Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sanction Behind Morality
This concept of the universe and of manÂ’s place in it also provides the sanction that must lie at the back of every moral law, that is, the love and fear of Allah, the sense of accountability on the Day of Judgment and the promise of eternal bliss and reward in the Hereafter. Although Islam aims to cultivate a mass ethos which may induce individuals and groups to observe the principles of morality it lays down as well as helps the evolution of a political system which will enforce the moral law through its legislative and executive powers, IslamÂ’s moral law does not really depend on these external factors. It relies on the inherent desire for good in every man which is derived from belief in Allah and the Day of Judgment. Before laying down any moral injunctions, Islam seeks to implant firmly in manÂ’s heart the conviction that his dealings are with Allah, who sees him at all times and in all places; that he may hide himself from the whole world but not from Allah; that he may deceive everyone but Allah; that he can flee from the power of any person but not from Allah; that while the world can see only manÂ’s outward life, Allah knows his innermost intentions and desires; that while man may, in his short sojourn on earth, do whatever he likes, he has to die one day and preset himself before the Divine court of justice where no special pleading or deception will be of any avail and where his future will be decided with complete impartiality. It is this belief in accountability to Allah which is the real force behind the moral law of Islam. If public opinion and the powers of the state give it support, so much the better; otherwise, this faith alone can keep a Muslim individual and a Muslim community on the straight path of virtue.
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