
He (swt) said:
وَمِنْ آَيَاتِهِ مَنَامُكُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ
And from His signs is your sleep in the night and the day (Ar-Room 23).
And in His explanation that the Messenger (saw) is just a man from amongst mankind He (swt) said:
مَا هَذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يَأْكُلُ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَشْرَبُ مِمَّا تَشْرَبُونَ
And this is not except a man like yourselves. He eats from that which you eat and drinks from that which you drink (Al-Mu’minoon 33).
And Allah (swt) has permitted man to eat foodstuffs from that which He has made Haraam upon him for the sake of satisfying the organic need when he is in danger of perishing.
Allah (swt) says:
فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
But whoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin upon him (Al-Baqarah 173).
In addition ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (ra) did not cut the hand of the thief in the year of drought because he had stolen out of need and for the purpose of satisfying his organic need.

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