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Message of the Qur'an

Syari’at1

The Tree Of Life


- Hamidun Abdullah -
Human life is a complexity of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual elements.
Each of these elements cannot be detached from each other. God packaged all these
elements into what we called the “human being”. Each of these human beings is again
attached to another human being to form the human family and each family to another
family to form a community. As the community grew bigger and people moved about from
place to place, they began to be separated and settled on different parts of the world. Over
the years they began to develop a different way of life from their original community.

Although each human being consists of the same elements, yet they were developed at
different proportions. Thus no two human beings can be said to be identical. They may look
similar but definitely they are not the same. All these are well within the scientific and
medical knowledge. But what puzzled the human beings is why is it that despite these
similarities, yet humans cannot live in harmony as a single human race.

In the economy, capitalism pride itself against the communist systems. Finally capitalism
developed into a materialistic economy of the fittest. The rich manipulated the poor so as to
become richer. The natural resources of the poor countries were exploited by the capitalist
countries leaving the poor countries poorer. And the suffering poor will seize at every
opportunity it gets to escape from his predicament and if he has to betray or to kill, to
achieve his goal, he would not hesitate do so. Thus we see many third world countries
(especially in Africa) fighting and killing each other to acquire what little left of their land
(blood diamond is only one of the examples), after being exploited by the Westerners.
Nobody would have thought that capitalism will one day collapse. But it did. And it caught
the capitalist nations pants down and the whole world that subscribed to capitalism was
thrown into panic station. Thus, capitalism despite its boastfulness crumbles.

Since humans came into this world, history has never cease to record conflict among
humans; centuries after centuries they fought and kill each other. Today, despite all
advancement in knowledge, science and medical sciences, economy and human relations,
humans still fight each other. At each generations the conflicts became more intense and
the killing more brutal. Negotiation for peace was only a temporary gap to allow the
conflicting parties time not only to refurbish their arsenal of horrendous weapons, but also
to develop a more dreadful and lethal killing machine. Today the “super-powers” among
themselves have enough nuclear warheads to destroy this planet many times over. Allah
reminded us in the Qur'an; “And Lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: “Behold, I am about
to establish upon earth one who shall inherit2 it”. They (the angels) said: “Wilt Thou place

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God’s Law of Life – The Divine Law
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The Arabic word is “Khalifah” from the word “khalafa” which means “he succeeded another”.
This means that humans will die and then he will be succeeded by his children and by
generations after generations and so on until a term set by Allah where everything comes to a
stop. Prior to the creation of man, all of God’s creations do not die. This makes human a very

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Message of the Qur'an

on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blood – whereas it is we who extol Thy
limitless glory, and praise Thee, and hallow Thy name?” (Qur'an 2:30).

Is this an indication that humans were born as a violent animal? The answer is no. One
has to remember that when God created humans, he also prepared for him a guide book on
how to survive in this world. And for that purpose, God appointed for every tribe and nation
a messenger, who carries with him God’s Guidance. With such guidance, man will not only
live in peace and harmony among themselves but will return to God safely. But when humans
refuse to listen to God’s guidance but instead he listened to his desires, than at that
moment greed and power over took him.

Secular System

Looking at the “Tree of Life”, one will find that at every branches or twig possesses its
own problems. Under the secular system, every one of this branches or twigs is a stand-
alone. In other word, its problem is looked upon independently of the other branches or twig
and any solution to these problems are acted upon independently too. Very often, when this
form of solution is administered, it only solved that particular branch or twig or so it seems.
Unfortunately, it also brought about a “side-effect” which appeared on the other branches
or twigs, thereby creating new problems for the other branches or twigs. Thus, a solution for
a particular branch or twig will bring about new problems for the other branches or twigs,
which initially does not exists or were never thought of before. Such “side-effect” cannot be
avoided, simply because human life is an “integrated whole”. When our approach towards a
solution is not integrated, the solution is only temporary, though it may seem to have been
solved, until some new problems emerged in the other segment of society. Again, these new
problems too were being looked at independently and rectify independently. This process
will be repeated again and again and finally this whole episode turned into a “problematic
circle” without any comprehensive solution in sight. Numerous problems we are facing
today, all were of such examples – the poverty circle, the drug menace, road accidents and
etc.

