Justice, mercy, wisdom, righteousness and common good are the basics of Islam. Whatever gets out of justice to injustice is not from Islam. Whatever gets out of mercy to violence is not from Islam. Whatever deviates from common good to harm is not from Islam, and whatever dissents from wisdom to imprudence is not from Islam.
Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy
Eating flesh of dead bodies is definitely poisonous. That is exactly what happens to those who practice gossip, spying and backbiting. They do not only assassinate dignity and reputation of others, but also poison purity and innocence of their own hearts. The damage they cause to their own selves is bigger than the damage caused to their victims.
O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49-12)
The beauty of Islam is that it makes just one value of man whether on Earth or in the Hereafter; that is piety. It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are, unless you spend your money for the sake of God. Allah doesn’t care about your powerful position, unless you use it to support justice and righteousness, seeking to please your God, not people. It is not important what level of beauty you have unless your beauty is coated with chastity and purity. God does not appreciate your strong body unless you use your power to help the weak and the helpless.
Thus Islam blocks the way of all sources of pride and arrogance to open only one straight path to true faith.
Why do true Muslims have tranquil hearts?
It is the profound conviction in their hearts of Godly justice. Their deep faith gives them power to face pains and sufferings of life with tranquil soul and patient heart. They feel reassured, confident and happy as long as they rely on the Wise and Merciful God. Surely this is the real happiness.
The beauty of Islam is that nothing is wasted, nothing is meaningless. Giving some water to a thirsty homeless animal can wipe out all your past sins. Birds and animals eating from plants you grow in your garden is a charity. A compassionate touch on an orphan’s head is appreciated by God. A smile and a good word are praised. Putting a morsel in your wife’s mouth is a righteous deed. Cherishing your own family is a charity. Honouring you parents is highly estimated and rewarded.
Even your pains, physical and emotional, great and small, nothing of them is wasted or meaningless, all are counted and compensated. This is the nature of having a trade with God, The Most Generous.
Sometimes slavery (thralldom) disguises itself in the garment of freedom. It then appears as breaking away from all restrictions, traditions and customs. It appears as removal from all human responsibilities in this life.
There is an essential difference between breaking the shackles of humiliation, pressure and weakness, and breaking those of humanity and its related responsibilities. The first means real freedom, while the second means giving up basic factors of humanity that release man from heavy animalism.
It is a false freedom because it is nothing but submissiveness and thralldom to ruffian desires and animalism. Humanity spent centuries on Earth struggling against those bestial desires to get rid of their choking shackles and move into human liberty.
Why does humanity feel ashamed of showing its physical needs? That is because it feels by nature that man’s elevation, despite his urgent needs, is the fundamental definition of humanity. Moreover, breaking away from the shackles of those needs is true freedom. That is because overcoming urges of flesh and blood, and defeating fears of weakness and humiliation, assert the true meaning of humanity!
Sayyed Qutb (a late Egyptian intellectual)
Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy