The Superiority of Islamic Legislation

God’s law represents a complete way of life, which regulates and directs all aspects of human life in whatever stage and shape it finds them.The Islamic system sets absolute justice as its goal. For one thing, it is God alone who knows how and by what means absolute justice can be established. For another, God is the Lord of all and He can establish justice between all. The system He lays down and the law He promulgates are free of prejudice, imbalance, extremism or ignorance. This cannot be said of any system or law which man devises, since man is influenced by his own prejudices, caprice and desire, and his vision is hampered by his imperfect knowledge. This applies to all human laws, whether they are enacted by an individual, a class, a nation or a generation. In no situation can man be free of his prejudices and desires and in none can he have perfect knowledge or a comprehensive, profound and perfect insight, not even in a single case for which a law is required.

Moreover, the Islamic system is in perfect harmony with the laws which govern the universe, because it is devised by the Creator of both the universe and man. When the Creator legislates for man, He treats him as an agent in this universe who has control over certain elements made subservient to him by the will of His Lord, on condition that he follows His guidance and learns the nature of these elements and the laws regulating them. This produces harmony between man and the universe in which he lives. The law which regulates human life acquires, then, a universal aspect to enable man to deal with all living things and objects in the whole universe on the basis of this law. Let us not forget in this context that man cannot break away from this universe. It is inevitable that he will have to deal with it on the basis of a proper and sound system.

Furthermore, the Islamic system is the only one which liberates man from subjugation by others. In all other systems, some people are subservient to others, and some look up to others. Only under the Islamic system do all people share the same position of being servants of God alone.

As we have explained, the most fundamental aspect of Godhead is legislation. When someone enacts legislation for a human community, he claims for himself the position of Godhead. People in that community become his servants instead of being God’s servants. By giving the authority to legislate to God alone, Islam declares the liberation of mankind, or indeed, the rebirth of man. For man does not come into real existence unless he is liberated from subservience to another man and unless all human beings stand on an equal footing in front of the Lord of mankind.

The state of darkness, as used in an Islamic context, does not refer to a particular period of history. Rather, it refers to a particular condition, which may be present in any period of time. In essence, it signifies making law and legislation subject to human desires, not to the Divine system. It is immaterial whether these desires are those of an individual, a class, a nation or a generation. They remain human desires.

An individual may enact laws for a certain community and the result is that the community lives in darkness because his desire or his opinion becomes the law. A class may legislate for the rest of the community and the result is darkness enshrouding its whole life because the interests of that class become law, or let us say, the opinion of the parliamentary majority become law. The representatives of all classes and all sectors in the nation may legislate for themselves, and the result is the same darkness engulfing the whole of life, because the desires of human beings and their imperfect knowledge become law, since people cannot be without prejudices and cannot acquire perfect knowledge. Or it may be the people’s view that is the law. And a group of nations may legislate for mankind, but the result is still the same, because the national goals of those nations, or indeed the views of the international community become law. In each one of these situations, the difference is only in words.

But when the Creator of individuals, communities, nations and generations, legislates for all, the result is a Divine law which does not favour an individual, a community, a nation or a generation at the expense of others. God is the Lord of all and He treats them all equally. He knows the nature and the interests of all and He makes His law serve all their interests and meet all their needs in absolute justice. When anyone other than God legislates for mankind, people become subservient, be that person an individual, a class, a nation or the international community. But when God legislates for mankind, they are all free and equal. They bow in front of no one whatsoever and they submit to God alone. This explains how serious this question of legislation in human life and in the life of the universe is. “Should the truth be subservient to their desires, the heavens and the earth and all those who are in them will become corrupted.” (Al-Qur’an 23: 71) A judgement according to laws other than that revealed by God means evil, corruption and turning away from faith, as the Qur’ān itself says.

Taken From In The Shade of The Qur’an  Volume_4_surah_5 Page 93-95 By Sayyid Qutbi


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