As we repose faith in the Lord, our immediate desire is to
be what our Lord wants us to be. Awed by His Mercy and Grandeur, we surrender
before the religion He has revealed. With veritable sincerity of heart, we wish
that this religion must govern our life such that no aspect of it should escape
the religious directives. Encapsulated thus within the confines of religion,
this life should exude unmistakable conformity with these directives and even
more so with the spirit underlying them.
This is only true a reflection of our sincere faith since
to disregard the spirit is actually to throw the directive back in the face of
the Master. Any act performed to the exclusion of the spirit is liable to
attract Divine wrath instead of gaining favor. As we prostrate before the Lord,
our heart should also prostrate, and as we give away money in charity, we should
also truly acknowledge the right of the recipients in our hard earned wealth. As
much as there is need to observe the form of the directive, there is need to
comply with its substance. Without substance, any duty performed is a mere
physical exercise that may bring worldly benefit with no share in the reward of
the Hereafter. For the express directives, therefore, the right and true
approach is to follow them in letter and spirit.
As for the spheres of human activity where we have not been
given any express directive, this sincere faith again goads us on to carefully
decide a definite course of action. Once decided, it insists that we should
abide by it. To take our religious decisions, which we sometimes make, lightly
has also been condemned by the Almighty (the Qur’an, 2:187). To contravene what
we feel is God’s wish is no less in severity than disregard the explicit
directives of God. Besides, it is the obvious requirement of our faith in Allah
that we endeavor to find the right path in activities not directly addressed by
religion, and stick to it at all cost. Without reflection, the wrong path chosen
may cripple and incapacitate us to follow even the explicit directives of
religion. A little mistake here may precipitate circumstances of profoundly
undesirable consequences. Each step should be trekked with caution and care.
The knowledge of the entire religion should come to our aid
to make the befitting decision in such situations. The Islamic scholars, who
have expertise in religious sciences, should be resorted to in this regard
though their help in understanding the explicit directives is equally warranted.
The fact that they spend day and night in understanding the word of God confers
on them the privilege to guide the masses both about the explicit directives,
and the issues not directly touched upon. They keenly observe the spirit present
in the specific directives of the Shari‘ah while giving their humble verdict.
With a vision sharpened by the revelation, they are better placed to help us
choose the right path whenever we stand in confusion on the crossroads.