Let’s sit back, relax and think for a while about the creation of the universe and how we are actually meant to deal with it. Let’s venture through a unique point of view on it. I’m not asking that you should agree with what I’m saying, but I’m just hoping that this view may change the way we view things. In fact, a critical thinker should always look at things from many angles.
So, we were created on this Earth, and we spend our life here. We cannot spawn just by chance because that’s impossible. There must be someone or something that created us, and what created us is God.
All this time, maybe from 6000 years ago, man have been civilizing and trying to implement an order that will put the whole universe (I mean humans and the environment) at peace. Civilizations rise and fall, substituting one with another, and apparently total peace only failed to be achieved. It seems impossible to achieve peace, right?
But that isn’t exactly the case. God must have created us for a reason, or maybe he doesn’t. Well, the only way to know His reason is only by communication. When God created us, God can either choose to communicate to us, or not to communicate to us. Because of His graciousness, God chose to communicate with us so that we don’t have to figure out the solution to humanity by ourselves, and so that we will not wander, puzzled, on this face of Earth because we don’t know the purpose of life. The proof that God communicated is the existence of scriptures and His messengers that serve as the light and blessing towards the whole of humanity and the universe. They serve as the light and blessing because they show us the right way to order and peace, and they tell us the reason God created us, thus, we know our purpose. Therefore, the solution to humanity can only be obtained by submitting to God. And by submitting to God, I mean submitting to God’s law (stated in the scriptures).
There are many scriptures said to be sent down from God, so which one should we follow?
Because a) the Quran justifies what is sent down before it (2:41), b) God preserves the Quran (15:9), and c) Muhammad is the last and final messenger approved by many religious books, I’ll take the Quran as the only reliable and uncorrupted scripture from God that is available today.
Is the Quran sent down to give a solution to humanity?
First of all, to understand Islam as a tradition, mystical culture or merely a ‘religion’ is wrong. Islam is a complete way of life, like an ideology/creed/doctrine.Prayers make roughly 1/3 of the obligations in Islam. The other obligations are related to society and governance.
In 2:185, God clearly stated that the Quran serves as guidance, explanation, and differenciator. So where to does God guides us? In 1:6, we ask God to guide us to the straight path. The straight path is explained in the following verse, which is “The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour…” and is differenciated with other path which is the path “of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”
Hence, to be in the straight path where you will be bestowed with favour, and to evade the path to God’s anger and the path of those who are astray, one must submit to worship God. Only then, peace can be achieved.
Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight. (2:213)
Humans have different definitions and ideas to achieve peace. God sent down the book to tell them what is right (haq) and what is wrong (bathil). Why trouble ourselves to figure out a code that will make the world at peace? Are we arrogant?
What are the evidence(s)?
It seems incomplete to just give verses of the Quran and conclude that Islam is a blueprint to a better world. Therefore, I am going to explain based on common sense and logical thinking in the following paragraphs why Islam is the righteous way of life.
The word Islam itself comes from the word meaning ‘surrender’, which is surrendering to the One God. By surrendering, one will let go of his/her selfish desires to seek blessings of God and to avoid His wrath. The origin of the word Islam also means peace and safe. All the teachings of the Quran leads to peace and success. This is explained in depth by Dr. Zakir Naik in his lecture “Is Islam the solution to humanity?”. I am going to speak out some of his points and also some of my ideas below.
The Hudud is an Islamic concept of punishments under the Sharia law. Punishments are very strict like amputation of the hands for those who commit theft, flogging for various crimes, and beheading. It may look extreme, but only to the modern standards. They act more towards prevention rather than cure. Punishments can greatly deter someone’s criminal intentions. One would really have a hard time hesitating to do such crimes in a place where the Sharia is enforced. However, criminals can negotiate or avoid punishments if they commit crime in desperation. Islam is fair and God never oppresses his slaves.
Respect for women can also be upheld in Islam. Women are obliged to cover their aurah. Some sceptics view this as ‘men controlling women’s wear’ or sexism. Let’s look at a much more distanced perspective. If women cover their aurah, is it likely that the rate of rape crimes and adultery to be the same? No, it will reduce the rate of sexual abuse and adultery. Men also have their aurah that they need to cover. Those who commit sexual misconduct will be punished. Rapists will be given death sentences. Don’t tell me that’s extreme, to let people get away polluting other people’s respect is intolerable.
Alms-giving is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is called zakat. The zakat distributes wealth among the people, so that the number of poor people can be reduced and eventually turns zero. During the time of Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz, an Umayyad caliph, there was no poor people living throughout the whole Ummayyad caliphate.
Transactions and businesses acts as means of win-win rather than profit for one’s self. Deception and lying is non-existent in Islamic law. It is even illegal to get interests when lending money to people. This is the cause of the social class structure to be shaped like an hourglass i.e, rich people are getting richer and poor people are getting poorer. Money cannot be printed, it must be derived from something valuable like gold, silver, or grains. Which also means inflation and deflation is impossible on a ground where the Sharia is practised. It is very clear to us that transactions in Islam benefits every party, not only the seller.
Even in war, Muslims need to control their actions by following the guidelines. Before initiating a battle, they must give a chance for their enemies to surrender- like what happened in the victory over Mecca by Muhammad SAW. Muslims should not kill children, women, old people or even destroy buildings. As we can see, this is the opposite of what the Islamic terrorists are doing in the Middle East. Obviously, their knowledge on what they are holding on to is very shallow, or maybe they are not even holding on to it.
It is clear to us that Islam can guide us to the solution for this long-thought problem of ours. I hope this can help us to think and view things differently, not just stuck up in our old views. If so, we are able to make better decisions in our life and totally change our world. God guides us to success.