Academic Steps Trust - أمانة الخطوات التعليمية لتعليم اللغة العربية والإسلام






In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.


GOD has revealed the unbroken chain of belief and guidance through His Prophets to humanity. This book shows how previous Paths converge into THE STRAIGHT PATH. The writer approaches this subject through (a) objective writing and (b) group discussions to clear the mist of misunderstanding held by Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam.

This work attempts to unite the spiritual with the secular both in private and in public life after their long divorce. Religious belief is to be translated into moral action supported by all social systems; ethical, political, economic and in our duty towards God, to oneself and to others. All of these are sustained by a Divine Moral Decree that links the temporal world with the spiritual to save the welfare state of humanity and its destiny.

These writings hope to persuade Muslims, in particular the youth, to adapt a spiritual infusion, to safeguard their beliefs in relation to moral action. To non-Muslims and researchers in this field of study, it allows them to distinguish clearly the differences between Muslim thought, the behaviour of Muslims and Islamic theology and its conduct. It is also directed to assist students who need a reference book for use in Religious Studies and also as a source of reference in public libraries. It is an introduction to study the principles of Divine Decree in the Qur’an.


“And verily this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate from His way. This has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him” [Qur’an, 6:153].


   All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds from Whom we ask for guidance to The Straight Path. This is an attempt to explain the teachings of Islam to all those, Muslim or non-Muslim, who are interested to have a better understanding of Islam, together with knowledge of its practical advice as to how humanity can achieve a harmonious and civilised way of life.

   The intention has been to give a comprehensive overview of all that Islam teaches in all aspects of human life, spiritual and material, mental and physical, individual and social, at the local and international level.

The book is organised is such a way as to lead the reader progressively through the practises of Islam from the personal to inter-personal level. It starts with an examination of what religion is about and the basic beliefs of Islam, and then it moves on to discusses about the Qur’an and the prophets, the pillars of religion and society and finally it summarises the details of various systems which Islam has set up to ensure a peaceful and well-ordered life for all human beings.

   This book can also be used as a source of reference on the teachings regarding any particular aspects of life the reader may wish to find out about. Or it can simply be dipped into according to the reader’s own particular interests.

   The sections entitled “Discussion” are an attempt to give answers to questions and arguments that often arise in the minds of students of Islam. Many people come to the teachings of Islam only by hearsay, from its opponents, or as disconnected ideas from articles, speeches, broadcasts, etc. These partial sources have given rise to many biased attitudes and it is hoped that this comprehensive treatment will provide a more holistic view of Islam and thus shed light on all the details which otherwise would seem incomprehensible.

   We are very pleased to present the first book in its sufficiency. We pray to our Sustainer to guide us to the Right Way.


H.M.Abbara is an Educationist specialising in Moral and Religious Development.



4th Step on the Straight Path


v    1st Step

v    2nd Step

v    3rd Step

v   4th Step

v    5th Step

v    6th Step

v    7th Step

v    8th Step

v    Introduction

Contents of 4th Step on the Straight Path


Chapter 8.     The Pillars of Perfection.             page:

     8.1    The virtuous individual.

     8.2.   Purifying the Soul.

     8.3    True belief.

              8.3.1  Quality of belief.

     8.4    Right action.

     8.5    Conscious intention.

               8.5.1  Ostentation (riy'a).

                8.5.2  Hypocrisy (nifaq).

     8.6    God-Consciousness (taqwa).

     8.7    God-Guidance.

                8.7.1  Divine Guidance in the Qur'an..

                8.7.2  Following the Qur'an.

     8.8    Discussion.

     8.8.1  Faith and action.

     8.8.2  Muslims' behaviour and Islamic judgement.

     8.8.3  Authenticity of belief and action.

     8.8.4  God's Guidance.



Chapter 9.          Pillars of Social Life.                   page:

     9.1    Protection of life.

     9.2    Protection of possessions.

     9.3    Protection of mind.

     9.4    Protection of religion.

     9.5    Protection of honour.

     9.6    Discussion.

     9.6.1  The sanctity of life.


Chapter  10.       The Pillars of Society.            page:

     10.1   Justice: (inward, upward, and outward.)  

     10.2   Equality.

     10.3   Consultation.

     10.4   Freedom.

     10.5   Unity.

     10.6   Discussion.

     10.6.1 The Pillars of Society.

     10.6.2 Justice.

     10.6.3 Equality.

     10.6.4 Freedom.

     10.6.5 Unity.




4th  Step on the Straight Path

8.   The Pillars of perfection or Ihsan.

The stage of perfection necessitate to achievement of performance the following steps:  1. A perfect Islamic society requires perfect Muslim, inward toward himself,  upward towards God, and surrounding and that is required: 2. A virtuous individual pursues perfection through various procedures to ascend to high merit of this life and next life and that demands: 3. Purifying the heart and mind, as the earliest revelation commanded the Prophet: “And thine inner self purify” (74:4) decontamination of the mind is demanding: 3. Right belief of the soul and spirit, its spiritual development depends on right knowledge The belief in Islam has many stages, increase or decrease depends on awareness of Sunnatu Allah and understanding its Decree, believing in its wisdom, no matter if the verdict was positive or negative according our judgement because we unaware of the consequences of its course of action. Belief is supp necessitate: 4. Virtuous action is the criterion of the right belief which is a stimulus to spontaneous moral behaviour. Right action is required: 5. Conscious intention for sake of God free from self-interest. These again requested to be free from: 5.1, Ostentation which necessitate that action morally or religiously to be carried out purely for nothing in return or to show off, and that required avoiding: 5.2. Hypocrisy which takes upon oneself a false appearance, that causes the people mistrust each others, so these are supported by: 6. God-consciousness, that true believer he is aware that God perceive his intention and action. Therefore, should by within the Straight Path set up by: 7. God’ Guidance affirms unto true believers and lets go astray the wrongdoers, hem God’s Guidance permitted only for those who uncontaminated with sins of virus of thought or self-interested judgement such those who made verdict on behave of God to kill their opponents by name of Islam or makes unlawful as a lawful. All these statements are not left to the individual judgements but as defined by: 8. The Book of the Guidance; the Qur'an, the criterion of absolute right judgments, but so many Muslims twisted them, so the suffer the loss of trust of each others an God trust not the common one. That is followed by the Discussion which makes these main beliefs clearer. Hence, one's application and spiritual growth depend on the right environment which is maintained by the application of the pillars of social life:

9.    The Pillars of Social Life.

God does not only spiritual teaching or private piety as Sufism consider but as well as, spiritual exhortation with ordinance relating to the practical aspects of social life. Human needs support from compassionate God as well as from human care and only morality and spirituality can create right atmosphere. Islam lays down the main principles that make life secure and safe for every individual Muslim or not and to the whole community if they are Muslim or not. The fundamental objective of Islamic social life is affirmation restoration and consolidation of the dignity, integrity, and honour of the individual and the whole community. God regulates human life and defines basic human uprightness, so, its moral objectives are protection the indispensable feature of life. Starting with main objective: 1. Protection of life, God granted a life to an individual and nobody has the right to take human life including one own life. So these who kill by name of God they have no authority from Him but may be from Satan who inspire his followers. Defence of life is maintained by: 2. Protection of possession; God made the sanctity of life and the sanctity of property as one because a human nature is ready to sacrifice his life for his ownership, and the most important then the property is protection of: 3. The mind, is the credit of human if it abuse; it cause a cruelty to the person as a whole of mind, hence, protecting the mind, it is defending is belief, so, the third factors is: 4. Protecting the religion. God announce there is no compulsion in religion, He gives freedom to everyone to believe in whatsoever a person to cover his original believe in Him, as long as he lives morally right to pay tribute to others dignity. All trouble cause by violent behaviour not in favour of honour of person or his relative. So protection of: 5. The honour in relationship to sexual category, where the stimuli of human offensive comes from, so he God’s commandment: “And do not come near adultery- for, behold, it is an abomination and an evil way” (17:32). The violation of these subject matters directly or indirectly act is consider dreadful behaviour. Toward the end we have our normal discussion on these subjects. These basic principles of the honourable life are supported by the application of pillar of society:



