Rafed English

The Elements of Building Society

The relationship between the individuals in social life is like the relationship between the letters of a language. If the letters come together and are well organized, a linguistic structure will happen and convey human thinking and picture all human feelings and life.

Such separate individuals are unable to form a certain society unless they come together and form well-organized ties to regulate their behavior and activities. These ties and relationships are the elements of the building of society. They are as follows:

1. Belief: Belief is regarded as one of the strongest human ties that connect the members of society to each other. It turns them into a unit as firm as one body. The Holy Prophetic tradition says: "You see believers show mercy toward one another, like each other, and feel pity for one another. (They are) like the body. When a part of it (the body) complains, all the body responds to it through (showing) sleeplessness and fever." 6

Hence, belief has practical, behavioral, emotional, and psychological reflections and effects on all human links. Their effects begin from building to reform. Moreover, they preserve social structure. So, we find the Holy Qur'an explaining this link, says: "And the believer men and the believer women, they are guardians to one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil..." Holy Qur'an (Tawba, 9:71)

This blessed verse confirms that those who believe in Allah, the Glorified, and His message support each other. It also fixes a psychological and intellectual base, which is the strongest of all the bases of social building. In this concern, the holy verse regards the woman as a basic element in the circle of support. Thus, the woman shoulders the responsibility of social building, change, and reform. In this respect she is equal to the man.

2. Laws and regulations: Law is defined as: "A group of rules that regulate the behavior of individuals in society. General authorities force them to respect law." 7

So, social law is a means to regulate the movement of society as natural law regulates the movement of the atom and the stars. Society cannot develop without law.

As for Islamic law, it is concluded from the Qur'an and the purified Sunnah. Hence, Islamic law regulates Islamic society according to Islamic precepts. Meanwhile it takes care of the biological and psychological nature of both man and woman.

According to this scientific principle, Islamic law is divided into three parts. They are as follows:

A. Laws and precepts that concern the woman.

B. Laws and precepts that concern the man.

C. General laws and precepts that concern both the man and the woman. They represent the wider area of Islamic laws and precepts.

This kind of regulation, which takes care of gender, urges both man and woman to move and be active in two areas of movement and activity. The first area concerns their gender. The other includes all society.

3. Islamic traditions and customs: Islamic society has traditions and customs. They are one of the distinguished elements of Islamic society. Hence, they should be preserved.

4. The need of services and exchangeable interests (production): This is clear through this holy verse: "...and We did raise some them above the others in ranks, so that some of them may take the others in sub-jection...". This verse shows that need moves individuals to form society to exchange interests as other creatures do in their natural enviornment. Through that, the individual secures his need and participates in developing human life.

The needs of the individual and society always develop. The man and the woman differ in their administrative, psychological, physical, and intellectual abilities and inclinations. So, functional specialization sometimes occurs spontaneously; it sometimes results from the individual when he chooses his social function, namely the work which he fulfills in society, such as agriculture, medicine, trade, education; the Islamic state sometimes achieves it intentionally, for it is responsible for regulating the abilities of society to satisfy the needs of the individual and to solve the problems that result from all kinds of need.

Now we will briefly discuss woman's role in this respect.

6. Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Adab, Chapter 27.

7. Dr. Anwar Sultan, Mabadi' Qanuniya Amma, p.16.

Adopted from the book : "Woman and Society" by : "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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