Feb 5, 2010, 7:58 PM
The basic values and needs in Islam, which define the foundations for good and prosperous individual and social life, are classified into three levels or categories. The first category is referred to as the Five Basic Necessities of life (Dharuriat al-khamsah) these are basic values for all mankind of all generations. The Five Basic Values are:
a) Life or Physical Self, which includes basic items such as food, clothing, shelter, transport, health and so on and so forth. The phrase "Physical Self' means all those things that could provide a healthy body to lead a prosperous life.
b) Religion: Islam considers Religion as a basic value or fundamental right of every individual. No body should be denied his/her right to freely practice his/her own choice. Religion is a fundamental value and basic necessity for all mankind from point of view of Islam because; it provides humanity with guidance, peace, tranquility, comfort and purpose in life. Religion teaches man to uphold truth, justice and all the virtues and also to avoid the vices.
c) Intellect or Reasoning power (Al-Aql): The intellectual nature of the human person is made up of mind or intelligence some times referred to as "Reasoning Power". Islam attaches a great importance to the intellectual nature or aspect of man whose structure is built on most solid foundations. This value is the custodian of knowledge in the human being. Islam classified knowledge into two types i.e. the basic and specialised knowledge. Every individual must acquire the basic or fundamental knowledge whereas the specialised type must be secured by only a few in societies.
d) Family life and offspring (Al-Nasab): In Islam, family life is the very heart of society. Islam enjoins Muslims to marry with one-another and produce children and thus maintain clear, definite and traceable as well lineages. Marriage or Family Life is a fundamental institution of Islam as a way of life, a civilisation and religion.
e) Wealth or Property (Al-Mal): Wealth is obviously a fundamental human value and basic necessity of life. Without wealth or property life will be impossible for mankind.
Islam holds all these Five Basic Values in high esteem and it considers attacks against anyone of them a grave sin. Thus, Islam Strictly prohibits anything that could lead to the destruction of any of these five values and basic necessities of life.
Second: The Secondary Values or Conveniences (Al-Hajiyyat): These comprise all such activities and things that are not vital to preserve the five basic values but rather, they are needed to remove difficulties or impediments in life.
Third: Luxury Values or Refinements (Al-Tahsiniyyat): This category of values includes items that are beyond those for convenience. They do not only remove difficulty but also improve comfort. Islam heavily protects these values and necessities of life for all mankind. In fact, the main objective of revealing Shari'ah or Islamic Law by Almighty God is to guarantee the protection of human interests with the basic values and fundamental necessities of life for all human beings being the core of such interests. In other words, protection of live, religion, intellect, family and lineage and property or wealth is the main objective for the revelation of Shari'ah and to do this, Islam have identified several norms and principles as tools and means of protecting and preserving the fundamental values and basic needs of life for the entire human family.
Such norms and principles include: Self-sacrifice, Frugality or moderate spending, Contentment, Personal responsibility in criminal law and peace and forgiveness.
Thus sacrifice and reconciliation are basic norms and fundamental principles of Islam that ensure the protection and survival of all the basic values and necessities of life for mankind on earth. Islam advocates the concept of self-sacrifice because it believes that the secret of progress and advancement in life lies in sacrifice.
On the other hand, Islam advocates peace and forgiveness in order to ensure and guarantee permanent and lasting reconciliation and harmony. Thus, sacrifice and reconciliation are basic teachings and fundamental norms of Islam as a civilisation, a religion and a way of life. This is why sacrifice and reconciliation as basic norms and principles are imbedded within and they run through the basic structure and the entire spectrum of the essential characteristics of Islam as a civilisation, a religion and a way of life.
In This discussion, I will examine the fundamental principles and essential characteristics of Islam as a comprehensive system of life in order to reveal the intrinsic nature of sacrifice and reconciliation and to show their essentiality to Islam and how they impose or force themselves into all the daily activities of Muslims in life. The major concept here is sacrifice because its true observation and application lead to the achievement of reconciliation. Reconciliation is not only supportive to but also it is included within the scope of sacrifice. For this reason the discussion will focus more on sacrifice but it will first briefly examine reconciliation in the light of the importance and centrality of the principle of peace and forgiveness to human life and to society at large.
ii)Part - 1:
Islam is a religion of peace. The word itself means peace. For Islam, peace is a fundamental objective and a basic necessity. Islam believes that higher human objectives cannot be achieved in the absence of peaceful circumstances. The spiritual as well as the moral progress of the human person is possible in peaceful atmosphere. To enjoy an atmosphere of peace is essential for the building of good and highly developed communities. All human activities in society such as academic research, propagation of religions or any other ideology, procreation and commercial as well as any other human activity can be possible only in peaceful circumstances and in a friendly atmosphere. Thus Islam treats peace in the eschatological sense as the ultimate goal of human life, almost synonymous with salvation. Islam also looks at the importance of peace from the point of view of its psychological sense that is, it ensures tranquility and peace of mind "an inner confidence born out of faith that enables the Muslim person not only to face adversities and difficulties of life without anxiety or despair but also to overcome spiritual turmoil and fear".
(TO BE CONTINUED)