"It is not piety that you turn your faces to the East and to the West. True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Prophets; to give of one's substance, however cherished, to kinsmen, and orphans, the needy, the traveler, beggars, and to ransom the slave; to perform the prayer, and to pay the alms. And they who fulfil their covenant, and endure with fortitude misfortune, hardship and peril, these are they who are true in their faith, these are the truly conscious of God' [2:177]


     The third pillar of Islam is Perfection, Ihsan, denoting personal piety and virtuous character. Someone who truly realises that God oversees and judges all intentions and actions follows God's Guidance. It is the application of the earlier pillars with God-consciousness and sincerity  

     The pillars of perfection are the consequence of the transmutation of the pillars of Faith, (truthfulness and sincerity towards God), and the pillars of Islam, into rules of conduct. Each action or intention is judged according to its sincerity before God. Abu Amr said, "I said: 'O Messenger of God, tell me something about Islam which I can ask no one but you, He said: 'Say: "I believe In God" and thereafter be upright'".1  The Qur'an describes believers as: Those who live in virtue, those who say, 'Our Lord Is God', and then steadfastly pursue the right way". [41:30].

     The articles of the Islamic pillars are mentioned many times in different places in the Qur'an. The above verse 2:177 refers to them all together. There is a Hadith that says that when Gabriel came to teach the pillars of religion, he said to the Prophet Muhammad: "....Tell me about Ihsan; (perfection)", The Prophet answered, "It is to worship God (sanctify your actions to God) as though you see Him, and if you see Him not, yet truly He see you."2 Islam seeks to develop the good in humanity towards perfection.

     The following process, whereby individuals develop the qualities essential to function effectively in the Islamic society in which they live, is concerned with the characteristics that individuals acquire and the psychological mechanisms that bring about the desired change.

     These issues have been studied most extensively in the context of modifying and purifying the individual so that he will be acceptable to, and instrumental in, forming and taking part in a virtuous society. Hence the pillars overlap, they work together in one direction to fulfill moral and spiritual development.

     Thus, if we draw attention to them, it is to emphasise the importance of some aspect in relation to others. Therefore we draw from the above statement: "... to worship God as though you see Him, and if you see Him not, yet truly He sees you."

     The pillars of perfection entail acting virtuously in private and in public. The steps are as follows:

A perfect society           requires     perfect individuals.

A perfect individual requires purification of the soul.

Purifying the soul        requires       true belief

True belief                   requires        perfect acts.

Perfect acts                 require        conscious intention.

Conscious intention   requires     avoiding ostentation.

Avoiding hypocrisy   requires   God-consciousness.

God-consciousness    requires   God's Guidance.

God's Guidance        requires    following the Qur'an.

The Qur'an states: "This Divine Writ; there is no doubt, Guidance for all the God-conscious; (unto those who ward off evil)." [2:2].

     We shall now try to define each principle of this chain in the pillars of perfection:


{Between Abbara and Dina expressing the Islamic view whilst Badr and Charles the opposite side of the argument}


8.8.1.Faith and Action.


"O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not? Very hateful is it to God, that you say that which you do not" [61:2-3].


Abbara:     The Pillar of Virtue concerns sincere belief resulting in appropriate action, thanks to God's Guidance. It omits those who claim to have faith but fail to act virtuously, and those who claim to act in the way of a Muslim but disregard Islamic principles. Virtue is the reality of faith. The pillar of virtue narrows the gap between belief and righteous deeds: true faith demands right action. Islam is very much a religion of belief and action.

Dina:   Believers live in constant God-consciousness. They respond, to the best of their ability, to God's Call and act always according to Islamic principles. They have given up a narrow bond in favour of a universal bond, and that is what God demands.

Badr:   Is it not better to have a clean heart rather than to claim to practise Islamic ritual and do evil?

Dina:   "Justify not yourselves: God knows best who it is that guards against evil." [53:32]. Islam demands purity in every sphere. If someone claims to be a practising Muslim, but behaves in an un-Muslim way, the cause has to be hypocrisy, ostentation or ignorance.

     Islamic belief and practice go together. It is an intentional or deliberate act of will towards one Objective, that is, God who accepts only righteous and virtuous acts. The link between intention and action depends on sincere judgment, and one action leads to another. For example, a person who does not pay Zakah, the poor-due, may also be tempted to take interest and become greedy, neglecting the rights of his parents, family and relative.

