In Hajj, people from all over the world meet at the same place, do quite the same things, and go back each to one’s home. Back at home each follows one’s own customs. What do these customs do ? They tell you how to behave in society. That’s what the Quran does. If if I am a believer, the Quran tells me how to behave when I am alone and when I am in society. I am never alone, actually. I am physically alone, but my soul is supposed to be linked with the Creator. The Quran helps me handle all my relationships : with myself first, with my kin, with my close community, with my state, with the country I live in, with the Ummah (The Islamic Nation), with mankind, with God and with Satan. In my relationship with myself, for example, I am advised on how to preserve my life, my money, my mind, my faith and my honour. I am advised on how to manage my relation to beauty and greatness. I am advised on how to turn my fragility (instincts, etc.) into a moral strength that preserves my honour and self-esteem. I am advised on how to elevate myself from an animal (a body) into a decent human being (a good soul in a good body).
What about Satan ? Shoild I fear him ? Well, God says : ( ) So if I don’t want to be one of ( ) I should not take Satan for a friend. True, as the Quran says : ( ). But I should nonetheless be wary of him. What’s the difference between God and Satan ? Well, ( ) ( ) As for God, ( ) The Quran does not say to me go and sin, but it says if you sin, be honest and say sorry. If I heed Satan for a moment and commit a sin, then I have to repent, and I will be punished even if I repent, so that I will not be encouraged to go on that way, the way of Satan. ( Al-An’aam : 121 )
God wants to save me. God wants me to lead a clean life in a clean society. If I am not clean I should not expect society to be clean. If society is clean that’s not a guarantee that I’ll be clean too. I have to watch my own acts. If I am married, God would not want me yo be constantly watching my wife. I can’t watch her all the time, anyway ! God will make her watch herself by keeping duty to Him, by taqwa. (Annisaa : 34) Nobody can watch anybody. I can never me fier à l’integrité ou la probité de quelqu’un, because anybody can deceive me. Even very, very good believers are fallable : they can make mistakes. So God thought of a way to minimize these mistakes. Scholars call it ( ). If you leave a man with a woman alone, they are very likely to make a mistake, sooner or later. The prophet (pbuh) said : ( ) If you let your son or little brother go to a place where alcohol and drugs are served freely, he is very likely to do as others do. So what do you do to save him ? You prevent him from going there. If he doesn’t listen to you, what happens ? Idem for the Quran. The Quran prohibits adultery because, as you know, there may be bad consquences for everybody. Would you be pleased if you learnt that the child you call your son, the child you have fed for so many years, was in fact the son of another man ? If that didn’t happen to you personally, well, it did happen to many men. God knows that sex makes one feel so good, but for how long ? God knows that cocaine makes one feel so good, but for how long ? If I can’t marry, for material reasons, for example, and I make a mistake, at least, I should say sorry. At least I should consider that as a sin. ( ) ( ) I should beg God’s pardon and implore Him to give me the means to marry. It’s not a matter of coertion. It’s not because God wants me to suffer from sexual deparavation. It’s because God wants me to elevate myself from an animal into a decent human being. Sex was made to encourage people to marry and beget children. Some of these children would hopefully worship God. God knows that I can, if I will, and with His help, do without all that filth. God knows that I can be stronger than Satan and all his temptations. Experience will show me that Satan can sometimes be as good as a lion in a cage, and it’s I who will go and let him out of the cage. Experience will show me that I wouldn’t make such mistakes only if I were weak. Sometimes I would do it soon after being relieved from a long suffering ! ( ) What would I expect God to do to me in that case ? So, when God punishes me for my mistakes, it’s because He wants me to be an honest, decent person. ( ) And even the worst punishment God would inflict on me, because of my mistakes, will only do me good ultimately. That’s a sign for me to know how God only wants good for me, how God wants me to be happy, how God loves me before I love Him. ( ) God wants me to feel embarrased, ashamed of myself, so that I say SORRY. ( )
