Surah al Asr - Sharing the Wealth through Justice

Category: Featured, World Affairs Topics: Quran, Wealth Values: Justice Views: 7987

In the Name of God,
The Infinitely Compassionate and The Most Merciful

  • Consider time:
  • Truly, human beings are in loss,
  • except those who have faith and do righteous deeds
  • and encourage each other in the teaching of Truth and of patient perseverance.


Quran 103:1-3

This chapter, al Asr 103, ranks next to the opening Surah al Fatiha in providing the best concise guidance on the essence or core of Islam.

My life experience has been to see the inadequacy of charity to address the Qur'anic command to share wealth, which Muslims generally agree is the best but most difficult of "righteous deeds." Charity is good in itself but it is only a stop-gap measure to lessen the misery that results from ignorance or indifference to justice.

Justice requires social justice through solidarity among individual persons in changing or perfecting the institutions of society in order to broaden access to individual ownership of the means of production, particularly through the institutions of money and credit.  Sharing wealth requires not merely broadening capital ownership but equal access to individual ownership as a universal human right, especially in the era of capital intensive economies where capital produces most of the wealth and labor only a small part.  This right is universally denied throughout the world.

This is critical to the other three of the four requirements in this surah.  Awareness of this denial is the first step in teaching truth, and pursuit of justice by "encouraging each other" in promoting both institutional change and taqwa (God Consciousness) or loving awe of God is the principal requirement for patient perseverance.

Everything else in the practice of spirituality is essential.  As developed in my commencement address, entitled "The Analogical Bird of Abu Nur," at Abu Nur University in Damascus in 1995 and published online at "The American Muslim"  on November 19, 2002, this dimension may be compared to the right wing of a metaphorical bird.  This is the ruhanniyah or spiritual dimension, but "human beings are in loss" unless they address the left wing, the amaliya or action dimension in the muamalat or material challenges of life.  This requires the guiding tail of the analogical bird, which is intellectual discernment through the 'aql or 'aqaliyat, known as the "third jihad" or jihad al kabir.

All three are gifts of God, for which we should be thankful.  I pray that we will always remember and respect the emphasis in the Qur'an and in the daily canonical Muslim prayers on praise of Allah and thanksgiving, which in Islam are synonymous, for this is the key to baraka or grace.

Dr. Robert Dickson Crane is the former adviser to the late President of the United States Richard Nixon, and is former Deputy Director (for Planning) of the U.S. National Security Council. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books and over 50 professional articles on comparative legal systems, global strategy, and information management.

Source: The American Muslim

  Category: Featured, World Affairs
  Topics: Quran, Wealth  Values: Justice
Views: 7987

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Older Comments:
I hope since my last comment on this article Dr Crane has joined
the Ummah by becoming Muslim although there is no compulsion in
Religion but truth is clear from falsehood. Jazakakallah Khair and
May He give you Hidayah if you don't have or strengthen you and all
of us have isqtiqamah (steadfastness) Amen.

MashaAllah may Allah reward Dr Crane and give him and all of us guidance and ability to join the 1.5 billion Muslims across the Globe.This is a real serious message to the entire humanity in order to avoid losing in both this temporary world and the real abode the Hereafter which we are all heading to.As Imam Shafie had rightly said if no any other Surah was revealed in the Quran this would be enough for the guidance of the entire human being. Unfortunately man choses to follow misguidance rather than the true guidance and with the help of Shaitan Devil our open enemy he tries to misguide every one so as to take him to hell after death. Oh Allah their is no omfort except the comfort of the Hereafter this is the Dua of our Blessed Prophet Muhammad guided like Abrahm the Friend.We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob each of them We guided and Noah We guided aforetime and of his seed David and Solomon and Job and Joseph Moses and Aaron Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias.Each one was righteous and Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot We preffered above all humanity.Dr was captivated with the message of Surah Asr hope he would ponder and take Shahadah today in the Islamicity and bililons of people would be witness for him before Allah on the Day of Judgement.May Allah give the whole humanity guidance this is our simple message and message of every real Muslim hoping to see everyone like our learned Dr Crane realises the teachings of Rasulullah which is a Mercy to the whole humanity.
Hope seriously our respected Scholar would consider this invitation if no body has invited him yet today to ponder about the content of the just message he reminded us as we are responding by giving him a gift better than the entire world which is Lailaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah.It is not only for him but for anybody who cares to recite and practically follow the teachings of what the Kalimah contains.Wa Akhiri Dawana Anil Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen