Volume 5: The primary status of man in Islam

This world, this life, is undoubtedly not permanent. Life is an opportunity to sow the seed of what we intend to reap in the hereafter. As a result, believers should neither waste their time accumulating the luxuries of this world nor be disturbed or distracted by the wealth of disbelievers. Rather, they ought to maximise this opportunity by worshipping Allah and obeying His commandments. Yet in doing so, Islam does not kick against the desire for satisfaction in this world, though restricted to what is needy. This is the principal message of the first part of this volume titled: This world, this life, the present, here and now.

The second part dwells on the Nature of Responsibility in Islam, which the author defined as “honourable disposition in the relationship between two or more bodies.” He identified three levels of responsibility; the ultimate one being that Allah is responsible for all things. According to him, “unlike man who may unjustifiably choose not to make available his standard or rules as a basis for effecting responsibility relations, Allah, out of His unquantifiable Mercy (though He can justifiably choose not to), provides a guide that leads to submitting to Him for abundant reward in form of Prophets and Messengers.”

In addition, the standard for holding men responsible does not depend on gender or family relations but rather based on degree of deeds, warning, full capacity, intention and so on. The reader will be reminded of how Allah held men responsible for their deeds in the past.

Fate has been a controversial issue in history. Does it solely depend on predestination or does the choices man make in this world influence his fate? The reader will discover these answers and more supported by quotations from the Qur’an. The concept of life and death, living with death, dying and return to life after death are treated in the concluding chapters. This is important because the primary status of man in Islam is that he is a slave who will die one day and be resurrected. But for the fact that no-one knows when he will die, this brings to fore the phenomenon of time. The author says, “you can hasten the writing of an examination and submit your script before the scheduled period expires. The relevance of your speed is explained by your knowledge of the expiration time. This is why the fight with death is always futile. Man has no knowledge of the time he will die, where he will die and how he will die.”

Ibraheem Sulaiman wrote the forward.

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