Is Islam a complete code of life?

What is right after all?

Is Islam a complete code of life?

Mufti Muhammad Qasim Attari

Islam is a complete code of life; this is our faith as well as our claim. The term code of life refers to a comprehensive set of laws and guidelines for living. Islam being a complete code of life entails that whenever life exists, the rules of Islam will be present, and wherever there is life, the commands of Islam will be found. The beginning of human life starts with birth. When a child is born, the duration of its life begins. From that time until death, life in this world continues, and throughout this entire period, the guidance of Islam accompanies that individual step by step.

The relevance of Islam’s principles even before birth

The guidance of Islam begins not with the birth of a child but much earlier, even before the marriage of the child's parents. For example, Islam informs us about the qualities to consider when choosing a life partner. One must consider the family background, the manners, character, and beauty of the girl. The character should be the most important aspect. Furthermore, Islam teaches that marriage should take place in families who are known for their dignity and have good manners and habits.

All of this is important, because when a child is born, undoubtedly, it will be in close contact with maternal relatives, and the qualities of the maternal family will be adopted by the child. The same applies for the bride-to-be; she should investigate into the boy and his family to see if the mentioned qualities are present. This is because when a child is born, it will inevitably spend more time with the paternal family. Note how Islamic guidance points out well in advance to think about the qualities and manners a child will adopt many years later.

The Islamic code of life provides guidance from birth to adolescence

When a child is born, the first directive is to have a virtuous and good-mannered person perform the tanīk and recite the azan in the child's ear. Then, on the seventh day, perform the aqīqah ceremony and give the child a good name. Thereafter is the ruling for a child to be circumcised. Along with this, there are guidelines pertaining to i) breastfeeding, specifying how long the mother should breastfeed; ii) who is responsible for the child's maintenance; iii) if the parents separate, how long the child will remain with the mother before the father gains custody.

Similarly, when children start to learn words and speak, the word "Allah" is to be repeatedly said in front of them so that the first word a child learns to utter is the blessed name of their Creator and Sustainer: Allah.

When the child is around five years of age, attention should be paid towards teaching fundamental Islamic beliefs. Salah should be encouraged at the age of seven. And by the age of 10, there should be strictness in ensuring the child is punctual in offering salah. During this age, along with worship, emphasis should also be placed on instilling good manners in the child, as well as the attributes of generosity, kindness, smiling, respecting elders, showing compassion to the young, displaying good conduct towards creation, and treating neighbours well. Islam declares that the greatest gift parents can give to their children is a good upbringing and teaching them good manners, as a well-raised child will become a better Muslim and an upright member of society.

Islamic code of conduct pertaining to various aspects of life

Once children reach puberty, all of Islam’s rulings and its detailed teachings come into effect. Hence, they are applicable to all aspects of their lives, and they as individuals now have a responsibility towards them.

Islamic code of conduct relating to life’s social aspects

A man is a son for his parents, a brother for siblings, and a grandson for grandparents. In every relationship, there are separate teachings of Islam, taking into account the nature and proximity of relationships; the closer the relationship, the more the rules. Therefore, there are different rulings in relation to parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and distinct rulings based on whether a person is a maram or not. In short, there are completely rational and comprehensive details regarding this.

Apart from familial relationships, there are many other relationships that are a part of social life, such as one’s relationship with neighbours. The rights afforded to neighbours are also covered in detail by Islam’s code of life. Likewise, entire books have been written covering Islam’s teachings on one of the most crucial relationships of life, i.e. that of the husband and wife. They cover details surrounding the rights, duties, justice, and kindness between husband and wife.

Islamic principles concerning finance

Human life demands various needs to be fulfilled, and to meet these needs, a person adopts a means of livelihood. Generally, there are two avenues for earning: employment or business. In relation to employment, Islam has provided a comprehensive set of rules by detailing matters related to words such as job, employment, wage, employer, employee, etc. For example, determining the wage, specifying the nature of work, and stipulating its duration are all a part of this. Similar rules exist for employees regarding their relationships with seniors and juniors.

On the other hand, if a business is someone’s livelihood, then the rulings are more detailed than they are for other fields of life. This is because businesses are of many types—involving textiles, gold, wheat, and animals, for example—each with their own respective rules. The details of business-related regulations are diversely explained in the Quran and Hadith.

Islamic principles in relation to death and the afterlife

Islam provides comprehensive guidance regarding death, such as instructing the dying person to recite the declaration of faith and ensuring that a person's end is upon faith. There are rules regarding what to do after someone’s death. These range from bathing and shrouding the deceased, the burial process, the funeral itself, and digging the grave according to the prescribed length and width. Additionally, there are guidelines on acts that are prohibited, such as reopening the grave, revealing the state of the deceased, walking or sitting on the grave, and showing any disrespect to the grave and deceased. Other pertinent matters are also explained, be they in relation to the deceased’s estate, repaying the deceased's debts, carrying out their will, or dividing the inheritance among heirs.

Islamic principles on modern aspects of Life

Life is constantly evolving with developments, new inventions, and discoveries. Both beneficial and harmful things are being invented every day. Despite the advancements, life is full of hardships. The climate is that of a race in which materialism is in pole position. In such circumstances, Islam's comprehensiveness reveals itself, as explicit guidance is provided on a vast array of issues. Complementing this are the broad principles which aid our understanding of how we should act in novel matters in light of the spirit and essence of Islam.

Many of these principles are related to ijtihād and tadabbur, and many others can be easily implemented by a common person. For instance, one fundamental teaching is to avoid using anything to harm Allah’s creation; using any instruments that are invented to cause harm falls under this principle. Likewise, a basic teaching is to prioritise the wellbeing of others. Thus, whether one is a doctor, engineer, ruler, or officer, everyone should adhere to these principles.

A doctor should remain dedicated to treating people in a conscionable manner instead of falling prey to greed by helping hospitals exploit people. An engineer should focus on serving humanity instead of taking part in the creation of harmful inventions. And a ruler is to lift the burden off people and spend on them rather than burden them, hoard wealth and be involved in corruption.

In short, there are Islamic teachings which exist that are linked to every aspect of human life, be it in relation to one individual, groups, the body, the soul, wealth, or domestic and community matters. All of this demonstrates that Islam is a complete way of life.




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