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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0009-SOCIAL ISSUES (PART I)

Lecture for 4th year medical students on 23rd September 2000 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

OUTLINE

1.0 LIFE-STYLE

A. Life-style and social failure

B. Entertainment

C. The Essentials Of Life

D. Clothes

E. Peer Pressure

 

2.0 SEXUAL PERVERSIONS

A. Fornication

B. Prostitution  

C. Abnormal Sexual Practices

D. Abnormal Marital Arrangements

E. Sex-related crimes

 

3.0 ADDICTIONS

A. The Concept of Addiction

B. Drug Addiction

C. Alcohol Addiction

D. Addiction To Gambling

E. Other Forms of Addiction

 

4.0 POVERTY

A. Causes of Poverty

B. Effects of Poverty

C. Mitigation of Poverty

D. Eradication of Poverty

E. Taraf

 

5.0 VIOLENCE

A. Abuse of Life

B. Abuse of spouses

C. Abuse of Children the Elderly

D. Abuse of the elderly

E. Other forms of violence


1.0 LIFE-STYLE

A. LIFE-STYLE and SOCIAL FAILURE

ENJOYING LIFE

Islam is a religion of the middle. Muslims are encouraged to enjoy the good things of the world (5:5, 5:87. 7:31-32, 16:72). They are however warned against excesses (Bukhari 7:454).

 

DEFINITION OF FAILURE, ‘ajz:

Qur’anic terminology: The Qur’an uses several terms to convey the meaning of failure or weakness ‘ajz (P 781 2:249, 2:273, 2:286, 4:98, 5:33, 8:66, 17:48, 18:67, 31:43, 25:9, 30:54), wahn (p 1224 3:146), dhull (p 446 3:26, 7:119, 27:34), kasal (p 999 4:142, 9:54). Failure may be physical, psychological, or social. In practice one type of failure leads to or is associated with other types. Our main concern here is social failure.

 

Manifestations of failure: There is no one way of defining social failure since it has several manifestations. Personal failure can manifest in many ways. Persons may become addicted to bad habits and sins. They become socially incompetent or lazy about their basic responsibilities in the family and society. This failure is a cause of sadness and distress to the individual concerned, the family, and the whole society. Failure may manifest as lack of seriousness and neglect of duties to Allah. A person who indulges in earthly concerns and forgets the hereafter soon becomes a failure because the earth is described as mere amusement, al duniya lahw (p 1047 6”32, 29:64, 57:20). A person may thus be distracted from remembrance of Allah, allahw ‘an dhikr al llaah (p 1047 24:37, 53:61, 62:10-11, 63:9). A person also may neglect religion, al lahw fi al al ddiin (p 1047 6:70, 7:51). Lack of seriousness may also manifest in activities of daily living such as conversation, al lahw fi al hadiith (p 1047 31:6). Failure also manifests as miserliness (Muslim H6539), sloth (Muslim H6539), decrepitude (Muslim H6539), sorrow (Bukhari 4:92 H143), helplessness (Bukhari 4:92 H143), laziness (Bukhari 4:92 H143), cowardness (Bukhari 4:92 H143), indebtedness (Bukhari 4:92 H143, Bukhari 3:342 H582), being under the control of others (Bukhari 4:92 H143), vain talk (Bukhari 2:323 H555), extravagance (Bukhari 2:323 H555), and begging (Bukhari 2:323 H555). The ultimate form of failure is loss of self-control and ending up being under the control of passions, shahwaat.

 

Causes of social failure: Denial of Allah, kufr, is the ultimate cause of human failure. The unbelievers are described by the Qur’an as lowly, dhillat al kaafirin (p 448 2:61, 3:112, 6:124, 7:152, 9:29, 10:27, 20:134, 42:45, 58;20, 68:43, 70:44). Forgetting Allah and neglecting His commands is the start of failure. Individuals or communities that deviate from the moral path laid by the creator will find themselves sooner or later in several social problems. Thus we can say that there is an underlying moral failure in several cases of personal failure. Being under the control of the base human desires, ghalabat al shahawaat (p 871 23:106) is a cause of weakness and failure. This applies equally well to individuals and whole communities. Neglecting to respect and follow Allah’s laws causes failure. This applied equally well to social laws that regulate the family and society and physical laws of the universe. We however should not forget that some persons with manifestations of failure are actually victims of circumstances that are beyond their control or are suffering from psycho-social diseases that impair their social functioning. These are cases of failure that can not be attributed to any fault of the person but to unfortunate cicumstances. However even in such cases Allah usually helps such people when they turn to Him and ask for help.

