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The Social Law of Islam: Basic Principle
Social Issues
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


Man by nature is a living being who likes to live in a community. The reason that the Almighty has bestowed him with this nature is that He does not create human beings at their very birth in the prime of their youth; similarly, human beings do not generally die in their youth without passing through old age. On the contrary, a human being is created as a feeble child in the womb of the mother who enters this world to be welcomed by her loving affection. He then grows being nurtured and nourished through others. At first, he drags himself and then crawls along his knees before he is able to stand on his feet. Even after this state, he needs the help of others at every step. Finally, after going through various phases of childhood and adolescence he enters the prime of his youth. This blooming period of his life also does not last more than twenty to thirty years. Then comes old age and in spite of attaining great heights in intellect in his prime, he once again has to turn to others to fulfill his needs like a frail child.

This life cycle of man entails that he live in a social set up. From the very beginning of his life, this affinity towards a social set up is fully found in his being. He does not need to find this tendency in his external world. When he enters this world, he brings with him all his internal urges and inner motivations and uses them to fulfill his needs wherever and whenever required.

The history of mankind shows that on this very basis of human nature, Adam, the founder of the human dynasty was blessed with a wife from his own species – someone who was meant to be his companion. From these two sprung many men and women as their progeny. Gradually, a family, a tribe and finally a state came into existence. The resultant social set up afforded man the opportunity to realize his hidden potentials and urges. While pointing out this fact, the Qur’ān says:

يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَتَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا (١:٤)

O mankind! Fear your Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like species his mate, and from these two scattered countless men and women [in this world], and fear Allah through whom you seek mutual help and fear breaking blood relationships. Indeed God is watching over you. (4:1)

A little deliberation shows that this verse embodies all the principles upon which the Almighty has based human society. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī#, while pointing out these principles writes:

Firstly, this world is not unattended; on the contrary, it has been created by the Almighty who is the God of everyone. It is therefore unseemly for a person to create disorder in it and disobey His authority. Everyone should remain fearful of the Almighty’s grasp – the Almighty who is the Creator and Master of everyone.

Secondly, the Almighty has created man from a single soul: Adam. Consequently, mankind is the progeny of one father. No one is superior to the other. Whatever their colour, cast or creed, all human beings are equal.

Thirdly, just as mankind is the progeny of one father, their mother is also one: Eve. Hence, no one is superior to the other. One father and mother have created this global family. It is evident from the verse that Eve is of the same species as Adam. This further means that women are not inferior beings. As human beings, men and women are equal in status.

Fourthly, the bases of mutual help and co-operation in a society are three driving forces: unity of God, unity of ancestors and blood relationships. It is essential that every person realize the obligation these blood relationships entail and fulfill it. It is also his responsibility to safeguard these relationships and be on guard that no slogan should be able to destroy these blood relationships and replace it with some ignorance ?….. If such a thing emerges in a society, it should ring an alarm [in our ears] and it is the duty of every sensitive member of the society to do his utmost to impede its progress. The words: ‘وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَتَسَاءَلُونَ بِه وَالْأَرْحَامَ’ (And fear Allah through whom you seek mutual help and fear breaking blood relationships) at the end of the verse sound this warning. Hence, according to Islam, it is these pillars on which stands the whole edifice of family, society and state. As long as these pillars are intact, this edifice is intact. If these become weak, the edifice would be endangered and if they are razed down, the edifice would too be demolished.1

In order to firmly establish a society on these fundamentals, an everlasting bond between the spouses is made essential in the religion of the Prophets. The Almighty has informed us that to fulfill this scheme both a man and a woman are innately equipped with all the necessary urges so that they are able to become true companions of one another and live as two souls united in one body: 

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ(٢١:٣٠)

And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among your species that you may obtain comfort from them, and [for this purpose], He has put love and sympathy within you; surely, in this are signs for those who reflect. (30:21)

If the whole life of a human being – from childhood to old age – is kept in consideration, sense and reason endorse that to fulfill his physical, psychological and social needs an everlasting marriage bond between the spouses is essential. Consequently, the Almighty has given a detailed social law to man through His Prophets regarding the society which is established on this basis.


(Translated from ‘Mīzān’ by Shehzad Saleem)





1. Tadhkiyah-i-Nafs, 1st ed., vol. 2, (Lahore, Faran Foundation, 1989), p. 142

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