     This is an example of how actions in Islam depend on each other and therefore must all aim to one end. So, we cannot judge Islam by the behaviour of so called Muslims. There are non-Muslims who are, to some extent, more moral than some of those who claim to be Muslims. In every nation there are people who call others to the Truth and act upon it. "Among those who We have created, there are people who guide (others) in the Way of Truth and act justly in its light." [7:181].

     There are virtuous people in every community. Therefore some may follow the truth by the Grace of God. But the Revelation gives comprehensive rules related to the whole Truth to save man from following the truth in part, and then self- interest or falsehood in another.

Charles:    Muslims must practise what they preach. Most moral weakness lies in the conflict between one's own interests and that of others in regard to justice and fairness.

Dina:   God-consciousness enables us to be just in every aspect of life, bear witness to the truth and never to let hatred lead us into deviation from justice.

Charles:    There are many factors underlining moral action. It may be motivated by the wish to avoid punishment, by the desire for reward or to win the approval or to avoid the disapproval of others. A right action may not necessarily be done for its own sake.

Abbara:     Everyone has weaknesses, of evil diseases in the heart. God knows what they are; therefore He provides a remedy for everyone according to his intentions. "Of all His servants, only such as: are endowed with innate knowledge stand truly in awe of God" [35:28].

     Hence, a true action depends on true judgment, which demands true knowledge, so not every Muslim is able to judge his actions rightly. His belief may or may not guide his moral behaviour, because all situations are multi-dimensional and so more than one level of judgement may need to be brought to bear on a moral decision. Therefore the problem of making judgments about moral actions is universal.

     Researchers find a moderate or low correlation between belief and action. It is not surprising to find a distinction between the behaviour of those who call themselves Muslims and the actions of those true believers that correspond to Islamic principles.


8.8.2. Muslims' Behaviour and Islamic Judgement.

"What! is then one who is upon a clear (Path) from his Lord no better than one to whom the evil of his conduct seems pleasing and such follow their own lusts" [47:14].


Abbara:     We have pointed out that the objective of Islamic teaching is concerned not only with moral actions in themselves but places great emphasis upon underlying intention. Inward predisposition and outward factors must together lead towards behaviour consistent with the upward principle. Judgment depends on God-Consciousness and action must be related to it. Therefore, intention and conduct are normally in harmony in the heart of a true believer.

Charles:    A question determines its own answer. Why do Muslims not reach that standard?  What is the relationship between Muslims and Islamic probity?

Abbara:     The question can be very roughly divided into two parts: direct and indirect problems:

1.   The indirect problems have arisen in the past from some Muslims having had an un-Islamic way of life for centuries. Muslims have diverged from the Straight Path and have, in fact, taken many directions, not only in political, economic, legal and cultural fields, but also in relation to the creed itself. They care about appearances, but not about the content, so these divergences have become a tradition or a part of their so-called Islamic culture and a non-Muslim cannot identify the true Islamic way of life from the new 'Muslim social tradition'.

2.   The more recent problems have been the effects of colonialisation on all affairs: moral, social, political, economic and ideological. Besides that, there has been poverty, underdevelopment, and ignorance, etc. Consequently Muslim power has been weakened not only outwardly but also inwardly. The true belief which stands behind every aspect of life has gradually become weaker.

Dina:   We should point out that Islam wants the Islamic community to be the best and highest in developing all affairs, but failure to achieve that does not mean that they have lowered their standards. If we compare Muslim societies, even the ones that are patently un-Islamic, with non-Muslim one's, we find that the former are less troubled with moral problems, such as abortion, infanticide, suicide, and other things causing death. Also, they avoid the results of sexual license, such as disease, single parenthood, and problems in social life, the breaking of bonds between parent and children, divorce and so on.

Charles:    But do not forget that an unjust political administration can cause far greater loss of human life than other social problems! As we can see Muslims kill each other everywhere.

Dina:   This comparison does not prevent us from accepting the truth that there is no significant relationship between the present day Muslim and Islamic virtue, either in spiritual matters. (i.e., most of them do not pray, which simply means that they have cut off their connection with God) or worldly affairs, where they are applying man-made ideologies rather than the Revealed way of life. In addition, most Muslims are ignorant of the objectives of Islam as a whole.

     Muslim scholars consider such circumstances or state a result of divergences from Islamic teaching, that is, from the Straight Path. As long as Muslims adopt different ways of life, they will find it more and more difficult to return to Islamic conduct as a whole. But believers, as a minority in all centuries, have always bonded themselves to God, so we cannot see Islam though such a narrow channel. Belief requires action in public life too. .


8.8.3. Authenticity of Belief and Action


"Surely those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, their Lord will guide them by their faith" [10:9]


Badr:   There are many Muslims who claim to be believers but their behaviour is not related to the right standard. So what causes them to live in this contradiction?

Dina:   In Islam, the development of cognition comes before true belief. Belief without knowledge can cause confusion in reasoning and this in turn leads to inaccurate judgment that is reflected in actions. Therefore it is difficult to generalise. Everyone is at his own stage of development; not all believers achieve their level of belief equally.

Charles:    Do you mean that believers do not have the same standards because Islamic theology demands continuous spiritual and moral development?

Dina:   True belief in Islam is associated with a developed mind and is accessible to the intellect of man, so that his spiritual and worldly affairs may be consistent with righteous living.

     The Qur'an refers to the behaviour of those who only pretend that they have faith, but are either ignorant of it, or do not realise the responsibility placed on them by authentic belief. (See Qur'an 2:6-12). Hence ignorant or weak-minded believers are influenced by their own ideas rather than by true judgment, as given by God in the Qur'an.  Their deeds do not fit with what is meant by God but are affected by their own preconceptions which bar them from all spiritual insight.

Abbara:     We could add that the consequence of their bad actions and their persistence in them is that God takes away their light of reasoning and sense of justice and leave them in darkness. They will be deaf, unable to hear the truth, dumb, unable to speak it, blind, unable to see it, and unable of themselves to return to the Right Way [2:16]. Since their conduct follows the desires of their hearts, they abandon all that is good and true. [11:18].

Badr:   Most who commit themselves to worshipping God do not have the commitment to good conduct which should follow worship. Take prayers, for example, besides connecting man to God, it helps him to avoid wrong doing if he will apply himself to it. But unfortunately, most fail to try to reach a high standard or to gain true spiritual progress.

Dina:   Practical moral principles can be learned from practising God's Guidance. The problem with those who call themselves religious is the fact that they do not regard ritual as an approach to God. They do not respond to the active, meaningful Presence which believers respond to in worship. The question arises: how do we correct such unrelated faith and conduct?

Abbara:  There is no doubt that Islamic education, teaching children the Truth, makes them responsible for their conduct and gives them the freedom to build a relationship with God with love and consciousness. This is better than playing with their emotions through rewards and punishments, making them worship blindly, as I was brought up to do. The school curriculum used in the past is still in use now without being developed, nor is there any attempt to make the content easier to understand and accessible. This situation will carry on until parents reach a higher stage of knowledge and spiritual development to pass on to their children.

Dina:   Parents have no effect on their children greater than mass media in particular television and the Internet…

Abbara:     For each disease a remedy. Parents, educators and those in authorities, if they have the right knowledge and belief that is reflected in their action, the children copy them, with God’s help and Guidance.  

8.8.4. God's Guidance.


“This Divine Writ - let there be no doubt about it – it is Guidance for all the God-Conscious." [92:2]


Charles:    We read in the text that right action depends on God's Guidance, which in turn depends on studying the Qur'an. However, most people are not followers of the Qur'an, or Muslims, yet they are guided and their judgment is related to the Truth. On the other hand, most Muslims, in spite of being guided by the Qur'an, are detached from the universal moral law.

Abbara:     God's Guidance, as we said earlier, takes many forms besides the Qur'an. The first one applies to every creature: God "gives to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further guided it" [20:50]. God's Guidance is part of the true nature of everything. It has three stages:

1.   God endowed man with the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, as He stated: "And We guided him on the two highways" [90:10]. This is to all His creatures generally. Furthermore, God granted some people more reasoning faculties and greater intellect, e.g. "We give Abraham aforetime his rectitude" [21:51] which implies a highly personal, intellectual quality, the "consciousness of what is right". Besides that, there is the Revelation: "And as for (the tribe of) Thamud, We offered them Guidance, but they chose blindness in preference to Guidance" [41:107].

