It has been said, "The duty of the civilized person is to bring civilization to the uncivilized." This is a Nobel calling of men and women who have accepted this responsibility assigned to them by God. Given the prevalent corruption in society today, the question that must be addressed is "Who is Responsible?"
In the Qu'ran, Allah clearly defines these "responsible" persons. In Surah Ali-Imaran, He says "Let there arise out of you a band of people, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong; They are the ones to attain felicity."
Today however, we find that most of mankind has lost all sense of responsibility. Very few people are willing to take responsibility for anything. We may recall that our ancestors, Adam and Hawa (Eve) were warned about this while they enjoyed the fruits of the Garden: "O Adam" God said," Verily, this is an enemy to thee and to thy wife: so let him not get you both out of the Garden so that thou art landed in misery." (Ta Ha: 20:P117)
Despite this warning, Adam and his wife succumbed to the whispers of Satan.
Will this be our fate? We must establish "Taqwa" (God consciousness) within ourselves. Allah created us to be the Khalifa or Vicegerent on earth. He made us the most intelligent among His Creation. Man is seen as the "crown of creation." He gave us responsibility (to be a witness) to mankind.
Let us review and re-evaluate ourselves. Each of us has a responsibility to Allah's creatures and creation. We share responsibilities with each other. The husband to the wife, the wife to the husband; parents to children and children to parents, etc. We also have responsibility to our neighbors and to society, even to the animals and to the plants. Everyday we see these inanimate objects carrying out their responsibility to mankind in providing necessary life-giving resources for all and sundry.
How can we reverse the trend of irresponsibility among the human family? We might begin with the basic principles of faith: Belief in One god, establishment of Salat, Charity, Fasting (for purification of our souls) and Pilgrimage (reflecting unity of mankind). These principles apply to all and embody such noble attributes as truthfulness, honesty, loyalty, justice, beneficence, peace, forgiveness and repentance.
Have we lost sensitivity toward others? We might begin by making an effort to take others "feelings," into consideration as we dialogue with them. We need to seek reconciliation, even with ourselves. Many of us have lost touch with the truth of our being. In this, we need to earnestly seek the help of Allah. It is He who invites us to accept His intervention.
We must shake off the shackles of Satan and reclaim the One God, Allah. He has given us our very being and yet many of us have given in to the evils of society. We must reconnect ourselves to Allah. "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger."
Let us give our children a good life. Let us teach them the right way. The Quran and ahadith is just the first step. We must emphasize "amal" (work), the practical side of life. "Action! Let us ask, who put the gambling dices in the hands of our children; who put guns in their hands? Did we truly speak out? Who allowed the secular society to take God out of the classrooms? Did we stand by while this was happening? Were we conscious of such activity, were we alert, were we aware?
Who is responsible? How did we let these low despicable values and immorality creep into our society and into our lives? Did we stand by? What about the thievery, the killing, the pornography and the homosexuality? Have we really spoken out? Have we submitted our weakness to a false god of materialism, wealth, children, sport, play, etc.
Who can we blame? Why have so many facets of evil crept into society? Think, children killing children, children killing parents, husbands and wives killing each other, and on infinitum and we don't want to be responsible!
Allah asks in the Quran: "Has not the Time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed (to them), and that they should not become like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are the rebellious transgressors. (Q57:16)
Where do we begin? We must begin with ourselves. Then Allah tells us that He has created everything in pairs: "He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiplies you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things)." (Q42:11)
He also said: "It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for thy Lord has power over all thing." Q35:54
Can't we all agree that the family is the basis of all civilization? Thus proper family structure brings the right of the husbands, wives, children and relatives into a fine equilibrium.
This nourishes unselfish behavior, generosity and love in the framework of an well-organized family system. The peace and security that is offered by a stable family unit is essential for both spiritual and societal growth. Home is where it begins!
In a lecture on this subject, Imam W. Deen Mohammed explained: "You have health care and hospitals, but the first health care center was in the home. The first store was in the home. The first government was in the home. The first governmental order was in the home. The first school was in the home. The first bank was in the home. The first transportation was home." He concluded, saying, "if the home is run well, society does not have to worry."
So the home is where the responsibility begins. Strong mothers are needed in the home and the home-extended. The Prophet (saaw) said that "Paradise is at the foot of the mother." Thus "responsible" wives and mothers have a mandate and so do the "responsible" husbands and fathers. Together they have the ultimate mandate to restore civilization to the world.