 

SOCIAL FAILURE IS ADOPTING A FAILING LIFESTYLE.

Social failure is a result of wrong choices of what life-style to follow. Islam defines what is haram leaving the rest halal. Humans are free to enjoy good life. Balance and equilibrium are needed; an excess of the halal can turn out to be harmful. An Islamic life-style is not monolithic. It has general defining principles but the practical manifestations obey spatio-temporal circumstances. Imperfections are human and have to be dealt with. Humans attempt their best but may not be able to live a perfect Islamic life-style. They are rewarded for their efforts. They start sinning when they give up the effort to reach the ideal. It is important to know the Islamic life-style but also equally important to recognize what is not Islamic in the society so that it can be avoided. An Islamic life-style can not exist in isolation; ability to deal with and interact with non-Islamic aspects is inevitable. The interaction is an opportunity to strengthen the Islamic ideals in the person by seeing the misery and problems of those who follow a non-Islamic life-style. The interaction also presents a threat because it may a temptation for a person to fall over and be taken up by the non-Islamic life-style. A non-Islamic lifestyle leads to sins, social and health problems.

 

ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE A GLOBAL LIFESTYLE:

There is an attempt to impose a global lifestyle that is European or American in essence by making food, entertainment, economic activities, the media and all aspects of life conform to the Euro-american paradigm.  The mass media, political, and economic tools are used in this process. The attempt to impose a global culture is not matched by an attempt to impose the same global standard of material comfort. A poor people who are addicted tio the consumption culture of the west will give up many of their human and material resources in return for superficial products like entertainment instead of getting technology that will uplift their material levels of living. There is an inherent injustice in the world system today. A few people in the industrialized countries consume a disproportionate ratio of the world’s resources and they impose debts on the poorer countries while exploiting their natural resources. This exploitation is helped by changing the lifestyle through imposing a global lifestyle that will make the poor consumers and not producers. Thus cultural domination precedes and facilitates later economic and political domination.

 

MODERNIZATION VS CIVILIZATION:

Modernization has been confused with civilization. Whatever is new on the horizon is touted as being modern to the detriment of cultures and religions that have kept human society happy for a long time. In the recent quarter of a century matters have become much worse. Modern is no longer defined as what is new but as what is ‘Euro-American’. Civilization is about values and not only new technology. It is therefore possible to have a society that is technologically very advanced but which is low on the moral level. We call such a society a modern society but devoid of civilization because it does not have the values that define human civilization. The confusion between modernization and civilization is deliberate. When simple societies become modernized by adopting the life-styles of technologically advanced societies and forgetting their religious and cultural values, they become part of the global economy. Their consumption patterns and perceived economic needs change. They start craving for products of the advanced societies in an indiscriminate way and thus become a good market that is exploited for the benefit of others. These societies are deceived into thinking that they are getting civilized; what is actually happening is that they are getting modernization devoid of civilization. True civilization can only be built on the basis of ‘aqidat al tauhid. The economic system is the most powerful agent of modernization. It impacts directly on general culture, personal and family values. So far only few and isolated communities have been able to get modernization and at the same time keep their civilizational values.

 

PROCESSES OF LIFE-STYLE CHANGE

Assimilation: People without a strong cultural identity have developed an inferiority complex vis-a-vis the Euro-American culture and are trying to assimilate into it. Many people assimilate into the dominant culture for various reasons: physical security, emotional security, and economic opportunity. Being assimilated does not assure acceptance; discrimination may persists on racial or religious grounds. People who fail to be assimilated in the dominant culture may either become a strong group or a marginalized group. Some groups become strong when they realize that they will not be accepted or helped by the dominant culture. They are motivated to work hard and to help one another to succeed in 1-2 generations and they may be stronger than members of the dominant culture which they may turn around and control. These  groups may use their values and group identity as a source of strength. Other groups become marginalized; they lose their values and acquire no new ones and are not able to acquire any social power.

 

Urbanization: Big urban areas have many social problems that are difficult to solve. They are often centers of corruption because social controls are not possible in the anonymous atmosphere of the large city. The stresses of urban life, economic and social, are a heavy burden and many can not maintain their balance being lost to one vice or another. The Islamic alternative to the mega-cities, are small self-contained communities where almost everybody knows everybody else and where jobs, services, and other social needs are fulfilled within the community.

