How Divine Laws Offer Balanced and Synergistic Development

The Quran says:

 سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ 

(41:53) – In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Asad].  

The Quran is the universal code of life for all humankind until the Day of Judgment. So, it should have – and it has – the ability to meet the growing and challenging demands of time and keep up with advances in humankind’s progress and development, and it has the ability to provide leadership to human thought and knowledge.  

If people deny the truthfulness of the Quran, it does not matter. Allah will continue to create situations in which people will see the signs and visible impact of these Divine Laws. Thereafter, when this system expands and reaches all the corners of the earth, it will become manifest to them that whatever the Quran had told is based on truth. And it did happen like that. This claim was not confined to the Arabs of that era. As human knowledge and research advance, many more realities related to the human world as well as related to the outer universe will unveil themselves. Consequently, all the claims made by the Quran will be vindicated

Gradually the whole world will see that whatever Quran says is based on absolute truth. This is because the Book is from the Almighty Sustainer who oversees everything in the Universe. He knows full well what is going to happen here. His all-encompassing knowledge is sufficient to guarantee that whatever He has said is based on absolute truth. The Quran says:

 إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ; وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِينٍ 

(38:87-88) – This [divine writ], behold, is no less than a reminder to all the worlds —and you will most certainly grasp its purport after a lapse of time! [Asad]. 

But if a people do not pay any heed to this, it will bring no harm to this code of laws, as it is not restricted to a particular person. In fact, this message is guidance for the whole of humanity. Whoever adopts this code will attain the pleasant things of life. And they shall certainly know its claims in due course of time when people will be faced with the consequences of their deeds, and the events of the future will vouch for the truth of all the claims of this divine code. That is, all the Quran’s signs won’t manifest all at once but will manifest in due course over a period of time slowly and gradually

The very first verse revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) says:

 اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ 

(96:1) – Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). [Hilali & Khan]

So, O Messenger! Arise and publicly proclaim to the whole world the divine universal nourishment of your Sustainer who has created the Universe and humankind. This is a proclamation to the world that the nourishment and sustenance of humankind will not remain in the hands of humans but it will remain in the hands of the divine system as a trust of the Creator, who has created humans and has undertaken the responsibility for their nourishment and their development (6:151, 17:31). This is the very first proclamation (according to the narrations as being the very first verse revealed to the Prophet) and addressed to all of humanity! 

Allah has called the Quran, the Book or Al-Kitab (الکتاب). The root of the word کتاب is: ب – ت – ک means to order, to command, to enforce something as law, to ordain something. For example, the Quran says:

 كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ 

(2:183) – Fasting is ordained for you. [Asad]. 


 كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ 

(2:216) – Fighting is ordained for you. [Asad]. 

From this point of view, Kitab (کتاب) means constitution or code of life. The Quran has used Kitab (کتاب) in this sense in several places. For example, after the Quran describes what blood-relationships are forbidden to you for marriage (4:23), it says:

 كِتَابَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ 

(4:24) – this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. [Asad] 

That is, this is the law of Allah for you. In this connection Allah has said about the Quran:

 فِيهَا كُتُبٌ قَيِّمَةٌ 

(98:3) – wherein there are ordinances of ever-true soundness and clarity. [Asad]. 

Wherein there are very sound laws. Therefore, whenever the Quran is called a book it means: in it are given the laws of Allah.

There are two sets of laws in this world: (1) laws that are called the laws of nature and (2) laws that are related to human beings and society. Everyone knows that the laws of nature are not created by human beings. A top scientist Sullivan says, “We only read the Book of Nature, we can’t write it.” But what about the second set of laws?

Man-made societal laws can’t lead to improving the human condition

The structure of secularism stands on the assumption that humans have the right to make laws for society. That is, humans have the right to enforce man-made laws on humans. But the Quran declares that man-made laws can never lead to improving human society. Just like the laws of Nature, the basic principle and permanent values and the laws pertaining to human society must also be received from Allah Himself. These basic human principles and values are received through revelation from Allah and, now, they are preserved in the Quran, which it calls by the term Kitabullah  (كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ). For the laws of Nature, the Quran has used the same term Kitabullah  (كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ). For example: 

 إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ 

(9:36) – BEHOLD, the number of months, in the sight of God, is twelve months, [laid down] in God's decree – Kitabullah  (كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ) – on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; [and] out of these, four are sacred: this is the ever-true law [of God] [Asad]. 

According to Allah’s Law of Nature, there are twelve months in a year ever since that law has been in operation. Of these, four are sacred months during which waging war is prohibited – this is the right system, this is the ever-true sound and clear and solid Deen given by Allah. 

From this explanation, it is clear that there are two parts of Kitabullah (كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ): (1) the Book of Nature which is spread out in the external Universe, and (2) the Book of Revelation protected in complete form in the Quran. 

Ignoring the laws of Nature results in Hell

According to the Quran, both these sets of laws are given by the Almighty Allah and both are to be followed. Following the laws of nature, results in conquering the forces of Nature; and following the laws of revelation, results in using these forces for the development and nourishment of the human self; and for improving the human condition of the entire humanity. If any one of these sets of laws is ignored then life no longer remains balanced and the caravan of life cannot reach its destination. If the laws of Nature are ignored, then the Deen turns into rituals that result in:

 خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا 

(2:85) – ignominy in the life of this world. [Asad]. 

And if the laws of revelation (universal permanent values) are ignored then the world becomes surrounded by troubles and miseries and is imprisoned in hell – and whose flames have engulfed the entire humanity on the planet right now. This pattern of life has been called by the Quran as:

 أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ 

(2:85) – Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth of other parts? [Asad]. 

Then remember:

 فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَٰلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلَّا خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ 

(2:85) – What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? [Asad]. 

Dividing human life into two separate compartments 

The history of humankind provides evidence that whenever the conquered forces of nature and the permanent values were kept separated in world affairs, the result has been nothing but loss and destruction, and misery. Human life is an indivisible whole unit. It cannot be partitioned into different compartments. This is one aspect of Kitabullah  (كِتَابِ اللَّـه): to create a partition between the Book of Nature and the permanent values (the Book of Revelation); believing in and acting according to one and neglecting the other. The second aspect is to believe in and act on one part of the Book of Revelation (the Quran) and neglect the other part of it. The result of this is also nothing but humiliation and ignominy (2:85). 

It is not just that practicing one part of the book and neglecting the other part results in ignominy; but that becoming extreme in practicing one law or going to the extreme in one attribute of Allah compared to other laws or other attributes cannot produce good results either. The Quran says:

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا  

(41:40) – Verily, they who distort the meaning of Our messages are not hidden from Us. [Asad]. 

At another place it says:

 وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ 

(7:180) – and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes. [Asad]

Those who go to extremes in one of Our laws or one of Our attributes while ignoring or neglecting Our other laws or Our other attributes, they are not hidden from Our eyes – so keep away from them. For example, Judaism and Hinduism went so extreme in God’s attribute of justice that they closed the door of recompense and atonement for humans – who, by natural design, are weak and prone to making mistakes. On the other side is Christianity which went too extreme in God’s attribute of mercy completely unconcerned with deeds and actions of life, and left everything dependent on God’s Grace. According to the Quran, both these extreme practices are wrong.

The right practice is to keep balance in life in all of Allah’s laws and among all of His attributes, and to imbibe them in practical life within human limitations, and to always keep in mind these laws and attributes as objective standards. This will lead to the achievement of synergistic and balanced development and growth of the entire humanity. 

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