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Divine Law or Man-made Law?

01 August, 2016
Q How can Muslim societies reconcile Islam, within some of the more liberal social policies? That is to say drinking, dress codes, mixing between sexes, educating women and so on…


Salam (Peace) Dear Allan,

Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

First of all, it should be known that Islam is a complete way of life. It is a comprehensive system that covers the minute details of the whole universe, i.e. human beings and their relation with the whole environment, such as animals, plants, etc. But, the question is: Who is to ordain such a complete style of life?

Logically speaking, the best one to know everything that works well for the whole universe is the One Who created it out of nothing.

Practically speaking, when one buys a new set or machine, he gets a guide or a manual, from the manufacturer, which contains an extensive description of the components, as well as the operation and maintenance of such a set or a machine.

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Likewise, Allah (God), Who created the whole universe – including Man – has always taken care of His creation.

Allah created Man in this worldly life to test him, as a purpose of his existence on earth. Man has his own free will to obey His Creator or to disobey Him. So, Allah created Man and showed him the two ways and it is up to Man to obey or disobey, but he should bear the outcome of his deeds.

In real life, parents reward their obedient children and punish their disobedient ones; the managers reward the good and sincere employees, and penalize the bad and careless ones; the president or the king rewards the good citizens and also appoints policemen to arrest those who violate the law and punish them.

It is surprising that: the children respect the orders and directions of the parents; the employees follow the regulations stipulated by the managers; and the citizens comply with the articles of the law set by the president or the king.

This is despite the fact that the parents, managers and kings are mortal creatures of the Almighty God. What about respecting and obeying the One Who grants life and can take it back at any moment? Who should be more respected and obeyed? Divine Law or Man-made Law

It is well established that the man-made-laws have proven to be imperfect, simply because they are made by created people to others like them. This leads us to the fact that there must be laws and a complete way of life by the Creator. Then, since the Creator is Perfect, so His law is perfect too.

Allah sent heavenly books containing the description of the best style of life. He also chose some of His best creation to work as guides and teachers, explaining and implementing the minute details of that style of life. Those chosen men are messengers and prophets. T

he last of these prophets is Muhammad, peace be upon him, the heavenly book revealed to him is called the Quran and his followers are called Muslims.

In fact, Islam is the religion to which all messengers and prophets call their people to follow. Islam, in its broader sense, means submission and surrender to the will of Allah. The word Islam is derived of the verb salima in Arabic, which means ‘to have peace’ or ‘to live in peace and be saved from any mischief’. This, in fact, is the inevitable outcome of one’s submission and surrender to the will of Allah.

The Quran and the practical example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) contain a full coverage of all aspects of life, be they social, economic, political, cultural and so forth. For example, there are stipulations and clear directions regarding the dress code. As regards drinking, it is forbidden since its harms outweigh its benefits, as the Quran says.

It was been proven that drinking causes many serious diseases, for example. On the other hand, mixing between sexes has led to an abyss of immorality and the more liberal societies suffer now from the consequences of such liberty. Islam has clear-cut instructions concerning the relation between men and women, which ensure happiness and safety of both.

As regards education, men and women are equal in Islam and they both have the right to be educated. Actually, the first verse, even the first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad was: “Read!” This is an indication for the importance of learning and education to both men and women.Divine Law or Man-made Law

There is no difference in this regard between men and women. Many of the women during the lifetime of the prophet were even scholars… The best example is the prophet’s wife Aisha.

Thus, Muslims are in no need to reconcile or seek a compromise, as regards the liberal social policies invented by humans. This is as long as they have revelation from the Creator, to guide those who choose to be obedient and submit their will to Allah.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.