 

Animalisation: There is a tendency to reduce the human to the level of animals by arguing that the human is only matter with no spirit or higher attributes than those of animals. The human, therefore can give full expression to the drives of passion and self-gratification found in animals. It is this type of thinking that leads to a hedonistic life-style. In this lifestyle the wrong concept of freedom is propagated as doing what you want and what your base instincts push  you to do. True freedom is actually being free from being controlled by the animal emotions and passions that both humans and animals have. These base human attributes have to be controlled by a higher scale of moral and ethical values.

 

B. ENTERTAINMENT, tarfiih/tarwiih

POETRY, shi’ir

Poetry is a form of entertainment that relies on use of words in a skilled way. The choice and arrangement of the words as well as the meanings and underlying themes are entertaining. There is good and bad poetry depending on moral considerations. The Qur’an talked about poetry in several verses (p 632 21:5, 26:224, 36:69, 37:36, 52:30, 69:41)

 

SINGING and MUSIC, ghina

Sound a gift from allah: Allah gave humans and animals the ability to produce sound and thus be able to communicate. He also gave them the gift of hearing the sound. They hear and enjoy sounds made by living and non-living things.

 

Purpose of sound: The main purpose of sound from a human point of view is communication. Even sounds from non-living things help in communication for example thunder warns of a rain storm and the crackling of flames can warm about a fire hazard. Rhythmic sounds are soothing and entertaining.

 

Beautiful sounds: It is Allah’s gift that He made beautiful sounds in nature that please and soothe eg running water, the rustling of leaves, the winds. Many animals produce beautiful sounds that please the human ear like the singing of birds. The beautiful sounds are used in worship. Birds sang with Daud in worship (34:10). The Qur’an is read in beautiful rhythmic tones, tajwid al Qur’an.(73:4).

 

Good uses of sound: Music is an organized and rhythmic use of sound both human and instruments. Music like any other human activity can have good and bad aspects. Good music will promote moral and beneficial behavior. It will draw people closer to Allah and make them better practicing Muslims or better human beings. It will also encourage and inspire them to work to achieve noble goals. Military music for example is good because it instills courage and bravery in the fighters. Music that accompanies heavy work is inspiring and can make the workers more productive. Children songs that instill good values are good music. Rhymes that adults learn in order to remember important facts is good music. Tunes that soothe an exhausted person are good and useful.

 

Bad uses of sound: It is unfortunate that most popular music today promotes negative values. It is erotically stimulating. Its words convey sexual and obscene messages. The music does not convey any positive values and is a time-waster. It encourages mixed dancing and male-female mixing which lead to sexual promiscuity. The leading musicians are people whose behavior is the worst example to give to the youths.

 

Rulings on Music: The Prophet defined the permitted and forbidden types of music, al mubaah wa al mahdhuur min al ghina (KS 526: Ahmad 4:259, Tayalisi H1221). He gave permission to listen to the duff, a type of drum, idhin simaa’u al duff (KS527: Ahmad 5:353, 356). Playing the duff is permitted at marriage and wedding celebrations, dharbu al duff fi al nikaah wa al waliimah (KS 548: Bukhari K67 B48; Tirmidhi K9 B6; Nisai K26 B72, 80; Ibn Majah K9 B21; Ahmad 4:418; Ahmad 4:77; Tayalisi H1221).  The prophet permitted singing at his wedding and playing of tambourines (Bukhari 7:58 H77). He allowed singing in his own house on eid day (Muslim 2:419-420 Ch 317 H1938). The prophet defined prohibited musical instruments, aalaat al ghina al muharramat (KS 526: Ahmad 2:165, 172). In general music is discouraged. Teaching music to servants and employing singers was forbidden, tahriim ta’aliim aw sharaau aw bayi’u al imaa al mughniyaat (KS 526: Tirmidhi K12 B51). The Prophet said that shaitan blows into the wind-pipe of a singer, nafakhu al shaitan fi mankhar al mughniyat (KS 526: Tirmidhi K46 B17; Zayd H1003 q 1004; Ahmad 3:449). The Prophet used to put his fingers in his ears on hearing music (KS 526: Abudaud K40 B52; Ahmad 2:8, 38). Those who sing or cause others to sing may be committing sins, ithm man yaghni aw yaji’alu ghayruhu yaghni (KS 526: Zayd H1001).