Islamic System

The whole of the universe is Islam. Islam which means “surrender to the will of the
Creator.” existed in all of God’s creation. All of God’s creation submitted to this “will of
God” which God had determined for each and every one of His creation. All these creations
never disobey their Lord, the Creator and they accepted what had been determined for
them with full compliance. Within this environment, Islam seems to be the only avenue that
can offer an integrated approach to solving the human problems of the branches and twigs
without creating “side-effects”. Islam looks at these problems from a “helicopter view” and
offers its solution towards the systems that is in operation.

However, one must take note that the Islamic approach can only function within an
Islamic environment. Islam cannot perform satisfactorily outside of its own Islamic setting.
Islam cannot function under a repressive dictatorship. Islam also did not function solely for

special creation.

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Message of the Qur'an

its own sake, for Islam did not posses any selfish end. The Islamic system do not have their
own selfish motives of survival, expansion, domination and growth; nor do Islamic systems
pursue the selfish ends of a group of persons, or of economically or politically motivated
classes of elites (Siddique, 1996)3.

Therefore, any attempt to prevent or block support for the development and growth of
Islam can never be successful. At best these attempts can only slow down or weaken Islam
but can never eliminate Islam. Islam will resurface once all suppressive elements
disappeared or eliminated. This is the “nature” of Islam. Man does not have the ability or
power to go against “nature”. Despite all his technological advancement, man has yet to
fully control nature. Likewise, man does not have the capability to eliminate Islam because
Islam is “nature”. To fight Islam means to fight “nature”, and man being part of nature, he
cannot be fighting against himself.

Unfortunately, in the present secular system, Islam is a helpless spectator. Islam is a


lonely hiker who is camping all alone, reflecting at the ills of society and at its own weak
self. Once in a while when the ills of society had reached an uncontrollable dimension and
that the secular system could not offer any solution, only then Islam is being called to offer
its solution. But due to its weakness, its voice is too pathetic, apologetic and feeble. To
most people in the secular society, the Islamic voice is irrelevant and fanatical. After all
that have been said, the Islamic voice will slowly recede and finally lost, only to return to its
camp and to carry out its own quiet and passive life. It only reemerge once in a while for a
round of polemic that was never serious only to pleased the scholars to appease their thirst
for an opportunity to be heard, for such polemic was only meant for the leadership to satisfy
the Muslim masses, that they are Islamic and that Islam still have a place in society.
Unfortunately any conclusion towards any Islamic proposal had never been implemented and
had never been looked upon as a solution to the ills of society4.

The secular system does not look at the “root”, because the secular system does not
have any “root”. It only holds on to science and technology, which in actuality are in the
branches and twigs. But Islam looks towards the “root” for the problems of the branches and
twigs. If the “root” (moral) of someone had been developed and molded basing on that
which had been determined by the Syari’ah and consequently it is watered and fed
according to its proper amount and proportion (Rububiyah), then it will developed into a
morally healthy being5. Maybe there are those who will asked, why the Syari’ah and not any
other system or doctrine or religion? The answer is simply that Islam is “nature” and that it
functions on the Syari’ah. The Syari’ah, just like the biological system, functions within an
integrated environment. It is an “Eco-System” functioning within the human being. Each
branch or twig cannot function independently on its own but each operates in consonant and
harmony. They are diverse but united in their action and function (unity in diversity). Each
branch or twig will receive their instructions from the “root” (Syari’ah). If any branch or
3
Khalim Siddiqui, In Pursuit of The Power of Islam, 1996, p.89
4
When trouble touches men, they cry to their Lord, turning back to Him in repentence: but
when He gives them a taste of Mercy as from Himself, behold, some of them pay part-worship
to other gods besides their Lord- “ (Quran, 30:33)
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But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And
He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks
do ye give.!” (Quran, 32:9)
“He has created the Heavens and the earth in just proportions, and has given you shape, and
made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal.” (Quran, 64:3)

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Message of the Qur'an

twig were to go out of its alignment, the Syari’ah will act to bring back into alignment any
deviation. Thus the Syari’ah acts as the controlling and balancing mechanism of the
structure of life. Only in this way can life develop to its full potentials.

