A Healthy Society under the Grace of Ethics 2

A Healthy Society under the Grace of Ethics 2

Social Value

Although, all people are the same in all regulations in view of social rights, and the principle of equity before law is one of the most basic foundations of progressive legal rules, but observance of this principle does not account that value of individuals is actually equal in the society. Rather, it is mostly due to unavailability of any other way for preserving discipline and preventing misuses of the arrogant and influential classes and colonization of man by man. Otherwise, it is undeniable that social value of individuals is very different. For example, the existence value of a resourceful, gracious, and competent scientist is never equal with an illiterate, improvident, and vicious person. However, if we want to consider privileges in view of social rights, it will result in the corruptions, the harms of which are much more than observance of difference in social values.

In general, social value of individuals depends upon the degree of utilization of the society from them, and the wisely valuable utterance of Prophet (S) in this respect may refer to this reality, where he says: The best people are the most beneficial ones.(1)

Islam and Social Concerns

Undoubtedly, no religion has respected relation of individual and society, and has strengthened the social chains by its decrees and regulations like Islam. Of course, a divine and eternal religion, guaranteeing education of hidden talents of man, and his perfection and progress should certainly be so. For understanding the importance of society in view of Islam, and special concern of Islam to this subject, studying following instructions is sufficient:

1- If you do not surprise, there is not even one individual instruction among the basic instructions of Islam! The best reason is enactment of Islamic jurisprudence, consisting of sorbs, transactions, and policies. There is no need for explaining the sociality of the second and third parts making the major part of jurisprudence. In the first part too, which is based on relation of creature with Creator, the spirit of society patently governs on it. Daily obligations, which are the most important Islamic sorbs, are so mingled with social concepts that separating them is difficult, and when they are performed individually it seems that they have lost their real sense. For instance, the introduction of prayer, which is "prayer call and prayer perform" is nothing else than a public invitation and declaration to the society, and performing this obligation in congregation, and in case of solitude, it does not have any sense save preserving a practice and establishing a sort of mental readiness for inclusion in this obligation.

Al- Hamd sura, which is the beginning of the prayer and includes the main invocation and supplication, is uttered in a plural form (نَعْبُدُ - نَسْتَعینُ - اِهْدِنا). In addition, the salutation at the end of prayer is in a plural form, and in case of solitude, it nearly loses its main concept. All of these indicate that the foundation of this great obligation is based on society, and moreover, strange and unique emphases are made in respect to performing this obligation in congregation. Among Islamic sorbs, pilgrimage is stronger than the others in view of disregard to the material world and its formalities, attachments and privileges, and notice to the realities is observed therein very strikingly, but it is strange that nevertheless in view of "social appearance" and its effects, it is stronger and more rooted than all other sorbs.

2- Importance of social relations in view of Islam is so high that it is considered as one of the signs of God and indications of monotheism, where it says: “And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy”.(2)

3- Holy Qur’an reiterates that one of the miraculous deeds of Prophet (S) was creation of more friendship among the hearts, where it says: “He it is Who supporteth thee with His help and with the believers, And (as for the believers) hath attuned their hearts”.(3) The above verse makes an interesting reference to this point that material things could not create friendship alone, because they themselves, in contrary with belief and spirituality, are the causes of scattering, disturbance and struggle. It is remarkable that in this phrase of Qur’an, confirmation of the believers is immediately mentioned after divine confirmation, and this shows the high importance of the subject.

4- Qur’an calls scattering and hypocrisy as one of the divine chastisements: “ Say: He is able to send punishment upon you from above you or from beneath your feet, or to bewilder you with dissension and make you taste the tyranny one of another”.(4) And somewhere else Qur’an has placed it besides the burning fire, which swallows and incinerates everything: “And (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and He did save you from it”.(5)

5- Qur’an calls the relation of believers "brotherhood" which is the nearest and more respectful family relations established based on equal and mutual respect.

6- In Islamic instructions, there are a few sins equal with creating enmity and scattering among people, as there are a few good deeds equal with bringing hearts of people together. It is narrated from Imam As-Sadiq (A.S.) in Ehtejaj book: The most important charm (in view of effect of causing disunity) is gossip, which causes dispersion among the friends and attracts enmity. A lot of bloods are shed as a result of it, and the houses are ruined, and the secrets and mysteries of people will be disclosed. The informer is the worst one stepping on the earth.(6) Moreover, it should be considered that in some of Islamic traditions, charm is compared with blasphemy.

7- Islam even does not permit Muslims, save in exceptional cases, to sulk each other so that their amity is weakened and the cordiality of their friendship is decreased. In the numerous traditions being narrated from Islamic leaders in this respect, it is forbidden in a harsh tone in more than seven traditions, and if inevitable, its permitted limit is determined to be three days. Prophet (S) says: It is not permitted for a Muslim to sulk more than three days with his religious brother.(7)

And in another tradition, he says: Sulking is forbidden, and one who performs it of necessity, shall not be in sulks with his brother more than three days. One, who is in sulks more than this, is more worthy of the Fire.(8) In these traditions, Islamic leaders have introduced continuation of sulk as exclusion from Islam's reality, and taking the lead in placation as the cause of taking the lead in entry to paradise. 8- In Islam, kindness, friendship, equality, assistance and cooperation are the certain duties of each Muslim, and all are obliged to observe these principles. We read in a tradition from Imam As-Sadiq (A.S.): It is obligatory for the Muslims to try for bringing their hearts together, and do not neglect cooperation mixed with kindness, observe equity among the needy, and express their affection to each other to become the proof of utterance of God "they are kind with each other”.(9)

Continue in the next article: ( A Healthy Society under the Grace of Ethics 3 )



1.  Nahjol Fessahe, page 315

2. (30:21)

3. (8:62, 63)

4. (6:65)

5. (3:103)

6. Tabarsi, Ehtejaj, 340/2

7. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 189/75

8. Hurr al-Amili, Wasa’il ash-Shi’a, 586/8, narration 8

9. Hurr al-Amili, Wasa’il ash-Shi’a, 552/8, narration 2