Population is increasing but Humanity is shrinking
The Quran first produces internal change in human beings and then it gives power and authority in their hands (13:11). An example of this change is:
وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ
(59:9) – and who harbor in their hearts no grudge for whatever the others may have been given, but rather give them preference over themselves, even though poverty be their own lot. [Asad]
They always give preference to the needs of others, even though they themselves are indigent and live a life of hardship. This is the characteristic of a Momin and this becomes the characteristic of the community of Momineen. One can see from this how important this revolution inside human beings is! Otherwise, every human being, in fact every living being, has its need always ahead of others. One scenario is that one does not have any feeling for the need of others. Animals come under this category. If an animal has any feeling about this then it will always keep itself ahead and then think about others later.
The Quran takes humans one level higher. It prepares and trains human beings who give preference to the needs of others over their own needs—they remain deprived but give to others. Today, this looks more like a sermon, an advice, or more like a fiction. But this is because we are not mindful of the moral changes the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions (R) brought about in human society.
The moral foundation the Quran establishes in the human society produces such a miraculous change inside human heart that what to say of land, property, or any material wealth; if the entire planet is given in their hands they would not be influenced or swayed by its temptation to abandon the Quranic principle of giving priority to others above their own needs. They will never behave like the Pharaoh despite all the powers in their hands. In fact, they will become even more humble and intense in surrendering themselves to the Divine code. The reason such a hellish-selfish atmosphere prevails in the world today is because there are no such human beings today.
The basic reason for all-round human selfish atmosphere is that all eyes are on formalities and rituals. The goal of life and the change in the heart of humanity as a prerequisite to any change in the society (13:11), has disappeared from sight. Human population is increasing but the humanity in them is decreasing, in fact, it is getting rare. The Quran produces change in the hearts first, and when in whose hearts that change has taken place only then it gives power and authority in their hands. Then there is no fear of corruption. Could anyone be afraid of such people whose hearts have been transformed to be humble; and who keep others’ needs above their own while they themselves live a life of hardship? They, with steadfastness and courage, remain committed to this goal forever, always. And:
وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ ; لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ
(70:24-25) – and in whose possessions there is a due share, acknowledged [by them], for such as ask [for help] and such as are deprived [of what is good in life]. [Asad]
They are in fact admitting the reality that their wealth is not only for their own use, but also for the use of those whose resources cannot meet their needs; or for the use of those who become incapacitated and are unable to earn, thus being deprived of the necessities of life (2:177, 2:215). This is immutable right of the needy and those deprived in the society. What is due as a matter of right is not a matter of favor or charity. If someone gives somebody’s due he is not doing a favor. The Quran goes further and says: حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ – the right that is well-known. That is, this is not something secret. This will be a well-known public right made universally available by the Quranic system to needy, poor, and those made indigent by any calamity; and they will have the highest priority in this system.
What type of these people are who will be fit to implement the Quranic system? The Quran tells us about them. It did not just give laws; it did not just provide structure of its system; nor did it just draw the limits of its system – but it has also described what kinds of people are required to implement such a system. The Quran first wants human beings to imbibe these attributes—which it calls as the attributes of Momineen—in their own characters. These are the people who accept the truthfulness of Allah’s Laws; and the implementation of which they make the ultimate aim and mission of their lives (23:1). And they keep following these Laws with complete submission of their hearts (2:208). In other words they willingly carry out the duties assigned to them according to these Laws (4:65). They make sure that their efforts are not wasted on unproductive work. They also abstain from frivolous absurdities and from anything else which could prevent them from following the Quran (23:3, 41:26). They follow a program which ensures that the means of sustenance and development are continuously available to all humankind (23:4). And they guard their trust and uphold their promises (23:8, 4:58).
Only when this transformation has taken place that the Quran finds them capable of implementing its program. Only then it gives power and authority into their hands. The rule of humans over humans is not something trivial. The Quran does not allow anyone to force other human beings into compliance even of God’s order (2:256). All human beings are entitled to equal respect in the eyes of the Quran (17:70). So, there are no rulers or ruled in its system. It produces human beings who believe in this principle by transforming their inner self. They become servants of Allah as do other people. Everyone (without distinction) follows Allah’s Divine code of life. These are the very people who are the real inheritors of success and prosperity in this life (23:10) as well as the life to come (23:11).