The Islamic Constitution of the Social Ties
By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr
The pre-Islamic era was a stage of tragedies in the various mental and material fields. Moral dissolution and disorder were the most horrible tragedies that caused people to practice natures of beasts, law of jungle, disagreement, fighting, killing, usurpation, and declamation of revenge and retaliation.
When the dawn of Islam rose to spread its lights over humankind, it could, through its immortal principles and unparalleled constitution, stop these tragedies and cut off these combats. Then, it changed these ignorant herds into “the best nation that ever existed among humanity1.”
Faith replaced atheism, order replaced disorder, knowledge replaced ignorance, peace replaced war, and mercy replaced retaliation.
Thus, these concepts faded away and were replaced by the new Islamic principles. The Prophet (S) began to establish that ideal nation whose individuals were unique in order, morals, and perfection. As they progressed under the pennon of the holy Quran and the leadership of the Prophet (S), Muslims flew in the horizons of generosity until they could achieve the principle of fraternity in such a method that could not be achieved by any other code. Moreover, the ties of belief became stronger than those of kinship, and, likewise, the bonds of faith exalted over the tribal and national bonds. Muslims, hence, became a united nation of compact lineup, high edifice, and fluttering pennon: “People, we have created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you. Allah is All-knowing and All-aware (49:13).”
The holy Quran went on implanting the concepts of spiritual fraternity in the mentalities through numerous Verses compacted by a remarkable and wise style.
The Quran, once, legislates fraternity as a law that should be applied by Muslims: “Believers are each other's brothers. Restore peace among your brothers. Have fear of Allah so that perhaps you will receive mercy (49:10).”
On another occasion, the Quran confirms the law of fraternity and warns against factors of disagreement, reminding of the grace of the Islamic fraternity and harmony after long periods of disagreement and fighting: “All of you united hold fast to the rope of Allah, and recall how He favored you when your hostility to each other had torn you apart. He united your hearts in one faith and through His grace you became brothers (3:103).”
In abstract, Islam has exerted all efforts for strengthening the spiritual fraternity among Muslims and protecting it against trends of disagreement and separation through the constitution of the social ties.
As a model, we provide the following: The Islamic constitution of the social ties took Muslims’ emotions and feelings far above the slavery of the tribal sectarianism to guide them to the noblest aim; namely, the obedience to God and the seeking of His satisfaction. Love, hate, giving, deprivation, support, and disappointment all these should be for the sake of God. Such being the case, the handles of fraternity will become firmer and Muslims will become the like of the well-established building each part of which strengthens the other.
The Prophet (S) said: “The mutual love of the believers that is intended sincerely for the sake of Allah is one of the greatest classes of faith. He who loves, hates, gives, deprives all for the sake of Allah is surely one of the choices of Allah2.”
Imam as-Sajjad (a) said: “When Allah will gather the past and the late generations on the Day of Resurrection, a caller that everybody will hear will cry out on those who loved each other for the sake of Allah. A few people will stand up. They will be sent to Paradise without being rendered to judgment. In their way to Paradise, the angels will meet and ask them. ‘We are going to our abodes in Paradise without being rendered to judgment,’ they will answer. As the angels ask them about their class, they will answer, ‘We loved each other for the sake of Allah.’ As the angels ask them about their deeds due to which they have gained such a rank, they will answer, ‘We loved and hated for the sake of Allah.’ The angels then will say: Very well is the reward of the doers of charity3.”
Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “If you want to know whether you are to the good or not, you should test your heart: if it loves the people of obedience to Allah and hates the people of disobedient to Him, you are then to the good and Allah loves you. If your heart hates the people of the obedience to Allah and loves the people of the disobedience to Him, you are then not to the good and Allah hates you. Certainly, man will be attached to the one whom he loved4.”
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, those who love each other purely for the sake of Allah will be on luminous stages; the light of their faces, bodies, stages, and everything will be shining so that shining will be their distinctive feature and everybody will point to them and say those loved each other for the sake of Allah5.”
“He who does not love or hate for the sake of the religion is not Muslim6.”
The Islamic constitution of the social ties enjoined Muslims to adhere to the factors of coalition, dignity, and luxury, such as exhorting each other to the right, helping each other in fields of piety, supporting each other for the achievement of justice, and joining the forces in the economical fields of life. According to the Islamic Sharia, all Muslims are one family whose matters of happiness and unhappiness are the same. The constitution of such a family is: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are stern to the disbelievers yet kind among themselves. (48:29)”
And the slogan is the saying of the Prophet (S): “He who begins his day without caring for the affairs of the Muslims is not a Muslim.”
The Islamic constitution of the social ties warned Muslims against all factors of separation, hostility, obscenity, backbiting, tale bearing, breach, and cheating as well as all other matters that arouse seditions and rancor. The Muslims’ principal in this point is the Prophet’s saying: “The true believer is only he whom Muslims can trust in regard with their estates and souls. The true Muslim is only he whom Muslims are saved from his hand physical harm- and tongue- verbal harm-. The true Muhajir7 emigrant- is that who deserts the sins8.”
The Islamic constitution of the social ties granted the opportunities of improving friendly relations between Muslims, such as exchanging visits, frequenting religious circles, and witnessing Islamic gatherings such as collective prayers, hajj9, and the like.
Islam has fought against sectarianism
Sectarianism stands for supporting one’s people, family, or homeland on bases in violation of the law, right, and justice. Islam has fought against sectarianism and warned Muslims from its vices.
The Prophet (S) said: “Whoever has the least amount of fanaticism in his heart shall be raised by Allah on the Day of Resurrection together with the pagan Arabs of the pre-Islamic times10.”
“By means of Islam, Allah eradicated the fanaticism of the pre-Islamic times and the taking pride in fathers. Certainly, all people belong to Adam who was created from dust. The best of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious11.”
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “As for him who behaves fanatically, Allah will bind him with a fire band12.”
Imam al-Baqir (a) narrated: Salman al-Farsi -the Persian- and Omar were among some companions who began mentioning their tribes and lineages proudly. Omar asked Salman: “What is your tribe?” Salman answered: “I am Salman the son of God’s servant. I was astray, but God guided me through Muhammad. I was poor, but God made me rich through Muhammad. I was slave, but God set me free through Muhammad. This is my lineage, Omar.”
As he was told of the previous discussion, the Prophet (S) commented: “People of Koreish! A man’s lineage is his religion, personality is his moralities, and origin is his intellect. Allah says: “People, We have created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you (49:13).”
He (S) turned to Salman and said: “Salman! No one of those is preferable to you by any means except piety. You are preferable to him whom you are more pious than he is13.”
The best evidence on the credibility of Islam in its denial of the confessional feud and deciding faith and piety to be the criterion of preference is the fact that Abu Lahab who was the real Arab and the uncle of the Prophet (S) was declared as disbeliever and that he would be punished and tortured in Hell because of his atheism: “May the hands of Abu Lahab perish! May he too perish! His property and worldly gains will be of no help to him. He will suffer in a blazing fire. (111:1-4)”
Salman, on the other hand, was Persian and away from Arabism, but the Prophet (S) granted him that immortal Medal of Honor: “Salman is one of us the Ahlul-Bayt.”
This was for nothing other than his high faith, genuine honesty, and wholehearted devotion to God and His Messenger.
Reality of Sectarianism
The dispraised sectarianism against which Islam has warned is supporting one another in fields of wrongness and taking pride in the non-Islamic values.
Conversely, there is the fanaticism for the right as well as the support of one another on achieving the public interests of Islam, such like defending the religion, guarding the Islamic homeland, and protecting Muslims’ dignities, souls, and fortunes. This sort of fanaticism is praised since it results in uniting the aims and efforts and achieving dignity and poise for Muslims.
Imam as-Sajjad (a) said: “The fanaticism for which one is offended is to prefer the evil individuals of one’s clan to the righteous people of another. To love one’s clan is not a sort of fanaticism, which is to support one’s people on evildoings14.”
Calamities of Sectarianism
A survey into the Islamic history, as well as the reasons of the collapse of Muslims, proves that the confessional feuds were the main reason that resulted in the disagreement, disunity, and crumbling of Muslims and their powers that led to such a gloomy destiny. Muslims were humiliated only when the disuniting tendencies of fanaticism found grounds in their mentalities and caused their handles of mutual affection to be broken and their ties of fraternity to be split up. Hence, they became the example of retardation, separation, and humbleness after they had been the symbol of superiority, cohesion, and pride. They did not take heed of God’s saying: “All of you united hold fast to the rope of Allah, and recall how He favored you when your hostility to each other had torn you apart. He united your hearts in one faith and through His grace, you became brothers. You were on the verge of falling headlong into the abyss of fire, but Allah saved you. (3:103)”
1. Quoted from the holy Quran; 3:110.
2. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 89 (as quoted from al- Kafi).
3. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; vol. 15 part 1 page 283 (as quoted from al-Kafi).
4. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 90 (as quoted from al-Kafi).
5. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 89 (as quoted from al- Kafi).
6. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 90 (as quoted from al-Kafi).
7. Muhajirs: The emigrants. The early Muslims of Mecca who had to flee their homeland to Medina.
8. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 99 (as quoted from al- Kafi).
9. Hajj is the pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque at Mecca undertaken in the twelfth month of the Hijri year and constituting one of the religious duties of Islam.
10. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 99 (as quoted from al- Kafi).
11. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 14 page 48 (as quoted from al- Faqih).
12. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 14 page 48 (as quoted from al- Faqih).
13. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; vol. 15 part 2 page 95 (as quoted from Sheikh at-Tusi’s al-Amali).
14. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 149 (as quoted from al- Kafi).