2.   Man's spiritual development depends on true knowledge, belief, righteousness, will and intention. As God pointed out in the Qur'an: "But as for those who are (willing to be) guided, He increases their (ability to follow His) Guidance and causes them to grow in God-consciousness" [47:17].

     Those willing to be guided will receive His complete Guidance, as put forward in the Qur'an: "God's Guidance is the only Guidance" [2:120]. "We made it a Light, whereby We guide whom We will of our servants. And surely then shall guide (men) unto a Straight Path, the Path of God" [42:52].

3.   Beside all this, God granted man freedom and responsibility. "And therefore We made him as being endowed with hearing and sight. Verily, We have shown him the way: (and it rests with him to prove himself) either grateful or ungrateful" [76:3], by following God's Guidance or rejecting it. But we follow it partly, and even then you shouldn’t judge Islam by our actions.

Charles:    But the Qur'an states "Those whom God wills to guide, He expands their breast to Islam. Those whom He wills to lead astray, He makes their breast narrow, tight as if they had to climb to skies" [6:125].

Dina:   The end of that verse completes the meaning,: "So God lays the penalty upon those who believe not." [6:125]. This indicates the Spiritual Moral Decree of the Divine Decree, cause and effect. When man's inner self, his intention and belief swerves from the Right Way, he loses sight of the Truth and guidance: "For God does not bestow His Guidance upon iniquitous folk" [61:5].

Abbara:   This argument always arose between true believers and so-called Muslims and non-Muslims. Every group stands by its own ideas whether or not it is related to the Truth. But in fact, there are many factors involved in this matter which makes a person thinks he is right, particularly if he follows his desires which is dictated by Evil. The God draws His Guidance: "Surely upon Us rests the Guidance" [92:12], and: "But Satan desires to lead them astray, for away (from the Right)" [4:60].

Dina:       Oppression and wrong do not come from the Decrees of God; rather, His Decrees are to do good, to be just, and to show kindness and to bear responsibility in this life.  The Qur'an says, "(This is) a warning to mankind, to any of you that chooses to press forward or to follow behind". [74:37]. Thus God gives man the choice to go forward or hang back. If he chooses the former, he may gain God's Guidance, while those who choose the latter have willfully gone astray. They have persisted in wrong ideas, opinions, and ideologies, as well as wrong deeds, and all these are bound to rebound on them, affecting their faith and true belief. The application of Right Guidance is influenced by the social environment. Therefore Islam provides the Pillar of social life to support men in their communal life.



Chapter nine

9. The Pillars of Social Life.


"O mankind! A manifestation of the Truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer; and We have sent down to a manifest Light. As for those who believe in God, and hold fast to Him, He will surely admit them to Mercy from Him, and Bounty, and will guide them to Him on a Straight Path." [4:174-5]


     Having pointed out that true piety does not consist in mere adherence to outward forms and rites, or private affairs, the Qur'an opens, as it were, a new chapter to solve the problem of human behaviour.

     Just as piety cannot become effective without righteous action, an individual's righteousness cannot become really effective in the social sphere unless there is agreement within the community regarding the rights and obligations of its members. In other words there should be agreement about the laws that should operate as regards the individual and society and vice versa. This is why legislation plays so great a role within Islam and why the Qur'an consistently intertwines its moral and spiritual exhortation with ordinances relating to the practical aspects of social life.1

     The primary focus of Islam, as we have seen, is on the individual, instilling true belief, resulting in true action, making possible proper social development. People become righteous, and trustworthy, knowing their rights and conscious of their duties. Islam makes possible a firm commitment to Divine Law: it prepares us to play our appropriate role in this world by providing Divine Guidance for character development and the establishment of a just society.