 

DANCE and DRAMA

Dancing consists of various patterns of body movements that accompany some forms of music. It can be entertaining for the performer and the audience. Dance can also be used as a form of body exercise and can therefore be considered useful. Some forms of dance are clearly haram because they depict obscene and immoral themes. However any form of mixed dancing of men and women is strictly forbidden. Drama is a form of communication and social commentary on the ordinary life of humans depicted as plays in theatres of movie films. Drama is not innately bad, it is the content and context in which it is used that can make it good or bad. Like other channels of human communication it may be bad and prohibited if based on evil themes. Any form of dramatic display in which men dress as women and men dress as men is also offensive. Mixed drama performances by men and women are also offensive.

 

ART, suwar

Art as self-expression: Art is like language. It is a highly esthetic form of human self-expression. It is also a form of human communication and entertainment. Through art we can communicate information, values, and feelings. Art is therefore a tool. As a tool it can be put to good use or to bad use. It is therefore futile to discuss whether art is good or bad. Art is innately good. It is the way it is used and the purposes for which it is used that can make it good or bad.

 

Types of art: The word art has a wide usage. Only fine and other visual arts are discussed here. Pictures, moving or still, as well as sculptures may depict animate or inanimate objects. There is no controversy about any form of art depicting abstract or inanimate things. Muslims developed abstract art to a high degree of perfection in the form of calligraphy. Fear of worshipping idols limits the depiction of living things in art.

 

Rulings on pictures: There was a general discouragement of making pictures at the time of the prophet, the main reason being that people in their ignorance would worship them. This situation is true today in many parts of the world where people still worship pictures of famous or holy persons as well as gods that they themselves make. The prophet cursed those who make such pictures, la’anat al musawwirin (KS 323: Bukhari K34 B25, 122; Bukhari K68 B51; Bukhari K77 B96; Ahmad 4:308, 309; Tayalisi H623). He explained that those who make such pictures are sinners, ithm allathiina yasuna’uun al suwar (KS 323: Ahmad 2:259, 451). Owners of pictures will be punished in the hereafter, ‘adhaab ahl al suwar (KS 323: Bukhari K34 B40, 104; Bukhari K77 B89, 91, 92, 95, 97; Bukhari K78 B85, Bukhari K97 B56; Muslim K37 H96-101; Tirmidhi K22 B19; Nisai K48 B131-133; Ibn Majah K12 B5; Muwatta K54 H8; Ahmad 1:216, 241, 246, 308, 350, 359, 360, 375 q 407, 426; Ahmad 2:4, 20, 26, 55, 101, 125, 139, 141, 145, 288, 336, 380, 504, 527; Ahmad 6: 36, 70, 80 q 83, 85, 86, 199, 219, 223, 246; Tayalisi H1425). He forbade the selling of pictures, mani’u bayi’I al suwar (KS323: Bukhari K34 B112, Adudaud K22 B64, Tirmidhi K12 B61, Nisai K41 B8, Nisai K44 B92; Ahmad 3:324, 326, 340; Waqidi 348). The prophet forbade wearing clothes with pictures of animate things, thawb fiihi tamathiil (KS324: Ahmad 6:172). He explained that angels do not enter homes that have such pictures (KS324: Bukhari K34 B40, Bukhari K59 B7, 17; Bukhari K60 B8; Bukhari K64 B12; Bukhari K67 B86; Bukhari K77 B88, 92, 94, 95; Muslim K37 H81, 83, 85-87, 102; Abudaud K1 B89; Abudaud K31 B45; Tirmidhi K41 B44; Nisai K1 B167; Nisai K42 B9,11; Nisai K48 B130; Ibn Majah K32 B44; Darimi K19 B37; Muwatta K54 B6, 8 q 7; Ahmad 1:80, 83, 85, 104, 107, 139, 146, 148, 150, 277; Ahmad 2: 305, 308, 390, 478; Ahmad 3: 90; Ahmad 4: 28, 29, 30; Ahmad 5: 203; Ahmad 6: 142, 246, 330; Tayalisi 110, 627, 1228, 1425). He destroyed and removed clothes with pictures from the apartments of his wives (KS324: Bukhari K77 B90 q 93; Bukhari K78 B75; Muslim K37 H87, 90, 91; Abudaud K31 B44 q 43, 45; Ibn Sa’ad J1 q 2 p 105, 158; Ibn Sa’ad J8 p 344 q; Ahmad 3:151; Ahmad 6: 49, 52, 53, 85, 86, 103 q 140, 199, 214, 216, 225, 229, 237, 241, 246, 247, 252, 281). The prophet did also allow a wide range of pictures for which there was no fear of being worshipped such as pictures of inanimate things (KS323: Bukhari K34 B104). He also allowed some pictures on pillows, tasawiir ‘ala wisadah (KS 324: Bukhari K46 B32; Bukhari K77 B91 q 92; Muslim K37 H85, 86 q 88, 89, 93-95; Abudaud K31 B45; Nisai K48 B130; Ibn Majah K32 B45; Darimi K19 B36; Ahmad 2:145 q 305, 308, 478; Ahmad 3:283, 486 q; Ahmad 6:112, 116, 247; Tayalisi H1423 q 1424). The conclusion from the hadiths above is that pictures should be viewed with circumspection in situations where they could become objects of worship. They can be used in other situations where there is a necessity for education, identification, entertainment, and information.