The Laws of Nature in Islam

God, the All-Powerful Most Merciful, Who created this world and all that are in it6, also
created the “way of life” of everyone of His creation. “The Laws of Nature” that is known to
humans is in actuality, a way of life that God had fixed for all His creation – this include
human beings.

We see that every creation will develop and grow according to its created form and
therefore it follows its way of life that was determined by the Creator. Thus we see that an
apple tree will grow as an apple tree and will bare apples and no other fruit. Likewise, an
insect will grow and develop as it was created to be and behave and acted according to its
way of life that was determined for it by the Creator – in Islam this is called fitrah7or
Sunnatullah.

Every creation that obeys its way of life that was determined for it, is Islam. Thus an
apple tree that grows and bares apple is Islamic and an insect or animal that grows and
behaves as it was created to behave is Islamic. This includes air and water too, with its form
and characteristic will behave accordingly. Each of God’s creation never resort to abandon
its shape or form or characteristic but with full respect to their Creator, obeys their way of
life which was determined for them by the Creator – they “submit” to God, therefore they
are Islamic.

Can we say the same of human beings? The human body is Islamic, in the sense that the
components of the human body function within the rules set by the Creator. Each
component of the body, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the red blood cells, the white
blood cells and the processes that is going on in the human body obeys the rules set by the
Creator. If any of these component disobeys and do not function as determined, the system
collapse and the whole body becomes sick. If the sickness is not corrected in time, it can
lead to total destruction of the body.

Islam

Humans if left alone will devise methods to maintain and sustained their survival on this
earth. In his loneliness and ignorant, man will look at “nature” to guide him go through life.
He looks at how animals survive and he behaves like wise. The hardship of his primitive life
will always trigger his innovative instinct to reduce the complications of survival to a more
comfortable and tolerable life. Man being a creative creature, began to innovate. As he
endeavours to satisfy his physical attributes and needs, his life became more affluent. To a

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Ayat al-Quran . . . . .
7
Fitrah – denotes ‘the nature of things’ eg: animals, humans, insects etc. It takes into account
their natural instinctive behaviour. This is also referred to as the Sunnah of Allah
(Sunnatullah), meaning that Allah created everything in accordance with set plan. This
includes the sun and the moon etc.

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Message of the Qur'an

certain degree he is able to control his physical environment. He began to harness the power
of the wind and sun. He manipulated and controlled the atoms and molecules. As he
progressed from a primitive state to a more sophisticated physical existence he discovered
that he is never comfortable with his inner-self. He is able to control his environment, but
he had never been able to control his emotions and passions. The urge for more is always
there in him. And he had never been fully able to detach himself away from his primitive
ancestors. His ruthless instinct to survive in the primitive environment did not disappear
with the advancement that he had achieved over the years.

Morally man has not change. Man cannot claim to have progressed simply because he had
reached the moon. That he had developed and harness the technology of microchips does
not in any way makes him a moral man. Like what was once said by someone; “we have
guided missiles but misguided man”. The world became a dangerous place to live. It is on
this basis, that Islam believes that the Prophets Muhammad s.a.w. was the last among all
prophets that God sent into this world to nurtured and raised man’s moral element. His duty
was to imposed upon man the responsibilities and consequences of his actions. To inform
man that despite his ability to create and develop his system of justice in this world, there is
still an “Ultimate Justice” waiting for him. That death is not the end but a beginning of the
next phase of man’s life. The day will come when he will be raised up from the dead to face
God and to account for all his actions in this world. When all his good and bad deeds are
weighted then God will decide his final abode – Hell or Heavens. This is the moral
consequence of man’s action in this world.

Man can brush aside this notion of God’s Ultimate Justice, but his rejections will not
remove that finality. If he chooses to ignore the day that he will be raised from the dead, it
will be at his own expense.

Wallahu ‘alam.