I too could say why should I be punished in the first place since it’s God who made Satan and gave him the power to mislead me ? Now, suppose your lovely beloved only son stole a car and went to prison, would you take responsibility for that ? Would you agree to go to prison in his place, because it’s you who did not give him the right upringing ? Maybe your son is good and would never do such things, but suppose your wife’s car was stolen by the son of a single mother who made sex with her boyfriend during a school outing. Would your wife curse the boy who stole the car or the ex-High School student who gave birth to him ? If you slept with a giel that you picked up on the street and you got AIDS, whom would you blame for that ? The girl, her parents, yourself, society ? If you got a bad illness because of the junkfood you eat everyday, would you pénaliser les grosses industries alimentaires or les nouveaux modes de vie or society, or who ? Would you blame toute la chaine alimentaire ? The Quran sensibilise et responsabilise. The Quran speaks of ( ), of ( ) and of ( ). It’s up to me, as a believer, to manage my ( ), with the help of God. (Al-Fajr : 30-32) (qad aflaha man zakkaha). The Quran helps me organize my life as an individual and helps individuals to organize their life as a community. The Quran sets a set of rules, some are very specific, others are general. There are things that any literate believer can take directly from the Quran. Other things need érudition. Our erudites help us understand not only the words but also the spirit of the Quran. Anyone can how directly from the Quran how to give thanks to God for all His grace. ( ) But when it comes to handling our complex relations within society we need serious knowledge inspired by the Quran and the Haddith. It’s our scholars, who have the knowledge, who tell us how we can accomplish our mission as viceroys of God in the earth. ( ) ( ) ( ) Life in society needs organization. People need to know their rights and obligations ; they need to know, for example, the extent of the freedom they are allowed in soiciety. But people also need to understand why they should abstain from doing things that others, in the same society, would do without gêne. Even a truly intellectual person can end up obeying God’s do’s and don’ts sans broncher les sourcils. That’s 3ibada, worship. But there’s ibada (worship) and maarifa (knowledge). I strive, within the faith, to understand, to know the end God had in mind when He commanded this or prohibited that. God says : ( ) As a believer, I understand that God did not prohibit that without reason : ( ) For practical reasons. If I want alcohol or drugs or sex out of wedlock or whatever to be depenalized time will show me the bad consequences of such a decision. Take men-women relationships, for example. From a societal point of view, there might be no problem for a sensible, honest, faithful woman to receive her male friend in her tent or in her personal room. But it’s because human experience has always shown that people don’t behave in the same way and that man can be weak that religion wanted to put des gardesfous. ( ) Even in positive law many people tend to look for loopholes and derogations in order to get ce qui ne leur est pas dû, to circumvent law. Freedom is not only an individual responsibilty. It’s also a collective responsibilty. If the City (the state, the authority) outlaws l’usage d’une drogue, par exemple, the ai mis noble, the aim is to save many people from addiction, from falling into delinquency. It’s amaana ; c’est un intérêt général. Your children are not only your children ; they are the children of the nation ; they are the future of the nation, they are the treasure of the nation, be it Morocco, Malaysia or America. The City too should have a say in the way you upbring your child. Idem for the Quran. If I am a believer, the Quran shows me how to deal with my child, how to deal with my wife, how to behave in society as a whole. God says : ( ) The Quran wants you and me to be responsible persons. Even when it comes to elections, I have to vote –if I do vote– for the person I think is best ––even if I don’t really need anything from that person or his/her part. I am doing this as part of my responsibility towards the City. Whether I go and vote or si tat home on the day of elections, my responsibilty will not end there. I am responsible everyday : ( ) That’s everyday ! At least I should not contribute to corruption. Because if corruption becomes rampant, widespread, everybody en pâtirait, even good people. ( )
That’s why the Quran wanted to organize our life, individual and collective, in such a way that everybody would enjoy the beauty of the world in a decent, legitimate way that wouldn’t harm anybody : Life is a precious gift. And God wants life for us, not death. ( ) The Quran even cares for our feelings. If I don’t like somebody I may turn away from him, but if he says helllo I should return the greeting. ( ) This teaches us humility. Tout individu est important en soi. Même un malade en comma, même un fou ou un chômeur sans le sou, est important au moins quantitativement –du fait que, en devant manger, s’habiller, se faire soigner…., il contribue indirectement au bon déroulement de la machine économique d’ici ou d’ailleurs. Quand on parle d’une économie quelconque, on dit c’est un marché de tant de consomateurs. On y met tout : les sages et les fous.