 

SPORTS, riyadhat

Play: The term play, la’ib can be used in a positive and negative sense. Play of children, la’ib al atfaal (p. 1041 12:21), is useful for their social and physical growth. Play as in physical sports for making the body string and healthy is positive. Play is used in a negative way to refer to adult activities that lack a purpose. Such play is condemned, la’ib madhmuum (p 1041 6:91, 7:98, 9:65, 21:2, 43:83, 44:9, 52:12, 70:42). Earthly life can be considered play, al duniya la’ib (p 1041-2 6:32, 29:64, 47:36, 57:20) if it lacks purpose and direction. Play with religion, la’ib fi al ddiin, is an extreme form of blameworthy play (p 1041 5:57-58, 6:70, 7:51).

 

Purposes of sports: Sports provides a healthy way of releasing agrression that is naturally found in humans. It also helps exercise the body to achieve optimal health. Islam encourages physical sports for the purposes of building the body’s strength to stay healthy and be able to undertake obligatory duties that range from prayer to jihad. Sports is a form of entertainment on joyous occasions like eid (Muslim 2:420 Ch 317 H1940, Muslim 2:421 Ch 318 H1946). Some sports were mentioned in the Qur’an and sunnat such as archery, ramy (p 515 7:17; KS 172). Competition was also mentioned (p 556 2:148, 5:48, 12:17, 12:25, 36:66, 57:21). From the Islamic point of view participation in sports is what is preferred. Just being a spectator although entertaining, is less favored. Competitive sports is encouraged if it is associated with more people participating in the quest for victory. If it is done for any other purpose then it is frowned upon.

 

Sports and addiction: When sports becomes the only pre-occupation of an individual to the exclusion of many other beneficial activities, it has become harmful. Many youths who are fans of various clubs and players fall into this trap. What is needed is for the individual to participate in sports for his or her bodily benefit but in moderation.

 

Commercialization of sports: Sometimes sports becomes big business. The commercialization of sports undermines the very Islamic essence of participative sports. Islam wants people to be participators and not spectators.

 

Sports and gambling: gambling in its various forms is associated with competitive sports. Gambling is an addiction that is difficult to get out of. It is related to many other evils such as alcohol, drugs, and  crime. It is a type of social failure. The victim loses control over his actions and his own behavior and usually ends up failing socially. The following are forbidden: maysar (5:90-91, KS 96: Ahmad 1:274; Ahmad 2: 158, 165, 167, 171, 172, 351), qimaar (KS 96: Ahmad 1:446), playing with ki’aab (KS 96: Ahmad 4:392, 407). Shatranj is considered undesirable, makrooh (KS 292: Muslim K41 H10, Abudaud K37 B56, Ibn Majah K33 B43, Muwatta K52 H6,7; Ahmad 2:158, 165, 167, 171, 172; Ahmad 3: 422; Ahmad 4:394, 397, 400; Ahmad 5:352, 357, 361, 370; Tayalisi 510). The awrat must be covered all the time (KS405).

 

C. THE ESSENTIALS OF LIFE

FOOD

Biological functions of food: Food is defined as any product which when ingested will give the body energy, help it to grow, or maintain it in the best health. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy. Proteins provide basic building blocks for many body tissues. Vitamins and minerals maintain the body a healthy condition. Food is essential for life. Good food is associated with health. Little or bad food are associated with bad health and disease.