     Making possible justice on earth is one of the basic objectives for which God sent His Prophets and Guidance, so that we might behave with equity, free from self-interest. The principles of social life lead the individual to right action and if he or she fails to do so, society might apply sanctions to make him comply. Therefore Islam applies all-embracing principles, both the private and the public, to preserve social life from degradation.

     The pillars of social life assure security to the life of the individual and the community. "The fundamental objectives of Islamic social policy are:

a)  Affirmation, restoration and consolidation of the dignity, integrity and honour of the individual.

b)  Protection and strengthening of the family as the basic unit of society, with particular emphasis on kindness and respect to parents.

c)  Ensuring that women enjoy the full rights - legal, social, cultural, economic, educational and political- which Islam has guaranteed to them.

d)  Self-reliance, mutual consultation, social cohesion and cooperation in all aspects of national life."2


     Islam regulates human life and defines basic human rights, which are:

 1. Protection of life: sustained by protection of property

 2. Protection of property sustained by protection of mind

 3. Protection of mind sustained by protection of religion.

 4. Protection of religion sustained by protecting honour

 5. Protection of honour: sustained by pillar of society

The pillars of a society of believers or Ummah   are:

1.  Justice             Maintained by equality.

2.  Equality           sustained by consultation.

3.  Consultation    results in freedom.

4.  Freedom           results in unity.

5.  Unity                results in the application of Islamic systems, which will pointed out later.


     We now look at each of these pillars of social life in turn. These are the pillars that allow us to live in dignity and prosperity.




 {Between Abbara and Dina expressing the Islamic view whilst Badr and Charles the opposite side of the argument}


9.6.1. The sanctity of Life.


                           "Do not kill the self which God has made sacred except by way of justice and law" [6:151]


Abbara:     In studying the previous sets of pillars, we pointed out how Islam concentrates on developing man's inner self and links the self with God. In this set God wants to make this life secure and peaceful for man. The individual and social effects of abandoning the rule of the sanctity of life and the essential things related to it, such as property, the issue of progeny, mind, religion and honour, the choice is honour or disaster.

Badr:   However, these sets of so-called pillars have never been put forward as pillars before, and are not coherent explanations. So we can consider such an approach as an innovation. As you know, the Prophet said, "He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected."6.

Dina:   These doctrines are fully supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The prescribed action preserves social cohesion while developing the mind and its judgment in relation to justice, which is one of the forces of Islam.

Charles.     I can see from the supposed pillars that all of them are related to the sanctity of life and that it is forbidden to kill a person in any circumstances, either directly or indirectly. But if you examine statistics you see that most Muslims are involved in killing, directly or indirectly. Furthermore, execution or capital punishment is killing and does not preserve lives.

Abbara:     God, the Creator, revealed all the rules and laid down, either in the Bible or in the Qur'an, the steps towards the preservation of life. Your general statement indicates no significant relationship between the Muslims' behaviour and Islam. In the same way we cannot compare it with the behaviour of the Jews. Their Commandment is: "You shall not murder" and the Christian Commandment is "Do not murder." But they do it in the name of justice. So neither the Jews nor the Christians nor the Muslims are applying God's Commandment. His Rules in the Qur'an lay down accurate criteria for each case rather than general Commandment. Some of the factors involved in the sanctity of life are:

     1. Murder.  The first case of murder was that of Cain and Abel which is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis [4:1-16], as well as in the Qur'an [5:27-32]. Each person offered a sacrifice, but one was rejected, so a quarrel ensued between them. The Qur'an says:

     "Cain said; 'I will surely slay thee!'

     "Abel replied: 'Behold, God accepts a sacrifice only from those who are conscious of Him. 'Yet if thou stretchest out thy hand against me, to slay me, I will not stretch out my hand against thee, to slay thee; for I fear God, the Lord of all Being. I desire that thou shouldst be laden with my sin and thy sin, and so become an inhabitant of the Fire; that is the recompense of evil-doers.'

     "Then his (Cain's) soul drove him to slay his brother; and he slew him, and became one of the losers." [5:27:31]

Dina: This story is oft-repeated: it indicates how an evil-doer is motivated to kill for a naive reason, while the true believer, who is conscious of God, does not take revenge but leaves capital punishment to the proper authority, in this case, to God.

     The civil law in England has long ago reached this standard. If somebody i