What role can the Qur'an play in guiding mankind in a time of spiritual darkness and moral decay; while the world is on the brink of a global recession; while there is widespread bloodshed, human suffering and environmental destruction etc.
I was asked by well known Islamic thinker and Quran translator Dr Safi Kaskas to watch a video and then write some questions about the future of the Qur'an based on the state of the future world presented by this video.
The video was definitely a wake-up call that we as an ummah need to act and act fast before its too late! We need to educate our families and try to work to stop all this madness and to reclaim our humanity!
I believe the Quran can play a major role in solving the current and future problems facing humanity. We need scholars not only to be experts in religious sciences but to also be well-read in areas like science, engineering, arts and humanity, philosophy etc….
Muslims, as a whole, need to be made aware that the Qur'an is a guide for all times and all places and gives solutions for all problems and challenges that were faced in the past; what is faced today and all problems that our children will be face in the future.
I will present some pressing issues and explain solutions by applying the Quranic guidance.
1. Inequity of wealth distribution and the increase gap between the rich and poor, how can the Qur'an solve this problem?
Allah, Most high, says in the Quran:
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا
It is He who created for you that which is on the earth, ALTOGETHER.
In other words what is on the earth is not exclusive to some at the expense of others.
This problem cannot be tackled on an individual level but needs to be done collaboratively as an ummah. We need to apply the example of Yusuf, peace be upon him, to think strategically and plan for long term solutions. We need to think beyond food and clothes parcels and aim to provide education, creation of jobs, establishing self-sustained farming, medical services, planning for catastrophic events like droughts, floods, plagues etc.
2. We are witnessing the destruction of the environment before our very eyes, are we going to be part of the solution or ignore it?
The Quran says:
وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ
And observe the measure strictly, and do not lose the balance.
Allah, Most High, gives us abundant guidance in this area so that Insh’Allah we can reclaim our environment back and reestablish the balance before it is too late.
This is an area that I will expound on in future lessons Insh'Allah.
3. Depression and suicide, what is the Quranic solution?
Allah describes human nature
لَّا يَسْأَمُ الْإِنسَانُ مِن دُعَاءِ الْخَيْرِ وَإِن مَّسَّهُ الشَّرُّ فَيَئُوسٌ قَنُوطٌ
Man does not get tired of asking for good, but if ill touches him, he gives up all hope and is lost in despair.
The Quran offers solutions for this problem both at a spiritual, physical and social level. We need psychologists and psychiatrists to apply Quranic guidance on how to solve this issue beyond western medicine.
The role of the purification of the internal heart needs to emphasised and be applied in tackling this problem.
4. Genetic engineering and future impact on humans. What does the Quran say?
Allah describes Satan’s deception and his misguidance by allowing man to be deceived into thinking he can play the role of the creator by manipulating the creation. This is happening before our very eyes to mankind’s own detriment
The Quran says:
وَلَأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلَأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الْأَنْعَامِ وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ
And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them wishful desires, and I will command them so they will cut (splice) the “authorized permissions” of livestock, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.
NOTE: the verb بَتَكَ (he cut/ sliced) shares the exact same letters at كَتَبَ (he authorized, decreed), so this cutting is a cutting of something authorized and decreed.
Here the verb لَيُبَتِّكُنَّ is an emphasized verb from the root بَتَكَ which means to cut in an emphatic manner that will mean a permanent change. However, this cutting is of an authorization that is decreed by the Creator in the DNA sequence. This is done through a process that involves cutting the DNA (splicing) and changing the nucleotide base sequence by adding and deleting genetic material to “play god” and to follow Shaytan’s desire.
Livestock are of the greatest of blessings to mankind and any changes to these animals could have severe implications for mankind!
5. Qur'an and modern science
The Qur'an say
وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا
And strive against them with it (the Qur'an) a great striving [in terms of arguments and evidences]
Allah commands Muslims to exert their utmost effort to prove that the Qur'an is a divine revelation from the Creator of all the signs and wonders in the universe.
We need to intellectually reconcile modern science with the Qur'an. For example, the theory of evolution needs to be re-examined by scholars/scientists that need to take into consideration substantial evidence that shows that we existed at least 200,000 years ago and that human-like creature had existed on earth for a at least 2 million years.
At the same time, Muslims need to be true to the language of the Quran, without manipulating it in a manner that would give critics a reason to disprove future arguments and interpretations.
6. How to deal with division and sectarianism and the impact it has on Muslims rising to become the best nation for mankind , who will guide and shape the future for the better?
The Quran explains how the people of previous scriptures fell into sectarianism and division
وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ
The People of Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them through transgression among themselves.
The word بَغْيًا – transgression includes transgression of diseased hearts from its vices like hatred, greed and envy as well as physical transgression. This division came about not because of lack of knowledge but while they had knowledge.
We need to understand that one of the most important commands is to unite under the rope of Allah, the Quran. Our differences need to be put aside and we need to solve the exponentially greater problems affecting our physical and spiritual existence as the ennobled Children of Adam.
This can never be done with a diseased heart that lacks mercy and empathy towards others. The Prophet, peace be upon him, came as a mercy for mankind and Muslims who want to emulate him and follow his path need to carry the same message and not an exclusive message for a particular group or sect.
By Nabeel Alkhalidy 20 Rajab, 1443 , 22.2.2022
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Head teacher of the Sibaway Institute.