 

Social functions of food: Meals with other people help initiate or increase social intercourse. Family unity is sometimes cemented by family meals. Meals together are also a form of entertainment. Eating in a group is therefore encouraged, al akl jama’atan (KS 343: Abudaud K26 B14, Ibn Majah K29 B17).

 

Halal and haram: Most food is halal and good, halaal taib (16:114-116). Allah giveds permission to eat the good (20:81). Some types of foods are forbidden by Islam. Most of these are injurious to good health. The general approach is to define what is forbidden leaving all the rest halal. Local customs may forbid eating some foods. This should be accepted a local custom and not an Islamic injunction. The halal is clear and the haram is clear but in-between are doubtful things, shubuhaat (KS201: Bukhari K2 B39, Bukhari K34 B2, Muslim K22 H107, 108; Abudaud K22 B3; Tirmidhi K12 B1; Nisai K44 B2; Nisai K51 B50; Ibn Majah K26 B13; Darimi K18 B1; Ahmad 4:267, 269, 270, 271). A prudent person should avoid what is doubtful and stick with what is not doubtful, da’ ma yuriibuka ila ma la yuriibuka (KS201: Bukhari K34 B2-5; Muslim K22 H107; Abudaud K22 B3; Tirmidhi K12 B1; Darimi Intr B22; Darimi K18 B1,2). The prophet gave guidance on what foods to eat. He for example recommended drinking pure water and eating greens (Muwatta 49:452 H27) and warned against the addictiveness of meat (Muwatta 49:454 H36).

 

Over-nutrition & undernutrition: The malnutrition of rich societies is having too much to eat. As happens with any excess, certain foods are harmful to health if taken in excess. Over-nutrition is a problem of the rich who eat more than the body needs of certain foods. Heart disease and some cancers are due to the extravagant diet. The believer unlike the non-believer eats and drinks little (KS 345: Bukhari K70 B12; Muslim K36 H182-186; Tirmidhi K23 B20; Ibn Majah K29 B3; Darimi K8 B13; Muwatta K49 H9, 100; Ahmad 2:21, 43, 74, 145, 257, 318, 375, 415, 435, 455; Ahmad 3:336, 337, 357, 392; Ahmad 3:336, 337, 357, 392; Ahmad 5:369; Ahmad 6:335, 397; Tayalisi H1834, 2521; Waqidi 401). Those who overeat on this earth will be hungry in the hereafter (KS 345: Ibn Majah K29 B50). Eating whatever you desire is considered a type of waste, israaf  (KS 345: Ibn Majah K29 B51; Ahmad 4:132). Poor societies have malnutrition due to inadequate intake of nutritious foods with resultant impairment of health. Under-nutrition may be absolute lack of enough food or not taking enough of essential nutrients. Islam encourages feeding others and considers it a great virtue, fadhl it’aam al ta’aam (KS 344: Bukhari K79 B9; Tirmidhi K23 B45; Ibn Majah K29 B1; Darimi K8 B38; Ahmad 5:149, 156, 451; Ahmad 6:16). The food of 2 can be enough for a third person who happens to join the group (KS 344) and who should therefore not be turned away. Whoever has extra food should give it to the more needy (KS 344).

 

Food security: The Qur’an teaches that Allah provides for all living things, razzaaq. There is enough food in the world to feed everybody well. The problem is poor distribution; some places have too much whereas others have almost nothing. In many cases of starvation, there are man-made conditions like war, political instability, or inefficiency that are responsible and not absolute lack of food. Many humans in many parts of the world are worried about food security. The importance of food security was underlined in surat Quraish. Humans throughout history have struggled, worked, and even went to war to ensure food security.

 

Alcohol and drug addiction: Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are consumed by many people but are not food. They change or impair the mind which is the distinguishing feature of humans. With an impaired mind and loss of control a human becomes an animal. Any thing that causes clouding of the mind is called khamr, kullu muskirin khamr (KS 219:Bukhari K64 B60 q; Bukhari K74 B2-5, 10, 21; Bukhari K78 B80; Muslim K11 H106; Muslim K36 H63-65, 67-85; Abudaud K25 B1, 4,5,9,12; Tirmidhi K24 B1-3,8; Nisai K21 B100; Nisai K43 B36; Nisai K51 B3, 21-26, 40, 48, 49, 53; Nisai K48 B63; Ibn Majah K30 B9, 10, 13, 14; Darimi K9 B8, 14; Muwatta K23 H8; Muwatta K42 H9, 10; Ibn Sa’ad J8 p 359; Ahmad ? ). Khamr is the key to all evils (KS 217) and leads to many evils (KS 218). The khamr addict is like a worshipper of idols (KS 218). Khamr is not a cure but is a disease (KS 218). A person drinking khamr is not a believer at the time that he is drinking it (KS 218). Wide-spread drinking khamr is an indicator of the coming of the Last Day (KS 219). Any form of trade in khamr is forbidden (KS 219).

 

WATER

Water is the basis of life. It is necessary for all chemical reactions in body metabolism. It is used for cleaning. It also helps in temperature regulation.

 

SHELTER

Functions of the house: The Qur’an used the term house, bayt, in several verses (p. 213 7:74, 15:82, 16:68, 16:80, 26:149, 52:4). It describes houses in mountains (p 1115 16:81) and houses of the wealthy, al mutrafiin (p 1115 21;13). It also talked about a good house, maskan taib (p 1115 9:24, 34:15). The house has several functions: protection from the weather, security from aggression, privacy, and child-rearing. It is also used for social interaction and entertainment. The house was describes as a place of rest (16:80).

Housing and life-style: The type of architecture used affects the behavior of people living in the house. Some houses have a private area for family members and a more open area for other members of the community. Some provide for separation between unrelated men and women. Some encourage ‘ibadat by providing special places fot it. In general a simple house is preferred (KS 122).

 

PHYSICAL SECURITY

A human needs to feek secure from harm to his or her body by physical forces or aggression from humans and other living things like animals. The need for security comes immediately after food in order of importance.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL and EMOTIONAL SECURITY

A human gets psychological and emotional security from the immediate family and the community. Having a strong personal relation with Allah through acts of ‘ibadat is also psychologically reassuring to the individual that he or she is not alone.

 

D. CLOTHING

Functions of clothes: Clothes fulfill the following functions: protection of the body from elements of the weather, protection of modesty and nakedness, satr al awrat (p 1038 7:26-27, 16:8), enhancing physical appearance and by decoration or ornamentation, ziinat (p 1038 16:14, 35:12), identification and social intercourse. Some clothes are worn for special professional purposes such as clothes used for war, libaas al harb (p 1037 16:18, 21:80).

 

Clothes and worship: Some acts of worship require special clothing. Awrat must be covered in salat even if a person is praying alone in a closed room. Men wear special clothing in hajj.

 

Concept of awrat: Humans unlike animals must cover their nakedness for several reasons: respect for human dignity and avoiding sexual stimulation. The Law enjoins covering the ‘awrat but gives a wide latitude on how that can be done. The ‘awrat of a man is different from that of a woman. In front of small children the extent of coverage may be less than when one is with adults. Women may expose more of their ‘awrat to fellow women. ‘Awrat inside the family house when surrounded by close relatives is different from that when outside meeting unrelated members of the public. The rules of coverage of ‘awrat may be modified for some types of occupations like physicians, nurses, divers, and soldiers.

 

Dress fashions: There is pleasure in clothes. Omar wanted to see Qur’an reciters in white garments (Muwatta 48:443 H2). He recommended wearing a combination of garments (Muwatta 48:443 H3). It is however preferred to wear simple clothing even if you have the means to wear more expensive ones (Riyadh 1:433 H802). Clothes can be misused in many  ways. Some people dress for arrogance (Muwatta 48:444 H10). Some dress in a sexually provocative way. Some do not cover their nakedness either out of deliberate design or due to poverty and lack of means to dress properly. The Law has several regulations about dress. Rough clothess especially for men are encouraged (KS 463). Women especially should dress in such a way that they maintain their respect, khishmat (KS467). Dressing for arrogance like dragging garments (KS 465) is forbidden. It is also forbidden to dress for fame (KS 467)

 

E. PEER PRESSURE

A human is a social animal and is greatly influenced by those around him or her. It is therefore very important to have good friends, rifaaq al khair, and avoid bad ones, rifaaq al suui or sahbat al suui (p. 666-667: 25:28, 43:67, 51:59). Peer influence could be from within the family. The spouse or the children could be a temptation for a person.

 

Go to Part II

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. September 2000